On Wednesday 11 January 2023, the European Commission's Delegated Regulation (EU) 2023/66 of 21 October 2022, updating the list of dual-use items contained in Annex I to Regula-tion (EU) 2021/821 (the “EU Dual Use Regulation”), was published in the Official Journal of the EU. With its publication, the updated list comes into force as of 12 January 2023.
The commercial law firm Oppenhoff is giving its namesake Michael Oppenhoff a special gift for his 85th birthday: it is endowing the Walter Oppenhoff Foundation with around 250,000 euros, thus securing its long-term future. The Foundation’s name is also being changed to the Walter and Michael Oppenhoff Foundation.
The dangers in the area of cybercrime have been steadily increasing for years. The risks range from data theft and espionage to IT failures and production stoppages. In view of this, it comes as no surprise that several legislative procedures have already been introduced to raise security standards in information technology. However, with the new NIS-2 Directive, the addressees of the special cybersecurity regulations will increase significantly.
Employment Law04.01.2023 Newsletter
On 20 December 2022, the German Act on the Introduction of an Electricity Price Brake [Gesetz zur Einführung einer Strompreisbremse, StromPBG] and the German Act on the Introduction of Price Brakes for Piped Natural Gas and Heat [Gesetz zur Einführung von Preisbremsen für leitungsgebundenes Erdgas und Wärme, EWPBG] came into force. Both Acts contain the basic principles of the so-called energy price brake and are intended, among other things, to provide relief for companies in light of the exorbitant rise in energy prices.
Investments in the health care sector are very popular since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. In Germany, there has been a particular interest in the strong German medical technology sector during the last years, not only from strategic but also from private equity investors.
Retail and Consumer Goods28.12.2022 Newsletter
In packaging law, both European and national legislators are clearly picking up the pace. The obligation to offer reusable packaging comes into effect on 01 January 2023. Restaurant owners, delivery services, fast-food restaurants, fresh-food counters and other providers of take-away food now need to familiarise themselves with the new provisions of the German Packaging Act [Verpackungsgesetz, VerpackG] if they are to avoid fines.
Employment Law27.12.2022 Newsletter
Just as the year draws to a close, there is one more piece of good news for employers: it was often the case to date that employees registered with the employment agency as unemployed after being dismissed by their employer. There, claims to default of acceptance wages were asserted. Frequently, either no or insufficient efforts to apply for jobs were made in such cases. In its decision of 30 September 2022 - 6 Sa 280/22, the Regional Labour Court [Landesarbeitsgericht, LAG] of Berlin-Brandenburg "certified" that an employee had made insufficient efforts to apply for a job and dismissed his claim to default of acceptance wages.
On 16 December 2022 - and thus exactly three years after the EU Whistleblower Directive came into force - the Bundestag passed the new, long overdue German Whistleblower Protection Act [Hinweisgeberschutzgesetz, HinSchG]. Previously, the Legal Affairs Committee had made significant last-minute changes to the bill.
German and European investors in the energy and commodities sector with an eye on the exchange between Chile and the EU - two like-minded regions sharing common democratic values and ambitious climate-change targets - can be pleased at the end of this year with the conclusion of negotiations on the modernization of the 2002 Association Agreement between Chile and the EU, which, among others, sets forth express provisions to secure European investors, offtakers and consumers access to green hydrogen, green ammonia, e-fuels and lithium in a sustainable way.
The Oppenhoff partners have re-elected the management team for the next three years. The firm’s chairwoman Myriam Baars-Schilling, Dr Harald Gesell and Dr Jürgen Hartung are thus starting their second joint term of office and, together with COO Jörg Overbeck, will continue to form the firm's Executive Board.
Employment Law20.12.2022 Newsletter
Today the ECJ ruled that a statute of limitations and a forfeiture of claims to (payment in lieu of) holiday could only come into consideration if the employer had fulfilled its cooperation obligations with regard to the holiday claim.
In response to targeted attacks by Russia against civilians and civilian infrastructure in Ukraine, the European Union intends to increase pressure on Russia further with the ninth sanctions package. The package entered into force on 17 December 2022 and supplements the existing sanctions.
Employment Law19.12.2022 Newsletter
A year ago, our Newsletter took a look at the coalition agreement signed by the new so-called traffic-light coalition at the beginning of December 2021. Not much of the labour law aspects of this agreement has been implemented to date. And this, despite the fact that "working time recording” is a most pressing topic for companies. This is fuelled not least by the surprising decision of the German Federal Labour Court [Bundesarbeitsgericht, BAG] of 13 September 2022. As things currently stand, the government is likely to introduce its first draft legislation on the recording of working hours in the first quarter of next year. In the current issue of Focus on Labour Law, you will find the usual overview of the most important labour court decisions, news regarding the minimum wage, and the social security calculation parameters that will apply from 01 January 2023. Finally, we would like to draw your attention to our new Legal Tech Tool, which allows you to quickly and easily check online the compliance risks associated with your company’s use of external personnel. We wish you and your families a relaxing holiday period and all the best for the year 2023!
IT Law and Data Protection15.12.2022 Newsletter
Find out more about our IT law & data protection practice group - now regularly summarised for you at a glance! On a quarterly basis, we will be presenting you with the most important developments in IT law and data protection. In addition to informing you of the latest draft laws and developments in the field, we advise you on classic IT law, data protection law and new media. Please also feel free to contact us for audits, IT project support and consulting, including cloud computing, e-commerce topics and social media issues.
Private Clients14.12.2022 Publication
In its ruling of 29 June 2022, the German Federal Supreme Court affirmed that the application of English inheritance law to the estate of a person living in Germany has to be regarded as a violation of German public order insofar as it deprives children of the deceased of their claim to a compulsory portion which, according to the case law of the German Federal Constitutional Court, is irrevocable and independent of need. The decision means that, in future, in cross-border succession planning with a connection to Germany, even more attention must be paid than before to whether beneficiaries of the compulsory portion are being ignored.
Oppenhoff has appointed new partners with effect from 1 January 2023. Dr. Vanessa Pickenpack has joined the group of equity partners. Edder Cifuentes has been made a partner. In addition, Dr. Carsten Bormann, Robert Fischer-Sonnberg and Sebastian Gutmann have been promoted to junior partners.
On 3 December 2022, the EU set the expected price cap for oil from Russia as agreed with the G7 partners and Australia. The price cap will come into force for crude oil on 5 December and for refined petroleum products on 5 February 2023. In addition, as of now Russian crude oil may only be imported into the European Union in exceptional cases.
This is a tiresome topic for companies: the commercial agent leaving the company requests an extract of the books. Only recently, it was decided by case law that - when a commercial agent asserts a claim to in-spect the books in order to check the correctness and completeness of the issued extract of the books - companies are initially not obliged to create any documents (Higher Regional Court [Oberlandesgericht, OLG] of Frankfurt, decision dated 14 April 2022 - 26 Sch 1/22, juris). How-ever, this is based on the fact that the company is not obliged to prepare additional, previously non-existing documents for the inspection. The same applies to the procurement of previously unavailable data and documents from third parties.
On Friday, 2 December 2022, the eagerly awaited reasons for the BAG’s decision in the time-clock ruling were published. With astonishing clarity, the Senate, under Presiding Judge Inken Gallner, took a stand on previously raised practical issues regarding the recording of working hours. We explain what companies now have to watch out for.
Because of their huge popularity and reach, e-sports events are now considered an ideal platform for advertising. Because of their huge popularity and reach, e-sports events are now considered an ideal platform for advertising.
On 28 November 2022, the Council of the European Union adopted the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD), following its prior approval by the EU Parliament on 10 November 2022. This already imposes extended reporting obligations on companies as of the reporting year 2024.
Employment Law17.11.2022 Newsletter
In May and June of this year, the Federal Labour Court made important decisions on joint operations. The decisions from May are of central importance, according to which employment in a joint venture does not constitute the hiring out of workers. On the occasion of the current case law, we answer the most important questions on joint operations.
According to the current draft of the German Annual Tax Act 2022 [Jahressteuergesetz 2022, JStG 2022], which will apply from 01 January 2023, the regulations on the valuation of gifts and inheritances of real estate are expected to be significantly tightened. Real estate owners who wish to transfer real estate free of charge, especially by way of anticipated succession, should urgently check whether they can save taxes by transferring it this year.
On Friday, 11 November 2022, the Bundestag factions of the traffic light coalition introduced a draft for a so-called second Sanctions Enforcement Act (Sanktionsdurchsetzungsgesetz II; SDG II) into the Bundestag. The new regulations are to supplement the Sanctions Enforcement Act I (SDG I) already passed by the Bundestag in May 2022.
Digital Business09.11.2022 Newsletter
In the ever rapidly growing and equally rapidly changing marketplace and competitive arena of e-sports, what is clear(er) for traditional sports is still unclear for e-sports: do associations, foundations or corporations that promote e-sports pursue charitable purposes within the meaning of Sec. 52 (2) No. 21 of the German Fiscal Code (GFC) [Abgabenordnung, AO]?