Online platforms: does my website meet the legal requirements?

Online platforms are subject to a number of regulatory requirements. New regulations not only come from Brussels, but also from Berlin. In addition to general regulations for online platforms, there are numerous special regulations, e.g. for streaming platforms or social media. Read here which regulations are important for your website.

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Employment Law07.10.2022 Newsletter

Current legislative proposals to combat the energy crisis

On both 14 and 29 September 2022, the Federal Cabinet passed a multitude of bills to combat the energy crisis and thus set them on their way through parliament. In addition, the Ordinance Amending the Ordinance on Access to Short-Time Work Benefit [Kurzarbeitergeldzugangsverordnung - KugZuV] and the Ordinance Making Short-Time Work Benefit Available to Temporary Agency Workers [Kurzarbeitergeldöffnungsverordnung - KugÖV] entered into force on 30 September 2022. The following article by Jörn Kuhn and Annabelle Marceau provides an overview of current legislative proposals.

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EU adopts 8th sanctions package in response to annexation of Ukrainian territories in violation of international law

On October 6th, the Council of the European Union adopted the 8th EU sanctions package against Russia. One day earlier, the permanent representatives of the member states had already agreed, among other things, on the legal requirements for a price cap on Russian oil imports proposed by the G7 countries. The sanctions package contains new far-reaching measures that will affect a multitude of economic sectors.

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Compliance06.10.2022 Newsletter

Electronic time recording - BAG creates compliance risk for companies

Surprisingly, the German Federal Labour Court [Bundesarbeitsgericht, BAG] has ruled by decision dated 13 September 2022 (docket No. 1 ABR 22/21) that companies must systematically record the working hours of their employees. This could be derived from the Union-conform interpretation of the German Occupational Health and Safety Act [Arbeitsschutzgesetz, ArbSchG], with which the BAG now implements the "CCOO" decision of the ECJ (judgement of 14 May 2019, docket No.: C-55/18), which already caused a furore in 2019, into German law for the first time by way of judicial further development of the law. Thus, employers are currently already required to maintain a time recording system that can objectively and reliably determine the daily and weekly working hours performed by their employees.

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Digital Business06.10.2022 Newsletter

In-game purchases: million-dollar transfers on the digital turf - ticket purchases on the black market

Once again, this year's release of the video game FIFA has generated a great deal of attention and criticism. The black market trade in in-game currency, i.e. the game's own currency that can technically only be earned in the actual game, in contrast, has barely been discussed in the media to date. This currency can be bought on dubious trading platforms for real money. Publishers in particular suffer as a result.

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Oppenhoff advises on acquisition of pet insurer Smart Paws by Trupanion

Oppenhoff has advised the shareholders of Smart Paws GmbH on its sale to Trupanion Inc.

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Employment Law29.09.2022 Newsletter

Focus on Labor Law - 3rd quarter 2022

In the third quarter of 2022, employers faced several landmark labour court decisions as well as legislation that will have a tangible impact on HR operations. Besides the reform of the German Act on Proof of Working Conditions in an Employment Relationship [Nachweisgesetz, NachwG], which came into force on 01 August 2022, HR departments are now also facing enormous chal-lenges through the ruling of the Federal Labour Court [Bundesarbeitsgericht, BAG] of 13 September 2022 on the recording of working hours and the ECJ ruling of 22 September 2022 on the statute of limitations for (residual) holiday claims. Other recently published BAG rulings are also forcing companies to adjust their processes in the field of compliance and when con-cluding shop agreements. We are pleased to present all of these recent developments in case law and legislation in this issue of our Focus Labour Law.

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Oppenhoff advises on the acquisition of CORESIS Group by aam2core

Oppenhoff comprehensively advised the two founding shareholders on the sale of CORESIS Group, which specializes in real estate investment, asset and property management.

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Digital Business27.09.2022 Newsletter

Legal risks associated with changes to the in-game payment system

For game manufacturers, changing the in-game payment or reward system in the game after the fact is often lucrative. This is not without risk.

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Health23.09.2022 Newsletter

Telemedicine: remote treatment as a legal challenge

The progressive development of new technologies is also leading to new fields of application and innovations in the healthcare industry. A practice that has been established for decades in seafaring is now also finding its way into doctors’ surgeries: the remote treatment of patients without any physical real contact. In sparsely populated regions in particular, existing gaps in medical care can be closed through telemedicine, and even in urban areas the accessibility of specialist care can also be improved.

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Employment Law22.09.2022 Newsletter

Limitation of holiday claims – the next surprise for employers?

It is not that long ago that the Advocate General's Opinions of March and May 2022 on the expiry of untaken paid annual holiday caused a stir. With today's rulings, the ECJ is now further strengthening employee rights in accordance with the Advocate General's position while at the same time significantly restricting employer rights.

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Oppenhoff advises tesa SE on the acquisition of tesa Labtec GmbH by Adhex Pharma

Oppenhoff advised tesa SE on the sale of tesa Labtec GmbH, a specialty pharmaceutical contract development and manufacturing organization for transdermal therapeutic systems and oral films, to Adhex Pharma.

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Operation of critical infrastructures and public security - Federal Government places Rosneft Deutschland under trusteeship

The Federal Government, through the Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Action, placed Rosneft Deutschland and RN Refining & Marketing GmbH under the trusteeship of the Federal Network Agency . This is the first time that the BMWK has used a new legal basis anchored in the German Energy Security Act to avert risks in connection with the operation of critical infrastructures in the energy sector.

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Employment Law13.09.2022 Newsletter

Electronic time recording - Federal Labour Court creates clarity and uncertainty at the same time

The works council has no right of initiative regarding the introduction of time recording systems in the company. As expected, the Federal Labour Court [Bundesarbeitsgericht, BAG] confirmed its previous case law today (decision of 13 September 2022 - 1 ABR 22/21). At the same time, the BAG's decision has caused a sensation in the discussion on the recording of working hours: according to the Erfurt judges, if the German Occupational Health and Safety Act [Arbeitsschutzgesetz, ArbSchG] is interpreted in conformity with Union law, employers are currently already obliged to record employees' working hours.

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Energy and Infrastructure08.09.2022 Publication

Energy sector: large gas consumers need a contingency plan

Although emergency plans, risk plans and safety laws have also existed for a long time in the energy sector, they have not been relevant to date because there was no acute risk situation. However, a crisis of unprecedented proportions is becoming increasingly likely - and is therefore causing a great deal of uncertainty in the market. More than ever, in-house counsel are being called upon to find solutions with their partners in law firms. Carmen Schneider, energy law ex-pert and partner at the law firm of Oppenhoff, therefore urgently recommends taking appropriate preventive measures.

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Antitrust Law and Merger Control07.09.2022 Newsletter

German Federal Cartel Office allows cooperation between competitors in the event of a gas supply emergency – under certain conditions

According to a press release dated September 6, 2022, the German Federal Cartel Office has no objections against a production cooperation among German sugar producers to mitigate a possible gas shortage. The decision is driven by the current geopolitical situation and has cross-industry significance.

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Energy and Infrastructure07.09.2022 Publication

Is the CO2 border adjustment legally compliant?

A proposal drafted by the EU Commission for a CO2 limit compensation scheme will result in rising costs for manufacturing companies and is meeting with criticism. Holger Hofmann and Carsten Bormann find out what is being discussed.

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06.09.2022 News

Also in 2022, Walter Oppenhoff Foundation awards scholarships for outstanding young lawyers

The Walter Oppenhoff Foundation is once again awarding two scholarships for LL.M. studies in the USA this year, thus supporting the extraordinary legal achievements of the two scholarship holders. The Foundation was established in 1996 on the occasion of the 90th birthday of Dr. Walter Oppenhoff, namesake of the commercial law firm Oppenhoff, and supports the international education of German lawyers.

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Federal Court of Justice on maintenance law in divorces of international marriages

When an international marriage is divorced, the question arises as to which maintenance law applies. Normally, the law of the country in which the person entitled to maintenance is habitually resident applies. This only is not the case if the law of another country had, in an exceptional case, a closer connection to the marriage or if the couple made a corresponding choice of law.

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Foreign Trade / Compliance31.08.2022 Newsletter

Ukraine war: Applicable sanctions at a glance

Since the beginning of the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine, the EU and the US have imposed countless sanctions against Russia and Belarus. The EU has now issued the seventh package of sanctions. The multitude of regulations and dynamic develop-ments have raised a wide range of questions for companies. We are providing you with an overview of the sanctions imposed by the EU so far. Regulations (EU) 833/2014 and (EU) 269/2014 are relevant in this respect.

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Employment Law25.08.2022 Newsletter

Impending energy crisis: mandatory energy conservation as of 1 September 2022

The emerging energy crisis forces us all to take action: yesterday, the German Federal Cabinet approved two ordinances on energy conservation presented by Habeck, Germany’s Federal Minister of Economics. The ordinances specifically stipulate that not only public entities, but all companies, are required to save gas and electricity. The first measures become mandatory as of 1 September 2022. Annabelle Marceau and Jörn Kuhn explain the labour law implications of the two ordinances.

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InsuranceCorporate Insurance23.08.2022 Newsletter

Frankfurt Higher Regional Court: insurance brokers may be obliged to draw attention to exclusions of cover

An insurance broker may in exceptional cases be obliged to draw an insured party’s attention to certain exclusions of cover. This was confirmed by the Higher Regional Court [Oberlandesgericht - OLG] of Frankfurt.

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Employment Law / Compliance23.08.2022 Newsletter

Compliance risk: excessive remuneration of works council members constitutes a criminal act of breach of trust

Last year, by judgement dated 28 September 2021 (16 KLs 406 Js 59398/16 inter alia), the Regional Court [Landgericht, LG] of Braunschweig acquitted four high-ranking managers of the VW Group of the charge of breach of trust due to excessive works council remuneration. However, it is clear from the recently published reasons for the judgement that the judges nevertheless considered the objective fact for constituting a breach of trust pursuant to Sec. 266 (1) of the German Criminal Code [Strafgesetzbuch, StGB] to have been fulfilled.

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Compliance19.08.2022 Publication

IEL Guide to Whistleblowing - Germany

Unsere Arbeitsrechtsexperten Isabel Hexel und Johannes Peter Kaesbach haben das deutsche Kapitel für den IEL Guide to Whistleblowing verfasst.

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Employment Law17.08.2022 Newsletter

Foreign postings in the context of the amended German Act on Proof of Working Conditions and the EU Working Conditions Directive

Everyone is currently talking about the implementation of the EU Working Conditions Directive in the German Act on Proof of Working Conditions Governing an Employment Relationship [Nachweisgesetz, NachwG]. The new obligations to provide information and proof also affect employee postings abroad. Companies will therefore also have to take action in this respect, which we have summarised below.

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Julia Witte

Julia Witte

Communications Manager

Konrad-Adenauer-Ufer 23
50668 Cologne
T +49 221 2091 342