Foreign Trade / Compliance19.12.2022 Newsletter

EU adopts 9th sanctions package against Russia

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.

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Employment Law19.12.2022 Newsletter

Focus on Labor Law – 4th Quarter 2022

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!

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IT Law and Data Protection15.12.2022 Newsletter

Focus IT&C – 4th Quarter 2022

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.

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Private Clients14.12.2022 Publication

English inheritance law violates German public order because children have no right to a compulsory portion

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.

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13.12.2022 News

Oppenhoff appoints new partners

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.

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Foreign Trade / Compliance06.12.2022 Newsletter

Russia sanctions: EU sets price cap for Russian oil

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.

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Commercial / Distribution Law06.12.2022 Newsletter

Reminder as the year draws to a close: the commercial agent’s claim to an extract of the books could soon become time-barred

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.

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Employment Law / Compliance05.12.2022 Newsletter

Clarity regarding the recording of working hours: the BAG’s reasons for its time-clock ruling

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.

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Advertising at e-sports events: what needs to be considered?

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.

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Compliance30.11.2022 Newsletter

CSRD update: sustainability reporting obligation

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.

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Employment Law17.11.2022 Newsletter

The joint establishment - news from the German Federal Labour Court

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.

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Transfer of real estate – significantly more expensive from next year onwards

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.

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Second Sanctions Enforcement Act: draft law increases pressure on companies

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.

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Digital Business09.11.2022 Newsletter

E-sport - current status of non-profit eligibility

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]?

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Modernisation of product liability law: EU Commission presents new draft directive

The EU is planning concrete steps to modernise product liability law and thus further strengthen consumer protection. The outdated EU Product Liability Directive, on which the German Product Liability Act [Produkthaftungsgesetz, ProdHaftG] is based, aims in particular to take into account advanced digitisation, developments in artificial intelligence and the increasingly widespread circular economy.

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German Act on Corporate Due Diligence Obligations in Supply Chains: mandatory ques-tionnaire on reporting obligation published

Just before the entry into force of the German Act on Corporate Due Diligence Obligations for the Prevention of Human Rights Violations in Supply Chains [Gesetz über Lieferkettensorg-faltspflichten, LkSG] and following the recently published handout on risk analysis, the German Federal Office for Economic Affairs and Export Control [Bundesamt für Wirtschaft und Ausfuhr-kontrolle, BAFA] has now published a comprehensive questionnaire. Affected companies can meet their reporting obligations under Sec. 10 (2) LkSG with such questionnaire.

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Are bequests better than inheritances?

Every year, assets totalling billions of euros are transferred to the next generation in Germany. This mostly happens by inheriting.

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Employment Law24.10.2022 Newsletter

Workation as an energy-saving measure - what employers should consider

At the latest since the corona pandemic, home offices and mobile working have become an integral part of everyday working life. “Workations" are also becoming increasingly popular among employees - all the more so as the temperatures in Germany drop and energy prices rapidly rise. Now in particular, many employees are therefore considering spending the winter months in warmer climes in order to work from there. This understandable wish of employees presents companies with legal problems, however. We summarise the most important points for employers below.

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Employment Law14.10.2022 Newsletter

Securing liquidity in the energy crisis: short-term savings on personnel costs

The massive cost increases in the context of the energy crisis, especially for raw materials and electricity, weigh heavily on companies. The entire cost structure is being reviewed. Many companies are also focusing on reducing personnel costs and, in particular, wage costs.

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Oppenhoff advises Schoofs Immobilien on portfolio development of eleven specialist stores with Greenman

Oppenhoff has advised Schoofs Immobilien GmbH Frankfurt on a portfolio development with the investment fund manager Greenman and its fund Greenman OPEN. The portfolio comprises eleven specialist stores or mixed-use properties and has a volume of 215 million euros. It is to be realised by 2025.

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Employment Law / Corporate Law11.10.2022 News

Oppenhoff launches Go-To-Market initiative with Robert Walters

Oppenhoff has set up a collaboration with the permanent and interim recruitment specialist Robert Walters.

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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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Julia Witte

Julia Witte

Communications Manager

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