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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Retail and Consumer Goods12.08.2022 Newsletter

Innovations in e-commerce: distribution-related antitrust law and gatekeepers

Antitrust law currently entails innovations for e-commerce on an almost daily basis. Besides the advancing regulation of gatekeepers, the "rules of the game" of distribution-related antitrust law have also been modernised.

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BGH: Application of German law on compulsory portions despite choice of law in favour of English law

In its judgement of 29 June 2022 (Case No. IV ZR 110/21), the Bundesgerichtshof ruled that the application of English inheritance law based on a choice of law in the testamentary disposition is contrary to German ordre public if this deprives children of their entitlement to a compulsory por-tion independent of their needs and there is a sufficient domestic connection. The BGH thus con-firms the previous decision of the Higher Regional Court of Cologne (judgement of 22 April 2021 - 24 U 77/20, ZEV 2021, 698).

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Compliance05.08.2022 Newsletter

Proposal for a new EU sustainability directive: do companies face even stricter due diligence requirements along the supply chain?

The European Commission submitted a proposal for a new directive on corporate sustainability requirements to the European Union in Brussels on 23 February 2022 (so-called "Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence and amending Directive (EU) 2019/1937"). Its purpose is to promote sustainable business behaviour in relation to supply chains, especially in activities with an impact on human rights and the environment.

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04.08.2022 Newsletter

Russia sanctions: BAFA's General Permit on restrictions regarding public contracts

On 8 April 2022, for the first time since the start of the Ukraine war, the EU issued prohibitions on awarding and performing public contracts and concessions. The bans entered into force as part of the fifth package of sanctions against Russia and are applicable directly.

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Oppenhoff advises world's largest cable manufacturer Prysmian on sustainability-linked loan of €1.2 billion

Oppenhoff has advised the world's leading cable manufacturer Prysmian S.p.A. on its first sustainability-linked loan in the amount of €1.2 billion. The loan was provided by a consortium of Italian and international banks.

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InsuranceCompliance / Corporate Insurance01.08.2022 Newsletter

Düsseldorf Regional Court on unfair e-mail advertising of broker services

The Düsseldorf Regional Court has ruled that, under certain circumstances, an insurance broker must accept being attributed with the unfair conduct of an advertising agency commissioned by him (judgement of 16 June 2021, 12 O 10/21).

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BGH: invalidity of a gift if the giver can be easily influenced or shows a weakness of will

In cases in which the claimant names concrete indications to the effect that he may have been legally incapacitated when making a gift, an expert opinion definitely has to be obtained by the adjudicating court. The German Federal Court of Justice [Bundesgerichtshof, BGH] determined this in its ruling of 26 April 2022 – X ZR 3/20 - and thus overturned the previous decision of the Higher Regional Court [Oberlandesgericht, OLG] of Cologne of 18 December 2019 - I-25 U 14/19 - and referred the matter back to the previous instance. The BGH pointed out that, even without any legal incapacity, the state of a weakness of will or ability to be easily influenced could also justify a nullity on grounds of immorality, if this state was deliberately and purposefully exploited by the recipient of the gift. This is because the immorality can also result from the behaviour and motives of the recipient of the gift.

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Energy and Infrastructure27.07.2022 Newsletter

Gas emergency situation – What can you do?

At the end of June, the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Climate Protection declared the alert level ("Alarmstufe") of the German Gas Emergency Plan - there is great concern about a gas supply stop and corresponding reductions. If the BMWK declares the emergency level, companies would basically be affected first. The strains will run through the entire supply chain. We have summarized what you can do to best prepare yourself. Our experts are always available for an in-depth discussion on these and other points.

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Foreign Trade / Compliance22.07.2022 Newsletter

Further tightening of EU sanctions against Russia and adjustment of existing measures

The EU Commission adopted another package of sanctions on 21 July 2022. The measures include new import bans, expanded restrictions on the export of certain sensitive technologies, as well as adjustments and corrections to existing bans and exemptions.

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Foreign subsidies: New screening procedure for M&A transactions and procurement processes

On 30 June 2022, the Council of the European Union and the EU Parliament agreed on the draft regulation proposed by the EU Commission on distortive foreign subsidies. Based on this agreement, the new regulation could already enter into force this year. Due to the introduction of a new mandatory screening mechanism, the regulation will have a considerable impact on transaction practice in M&A processes and in procurement procedures.

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Employment Law29.06.2022 Newsletter

Focus on Labour Law – 2nd Quarter 2022

In the second half of this year there are once again going to be important labour law reforms that will keep HR departments on their toes. We have summarised the most important innovations for you in this Focus on Labour Law. We also report on a multitude of other important decisions of the labour courts of relevance to company HR work.

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Oppenhoff advises Bankhaus August Lenz on sale of its Payment Services division

Oppenhoff has extensively advised the long-established Munich-based bank August Lenz & Co. AG on the sale of its Payment Services division to Raisin Bank AG. With this acquisition, Raisin Bank is expanding its business areas as a banking-as-a-service provider further.

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Julia Witte

Julia Witte

Communications Manager

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