On 6th September, Paul Hastings published an article about a new draft law that would allow for the prosecution of corporate crimes, in response to and consistent with the recommendations of the OECD Working Group on Bribery that Germany improve its prosecution of legal persons – the Corporate Sanctions Act (Verbandssanktionengesetz, or VerSanG-E). This would enhance enforcement against corporations for business-related crimes, facilitate punishment of culpable companies, promote internal investigations, and incentivise investment in corporate compliance programmes. The Act is expected to significantly change the compliance and investigation practice in Germany and beyond, and may also pose major risks on M&A deals, at least where the target is integrated into the buyer’s group. The article outlines key takeaways, including creating incentives for investments in compliance, as a mitigating factor and that can lead to a substantial reduction of penalties. It is also said to weaken privilege protection for documents.
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