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Economic criminal law

Economic criminal law is the collective term for all regulations of the core and supplementary criminal law penalizing misconduct occurring in the economic life. It includes a variety of statutes ruling regulatory and criminal offences related to economic activities. These include, e.g. international anti-corruption laws, breaches of trade and competition law as well as German and foreign regulations of the capital market. Economic criminal law and infringements are prosecuted consistently and severely. Such infringements typically occur e.g. as:


  • fraud
  • subsidy fraud
  • investment fraud
  • corruption offences such as (international) bribery
  • bribability in commercial transactions
  • corruption regarding officials
  • offences against competition law
  • offences against the insolvency code, in particular bankruptcy or late submission of insolvency
  • industrial espionage and theft of operational and business secrets.


In cases in which other rules of the criminal code and supplementary codes do not apply, in many cases the offence of infidelity gains importance as a catch-all clause. Depending on the individual case, the economic damage caused by economic criminal proceedings in the form of fines, skimming of excess profit and damages can be enormous. Since its violation can, therefore, lead to existential consequences, compliance with economic criminal law is of highest relevance for companies, executives and employees.


In order to fight economic crime specialized prosecution departments have been established in several German states. Art. III-274 of the European Constitution provides the possibility of establishing a European Public Prosecutor’s Office to take legal actions regarding offences against the financial interests of the European Union. It will be set up in 2020/2021.


Blue chip corporations as well as small and medium-sized companies and their employees are confronted with economic criminal law when conducting their business. They can be affected either as injured parties or – as a result of misconduct – as side participants of criminal or fine proceedings. An efficient defense of the company, its management and employees requires a tailor-made strategy and professional communication with the investigating authorities.


If a preliminary investigation has been initiated, early advice and intervention by a very competent criminal defense lawyer with deep expertise of the defense in white-collar crime matters is indispensable. Irrespectively of the complexity of the criminal proceedings, Juergen Klengel analyzes all the facts of the case thoroughly, evaluates the risks and develops a perfectly suited successful defense strategy. Furthermore, he takes care of the representation and defense of the company and its executive bodies, managing directors or employees – from the preliminary proceedings stage to the appeal instance. In the event of search and seizure, pretrial detention or confiscation of assets, he quickly and efficiently provides legal assistance and solutions to the issue. In advising and representing his clients, he draws on his many years of experience as a public prosecutor in commercial criminal cases and as a multiple award-winning commercial criminal defense lawyer finding prompt and efficient solutions which perfectly protect the interests of his clients vis-à-vis German or international criminal prosecution authorities or in court.

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