ADVICE ON WIRECARD CLAIMS

Germany is only just beginning to come to terms, both legally and politically, with one of the biggest investment scandals in recent times. The managers concerned are the subject of extensive investigations by the Public Prosecution Office of Munich, based on the strong suspicion that they have committed serious crimes. To date, no politician has accepted responsibility; it also remains unclear whether the state may be liable for regulatory mistakes it made. The role and responsibility of EY (Ernst & Young), which until 2018 audited Wirecard’s annual financial statements without raising objections, also remains unclear. However, EY will most definitely be the subject of an intense debate about potential liability for serious misconduct.

Banks advising clients, savings banks, and financial services companies

If in the context of asset management or the provision of investment advice, you advised customers or clients to acquire Wirecard shares or any other product closely associated with Wirecard shares (e.g. investment certificates), you may face claims based on giving bad investment advice. According to the German Federal Court of Justice’s “Bond” decision, any advice that is deemed “suitable” for the investor or the investment in question must, for example, take into consideration the relevant news in the business press. Our law firm has had decades of experience in advising banks, savings banks and financial services companies—and representing them in legal proceedings. We will support you in developing a strategy, and we will support you if you have to face claims by customers or clients.

Paul H. Assies
Attorney at Law | Partner
Specialist lawyer for banking and capital market law
Dr. Roman Jordans, LL.M. (NZ)
Attorney at Law
Specialist lawyer for banking and capital market law
Solicitor (England & Wales – non practising)

Institutional investors in Wirecard AG

If you are an institutional investor in shares of Wirecard AG, e.g. as an issuer or ETF issuer, insurance company or local authority, you will also be directly affected by the scandal. We will support you in assessing any potential claim against the company or its governing bodies. You may also be able to assert claims against third parties, e.g. the auditors E&Y (Ernst & Young) and/or the German Federal Financial Supervisory Authority “BaFin”. We will supoort you in finding the best way to enforce your rights. There are various ways of achieving this: you might join model case proceedings pursuant to the German Capital Markets Model Case Act [Kapitalanleger-Musterverfahrensgesetz – KapMuG]; you might pursue a claim independently; or, due to there being a case of suspected fraud, you might also initiate adhesion proceedings under criminal law. If required, we will also ensure that your claims in the insolvency proceedings are filed in a legally certain manner.

Johannes Ristelhuber
Attorney at Law | Partner
Maître en Droit
Katharina Schmidt
Attorney at Law

Contractual parties of Wirecard AG and of other affiliated companies

The insolvency of Wirecard does not only affect shareholders, it also has a bearing on the contractual parties and of other companies affiliated with Wirecard AG. We provide assistance to these parties as well. We will also support you in defining a strategy for any claims you may have. For service providers, suppliers, and companies that commissioned Wirecard to provide payment services to them, we will assess, for example, whether it might be possible to reverse payments (so-called “chargeback”); we will also assess whether trust agreements contain enforceable rights. On the other hand, we will clarify whether there is a risk that the insolvency administrator might assert claims against you, e.g. under the right to contest a transaction.

Johannes Ristelhuber
Attorney at Law | Partner
Maître en Droit
Dr. Thomas Ritter
Attorney at Law
Specialist lawyer for labour law

Employees of Wirecard AG and of other affiliated companies

In the midst of the media hype surrounding the Wirecard scandal it is easy to overlook the fact that Wirecard’s entire workforce is also affected by the insolvency, not only the company’s shareholders. Employees and executive staff are faced with a number of issues. These include the following: What consequences will the insolvency have? Which business units will be transferred to another company? Will my job still exist when insolvency proceedings have come to an end? Does it make sense to move to a transfer company? What measures should be taken under collective bargaining law in order to secure the rights of staff? What will happen to occupational pensions? What will happen to financial participation schemes, particularly to employee share schemes? What should I do in the worst-case scenario, i.e. in the event that the insolvency administrator cuts jobs? We will guide you safely through the thicket of the law. Whenever decisions have to be taken, we will advise you in a legally certain manner on a strategy to follow, both individually and in the area of collective bargaining law.

Volker Werxhausen
Attorney at Law | Partner
Specialist lawyer for labour law
Commercial Mediator
Dr. Thomas Ritter
Attorney at Law
Specialist lawyer for labour law
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Your contact person

Katharina Schmidt

Katharina Schmidt

Mail: k.schmidt@cbh.de
Fon: +49 221 95 190-81
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