Newsletter International Briefing, December 2019

    Dear reader,


    Welcome to the December edition of our International Briefing.


    In this edition, we provide insight on several hot topics that will continue to be in the focus for clients and the legal profession in 2020.


    Some months ago, the German Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection presented its plans for a new law imposing corporate sanctions and combatting corporate crime. Although the draft bill is still being discussed, you must consider the potential effects of this new law now, because it will, for example, significantly increase financial penalties, necessitate compliance activities and regulate internal investigations.


    We inform on new plans to further strengthen the rules for controlling and approving foreign (non EU) direct investment resulting from Guidelines for German and European industrial policy (Industry Strategy 2030) published by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, and in addition, we provide an update on the delay to the reform of the planned real estate transfer tax for share deals.


    Besides, the German Bundestag finally agreed on reforms to German stock corporation law to implement the second EU Shareholder Rights Directive. These reforms have particular implications for the remuneration of the executive board, also under CSR considerations. Therefore, we provide a respective update on CSR requirements for corporates in Germany. Therein, we will also briefly inform you about new binding due diligence obligations for supply chains regarding conflict minerals, based on EU law. Though such obligations will only enter into force on 1 January 2021, companies importing such conflict minerals into the EU will need to prepare well in advance.


    Last but not least, our IP and IT colleagues outline the new concept for the imposition of administrative fines for violations of the General Data Protection Regulations, which the German Data Protection Conference presented in October. They also inform you about some record-breaking administrative fines imposed for breaches of the GDPR in Germany and other European countries.


    We hope that you will find the information provided helpful in your daily business and we wish you Happy Holidays, a few days of repose during the coming festive season and a great start to 2020!


    Best regards,

    Prof Dr Hans-Josef Vogel