Focus on criminal law
Lawyers need to specialize since clients, from individuals to companies, expect competent legal advice for their issue at hand.
Dealing with criminal law requires today more than just dealing with “classic” crimes; it relates in many ways to other legal areas and non-judicial disciplines.
There is a close relation, for instance to:
- commercial law, tax law, corporate law, securities law, accounting law and business law in general;
- environmental criminal law, environmental administrative law and general administrative law, but also to environmental technology and sciences;
- in cases of criminal product liability and physicians’ liability to medical issues;
in regard to international legal aid to the criminal laws of other countries;
- in cases of foreign trade criminal law to all administrative law relating to European and international trade.
Finally, dealing with appeals of verdicts of the regional courts and the higher regional courts requires knowledge of the older as well as the latest jurisdiction of the Federal Court of Justice.
Thus, the field of criminal law is far more comprehensive today than in times when criminals did not belong to (“good”) society and accused members of society needed a lawyer just to make them believe they were no criminals. As law enforcement agencies and criminal law legislators are increasingly using criminal law as means to control and correct negative developments in society and shortfalls of the political process, there is an increasing need for legal advice and representation regarding the risks arising from criminal law and judicial proceedings, even among law-abiding individuals and institutions.
This development has led to two different approaches by law firms providing criminal law legal services. Some big law firms, which generally focus on business consultancy, create criminal law departments in an effort to approach the increasing demand for specialized criminal law services and also to provide internal investigations. Our law firm, on the contrary, decided at a very early point to specialize exclusively in the field of criminal law and to cooperate with other competent colleagues and law firms whenever the particular case requires it. Although a lot may speak for a "full service approach”, we are convinced that legal advice in the areas of civil law, commercial law, tax law or administrative law should be strictly separated from criminal law assessments and such assessments should be performed by experienced specialists who have not previously rendered advisory services to the particular client.