BGH on “reorganize or leave”

Unless otherwise provided for in the articles of association (e.g. through the redemption of shares), the withdrawal of a shareholder’s status is generally only possible with the consent of the shareholder concerned. Especially in crisis situations, a shareholder could thus develop a blocking potential in order to either prevent a restructuring or to participate in it without any risk of his own. Over the years, however, the German Federal Court of Justice (“Bundesgerichtshof“, “BGH“) has restricted these blockade possibilities by means of differentiated case law. These possibilities could also be useful in the current corona crisis, which is why they will be briefly presented in the following overview.


The German economy in February 2020 – when TSHTF!

So, although with a view to the ongoing meltdown in the global economy it might seem a little odd to look at last months figures, this makes sense – if only to ascertain the status before TSHTF. Since, even before the virus really hit, the German economy remained in a rather fragile state, as the January monthly showed (here). But, hey, let’s look into the German economy in some more detail:


The German economy in January 2020 – before the virus hits

While the last “Monthlies” pointed to a plateauing of the German economy (cf. here and here), the beginning of January marked the point where everybody began to take the threats emanating from the Corona-virus seriously. However, since the economic impact was only starting to gain traction, it is quite interesting to see how the German economy evolved prior to this crucial chain of events. But, hey, let’s look into the German economy in some more detail:


Annual accounts: observe deadlines and warning obligations!

For numerous companies the financial year ended on 31 December 2019. Generally, the company’s managing directors are obliged to prepare the corresponding annual financial statements within certain time limits according to § 264 of the German Commercial Code (“Handelsgesetzbuch“, “HGB“). However, in the crisis of the company, these periods may be considerably shorter. Therefore, especially foreign shareholders of German corporations and their respective tax advisors (who are actually preparing the annual accounts for most of German companies) are strongly advised to observe the relevant regulations in order to minimize their own liability risks.


Corporate Finance: Sale and Lease-Back

Securing corporate financing, especially liquidity, is a top priority not only in an acute crisis. However, a glance behind this corporate truism – usually presented with a weighty expression – immediately reveals a seemingly insoluble dilemma: in particular the advanced stage of the corporate crisis is characterized by a permanent lack of liquidity. The only … more

Protection of trade secrets – first practical experiences with the German “GeschGehG”

The German “Law on the Protection of Business Secrets” (“Gesetz zum Schutz von Geschäftsgeheimnissen“, “GeschGehG“) entered into force on 26 April 2019. With this law, the German legislator has implemented the so-called “Know How Directive” of the European Union into German law (with a delay of more than three quarters of a year) and thus, on the one hand, has extended this legal institution, which has so far been predominantly regulated in the secondary criminal law provisions of Sections 17 to 19 UWG (“Gesetz gegen den Unlauteren Wettbewerb“, German Act against Unfair Competition), in particular under civil law, and, on the other hand, replaced the above-mentioned provisions of UWG by an independent set of regulations.

Initial practical experience indicates a considerable paradigm shift in this area, as the following aspects show.


The German economy in October 2019 – against all odds…

… seems to be an appropriate title for this month monthly: Given the last minute’s escape from a “technical recession”, combined with the latest data, last month’s asssessment that a plateau to the recession might be nigh (cf. here), is actually supported. However, some crucial facts and my gut-feeling (sorry, this is not really scientific, I know) point in another direction. But, hey, let’s look into the German economy in some more detail: