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HELCK Legal is a law firm specializing in corporate criminal law.

We advise and defend board members, managing directors, senior executives and companies in Germany and internationally. Our clients benefit from the 15+ years of legal experience of the firm’s founder, Dr. Thomas Helck, a lawyer and former public prosecutor.


We defend both criminal and administrative offenses in preliminary proceedings of the public prosecutor’s office and other authorities such as the tax investigation department or the criminal investigation agencies (e.g., breach of supervisory duty or corporate fines).

We accompany clients throughout the entire investigation proceeding and provide support in intermediate proceedings as well as in the final court hearing and in any further appeals.

We structure and conduct internal investigations or act as witness counsel for employees.

We also provide compliance advice. This includes the assessment of specific criminal law issues.

In addition, we help optimize the compliance management system (CMS) or provide compliance training for employees and executives. 

Our services go beyond the aforementioned offerings, and we would be happy to discuss and agree on the scope of services best suited to you at any time at an in-person meeting. We speak German and English.

  • Accompanying searches and pre-trial detentions.

  • Appeal against the search and seizure of assets.

  • Leading communications with the investigating authority.

  • Requesting access to files and evaluating the investigation files.

  • Developing defense tactics and drafting pleadings.

  • Negotiating a „discreet“ end to the proceedings („settlement“).

  • Organizing coordinated defenses with other defendants and defense lawyers.

  • Representing the defendant at main hearings, including making submissions.

  • Assessing criminal law issues.

  • Preparing legal opinions on criminal law issues (also considering the requirements of the Business Judgment Rule).

  • Preparation of criminal complaints.

  • Reviewing and optimizing compliance policies.

  • Providing compliance training.

  • Structuring („Scoping“) and supervising the internal investigation.

  • Reviewing key documents and providing review support.

  • Preparing and conducting interviews.

  • Documenting all investigative steps.

  • Preparing investigation reports.

  • Evaluating the investigation results.

  • Accompanying employees and executives during interviews as part of internal investigations.

  • Accompanying employees and executives to police and prosecutorial interrogations.

  • Acting as ombudsperson.

Areas of Law

Corporate Criminal Law

We provide comprehensive advice and defense in connection with offences committed within the company; this includes defending executives against allegations of breach of supervisory duties and representing companies in the event of impending corporate fines.

Criminal Corruption Law

We advise and defend against allegations of bribery or corruption in business dealings, agreements restricting competition and bribery of public officials, members of parliament or works councils.

Criminal Property Law

We have special expertise in defending against allegations of fraud, breach of trust, subsidy fraud as well as capital investment fraud and loan fraud.

Criminal Tax Law

We advise and defend managing directors in the event of a financial crisis, especially when facing accusations of bankruptcy fraud.

Criminal tax law

We advise in the defense of allegations of tax evasion or reckless tax evasion.

Criminal Labor Law

We defend against accusations of withholding and embezzlement of wages, undeclared work, bogus self-employment and undercutting of minimum wages.

Criminal Competition Law

We advise on the theft of trade secrets and breaches of competition law.

Offences of Utterance

Our advice includes the criminal assessment and defense in relation to content posted on the internet (e.g., allegations of defamation, incitement of the people or dissemination of extremist content).

Dr. Thomas Helck

Attorney-at-law Dr. Thomas Helck is a proven expert in cases involving white collar crime and criminal tax law.

From his work as a lawyer, Dr. Helck is very familiar with the different interests and obligations that can arise in white collar crime cases for the company, board members and employees. Dr. Helck takes difficult situations, which are often unclear for all parties involved, and comprehensively provides actionable advice. He speaks German and English.

Dr. Helck has advised on many cases, including factually and legally complex cases. He has defended a major German vehicle manufacturer with regard to the diesel scandal, advised an international aircraft manufacturer in connection with allegations of corruption and embezzlement in the three-digit million euros range, led several major internal investigations, coordinated the accompaniment of numerous house searches for clients, prepared legal opinions on complex criminal law issues, updated the compliance policies of a global asset management company and provided numerous compliance trainings, most particularly in relation to corruption, money laundering, competition law and supply chain due diligence.

Dr. Helck is a certified defense lawyer for white-collar crime (DSV e. V.) and a qualified specialist in criminal law. He regularly publishes articles on criminal law and compliance topics and is a sought-after speaker at professional conferences and training events.

He is a member of the German Bar Association Deut­schen An­walt­ver­ein (DAV), the Economic Criminal Law Association (Wirt­schafts­straf­recht­li­chen Ver­ei­ni­gung e.V., WisteV), the German Institute for Compliance (Deut­schen In­sti­tut für Com­pli­ance e.V., DICO), the German Association of Defense Lawyers (Deut­schen Straf­ver­tei­di­ger Ver­band e.V., DSV) and the Bavarian Association of Judges (Bay­e­ri­schen Rich­ter­ver­ein e.V., BRV).


Dr. Thomas Helck regularly publishes articles on criminal law and compliance topics.

  • Die Haftung im Steuer- und Wirtschaftsrecht: Ein Praxishandbuch für Unternehmen und Berater; Kapitel Persönliche Verantwortung der Unternehmensführung, Kapitel Betrug, Kapitel Bestechung; Erich Schmidt Verlag, June 2023

  • Bribery & Corruption Laws and Regulations 2023 | Germany, GLI, December 2022 (co-authors Karl-Jörg Xylander, Dr. Tine Schauenburg)

  • Lieferkettensorgfaltspflichtengesetz legt Standard fest, Börsen-Zeitung Verlagsbeilage, 4 Dezember 2021 (co-author Dr. Julia Sitter)

  • Bribery & Corruption Laws and Regulations 2022 | Germany, GLI, December 2021 (co-authors Karl-Jörg Xylander, Dr. Tine Schauenburg)

  • Supply Chain Due Diligence Act: What companies need to prepare for in the future, Betriebs Berater (27/2021), 5 July 2021, p. 1603

  • Bribery & Corruption Laws and Regulations 2021 | Germany, GLI, December 2020 (co-authors Karl-Jörg Xylander, Dr. Tine Schauenburg)

  • Neue Runde im Kampf gegen Geldwäsche, Börsen-Zeitung, 5 September 2020, p. 9

  • Bribery & Corruption Laws and Regulations 2020 | Germany, GLI, December 2019 (co-authors Karl-Jörg Xylander, Dr. Tine Schauenburg)

  • Beschlagnahme von Unterlagen aus einer internen Untersuchung, note to Regional Court of Stuttgart, decision of 26 March 2018 – 6 Qs 1/18, jurisPR-Compl 5/2018 note 1 (co-author Marwin Krenke)

  • Beschlagnahmefreiheit versehentlich an die Staatsanwaltschaft verschickter Verteidigungsunterlagen, note to Regional Court of Frankfurt, decision of 9 November 2017 – 5/12 KLs 14/17, jurisPR-Compl 3/2018 note 3

  • Hinreichende Konkretisierung der im Verdacht stehenden Tat und des Tatzeitraums im Durchsuchungsbeschluss, note to Federal Constitutional Court of Germany, decision of 4 April 2017 – 2 BvR 2551/12, jurisPR-Compl 3/2017 note 2

  • Beschlagnahmeschutz unabhängig vom förmlichen Beschuldigtenstatus, note to District Court of Hamburg, decision of 17 August 2016 – 618 Qs 30/16, jurisPR-Compl 6/2016 note 1

  • Kein Beschlagnahmeschutz für Compliance-Ombudspersonen, note to District Court of Bochum, decision of 16 March 2016 – 6 Qs 1/16, jurisPR-Compl 5/2016 note 1

  • Beschlagnahmeschutz für Unterlagen aus internen Ermittlungen, Journal of the Wirtschaftsstrafrechtlichen Vereinigung e.V., WiJ 2016, 83-87

  • Beschlagnahmefreiheit von für die Unternehmensverteidigung erstellten anwaltlichen Unterlagen, note to District Court of Braunschweig, decision of 21 July 2015 – 6 Qs 116/15, jurisPR-Compl 3/2015 note 1

  • Die Selbstanzeige im Außenwirtschaftsrecht, Zeitschrift für Zölle und Verbrauchsteuern, ZfZ 2015, 151-156 (co-author Dr. Daphne Petry)

  • Verletzung betriebsbezogener Aufsichtspflichten im Konzern, note to High Court of Munich, decision of 23 September 2014 – 3 Ws 599/14, jurisPR-Compl 2/2015 note 1

  • Untreue durch Vorstandsmitglied einer Kassenärztlichen Vereinigung, note to Chamber Court of Berlin, decision of 4 November 2014 – 2 Ws 298/14 – 161 AR 16/14, jurisPR-Compl 1/2015 note 5

  • Staatsanwaltliche Ermittlungen im Unternehmen, Compliance-Berater, CB 2014, 83-88

  • Die medizinische Betreuung in der Untersuchungshaft unter Berücksichtigung der freien Arztwahl, PhD thesis, Verlag Dr. Kovac, 2009

Ludwigstraße 8
80539 Munich

T: +49 89 20 6021 171
E: thomas.helck@helck-legal.de

We look forward to hearing from you.

HELCK Legal operates nationwide and is present not only in MUNICH but also in BERLIN / DÜSSELDORF / FRANKFURT / HAMBURG / STUTTGART.

We would be happy to come to your area, just contact us.

Dr. Thomas Helck studied law at the Universities of Munich, Bayreuth, Lausanne (Switzerland) and Heidelberg. He completed his legal traineeship at the major international law firm Buddle Findlay LLP in New Zealand.

After his second state examination, he completed his doctorate in criminal law before being admitted to the German bar in 2005 and working as an associate at the major American law firm Skadden, Arps Slate Meagher & Flom, where he dealt with compliance issues, amongst other matters.

Dr. Helck then moved to the Munich Public Prosecutor’s Office, where he learnt first-hand about the workings and interaction of investigative authorities. As a public prosecutor, he was responsible for the investigation, prosecution, and criminal trial of complex economic offences, specifically in matters concerning insolvency fraud and bankruptcy, tax evasion, corruption, breach of trust, fraud and computer fraud, withholding and embezzlement of remuneration, moonlighting, unlawful restraint of competition, market manipulation and insider trading.

After five years, Dr. Helck returned to private practice and built up the white-collar crime department at the ‘magic circle’ law firm Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP in Germany. Subsequently, Dr. Helck was a partner in the „White Collar/Investigations“ department at the renowned US law firm White & Case LLP before founding the law firm HELCK Legal.

Dr. Thomas Helck stu­dierte Rechts­wis­sen­schaften an den Uni­ver­si­tä­ten Mün­chen, Bay­reuth, Lau­sanne (Schweiz) und Hei­del­berg. Den ju­ris­ti­schen Vor­be­rei­tungs­dienst (Re­fe­ren­da­ri­at) ab­sol­vier­te er un­ter an­de­rem bei der in­ter­na­tio­na­len Groß­kanz­lei Bud­dle Find­lay LLP in Neu­see­land.

Nach dem zwei­ten Staat­sex­amen folg­te die Pro­mo­tion zu einem straf­recht­li­chen The­ma, be­vor er 2005 als Rechts­an­walt zu­ge­las­sen wurde und sich als As­so­ci­a­te bei der ame­ri­ka­ni­schen Groß­kanz­lei Skad­den, Arps Slate Mea­gher & Flom un­ter an­de­rem mit Com­pli­ance-The­men be­fass­te.

An­schlie­ßend wech­sel­te Helck zur Staats­an­walt­schaft Mün­chen I und lernte dort die Ar­beits­wei­se und das Zu­sam­men­wir­ken von Er­mit­tlungs­be­hör­den aus er­ster Hand ken­nen. Als Staats­an­walt war er für die Er­mit­tlung, An­klage und straf­ge­richt­li­che Ver­hand­lung kom­ple­xer Wirt­schafts­straftaten in­be­son­de­re aus den Be­rei­chen In­sol­venz­ver­schlep­pung und Bank­rott, Steu­er­hin­ter­zie­hung, Kor­rup­ti­on, Un­treue, Be­trug und Com­pu­ter­be­trug, Vor­ent­hal­ten und Ver­un­treu­en von Ar­beits­ent­gelt, Schwarz­arbeit, un­zuläs­si­ge Wet­t­be­werbs­be­schrän­kung, Markt­ma­ni­pul­a­tion und In­sider­han­del zu­stän­dig.

Nach fünf Jahren wech­sel­te Helck zu­rück in die An­walts­chaft und bau­te bei der bri­ti­schen Groß­kanz­lei Fresh­fields Bruck­haus Der­in­ger LLP den Be­reich Wirt­schafts­straf­recht in Deutsch­land auf. An­schlie­ßend war Helck Part­ner im Be­reich „White Col­lar/In­ves­ti­ga­tions“ bei der ame­ri­ka­ni­schen Groß­kanz­lei White & Case LLP, be­vor er die Rechts­an­walts­kanz­lei HELCK Legal grün­de­te.