Patrick Späth, LL.M.


Späth, Patrick

Patrick Späth advises clients in compliance with law matters, internal investigations and corporate governance. The focus of his compliance advice is on German domestic and international anti-bribery laws, the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (together with his US colleagues), anti-money laundering regulations, tax, competition law and economic sanctions. His work covers internal investigations in Germany and abroad, reviews of internal compliance control systems, the due diligence process for sales intermediaries, M&A transactions and joint venture partners, the development of training programs, and pursuing or defending damages claims arising out of compliance failures.

In addition, Mr. Späth advises on German commercial and corporate law.

Mr. Späth's practice also includes international commercial arbitration. He has advised clients from civil law jurisdictions with regard to proceedings conducted under the ICC and VIAC rules, and proceedings conducted before a German ad hoc arbitral tribunal.

Honors & Awards

  • Mr. Späth is recognized by for his work in the area compliance in Germany (2017/2018).
  • Legal 500 Deutschland 2017 recommends Mr. Späth in the area of compliance. Clients recognize him as "very diligent with extensive experience and expert knowledge” and a “great project manager for large cases.” 

Publications & News


December 6, 2017

WilmerHale Listed Among the Most Recommended Law Firms in Germany by The Legal 500 Deutschland

The Legal 500 has released its 2018 edition of The Legal 500 Deutschland, Germany's guide to outstanding lawyers, recognizing WilmerHale in seven categories. Moreover, the guide has recommended 11 WilmerHale attorneys within their practice areas.

February 7, 2017

Global Anti-Bribery Year-in-Review: 2016 Developments and Predictions for 2017

The past year was consequential for FCPA enforcement in numerous respects, including blockbuster penalties, new policy initiatives, and the SEC's first DPA with an individual for FCPA violations.

December 6, 2016

The Legal 500 Germany Recognizes WilmerHale Lawyers and Practices in 2017 Edition

The Legal 500 has released its 2017 edition of The Legal 500 Deutschland, Germany's guide to outstanding lawyers, recognizing WilmerHale in five categories.

March 4, 2016

German Cum/Ex-Trades: Enhanced Risks and Industry-Wide Challenges

The German and international financial industries and their advisors have come under new pressure to investigate so-called 'cum/ex' trades conducted between 2000 and 2012.

February 2, 2016

Global Anti-Bribery Year-in-Review: 2015 Developments and Predictions for 2016

Among other significant developments, 2015 saw the U.S. Department of Justice (the “DOJ” or the “Department”) document a policy priority of holding individuals accountable for corporate wrongdoing. This policy was laid out in the “Yates Memorandum”—announced by Deputy Assistant Attorney General Sally Quillian Yates—and related changes the DOJ made to the U.S. Attorney’s Manual.

January 15, 2016

Criminal Liability of Corporations and Enterprises: The New Sentencing Guidelines for Fraud, Bribery and Money Laundering Offences in England and Wales

An article by Patrick Späth and Jakob Tybus, published in Corporate Compliance Zeitschrift (CCZ), 1/2016, pp. 35-43.

February 1, 2015

Manager Liability in a Group of Companies

An article by Patrick Späth and Dr. Golo Weidmann, published in CB Compliance-Berater 1-2/2015, Deutscher Fachverlag, Frankfurt.

October 8, 2014

Legal Basis and General Requirements (“Legal Compliance”)

An article by Roland Steinmeyer and Patrick Späth, published in Wieland/Steinmeyer/Grüninger (Ed.), Handbook Compliance-Management, 2nd Ed. 2014, Erich Schmidt Verlag, p. 241 ff (in German).

September 2, 2014

Update on German Anti-Corruption Legislation and Procedure

On 1 September 2014, an important amendment to German anti-corruption legislation has entered into force.

May 20, 2014

Cross-Border Investigations and Compliance

It is often said that corporations are not criminally liable under German law. As we explain in this alert, whilst technically accurate, such a statement should be tempered by two important considerations.

Recent Highlights

  • Internal investigation on behalf of the Supervisory Board of MAN SE with regard to bribery allegations and advice regarding the set-up of MAN SE's compliance organization
  • Advising MAN SE regarding the assessment of damages claims against former directors arising out of their responsibility for setting up a compliance organization
  • Advising Deutsche Bahn AG with regard to its damages claims arising out of a cartel between its railway track suppliers
  • Investigations on behalf German banks regarding certain types of equity trades and tax structured transactions
  • Advice for and investigation on behalf of a German public company regarding its listing as SDN by OFAC 
  • Advising a US-German multinational company with regard to an internal investigation of its Eastern European, Russian and Central Asian sales network  
  • Advising a German bank in connection with internal investigations concerning the dismissal of managers
  • Investigations of kick-back payments and breach of trust in outsourcing projects


Professional Activities

Mr. Späth regularly publishes on topics relating to Compliance, International and European Civil Litigation and Alternative Dispute Resolution. He is a frequent speaker at conferences, and a lecturer at Humboldt University Berlin, where he teaches on compliance and internal investigations.

Mr. Späth is a member of Deutsche Institution für Schiedsgerichtsbarkeit (DIS) and Transparency International.


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Research Fellow, Graduate Program, Humboldt University, Berlin, 2003-2005

Second State Exam, Kammergericht, Berlin, 2002

LLM, 2000

First State Exam, Freie Universität Berlin, 1999

Diploma, University of Lyon, 1996

University of Regensburg, 1993

Bar Admissions






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