The Frankfurt office of Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer was raided by prosecutors last week, as part of an ongoing tax-evasion investigation.
The Magic Circle firm’s office was searched as the city’s Public Prosecutors Office investigates “cum ex” transactions made by former clients of the firm. In 2012, these deals were outlawed in Germany.
German authorities are investigating a large number of banks in the country over the deals, which the country estimates have cost them billions. They are also looking into deals of this type prior to 2012 for possible tax evasion.
“Cum ex” transactions, also called dividend stripping, allowed two parties to declare ownership of the same shares, thereby allowing these parties to claim tax rebates on the same shares.
“Freshfields is confident that the prosecutor’s review will reveal that our advice has been legally sound,” a spokesperson for the firm said.
With 43 partners, the Frankfurt office is the largest Freshfields office in Germany. The firm also has offices in Berlin, Düsseldorf, Hamburg, and Munich.