German firms Gleiss Lutz and Hengeler Mueller have had offices raided by state prosecutors investigating allegations of false testimony in lawsuits brought against their client Deutsche Bank.
Gleiss’s Munich offices and Hengeler’s Frankfurt offices were both raided last week. The news follows a €925m (£775m) settlement at the end of February between Deutsche Bank and the late German media magnate Leo Kirch.
Kirch had sued the bank several years ago, claiming that former Deutsche Bank chief executive Rolf Breuer had questioned his company’s creditworthiness in a 2002 television interview. He had claimed €2bn in damages against the bank.
Kirch’s estate settled with the bank at the end of February, following an earlier proposal by the Munich Higher Regional Court. The bank agreed to pay out €775m, plus interest and a lump-sum reimbursement of costs. A portion of the sum had been provided for, but the bank said in a statement that existing provisions meant the settlement would dent results for the fourth quarter of 2013 by around €350m.
Prosecutors in Munich are now investigating whether several former Deutsche Bank executives lied in their testimony.
Slaughter and May’s German best friend Hengeler and Gleiss were both acting for Deutsche Bank, with Hengeler’s team led by partners Markus Meier and Peter Heckel, working alongside Gleiss counsel Luidger Röckrath.
However following the settlement, Linklaters partners Rupert Bellinghausen and Hans-Ulrich Wilsing are understood to have taken over as Deutsche Bank’s counsel, according to earlier reports by German legal magazine JuVe.
Spokespeople for both Gleiss and Hengeler confirmed the raid had taken place but declined to comment further.