New cooperation: Business Law Magazine and AmCham Germany join forces
By Dr. Hanns Christoph Siebold and Dr. Mark C. Hilgard
In this new column, the Corporate and Business Law Committee of the American Chamber of Commerce in Germany e.V. (AmCham Germany) will address topics of interest to the transatlantic community as well as report on recent events and developments and future initiatives of the committee. AmCham Germany is pleased to have the opportunity to regularly report in Business Law Magazine as the committee and the magazine operate along the same lines and address the same international audience.
The Corporate and Business Law Committee
AmCham Germany’s Corporate and Business Law Committee represents the interests of companies involved in German-American trade relations.
The committee analyzes, discusses and monitors questions relating to commercial and company law in transatlantic business operations. It aims to provide a forum for exchanging information and best practices for its member companies, as represented by their in-house counsel.
The committee addresses such topics as the transatlantic debate about data protection and privacy. It organizes, for example, professional meetings to discuss topics of interest to corporate law departments (for instance, how to deal with employee e-mail accounts, the consequences of the growing proliferation of social media networks and their use in the workplace) and corporate governance. It examines sensitive issues such as dealing with hospitality and compliance management or “Grexit” (how would it be legally possible for Greece to leave the eurozone without leaving the EU itself). The committee also discusses how car manufacturers deal with class actions in the US and how class actions are handled in the EU. Class actions, mass litigation and collective redress are constant subjects on the committee’s agenda.
The committee discusses such questions as to whether or not US Chapter 11 proceedings should serve as a model for implementation in the German Insolvency Act, and also frequently deals with trends in extraterritorial litigation against global businesses.
The Corporate and Business Law Committee also monitors legislative initiatives on the transatlantic, European and national levels (for instance, current developments on Sarbanes-Oxley, FATCA and, just recently, OFAC) and provides a platform for exchanging best practices. The committee has initiated a debate on the merits of English as an official language in German courts and also discusses compliance issues with several top compliance managers and experts in this area. It continuously debates such initiatives as the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), in particular legal issues involving investor protection and investor-state dispute settlement. In this connection, the committee also engages in discussions with representatives of the US and German governments regarding TTIP and the legal questions connected with the proposed initiative. The committee is also involved in public presentations involving TTIP legal matters. It addresses hot-button compliance issues as well such as gender quotas and compliance statements. It also issues position papers on, for example, TTIP, in particular concerning legal issues related to investor protection by arbitration, and on initiatives to support trademark elimination via plain packaging. By issuing press releases and analyses on new developments in corporate and business law, the committee continuously contributes to law-making processes and discussions.
Depending on the subject, the Corporate and Business Law Committee cooperates with other AmCham Germany policy committees, for instance the Financial Services Committee or the Telecommunications, Internet & Media Committee.
The committee monitors legislative initiatives both on the European and national levels. It seeks to inform the media and expand its dialogue with policymakers in Brussels and Berlin.
AmCham Germany addresses all issues that the in-house counsel of companies active in the transatlantic business typically encounter and have to address. The committee not only serves as an excellent platform to exchange views with colleagues, to keep up to date on issues in the legal community and to meet experts from all areas of US and European law, but also to launch joint initiatives and joint forces.
Who is AmCham Germany?
The American Chamber of Commerce in Germany e.V. (AmCham Germany) is a private, nonprofit business organization that represents the interests of American and German companies engaged in transatlantic business in all economic sectors. AmCham Germany acts as the voice of American companies in Germany, which generate more than 650,000 jobs and over €130 billion in investments. In addition, AmCham Germany offers a range of services that connect companies worldwide and identify opportunities in the international market.
AmCham Germany was founded in 1903. With nearly 3,000 members today, it is the largest bilateral business association in Europe and has strong connections with a global network of more than 110 AmChams. The organization’s official domicile is in Berlin; the executive office is located in Frankfurt am Main. Twelve regional committees offering various networking opportunities and services to members form the basis of AmCham Germany’s regional representation.
It is AmCham Germany’s mission to enhance global economic and trade relations built on a strong foundation of a US-German partnership. AmCham Germany actively supports and promotes its members’ interests through their global business and political networks as well as through other AmChams worldwide. The Chamber enables and fosters cross-cultural understanding, cooperation and new investment through our commitment to transparent dialogue, unrestricted trade and a competitive, open business climate.