Professor Dr Björn Gercke is a founding partner of the firm. He is a specialized lawyer in criminal law. He provides advice and acts as counsel for the defense in all areas of the commercial criminal law and the law regarding fiscal offenses on the side of individuals as well as companies and public corporations. He has wide experience in the coordination of large-scale proceedings and also cross-border criminal proceedings.
Apart from defending individuals in all areas of the commercial criminal law (e.g., Porsche board in the “diesel complex”, Berlin Airport corruption affair, former chairman of the supervisory board Arcandor, Sachsen LB board for embezzlement, “CO2 proceedings”, WestLB complex on account of “cum/ex”, support to Günter Netzer on the occasion of “DFB [German Football Association] affair”), Professor Dr Gercke particularly acted as defending lawyer of, and advisor to, various companies (for instance, in the affair concerning the “Bau- und Liegenschaftsbetrieb NRW”) and public corporations (inter alia, for the Federal City of Bonn in the so-called “WCCB [World Conference Center Bonn]) proceedings”. Moreover, he led the defense of the entrepreneur Alexander Falk before the Frankfurt Regional Court and was commissioned by the Archdiocese of Cologne to reappraise the responsibility of church dignitaries in connection with abuse allegations in the Archdiocese. Another focus is on the defense in connection with criminal product liability and misfortunes (for instance, the collapse of the Cologne city archive, the Rhine cable car, the chemical accident in Brühl as well as the “Love Parade Duisburg”). Finally, he regularly assists companies and commercial law firms in antitrust proceedings (e.g., “liquid gas”, “elevator cartel”; “sausage cartel” and power plant industry).
Professor Dr Gercke was recently described as “one of the greats of his craft” (Süddeutsche Zeitung, 5 March 2021), as one of the “commercial criminal defense lawyers most sought-after in Germany” (Handelsblatt, 25 June 2021) and “as one of the leading criminal lawyers nationwide” (Kölnische Rundschau, 12 February 2021), respectively. He is reputed to be “outstanding in legal terms and in dealing with the authorities” (Juve Handbook 2013/2014) or “a brilliant criminal defense lawyer who is excellently networked” (Nomos Kanzleihandbuch 2013). Most recently, he was described by competitors as “one of the best” and “universal weapon”, respectively, in the Juve Handbook 2020/2021. The global industry service Legal500 says of him, among other things: “Very strategic, opinionated without being stubborn, very good lawyer, but pragmatic and solution-oriented.”
The U.S. publisher Best Lawyers who prepares lawyer rankings worldwide honored him with the title of “Lawyer of the Year” in the field of commercial criminal law in 2013 and 2021. Every year since 2013, the Handelsblatt has kept him on their list of “The Best Lawyers” as an expert in commercial criminal law as well as in 2021 in the law regarding fiscal offenses. According to Focus Spezial “Deutschlands Top-Anwälte” [Germany’s Top Lawyers] (2021) which draws on comprehensive research by the Statista Institute, Professor Dr Gercke belongs – as in previous years – to the “top lawyers in the field of criminal law”. The WirtschaftsWoche also lists him – as in previous years – as a “Top Lawyer in Commercial Criminal Law” (WiWo issue 12/2022). The German Institute for Legal Departments and Corporate Lawyers (DIRUJ) declares Professor Dr Gercke one of the leading German lawyers in criminal law in the business directory Kanzleimonitor 2020/2021.
Besides his forensic activities in criminal defense and preventive counseling, Professor Dr Gercke publishes articles in the relevant publications concerning criminal law and commercial criminal law on a regular basis. In addition, he gives lectures in legal and university training. He was a lecturer at the German Lawyer Academy for many years. Professor Dr Gercke was a visiting lecturer at the Universities of Cologne and Trier for several years. On 18 December 2013, the University of Cologne awarded him the honorary professorship. In addition, he is academic advisory council of the Institute for Digitalization and the Law of Internal Security (IDRIS) of the law school of the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich. Professor Dr Gercke is a member of the Criminal Law Committee of the Federal Bar Association (Strafrechtsausschuss der Bundesrechtsanwaltskammer (STRAUDA)). He previously was a member of the Criminal Law Committee of the Cologne Bar Association for several years as well as the Danger Prevention Law Committee of the German Bar Association. He is part of the advisory board to the ECLE [Economy, Criminal Law, and Ethics] symposium on commercial criminal law. He is a member of the editorial team of the specialized journal “Strafverteidiger” that has been published since 1981. Most recently, he was appointed to the Expert Commission for the Improvement of the Clarification of Complex Incidents by the Ministry of Justice of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia.
After graduation from high school and the completion of the baccalauréat en français, Professor Dr Björn Gercke studied law at the universities of Göttingen, Paris and Cologne. He did his doctorate with a thesis on criminal procedure “summa cum laude” from 1999 to 2001 under Professor Dr Bernsmann.
Professor Dr Björn Gercke speaks German as well as English and French business fluent.