Freshfields settles for €50m in German tax advice dispute

Magic circle firm Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has reached a settlement agreement with the liquidator of an insolvent German bank which sued the firm over its advisory role in controversial share-swapping schemes.

The liquidator of the defunct German lender Maple Bank brought a civil case against Freshfields for €95m in April over advice about the legality of ‘cum-ex’ transactions, which allegedly exploited a flaw in Germany’s tax code and allowed investors to reclaim billions of euros in tax they never paid.

A €50m settlement agreement has now been reached, the liquidator confirmed today. 

A Freshfields spokesperson said: ‘A dispute regarding a potential liability claim stemming from a mandate completed several years ago has been resolved.

‘The parties have agreed after intensive discussions that not only the claim for payment of 95 million euros, but also additional claims will be withdrawn. We are convinced that our advice always complied with applicable law.’


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