Corporate law plays an important role in the area of white-collar crimes, as it punishes unlawful conduct within senior management of business companies in the carrying out of their duties. For this reason, the main regulations governing corporate criminal law are found in the civil code (under title XI of book V) and have been the focus of the attention of both lawmakers (see legislative decree no. 61 of 11 April 2002, law no. 69 of 27 May 2015 and legislative decree no.38 of 15 March 2017), and in the jurisprudence, including that of the Supreme Court, which has repeatedly resolved important interpretative uncertainties.
The most serious criminal cases include fraudulent accounting, private commercial bribery, illicit influence on shareholders’ meetings: in other words, these are offences which relate to corporate bodies as outlined by civil law. By virtue of this close connection with the life of corporations, it is therefore an extremely sensitive area, also due to any repercussions on the same legal person, which can be held accountable for an administrative offence resulting from a crime (see art. 25 ter of legislative decree 231/2001).
The category of corporate crimes is made up of heterogeneous offences, aimed at protecting various interests that are vital to the orderly development of business companies and the economy in general, such as:
- transparent and accurate corporate information (false or misleading corporate information)
- effective state of the share capital (unlawful return of capital, illegal distribution of profits and retained earnings, illegal operations on shares or units; fictitious paid-up capital)
- integrity of share capital (misappropriation of assets/embezzlement, failure to communicate a conflict of interest)
- regular functioning of corporate bodies (illicit influence on shareholders’ meetings) and of the market (market manipulation)
- correct performance of supervisory functions (obstructing the exercise of supervisory functions)
Dealing with the criminal implications of entrepreneurial activity implies, first and foremost, a careful reading of the business and regulatory context in which the corporate activity is carried out. In fact, disputes over alleged corporate crimes are often part of complex corporate transactions or entail the correct accounting and financial reconstruction of the context within which they are put in place. Therefore, it is crucial to understand any civil and commercial law aspects thoroughly, as these may affect the interpretation of criminal law.
Corporate law is one of the main areas of law in which Baccaredda Boy Law Firm offers its professional services. Over the years, our team of professionals has had to rise to the challenge posed by complex charges relating to all facets of corporate activities, while relying on the cooperation of well-known experts working in the field of civil law or with a background in financial and commercial law.
Baccaredda Boy Law Firm has been involved in criminal procedures such as the Unipol/BNL, Parmalat and Banca Etruria trials in addition to offering its legal counsel to leading European companies in the area of debt factoring.
Likewise, Baccaredda Boy Law Firm offers in-depth analyses of corporate offences through conferences, study groups and publications. In this respect, please refer to the relevant section.