Legal Advice in Financial Crises and Insolvency/Bankruptcy 

The nature and scope of the legal issues involved in the financial crisis and bankruptcy have become more complex and multifaceted in recent years. Whether you are personally or your company affected by the crisis, whether you are a creditor or shareholder, each situation requires individual solution concepts.

Find out first-hand tips from our specialist lawyers on the following pages on how to deal with your problem.

Are you the owner, managing director or shareholder of a company? Here you will find our services for companies in crisis and bankruptcy.

If you are struggling with private debts, we will be happy to help you with words and deeds. We will show you solutions for your financial crisis and accompany you on your way out of debt. We do that for you in everything to do with debt counseling and personal bankruptcy.

Prevent bankruptcy with protective shield proceedings

With the law to further facilitate the restructuring of companies, the legislator has supplemented the bankruptcy code with the protective shield procedure.

With the protective shield procedure, an imminent bankruptcy is to be averted by means of a restructuring plan drawn up at an early stage. Bankrupt companies have 3 months to restructure and avoid bankruptcy.

Although the debtor or company is under the supervision of the bankruptcy court and an administrator during this judicial restructuring process, the management retains full control over the company.

Bankruptcy proceedings are already underway: can bankruptcy still be averted?

If bankruptcy proceedings have already been opened at your own request or through a creditor’s request, bankruptcy can still be avoided under certain circumstances.

If the managing director has filed his own application for bankruptcy, he can withdraw it upon application until the opening decision has been made by the court. In order for the court to agree to the application for withdrawal, the initiated reorganization measures must have improved the financial situation.

It is not enough for companies to simply settle their debts – especially since payments can no longer be made easily after an bankruptcy application and directors ‘ liability could arise .

Creditors have filed a third -party application, companies can apply for the bankruptcy application to be rejected under the following conditions:

  • There are no serious payment difficulties
  • The claims can be settled
  • The bankruptcy court to which the application was filed does not have jurisdiction
  • The claim does not exist or has already been settled

If the responsible bankruptcy court rejects the rejection of the application, companies with the planned bankruptcy have the opportunity to achieve debt relief in 4 to 12 months. An bankruptcy plan must be drawn up for this, which provides for various measures and a one-off payment to the creditors. In return, they waive their claims.

Quick help even before filing for bankruptcy

It is not possible to make a general assessment of which of the various measures are suitable for averting bankruptcy. This requires a thorough analysis of the company and its economic situation.

A lawyer for bankruptcy law can provide valuable support here and, based on a comprehensive company audit, identify suitable measures with which insolvency (bankruptcy) can be avoided. And he can still make important decisions in advance that can mitigate the consequences of bankruptcy.

“Attorney Debt Fighters” will find the right bankruptcy attorney for you from a network of over 550 partner lawyers. They will contact you within 2 hours* for a free initial assessment of your request. He will inform you about your options for action and the possible course of action to avert bankruptcy.

Company insolvency – that means the standard insolvency for your company

According to the Federal Statistical Office, 109,584 freelancers, sole proprietorships and companies were in bankruptcy in 2018. Insolvency is intended to reduce debt and make insolvent companies profitable again. If this does not succeed, the company will be dissolved. Conscientious preparation for a company insolvency is important in order to successfully lead a company in financial difficulties out of the crisis.

If one of the above reasons for bankruptcy occurs, you have 3 weeks to file the application in the event of bankruptcy. In the case of over-indebtedness, this period is 6 weeks. If this period expires, the management commits delaying bankruptcy.

The managing director and the shareholders then face not only private liability but also criminal consequences:

  • In the case of private liability, e.g., the managing director with his personal assets for debts of the company.
  • As a debtor, he must then also face criminal and civil law consequences, e.g. expect high fines and imprisonment of up to 3 years.

If it is unclear whether there is a reason for bankruptcy in relation to the economic situation, a lawyer can help. He can check the economic circumstances and ensure that you meet all legal requirements and exclude your personal liability.

How do I file for bankruptcy?

The following persons can file for bankruptcy:

  • Business owner (debtor)
  • Managing Director after approval of the shareholders
  • Creditors with outstanding claims


An application form can be found on the website of the responsible district court, which requires the following information on the company’s bankruptcy, among other things:

  • Reason for bankruptcy
  • All Assets
  • All outstanding claims
  • All creditors or the creditors’ committee
  • Field of activity of the company
  • Number of employees
  • Redevelopment options

The bankruptcy court examines the bankruptcy application for completeness and legality. The application review takes about 3 months, depending on the size of the company and the number of creditors.

The bankruptcy proceedings at a glance

A corporate bankruptcy follows the legal requirements of the Bankruptcy Ordinance.

The duration of bankruptcy proceedings filed before December 2022 is not subject to time constraints and depends on, among other things

  • Company size
  • Number of creditors
  • Amount of debt

Even the court dates run over a period of at least 9 months. As a guide, an average company remains in a state of bankruptcy for around 4 years. For large companies or foundations, periods of between 7 and 10 years are even possible.