Criminal liability of company officers


Managers, as persons responsible for decisions made in a company, may be subject to extensive liability, including criminal liability, in connection with abuse of their powers or failure to fulfill their duties.

Practice indicates that unlawful actions are increasingly being met with a swift response from law enforcement agencies, notified by regulators, shareholders, contractors and employees. These notifications concern the criminal liability of company officers and the liability of managers. Over the past 20 years, the number of established economic crimes has doubled, with an average of 80% of investigations involving the detection and prosecution of the perpetrator.

Liability of managers carries the risk of being convicted of fines, community sentence or even years of imprisonment. Conviction for certain offenses (including causing damage to trade, bribery in a managerial position, extortion of compensation, money laundering, harming a creditor) automatically triggers a ban on serving as a member of the company’s management board, supervisory board, audit committee or liquidator. In addition, for any act related to the criminal liability of company officers, the court may impose a ban on holding a certain position, practicing a certain profession or conducting a certain business activity.

Criminal liability of company officers is a huge risk associated with destabilization of the company’s work as a result of actions carried out by the authorities. Liability of managers also leads to image and financial losses, in particular, related to:

  • the risk of seizure of company assets and blocking of bank accounts;
  • the risk of conducting activities that destabilize the company’s operation (searches, detentions);
  • vacancy in an important position for the company due to loss of confidence in the employee or his detention on remand;
  • negative impact on employee morale;
  • loss of confidence of the public, shareholders or contractors;
  • consumer boycotts;
  • exclusion from prestigious organizations;
  • economic costs of crisis management.

The assistance we provide includes:

  • training and legal advice to minimize the risk of liability for managers, and legal assistance in any crisis situation involving suspected wrongdoing by a manager;
  • comprehensive training of managers;
  • creation of a system of compliance procedures and internal codes, internal audits;
  • representation in contacts with Polish and international supervisory authorities;
  • representation and assistance in crisis situations (searches, interrogations, arrests, presentation of charges, detention on remand);
  • representation before law enforcement agencies and courts;
  • acting as defense counsel for suspects and defendants;
  • acting as attorney for the victimized entity;
  • development of a litigation and communication strategy and full support in protecting the company’s image (we cooperate with reputable PR agencies);
  • assistance in obtaining support from relevant experts, organizations and institutions.

Our offer is addressed to:

  • board members of commercial companies;
  • shareholders and partners of commercial companies;
  • managerial staff;
  • persons subject to criminal liability of company officers;
  • entities harmed by the crimes of managers.

How can
we help you?

the experts

Maciej Zaborowski

Advocate, Managing Partner

Paweł Gołębiewski

Attorney-at-law, Head of International Criminal Law Practice