Barbara Livonius puts her briefcase on the dock with verve.

The loud reverberations in the jury court room 165 C of the district court in Frankfurt did not fail to have an effect early on Monday morning.

From now on, attention is focused on Livonius, who represents Wolfgang Schuck, the former German head of Maple Bank and the main accused of the cum-ex transactions of the now insolvent bank.

Marcus Young

Editor in Business.

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"Pre-trial detention, financial ruin, imprisonment," she lists right at the beginning.

A trading strategy that is more than 15 years old has developed into a "life catastrophe" for her client.

With her closing speech, the renowned criminal defense lawyer weighs everything for her 68-year-old client who is in poor health.

Last week, the Frankfurt Public Prosecutor's Office called for five years and three months for Schuck.

She saw it - flanked by a confession by the main defendant - as proven that Maple Bank had more than 366 million euros in capital gains taxes and solidarity surcharges reimbursed from 2006, to which she was not entitled.

The special thing about the case: the actors kept to themselves, the British sister company of Maple Bank was involved in the share group transactions.

The profits therefore did not have to be shared with external parties.

According to the prosecutors, this affected the bonuses - they requested the confiscation of 5.5 million euros from Schuck's assets.

financial ruin

Livonius, on the other hand, emphasizes that the bonus payment is largely due to Schuck's advice to Porsche;

Maple Bank was Porsche's most important financial partner in the failed takeover of Volkswagen in 2008.

The criminal defense attorney reports that her client participated in the compensation for the damage, for example by making a settlement with the insolvency administrator.

All this is only possible through a “considerable personal renunciation”.

Schuck has already sold several private properties, and he has to sell his house by the end of the year.

"The defense considers a sentence appropriate that gives the accused prospects in view of his age and health." Livonius suggests punishing part of the expected prison sentence with a monetary payment.

In her closing speech, the defense attorney held the law firm Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and their tax attorneys responsible.

They had declared the cum-ex transactions with expert opinions to be permissible.

The Trial Chamber had separated the part of the proceedings against two former Freshfields lawyers who were also accused before the trial began.

The advice provided by Freshfields remained the central "linchpin" of the process, emphasized Livonius.

Their lawyers, especially their partner Ulf Johannemann, enjoyed a good reputation in the market for advising on tax planning.

During interrogations, Johannemann had stated several times that the bankers had withheld important details of the stock transactions from him.

For Livonius these are transparent arguments.

She claims the tax attorneys were aware of the necessary components.

“Freshfields had a comprehensive overview of the market,” explains Livonius.

This point should be taken into account in Schuck's favor when determining the penalty.

The trial will resume on October 17.