As such, we are part of an independent organ of the administration of justice. We exercise a liberal profession. We do not conduct a trade. These slim but weighty stipulations, which are succinctly set out in the introductory provisions to the German Federal Code for the Legal Profession (Bundesrechtsanwaltsordnung), determine our daily work.
We are also guided by the ideas which shaped the struggle for the freedom of the legal profession in Germany over 150 years ago: The inspiration of the members of the legal profession is „closely related to the effective implementation of the law as the highest duty of the state. Therefore, their activities cannot be based only on supply and demand. The advocate cannot, should not, and will not handle any case or perform any work as desired by the client. He is and remains a servant of the law, and this service for a greater cause imposes preconditions and restrictions upon the advocate which are foreign to fungible work. In the legal profession, earnings can never be an end in itself.“ – as formulated by Rudolf von Gneist in his provocative essay on the ‚Free Legal Profession’ (‘Freie Advokatur’), published in 1867.
We so strongly affirm these ideas and legal requirements because the independence of the legal profession is a prerequisite for the enforcement of the rights of each individual and for the protection of the freedoms guaranteed by our Constitution. To repeat this: We are attorneys at law – with an emphasis on the law.
As attorneys at law, we advise and represent our clients primarily in all areas of criminal law, in particular in appeals on points of law (alleging a violation of substantive criminal law or of procedural law). Moreover, we concentrate on constitutional complaints arising from a variety of legal fields.
We contribute consistency, assertiveness and experience to our clients’ defense. In close consultation with our clients we prepare individual and thoroughly considered solutions in order to safeguard their interests.
We are an effective and forceful team of lawyers with a high degree of expertise and experience in criminal and constitutional law. In our work, personal and individual advice for our clients and the representation of their interests take center stage. It is our aspiration to serve every client by combining precise work and an eye on the minutiae of the facts and circumstances with scientific thoroughness in the legal assessment.
Our duty as lawyers to maintain professional secrecy prohibits us from reporting on our cases. Under exceptional circumstances – where that is necessary in the clients’ interest and where they have given their consent – we publish documents regarding specific proceedings in order to make their conduct or progress transparent. This concerns primarily proceedings for a retrial. Apart from that, we also publish documents from cases of historical interest or in the special public interest. The documents published so far can be found here. They are available in German only.
HRRS is an online law journal co-founded in 1999 by Gerhard Strate and financed as well as published by him since then. The acronym HRRS stands for “HöchstRichterliche Rechtsprechung im Strafrecht”, i.e. the decisions of the highest courts in the field of criminal law. It is a part of the online service known as hrr-strafrecht.de, which offers its users cost-free access to the decisions rendered by the highest courts in Germany, by the European Court of Human Rights and by the Court of Justice of the European Union in the field of criminal law. The law journal and the online services are provided in German only. Please visit our German website for more information.