Charles W. German

Kansas City, Missouri / Founding Shareholder

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Charles German has a long-standing reputation as a thoughtful, thorough, and tenacious trial lawyer. His “great business sense and keen intellect” have earned him respect for his work in both white-collar and civil litigation. Since 2003, Chambers USA has recognized Mr. German as a “top-flight” white-collar and government investigation litigator. Best Lawyers has made him the 2014 Lawyer of the Year in Kansas City for “Bet the Company Litigation” (Best Lawyers).

Considered one of the finest trial lawyers in Missouri, Mr. German’s practice focuses on complex financial transactions, corporate governance and internal investigation, competition, capital markets and professional liability. He represents plaintiffs and defendants in federal and state courts in Missouri, Kansas, and throughout the USA in dealings with the Dept. of Justice, other federal regulatory agencies (SEC, IRS, FDIC, etc.), and state attorneys general.

Significant Representations

Obtained $31.3 million jury verdict on behalf of Hallmark Cards Incorporated in a trade secret misappropriation action against Monitor Clipper Partners, a Boston-based private equity firm, which used stolen Hallmark trade secrets to acquire a competitor to Hallmark. On appeal, the 8th Circuit affirmed the judgment. Hallmark Cards, Incorporated v. Monitor Clipper Partners, LLC, — F.3d —-, 2014 WL 3408853 (8th Cir. July 15, 2014).

Hallmark Wins $31 Million Verdict (Mo. Lawyers Weekly, Nov. 26, 2012)

Represented former owners of Hillcrest Bank in litigation arising out of asset purchase in attempt to stabilize Bank during financial crisis.  Obtained summary judgment on certain claims brought by disgruntled member of purchasing team, and then complete trial victory on all remaining claims, receiving judgment for nearly $2 million. The trial victory was affirmed in full on appeal.

Represents major consumer products company in trade secret/corporate espionage litigation.

Represented public companies, officers and directions in various SEC proceedings, shareholder litigation, and parallel grand jury investigations.

Extensive experience in MDL and class action litigation.

Represented former CFO of national agricultural cooperative in consolidated multidistrict antitrust class action litigation involving per se and monopolization claims in the milk industry, with paralegal antitrust litigation involving the cheese markets, and a parallel federal criminal investigation.

Represented majority investors in troubled bank assets on governance and capital issues.

Represented major real estate developer in tenant litigation involving most favored nation (MFN) clauses and lease economics.

Represented former directors and officers of financial institutions now in federal receivership on regulatory enforcement and D&O litigation.

Represented former CEO of nonprofit educational institution in IRS proceedings, parallel employment litigation, and related federal criminal proceedings.

Represented major New York law firm in fraud litigation brought by former Kansas clients.

Represented major securities advisor in computer fraud and unfair competition litigation.

Practice Areas

  • Business Litigation
  • Capital Markets and Competition
  • Professional Liability
  • Regulatory Enforcement
  • White Collar
Prior Work Experience

Stinson Mag & Fizzell, 1979-1992

Law Clerk, Judge William R. Collinson
U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri, 1977-1979


University of Missouri School of Law-Columbia, J.D.
Magna Cum Laude, 1977
• Missouri Law Review

Drury University, Springfield, MO, B.A.
Summa Cum Laude, 1974

Honors & Awards

Chambers USA, 2003-Present

Missouri and Kansas
Super Lawyers Magazine, 2005-Present

Best of the Bar
Kansas City Business Journal, 2002-Present

Who’s Who
Business Crime Lawyers, 2010

Top 10 Missouri and Kansas
Super Lawyers Magazine, 2009-2010

Best Lawyers in America for commercial litigation and white collar criminal defense, 2004-2010

Best Lawyer
“Bet The Company Litigation” (Kansas City), 2009

Best Lawyer
“Regulatory Enforcement” (Kansas City), 2011

KCMBA Presidential Award
Pro Bono Service, 2011

Legal Aid of Western Missouri
Michael Coburn Public Service Award, 2009

Legal Leader of the Year Award
Missouri Lawyers Weekly/Daily Record, 2009

Missouri Bar Pro Bono Award, 2009

Robert C. Welch Volunteer Attorney Project Award (KCMBA), 2009

International Who’s Who (Legal), 2005-2009

Urban Hero Award, Kansas City Downtown Council, 2008

Top 10 Missouri Lawyers
Missouri Lawyers Weekly, 2000


American Bar Association
(Litigation and Business Law Sections)

National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

Missouri Bar Association

Missouri Bar Task Force, Public Defender Caseload/Compensation, 2006-2007

Missouri Supreme Task Force, Judicial Evaluation, 2005

Missouri Bar Legislative Committee (2009-present)

Kansas Bar Association

Judicial Nominating Commission
Tenth Judicial District, Kansas (2008)

Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association
• President, 2007
• Chair, Warrant Relief/Homeless Project, 2007-2009
• Board of Directors, 1999-2006
• Bar Legal Advisor, 1997-1999

Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Foundation
Board of Trustees, 2009-present

Johnson County Bar Association

Bar Admissions



United States District Court for the Western District of Missouri

United States District Court for the District of Kansas

United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit

United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit

United States Tax Court

United States Supreme Court


Kansas City Metropolitan Homelessness Task Force
Chair, 2009-present

Homeless Services Coalition
Board of Directors, 2008-present

Missouri Institute for Justice
Board of Directors, 2007-2010

Drury University, Springfield Missouri
Board of Trustees, 1989-2005

Midwest Innocence Project
Board Chairman, 2016-2017