Category

Civil action

Civil actionGerman ProbateGerman Succession & Inheritance Law

Disputed Wills and Contentious Probate in Germany

German Litigation Expert Bernhard Schmeilzl of Graf Legal explains the Basics of Contentious Probate If it is unclear whether a last will is valid, it can get messy between the potential beneficiaries. In Germany, this is even more so because -- in contrast to the UK -- German law knows no administration of the estate by a personal representative. Instead, the heirs (in German: Erben) have the right to administer the estate themselves. Due to…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
July 11, 2014
Civil actionDebt collectionGoing to court

How expensive is a German Lawsuit?

Mandatory Legal Fees in German Civil Law Matters We have shown here that chasing a debt in Germany is fairly easy and quick. While we also explained the basic rules regarding court and lawyer fees in section 3 of said article many readers ask us how much an actual lawsuit will cost them. Thus, here a more practical approach to that question, explained by the German litigation experts of Graf & Partners (GP Chambers): The…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
November 11, 2013
Civil actionDebt collectionFamily LawGoing to court

Alimony in Germany: Child Maintenance and Financial Support for Single Mothers

How much Child Support is due in Germany? You are or have been in a relationship with a German woman. She is pregnant and wants you to pay alimony for the newborn-to-be. But you are not sure whether you are the father. What to do? This post deals with unmarried couples only. For children born in marriage, German law presumes that the husband is the father. If the husband has doubts about this then he…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
September 2, 2013
Civil actionDebt collectionGerman LawGoing to courtProfessional Regulations

So you want to practice Law in Germany?

Update for British readers: This post explains the pre-Brexit legal situation There are an impressive 160,000 advocates (Rechtsanwälte) registered to practice law in Germany (from the official statistics of the German Bar Association: German Advocates in February 2013). However, that doesn't mean there are not interesting opportunities for British lawyers who are considering practising law in Germany: Many German companies (have to) negotiate and draft agreements with international business partners in the English language and…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
August 8, 2013
Civil actionDebt collectionGerman LawGoing to court

Serving Documents in Germany

Find and and tackle your German debtor You need to serve court papers or other important documents to a person living in Germany? But you also expect this person may try to avoid getting served? Maybe you have already tried sending documents by courier and the addressee has not opened the door or the courier employee was not able to locate the debtor. Now what? Service by German Bailiff There are no private process servers…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
June 20, 2013
Civil actionCriminal LawDebt collectionGerman LawGoing to court

Limitation under German Law

When do German claims become statute barred? Limitation periods (in German: Verjährungsfristen) impose time limits within which a party must bring a claim, or give notice of a claim to the other party. They are imposed by statute, primarily sections 194 to 218 German Civil Code (Bürgerliches Gesetzbuch, BGB). The standard limitation period is three years (section 195 BGB), thus significantly shorter than limitation according to English law. For many constellations there are - of…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
June 19, 2013
Civil actionDebt collectionGoing to court

How to register and enforce UK judgments in Germany

Update November 2018: Please note that Brexit will bring significant and currently unforseeable changes in this field The below text explains the legal situation pre-Brexit: If a German debtor refuses to pay the first issue to clarify is whether you must sue him in Germany  or whether you can sue in the UK. In other words: It must be resolved which country’s courts have jurisdiction and which law shall apply. The parties may have agreed…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
April 16, 2013
Civil actionDebt collectionGerman LawGoing to court

Making a Court Claim for Money in Germany: It’s actually quite easy

Debt Collection in Germany: A practical Guide to Civil Court Procedures So a German person or company owes you money but won't pay. And you find that German courts have jurisdiction. Well, that may be unfortunate but it is no reason at all to abandon your claim. In fact, to sue for and collect a debt in Germany is easier and cheaper than you might expect, especially if you are from Britain or the United…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
March 10, 2013
Civil actionGerman LawProfessional Regulations

What is a German Rechtsanwalt?

German Lawyers: Professional Education and Regulatory Framework German advocates are independent and work as self-employed professionals (Freiberufler). To be admitted to the German bar (Rechtsanwaltskammer) one must pass two state examinations: The first exam requires four years of studies at a University law school . The second exam takes place after additional two years of legal clerkship (Referendariat) during which the future lawyers have to successfully complete various stages: civil court, criminal court, municipal or…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
May 22, 2012