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German Law

Civil actionCriminal LawGerman LawGerman Tort LawGoing to courtInternational Litigation

Covert Audio Recordings are illegal in Germany

Recording phone or video calls without all-party consent is a criminal offence Journalists from common law jurisdictions are often surprised or even shocked when they learn that any kind of audio recording - whether covert or open - is illegal under German law, unless the speaker who is being recorded addresses "the public", for example makes a political speech. Such an audio recording without all party consent is even a criminal offence in Germany, see…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
February 9, 2024
European ProbateGerman LawGerman Tort LawGoing to courtLitigation in Germany

EU Court: Patients entitled to a full copy of their medical file free of cost

German law which stated that physicians / hospitals can demand reimbursement for costs no longer applicable Right to obtain the full patient records under German law Under German law, every patient is entitled to obtain a full copy of the patient file kept by their physician or the hospital (defined as "the treating party", see section 630g German Civil Code, titled "Inspection of Medical Records". However, this was subject to the patient being willing to…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
February 6, 2024
Business in GermanyGerman Labor LawGerman Law

Termination of Employees during Parental Leave in Germany

Can an Employee in Germany be let off while in parental leave? German labour law is very protective of employees. Every business with more than 10 full time employees on the payroll must be aware of the specific German employee protention rules (Kündigungsschutzgesetz). For details see this post: https://www.crosschannellawyers.co.uk/german-labor-law-the-basics-of-employee-protection-against-dismissal/   Special protection of employees during parental leave Regardless of the number of employees, there are additional special German laws protecting all parents who are on…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
November 17, 2023
Conveyancing GermanyGerman LawGerman Real Estate LawProperty in Germany

What is “Nachgenehmigung” in German conveyancing?

A simple trick to avoid having to travel to Germany for the sale or purchase of a German property Under German conveyancing rules, the seller and the buyer need to be present before a German notary public, who - in contrast to Common Law jurisdictions - is a highly qualified lawyer, a de facto court official. Said German notary records the sale by way of a sale deed (Übertragungsurkunde), ensures that the best interests of…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
November 7, 2023
German LawGerman ProbateGerman Succession & Inheritance LawInternational Probate

Applying for German Grant of Probate from the UK?

Probate applicants must travel to Germany to swear the oath! Under German succession laws (rules for probate proceedings) at least one of the applicants must swear an oath that the content of the application is complete and true. This oath must be talen in person either directly at the German probate court (Nachlassgericht) or in the presence of a German (!) notary. A UK notary or a UK solicitor is NOT sufficient! Can I take…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
July 14, 2022
German LawGerman ProbateGerman Succession & Inheritance Law

Cause of Death is Confidential Information in Germany

How to prove to an insurer that a decedent did not commit suicide As so many other things in Germany (e.g. land registry information), the question of how and from what a person has died, is considered strictly confidential and will not be disclosed to the public. Not even to the next of kin or the spouse! Therefore, in contrast to the UK and most states in the U.S., a German death certificate (Sterbeurkunde, see…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
June 14, 2022
Family LawGerman LawWills and Succession Planning

How to Appoint a Legal Guardian for my Child in Germany

Can parents decide who shall be the legal guardian of their children? Yes, under German family law rules, they certainly can and should in fact do so. The German buzzword for this is "Vormundschaftsanordnung", meaning "provident appointment of a legal guardian for a minor". Guardianship is regulated in sections 1773 to 1895 German Civil Code. The most relevant statute for the topic discussed here is section 1776 German Civil Code, which states: Right of the…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
June 9, 2022
Business in GermanyCivil actionGerman Corporate LawGerman Labor LawGerman LawGerman ProbateGerman Succession & Inheritance Law

Less Cricket. More Baseball!

GrafLegal creates US-German Legal Desk Too much cricket, not enough baseball! That's essentially what our marketing people told us after finding that 65% of all posts on our various law blogs deal with UK-German legal issues, only 35% with USA related topics. We may just have gone a bit too much Downton Abbey on everyone. Enough of that, let's balance the scales! The German law firm for US-German legal matters To start off our US…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
March 29, 2022
Business in GermanyCivil actionGerman LawGoing to courtInternational LitigationLitigation in Germany

Guide to Civil Litigation in Germany

101 on German Civil Lawsuits Download your free brochure If things go sour in international business relationships, U.S. or British businesses may find themselves in a German legal dispute. In this situation, many American and British business owners and CEOs make the same mistake: They assume that a German civil lawsuit will be “somehow similar” to what they know from home. They couldn't be more wrong! Very different Procedure Rules. Litigating in a German court…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
March 21, 2022