Category

German Law

German LawGerman Real Estate LawGerman Tort Law

German Civil Law Explained

New Article-by-Article Commentary of the German Civil Code English speaking lawyers who deal with German civil law issues on a regular basis can turn to a helpful new resource: The German publishing houses Beck and Nomos have teamed up for this project and have just released a 2,300 page article by article commentary of the first three parts of the German Civil Code (Bürgerliches Gesetzbuch): Book 1: General Part Book 2: Law of Obligations (including…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
January 15, 2021
Civil actionGerman Corporate LawGerman LawGerman Tort Law

Research on German Law

German Law in English Language Obviously, German legal research is easier if you are able to read German. English-language resources are available, but mostly limited to general introductions or very specific special interest topics a German legal scholar has published about in English language. Still, if you are an English speaking lawyer or legal scholar interested in German law in English language, here are some sources you may find helpful: (1) Harvard Law School Library…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
December 30, 2020
German LawGerman ProbateGerman Succession & Inheritance LawLitigation in Germany

The German Elective Share

Children and surviving Spouse cannot be entirely disinherited under German Law Germany, like many other European countries (e.g. France, Spain, Austria etc), has mandatory succession laws to stop a person from leaving their spouse and/or their children penniless. These "forced heirship" laws in most European countries reflect public policy that a testator shall not be allowed to leave these close family members (spouse and offspring) destitute by making little or no provision for them in…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
December 23, 2020
Business in GermanyGerman LawGerman ProbateProfessional Regulations

Real German Lawyer or Fraudster?

Check the Official Lawyer Register of the German Bar Association Unfortunately, there are some criminals out there who pretend to be German lawyers. They come up with fake stories about an international inheritance or some other legal matter and try to trick their victims into paying (entirely bogus) court fees or taxes etc. There is, however, a simple way to protect yourself against such a fake lawyer. Whenever you are in doubt about the legitimacy…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
November 11, 2020
Business in GermanyGerman Corporate LawGerman Law

How to Dissolve a German Company

What are the necessary steps to wind down a German company? If the shareholders (Gesellschafter) of a German limited liability company (Gesellschaft mit beschränkter Haftung, in short: GmbH) decide that they no longer have any use for this company, the German GmbH cannot simply be struck from the company register (Handelsregister) right there and then. Instead, in order to protect the creditors, suppliers and employees of said German limited liability company, German company law (Gesellschaftsrecht)…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
September 28, 2020
Family LawGerman Law

German Pre-Nuptials are fully binding Contracts

German Family Law permits Spouses to enter into a Marriage Contract (Ehevertrag) London is referred to as the divorce capital of the world because English law and English family courts are famous for awarding large amounts to the "poorer" spouse. The legal principles "equal split" and "clean break" have brought many celebrities and other wealthy individuals to tears when the marriage went sour and the not so famous and not so rich spouse filed for…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
June 30, 2020
Conveyancing GermanyGerman LawGerman Succession & Inheritance Law

Selling Property in Germany? Better hurry!

Corona Crisis will cause German Real Estate Prices to drop For two decades, the only way was up when it came to market value (Verkehrswert) of German houses, flats and apartments, especially in large German cities like Munich, Frankfurt or Berlin. In 2020, this will all change! Even before the Corona outbreak in Europe, the rise in German property prices was no longer as steep as in previous years, due to a combination of extensive…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
March 18, 2020
German LawGerman ProbateGerman Succession & Inheritance LawInternational Probate

TYPICAL GERMAN WILL FOR SPOUSES – THE SO CALLED EHEGATTENTESTAMENT

German Spouses usually set up a Joint Will called Berliner Testament Under German succession laws, a will must either be officially recorded by a German notary public or the entire will must be written in the testator's own hand, so called eigenhändiges Testament (holographic will). More on the formal requirements to create a valid will is explained here. Married couples in Germany usually opt for the so called "Berliner Testament" or "Ehegattentestament", i.e. a joint…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
March 3, 2020
Civil actionGerman LawGerman Tort LawGoing to courtLitigation in Germany

WHY ARE GERMAN TRIAL LAWYERS SO LAME?

Or are they, really? That's a question I often get asked by U.S. clients who need to sue (or have been sued) in Germany. These American clients have certain expectations with regard to what a good and hard nosed litigation lawyer does. Harvey Specter style shock and awe tactics. The German civil litigation counsel, in their view, does not live up to these Hollywood or Netflix expectations. Well, what creates the impression of a German…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
December 4, 2019
German LawLitigation in Germany

So much for Legal Tech in Germany

German Supreme Court rules that German lawyers must keep a docketing system (deadline planner) in paper form at all times A central professional task and duty of any lawyer is to diligently calculate, monitor and adhere to all relevant deadlines (which in German are called "Fristen"), be it court dates to submit briefs, limitation periods or other deadlines. In order to prove that a document has been sent out in time, paralegals in German law…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
June 4, 2019