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Going to court

German LawGerman Tort LawGoing to courtLitigation in Germany

If you are bitten by a Dog in Germany …

Tort claims based on animal attacks in Germany Animals are unpredictable. Even well-tempered dogs can snap out of the blue. Under German law, the owner (more precisely the keeper, but in most cases owner and keeper are the same person) is legally responsible and financially liable for any damage his/her dog causes (see Section 833 German Civil Code), even if the keeper has done nothing wrong and the animal has never before attacked someone. Therefore,…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
April 21, 2015
Business in GermanyCivil actionGerman LawGoing to court

German Limitation Periods are much shorter than in England

When do civil claims become statute barred in Germany? British enterprises doing business within Germany should be aware of the fact that the limitation periods differ hugely between the two jurisdictions. In regards to England, the Limitation Act 1980 states: Time limit for actions founded on simple contract: An action founded on simple contract shall not be brought after the expiration of six years from the date on which the cause of action accrued. This…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
January 23, 2015
Business in GermanyConveyancing GermanyDebt collectionGerman LawGoing to court

English Lawyers in Germany

Solicitor Jelowicki von Grafenstein in Munich Whether you have been involved in a car accident in Germany, need advice on German labour law or other contract matters, plan to start a German business, want to buy a house in Germany or need to swear an oath before an English solicitor, the Munich based law firm Graf & Partners can provide the necessary legal advice and representation. The firm was established in 2003 and speciales in British-German…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
November 7, 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