Experts on Anglo-German Law

CrossChannelLawyers.co.uk and its German language counterpart Cross-Channel-Lawyers.de are law blogs (blawgs) dealing with Anglo-German legal issues. A network of international lawyers who are experienced in cross border legal problems and who give practical and reliable advice. The law blogs are run by the lawyers of Graf & Partners, a firm of English solicitors and German Rechtsanwälte with many years of professional experience in cross border legal proceedings, who provide legal advice in a comprehensive, understandable and user-oriented manner. Our litigation department provides forensic services all across Germany and runs the expert law blog German Civil Procedure. Graf & Partners, with its international expertise, is well equipped to advise and represent clients from the USA, the United Kingdom and other English speaking countries.

+49 (0) 941 – 463 70 70
Family LawInternational Divorce Cases

Questionnaires for German-British Divorce and Child Custody Matters

How to efficiently instruct a German Family Lawyer If a marriage goes sour and one spouse finally decides to ask a lawyer for advice, the client is usually rather emotional and nervous, especially when children are involved and the parents cannot agree amicably on where and with whom the children shall live for the time being. Thus, the client wants a reliable assessment of the legal situation. And he or she wants these answers fast.…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
August 4, 2017
Conveyancing GermanyGerman LawGerman Tax LawProperty in Germany

Is there German Capital Gains Tax when you sell a German Property?

Tax implications of selling property in Germany If you buy or inherit German property (whether it is a house, a flat or just a plot of land) and this property is then sold (by you or your heirs) before a period of ten full years has expired, the resulting profit (sale price minus purchase price minus certain related costs like notary fees) is subject to German tax, even if you are not a German tax…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
July 26, 2017
Austrian Inheritance LawAustrian ProbateGerman LawGerman ProbateGerman Succession & Inheritance LawGerman Tax LawInternational ProbateProperty in Germany

Workshop “Clients with Foreign Assets” for British Inheritance & Probate Lawyers

Testators with assets abroads Why would an English or Scottish solicitor even give a toss about German or Spanish inheritance tax laws or about French or Italian forced heirship rules? Well, for starters, in order to avoid the client's survivors yelling at him/her some years later because they ran into probate or/and foreign tax problems abroad. Or, and this is of course the far better reason, to really impress your client with advice on international…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
July 25, 2017
German ProbateGerman Succession & Inheritance LawInternational ProbateProperty in Germany

International Wills: What your English Solicitor does not tell you (but should)

Drafting Wills for British or American Clients with Assets outside the UK / USA You are a British or American citizen but have assets abroad, let's say in Germany, Austria, France, Italy or Spain. Your English solicitor or your American lawyer suggests you make a Will which deals only with your national estate, i.e. the Will is restricted in such a way that it shall only apply to your assets located within the UK or…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
July 24, 2017
German Sports LawyersSports Law Experts Germany

The German Baseball Lawyer

On the lighter side: A personal message from Graf & Partner's managing partner Bernhard Schmeilzl. In my unpaid (how could that happen to me being a lawyer) moonlighting job as chairman of the board of the largest German baseball organisation, Regensburg Buchbinder Legionnaires, I was asked to give an interview for a short piece about the early years of the club which was aired last weekend on the 30th anniversary party. Together with my interview…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
July 14, 2017
German Law

Our Munich Office has relocated

Same part of town, but larger and more modern offices! Since 1st of June you can find our Munich lawyers in the modern and centrally located Agendis Business Center building on Radlkoferstr. 2. We are looking forward to meeting you in our new office! For those clients who specifically chose our firm because we were located right next to the Octoberfest area: Relax, the new office is only 500 meters south-west of the old one.…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
June 2, 2017
Uncategorized

Elective Share Rules under German Inheritance Law (Pflichtteil)

German Testators cannot fully disinherit their Children and their Spouse. Not even their Parents for that matter! It has always been a principle of German inheritance law that close relatives are entitled to a portion of the deceased's estate, even if the deceased had expressly disinherited those close relatives in his or her Last Will and Testament. This is called "Pflichtteil" (section 2303 German Civil Code), which can be translated forced share or compulsory portion…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
May 29, 2017
Conveyancing GermanyGerman LawProperty in Germany

Purchase German Property by Online Auction?

Beware of buying German real estate through the internet. It does not work that way in Germany! Our firm specalises in German-British and German-Amercian legal matters. Thus, we are sometimes contacted by non-German clients who proudly tell us that they have just successfully bought German property by way of online auction, for example from "MIDLAND ASSET MANAGEMENT LTD" or another online auction service provider. There is just one small problem with this: In order to…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
May 29, 2017
German LawGerman ProbateGerman Succession & Inheritance LawInternational ProbateLitigation in Germany

Does a German Last Will & Testament become void if the Testator later marries or has Children?

Does marriage automatically void previous wills under German law? Not automatically, but the surviving spouse and/or the child may challenge the Will for being "outdated". The German legal term is "Anfechtung" according to section 2079 German Civil Code (Section Wills & Probate), which states: Section 2079 German Civil Code Avoidance for omission of a person entitled to a compulsory portion A testamentary disposition may be avoided if the testator has omitted a person entitled to a…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
May 29, 2017
German Succession & Inheritance LawInternational Probate

Higher Probate Fees in the UK as of May 2017

Update 25 April 2017: The below post is outdated because due to Theresa May's snap election called for 8th June 2017, the British government has dropped the plans to raise probate fees (at least for now). More on the matter here. Please note that the UK Probate fees will change from May 2017. For estates with a value of up to £50,000 (pre IHT) the fees will be nil. This is an improvement, because the…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
April 7, 2017
Business in GermanyGerman Corporate Law

Checklist for forming a UK Limited Company

If you do business on an international level, you should carefully choose the ideal company form to use. Should, for instance, your business depend upon attracting German customers and/or suppliers, the best choice may not be an English limited liability company, because such a company does not have the best reputation in Germany. In this case, you might want to opt for a German GmbH (for details on how to establish a German limited liability…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
March 27, 2017
Civil actionDebt collectionGerman Corporate LawGerman LawGerman Tort LawGoing to courtLitigation in Germany

Pursuing Legal Action in Germany?

You found the German law firm perfectly equipped to address your legal needs in Germany Since 2003, German law firm Graf & Partners specialises in providing legal advice and litigation services to British and American clients. Our international litigation lawyers run the leading expert law blog on German civil litigation rules in English language: www.GermanCivilProcedure.com The majority of our clients come from Britain, the USA or other English speaking countries and are in need of pursuing…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
March 15, 2017
Business in GermanyCivil actionDebt collectionGerman Corporate LawGerman LawGoing to courtLitigation in Germany

Pitfalls of German Law (Part 2)

Be careful when suing a German Kommanditgesellschaft (KG), an Offene Handelsgesellschaft (OHG) or a Gesellschaft bürgerlichen Rechts (GBR) The single most common mistake foreign claimants and their non-German litigation lawyers make when taking a German business to court is that they only sue the partnership itself and not the personally liable partners (persönlich haftende Gesellschafter). To avoid any misunderstanding: This post deals with German partnerships (Personengesellschaften) as debtors, not with German limited liability companies (GmbH)…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
March 15, 2017
Business in GermanyCivil actionDebt collectionGoing to courtLitigation in Germany

Dodging Debts by Moving to the UK?

Has your German debtor moved to the UK and declared himself or herself bankrupt under the UK / British insolvency rules? Since we specialise in British-German legal matters, our firm very often gets enquiries from German individuals, companies or banks regarding a situation whereby a German individual has moved to the United Kingdom and declared bankruptcy in order to avoid paying their debts and liabilities back in Germany. Even further, it is quite common that…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
March 10, 2017
Business in GermanyGerman Corporate LawGerman Labor LawGerman Law

Pitfalls of German Contract Law and German Company Regulations (Part 1)

Foreign Contract Lawyers beware of surprising German Laws and Directives! The German Civil Code (Bürgerliches Gesetzbuch, BGB, available in English), the German Commercial Code (Handelsgesetzbuch, HGB, partly available in English), the German Act on Corporations (Aktiengesetz, AktG) and the Act on Limited Liability Companies (GmbHG, available in English) are all full of surprising regulations which can essentially void any agreement or deed drafted by a naive (in the nicest sense) British or US lawyer who…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
February 20, 2017
Business in GermanyGerman LawGerman ProbateGerman Succession & Inheritance Law

German-American Law Firm based in Munich

Need a German lawyer who knows how to swing a baseball bat?  Looking for a German lawyer who is aware of the fact that "morning joe" is not a coffee brand and that "take me out to the ball game" does not refer to soccer fans? Look no further. The lawyers of the Munich based German corporate, litigation and probate law firm Graf & Partners LLP specialise in German American legal issues since 2003. Founding…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
February 16, 2017
German LawGerman ProbateGerman Succession & Inheritance LawGerman Tax LawTrustee & Escrow Services

German Tax Clearance Certificate (Inheritance Tax)

What is required to get German assets released to British or US-American executors or beneficiaries? In order to get German assets released, the executors or beneficiaries must be able to provide the German banks or insurers with a German (or European) Grant of Probate - unless the testator has made the will in notarial form or the testator has granted a transmortal power of attorney. For more on how to access German assets without having…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
February 13, 2017
Business in GermanyCivil actionCriminal LawGerman LawGerman Tort LawLitigation in Germany

Putting Someone on Speaker Phone without telling them?

It's not only rude, but outright criminal In their piece about Speakerphone Etiquette, The Huffington Post recommends: "Always ask the person on the other end of the line if he or she minds being put on the speakerphone. Some people find them annoying and invasive." This is excellent advice, especially if you speak to Germans on the phone. Why so? Because a German might not only be annoyed to find out that somehas has secretly…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
February 8, 2017
Conveyancing GermanyGerman ProbateGerman Succession & Inheritance LawProperty in GermanyProperty Lease

How to sell inherited German Property

An English or American Executor finds that the Testator's Estate comprises a Flat, House or Plot of Land in Germany. What now? If the deceased owned real estate in Germany which the executor or the beneficiaries now wish to sell as soon as possible, this legal guide explains what needs to be done to sell an inherited home in Germany. The sale of the German property may be complicated further if the house or flat…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
January 12, 2017
German LawGerman ProbateGerman Tort LawGoing to courtLitigation in Germany

English Speaking German Lawyers and Litigators based in Munich

Experienced German Legal Counsel for British and American Clients Since 2003, the German law firm Graf Partners LLP with its headquarters in Munich specialises in British-German and US-German legal cases. Not only are the German lawyers at GP fluent in the English language, but they have many years of practical experience gained by working for commercial and private clients from Britain and the USA. From conveyancing of German property, drafting international agreements, representing foreign clients…
Bernhard Schmeilzl
January 10, 2017