GRP Rainer LLP

Lawyers & Tax Advisors Specializing in Commercial, Business, & Company Law

GRP Rainer LLP

Augustinerstraße 10
Cologne 50667
Germany

Phone+49 221 2722750
Fax +49 221 27227524

Website www.grprainer.com
E-mail  Contact Michael Rainer

Free ConsultationCredit Cards

Law Firm Overview

GRP Rainer LLP is an international law firm which provides legal and tax advice. Specializing in business law, commercial law and company law, GRP Rainer LLP has office locations in London, UK and throughout Germany. With over 30 years in business, GRP Rainer LLP is made up of experienced lawyers and industry specialists who can provide you with the legal assistance you require.

The lawyers and advisors of GRP Rainer LLP are experts in exporting goods to Germany, methods of distribution in Germany, franchising in Germany, starting a business in Germany, enforcing a judgment against a debtor in Germany, and business relations between Germany and Asia, Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom.

GRP Rainer LLP also specializes in debt collection in Germany as well as contract laws around the world. If you require business law, commercial law or company law needs in Germany or London, contact GRP Rainer LLP for a multi-faceted team of lawyers and advisors ready to assist.


Languages: English, German, French, Spanish, Portuguese.

Areas of Law


Additional Areas of Law: Debt Collection; Distribution Law; Law of Succession; Business Succession.


Areas of Law Description

- Legal Advice

*Banking Law
We provide comprehensive banking law consultancy and legal representation services for loans, current accounts, consultancy liability or asset management.

*Capital Markets Law
Many investments do not yield what the investors were promised. Now, if you wish to know whether you are entitled to any compensation for the losses suffered, you should seek before the end of the limitation period the advice a competent lawyer in capital markets law. In case of incorrect advice, immorality or investment fraud, investors can often save their money through the legal system. At GRP Rainer you will find a trusted lawyer for that purpose. In each case, we shall examine your compensation claim options. In other words, we shall precisely indicate what your chances are and how to better leverage our lawyers to exercise your investor rights.

*Business Law
Business law is one of the key areas of expertise at GRP Rainer LLP. We possess a particularly rich storehouse of knowledge to draw upon, ranging from founding, selling or buying a company and its shares to drawing up the terms and conditions and formation of the company, to advice and litigation in general civil, IT and company law cases. We also handle your national and international debt collection duties, including domestic and cross-border execution.

*Business Succession
We advise on Business Succession in Germany.

*Capital Markets Law
Many investments do not yield what the investors were promised. Now, if you wish to know whether you are entitled to any compensation for the losses suffered, you should seek before the end of the limitation period the advice a competent lawyer in capital markets law. In case of incorrect advice, immorality or investment fraud, investors can often save their money through the legal system. At GRP Rainer you will find a trusted lawyer for that purpose. In each case, we shall examine your compensation claim options. In other words, we shall precisely indicate what your chances are and how to better leverage our lawyers to exercise your investor rights.

*Civil Law
If you have any legal questions about civil law, our experienced lawyers at GRP Rainer LLP will be happy to help to answer them. Civil law cases are often complex and difficult for the layperson to understand. In particular, because overlaps often arise with regard to contracts and records and, at first glance, it does not appear possible to arrange the contract and the circumstances in a timely fashion so as to deal with the legal consequences.

*Commercial Law
Our lawyers at GRP Rainer will be happy to offer you comprehensive advice on any legal questions you may have relating to commercial law. On the one hand, we will clearly explain your rights and obligations as a merchant; on the other hand, our lawyers will help you assert your legal and economic interests.

*Commercial Law of Tenancy and Lease
In commercial rentals, the rental contract design is of the utmost importance, as these are often long-term and require considerable investments for the conversion of rental properties. Therefore, it is highly advisable to examine a commercial rental contract with an experienced lawyer before its conclusion. The lawyers at GRP Rainer will be glad to do so while ensuring that your contract meets your business requirements.

*Company Law
We offer comprehensive advice on private company law and on capital company law. The lawyers and tax advisors at GRP Rainer have particular expertise in the following areas:
• Aktiengesellschaft AG / Stock Corporation
• Gesellschaft GbR / Partnership under Civil Law
• Company Formation
• GmbH / Limited Liability Company
• GmbH & Co. KG
• KG / Limited Partnership
• Limited / Ltd.
• Offene Handelsgesellschaft / General Partnership

*Competition Law
We advise on Competition Law in Germany.
• Advertising
• Copyright Law
• Intellectual Property Law
• Internet Law
• Trademark Law
• Unfair Competition
• Warning Competition Law

*Construction Law
In the area of public construction law our expert lawyers are ready to advise you on real estate development issues and the legal feasibility of individual construction projects. Our lawyers at GRP Rainer can assist you when dealing with the land registry office, advise you on whether you can object to a neighbor’s building plans or clarify whether you have a right to planning permission.

In the area of private construction law our lawyers at GRP Rainer are there to advise and assist you with drawing up labour contracts or with the planning and execution of construction projects. They can also help you to draw up architects‘ contracts, construction contracts with building firms and land purchase contracts.

*Contract Law
A large portion of our extrajudicial advisory service involves the drafting and revision of contracts. The crucial point here is the comprehensive and unambiguous representation of the subject of the contract. Based on this, we appropriate the contractual duties to be assumed by each party by means of regulations in accordance with the law.

*Copyright Law
We advise on Copyright Law in Germany.

*Corporate Criminal Law
We advise on Corporate Criminal Law in Germany.

*Corporate Law
We offer our support on issues concerning company law, in particular with the law governing stockholding companies, the law governing limited liability companies (GmbH), law governing partnerships, law of foundations and the law of associations.

*Debt Collection
If you have engaged in business abroad with a German customer or corporate entity and you need to recover an outstanding debt, the law firm of GRP Rainer LLP can assist you. Our English-speaking lawyers have experience representing clients in countries and regions all over the world including Asia, the United States, Canada, and the UK.

*Distribution Law
Distribution law contains many regulations that serve the sales distribution of goods and services. Sales distribution occurs mainly between entrepreneurs and sales representatives and distributors, but also between the franchisor and the franchisee. Moreover, international distribution has an ever increasing relevance. The lawyers of GRP Rainer advise on national and international distribution rights.

*Employment Law
Whether related to contract conclusion, warning, or termination, our clients can rely on our experience and competence to address their labour issues. We represent your interests in individual and collective labour law, both out-of-court and in court. These include, by way of example, the following problem areas:
• Collective Labour Law
• Employee Invention Law
• Employment Termination
• Executive Employment Law
• Temporary Employment

*Family Law
Whether marriage contract, divorce, alimony or custody, in family law all depends on the lawyer who will represent your interests with empathy, tact, and negotiating skills. Rest assured that your legal inquiry is in the best hands with a GRP Rainer´s lawyer because you are leveraging a group of lawyers who keep a cool head in emotionally charged situations.

*Franchise Law
We will support you in all matters related to franchising, both nationally and internationally. In particular, we will supervise the start of franchise relationships, problems within a franchise contract, and - if necessary - its termination. We can also help you with claims for compensation arising from your franchise relationship. If you have any questions it is advisable to consult a lawyer as soon as possible.

*Insolvency Law
In dealing with instances of companies, freelancers or private individuals experiencing cash flow problems, we will advise you completely and comprehensively on insolvency proceedings. In the area of insolvency law, we represent both debtors and creditors – on the opening of proceedings and in the event of insolvency proceedings which have already been commenced.

*Insurance Law
We advise on Insurance Law in Germany.

*Intellectual Property Law
Due to the increase in product piracy and copyright infringement, the protection of intellectual property is more important than ever. We therefore offer extensive advice on all aspects of intellectual property law, particularly on copyright law, brand law, patent law and law of competition.

*International Law
Doing business in the global marketplace often requires the assistance of a skilled lawyer who is familiar with transnational commercial business arrangements. These days, companies conduct trade relations all across the globe with much greater frequency. In these cases, differing country-specific systems of private law, which would be taken into account in judicial decisions often collide. Our German attorneys are skilled in trade law interpretation, contract negotiation, financing transactions and international litigation. We offer comprehensive advice on complex issues arising from the closure of international contracts, as well as those in existing contractual relationships.

*IT Law
In today’s world, practically every aspect of daily life is affected by IT or the Internet, and this applies equally to private and professional life. Qualified legal advice in this sector is rapidly increasing in importance, as IT and Cyber Law are not separate legal fields yet are subject to several different regulatory systems. They consist of individual subsections of national and international law which influence each other, such as copyright law, trademark law, and data protection and competition law, to name a few. This increased fragmentation has resulted in a greater need for legal advice.

*Law of Succession
Inheritance transcends the purely legal matters. Further to legal issues on inheritance law, there are the natural emotions and family feelings inherent to the situation. Our lawyers deal with such exceptional situations in a confident and sensitive manner, always in the interest of our clients. The clients of GRP Rainer Lawyers and Tax advisors in Cologne, Berlin, Bonn, and Düsseldorf receive professional advice from an experienced lawyer on all aspects of inheritance.

*Litigation
GRP Rainer LLP represents a variety of national and international clients before German civil courts. This involves defense against unjust claims in addition to assertion of justified claims. We will also assert your rights in foreclosure proceedings and are able to assure your rights, should they be endangered, through preliminary injunctions or warrants. We also represent your interests in appellate proceedings. We can also represent you before every German district court as well as before regional courts and higher regional courts (Amtsgerichte, Landgerichte and Oberlandesgerichte).

*M&A
A broad set of legal issues arises in mergers, takeovers, and company acquisitions. In the event of takeover, we may consider various approaches depending on the ownership structure and legal form of the participating companies.

*Media Law
We advise on Media Law in Germany.

*Real Estate and Property Law
We offer detailed advice on all aspects of property law and real estate law such as law governing the use of an estate agent and the German residential property act (Wohnungseigentumsrecht). Paramount are issues concerning the acquisition of real estate - e.g. by purchase, transfer inter vivos, transfer by way of inheritance or gift, possible liabilities through land charges, mortgages, subservience or a recurrent charge on real estate, and also the use and selling of land. Additionally, we will advise you on development plans and building work on property, as well as on the effect of third parties on the property. We also offer our support when dealing with land registry offices.

*Tax Law
Tax Law includes multiple sections. GRP Rainer advises you on Accounting Law, Income Taxation and Income Tax Law, Sales Tax and Corporate Tax Law, as well as in Real estate Taxation.
• Accessions Tax
• Criminal Tax Law
• Inheritance Tax
• International Tax Law
• Tax Dispute
• Voluntary Disclosure

*Trade and Industry Law
If you would like to register a company, have been denied a company or already run a company, and you have legal questions concerning this, do not hesitate to get advice from an experienced lawyer at GRP Rainer.

*Trademark Law
A trademark can be a considerable asset depending on its popularity and strength of identification. Trademarks can be recognized on a national, European and international level. Therefore, it is especially important to determine the estimated territorial sphere of activity as a future trademark owner when registering a trademark. As a rule, you must first ensure that the geographic area covered by a trademark applies to the territory of the country in which it will be registered in the Trademark Register.

*Transportation Law
We advise on Transportation Law in Germany.
• Freight Forwarding Law
• Logistics Law

- Tax Advice

Our main area of competence in this realm is advice on fiscal structure, however we are also at your side if you would like to draw up a tax certificate, or if you need consultancy on inheritance tax or capital transfer tax.

We complete tax returns for companies, freelancers and private individuals and evaluate their tax assessments. In case of contention, litigation or appellate proceedings, we will assert your rights in court.

In addition, we will also assist you in preparation for tax audits. We are at your service for advice and support if you are making a voluntary declaration, and we will represent you in cases of investigation for tax offenses.



Partners

Michael Rainer Mr. Michael Rainer
Managing Lawyer
Banking and Finance, Banking Law, Business and Industry, Business Formation, Business Law



Lawyers

Friederike Eggerath Mrs. Friederike Eggerath
Attorney
Banking and Finance, Business Law, Civil Rights, Commercial Law, Contracts

Iris Geis Dr. Iris Geis
Attorney
Banking and Finance, Business Law, Civil Rights, Commercial Law, Contracts

Marc Klaas Mr. Marc Klaas
Attorney
Banking and Finance, Business Law, Civil Rights, Commercial Law, Contracts

Michael Wiechmann Mr. Michael Wiechmann
Attorney
Banking and Finance, Business Law, Civil Rights, Commercial Law, Contracts


More Information on GRP Rainer LLP

Tax Lawyers in Cologne, Germany
Cologne, Germany Commercial Law Firm
Business Lawyers in Cologne, Germany
Cologne, Germany Debt Collection Lawyer
Contract Law Firm in Cologne, Germany
Cologne, Germany Corporate Lawyers
Cologne, Germany International Law Firm
GRP Rainer LLP Blog
GRP Rainer LLP News and Publications

Articles Published by GRP Rainer LLP

 Tougher Approach Against Tax Evasion in Germany – Submit Voluntary Declaration on Time

Germany’s federal and regional state governments want to step up their measures once again in the fight against tax evasion and hang out tax havens to dry. Voluntary disclosure leading to immunity represents a way out for tax evaders.

Read Article

 Agrofinanz GmbH: Creditors Able to Lodge Claims in Germany until June 21, 2016

On May 24, 2016, the Amtsgericht Kleve (Local Court of Kleve) initiated regular insolvency proceedings in relation to Agrofinanz GmbH on account of insolvency and over-indebtedness (Az.: 32 IN 95/15).

Read Article

 Neitzel & Cie.: MS Cornelia Sold from Insolvent Ship Fund

Since the beginning of the year, the MS Conny Schifffahrtsgesellschaft mbH & Co. KG (a shipping company) has been the subject of insolvency proceedings (Az.: 504 IN 16/15). The fund vessel MS Cornelia now appears to have been sold.

Read Article

 Succession in Patchwork Families in Germany

While what are sometimes referred to as patchwork or blended families are no longer unusual today, succession law continues to lag behind social change. For this reason, those concerned ought to give thought to preparing a will early on.

Read Article

 Cartel Office Ensures Greater Competition in Rail Sector in Germany

The German railway company Deutsche Bahn must allow for more competition. The Bundeskartellamt, Germany’s Federal Cartel Office, found that the company had abused its dominant market position with respect to the sale of rail tickets.

Read Article

 LAG Sachsen-Anhalt on Video Surveillance at the Workplace in Germany

Video surveillance at the workplace does not inevitably give rise to claims for damages. That was the verdict of the Landesarbeitsgericht (LAG) Sachsen-Anhalt [Regional Labour Court of Saxony-Anhalt] (Az.: 6 Sa 301/14).

Read Article

 Wills: Intention to Prepare a Will and Testamentary Capacity Prerequisites in Germany

A valid will presupposes a clearly discernible intention to draw up a will and testamentary capacity. These elements are necessary if the testator’s testamentary dispositions are to be implemented.

Read Article

 Dismissal Without Notice for Private Use of Work Computer Effective in Germany

Unauthorized private use of a work computer can justify dismissal without notice. That was the verdict of the Landesarbeitsgericht (LAG) Sachsen-Anhalt [Regional Labour Court of Saxony-Anhalt] in its ruling of May 26, 2016.

Read Article

 Loan Withdrawal in Case of Linked Transaction in Germany: BGH Ruling Fails to Materialize

The Bundesgerichtshof (BGH), Germany’s Federal Court of Justice, was supposed to rule on May 31 on withdrawing from a loan in the case of a so-called “verbundenes Geschäft” (linked transaction). This will no longer happen because the bank has withdrawn its appeal.

Read Article

 Final Stretch for Loan Withdrawal in Germany

Those who still want to withdraw from real estate loans concluded between 2002 and 2010 should take action now while the right of withdrawal is on its last legs. This get-out-of-jail-free card is set to lapse shortly.

Read Article

 GRP Rainer LLP: Cologne Office Relocating to Gürzenich-Quartier

Modern and spacious: That is how GRP Rainer’s new office in central Cologne’s Gürzenich-Quartier presents itself.

Read Article

 Tax Evasion in Germany: Voluntary Declaration Requires Professional Assistance

The legislature has deliberately maintained the option for tax dodgers to return to a state of tax compliance by means of voluntary disclosure leading to immunity. Professional assistance is vital in this context.

Read Article

 "Nettopolicen" - Insurance Intermediaries in Germany Subject to Strict Documentation Requirements & Duty to Inform

“Nettopolicen” are insurance policies with respect to which the premiums do not include commission for brokering the insurance contract. When concluding these insurance policies, insurance intermediaries have to point out and document that the separate payment arrangements continue to apply even if the policies are cancelled.

Read Article

 Estate Includes Property in Germany: No Exemption from Inheritance Tax in the Event of Demolition

Properties in an estate can often become a problem, not only because this might lead to disputes in cases involving multiple heirs, but also in connection with inheritance tax.

Read Article

 Loan Withdrawal in the Case of Linked Transactions in Germany

Loans can be tied to a specific purpose when they are issued. A case involving withdrawal from a loan tied to what is termed a “verbundenes Geschäft” [linked transaction] will come before the Bundesgerichtshof (BGH), Germany’s Federal Court of Justice, on May 31 (Az.: XI ZR 511/15).

Read Article

 Loan Withdrawal in Germany: OLG Frankfurt Once Again on Side of Consumers

Just before the so-called “ewiges Widerrufsrecht” [perpetual right of withdrawal] was set to lapse, a ruling of the Oberlandesgericht (OLG) Frankfurt [Higher Regional Court of Frankfurt] has given this get-out-of-jail-free card renewed momentum. In doing so, the OLG has once again aligned itself with consumers.

Read Article

 LG Magdeburg: German Consumers Misled by False Indication of Origin

If certificates or marks of origin are used for promotional purposes but the products are produced elsewhere, this may constitute an infringement of competition law. That was the verdict of the Landgericht (LG) Magdeburg [Regional Court of Magdeburg].

Read Article

 LAG Niedersachsen: Changes at Workplace Do Not Automatically Equate to Bullying in Germany

Official instructions from one’s superior do not automatically amount to bullying. That was the verdict of the Landesarbeitsgericht Niedersachsen (Regional Labour Court of Lower Saxony) on February 3, 2016 (Az.: 2 Sa 441/15).

Read Article

 Illegal Price-Fixing Agreements For Beer: Bundeskartellamt Imposes High Fines in Germany

The Bundeskartellamt, Germany’s Federal Cartel Office, has imposed fines totalling 242 million euros due to illegal price-fixing agreements between manufacturers and trading companies.

Read Article

 Termination Effective in Germany Despite Claim For Parental Leave

If an employee fails to observe the required written form when claiming parental leave, the employer is entitled to dismiss the employee. That was the verdict of the Bundesarbeitsgericht (BAG), Germany’s Federal Labour Court (Az.: 9 AZR 145/15).

Read Article

 Fixed-term Employment Contract in Germany: Assignment Should Be Precisely Defined

When it comes to fixed-term employment contracts linked to a specific assignment, employers need to take care and precisely define when the assignment in question has been fulfilled. Temporary employment can otherwise turn into a permanent position.

Read Article

 Post-Divorce in Germany: Geschiedenen-Testament

Divorce results in any mutual inheritance claims between former spouses lapsing. However, it is possible for these to indirectly arise again. A “Geschiedenen-Testament” (divorcee will) can then prove to be useful.

Read Article

 Wills in Germany: Compulsory Portion Revoked for Causing Bodily Harm

Under a very narrow set of circumstances, it is possible for legal heirs to have their entitlement to the statutory compulsory portion revoked. This is evident from a ruling of the Landgericht (LG) Landshut [Regional Court of Landshut] of March 4, 2016 (Az.: 54 O 2287/12).

Read Article

 Compliance for the Protection of the Company in Germany

Efficient compliance management systems (CMS) exist primarily to protect one’s business and are becoming an increasingly crucial factor for many small and medium-sized firms.

Read Article

 Changes to a Berliner Testament in Germany

A “Berliner Testament” is a popular form of will in Germany among spouses, as it enables them to provide each other with financial security and mutually appoint one another as sole heirs. However, it also entails disadvantages such as its strong binding effect.

Read Article

 Withdraw from Loans, Reduce Interest Burden in Germany

Playing the get-out-of-jail-free card and withdrawing from expensive real estate loans is still possible until June 21 without consumers having to pay an early repayment penalty.

Read Article

 Tax Investigators Trawl Through Panama Papers – Submitting a Voluntary Declaration

Tax investigators have apparently been sifting through the Panama Papers in the hope of rumbling suspected tax dodgers. There is still time to submit a voluntary declaration that can lead to immunity.

Read Article

 Last Legs For Get-Out-of-Jail-Free Card – Loan Withdrawal Possible Until June 21, 2016 in Germany

Anyone who withdraws from a real estate loan concluded between 2002 and 2010 stands to potentially benefit from low interest rates and save a lot of money. Having said that, withdrawal only remains an option until June 21, 2016.

Read Article

 Withdrawal Worthwhile Both in the Case of Outstanding and Repaid Loans in Germany

Withdrawal can prove to be an extremely attractive proposition from a financial perspective, even for consumers whose loans have already been paid off. That being said, withdrawal should certainly be carried out before June 21, 2016.

Read Article

 Bundeskartellamt Imposes Fines Against Cartel in Sanitary Sector in Germany

At the end of March, the Bundeskartellamt, Germany’s Federal Cartel Office, imposed fines amounting to around 21 million euros against the so-called “Sanitär-Kartell” (cartel in the sanitary sector) on account of anti-competitive agreements.

Read Article

 OLG Koblenz: Misleading Advertising Concerning Pharmaceuticals in Germany

Advertising for pharmaceuticals is impermissible if the content of a promotional statement is not based on sound scientific evidence. That was the verdict of the Oberlandesgericht Koblenz (OLG) [Higher Regional Court of Koblenz].

Read Article

 European Competition Authorities Take Aim at Internet Giant

The European Commission has expanded its proceedings against an internet company on account of possible infringements of antitrust law. The latter is said to have potentially abused its dominant market position.

Read Article

 BGH: Unworthy of Inheriting in Germany Due to Discontinuation of Life-Sustaining Measures

According to a ruling of the Bundesgerichtshof (BGH), Germany’s Federal Court of Justice, discontinuing life-sustaining measures can render the personal responsible unworthy of inheriting in the absence of a living will (Az.: IV ZR 400/14).

Read Article

 Disinheritance Only Possible with Will or Contract of Inheritance in Germany

Family disputes can become deeply entrenched and are then no longer capable of being resolved. This can give rise to the desire to disinherit one’s relatives. For this to happen, a will needs to be prepared.

Read Article

 Declaration of Discontinuance Tied to a Condition Subject to Strict Requirements in Germany

Declarations of discontinuance are a possible consequence of violations of competition law. They can be tied to a condition, but for this to happen strict requirements need to be met.

Read Article

 LAG Schleswig-Holstein: Dismissal Following Sit-in Effective in Germany

Everything has its limits, including negotiations concerning a wage increase. As demonstrated by a ruling of the Landesarbeitsgericht Schleswig-Holstein (LAG) [Regional Labour Court of Schleswig-Holstein], these can even end with the dismissal of the employee.

Read Article

 Inheriting and Bequeathing under EU Succession Regulation

Enjoying one’s twilight years abroad is a dream that an increasing number of Germans are pursuing. However, it is important to bear in mind that this may affect the distribution of one’s estate.

Read Article

 Always Open Mail in Inheritance Cases in Germany

It is particularly easy for disputes to arise in cases involving communities of heirs. Anyone who refuses to accept an official or notarial letter in the context of inheritance disputes may end up drawing the short straw.

Read Article

 BAG: Dismissal without Notice for Refusal to Work Effective in Germany

Persistent refusal by an employee to perform his work duties as laid out in the employment contract can give rise to extraordinary and immediate dismissal. That was the verdict of Germany’s Federal Labour Court, the Bundesarbeitsgericht (BAG).

Read Article

 BAG: Claims Lapse Following Expiry of Negotiated Limitation Period in Germany

If an employment contract includes a collectively agreed limitation period, any claims need to be asserted in writing within said period of time vis-à-vis the opposing party to the claim.

Read Article

 Withdrawal from Loans: OLG Nürnberg Bolsters Consumer Rights in Germany

There have been many instances of banks and savings banks using ambiguous statements in guidance on the right of withdrawal regarding the commencement of the withdrawal period. Consequently, it is still possible to withdraw from these loans even years after they were taken out in most cases.

Read Article

 Even Minor Deviations from Standard Guidance Enough for Loan Withdrawal in Germany

Even minor deviations from the respective standard guidance render guidance on the right of withdrawal flawed in the case of loan agreements. In most cases, it is still possible to withdraw from these.

Read Article

 OLG Bamberg: Berliner Testament Cannot be Unilaterally Altered in Germany

Spouses that mutually appoint each other as sole heirs in what is termed a “Berliner Testament” (Berlin will) need to be mindful of the binding effect associated with this kind of joint will.

Read Article

 Restrictive Agreements Permissible under Certain Circumstances in Germany

It is possible under certain circumstances according to German and European antitrust law for agreements restricting competition to be permissible if they have a positive impact on the market.

Read Article

 Countdown for Loan Withdrawal in Germany: Take Action by June 21 Deadline

The countdown is on for withdrawing from real estate loans. The deadline for withdrawing from legacy contracts is June 21, 2016. After this date, the so-called “ewiges Widerrufsrecht” (perpetual right of withdrawal) will cease to exist.

Read Article

 Withdraw from Loans in Due Course and Benefit from Low Interim Interest in Germany

It is often possible to save several thousand euros by withdrawing from a real estate loan. Having said that, this so-called “ewiges Widerrufsrecht”, or perpetual right of withdrawal, shall cease to exist for legacy contracts on June 21, 2016.

Read Article

 OLG Frankfurt: Unclear Commencement of Term Renders Guidance on Right of Withdrawal Ineffective in Germany

If the guidance on the right of withdrawal in a loan agreement includes the words “die Widerrufsfrist beginnt frühestens mit Erhalt dieser Belehrung” (the withdrawal period shall commence at the earliest upon receipt of this guidance), withdrawal is likely to be an option.

Read Article

 Loan Withdrawal Comes to the Attention of the BGH in Germany

Another hearing before the Bundesgerichtshof (BGH), Germany’s Federal Court of Justice, concerning withdrawal from consumer loans has been scheduled for May 24 (XI ZR 366/15). The BGH will then have to rule on an appeal brought by a bank.

Read Article

 Vegan Cheese Cannot be Marketed as Cheese in Germany

“Vegan” on the outside means it’s not cheese on the inside. That was the verdict of the Landgericht Trier (Regional Court of Trier) in its ruling of March 24, 2016 (7 HK O 41/15).

Read Article

 Assessing Intention to Prepare a Will in Germany

A prerequisite for an effective will is a serious intention on the part of the testator to prepare one. Assessing any intention to draft a will can prove to be critical.

Read Article

 Succession Law in Germany

There are many pressing issues that arise when it comes to succession. For instance, testators have to decide whether they want to rely on the rules of intestate succession or prepare a will or contract of inheritance.

Read Article

 Inheritance Tax Reform Must be in Place by June 30, 2016 in Germany

The reforms to inheritance tax need to be in place by June 30, 2016, yet company heirs in particular still do not know what burdens they will be faced with going forward.

Read Article

 OLG Düsseldorf: Will Effective Despite Removal from Official Custody in Germany

If a will is withdrawn from official custody it is deemed to have been revoked according to the law. Having said that, it is possible to contest the revocation under certain circumstances.

Read Article

 Prerequisites for a Nuncupative Will in Germany

Faced with his imminent death, a testator is still able to prepare a nuncupative will, i.e. a will to which three persons are witnesses. However, this needs to satisfy strict conditions for it to be effective.

Read Article

 EGC: Winnetou to Retain Trademark Protection for Time Being in the EU

On March 18, 2016, the General Court of the European Union ruled that the well-known novel character Winnetou shall continue to enjoy trademark protection (Az.: T-501/13).

Read Article

 Bundeskartellamt Investigates Ticket Allocation in Germany for Euro 2016

The allocation of tickets for the UEFA European Championship in France has triggered the involvement of the Bundeskartellamt, Germany’s Federal Cartel Office. On March 22, 2016, it confirmed that it had instituted proceedings on account of exploitative abuse.

Read Article

 BGH on Advertising Without Option to Order

The Bundesgerichtshof (BGH), Germany’s Federal Constitutional Court, has ruled that advertising for textiles need not mention their composition if the promotional brochure does not offer the opportunity to order.

Read Article

 Panama Papers – Voluntary Disclosure in Response to Tax Evasion in Germany

The so-called “Panama Papers” have the potential to reveal tax evasion on a massive scale. German tax evaders can return to a state of tax compliance by way of voluntary disclosure.

Read Article

 EGC: “Spa” Not A Community Trademark For Cosmetics in the EU

The term “Spa” is not a generic name for cosmetics and cannot be registered as a Community trademark. That was the verdict of the General Court of the European Union in its ruling of March 16 (T-201/14).

Read Article

 EGC: Advertising Featuring Positive Properties of Dextrose Misleading in the EU

In its ruling of March 16, 2016, the General Court of the European Union (EGC) confirmed that advertising for dextrose featuring health claims is not permissible (Az.: T-100/15).

Read Article

 Wohnimmobilienkreditrichtlinie Enters into Force in Germany: Withdrawal Still Possible until June 21, 2016

The entry into force of the Wohnimmobilienkreditrichtlinie heralds the end of the so-called “ewiges Widerrufsrecht” (perpetual right of withdrawal) for real estate loans. It will no longer be possible to withdraw from legacy contracts from June 21, 2016.

Read Article

 BGH: Reasons For Withdrawal Immaterial in Germany

According to the Bundesgerichtshof’s (BGH) ruling of March 16, in which it bolstered consumers’ right of withdrawal, consumers’ reasons for availing themselves of their right of withdrawal are irrelevant.

Read Article

 Right of Withdrawal not Forfeited in Cases Involving Withdrawal from a Loan in Germany

Banks often claim that the right of withdrawal has been forfeited as a way of fending off attempts to withdraw from a loan. However, this argument generally fails to convince.

Read Article

 Competition Law in Germany: Deceptive Packaging is Misleading

Large packaging but little in the way of contents. The OLG Hamburg (Higher Regional Court of Hamburg) has ruled that this kind of misleading packaging sizes may infringe competition law (Az.: 3 U 20715).

Read Article

 Arrangements Need to Be Made Early on for Business Succession in Germany

Business succession can prove to be a crucial issue, especially in the case of family businesses. That is why the matter ought to be dealt with as early as possible.

Read Article

 Valid Will Requires Serious Intention to Draft a Will in Germany

For documents to be recognized as a will, it needs to be possible to discern a serious intention to prepare a will. That was the verdict of the OLG Frankfurt (Higher Regional Court of Frankfurt) (Az.: 20 W 155/15).

Read Article

 Grounds for Challenging a Will

Heirs who are disappointed with the content of a will may under certain circumstances be able to challenge the will if they have good cause to do so.

Read Article

 Unfair Advertising: Health Claims Concerning Foods in Germany

Health claims pertaining to foods have to satisfy strict requirements if they are to avoid infringing competition law. That was the verdict of the Landgericht Rostock (Regional Court of Rostock) in a recent ruling.

Read Article

 Comparative Advertising Featuring Third-Party Trademark May Be Permissible in Germany

The use of a third-party trademark in comparative advertising does not automatically constitute an infringement of trademark law. That was the decision of the Bundesgerichtshof (BGH), Germany’s Federal Court of Justice (Az.: I ZR 167/13).

Read Article

 OLG Koblenz on Misleading Advertising

Companies promoting their products need to ensure that consumers have a realistic opportunity to purchase them. That was the verdict of the OLG Koblenz (Higher Regional Court of Koblenz) in a recent ruling.

Read Article

 Misleading Advertising Featuring Corporate History in Germany

If over the course of its history a company was split up, advertising featuring the company’s history may be misleading. That was the verdict of the OLG Frankfurt (Higher Regional Court of Frankfurt) in a recent ruling (6 U 167/14).

Read Article

 Illicit Funds in Offshore Accounts: Avert Prosecution with Timely Voluntary Declaration in Germany

Hesse’s Finance Minister, Dr. Thomas Schäfer, has announced that the fight against tax evasion will continue. Voluntary disclosure is still the only way out for tax dodgers.

Read Article

 OLG Hamm: Discernible Intention to Prepare a Will Necessary for Will to be Effective in Germany

In order for a will to be effective, it must be possible to discern a serious intention to draft a will. That was the verdict of the OLG Hamm (Higher Regional Court of Hamm) in its ruling of November 27, 2015 (Az.: 10 W 153/15).

Read Article

 Cuts to Life Insurance – Consider Withdrawal in Germany

The idea of life insurance forming a component of one’s retirement plan is increasingly losing credibility. According to media reports, consumers ought to anticipate further cuts in 2016.

Read Article

 GmbH Shareholder’s Estate: Passing on Company Shares in Germany

The shares in a GmbH form part of a GmbH shareholder’s estate. Accordingly, it is important to settle early on who the company shares will go to in the event of succession.

Read Article

 BGH Bolsters Consumer Rights When Withdrawing from Pension Schemes and Life Insurance Policies in Germany

The Bundesgerichtshof (BGH), Germany’s Federal Court of Justice, has once again strengthened the rights of consumers when withdrawing from pension schemes and life insurance policies with its ruling of October 14, 2015 (Az.: IV ZR 284/12).

Read Article

 LAG Hamm on Non-Competition Clause and Compensation for Period of Non-Competition in Employment Contract in Germany

Non-competition clauses agreed between employer and employee with no provision for compensation for the period of non-competition are generally invalid. However, the LAG Hamm (Regional Labour Court of Hamm) recently reached a different conclusion (Az.: 10 Sa 67/15).

Read Article

 GRP Rainer Presented With Finance Award

The international trade journal Wealth & Finance International has presented GRP Rainer with the 2015 Finance Award for banking law and tax law.

Read Article

 Dismissal Without Notice After Scuffle Between Colleagues in Germany– Intensity Decisive

Fights between work colleagues that become physical can give rise to termination of an employment contract without notice. The key factor is the intensity of any physical altercation.

Read Article

 BGH on Registering a Trademark in Bad Faith in Germany

One cannot seek to have a nationwide trademark invalidated on account of its registration in bad faith merely because a geographically restricted right has been impaired (BGH, I ZB 44/14).

Read Article

 Managing Director May Be Liable For Tax Debts in Germany

The managing director of a GmbH (limited liability company) may be personally liable for payment of the company’s tax debts if he fails to discharge his obligation to ensure the provision of funds.

Read Article

 Germany: BGH on Restraints on Competition Between GmbH and Shareholders

According to a ruling of the Bundesgerichtshof (BGH) [Federal Court of Justice], client protection clauses between a GmbH and a withdrawing shareholder are null and void if their term goes beyond what is necessary (Az.: II ZR 369/13).

Read Article

 K.i.B. Kompetenz in Beratung GmbH: BaFin Orders Winding Up

The Bundesanstalt für Finanzdienstleistungsaufsicht (BaFin) [Federal Financial Supervisory Authority] has ordered that K.i.B. Kompetenz in Beratung GmbH wind up its unauthorized retail deposit business and any money received be paid back to investors immediately.

Read Article

 Germany: BGH on Calculating Compulsory Portion Where Estate Includes Property

Calculating an heir’s compulsory portion is challenging if the testator was merely a co-owner of a property. Last year, the Bundesgerichtshof (BGH) [Federal Court of Justice] had to get to grips with this very issue.

Read Article

 Withdrawing from Life Insurance Policies in Germany: Review Withdrawal

Anybody who wishes to withdraw from their life insurance policy or pension scheme can have someone review whether this is possible. This is generally more financially appealing than termination.

Read Article

 Germany: Dismissal without Notice after Fiddling Working Hours

If an employee fiddles his working hours, this may entitle his employer to terminate the employment contract without notice. That was the ruling reached by the Landesarbeitsgericht Mainz (Regional Labour Court of Mainz) (Az.: 8 Sa 363/14).

Read Article

 Prohibited Advertising Directed at Children in Germany

Children are an interesting target audience in the field of advertising. That being said, it is important for businesses to be careful not to infringe Germany’s Gesetz gegen den unlauteren Wettbewerb (Unfair Competition Act).

Read Article

 Berlin: Holliday Entitlement Lapses With Death of Employee

A ruling of the Arbeitsgericht Berlin (Labour Court of Berlin) is causing a sensation. According to this, heirs can have the holiday entitlement of a deceased employee paid out to them. The Bundesarbeitsgericht (BAG) [Federal Labour Court] came to a different conclusion.

Read Article

 Economic and Legal Evaluation of M&A Transactions in Germany

In cases involving M&A transactions, a detailed evaluation of the economic risks and opportunities as well as the associated legal issues is indispensable.

Read Article

 Business Succession Planning

Employers ought not to rely on the rules of intestate succession but instead prepare a will.

Read Article

 Germany's Rail Cartel: Bundeskartellamt Imposes Fine Running Into Millions of Euros

Germany’s Federal Cartel Office, the Bundeskartellamt, has brought a close to the so-called “Schienenfall” (rail case) and imposed a fine amounting to millions of euros on a rail company for illegal price-fixing agreements.

Read Article

 Trademark Law: Community Trade Mark Becomes European Union Trade Mark

The new regulation concerning European Union trade marks is set to come into force on March 23, 2016. What has hitherto been known as a Community trade mark will then become a European Union trade mark.

Read Article

 Withdrawing From Loans and Reimbursement of Early Repayment Penalty in Germany

It is still possible to withdraw from a loan even after it has been prematurely paid off. After successfully withdrawing from the loan, the consumer can reclaim his early repayment penalty.

Read Article

 Withdrawing from Loans: OLG Köln Bolsters Consumer Rights in Germany

In its ruling of November 6, 2015, the Oberlandesgericht Köln (Higher Regional Court of Cologne) once again strengthened consumer rights in cases involving withdrawal from a loan (Az.: 13 U 113/15).

Read Article

 OLG Frankfurt: No Forfeiture of Right of Withdrawal in Cases Involving Consumer Loans

According to a ruling of the OLG Frankfurt (Higher Regional Court of Frankfurt), the right to withdraw from a loan is not forfeited even after years have passed since the conclusion of the loan agreement (Az.: 23 U 24/15).

Read Article

 Withdrawing from Loans: Bundesrat Favours Longer Transitional Period for Legacy Contracts in Germany

The controversial plans to do away with what is termed the “ewiges Widerrufsrecht” (perpetual right of withdrawal) in cases involving real estate loans have been met with criticism from political quarters. The Bundesrat (the upper house of the German parliament) considers the case for a longer transitional period to be justified.

Read Article

 Rules of Intestate Succession Apply in the Absence of a Will in Germany

Anybody who fails to prepare a will ought to be aware that the rules of intestate succession shall apply. These are not necessarily consistent with the testator’s wishes and may entail various other disadvantages.

Read Article

 Germany: Right of Withdrawal from Legacy Contracts to Expire Soon

Anyone who is still considering withdrawing from a loan ought to act now. The German Bundestag has resolved to do away with the option to withdraw. Thus, withdrawal is only possible until June 21, 2016.

Read Article

 Scholz Holding GmbH: Deferred Payment of Interest

Investors in Scholz Holding GmbH bonds will not receive an interest payment on March 8. The due payment has been deferred until May 31, 2016.

Read Article

 LAG Rheinland-Pfalz: Applying Fixed Terms to Employment Contracts Based on Objective Grounds in Germany

Employment contracts can be limited for a period of two years. An additional fixed term needs to be justified based on objective grounds. This also applies in the context of professional sports.

Read Article

 Contesting an Inheritance in Germany Due to Over-Indebtedness of the Estate

An estate not only encompasses assets but also any debts of the testator. It is possible for the acceptance of an inheritance to be challenged due to a misapprehension regarding commercially material characteristics.

Read Article

 Ekosam-Agrar GmbH Bond Terms to be Extended in Germany

Investors in Ekosem-Agrar GmbH are to vote on a four-year extension to the terms of two bonds. Creditor meetings are taking place on March 16 and 17.

Read Article

 EU Trademark Law: EGC Dismisses Action Brought by a Soft Drinks Manufacturer

In its ruling of February 24, the General Court of the European Union (EGC) rejected a legal action brought by a well-known soft drinks manufacturer to register a bottle without fluting as a Community trademark (T-411/14).

Read Article

 Untaxed Income from Capital in Foreign Accounts – Voluntary Disclosure in the EU

Be it Liechtenstein, Austria or Switzerland, many tax havens have had their day. Anyone who still has untaxed income in foreign accounts ought to consider voluntary disclosure.

Read Article

 Bundeskartellamt Commences Proceedings Against Internet Company in Germany

On March 2, the Bundeskartellamt (Germany’s Federal Cartel Office) commenced proceedings against an internet giant. According to the Federal Cartel Office, there is reason to suspect that the company has abused its dominant market position

Read Article

 European Court of Justice: Two Side Stripes on Sports Shoe Not a Community Trademark

Two parallel stripes on the sides of a sports shoe cannot be registered as a Community trademark. This comes from a ruling of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) dated February 17, 2016.

Read Article

 Advantages and Disadvantages of a Berliner Testament in Germany

In a so-called “Berliner Testament” (Berlin will), spouses mutually appoint each other as sole heirs. This is meant to provide the surviving spouse with economic security. The children are usually designated as final heirs.

Read Article

 Tax Compliance Management Systems for Businesses in Germany

Complex tax legislation and changes to the rules can result in mistakes being made by businesses when it comes to tax matters. An efficient tax compliance management system helps to prevent mistakes and avoid sanctions.

Read Article

 Invalid Clauses in Riester Retirement Plans – Unravelling Pension Schemes and Life Insurance Policies in Germany

Clauses in Riester retirement plans (government-subsidized private pension schemes) dealing with surplus sharing have been declared ineffective by the BGH (Bundesgerichtshof – Federal Court of Justice) (Az.: IV ZR 38/14). Consumers may also be able to withdraw from their pension schemes and life insurance policies.

Read Article

 Tax Evasion: Automatic Exchange of Information to Trigger New Wave of Voluntary Declarations - Germany

Anyone who has evaded taxes is still able to submit a voluntary declaration that can lead to immunity. With the help of a successful voluntary declaration, it is possible to avoid a conviction for tax evasion.

Read Article

 BGH to Rrule on Dispute over Red Colour Trademark in Germany

Two financial institutions have been arguing over the use of a particular shade of red for a long time. The Bundesgerichtshof (BGH) [Germany’s Federal Court of Justice] has to deliver its ruling on April 21 regarding this trademark dispute.

Read Article

 Post-contractual Non-competition Clause for Commercial Agent Ineffective in Germany

In its ruling of December 3, 2015, the Bundesgerichtshof (Federal Court of Justice) invalidated a post-contractual non-competition clause in a commercial agency agreement (Az.: VII ZR 100/15).

Read Article

 BAG on the Effectiveness of a Post-Contractual Restraint on Competition

According to a judgment of the Bundesarbeitsgericht (German Federal Labour Court), even a mere interest-free loan for a competing company has the potential to violate a post-contractual restraint on competition (Az.: 10 AZR 260/14).

Read Article

 LG Frankfurt Prohibits Taxi Broker’s Discount Promotion

Promotional discounts can give rise to unfair predatory competition and infringe competition law. The Landgericht Frankfurt (Regional Court of Frankfurt) prohibited a promotional discount from the provider of a taxi app for this very reason.

Read Article

 High Standards Apply to the Hearing of Evidence if Only a Copy of a Will is Available in Germany

If only a copy of a will is available then high standards will be applied to the hearing of evidence before a certificate of inheritance can be granted.

Read Article

 Will Needs to be Clearly Dated in Germany

According to a ruling of the OLG Schleswig (Higher Regional Court of Schleswig) from July 16, 2015, if a will is not precisely dated then the testamentary disposition may be ineffective (Az.: 3 Wx 53/15).

Read Article

 Works Council Members’ Claim for Transfer to Permanent Employment Contract Fails in Germany

Two members of a mail order company’s works council failed with their claim before the Landesarbeitsgericht Berlin-Brandenburg (Regional Labour Court of Berlin-Brandenburg) to be transferred to a permanent employment contract (Az.: 23 Sa 1445/15; 23 Sa 1446/15).

Read Article

 Extending Discount Promotion an Infringement of Competition Law in Germany

According to a judgment of the LG Hamburg (Regional Court of Hamburg), extending fixed-term promotional discounts for no particular reason constitutes an infringement of competition law.

Read Article

 LAG Düsseldorf Affirms Dismissal Without Notice for Outburst During Carnival Festivities in Germany

Even during carnival time there are limits. According to a ruling of the LAG Düsseldorf (Regional Labour Court of Düsseldorf), anyone misbehaving too much during office festivities for carnival risks being fired (13 Sa 957/15).

Read Article

 LAG Berlin-Brandenburg: Dismissal Without Notice for Good Cause

According to a ruling of the LAG Berlin-Brandenburg (Regional Labour Court of Berlin-Brandenburg), an employer can terminate an employment contract without notice if it has good cause to do so (Az.: 17 Sa 810/15).

Read Article

 Contracts of Inheritance Have a Strong Binding Effect in Germany

Anyone who wishes to arrange their estate according to a contract of inheritance should note that a contract of inheritance can have a strong binding effect, as demonstrated by a ruling of the OLG München (Higher Regional Court of Munich) (31 Wx 280/14).

Read Article

 European Trademark Law: Crocodile Snaps its Jaws Around a Caiman

Brand recognition is a valuable asset for businesses. Accordingly, the General Court of the European Union (EGC) recognised that it is worth protecting these brands.

Read Article

 Anticipated Inheritance and Gifts

It is possible for assets to be transferred to the prospective heirs during the lifetime of the testator. This is then referred to as an anticipated inheritance, which frequently occurs by way of gifts.

Read Article

 German Kartellamt Prohibits Best-Price Clause on Hotel Reservation Portals

The Bundeskartellamt (German Federal Cartel Office) has prohibited a hotel reservation portal from using so-called “narrow” best-price clauses, arguing that they restrict competition.

Read Article

 Open-Ended Real Estate Funds in Liquidation: Damages Still Possible

Investors in open-ended real estate funds which have since gone into liquidation can still assert claims for damages. Their prospects have improved, thanks to the jurisprudence of the Bundesgerichtshof (German Federal Court of Justice).

Read Article

 Establishing a Company: Choosing the Right Corporate Form in Europe

Company founders have to come to a decision regarding the corporate form of their new business. The favourite is often the Gesellschaft mit beschränkter Haftung (limited liability company) – GmbH.

Read Article

 New EU Succession Law Could Have Serious Implications

The new EU succession law regime has been in force since August 17. The EU regulation concerning succession law could have serious implications for both testators and heirs. For this reason, it may be advisable to prepare a will.

Read Article

 Possible to Revoke Life Insurance Policy Despite Prior Cancellation in Germany

According to a ruling of the OLG Hamm (Higher Regional Court of Hamm), it is possible to revoke a life insurance plan even after the policy has already been cancelled (Az.: 20 U 56/14).

Read Article

 LAG Hesse: Dismissal Without Notice Valid Due to Forged Sick Note in Germany

If an employee submits a forged doctor’s certificate for sick leave (Arbeitsunfähigkeitsbescheinigung), this may result in dismissal with immediate effect.

Read Article

 Business Succession: Reform of Inheritance Tax Entails Greater Burden in Germany

The reform of inheritance tax could entail a greater burden on company heirs in the context of business succession than was hitherto thought to be the case. The government’s plans are coming under fire.

Read Article

 OLG Hamburg: Advertising Lowest Price Guarantee Potentially Anti-Competitive in Germany

According to a ruling of the Oberlandesgericht Hamburg (Higher Regional Court of Hamburg), advertising with a lowest price guarantee is potentially misleading and thus anti-competitive (Az.: 5 U 160/11).

Read Article

 Switzerland Searching for Missing Account Holders or Their Heirs

Switzerland is searching for missing account holders or their heirs. With several million francs said to be sitting “unclaimed” in Swiss accounts, succession could prove to be profitable.

Read Article

 Drawbacks to Berliner Testament

In cases involving a Berliner Testament (Berlin will) or spousal will, the spouses mutually appoint each other as sole heirs. This can lead to certain drawbacks, e.g. if the surviving spouse remarries.

Read Article

 BGH: Fruit Juice can be Promoted with Description “Lernstark” in Germany

In its judgment of December 10, the BGH ruled that statements such as “lernstark” (fast learner) and “Mit Eisen zur Unterstützung der Konzentrationsfähigkeit” (with iron to promote concentration) are permissible on foodstuffs (I ZR 222/13).

Read Article

 Fidentum GmbH Insolvent – BaFin Orders Liquidation of Lombardium Hamburg GmbH & Co. KG

Preliminary insolvency proceedings were opened against Fidentum GmbH before the Amtsgericht Hamburg (Hamburg Local Court) on December 4 (Az. 67c IN 473/15). The issuing house offered its clients the LombardClassic 3 Fund.

Read Article

 BGH on Contingent Liability of GmbH Shareholders in Germany

If a partner of a GmbH (Gesellschaft mit beschränkter Haftung) [limited liability company] sells his ownership interest, he thus becomes excluded from contingent liability and is not liable for the other partners’ outstanding capital contributions.

Read Article

 Germany Berliner Testament Featuring Remarriage Clause

It is possible for children who are appointed as final heirs in a Berliner Testament (Berlin will) to ultimately come away empty-handed. To afford the children greater protection, a so-called Wiederverheiratungsklausel (remarriage clause) can be inserted into the will.

Read Article

 Insolvent Estate in Germany – Heir Liable with His Assets

Assets are not a given when it comes to an inheritance; it is also possible for the estate to include debts. If that is the case, it may make more sense to reject rather than accept the legacy.

Read Article

 Applications for Conciliationin Germany only Suspend Prescription of Damages Claims if Accurate

A lot of investors are entitled to claim damages after an investment has gone wrong. It is possible to suspend the statute of limitations for these claims by properly submitting applications for conciliation.

Read Article

 BGH Strengthens Commercial Agents’ Entitlement to Payment of Voluntary Contributions in Germany

The Bundesgerichtshof (German Federal Court of Justice) has strengthened the rights of commercial agents after their agency agreements have been terminated with its ruling of November 5, 2015 (Az.: VII ZR 59/14).

Read Article

 Bundeskartellamt has Audio Books in its Sights in Germany

Audio books have attracted the attention of the Bundeskartellamt (German Federal Cartel Office). The competition watchdog is investigating whether an online mail order company and a manufacturer of consumer electronics are acting contrary to competition law.

Read Article

 VG Koblenz: Managing Director Liable for Tax Debts in Germany

The managing directors of a German Unternehmergesellschaft (entrepreneurial company), UG for short, are liable for the company’s trade tax debts. That was the decision of the Verwaltungsgericht Koblenz (Administrative Court of Koblenz) (Az.: 5 K 526/15.KO).

Read Article

 Sweeping Advertising Statements in Germany can be Misleading

The Landgericht Berlin (Regional Court of Berlin) ruled on April 14, 2015 that blanket advertising of savings is misleading to consumers (Az.: 103 O 124/14).

Read Article

 Test Procedure for Vacuums not Misleading to Consumers in the EU

Specifications regarding the energy consumption of empty vacuum cleaners do not infringe competition law. That was the decision of the General Court of the European Union (EGC) in its ruling of November 11 (Az.: T-544/13).

Read Article

 Abusive Criticism Can Result in Termination of the Employment Contract in Germany

While it is of course permissible to criticise one’s employer, excessively abusive criticism can lead to termination of one’s employment contract. It can even potentially justify termination without notice.

Read Article

 LAG Düsseldorf on the Conditions for Termination without Notice in Germany

Employment contracts can be terminated without notice for good cause. Whether a serious cause justifies termination is ultimately decided on a case-by-case basis.

Read Article

 Arbeitsgericht Berlin: Effective Termination Often Preceded by Final Warning

In many cases, it is necessary for an employer to issue the employee in question with a final warning before the former can effectively give notice of dismissal. In the absence of a formal warning, the dismissal may be invalid.

Read Article

 OLG Hamm: Limits to Interpretation of a Will in Germany

To ensure that the “final wishes” laid down in a will can actually be implemented, they ought to be defined in the most detailed manner possible, as demonstrated by a ruling of the OLG Hamm (Higher Regional Court of Hamm) (Az.: 15 W 98/14).

Read Article

 OLG Frankfurt: Continuity of a Joint Will Despite Divorce in Germany

It is possible for a joint will to remain valid even after a divorce under certain circumstances. That was the decision of the OLG Frankfurt (Higher Regional Court of Frankfurt) (Az.: 20 W 520/11).

Read Article

 Legislature Planning Changes to Voidance Actions under Insolvency Law in Germany

Insolvency law is about to undergo major changes. The German Federal Government introduced a bill at the end of September amending voidance actions under insolvency law.

Read Article

 LG Düsseldorf Strengthens the Rights of Commercial Agents Regarding Compensation Claims in Germany

The Landgericht Düsseldorf (Regional Court of Düsseldorf) has strengthened the rights of commercial agents with a view to their entitlement to seek compensation (partial judgment of August 28, 2015, Az.: 33 O 119/12).

Read Article

 LAG Hamm on Applying Fixed Terms to Employment Contracts in Germany

Employers have to be careful when applying fixed terms to employment contracts. A temporary employment relationship can quickly turn into a permanent employment contract.

Read Article

 Poaching Eemployees Is Part of Free Competition in Germany

According to a ruling of the OLG Oldenburg (Higher Regional Court of Oldenburg), luring employees away from competitors does not constitute a violation of competition law (Az. 6 U 135/15).

Read Article

 Will And Statutory Compulsory Portion in Germany

The line of succession can be altered by means of a will or contract of inheritance. Going as far as divesting legal heirs of their compulsory portion is only possible under certain circumstances.

Read Article

 Settle Business Succession Early On in Germany

The issue of business succession preys on the minds of the heads of many family-run businesses. Plans for succession ought to be made at an early stage. It can also be helpful to prepare a will.

Read Article

 Unauthorised Private Use of Official Computer May Justify Termination Without Notice in Germany

According to a ruling of the Bundesarbeitsgericht (German Federal Labour Court), unauthorised private use of an official computer may justify an exceptional notice of termination under employment law.

Read Article

 Refusing Overtime Can Justify Dismissal in Germany

In the field of employment law, refusing to work, including refusing overtime, can justify termination of the employment contract. That was the decision of the LAG [Landesarbeitsgericht] Mecklenburg-Vorpommern (Regional Labour Court of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania) (Az.: 5 TaBV 7/14).

Read Article

 Advertising With Distinction “Test Winner” Permissible in Germany

According to a judgment of the OLG Düsseldorf (Higher Regional Court of Düsseldorf), a company is allowed to use the expression “test winner” in its advertising even if it has to share this distinction with other competitors (I-15 U 24/15).

Read Article

 German Successive Fixed-term Employment Contracts Do Not Automatically Give Rise to Right to Permanent Position

According to a recent ruling of the Landesarbeitsgericht Hessen (Regional Labour Court of Hesse), successive fixed-term employment contracts do not automatically give rise to a right to a permanent position (Az.: 2 Sa 1210/14).

Read Article

 OLG Frankfurt: Permissibility of Advertising Long Company Tradition Despite Insolvency

Advertising many years of company tradition may be permissible and not anti-competitive despite a temporary state of insolvency. That was the decision of the OLG [Oberlandesgericht] Frankfurt (Higher Regional Court of Frankfurt) (Az.: 6 U 69/15).

Read Article

 Employees in Germany Cannot Frustrate Delivery of Notice of Termination in Bad Faith

In the field of employment law, a notice of termination is considered to have been received if it has entered the sphere of control of the recipient, who was thus able to receive notice of the dismissal.

Read Article

 LAG Rheinland-Pfalz: Employer Can Designate Place Where Work Is to be Performed in Germany

Owing to its authority to give directions, an employer is allowed to designate the place where work is to be performed if no other arrangements have been made in the employment contract. That was the decision of the LAG Rheinland-Pfalz (Regional Labour Court of Rhineland-Palatinate).

Read Article

 Study on Inheritances: Three Trillion Euros to be Passed on by 2024 in Germany

Around three trillion euros will be passed on in Germany between 2015 and 2024. That is the finding of a study by the Deutsches Institut für Altersvorsorge (German Institute for Retirement Provision).

Read Article

 OLG Düsseldorf: Will Drawn Up Prior To Operation Remains Valid in Germany

In its judgment of August 19, 2015, the OLG Düsseldorf (Higher Regional Court of Düsseldorf) ruled that a will that was drawn up shortly before an operation remained valid even after the operation (Az.: I-3 Wx 191/14).

Read Article

 M&A Transactions on the Rise in Germany

M&A transactions are on the rise in Germany. According to a report published by Wirtschaftswoche, mergers and acquisitions have gone up by 5.9 per cent in the first three quarters of 2015.

Read Article

 Effectiveness of a Handwritten Will in Germany

In the absence of a will, the rules of intestate succession come into force. A handwritten will is only effective, however, if it meets certain conditions.

Read Article

 VW Scandal and D&O Liability

Manipulated emissions test data, irregularities in CO2 emissions: The VW scandal raises a number of questions. In particular, questions regarding accountability and management liability (D&O liability).

Read Article

 Tax Evasion in Germany: Time Is Running Out for Voluntary Disclosure

Be it as a result of the purchase of CDs containing information on tax evaders or cooperation among countries, things are becoming increasingly difficult for tax evaders. Voluntary disclosure represents the only way out for them.

Read Article

 Contract of Inheritance in Lieu of Will in Germany

A testamentary disposition need not necessarily be laid out in a will. The testator and heir can conclude a contract of inheritance as an alternative.

Read Article

 Effective Compliance Management Systems in Germany

The VW scandal involving manipulated emissions test data highlights the importance of effective compliance management systems. This is true for large corporations as well as small and medium-sized businesses.

Read Article

 BGH Germany: Copyright Infringed by Unlawful Advertising

The Bundesgerichtshof (BGH) [German Federal Court of Justice] ruled in three separate cases on November 5, 2015 that it is possible for unlawful advertising alone to constitute an infringement of copyright law.

Read Article

 Berliner Testament and the Appointment of Final Heirs in Germany

In the case of a so-called “Berliner Testament” (Berlin will), spouses can mutually appoint each other as sole heirs. However, one should also remember to clearly appoint the final heirs.

Read Article

 BGH Rules in Favour of Chocolate Bears in Case Concerning Trademark Law in Germany

In its judgment of September 23, 2015, the BGH (German Federal Court of Justice) ruled in a legal dispute involving trademark law in favour of chocolate teddies, which were said not to have infringed the rights associated with the wordmark “Goldbären” (gold bears) (Az.: I ZR 105/14).

Read Article

 OLG Hamm Prohibits Sale of Anti-Competitive Counterfeit Handbags in Germany

In its judgment of June 16, 2015, the OLG Hamm (Higher Regional Court of Hamm) ruled in favour of the French manufacturer of the original handbags in a case concerning trademark law (Az.: 4 U 32/14).

Read Article

 Tax Evasion in Germany: Investigators’ Nets Becoming Ever More Tightly Knit – Voluntary Disclosure Loophole

Whether it be untaxed illicit earnings or untaxed income from capital, tax evaders are taking a big risk. They can address the risk of being convicted with a voluntary declaration.

Read Article

 German Tax Evasion: Retroactive Group Inquiries Increase Risk of Detection – Voluntary Disclosure

Tax dodgers who have already closed their accounts with untaxed income from capital in Austria or Switzerland still need to worry about detection. Voluntary disclosure continues to present a way out.

Read Article

 OLG Schleswig: Handwritten Will Needs To Be Legible - Germany

A handwritten will has to be legible. Otherwise, it may not be effective according to a ruling of the Oberlandesgericht (OLG) Schleswig [Higher Regional Court of Schleswig] of July 16, 2015 (Az.: 3 Wx 19/15).

Read Article

 Time Is Running Out for Concealed Untaxed Income from Capital in Germany – Voluntary Disclosure on Account of Tax Evasion

It is now almost impossible for untaxed income from capital in foreign accounts to remain concealed from the German exchequer. As long as the tax evasion has not yet been detected, a voluntary declaration can still be submitted.

Read Article

 Testamentary Capacity and Dementia

Increasing life expectancy entails a rising number of dementia-related disorders. As a result, the problem of a lack of testamentary capacity in inheritance cases is becoming more acute.

Read Article

 Wills and Intestate Succession with Today’s Blended Families in Germany

In the absence of a will or contract of inheritance, the rules of intestate succession apply following the death of the testator. This can give rise to problems with today’s blended families.

Read Article

 Voluntary Disclosure Is the Only Solution to Tax Evasion in Germany

Ever since the first CD on tax evaders was purchased in 2006, the number of voluntary declarations concerning tax evasion has risen dramatically. This remains the only way of returning to a state of tax compliance.

Read Article

 LAG Köln: One Insult Does Not Justify Dismissal on Grounds of Conduct in Germany

The Landesarbeitsgericht Köln (Regional Labour Court of Cologne) has ruled that insulting one’s superior on one occasion does not by itself justify termination of an employment contract (Az.: 11 Sa 905/13).

Read Article

 Real Or Forged Will? – Ruling of the OLG Karlsruhe in Germany

According to the OLG Karlsruhe (Higher Regional Court of Karlsruhe), if the authenticity of a will is disputed, it may be necessary for witnesses to be heard in addition to an expert assessment in order to determine whether the testamentary disposition is in fact authentic.

Read Article

 Tax Evasion in Germany: Illicit Earnings In Foreign Accounts – Solution Is Voluntary Disclosure

Voluntary declarations with respect to tax evasion have not come to an end this year, which indicates that untaxed income in foreign bank accounts is becoming a burden on those concerned.

Read Article

 Right to Remedial Work Continues Following Invalid Rescission of Purchase Agreement in Germany

Even after an invalid attempt to rescind a purchase agreement, the buyer is still able to demand that remedial work be performed on the item purchased. That was the decision of the OLG Naumburg (Higher Regional Court of Naumburg) in its ruling of April 9, 2015 (Az.: 2 U 127/13).

Read Article

 Illness Does Not Protect Employees Against Dismissal in Germany

According to the LAG Rheinland-Pfalz in its ruling of May 20, 2015 (Az.: 7 Sa 694/14), it is possible for a sick employee to be dismissed as long as his illness is not the reason for the dismissal.

Read Article

 Berliner Testament And Supervermächtnis

In cases involving a spousal will or Berliner Testament (Berlin will), the tax allowances of children who are entitled to inherit can potentially be wasted. A so-called “Supervermächtnis” (super legacy) can remedy this.

Read Article

 VW Shares And Volkswagen Emissions Scandal: Lawyers At GRP Rainer Preparing Lawsuits For Shareholders

In the wake of the VW scandal concerning manipulated emissions test data and the collapse in the price of VW shares, the law firm GRP Rainer is preparing damages claims for shareholders of Volkswagen AG (Aktiengesellschaft – German stock corporation).

Read Article

 Inheritance Tax in Cases Involving Bequeathed Properties in Germany

Inherited properties are subject to inheritance tax. This can be a problem if the heirs do not have access to sufficient liquidity. It is possible for tax optimisation measures to be used.

Read Article

 LG Köln: Outgoing Commercial Agent Entitled To Full Portfolio Management Commission

Even an outgoing commercial agent is entitled to the full portfolio management commission. That was the decision of the Landgericht Köln (Regional Court of Cologne) in its ruling of June 30, 2015, Az.: 4 O 355/14 (not yet final).

Read Article

 Non-Profit Foundations Based in Switzerland Have to Pay Tax on Income Generated in Germany

Foundations based in Switzerland need to pay tax on their income generated in Germany, even if they pursue non-profit causes.

Read Article

 VW Emissions Scandal: VW Shares Plunge – Shareholder Damages Claims

It is thought that around eleven million vehicles worldwide have been affected by the VW scandal concerning manipulated emissions test data, including models from Volkswagen’s subsidiaries Audi, Skoda and Seat.

Read Article

 Recovery if there Is Awareness of Insolvency in Germany

If a creditor knew that a company was materially or factually insolvent and nevertheless accepted money, it can be ordered to repay this pursuant to insolvency law.

Read Article

 Misleading Advertising of a Company’s Location Is Prohibited in Germany

Infringements of competition law can prove to be costly. Following a ruling of the OLG Celle of July 7, 2015, this is also true for impermissible advertising of the location of a company (Az. 13 W 35/15).

Read Article

 Challenging A Berliner Testament

Revoking a joint will (Berliner Testament) enables it to be rescinded. For this to happen, the spouse needs to have received effective notice of the revocation.

Read Article

 Germany: Exemption from Inheritance Tax for Heirs to Property

Heirs can obtain an exemption from inheritance tax if they personally make use of an inherited property. According to a ruling of the Bundesfinanzhof (German Federal Fiscal Court), this also applies in the event that there is a delay in occupying the property.

Read Article

 International Succession Law: Testator’s Place Of Residence, Not Nationality, Authoritative

In cases of inheritance involving a foreign element, it is the testator’s habitual residence that determines which country’s succession laws are applicable. This is governed by the new EU regulation (Regulation No. 650/2012) concerning succession law.

Read Article

 Food Products Can only Be Advertised with Ingredients which They Contain in Europe

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has strengthened consumer protection. Thus, food products cannot give the impression that they contain certain ingredients if this is not actually the case.

Read Article

 Bundesgerichtshof Overrules Cancellation of a Colour Trademark

Be they red, yellow or blue, courts are ever more frequently having to rule on whether a colour is capable of benefiting from trademark protection. The BGH overruled the cancellation of a colour trademark with its decision dated July 9 (I ZB 65/13).

Read Article

 Franchise in Germany: Damages Claims By Franchisees

Franchisees can assert claims for damages if they were knowingly forecast unrealistic turnover figures when everything was being explained to them prior to the conclusion of the agreement.

Read Article

 Inheritance: Asserting Estate Liabilities in Germany

Estate liabilities can be asserted when making an inheritance tax declaration, but only if the debts had already been incurred by the testator by the time of his death.

Read Article

 Protection Afforded by a Colour Trademark in Germany

Colours convey a signal to consumers, which is why businesses seek to protect the shades of colour they use and register them as colour trademarks. The scope of the protection afforded by a colour trademark is still in dispute.

Read Article

 Compliance For Small And Medium-Sized Businesses in Germany

Effective compliance management systems are not only crucial for large businesses. They are also increasingly important for small and medium-sized businesses in order to avoid unwittingly infringing laws and regulations.

Read Article

 Bequests and Relinquishing an Inheritance in Germany

According to the Bundesgerichtshof’s (Federal Court of Justice) ruling of July 7, 2015, a bequest premised on renouncing an inheritance is not necessarily deemed to be a gift (X ZR 59/13).

Read Article

 Time-Series Comparison Only Permissible as Method of Estimation Under Certain Conditions in Germany

The tax authorities are increasingly applying time-series comparisons as a method of estimation in the context of external audits, but according to the Bundesfinanzhof (German Federal Fiscal Court), this is only permissible under certain conditions.

Read Article

 GRP Rainer Enforces Claim For Payment Of The Purchase Price For Indian Client

The law firm GRP Rainer, specialised, inter alia, in the field of commercial law, enforced a claim of an Indian client for payment of the purchase price before the Landgericht Mannheim (Mannheim Regional Court).

Read Article

 Testamentary Capacity Is A Prerequisite For A Valid Will

A will can only be valid if the person who drafted it has the capacity to make a will. If disputes emerge amongst heirs, it is possible for this to result in the testator’s testamentary capacity being contested.

Read Article

 D&O Liability in Germany: Minimise Personal Risk

Managers and executive bodies are increasingly finding themselves faced with liability claims and criminal prosecutions. For this reason, they ought to take measures to protect themselves accordingly.

Read Article

 Inheritance in Germany: Asserting The Compulsory Share

Close relatives who are not accounted for in the testator’s will or contract of inheritance are entitled to a compulsory share. This amounts to half of the statutory share in the estate.

Read Article

 Partners Liable for Tax Liabilities even after the Dissolution of a Partnership Under Civil Law in Germany

The partners of a partnership under civil law (Gesellschaft des bürgerlichen Rechts) (GbR) remain liable for the tax liabilities of the organisation even after it has been sold or wound up. That was the decision of the Administrative Court of Freiburg (5 K 2543/13).

Read Article

 M&A: Avert Stagnation through Mergers and Acquisitions

The internal growth of corporate groups and companies is limited. Mergers and acquisitions (M&A) are intended to prevent stagnation, but there are obstacles to overcome in the process.

Read Article

 Inheritance: Deadlines for Contesting a Claim in Germany

The acceptance or rejection of an inheritance represents a declaration of intent, which can then be challenged. Deadlines need to be borne in mind when it comes to declarations of rescission.

Read Article

 OLG Of Düsseldorf: Managing Director Responsible for Orderly Payment of Social Security Contributions

In its ruling of September 16, 2014 (I-21 U 38/14), the OLG of Düsseldorf clarified that the managing director of a GmbH (Gesellschaft mit beschränkter Haftung) [German limited liability company] is responsible for the orderly payment of social security contributions.

Read Article

 Inheritance Tax: Sole Heir Must Personally Occupy Inherited Apartment

Following a ruling of the Fiscal Court of Hessen, an heir to a co-ownership share in an apartment is not spared from inheritance tax if he does not personally occupy the apartment.

Read Article

 Liability Of Managers: D&O Insurance Policies On The Increase

Executive boards, supervisory boards and managing directors are living dangerously. If the wrong decisions are made, they may be required to stand good for the loss or damage with their private assets.

Read Article

 Due Diligence Review Before Corporate Acquisition

Many small and medium-sized businesses are set to be faced with a change at the helm of their companies in the coming years. This can also result in the sale of the company.

Read Article

 EU Planning Tax Reforms

The European Union wants to change its tax policy. One of its aims is for businesses in future to pay tax on their profits in the state in which they are generated.

Read Article

 Contract Of inheritance: Clear Separation Necessary Between Friendship And The Provision Of Care

One’s final will can be mandated in a testamentary will or contract of inheritance. Having said that, the legislature has set limits that need to be observed if the final will is to be implemented as intended.

Read Article

 Reform Of Inheritance Tax: Finance Ministers Still In Disagreement

The only thing that is clear is that inheritance tax needs to be reformed. How it ought to be reformed remains disputed. Even a meeting of the federal and state finance ministers did not deliver a breakthrough.

Read Article

 M&A: Increase In Company Takeovers And Mergers

Wirtschaftswoche reported on its website that Germany is the country with the largest number of company takeovers and mergers in Europe, with the trend continuing to rise across Europe.

Read Article

 Delayed Filing For Insolvency: Liability Of Managing Director in Germany

If there is a delay in filing for insolvency, the managing director of a GmbH is liable. According to the German Federal Court of Justice (Bundesgerichtshof (BGH)) in its judgment of December 18, 2014, this also applies to a de facto managing director.

Read Article

 Minimum Wage Also Needs To Be Paid in the Event of Sickness and on Holidays in Germany

The German Federal Labour Court (Bundesarbeitsgericht (BAG)) in Erfurt ruled on May 13, 2015 that employees are entitled to be paid the statutory minimum wage even in the event of sickness and on holidays.

Read Article

 Inheritance Law: Rules Of Intestate Succession In The Absence Of A Will

The rules of intestate succession apply in the absence of a will. This can result in the estate being distributed in a way that is different to what the testator actually wanted.

Read Article

 German Federal Government Planning Reforms to Temporary Employment

The German federal government is planning to reform the Act Regulating the Supply of Temporary Workers (Gesetz zur Regelung der gewerbsmäßigen Arbeitnehmerüberlassung (AÜG)), which is to say that the rules regarding sub-contracted and temporary employment are to be revised.

Read Article

 Family Foundation Can Ensure the Continuity of a Business

A family foundation can be established as a way of avoiding inheritance related disputes. The purpose of a family foundation is generally to ensure ongoing support for relatives.

Read Article

 BGH on GmbH Managing Director’s Obligation to Provide Information in Insolvency Proceedings in Germany

If insolvency has been filed against a GmbH, the managing director of the company has extensive obligations to provide information. He is not, however, obliged to furnish information regarding his personal assets (BGH IX ZB 62/14).

Read Article

 Inheriting and Bequeathing: Organise Estate Clearly and in Good Time

There’s no room for friendship when money’s involved. The same can be said with respect to inheritances. Disputing over the estate can divide families. For this reason, the testator ought to arrange his estate clearly.

Read Article

 Termination Agreement – The Alternative to Dismissal

Unlike in the event of a dismissal/termination, the employment relationship is brought to an end on a mutually amicable basis in cases involving an agreement to terminate a contract. However, for this purpose certain requirements have to be contractually fulfilled.

Read Article

 Berliner Testament: Unilateral Changes Not Possible

Husbands and wives can reciprocally appoint each other as sole heirs in a so-called “Berliner Testament” (Berlin will). However, married couples must also bear in mind that unilateral changes are not possible at a later date.

Read Article

 HRC Constance on Margin of Discretion and Liability of Managing Director

Managing directors of a GmbH (German limited liability company) enjoy a margin of discretion within which they are not subject to personal liability. Even in the case of unjustifiable dealings, liability for shareholder-managing directors is not triggered until later on.

Read Article

 Unfair Competition in Germany: Abundance of Information and Labelling Requirements

Unfair competition harms consumers and businesses that comply with the German Act Against Unfair Competition (Gesetz gegen den unlauteren Wettbewerb (UWG)). Violations of the UWG can be sanctioned.

Read Article

 Protect Intellectual Property From Copycats

It is not enough simply to be more creative and quicker than the competition. It is also necessary for the intellectual property and brand to be appropriately protected to prevent them being copied or adopted.

Read Article

 Business Succession: Small And Medium-Sized Businesses Seeking Young Professionals

Wanted: Successor! The Frankfurter Rundschau reports that, according to a study by the bank KfW, the managers of around 580,000 small and medium-sized businesses wish to retire by 2017.

Read Article

 BGH Strengthens Trademark Law in Germany

The German Federal Court of Justice (Bundesgerichtshof (BGH)) strengthened trademark law in a recent ruling, according to which it is possible to demand the cancellation of a trademark based merely on a close resemblance.

Read Article

 Compliance To Prevent Losses

For their own benefit, executive boards ought to issue carefully defined rules of conduct. Compliance is an important topic both from a legal and media perspective.

Read Article

 Minimum Wage: Principal Employer Also Liable For Subcontractors

The introduction of the national minimum wage does not only apply to direct employment relationships; general contractors are also liable for their subcontractors.

Read Article

 German Telemedia Act in the Case of Websites on the Internet

The internet is today an indispensable part of many areas of life, but those running commercial websites have to be mindful of the German Telemedia Act.

Read Article

 Contract of Inheritance and its Consequences

One’s final will need not necessarily be drawn up in a testament. A contract of inheritance is also a possibility. That being said, it is difficult to subsequently alter a contract of inheritance.

Read Article

 Inheritance Tax: Asserting Estate Liabilities in Germany

Those who inherit generally have to pay inheritance tax. Estate liabilities can be asserted in the context of inheritance tax. Whether something is considered to be an estate liability may be debatable.

Read Article

 German Federal Court of Justice on Plagiarism and Copyright Law

Accusations of plagiarism and copyright law play a significant role, inter alia, in the music industry. The German Federal Court of Justice (Bundesgerichtshof (BGH)) is currently dealing with accusations of plagiarism.

Read Article

 The German Protection against Dismissal Act and its Implications

Employers wishing to dismiss their employees have to be mindful of various regulations, the most significant of which in many cases is the German Protection Against Dismissal Act (Kündigungsschutzgesetz (KSchG)).

Read Article

 Fixed-Term Employment Contracts and What to Watch Out For

Newly concluded employment contracts can be restricted to a period of 24 months. Mistakes in a fixed-term employment contract can result in lawsuits before a labour court.

Read Article

 Following Ruling Against Top Manager – Compliance Becoming Increasingly Important

It is clear following the spectacular ruling against a former top manager that case law is becoming tougher and compliance increasingly important for businesses and corporations.

Read Article

 D&O Liability: Recourse Claims Against Executive Board, Managing Directors or Supervisory Board

Recourse can be taken against governing entities such as managing directors, executive boards or supervisory boards where mistakes are made in managing the company. The extent of recourse claims is disputed.

Read Article

 D&O Insurance: Carefully Inspect Content and Scope of Policy

Governing corporate bodies such as executive boards, executive directors or supervisory boards are liable for careless mistakes with their private assets. D&O insurance is meant to afford protection against any claims.

Read Article

 Market Entry in Germany for Foreign Investors: Consider Legal and Tax Aspects

The German market is of interest to many foreign investors. However, there are a lot of legal and tax aspects that need to be considered when entering the German market.

Read Article

 Reform of German Inheritance Tax – Sort Out Company Succession at an Early Stage

Inheritance tax must be reformed by mid-2016. That was a ruling of the German Federal Constitutional Court (Bundesverfassungsgericht) at the end of 2014 based on the view that company heirs presently enjoy excessive favourable treatment.

Read Article

 German Executive Board Liable for Inadequate Compliance System

The executive board of a stock corporation (Aktiengesellschaft (AG)) or the management of a German limited liability company (GmbH) bears responsibility and is liable for a functioning compliance system. This stems from a ruling of the Munich Regional Court.

Read Article

 Weak Euro Can Result in Problems for Foreign Currency Loans

The ECB wants to purchase government bonds on a large scale. One consequence of this could be another collapse in the euro exchange rate. This might lead to problems for financial investments with foreign currency loans.

Read Article

 Bundesverfassungsgericht Overturns Tax Privileges for Company Heirs in Germany

On December 17, the German Federal Constitutional Court (Bundesverfassungsgericht) overturned tax privileges for company heirs which were said to be unconstitutional. The legislature has until mid-2016 to establish a new arrangement.

Read Article

 Inheritance Tax in Spain Discriminatory – Possible to Reclaim Inheritance Tax

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has found that Spanish inheritance and gift law unlawfully discriminates against foreigners who are living in Spain on a non-permanent basis.

Read Article

 Trademark Law: Financial Institutions Fight Over Use Of Colour Red

Two large credit institutions are fighting over the use of a particular colour because colours have a significant and memorable effect on consumers.

Read Article

 Fast Food and Franchise

A well-known fast food chain has terminated the contract with one of its franchisees in Germany, but the latter is fighting back. There are several pitfalls that one needs to be mindful of regarding franchise agreements.

Read Article

 Ruling on Inheritance Tax Unnerves Family Businesses

The German Federal Constitutional Court’s (Bundesverfassungsgericht) ruling on inheritance tax is unsettling many businesses. Tax privileges for company heirs shall be limited going forward.

Read Article

 Minimum Wage Creates New Obligations For Employers

The statutory minimum wage of 8.50 euros per hour applies in Germany as of this year. One in every eight businesses, or twelve per cent, throughout Germany are affected by the minimum wage.

Read Article

 Inheritance Tax: Cuts For Company Heirs

Following the German Constitutional Court’s (Bundesverfassungsgericht) ruling at the end of 2014 that inheritance tax must be partially reformed, company heirs may be faced with large cuts.

Read Article

 Tax Evasion: More Than 18,000 Proceedings Suspended Following Voluntary Disclosure

The number of voluntary declarations in cases of tax evasion is increasing and with it the number of suspended proceedings. More than 18,000 proceedings were suspended in 2013 according to media reports.

Read Article

 Tax evasion: Typical mistakes with voluntary declaration

Although there are no formal requirements for a voluntary declaration in cases of tax evasion, mistakes can result in the ineffectiveness of the voluntary declaration and the threat of a conviction.

Read Article

 Tax Evasion: Voluntary Disclosure, Interest And Penalties

Voluntary disclosure in cases of tax evasion remains a possibility in 2015, but tax evaders will be asked by the exchequer to pay a heavy price.

Read Article

 Tax Evasion: More Than 25,000 Voluntary Declarations In Baden-Württemberg Already

The number of voluntary declarations in cases of tax evasion continues to increase. More than 25,000 voluntary declarations have since been submitted in Baden-Württemberg according to media reports.

Read Article

 Luxembourg Declares War On Tax Evasion – Voluntary Disclosure As An Alternative

Even Luxembourg is now taking the fight against tax evasion seriously. Income from interest will soon be reported to the German exchequer. Those affected ought to consider a voluntary declaration.

Read Article

 Tax Evasion: Longer Limitation Periods For Illicit Earnings Outside Of EU – Voluntary Disclosure

The planned law to tighten the rules for voluntary disclosure in cases of tax evasion is expected to be adopted before Christmas. Voluntary disclosure will then be more expensive and difficult from 2015.

Read Article

 Tax Evasion: Bundestag Discussing Tightening the Rules for Voluntary Disclosure

The German Bundestag is currently discussing the draft legislation concerning the planned tightening of the rules for voluntary disclosure in cases of tax evasion. The law is likely be passed before Christmas.

Read Article

 Tax Evasion: Only An Error-Free Voluntary Declaration Affords Protection Against Conviction

Voluntary disclosure can pave the way back to legality in cases of tax evasion. However, this will only succeed if the voluntary declaration really is error-free.

Read Article

 Commercial Criminal Law: Commercial Criminal Proceedings Can be Expensive and Damaging to One’s Reputation

Involvement in commercial criminal proceedings can threaten the existence of a company. This is not merely a matter of money but also the company’s reputation.

Read Article

 Tax Evasion: Even Minor Errors Can Result In Ineffectiveness Of Voluntary Disclosure

Voluntary disclosure in cases of tax evasion is a complex issue. Even minor errors can result in an ineffective voluntary declaration, and then there is the threat of a conviction for tax evasion.

Read Article

 Distribution Law Encompasses a Plethora of Rules and Laws

In light of the advancing globalisation of trade and commerce, distribution law is becoming increasingly complex because national and international standards and laws have to be observed.

Read Article

 Tax Evasion: Voluntary Declarations at Record High in Germany

According to a survey by the “Welt am Sonntag”, the authorities have already received more than 35,000 voluntary declarations for tax evasion in this year.

Read Article

 Contract Law: Contractual Freedom and Its Consequences

General contract law is characterised by the principle of contractual freedom. This private autonomy applies as long as it does not infringe laws or is contra bonos mores.

Read Article

 Insurance Law: Enforcing Claims From The Insurance Policy

It is crucial both in one’s private life and in business to cover oneself against damage and loss. It is not, however, always easy to enforce claims from an insurance policy if damage or loss has occurred.

Read Article

 Commercial Law: Companies Must Comply With An Abundance Of Legal Regulations

Any entrepreneur participating in economic life finds himself facing an abundance of laws, standards and regulations arising from various fields of law – national and international.

Read Article

 51 States Have Declared War on Tax Evasion – Voluntary Disclosure a Way Out

Banking secrecy might soon be a thing of the past and tax evaders will come under more and more pressure. 51 states have signed a tax treaty in Berlin concerning the automatic exchange of information.

Read Article

 Sales Tax: Various Rates, Deadlines, Obligations and Possibilities

Every citizen comes into contact with sales tax, also referred to as turnover tax, on an almost daily basis, as it is payable on every purchase and service.

Read Article

 Tax Evasion: Countdown for Voluntary Disclosure Has Begun

Tax evaders who wish to pre-empt a conviction for tax evasion with a voluntary declaration ought to hurry. Stricter rules for voluntary disclosure shall apply from 2015.

Read Article

 Tax Evasion: Switzerland Supports Crackdown in Banks

Switzerland has perhaps had its day as a tax haven. According to media reports, Swiss investigators are supporting German tax investigators in searching several banks.

Read Article

 Tax Evasion: Switzerland Cooperates and Provides Banking Information

Switzerland is serious about the fight against illicit earnings and tax evasion. It wants to participate in the automatic exchange of information between EU states.

Read Article

 Compliance: Companies are Liable for Their Employees

Companies and entrepreneurs are responsible for ensuring that no legal violations arise from within the company. That is why compliance is an important issue.

Read Article

 Tax Evasion: EU Agrees Comprehensive Exchange of Information

Things are becoming increasingly more difficult for tax evaders within the EU. The EU finance ministers have now agreed to a comprehensive exchange of information among the national tax authorities.

Read Article

 Corporate Succession in Germany: Utilise Design Scope and Tax Advantage

Corporate succession has to be arranged in many companies before long. If the firm is bequeathed then it should be anticipated that tax privileges are set to be withdrawn in the foreseeable future.

Read Article

 Tax Evasion: Save a Lot of Money with Voluntary Disclosure this Year

Tax evaders who now act swiftly and submit a voluntary declaration can save a lot of money because penalty surcharges in the context of voluntary disclosure will substantially increase from 2015.

Read Article

 Tax Evasion in Germany - Voluntary Disclosure A Way Out

A 72-year-old master hairdresser was sentenced by the Regional Court (Landgericht) of Duisburg to two and a half years in prison for tax evasion. She was said to have evaded approx. 445,000 in taxes.

Read Article

 Tax Evasion: Amended Return Or Voluntary Declaration

It is possible to evade taxes even in the absence of intention. In these cases, an amended tax return is preferable to a voluntary declaration.

Read Article

 Executing Foreign Judgments: Enforcing Law Across Borders

The jurisdiction of courts ends at state borders. This makes it difficult to enforce claims against foreign debtors. Notwithstanding this, creditors can be helped to ensure that justice is done to them.

Read Article

 Conducting A Case: Legal Disputes not Decided in Court

Legal proceedings are not decided in court; rather, it is comprehensive and detailed preparation that is decisive for the successful conduct of a case.

Read Article

 Tax Evasion in Germany: Voluntary Disclosure Only Effective If All Requirements Are Satisfied

The rules pertaining to voluntary disclosure in the event of tax evasion are set to be tightened from 2015, but even now a voluntary declaration has to be able to satisfy certain conditions for it to be effective.

Read Article

 Tax Evasion in Germany: Take Every Precaution Regarding Voluntary Disclosure

Voluntary disclosure can spell a return to a state of legal tax affairs for tax evaders. However, despite growing pressure, voluntary declarations should be thoroughly considered and well prepared.

Read Article

 Tax Dispute in Germany: Ways of Putting Up a Fight Against the Tax Authorities

Legal action can be taken even against the assessment notice of a tax office. Those who get involved in a tax dispute normally require plenty of stamina and competent legal representation.

Read Article

 G20 Declares War on Tax Evasion - Submit Voluntary Declaration on Time

The finance ministers of the G20 are continuing to expedite the fight against tax evasion. Account data is rapidly set to be automatically exchanged among them.

Read Article

 Growth Through Corporate Mergers and Acquisitions in Germany

In order to assert oneself in an increasingly global market, many firms are making growth their priority. Yet there are many legal aspects that need to be observed in cases involving takeovers, acquisitions or mergers.

Read Article

 German Leasing Law: The Devil is in the Detail

Thanks to relatively favourable conditions for the financing or use of property, leasing enjoys great popularity. The lease agreement regulates the corresponding rights and obligations.

Read Article

 International Procedural Law: Correctly Enforce Justified Claims

The receipt and service of papers play a vital role in international procedural law, e.g. they set in motion important time-limits.

Read Article

 Trademark Law: BGH on the Protection of a Colour Trademark

The German Federal Court of Justice (Bundesgerichtshof (BGH)) reached a decision on September 18 in a trademark lawsuit and prohibited the defendant from using a registered colour trademark (Az.: I ZR 228/12).

Read Article

 Tax Evasion: Voluntary Disclosure Relieves Pressure on Tax Evaders

Untaxed illicit earnings in foreign clandestine accounts are preying on the minds of more and more tax evaders. A voluntary declaration can ensure they sleep easy again.

Read Article

 Optimise Corporation Tax

Corporation tax is a type of income tax for legal persons, e.g. corporations. It is for this reason that some of the rules of income tax are applied to its taxation.

Read Article

 Tax Evasion: Small Mistakes in Voluntary Declaration Can Have Serious Repercussions

Voluntary declarations leading to immunity serve as an incentive to return to a state of legal tax affairs, yet they will only succeed if they are error-free.

Read Article

 Criminal Tax Law: High Penalties For Tax Evasion in Germany

German tax law is complex and constantly changing. It is therefore easy to unwittingly render oneself guilty of tax evasion. The consequences can be drastic penalties.

Read Article

 Tax Evasion: Tightening Up Of Voluntary Declarations Has Cash Tills Ringing

The planned tightening up of voluntary declarations supposedly has cash registers ringing. Die Welt reports that this will apparently entail additional revenues of around 15 million euros a year.

Read Article

 Gift Tax in Germany: Make Use of Room for Manoeuvre

The state looks to profit even from gifts, levying gift tax as soon as the tax allowance is exceeded. There are, however, different possible arrangements in connection with gift tax.

Read Article

 Inherited Illegal Earnings – Voluntary Disclosure Can Help

Heirs must file an inheritance tax declaration with the tax authorities. If the estate includes illicit earnings, these must be reported immediately.

Read Article

 Voluntary Declaration: Hessen Not Ruling Out Further Purchase of CDs on Tax Evaders

The pressure on tax evaders continues to rise. Since North Rhine-Westphalia announced an additional purchase of CDs on tax evaders, Hessen is now also not ruling out this option.

Read Article

 International Tax Law: Avoiding Double Taxation

Due to the advancing pace of globalisation, international tax law is becoming increasingly more important. This affects private individuals, but especially internationally operating businesses.

Read Article

 Tax Law: Key To A Closed Book

For many people, tax law is a closed book. Expert help is frequently necessary in order to pay taxes correctly and at the same time avoid giving away too much money.

Read Article

 Germany Tax Evasion: Only Those Who Take Notice of the Details Pertaining to Voluntary Declarations Emerge Unpunished

It is a misapprehension to believe that a voluntary declaration automatically leads to immunity following tax evasion. Strict rules apply for voluntary disclosure.

Read Article

 Tax Evasion: Federal Government Passes Stricter Rules For Voluntary Disclosure in Germany

On September 24, the federal government adopted a tightening of the rules for voluntary disclosure in the event of tax evasion. Amounts shall only remain unpunished up to 25,000 EUR.

Read Article

 Risk Of Discovery Continues To Increase – Return To A State Of Legal Tax Affairs Via Voluntary Declaration

Owing to so-called group enquiries, German tax investigators are able to retroactively search for tax evaders in Switzerland up to February 1, 2013.

Read Article

 Save on Inheritance Tax Through Tax Optimisation

Anyone coming into an inheritance generally has to pay inheritance tax. However, by observing certain regulations, they can ensure that the tax authorities take a smaller share.

Read Article

 Voluntary Disclosure Leading To Immunity: Planned Tightening From January 1, 2015

The German government has approved a bill to tighten the rules for voluntary disclosure in the event of tax evasion. The law is expected to enter into force on January 1, 2015.

Read Article

 Association Law: Pay Attention to Fiscal and Legal Aspects When Establishing an Association

An association is frequently established as a way of pooling the strengths of individuals to form a strong special interest group. Legal and fiscal aspects must be observed when establishing an association.

Read Article

 Foundation Law: Constitutive Documents Regulate The Purpose Of The Foundation

Many foundations serve charitable purposes, but there are also those foundations that are run for private benefit, such as the family foundation. The latter can e.g. be used to avoid inheritance disputes.

Read Article

 Contract Law: Precisely Defining Rights and Obligations in a Contract

Breaches of the terms of a contract may entail legal consequences, such as e.g. damages claims. It is therefore all the more important to regulate rights and obligations in the contract in detail.

Read Article

 Tax Evasion: Risk of Discovery Increases – Amended Tax Return as a Way Out

It is becoming increasingly difficult for tax evaders to remain undetected due to the automatic exchange of information between EU member states, particularly as Switzerland has signalled its willingness to cooperate.

Read Article

 Intellectual Property Law: Defense Against Product Piracy

Plagiarism is widespread and can be found in almost all business fields. There are legal remedies for defending oneself against product piracy.

Read Article

 Higher Regional Court of Hamm on Misleading Dental Advertisement Online

The use of the slogan “the only complete programme throughout Germany” in an advertisement for a dental care programme is misleading in the opinion of the Higher Regional Court of Hamm.

Read Article

 Unpaid Income Tax Establishes Liability of the Managing Director of a German Limited Liability Company

In terms of the overall responsibility, a managing director is also liable for the income tax of employed workers that is not paid to the tax office.

Read Article

 Amended Tax Return: North Rhine-Westphalia Wants to Continue Purchasing CDs on Tax Evaders

North Rhine-Westphalia’s (NRW) Minister of Finance, Walter Borjans, announced in the Rheinischen Post Online that NRW will continue purchasing CDs with data on suspected tax evaders.

Read Article

 German Act Against Unfair Competition Protects The General Public

Consumers and suppliers ought to benefit in equal measure from fair competition. In the event of infringements of competition law, legal action can be taken.

Read Article

 Tax Evasion: Number Of Amended Tax Returns Has Doubled in Germany

The number of amended tax returns in cases of tax evasion continues to rise. According to media reports, it doubled in the first half of the year 2014 compared with the same period of the previous year.

Read Article

 Finding the Right Company Form when Establishing a Business in Germany

If someone wishes to establish a business, the right company form must be found. Different rights and obligations emerge depending on the chosen company form.

Read Article

 Tax Evasion: Exercise Caution in the Event of Illicit Earnings in Estate

In the case of inheritance, there is a risk of becoming guilty of tax evasion, particularly if the estate could include illicit earnings.

Read Article

 Commercial Agency Law: Rights and Obligations of Commercial Agents

For commercial agents, some rights and obligations are regulated separately in the German Commercial Code (Handelsgesetzbuch (HGB)). Special attention needs to be paid e.g. to claims for commission and compensation.

Read Article

 Tax Evasion: In The Case Of An Amended Tax Return, All Cards Must Be Laid on the Table

If someone wants to correct a false tax declaration by means of an amended tax return, they must disclose all tax matters pertaining to the past five years. A partial amended tax return is insufficient.

Read Article

 Competition Law: Protection Against Unfair Competition And Cartels

Fair competition serves the common good. Competition law ensures that all those concerned operate within the confines of regulations and laws.

Read Article

 GmbH Offers More Benefits Than Risks

The GmbH corporate form offers plenty of creative room for manoeuvre. It is also particularly popular among sole traders and family businesses because of the limitation on liability.

Read Article

 Licensing Agreement: Granting And Acquiring Usage Rights

By granting licenses, a holder of rights is able to transfer the authority to use rights to others. Those exploiting these rights without the appropriate license could potentially be exposed to damages claims.

Read Article

 Board of Directors: Many Rights and Obligations

The position of the board of directors in a company carries with it a lot of decision-making power and responsibility, but also risks as the members of the board of directors are liable with their private assets.

Read Article

 Tax Evasion: Return to Legality via Amended Tax Return

Tax evasion has represented a lucrative, albeit criminal, business not only for tax evaders but also some banks. An amended tax return can present a path to legality.

Read Article

 Disputes Over Copyright Law Can Take Bizarre Forms

Disputes over copyright law can sometimes take bizarre forms. For example, a case involving an ape that took pictures of itself has made headlines. Does it also own the copyright?

Read Article

 Commercial Law: Privileges and Disadvantages for Businessmen

The legal relationships between a businessman and his business partners are essentially regulated by commercial law. While businessmen enjoy privileges, they must also accept certain disadvantages.

Read Article

 Amended Tax Return in the Event of Tax Evasion: Tax Liability Must Be Discharged Quickly

If someone has evaded taxes and would like to submit an amended tax return leading to immunity from punishment, they should have sufficient liquidity. The tax liability must be discharged within a short timescale.

Read Article

 Regulating Software Usage Rights in Detail

Computers have become indispensable in private households and even more so in companies. When using software, licensing agreements, in particular, must be observed.

Read Article

 Tax Evasion: Remain Unpunished By Submitting An Amended Tax Return - Germany

Tax evasion is a criminal offence which not only entails heavy financial penalties, but also custodial sentences. By submitting an amended tax return, you can obtain an exemption from punishment.

Read Article

 Trademark Law: Trademarks Represent Considerable Value

A trademark can be of considerable value to a business. It is therefore crucial to have the trademark protected. An infringement of a trademark can give rise to claims for damages.

Read Article

 International Law Increasingly Important

Globalisation continues to advance. Trade has long since ceased to stop at national borders. This also has implications for jurisdiction.

Read Article

 IT Law Gaining in Importance on Many Issues

There is scarcely another field of law that has grown so much in importance over recent years as IT law. People come into contact with this field both from professional and private perspectives on an almost daily basis.

Read Article

 Cancelling Life Insurance Policies: Instruction on Cancellation is Decisive

Whether a life insurance policy can still be cancelled years later depends to a large extent on whether the policyholder’s possibilities of cancellation were properly explained to him.

Read Article

 Dismissal and Termination of Contract of a Managing Director

In the context of dismissing and terminating the contract of a managing director, essential points have to be observed.

Read Article

 Ship Funds: World Trade Losing Momentum

World trade, important for merchant shipping and thus also those investing in ship funds, appears to be losing momentum. This is demonstrated by the current figures.

Read Article

 Enforcing and Repelling International Jurisprudence in Germany

Enforcing international jurisprudence in Germany is not always easy. State borders also mark the end of the jurisdiction of courts. This can lead to problems if the matter is one of enforcing claims against foreign debtors.

Read Article

 Company Succession: A Complex Process with Lots of Room to Maneuver

If the proprietor of a firm retires, company succession must be arranged. Generally, there are two options: Sell or bequeath.

Read Article

 Particularities of Inheriting and Bequeathing in Cases Involving a Foreign Element

All states have their own inheritance laws. In succession cases involving a foreign element, the question arises as to which inheritance law is applicable. In many cases, this is a complex matter.

Read Article

 Inheritance Tax: Are Tax Concessions for Businesses Toppling?

The German Federal Constitutional Court (Bundesverfassungsgericht) is currently dealing with inheritance and gift tax. The focus is the question of whether tax benefits for businesses are justified.

Read Article

 Illicit Earnings In Estate: Heirs Must Be Careful – Voluntary Declaration

Nasty surprises can be a risk in the case of inheritance, particularly if an estate includes untaxed illicit earnings. Heirs must be careful.

Read Article

 Arrange Company Succession Promptly and Benefit from Tax Advantages

In many companies, succession will have to be arranged in the coming years. Those who still wish to benefit from tax advantages should act promptly.

Read Article

 Tax Evasion in Germany: Voluntary Declaration Must be Made in Good Time

A voluntary declaration in the case of tax evasion only exempts you from punishment if it has been submitted on time. Thus, the authorities cannot already have begun any investigations.

Read Article

 Saving On Inheritance Tax

In the event of inheritance, the state generally cashes in on inheritance tax, yet money can also be saved with respect to this tax.

Read Article

 Labour Law: Avoiding Pitfalls In Labour Law

Labour law is a wide field that features many pitfalls. Of particular importance is, for example, the conclusion of the employment contract as well as termination giving due notice.

Read Article

 Tax Evasion: More and More Voluntary Declarations in North Rhine-Westphalia

Clandestine accounts in Switzerland are clearly becoming too hot for many people. In the first half of 2014 in North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW), three times as many voluntary declarations of an incomplete tax return relating to Switzerland are reported to have been received than in the same period of the previous year.

Read Article

 Management Personnel and Their Special Status in Labour Law

Executive employees and management personnel occupy central positions in firms and are therefore subject to different legal conditions. This has implications for the employment contract and termination.

Read Article

 Testament: Effectively Drawing up the “Final Will”

With a testament, the testator is able to express his “final will” and define rules for the inheritance, but a testament can also be invalid. Rules must therefore be observed.

Read Article

 Banking Law: Client Often at a Disadvantage Vis-à-vis Bank – Lawyers Can Help

Banking law is one of the fields of law that almost everyone comes into contact with, yet it features many pitfalls which can be expensive for clients.

Read Article

 Due Diligence Review Essential for Larger Transactions

In the case of larger transactions, including in particular the acquisition of companies, shares in companies or investment property such as real estate, a careful risk assessment is indispensable. This kind of due diligence review provides all the relevant information for the planned purchase.

Read Article

 Directors’ Liability: In The Event Of A Breach Of Duty, Directors Are Also Liable With Their Private Assets

Company directors of a corporation bear a huge responsibility as well as a high risk. If they breach their duties, they may also be liable with their private assets.

Read Article

 Responsibility of Sales Organizations for the Criminal Behavior of an Agent

In a judgement dated 15.03.2012 (Case No.: III ZR 148/11) the Federal Supreme Court of Germany (BGH) ruled that sales organizations can be held responsible for the criminal behavior of an agent.

Read Article

 The Change Of Company Object Of A GmbH (limited liability company) Can Be Considered A Re-establishment

On 03.06.2012, the Federal Supreme Court (BGH) held that the resumption of business operations associated with a new company object should be classified as an economic re-establishment. This must be disclosed to the court of registration; otherwise liability was likely to arise.

Read Article

 Decision of the Federal Supreme Court Concerning Advertising and Combined Offers

When merchandise is offered at an extremely low price and only in connection with the purchase of a main product this is called combined offers. This method of sales is increasingly used by many companies as a new marketing strategy.

Read Article

 Limitation Of Employment Contracts And Termination

Since coming into effect in the year 2000, the Labour Court Acceleration Act changed procedural rules of the Labour Court Act, but also set down an important new provision in substantive labour law. Its goal is to simplify and speed up labour court proceedings.

Read Article

 Sales Organizations Can Be Held Responsible for the Criminal Behaviour of an Agent

In a judgment dated 15.03.2012 (Case No.: III ZR 148/11) the Federal Supreme Court of Germany (BGH) ruled that sales organizations that provide capital investments are in certain cases liable for the criminal conduct of their sales representatives.

Read Article

 Regulations Of Commission In The Standard Business Terms (AGB) For Trade Representative Contracts

Trade agents contractual commission regulations can be ineffective if they are contradictory according to § 307 para. 1 sentence 2 BGB (Federal code of law).

Read Article

 Prospectus Liability

Prospectuses on investment opportunities are designed to provide investors with essential information for their investment decisions. Therefore, the prospectus must fully and accurately inform potential investors or purchasers about all circumstances of the offered investment model that are relevant or may be essential to his or her decision. In the case of negligence, improper or fraudulent misrepresentation in a prospectus, liability for the prospectus might arise.

Read Article

 New Judgment Regarding The Liability In A GmbH

In this present case the Federal Court of Justice of Germany was concerned with the question of the shareholders’ liability in a GmbH in case of an economic re-establishment.

Read Article

 Two-person Ltd Liability Company: Requirements for the Dismissal of One of the Two Managing Partners

An important reason for dismissal and immediate termination of the service contract of managing directors of limited liability companies who are shareholders is given when the relationship between the two directors is profoundly disrupted and a normal cooperation is no longer possible. Prerequisite is that the managing director to be dismissed has significantly contributed to the discord. The fault or even preponderant fault of said director is not required.

Read Article

 Higher Regional Court of Hamm on a Misleading Dental Advertisement Online – Competition Law

The use of the slogan “the only complete programme throughout Germany” in an advertisement for a dental care programme is misleading in the opinion of the Higher Regional Court of Hamm.

Read Article

 Validity of Notices of Fixed-Term Employment Contracts and Termination

Ever since year 2000, the Labour Court Acceleration Act is in force, a law to simplify and speed up labour court proceedings. It not only changes procedural rules of the Labour Court Act, but also sets down an important new provision in substantive labour law.

Read Article

 No Time Relevance For Community Trademark Prioritization

When the priority of a community trademark over a national trade mark is in question, then the day of registration is relevant and not the specific time. The exact time of the brand registration shouldn’t be considered.

Read Article

 Commission Regulations In The AGB For Trade Representative Contracts

Trade agents contractual commission regulations can be ineffective according to § 307 para. 1 sentence 2 BGB (Federal code of law) if they are contradictory.

Read Article

 Unpaid Income Tax Establishes Liability Of The Managing Director Of A GmbH – Company Law

In terms of the overall responsibility, a managing director is also liable for the income tax of employed workers that is not paid to the tax office.

Read Article

 Notices Of Termination and Fixed-Term Employment Contracts Only in Writing

Since 01/05/2000, the Labour Court Acceleration Act is in force, a law to simplify and speed up labour court proceedings.

Read Article

 Combined Offers in Advertising - Germany

Combined offers are when merchandise, often of high quality, is offered at an extremely low price and only in connection with the purchase of a main product. This sales method is increasingly used by some companies as a marketing strategy.

Read Article

 Regulations Of Commission For Trade Representative Contracts

The contractual commission regulations of trade agents can be invalid if they are contradictory.

Read Article

 Judgment of the Language in Employment Contracts - Germany

Employers are not obligated to translate employment contracts into the employee’s respective mother tongue.

Read Article

 Collecting Debts In Germany

Trust is good, control is better. This is especially true when making the first delivery to a new customer. A lawyer can support your company by assessing customer creditworthiness. Experienced lawyers will also discuss strategies to protect you against the risk of default.

Read Article

 In Principle No Right To Restitution Of A Legacy Gifted During Lifetime – Law Of Succession

A legatee is only entitled to restitution of a legacy gifted during the lifetime of the testator under special circumstances.

Read Article

 Incorrect Turnover Projections Can Justify Damages Claims – Franchise Law

If a franchisee is not informed that turnover projections are based merely upon estimations then it is entitled to damages claims with respect to the turnover figures that have not been achieved.

Read Article

 Higher Regional Court of Hamm: Vouchers As Unfair Competition – Competition Law

Automotive garages cannot promote the repair of damage which is covered by comprehensive collision insurance by issuing vouchers for follow-up jobs.

Read Article

 ECJ Judgment Makes Revoking Life Insurance Policies Easier Under Certain Circumstances – Insurance Law

Consumers could get the opportunity to revoke their life insurance policies even some time after signing the contract by virtue of a judgment of the European Court of Justice.

Read Article

 Immediate Tax Deducts For Accrued Property Transfer Taxes – Tax Law

Whether real estate is being acquired entirely new in the context of property acquisition or if it was already in the partnership’s possession is an important fact.

Read Article

 Remuneration For Overtime Only Where Employer Is Aware – Labour law

It is only if the employer is aware of extra work that there may potentially be a claim on the part of the employee for payment of overtime.

Read Article

 Infinus Group: Renewed Crackdown And Threat Of Insolvency

According to concordant media reports, there has been a renewed crackdown at a business belonging to the Infinus Group. It was reported that on March 5 Infinus AG Financial Services Institute (FSI) was searched.

Read Article

 Imitation Protection Of Internet Sites By Copyright Law

The operator of an Internet address has, as a rule, a special interest in the protection of his advertising appearance on the Internet against imitation. However, such a protection, from the copyright law, is guaranteed only up to a certain creation/design point.

Read Article

 Advisor Has To Demonstrate Any Disclosure Of Errors In Leaflets – Capital Market Law

Advisors must elucidate mistakes or information gaps in leaflets; otherwise, there has been a consultation error. The burden of proof for the disclosure lies with the advisor.

Read Article

 Termination By Regular Notice Due To Tax Evasion Of Employee Effective – Labour Law

Termination by regular notice of an employment relationship is effective if the employee makes use of an illegal accounting method to increase his earnings.

Read Article

 Incomplete Disclosure Regarding Refunds With Respect to Ship Funds MT “Margara” – Capital Market Law

The Regional Court of Hamburg awarded damages to an investor of the ship funds MT “Margara” because the latter was not informed about refunds.

Read Article

 Termination Of A Compliance Manager in Regards to Monitoring Measures

Circumstances may lead to the termination of a compliance manager when it comes to monitoring measures taken with regard to an employee.

Read Article

 The Equalisation Of Accrued Gains In Divorce

The statutory matrimonial property regime for spouses is the property regime of the community of accrued gains.

Read Article

 Due Diligence Analysis Is Important To Reduce Potential Risks When Buying A Company – Corporate Law

A Due Diligence analysis when buying a company means to investigate the company in an economic, legal and technical sense prior to signing the purchasing agreement.

Read Article

 Liability of Managing Director Due to Erroneous Information in Share Deal – M&A

If false information is provided or erroneous guaranties given in the context of a share deal, liability on the part of the managing director(s) is possible.

Read Article

 Manufacturers Should Be Considerate Of The Distributor’s Interests – Distribution Law

A manufacturer should reasonably accommodate the needs of the distributor worthy of protection and not contravene its interests without justifiable cause.

Read Article

 Fictitious Licence Fee In Case Of Unauthorized Publication Of Photos – Copyright Law

If photos are published without authorization, this is a violation of the right of owning one’s own image. The persons depicted are entitled to receive payment of a licence fee.

Read Article

 Heirs Don’t Need A Certificate Of Inheritance To Correct The Land Register – Law Of Succession

Where there is a public testamentary deed, the land registry office can correct the land register even in the absence of a certificate of inheritance.

Read Article

 Suspicion Of Personal Enrichment Can Justify An Extraordinary Dismissal – Employment Law

The Hamburg Labour Court recently ruled that the strong suspicion of credit memos belonging to a business being used for private purposes can justify an extraordinary dismissal.

Read Article

 Non-Commercial Partnership: Proof of Representation by Means of a Company Stamp – Germany

The authority of a partner of a non-commercial partnership (Gesellschaft bürgerlichen Rechts (GbR)) to carry out legal transactions can be demonstrated by means of a company stamp.

Read Article

 Immediate Tax Deducts for Accrued Property Transfer Taxes – Germany

Whether real estate is being acquired entirely new in the context of property acquisition or if it was already in the partnership’s possession is an important fact.

Read Article

 Logistics Contract in Commercial and Transport Law – Germany

The logistics contract is a so-called mixed-type agreement found in commercial and transport law.

Read Article

 An Informative Website Does Not Constitute Anti-Competitive Sales Promotion – Competition Law

Operating a purely informative website is not to be regarded as a business transaction, not even when it contains a link that points to the page of an online shop.

Read Article

 Clandestine Employment And Entitlement To Contractual Fees – Employment Law

The Superior Court (OLG) of Schleswig, in a decision of August 13, 2013 (File number: 1 U 24/13) ruled that an “under the table” worker is not entitled to claim contractual fees from his presumed contract partner or under a “special arrangement”.

Read Article

 Internet Providers Can Be Required To Block Websites That Infringe Copyright – Copyright Law

In his final submissions of November 26, 2013, the Advocate General at the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) explained that Internet providers may under certain circumstances be required by law to block websites that infringe copyright (File number: C-314/12).

Read Article

 No Dismissal Allowed Due To The Loss Of A Doctoral Title – Germany

If it is discovered in the course of an employment relationship that an employee is unjustly using a doctoral title, this alone does not justify dismissal.

Read Article

 Notice Periods for Sales Representatives May Be Inappropriate – Germany

Under certain circumstances, standard provisions regarding agreed-upon notice periods for sales representatives may be inappropriate.

Read Article

 An Arrow Diagram Is Not Considered to Be a Handwritten Will – Germany

An arrow diagram does not constitute the formation of a legally effective, handwritten will.

Read Article

 Subsequent Performance in the Commercial Law: No Additional Reimbursement – Germany

A company buying defective goods from another company may demand replacement of the defective goods, but not reimbursement for additional costs.

Read Article

 Establishment of a Limited Liability Company (GmbH) – Germany

A GmbH can be established not only for commercial purposes, but also for non-commercial or non-material purposes.

Read Article

 Advertising with External Brand Names – Germany

If an external brand name is used as a component for one’s own advertising, the trade-mark proprietor can potentially file for injunctive relief.

Read Article

 Burden of Proof of Management Board in the Case of Damages Claims – Germany

The management board of a stock corporation has ample room for manoeuvre with respect to its duty of care. This reduces the liability risk a little.

Read Article

 The Claim That Additional Pay Is Voluntary May Be Ineffective if There Is a Contractual Arrangement - Germany

If an employee is granted a Christmas bonus and the employer does so with the reservation that it is a voluntary benefit, this reservation may not hold under certain circumstances.

Read Article

 A Dentist’s Advertising Measures Can Be Considered Unfair Competition – Germany

If a dentist offers his services via a coupon portal, this conduct can be viewed as promotional advertising and thus as unfair competition.

Read Article

 Commercial Use of a Single Family Home Contrary to Lease – Germany

Under certain circumstances, the commercial use of a single family home can be contrary to the lease.

Read Article

 Interpreting the Appointment of an Heir in the Joint Will of Spouses – Germany

A will made by spouses who appointed “our children” as heirs is held to include the appointment of a child from the first marriage of one of the testators as a final heir.

Read Article

 Founding Partner Liable to Pay Compensation Even Though a Broker Was Used – Germany

According to the Federal Supreme Court (BGH), founding limited partners are liable for incomplete or wrong information given by the brokers they use.

Read Article

 Global Law Experts – GRP Rainer Lawyers and Tax Advisors Outstanding in Tax Law

The law firm GRP Rainer LLP has been included in Global Law Expert’s list of the world’s leading lawyers.

Read Article

 Separate Cost Equalization Agreements May Be Null and Void – Germany

The Superior Court (OLG) of Karlsruhe has ruled that in spite of separate cost equalization agreements, life insurance carriers are not entitled upon cancellation to receive payment for any not yet amortized set-up and handling fees.

Read Article

 Addition of a Place Name to a Firm Name Must Not Be Misleading – Germany

Adding a place name to the trade name of a limited company (GmbH & Co. KG) must not be misleading.

Read Article

 Same Protection for Works of Applied Art as for Works of Fine Art – Germany

Requirements for achieving copyright protection for works of applied art must not be more specific or even higher than requirements for works of fine art.

Read Article

 The E-Mail Address Is a Mandatory Element of an Internet “Site Notice” (Impressum) – Germany

The Telemedia Act (TMG) requires that an e-mail address is provided as part of the “site notice” (Impressum) of an Internet website. An online contact form alone is not sufficient.

Read Article

 Dismissal Of A Long-Time Employee Due To Illness – Labour Law Germany

The dismissal for reasons of a long-time employee because of long periods of absence due to illness may be subject to strict requirements.

Read Article

 Unauthorized Publication of Photos Justifies Claim for a Notional License Fee – Germany

If photos are published without authorization, this is a violation of the right of owning one’s own image. The persons depicted are entitled to receive payment of a license fee.

Read Article

 Agreement To A Divorce May Mean That A Spouse Loses The Right To Inherit – Law Of Succession

A spouse has no right of inheritance if the other partner dies while divorce proceedings are underway and he/she has already agreed to a divorce.

Read Article

 Letter of Intent in Corporate Acquisition – Germany

Any parties to an agreement to acquire a business normally express in advance their intentions and conceptions with respect to the corporate acquisition in question in the letter of intent.

Read Article

 Insurance Coverage Forfeited in Case of Wilful Deceit about the Circumstances of an Accident – Germany

If the cause of an accident is wrongfully described, insurance coverage is forfeited, even if it would have been in effect if it had been described correctly.

Read Article

 Lessor’s Obligation to Pay Damages Concerning the Requirement to Give Notice of Defects – Germany

A lessor potentially renders itself liable to pay damages to a lessee if it does not point out to the latter the requirement to give notice of defects vis-à-vis the supplier where there are assigned warranty claims for defects.

Read Article

 M&A: Due Diligence Analysis When Buying a Company – Germany

A Due Diligence analysis when buying a company means to investigate the company in an economic, legal and technical sense prior to signing the purchasing agreement.

Read Article

 No Time Limit In Trademark Delimitation Agreements – Trademark Law

Unless a trademark delimitation agreement concluded between two competing companies for the marketing of a product states otherwise, no time limit applies.

Read Article

 Expert Opinion Comparing Handwriting In Cases Of Doubt As To Whether A Will Is Authentic And Holographic

Doubt as to whether a personally signed will is authentic and holographic can be removed with the help of an opinion comparing handwriting.

Read Article

 Unknown Claims Are Not Necessarily Excluded upon Confirmation of an Insolvency Plan – Germany

Even amounts that cannot be registered when an insolvency plan is finally confirmed can still be claimed.

Read Article

 Notice Periods for Sales Representatives May Be Inappropriate – Germany

Under certain circumstances, standard provisions regarding agreed-upon notice periods for sales representatives may be inappropriate.

Read Article

 Disposal of a Totality of Assets, and Creditor’s Rights – Germany

The Superior Court (OLG) of Oldenburg in its judgment of October 11, 2012 (File number: 1 U 71/11) ruled that the trustee in bankruptcy must also take into account the possibility of a more favorable disposal for the totality of assets.

Read Article

 Fiduciary Duties between Manufacturers And Distributors – Germany

A manufacturer should reasonably accommodate the needs of the distributor worthy of protection and not contravene its interests without justifiable cause.

Read Article

 When Is The Obligation To Compensate Under A Partnership Agreement Contrary To common Practice?

To decide whether provisions under a partnership agreement are contrary to common practice, it is necessary to take all the circumstances into account that were relevant when the agreement was signed.

Read Article

 Establishment of a Limited Liability Company (GmbH) – Germany

A GmbH can be established not only for commercial purposes, but also for non-commercial or non-material purposes.

Read Article

 A Spouse’s Dementia Does Not Stand in the Way of an Effective Divorce – Germany

A divorce can be obtained even when one of the spouses suffers from dementia if the affected spouse had already expressed a natural will to divorce.

Read Article

 Compensation for a Decrease in Equity Can Only Be in the Form of Damages Paid to the Company – Germany

Compensation for decrease in a shareholder’s equity in a company can only be claimed in the form of damages paid to the company and not to the shareholder personally.

Read Article

 Unilaterally Incriminating Provisions in Divorce Settlements – Germany

Under certain circumstances, unilaterally incriminating provisions in divorce settlements could be ineffective.

Read Article

 Telecommunication Companies Must Report Data Mishaps Immediately – Germany

Once again, the EU is dealing with data protection. Under new EU regulations, companies must now report data mishaps within 24 hours.

Read Article

 Anti-Competitive Violation When Disparaging a Competitor – Germany

If someone makes disparaging remarks about a competitor to its employees, this can give rise to an anti-competitive violation.

Read Article

 Impermissibility Of Unfounded Time-limitation Even When Longer than Three Years Since Restriction

The unfounded restriction of an employment relationship is impermissible even when it is longer than three years since the time-limitation.

Read Article

 Occupational Duty of Care Not Decisive When Judging Misleading Business Practice – Germany

In asking whether a business practice is misleading, one does not have to address compliance with the occupational duty of care; rather, it is merely the untruthfulness of the practice that is decisive.

Read Article

 Voting Rights of General Partners of an Asset Management Company – Germany

Multiple voting rights laid out in the articles of association for the adoption of resolutions concerning changes thereto cannot be granted to the general partner of an asset management company.

Read Article

 Advertising With Third-Party Brand Names Not Allowed – Trademark Law

A trademark owner can enforce injunctive relief if a business uses a third-party trademark as part of its own advertising.

Read Article

 Promotional Advertising Of Dental Services Is Anti-Competitive – Competition Law

In the view of the Regional Court of Cologne, offering dental services and their prices via an online coupon portal constitutes anti-competitive conduct.

Read Article

 Exclusion of the Lessor’s Contractual Liability under a Leasing Contract – Germany

If the lessor’s contractual liability is excluded by transferring the legal warranty claims to the supplier, the lessor has certain special obligations.

Read Article

 Liability for Intentional Wrongdoing Cannot Be Excluded by an Acceleration Clause – Germany

Legal provisions cannot be circumvented by acceleration clauses in employment contracts.

Read Article

 Tax Deductibility of Valuation Reports in Divorce Proceedings – Germany

When assessing the value of a property because of the duty to disclose information and pay gains in divorce proceedings, the costs incurred are not tax deductible.

Read Article

 An Appropriately Used Family Home Is Not Taken into Account for Parental Maintenance – Germany

In the view of the Federal Supreme Court [BGH], the value of real estate appropriately used is not to be taken into account when calculating the assets of persons responsible for the upkeep of their parents.

Read Article

 The General Partnership In Corporate Law – Germany

The General Partnership [Offene Handelsgesellschaft - OHG) is a personal type of firm that operates a business under a company name.

Read Article

 No Deduction Of Vacation Pay Entitlement In Case Of Dismissal With Proper Notice – Employment-Law

Employers must not deduct any vacation pay entitlement when releasing employees from their obligation to work.

Read Article

 Use Of A Computer Inventory Control System Based On A Franchise Agreement – Franchise Law

The right to use a computer inventory control system depends in particular on the provisions of the franchise agreement and any amendments thereto.

Read Article

 Notice Periods for Sales Representatives May Be Inappropriate – Germany

Under certain circumstances, standard provisions regarding agreed-upon notice periods for sales representatives may be inappropriate.

Read Article

 Calculating the Redemption Value of Life Insurance Contracts According to The BGH – Germany

Following termination, the gaps arising from the invalidity of provisions are to be closed by means of supplementary interpretation of the life insurance contracts.

Read Article

 Correction of the Land Register Possible without Certificate of Inheritance – Germany

Where there is a public testamentary deed, the land registry office can correct the land register even in the absence of a certificate of inheritance.

Read Article

 Demarcation Agreements between Businesses for an Indefinite Period Valid – Germany

If two competing businesses reach a demarcation agreement on the marketing of their products, this is in principle valid for an indefinite period of time.

Read Article

 Substitute Heir in Will Not Reversionary Heir – Germany

An arrangement in a will, according to which a substitute heir is designated in the event that an heir dies childless, cannot be interpreted as provisional succession and reversionary inheritance.

Read Article

 Imitation Of A Grooves Design Of Cases Potentially Unfair – Intellectual-Property-Law

Under certain circumstances, the grooves design of a case can be competitively unique and therefore constitute a performance outcome worthy of protection.

Read Article

 Bond Subscribers Facing Substantial Losses – Germany

Windreich GmbH is said to be bankrupt. An application for self-administered insolvency has been filed at the Municipal Court of Esslingen. The bond subscribers were informed in a letter.

Read Article

 Impact of foreign and Domestic Inheritance Tax on Capital Assets – Germany

Under certain circumstances, inheritance tax charged in another country cannot be deducted or considered as a liability against the capital assets of a German testator.

Read Article

 Employment Relationship after Years of Contract Work – Germany

An employment relationship can be established regardless of whether a service contract was signed, even after contract work under instructions.

Read Article

 According to the BFH, Foreign Inheritance Tax May Not Creditable – Germany

If inheritance tax paid in a foreign country is not meant to be deductible in Germany, it is disregarded when the German inheritance tax is calculated.

Read Article

 Fiduciary Duty Exist between Entrepreneurs and Sales Representatives – Germany

Under certain circumstances, the principles of loyalty between an entrepreneur and an official distributor can also be applied to the relationship between an entrepreneur and a sales representative.

Read Article

 A Substitute Official Working on Call May Be Entitled to Compensatory Time Off – Germany

If an official working on call is entitled to compensatory time off, this also applies to his/her appointed substitute.

Read Article

 Evaluation of Majority Voting Rights in a Public Limited Partnership – Germany

If the partner of a Public Limited Partnership is granted a majority voting right for a resolution to amend the partnership agreement of the Public Limited Partnership, this may be inadmissible.

Read Article

 Federal Fiscal Court: Foreign Inheritance Tax May Not Be Deductible – Germany

If inheritance tax paid in a foreign country is not meant to be deductible in Germany, it is disregarded when the German inheritance tax is calculated.

Read Article

 Evaluation of Buildings as Works of Architectural Art – Germany

Copyright protection does not come automatically with an appealing architectural design that meets the eye.

Read Article

 Loyalty between Entrepreneur and Sales Representative – Germany

Under certain circumstances, the principles of loyalty between an entrepreneur and an official distributor can also be applied to the relationship between an entrepreneur and a sales representative.

Read Article

 Flight Crews Can Deduct Driving Expenses in Full – Germany

The driving expenses of flight crews between their home and their assigned airport can be deducted in full.

Read Article

 The Evaluation of Multiple Voting Rights in a Public Partnership – Germany

If the articles of association of a public limited partnership grant the general partner multiple voting rights in the context of passing resolutions to change the articles of association, this is not necessarily permissible.

Read Article

 Shipping Investment Funds: Tax Advantages Can Go Up In Smoke – Germany

Due to disparities that must be calculated, investors in shipping funds may have to wait a long time before benefiting from expected tax savings.

Read Article

 Film Rights as a Special Form of Copyright – Germany

The question whether someone is the copyright holder of a film is answered by the Copyright Act and within that framework by the general principle of creativity.

Read Article

 Sole Heir May Need Certificate of Inheritance in Spite of a Power of Attorney – Germany

It may be necessary to obtain a certificate of inheritance even though a sole heir has a power of attorney with postmortal effect.

Read Article

 Marketing with Misleading Regional Information Is Prohibited – Germany

The marketing of dairy products whose name contains misleading information about places and regions of origin is not allowed, since it conjures up wrong connotations among consumers.

Read Article

 Collection Assignments and Authorization to Collect – Germany

A collection assignment authorizes the assignee to claim the assigned accounts receivable as his own and therefore in his own name.

Read Article

 A Testator’s Dementia Can Make The Will Invalid – Law of Succession

If the testator is suffering from dementia at the time of drawing up the will, this can lead to the invalidity of the will.

Read Article

 Employment Relationship with Transferred Employee Despite Transfer Agreement – Employment Law - Germany

An employment relationship with the host business can be assumed under certain circumstances despite any transfer agreement.

Read Article

 Private Video Recordings Potentially Evidence in Civil Proceedings - Germany

Private video recordings can potentially serve as evidence in civil proceedings, according to the Local Court of Munich (AG) in its judgment of June 6, 2013 (Az.: 343 C 4445/13).

Read Article

 Establishment of an Employment Relationship after Longstanding Deployment of External Employees - Germany

Irrespective of any contract to produce a work, an employment relationship can emerge even in the case of external employees deployed and bound by instructions if integrated into the business.

Read Article

 The Logistics Contract in Commercial and Transport Law - Germany

The logistics contract is a so-called mixed-type agreement found in commercial and transport law.

Read Article

 Requirement for Price Description under Competition Law - Germany

A reference to sales tax under the tab “shipping and payment options” might not satisfy legal requirements.

Read Article

 Terminal Stage of Deadly Disease Does Not Justify a Testator’s Inability to Make a Will

A will that a critically ill person draws up in a terminal stage is not as a matter of principle invalid. The testator’s inability to make a will can only be assumed if concrete evidence exists.

Read Article

 BverwG: Housing Development in Weekend Home Area Potentially Admissible - Germany

A housing development for the purposes of portfolio security in an area designated in the building plan as a weekend home area is potentially admissible.

Read Article

 Distribution and Sale of Used Software Licenses - Germany

The rights of software licenses may not simply be transferred with the sale of authenticity certificates.

Read Article

 Private Confidentiality within Tax Investigation

The confidentiality of tax information is privately agreed, but this does not prevent the collection of information from a tax investigation subsequent to request for confidential information.

Read Article

 Breach of Contractual Ancillary Obligations in Leasing Law - Germany

The lessor is possibly subject to fulfilling the contractual obligation to make best possible use of its a leased asset if a lessee is responsible for the calculated residual value of the leased asset according to the contract of lease.

Read Article

 BGH: No Additional Expenses for Subsequent Performance According to Sales Law - Germany

Whenever a contractor or businessman buys a defective item from another contractor, delivery of a defect-free item may be demanded but not reimbursement for additional costs.

Read Article

 Contractual Forfeiture Clause Does Not Lead to the Exclusion of Liability for Deliberate Acts - Germany

A contractual forfeiture clause included in an employment contract may not necessarily apply in the case of already legally regulated cases.

Read Article

 Advertising with External Brand Names - Germany

If an external brand name is used as a component for one’s own advertising, the trade-mark proprietor can potentially file for injunctive relief.

Read Article

 More And More Taxpayers Wipe The Slate Clean

More and more taxpayers opt for voluntary disclosure in order to avoid a penalty. The wish of many taxpayers to start anew and wipe the slate clean should continue, unabated.

Read Article

 Immediate Termination of a GmbH Managing Director - Germany

In determining the valid grounds of immediate termination of a Managing Director, the knowledge available to the parties in regards to the reasons for making the termination effective are decisive.

Read Article

 Advertising with Customer Reviews and Ratings May Be Potentially Misleading - Germany

Advertisements with customer reviews and ratings must not lead to a distorted, positive image of a company.

Read Article

 Entitlement to Part-Time Work after Parental Leave - Germany

The employer of an employee returning after parental leave must provide for a part-time employment option.

Read Article

 Fictitious Name as a Company for Sole Proprietor - Germany

A fictitious name for the company of a sole proprietor should be possibly permitted.

Read Article

 Preliminary Heir Can Freely Dispose of Estate by Means of Provisions in Will - Germany

A preliminary heir can become a full heir if the revisionary heirs demand their legal share and the testator has accounted for this instance in his will.

Read Article

 Burden of Proof of Management Board in Case of Damages Claims - Germany

The management board of a stock corporation has ample room for manoeuvre with respect to its duty of care. This reduces the liability risk a little.

Read Article

 Notarial Certification Not Required to Declare Rescission of a Contract of Inheritance - Germany

A testator’s instruction to the notary to communicate the rescission of a contract of inheritance to the probate court does not require separate notarial certification.

Read Article

 Works Council’s Right to Refuse Borrowing on More than a Temporary Basis - Germany

The works council of company hiring temporary workers can reject the borrowing of a temporary worker on more than a temporary basis.

Read Article

 Possible Legal Redress in the Case of Erroneous Supervisory Board Resolutions - Germany

Despite the absence of statutory regulations, erroneous resolutions of the supervisory board can be proceeded against and actions lodged.

Read Article

 Possibility of Withholding Lease Instalments during Claim for Repayment of Purchase Price - Germany

If a lessee wishes to provisionally suspend the payment of installments, this requires in addition to the cancellation of the purchase agreement the enforcement of the claim for repayment of the purchase price against the supplier.

Read Article

 No Insurance Cover in the Case of Fraudulent Misrepresentation as to Cause of Damage - Germany

If a cause of damage is fraudulently misrepresented then any insurance coverage is rendered inapplicable, even if it would be issued in the face of correct representation.

Read Article

 In Deciding on a Secondment All Employees Must Be Included - Germany

Employers may not set iniquitous parameters when choosing employees for the purposes of a secondment. Thus, the restriction solely to formerly temporary employees is impermissible.

Read Article

 Termination of a Compliance Manager in Regards to Monitoring Measures - Germany

Circumstances may lead to the termination of a compliance manager when it comes to monitoring measures taken with regard to an employee.

Read Article

 Unreasonable Discrimination in Relation to an Extended Period of Notice of Termination - Germany

The Federal Supreme Court has issued a decision in regards to the termination of a commercial sales agent which has been determined to represent unreasonable discrimination only due to the provision of a termination notice period of 12 months.

Read Article

 Moral Rights - Germany

The holder of a right is entitled to various rights of copyright including, for example, moral rights.

Read Article

 Brokerage Costs as Income-Related Expenses - Germany

Brokerage costs which are incurred from the sale of a house may be included as work-related expenses for rental income under certain circumstances.

Read Article

 Risk Disclosure for Construction Projects by Architects and Structural Engineers - Germany

Architects and structural engineers have a duty to disclose existing risks to the client relating to a construction project, according to the Federal Court of Justice (BGH) in its judgment of June 20, 2013 (Az.: VII ZR 4/12).

Read Article

 Intellectual Property Rights in the Context of the Design of Sweets - Germany

In a dispute concerning the egg-shape of chocolate marshmallows, the Düsseldorf Regional Court ruled that the egg-shaped design of chocolate marshmallows should not be considered stolen.

Read Article

 Contractual Clause with “Processing Fee” for Granting of Loan Potentially Invalid - Germany

A “processing fee” agreed within the framework of general terms and conditions for a loan grant can potentially be invalid.

Read Article

 Ordinary Dismissal: Reference to Statutory Deadlines Should Suffice - Germany

A reference in the dismissal to the relevant statutory deadline provisions is sufficient, if it is possible to identify the date on which the employment relationship is supposed to come to an end.

Read Article

 Subsistence Needs of a Child of Legal Age - Germany

If a child of legal age lives in its grandmother’s house at no charge, this does not lead to a reduction in subsistence needs, according to the Hamm Higher Regional Court (OLG).

Read Article

 Dismissal of a Director without Notice Knowledge of the Board Decisive - Germany

In the view of the Federal Court of Justice, the level of knowledge of the board deciding on the dismissal is decisive in determining the reasons for a dismissal of a GmbH director without notice.

Read Article

 Liability for Intentional Wrongdoing Not Excluded by Acceleration Clause in Contract - Germany

According to the German Federal Labor Court, an acceleration clause in an employment contract does not necessarily apply to cases that are already regulated by statute.

Read Article

 The Use of a Third-Party Brand Name for One’s Own Advertising - Germany

The use of third-party brands in one’s own advertising can lead to a cease and desist order from the trademark holder.

Read Article

 An Arrow Diagram Is Not Considered to Be A Handwritten Will - Germany

An arrow diagram does not constitute the formation of a legally effective, handwritten will.

Read Article

 Exclusion of Warranty when Selling a House: Claims for Damages Are Still Possible - Germany

Exclusion of warranty may not be effectively valid if the seller of a house has not correctly described any existing defects; therefore, as a result, the seller carries liability in cases of false representation or claims made in bad faith that are involved in the process of the sale.

Read Article

 Commercial Rental Space Is Also Possible in Cases of Mixed Usage of Property - Germany

The classification of a rental space as either residential or commercial conforms to the emphasis given by the lease tenancy agreement.

Read Article

 Federal Fiscal Court: Prohibition of Set-Off Payments in Bankruptcy and Insolvency Proceedings - Germany

The German Federal Fiscal Court, Bundesfinanzhof (BFH), has changed its opinion on allowing set-off payments in bankruptcy proceedings in its judgment from July 25th 2012.

Read Article

 Excluded Tenancy Liability of the Lessor in the Leasing Agreement - Germany

Special duties are assigned to the lessor if the tenancy liability of the lessor is excluded under an assignment of legal warranty claims respective of a sales contract in the lease agreement.

Read Article

 Use of External Brand Names for Own Advertising - Germany

The use of external trademarks as part of one’s own advertising can lead to injunctive relief for the trademark holder.

Read Article

 Voluntary Disclosure in Relation to Untaxed Income Received from Service Fees Charged to an Agency - Germany

Reportedly, a number of university-level professors have voluntarily made disclosures in relation to untaxed income received as service fees charged to a PhD conferral mediation agency.

Read Article

 Labour Law: Failure to Observe a Deadline Can Lead to Dismissal of The Claim

It has been confirmed again and again in the jurisprudence of the Federal Labour Court (BAG) that the potentially very tight deadlines in labour law must be imperatively adhered to.

Read Article

 Varied Intended Uses of the German Limited Liability Company

The intended use of a German limited liability company can be based on commercial, non-commercial or non-material activity.

Read Article

 Leasing of Commercial Premises Also Possible Where There Is Mixed Use - Germany

For the classification of leased premises as residential or commercial tenancies, the focus of the tenancy is decisive.

Read Article

 Rights to Information of Applicants in the Recruitment Process - Germany

A rejected job applicant should not have a right to information vis-à-vis the employer regarding whether the employer has hired another applicant or on the basis of which criteria people were hired.

Read Article

 Cologne Higher Regional Court (OLG): Liability of Spouses in the Event of Copyright Breaches

A proprietor of an internet connection generally should not be liable for copyright breaches of their spouse.

Read Article

 Compensation Payments for Vacation or Holiday Leave Time Entitlements According to Labor Law - Germany

If an employee waives compensation for leave in the context of a settlement with the employer, EU law cannot stand in opposition to such a waiver.

Read Article

 The Equitable Distribution of a Gain in Assets in Divorce Proceedings - Germany

If the spouses have not signed a prenuptial agreement, they are considered to be living in a matrimonial property regime of joint ownership of accumulated assets as determined by statute.

Read Article

 Commercial Rental Spaces in the Case of Mixed Use of the Rental Premises? - Germany

The classification of a rental space as either a residential or commercial tenancy conforms to the emphasis given by the lease tenancy agreement.

Read Article

 Tenancy Termination Possible, if Landlord Would Like to Use Property for Commercial Purpose - Germany

It is now permissible for a landlord to cancel a lease agreement contract if the landlord wishes to use the leased property for commercial purposes and therefore not for personal use.

Read Article

 The Purpose Of a Limited Liability Company (GmbH/Ltd.)

A company with limited liability (GmbH/Ltd.) can be established with commercial, non-commercial or non-material intended purposes.

Read Article

 License Agreement Arrangements in Germany

A license agreement usually refers to a contract with pecuniary interest valid indefinitely with provisions on use transfer service made applicable for a certain period of time.

Read Article

 Federal Supreme Court Judgment Makes Things Harder for Tax Evaders - Germany

Financial criminal offenses may occur more readily and more frequently than most people expect. In a recent decision, the BGH seems to have tightened its jurisdiction on tax misdeeds.

Read Article

 Sales Tax Law in Germany

Sales tax is a tax incurred when deliveries or other services are exchanged. For this reason, sales tax is incurred with respect to nearly every service and every product.

Read Article

 No Reimbursement Of Additional Costs In The Event Of Supplementary Performance In Sale Of Goods Law

If a businessman purchases a defective item from another businessman, he can demand the delivery of the defective item within the framework of his claim for supplementary performance, but not the reimbursement of any additional costs.

Read Article

 Complex Questions Concerning Corporation Tax

Corporation tax is a particular form of income tax that is paid by corporations, legal persons and estates.

Read Article

 Extraordinary Dismissal in Cases of Suspected Personal Enrichment - Germany

The Hamburg Labor Court recently ruled that the strong suspicion of credit memos belonging to a business being used for private purposes can justify an extraordinary dismissal.

Read Article

 Rights and Duties of a Building Developer

A developer is someone who himself or through a third party has a building project implemented at their own or someone else’s expense and is legally and commercially responsible for this.

Read Article

 Solicited Marketing to Buy Gold Outside Branch Offices Objectionable - Germany

Business ideas involving the purchase and sale of gold are booming at the moment, but they are not always without legal objection.

Read Article

 GRP Rainer LLP Lawyers Tax Advisors In Nomos Handbook “Law Firms in Germany 2013”

GRP Rainer LLP Lawyers Tax Advisors featured in the recently published 14th edition of the handbook “Law Firms in Germany – A Selection of German Commercial Lawyers” from Nomos Publishing.

Read Article

 BAG Makes A Decision In Cases Of Termination On Grounds Of Suspicion

The dismissal of an employee on grounds of suspicion had been decided in the judgment dated 25 October 2012 (Ref.: 2 AZR 700/11) by the German Federal Labour Court (BAG).

Read Article

 Bad Times for Tax Dodgers after Federal Supreme Court Judgment - Germany

The German Federal Supreme Court (BGH) is said to have tightened its jurisdiction on tax offenses in a recent ruling. In some cases, a suspended sentence is excluded.

Read Article

 Formal Suspicion Of Criminal Offences Is Not Sufficient For Forced Termination Upon Suspicion

An employer who wishes to terminate an employee on the grounds of suspicion of a crime must pay attention to the argumentation presented in the employment tribunal process.

Read Article

 Requirements for Effective Representation of Civil Law Companies - Germany

For proof of signature authority of a member of a civil law company (GbR), a company stamp is sufficient.

Read Article

 Film Copyright or Supplementary Work - Germany

Whether or not someone is the originator of a film is determined by the general principle of authorship under Copyright Law (UrhG).

Read Article

 Immediate Tax Deducts for Accrued Property Transfer Taxes - Germany

Whether real estate is being acquired entirely new in the context of property acquisition or if it was already in the partnership’s possession is an important fact.

Read Article

 Live Streaming Possible up to a Certain Limit, Rules ECJ - Germany

The ECJ has ruled that the spreading of television programs via live streaming without the creator’s consent shall not be possible.

Read Article

 Temporary Workers Could Be Entitled to Equivalent Payment Like Permanent Employees - Germany

In several cases the Federal Labor Court (BAG) should have decided that temporary workers could be entitled to a higher salary for their work.

Read Article

 Long-Term Commitments of Partners in a Partnership (GbR) Can Be Inappropriate - Germany

Under circumstances an overly long commitment of partners in a partnership organised under the German Civil Law (GbR) that arises out of the memorandum of partnership of the GbR, can be inappropriate.

Read Article

 The Consequences Of The Bad Faith Of A House Seller

The seller of a house who fraudulently conceals an existing defect is potentially unable to plead an article of agreement excluding all warranties for defects.

Read Article

 The Commercial Agent within the Scope of the Commercial Code (HGB) - Germany

There are many different duties to accomplish pursuant to the provisions of the Commercial Code (HGB) by a commercial agent.

Read Article

 BGH on an Architect’s Responsibilities - Germany

In a recent judgement, the German Federal Court of Justice (BGH) provided a few clarifications with respect to the responsibilities of an architect towards his clients.

Read Article

 Nationwide Advertising of Companies with the Same Name Can Be Possible - Germany

In several recent judgements, the German Federal Court of Justice (BGH) provided a few clarifications with respect to the advertising of companies with the same name.

Read Article

 Profitable Rulings for Temporary Workers - Germany

The German Federal Labor Court (BAG) has decided that temporary workers could potentially receive more pay.

Read Article

 A Commercial Agent’s Obligations - Germany

The German Commercial Code (HGB) contains many duties for a commercial agent. In the case of non-fulfilment of these duties the commercial agent can be exposed to claims for damages.

Read Article

 Long-Term Commitments of Partners in a GbR May Be Invalid - Germany

In some circumstances a commitment of partners in a partnership organised under the German Civil Law (GbR) binding the partners to the partnership for an overly long period may be inappropriate.

Read Article

 Delimitation of Budget with Client to Be Conducted at Early Stage of Planning - Germany

The planning process would potentially be useless and a claim laid by the architect for remuneration could not be successful, if the specified budget framework is exceeded by the architect at a later date.

Read Article

 The Resale of Second Hand Software Is Possible - EC

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has decided that the general permission of resale of software also applies, if the licenses have been downloaded from the Internet.

Read Article

 Tightening of Jurisprudence on Criminal Code for Tax Offenses - Germany

The Federal Court of Justice (BGH) has seemingly tightened the jurisprudence on tax evasion. This shall particularly concern tax evaders who have failed to pay tax on multi-million euro amounts.

Read Article

 Dismissal of a Commercial Agent without Notice - Germany

Minor breaches of a restraint on competition on the part of the commercial agent do not present the businessman with a good cause for dismissal without notice.

Read Article

 Expiry Of A Post-Death Power Of Attorney In The Case Of A Sole Heir

If a post-death power of attorney is granted by a testator, this is likely to expire, if the authorised person is the sole heir.

Read Article

 Possible Problems Concerning Choice of Forum Agreements in European Supply Chains

The jurisdiction for the enforcement of claims may depend on whether a choice of forum agreement was reached between the parties.

Read Article

 Federal Court of Justice Reported to Have Clarified the Characteristic of “Carelessness” in Transport Law - Germany

The Federal Court of Justice (BGH), with its decision of 25 March 2004 (I ZR 205/01), is reported to have clarified the characteristic of "carelessness" of a freight carrier.

Read Article

 Aggravated Assertion of Professional Expenses with Regard to a Lasting Place of Work Abroad - Germany

If an employee is posted to a subsidiary company abroad for years, there may be variations in the arrangement of his professional expenses.

Read Article

 Duties of the Commercial Agent - Germany

A commercial agent has various duties to fulfill pursuant to the provisions of the Commercial Code (HGB).

Read Article

 Architect Has to Delimit Budget with Client at Early Stage of Planning - Germany

As a matter of principle, an architect has to delimit the economic framework for a construction project and consider the budget plans of the client with regards to the basic evaluation.

Read Article

 ECJ: Live Streaming Only Possible to a Limited Extent

It has emerged from a judgment of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) dated 7 March 2013 (file no. C-607/11) that television broadcasters can probably ban the dissemination of their broadcasts via live streaming.

Read Article

 Architect’s Liabilities Arising from Non-Disclosure - Germany

Architect’s liabilities arising from non-disclosure. If an architect knows that a contractual penalty was agreed in the building contract, he has to instruct his client about its retention at the time of acceptance.

Read Article

 Formal Requirements for Filing an Action Must Be Strictly Observed - Germany

In its ruling of 7 December 2012 (AZ: 6 K 1736/10), the Rhineland-Palatinate Finance Court ruled that filing an action by e-mail may also be permissible without a qualified electronic signature.

Read Article

 A Long-Term Commitment of Partners in a Partnership (GbR) May Be Inappropriate - Germany

An overly long commitment of partners in a partnership organised under the German Civil Law (GbR) that arises out of the memorandum of partnership of the GbR, can be inappropriate in some circumstances.

Read Article

 Notice of Included Sales Tax May Not Be Sufficient - Germany

A business can potentially be acting anti-competitively if the notice of included sales tax only becomes visible after clicking on the button “shipping and payment options”.

Read Article

 Accrued Property Transfer Tax May Apparently Still Be Immediately Tax Deductible - Germany

Up to now, it was not clear from a tax law perspective whether accrued property transfer tax constitutes incidental acquisition costs or an expense that is immediately tax deductible when there is a change to the composition of partners.

Read Article

 BAG Rules on Temporary Workers - Germany

The Federal Labor Court (BAG) appears to have decided in several cases that temporary workers might potentially be entitled to a higher wage for their work.

Read Article

 BGH: Exclusion of Equalisation of Accrued Gains and Severability Clause in a Prenuptial Agreement - Germany

The prenuptial exclusion of the equalization of accrued gains does not necessarily have to impact the validity of a prenuptial agreement.

Read Article

 Ban on Retransmitting Television Programs by Broadcasting Companies - Germany

The retransmission of television programs of broadcasting companies over the internet by other companies can be prohibited by a broadcasting company.

Read Article

 Business Succession: Examination of Any Claims to Supplement Compulsory Portions is Advisable - Germany

Some problems can stand in the way of succession planning of a business, all the more if persons entitled to a compulsory portion are disadvantaged in the process of succession.

Read Article

 Co-Heir Entitled to a Compulsory Portion Has Right to Inspect Land Register - Germany

A co-heir entitled to a compulsory portion can have a right to inspect the land register due to the possible transfer of properties before the death of the testator.

Read Article

 Possible Invalidity of a Clause Concerning the Gratuitous Reassignment of Shares - Germany

If the shareholder has shares that are, pursuant to the memorandum of association, to be gratuitously assigned back after the expiration of the agreement, which he previously acquired in return for consideration, this clause is potentially void.

Read Article

 BFH Rules: No Constitutional Concerns Regarding the 1%- Rule - Germany

The BFH has quashed constitutional doubts concerning the 1%- rule on the basis of the gross list new price.

Read Article

 The Enforcement Order Procedure Can Serve to Simplify the Enforcement of Claims - Germany

The procedure of enforcement orders can potentially be a simple and cost-saving alternative for businesses to enforce claims for payment.

Read Article

 Rights in the Case of Defects in the Law of Sale - Germany

If the condition of the item purchased deviates not insignificantly from its specified condition, then the purchaser can assert extensive rights.

Read Article

 A Prenuptial Agreement Can Potentially Prevent Disputes in the Event of a Divorce - Germany

A divorce is not only associated with private arguments, indeed it can also lead to legal disputes. A prenuptial agreement can potentially offer security.

Read Article

 Basis for Calculating the Remuneration of the Preliminary Insolvency Administrator - Germany

The basis for calculating the remuneration of the preliminary insolvency administrator is normally the value of the insolvency estate, yet there may be particularities pertaining to the calculation.

Read Article

 BGH on Absolute Grounds for Refusal of Trademarks - Germany

A recent decision of the Federal Court of Justice (BGH) demonstrated that a lack of distinctive character, among other things, can prevent a trademark from being registered.

Read Article

 Employee Has No Right to Particular Overall Score in Employer’s Reference

An employee has no right to a particular overall score from the preparation of an employer’s reference. Moreover, this right does not arise from the requirement for clarity in a reference.

Read Article

 Seller Cannot Invoke the Warranty Exemption if There Is Bad Faith - Germany

When a house is sold, the seller is potentially unable to invoke a contractual warranty exemption if he fraudulently failed to fully disclose an existing defect.

Read Article

 Warranty for Defects in the Law of Sale - Germany

Despite many attempts to provide a remedy, the purchaser potentially does not have to accept a defect in a new car that is irreparable.

Read Article

 BGH: Interest in Bringing Proceedings to Challenge the Election of the Supervisory Board - Germany

In its judgment of 19 February 2013 (Az.: II ZR 56/12), the Federal Court of Justice (BGH) commented on the interest in bringing proceedings to challenge the election of a supervisory board.

Read Article

 Retirement Age Limits in Work Agreements Are Effective - Germany

Retirement age limits stipulated in work agreements are not discriminatory and thus effective.

Read Article

 Buildings: The Matter With Copyrights - Germany

Nowadays the subject “Copyright” in the case of buildings occupies architects and builders more and more.

Read Article

 Very Tight Deadlines in the Field of Labor Law

The Federal Labor Court (BAG) decided that deadlines in the field of labor law which are partly very tight, must be respected.

Read Article

 Claim For Damages Arising Out Of Company Deleting Data From An Email Account Of The Employee

A company may not delete data from an email account of an ex-employee before it is certain that the employee no longer has any use for the data.

Read Article

 Maintaining a Residence Ban Be Exacerbated by an Employee Being Posted Abroad - Germany

Should an employee be posted to a subsidiary company abroad over a long period of time, this can potentially have an impact on the arrangement of his professional expenses.

Read Article

 Temporary Workers Are to Be Taken into Consideration for the Employment Protection Act

If an employer calculates the size of the business in order to find out whether the Employment Protection Act (Kündigungsschutzgesetz (KSchG)) is applicable, then temporary workers have to be potentially taken into consideration.

Read Article

 Claims to Supplement a Compulsory Portion in Business Succession - Germany

If succession planning for a business is pending then a few problems could be in store, specifically if the beneficiaries of a compulsory portion are disadvantaged in business succession.

Read Article

 Potential Hidden Profit Distributions in the Form of Inflated Salaries for Managing Directors - Germany

Benefits within a company arising exclusively form the corporate relationship are often paid out under the guise of inflated salaries.

Read Article

 Bad Faith in Selling Real Estate - Germany

A warranty exemption is potentially of no help to the seller of a house who does not fully and correctly describe an existing defect: where there is bad faith, he is nonetheless liable.

Read Article

 Temporary Workers to Be Taken into Consideration for Application of the Employment Protection Act - Germany

Temporary workers can be taken into consideration in determining the application of the Employment Protection Act (Kündigungsschutzgesetz (KSchG)) when the employer calculates the size of the business in order to find out whether the KSchG is applicable.

Read Article

 Possible to Verify the Right to Inherit Vis-à-vis a Bank Even without Certificate of Inheritance - Germany

The right of the heir to inherit, who is heir to a deceased client of a bank, does not necessarily have to be verified by a certificate of inheritance according to German law.

Read Article

 No Rescission of a Purchase Agreement in the Absence of Defects - Germany

If the buyer of a defective second-hand passenger vehicle has the defect removed himself and only then declares that the purchase agreement is rescinded, he is not entitled to claim rescission.

Read Article

 Federal Labor Court Confirms: Partly Very Tight Deadlines in the Field of Labor Law - Germany

It has again emerged from the decisions of the Federal Labor Court (BAG) that deadlines in the field of labor law which are partly very tight must be respected.

Read Article

 Heir Is Likely To Be Liable For Claims Arising From A Tenancy Of The Testator Only To A Limit

If claims arising from a tenancy still exist against the testator after the devolution of the inheritance, then the heir is potentially only liable insofar as these can be covered by the estate.

Read Article

 Federal Court of Justice (BGH) on Advertising of Companies with the Same Names - Germany

Companies with the same name that are operative in separate economic areas may, considering certain formalities, also advertise themselves in the other company's respective area.

Read Article

 Inheritance and Gift Tax Act (ErbStG) Possibly Unconstitutional - Germany

The new Inheritance and Gift Tax Act that came into force on 1 January 2009 with the reform to inheritance tax is to be re-examined with respect to its constitutionality.

Read Article

 Posting Workers Abroad Is Likely to Make Maintaining a Residence in the Home Country Difficult - Germany

Posting a worker for years to a subsidiary company abroad can spell changes to the arrangement of his professional expenses.

Read Article

 Headhunting of Employees Via Social Networks Potentially Anti-Competitive - Germany

Businesses are increasingly confronted with the problem of finding qualified senior managers. The search for specialist personnel via social networks therefore appears more and more attractive.

Read Article

 Dismissal of a Compliance Manager Possible by Reason of Unlawful Conduct - Germany

Surveillance measures carried out by an executive compliance worker with respect to a co-worker can potentially lead to the former’s dismissal.

Read Article

 Disinherited Final Heir Can Cause Problems - Germany

Married couples should be careful when drafting their will with regard to any possibly remaining final heirs.

Read Article

 Improper Warning Notice Due to Breach of Copyright Does Not Render Action Inadmissible - Germany

The Federal Court of Justice clarified that an improper warning notice due to a breach of copyright does not always extinguish the injunctive relief.

Read Article

 Amendment of a Will - Germany

Supplements to the copy of an original will require signing in order to be effective. If the signature of the testator below the supplements is missing, then no validly concluded testamentary disposition exists.

Read Article

 Germany - Estate Capital And Tax Liability

In order to avoid the danger of assuming an inheritance that is still to be taxed, the heirs should have the estate thoroughly reviewed with respect to its notification requirement.

Read Article

 Copyright of Buildings - Germany

In the past, the problem of “Copyright” in the case of buildings has made a name for itself in the press.

Read Article

 Warranty Claims in Sale of Goods Law - Germany

The Federal Court of Justice recently ruled on when a buyer has purchased a so-called “lemon” („Montagsauto“) and for this reason is able to revoke a concluded purchase agreement without setting a grace period.

Read Article

 International Rating Agencies Also Potentially Indictable in Germany

German investors who invest their money with foreign banks on the basis of the credit rating assessments of rating agencies can potentially recover their assets in the case of an erroneous assessment.

Read Article

 Operators of Partner Agency as Commercial Agents - Germany

The operator of a “partner agency“, who procures mobile phone accounts and providers, shall be legally considered as a commercial agent.

Read Article

 Distinctiveness of a Registered Trademark - Germany

A trademark should be distinctive in order to be eligible for registration.

Read Article

 A Broker’s Right to Commission despite the Invalidity of the Brokerage Agreement - Germany

Even a brokerage agreement can be rescinded if a ground to challenge exists and ultimately be invalid. Nevertheless, the broker may retain a right to claim commission.

Read Article

 Compulsory Enforcement Through The Attachment Of Debtor’s Claims

It is not unusual for creditors to find themselves in the situation where debtors do not acquit their liabilities towards them and consequently the existing claims against them have to be compulsorily enforced.

Read Article

 No Claim of Indemnity for Benefits from a Transportation Insurance Policy - Germany

According to the view of the Federal Supreme Court, the clients of one of the market-leading money and transportation companies are apparently not entitled to claim indemnity.

Read Article

 Higher Regional Court of Karlsruhe Appears to Have Rejected Copyright Protection tor Screen Masks - Germany

In doing so, the Court referred to the design aspects of a screen mask in the field of software.

Read Article

 The Legally Irreproachable Website - Germany

When creating one’s own homepage, the use of third party pictures or texts can rapidly lead to an infringement of copyright laws. Entrepreneurs in particular must, however, tread carefully not only in this area.

Read Article

 Validity Of Copied Last Wills And Testaments Confirmed By OLG Naumburg - Germany

Generally, the capacity of an heir may be proven by the original document. But now it shall be possible in certain cases to use a photocopy of the will as proof.

Read Article

 Termination Due To Audio Recording In Personnel Meeting Possible - Germany

The mutual trust between employer and employee can be strongly disturbed by a secret audio recording of the employee during a personnel talk.

Read Article

 The Federal Supreme Court’s Ruling On Claims For Compensation Of Marriage-Related Benefits

The Federal Supreme Court has ruled in its recent judgment (BGH, judgment of 19.09.2012 - XII ZR 136/10) concerning the determination of a claim for compensation of marriage-related benefits.

Read Article

 Premature Reappointment of Joint - Stock Company (Corporation) Board Members Is Possible - Germany

The Federal Supreme Court has decided (judgment of 07/16/2012 Case No.: ZR 55/11) that early corporation directors reappointment may be possible.

Read Article

 Distinctiveness of a Registered Trade Mark - Germany

A trade mark should be distinctive in order to be eligible for registration.

Read Article

 Garnishment (Seizure Of Assets) as a Means of Repossession - Germany

The foreclosure law provides creditors a lot of ways to enforce their claims against the debtor. Garnishment (the seizure of assets) is one of the most popular among them.

Read Article

 Protective Clauses Regarding Compulsory Parts in Law of Succession - Germany

A protective clause concerning compulsory parts must be interpreted as sufficient so that a corresponding earnest request of the compulsory portion against the heirs automatically triggers the protected right.

Read Article

 Premature Reappointment of Board Members 0f a Joint-Stock Company is Possible

The Federal Supreme Court has decided (judgment of 07/16/2012, case No.: ZR 55/11) that an early reappointment of directors of a corporation may be possible.

Read Article

 Federal Constitutional Court Supports Equal TaxTreatment of Spouses and Registered Partners

The Federal Constitutional Court has ruled that the preference of spouses to registered partners for tax purposes violates the constitution.

Read Article

 The Federal Supreme Court’s Ruling on Claims for Compensation of Marriage-Related Benefits

The Federal Supreme Court has ruled in its recent judgment (BGH, judgment of 19.09.2012 - XII ZR 136/10) concerning the determination of a claim for compensation of marriage-related benefits.

Read Article

 Garnishment as a means of Repossession

The law of foreclosure provides creditors a lot of ways to enforce their claims against the debtor. Garnishment (the seizure of assets) is one of the most popular among them.

Read Article

 The Testator must write the Testament Himself (Herself) and without help from third parties

The Higher Regional Court in Hamm has ruled: a will is usually deemed invalid when it has been prepared with the help of transcripts produced by third parties.

Read Article

 Untaxed Assets in the Inheritance must be Reported

All the heirs are advised to check carefully whether an inheritance could fully or partially consist of so called black money.

Read Article

 The Scope of the Freedom of the Media includes online Encyclopaedias as well

The State Court of Tubingen has ruled that an online encyclopaedia falls within the scope of the freedom of the media in case of publication of articles about individuals.

Read Article

 Lies in a JobIinterview can be Legitimate

Whether the candidate has eventually been prosecuted or not, is irrelevant both to the current interview and the potential future employer.

Read Article

 Contractual Notices of Voluntary Special Payments must be Clear

According to the transparency requirement it is illegal to formulate incomprehensibly clauses of labour contracts regarding voluntary additional payments by the employer.

Read Article

 Trademark Law in Practice

Trademarks allow the proprietor to distinguish different product identifications from each other. This is why trademarks play a very important role in everyday life.

Read Article

 Corporate Debts Of A Limited Company’s Director

The director of a limited company has to make sure to have an extensive overview of the economic and financial situation of the company. Otherwise, he is not able to assume his responsibilities properly. This is evident from the recent judgment of the German Federal Supreme Court (BGH, II Reference Number 243/11 of the 19.06.2012).

Read Article

 The Validity Of Copied Wills Was Confirmed By The Higher Regional Court Of Naumburg

In general a will in the original characterizes a valid proof of inheritance of a property. However, in individual cases it should be also possible to use a photocopy of the testament as a proof. This was decided lately by the Naumburg Higher Regional Court at the 3/29/2012 (Case No.: 2 Wx 60/11).

Read Article

 Contractual Provisions Of Voluntary Special Payments Must Be Set Forth Clearly

According to the transparency requirement set forth in § 305c p. 1 of the Federal Legislation of Germany (BGB), it is illegal to express ambiguously provisions of labour contracts regarding voluntary extra payments by the employer.

Read Article

 The Ltd. Firm Can Be Answerable For A Small Business With Similar Identity

Ltd. companies can be accountable for bad investment guidance through a business with a similar name.

Read Article

 A Photocopy Of A Will Is A Sufficient Proof Of Inheritance Of A Property

As a rule, a will in the original represents a valid proof of inheritance of a property. In individual cases, however, according to the Naumburg Higher Regional Court’s recent decision of 29.03.2012 (Case No.: 2 Wx 60/11), even a photocopy of the will may be deemed sufficient to prove the heir’s rights.

Read Article

 At The Conclusion Of The Year, Inheritance Claims Can Expire By Boundaries Of The Inheritance Reform

Bequest claims might expire at the conclusion of the year, because of legislation alteration of acquiescence using the inheritance reform. The actual inheritance reform by the new year has evolved. The particular issue and its rules could show its side effects the very first time this current year.

Read Article

 The Time Does Not Matter With Regards To Community Trademark Prioritization

If for example, the main priority of a community trademark over a national trade mark is in question, the day of registration is applicable. The precise time of the brand registration should not be assessed.

Read Article

 BAG Judgment: An Employee Is Not Obliged To Return The Salary Obtained From A Competitor

The judgment of BAG (the Federal Labour Court of Germany) outlines the principle that there is no obligation for a former employee to return his salary agreed upon with a new employer to the previous one for the reason of the breach of non-competition.

Read Article

 Interpretation Of Compensation Clauses For Shareholders Withdrawing From A GmbH

By the Decision of 27.09.2011 (Case No.: II ZR 279/09) the Federal Court of Germany expressed its point of view regarding the interpretation of compensation clauses in the memorandum of association of a GmbH (limited liability company).

Read Article

 Multiple Competition Law Infringement Warnings Through Lawful Third Parties

Due to gradually growing product piracy and the increasing copyright infringements, protection against mental property theft is more essential than ever before. A brands legal rights are frequently enforced via a written warning.

Read Article

 Adverse Balance Liability Of Shareholders Of A GmbH (Limited Liability Company)

When the GmbH’s operations should be restarted in spite of the change of the company’s purpose, it constitutes an establishment of a new company. The buyer of shares can then be subject to the adverse balance liability, when such an establishment was not disclosed to the court of registration.

Read Article

 Publishers Cannot Prevent Distribution Of Pictorial Material

When granting publishers exclusive rights, the photo-artist does not always lose the right to use individual photos of a series.

Read Article

 Mandatory Reporting Of Untaxed Assets In The Inherited Property

Heirs of tax evaders can eventually face prosecution, as lately tax investigation is more and more concerned about tax evasion.

Read Article

 Even Change Of The Company Owner Should Be Considered As Company Transfer

According to the German Civil Code (BGB), at the moment of the company transfer the new company owner takes over the rights and obligations that result from the existing labour relations.

Read Article

 Reporting Requirement Of Inherited Untaxed Properties

Even inheritors of tax evaders should eventually take criminal prosecution against them in account, since more and more tax investigations due to fiscal fraud were lately brought to light.

Read Article

 Ongoing Written Competition Law Damage Warnings By A Lawful Third Party

Due to gradually escalating product along with the trademark infringements, defense against intellectual property infringement is more essential than before. Attributes related security rights are frequently enabled through a published warning.

Read Article

 The European Court Of Justice (ECJ) Allows Resale Of Software Licences

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has decided that resale of licences for second hand software is, in general, possible.

Read Article

 Bequeather’s Tax Obligations On The Year Of Death In Their Quality As Deductible Bequest Liabilities

In its Judgment of the 04.07.2012, the German Federal Finance Court (BFH) determined that the final income taxes to be paid by the legatee, in his quality as universal successor, on behalf of the legator on the year of the latter’s death, is a liability deductible of the legacy according to § 10 section 5 Nr. 1 of the German Inheritance Tax Law.

Read Article

 Bequeather’s Tax Obligations On The Year Of Death In Their Quality As Deductible Bequest Liabilities

In its Judgment of the 04.07.2012, the German Federal Finance Court (BFH) determined that the final income taxes to be paid by the legatee, in his quality as universal successor, on behalf of the legator on the year of the latter’s death, is a liability deductible of the legacy according to § 10 section 5 Nr. 1 of the German Inheritance Tax Law.

Read Article

 A Company With Limited Liability Can Be Liable For A Small Business With Similar Name

Limited liability companies might be liable for poor investment counseling through a business with the exact same title.

Read Article

 Co-Partners May Be Excluded From Limited Partnerships

By judgment of 21.06.2011 AZ: II ZR 262/09 the German Federal Court of Justice (BGH) decided the exclusion of a co-partner from a limited partnership.

Read Article

 Bequeather’s Tax Obligations On The Year Of Death In Their Quality As Deductible Bequest Liabilities

In its Judgment of the 04.07.2012, the German Federal Finance Court (BFH) determined that the final income taxes to be paid by the legatee, in his quality as universal successor, on behalf of the legator on the year of the latter’s death, is a liability deductible of the legacy according to § 10 section 5 Nr. 1 of the German Inheritance Tax Law.

Read Article

 Possibility Of Prescription Of Rights To Indemnification

Certain rights to indemnification could prescribe with the year’s end. Such a negative prescription would have extensive consequences on the creditor. If the prescription of rights has entered into effect, the debtor can refuse payment. Thus, rights to indemnification can become unenforceable by the creditor.

Read Article

 Corporate Debts Of A Limited Company’s Director

According to a recent judgment of the German Federal Supreme Court (BGH, II Reference Number 243/11 of the 19.06.2012), the director of a limited company must make sure to have a comprehensive overview of the economic and financial situation of the company while organizing it, in order to assume his responsibilities appropriately.

Read Article

 The Corporate Successor Liability

As per § 25 l of the German Commercial Code (HGB), no corporate successor liabilities are imposed upon the buying successor if the latter is a mere continuation of the predecessor’s corporation name.

Read Article

 Publishers Do Not Have The Right To Prohibit Distribution Of Pictorial Material

If a photo-artist grants a publisher exclusive right to a collection of his pictorial material, he still does not lose the right to use separate photographs of the said collection.

Read Article

 Repeatedly Issued Competition Law Damage Warnings Through Lawful Third Parties

Due to expanding product and the copyright law infringements, safety measures are more important than ever before. Properties with corresponding defense rights can often be applied by having a written caution issued.

Read Article

 Through The Inheritance Reform, Inheritance Claims Will Expire By Limitations At The End Of The Year

Inheritance claims may expire at the end of the year, due to a law change in accordance with the inheritance reform. The inheritance reform from 2010 has changed the limitation rules and could show its effects for the first time this year.

Read Article

 No Time Frame Importance When Considering Community Trademark Prioritization

In case the priority regarding a community trademark over a national trade mark is in debate, then the day of registration is applicable and not the particular time. The exact time of the brand registration should not be assessed.

Read Article

 Faulty Organizing As A Result Of A Manager Of A Limited Liability Company

As per a recent ruling by the Federal Court of Justice (BGH, II ZR 243/11 from the 19.06.2012), it's the duty of a manager of a particular Ltd Company to maintain a clear enough picture concerning the financial and economic situation of the company. In addition, they must be capable of satisfying their assignments in the proper manner.

Read Article

 Germany - Foreign Inheritance Laws

Upon the question, which inheritance law is to be applied, both the German and the international inheritance laws rely on the nationality of the deceased at the point of death.

Read Article

 Considering Ccommunity Trademark Prioritization Time Frame Importance Is Not Necessary

In case the priority regarding a community trademark over a national trade mark is in debate, then the day of registration is applicable and not the particular time. The exact time of the brand registration should not be assessed.

Read Article

 A New Ltd. Business Might Be Responsible For A Small Business With The Exact Same Name

Limited legal responsibility companies could be answerable for negative purchase advising by an individual business with the exact same identity.

Read Article

 At The End Of The Year, Bequest Promises Eexpire By Means Of Constraints Over The Inheritance Reform

Inheritance claims may end at the close of the year, as a result of legislation alternation in obedience with the inheritance reform. The inheritance reform from 2010 has changed the limitation rules and could show its effects for the first time this year.

Read Article

 Substandard Planning As A Result Of The Manager Of A Limited Liability Company

As is documented in a recent decision by the ruling of the Federal Court of Justice (BGH, II ZR 243/11 from the 19.06.2012), it's the burden of an office manager of a Limited Liability Company to maintain sufficient knowledge with regards to the monetary and economical state of his or her company, in order to be prepared to fulfill their assignments prudently.

Read Article

 Time Does Not Matter With Regards To Community Trademark Prioritization - Germany

If for example, the main priority of a community trademark over a national trade mark is in question, then the day of registration is applicable and never the particular time. The precise time of the brand registration shouldn't be assessed.

Read Article

 Lawful Third Parties Issuing Ongoing Written Warnings - Germany

The reiterated warning, in line with the ruling of the Higher Court of Oldenburg (Oberlandesgericht), can be necessary and justified.

Read Article

 Publishers Cannot Prevent Distribution Of Pictorial Material - Germany

When granting a publisher exclusive rights, the photo-artist does not always lose the right to use individual photos of a series.

Read Article

 Succession Cases With Foreign Elements In Germany

Intestacy cases can often be governed by the German as well as the foreign succession laws, which can complicate the implementation of the inheritors’ rights and claims. Nowadays, succession cases with foreign elements have become more often. Various reasons can be cited in this concern: Germany for instance, is home for many intestates of foreign nationalities. Besides, the rate of German nationals owning properties in foreign countries is increasing.

Read Article

 At The End Of The Year, Bequest Promises Can Expire By Constraints Over The Inheritance Reform - Germany

Inheritance claims may end at the close of the year, as a result of legislation alternation in obedience with the inheritance reform. The inheritance reform from 2010 has changed the limitation rules and could show its effects for the first time this year.

Read Article

 A Ltd. Business May Be Responsible For A Small Business With Similar Name In Germany

Limited responsibility businesses might be responsible for poor investment advising by a business with the same title. The German Federal court of justice (Bundesgerichtshof - judgment from 05.07.12 - II ZR 116/11) ruled on the preconditions of a company's continued responsibility according to § 25 with the German commercial code (HGB). Limited liability companies sharing the identical names as a corporation might be liable for poor investment recommendations.

Read Article

 At The Conclusion Of The Year, Inheritance Gifts Will Reach Their Expiration Date - Germany

Inheritances may possibly expire at the end of the year, because of a legislation alternation in compliance with the inheritance reform. The reform of 2010 changed the actual guidelines and may even display its effects for the first time this coming year. On the 10.09.2010 the new inheritance and also limits legislations grew to be useful.

Read Article

 Publishers Cannot Prevent Distribution Of Pictorial Material - Germany

When granting a publisher exclusive rights, the photo - artist does not always lose the right to use individual photos of a series. The Higher Regional Court of Cologne decided with judgement of the 21.12.2011 (File Number 6 U 118/11) in favour of the artist. Though the right of use was transferred to the publishing company by the artist for a certain book project, the publisher cannot forbid the author from using the pictures in the absence of a suitable alternative agreement.

Read Article

 Reporting Requirement Of Inherited Untaxed Properties in Germany

Even inheritors of tax evaders should eventually take criminal prosecution against them into account, since more and more tax investigations due to fiscal fraud were lately brought to light. It seems that a stricter pursuit of tax evaders is to be expected.

Read Article

 Ruling Of The Liability Of Partnerships Under Civil Law (GbR) - Germany

The judgment from the German Federal Court of Justice (file number: II ZR 197/10) made clear that an associate can be held liable even if he has already retired from the GbR. The ruling shows the liability risks for associates that come into consideration in connection with the withdrawal from a GbR. The associates, as mentioned in the ruling above, are not freed from the risk of liability, even though the law excludes post liability.

Read Article

 Issuing Of Law Injury Warnings Through Lawful Third Parties - Germany

In certain cases it can happen that multiple written warnings about copyright infringements are issued. Due to progressively increasing product piracy and the mounting, protection against intellectual property is more important than ever. Properties with corresponding protection rights can often be applied through a written warning.

Read Article

 No Time Relevance For The Purpose Of Local Area Trademark Prioritization - Germany

In the event that the principal interest of any community trademark more than a federal trademark is in question, then the day of registration is relevant but not the exact time. The actual precise moment of the specific brand registration really should not be taken into consideration.

Read Article

 Inheritance Claims Will Expire By Limitations Through The Inheritance Reform At The End Of the Year - Germany

The inheritance reform from 2010 has changed the limitation rules and could show its effects for the first time this year. Thus, inheritance claims may expire at the end of the year, due to a law change in accordance with the inheritance reform. On 01.01.2010 the inheritance - and limitations law reform became effective.

Read Article

 Income Tax For The Death Year Of The Departed Is Deductible According To Federal Court Of Finance - Germany

The German Federal Court of finance takes the position that the abatement of taxes does not just include taxes from the time of death legally accrued, but also the tax obligations that the departed, as a tax payer, has declared through the realization of legal tax deduction claims that accrue at the end of the year of death.

Read Article

 Manage Your Accounts Receivable In Germany

Default customers are quite often a factor behind company insolvency, according to statistics. Even for successful companies, bad payment behavior by customers may turn into a major problem with severe consequences. Creditors should consider advising outsourcing the reminder and all further steps to a lawyer. In most cases, the first reminder on headed paper from a law firm will make defaulting customers pay their debts.

Read Article

 Ban Of Selective Distribution Systems Allowed For Brand Protection - Germany

The higher regional court of Munich (judgment from the 02.07.2012 U K 4842/08) had to decide on the protection of trademarks within the scope of so-called selective distribution systems. In the case at hand, a famous brand wanted to protect its image from unwanted Internet sales. The enterprise for sporting goods considered a ban on so-called "selective distribution systems".

Read Article

 A Ltd. Company Can Be Liable For A Small Business With The Similar Name - Germany

According to a recent judgment of the German Federal court of justice (BGH - judgment from 05.07.12 - II ZR 116/11), a limited liability company can be liable for bad investment counseling by an individual enterprise which carries the same name.

Read Article

 Liability Of Partnerships Under Civil Law Decided By Federal Court Of Justice - Germany

A judgment from the German Federal Court of Justice (file number: II ZR 197/10) made clear that an associate can still be held liable even after he retired from a GbR. The ruling underlines the liability risks for associates that have to be considered in connection with the withdrawal from a GbR. The associates are not freed from the risk of liability, as the above ruling shows. This is true even though the law excludes post liability.

Read Article

 Commission For Trade Representative Contracts Can Be Regulated - Germany

Contradictory contractual commission regulations of trade agents can be found invalid. The higher regional court of Munich (Az. 23 U 4793/11) ruled on March 22nd 2012 that commission determining clauses can be ineffective in the light of an coexisting and simultaneously completed cooperation agreement and trade-agent contract.

Read Article

 Succession Cases With Foreign Elements - Germany

Intestacy cases can often be governed by the German as well as the foreign succession laws which can complicate the implementation of the inheritors’ rights and claims. Nowadays, succession cases with foreign elements have become more often. Various reasons can be cited in this concern: Germany for instance, is home for many intestates of foreign nationalities.

Read Article

 Faulty Organization By A Manager Of A Limited Liability Company - Germany

According to a recent judgment by the Federal Court of Justice (BGH, II ZR 243/11 from the 19.06.2012), it is the responsibility of the manager of a Ltd Company to have a decent enough overview of the financial and economic situation, in order to be able to fulfill his duties properly.

Read Article

 Federal Court Of Finance States That Income Tax For The Death Year Of The Passed Can Be Deductible - Germany

The verdict of the German Federal Finance Court (BFH) of the 04.07.2012 (AZ: II R 15/11) strongly portrayed the fact that the income tax debt for the death year of the departed is actually tax deductible. Consequently, going forward, the debts belonging to the deceased, consisting of church taxes as well as the solidarity surcharges, may be deducted prior to computation of the inheritance tax by the taxation office.

Read Article

 No Time Significance Meant For Community Trademark Prioritization - Germany

When the key concern of a community trademark compared to a national trademark is of question, then the day of registration is applicable, but not the particular time. The actual precise moment of one particular brand name’s enrollment should not be taken into consideration.

Read Article

 Expiration By Limitations Possible For Inheritance Claims At The End Of The Year - Germany

Inheritance claims may expire at the end of the year, due to a law change in accordance with the inheritance reform. In the year 2010 an inheritance reform changed the limitation rules and could show its impact this year. The inheritance - and limitations law reform became effective on 01.01.2010.

Read Article

 Time Consideration Is Irrelevant For Community Trademark Prioritization - Germany

Where the priority of the community trademark over a national trademark is in debate, then the day of registration is pertinent and not the exact time. The precise time of the brand registration must not be considered. With the help of a Spanish court, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) built a specific ruling on the 22.03.2012 (C - 190/10) that the term "registration day", consistent with article 27 of the Community trademark rules...

Read Article

 Co-Partner Of A Limited Partnership Can Be Excluded - Germany

Along with the explanation to the co-partner, it requires the adoption of resolutions by the other partners to evoke the exclusion of a co-partner from a limited partnership. The Federal Court of Justice judgment of the 6/21/2011 (File number: II ZR 262/09) decides about the exclusion of a co-partner from a limited partnership.

Read Article

 Federal Court Of Finance Decides That Income Tax For The Year Of Death Of The Departed Is Deductible - Germany

The decision from the German Federal Finance Court (BFH) of the 04.07.2012 (AZ: II R 15/11) evidently stipulated that the income tax debt for the entire 12 month period of the departed is tax deductible. Therefore, at some forward point, the debts from the deceased, along with church taxes plus the solidarity surcharges, are often deducted just before the taxation office is granted to calculate the inheritance tax.

Read Article

 Imitation Protection Of Internet Sites By Copyright Law - Germany

The operator of an Internet address has, as a rule, a special interest in the protection of his advertising appearance on the Internet against imitation. However, such a protection, from the copyright law, is guaranteed only up to a certain creation/design point.

Read Article

 No Time Relevance When It Comes To Community Trademark Prioritization - Germany

As soon as the principal interest of a typical community trademark over a federal trademark is questioned, then the day of registration is relevant and not the exact time. The very time of any brand registration should not be taken into account.

Read Article

 Distribution Of Pictures Cannot Be Prohibited By Publishers - Germany

By grant of exclusive rights in favor of a publishing company, a photographer does not lose, in all cases, the right of use for individual photos of a series. The higher regional court of Cologne decided with the judgment of the 21/12/2011 (File number: 6 U 118/11) in favor of the artist.

Read Article

 Federal Court Of Finance Clarifies That Income Tax For The Year Of Passing Of The Departed Is Deductible

The decision of the German Federal Finance Court (BFH) dated 07/04/2012 (AZ: II R 15/11) evidently stipulated that the income tax debt for the entire 12 month period of the passed-on individual is tax deductible. Therefore, at some forward point, the debts from the deceased, together with church taxes, as well as, the solidarity surcharges, are often deducted just before the financial authorities are granted sum up the inheritance tax.

Read Article

 No Time Significance With Regards To Community Trademark Prioritization - Germany

Whenever the priority of a community trademark over a nationwide trademark is in doubt, then the day of registration is pertinent and never the exact time. The very time of the brand enrollment should not be taken into consideration.

Read Article

 Managers Of A Limited Liability Company Can Be Liable For Faulty Organization – Germany

It is the responsibility of the manager of a Ltd Company to have a decent enough overview of the financial and economic situation of the company, according to a recent judgment by the Federal Court of Justice (BGH, II ZR 243/11 from the 19.06.2012). The manager needs to be able to fulfill his duties properly.

Read Article

 Certain Time Irrelevant For Community Trademark Prioritization - Germany

Where the priority of the community trademark over a national trademark is in debate, then the day of registration is pertinent and not the exact time. The precise time of the brand registration mustn't be considered. With the help of a Spanish court, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) built a specific ruling on the 22.03.2012 (C - 190/10) that the term "registration day", consistent with article 27 of the Community trademark rules (GMV)...

Read Article

 Germany - Observing Deadlines Remains Important In Labor Law

Several current judgments of the German Federal Labor Court show that there is no room for hesitation when it comes to questions pertaining to labor law. In the recent past, the court explained that though vacation entitlements accrue from long standing employment contracts, that these claims however, expire 15 months after the end of the holiday year. In other proceedings, it was made clear that a 2 months deadline has to be kept in order to assert the compensation claims for discrimination.

Read Article

 Germany - Income Tax For Year Of Death Of The Deceased Deductible According To Federal Court Of Finance

The verdict of the German Federal Finance Court (BFH) of the 04.07.2012 (AZ: II R 15/11) strongly portrayed the point in which the income tax debtfor the death year of the departed is actually tax deductible. Consequently, going forward, the debts belonging to the deceased, consisting of church taxes, as well as, the solidarity surcharges, can be subtracted before computation of the inheritance tax by the taxation office.

Read Article

 Limited Partnership Can Exclude A Co-Partner - Germany

The adoption of resolutions by the other partners is necessary to evoke the exclusion of a co-partner from a limited partnership, along with the explanation to the co-partner. If the partnership contract of a limited partnership determines that a co-partner needs to leave the partnership, or should the remaining partners want his withdrawal for important reasons by declaring this to him, then this clause needs interpretation.

Read Article

 Regulation Of Fees For Trade Representative Contracts In Germany

Contractual commission regulations of trade agents can be void if they are contradictory. According to a ruling of the higher regional court of Munich (Az. 23 U 4793/11) from March 22nd 2012 it was determined, that commission determining clauses can be inoperable if there are an coexisting and simultaneously completed cooperation agreement and trade - agent contract. Following § 307 para. 1 sentence 2 BGB (German civil code) these agreements can be found void if they are inconsistent.

Read Article

 Flawed Organizing By A Manager Of A Limited Liability Company - Germany

As documented in the latest judgment by means of the Federal Court of Justice (BGH, II ZR 243/11 from the 19.06.2012), it's the obligation of the manager of a particular Limited Company to possess a good enough comprehension regarding the fiscal and economic condition of their company, in order to be qualified to meet his/her assignments in the proper way.

Read Article



GRP Rainer LLP
Social Networks


Find a Local Lawyer