PRIVATE CONSTRUCTION LAW
Private construction law is the general headline for a large number of fields of law and statutes. Examples are the classic construction contract, contracts for works and services, consumer contracts combining the acquisition of a plot and the construction of residential flats or houses, contracts of architects and engineers and the liability of all parties during and after construction.
Our field of legal advice covers inter alia drafting and checking of contracts, advice during construction, claim management and claim defence, liability of the construction parties as well as representation in court or arbitration proceedings.
PUBLIC CONSTRUCTION AND PLANNING LAW
Public construction law deals with the legal relations between the state and the individual citizen or private companies. It is part of the special administrative law. Main areas of legal advice are the questions “if” or “how” a construction project is legally possible. How to construct, in which size, on which parts of a plot etc. needs to be addressed to the public authorities according to mandatory statutory requirements in the application for the construction or usage permit.
We advise on third party protection rights e.g. of neighbouring plots, on questions of the validity of urban land development plans, construction permits, injunctions against legal acts of public authorities, judicial review of urban land development plans or drafting of urban development contracts.
LAW OF ARCHITECTS AND ENGINEERS
The law of architects and engineers deals with the duties and rights of architects, structural engineers, M&E engineers and other specialist planners. The external project manager may as well be located among those specialists although under German law the legal nature of the project management contract is not quite clear due to the mixed legal character of duties. Our legal advice centres around the professional fees (HOAI), contract drafting and checking, liability of planners and site supervisors as well as the intellectual property rights of the architects. The services of architects and engineers are the starting point and basis for every construction project.
Only consumers who contract a general contractor or principal investing in more than 25 Mio EUR constructions costs may neglect to clarify the minimum fees owed to the planners according to the mandatory German fee Act for architects and engineers (HOAI). This highly specialised field of law requires experience and technical know-how. We advise architects and engineers as well as principals of every size from the acquisition process of a plot until the drafting and checking of a legally valid final invoice.
REAL ESTATE LAW
This general headline covers all legal questions of soil and plots as well as the buildings and other fittings and fixtures. Real Estate Law deals with sale and purchase contracts of plots including the general requirement of notarisation, with public construction law requirements as well as with the rules on private construction and planning contracts.
We advise you in questions of Real Estate Development, the registration of easements, encroachments, pre-emption rights, forced sale procedures, hereditary building rights, in questions of lease agreements or during a purchaser/vendor due diligence process.
REAL ESTATE DEVELOPMENT LAW
The Real Estate Development contract, in some jurisdictions also known as EPC (Engineering, procurement, construction) contract is often characterised as a sale and purchase contract of a plot (or part of a plot) which includes the duty of the contractor to construct a building. Under German law every transfer of property of a plot requires notarisation for legal validity. Next to the notarisation requirement the contractor undertakes to perform planning services, procurement as well as coordination and site supervision services.
The new Sec. 650 et seq. BGB are applicable and not to forget the strict rules on payments and securities deriving from the ordinance for Real Estate Agents and Developers (MaBV, Makler- und Bauträgerverordnung). In many cases the draft notarial contract is provided by the contractor’s notary, nevertheless it is advisable to both parties to have the contract draft checked before signing by a specialised construction lawyer who also takes the scope of works into consideration. Case law is existing in abundance and complexity while County Courts from time to time surprise with new views.