Litigation

Despite the best intentions of all parties involved and extraordinary negotiation skills, litigations cannot always be avoided. We will, of course, accompany you on this path as well, represent you in front of courts or arbitration tribunals and help you to assert your claim or oppose unjustified claims.

You will not be referred from our consulting „commercial department“ to a purely forensic „litigation department“. Your lawyer, whom you have worked with so far and whom you trust, will represent you in court as well. This way we ensure that the lawyer who represents your interests in court possesses all the necessary information received from you earlier and is therefore best equipped to handle the litigation for you.

Preference action

It seems to be almost a sport to insolvency administrator at the time, to bring preference actions against directors and suppliers, from which they hope to increase the value of the insolvent estate.

  1. Preference actions against directors

Insolvency administrators sue both owner-managing directors as well as hired directors for repayment of bonuses, commissions and other forms of special remuneration exceeding the monthly fixed salary. Payments up to 10 years (from the filing of the application to open insolvency proceedings) can be asserted by the insolvency administrator by claiming that the director

  • received such payments under intentional fraudulent trading against third party creditors by the debtor and
  • that the director knew or should have known about the intentional fraudulent trading.

As one of our core specializations is in the area of restructuring and insolvency, we are able to argue with the insolvency administrator on eye level and have successfully defended our clients in a number of preference actions commenced by insolvency administrators.   

  1. Preference actions against suppliers

Suppliers are increasingly exposed to actions by insolvency administrators and are sued for reimbursement of monies received for services or goods provided. The supplier is then usually upset twice. Not only that you have to expect that you won’t be able to recover your latest claims against the debtor due to the fact that insolvency proceedings often are closed with a very small ratio for the creditors. You will have to write off part of your claim. On top of this, actions are brought against you for repayment of monies that you have received prior to opening of the insolvency proceedings for goods and services already provided by you.

Don’t fret, but contact us. We have various experiences with this sort of actions and have defended a variety of clients successfully against such claims.

Warranty claims

Our attorneys have a variety of experience when it comes to warranty claims, the assertion or defence against deficiencies. We take into account the commercial-law related peculiarities as well as the CISG (United Nations Convention on the International Sale of Goods).

Since our lawyers predominately deal with cross-border matters, it is a sheer automatism for them to examine the applicable law and possible courts of venue when faced with a cross-border sales contract. Thereby we also take into account general terms and conditions and possibly contradicting general terms and conditions of the opposing party.

Director’s liability

As a hired director, you are exposed to the balancing act between the company’s best interest and the operational business on one hand side and the various legal and liability-related obligations on the other hand. If contradictory interests are added within the company group, it becomes even more difficult. Losing track of all the legal and liability-related obligations in the day-to-day business happens faster than most people might think.If in addition the company comes into difficulties or enters a crisis situation, a call for director’s liability is often heard.

 

 

We support you in these cases. Be it that you are accused of a delay in filing for insolvency by the thereafter appointed insolvency administrator, be it that preference actions are brought against you, because you are accused of having received payments in the knowledge of an intentional fraudulent trading against other creditors.

Naturally we also represent your interests outside of insolvency and crisis situations, i.e. in judicial disputes after you have separated from the company.

Intellectual Property

Did you happen to find out that someone uses the same or a confusingly identical sign for the same products or services as you? Did somebody tell you that he has seen a product with the same or an almost identical design as yours? Do not allow others to swim on your wave of success. You have put a lot of work and money into the development and marketing of your products and the introduction of your brand into the market. Defend your intellectual property!

We will accompany you from the initial safeguarding of evidence to an out-of-court warning letter and/or an application for an interim injunction to the final settlement of the matter, whether by an acknowledgement of claim by the infringing party or by obtaining a court judgement.

Again and again, cases arise, in which alleged owners of intellectual property, be it trade marks, patents or design, try to intimidate competitors, especially in connection with trade fairs and to discourage him to exhibit his products in the best way possible by making infringement accusations prior to fairs. This has to be opposed with the appropriate sharpness, not only out-of-court, but also by means of judicial measures, such as the submission of Schutzschrift, so that you can make the most of your trade fair appearance.

A Schutzschrift is a specialty of German law. It is like you deposit your statement of defence with the court before the actual statement of claim, the application for an injunction was filed by your opponent. The court will also consider your presentation of the facts and won’t render its decision solely on the basis of the representation of the facts by the opponent. Please be aware that under German civil procedure law, each party only has to present the facts that are favorable to it and does not have to give an accurate picture of the overall circumstances. Although the decision by the court may only be “interim”, i.e. preliminary, however it can still hit you hard and even harder coming as a complete surprise (without hearing in front of courts and without prior information about the opponent’s pleadings).
Sales agents and distribution law

If the sales representative or distributor and the entrepreneur go separate ways, often conflicts arise over the date of termination, purchase obligations, outstanding commission payments, compensation claims and/or withdrawal of goods.

The enforcement of the respective rights is in many cases complicated by an unclear contractual situation, since either contracts do not exist at all, sample contracts were used but not adapted to the actual situation and understanding of the parties, or – the most frequent case – the business relationship changed and developed during the long-term cooperation but the underlying contract was never adapted accordingly.

Based on our litigation experience in this field, we ask the right questions, are able to compile the factual circumstances accordingly and substantiate it with the required evidence. The compilation and supplementation of the facts has repeatedly proven to be a key issue in litigations concerning sales representative claims and was decisive for the prospects of the action or defence against unjustified claims.

Debt management

The goal for every company is to generate turnover and earn money. This goal can be jeapordized by unreliable customers.

If your customer is late in payment, there may be many reasons for this. The invoice has simply been overlooked, the customer has justified or unjustified objections against the invoiced amount, his liquidity is bad or it belongs to his company’s philosophy to pay late in order to get an interest-free line of credit.

In the first case, simply remembering your customer on the invoice will do; in all other cases, the involvement of a lawyer can help motivate the customer to pay his invoice. We are happy to assist you in the recovery of your claims, starting with writing extrajudicial payment reminders, the commencement of payment actions in court, recognition of foreign judgements up to enforcement of judgements.

Based on our litigation experience, we can present different scenarios for the recovery of your receivables, discuss with you the respective prospects and determine the ideal strategy for you, taking into account possibly existing longer business relationships and the importance of that customer for your business. We always offer a full transparency on our costs.

Do you have a lot of claims with a claim amount below 1.000 €? Does your company have claims against numerous customers all over the EU? In this case, our debt management and debt recovery is the right solution for you.

We will prepare and send out formal collection letters to your customers, not only in Germany but EU-wide in an automated and cost-effective manner. The collection letters are either drawn up in the language of the country your customer is located or in the language used by you and your customer in the process of the business. Your advantage is that you receive a debt management from a single source and do not have a different contact person or law firm in each country.

Due to our pan-European network, we can manage your debt recovery process throughout Europe also in court, should an out-of-court settlement fail.