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  • Contract writing: SIEGWART GERMAN AMERICAN LAW provides contracts under German law and cross-boarder agreements involving German law, or German parties. We draft a wide variety of business and commercial agreements, agreements related to business formation and entity creation in Germany, purchase and sales agreements, contracts for services and employment, contracts regarding real property in Germany, arbitration clauses, choice of law and venue clauses, etc. Bilingual contracts are available.

  • Contract review: We review and explain existing contracts under German law. Some clauses may have been unenforceable ab initio under German law, others may have been invalidated by subsequent court decisions or legislation. Since legal concepts and contract interpretation are different under German law, parties frequently need advice on the exact meaning and consequences of specific provisions in a contract in order to fully understand their rights and duties and properly assess risks and options.

  • Remedies: Germany is a civil law jurisdiction. Available remedies and their requirements significantly differ from common law. It is absolutely critical to understand these differences before you respond to a breach of contract. Moreover, the election of remedies is subject to strict formal requirements. Ill-advised action or election of one remedy may waive other, more favorable remedies, amount to a waiver of breach, and trigger additional undesired consequences.
  • Termination, Rescission and Avoidance follow different rules under German law, which a party to a contract must be aware of, and are subject to formal requirements which are strictly enforced. If you are not familiar with the availability, requirements, and consequences of these and other remedies you may not only lose important rights but also become liable for damages, even if you were not the breaching party.

  • Statute of Frauds and Parole Evidence: German law takes a different approach to parole evidence and formal requirements which parties must be familiar with when they negotiate a contract. Formal requirements are strictly enforced and equitable relief is generally not available.

  • Reformation of contracts is generally not available as a remedy under German law.

  • Specific Performance and Damages: Under German law specific performance is the general rule, not the exception. Damages may be available in lieu of and in addition to specific performance, depending on the circumstances of your case.

  • CISG contracts: We draft, review, and enforce contracts under the Convention on the International Sale of Goods (CISG). If CISG provisions apply to your contract many rights and obligations may be surprisingly different from US law, such as rights upon breach of contract, specific performance, warranties, inspection of goods, notice requirements, etc.

  • Representation in Germany: SIEGWART GERMAN AMERICAN LAW represents clients in contract and business disputes with parties in Germany. We are qualified to defend your rights, assert your claims, and recover damages in Germany, including arbitration and litigation. We may be able to help you as co-counsel if you are already represented by an attorney who is licensed only in the US or Germany.

  • Liquidated Damages and Penalty: Liquidated damages and penalties are enforceable under German law. Restrictions apply. Penalties may be available in addition to damages. The availability of penalties should be factored into your decision of choice of law and forum while negotiating a contract under German law and when future litigation in Germany may be an option.

  • Choice of Law and Conflicts of Law: Whether you negotiate, administrate, or try to enforce a contract it is essential to determine the applicable law and to understand to what extent parties are free to make a choice if you want to avoid costly surprises. This process can be very complicated, especially in a foreign country, and contract clauses may be successfully challenged. Be aware that different jurisdictions provide different solutions to choice of law and conflict of laws issues.

  • Legal Opinions: SIEGWART GERMAN AMERICAN LAW provides legal opinions on German contract and business law, CISG, and international contract law. Bilingual and comparative opinions are available.