Construction and Real Estate

Construction and Real Estate

In private construction law, we deal with issues that become relevant in the performance of contracts for construction projects, such as the drafting of contracts, amendments to the contract, defects in the execution, payment of the compensation for work, etc. In addition to the relations under private law between the owner and the building contractors, the relations with third parties are also relevant, e.g. with architects, engineers (planners, project managers, construction supervisors) as well as with neighbors. We have worked for contractors as well as for owners.

In most construction projects, the owner commissions different contractors to provide complementary services, each of which is described in different contracts. In many cases, however, the conclusion of a general contractor agreement is preferred. In this case, the general contractor (GC) takes over the construction of building facilities for the owner. The GC undertakes to carry out all the work involved, regardless of whether it can carry the works out itself or whether it has to subcontract portions of the work. The increasing number of JV contracts has led to more and more smaller companies joining forces to form consortiums in order to win major contracts. If the general contractor also takes over the planning of the construction project, this is referred to as a design and build contract.

In many cases, owners commission various kinds of service providers to perform certain tasks, such as planning, project management, construction and hire an independent third party to be commissioned with construction supervision on their behalf. 

Construction projects are often associated with nuisances (noise, dust, dirt, shadowing, traffic obstructions) or worse for neighbors. The building neighbor law requires that a builder must ask the owners of the neighboring properties for their consent for a building permit for a building project. The builder must comply with neighbor-protection regulations and compensate for any damage. It is therefore advisable to inform the neighbors early on before construction begins and before any interference or damage can occur. In many cases, neighborhood agreements are concluded. It is also typical to register an easement in favor of the neighbor in certain cases. In the case of larger construction projects, it often makes sense for the neighbor to obtain an expert opinion before construction work begins in order to be able to prove, if necessary in a later legal dispute, that damage such as wall cracks or building subsidence only occurred as a result of the construction work.

When awarding public sector construction contracts, public procurement law must be observed. We have recently advised a major German public infrastructure owner in matters of procurement law including bidding process and litigation.

The legal procedure for the purchase of land and buildings is often carried out by us. After examining important issues, such as the right of ownership, permissible use and land boundaries, easements and land burdens, etc. we can prepare all the necessary documents and initiate the transaction. We are also active in land sales. We advise on real estate purchase agreements, lease agreements and brokerage agreements.