In civil proceedings of the first instance, at the local or regional court, we first of all deal with the clarification of the facts of the case, i.e. the facts and evidence which must be conclusively presented to the court in order to state a valid cause of action by the client. On the basis of the facts, we then assess the substantive legal situation and the prospects of success of a law suit or appeal. In doing so, already recognizable counter-arguments of the opponent and known legal opinions of the court must be taken into account.
In order to file a tactical and formally flawless lawsuit and to make a suitable choice of procedure, we are therefore dependent on sufficient information from the client right from the start. In addition to the lawsuit, we also consider the special types of proceedings to accelerate the titling of a claim (proceedings for documentary evidence, court collection proceedings) or to secure a claim (independent proceedings for the taking of evidence, model declaratory proceedings, preliminary injunction proceedings).
In many cases we are also involved in the defense of the defendant, e.g. after service of a claim on our client. Here, too, the focus is on obtaining comprehensive information in the short term so that we can check whether the action can be countered with a chance of success, by verifying the action with our client in factual terms, and by ascertaining our client’s points of defense as early as possible in order to be able to reply in a substantiated and conclusive manner.
Furthermore, we support third parties in a legal dispute in the context of an intervention or joinder.
If a decision is made in the civil proceedings of the first instance which is disadvantageous for the client (dismissal of the action or conviction), it is our task to inform the client about the possible appeal to the second instance, the deadlines and forms to be observed and the chances of success. The most frequent legal remedy is an appeal against a final judgment of the first instance.
In disputes arising from an employment relationship, we represent either employers or employees before the labor courts. In most cases, this involves the validity of terminations, termination agreements and fixed-term contracts or conditions that dissolve contracts. In many cases, legal protection insurance is available here. As a service, we often obtain coverage without charging special fees. The judgment proceedings of the first instance are similar to the proceedings before the district or regional courts, unless otherwise stipulated in the Labor Court Act. Therefore, there are special features of the labor court proceedings.

For international commercial disputes, there are specialized commercial courts, e.g. at the regional courts in Mannheim and Stuttgart. These commercial courts are designed to take account of the special features of international cases by allowing them to be conducted – at least in part – in English. Evidence can be presented in English, dispensing parties from costly translations.

In commercial and economic transactions, disputes are often settled by arbitration. In arbitration proceedings, the decision of the legal dispute is final and binding and excludes the path to ordinary courts. The prerequisite for the arbitration path is a valid arbitration agreement between the parties to the dispute. From the point of view of the parties, the advantages of arbitration vs court litigation are the flexibility of the procedure, the selection of legally competent arbitrators and the flexible rules of procedure, the confidentiality of the proceedings, and the enforceability of the arbitral award abroad. In the case of disputes with an international element, arbitration proceedings can also be conducted in the English language if the arbitration agreement so provides.
Disadvantages of arbitration are that arbitrators, unlike state judges, do not exercise sovereign authority. Therefore, the arbitrator can, at most, force the summoning of witnesses by involving the state courts. Measures of interim legal protection can only be taken by recourse to state courts. Unlike in court proceedings, it is not possible to involve third parties by means of a notice of dispute; this makes proceedings in which recourse against third parties is being considered particularly problematic. There is a risk here of subsequent proceedings with different results. Another disadvantage is that the constitution of the arbitration court can take several months. A review of the arbitral award by state courts is limited only in case of violations of elementary procedural rules or the so-called ordre public.

For our clients, we manage and coordinate court proceedings and arbitration proceedings, also abroad, in cooperation with legal representatives licensed under local law.