Litigation is the prevailing method to resolve domestic construction disputes in most jurisdictions, including Germany. That said, in many English-speaking jurisdictions, the parties to a construction contract may also refer disputes to statutory adjudication, and in large-scale infrastructure projects the parties to construction contracts often agree that dispute boards provide fast (at least temporarily binding) decisions.
Compared to arbitration, litigation is particularly suitable in multi-party disputes. Such disputes are very common in construction. For example, when a building defect arises it is often an issue of whether it was caused by a design flaw (caused by the architect or by a sub-consultant or the architect), by poor workmanship of the main contractor or a subcontractor, or by defects in the building materials. The procedural rules governing state court proceedings typically allow the parties to request additional parties to be joined to the court proceedings by serving them third-party notices. Thus, in a litigation between an employer and its main contractor revolving around defects in Germany, it is very common that both parties serve third-party notices to 5, 10, or 20 other parties. This procedural tool of third-party notices has the benefit that the facts on which the court bases its judgment will be binding in all follow-up court proceedings involving the joined third parties.
BODENHEIMER HERZBERG routinely try construction disputes before courts of law both in Germany and abroad. Our practice is fact- and detail-oriented, and tackles technical issues in a skilful manner, resulting in effective handling of construction litigation proceedings.
For more information on our construction-related services, read our Construction Practice Area page.
BODENHEIMER HERZBERG REPRESENTATIVE MATTERS AS PARTIES’ COUNSEL
Represented an Australian hotel operator before the German state courts in proceedings for taking evidence regarding defects in all bathrooms of a hotel
Represented a German provider of technical due diligence services before the German state courts, and gained a European Payment Order for the client, in a lawsuit against a Luxembourg real estate business
Represented a German real estate developer in a dispute brought before the German state courts against a German-French interior designer revolving around claims for delay in delivery of the project
CONTACTS FOR THIS DISPUTE RESOLUTION METHOD: