Case study 4 - commercial law - contract - Germany

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In this case study on commercial law – contract, Member States were asked to advise the seller on litigation costs in order to consider the following situations:

Case A – National situation: A company delivered goods worth 20.000 euros. The seller has not been paid because the buyer considers that the goods do not conform to what was agreed.

The seller decides to sue to obtain the full payment of the price.

Case B – Transnational situation: A company whose head office is located in Member State B delivers goods worth 20.000 euros to buyer in Member State A. The contract is subject to Member State B’s law and written in Member State B’s language. This seller has not been paid because the buyer located in Member State A considers that the goods do not conform to what was agreed. The seller decides to sue in Member State A to obtain full payment of the price as provided under the contract with the buyer.


Costs of proceedings


Costs in Germany

Costs for Court and Appeals


Case Study

Court

Appeals

Initial court fees

Initial court fees

Case A

EUR 864.00

Appeal on points of fact and law:
EUR 1 152.00 
Appeal on points of law: EUR 1 440.00 

Case B

EUR 864.00

Appeal on points of fact and law:
EUR 1 152.00 
Appeal on points of law: EUR 1 440.00 



Costs for lawyer, bailiff and expert


Case Study

Lawyer

Bailiff

Expert

Is representation compulsory?

Average costs

Is representation compulsory?

Post-judgment costs

Is use compulsory?

Cost

Case A

Yes

First instance: EUR
1 950 

No

Depends on type of enforcement measure

No

Based on hourly rates, level differs according to area of activity, max. EUR 100 plus expenses and turnover tax

Case B

Yes

First instance: EUR
1 950

No

No

Based on hourly rates, level differs according to area of activity, max. EUR 100 plus expenses and turnover tax



Costs for witness compensation


Case

Study

Witness compensation

Are witnesses compensated?

Cost

Case A

Yes

Loss of earnings max. EUR 17 per hour, travel costs and other expenses

Case B

Yes

Loss of earnings max. EUR 17 per hour, travel costs and other expenses



Costs for legal aid and other reimbursement



Case

study

Legal Aid

Reimbursement

When and under which conditions is it applicable?

When is support total?

Conditions?

Can the winning party obtain reimbursement of litigation costs?

What costs are never reimbursed?

Are there instances when legal aid should be reimbursed to the legal aid organisation?

Case A

In principle no legal aid for legal persons outside the EU

General prerequisites:

If the party is not financially secure (i.e. indigent) and the intended action has prospects of success and does not appear vexatious

If not more than EUR 15 remain after deduction of allowances for the indigent party and his/her family members and after deduction of further charges for accommodation etc.

Where this is not the case, full support is likewise applicable but must be repaid by instalments; level of instalments depends on residual income.

1. Application (lawyer not compulsory for application)

2. Proceedings not yet completed

3. See also column 1

Yes, to the extent that s/he has won

Costs that were not essential for the proper prosecution of the action or for the defence

See column 2

Case B

See Case A above

See Case A above

See Case A above

See Case A above

See Case A above

See Case A above



Costs for translation and interpretation


Case

study

Translation

Interpretation

Other costs specific to cross-border disputes?

When and under which conditions is it necessary?

Approximative cost?

When and under which conditions is it necessary?

Approximative cost?

Description

Case A

Case B

In principle for all written pleadings to the court and all written documents submitted as evidence. The court may refrain from ordering the translation of documents if all the judges hearing the case understand the language

Normally EUR 1.85 per 55 keystrokes plus expenses and turnover tax

The language of the court is German; if all concerned have a good command of the foreign language, an interpreter need not be engaged.

EUR 55 per hour plus expenses and turnover tax

Service of documents abroad



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Last update: 07/06/2019