Archive: October 1, 2014

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Preliminary court injunction or adjudication−new legal tools to avoid excessive duration of con-struction court proceedings in Germany?

Preliminary court injunction or adjudication−new legal tools to avoid excessive duration of con-struction court proceedings in Germany?

By Kristina Fischer, Eva Hugo and Christoph Mank, K&L Gates, Berlin

In general, German court proceedings relating to construction and engineering matters can take between three to six years and sometimes up to ten years, until a final, binding judgment is obtained. The reasons for such excessive duration in construction court proceedings are manifold: Courts may be overloaded by the number of disputes brought before them, judges may not have the necessary technical or judicial experience or expertise and the clarification of the facts of the case may be time-consuming and not be possible without one or more experts´ opinions. In addition, the losing party generally exhausts all court instances before a case is finally settled. The excessive duration of construction court proceedings is expensive; and often, it even poses a threat to one or both parties´ economic existence.

The call for a reform of the current procedural law for construction disputes is getting louder: Working groups, organizations and experts demand that a new−accelerated−procedure for the resolution of construction disputes must urgently be introduced into the German legal system.

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