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Dispute Resolution


Germany provides for different branches of law courts competent to try cases according to the different fields of laws concerned. Although German judges are well trained, the quality of their decisions is sometimes arguable leading parties to file appeals. As legislation in Germany is heavily influenced by EC regulations, an increasing number of cases in nearly all fields of laws can be brought before the European Court of Justice, thus further extending the time until a final decision is reached.

In theory, the cost of dispute resolution is rather fair, in comparison to other countries, as both court fees and attorneys' fees are regulated by law; the successful party is by law entitled to a refund of those legal fees from the other party. However, well specialised and experienced attorneys will ask for a fee calculated on the actual time spent on the case leading to a substantially higher bill; the additional fees are not refundable by the other party. Any agreement resulting directly or indirectly in a quota litis is null and void.

Germany has a long history of arbitration. As from 1st January 1998, Germany has enacted the UNCITRAL Model Law on Arbitration by modifying the sec. 1025 ff. of the Code of Civil Procedure, until then regulating arbitral procedures. Thus, Germany now provides the most advanced legislation for both national and international arbitration.

The idea of mediation was first discussed in the late sixties, and from then it has slowly but gradually been developed to apply in all fields of law.

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