Public commercial law
In our practice, public law predominantly concerns public commercial law. After all, commercial activities are not only subject to regulations and permit requirements under building or environmental law. Sector-specific frameworks on which we regularly advise draw, for instance, on the German Public Transportation Act (Personenbeförderungsgesetz) and the General Railways Act (Allgemeines Eisenbahngesetz) in the transport sector, the requirements relating to product security and product liability for the manufacturing industry and the multitude of legal provisions in the field of healthcare.
Government support and subsidies for commercial activities have traditionally formed a core topic for many of our clients. We advise on the EU ban on state aid, with the aim, for instance, of avoiding the risk of legal transactions being rendered void, of the European Commission intervening or of competitor claims being raised. Our close integration with the public procurement team is particularly valuable when issues such as the risk of state aid being recalled due to breaches of public procurement law are at stake. The ban on state aid can also require that competitive bidding procedures are executed which, although they are not subject to public procurement law, can benefit from our legal expertise in this field, as can questions relating to the granting of concessions in the energy sector.
Recent political developments have brought foreign trade law increasingly back into the spotlight. We can advise on the latest sanctions and can draw on our global network to respond to related questions in other jurisdictions, such as US Secondary Sanctions, which are also important for German and European companies. We support foreign investors in investment review procedures in line with the German Foreign Trade and Payments Ordinance (Außenwirtschaftsverordnung).
Our clients benefit from the fact that we work closely with other practice groups. We also advise on specific constitutional questions which, for instance, are related to the requirements under collective employment law or the provisions governing working on Sundays and bank holidays under the German Working Hours Act (Arbeitszeitgesetz).
News and insights
Publications: 15 December 2023
On 12 December 2023, the European Commission adopted its “Defence of Democracy Package”, particularly in view of the upcoming elections for the European Parliament in 2024.
Publications: 15 December 2023
On 24 November 2023, the upper chamber of the German parliament – the Bundesrat – approved relatively extensive changes to the German Federal Lobbying Act (Lobbyregistergesetz, LobbyRG) that had been…
Publications: 29 September 2023
On 21 September 2023, the German Parliament passed the heavily discussed German Federal Act on the Increase of Energy Efficiency (Energieeffizienzgesetz – EnEfG) that aims at significantly increasing…
Publications: 09 May 2023
In April 2023, the German government proposed new legislation that aims to significantly increase energy efficiency requirements for buildings, companies and data centres. The government’s proposals…