Legal advice and assistance provided by our lawyers who are specialized in building and architects’ law begins already at the point when the contract is drafted. It is at this stage that it must be decided whether the building contract will be concluded under the provisions of the Contracting Rules for the Award of Construction Work (VOB) or whether only those provisions of the German Civil Code (BGB) are to be applied which relate to contracts for work and services as such. Also it must already at this stage be verified whether aspects of general contract awarding law or of public building law must also be taken into account. And last but not least it must also be ensured that clear stipulations, amongst others with regard to completion dates, the provision of securities for ongoing construction work (performance guarantee) and also a contractual penalty must be defined and established as the case may be.
A contract which was prepared with the assistance of a lawyer and which specifies not only the performance which is to be rendered by the contractor as comprehensively as possible, but also the duties and obligations of the principal in an unmistakeable way, will in all instances considerably reduce the risk of future disputes and litigations on construction issues and guarantees at the same time that a construction project can be speedily continued even in such cases as termination of a contract for work and services without prior notice or in case of insolvency of a contractor.
As far as issues of building law are concerned it should be noted that a specialized lawyer for construction and architects’ law ought to be asked to assist and intervene not only at the point of completion of a building project or even after the same when disputes will have already arisen e.g. in connection with a notice of termination of a contract for work and services, acceptance, invoicing or settlement of accounts, delay or default and contractual penalties, or when it turns out to be necessary to safeguard the builder’s rights concerning remedy of defects or deficiencies, rework or replacement, reduction(s) of price(s) or claims for damages, and to prevent an occurrence of statutory limitation of actions concerning such claims if defects or deficiencies are discovered during the warranty period
In the event where differences of opinion arise between the contracting parties of a building contract in the course of the ongoing construction work, more particularly with reference to contract supplements, impediments or stoppage of construction work which cannot be overcome, not even by way of conciliation or mediation, we consider it to be our duty, which is part of our legal assistance which we render to our clients concomitantly with the ongoing construction work, to support the client’s claim-management and to thus prepare for the enforcement of any of their claims or to even avert such claims.