German commercial law
Our practice focuses on the sale of goods and services and the legal issues that arise in this regard. Our clients establish long-term commercial relationships with their partners and rely on us to ensure that their contracts are watertight. Thanks to our years of experience in this area, we can provide them with this peace of mind. Handling monolingual as well as bilingual German-French or German-English contracts is routine for us. We are able to draft and review both contracts governed by German commercial law as well as those governed by French commercial law.
We have practical experience particularly in the application of the UN Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods (CISG), both in terms of contract drafting and enforcement. Consequently, instead of simply inserting a standard clause in our contracts that automatically excludes the CISG, we examine the advantages and disadvantages of applying the Convention based on each client’s individual circumstances. Dr. Fabienne Kutscher-Puis’s own expertise in this area can be seen in her contributions to the legal literature on uniform international sales law where her case commentaries are regularly published in the French academic journal Revue de Jurisprudence Commerciale.
German distribution law
Since the outset of her career, Dr. Kutscher-Puis has focused on drafting and creating contracts for clients involved in the supply of goods and services. This requires an in-depth knowledge of both German and French distribution law. Accordingly, we provide our clients with bespoke agency or distribution agreements as well as commission agreements. This can be done in the form of a bilingual agreement in either German and French or German and English. As regards to distribution agreements, we have focused predominantly on contracts for consumer and industrial goods. We prepare exclusive and selective distribution agreements to meet our clients’ commercial objectives, while at the same time ensuring that such agreements comply with competition law restraints. Thus we advise our clients not just during the term of an agreement, but also assist them in asserting their rights after its termination or, as the case may be, assist them in defending themselves in litigation before the civil courts or in arbitration proceedings.
Besides working with manufacturers, we also work with commercial agents and distributors. For such clients, we can offer the same depth of experience when representing their interests against those of companies as we do when representing the interests of companies against their sales intermediaries. After all, a change of perspective is always enriching, especially at the international level.
As you might expect, Dr. Fabienne Kutscher-Puis is also known in academic circles for her expertise. She earned her doctorate in distribution law from the university of Saarland where her supervisor was Professor Michael Martinek. She is also a member of the editorial board of the German Journal of Distribution Law (Zeitschrift für Vertriebsrecht) and is a co-author of the German Manual of Distribution Law (Handbuch des Vertriebsrechts).
German competition law
Competition is simply a fact of life in business. Drawing on our extensive experience in the legal aspects of the distribution of clothing, footwear, cosmetics and jewelry items as well as food and beverages, we help our clients in their compliance with competition law requirements in Germany. We assist our clients in the event that they receive a cease-and-desist letter from a competitor or interest group and, if required, represent them should they need to sue a competitor. In such cases, litigation – which we conduct in a cost-conscious manner for our clients – is often unavoidable.
German employment law
The sale and distribution of goods requires personnel. Where, for economic or legal reasons, our clients decide against working with agents and would rather employ their own staff, we are also ready to be of service. In such cases, we can provide assistance in the recruitment of sales staff and field representatives as well as prepare employment contracts with the necessary commission clauses. Should the parties decide to go their separate ways, we can support our clients with representation both out of court and before the German courts.
German public procurement law
Invitations to tender issued by the public sector or state-affiliated companies are an interesting way for many foreign product manufacturers and service providers to enter the German market. Thereby, foreign bidders are not only confronted with German public procurement law regulations, but also with contract documents that are almost without exception written in German and subject to German law. As far as bidders are concerned, we evaluate the legal contract documents and point out legal risks, such as contractual penalties in the event of delayed performance, limitations of liability or restrictions on the use of subcontractors. This enables bidders to adapt their bids to the legal framework.
International legal advice
Our work involves advising an internationally oriented group of clients in German, French or English as required. Dr. Fabienne Kutscher-Puis is a member of the Paris and Düsseldorf bar associations and has 25 years of professional experience in international law firms in both cities. Shortly after it became possible in Germany to qualify as a specialist in International Business Law, she acquired this additional qualification. Due to her long history of voluntary work in business and legal associations as well as in academic circles, she has an extensive network of cross-border contacts. Needless to say, with her roots in France, she takes a special interest in those cases involving a French element. Accordingly, the firm regularly works for the German subsidiaries of French companies without losing sight of the interests of their parent companies.