Notices of termination and fixed-term employment contracts only in writing

http://www.grprainer.com/en/Employment-Termination.html Since 01.05.2000, the Labour Court Acceleration Act is in force, a law to simplify and speed up labour court proceedings. It not only changes procedural rules of the Labour Court Act, but also sets down an important new provision in substantive labour law: Under the new rules of the Civil Code, the termination of an employment relationship by notice of termination or dissolution agreement, as well as the temporal limitation of an employment agreement, require the written form to be effective.

GRP Rainer Lawyers Tax Advisors, Cologne, Berlin, Bonn, Dusseldorf, Hamburg, Munich, Stuttgart, Frankfurt www.grprainer.com elaborate: Henceforth, a termination – with or without notice – by the employer or employee is only legally effective if it has been declared in writing. This applies to all notices of termination received by the recipient of the termination after 01.05.2000. From that date also, a dissolution agreement or the temporal limitation of an employment agreement is valid only if agreed in writing. If a temporary employment contract was not concluded in writing, the temporal limitation is invalid and the contract is valid for an indefinite term.

The writing requirement for the above-mentioned forms of termination of an employment relationship is the logical complement to the Law on notification of conditions governing an employment relationship law, which requires the employer to fix in writing the essential contractual conditions and hand them over to the employee no later than one month after the agreed start of employment.

http://www.grprainer.com/en/Employment-Termination.html

Combined offers in advertising

http://www.grprainer.com/en/Intellectual-Property-Law.html Combined offers are when merchandise, often of high quality, is offered at an extremely low price and only in connection with the purchase of a main product. This sales method is increasingly used by some companies as a marketing strategy.

However, if a significant reduction is granted in order to sell the actual main product or service, the advertiser is obliged to fully explain the actual value of the overall offer. Generally speaking, combined offers are subject to the obligation that prices must be uniformly assessed.

GRP Rainer Lawyers Tax Consultants, Cologne, Berlin, Bonn, Dusseldorf, Hamburg, Munich, Stuttgart, Frankfurt www.grprainer.com elaborate: An advertisement is deemed to be anticompetitive if it only highlights the promise of a gratuitous partial performance or the low price of a partial performance, without indicating at the same time in a clear, easily identifiable and clearly legible form the payment required for the other part of the combined offer.

Two cases which are interesting for practice were brought before the Federal Supreme Court (BGH), involving electrical equipment that could be purchased much cheaper if a power supply contract was concluded at the same time.

In the first case, the Federal Supreme Court (BGH) reached the following decision: “After abrogation of the Ordinance on Bonuses, the admissibility of combined offers is to be assumed. However, such an offer is anticompetitive if the risk exists that consumers will be misled or otherwise provided with inadequate information about the actual value of the offer, in particular about the offered additional benefit. In addition, the fact that a combined offer may emanate such a strong attraction force that the rationality of the consumer’s demand decision is exceptionally pushed entirely into the background may also contribute to the assessment of the offer as being anticompetitive. However, a general obligation to always indicate the value of the bonus can neither be inferred from the general clause of the Law on Unfair Competition nor from the prohibition of misleading statements.” (BGH judgment of 13.06.2002 – I ZR 173/01)

In the second decision, judges of the Federal Supreme Court ruled that an advertisement for a combined offer consisting of a power supply contract with a term of at least two years and a television set for 1 DM is deemed to be anticompetitive if the conditions under which the benefit is granted are not made sufficiently clear (cf. BGH judgment of 13.06.2002 – I ZR 71/01).

http://www.grprainer.com/en/Intellectual-Property-Law.html

Professional Collection of Debts in Germany

http://www.grprainer.com/en/Debt-Collection.html The past has shown that even for successful companies, bad payment behavior by customers may soon turn into a major problem.

GRP Rainer Lawyers Tax Advisors, Cologne, Berlin, Bonn, Dusseldorf, Hamburg, Munich, Stuttgart, Frankfurt www.grprainer.com informs: Statistics of insolvency reveal that default customers are often a factor behind company insolvency.

The effective way of debt collection already starts with the invoice. For this reason, we carefully check the invoice forms at the GRP Rainer law firm. If there is no binding period specified for payment for example, your customer does not enter into default in the event of non-payment. This is a waste of time in terms of debt collection. The first objective of our legal advice is therefore to have the GRP law firm prepare your company invoices so that they meet the debt collection requirements.

To specify the terms of payment on the customer invoice is very important. Anyone who does not observe the time limit for payment will be in default. We advise outsourcing the reminder and all further steps to a lawyer. One advantage is that you can make it immediately clear to defaulting customers that it is a serious matter. In most cases, the first reminder on headed paper from our law firm will bring defaulting customers to their senses.

A simplified method to enforce outstanding debts is the court payment order. The GRP law firm with offices in Cologne, Bonn, Berlin, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Munich and Stuttgart takes care of all the necessary steps for your company. This includes our lawyers using the order for payment to apply for a default summons. The debtor then has two options: either he pays or lodges an objection.

If, however, he does not respond, your lawyer can apply for an enforcement order. We will naturally keep an eye on deadlines. At the same time, the GRP lawyers will identify the debtor’s attachable net assets and accounts.

Debtors have two weeks to appeal against an enforcement order. After this period, the enforcement order becomes valid. What this actually means is that a GRP lawyer can initiate an enforcement claim against the debtor on your behalf. Legal proceedings: the litigation collection proceedings do not always achieve their effect without the debtor making an objection to the order for payment. If this happens, the order for payment proceedings are terminated. Now you need to decide whether you wish to proceed to the next step. Our lawyers can provide reliable advice on the best case strategy and your chances of success. The offices of the GRP law firm in Cologne, Bonn, Berlin, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Munich and Stuttgart will also make every effort to successfully pursue your claim in court.

http://www.grprainer.com/en/Debt-Collection.html

Regulations of commission for trade representative contracts

http://www.grprainer.com/en/Commercial-Agency-Law.html The contractual commission regulations of trade agents can be invalid if they are contradictory.

GRP Rainer Lawyers Tax Advisors, Cologne, Berlin, Bonn, Düsseldorf, Hamburg, Munich, Stuttgart, Frankfurt www.grprainer.com elaborates: The higher regional court in Munich (Az. 23 U 4793/11) decided on March 22nd 2012 that commission determining clauses can be ineffective in view of coexisting and simultaneously completed cooperation agreement and trade-agent contract. According to § 307 para. 1 sentence 2 BGB (Federal code of law) they can be invalid if they are contradictory.

In this certain case at the higher regional court of Munich, two parties fought over the premise to claims of a commission for a trade-agent contract from a cooperation agreement, as well as, a simultaneously agreed upon and coexisting trade-agent contract. The defendant appealed that a claim to a commission payment can only be justified within the parameters of the cooperation agreement, if a finance-contract is prepared, completed and signed due to the trade-agents umpiring.

The higher regional court of Munich argued that in view of the trade-agent-contract, this clause stands in violation to the transparency dictate of § 307 para. 1 sentence 2 BGB. In the matter of dispute over the trade-agent-contract the regulation § 87 para. 1 HGB was used. According to the court the coexisting regulations of the cooperation agreement and the trade-agent-contract are unclear and contradictory. It also wasn’t evident which regulation was prevalent. A predominant regulation could not be determined. In light of the cooperation agreements regulations, an unjustified disadvantage is assumed according to § 307 para. 2 BGB, because of the risk that the claim to a commission could be suppressed and invalidated by causality of the framework of the cooperation agreement.

The non-concessions complaint is pending at the German federal court under Az. VII ZR 114/12.

Let a lawyer advise you regarding trade-agent law affairs. A lawyer can counsel enterprisers, as well as trade agents regarding the structuring of contractual relationships: from claims to closure.

http://www.grprainer.com/en/Commercial-Agency-Law.html

Judgment of the language in employment contracts

http://www.grprainer.com/en/Employment-Law.html Employers are not obligated to translate employment contracts into the employee’s respective mother tongue.

GRP Rainer Lawyers Tax Advisors, Cologne, Berlin, Bonn, Dusseldorf, Hamburg, Munich, Stuttgart, Frankfurt www.grprainer.com elaborate: A recent judgment from the Rheinland-Pfalz labor court ruled that employers are not obligated to translate the employment contract into the respective mother tongue of the employee.

When a foreign national employee signs an employee contract formulated in German, then he is still bound by it even if the employee does not have a sufficient grasp of the German language to fully understand the contract. It is the court’s opinion that the contract is valid, even if its contents were negotiated in advance in the mother tongue of the employee.

The Mainz Judges justified their ruling by giving the comparison of an employee who signs a contract without reading it.

Someone who is aware of making a legally binding declaration cannot afterward appeal to the fact that he/she was not fully aware of the complete picture. The contract signee should have gained knowledge about the contents of the contract before signing it, because the ignorance of its contents falls into his/her area of risk.

It is important to note that, a foreign employee would still be bound by a signed contract, as well as, any work contract exclusion clauses even if they were not formulated in the employees mother tongue. This could have effects on a huge number of contracts. However, it is not foreseeable if this legal view will generally assert itself.

Due to the importance of this judgment, the Rheinland-Pfalz labor court referred the case to the German Federal Labor Court.

The details are important in an employment contract. We provide water-tight employment contracts for our clients. We check your existing contracts for economic solutions and juridical details. Wherever problems appear, our lawyers will help in the solution. As clients you can expect the whole range of certified consultations for labor legislation from the offices of GRP Rainer.

http://www.grprainer.com/en/Employment-Law.html

Collecting debts in Germany

http://www.grprainer.com/en/Debt-Collection.html Trust is good, control is better. This is especially true when making the first delivery to a new customer. A lawyer can support your company by assessing customer creditworthiness. Experienced lawyers will also discuss strategies to protect you against the risk of default.

GRP Rainer Lawyers Tax Advisors, Cologne, Berlin, Bonn, Dusseldorf, Hamburg, Munich, Stuttgart, Frankfurt www.grprainer.com elaborate: Effective debt collection starts with the invoice. One example: if there is no binding period specified for payment, your customer does not enter into default in the event of non-payment. This wastes time in terms of debt collection.

Even for busy companies, bad payment behavior by customers may soon turn into a major problem. Insolvency statistics reveal that default customers are often a factor behind company insolvency. Only effective debt management can help protect against this.

Specify the terms of payment on the customer invoice. Anyone who does not observe the time limit for payment will be in default. The advantage: You can make it immediately clear to defaulting customers that it is a serious matter. In most cases, the first reminder on headed paper from a law firm will bring defaulting customers to their senses. Anyone who still does not grasp the seriousness of the situation, must reckon with the next level: a legal order to pay.

A law firm can take care of all the necessary steps for your company. They will naturally keep an eye on deadlines. At the same time, the lawyers will identify the debtor’s attachable net assets and accounts. The court payment order is used as a simplified method to enforce outstanding debts. This includes using the order for payment to apply for a default summons. The debtor then has two options: either he pays or lodges an objection. If, however, he does not respond, your lawyer can apply for an enforcement order.

Legal proceedings: the litigation collection proceedings do not always achieve their effect without the debtor making an objection to the order for payment. Debtors have two weeks to appeal against an enforcement order. After this period, the enforcement order becomes valid. What this actually means is that a lawyer can initiate an enforcement claim against the debtor on your behalf. If this happens, the orders for payment proceedings are terminated. Now you need to decide whether you wish to proceed to the next step. A lawyer can provide reliable advice on the best case strategy and your chances of success.

Debt collection costs money. Apart from the loss of interest, the costs of collection mount up. In addition to overdue notices/reminders, these also include, for example, charges relating to the order for payment. A lawyer can charge the costs of the collection to the defaulting customers, who incurred them.

http://www.grprainer.com/en/Debt-Collection.html

In principle no right to restitution of a legacy gifted during lifetime – Law of succession

http://www.grprainer.com/en/Last-Will-and-Testament.html A legatee is only entitled to restitution of a legacy gifted during the lifetime of the testator under special circumstances.

GRP Rainer Lawyers and Tax Advisors in Cologne, Berlin, Bonn, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Munich, Stuttgart and London – www.grprainer.com/en conclude: In its judgment dated January 9, 2014 (Az.: 10 U 10/13), the Higher Regional Court of Hamm (HRC) had to address the question of whether a person considered in a will can demand restitution of an asset gifted to a third party by the testator during the latter’s lifetime. In the instant case, a married couple had determined in a joint will that one of their two daughters should be due a semi-detached house after the death of the last surviving spouse. Following the death of the husband, the wife became the sole heiress. However, she thereafter conferred the semi-detached house upon her grandchild after a conflict arose between her and her daughter.

The daughter subsequently lodged a claim after the death of the testatrix and demanded transfer and restitution of the house from the grandchild of the deceased. As justification, the plaintiff cited that the testatrix made the gift in order to interfere with the plaintiff’s rights with respect to the semi-detached house. However, the HRC Hamm did not consider a corresponding claim to exist. While there are certainly provisions which direct the restitution of a gift from the donee to the future legatee, these require that the testator intends the impairment of the future legatee in making the gift. The Court, however, was not able to establish this intention in the present case.

Moreover, the interpretation of the will resulted in the plaintiff becoming legatee and not heiress. As such she was not entitled to any claim for restitution vis-à-vis the donee grandchild, since for this she would have to have initially approached the heirs of the deceased mother and brought a claim against them for compensation. However, she did not do this.

When composing a will, it is important to pay attention to legal details. The consequences of an ineffective or incomplete will can be far-reaching and occasionally elicit a legal dispute between the heirs. With the help of a lawyer versed in the law of succession, those affected can achieve a secure settlement of their estate. By drawing up an irreproachable will, testators can assure themselves that their last will shall be adhered to. Additionally, a lawyer can also support the heirs in enforcing claims in the event of legal problems.

http://www.grprainer.com/en/Last-Will-and-Testament.html

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