Art Law: Litigation is Coming Closer in Gurlitt Case

We have covered the spectacular Gurlitt case here before. The treasure trove of looted art seized by the Bavarian public prosecutor’s office in a Schwabing apartment raises complex legal issues at the cross-road of the law of seizure and the law of movable property – these were discussed at the VII. Heidelberg Art Law Conference last week. The panel discussion was jointly organized by the German Institute of Art and Law and the Research Center for Transnational Commercial Dispute Resolution at EBS University of Economics and Law, Wiesbaden.  I am glad that one of the panellists, Professor Matthias Weller, co-director of IFKUR and director of the EBS Dispute Resolution Center, has agreed to share his views in a guest post. He argues that the seizure of the works of art by the Augsburg public prosecution opens the doors for civil law claims. Continue reading

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Ethics in International Arbitration: The Big Debate

In May 2013, the IBA Council approved the IBA Guidelines on Party Representation in International Arbitration. The Guidelines are addressing a perception that “international arbitration has something of a reputation as the ‘Wild West’ of the law; a land where personalities are at least as important (or perhaps more so) than procedural rules, and legal representatives can be viewed by their clients as hired guns.” This is how Matthew Seys-Llewellyn’s put it in a report at Halsbury’s Law Exchange about a debate on the topic held in London on November 18, 2013:  Continue reading

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“We’d better take a lawyer for that!” Conflict Management Study by Bucerius and Taylor Wessing

Taylor Wessing and the Bucerius Center on the Legal Profession of Bucerius Law School have jointly conducted a study on what in-house lawyers in Germany expect of their external lawyers in conflict management. On Taylor Wessing’s part, my Hamburg partner Axel Bösch had the lead on this project. If you would like to receive a copy of the study, please let Axel or me know. Continue reading

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Delisting Made Easier: Federal Supreme Court on Change of Market Segment for Listed Companies

In a judgment in 2002 in re: Macroton, the Federal Supreme Court (Bundesgerichtshof) had held that the delisting of shares in a German stock corporation (Aktiengesellschaft) did require shareholder approval in an AGM. In addition, it did trigger the duty of the corporation itself or its majority shareholders to make a mandatory offer to buy out the minority shareholders. In a judgment in October 2013 that was published today, the Federal Supreme Court revisited that issue. Reversing its previous case law, the court held that a change of market segment, in the case at hand leaving the Regulated Market of the Berlin Stock Exchange and moving the listing to the Entry Standard (Open Market) of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange did not give rise to a claim of minority shareholders to be bought out in cash (angemessene Barabfindung). Continue reading

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