Month: October 2011

Leading Names in Arbitration and Mediation

Handelsblatt have this week published a ranking of leading names in arbitration and mediation. The ranking includes my firm, Taylor Wessing, and my Frankfurt partner, Klaus Kupka.

Over at Legal 500, they have kind words in their current edition for the mediation skills of my Hamburg partner Axel Boesch.

But when my teenage daughter read the client statement about her dad quoted by Legal 500, she though it was funny: “Clients of Taylor Wessing observe that Peter Bert ‘remains calm in heated situations’.”

Making Appeals More Appealing (Again)

Today, a reform of the appeal process came into force, following its publication in the Federal Gazette (Bundesgesetzblatt) yesterday. The reform widens the scope of judicial review of decisions that summarily dismiss an appeal in civil matters. The provision that was revised, Sec. 522 Code of Civil Procedure (ZPO), was only introduced in the large-scale reform of civil procedure in 2002. Today’s changes in part undo the 2002 reform. Read More

Germany’s Most Exclusive Bar

Closed Shop” (Geschlossene Gesellschaft), was the headline of Juve’s September cover story. JuVe, the legal industry magazine, reported on Germany’s most exclusive bar: It comprises the 37 lawyers admitted to the Federal Supreme Court (Bundesgerichtshof or BGH) in civil matters. To put that number into perspective: the Federal Supreme Court has 128 full-time judges. Taking into account the judges dedicated to the criminal law section of the Court, my estimate is that some 90 judges deal with civil law matters, that is, almost 2.5 judges per lawyer. Quite an unusual ratio, I would think, and quite a task for the poor lawyers to keep all these judges busy. Read More

Happy Birthday, Bundesverfassungsgericht!

The Federal Constitutional Court (Bundesverfassungsgericht) celebrated its 60th birthday last month – happy birthday!

As you would expect, the event was celebrated by the legal/academic community with an abundance of books and articles. Maximilian Steinbeis’ Verfassungsblog provides some guidance on what is worth reading. More generally, Verfassungsblog is an excellent resource on current constitutional matters. A recent English language post reports about the inner workings of the court: “Constitutional Justices have feelings too, you know.”

Maximilian also brought to my attention who the “the single most active and important right-protecting body of the world” is – no, this accolade was not a birthday present for our good old Bundesverfassungsgericht, but the title was awarded to the European Court of Human Rights by Yale’s Alec Stone Sweet.