Serving a Foreign Claim in Germany

Serving a Foreign Claim in Germany

Navigating the German legal system is a daunting task, and therefore serving a foreign claim can be a complicated undertaking. At Schlun & Elseven Rechtsanwälte, our lawyers are aware of this and they are ready to utilise their extensive experience of serving foreign claims in Germany. With a thorough understanding of the German legal system and the processes involved, our team stands ready to advise you regarding properly serving such claims.

As a full-service law firm, we advise corporate and private clients in their cases, and provide comprehensive support across a broad range of legal areas. If you require our legal assistance, please do not hesitate to contact our team directly.

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The Importance of Serving Foreign Judgments

Recognising a foreign claim is essential to ensuring it can be enforceable in Germany. If a claim has been filed in a foreign jurisdiction, German courts need to recognise it to determine whether it is consistent with German law. This process involves deciding whether the matter meets the necessary legal requirements under German law.

Without seeking to have the foreign claim recognised, claimants may not be able to collect damages or benefit from other relief actions from previous court decisions. In complex legal matters, the failure to have the claim recognised can lead to further legal disputes that are time-consuming and costly for those involved.

Such claims that can be recognised in Germany may include matters such as

  • Family law cases: such as divorce, child custody, child access and related family law cases,
  • Commercial claims: disputes over commercial contracts, sale of goods or services issues and other legal disputes between business partners,
  • Intellectual property cases: disputes over patents, trademarks, copyrights and other related IP law matters,
  • Criminal law cases: In some instances, foreign criminal charges may be recognised and enforced in Germany if they involve conduct that is also a crime under German law.

To have a foreign claim recognised in Germany, claimants must present documents relating to the case. The exact documents will depend on the claim and the jurisdiction’s laws. However, some documents are regularly required in such matters, including:

  • A copy of the foreign judgment,
  • Evidence of service,
  • An affidavit of authenticity,
  • A certificate of non-appeal
  • Other documents, including witness statements and expert reports.

It should be noted that if the documents are in another language, they may need to be translated to be recognised by the German courts. Our legal team will ensure that your documents are correctly presented to the German courts and are the documents required based on the circumstances of the case itself.

Once the necessary documents are presented to the court, they will then review them to determine whether they meet the legal requirements to allow them to be enforced in Germany.

It is not straightforward that cases will be recognised in Germany as there may be significant legal questions based on the case’s jurisdiction, limited enforcement options and cultural and legal differences between Germany and the foreign jurisdiction. Due to these complexities, it is advisable to consult with our legal professionals in such cases.

Our Lawyers Expertise with Recognising a Foreign Claim in Germany

At Schlun & Elseven Rechtsanwälte, our litigation team is available to advise our clients on all matters relating to serving foreign claims in Germany. We regularly guide clients through the process and ensure the necessary steps are taken to achieve the most preferable outcome.

Utilising our lawyers means that you can be given reliable advice on determining the correct jurisdiction and venue for the case and choosing the appropriate service method, which may include personal service, service by mail, or service through the Hague Convention on the Service Abroad of Judicial and Extrajudicial Documents. Furthermore, our team will advise you on translating the necessary documents and filing the claim itself.

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Our Litigation Lawyers

Our Litigation Lawyers

Aykut Elseven

Lawyer | Managing Partner

Dr. Tim Schlun

Lawyer | Managing Partner

Dr. Thomas Bichat

Lawyer | Salary Partner

Dr. Richard Nouvertné

Lawyer | Freelance

Florian Reisser

Lawyer | Freelance

Contact our German Lawyers

Please use the contact form to contact our law firm regarding serving a foreign claim in Germany. After receiving your request, we will make a short preliminary assessment based on the information provided and give you a cost estimation.