Public Commercial Law

For more than 50 years, we have represented companies before government officials and worked on behalf of the public sector.

Our experience extends far beyond various public administrative proceedings with their array of specific issues. Based on our day-to-day work, we have a deep understanding of the work processes and decision-making procedures used by public officials. This makes us a skilled counsellor and representative in approval and permit processes (administrative and court hearings) as well as in state aid and contract-award proceedings.

We advise project developers and bidders as well as people affected by a decree, neighbors and competitors. We also provide such support to public agencies. Our clients profit from our deep understanding of the involved interests and the decision-making procedures of all parties involved.

We work with municipal officials as well as special regional agencies and the European Commission. Our courtroom experience comprises all levels of the administrative courts, state and federal constitutional courts in Germany, European courts and, in public procurement matters, the regular courts.

We also draw on our practical experience in dealings with public officials and the courts as part of the general and project-related advice we provide to companies, for example, on compliance or the restructuring, divestment or acquisition of companies. Our services include especially environment and construction, public procurement and public commercial and constitutional law.

Environment and Planning

GvW Graf von Westphalen provides advice to both companies and the public sector on all questions related to construction, regional planning and environmental law.

Our activities in Germany extend from “traditional” construction law to approval procedeeding based on the German Emission Control Act and planning approval procedures. Other areas of specialization include soil protection (brownfields) and waste as well as the German and European Nature Protection Acts.

We assist in compliance with construction law from construction planning and the drafting and negotiation of urban development contracts. As part of our construction practice, we provide advice on such issues as set-backs between buildings, preservation of historic sites and concerns of neighbors.

In the area of emission protection/facility approval, we assist clients with the approval process, including necessary review hearings. We also examine the permissibility of supplementary directives. As part of planning approval procedures, we are heavily involved in work with public agencies, particularly as in the expansion of airports and ports.

Our strength comes from long years of experience: We have a solid understanding of the needs of companies and the “dictates” of the public sector. As a result, we can work out pragmatic solutions capable of being approved.

Our areas of specialization:
  • Zoning and town planning
  • Drafting and negotiating municipal agreements
  • Large infrastructure projects, administrative proceedings
  • Legal assistance during construction (including building permit applications and related issues)
  • Contaminated sites/drafting and negotiation of clean-up agreements with authorities
  • Conversion (brownfields, former military sites)
  • Ambient emission control (plant approval, official requirements, EU and national emissions)
  • Environmental protection (wildlife conservation, provisions for environmental intervention, flora-fauna habitat and bird protection)
  • Representation of clients in permitting and approval proceedings (administrative and court proceedings)
  • Public law issues relating to legal compliance or the restructuring, sale or acquisition of corporate entities

Public Commercial and Constitutional Law

Public commercial and constitutional law has traditionally been one of GvW Graf von Westphalen’s key practice areas. We have been assisting our clients in all aspects of this legal field for more than 50 years.
We advise and represent companies in licensing and approval proceedings as well as in official complaints.
In food and animal feed law, we advise various agricultural and food-industry associations, including their members. In addition, we are well-versed in the constitutional law aspects in the various fields of law ranging from fiscal to civil procedure law.

Our extensive experience is one reason why we have many public sector institutions among our clients. We assist these clients in such matters as legislative procedures, infrastructure measures, state-aid and subsidy law issues and the privatization of public services.

We represent our clients in all German courts up to the Federal Supreme Administrative Court. In addition, we regularly take part in legal proceedings before State and Federal Constitutional Courts as well as before the European courts. As a result of our extensive knowledge, our experts are frequently asked to write legal opinions.

Our areas of specialization:
  • Legislative procedures
  • Infrastructure measures
  • State aid and subsidies
  • Privatization of public services
    Preparation of expert legal opinions
    Food and animal feed law