Product Liability

The product as the focal point

From the idea to disposal. Every phase in the life of a product involves special legal requirements and excellent professional advice. GvW Graf von Westphalen advises manufacturers, suppliers, importers, dealers as well as associations in all matters related to products and creates individual solutions from a single source.

For more than twenty years, GvW Graf von Westphalen has advised companies that produce products in Germany and foreign countries with regard to questions about product liability and how to avoid liability. This includes questions about structuring contracts, product safety and national and international law governing warranties as well as representation in litigation involving liability. Our clients include manufacturers in the automobile industry just as mid-size German specialized companies. As different as our clients and their legal problems are, the solutions which we developed for our clients using our own Competence Teams are just as specific for our clients. GvW Graf von Westphalen is a partner which thinks in terms of economics and strategy and provides safe guidance to its clients while focusing on complex legal issues as a result of many years of experience in products in specific industries.

The main aspects of our services include:

Individualized contract structuring (contracts concerning quality management, suppliers, dealers and distribution), examining contracts (General Terms and Conditions and General Terms for Purchasing and Deliveries) and contract management and project performance (e.g. APQP, PPAP, PPF)

Product labeling (e.g. under the Product Safety Guideline, WEEE Directive, Toys Directive, RoHS Directive, Medical Products Act) (Medizinproduktegesetz)

Law on Warranties and Guarantees in the entire production and supply chain (national and international)

ATEX Directive 2014/34/EU

Product safety (New product safety regulation - Regulation (EU) 2023/988, prevention, risk management, monitoring and quality management)

Sampling procedures under ISO/TS 16949

Machinery Directive 2006/42/EC

Functional Safety Management (e.g. IEC 61508 and IEC 61511)

Risk analysis and security for risks

Development Interface Agreement under ISO 26262

National and international recall actions for non-food products

Assertion and enforcement of claims for recourse in the production and supply chain

Defense against claims for resource in the selling chain, also using pro-active litigation ("torpedo complaints") 

Selection and conclusion of insurance contracts (product liability insurance, insurance against recall costs, D&O insurance and insurance for protection under criminal law

Enforcement of the own insurance claims and defense against third party insurance claims

Product responsibility of boards of directors, managing directors and senior employees for products under the law governing liability and criminal law

Product liability and compliance (quality assurance, crisis management and training employees)

Seminars, workshops and academic activities

Our attorneys have provided training to manufacturers, suppliers, dealers and associations for more than ten years in individual seminars and workshops, in order to prepare them for every-day issues involving products. Furthermore, our attorneys are active in the academic field by providing instruction about issues of product liability and regularly publishing in professional magazines.