Legal opinion

Construction contracts are difficult to manage because they are beset with uncertainties that are almost impossible to predict. This structural insecurity over the actual construction tasks not only results from environmental factors which cannot be controlled, such as the condition of the building plot or the weather conditions. It occurs because the parties must specify their mutual contractual obligations at a time when they simply cannot reliably foresee the effort ultimately necessary to ensure the realisation of the contractually agreed result. This makes the designing and handling of construction contracts incredibly complicated. The situation is aggravated further by an incomplete law and the somewhat problematic rule system of the VOB/B (German Construction Contract Procedures, Part B) in relation to certain important core issues. Thus, a comprehensive collection of judicial precedents which is extremely difficult to understand in detail has become a benchmark for the application of law in this area. Accordingly, the legal questions which stand in the way of the parties while they are performing construction contracts are often quite complex. It helps to have such legal questions evaluated by an independent, neutral legal expert so as to estimate the risks and to develop strategies for action that are least likely to cause disruption.

Prof. Stefan Leupertz is an expert in the judicial precedents of construction contract law in different civil law countries. He helped to design them himself while serving as as a judge of the German Federal Court of Justice from 2007 to the end of 2012. In addition, he has been doing research on the general law of obligations and service contract law (read more), as well as on the operational and economic facets of construction for many years.