19 February 2019Jurisdiction reportsJens Künzel

Germany jurisdiction report: Letters with a profit motive

In most cases, warning letters are sent by attorneys at law. That might be appropriate since matters of infringement are often not easy to evaluate, but attorneys do not work without pay, and here the trouble starts.

For a long time, German courts have held that the “necessary” legal costs for the attorney who has prepared and sent a warning letter must be reimbursed by the addressee of the warning letter if the claims asserted are well founded. While this rule seems justifiable in principle, some creditors and lawyers have come up with ways to abuse it in order to generate as much reimbursement of legal costs as possible.

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