Planning, construction, operation, dismantling

Project development
Industrial plants and
industrial real estate

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Sustainable industrial plants: not a question of “if”, but “how”.

The manufacturing industry, the cornerstone of the German economy, is under enormous pressure to transform. This presents a challenge to everyone involved, from investors to employees, and at the same time offers an opportunity worth seizing.
The restrictions brought in to manage the coronavirus pandemic have accelerated this transformation. For instance, they have triggered digitalisation processes and changes in the world of work, production and the mobility sector. There is less need for office space and meetings now take place on-screen at home.

The pandemic disrupted supply chains for raw and building materials, computer chips and precious metals and exposed bottlenecks and geopolitical dependencies. The renationalisation of key industries as well as the reorganisation of production are being discussed as potential solutions.

The transition to green energies that governments are pushing for is also disrupting existing structures. As consuming energy becomes more expensive, innovations and future technologies are more worthwhile than ever. Regulations such as the “Fit for 55” package included in the European Commission’s Green Deal are forcing business enterprises to reduce their CO2 emissions. With EU climate tariffs making imports more expensive, shifting production to non-EU countries is no longer a solution. Affordable electricity is becoming a key factor in choosing a location and requires the expansion of renewable energies and suitable infrastructure to transport, store and convert them.

To tackle these challenges and to build industrial plants that are sustainable and fit for the future, firms need advisers who understand the entire scope of the tasks at hand. This is the purpose of GSK Stockmann’s DenkFabrik. This involves integrated teams of specialists working under the guiding principle of “The Industrial Perspective” to support you with entrepreneurial foresight in all relevant legal issues arising in the life cycle of an industrial plant.

The 360° DenkFabrik for your industrial plant

Our 360° advisory approach ensures that a specialised and internationally experienced team is at your side for any issue that arises. The lawyers and notaries in your team work together seamlessly across locations and disciplines. They are always able to look at things from the client’s perspective, meaning that they have your needs in mind with regard to success, costs and pragmatic solutions. In a nutshell: The Industrial Perspective.

Increasing pressure to innovate, climate protection regulations and international competition are shortening the innovation cycles for new products and processes. For industrial plants, this means either shutting down or modernising. We help with the decision-making process

Dr. Andreas Geiger, Lawyer

Industrial plants and real estate: making every phase a success.

Just like any real estate property, every industrial plant has a life cycle. It starts with a business idea and goes through many stages from planning, construction and the operating phase, before reaching an end point and a new beginning through closure or sale. Our 360° approach supports you in each of these phases with specific advisory services.

Whether you are an investor, a local authority or a manufacturing company, whether you are expanding or pulling back, our lawyers will lay the groundwork for you to make viable decisions with their relevant specialist and industry experience. Read on to find out more about the kind of projects we can assist you with.

Life cycle of an industrial plant / industrial property

Phase 1: Strategic planning and project planning

The first phase involves specifying the strategic idea in concrete terms. You find a location, draw up plans for the plant and determine the level of investment required.

Our services at a glance:

  • Support during site search/acquisition of land rights
  • Financing
  • Tax
  • Funding/subsidies
  • Corporate law
  • Reviewing insurance offers, e.g. contractors’ all risks (CAR) insurance
  • Checking the approval requirements
  • Support in urban land-use planning
  • Involvement in the initial status report on the soil and business site
  • Communication with residents, politicians, authorities and other stakeholders

In the analysis phase of your project, a feasibility study determines whether your project is sound. How suitable is your site? What is the land situation and/or the rental/leasing situation? The GSK team is involved in preparing the baseline report on the soil and the site. Our land rights specialists clarify any unresolved questions.

How high is the funding hurdle? Which financing partners are you planning to bring on board? What collateral do they need for their lending? Are you receiving public funding for your project? Our lending and acquisition finance team is highly sought after as an expert partner on the banking and investor side of complex deals. Our state aid team provides clarification on aspects of state aid law with regard to subsidies and grants.

Closely linked to financing is the structuring of your project in terms of corporate and tax law. This is without doubt a topic where you need a professional. Above all, the new company should fit well into the group structure. Our corporate practice acts as a creative architect, setting up the corporate and tax structure and laying out the necessary steps for implementation.

We help you to plan and design your project in such a way that you know exactly which permits you need and what permit conditions to expect. Our large and highly experienced environmental and planning law team will take care of the public law side of your project and support you in urban land-use planning. One of the most difficult hurdles to implementing the project is communicating with residents, politicians, authorities and other stakeholders. We understand the interests of all sides and help to ensure a fair balance of interests.

Do you have an insurance concept in place? Let us review insurance offers for you, including CAR insurance.

Your contact for Phase 1:

Dr. Andreas Geiger
+49 89 288174-21

Phase 2: Implementation of the industrial assignment

The second phase actually puts the industrial project into practice. To do this, you need to find the right project team, go about procuring land or rights of use and obtain the necessary permits. Then you need to prepare the procurement and construction process.

Our services at a glance:

  • Management of the approval process
  • Participation in the preperation of approval documents, coordinating with experts
  • Reviewing the ancillary provisions of the permit, appeal procedure
  • Support in the purchase of the land/signing of these lease
  • Participation in the procurement of equipment (draf contract, award/tender process, negotiations)
  • Support in the tendering of the project management and planning services (draft contract, award/tender process, negotiations)

We participate in the preparation of the approval documents, coordinate with assessors and manage the approval procedure. We review the ancillary provisions of the permit and appeal if necessary.

The buildings and land can be purchased or rented. You may also want to consider a heritable building right instead of a purchase. GSK assists you with the purchase or lease of the land. Whether you are constructing corporate headquarters, blast furnaces or a semiconductor factory, our real estate and industrial team is prepared for any challenge.

When building factories and plants, you as the client are faced with numerous decisions. You need to procure the equipment, put the project management in the right hands and hire the right planning firms. Is there a general planner or are separate contracts to be awarded to each trade? Which construction companies are to be used?
GSK supports you in the tendering of services, drafts the contracts, carries out the tendering and conducts the negotiations. If you are a public contracting authority, you need to conduct an award procedure for the contracts. If the process is designed the right way, you can influence the project management and planning

Your contact for Phase 2:

Lars Bollensen
+49 40 369703-36

Increased efficiency and economic growth have ensured that more people are well off today than ever before. To keep it that way, we need to plan industrial production to be sustainable.

Dr. Oda Wedemeyer, Lawyer

Phase 3: Construction and commissioning

The third phase is the implementation phase. You construct the blast furnace, set up the painting line and put the new facilities into operation. You need to respond to setbacks and incidents, liaise with the approval authority, assert your requirements and obtain the necessary certifications.

Our services at a glance:

  • Support in the tendering of construction and installation services (draft contracts, award/tender process, negotiations)
  • Legal advice throughout construction
  • Legal interface management
  • Contract and (anti-)claim management
  • Employment law
  • Adjudication
  • Ligitation/arbitration
  • Enforcement

When it comes to the construction phase and assembly, the more complex a project, the more things can go wrong.

• GSK Stockmann’s legal interface management ensures that all contracts are neatly interlocked, the liability of the various parties involved is clearly delineated and you do not pay for any services twice.
• During construction, GSK Stockmann ensures that everything stays on track. Contract and claim management monitors compliance with contracts, makes adjustments where necessary and enforces claims.
• GSK offers the dispute resolution method of adjudication to resolve conflicts during the construction phase in a cost-effective manner. Specialised and experienced lawyers are available as adjudicators for this modern conflict resolution procedure.
• For contentious disputes, we provide litigation before national and international courts of law and arbitration courts.
• Where necessary, we also take care of the enforcement of titled claims.

Before an industrial plant can switch to full operation, a lot of preparations, checks and safety inspections are necessary. GSK supports you during final inspections and at all stages up to the start of operation. If the launch results in a false start, we can take over not only the claim management but also the communication with the insurance companies.

Employment contracts, contracts for work and services and assignment contracts are needed for the many people involved in the planning, construction and commissioning of a plant. The same applies to the subsequent operation of the plant. GSK Stockmann’s employment law practice has an excellent international network and ensures that the personnel required for construction and production are quickly legally cleared for deployment.

The plant components, building materials and parts need to be in the right place at the right time. With our logistics expertise, we are the right team for this job as well.

Your contact for Phase 3:

Dr. Oda Wedemeyer
+49 30 203907-0

Phase 4: Operation, maintenance, modification

The fourth phase concerns the development of the the industrial plant or property as an asset. The plant must operate effectively, the contracts must work and the plant must remain functional. One key challenge is safeguarding against internal and external disruptions and liability cases and protecting intellectual property. As a sparring partner for legal departments, we ensure that you are prepared for any challenge.

Our services at a glance:

  • Corporate Real Estate Management (CREM)
  • Support in the tendering of the O&M contracts (draft contract, award/tender process and negotiations)
  • Legal interface managementOrganisation of environmental/occupational health and safety, review of operating instructions
  • Review of the reporting obligations for the plant operation
  • Distinction between maintenance and modifications under planning and approval law
  • Optimising the business organisation in terms of liability
  • Legal incident management
  • Reviewing subsequent orders from the approval authority
  • Competition law
  • Supply and purchase contracts
  • Product approval, product safety and product liability
  • Advice on road safety obligations
  • Advice on employment and occupational safety law
  • Plant-related fine procedures
  • Litigation/arbitration
  • Legal support in the rectification of defects, warranty management, management of collateral provided by the contractor and claim management

From the investors’ point of view, industrial properties are valuable assets that need to be managed to increase their value from the very first planning sketch. This is exactly the comprehensive view taken by our real estate practice with Corporate Real Estate Management (CREM).

Part of adding value is treating the plant with care. We ensure that you have suitable operation and maintenance contracts (O&M contracts) in place, from the drafting of the contract to the tender and award process through to the signing.

Industrial plant operators are faced with a mountain of regulations. GSK ensures the proper organisation of operations, providing advice on traffic safety obligations, occupational health and safety law, and environmental and emissions trading law. We also check the operating instructions and compliance with plant-related reporting obligations. Because if things don’t run smoothly, it costs you money and can even pose a danger to people’s health.
We support you through the necessary notification and approval procedures for plant modifications or expansions. We take on the often contentious distinction between maintenance and modifications. While maintenance is usually covered by the operating permit, modifications require a formal notification or an additional approval procedure.

What certifications are needed? We advise and support you in the selection and establishment of management and compliance systems and the certification procedures. Our preventive advisory services for industry compliance help you to identify compliance risks in your company and to eliminate them in accordance with international regulations..

How well is your operational organisation protected against incidents? We help to optimise your operational organisation in terms of liability law.
If the worst does happen, we take over incident management from a legal perspective and communicate with the authorities. If authorities issue orders against your company, we will review them and advise you on the next steps. We represent operators in plant-related fine proceedings

Delivery of goods, spare parts, IT, electricity, gas and oil – everything needs to be in the right place at the right time and in sufficient quantities. GSK takes care of the myriad of supply and purchase contracts and protects you against defaults. Trademarks, designs, patents, software – your intellectual property is precious. Our competition practice is there to protect you.

Products must be safe, from development to production to instructions for use, and in many cases also require regulatory approval. So simple, yet so important. Our team advises you on product safety and product approval. In the event of product liability cases, recalls and regulatory orders, our globally active dispute resolution team springs into action.

Construction-related faults or defects sometimes only become apparent after a plant has been in operation for a number of years. Our experienced team provides you with comprehensive legal support in the elimination of defects, warranty management, the management of securities provided by the contractor as well as claim management.

Your contact for Phase 4:

Olaf Jacobsen
+49 69 710003-212

Industrial companies develop innovations that make life better and produce them on a large scale. We help ensure that you comply with all legal requirements while doing so.

Lars Bollensen, Lawyer

Phase 5: Decommissioning, dismantling, disposal

Even once the operating phase of a plant comes to an end, there is still a lot to do. Decommissioning, dismantling and disposing of an industrial plant requires not only clean-up work, but also a long list of contractual as well as administrative and environmental tasks. GSK Stockmann’s industry team helps to ensure that the end of the plant is not a dead end, but that the way is clear for subsequent use.

Our services at a glance:

  • Verification of the proper cessation of operations in accordance with the Immission Control Act and the permit conditions, in particular the restoration and remediation of the site
  • Employment law: Redundancy plan, mass dismissal notice
  • Assistance in the sale of assets
  • Support in the tendering of the dismantling, demolition and disposal contracts (draft contract, award/tender process, negotiations)
  • Legal support for subsequent use
  • Advising on the conclusion of sale-and-leaseback agreements and on purchase agreements for the business premises including vendor due diligence
  • Review of the property rights situation, in particular also of the neighbouring properties due to possible obligations regarding the removal of granted easements from the land register plus further reviews under land register law in the event the production site is abandoned

Locking the factory doors is not enough. Closing an industrial plant requires a proper cessation of operations in accordance with the requirements of the Immission Control Act and the fulfilment of the permit conditions, for example with regard to the restoration and remediation of the plant site

A series of contracts need to be signed before you can bring in the wrecking balls. We support you in the sale of the plant, often to international buyers, or in the tendering of the dismantling, draw up the demolition and disposal contracts and conduct the negotiations.

We support you in the proper remediation of the factory and business premises. To this end, we assist in coordinating with the authorities and take over the tendering of the remediation as well as the drafting and negotiation of the remediation contracts.

What happens to the workforce? Who will provide for their continued employment elsewhere or pensions? The employment law team provides far-sighted advice at an early stage on any employment law implications of a decommissioning or shutdown of operations.

Who will use the factory site after industrial production has ended? And for what purpose? Is something else to be built on the site? Who else has claims or rights of way?

  • Purchase agreements and vendor due diligence: We advise on the conclusion of purchase agreements for the site and conduct vendor due diligence.
  • Sale-and-leaseback agreements for further use as a business site: Our contracts department draws up the necessary sale-and-leaseback agreements for future use.
  • Examination of the neighbouring rights situation of the properties: We clarify any matters of land ownership relating to the properties. This concerns, for example, easements, rights of way and the like, which must be removed from the land register so that they do not stand in the way of subsequent use, e.g. for residential development.
  • Land register checks: We also take care of other land register checks if the production site is abandoned.

Your contact for Phase 5:

Dr. Hans-Michael Mache
Of Counsel
+49 69 710003-120

We are your partner throughout the entire life cycle of your industrial plant or property.

Book a consultation appointment today – our team looks forward to hearing from you!

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