Plant Engineering

Unravelling systems,
crafting contracts.

In the fields of domestic German plant construction and international plant engineering, GSK Stockmann enjoys a reputation as one of the best law firms in Germany. As in all our other fields of practice, our approach to plant engineering is comprehensive and integrated. Thanks to our experience and expertise, we are extremely conversant with the industries of our clients and we speak the same language as all parties involved in the project – meaning communication is smooth and intelligible.

Many plant engineering projects are international and involve investors, engineers and contractors from around the globe. In such cases, GSK Stockmann offers comprehensive legal solutions as a one-stop shop: the contracts follow international standards and are typically drafted in English.

Main areas of expertise

We offer two different types of service in this field. Firstly, we advise on outbound cases: clients based in Germany who are working on projects in other countries.

Where necessary for the above, we involve partner law firms from our extensive international network. Secondly, we advise on inbound cases: international clients engaging in activities in Germany.

We have extensive experience in particular with industrial plants (e.g., industrial estates, shipyards and docks, logistics centres, production sites and process plants such as pharmaceutical plants, LNG infrastructures, conventional power stations and pumped-storage power plants), infrastructure projects (e.g., transport links, road construction, shipping locks, airports, pipelines, power lines, data centres) and offshore wind farms.

Learn more about our expertise in project development of industrial plants and industrial real estate

We draft and negotiate contracts connected with the planning, engineering, supply, construction, commissioning, maintenance and repair of plants (e.g., general design contractor agreements, GMP, EPC, EPCI, O&M and DBOT contracts). We also offer advice on consortium structures, subcontracts and supply contracts (the latter including the CISG and Incoterms).

We specialise in national and international standard-form contracts which are heavily used in plant engineering, e.g., FIDIC, LOGIC, Orgalim, VDMA, NEC, AIA and VOB/B contracts. Based on these standard-form contracts, we regularly draft company-specific contracts for our clients. In Germany, the Federal Supreme Court is particularly strict with regard to General Terms & Conditions; hence special legal advice on T&Cs is frequently required where German law applies.

Right from the start, we involve colleagues from other fields of law on behalf of our clients – because complex plant engineering projects demand an entire team of highly specialised legal advisers. GSK Stockmann has specialists in all legal fields relevant for plant engineering: private building law, architect law and engineering law, international contract law, public planning, environment and building law, corporate, tax, financing, land law, state aid and procurement law, IP/IT, energy law, dispute resolution, insolvency law and more.

Once contracts have been signed, we support our clients through to the successful completion of a project. We also offer our clients advice on numerous legal issues such as insurance, legal reviews of claims, defects, withholding performance, review of final accounts, and (anti) claim management. Bonds and securities play an extremely important role in plant engineering; hence this is a strong focus area of our advisory services. In the event of a crisis – major disruption to construction work, for example, or if contracts are terminated or if parties involved in the project become insolvent – we help our clients to assert (or dispute) claims in the most effective manner possible. In doing so, we liaise closely with external consultants from other professions, e.g., with quantum and delay experts whose early involvement we recommend.

In the event of a dispute, we advise our clients regarding the appropriate mode of dispute resolution and during the process itself, whether in litigation or in out-of-court proceedings. The potential for conflict and disputes in plant engineering projects is high – particularly where a plant is procured without a general contractor and the client has entered into contracts with numerous companies (“multi-contracting”). In the field of international plant engineering, specific methods have evolved for resolving disputes without resorting to the courts. These include mediation, conciliation and adjudication. Where required, we support our clients in all such processes. Should the above processes fail to deliver the desired or expected result, we will be happy to pursue matters in litigation or arbitration (ICC or DIS, for example), also with reference to interim legal protection. In these fields, our lawyers have extensive experience and expertise as party counsels, mediators, conciliators, adjudicators and arbitrators.

We offer advice and support regarding the recognition and enforcement of court judgments and arbitral awards in Germany and abroad – so that our clients not only win their cases, but also get their money.

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