Litigation / Dispute resolution

Litigation and dispute resolution, in Germany and abroad, is one of LEBUHN & PUCHTA’s traditional strengths.

The experience of LEBUHN & PUCHTA’s lawyers enables the firm to handle highly contentious cases. By constituting special teams, the firm can respond quickly to the demands of very large and complex cases.

Lawyers of the firm are regularly appointed as arbitrators and instructed to appear in foreign courts as experts on German law.

The firm represents its clients before all the German courts and arbitration venues. Where litigation in front of foreign courts or arbitral tribunals is involved, the firm has very substantial experience of working with first-class firms around the world. The firm helps its clients effectively assess their options by providing strategic and insightful multijurisdictional advice.

LEBUHN & PUCHTA’s English-qualified solicitors act for clients in London arbitrations and, where appropriate for the case, instruct London-based barristers and law firms.

Selected Cases

  • We have advised and represented a US ship owner and its insurer in relation to German law liability issues arising out of a fire damage onboard a RoRo ship and in the litigation in Germany; we have supported the parallel US discovery proceedings and mediation process.
  • We have represented a client in DIS adjudication and arbitration proceedings with regard to a dispute concerning the construction of an offshore wind farm.
  • We have advised a German shipping group in connection with its cancellation of a series of eight shipbuilding contracts entered into with an Asian shipyard and acted for the client in the ensuing successful London arbitration for the refund of a very substantial amount representing the instalments paid under the contracts, plus interest, and in recovering the awarded sums under the refund guarantees.
  • We have acted for clients in a London arbitration pursuing a substantial claim for loss of hire following the failure of the clients’ charterer to take delivery of the vessel as a newbuilding. The dispute involved complex delivery provisions in the chain of charter parties and the question whether they were aligned with those of the shipbuilding contract. The case also involved the issue as to whether the vessel was in a deliverable condition under the shipbuilding contract.
  • We have acted for a client in a large claim for loss of hire under a long-term time charter in a multi-jurisdictional dispute involving countries including the UK, South Africa, Australia, China, Singapore and Malaysia. The pursuit of the claim involved repeatedly exercising liens on sub-freight and carrying out multiple ship arrests. The case involved major issues such as the existence of a repudiatory breach for non-payment of hire under the charter and the question of common control of various members of a complex shipping group for the purpose of an associated ship arrest. Complex strategic considerations were involved due to the insolvency of the charterer debtor and the many jurisdictions involved. The claims and counter-claims were pursued on the merits in parallel in various jurisdictions and involved piecing of the corporate veil.
  • We have acted for the vessel owners in a hull claim under successive German policies raising issues as to the scope of cover and apportionment of the claim under the policies.
  • The firm’s senior partner has acted as arbitrator in a major dispute surrounding the rescission of a share deal in the textile industry.
  • Our partner Dr Dieter Armbrust was appointed as expert on German law in a London arbitration which raised highly complex German law points on the effect of German insurance arrangements on title to sue under an English law shipbuilding contract.
  • We have acted for the shipowners in connection with an oil pollution incident in the port of Valdez, Alaska originating from containerised cargo.
  • We act for shipowners, issuing houses and other parties in defending numerous claims by investors in closed-end shipping funds.