• Good to see what has allready been achieved. Better to know what still needs to be done.
  • Precision, perfect timing and an eyefor what matters.
  • Doing the right thing at the right time.That's what seperates the best from the rest.
  • Achieving your goalswith a reliable partnerby your side.

Soil Conservation and Remediation of Contaminated Sites

Investors, not only those wishing to carry out projects on former industrial sites, are often faced with environmental pollution which either poses a risk to public safety or needs to be dealt with in implementing the project. The measures required to be taken in this context range from simple examinations to complicated protection and decontamination measures. Such measures can easily involve costs which call a project into question or even concretely jeopardise its implementation. This situation can be prevented by clarifying at an early stage what measures need to be taken and by securing the financing needed for this purpose. The easier and less expensive the remediation of the environmental pollution is, the bigger the chances of implementing the project successfully will be. Our lawyers can assist you as follows:

  • Examining the risk situation and determining the legal basis
  • Determining the relevant objects of protection, including examining whether and to what extent these objects are worthy of, and require, protection
  • Assessing the lawfulness of interventions to examine risks (examinations ordered by the competent public authorities)
  • Legal assessment of what measures are necessary and proportional in the legal sense to treat the environmental pollution (restrictions on use, protective measures, decontamination)
  • Clarifying who is responsible, for example, liability of a former owner or of a universal successor of the party having caused the pollution (inheritance, reorganisation, merger), and clarifying the legalising effect of public-law permits
  • Examining whether claims that are or might be asserted by public authorities are time-barred or have been forfeited
  • If more than one party is responsible, financial compensation among those responsible
  • Drafting “contaminated sites” clauses for property purchase agreements to minimise risks
  • Legal advice throughout the remediation planning
  • Drafting remediation contracts with the competent public authorities, the examination and remediation planners, and the companies carrying out the remediation
  • Assisting with the contract award procedure, where required
  • Clarifying the measures under waste law in connection with the examination, protection and decontamination measures (polluted excavated soil and building rubble)
  • Examining whether public-law permits are required to operate the equipment needed for examination, safeguarding and decontamination purposes
  • Clarifying whether obligations exist to offer special waste to a particular firm, as well as clarifying the permitted disposal procedures, in particular, checking the firms involved in waste disposal
  • Advising on indemnification under the German Environmental Framework Act, enforcing claims for indemnification against the competent state authorities (also in administrative courts) and assisting with the indemnification procedures
  • Undertaking the defence against unwarranted official orders regarding contaminated sites, in particular, filing appeals and conducting legal proceedings in administrative courts
  • Crisis management (contamination, protest)
  • Enforcing claims for compensation for loss of value
  • Representing investors, property owners and persons having caused environmental pollution vis-à-vis the competent public authorities, neighbours and other third parties


Dr. Stefan Kobes, Partner
Phone +49 30 52133 0