We are your experts in transport law and forwarding law. Regardless of whether you are a medium-sized company or a group of companies, a freight forwarder or an air freight carrier - with us you will always receive comprehensive and, above all, personal advice. An area of commercial law, transport law according to the German Commercial Code (HGB) includes all regulations relating to the transport of goods - whether by air, sea or land. Especially when it comes to drafting freight contracts or forwarding contracts, enforcing your claims, litigating freight damage or seeking recourse from transport insurers, it is important to know that you have an experienced expert at your side. In this area, carriers and forwarders in particular are dependent on comprehensive and internationally oriented advice from a specialist lawyer, as cross-border transport is their daily bread. In the area of air transport law, we also provide support in the assertion and defence of personal injury claims.
Transport law and forwarding law are fraught with many pitfalls. It is often difficult to keep track of everything. With a specialist lawyer for transport and forwarding law at your side, you can confidently put these worries aside and concentrate on your core business.
Transport law is comprehensive and the issues are complex. That is why it is important for you to receive individual advice. We take this seriously by always advising you personally and taking time for you.
Would you like to get together for a personal meeting to obtain advice? We would be happy to schedule a non-binding appointment with you so that we can get to know each other. We look forward to your call or e-mail and to meeting you.
Generally speaking, transport law regulates the transport of goods, whereby a distinction must be made between national and international (cross-border) transport law. National transport law is regulated uniformly for all means of transport by the German Commercial Code (HGB). International transport law is covered by international treaties and conventions, such as the "Convention relative au contrat de transport international de marchandises par route" (CMR), which applies to road transport. Air transport law is dominated by the "Convention for the Unification of Certain Rules for International Carriage by Air" from 28 May 1999, referred to for short as the "Montreal Convention", which is relevant for both international freight transport and passenger air transport, including the carriage of baggage. For national passenger air traffic, provisions of the Montreal Convention have been incorporated in the German Air Traffic Act (LuftVG).
Specifically, transport law regulates the transport of goods (rail transport, air transport, sea transport and inland waterway transport) in Germany and governs the relationship between the person who sends and receives the goods and the person who transports them, i.e. the carrier, or organises the transport, i.e. the forwarder.
In essence, a consignment note proves that a contract of carriage exists. The consignment note is part of the freight documents. The document also serves as proof that the goods to be transported have reached their destination undamaged. Any defects must be recorded on the consignment note. While the consignment note is largely dispensed with in national transport, it is still mandatory for international transport. Here, the so-called CMR consignment note or, in the case of air freight transport, the AWB, is required. The carrier can issue a consignment note containing the following information:
In addition, the consignment note may contain further details whenever needed in individual cases.
In principle, a carrier can be held liable from the time the goods are accepted by the consignor until they are properly handed over to the consignee. The carrier is subject to what is known as custodial liability. As a rule, the issue of liability comes up when transport damage or loss occurs or there is a delay in delivery. The German Commercial Code (HGB) stipulates that the carrier is liable for damage caused goods or their loss during transport. If the delivery deadline fails to be met, this is also a reason for liability. The carrier can only escape its liability for care and custody in whole or in part within the framework of special grounds for exclusion of liability. In order to compensate for this liability risk, all national and international laws and conventions provide for maximum liability amounts, which are expressed in units of account or special drawing rights and are based on the weight of the goods carried. The only exceptions to this are if the carrier is guilty of a so-called qualified fault in causing the damage. This is deemed to be the case if the damage has been caused by intentional fault of the carrier. It is in the area of liability, with regard to the reason for and amount of such - and with a special consideration of multimodal law - that a need for advice and action by specialist lawyers is to be found.
The focus of our advice in the area of transport law is on air transport law as well as aviation law. We are pleased to advise and act as counsel for air carriers and airlines in all liability matters - both in and out of court. We also defend our clients' interests in the satisfaction of, or defence against, personal injury claims in the field of aviation law under the German Air Traffic Act (LuftVG) or the Montreal Convention. Another focus of our advice lies in the drafting of conditions of carriage and contractual relationships in air transport, in particular on issues relating to charter or code-sharing.