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We can help with your public law matters

Our specialised team has many years of experience in advising investors, companies and the public sector on all practical aspects of issues relating to public law. We consider commercial aspects as well as the technical/scientific circumstances and requirements when handling projects and transactions.

Our "Public" service portfolio

  • Licensing and planning permission procedures
  • Environmental law advice
  • Project development, public planning and construction law
  • Procurement law for bidders or contracting bodies
  • Advice on administrative law for trade and industry
  • Advice on transactions and restructuring
  • Public private partnerships and privatisation
  • Advice on foreign tradePolitical consulting
  • Compliance and crisis management
  • Representation in litigation and verification procedures

How our expertise can help you

We can help you to structure complex public law procedures such as procurement procedures and planning and licensing proceedings in a legally secure way, implement them efficiently and complete them successfully. We identify risks in advance, offer solutions and support you in your communication with project participants.

We are very accustomed to working closely and constructively with experts from other fields, such as planners, engineers and other specialists, as well as with banks and authorities.

This avoids costly court cases and enables you to plan your investment with certainty. If required, we can represent your interests in court, drawing on our extensive litigation experience.

What others say about us

"Recommended practice for restructuring and transactions in the public sector."
(JUVE, 2011/2012)

"The scope of the advice it provides is impressive, both in relation to the wide range of sectors covered, such as energy, chemicals, water and port traffic, and the size of the projects."
 (JUVE, 2010/2011)

"The strengths of the frequently recommended practice include handling several major projects with long timelines."
 (JUVE, 2009/2010)


CMS advises Vattenfall on sale of 49% of shares in offshore wind farm projects...
Hamburg – Vattenfall has sold 49% of its shares in the Nordlicht 1 and Nordlicht 2 wind farm projects to BASF. The wind farm zone consists of two separate sites and is located in the German section of the North Sea, around 85 kilometres north of the island of Borkum. The two sites, Nordlicht 1 and Nordlicht 2, have planned capacities of approximately 980 MW and 630 MW, respectively. Full commissioning is scheduled for 2028, when a total of around six terawatt hours (TWh) of electricity is expected to be generated per year, enough to power 1.6 million German households. This makes the Nordlicht wind project the biggest offshore wind farm project that Vattenfall has realised to date. Construction is expected to start in 2026, subject to the final investment decision. Vattenfall is acting as developer and builder of both Nordlicht sites.A CMS team headed by partners Dr Holger Kraft and Dr Jacob Siebert advised Vattenfall on all legal aspects of the transaction. Vattenfall and BASF signed a Memorandum of Understanding with regard to the joint project in December of last year, when the CMS team likewise advised Vattenfall. CMS Germany Dr Holger Kraft, Lead Partner Dr Jacob Siebert, Lead Part­ner Dorothée Janzen, Partner, Com­mer­cial Mat­thi­as Sethmann, Principal Counsel Dr Christoph Löffler, Counsel Dr Stefan Kühl, Senior Associate Dr Christian Seeburger, Associate, all Corporate/M&A Dr Niklas Ganssauge, Partner Mathias Cordero, Senior Associate, both Real Estate & Public Christoff Soltau, Partner Dr Denis Schlimpert, Counsel Dr Robert Bodewig, Senior Associate, all Antitrust, Competition & Trade Dr Kerstin Block, Partner, Banking & Finance Prof. Malte Grützmacher, Partner, TMC Dr Nikolas Gregor, Partner, Intellectual Prop­erty Se­basti­an Belz, Counsel Katja Meisel, Senior Associate Knut Göring-Tisch, Associate, all Public Dr Arne Burmester, Principal Counsel  Birgit Wagner, Legal Manager Shae Lynn Washington, Legal Co­ordin­at­or  Sarah Przybylski, Senior Legal Specialist Edris Trabzadah, Senior Legal Specialist Jule Marie Holz, Legal Specialist, all Smart OperationsPress Con­tact presse@cms-hs. com
Ruling by Federal Administrative Court: No halt to construction of Baltic...
Hamburg – On 12 September 2023, the Federal Administrative Court dismissed the fast-track action brought by environmental group Deutsche Umwelthilfe against the planning resolution of Stralsund Department...
Penta Hotel in Berlin-Koepenick switches to Leonardo with CMS
Berlin – The Penta Hotel in Berlin's Koepenick district has changed hands. The hotel chain Leonardo has acquired the property from a closed real estate fund as part of an asset deal. Leonardo will also...
CMS advises Merckle Group on acquisition of office complex from Demire
Stuttgart – Ulmer Posthöfe GmbH, part of the real estate arm of the Merckle Group, has acquired a Telekom property in Ulm from Demire. The property at Bahnhofplatz 2, Olgastraße 63 and 67 and Zeit­blom­straße...
CMS advised Tree Energy Solutions on its joint venture with Fortescue Future...
Hamburg – CMS has advised Tree Energy Solutions (TES) on its joint venture with Fortescue Future Industries (FFI) to develop the Wilhelmshaven energy import terminal. TES has found a new partner in...
CMS European Real Estate Deal Point Study 2022
Real estate investment markets remain stable whilst buyers continue to catch up in contractual risk allocation Logistics assets more popular than everDemand from international investors reaches record high accounting for 55% of deals, with most international investors still being from within EuropeIncreased desire for security on the part of sellers continued to be a feature in 2021: share of transactions in which the buyer's payment obligations are secured reaches another record high­Buy­er-friendly trend in contractual risk allocation continues as seller-friendly provisions on limitation of liability continue to declineThe European real estate investment market appears to have largely recovered from the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2021. Compared to the pan­dem­ic-stricken previous year, total investment increased by around 15% to approximately EUR 270 billion, marking a return to the pre-crisis level. Logistics assets performed particularly well last year, having become the focus of investors’ attention due to their stable income flows and the ongoing growth of online shopping. Demand from international investors was also up again in 2021, with intra-European transactions being the rule. 2021 also brought a new record high in the number of transactions in which the buyer's payment obligations were secured. With regard to contract design, the buyer-friendly trend continued, as reflected especially by a decrease in de minimis and basket clauses as well as caps. Logistics assets more popular than ever Office properties were a popular asset class in 2021 despite all the uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, although some market share was lost to logistics and residential. The slight downward trend in office transactions handled by CMS seen in previous years nonetheless continued, with their share declining from 30% in 2020 to 19%. The reason for the declining proportion of transactions in the office segment is likely to be two-fold, combining the lack of available core properties and the current uncertainty around the impact of hybrid ways of working on demand for office space. The residential and logistics asset classes on the other hand were especially popular in 2021, each with a market share of 23%, compared to 22% and 19% respectively in 2020. One of the key factors for this trend was the stable income generated by residential and logistics properties, which is particularly attractive to investors. Logistics assets additionally benefited from the ongoing growth of online shopping, which was boosted recently by the COVID-19 pandemic and the related closure of retail shops, leading to an increased need for delivery and distribution centres. High demand from international, mostly intra-European, investors International investors were more active again last year: they accounted for 55% of deals in 2021, compared to 43% in 2020. In 2020, international investors had a difficult time, not least due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The associated travel restrictions meant that many international investors from other continents were forced to postpone their planned transactions. The property market seems to have recovered from these effects last year, with a new record 55% of transactions involving foreign investors. However, these foreign investors were mostly from within Europe; the number of intercontinental transactions remained below pre-pandemic levels in 2021. Sellers seek security An increased desire for security on the part of sellers continued to be a feature in 2021. The share of transactions in which steps were taken to ensure that the buyer met its financial obligations rose further in 2021. Sellers were granted security in more than two thirds of cases (70%). This trend is consistent with 2020, when an increased desire for security on the part of sellers was already apparent. In contrast, security was agreed in less than 50% of all transactions in the period from 2015 to 2018. The current high level is due in part to an increased desire for security on the part of sellers as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic; they were often uncertain about the buyer’s solvency going forward. Buyers continue to catch up in contractual risk allocation Buyers were able to catch up further in terms of contractual risk allocation. The proportion of transactions with seller-friendly de minimis clauses and basket clauses (i.e. clauses that provide for a threshold or minimum limit for guarantee claims by the buyer) stagnated or declined somewhat compared with the preceding years. In the previous year, after a noticeable decline, agreements aimed at limiting liability were made in 44% (de minimis clauses) and 41% (basket clauses) of cases. The share of deals with a basket clause fell further to 32% in 2021. As in 2020, a de minimis clause was included in 44% of the transactions analysed. A similar trend was seen in con­trac­tu­ally-agreed liability caps. Whilst the proportion of transactions with a cap was well over 60% in some cases in the years up to 2018, the percentage of agreements with a con­trac­tu­ally-agreed maximum liability fell slightly from 56% in 2020 to 50%.
2021 traffic-light coalition – Impact of the coalition agreement
The “traffic-light” coalition comprising the SPD, the Greens and the FDP has now presented its coalition agreement for the period 2021 to 2025 in Berlin. The tripartite alliance is aiming to transform the social market economy into a so­cial-eco­lo­gic­al market economy by focusing on climate and digitalisation issues. At the press conference, the incoming government described it as the most extensive modernisation of the economy for more than a hundred years. We set out below how this is to be achieved, the opportunities arising for your company and the topics you need to be particularly aware of.
Coalition agreement: Green light for the real estate industry?
Germany’s new traffic-light coalition is taking shape. How will it affect the real estate industry?
CMS European Real Estate Deal Point Study 2021
The COVID-19 pandemic has left its mark on the European investment market. Investment volumes were around 23% lower than in the previous year, 2019, with its record performance. Buyers focused primarily on properties with stable income and those only minimally affected by the pandemic. The number of transactions in which steps were taken to ensure the buyer met its financial obligations was at a record high. The trend towards more buyer-friendly arrangements continued. Those are the key findings of the CMS European Real Estate Deal Point Study 2021. For the latest edition of this survey of the European real estate transaction market, international commercial law firm CMS systematically assessed and evaluated more than 1,900 real estate agreements on which it advised in countries across Europe from the beginning of 2010 to the end of 2020. The key find­ings:In­vestors focus on stable incomeThe COVID-19 pandemic led to a change in investor interest in the individual asset classes. Buyers focused primarily on properties with stable income and those that were only minimally affected by the pandemic. Logistics and residential properties were especially popular. Office real estate remained the strongest asset class in Europe, but its share of the market fell to a record low of 30%. Demand for retail properties remained at a consistently low level (15%). Logistics real estate performed particularly well, posting a rise to 19% , a new record. The proportion of investment going into specialist properties such as hotels fell significantly (14%). Residential real estate proved popular with investors, with its share rising to 22%. Sellers taking steps to ensure that buyers meet their financial ob­lig­a­tionsDur­ing the pandemic, an increased need for security on the part of sellers was apparent. The proportion of transactions in which steps were taken to ensure the buyer met its financial obligations rose to a record high of 64%. In previous years, security was agreed in less than 50% of all transactions. This high level is due to the increased desire for security on the part of sellers as a result of the pandemic; they were often uncertain about the buyer’s solvency going forward. As a means of providing security, both bank guarantees (17%) and a notary’s escrow account (10%) became less popular. In many cases, in contrast, the buyer made an advance payment (29%). In 9% of transactions, use was made of submission to immediate enforcement. Risk allocation in contracts: buyers catching up in a seller-friendly marketBuyers were able to strengthen their position further in 2020 with regard to risk allocation in contracts. In a market environment that remained very seller-friendly, they succeeded in obtaining favourable contract terms more often than in previous years. As part of the warranty, guarantees were again agreed more often in favour of buyers. The percentage of agreements with individual liability provisions increased to 75%. It was common practice to provide for both subjective and objective guarantees. The proportion of deals with seller-friendly limits on liability, such as de minimis and basket clauses and caps, dropped slightly below the prior-year level in 2020. The upward trend seen over many years in agreements aimed at limiting liability has thus been curbed somewhat, while buyers were able to negotiate more favourable contract terms more often than before. Buyers also prepared ground with regard to the contractual provisions on limitation periods. An increasing number of limitation periods from 18 to 24 months were agreed in 2020, while there was a slight fall in the proportion of short limitation periods of up to 18 months. National investors more prom­in­entIn­t­er­na­tion­al investors had a tough time in 2020. While international sellers have been responsible for the majority of deals since 2017, their percentage dropped back down to 43% in 2020, with national investors becoming more active. National investors accounted for 48% of deals in 2018, while in 2020, 57% of real estate investments were made by national investors.
CMS advises EnBW on investment by Commerz Real in portfolio of 14 onshore...
Stuttgart – EnBW Energie Baden-Württem­berg AG has sold 49.9% of the shares in a portfolio comprising 14 onshore wind farms with 47 wind turbines and total output of 133 MW to Commerz Real’s Klimavest...
CMS European Real Estate Deal Point Study 2019
Real estate investment market flatlining at a high level Total investment remains at previous year’s level. Investors forced to revise their investment preferences: office real estate still ahead, but...
CMS European Real Estate Deal Point Study 2019
A first glance suggests there were no major changes in the European investment market in 2018, with the investment volume being roughly the same as in the previous year at around EUR 264bn. However...