Corporate Law Specialist

Lawyers have only been able to acquire a third specialist title since 2011. Attorney Leander J. Gast passed all exams in 2011; the formal award of the title of specialist lawyer for commercial and corporate law took place on February 24, 2012.

In Berlin there are a total of 94 specialist lawyers for commercial and corporate law, nationwide there are 1483 (as of January 1st, 2015, source: Federal Chamber of Lawyers, .pdf).

The prerequisite for being awarded a specialist lawyer title is three years of admission and activity within the last six years before the application, § 3 Specialist Lawyers Act (FAO).

The acquisition of special theoretical knowledge usually presupposes that the applicant has taken part in a preparatory course for the specialist lawyer title, which covers all relevant areas of the specialist area. The total duration of the course must be at least 120 hours, § 4 Para. 1 FAO.

The applicant must have undergone at least 3 written performance assessments (supervised work) from different areas of the course. A performance assessment must take up at least one hour and may not exceed five hours. The total duration of the passed performance assessments must not be less than fifteen hours, § 4a FAO.

Attorney Gast passed all performance tests for the title of specialist lawyer in commercial and corporate law with the top mark "very good".

According to § 14f FAO, knowledge in the following areas must be proven for the specialist lawyer in commercial and corporate law:

  • substantive commercial law (law of commercial status, law of commercial transactions, international commercial law, in particular UN sales law),
  • substantive company law (in particular the law of partnerships, law of corporations, international and European companies, group law, transformations, basics of accounting and tax law, basics of service contracts and co-determination law),
  • References of commercial and corporate law to labor law, antitrust law, craft and trade law, inheritance and family law, insolvency and criminal law,
  • References of the law of stock corporations to the right to purchase and take over securities
  • Special features of the procedure and process management.

According to § 5 paragraph 1 lit. p FAO, the acquisition of special practical experience requires that the applicant has worked personally and independently as a lawyer within the last three years before submitting the application in the specialist field:

  • 80 cases from at least 3 different areas of the areas of § 14i No. 1 and 2 FAO,
  • At least 40 of these cases relate to legal disputes, arbitration or mediation proceedings and/or the drafting of articles of association or the formation or conversion of companies;
  • Of these 40 cases, at least 10 cases must relate to litigation, arbitration or mediation proceedings and at least 10 cases must relate to the drafting of articles of association or the formation or transformation of companies;
  • The importance, scope and difficulty of individual cases can lead to a different weighting, Section 5 (4) FAO.

The special theoretical and practical knowledge must be proven in accordance with § 6 FAO.

The committee can hold a technical discussion to demonstrate the special theoretical knowledge or practical experience. However, he can refrain from doing so if he can give his opinion to the Board of Directors with regard to the special theoretical knowledge or the special practical experience based on the overall impression of the submitted certificates and written documents without a technical discussion, § 7 Para. 1 FAO.

Anyone who holds the title of specialist lawyer must publish scientifically in this field annually or at least attend one advanced training event for lawyers, either as a lecturer or as a listener. The total duration of the training must not be less than 15 hours. This must be proven to the bar without being asked, § 15 FAO.

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