Public

We grasp your project as a whole,
making it entirely bulletproof.

Wolfgang Würfel, lawyer

We stand by you as experts offering vast cross-sector expertise within our competency teams – including in project development, environmental and planning law, public and private building law, architect and engineering law, financing or dispute resolution.

Shaping the future.
Backed by legal viability.

The public sector is facing major challenges because it drives and, at the same time, is being driven by social and technological changes that are shaping the mobility, energy, infrastructure and housing of tomorrow. These upheavals affect state bodies and local authorities including public sector businesses, as well as private sector businesses engaging with or supplying the public sector.

The individual requirements for legal advice to the public sector are also changing amidst many new questions about the future of cities and municipalities. Defining and responding to our clients’ brings an approach that shapes the way we do business. At GSK Stockmann, we understand what you need. That’s what we mean by: Your perspective.

We are able to draw upon our vast levels of experience in successful project delivery for our clients:

  • We engage with and for the public sector on important political and commercial matters
  • We know the market and its decision makers
  • We have experience in the field of politics, but we are not political
  • Public authorities and companies place their trust in us
  • We are facilitators and problem-solvers
  • We oversee complex administrative procedures for public authorities and companies at a national and a European level
  • We represent clients in litigation before all jurisdictions in Germany and other European countries

Political experience, but not political.
It is about solving problems.

Markets in focus

If you want to make the most of every opportunity for growth across the board, top-notch support is a crucial ingredient. Our bundled expertise in all sectors and markets is the answer.

The city of the future will be smart. Smart cities will have a transformative effect on all areas of the public sector, but in particular housing, industry, mobility and energy. This will also raise a host of new issues, including planning regulations, procurement, data protection legislation, regulation, taxes and subsidies. Drawing on our expertise, we can help you shape the city of the future.

Housing
We routinely advise on project developments for housing construction projects, from planning permission to the awarding of contracts and construction supervision through to leasing and sale. The successful design of a sustainable housing project depends on the balance struck between a number of factors. Issues such as accessibility and surroundings should be given due weight. In addition, social and public housing has its own special requirements. Our specialist teams will advise and inform you on all legal aspects.

Socially responsible land use, municipal flats
One of the major challenges of our time is providing affordable housing. In addition to state subsidies for social housing, it is the municipalities which, through municipal housing companies, but also through urban development contracts and commitments on sites with planning permission, or in the allocation of plots of municipally owned land, probably take on the largest share of the task of creating housing for those who no longer have sufficient access to the housing market. Income-oriented investment incentives, the use of state subsidy programmes, socially equitable land use, cooperative residential land development, curbs in rent increases, municipal occupancy rights, allocation schemes – these are the buzzwords of municipal housing policy. We will not only point out to you the various options for building municipal housing – we will also guide you safely to your destination.

Trade, industry, commerce, office/administration
Our cities are changing because the impact of technologies on our lives and human needs are changing. Commercial and manufacturing use are returning to the cities. At the same time, industrial sites are opening up for different uses and innovative approaches – mixed neighbourhoods are emerging and creating their own identities. The role of the retail trade – for centuries consumer magnets for towns and cities and often the starting point for marketplaces – is changing in times when online marketplaces, gastronomy and entertainment are growing in importance. We provide expert legal and commercial advice in terms of planning and set up successful public-private partnerships.

Mobility
Cities are redefining mobility. Fewer people are likely to own a car and the need for shared-mobility solutions will grow – not only for cars, but also for electric scooters and bicycles. E-mobility solutions require a reliable and efficient charging infrastructure. Local and regional public transport will also change. Cities will ultimately have to rethink their transport concepts, including local public transport. In this context, start-ups that provide new mobility services will play an increasing role. We will assist you, for example, with implementing legal planning requirements and obtaining the necessary procurements, as well as on questions relating to data protection and regulation.

Energy
Smart cities need a reliable energy supply. E-mobility in particular requires solutions for decentralised energy supply and energy storage solutions in order to guarantee a reliable supply for its charging infrastructure. There is also the question of regulating the energy sector. Our experts will be happy to advise you on how to implement these concepts.

The public sector builds, upgrades and operates infrastructure. It invests heavily to meet the needs of the population and the economy. Projects need to be economically viable and compatible with the existing legal framework. We work every day for public authorities, public corporations and their partners in the private sector on developing and delivering infrastructure projects.

Transport (road, rail, airports, transmission lines, ports/waterways)

The expansion of transport infrastructure is legally complex. When planning transport infrastructure, public participation procedures and environmental impact assessments need to be carried out on a regular basis. The task and purpose of legal advice here is to provide legally secure and accelerated planning rights procedures while achieving the highest possible level of acceptance of these projects among local citizens. In financing, the requirements of state aid and budget law apply. With regard to approval, the requirements of planning approval and environmental law apply. As for cooperation with private parties, the requirements of public procurement law apply, and finally, the implementation of projects is governed by private construction law. This is the cycle of infrastructure development we work in. For each phase, we employ specialists who, working alongside their colleagues, oversee and successfully finalise infrastructure projects from one phase to the next.

Care/health (nursing homes, hospitals, medical care centres)
Nursing and healthcare are highly regulated in Germany. The requirements of social legislation, administrative law, public procurement law, state aid law and general public law need to be taken into account when considering the overall success of projects and transactions. GSK Stockmann’s lawyers in the Public department regularly work hand-in-hand with colleagues working in the healthcare sector.

Education/child care (schools, day-care centres, care facilities)
The construction and expansion of schools and day-care centres is an ongoing task for many growing cities in Germany. We are breaking new ground here with our municipal clients, organising the structure and involvement of their municipal corporations in these projects for them. We are also working with them adopting a public-public partnership approach.

Supply/disposal (energy, water, digital media)
Electricity, water, waste, broadband – people, and therefore also municipalities, depend on supply and disposal. The public sector and private suppliers are competing in this field too. We are conscious of this fact when we are advising our clients on the structuring process of re-nationalisations and privatisations, or working together with public authorities and public corporations with private providers. Concessions, collaborative partners and conflicts are the buzzwords here – Get in touch for expert advice.

Your contacts.

Understanding your perspective. And finding the best solution.
That is our mission (from left to right):

Dr. Arne Gniechwitz

Partner*

+49 40 369703-0

arne.gniechwitz@gsk.de

Dr. Wolfgang Würfel

Partner*

+49 89 288174-0

wolfgang.wuerfel@gsk.de

Key areas of advice

The right experts for every challenge, the perfect team for every client: we focus on the elements that drive your success.

Public planning has been a focal point of our consulting services since GSK Stockmann was founded. This includes:

  • Urban development projects
  • Infrastructure planning
  • Plant approvals

Working with our clients, we provide our expertise on all issues involving urban land-use planning, infrastructure planning and plant approval for projects throughout Germany. We assist cities, municipalities and project development companies with urban land-use planning and the conclusion of urban development contracts for the successful completion of their urban development projects. We act as legal advisers to the federal government, the federal states and project developers on public infrastructure planning that affects both Germany and Europe. We work with you to find solutions for plant approval, such as obtaining permits for hazardous-incident plants. We keep an eye on the investment risks and critical external influences in all phases and minimise these risks during the early planning, structuring and implementation stages of your project.

Our team has many years of experience in this field, understands the political and regulatory background and the specialist nature of the work involved, which we believe offers material benefits to our clients. Our project team’s principal areas of work in the sector include planning and approval of the following:

  • Residential, office, commercial and logistics construction projects, including existing buildings and building on a greenfield site, as well as neighbourhood developments
  • Major retail projects, including outlet centres, large-scale retail, local supply, etc.
  • Road, rail, airport, waterway and pipeline infrastructure projects
  • Complex industrial plants
  • Wind farms

GSK Stockmann can help to optimise the procurement process. First of all, we work hand-in-hand with you to set up a sound structure to ensure that even the complex purchasing processes are easily manageable. We then guide you expertly through the entire process from drafting tender documents, to bidder communication to awarding the contract. Ultimately, we strive to ensure your procurements proceed smoothly and your business goals are achieved.

Our expertise includes the following:

  • Procurement of construction work, deliveries and services of all kinds
  • Sector and concession awards
  • Innovation partnerships and competitive dialogue
  • Cooperation between public-private partnerships and public-public partnerships
  • Partnering/multi-party partnering contracts
  • Land transactions, if necessary as a draft procedure
  • Health sector
  • Hotel sector
  • Expert reports, for example in-house procurements, obligations to conduct tendering procedures
  • Subsidies
  • Representation in review proceedings and claims for damages

Money is often at stake when it comes to public sector performance. However, the days when budget law took priority are over. Our lawyers provide a wide variety of legal services concerning municipal finance matters, guiding them on:

State aid, grant and subsidy law
When the public sector supports companies, works with them and finances projects, then state aid, grant and subsidy laws quickly show that there is more at stake today than just budget headings. Our team of experts will answer your questions and guide you through the legal compliance requirements for subsidies, the procedure on the General Block Exemption Regulation, notification procedures laid down by the European Commission for grant applications and approvals, as well as the audit procedures of the European Commission or Courts of Auditors.

Budget law
Our public sector clients are familiar with budget law because it is part of their daily work. But sometimes even the best knowledge is not enough. We always update our clients from the public sector on budget law, for example when it comes to new approaches, meeting new requirements and bringing specific concerns into line with the provisions of budget law. We also advise our private clients in their dealings with public corporations on how to design their projects in budgetary terms in such a way as to enable public partners to participate in them.

Municipal law
We provide a wide array of legal services to our municipal clients: we have constant contact with mayors, district councillors, treasurers, investment managers, managers of central government building authorities throughout the mandate and beyond. We believe we know the peculiarities involved when administrations work together with local politicians. This is an advantage for our clients when advising them on their projects, whether for municipal utilities, electricity, gas and water supply, local public transport, municipal housing construction or municipal recreational pools.

Tax law
Some of our public sector clients pay turnover tax, corporate income tax and trade tax, particularly the commercial businesses and private companies. Finance ministers, finance senators and treasurers therefore also need to make their decisions on the basis of what tax burdens will be placed on the public budget and how these can be minimised. Our familiarity with these issues enables us to advise effectively and efficiently on a wide range of legal issues including the consolidation of results in the public sector through to the deferrals and accruals of VAT-liable companies.

Constitutional and European law
Constitutional and European law are above administrative law, which means specific requirements for our clients. This starts with the German Basic Law and state constitutions and also applies to European Union law on fundamental freedoms and the European Services Directive. We work at this higher level of law and provide our clients with solutions on how to ensure that their projects comply with these provisions. Our clients benefit from the fact that we work closely with renowned state, constitutional and European lawyers – we even have some of them in our team.

Our public companies team is made up of specialists who advise on the structuring and reorganisation of public tasks as well as public and public-private enterprises and partnerships.

In cases where the public sector – as often happens – engages subsidiary companies which fall under private law (housing associations, real estate companies and property management companies), projects must comply not only with general company law requirements, but also with special requirements for public-private partnerships, for example with federal, regional and local budget laws, participation regulations and corporate governance principles. In addition, it is necessary to take into account the interaction among publicly appointed supervisory bodies, in particular parliamentary committees and supervisory boards, in relation to operational management and management boards.

Having worked for many years in the field, we have gained considerable legal and political experience in handling these requirements – experience which ultimately benefits our clients.

Our legal expertise includes municipal and European business law, budget law, public procurement and state aid law, corporate law as well as tax and labour law.

Our clients include the public sector, private investors and project developers in the field of services of genral interest – infrastructure, energy, water, health and education.


We have particular expertise in the following areas:

  • Advice on corporate law
  • Comprehensive legal project structuring
  • Establishment of public enterprises
  • Privatisation or public participation
  • Corporate governance and investment principles
  • Operator, contracting and supply contracts
  • Preparation and facilitation of procurement procedures

Legislators shape our lives and the business environment – sometimes proactively, but often in response to social and economic developments. We assist the public sector in developing the legal tools for this process. And we advise and represent national and international companies in the private sector that are affected by legislation and its enforcement. We identify at an early stage the impact on business models, assess legislative activities on the scale of higher-ranking law (national constitutional law as well as European law) and help to exert influence on legislative procedures and to articulate concerns effectively. And everything under one roof.

Providing legally sound advice does not end simply with the granting of a necessary permit or approval decision, the conclusion of an urban development contract or the award of a contract in procurement procedures. Our all-around support for your projects, of course, also includes procedural representation in court and out-of-court disputes. Above all, we have many years of experience in litigation and will work with you through to the successful completion of your project.

Latest news

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  • GSK Updates
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  • GSK Updates
    29 April 2020

    COVID-19: public financial support for airports under state aid law

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© GSK Stockmann 2020

* Partner: A partner within the meaning of the partnership company law.
   Local Partner: not a partner within the meaning of the partnership company law.
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