Soil Protection & Legacy Pollution

Previous industrial and commercial uses often have affected the quality of company premises. Soil or ground water contamination frequently makes it difficult to put former industrial and commercial properties to other uses. Since, along with others, it is the property owner in particular who is responsible for environmental cleanup. Thus it is vitally important that property owners and developers are able to assess with certainty the economic and legal risks that come with the acquisition and development of previously used properties. Today, it is nearly impossible to close and realize any property transaction or urban building project without a careful analysis and regulation of legacy pollution issues. The extension of the cleanup obligation to former property owners and controlling companies poses new demands when it comes to drafting contracts of sale for polluted properties and business acquisition agreements.

In these situations, we not only stand behind our clients with our long-standing experience in drafting contracts that are appropriate to their needs, but also advise them in particular in connection with official investigation and cleanup orders. Moreover, we support them in concluding and implementing cleanup agreements and legacy pollution management, often in close cooperation with competent experts who are well-known to us. We are also perfectly familiar with the indemnification issues for legacy pollution that are relevant now as ever in one-time East Germany. When it comes to recomissioning abandoned sites, we put our know-how to work both in assessing soil pollution that has been detected as well as ensuring distribution of liability risks in line with our clients’ interests and insuring residual risks.