Recreation company: after 15 years of fruitless litigation, they got compensation nonetheless

Problem: a recreation company in a major city was expropriated some 10 years ago by the municipality on account of its area development plans.  The municipality offered the owner compensation that was far too low. The latter litigated for nearly 15 years, assisted by another lawyer.  There was no better result in sight. In the meantime, however, the recreation company had been expropriated and the bills for legal assistance were piling up – in fact, the former owner owed the lawyer more than €700,000. The lawyer threatened seizure.

Solution: the former owner of the recreation company turned to us with the question: how can I prevent this?  Can this still be solved?  We then found out, that the lawyer who had initially handled his case, had invoiced a total of €1.6 million. Now this is a relatively small recreation company with several hundred thousand in turnover per year. That runs contrary to the rules of conduct of the Bar Association, which include the rule that a lawyer may not overcharge. We then contacted the firm of the lawyer with the approach that the invoiced amount was way out of proportion with the scope of the customer’s company. After a number of discussions, in which the right arguments were used and interests were weighted, the open claim of €700,000 was reduced to €70,000, because it ultimately became clear that the calculations were out of proportion. We were also able to settle the matter with the municipality, to the extent that the latter paid compensation nonetheless. Admittedly not as much as the former owner of the recreation company had wanted, but certainly a substantial amount.

Result: Seizure at the customer was prevented. The recreation company saved €640,000. The conflict with the municipality on compensation was brought to a successful conclusion. The client received a substantial amount from the municipality.