Trade and Distribution

Trade and Distribution

One of Hartmannsberger Franke’s main areas of expertise is trade and distribution. This includes advice on the trade and distribution of products and the resulting liability aspects as well as on purchasing. We optimize the relevant contractual documents, including general terms and conditions, according to the goals of our clients. We support companies in particular in designing, structuring and implementing their distribution systems, whether in Germany, Europe or worldwide, taking into account the regulations of antitrust law and distribution compliance. We are aware of the practical issues in distribution and the questions that arise for compliance departments.

Our expertise in product compliance and product liability also plays a significant role in this context. Various risks can be limited or even eliminated from the outset through forward-looking, smart contract drafting. We know about the relevant product law requirements, pitfalls and risks and how to map them appropriately and efficiently.

Another practical focus of our work is supporting our clients in disputes with their contractual partners – in particular with suppliers, customers and distribution partners. This includes assistance in out-of-court disputes and settlement negotiations as well as litigation in court. Frequent subjects of our activities are, for example, disputes about alleged product defects or an allegedly insufficient certification of products.


Our Services at a Glance

  • Drafting of sales and supply agreements and general terms and conditions on the sales side, as well as distribution systems and distribution agreements (authorized dealers, commercial agents, franchisees, commission agents/commission systems), in particular taking into account requirements regarding product compliance and product liability
  • Drafting of purchasing agreements and general terms and conditions on the purchasing side, in particular taking into account requirements regarding product compliance and product liability
  • Litigation and dispute resolution in commercial and distribution disputes (e.g., disputes with distributors)
  • Securing and enforcing recourse claims in the supply chain
  • Defence against /settlement of claims for damages from customers or injured parties
  • Contract negotiations
  • Competition Law on vertical agreements
  • Sales compliance

Learn more?

We are at your disposal for any questions you may have.
Phone: +49 211-78 17 36 10


Legal Updates

More Regulation instead of Competition: Commission plans Costly System Change of Laws on Advertising with Green Claims – Comments on the Proposal of a Green Claims Directive (Part 1 of 3)

With its proposal for the Green Claims Directive, the Commission is planning a fundamental system change in the law on advertising with environmental claims and ecolabels. Now there shall be a conformity assessment procedure in advance and various accompanying obligations and powers of authorities to investigate and sanction. As a result, environment-related advertising will become considerably more difficult for companies, or at least very time-consuming and costly. Reason enough to take a closer look. Start of our three-part series on the Green Claims Directive.

Proposal for a “Repair Right Directive” of the EU Commission

Climate protection and sustainability are major issues of our time. The EU Commission has committed itself to promoting these issues as part of the Green Deal and has already initiated numerous legal acts to this end. The Commission is continuing down this path with its March 2023 proposal for a Repair Right Directive.

Price Explosion for Raw Materials – Suppliers entitled to (Price) Adjustments?

Can suppliers demand that their customers pay higher prices than those agreed between them in the medium or long term due to increased raw material prices, and if so, on what basis?

Protect your trade secrets

For a little more than half a year now, the Law on the Protection of Trade Secrets (GeschGehG) (the “Law”) has been in force. In implementation of the EU Directive 2016/943, the Law brought about some fundamental changes in the area of protection of trade secrets.