No. VII.5 - Liability for damages for legal opinions

A party is liable for damages if it solicits a legal opinion in the case according to the agreement of the parties and the other party, who has reasonably believed in the verity of the legal opinion, suffers damages because it has performed its obligation or has made other financial dispositions.

1 Several legal relationships must be distinguished in the context of liability for legal opinions. If a party solicits a legal opinion from his attorney, and the legal opinion contains mistakes or errors, the attorney is liable to his client under the applicable law. If third parties have relied on the legal opinion, these third parties may have a claim for damages against the attorney even though they have no contract with him if it was obvious or foreseeable for the attorney at the time he produced the legal opinion that these third parties would rely on the advice contained in the legal opinion.

2 The Principle relates to the situation in which two parties agree that one of them solicits a legal opinion and the other party suffers damages because it has performed its obligation or has made other financial dispositions in reliance in the correctness of the legal opinion. Because there is a contract related to the soliciting of the legal opinion between the parties, the party whose reliance in the correctness of the legal opinion is disappointed has a claim for damages against the other party.

Please cite as: "Commentary to Trans-Lex Principle ,"
Black, Henry Campell, Black's Law Dictionary, 6th ed., St. Paul 1990
Domingo, Ortega, Rodriguez-Antolin, Zambrana, Principios de Derecho Global, Navarra, 2006
Fuld, James J., Legal Opinions in Business Transactions - An Attempt to Bring Some Order out of some Chaos, 28 Bus.Lawy. 1972/73, at 915 et seq.
Gruson, Michael, The Remedies Opinion in International Transactions, Int‘l Bus.Lawy. 1993, at 125 et seq.
Harries, Heinrich, Die Rechtsscheinshaftung für fehlerhafte Rechtsgutachten bei internationalen Verträgen, in: Festschrift Zweigert, Tübingen 1981, at 451 et seq.
Jander, Klaus H. /du Mesnil de Rochement, Rudolf, Die Legal Opinion im Rechtsverkehr mit den USA, RIW 1976, at 332 et seq.
Volken, Paul, Legal Opinions in International Transactions, in: Sarcevic/ Volken (eds.), International Contracts and Payments, London 1991, at 125 et seq.
Contract Clauses
1. Clause Excluding Party's Liability in case of Non-Mandatory Soliciting of Legal Opinions
Employment Contract

The Committee may engage agents to assist it and may engage legal counsel who may be counsel for the Plan Sponsor. The Committee shall not be responsible for any action taken or omitted to be taken on the advice of counsel.
Services Contract
Terms and Conditions of Services
Under no circumstances shall any Service Provider be obligated to provide any Service requiring an opinion, advice or representation as to which liability may be created for such Service Provider or its Affiliates due to claims from the Receiving Party or any other person or entity, including any Governmental Authority (e.g., legal opinions or advice, tax opinions or advice, compliance opinions or advice), other than such customary representations as may reasonably be required by accountants in connection with the preparation of audited financial statements.
A project of CENTRAL, University of Cologne.