Dennis Kümmel
Mag. rer. publ.
Lawyer / Senior Associate
  • Specialist Lawyer for Administrative Law
Eschersheimer Landstraße 25-27
60322 Frankfurt am Main
FPS Expert for Sustainability

As a specialist lawyer for administrative law, Dennis Kümmel advises companies and authorities on questions of public law. He is the ideal point of contact for a development plan or a building permit – especially when questions about environmental law or climate protection arise. In addition to public corporations, he advises project developers and energy companies, for example. Kümmel is also a sought-after lecturer and the author of many publications.

  • Expertise
    • Waste management law

      Waste management law is regulated by a large number of (mostly European) legislative acts. Product-related waste management law in particular – especially with regard to the handling of packaging material – is increasingly of huge practical relevance at the present time. Waste management policy is mainly concerned with avoiding and recycling waste. The medium-term goal is to recycle all municipal waste in an environmentally friendly manner. We advise our clients on all matters relating to waste management law, including product design, the organisation of waste disposal operations, the drafting of exemption, licensing and disposal agreements, and the planning and approval of waste disposal facilities, such as biogas and composting plants, processing plants, incineration plants and landfill sites.

    • Contaminated sites

      After purchasing a property or in the course of carrying out construction work, property owners often receive an unwelcome and unexpected surprise in the form of contaminated sites, harmful soil pollution and fly-tipping. The financial implications are usually considerable, not least because the authorities almost always turn to the property owner in the first instance. Furthermore, pursuant to case law, the owner is liable to pay the costs for the removal of the contamination at least up to the market value of the land. We find economically viable solutions for plant operators, housing associations and individuals who own or manage real estate. Even though it is not always possible to avoid recourse to legal protection in (summary) proceedings, we endeavour to negotiate swift, permanent solutions in the interest of our clients. 

    • Listed building preservation

      Conferring listed status on a building has far-reaching and restrictive implications for the owner. That’s because once this status has been granted, all construction work carried out on and within the building – and in some federal states even mere changes of use – require a special permit from the relevant authority that deals with listed buildings (known in Germany as the Denkmalschutzbehörde). We advise and assist clients when liaising with the listed building authorities and other competent authorities and go through their options for dealing with any restrictions imposed under listed building law.

    • Neighbour law

      The high value placed on property ownership in Germany necessitates a considerable number of neighbour regulations that govern the legal relationships between landowners. In both public and private law, there are a whole range of regulations that attempt to strike this balancing act and play a major role when it comes to approving or revising construction projects in particular. Since neighbour law is notorious for its high potential for conflict, it is often a good idea to come to an arrangement where a satisfactory settlement is reached in the interests of both parties. We have built up considerable experience over a number of decades in the negotiation and conclusion of such neighbourhood agreements. This can particularly be seen in the neighbourhood agreements covering many of the high-rise buildings in Frankfurt am Main, for example.

    • Refurbishment and renovation of existing properties

      With sustainability in mind, there is a trend in the construction industry towards preserving and repositioning existing properties. Existing buildings are gutted and modernised. When a building is refurbished, part of the existing structure is usually preserved, but in contrast to renovation works, much of the interior architecture is removed. As a result, the technology, room height or insulation can be updated. Such processes require careful technical, professional and legal coordination with all parties and particularly with the licensing authorities. We have successfully been involved in countless such refurbishments of all sizes throughout Germany and have outstanding expertise in this area.

    • Parking spaces

      In accordance with all state building regulations, evidence of car and bicycle parking spaces must be provided when undertaking new construction projects or modifying existing buildings. To this end, almost every municipality in Germany has passed its own parking space by-laws, which specify precisely what this obligation to create parking spaces requires. In densely developed city centres where there is a desire to ease the traffic by reducing private transport use, this issue often involves a great deal of work when liaising with the relevant authorities, and we are happy to draw on our expertise to help our clients.

    • Access

      Every construction project must have a secured access route before it can be approved. This is mainly to ensure that the fire brigade can access the site and waste can be disposed of safely. With site developments in particular, access roads usually still have to be built, which in practice is usually done by the developer on a contractual basis (by means of an Erschließungsvertrag, or land development contract). Drawing on our decades of experience in advising clients on site developments of all sizes, we help to conclude such land development contracts and provide support with all related issues.

    • Nature conservation law

      The conservation of natural resources is a matter of the utmost priority within the legal system and is governed by many different regulatory provisions. Impact mitigation and offsetting regulations, compensation planning and what are known as eco-accounts have considerable practical relevance alongside species protection standards when drawing up plans and working on construction projects, but at the same time the use of these instruments is highly prone to errors. Due to the high value placed on these standards, the infringement of nature conservation regulations can often lead to the failure or legal contestability of projects. We possess extensive experience and expertise in dealing with this matter – with its high degree of practical relevance – and advise our clients on all planning and project approvals where nature conservation provisions play a role.

    • Emissions control

      Practically all major projects are now subject to complex environmental standards and requirements. Compliance with them is mandatory, which sometimes makes it difficult to realise such projects. The corresponding permits satisfy both the legally standardised environmental concerns and the economic interests of the investor. We have considerable expertise in managing this ever-changing legal matter and dealing with the regulations in the course of the necessary official procedures. In addition, we advise plant operators in the field of emissions trading. We work with associations to actively shape emissions trading law and help to provide feedback on the Greenhouse Gas Emissions Trading Act (TEHG). Our influence on the normative area of this legal field enables us to find efficient solutions that can be quickly put into practice.

    • Conversion

      The conversion of areas formerly used for public purposes – generally old barracks or railway sites – into building land gives municipalities the opportunity to create new residential or commercial areas and even entire districts. The issues that need to be considered and dealt with here are usually highly complex. We have worked on numerous such projects throughout Germany and have a considerable degree of expertise in this area.

    • Planning approval

      Major infrastructure projects such as railways, tram systems, airports, roads or power plants are approved by means of a planning approval procedure. This is a very formalised and complex approval process involving extensive public participation. We have worked on numerous such projects with success and have a considerable degree of expertise in this area.

    • Regional planning

      Regional planning is the lower level of state planning at the point where state development planning and municipal land-use planning intersect. Regional planning resolves conflicts involving use of space, sets the regional spatial development targets for the municipalities and integrates municipal development ideas. For the municipalities, the spatial planning targets are binding when drawing up their development plans. Regional planning therefore has to contend with a high potential for conflict. Since any amendment to the regional plan is a time-consuming and lengthy procedure, many projects can only be realised with certain deviations from the set spatial planning targets. We are very familiar with these highly specialised procedural steps and have often worked on such projects and development plan procedures at the point of intersection with regional planning.

    • Fiscal law

      The field of fiscal law covers all legal provisions that regulate the collection of revenue such as taxes, fees and contributions under public law. These especially include the Fiscal Code of Germany (Abgabenordnung, or AO) and the municipal fiscal laws of the federal states as well as various tax laws and ordinances. At local level, taxes, fees and contributions are levied on the basis of municipal statutes.

      Our law firm specialises in dealing with legal matters in the entire field of fiscal law. We have considerable expertise in advising clients in this area as well as examining and, if necessary, defending against such claims.

    • Energy law

      In the field of energy law, we represent clients across all areas of the energy industry, in particular those who operate in the electricity, gas and (district) heating sectors. We advise energy supply companies, project developers, power plant operators, industrial companies and municipalities on all energy management matters. Our lawyers work together in interdisciplinary teams and offer comprehensive advice that also takes into account aspects of corporate, antitrust, public procurement, civil and employment law. If necessary, we bring in energy industry consultants as cooperation partners.

    • Local rates and taxes

      Despite its considerable practical importance, municipal fiscal law regularly only appears on the radar of investors when unforeseen six- or seven-digit figures call into question the profitability of a project. Very few specialists are well-versed in this field. We are familiar with the various options for influencing typical rates and taxes, including land development and improvement charges, building permit fees, special use fees, sewerage charges and the Stellplatzablöse, a charge payable when a new development provides less than the required number of parking spaces. In addition, we represent clients in appeal proceedings against the imposition of such charges.

    Language skills

    German English
  • Education
    since 2013Senior Associate at FPS 
    2021Certified Specialist Lawyer for Administrative Law
     Mag. rer. publ.
    since 2010Lawyer at FPS 
    2007Admission to practise law in Germany 
    2004Second state law exam
    2001First state law exam
     Research assistant at the University of Heidelberg
     Law studies at Goethe University Frankfurt, postgraduate studies in administrative law at the DHV Speyer
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