Dr. Cedric Vornholt

Lawyer / Senior Associate
Eschersheimer Landstraße 25-27
60322 Frankfurt am Main
FPS Expert for Sustainability

Dr Cedric Vornholt advises project developers and public authorities on public law matters, including the implementation of construction projects and the execution of complex transactions. As a lawyer, and due to his previous work as a public legal representative in the Frankfurt planning department, he understands the interests and challenges of the various parties involved in the establishment and enforcement of construction law. In addition, Dr Vornholt provides comprehensive consultation on environmental law matters. The focus of his work in this context is on the environmental and nature conservation requirements for construction projects as well as supporting cities and municipalities in the reform and establishment of municipal concepts and regulations for sustainable urban development. He has been involved in legal education since 2017 as a lecturer in public commercial law at Frankfurt University of Applied Sciences.

  • Expertise
    • 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.

    • 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.

    • Species protection

      The protection of biodiversity is a matter of the utmost priority within the legal system. International species protection agreements exist alongside federal and state regulations to ensure that protected species of fauna and flora are not compromised or even endangered. The provisions under species protection law are of huge importance when drawing up plans and making planning decisions, since non-compliance with these provisions almost always results in the failure of a project. We have extensive experience and expertise in dealing with this specific matter – with its high degree of practical relevance – and advise our clients on all planning and project approvals where species protection provisions must be observed.

    • 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.

    • 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.

    • 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 2022Senior Associate at FPS 
    2022Doctorate (Dr. iur.)
    2018–2022Lawyer at the Planning department of the City of Frankfurt
    since 2017Lecturer at Frankfurt University of Applied Sciences
    2015–2018Lawyer at international commercial law firms
    2015Admission to practise law in Germany 
    2015Second state law exam
    2013First state law exam
  • Publications
    Dr. Cedric Vornholt
    Rechtlicher Rahmen der Baumschutzfachlichen Baubegleitung
    FLL-Verkehrssicherheitstage, 2023, S. 135-146
    Dr. Cedric Vornholt
    Die grüne Stadt – Instrumente zur Stärkung grüner Infrastruktur
    NVwZ - Neue Zeitschrift für Verwaltungsrecht, , S. 705-711
  • Events