Abstract. This paper gives details of the most important problem areas in the field of professional liability in the Federal Rupublic of Germany and sets out also the influence which the EC directive on the liability of suppliers of services is expected to have.
It distinguishes first between the professional liability of self-employed persons and employees. In the case of employees, they will be liable if they cause damage under tort or contract, but where the work is classed as ‘dangerous’ their responsability may be restricted, thus in many cases avoiding an inequitable imposition of liability upon the employee in respect of loss which he or she has caused.
In the case of the liberal professions, in contrast, the standard of care may be so high that this group of professionals cannot in practice come up to the requisite standards. Against this background, it is proposed in the paper that it would be appropriate to introduce certain limitations (e.g. with regard to the specific job-related knowledge of individual areas of law and with regard to supreme court case law in the case of the legal profession).
On to these problem issues within national law is grafted an assessment of the draft EC Directive on the liability of suppliers of services. This assessment and the consequences which will result from the implementation of the Directive represent the conclusion of this paper, which ends with a brief plea for ‘less liability’ in spite of the opportunities for insurance against liability risks.European Review of Private Law