In this article, Dr Marco Stief discusses the admissibility of value maintenance and price adjustment clauses in commercial contracts.
After many years of relative price stability, which rendered such clauses virtually irrelevant in practice, these clauses are currently experiencing a remarkable renaissance in contractual practice. Unprecedented price rises and often unexpected increases in individual cost factors are making it increasingly necessary to factor in the possibility of future price developments by incorporating appropriate adjustment clauses into contracts. In this context, German companies are faced with the (not uncontroversial) prohibition of certain clauses contained in the German Price Clause Act. The aim of my article is to highlight the narrow limits on permissibility prescribed by the German Price Clause Act and established in case law, as well as the remaining options, the non-observance of which can lead to the invalidity of the clauses in question.