Brexit and Lugano: First Anniversary of the UK’s Application

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On 8 April 2020, the United Kingdom deposited an application to accede to the Lugano Convention, with the Swiss Federal Council, the depositary under the Convention. Acceding to the Lugano Convention as a replacement for the Brussels Regulation (recast) had emerged as the UK’s preferred strategy for judicial co-operation in civil and commercial matters (even though the European Court of Justice does have a role in the Lugano regime under Protocol 2 on the uniform interpretation of the Convention and on the Standing Committee). Continue reading

Federal Supreme Court: First Post-Brexit Decision on Procedural Issue

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To the best of my knowledge, the Federal Supreme Court (Bundesgerichtshof) decision of 1 March 2021 is the first one dealing with one of the procedural issues arising after Brexit, namely the question of security for costs to be posted by British plaintiffs in German proceedings pursuant to Section 110 German Code of Civil Procedure (Zivilprozessordnung, ZPO) if the proceedings were already pending before the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union became effective. Implicitly, the Federal Supreme Court also addresses the question of whether “old” multilateral treaties such as the 1968 Brussels Convention or bilateral treaties such as the 1960 British-German Convention were revived after Brexit. Continue reading

Frankfurt Court of Appeals: Award Can be Based on Tribunal’s Own Internet Research

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In a decision published on 26 March 2021, the Frankfurt Court of Appeals (Oberlandesgericht) held that in arbitral proceedings, the arbitral tribunal is entitled to base its award on the results of its own internet research. On that basis, the Frankfurt Court of Appeals declared an arbitral award between two pharmaceutical companies for approx. EUR 140 million enforceable. Continue reading

Art Law: New Recommendation of the Advisory Commission in Grawi vs. Düsseldorf

On 26 March 2021, the Advisory Commission published its recommendation regarding the restitution claim brought by the heirs of Kurt and Else Grawi against Düsseldorf. As noted earlier, the Advisory Commission appears to be on track for a new record: It started the year with two recommendations regarding  Max Fischer v. Staatliche Kunsthalle Karlsruhe, and Heinrich Rieger v. Stadt Köln within a couple of days, and now issued its third decision in 2021. To put this into perspective: From its inception in 2005 until 2020, the Advisory Commission had issued a total of 18 recommendations. With one exception, it never issued more than two recommendations in one year, and never more than three.

In its most recent decisions, the Advisory Commission recommends that the City of Düsseldorf returns the  Franz Marc painting “Füchse” to the heirs of Kurt and Else Grawi. The recommendation was not made unanimously. It was passed by a majority, with six members voting in favour, and three against the recommendation. Continue reading