Case of the Week: Federal Supreme Court Rules on Damages for Violation of Choice of Court Agreement

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US District Court Eastern District of VirginiaIn a judgment last week, the Federal Supreme Court (Bundesgerichtshof) has found a US party liable for damages for bringing an action against its German contractual counterparty in the US in violation of an agreement on the jurisdiction of the German courts. With this judgment, the Federal Supreme Court decided an issue that so far had been controversially debated in the German legal literature. Until this decision, it was not clear whether the violation of a choice of court agreement does not only have a procedural effect, but does also render the violating party liable for monetary damages. (Disclosure: This post is based on the Federal Supreme Court’s press release only, as the full judgment is not yet available. I will provide an update when the judgment comes out.) Continue reading

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Federal Supreme Court: Sedelmayer vs. Russia – No Set-off with Tax Claims

stock-photo-15986220-sign-quot-bundesgerichtshof-quotThis decision published by the Federal Supreme Court (Bundesgerichtshof) a couple of days ago on its website appears to be the latest instalment in the on-going saga of Franz Sedelmayer’s quest to enforce an investment treaty award  against Russia. Of course, the Federal Supreme Court sticks to Germany’s practise of anonymous court reporting. The facts reported in the decision are so unique, however, that it cannot be anything else but the Sedelmayer case.

Franz Sedelmayer was awared damages under the German-Russian Investment treaty in an arbitration seated in Stockholm in 1998, and has spent more than 15 years enforceing it. The details have been reported extensively, see for example, this piece in the New York Times. Continue reading

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Art Law: Auction House Liable in Sale of Fake Expressionist Painting – Update

In an earlier post, I had written about a judgment of the District Court (Landgericht) Cologne that had held the Lempertz auction house liable in relation to the sale of a Campendonk painting forged by Wolfgang Beltracchi. The court ordered Lempertz to hold the buyer harmless for the purchase price in the order of EUR 2.9 Million.   Continue reading

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