Federal Supreme Court: Jurisdiction Based on Virtual Branch Office in Germany

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If international contracts are concluded online, they sometimes lack an unambiguous nexus to a specific jurisdiction. Sometimes, this makes it difficult to determinate the competent court. In a recent case involving a German customer, Air France and flights from the United States to France and then on to the UK, the lower German courts found that they had no jurisdiction. It was for the Federal Supreme Court (Bundesgerichtshof) to provide clarity: It found that the Frankfurt District Court (Landgericht) had jurisdiction after all. Continue reading

Post-Brexit UK Accession to Lugano Convention: The EU Commission’s Assessment

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There has been a fair amount of speculation about the EU’s position regarding the application of the United Kingdom to accede to the 2007 Lugano, and we have tracked the topic fairly closely on the blog, including the latest press reports that the EU Commission might have changed its approach. Continue reading

The Month in Retrospect: What Else Happened in April 2021

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Some Back and Forth on Brexit and Lugano

On 8 April 2021, I covered the first anniversay of the UK’s application to join the Lugano Convention, and took a fairly pessimistic view as to the prospects of the UK becoming a member state. So I was quite surprised to see a headline in the Financial Times on 12 April 2021 that claimed: “UK set to secure Brussels’ backing for joining legal pact“. The FT’s sources apparently got it wrong, however, and a couple of hours later the FT had to retract its report: “Brussels opposes UK bid to join legal pact, splitting EU states – European Commission says Britain should not be allowed to rejoin Lugano convention.” Other sources such as  Sueddeutsche Zeitung confirm that there had been no change in the EU Commission’s policy – there is no prospect of the UK joining Lugano any time soon. Continue reading

Security for Costs after Brexit: New Federal Patent Court Decision and a Question Mark

On 1 March 2021, the Federal Supreme Court (Bundesgerichtshof) held in a patent case that as of 1 January 2021, British claimants have had to provide security for costs under Section 110 para. 1 German Code of Civil Procedure (ZPO) (see here for the related post). In its decision, the Federal Supreme Court found, without providing any detailed reasoning, that no exception pursuant to Section 110 para. 2 ZPO applied: There was no international treaty in force that would exempt British claimants from the obligation to provide security for costs (for the European law background to Section 110 ZPO, see my post at zpoblog.de). Implicitly, the Federal Supreme Court hence also addressed the question 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