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

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

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