Case of the Week: Brexit Does Not Facilitate Freezing Orders

Featured

olg-frankfurt-ganz-neu2In my opinion, obtaining a freezing order (Arrest) against the debtor pending final judgment tends to be rather difficult in this jurisdiction. Often, the courts set the bar for showing that “the enforcement of the judgment would be frustrated or be significantly more difficult”, as Section 917 German Code of Civil Procedure (ZPO) puts it, frustratingly high. It is somewhat easier if the debtor is situated abroad: Section 917 para. 2 ZPO stipulates that it is sufficient grounds for a freezing order if the judgment would have to be enforced abroad and there is no reciprocity with the foreign jurisdiction (Arrestgrund der Auslandsvollstreckung). As there is reciprocity across all member states of the European Union, this does not work, however, with respect to a debtor situated in the United Kingdom – at least for now.

In a recent case in the Frankfurt Court of Appeals (Oberlandesgericht), the applicant was seeking a freezing order against a German national who had moved to the United Kingdom. The applicant argued that given the United Kingdom’s decision to leave the European Union and given that a final judgment would not be in place prior to the current Brexit deadline of 31 October 2019, the reciprocity exemption should not apply to the United Kingdom, the freezing order should be granted pursuant to Section 917 para. 2 ZPO.

Continue reading

Share and Enjoy

Frankfurt vs London – Brexit: An Opportunity for Frankfurt to Become a New Hub of Litigation in Europe?

Eintracht_Frankfurt_Logo_svgEintracht Frankfurt has had a great run in the first half of the current Bundesliga season, eying a spot in next season’s Europa League or, behold, even a Champions League slot. So matches between Frankfurt and one of the London teams appeared a real possibility. More recently, Eintracht’s losing streak of five straight matches has cast some doubt over these ambitions, even though the team just about manage to hold on to a Europa League Slot for now. But of course, there’s the Brexit-induced battle between London and Frankfurt for the lead role in the European financial services sector that will go ahead in any event. Continue reading

Share and Enjoy

Frankfurt Court of Appeals: Moving Towards Greater Specialization on the Bench

olg-frankfurt-ganz-neu2The Frankfurt Court of Appeals (Oberlandesgericht) is creating additional specialized senates (a Senat is a division of the court of appeals, sitting with three judges) as of the beginning of this year.

Continue reading

Share and Enjoy

Is Germany’s Position on Pre-trial Discovery of Documents under the Hague Evidence Convention Softening?

hcch logoIn 2013, a decision by the President of the Court of Appeals (Oberlandesgericht) Frankfurt led me to speculate whether Germany’s position on the pre-trial discovery of docments under the Hague Evidence Convention is softening. In April 2014, the Federal Ministry of Justice came forward with a proposal to modify Germany’s position on discovery of documents and to allow it in certain circumstances. In this post, I try to summarize the various responses to this initiative. Continue reading

Share and Enjoy