Hague Convention on Choice of Court Agreements will apply to Singapore from 1 October 2016

The Convention aims to increase the effectiveness of jurisdiction clauses and make judgments obtained under those clauses easier to enforce. Currently the Convention applies only as between Mexico and the EU member states (other than Denmark), so the addition of Singapore from 1 October is significant. The US and Ukraine have also signed the Convention but have yet to ratify it.

The Convention may become even more significant to the UK post-Brexit, as the UK can sign up to it without any requirement for agreement from the other contracting states. It is therefore widely seen as a fallback option to avoid any doubts regarding the continued effectiveness of exclusive English jurisdiction clauses and enforcement of English judgments within the EU, in the event that no other agreement or convention is put in place between the UK and the remaining EU member states once the UK leaves the EU.

In broad summary, the Convention provides that where parties have agreed on the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of a contracting state, this must be respected by the courts of each other contracting state who must (subject to limited exceptions) suspend or dismiss the case if proceedings are brought before them. Contracting states must also recognise and enforce judgments given by another contracting state pursuant to such a jurisdiction clause (again subject to limited exceptions).

Upcoming webinar – Dispute resolution choices for finance parties: A practical look at recent developments affecting dispute resolution options

On Thursday 14 July (12.45 – 1.45pm BST), Adam Johnson, Nick Peacock and Vanessa Naish (chair) will deliver a webinar for Herbert Smith Freehills clients and contacts looking at dispute resolution choices for finance parties.

Finance parties are often inclined to revert to favoured dispute resolution choices in their transactions. This default position is largely based on their perception of what offers the greatest flexibility or the lowest risk or both. However, the legal landscape moves fast and there have been a number of recent developments that have challenged the assumptions supporting these default choices. Indeed, with careful drafting, finance parties are in a better position than ever with regard to their choice of forum for resolving disputes.

In this highly practical webinar our panel will explore a number of recent developments which have a significant impact on dispute resolution choices in finance transactions and affect how those clauses can be structured. The topics our speakers will explore include:

  • the end of the threat of an “Italian torpedo” within the EU?
  • the implications of Brexit for dispute resolution and governing law clauses
  • the potential for a summary judgment style process in arbitration
  • recent changes to the position on unilateral option clauses in transactions related to France
  • alternatives to arbitration in Asia Pacific: the Singapore International Commercial Court

Our speakers will also discuss the issue of “Brexit-proofing” contracts in the context of dispute resolution.

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Article published – Enforcing judgments in the EU post Brexit

The UK’s anticipated exit from the EU will have implications for many areas, including the enforcement of English court judgments across the EU. The ease (or otherwise) with which judgments may be enforced post-Brexit will depend on what arrangements are negotiated between the UK government and the EU.

Anna Pertoldi has published a post on Practical Law’s Dispute Resolution blog which considers the position post-Brexit and the potential options going forward to ensure the UK’s attractiveness as a jurisdiction is not diminished because of concerns over enforcement. Click here to read the post (or here for the Practical Law Dispute Resolution blog homepage).