What benefit? Interpretation of a Jurisdiction Clause: Perella Weinberg Partners UK LLP v Codere SA

In its decision on 20 May 2016, the Commercial Court (Walker J) considered a non-standard jurisdiction clause which fell within the regime of the Brussels I Recast Regulation (Regulation 1215/2012).   Perhaps unsurprisingly, he held that a clause, expressed to confer non-exclusive jurisdiction on the English courts, “for the benefit of” the Claimants did not in fact confer exclusive jurisdiction on those courts.

The decision demonstrates that the court will use both a literal and a common sense business reading when construing the jurisdiction clause.  Further, the Court was reluctant to allow the parties to import new elements (such as symmetry of obligations) into Articles 25 and 31 of the Recast Regulation. Continue reading

A torpedo misses: Barclays Bank plc v Ente Nazionale di Previdenza [2015] EWHC 2857 (Comm)

This Commercial Court decision of 9 October 2015 makes it clear that attempts to circumvent exclusive jurisdiction agreements in favour of the English courts by bringing related actions in other EU member states are unlikely to succeed.  It also demonstrates the court’s willingness to award damages for breach of a jurisdiction clause.

Thus, although the defendant Italian pension fund (ENPAM) had brought antecedent claims in Italy against the claimant bank (Barclays), Blair J declined to stay the English proceedings under either article 27 or 28 of Regulation 44/2001 (Brussels I).  Blair J also gave summary judgment to Barclays on most of its claim for damages for breach of the exclusive jurisdiction clause. Continue reading