Reform Of The EU Jurisdiction Rules

New Regulations To Be Introduced On 10 January 2015

06.01.2015

David Shirt, Press Officer | 0161 838 3094

A new regulation governing cross-border litigation which is to be introduced on 10th January 2015 will have significant consequences for individuals and businesses involved in or contemplating cross-border litigation, says leading national law firm Irwin Mitchell.

For parties operating within the European Union, the ‘Brussels Regulation’ is the key method by which Court judgments obtained in a member state are able to be pursued and enforced elsewhere within the EU.

They have widely been regarded as a success; however there have also been concerns about differing application across Member States.

A recast Brussels Regulation is therefore due to come into force early next year and, although the changes do not represent a complete overhaul of the existing regime, the amendments are nevertheless significant and will have important ramifications.

In broad terms the key changes brought in by the Brussels Regulation (recast) are:

• An expansion of the rules relating to jurisdiction agreements;
• A disapplication of the “court first seised” rule where there is an exclusive jurisdiction clause;
• New rules concerning non-EU proceedings;
• Clarifying the absolute exclusion of arbitration; and
• Enhancing and simplifying the recognition and enforcement of member state judgments in other member states.

Leigh Callaway from Irwin Mitchell’s Commercial Litigation team in London said:

Turning to matters of enforcement, a minor but significant amendment is the removal of the process of ‘exequatur’ where, before a judgment of a member state could be enforced in another member state, it first had to be registered and/or declared enforceable in the member state of enforcement; a process which was felt by many to be needlessly time-consuming, costly and perhaps untrusting of other member states’ judicial systems.