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03rd January 2019

BREXIT – Choosing a Court and enforcing a judgment in a post-Brexit world

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Whilst the current arrangements for cooperation on civil juridical matters will continue during the transition (implementation) period if the Government’s deal is agreed, the jurisdictional landscape of a post-Brexit world in a ‘no deal’ scenario remains opaque.

The Government has told us (letter of Lucy Frazer QC MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Justice sent to the Justice Select Committee last month) that it has been agreed with the EU that in a ‘no-deal’ scenario, civil proceedings on foot on the 29 March 2019 will be concluded under the existing arrangements for cooperation, such that judgments subsequently obtained in those proceedings may be enforced in another Member State. For cases brought after exit day however, the position remains uncertain. We know that the Government intends to prioritise joining cross –border cooperation Conventions, including the Convention of 2005 on ‘Choice of Court Agreements’, however timescales remain at large and the regimes offered by those international treaties are not fully equivalent to the existing schemes for cooperation in Civil and Commercial matters.

If you are a business and are presently contemplating a cross-border claim, then it may be worth thinking now about the best time to make it.

Dominic Hopkins is head of Disputes and Litigation at Hewitsons and an Associate Member of the UK Constitutional Law Association. For more information please contact Dominic Hopkins on 01604 233233 or click here to email Dominic.