Jurisdiction Clauses in International Trade

Before any organization enters into an International contract for the supply of goods and services, they should be aware of the legal pitfalls involved in so doing. The best and really only way to avoid the pitfalls is to contact an International law firm and ask their advice. Most companies avoid doing this because of the perceived cost, but the actual cost of trying to fight and win a contractual dispute which has gone as far as the Courts could be much greater.

One major problem area (amongst many others) regards Jurisdiction Clauses. An example of a Jurisdiction Clause is “Any dispute arising under or in connection with this Contract (including concerning its existence or validity) shall be referred to the English High Courts.” Most English companies have a clause worded like this included in their Terms and Conditions and usually believe that this is all that is required. Unfortunately, this is sometimes not the case.

Therefore, it is strongly recommended that professional legal advice is taken on Jurisdiction Clauses with all international contracts and that anyone operating commercially within the European Community has a working knowledge, not only of Jurisdiction Clauses, but also The Brussels Regime and in particular Council Regulation (EC) 44/2001, The Court first seised rule, Anti-suit injunctions and Arbitration Clauses, at the very least.

Maria Narancic from Point to Point Export Services is an independent international trade adviser who assists organisations world wide with their international trade projects, documentation, Documentary Credits and import/export training.  She is based in the United Kingdom.  If you require any further assistance with the matters mentioned above, please do contact us by e-mail on info@point-point.com or check out other international trade articles on the Point to Point Export Services website at www.point-point.com

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