In this section, we highlight the key consequences of Brexit for dispute resolution in England.
The benefits of using English law to govern international commercial transactions should generally remain unchanged by Brexit.
The attraction of using English courts to resolve international disputes should also generally be unaltered by Brexit.
Choice of law
Currently there is no need to change standard choice of law clauses in commercial contracts, as these will be broadly unaffected by Brexit.
Jurisdiction and enforcement
Once the transition period comes to an end, English court judgments may become less readily enforceable in EU member states than is currently the case. This will only be a factor for a party if obtaining a judgment that is enforceable throughout the EU is important. If it is, then there are various options, including giving non-exclusive jurisdiction to the English courts, choosing another acceptable EU court, or agreeing to arbitration.
Parallel proceedings and anti-suit injunctions
Once the transition period comes to an end, there may no longer be a bar on parallel proceedings, although in that situation the English courts will be free to issue anti-suit injunctions.
Once the transition period comes to an end, it may be more difficult to serve English legal proceedings on EU counterparties. Therefore in transactions with such counterparties (and more generally) a contractual agent for service of process clause is strongly recommended.
To cater for potential uncertainties (for DR clauses and more generally) be sure to include robust severance provisions in contracts.
For further information, please see this briefing produced by our Dispute Resolution team.