Brexit by topic | Contentious, Corporate & Commercial Litigation

Brexit: Disputes

Overview

In this section, we highlight the key consequences of Brexit for dispute resolution in England.

English law

The benefits of using English law to govern international commercial transactions should generally remain unchanged by Brexit.

English courts

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

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

If the current Brussels Recast Regulation ceases to apply, there will no longer be a bar on parallel proceedings, although in that situation the English courts will be free to issue anti-suit injunctions.

Service

Post-Brexit 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.

General

To cater for potential uncertainties (for DR clauses and more generally) be sure to include robust severance provisions in contracts.

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