New EU rules on jurisdiction and the enforcement of judgments will apply to proceedings commenced from 10 January 2015, in the form of the recast Brussels Regulation (Regulation (EU) 1215/2012). Herbert Smith Freehills has published a client guide to the English court’s jurisdiction under the recast Brussels Regulation. It features a decision tree, which is intended as a quick reference to help determine whether the English court will have jurisdiction over a dispute under the new rules.

The Guide is available by clicking on the image below.

Please click here to view image.

The Guide is relevant to non-EU domiciled parties as it shows when you may be subject to the jurisdiction of the English courts – ie if there is a jurisdiction clause in favour of England and Wales (see Boxes 1 and 4 of the Guide) or under the common law rules (see Box B of the Guide) or under various of the assumptions (eg if certain courts have exclusive jurisdiction due to the nature of the subject matter, or if the defendant enters an appearance).

The key changes for non-EU domiciled parties under the recast Brussels Regulation include that:

  1. The recast Brussels Regulation will apply to you whenever you enter into an agreement with a jurisdiction clause in favour of an EU Member State court – previously it would only be if at least one of the other parties was EU-domiciled. From a practical perspective, in relation to English proceedings, it means proceedings can be served on you out of the English court’s jurisdiction without the need for the court’s permission.
  2. Non-EU domiciled traders and employers are brought within the scope of the recast regulation in certain circumstances, without the need for a branch, agency or other establishment within the EU (which was a requirement under the original Regulation).
  3. There is a new discretion for a Member State court to stay proceedings in favour of competing proceedings in a non-Member State court, where those other proceedings are first in time.