The jurisdiction clause is examined by the French Supreme Court in the light of the Lugano Convention

Cour de cassation, civile, Chambre civile 1, 25 mars 201513-27264

In this case, rules on jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters are discussed. The company ”Danne holding patrimoniale” concluded with the company ”Crédit suisse”, based in Switzerland, two credit framework contracts including a jurisdiction clause stating that the borrower acknowledges that the exclusive place of jurisdiction for all proceedings is Zurich or the place of the bank branch where the relationship is established. However, the bank is entitled to take legal action against the borrower before any other competent court. The company ICH, representing the rights of the company ”Danne holding patrimoniale” questioned the financial package in which this operation was generated. As a result, the company ICH lodged a claim against various financial intermediaries and the company Credit Suisse before a french jurisdiction, seeking a compensation for damages. Subsequently, the appeal court of Angers (Cour d’appel d’Angers) upheld the objection to jurisdiction raised by the company Credit Suisse on the basis of the jurisdiction clause.

The Supreme Court (Cour de cassation) referred to Article 23 of the Lugano Convention of 30 October 2007 and considered that the appeal court of Angers (Cour d’appel d’Angers) has not investigated whether the disputed clause which reserved the right to the bank to act against the borrower before “any other competent court” was not contrary to the objective of predictability and legal certainty pursued by the abovementioned text. Consequently, the Supreme Court (Cour de cassation) annulled the judgment of the appeal court of Angers (Cour d’appel d’Angers).

The full text is available on EuroCases

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