Prorogation of jurisdiction

The French Court of Cassation recalled the rules on prorogation of jurisdiction

Cour de cassation, civile, Chambre civile 1, 24 février 2016, 15-10639

The present case concerned the rules on jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters.
In March 2006, Mr. X. concluded a franchise agreement with the company Hypromat France to operate a quick self-service car wash facility in Spain.

Subsequently, Mr.X. brought an action before the District court (Tribunal de grande instance) against its contractual partner seeking the voidness of the contract and the payment of damages.
On that occasion, the company Hypromat France raised the lack of jurisdiction in favour of the courts of Barcelona (Spain), under the jurisdiction clause included in the contract.

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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.

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