Commerzbank Aktiengesellschaft v Pauline Shipping and Liquimar Tankers [2017] EWHC 161.

Fri, 03 February, 2017

The Commercial Court handed down judgment on 3 February 2017 in the above matter, in which Poonam Melwani QC of Quadrant Chambers instructed by Stephenson Harwood LLP on behalf of the Claimant Bank successfully argued that asymmetric clauses are indeed valid exclusive jurisdiction clauses for the purposes of Brussels 1 Recast so that the usual lis alibi pendens rules do not apply and potentially abusive litigation tactics cannot prevail

Brussels 1 Recast was introduced to give greater efficacy to exclusive jurisdiction clauses but since its enactment in 2015 practitioners and academics have sought confirmation that asymmetric jurisdiction clauses, common in many contracts including especially banking documentation, qualify as valid exclusive jurisdiction clauses for the purposes of Brussels 1 Recast. 

A copy of the judgment is available here. Further details regarding the case are available in the attached article.