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F E Smith
F E Smith, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 9032
Experience:  I have been practising for 30 years.
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Regarding a signed agreement between two companies where one

Resolved Question:

Regarding a signed agreement between two companies where one company is contracting services of another and the agreement itself is construed in English Law but the jurisdiction in which disputes would be heard is not defined; and, the company receiving services is registered in Norway, is there a simple way to determine which jurisdiction is appropriate to bring a dispute?
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  F E Smith replied 9 months ago.

There is not a simple way. There have been many court cases over which is the correct jurisdiction and the court has come to the conclusion that the correct jurisdiction is “where the contract is substantially performed”. Putting it in another vague way, the court has also said, “applying the law with which it appears to have the closest and most substantial connection” which also doesn’t help much.

In determining this, the court would look at where the parties are based, where the contract was made and where it’s performed, the language of the contract and the styling of the wording, any stipulations which relate particularly to one jurisdiction or more but not another, the nature of the subject matter

The place of delivery is not necessarily the jurisdiction although it can be.

For example if a whole load of equipment was manufactured in England but simply delivered to Norway the contract would be substantially performed in England.

Many jurisdictions use English law because it is deemed to be probably the most measured and respected in the world.

Hence, you couldn’t necessarily say it was the English courts just because it was English law.

Can I clarify anything further for you?

Sometimes, there is no definitive answer to a question and it has to be decided by a court. This is one of those cases.

Please rate the service positive. It doesn’t cost you anything but helps me greatly.

We can still exchange emails.

Best wishes.

FES

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Thank you for your response. This raises more questions than it answers. Not sure how to proceed in context of this forum. I will defer to you to inform me if these questions must be broken out or not.
Please, what is the process one must go through to establish jurisdiction?
You referenced the court concluding, is this a specific court proceeding on the issue of jurisdiction or in context of the dispute?
Does one acquire a legal opinion with respect to jurisdiction outside of the court and bring it before the court in context of the dispute to the agreement for the court to make a determination; or does the issue of jurisdiction exist as a separate issue to bring before the court?
How does one obtain a legal opinion with respect to jurisdiction? Can a legal opinion with respect to jurisdiction be obtained directly by the public or is the process more involved requiring a law firm to prepare an instruction?
Is there any real benefit in approaching a firm to assist in determining jurisdiction when there is no way of knowing whether they are able to provide representation with respect to the dispute in the determined jurisdiction?
What can one reasonably expect to pay to obtain a legal opinion with respect to jurisdiction (ballpark range for all options available to obtain one)?
Since the agreement is construed in English Law; the contract was substantially performed in a country other than England; and, each company involved in the dispute is registered in different countries other than England, is there a benefit as to where one should go to address the issue of jurisdiction; or are all options equal?Thank you for your time and consideration.
Expert:  F E Smith replied 9 months ago.

Applicable jurisdiction is a very complicated area of law and there is no definitive answer often no definitive answer.

You can either apply to court for a determination of the applicable jurisdiction or apply to court in the jurisdiction which suits you and let the defendant raise jurisdiction as a defence. If it succeeds, then you have to issue proceedings in the other jurisdiction.

Jurisdiction would be decided first and then the matter in issue.

Any evidence and case law that you have to support your case will assist you if jurisdiction becomes an issue. Researching extensive caselaw is usually undertaken by a barrister who would charge about £250 per hour and about £600 for an advice on this alone. You can instruct a barrister directly provided you find one that does “direct access which is when they deal directly with the public and not through a solicitor.

If you ring any barrister’s chambers and speak to the clerk, they will tell you who can advise on this.

Can I clarify anything further for you?

Please rate the service positive. It doesn’t cost you anything but helps me greatly.

We can still exchange emails.

Best wishes.

FES

F E Smith, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 9032
Experience: I have been practising for 30 years.
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