David Woods

+44 (0)1733 887793 dvwoods@greenwoodsgrm.co.uk

View full profile →

Choice of law and jurisdiction: “England and Wales” and Brexit

Corporate and Commercial / 15 October 2018

Towards the end of most of the contracts that your organisation enters into you will find a clause choosing the governing law of the contract and the courts that will have jurisdiction in relation to disputes.  In most cases, this will refer to the laws and the courts of “England and Wales”.

As part of the devolution process (no, this time it is not about Brexit!), a process has begun to create a distinct legal infrastructure for Wales.  The senior legal officer for Wales is quoted as saying that “the creation of a Welsh legal jurisdiction and the devolution of the justice system is inevitable”.

The time may be fast approaching when we draft those clauses to refer simply to the laws and the courts of England.  Or Wales, as appropriate.

On the subject of these clauses, we can’t avoid discussing the effect of Brexit.  English law is likely to continue to be widely chosen – it is well known by businesses across the world, well developed and allows contracts to be interpreted in their commercial context.  English courts are likely to continue to be widely chosen for resolving disputes in international contracts – the English system is widely respected, the proceedings are in English (which is commonly used in business) and the English courts are very experienced in dealing with complex international disputes.

But these are both reminders that we need to pay attention to these so-called “boilerplate clauses”.  Legal advice should always be taken when it comes to contracts that are important to your organisation.

If you have questions, we can help.  Please get in touch.


Sign up call to action button

This update is for general purposes and guidance only and does not constitute legal or professional advice. You should seek legal advice before relying on its content. This update relates to the prevailing circumstances at the date of its original publication and may not have been updated to reflect subsequent developments. If you have general queries about our updates, please email: mailinglists@greenwoodsgrm.co.uk

Get in touch with us

Interested in finding out more? Use this form to let us know how to contact you and what you’d like to know, and we’ll get back to you.

Alternatively, contact anyone listed on our website direct, they will be happy to hear from you.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.