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Jurisdiction and Enforcement Post Brexit: the English and Swiss Perspectives

26 January 2021 By Melissa Magliana, Eleanor Scogings

On 31 December 2020 the transition period for the UK’s exit from the EU ended and the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement was finalised. As the UK has not acceded to the Lugano Convention 2007, from 1 January 2021 questions relating to the jurisdiction of courts and the recognition and enforcement of judgments involving new cases commenced in the UK will either be governed by the Hague Convention on Choice of Court Agreements 2005 (the “Hague Convention”) or by domestic law regimes.

This article summarises the key regimes and the impact of Brexit on jurisdiction and enforcement of court judgments, from both English and Swiss perspectives. Importantly, arbitration is unaffected by these changes and therefore may offer a more certain and predictable regime.

The full article is available here.


[1] The agreement can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/agreements-reached-between-the-united-kingdom-of-great-britain-and-northern-ireland-and-the-european-union.

[2] Convention on jurisdiction and the enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters signed in Lugano on 30 October 2007 and published in the Official Journal on 21 December 2007 (L339/3). The Lugano Convention applies to most private law disputes involving EU Member States, and for example Switzerland, with respect to jurisdiction and recognition and enforcement of judgments.

[3] This article focuses on the position for proceedings commenced from 1 January 2021. For transitional cases, i.e., those with legal proceedings having already commenced or judgments already rendered before the end of the transition period, Brexit has minimal impact but legal advice, nonetheless, is advisable.

[4] Convention of 30 June 2005 on Choice of Court Agreements. Current contracting parties to the Hague Convention are the UK, the EU, Singapore, Mexico and Montenegro. This article focuses on the impact of Brexit and the UK’s relationship with the EU and not the UK’s relationship with other jurisdictions, such as Commonwealth countries, where different regimes apply.