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Our law firm Navas & Cusí with offices in Madrid and Barcelona has a multidisciplinary character and with an international vocation (based in Brussels), specializes in banking, financial and commercial law.
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What is the procedure for suing a foreign company for breach of contract?

Increasing international trade links have led to an increase in incidents of breach of contract between companies from different countries. It is essential to understand the relevant legal procedures in order to seek remedies when a dispute arises with a foreign company due to a breach of contract. In order to sue a foreign company for breach of contract, it is necessary to take into account all the international regulations, paying special attention to the legal framework provided by the European Brussels I Regulation and the Rome I Regulation.

The European Brussels I Regulation: Jurisdiction and Recognition of Judicial Decisions

Regulation (EU) No 1215/2012, known as the Brussels I Regulation, sets out the rules on jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters within the European Union (EU). This regulation addresses a key issue, which is the determination of which court has jurisdiction to decide a case involving parties from different EU Member States.

When suing a foreign company for breach of contract under the Brussels I Regulation, it is of utmost importance to check whether there is a specific provision establishing the jurisdiction of a particular court. For example, if there is a choice of court clause in the contract, this clause may be mandatory and determine which court has jurisdiction to resolve any dispute arising from the contract.

In the absence of a choice of court clause in the contract, the Brussels I Regulation provides guidelines for determining jurisdiction. Normally, a company can be sued in the Member State where it is domiciled or in the Member State where the obligation was or should have been performed.

The Rome I Regulation: the law governing contracts

In cross-border situations within the EU, the Rome I Regulation – also known as Regulation (EC) No 593/2008 – addresses the law applicable to contracts. This regulation provides a framework for determining the law that will govern a particular contract.

The Rome I Regulation provides that, when suing a foreign company for breach of contract, if there is no express choice of law by the parties, the contract will be subject to the law of the country with which it has the closest relations. This may be the country where the company has its headquarters, the country where the main performance of the contract took place, or any other country that has a significant connection with the contract.

Enforcement of Court Decisions and Legal Proceedings

Having established the jurisdiction and the law applicable to the contract, the claimant is entitled to initiate appropriate legal proceedings before the relevant court. It is crucial to consider that when suing a foreign company, additional complications may arise due to disparities between legal systems and court proceedings in different countries.

Furthermore, enforcing the court decision in the country where the foreign company’s assets are located may be necessary if a favourable judgment is obtained. The Brussels I Regulation simplifies the enforcement of court decisions within the EU, although additional procedures under international treaties or national laws may be required to achieve this.

Ultimately, suing a foreign company for breach of contract can be a complicated process involving both domestic and international legal issues. It is essential to seek specialist legal advice to ensure compliance with all legal requirements and to maximise the chances of success in legal action, given the importance of the European Brussels I Regulation and the Rome I Regulation in determining jurisdiction and applicable law.

When dealing with an international breach of contract, specialist legal advice is essential. Therefore, it is important to turn to a lawyer specialised in international law who can provide you with the necessary guidance and support to properly address your case. At Navas&Cusí, we have the experience and knowledge necessary to help you face these legal challenges, guaranteeing the protection of your interests in any international scenario.

Navas & Cusí Abogados
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