Motacus Constructions Ltd v Paolo Castelli SpA [2021] EWHC 356 (TCC)

22nd Feb 2021

In Motacus Constructions Ltd v Paolo Castelli SpA [2021] EWHC 356 (TCC), His Honour Judge Hodge QC granted the claimant’s application for summary judgment to enforce the decision of an adjudicator, notwithstanding that the contract contained an exclusive jurisdiction clause in favour of the courts of Paris.

The original adjudication related to a dispute about a supply and installation agreement dated May 2019 concerning the defendant’s fitting out works to One Bishopsgate Plaza Hotel in London.

The application raised the question as to whether the inclusion within a construction contract for works in England of an exclusive jurisdiction clause in favour of a foreign court precludes the English court from enforcing an adjudicator’s decision.

It is also the first post-Brexit judgment relating to how the UK courts should deal with choice of court clauses now that the law has changed.  The Civil Jurisdiction and Judgments Act 1982 has been amended: challenges to the jurisdiction of the UK courts in favour of the courts of an EU member state are no longer determined by the Brussels Regulation, but by the 2005 Hague Convention.

The Court was persuaded that the 2005 Hague Convention did not apply, and that it could accept jurisdiction and enforce the adjudicator’s decision by granting summary judgment, because that decision was an interim measure of protection within the meaning of art. 7 of the 2005 Hague Convention.  The parties would be left to litigate the underlying dispute in the courts of Paris, in accordance with the choice of court clause that they had agreed in their contract.

Jennifer Jones (instructed by Hill Dickinson LLP) for the Claimant

Mischa Balen (instructed by Bird & Bird LLP) for the Defendant

To read the full judgment click here.

22 February 2021


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