Jurisdiction agreements—types and interpretation
Produced in partnership with Andrew Rose and Edward Crossley of 4 Stone Buildings
Jurisdiction agreements—types and interpretation

The following Dispute Resolution guidance note Produced in partnership with Andrew Rose and Edward Crossley of 4 Stone Buildings provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Jurisdiction agreements—types and interpretation
  • Why have a jurisdiction agreement?
  • Exclusive jurisdiction clauses
  • Non-exclusive jurisdiction clauses
  • Asymmetric jurisdiction agreements
  • The effect of a jurisdiction agreement
  • Interpreting jurisdiction clauses
  • Interpreting conflicting jurisdiction clauses

The UK has voted to leave the EU and this will take place on exit day as defined in section 20 of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018. This has implications for practitioners considering which courts have jurisdiction to determine a dispute. For guidance, see Practice Note: Brexit—jurisdiction. For links to relevant guidance on the effect of the UK leaving the EU without a deal when dealing with matters of jurisdiction, see: Cross border considerations—checklist—Jurisdiction—Brexit specific.

This Practice Note considers jurisdiction agreements, also known as choice of court agreements, in terms of what they do and the similar sorts of agreements that have the same aim. The different types of jurisdiction agreements are discussed, together with example clauses. Finally, the interpretation of jurisdiction clauses is considered.

This Practice Note refers to asymmetric jurisdiction agreements. These are commonly also referred to as part exclusive, unilateral, hybrid, or one-way choice of court agreements.

This Practice Note deals with jurisdiction clauses involving a forum non conveniens waiver. For guidance on the common law doctrine of forum non conveniens, see Practice Note: Forum non conveniens—scope and application.

Why have a jurisdiction agreement?

A jurisdiction agreement is an agreement by which parties agree which court or courts will have jurisdiction to adjudicate disputes that may arise between them. This form of agreement between the parties can limit the