Rome I—parties fail to choose the applicable law
Produced in partnership with Angharad Parry of 20 Essex Street
Rome I—parties fail to choose the applicable law

The following Dispute Resolution practice note Produced in partnership with Angharad Parry of 20 Essex Street provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Rome I—parties fail to choose the applicable law
  • Law governing specific forms of contract (Article 4(1))
  • Sale of goods (Article 4(1)(a))
  • Provision of Services (Article 4(1)(b))
  • Relating to a right in rem in immovable property or a tenancy to immovable property (Article 4(1)(c) and (d))
  • Franchise contract (Article 4(1)(e))
  • Distribution contract (Article 4(1)(f))
  • Sale of goods by auction (Article 4(1)(g))
  • A contract concluded within a multilateral system which brings together, or facilitates the bringing together of, multiple third-party buying and selling interests in financial instruments, as defined by Article 4(1)(17) of Directive 2004/39/EC, in accordance with non-discretionary rules and governed by a single law (Article 4(1)(h))
  • Other forms of contract (Article 4(2))
  • More...

This Practice Note is for use when determining applicable law where the contract was entered into on or before 31 December 2020.

For guidance on the position where the contract was entered into on or after 1 January 2021, see Practice Note: Retained Rome I—parties fail to choose the applicable law.

Brexit: The UK's departure from the EU has implications for practitioners considering which country’s laws will be applied when determining a dispute. For guidance, see Practice Note: Brexit post implementation period—considerations for dispute resolution practitioners including, in particular, main section: Applicable law.

For guidance on whether judgments of the Court of Justice are binding on UK courts, see Q&A: Are UK courts and tribunals bound by decisions of the Court of Justice of the European Union post-Brexit?

This Practice Note considers the application of Regulation (EC) 593/2008 on the law applicable to contractual obligations, commonly known as Rome I, to circumstances in which the parties have not chosen the applicable law. It considers the law governing specific forms of contract such as sale of goods, provision of services and distribution contracts. It also considers the situation where contracts do not fall with the specific categories, the so called ‘escape clause’. In such cases, the following terms are of importance: ‘characteristic performance’, ‘habitual residence’ and ‘more closely connected’. This Practice Note considers each of these terms as well

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