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ECONOMIC TORTS IN THE CONFLICT OF LAWS

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  12 July 2017

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IN AMT Futures Ltd. v Marzillier [2017] UKSC 13; [2017] 2 W.L.R. 853, the Supreme Court had to decide where a “harmful event” occurred in order to determine whether the English court had jurisdiction over the defendant, Marzillier, a German lawyer. AMT brought an action in England against Marzillier for inducing breaches of contracts made between AMT and their European clients. Although the client contracts contained an exclusive jurisdiction clause in favour of the English courts, Marzillier had encouraged the clients to bring actions against AMT in Germany. The claims were made under German law of delict alleging that AMT were accessory to the bad investment advice given by the clients’ brokers. The brokers were insolvent. The German claims were brought directly against AMT and AMT settled. It had lost on the jurisdiction question in Germany because the exclusive jurisdiction clause did not bind the clients. They were consumers. Additionally, the actions were in tort and therefore did not fall within the scope of the clause. AMT brought this action in England after paying over £2m in settlement and costs in Germany. AMT argued that Marzillier had deprived AMT of the benefit of the contractual exclusive jurisdiction agreement by inducing the clients to sue in Germany. Marzillier, a defendant domiciled in Germany, could only be sued in England if the harmful event occurred here. Lord Hodge J.S.C., giving a beautifully clear judgment, held that the case could not be heard in England. England was not the place where the harm occurred, despite payment out of an account in England and the alleged breach of the exclusive English jurisdiction agreement. He held that Germany was the place where the harm occurred under what is now Article 7(2) (ex Article 5(3)) of the Brussels I Regulation Recast (Regulation EC No 1215/2012).

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Case and Comment
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Copyright © Cambridge Law Journal and Contributors 2017 

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