Posts Tagged OGH 7 Ob 183/17p
Thank you Klaus Oblin for flagging OGH 7 Ob 183/17p X SE v I SpA (yet again I am happy to grumble that there is really no need to keep B2B litigation anonymous) at the Austrian Supreme Court. At issue is the application of Article 25 Brussels I Recast: when can consent to choice of court be established.
The facts of the case reflect repeated business practice: offers are made and accepted; a business relationship ensues on the basis of which further offers and orders are made; somewhere along the lines reference is made to general terms and conditions – GTCs which include choice of court. Can defendant be considered to have consented?
The Supreme Court, justifiably, lays the burden of proof with the claimant /plaintiff: if the contract is concluded through different offer and acceptance documents, the offer need only reference the terms and conditions containing the agreement conferring jurisdiction only if the other party: can follow-up on this with reasonable diligence; and actually receives the terms and conditions.
I am happy to refer to Klaus’ excellent overview (which also discussed the absence of established business practice between parties: one of the alternatives for showing choice of court). Yet again, the first and foremost quality required of lawyers (here: in-house counsel) emerges: ensure proper filing and compliance with simple procedure. Here: a clear flag of the GTCs in correspondence, and simple follow-up would have sufficed.
(Handbook of) EU private international law, 2nd ed. 2016, Chapter 2, Heading 2.2.9.
Article 25, Austria, Brussels I recast, Choice of court, Consent, Established practices, General terms and conditions, gtcs, https://rdb.manz.at/document/ris.just.JJT_20180124_OGH0002_0070OB00183_17P0000_000, OGH 7 Ob 183/17p, Supreme Court
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