My place or yours? Will your jurisdiction agreement work?

Jurisdiction clauses are a familiar feature of the "boilerplate" provisions in banking and finance agreements. Recent cases have provided useful guidance on how effective these clauses are in practice: Exclusive jurisdiction clauses The English Court will usually give effect to an exclusive jurisdiction clause.

The English Court will usually give effect to an exclusive jurisdiction clause. However, the English Court has the discretion not to do so where there are "strong reasons" for litigating in a different forum.

"Strong reasons" will be factors which could not have been foreseen when the contract was made or which are otherwise in the interests of justice.

One-sided jurisdiction clauses Such clauses are useful because they preserve flexibility for one party to issue proceedings where assets are located. The English Court has confirmed that one-sided jurisdiction clauses are valid as a matter of English law. However, the position is not so clear in other jurisdictions and, in multi-jurisdictional transactions, it may be appropriate to seek local advice.