On 4 May 2017, the Court of Justice of the European Union (the CJEU) handed down a judgment interpreting and clarifying the rules on parallel litigation and lis pendens in trans-European civil and commercial litigation.
As you certainly know, parallel litigation and lis pendens refer to a situation that occurs when different legal proceedings relating to the same object and cause of action are brought between the same parties in the courts of different forums. In such a situation, in order to reduce concurrent proceedings before the courts of various Member States and to avoid irreconcilable decisions, Article 27 and following of the Regulation No 44/2001 of 22 December 2000 on jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters (the Brussels Regulation) provide that the first court seized with the dispute shall have the exclusive power to establish whether it is competent to rule on the particular dispute. It is only if this first court finds that it does not have jurisdiction to hear the case that the other courts will regain the power to hear that case. However, if the court first seized has confirmed its jurisdiction then the other courts shall decline jurisdiction in favour of that court.
In the case at hand, the CJEU was asked to interpret Article 27 and following of the Brussels Regulation in order to examine whether interlocutory proceedings brought before the courts of one Member State pre-empted legal proceedings to be brought before the courts of the other Member States in a dispute involving the same parties and the same cause of action.READ MORE