The recent decision in of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) in CNP v Gefion C-913/19 examines questions of jurisdiction under the Brussels 1 (Recast) Regulation following an assignment of the underlying claim, which arose from a motor accident, to a commercial entity. The case also touches on the provisions of the Regulation dealing with a defendant company having a branch in another Member State.
Despite Brexit, the approach adopted in this case will remain binding in relation to cross border cases connected to the UK in which proceedings were issued before the end of the transition period, i.e. by 31 December 2020.
The claim concerned the attempted recovery by insurers of the proceeds of a settlement paid for the loss of a ship. The question before the Supreme Court was whether English courts had jurisdiction under the rules in the Brussels I regulation. The interpretation of that regulation in matters relating to insurance has been more commonly seen in road traffic accident cases and tour operator / holiday claims. The underlying facts in Aspen may be very different to personal injuries sustained abroad, but the decision is nevertheless relevant to them.
This piece is an update about yesterday’s judgment on the cross-border jurisdiction points at issue in the claim we outlined previously on the blog on 21 January 2020. One key question was stayed – that being jurisdiction in non-contractual claims featuring joinder of the foreign insured to a direct claim against the foreign insurer – given that the point is already before the CJEU in a different case. Although the remaining live jurisdictional arguments went against us, there is much in the 24 page judgment that is worth closer review.