Seddons defeats Allen & Overy in successful jurisdiction application
17th May 2017
Leading West End law firm, Seddons, has secured an important judgment in a jurisdiction application for Italian municipality client Comune di Savona against Deutsche Bank AG.
The application, heard on 22 and 23 March 2017 before His Honour Judge Waksman QC in the High Court, is part of ongoing litigation between Italian local authorities and banks or other financial institutions with whom they have entered into substantial swap or derivative transactions.
The application by Savona was to challenge the English Court’s jurisdiction in respect of Deutsche Bank’s claim for certain declarations in the context of two interest rate swaps under an ISDA Master Agreement. The ISDA Master Agreement contained an English law and exclusive jurisdiction clause. However Deutsche Bank and Savona had previously entered into an advisory contract, with Deutsche Bank as Savona’s adviser, which contained an Italian law and exclusive jurisdiction clause.
Handing down judgment on 5 May 2017, HHJ Waksman QC declined jurisdiction over Deutsche Bank’s claim for certain declarations in relation to two interest rate swaps under an ISDA Master Agreement, concluding that they are governed by the Italian and not the English Clause.
Commenting on the judgment, Germana Lo Iacono-Smith, Partner and Head of the Italian Desk and Banking Litigation at Seddons, who led the team advising Savona, said:
“I am pleased for my client that we have succeeded in challenging the English Court’s jurisdiction in respect of the claim for certain declarations. This successful application is an important stage in the fair resolution of a complex and ongoing litigation.
“His Honour Judge Waksman QC’s judgment provides useful reasoning for his interpretation of this important area of law, in particular for circumstances such as this where competing exclusive jurisdictional clauses overlap.”
Jonathan Davies-Jones QC and Christopher Burdin were instructed as Counsel for Comune di Savona. Sonia Tolaney QC, Rupert Allen and Andrew Lodder were instructed by Allen & Overy for the Deutsche Bank AG.
Deutsche Bank AG v Comune di Savona  EWHC 1013 (Comm)
Germana Lo Iacono-Smith
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