BREXIT SNATCH: Germany plots English-speaking courts to exploit BILLION pound UK industry — Информационное Агентство "365 дней"

BREXIT SNATCH: Germany plots English-speaking courts to exploit BILLION pound UK industry

Brexit news Angela Merkel Theresa May

Berlin is hoping to seize a piece of the lucrative cake that is the global dispute industry, which Amsterdam, Paris, Brussels and Dublin is also hoping to secure its chance to be a part of.

English is extremely rare in German courts, with judges opting to speak an often incomprehensible legal version of their mother tongue.

However, Frankfurt could soon adopt English-speaking judges to add to its already busy financial services industry with dispute settlement courts.

London has long been the most profitable European city for thousands of litigation lawyers to operate. But, with a no-deal Brexit on the horizon firms are looking for alternative destinations where local judgements will automatically apply to the rest of the Continent.


Ulrike Willoughby, chair of the newly established Chamber of International Commercial Law, was invited by the Hessian Ministry of Justice to discuss about post-Brexit possibilities for litigation cases in Germany.

Mr Willoughby suggested court cases adopt the English language, which is the most popular for international contracts, but maintain the application of German law to proceedings.

The district court would also be able to attract cases that have nothing to do with Frankfurt, allowing extra business to flow through the city.

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Despite a number of sceptical oppositions to the plan, Mr Willoughby says the initial English hearing would be the first step in adapting the German Code of Civil Procedure to the needs of international law.

Amsterdam has already made its own move with a special commercial tribunal body which is due to start work this year.

The new system will allow firms to have paperless processing entirely in English. In Brussels, a hybrid system for commercial and arbitration tribunal will also start in 2019, allowing faster and more flexible decisions in English.

Gerhard Wagner, a Berlin law researcher, would welcome a similar process to be developed in Germany.

He said: ‘The rest of the court can also benefit from the better equipment of the International Chamber of Commerce.”

He will push for a quick implementation so that Germany can keep with other international legal businesses.

The Bundestag has already been presented with a draft bill by federal states, which intends to allow judgements to be made in English.

However, ministers have warned favouring the procedure could aggravate a number of sensitive parties across the country.

North Rhine-Westphalia’s Minister of Justice Peter Biesenbach said: “If we start discussing a two-class judiciary, we can immediately bury the project.”

This means the German experiment will likely remain in Frankfurt for the time being while they convince the rest of the country.

Additional reporting by Monika Pallenberg

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