• Professional News
  • 16 December 2014

Jurisdiction accepted through terms of the order confirmation

By delivering and demanding payment according to order confirmations in which a jurisdiction clause was indicated, the defendant accepted the jurisdiction clause. This was laid down by the Maritime and Commercial High Court on 28 October 2014.

A Danish meat wholesaler entered a claim to the effect that a Belgian meat supplier was to pay EUR 14,957 due to a non-conforming meat delivery.

The Belgian supplier rejected the claim stating that the Maritime and Commercial High Court was not the appropriate forum for the dispute between the parties and that the appropriate forum was Belgium.

The Danish meat wholesaler had issued an order confirmation with a Danish jurisdiction clause, whereas the Belgian meat supplier had issued an invoice incorporating a Belgian jurisdiction clause.

Accordingly, the issue before the court was whether the dispute was to be settled before a Danish or a Belgian court.

Decision of the court
The court took into account that the parties entered into the type of agreements to which the case related by telephone, which was in fact customary in the industry. It was also customary that the terms of the agreement were subsequently summarised in order confirmations in which jurisdiction clauses were indicated.

As the Belgian meat supplier had complied with the order confirmations incorporating a clear jurisdiction clause, had delivered the products and charged payment, the court found that, accordingly, the Belgian supplier had accepted Danish jurisdiction.

This was not changed by the fact that the Belgian supplier forwarded invoices with other jurisdiction clauses printed on the back.

The dispute was subsequently heard before the Maritime and Commercial High Court.

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