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Commercial Court Declines Jurisdiction Over ISDA Swap Declarations

On 5 May 2017, judgment was handed down in Deutsche Bank AG v Comune di Savona [2017] EWHC 1013 (Comm), in which Jonathan Davies-Jones QC and Christopher Burdin, instructed by Seddons, acted for Savona, the successful applicant in a jurisdiction application.

Savona challenged 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. The parties had previously entered into an advisory contract, appointing Deutsche Bank as Savona’s adviser, which contained an Italian law and exclusive jurisdiction clause.

Savona’s application succeeded. HHJ Waksman QC decided that the English Court did not have jurisdiction over the claim for the contested declarations because they trespassed on the Italian exclusive jurisdiction clause in the advisory contract. It was not determinative in Deutsche Bank’s favour that some of the contested declarations were based on contractual representations contained in the ISDA Master Agreement.

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