Logo Piero Viganego

 

Lawyers

Competent jurisdiction in contracts with Spanish agents

As of today, this matter still has not been clearly resolved and the sentence from the European Union Court of Justice (Third Chamber), in the case United Antwerp Maritime Agencies (Unamar) NV versus Navigation Maritime Bulgare, Sentence of 17 October 2013 (TJCE 2013\359), has failed to shed excessive light on the matter.

The second additional provision of the Spanish Commercial Agency Contract Law establishes the following:

Competence to hear actions derived from agency contracts shall correspond to the Judge with jurisdiction over the address of the agent, and any agreement to the contrary shall be null and void.

Can a Spanish judge then fail to apply a foreign law, even from another Member State, if competent jurisdiction is established in a place other than the address of the agent?

Spanish courts have made it clear that the protection of the Agent with regard to competent jurisdiction corresponding to his/her address only applies to contracts between Spanish economic operators. However, the reasoning behind the judgment seems to be superseded by the Sentence from the European Union Court of Justice referred to above.

The matter is expected to reach the Spanish Supreme Court, to see the direction  the issue takes.