On September 13, 2018 the UK Government published a technical notice on how to handle civil legal cases that involve EU countries in the case of a no Brexit deal. The technical notice sets out the current position until exit day on March 29, 2018 and sets out the implications of a no-deal Brexit for civil and commercial disputes, cross-border insolvency cooperation and family law cooperation.
The technical notice provides that in the event of ‘no deal’, most of the reciprocity based rules relating to civil judicial cooperation, would be repealed. The UK, in place of these regulations, would revert to existing common law and statutory rules to govern its relationship with the EU member states (and Iceland, Norway and Switzerland). The technical notice adds that those regulations which do not operate on reciprocity, specifically Rome I and Rome II, would be retained in a no deal situation. The technical notice also confirms that in a no deal scenario, the UK would take the necessary steps for the UK to formally re-join the Hague Convention on Choice of Court Agreements 2005.
The technical notice also briefly addresses the impact of a no deal scenario on cross border insolvency cooperation. The majority of the insolvency regulation would be repealed in all parts of the UK, however in a no deal situation the Government would preserve EU rules which give UK courts insolvency jurisdiction where a company or individual is based in the UK. The technical notice confirms that UK insolvency practitioners seeking to obtain recognition of UK insolvency proceedings elsewhere in the EU will need to apply to each relevant EU country separately. In the meantime, practitioners seeking UK court recognition of insolvency proceedings commenced in an EU member state can do so under the Cross-Border Insolvency Regulations 2006 (SI 2006/1030).
The cross-border insolvency provisions of this technical note are limited, however it makes clear that cross-border insolvencies managed in the UK will be potentially far more complex, expensive and perhaps rare in a no-deal scenario.
(Brexit: Handling civil legal cases that involve EU countries in a no deal situation - civil, commercial and cross-border insolvency aspects – 13.09.18)