Language of document : ECLI:EU:C:2016:449

Case C‑12/15

Universal Music International Holding BV

v

Michael Tétreault Schilling and Others

(Request for a preliminary ruling
from the Hoge Raad der Nederlanden)

(Reference for a preliminary ruling — Judicial cooperation in civil matters — Regulation (EC) No 44/2001 — Special jurisdiction — Article 5(3) — Tort, delict or quasi-delict — Harmful event — Lawyer’s negligence in drafting the contract — Place where the harmful event occurred)

Summary — Judgment of the Court (Second Chamber), 16 June 2016

1.        Judicial cooperation in civil matters — Jurisdiction and the enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters — Regulation No 44/2001 — Provisions of that regulation regarded as equivalent to those of the Brussels Convention — Interpretation of those provisions in accordance with the case-law of the Court on the Convention  — Special jurisdiction — Jurisdiction in tort, delict or quasi-delict —Meaning — Independent interpretation — Restrictive interpretation

(Convention of 27 September 1968; Council Regulation No 44/2001, Art. 5(3))

2.        Judicial cooperation in civil matters — Jurisdiction and the enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters — Regulation No 44/2001 — Special jurisdiction — Jurisdiction in tort, delict or quasi-delict — Meaning — Action for damages in matters not relating to a contract

(Council Regulation No 44/2001, Art. 5(3))

3.        Judicial cooperation in civil matters — Jurisdiction and the enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters — Regulation No 44/2001 — Special jurisdiction — Jurisdiction in tort, delict or quasi-delict — Place where the harmful event occurred — Meaning — Place where the damage occurred and place of the event giving rise to the damage

(Council Regulation No 44/2001, Art. 5(3))

4.        Judicial cooperation in civil matters — Jurisdiction and the enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters — Regulation No 44/2001 — Special jurisdiction — Jurisdiction in tort, delict or quasi-delict — Place where the harmful event occurred — Meaning —Place of occurrence of a damage in the form of a financial loss on the applicant’s bank account —Exclusion failing any other connecting factors

(Council Regulation No 44/2001, Art. 5(3))

5.        Judicial cooperation in civil matters — Jurisdiction and the enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters — Regulation No 44/2001 — Special jurisdiction — Jurisdiction in tort, delict or quasi-delict — No monitoring obligations imposed on national courts during the determination of their international jurisdiction — Assessment of the issues put forward by the defendant — Lawfulness

(Council Regulation No 44/2001, Art. 5(3))

1.        See the text of the decision.

(see paras 22, 23, 25)

2.        See the text of the decision.

(see para. 24)

3.        See the text of the decision.

(see paras 26-28, 34-37)

4.        Article 5(3) of Regulation No 44/2001 on jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters must be interpreted as meaning that, in a situation in which a harmful event occurred because a mistake was made in a share purchase contract in the course of drafting it which resulted in the purchase price of the shares concerned multiplying, the place where the harmful event occurred may not be construed as being, failing any other connecting factors, the place in a Member State where the damage occurred, when that damage consists exclusively of financial damage which materialises directly in the applicant’s bank account and is the direct result of an unlawful act committed in another Member State.

Consequently, purely financial damage which occurs directly in the applicant’s bank account cannot, in itself, be qualified as a relevant connecting factor, pursuant to Article 5(3) of Regulation No 44/2001. It is only where the other circumstances specific to the case also contribute to attributing jurisdiction to the courts for the place where a purely financial damage occurred, that such damage could, justifiably, entitle the applicant to bring the proceedings before the courts for that place.

(see paras 38-40, operative part 1)

5.        In the context of the determination of jurisdiction under Regulation No 44/2001, the court seised must assess all the evidence available to it, including, where appropriate, the arguments put forward by the defendant.

Although the national court seised is not obliged, if the defendant contests the applicant’s claims, to conduct a comprehensive taking of evidence at the stage of determining jurisdiction, both the objective of the sound administration of justice, which underlies Regulation No 44/2001, and respect for the independence of the national court in the exercise of its functions require the national court seised to be able to examine its international jurisdiction in the light of all the information available to it.

(see paras 45, 46, operative part 2)