Matteo Treccani

Notes on «Brexit» and Contract Law

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Brexit, International Contracts, Conflict of Law Provisions, Contract Law, EU Contract Law, UK Law, Force Major, Hardship, Material Adverse Change.

The paper aims to provide a general and broad overview of potential effects of «Brexit» in the field of contract law, with specific regard to international contracts among parties presenting relevant links to the legal systems of Italy and the United Kingdom. Moving from a short description of the «Brexit» events, and taking into due account the prevailing uncertainty still affecting the possible outcomes of the ongoing process of application of art. 50 TUE to the United Kingdom, the paper first outlines certain effects of «Brexit» on the rules concerning jurisdiction and determination of law applicable in contractual matters especially deriving from the abrogation of «Brussels» and «Rome» regulations in the UK. The analysis shortly focuses, then, on the scope of application of UK Law in situations where such a law is designated as applicable in conformity with choice of law agreements or other conflict of law provisions, taking into account the actual, potential and perspective impact of «Brexit» on the contents of UK law in contractual matters, especially in those fields whereby the legal system of the United Kingdom has been mostly affected in time by the harmonization promoted by EU legislation. Conclusively, the paper briefly analyses the «Brexit» events from a purely Italian perspective in order to address specifically the question whether, and under what circumstances, under Italian law, the event of «Brexit» could be regarded as a significant alteration of pending contractual relationships with Italian counterparties subjected to the application of Italian Law which might lead to either termination or modification of pending contracts, in light of the legal framework of application of «force major» or «hardship» or «material adverse change» provisions and/ or contractual clauses.

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