Forum non conveniens

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Boilerplate Anatomy™

Sample clause

Waiver of objections: Each party irrevocably waives any objection which it might at any time otherwise have to the courts of England and/or, as the case may for the time being be, Wales, being nominated as the forum to hear and decide any Proceedings and to settle any Disputes and agrees not to claim that those courts, howsoever described, are not a convenient or appropriate forum.

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Forum non conveniens (linguistic ninjas might have deduced this is Latin for “an inconvenient forum”) is a common law doctrine through which a court refuses to hear a case because there is another forum or court that would be better to hear it. Unless there is some international convention at play, the first court can’t transfer the proceedings to tge other court, but just strikes them out and invites the counterparties to have at it if they so choose.

This is the basis for the boilerplate in your governing law clause that neither party objects to the choice of law or jurisdiction on the grounds that it is not a convenient forum. Because if you are dealing with foreigners, and you have selected English law as your governing courts, it won’t do for some Italian to try to move the proceedings to Palermo where, for example, rules about service of process are fiddly. Or something.

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