Mercedes’ competition damages action knocked out on jurisdictional grounds

12 May 2023

The High Court has found that Germany is the appropriate forum for Mercedes’ claim for damages relating to Hydraulic Braking Systems and after-series parts for cars.

Mercedes claimed damages against Continental and ZF in the English courts. Continental and ZF argued that Germany is the appropriate forum. Mr Justice Butcher accepted that the case should be tried in Germany.

The judgment is significant because, unlike under the Brussels Regulation, defendants in these kinds of cases are now able to make appropriate forum (“forum non conveniens”) arguments and the judgment provides insight into how the High Court will approach such issues in competition damages actions.

The judgment is available here.

Philip Woolfe appeared for Mercedes instructed by Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP.

Josh Holmes KC and James Bourke appeared for the ZF Defendants instructed by Travers Smith LLP.