The withdrawal of the UK from the EU presents a different future with uncertainty about the legal relationships with the UK.

During the transition period the EU will treat the UK as if it were a member state, except that the UK will not participate in EU institutions and governance structures.

The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) retains jurisdiction over the UK during the transition period.

Civil judicial cooperation

The Rome I and II Regulations which govern contractual and non-contractual obligations will apply to all contracts concluded before 31 December 2020,

Any events which occur before 31 December 2020, which give rise to damages, remain covered under the Rome I and II Regulations.

The Brussels Regulation and other rules on jurisdiction will apply to litigation proceedings taken before 31 December 2020. They also cover recognition and enforcement of judgments made before the end of the transition period.

Similarly, the Insolvency Regulation will apply to insolvency proceedings provided that the main proceedings were started before the end of the transition period.

These provisions do not apply in relation to EFTA countries (Iceland, Norway and Switzerland). The UK will continue to apply the current rules under the Lugano Convention

The UK ceases to be a member of Hague Convention on recognition of judgments after the end of the transition period. Neither the EU nor UK would be obliged to recognise and enforce the national court judgements of the other jurisdiction.

Serving and taking evidence may become more difficult after the 31 December 2020 and may have to follow the Hague Conventions on this from 1965 and 1970

During 2020 the position for litigants will not change much. Consideration should be given to starting possible claims by the end of 2020 to ensure the current rules apply.