Private International Law & Comparative Law

The international focus of Brödermann Jahn requires on a daily basis to also concentrate on issues of private international and comparative law.

Comparative law is important because, sometimes, it is helpful to use tools of foreign law in a set-up where the law can be freely chosen. In international contract negotiations, often each party fights for the application of "its own" law, i.e. the law which is known (although not necessarily better) and which therefore does not generate additional costs of research. Here, it can be helpful to know about options of neutral law, such as the UNCITRAL Vienna Convention on the International Sale of Goods or the UNIDROIT Principles of International Commercial Contracts (i.e. a body of international rules developed by experts from around the globe and recently endorsed as a useful tool to international trade by UNCITRAL).

Private International Law is the set of rules which determines the applicable law to any given legal question. It is partly of international, of European and of national origin. It is an area of legal practice which is often unnoticed to the commercial experts. Any given international transaction brings along a series of private international law questions because, for example, different private international law rules apply to the determination of:

  • The law applicable to the contract,
  • The law applicable to the determination of the required form,
  • The law applicable to the interpretation of a power of attorney,
  • The law applicable to corporate law questions (such as the power of any one board member to represent the company which is party to the transaction),
  • The law in rem applicable to any movable or immovable needed for a transaction,
  • The law applicable to compliance issues,
  • The law applicable to currency issues etc.