Terms and conditions - applicable law
Thread poster: MandyT
MandyT  Identity Verified
English to German
Mar 21, 2005


I'm currently writing my terms and conditions for direct clients which I base on the model terms from the ITI. In there it reads:

If a dispute cannot be resolved amicably
between the parties, or if either party refuses to accept arbitration, the parties shall be subject to the jurisdiction of the Courts of England and Wales.
In any event these terms shall be construed in accordance with English law.

Now my question: Most of my clients are in the UK, but I'm based in France. Can/Should I still say the parties are subject to English law etc???

Thanks for your help.


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Williamson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 22:48
Flemish to English
+ ...
Law of the land. Mar 21, 2005

Long ago at a trade course i was taught you should put at the back of your invoice that the law of the country where the customer is based is applicable, because that is the country where you have to get your money from and that is where legal proceedings have to be undertaken, if you do not get paid.
If for example a German customer does not pay, will you start a "Mahnverfahren" in France or in Germany?

[Edited at 2005-03-21 11:52]

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Anjo Sterringa  Identity Verified
Local time: 23:48
Member (2003)
English to Dutch
+ ...
Election between parties Mar 21, 2005

I would not think it very handy to say that the laws of the country where your customer is based apply, then you do not know how to word your conditions in order to fit every legal system in which your clients are based! It is normally the other way around: the choice of law coincides with the place where the supplier resides.
The choice of law and the location (2 different things) are agreed upon between the two parties - so theoretically yes, you can do that even if you are based in France, and most of your customers are based in the UK and you are more famiiar with the UK system. As freedom of contract exists, I should think this is possible (but DO check!). You could also have different sets of 'general' conditions, for clients in the UK and clients in France, as in the latter case it would be a bit weird to get the money your neighbour owes you through an English court.
The choice of law/ location might then be overruled by a French judge anyway....

[Edited at 2005-03-21 12:42]

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Christopher RH
Local time: 23:48
French to English
Never choose a foreign law... Apr 6, 2005

Don't ever choose a law which is not your own. You are asking for complications (like, for example, are your invoices valid in a foreign jurisdiction? How are you supposed to notify breach? Do you even "exist" for a foreign court?)

I would also never suggest arbitration for translation work, unless you are a very large agency.

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Terms and conditions - applicable law

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