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Recognition and enforcement of foreign court decisions and arbitration awards

Cross-border enforcement of titled claims

You have successfully obtained an enforceable judgment in court against a debtor who is domiciled or resident abroad, or who later moves abroad?

After the successful conclusion of arbitration proceedings, you discover that your debtor has no enforceable assets in Germany but operates a luxury yacht in Italy?

Before an enforcement order obtained in Germany can be successfully enforced abroad, it must first be recognized or declared enforceable abroad, unless it is a directly enforceable order under European law. We support you in the cross-border enforcement of your titled claims, especially between Germany and Italy. Dolce Lauda has lawyers in both countries who can assist you with specific know-how on the recognition and enforcement of foreign court decisions, arbitral awards and other enforceable titles, and who can guide you safely through the special pitfalls of international recognition and enforcement practice on the basis of their many years of professional experience.

Foresighted litigation

Our knowledge of the national peculiarities of the respective recognition and enforcement proceedings enables us to work towards a recognizable decision already during the previously ongoing litigation or arbitration proceedings - especially with regard to a later enforcement of the title abroad, if necessary - and thus to set the course for a full recognition of all main and ancillary claims by the foreign court, e.g. by a particularly attentive formulation of the pleadings tailored to the requirements of the executing state.

Specialized in cross-border matters

Due to our bi-national orientation, our clients receive all services from one source, from the conduct of the proceedings in Germany to the enforcement of the title obtained in Italy - and vice versa - without any "frictional losses", such as the lack of recognition of ancillary decisions, which can sometimes amount to considerable sums.

In order to realize the titled claims as quickly, completely and cost-efficiently as possible, we advise our clients in detail on possible enforcement strategies even after successful recognition of the title and then carry out the most promising enforcement measures against the debtor in the respective enforcement state.

Read more about enforcement proceedings in Italy and Germany.

Our services in detail

Whether and under what conditions judgments of foreign courts can be recognised and enforced in Germany is determined by secondary European law, treaty provisions and national procedural law. The following come intoconsideration:

Enforcement of judgments from a European member state:

  • Enforcement under EU Regulation No. 1215/2012 on jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters (EuGVVO);
  • Enforcement of judgments arising from proceedings commenced before the entry into force of EU Regulation No. 1215/2012 under EC Regulation No. 44/2001 or under the Brussels Convention 1968 (EuGVÜ);
  • Enforcement of European orders for payment under Regulation (EC) No 1896/2006 creating a European order for payment procedure (EuMVVO).
  • Enforcement of uncontested claims under the Regulation on European Enforcement Orders (EC) No. 805/2004 (EuVTVO)
  • Enforcement of maintenance orders under EC Regulation No. 4/2009 on recognition and enforcement of decisions and cooperation in matters relating to maintenance obligations (EuUnterhaltsVO)
  • Enforcement of judgments on matrimonial property regimes under Regulation (EU) No. 2016/1103 (EuGüVO) and of judgments on property consequences of registered partnerships under Regulation (EU) No. 2016/1104 (EuPartVO)
  • Enforcement of judgments in matrimonial matters and in matters of parental responsibility under Regulation No. 2201/2003 (EuMR)
  • Enforcement of titles under inheritance law arising from successions opened after 18 August 2015 under Regulation (EU) No 650/2012 (EuErbVO).

Enforcement of judgments from countries with which an intergovernmental agreement exists, e.g.

  • Hague Convention on Choice of Court Agreements of 30 June 2005 (judicial decisions and settlements in corporate disputes before a court designated by a choice of court agreement, particularly significant after Brexit for decisions from the UK)
  • Hague Convention of 23 November 2007 on the International Recovery of Child Support and Other Forms of Family Maintenance (HUÜ)
  • Lugano Convention I and II (Switzerland)
  • CMR Convention (International Convention on the Contract for the Carriage of Goods by Road)
  • Hague Convention of 25 October 1980 on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (Hague Child Abduction Convention - HKÜ)
  • Hague Convention of 19 October 1996 on Jurisdiction, Applicable Law, Recognition, Enforcement and Co-operation in respect of Parental Responsibility and Measures for the Protection of Children (Hague Child Protection Convention - CCHR)
  • Luxembourg European Convention of 20 May 1980 on Recognition and Enforcement of Decisions concerning Custody of Children and on Restoration of Custody of Children (European Custody Convention - ECC)

Exequatur proceedings for judgments from countries with which Germany has not concluded an intergovernmental agreement for the specific area of law in which the judgment was given (e.g. Turkey, China, USA, Russia may come into consideration):

  • Action for enforcement pursuant to §§ 722, 723 ZPO.
  • Enforcement of maintenance orders under the Foreign Maintenance Act

Enforcement of foreign arbitral awards under the New York Convention

German court decisions or settlements concluded before German courts and other enforceable deeds can in principle be enforced in Italy according to the various European regulations, i.e.:

  • Enforcement under the EU Regulation No. 1215/2012 on jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters (EuGVVO);
  • Enforcement of judgments arising from proceedings commenced before the entry into force of EU Regulation No. 1215/2012 under EC Regulation No. 44/2001 or under the Brussels Convention 1968 (EuGVÜ);
  • Enforcement of European orders for payment under Regulation (EC) No 1896/2006 creating a European order for payment procedure (EuMVVO).
  • Enforcement of uncontested claims under the Regulation on European Enforcement Orders (EC) No. 805/2004 (EuVTVO)
  • Enforcement of maintenance orders under EC Regulation No. 4/2009 on recognition and enforcement of decisions and cooperation in matters relating to maintenance obligations (EuUnterhaltsVO)
  • Enforcement of judgments on matrimonial property regimes under Regulation (EU) No. 2016/1103 (EuGüVO) and of judgments on property consequences of registered partnerships under Regulation (EU) No. 2016/1104 (EuPartVO)
  • Enforcement of judgments in matrimonial matters and in matters of parental responsibility under Regulation No. 2201/2003 (EuMR)
  • Enforcement of titles under inheritance law arising from successions opened after 18 August 2015 under Regulation (EU) No 650/2012 (EuErbVO).

Read more about the enforcement of arbitral awards.

Legal peculiarities in Italy and Germany

Special features of the enforcement of Italian titles in Germany

Mutual recognition of court decisions and other enforcement instruments between Germany and Italy is generally mandatory under secondary European law.

However, the obligation to mutually recognize enforcement orders knows a few exceptions that can be asserted by the debtor in the enforceability declaration proceedings. This is the case, for example, if the enforcement order issued violates the public policy of the enforcing state or if the debtor was not granted a sufficient hearing.

Under certain circumstances, this can be a serious obstacle. We advise you both on how to overcome such obstacles as a creditor and on how to choose the best defense strategy as a debtor.

When enforcing Italian titles in Germany, it should also be noted that Italian ancillary decisions in judgments often do not meet the requirements of German enforcement law, so that there is a risk that the creditor will be left with some of the ancillary costs awarded to him by the Italian judge. In order to prevent this, we work on behalf of our clients already in the Italian original proceedings towards an appropriate designation in the enforcement order or ensure the best possible exploitation of the title in the enforcement proceedings through a targeted dialogue with the German enforcement authorities.

Special features of the enforcement of German titles in Italy

In Italy, the recognition of foreign titles was traditionally reserved for the courts of appeal (Corti di Appello).

Now, however, almost all cases fall within the scope of a European regulation that allows direct enforcement in Italy. However, before enforcement measures can be initiated, various documents must be served on the debtor: the foreign judgment, the European enforcement certificate and the so-called precetto, i.e. a request to the debtor to pay within 10 days the amount owed, which must be specified in the letter (in certain cases, an exemption from the obligation to send the precetto can be requested in court).

Read more about debt collection in Italy.

Frequently asked questions from our clients

The judgment must be designated as a European Enforcement Order by the German court and its enforceability must be certified. This certificate is sent to the debtor together with the judgment and a demand for payment in which the exact amount owed is calculated. If the debtor does not pay within the time limit, the bailiff can be instructed immediately.

If you have assets in Italy, there is indeed a risk that these assets will be enforced by way of execution for all costs and interest included in the "precetto", as well as any further enforcement costs and fees. If, on the other hand, the creditor must enforce in Germany, the judgment must first be declared enforceable. This usually does not contain all the cost items listed in the "precetto", so that the creditor may not succeed in extending enforcement to these.

A second lawsuit in Italy is not necessary. You can start enforcement immediately without even notifying the debtor. However, you must first calculate the amount due in detail and obtain the necessary European certificates.

Consultation?

Let us talk about your specific concerns.