DENMARK: In a recent Danish Supreme Court ruling, the validity and legal force of a termination of an exclusive distribution contract was determined.

Peter GREGERSEN | DENMARK | 2015-05-18


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In a preliminary ruling, the Korean court ruled that the Contract had not been terminated and the Supplier’s claim was dismissed.


The Supplier then filed a law suit in Denmark claiming that the Contract had been lawfully terminated. The Danish court found in favor of the Supplier based on the termination clauses in the Contract, and as the court did not find that an agreement to deviate from the Contract in this respect had been proven by the Distributor.


In the appeal, the Danish Supreme Court concurred that the termination of the contract was valid. As for a claim by the Distributor’s that the case should be the dismissed because of the legal force of Korean preliminary ruling, the Danish Supreme Court found that the Korean ruling concerned an interim remedy equivalent to that of an injunction in the Danish legal system, and that it did not have a binding effect under Danish law or any decisive effect on the Supreme Court’s ruling.


The judgment illustrates that Danish courts are likely to accept the parties’ agreed termination notice in distribution contract and that in Denmark, foreign court rulings do generally not have a binding effect (unless this follows from binding national or EU legislation). Foreign court judgments can however hold weight as evidence in a Danish law suit, but in the above case, this was not considered as the Korean ruling was considered an interim remedy and not a judgment.


Peter Gregersen, IDI agency & distribution country expert for Denmark

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