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US Supreme Court Dramatically Narrows Grounds for General Personal Jurisdiction

by Marc R. Cohen
Mayer Brown LLP - Washington Office

Mark G. Hanchet
Mayer Brown LLP - New York Office

Christopher J. Houpt
Mayer Brown LLP - New York Office

Alex C. Lakatos
Mayer Brown LLP - Washington Office

Andrew J. Pincus
Mayer Brown LLP - Washington Office

March 18, 2014

Previously published on March 13, 2014

In January 2014, the US Supreme Court decided Daimler AG v. Bauman, 571 U.S. ---, 134 S. Ct. 746 (2014), a decision that could be of substantial importance to any non-US bank or non-US corporation that has US branches or offices in the United States, as well as any US bank or corporation that has branches or offices outside of its principal place of business or place of incorporation (its “home state”). Under Daimler, a company typically will be subject to general personal jurisdiction only in the forum where it is incorporated or where it has its principal place of business. In other words, Daimler adopts an approach similar to that of the European Union, where “a corporation generally may be sued in the nation in which it is ‘domiciled,’ a term defined to refer only to location of the corporation’s ‘statutory seat,’ ‘central administration,’ or ‘principal place of business,’” whereas there is no EU jurisdiction to sue a branch outside of the corporation’s domicile unless the “dispute arise[s] out of the operations of [the] branch.” Daimler thus may provide significant relief not only to non-US banks with US branches that, pre-Daimler, would have been subject US jurisdiction in a wide variety of contexts, but also to other nonUS and even US corporations operating outside of their home states.


The views expressed in this document are solely the views of the author and not Martindale-Hubbell. This document is intended for informational purposes only and is not legal advice or a substitute for consultation with a licensed legal professional in a particular case or circumstance.

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