Lawrence W. Newman has been a partner in the New York office of Baker & McKenzie since 1971, when, together with the late Professor Henry deVries, he founded the litigation department in that office. He is the author/editor of 4 works on international litigation/arbitration.
Michael Burrows, Formerly, Of Counsel, Baker & McKenzie, New York.
In 1984 the New York legislature enacted section 5-1402 of New York’s General Obligations Law, dealing with choice of forum. The law was intended to clarify New York’s law regarding choice-of-forum provisions with respect to major transactions. Specifically, the law was intended to “ensure the effectiveness” of forum-selection clauses in major transactions. The effectiveness of forum-selection clauses is a topic of particular importance to both corporate and litigation attorneys involved in major business transactions.
For those wishing to select a New York forum, there may still be a concern as to the extent to which section 5-1402 has accomplished its intended purpose. That is to say, are there any limits to the kinds of disputes which parties to an agreement with no New York connection may choose to have litigated in New York? This Chapter examines section 5-1402 and its impact on the enforceability of New York forum-selection clauses, specifically addressing this question.