Is the law of the jungle the guiding principle with respect to choice of law clauses in international contracts between businesses (b2b contract)? Does a choice of law imply the rule of the strongest party? These and other questions are discussed in the light of 18 exploratory qualitative interviews with Dutch senior practising lawyers (advocaten). Lawyers were interviewed, since it is often presumed that they play an important role with respect to a choice of law in the pre-contractual phase. However, the perception of lawyers with respect to a choice of law is underresearched. The interview findings are discussed and compared to the data concerning a choice of law in the context of the debates about a common European contract law, regulatory competition, self-enforcing contracts and the legal origin theory. Finally, questions for future research are formulated. For instance, in the empirical research conducted sofar, no specific attention has been paid to small and medium sized businesses. Had they been considered, the outcome could have been different. The same may be said with respect to the different business sectors and the countries where the companies are established.
Jacobien Rutgers, Choice of Law in b2b Contracts: the Law of the Jungle: Exploratory Interviews with Dutch Lawyers, European Review of Contract Law, Volume 14, Issue 3. Published Online: 2018-09-03. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ercl-2018-1014.