The Court of Justice delivered last week (5 December 2019) its decision in case C‑421/18 (“Ordre des avocats du barreau de Dinant v JN“), which is about the Brussels I bis Regulation:

“Article 1(1) of Regulation (EU) No 1215/2012 […] must be interpreted as meaning that a dispute concerning a lawyer’s obligation to pay annual professional fees for which he or she is liable to the bar association to which he or she belongs comes within the scope of that regulation only if, in calling on that lawyer to perform that obligation, the bar association is not acting, under the national law applicable, in the exercise of public powers, which it is for the referring court to ascertain.

Article 7(1)(a) of Regulation No 1215/2012 must be interpreted as meaning that an action by which a bar association seeks an order that one of its members pay the annual professional fees for which he or she is liable and which are essentially intended to finance services, such as insurance services, must be regarded as constituting an action in ‘matters relating to a contract’, within the meaning of that provision, provided that those fees constitute consideration for services provided by that bar association to its members and those services are freely consented to by the member concerned, which it is for the referring court to ascertain”.

Source: here