China: 新形势下最高额抵押担保范围之争议梳理与裁判解析 ——

2019年全国法院民商事审
Last Updated: 28 August 2019
Article by DeHeng Law Offices
Most Read Contributor in China, November 2019

前言

在实务操作及司法实践中,最高额抵押担保的概念、适用场景乃至权利实现之相关问题非常突出,当事人在选择抵押担保方式时常常会出现困惑,甚至在行权时方发现抵押担保方式选择错误。《全国法院民商事审判工作会议会议纪要(九民纪要(稿))》(以下简称"《九民纪要(稿)》")试图对最高债权额的定义予以统一,以期定分止争、限制法官自由裁量空间。然而,即便《不动产登记暂行条例》出台各地不动产登记业务日趋完善,但在具体不动产登记办理过程中,各地登记机关的认知水平仍受到各种因素的局限,以最高额抵押登记为例,各地登记机关往往仅能登记债权合同所记载的本金发放金额,导致后期行权之时对债权人之保护极为不利。

本文拟从最高额抵押担保与一般抵押担保的对比分析切入,结合关于最高额抵押担保的相关判例以及《九民纪要(稿)》中关于担保物权的相关规定,对最高额抵押所涉的担保范围、适用场景、行权期限及权利消灭等相关问题予以辨析,以期对最高额抵押权担保理论与实践协同发展之讨论能略微有所裨益。

一、担保债权数额、最高限额、担保范围分得清楚吗?

在抵押担保中,经常会出现担保债权数额、最高限额、担保范围这几个概念,但实践中对于这些概念的含义以及适用范围的界定却有点模糊不清。

根据《物权法》第一百八十五条的规定,抵押合同应当载明"被担保债权的种类和数额"、"债务人履行债务的期限"、"担保的范围"等内容。

所谓担保债权数额,实际上应指各类被担保债权的数额,如金融借款中,应指债权本金数额,利率等信息,由于债权数额系在债权确定的情况下核算的结果,因此适用于一般抵押担保中。

至于最高限额,《最高人民法院关于适用<中华人民共和国担保法>若干问题的解释》(法释〔2000〕44号)(以下简称"《担保法司法解释》")第八十三条第二款规定,抵押权人实现最高额抵押权时,如果实际发生的债权余额高于最高限额的,以最高限额为限,超过部分不具有优先受偿的效力;如果实际发生的债权余额低于最高限额的,以实际发生的债权余额为限对抵押物优先受偿。因此,担保债权限额,应系指最高额担保,在本文中特指最高额抵押担保中抵押权人可行权的且确定的最高金额,而债权余额亦应指最高额抵押担保债权确定后所核算出的债权总额。

所谓担保范围,《物权法》第一百七十三条和《担保法》第四十六条规定,担保物权的担保范围包括主债权及其利息、违约金、损害赔偿金、保管担保财产和实现担保物权的费用,当事人另有约定的除外。

上述三个概念对抵押权设立及行使会有至关重要的影响,但在实务操作中,经常会出现登记机关在一般抵押登记与最高额抵押登记中交叉运用上述概念、登记信息不完整等情况,比如在最高额抵押登记中以担保债权数额替代最高限额,在一般抵押抵押登记中仅登记债权本金以及本金总额而忽略抵押合同约定所担保的利息、违约金等,最终导致大量"抵押物登记记载的内容与抵押合同约定的内容不一致的"纠纷发生。

如《担保法司法解释》第六十一条所示,抵押物登记记载的内容与抵押合同约定的内容不一致的,应以登记信息为准。在学术上,有观点指出,一味强调以登记信息为准,会将登记机关过错所引起的后果转嫁到抵押权人身上,此乃不公平的处理方式;但同时也有反对的观点提出,不以登记信息为准,将会严重损害第三人对登记结果的信赖利益,这也是不公平的处理方式。而在司法实践中,对登记记载内容与抵押合同约定内容不一致的情况的处理,不同的法院之间,甚至是同一法院内部,都可能会存在不一致的看法。

在以下案例(其中一个案例为最高额抵押,另一个案例为一般抵押)中,法院在考虑合同约定内容与登记记载内容的情况下,偏向于认定担保范围应以合同约定内容为准:

1.中国农业银行股份有限公司厦门同安支行与ANTHONYLAW、吴秀丽等金融借款合同纠纷申诉、申请民事裁定书[(2016)最高法民申2895号]中,最高人民法院(以下简称"最高院")指出:

(1)涉案借款合同有关担保方式的条款虽然约定为最高额抵押担保,但是抵押双方当事人并没有在合同中明确约定最高抵押限额。合同约定的最高贷款额度280万元,是指贷款本金不超过280万元,不能据此理解为设定了最高抵押限额。从廖为安和其家族企业大兴公司提供的抵押物情况看,抵押物价值合计515万元,而廖为安名下的抵押物价值已达308万元。可见,廖为安对于其应当承担的抵押担保责任是有预期的,即并不限于280万元范围内,否则只需要提供廖为安名下的房产即足以满足最高额抵押担保要求。

(2)涉案担保范围的条款则明确廖为安的抵押担保范围包括借款本金、利息、罚息等,而他项权利证书记载权利价值为280万元,并不能否定当事人之间有关担保范围的约定,亦不能直接证明抵押双方当事人约定了最高抵押限额。《担保法司法解释》第六十一条是针对抵押物登记与约定不一致时作出的规定,本案并不符合该种情形。

2.徐州宏宇燃料有限公司与徐州苏洋环保热电有限公司、徐州北区热力有限公司等分期付款买卖合同纠纷执行裁定书[(2017)苏执复187号]中,江苏省高级人民法院认定:

(1)该《房地产借款抵押合同》第五条明确了抵押房地产担保范围包括了"丙方提供抵押担保的范围包括本合同项下的所有借款本金、利息、逾期利息、违约金、损害赔偿金和诉讼费、保全费、公证费、执行偶、律师费、差旅费、抵押财产处置费用等其他费用。"因此,本案中郑戴勇就案涉房产享有优先受偿范围不限于340万元本金,还应包括合同所约定的利息、公证费及律师费等其它费用。

(2)虽然上海市房地产市场管理部门进行公示登记的《上海市房地产登记簿》中记载抵押权为郑戴勇享有的债权数额是340万元,但债权数额340万元也仅是抵押权本金数额,而不是抵押权的全部范围。在该合同当事人对于抵押担保范围均不存在异议的情况下,徐州中院仅以抵押登记不动产登记簿的债权数额340万元做为当事人的抵押担保范围没有事实与法律依据。

当然,也有不少的判例显示,法院会对这种情况"一刀切"地认定应当以登记记载内容为准:

3.义乌市惠商小额贷款股份有限公司与金剑、陈杨等小额借款合同纠纷一审民事判决书[(2015)金义商外初字第111号]中,义乌市人民法院则认为本案中两份抵押合同约定本最高额抵押合同担保的金额为360万元和225万元,与他项权证记载的债权金额不一致,应以他项权证记载的内容为准。

4.宁夏银行股份有限公司永康支行与银川天木物资有限公司、吴文林、王华芳金融借款合同纠纷一案民事判决书[(2015)银民商终字第163号]中,宁夏回族自治区银川市中级人民法院也认为,涉案抵押登记他项权利证书分别为银房他证西夏区字第201412017号证书、第201412018号证书,两份证书分别载明担保的债权数额为10万、20万元,涉案抵押合同约定的担保范围大于两份证书上载明的债权金额,根据《担保法司法解释》第六十一条规定应以登记记载的内容为准,原审法院以他项权利证书载明债权金额为准的处理正确。

综上,在抵押登记及抵押权行权方面,无论是学术观点,还是司法实践,都不宜将登记记载内容与合同约定内容不一致的情况绝对化,而需在当事人间的真实意思表示、抵押权人利益保护、第三人对行政登记行为的信赖利益之间寻找平衡点。

最高院此次在《九民纪要(稿)》中明确"最高债权额"应包括主债权、利息、违约金、损害赔偿金、保管担保财产、实现债权费用等在内的全部债权,一方面系基于《物权法》第一百七十三条和《担保法》第四十六条对"最高债权额"予以统一解释,另一方面也反映最高院倾向于认为最高额抵押登记中经常使用到的"最高债权额"等同于"最高限额"。上述规定试图通过偏向于保障抵押权人利益的角度统一登记记载内容与合同约定内容,但并没有解决最高额抵押担保登记的根本问题,即登记机关混淆了上文所述三个概念所导致的登记结果,如大量的登记机关以授信额度或借款合同等本金金额记载为最高限额,仍会导致抵押权人的合法权益受损。因此,在倒逼登记机关统一且准确完成登记信息载入前,权利人应当审慎选择抵押担保方式。

二、最高额抵押真的都用对了吗?

根据《担保法》第五十九条和《物权法》第二百零三条规定,最高额抵押指为担保债务的履行,债务人或者第三人对一定期间内将要连续发生的债权设定最高担保限额于特定财产,债务人不履行到期债务或者发生当事人约定的实现抵押权的情形,抵押权人有权在最高债权额限度内就该担保财产优先受偿。

最高额抵押特点可简要归纳如下:(一)不具有发生上的从属性,即最高额抵押是为将来发生的债权提供担保,先于主债权存在。但对于已发生的债权,经当事人特别约定可以转入最高额抵押担保范围;(二)为连续发生的不特定债权提供担保;(三)须有最高限额的约定;(四)为多笔将要发生的债权担保,只需办理一次抵押权登记;(五)不具有转让上的从属性,除当事人另有约定外,最高额抵押担保的债权确定前,部分债权转让的,最高额抵押权不得转让;(六)债权确定后,转为一般抵押权。

因此,就一定期限内反复发生的同一性质的交易行为,最高额抵押能避免多次设立一般抵押权的繁琐。实践中,最高额抵押多适用于资金方与融资方保持稳定业务关系,融资方在一定期间内于约定的最高债权额度内多次借款,并对多笔债务提供总的抵押担保时;或适用于资金方与融资方签署了借款意向协议,只规定借款的最高限额,尚未确定借款的具体时间和数额,但有必要事先提供抵押担保时的情形。

最高额抵押作为一项特殊的担保制度,其与一般抵押担保的区别如下:

表一:最高额抵押与一般抵押的比较

抵押类型

最高额抵押

一般抵押

担保的债权的数量

多笔债权

单笔或者多笔债权

担保的债权发生的时间

一段时间内连续发生的相同性质的多笔债权

一个时间点发生的债权

是否有最高额

须有最高额的约定

债权确定的法律效果

债权确定后转为一般抵押权

债权始终确定

能否随主债权转移

除当事人另有约定外,最高额抵押担保的债权确定前,部分债权转让的,最高额抵押权不得转让

随主债权转移而转移

针对最高额抵押与一般抵押的区别,除了上文所述内容以外,还在于最高额抵押权与一般抵押权行权限制的不同:

1.海口明光大酒店有限公司、海口农村商业银行股份有限公司龙昆支行金融借款合同纠纷一案二审民事判决书[(2017)最高法民终230号]中,最高院认为:

(1)根据物权法第二百零三条和担保法第五十九条的规定,最高额抵押权本质在于其所担保的债权为不特定债权,且具有最高限额。最高额抵押所担保债权的范围,可包括主债权及其利息、违约金、损害赔偿金等,但总计不得超过已登记的预定最高限额,超过部分,抵押权人不能行使抵押权。担保法解释第八十三条第二款亦明确规定,抵押权人实现最高额抵押权时,如果实际发生的债权余额高于最高限额的,以最高限额为限,超过部分不具有优先受偿的效力。

(2)从海口农商银行在海口市国土资源局办理的最高额抵押登记及在中国人民银行征信中心办理的质押登记看,最高债权限额均为19000万元。《最高额抵押合同》第4.1条虽约定抵押担保的范围包括主合同项下全部借款本金、利息、复利、罚息、违约金、赔偿金、实现抵押权的费用和所有其他应付的费用,但该担保范围内本金、利息、复利、罚息、违约金等合计已超过了登记的最高限额19000万元。若依此,将使抵押权所担保的债权突破最高债权额,事实上成为无限额。这与抵押人签订《最高额抵押合同》的合同预期不符,亦与物权法、担保法的立法本意相悖。

2.安徽汇通典当有限公司、任军再审审查与审判监督民事裁定书[(2018)最高法民申3313号]中,最高院认为:

(1)本案汇通典当公司与宇虹公司签订的《最高额土地使用权典当抵押合同》虽然约定抵押典当的当金最高限额为1000万元,抵押担保的范围包括当金本金最高限额、利息、逾期利息、综合费用、逾期综合费用等,但汇通典当公司所取得的阜州他项(2010)第0036号他项权证书载明,最高额抵押金额为1000万元。《中华人民共和国物权法》第十七条规定:"不动产权属证书是权利人享有该不动产物权的证明。不动产权属证书记载的事项,应当与不动产登记簿一致;记载不一致的,除有证据证明不动产登记簿确有错误外,以不动产登记簿为准。"本案没有证据证明存在不动产权利证书与不动产登记簿内容不一致的情况,所以阜州他项(2010)第0036号他项权证书应当推定为汇通典当公司享有的他项权归属和内容的根据。

(2)另据《最高人民法院关于适用<中华人民共和国担保法>若干问题的解释》第六十一条规定:"抵押物登记记载的内容与抵押合同约定的内容不一致的,以登记记载的内容为准。"故在案涉《最高额土地使用权典当抵押合同》与他项权利证书记载的内容不一致时,应当以他项权证的记载作为认定汇通典当公司抵押权范围的依据。在汇通典当公司阜州他项(2010)第0036号他项权证书明确载明最高额抵押金额1000万元情况下,安徽省亳州市中级人民法院(2015)亳执字第00028号《关于阜阳市宇虹人造板有限公司执行案件的分配方案》认定汇通典当公司在1000万元范围内享有优先受偿权并无不当。

可见,即使法院认可"最高债权额"包括本金、利息、违约金等,在行使最高额抵押权仍需要受到最高限额的限制,而这一限额通常就是登记机关登记的债权本金。但对于一般抵押而言,如上文提及的(2016)最高法民申2895号案、(2017)苏执复187号案,法院都会偏向认为行使抵押权并受限于抵押登记记载的本金金额,虽然不能完全排除法院作出相反判断的可能性,如上文提及的(2015)银民商终字第163号案,但毕竟这不属于主流观点,行权限制的风险不及最高额抵押权的行权限制风险高。

在实务中经常会出现金融机构将总额确定的融资款项在一定期间分批发放的情况(部分是由于银行或信托内部管理部门的认知错误问题),此时究竟应适用最高额抵押还是一般抵押?从法律角度而言,已确定金额的融资款项分批发放并不能等同于一段时间内连续发生的相同性质的多笔债权,相反,该债权系始终确定的,且担保履约时所涉债权总额是债权发生时无法确定的。因此,在上述情况下,若使用最高额抵押担保,姑且不考虑债权人测算的最高限额能否真正覆盖担保履约时所涉债权总额的问题,基于大量登记部门无法将债权人测算的最高限额予以登记,债权人对抵押物的优先受偿权很可能会受到登记记载内容的限制;若使用一般抵押登记,则还需要比较精准判断的是对所涉合同有管辖权的法院对行使抵押权是否受限于抵押登记内容之问题是否有倾向性判决,虽然从解释空间来看,一般抵押担保范围比最高额抵押突破登记金额的可能性更大,但也并不能认定一般抵押即可确保合同约定的担保范围均可获得法院认可之优先受偿权,要解决此问题的根本还是在于抵押登记应尽量遵守双方当事人之间的意思自治,真实反映债权人与债务人双方拟设立抵押担保的债权范围,同时也正如刘贵祥法官讲话中所提到的最高院亟需就"合同约定与登记簿记载不一致的担保物权的范围问题"统一裁判尺度,出具示范性判例或形成最高院书面答复文件乃至出台司法解释。但我们理解,若《九民纪要(稿)》的目前表述最终被采纳并正式公布的话,则最高债权额的含义至少在最高额抵押担保中,将更大程度上接近于登记簿所记载的担保金额,这一点金融机构从业人员应当予以特别关注。

三、行使最高额抵押权是否有期限限制?超过期限是否导致最高额抵押权消灭?

以房地产为融资进行抵押担保时,登记部门在办理最高额抵押登记时,一般要求当事人登记抵押担保期限。若抵押权人未在该担保期限内要求行使抵押权的,是否会丧失抵押财产优先受偿的权利?

在彭先明与贵阳市商业银行、贵州龙里大地房地产开发有限公司借款担保合同纠纷上诉案[(2008)民一终字第70号]中,开发公司以在建工程土地使用权及房产所有权于2004年进行抵押担保并办理了相应抵押登记手续、《他项权利证书》。该证书载明的抵押期限为2004年7月29日至2006年7月29日。2006年9月5日,彭某购买该房产。2007年,银行诉请以抵押房屋优先受偿。彭某辩称其买受房产时已过担保期间,应受法律保护。最高院认为,案涉他项权证虽记载了抵押期间,但抵押权属担保物权,依最高人民法院《关于适用〈担保法〉若干问题的解释》第12条第1款"当事人约定的或者登记部门要求登记的担保期间,对担保物权的存续不具有法律约束力"的规定,银行并不因超过登记时记载的担保期间而丧失担保物权。彭某关于买受房产系超过担保期间后购买,应受法律保护的答辩,不予支持。

但最高额抵押所涉抵押权的行使是否没有期限限制?《物权法》第二百零二条规定,"抵押权人应当在主债权诉讼时效期间行使抵押权;未行使的,人民法院不予保护";同时,《民法总则》第一百八十八条规定"向人民法院请求保护民事权利的诉讼时效期间为三年。法律另有规定的,依照其规定"。换言之,在主债权诉讼期限届满前,抵押权人有权行使最高额抵押权利,超过主债权诉讼期限再要求行权的,法院将不予保护。

所谓法院不予保护,究竟是指丧失胜诉权还是担保物权消灭?《九民纪要(稿)》第59条明确,"......债权人在主债权诉讼时效届满后仍未行使担保物权及相关权利,担保人请求确认担保物权消灭、涂销担保物权登记的,人民法院应予支持"。显然,最高院在此条款中倾向于认为法院不予保护将会导致担保物权消灭的结果,而这再一次突显了我国《物权法》所采用的债权形式主义下登记的强制性优先于意思自由的问题。

在传统大陆法系中,意思表示是权利产生、变更与消灭的正当性基础,并借助法律理论体系予以表现及维护。随着债权与物权的结合,意思自治导致的多样性,与物权变动的唯一性出现冲突,各国都探索着物权变动的立法模式,以法国、日本为例的国家推行债权意思主义,以德国为例的国家推行物权形式主义。 [1]但各国虽在物权变动处理的方式上有所不同,但基本坚持物权变动应以意思表现为基础。 [2]

在我国,《物权法》第十五条的规定表明我国物权立法采用债权形式主义,随着司法裁判经验的累积及《最高人民法院关于当前形势下进一步做好房地产纠纷案件审判工作的指导意见》(法发〔2009〕42号) [3]等司法解释出台,债权行为与物权行为的区分原则逐渐成为主流观点。在此背景下,特别在最近几年的司法审判中,法院逐渐出现了平衡虑当事人的意思表示与物权登记之间的冲突的趋势。但《九民纪要(稿)》第59条的规定,仅基于债权人未在主债权诉讼时效期间内行使债权与担保权利而丧失胜诉权的情况下,赋予了抵押人单方消灭担保物权的权利,这是否属于过分强调登记的强制性效力,而忽略了权利的消灭应以当事人意思表示为合理基础的前提,此问题仍有待进一步商榷。

四、结语及改进之期望

物权担保的规定与落实过程之所以会出现诸多争议,一方面是因为债权形式主义立法下公权介入与意思自治的冲突,另一方面是因为公权力机关,尤其是各地登记机关的操作无法形成统一意见,地域性差异引发各地案件的案情事实五花八门,客观上导致法院裁判规则统一的难度大大增加。《九民纪要(稿)》的出台,无疑是司法部门对与最高额抵押有关案件的裁判思路愈益明晰的表现,但能否倒逼登记机关作出改变仍是无法确定的,若登记机关无从作出改变,则登记的最高额抵押金额很长一段时间仍可能只会体现债权本金金额,这就提醒各从业人员在办理最高额抵押登记时要区分清楚一般抵押和最高额抵押,以及最高额抵押可接受登记的最高限额。

为了理清最高额抵押担保权利之理论与实践的争议,《不动产登记暂行条例》中对抵押权登记事项的事项确有进一步细化之必要,若能明确区分一般抵押登记与最高额抵押登记,特别是明确所登记的担保债权数额与最高限额的区别,则无疑更有利于司法裁判的统一;同时,在登记事项方面,登记机关应当确保登记事项与抵押担保类型的必要要件,包括但不限于《物权法》第一百八十五条规定的抵押合同必备条款等保持一致,适当减少公权介入与当事人意思表示不一致的情况发生。

至于债权人未在主债权诉讼期限届满前行使主债权与担保权的,抵押人能否单方消灭担保物权,这是需要审慎考虑的问题。《物权法》第一百七十七条明确规定担保物权消灭的情况限于主债权消灭、担保物权实现、债权人放弃担保物权和法律规定担保物权消灭的其他情形,而债权人就主债权丧失胜诉权的情况下,若允许抵押人单方消灭担保物权虽然客观上提升了交易的效率性以及督促权利人行权的积极性,但客观上在理论上是否能够自洽则尚且有待商榷。

文中备注:

[1]参见孙宪忠:"物权变动原因与结果的区分原则",载《法学研究》1999年第5期。

[2]参见季境:"物权变动立法模式在我国的修正及其完善",载《法律适用》2015年05期。

[3]《最高人民法院关于当前形势下进一步做好房地产纠纷案件审判工作的指导意见》(法发〔2009〕42号)

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Authors
 
Some comments from our readers…
“The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable”
“I often find critical information not available elsewhere”
“As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”

Related Topics
 
Related Articles
 
Up-coming Events Search
Tools
Print
Font Size:
Translation
Channels
Mondaq on Twitter
 
Mondaq Free Registration
Gain access to Mondaq global archive of over 375,000 articles covering 200 countries with a personalised News Alert and automatic login on this device.
Mondaq News Alert (some suggested topics and region)
Select Topics
Registration (please scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of www.mondaq.com

To Use Mondaq.com you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.

Disclaimer

The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.

General

Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions