Official Journal of the European Union
Judgment of the Court (Fourth Chamber) of 7 April 2022 (request for a preliminary ruling from the Juzgado de Primera Instancia no 49 de Barcelona — Spain) — EL, TP v Caixabank SA
(Case C-385/20) (1)
(Reference for a preliminary ruling - Unfair terms in consumer contracts - Directive 93/13/EEC - Principle of effectiveness - Principle of equivalence - Judicial proceedings seeking a declaration that a contractual term is unfair - National court's power of review of its own motion - National proceedings for taxation of costs - Costs recoverable in respect of lawyers’ fees)
Language of the case: Spanish
Juzgado de Primera Instancia no 49 de Barcelona
Parties to the main proceedings
Applicants: EL, TP
Defendant: Caixabank SA
Operative part of the judgment
Article 6(1) and Article 7(1) of Council Directive 93/13/EEC of 5 April 1993 on unfair terms in consumer contracts, read in the light of the principle of effectiveness, must be interpreted as not precluding national legislation which provides, in the context of the taxation of the costs in connection with proceedings concerning the unfairness of a contractual term, for a limit applicable to the lawyers’ fees recoverable by the successful consumer from the seller or supplier ordered to pay the costs, provided that that limit allows the consumer to obtain, in that connection, the reimbursement of a reasonable and proportionate amount in relation to the costs that he or she was objectively required to incur in order to bring such an action;
Article 6(1) and Article 7(1) of Directive 93/13, read in the light of the principle of effectiveness, must be interpreted as not precluding national legislation under which the value of the claim, which constitutes the basis for calculating the costs recoverable by the consumer who has been successful in an action relating to an unfair contractual term, must be determined in the application or, otherwise, is set by that legislation, without it being possible to alter that information subsequently, on condition that the court responsible ultimately for the taxation of costs remains free to determine the actual value of the claim for the consumer, ensuring that he or she is entitled to reimbursement of a reasonable amount that is proportionate to the costs that he or she objectively had to incur in order to bring such an action.
(1) OJ C 423, 7.12.2020.