Conflict of laws Foreign proceedings. The Court of Appeal, Civil Division, held that English court had jurisdiction pursuant to section5 of to determine a dispute arising out of the claimant's employment with an English company whose parent company was a Massachusetts company, in circumstances where the claimant's contract of employment contained an express choice of Massachusetts law and an exclusive jurisdiction agreement in favour of the courts of Massachusetts. The court allowed the claimant's appeal against an order dismissing his application for an anti-suit injunction on the basis that it was bound by the decision in Samengo-Turner v J & H Marsh & McLennan (Services) Ltd .
European Union Employment. The Court of Justice of the European Union gave a preliminary ruling concerning the interpretation of of Council Directive (EC) 98-59 (on the approximation of the laws of the Member States relating to collective redundancies). The request had been made in proceedings between Mr Balkaya and Kiesel Abbruch- und Recycling Technik GmbH concerning the lawfulness of a dismissal on economic grounds announced by the latter, upon the closure of an establishment, no notification of the projected collective redundancies having being given to the German Federal Employment Agency before that dismissal.
Confidential information Interlocutory injunction. The claimant company, Allfiled, brought proceedings alleging that the defendants, three of whom were former directors of Allfiled, had conspired to set up their own business and had caused employees to leave Allfiled. It sought interlocutory injunctive relief against the defendants pending trial or further order, to prevent them from using, disclosing or disseminating Allfiled's confidential information and intellectual property. The Chancery Division made an order accordingly.
Competition Merger. The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) had found there to have been a relevant merger situation under s22(1) of the arising from the appellant's acquisition of cross-channel ferries from SeaFrance's liquidator and its employment of the majority of former SeaFrance employees, as a consequence of a statutory indemnity payment to the appellant for employing those redundant workers. The decision was upheld by the Competition Appeals Tribunal. The Court of Appeal, Civil Division, allowed the appeal as the CMA's finding that upon such mass re-employment there had been in reality a transfer, or a transfer 'in effect' by SeaFrance, had been irrationally wrong and one that could not properly have been made.
Employment Fixed-term contracts. The Supreme Court allowed the appeal brought by the appellant trade union against a decision of the Court of Session, Inner House, that the employees in question who were on limited term contracts (LTCs) which had not been renewed had not been dismissed 'as redundant' for the purposes of the consultation requirement under s 188(1) of the Trade Union and Labour Relations Act (Consolidation) 1992. The Court decided that, contrary to what had been decided by the Inner House, the coming to an end of an LTC was 'for a reason not related to the individual concerned' for the purposes of the definition of redundancy in s 195(1) of the Act.
Contract Breach. The claimant companies brought proceedings against the defendant, a former employee of the first claimant, seeking damages for breach of contract and database rights, delivery up of confidential information and injunctive relief. The Mercantile Court held that the defendant had not been constructively dismissed, and had acted in breach of contract and in breach of confidence. He had further breached his fiduciary duties. An award of damages was made against him in the sum of 290,009.
Practice Pre-trial or post-judgment relief. The first defendant resigned from his employment with the claimant and the claimant sought to enforce the terms of certain contractual post-termination restrictive covenants and covenants relating to confidential information. The claimant had previously obtained an interim injunction in relation to the first defendant's activities and applied to continue the injunction. The principal issue in the action was whether the first defendant had signed or had otherwise agreed to be bound by the written contract on which the claimant relied. The Queen's Bench Division, on established principle, continued the injunction and ordered a speedy trial.
Restraint of trade by agreement Employer and employee. The claimant company worked in the recycling of glass. The first defendant left the employment of the claimant to set up the second defendant company, which acted in competition to the claimant. The claimant brought proceedings for, among other things breach of confidential and fiduciary duties. The Queen's Bench Division held that, on the evidence, the substantitive claims against the defendants succeeded.
Unfair dismissal Redundancy. The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT), in dismissing the employee's appeal against the employment tribunal's finding that the employee had been unfairly dismissed, ruled that it had been wrong for the employment tribunal to substitute its own view for that of the employer in relation to the redundancy pool issue. However, it found that the tribunal had gone on to made further findings as to the selection process, which had supported its conclusions that: (1) the dismissal had been unfair; and (2) for the purpose of the complaints of race discrimination, the burden of proof had shifted and the employer had not discharged that burden. Accordingly, the EAT affirmed the tribunal's findings notwithstanding its conclusion on the redundancy pool issue.
Employment Disability. The claimant, who was disabled, was dismissed for redundancy. The criterion for selection was sickness absence. Account was taken of disability related absences, to the extent that a 50% reduction was applied. The employment tribunal rejected the employee's claims of disability discrimination, but upheld a claim for unfair dismissal. The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT), in dismissing the employee's appeal, held that the tribunal had reached decisions open to it on the facts. In allowing the employer's cross-appeal, the EAT held that the tribunal had substituted its own view as to the correct method of making the 50% reduction, which had not been its function.