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*PIL Case Law

Published on June 26th, 2018 | by Olga Papadopoulou


CJEU C-1/17, Reg. 44/2001, Art.20(2) —Employer sued before the courts of the Member State in which it is domiciled — Counter-claim by the employer


Petronas Lubricants Italy SpA V. Livio Guida,

JUDGMENT OF THE COURT (Third Chamber), 21 June 2018 (*)

(Reference for a preliminary ruling — Judicial cooperation in civil matters — Regulation (EC) No 44/2001 — Jurisdiction over individual contracts of employment — Article 20(2) — Employer sued before the courts of the Member State in which it is domiciled — Counter-claim by the employer — Determination of the court with jurisdiction)

        In those circumstances, the Corte d’appello di Torino (Court of Appeal, Turin) decided  to stay the proceedings and to refer the following questions to the Court for a preliminary ruling:

‘(1)      Under Article 20(2) of Regulation No 44/2001, may an employer domiciled in the territory of an EU Member State, against which an action is brought by its former employee before the courts of a Member State in which that employer is domiciled (within the meaning of Article 19 of the regulation), bring a counter-claim against the employee before the same court hearing the original action?

(2)      If the answer to question 1 is in the affirmative, does Article 20(2) of Regulation No 44/2001 include the jurisdiction of the court hearing the original action even when the employer’s counter-claim is not based on a claim originating with the employer but on a claim originating with another party (which is, at the same time, an employer of the same employee under a parallel employment contract), and the counter-claim is based on an claim-assignment agreement, concluded by the employer and the party from which the claim originally derives, after the date on which the original action was brought by the employee?’

On those grounds, the Court (Third Chamber) hereby rules:

Article 20(2) of Council Regulation (EC) No 44/2001 of 22 December 2000 on jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters must be interpreted as meaning that, in a situation such as that at issue in the main proceedings, it gives an employer the right to bring, before the court properly seised of the original proceedings brought by an employee, a counter-claim based on a claim-assignment agreement concluded, after the introduction of the original proceedings, between the employer and the original holder of that claim.

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