Can an individual Respondent, living and working in another member state of the EU, be sued in the employment tribunal in Great Britain?
Yes, but not in this case, held the EAT in Ravisy v Simmons & Simmons.
The Claimant was a French qualified, French domiciled lawyer working in the Simmons & Simmons Paris office in Mergers and Acquisitions as a partner member of the LLP. She brought two separate claims against Simmons & Simmons and one of her co-partners. The claims against the LLP were for discrimination and equal pay. The claim against the partner was for the same discrimination. Both sets of facts alleged the acts amounting to discrimination took place in France.
In the EAT, Kerr J decided that the Brussels I Recast Regulations applied so that if Simmons & Simmons (an LLP registered in England & Wales) could be sued in the employment tribunal, the fact that a separate claim was brought against the individual partner wouldn't stop that claim being heard in the employment tribunal. He decided that the discrimination claims against Simmons & Simmons could not be brought in the employment tribunal, though, as:
"weighing in the scales of the features pointing to, respectively, England and France, [that] fully justifie[s] [the] conclusion that the balance comes down firmly on the French side."
Kerr J decided that Simmons & Simmons could not be sued in Great Britain on the basis of well known cases such as Lawson v Serco, Ravat v Halliburton and The British Council v Jeffery. That meant the Brussels I Recast Regulations required the individual partner to be sued in France. The claims were therefore dismissed.
Thanks to Matthew Jackson of 10 KBW for preparing this case summary.