Language of document : ECLI:EU:C:2018:478

Case C1/17

Petronas Lubricants Italy SpA

v

Livio Guida

(Request for a preliminary ruling from the Corte d’appello di Torino)

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)

Summary — Judgment of the Court (Third Chamber), 21 June 2018

1.        Judicial cooperation in civil matters — Jurisdiction and the enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters — Regulation No 44/2001 – Jurisdiction over individual contracts of employment – Right to bring a counter-claim – Counter-claim based on a claim acquired by the employer subsequent to the bringing of the original proceedings — Included

(Council Regulation No 44/2001, Art. 20(2))

2.        Judicial cooperation in civil matters — Jurisdiction and the enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters — Regulation No 44/2001 – Jurisdiction over individual contracts of employment – Right to bring a counter-claim — Condition – Common contractual or factual origin of the counter-claim and the original proceedings

(Council Regulation No 44/2001, Art. 20(2))

1.      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.

As regards counter-claims, the rule in Article 6, point 3, of Regulation No 44/2001 has been incorporated in Article 20(2) of that regulation (judgment of 22 May 2008, Glaxosmithkline and Laboratoires Glaxosmithkline, C‑462/06, EU:C:2008:299, paragraph 22). However, it is apparent from the very wording of Article 20(2) of Regulation No 44/2001 that the recourse, by the employee, to rules of jurisdiction more favourable to his interests should not affect the right to bring a counter-claim in the court in which the original claim is pending. It follows that, provided that the choice by the employee of the court having jurisdiction to examine his application is respected, the objective of favouring that employee is achieved and there is no reason to limit the possibility of examining that claim together with a counter-claim within the meaning of Article 20(2) of Regulation No 44/2001.

Finally, since the employer does not know in advance the court seised of the original proceedings brought by the employee, the fact that it did not acquire the claims on which the counter-claim is based until after the court was seised cannot be relevant.

(see paras 26-28, 33, 34, operative part)

2.      See the text of the decision.

(see paras 29, 30)