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Employment Law Specialists

Successfully obtaining the first post-Brexit employment anti-suit injunction 

Robert Gagliardi v Evolution Capital Management LLC

Our client, Mr Gagliardi, was employed by Evolution as Partner/US Portfolio Manager.

Following his dismissal on notice in March 2022, Mr Gagliardi brought a claim in the Commercial Court for breach of contract relating to unpaid bonuses of approximately $7.5 million.

Evolution subsequently issued a claim against Mr Gagliardi in the New York County Supreme Court seeking a declaration that he was not entitled to the bonus which is the subject of the UK proceedings and an order requiring Mr Gagliardi to re-pay a bonus that had been paid to him during his employment. Mr Gagliardi issued a motion to dismiss the New York proceedings on the basis that the New York court did not have jurisdiction.

In the English proceedings, Evolution dispute the jurisdiction of the English courts and Mr Gagliardi sought an anti-suit injunction preventing Evolution from continuing with the New York proceedings.

Mr Gagliardi’s application for an anti-suit injunction was heard on an expedited basis. In granting the application, the Commercial Court ordered the first anti-suit injunction to enforce the new right contained in section 15C(3) of the Civil Jurisdiction and Judgments Act 1982, which was introduced under the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018, and which states:

“If the employee is domiciled in the United Kingdom, the employer may only sue the employee in the part of the United Kingdom in which the employee is domiciled (regardless of the domicile of the employer).”

The court found that it was satisfied to a high degree of probability that Mr Gagliardi was employed by Evolution as he was subject to the necessary degree of subordination, and that he was domiciled in the UK. It therefore held that Mr Gagliardi was entitled to the protections of section 15C and it was appropriate to order an anti-suit injunction preventing Evolution from taking any steps in the New York courts until the final determination of the English court’s jurisdiction over the dispute.

This was the first post-Brexit anti-suit injunction ordered by the High Court under the new right in s.15C, the intention of which was to create, with effect from the end of the Brexit transition period, a special jurisdictional regime for disputes arising from employment contracts by broadly mirroring the rules that were contained in the prior regime (the recast Brussels Regulation (1215/2012/EC) which allowed employees to enforce or defend their employment rights in the forum most convenient to them.

The team of lawyers at BDBF acting in this case were Nick Wilcox, Clare Brereton and Hannah Lynn.