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Supreme Court of Denmark

Venue for dismissal case under the Judgments Convention 

Case no. 18/2008

Judgment delivered on 17 March 2009.

Case no. 18/2008

Lloyd's Register

 A was employed by Lloyd's Register in London on 1 November 1995, and his first place of employment was in Denmark, after which time he was transferred to England in 1997 and then to Norway in 1999. In the spring of 2002, A was dismissed with a three-month notice. A regarded himself as being seconded from Denmark during his stays in both England and Norway and believed that he was entitled to a notice of six months. A brought a case against Lloyd's Register before the Maritime and Commercial Court in Copenhagen. Lloyd's Register contested that A had been seconded from Denmark to England and Norway. Lloyd's Register submitted that A had not had his "usual" employment in Denmark and claimed that the case be dismissed under the venue provisions in the Judgments Convention. The Maritime and Commercial Court, which made the venue issue subject to separate hearing, found that A had his usual employment in Norway and that none of the exemption clauses in Article 5 of the Judgments Convention could lead to another conclusion. Consequently, Denmark was not the proper venue for the case against Lloyd's Register, for which reason the case was dismissed.
Following an examination of A's employment in Denmark, England and Norway, the Supreme Court found that during A's employment with Lloyd's Register, 20 months had been spent in Denmark, then 27 months in England and finally 34 months in Norway. Considering the duration of A's employment term in Norway and the facts that A's claim had been set up as a reaction to his dismissal in Norway and that he resided in Norway at the time of dismissal, the Supreme Court found that the case was connected to Norway to such an extent that A had his usual employment in Norway and not in Denmark. The conditions laid down in Article 5(1) of the Judgments Convention for instituting proceedings in Denmark had, thus, not been met. In addition, the Supreme Court found that the case did not concern the operation of Lloyd's Register's branch in Denmark, for which reason the conditions in Article 5, No. 5, of the Judgments Convention for instituting proceedings in Denmark had not been met. The Supreme Court consequently upheld the dismissal of the case.
With this, the Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the Maritime and Commercial Court.

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