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Superyacht appeal: Grahame Anderson wins in EAT

18.01.21

Grahame Anderson has won in an important appeal before the President of the EAT on the ever-vexing question of the territorial reach of employment rights and jurisdiction under the Brussels Recast regulation: Crew Employment Services Camelot v Gould. You can read the judgment here.

Back in 2019, the Daily Mail reported on Grahame’s victory before the Employment Tribunal on behalf of Captain Gould, the former skipper of the superyacht Amaryllis. On paper, his employer was a Guernsey company and the yacht was flagged in the Cayman Islands. However, most of Mr. Gould’s day-to-day instructions were given by the de facto owner of the yacht, Mr. Borodin (who is based in England), and the Amaryllis spent around 50% of its time in British waters.

The UK Employment Tribunal agreed with Grahame’s submissions that, despite the international elements of the claim, it had jurisdiction to hear Mr. Gould’s claim and that Mr. Gould could avail himself of employment protections contained in the Employment Rights Act 1996.

The EAT rejected the employer’s appeal in no uncertain terms.

The case is an important authority in this often difficult area of law; Choudhury P sets out a clear analysis of the state of the law and the role the Employment Appeal Tribunal plays as a specialist Tribunal for points of law (in the light of the split judgments in British Council v Jeffrey, a Court of Appeal case in which Grahame also appeared).

However, the appeal is also an important one for the rights of seafarers working in and around the UK on non-UK flagged ships. The Respondent in this case ran an argument that, as a result of the Maritime Labour Convention, Parliament had, in effect, legislated to oust protections for seafarers, leaving them to rely on the relevant flag state (in this case, the Cayman Islands). Importantly, the EAT rejected that submission: good news for Mr. Gould and for other mariners aboard ships in our waters.

Grahame was instructed by Draper Lang LLP on behalf of the Claimant.

Grahame appears regularly in cases with international elements and speaks regularly on questions of territorial reach and jurisdiction. If you would like Grahame to speak at your firm, please contact the clerks.

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