Non-UK governing law and jurisdiction clauses in global award agreements may be overridden where an employee is domiciled in England. Two recent cases have highlighted that employees domiciled within the EU will usually be able to force their employers to sue them on the award agreements in the employee's state of domicile, even where there is an exclusive jurisdiction clause in favour of another country.

The problem is not solved by using group companies that are not the employer as parties to the award agreement. They will be treated as the employer for these purposes, according to the Court of Appeal.

Where the employee is domiciled and therefore sued in England, the English courts will not enforce restrictive covenants in the award agreement where this would be contrary to English law, even if the covenants would be enforceable under the law governing the award agreement. (Samengo-Turner v J&H Marsh McLennan (Services) Ltd, CA; Duarte v Black and Decker, HC). Our fuller briefing on these cases is available here.