In Freeport plc v Arnoldsson (Case C-98/06) - 12.10.07 the Claimant was an employee who claimed a success fee for the opening of a new project. He claimed this in contract against the Defendant and in tort against another company, AB (a subsidiary of one of the Defendant’s subsidiaries). The Claimant brought an action pursuant to art6(1) of Council Regulation (EC) 44/2001 before the District Court for an order against both companies jointly to pay him the sum owed under the agreement, and interest. The Defendant contended that the action against it had a contractual basis, whereas the action against AB was, inter alia, based in tort, since there was no contractual relationship between the Defendant and that company.
It fell to be determined, inter alia, whether an action based on an alleged obligation on the part of a joint-stock company to make a payment, as a consequence of an undertaking given, was contractual in nature as regards the application of art 6(1) of reg 44/2001, even though the party, which had given the undertaking, was neither a representative nor an agent of the company.
Court of Justice of Justice of the European Communities (Third Chamber) held that Article 6(1) applied where claims brought against different defendants were connected when the proceedings were instituted, namely where it was expedient to hear and determine them together to avoid the risk of irreconcilable judgments resulting from separate proceedings, without there being any further need to establish separately that the claims were not brought with the sole object of ousting the jurisdiction of the courts of the member state where one of the defendants was domiciled. It was to be interpreted as meaning that the fact that claims brought against a number of defendants had different legal bases did not preclude application of that provision.