Qantas Airways Ltd v Rohrlach [2021] NSWCA 48 (26 March 2021) (Bathurst CJ at [1]; Bell P at [2]; Brereton JA at [84])


Catchwords:


CONTRACT – contractual construction – proper scope of jurisdiction agreement in employment contract – where jurisdiction clause elliptical as to its scope – where multiple agreements – where jurisdiction clause only contained in one agreement – whether jurisdiction clause in one agreement applied to claim in respect of alleged breach of post-employment restraints contained in a related agreement.

EMPLOYMENT – restraints of trade – where senior executive employed pursuant to an Employment Agreement containing post-employment restraints of trade and an exclusive jurisdiction clause for courts of Singapore and a Singapore choice of law clause – where executive posted to Japan pursuant to a further contract but with his original contract continuing in effect – where executive also subject to a deed poll containing further post-employment restraints and governed by Japanese law – where employer sued to enforce only restraints contained in deed poll – whether proceedings caught by exclusive jurisdiction clause contained in original Employment Agreement – whether proceedings in New South Wales should be stayed.

EQUITY – Injunctions – anti-anti-suit injunction – anti-suit injunction.

PRIVATE INTERNATIONAL LAW – anti-anti-suit injunction – exclusive jurisdiction agreement – proper construction of scope of jurisdiction agreement – principles applicable to construction of jurisdiction agreements – relationship between jurisdiction agreement and choice of law clauses

PRIVATE INTERNATIONAL LAW – concurrent proceedings in Singapore and New South Wales – whether New South Wales proceedings in relation to post employment restraints in a Deed Poll should be stayed by reason of an exclusive jurisdiction clause in a separate Employment Agreement.