Want to talk to an expert employment law solicitor?

You'll receive a callback from a specialist within an hour

In the case of Mr P Ratcliffe v Baker Hughes Ltd:4100573/2016 the Employment Tribunal held that it did not have jurisdiction to consider Mr Ratcliffe’s claim for unfair dismissal due to the COT3 that had been signed on his behalf by his trade union representative.

The facts in Ratcliffe v Baker Hughes Ltd

Mr Ratcliffe was employed by Baker Hughes Limited (“Baker Hughes”). He was made redundant on 18 December 2015 and was dissatisfied with his dismissal. He was a member of the Unite trade union and approached his Trade Union for assistance; he was assisted by a trade union representative, David Lawson, who helped Mr Ratcliffe to engage in early conciliation. Terms of settlement were agreed through discussions involving ACAS, Baker Hughes’ counsel Neil Adam, and Mr Lawson. As a consequence of these discussions settlement terms were agreed and a COT3 form drafted; as part of the COT3 terms a reference was also agreed.

On 17 March 2016 Mr Lawson signed the COT3 form on behalf of Mr Ratcliffe, and Mr Ratcliffe counter-signed on 6 April 2016. On 17 March 2016 ACAS confirmed that a binding agreement had now been reached between the parties; the monies payable under the settlement agreement were subsequently paid to Mr Ratcliffe. After the agreement had been signed Mr Ratcliffe complained that he had not agreed to the offer made by Baker Hughes, and he wrote to the company on 30 April 2016 to confirm this. He subsequently pursued Employment Tribunal proceedings.

On 17 May 2016 Baker Hughes’ solicitors applied to the Tribunal for a preliminary hearing on the basis that the Employment Tribunal had no jurisdiction to consider the claim (on the grounds that a COT3 agreement had been completed).

The decision of the Employment Tribunal in Ratcliffe v Baker Hughes Ltd

The Employment Tribunal held that it had no jurisdiction to consider Mr Ratcliffe’s claims as a valid COT3 agreement had been completed: Mr Ratcliffe could not show that Mr Lawson did not (at the least) have ostensible authority to agree to the terms of the COT3 agreement offered as his representative – the COT3 form was properly entered into, and the agreed settlement terms were implemented.

Our solicitors’ view on Ratcliffe v Baker Hughes Ltd

Chris Hadrill, a specialist employment solicitor at Redmans, commented on the case: “Once settlement agreement (or COT3) terms have been agreed and completed it can often be difficult to challenge th0e validity of the agreement (there are only limited circumstances in which this can be done. If you have entered into a settlement agreement or COT3 agreement and want to resile from it then it is recommended that you receive expert legal advice as soon as possible.”

The judgment of the Employment Tribunal can be found here.

About

Redmans Employment Team deal with employment matters for both employers and employees, including drafting employment contracts and policies, advising employers and employees on compromise agreements, handling day-to-day HR issues, advising on restructures, and handling Employment Tribunal cases for both employers and employees Call 020 3397 3603 to speak to one of the members of our employment team or email us on enquiries@redmans.co.uk. Redmans have offices in Richmond, Chiswick, Hammersmith, Fulham, Kingston, Wimbledon, Ealing, Kings Cross and Marylebone (meetings strictly by appointment only).

Want to talk to an expert employment law solicitor?

You'll receive a callback from a specialist within an hour

Share →

Our awards

Request a callback

Your name

Your email

Your telephone number

Contact us

Please feel free to discuss your own position and concerns. Contact your nearest office on:

T: 020 3397 3603
E: enquiries@redmans.co.uk
W: www.redmans.co.uk

Testimonials

4.76 Average

123 Reviews

Jake L

Chris is very professional and calm. Very attentive and patient, been a positive experience having Chris represent me, and would recommend him.

Posted 1 month ago

Anonymous

Excellent service. It was a pleasure to work with Chris H, who is brilliant at what he does and very efficient. Their Senior Associate Rana T. is also very knowledgeable and resolves any queries speedily and efficiently. My issue could unfortunately not be resolved, but that was due to my employer and not the firm. Redmans however did all they could. I would definitely recommend them.

Posted 1 month ago

Anonymous

Very pleasant and quick to deal with. Mnay thanks.

Posted 1 month ago

Anonymous

Easy to get hold of. Quick.

Posted 1 month ago

Owen J

Very helpful, efficient service.

Posted 1 month ago

Anonymous

I am very lucky that I worked with Mr. Chris Hadrill and he managed my case very progressively with an analytical approach and trustfully. Of course with a very positive result. I strongly recommend Mr. Hadrill to any one seeking for a successful result from a highly qualified solicitor.

Posted 1 month ago

Kulbir S

Amazing, quick friendly service from Chris from the start and Caroline. They made me feel at ease during a difficult time, they understood and advised accordingly and I am really happy with the outcome of my case. Will always advise anyone who needs legal advice to contact Redmans, I’m so glad that I did and can confidently say I don’t think any other firm could have handled my case any better. Well done guys, wish you all the best and please keep doing what your doing, simply the best!

Posted 1 month ago

Mark A

Excellent service - rapid and “to the point” advice given to ensure meeting the target time frame

Posted 1 month ago

Anonymous

Chris Hadrill kept me sane during the negotiations with my employer. He was courteous professional and he cared about doing the best he could for me. I will use Redmans again if ever I need an employment solicitor. Excellent service.

Posted 1 month ago

Muhammad Z

Awesome services. Professionals at their best .

Posted 1 month ago

Anonymous

Thanks for the advice and for negotiating a good outcome. Good to have the support at a very stressful time

Posted 1 month ago

Chloe F

My solicitor at Redmans was very helpful and efficient. Really pleased with the smooth service.

Posted 1 month ago

Anonymous

Chris was absolutely excellent. Clear and concise, offering sound advice.

Posted 1 month ago

Tim O

Experienced and competent advisors

Posted 1 month ago

Rachel A

Quick and expert assistance. I would highly recommend Chris for any of your legal needs.

Posted 2 months ago

Joe S

I was very happy with the service provided by Chris and the team at Redmans Solicitors. I felt very comfortable discussing all matters with Chris and am very grateful for all the help and guidance I was given throughout the whole process. I would definitely recommend Redmans Solicitors to friends and family!

Posted 2 months ago

Anonymous

I had a very good experience working with Chris Hadrill during a difficult and emotional time. This held true from the moment I spoke to him on the phone, to the end of the process. Overall, he was attentive, professional and highly supportive. He provided sound advice and clarity. It was the reviews that led me to Redmans! I was very happy to know they were all true. I highly recommend working with Redmans Solicitors. Thank-you to the entire team!

Posted 2 months ago

Anonymous

Good service

Posted 2 months ago

Anonymous

Excellent professional service. Highly recommend.

Posted 2 months ago

Rob O

Very prompt response and I could not fault the service. My solicitor listened carefully to the details of my case and I felt very confident in the advice I was offered. All emails and work done on my behalf with my former employer was of the highest standard and Redmans helped take a lot of the stress out of the situation for me.

Posted 2 months ago

Mike H

Very professional, friendly, proactive. I would highly recommend Redmans.

Posted 2 months ago