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Lord Alan Sugar is apparently seeking to launch legal proceedings to obtain his costs against a former winner of the flagship BBC programme that he presents, according to a spokesman for Lord Sugar.

Ms Stella English, 34, launched an Employment Tribunal claim against Amshold Group Ltd, a company of Lord Sugar’s, after she alleged that she was forced out of her job in 2011. The claim for constructive dismissal progressed through the Employment Tribunal and the hearing was held in April 2013. The Employment Tribunal heard evidence from Lord Sugar, a number of Viglen employees and Ms English and concluded that her claim for unfair dismissal was not well-founded. The Employment Tribunal also made a number of scathing remarks about Ms English’s claim, including that it was “a claim which should never have been brought” and that the Tribunal considered “that the CClaimant who had sought legal advice prior to putting in her ET1 was ill-advised to bring a claim and/or to continue it”. These were quite serious remarks from the Employment Tribunal and would probably have served as encouragement to Lord Sugar’s legal team to apply to the Employment Tribunal for their costs.

Under Rule 38(1) of the ET Rules a Tribunal or Employment Judge can make a costs order for:

  • “The paying party” to make a payment in respect of the costs incurred by “the receiving party”; or
  • The paying party to pay to the Secretary of State, in whole or in part, of any allowances paid by the Secretary of State under section 5(2) or (3) of the ETA 1996 to any person for the purposes of, or in connection with, that person’s attendance at the tribunal

A Tribunal can make a costs order where:

  • On the application of a party, an employment judge or tribunal postpones the day or time fixed for, or adjourns, a full hearing or a PHR; or
  • The employment judge or tribunal is of the opinion that, either the party (in bringing proceedings), or the party or their representative (in conducting proceedings), has acted vexatiously, abusively, disruptively, or otherwise unreasonably, or that the bringing or conducting of proceedings has been misconceived; and
  • The employment judge or tribunal considers that it would be appropriate for the paying party to pay costs to the receiving party

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