Want to talk to an expert employment law solicitor?

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

This case appears to have rather passed without comment in the media and the UK employment “blogosphere” but a recent Employment Tribunal case involving an ex-Managing Director, a multinational claim and an expenses scandal is interesting for a number of reasons, which I’ll address in this post.

The Employment Tribunal claim was submitted by an un-named ex-Managing Director of a large company – all the parties in the case were un-named for legal reasons – after he was fired in 2012 for racking up hundreds of thousands of pounds on illegitimate expenses on the company credit card. The ex-employee then appears to have attempted to negotiate a multi-million pound settlement (which failed) and then sued his ex-employer for unfair dismissal, victimization and sexual harassment.

The Employment Tribunal appears to have given the Claimant’s case quite short shrift, describing it in its judgment as apparently a “claim which should never have been brought”. They were highly critical of the Claimant and found that the Claimant’s evidence was, in parts, lacking credibility (particularly in relation to his relationship with his boss). The Tribunal therefore found that the Claimant’s claims of unfair dismissal, victimization and sexual harassment were not well-founded.

The reasons why this case is interesting are three-fold, in my opinion:

  1. The possibility of a counter-claim by the Respondent
  2. The potential for the costs of the case to be recouped by the Respondent
  3. The potential for a Respondent to protect itself from adverse publicity by applying for a restricted reporting order, apparently used in this case

Counter-claims

As detailed by Julian Allsopp in the (much-recommended) ELA Briefing this month, the potential for counter-claims in Employment Tribunal cases appears to be much-underrated by employment law practitioners. If a Claimant submits a claim for breach of contract (although it’s not known whether the Claimant did in this case) then an employer can bring a counter-claim against the Claimant for breach of contract themselves. This serves a number of purposes – it provides a potential tactical advantage to the Respondent, may substantially offset the value of any compensation the Claimant is awarded, and provides a route for an employer to obtain a form of redress if they have suffered financial loss because of the unreasonable and/or negligent actions of their former employee.

Costs

It’s safe to say that if the Employment Tribunal labels a claim one that “should never have been brought” then the Respondent will probably smell blood in the water and may seek to pursue the Claimant for the whole or a part of their costs of defending the claim. This can not only provide the employer with some form of financial relief but it may also serve as a useful bargaining chip through the running of the case – if the Claimant is repeatedly warned that they could face a heavy costs bill at the end of the proceedings it may lead them to try and settle, or even pressure them to withdraw, the case before it comes to the final hearing.

Publicity

Something that Claimants often say to me at the outset of their case is “my employer will want to settle this because they won’t want the publicity”. Although publicity can sometimes prove advantageous to the running of a claim, it is not something that should be considered as something that will factor particularly heavily in most employers’ minds as a reason to settle a claim. First off, there’s no guarantee that the case will receive any publicity in the first place; secondly, there’s no guarantee that the employer will particularly care that the case may receive publicity; and, thirdly, the Respondent can seek legal protection against publicity of the case – either through an application for a Restricted Reporting Order in the Employment Tribunal or for an injunction in the civil courts, either of which (if granted) will stop public reporting of relevant parts of the proceedings.

About Chris Hadrill

Chris is a specialist employment lawyer at Redmans. He specialises in contentious and non-contentious employment matters, including breach of contract claims, compromise agreements and Employment Tribunal cases. He writes on employment law matters on a variety of websites, including Direct 2 Lawyers, Lawontheweb.co.uk, LegalVoice, the Justice Gap and his own blog. Contact Chris by emailing him at chadrill@redmans.co.uk

Tagged with →  

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 first name (required)

Your last name (required)

Your email (required)

Your telephone number (required)

Brief details of your enquiry

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

197 Reviews

Rosa B

Fabulous service all round.

Posted 2 days ago

Anonymous

Redmans were quick to respond to my enquiry and dealt with my case professionally and personably. I received sound advice and was put at ease by Chris Hadrill, Partner.

Posted 2 days ago

Alkhas K

Excellent service.

Posted 1 week ago

Mathias G

Contacted them regarding my end of employment agreement. Chris Hadrill dealt with it and was done and handed back to employer same day more than happy with there service.

Posted 4 weeks ago

Mark W

Most professional from start to finish offering very a personal service. Most impressive and quick when dealing with the matters in hand.

Posted 1 month ago

Anonymous

Posted 1 month ago

submit

I am very glad I came across Redmans Solicitors. Fantastic service!

Posted 1 month ago

Anonymous

Fantastic communication, always happy to answer queries, highly recommended.

Posted 1 month ago

Wavenie B

They were very straight to the point, friendly and understanding people. I felt they had my best interest. They were easy to get hold of, replies were almost instant. 5/5 for customer service

Posted 1 month ago

Christina P

Caroline was fantastic to work with - extremely knowledgeable, supportive, thorough and honest. I definitely recommend Redmans!

Posted 1 month ago

Anonymous

Very well done and fast support. Professional and reliable. Highly recommended!

Posted 1 month ago

Helene L

They were very knowledgable in the respected area in terms of change in law/regulations that is crucial for the clients who are seeking for legal arvice.

Posted 1 month ago

Sara R

Very helpful and wonderful advice

Posted 1 month ago

Marie D

very good service all digitalised

Posted 2 months ago

Philip H

Chris Hadrill handled my case with great accuracy and efficiency. Basically made it feel like a process without hassle. Doesn't try to expand the case just for greater fees. I value his professional advice highly.

Posted 2 months ago

Michael W

Professional, responsive and supportive - excellent service!

Posted 2 months ago

Anonymous

I was really happy with the service provided. I had to chase a couple of time but despite that, my matter was dealt with in a timely manor. I would use again in the future

Posted 2 months ago

Lee M

Superb service and always available

Posted 2 months ago

Jonathan S

I was very grateful for the support I received from Redmans during a very difficult period. Rana Tandon really got under the skin of my issue and understood what was important to me, steering me carefully and sensibly to an outcome I was very happy with. I would recommend Redmans to anyone else without any reservations whatsoever.

Posted 2 months ago

Mohamed A

Super helpful and efficient, trustworthy service

Posted 2 months ago

Anonymous

efficient, responsive and effective

Posted 2 months ago