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 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

4.75 Average

194 Reviews

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 23 hours 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 4 weeks ago

Anonymous

Posted 4 weeks 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 1 month 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 1 month ago

Michael W

Professional, responsive and supportive - excellent service!

Posted 1 month 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 1 month ago

Lee M

Superb service and always available

Posted 1 month 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 1 month ago

Mohamed A

Super helpful and efficient, trustworthy service

Posted 1 month ago

Anonymous

efficient, responsive and effective

Posted 1 month ago

Andrew B

Very good service

Posted 1 month ago

Anonymous

Excellent service, compassionate and a good outcome

Posted 1 month ago

Anonymous

I had an employment issue which required legal advice. Chris was very supportive and knowledgeable, resulting in an optimum resolution in my favour. Would definitely recommend.

Posted 1 month ago