Want to talk to an expert employment law solicitor?

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

MoJThree former News of the World journalists have won the right to bring their unfair dismissal claims against a giant newspaper conglomerate to a full merits hearing.

Neville Thurlbeck (former chief reporter at News of the World), James Weatherup and Ian Edmonson (both former news editors of the paper) had been dismissed in 2011 on allegations of gross misconduct and had subsequently made unfair dismissal claims against News Group Newspapers to the Employment Tribunal.

The three former News Group Newspaper employees had been arrested in March and April 2011 on suspicion of having intercepted the voicemails of celebrities, but none of the three were charged with this crime until July 2012. However, after being arrested they were dismissed in September 2011 on allegations of gross misconduct. The three employees were expecting to receive redundancy payments (as other staff members did) when the business closed in July 2011 and the former employees of the News of the World were moved to other parts of the News Group Newspapers group. However, less than two months after the News of the World was closed the three were sacked for “alleged gross misconduct”.

Upon receiving the claims, News Group Newspaper’s lawyers made an application to the Employment Tribunal for the three claims to be struck out as being “vexatious”, an “abuse of process”, and having “no reasonable prospect of success.”

The case came to the East London Employment Tribunal earlier this year, with Employment Judge Brian Doyle ruling that the former employees’ claims were not vexatious or an abuse of process and that they did not have no reasonable prospects of success. Judge Doyle stated in his written reasons that: “Reduced to their essentials, the claimants’ complaints of unfair dismissal are that, prior to their summary dismissals on 2 September 2011, they had not been subject to any allegations by their employer that they had committed acts of gross misconduct. What they did, they assert, was part of the culture of the organisation. They had been anticipating dismissal by reason of redundancy, with a suitable redundancy package.”

Employment Judge Doyle also found that the dismissals appeared to rely on the findings of the management and standards committee (MSC), which had been set up by the parent company News Corp to investigate the allegations that News of the World employees had hacked voicemails. However, Employment Judge Doyle found that Mr Thurlbeck and Mr Weatherup had not been provided with the reasons for their dismissal and that no investigation or procedure had been carried out prior to their dismissal.

The unfair dismissal claims of Mr Thurlbeck, Mr Weatherup, and Mr Edmonson will now proceed to full merits hearings in 2015.

Chris Hadrill, a specialist employment solicitor at Redmans Solicitors, commented on the case: “Businesses have an obligation under the Employment Rights Act 1996 to ensure that employees are given written reasons for their dismissal, that the procedure for their dismissal is fair, and that the dismissal is substantively fair. The fairness of the three former employees’ dismissals will now be determined by an Employment Judge at full merits hearings in 2015.”

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 →

2 Responses to Former News of the World journalists given green light to sue for unfair dismissal

  1. […] Thurlbeck, he sought to sue his former employer for unfair dismissal. HuffPost UK understands it has been resolved. Weatherup, who refused to speak to HuffPost UK, now […]

  2. […] Thurlbeck, he sought to sue his former employer for unfair dismissal. HuffPost UK understands it has been resolved. Weatherup, who refused to speak to HuffPost UK, now […]

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 5 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 5 days ago

Alkhas K

Excellent service.

Posted 2 weeks 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 1 month 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 2 months ago

Anonymous

Posted 2 months ago

submit

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

Posted 2 months ago

Anonymous

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

Posted 2 months 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 2 months ago

Christina P

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

Posted 2 months ago

Anonymous

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

Posted 2 months 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 2 months ago

Sara R

Very helpful and wonderful advice

Posted 2 months 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