Want to talk to an expert employment law solicitor?

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

The Supreme Court has ruled that a former equity partner at the law firm Clyde & Co LLP can take her former employer to an Employment Tribunal in a “whistleblowing” claim after she was found to be a “worker” rather than self-employed.

Krista van Bates Winkelhof worked as an equity partner for Clyde & Co LLP when she contends that she made the firm aware that its Tanazanian associate firm’s managing partner was potentially laundering money and guilty of bribery and corruption. She alleges that after she made the firm aware of this fact she was dismissed from her position, subsequently bringing a claim in the Employment Tribunal for sex discrimination (under the Equality Act 2010) and automatic unfair dismissal (under the Employment Rights Act 1996). Ms Bates van Winkelhof’s “whistleblowing” claim was struck out as having no reasonable prospect of success by an Employment Judge as she was adjudged not to be a “worker” for the purposes of s.203(3) of the Employment Rights Act 1996.

Since its rejection by the Employment Tribunal, the case has wound a lengthy way through the appeal courts and the Supreme Court last week held (by a majority of 3 to 2) that equity partners are in fact “workers” for the purposes of the Employment Rights Act 1996. Lady Hale (who gave the leading judgment) stated that this was so as Ms Bates van Winkelhof could not market her services to other law firms, was an integral part of the law firm’s business, and that the law firm was in no sense Ms Bates Van Winkelhof’s client or customer. The case has now been remitted to the Employment Tribunal so that it can be determined whether the former equity partner was discriminated against and/or dismissed because she made protected disclosures as she alleges.

Joanna Blackburn, the solicitor instructed by Ms Bates van Winkelhof to pursue her claim, commented on the result: “We are delighted that the UK Supreme Court has endorsed our view that the law does protect partners in LLPs and we are pleased that after more than three years of legal wrangling, Ms Bates van Winkelhof’s claims can finally be heard in the Employment Tribunal.”

Chris Hadrill, an employment solicitor at Redmans, commented on the case: “This is an important but unsurprising judgment by the Supreme Court – the alternative conclusion would have meant that equity partners in an LLP would potentially be deterred from making protected disclosures for fear that they would be victimized as a result and have no legal recourse to this. However, the ruling may also have unintended consequences for LLPs, with equity partners now potentially entitled to receive holiday pay, among other things.”

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

    4.78 Average

    265 Reviews

    Alison M

    Very happy with the advice I received

    Posted 1 day ago

    Margaret A

    I found everything about the company to be extremely professional and efficient. During my initial contact with Chris, he listened well and was reassuring, so I felt confident that my case would be well handled. Caroline was excellent at explaining all the legal points and answering my questions, as well as being very supportive and understanding throughout the process. I would definitely recommend this company.

    Posted 1 day ago

    Sanja K

    Very efficient and professional service.

    Posted 1 day ago

    Anonymous

    I found the advice I was given by Redmans Solicitors to be clear and useful and found the solicitor on my case to be both knowledgeable and approachable.

    Posted 6 days ago

    Karen T

    Great service. Thank you.

    Posted 1 week ago

    Anonymous

    Excellent service from Chris & Mel Chin. The best outcome was achieved from the redundancy process. They were extremely thorough, listened carefully and acted swiftly on my behalf. I highly recommend Redmans Solicitors

    Posted 1 week ago

    Shanine M

    Excellent service, thank you so much!

    Posted 1 week ago

    Anonymous

    I found Caroline and Chris very Helpful and provided excellent service. Caroline especially provided great legal advice and made me feel at ease with the whole process. I would highly recommend them. Thank you!

    Posted 1 week ago

    Gayle B

    Excellent company very professional would definitely recommend

    Posted 1 week ago

    Alex K

    Redmans provided an excellent service, timely and effective. Will definitely recommend.

    Posted 1 week ago

    Anonymous

    Great job done on my employment law

    Posted 1 week ago

    Dominica S

    Caroline & Chris were very prompt and efficient.Very happy with the service and will definitely recommend Redmans Solicitor to everyone !

    Posted 1 week ago

    Sandra K

    If you are looking for a group of solicitors who are Professional, Caring and on point, then look no futher than Redmans. I was literally hand held through out my case. Can not find fault with this company, very happy with the result and the service i received. Would highly recommend Redmans.

    Posted 1 week ago

    Anonymous

    I found dealing with Redmans a pleasure. I got to speak to someone quickly, the advice was profferred promplty and the service was not 'pushy'. In addition, the administration was excellent. What more could you ask for?

    Posted 1 week ago

    ALISDAIR L

    Redmans did a brilliant job regarding my redundancy agreement. I miss read an extra charge which wasnt the case so doing a new review to clarify. I would recommend Redmans for any employment law issues you may have.

    Posted 2 weeks ago

    Christos G

    Great legal advice and quick correspondence. Very supportive and helpful through the entire process. Thank you Redmans!

    Posted 2 weeks ago

    Anonymous

    Chris Hadrill advised me on a redundancy settlement agreement. He was very responsive, easy to deal with and gave me good advice at a stressful time.

    Posted 2 weeks ago

    Zara M

    Rana at Redmans gave me support and confidence I needed to ensure a wrong, was put right. I couldn’t recommend enough.

    Posted 2 weeks ago

    Stuart T

    Chris provided an excellent service, he was efficient and friendly and I had no doubt when recommending him to my colleagues

    Posted 2 weeks ago

    Anonymous

    Excellent service, prompt responses. Chris Hadrill provided excellent and efficient service.

    Posted 2 weeks ago

    Jane M

    Wonderful solicitors who really listen to you and who are there to offer expert legal advice but they also have a personal touch and you really feel supported both from a legal aspect but also from a personal aspect. They really listen .

    Posted 2 weeks ago