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.”


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


    4.79 Average

    339 Reviews

    James B

    Great and prompt service- would recommend and use again!

    Posted 9 hours ago

    Emma L

    Excellent service. From start the team where efficient and helpful, the whole process was made easy on a very stressful and upsetting situation. They worked well to support my situation and negotiate. Would highly recommend. Thank you to Chris, Sacha and the team.

    Posted 10 hours ago

    Brian H

    I must say, not seeing any of you and doing all on-line works very well. Very pleased with the service and would recommend you. Fantastic service. Many thanks Brian Haines

    Posted 11 hours ago

    Sheenu A

    Professionals with excellent quality of work.

    Posted 6 days ago

    Maris T

    I recommend Redman's Solicitors. Chris was very helpful and informative. He provided a speedy and efficient service at a reasonable price.

    Posted 1 week ago


    quick response, friendly staff, my issue was smoothly done. superb

    Posted 2 weeks ago


    Overall I was very satisfied with the service I received. Right from making initial contact to being contacted by Chris Hadrill. He was easy to talk to, friendly and professional and gave sound advice. I would certainly use Redman's again. Thank you for all your help, Chris. I would rate my experience as 5 star.

    Posted 3 weeks ago

    Jane K

    4 stars for quality of advise. the team are good but it feels rushed sometimes and hard to contact.

    Posted 4 weeks ago

    Arabella B

    I am so grateful to Caroline Lewis at Redmans Solicitor’s for helping me with my Unfair Dismissal Case. I was seriously impressed how easy Redmans made the whole case, and am very happy with my Settlement. I have recommended your firm to at least 5 people in the last 3 months.. Thank you Caroline and everyone at Redmans. You are Brilliant .

    Posted 1 month ago


    Highly professional and efficient service.

    Posted 1 month ago

    Tanya T

    I had the pleasure of Chris and Sacha’s experience with a work matter. They made me feel at ease with the process and explained everything thoroughly. Would happily recommend Redmans especially Chris and use them if needed I’m the future. Thank you!

    Posted 1 month ago


    I used the services of Redmans solicitors and was a quick outstanding service I engaged them in a settlement agreement after been made redundant extremely professional at all that was done and would definetly use them again

    Posted 1 month ago

    Adrian A

    Spot on support, enough to get the matter at hand sorted. No beating around the bush, no nonsense - got the job done and we all moved on.

    Posted 1 month ago

    Mark Q

    Five Stars I was most impressed by the attention, courtesy, speed and above all, professionalism in dealing with my Settlement Agreement. I would certainly have no problem in recommending this firm to anyone in need of their services.

    Posted 1 month ago

    Ade A

    I was surprisingly impressed by how Redmans Solicitors handle my case. From the moment I call them to the absolute end of my case, they always look after my best interest.

    Posted 1 month ago

    Malcolm P

    they were there when others were not

    Posted 1 month ago


    Excellent service all the way through from start to finish. Really great support and guidance from the team, they secured the offer that I wanted. I can't recommend Redmans highly enough and will be sure to use their services again should the need arise.

    Posted 1 month ago


    Efficient and quick service!

    Posted 2 months ago

    Karen B

    Quick response very helpful Issue raised dealt with very quickly

    Posted 2 months ago

    Carmen T

    Redmans give Great service and advice on reading contracts. They can explain all the solicitors jargon into words that you can understand. I received excellent service an I will use them again and again.

    Posted 2 months ago


    Very grateful for Mel’s efforts in handling my case from start to finish which I would have found very stressful without it. She was very professional, friendly and we had a positive outcome. Highly recommend.

    Posted 2 months ago