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Takeover integration and harmonisation work

We are acting for a large Stock Exchange listed company on the integration and harmonisation work resulting from its takeover of another group of companies.

Large restructuring and collective redundancy exercise

We worked very closely with an international property group on a large-scale redundancy and restructuring exercise. The restructuring substantially affected around two thirds of the workforce. It included changes to employees' office locations, roles and responsibilities, team structures and reporting lines. Approximately 50 redundancies resulted. We advised on the legal and commercial aspects of the redundancy process, including an employer's obligations in a collective redundancy situation and bespoke issues relating to senior leavers. As part of our complete service, we drafted all of the paperwork which our client used for each individual leaver and carried out related leaving package calculations.

High Court injunction

We defended a niche west-end recruitment agency against an application for an injunction which was threatened and then brought against it and one of its employees in the High Court for breaches of the employee's restrictive covenants with their former employer (a competitor) which they were both alleged to have committed. We successfully negotiated a favourable commercial resolution for our client so as to dispense with the High Court proceedings at an early stage in the litigation process.

Judicial mediation

We represented a Chief Executive of a large national employer who brought claims for unlawful race, religion or belief and disability discrimination against their employer. As an alternative to continuing with the Employment Tribunal proceedings, we explored mediation with the individual's (former) employer. We participated in a successful one day judicial mediation chaired by an Employment Judge at the London Central Employment Tribunal. Judicial mediation is something which the Employment Tribunal system only very rarely makes available. We achieved a favourable settlement for our client, thereby avoiding the need for him to continue with complex and protracted legal proceedings.

Disciplinary proceedings against a Head of I.T.

We advised a national employer in connection with a highly sensitive and time-critical matter involving its Head of I.T. Serious issues concerning the conduct of this individual had come to light. We assisted our client in investigating the matter as confidentially as possible. We recommended external I.T. specialists who they brought in to suspend system access and advise on the I.T. risks which the business faced. We effected the employee's suspension from work, the commencement of disciplinary proceedings against him and his eventual dismissal.

Professional mediation

We acted for a large public sector employer in a dispute with its Head of Marketing. We successfully settled the matter by means of a compromise agreement as a result of a professional mediation session led by Julie Stewart.

TUPE transfer work

We have carried out some high level TUPE work. We have advised a large public sector client on the application of TUPE to its loss of two high value service contracts and its potential gain of a new one. We are also acting for a TUPE transferor on three Tribunal claims for alleged failures to inform and consult under TUPE and alleged automatically unfair dismissals (for a reason connected with a TUPE transfer).

Departures of senior executives

We have continued to act for a number of senior executives in connection with their departures from their respective organisations. These individuals have included Chief Executive Officers of two national charities and a Chief Operating Officer of an international retail giant.

Louise Manning sex discrimination win

Louise Manning Sex Discrimination Case

Julie Stewart acted for Louise Manning in her high profile Employment Tribunal win against her former employer, Safetell Ltd, and its Managing Director, Nick Medlam. The Tribunal ruled that Mr Medlam and his firm had sexually discriminated against Louise a total of 24 times over an 18 month period. When she informed Mr Medlam that she was pregnant, he told Louise that she would be “useless”, that she would “never be the same again” and that, instead of an upgraded company car that she was due to receive, she would just get a “runaround”. He sent her a Memo saying, “Feel betrayed ...Tempted to dismiss and take the consequences”. Mr Medlam also cancelled training that Louise Manning needed to join the board of directors, referring to her maternity leave as her period of confinement. While on maternity leave, Louise Manning was demoted twice. Within its findings, the Tribunal said, “It is not often that the tribunal is faced with such a blatant response to notification of pregnancy”.

Louise Manning has been awarded £35,100 for injury to feelings, £2,000 for aggravated damages and £33,158.48 for loss of earnings. Her injury to feelings award is one of the highest recorded to have been made by an Employment Tribunal in the past decade. Its level is a direct recognition of the catalogue of discriminatory acts relating to her pregnancy and maternity leave that she had to endure at the hands of her employer and its Managing Director.

The Tribunal viewed this as one of the most serious cases of sex discrimination ever to come before it, particularly because of the length of time over which Louise Manning suffered discriminatory acts and because of the blatant manner in which they were undertaken. The Tribunal concluded that there had been a continuing campaign against Louise once she announced her pregnancy. It found that she was deeply affected by the discriminatory acts, particularly as they occurred when she was especially vulnerable as a pregnant woman. The Tribunal noted that Safetell has never apologised to Louise Manning and, whilst Mr Medlam apologised to her during the hearing of her second claim, his apology was “mealy-mouthed” and he was still “reluctant to accept he had in fact done anything wrong”.

Safetell, a leading supplier of security systems to banks and other blue chip companies, has been ordered to pay Louise Manning three fifths of the total damages award - £34,565.62. Mr Medlam must pay the rest of the award - £23,043.74. It is very unusual for such a high award to be made against any individual in a case. Aggravated damages are only awarded exceptionally too. The award against Mr Medlam sends a message that Tribunals will not tolerate anyone discriminating against pregnant women and new mothers in the workplace and that, if they do, they could find themselves personally liable. The Tribunal's decision also sends a clear message to employers and their employees to apologise to staff and do so genuinely and in a timely fashion when they are in the wrong!

Power station sale

Power Station Sale

We advised a leading property investment and development company on the employment law aspects of a £49.25 million deal involving its power station. All other legal advice was provided by large corporate law firms based in the City. Our client sold all of its shares in the power station to one of the largest energy companies in the UK. The transaction completed at the 2007 year end. The deal involved various employment law issues which included advising on highly complex terms and conditions of employment which differed across the workforce, carrying out due diligence, drafting and negotiating the employment provisions in the Sale and Purchase Agreement and advising on trade union issues, the information and consultation process and confidentiality provisions.

Large settlement under a compromise agreement

We acted for an individual in a high value Employment Tribunal claim against his former employer, a leading plc in the brewery industry. We advised on his claims for age, disability and part-time worker discrimination, constructive unfair dismissal and whistleblowing. We successfully negotiated a settlement deal on our client's behalf prior to the claim reaching Tribunal.

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SRA number 404293