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Delay caused by Tribunal Service results in claim being struck out

11 Sep 2013, 15:41 by Priya Bakshi

Labels: appeal, barrister, employment-law, employment-tribunal, lawyer, unfair-dismissal

The Employment Appeal Tribunal in the case of Elliott v The Joseph Whitworth Centre Ltd. [2013] UKEAT 0030_13_1507 held that the claim was permissibly struck out by the Employment Judge because a fair hearing was impossible. A two year delay in dealing with the Claimant's claim form, by the Tribunal Service in not serving the ET1 and the failure of the Claimant's representatives to chase up the case, was "inordinate and inexcusable". 

Mr Elliot presented his claim for unfair dismissal on 30 April 2010. The Tribunal Service then failed to take action in respect of the claim form due to administrative difficulties. However the Claimant's representatives also did nothing to chase the matter up. It was only in February 2012 that the Claimant's representatives finally made enquiries, and the claim form was then served on the Respondent.

As a result, the Respondent applied to have the matter struck out under rule 18(7)(f) on the ground that it was no longer possible to have a fair hearing in these proceedings. They argued that memories would have faded and so would be prejudiced if the case were to be heard. 

The Employment Judge considered the claim form and the submissions made by the parties. No evidence was given at the hearing. The Tribunal agreed with the Respondent and struck out the claim.

Mr Elliot appealed on the basis that as the Employment Judge had not heard evidence, it could not be concluded that memories had faded.


The EAT dismissed the appeal. Whether it was possible to have a fair hearing was a question of fact. Mr Elliot had kept notes of meetings however as the Respondent had not, or notes were no longer available, much depended on the memory of the relevant officers. Fading memory is a reason why there cannot be a fair trial. The EAT held that the relevant materials had been considered and agreed that the delay was inordinate
and inexcusable. The decision concerning where the prejudice lay was also
permissible. The practical consequence of this is that Mr Elliot's remedy
likely lay elsewhere.  

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Failure to Comply with the ACAS Code of Practice

24 May 2013, 10:00 by Priya Bakshi

Labels: acas-code, barrister, complensation, employment-appeal-tribunal, employment-law, employment-tribunal, lawyer, solicitor

The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) held in the case of Lund v St Edmund's School that the increase in compensation due to a breach of the ACAS Code of Practice applies to "some other substantial reason" dismissals.

Mr Lund was a school teacher and was dismissed as the school had lost confidence in him, through alienating his colleagues and affecting morale. The Employment Tribunal (ET) found that his dismissal was for "some other substantial reason," but was procedurally and substantively unfair; thus failing to act in accordance with the ACAS Code.

Mr Lund was awarded compensation but this was reduced on ground of contributory fault. However the ET made no uplift for the breach of the ACAS Code under section 207A of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992 for two reasons: Mr Lund's dismissal had been for "some other substantial reason", and he had "contributed so substantially to his own dismissal". Mr Lund appealed on this point.

On appeal, the EAT held that Mr Lund should not have been denied an uplift on his compensation award. Firstly, the employee's claim did concern conduct on his part, namely the effect of his conduct on others. This is what led to his dismissal and so, the ACAS Code applied. Secondly, when considering whether to make an uplift on the compensation award for an employer failing to comply with the ACAS Code, the ET should not have taken into account contributory fault. Mr Lund may have contributed to his dismissal but he did not contribute to his employer's failure to act in accordance with the ACAS Code. To deny him an uplift on the remainder of his compensatory award amounted to him being penalised twice over.

 

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Paul McGrath wins Leicester University LLM Employment Law prize

08 May 2013, 16:36 by John Snell

Labels: compensation, direct-access, employment-appeal, employment-barrister, employment-law, employment-lawyer, employment-solicitor, getting-the-sack, public-access, sacked, unfair-dismissal

Paul McGrath is the winner of the Leicester University distance learning LLM Employment Law New Walk Chambers Prize. His dissertation was described by his supervisor as a "highly commendable piece of work". It was titled 'Band on the Run' and it related to the law of unfair dismissal. Paul McGrath is an associate with McDermott, Will & Emery in London.

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Christopher Knowles attends careers talk held at Loughborough University

21 Nov 2011, 16:02 by John Snell

Labels: barrister, barristers, contract, criminal-law, employment-law, land-law, lawyer, pupil

Always keen to support those interested in a career at the Bar, New Walk Chambers were amongst the speakers at the "A career in law" careers talk held at Loughborough University on the 9th November 2011.

Christopher Knowles attended the event and gave a talk on a  career at the Bar and the life of a Pupil Barrister. He was one of three speakers at the event - the other two being representatives from the Government Legal Service and the College of Law.

His talk covered the numerous routes to a career as a Barrister, and what chambers would be looking for in prospective pupils and how to apply for pupillage.During the course of the talk, Christopher touched upon the Inns of Court, the Bar Professional Training Course and CV and application form tips.

Following the talk, Christopher remained behind to answer questions from students and participated in an exercise with the College of Law, which covered aspects of the core modules which would be studied on the graduate diploma in law course, namely contract, criminal, tort, land, constitutional, equity and trusts, and european law.

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New Walk Chambers Prize

27 Jul 2009, 11:28 by John Snell

Labels: employment-law, university

New Walk Chambers congratulates Sally Brett on becoming the first recipient of the New Walk Chambers Prize. The prize reflects Chambers' commitment to employment law and personal development through lifelong learning. It will be awarded annually to the best graduate in the University of Leicester LL.M. in Employment Law by Distance Learning.

Sally, who achieved a Distinction, is seen here with the Course Director, Pascale Lorber, and David Monk.

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