Employment Law


We can assist on a wide range of employment matters including:

Our extensive experience with the media means that we are particularly well placed to advise clients whose case may reach the public eye, and to advise on ancillary matters such as reputation management.

As a conflict free, litigation only firm regularly acting against the banks, we are also well positioned to advise former employees in the financial services sector in relation to disputes against their employers or former employers.

The firm has pursued numerous successful claims for employees and assisted them to negotiate and prepare settlement agreements with their employers / former employers.

The firm’s employment law team includes Nigel Tait, Rebecca Toman, Claire Woolf, and Charles Enderby Smith.

Disputes over bonuses

We are able to advise individuals in relation to any dispute they may face with their employer arising from the terms or effects of their bonus arrangements. This could include the non-payment, or incomplete payment, of a bonus.

Carter-Ruck will act in the first instance to seek swift and effective resolution of a client’s claim through pre-action negotiation with their employer. However, in the event that such an approach is not successful, the firm will use its experience as litigators to recover what is owed in the Employment Tribunal or the High Court.

Director’s Duties

Carter-Ruck has experience advising on directors’ duties, and disputes arising in relation to those duties.

The firm’s well-established financial services disputes practice also allows us to bring specific and contextual expertise to the table when there is an FCA/regulatory aspect to the matter.

Discrimination

Whether someone has been discriminated against on the grounds of disability, sex, sexual orientation, age, pregnancy and maternity, gender reassignment, race, religion and belief or marriage and civil partnership, they may have recourse in law. Carter-Ruck can assist individuals who have been discriminated against on the basis of any of these protected characteristics to obtain effective redress.

We recognise individuals may have concerns about raising discrimination complaints. We always deal with matters sensitively and the firm’s lawyers have the utmost discretion. Further, we are ideally placed to manage potential media issues as the case progresses.

Partnership disputes

We have wide experience advising and acting on disputes arising from partnerships and partnership agreements, whether LLPs or conventional partnerships. Such matters span a whole range of issues, including discrimination, post-termination obligations and the rights and duties of partners under partnership agreements.

The firm recently secured successful settlement of a claim brought by a businessman against his fellow partner and joint freeholder of the property in dispute. The client’s objectives were successfully met, namely obtaining an order for sale and the taking of an account.

Restrictive covenants

It is natural that businesses might seek to restrict the business activities of their employees once those individuals have left employment, particularly where such activity would be in direct competition with the company’s interests. However, disputes will often arise as to the boundaries of such covenants, and whether or not they are enforceable in the first place.

Carter-Ruck can help in this respect, not only advising on the most appropriate course of action for both businesses and individuals, taking into account any restrictive covenants that are in place, but also in protecting our clients’ interests should a breach be alleged.

Unfair dismissal

Employees will generally have the right to pursue a claim for unfair dismissal where they have obtained at least two years’ qualifying service. When such an employee is dismissed, the employer must be able to demonstrate that there was fair reason for doing so. Examples of fair dismissal include breach of statutory restriction, lack of capability, redundancy or bad conduct. The employer must also have acted reasonably in treating the fair reason as sufficient for dismissal.

Where an employer is unable to demonstrate the above, Carter-Ruck may be able to bring a claim on the employee’s behalf, using our renowned expertise in the field of dispute resolution to obtain appropriate redress in an appropriate and timely manner.

Wrongful dismissal

A claim for wrongful dismissal arises from a dismissal (actual or constructive) in breach of an employer’s contractual obligations. Unlike with unfair dismissal, ‘fairness’ is not an issue; the only question is whether there has been a breach of the terms of the relevant contract, which can be express or implied. Together with unfair dismissal, this cause of action provides an employee with significant legal protection should their employer decide to let them go.

The most common form of wrongful dismissal is where an employee is let go with inadequate notice. Failure by the employer to adhere to a contractual disciplinary procedure is also a common ground for a wrongful dismissal claim.

Where an employee has suffered loss as a result of a dismissal which is believed to be in breach of an employment contract, Carter-Ruck may be able to assist in an action to obtain redress in the Employment Tribunal or the Courts.

Whistleblowing

Whistleblowing can generally be characterised as making a disclosure in the public interest. More often than not, whistleblowing will occur when an employee reports his employer to a public body (for example a regulator or even the police) for undertaking unlawful practices.

UK employment law provides protection for an employee who blows the whistle on their employer (or indeed anybody at the individual’s place of employment). Such protection goes further than the normal statutory law in relation to being unfairly dismissed, and extends to cover aspects such as not being promoted on account of whistleblowing.

If an individual is intending to blow the whistle, it is important that they do so in accordance with the provisions of the law, so as to ensure they are afforded the full level of protection offered. This will include consideration of the type of information which amounts to a ‘qualifying disclosure’, and to whom the information should be disclosed.

Carter-Ruck can advise individuals on the correct steps to take if they are considering blowing the whistle. Should such an individual be concerned about being dismissed or unfairly treated as a result of whistleblowing, the firm is well placed to advise on the steps to take to protect their interests, including bringing claims in the Employment Tribunal to recover losses where necessary. Moreover, Carter-Ruck’s experience of dealing with the media provides individuals with critical advice on possible reputational fall-out resulting from whistleblowing.

The firm’s expertise in the field of banking disputes, including a thorough understanding of the regulatory framework applicable to the banking industry, provides a knowledge base which lends itself particularly well to whistleblowing disputes within the financial services sector.


© 2016 Carter-Ruck, 6 St Andrew Street, London EC4A 3AE | lawyers@carter-ruck.com

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