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Memorable Cases - Reflecting on 10 years

Our top 10 memorable cases

We’re in reflective mode in this, SCE’s 10th year in business, and in this blog, we’re looking back at 10 memorable cases – those where we have sometimes been tested but have overcome problems, learned lessons, strengthened relationships and delivered successful outcomes for our clients.  We have even laughed at times!  Guiding our clients to a successful outcome is a key part of what we do and gives us a great deal of job satisfaction. 

I must say I think the key ingredient to a successful business is undoubtedly its employer-employee relationships.  Employment issues can have a huge impact on a business or indeed on an individual – they can often be complicated and require important decision-making, which may shape their future. 

I love the challenge these issues bring.  Nothing motivates me more than analysing complex legislation, especially TUPE, helping overcome a client’s problems and alleviating any stress that this may be causing.  Whether it’s advice on a grievance, disciplinary procedure, settlement agreement or representation in a tribunal, I think our focus on relationships and communication helps to resolve any differences. 

Employers often think the odds are stacked in favour of the employee and employees usually think the opposite, which probably means it is about right, but we do see cases where an employee with no real claim causes the employer to run up significant legal costs.

Here are 10 of our ‘flagship’ cases, which highlight the complexity of the cases we deal with and show off our range of legal expertise and understanding of relationships, our resilience and I think also the (sometimes) lighter side of complex employment law.

  1. Working with an international insurance company we dealt with a complex TUPE transaction where several companies were being purchased across the group. We worked with cross-border lawyers and had to delve into some complex legislation to provide a commercially viable solution to the group, which balanced risk against achieving their commercial objectives. 
  1. We dealt with a complex 3-day employment tribunal for a lighting company whereby a claimant was pursuing constructive unfair dismissal. The claimant made various allegations against the chairman as well as myself – alleging that I was in conspiracy with the company to deny him his commission payments. Together we had to find the funny side of everything. It taught me that laughter is truly the best medicine when dealing with fetching allegations. 
  1. Acting for an associate dentist in an unfair dismissal & pregnancy discrimination claim.  This claim, which was a 2-day hearing, failed in the unfair dismissal element, but the case confirmed that associate dentists are workers and not employees because they bear the financial risk of the work. We succeeded in the pregnancy discrimination claim – one of my first discrimination claims and highlighted that a case can fail or succeed in the evidence of witnesses. 
  1. In acting for a mid-tier architect’s firm in a shareholder’s dispute we managed to resolve the matter at the pre-action stage by agreeing a settlement agreement, which included the buy-back of the shares. The solicitors on the other side were extremely difficult, which led the transaction to take a lot longer than anticipated causing stress and anxiety for the client. We had to carefully manage the client’s expectations and encourage him to persist. By not taking the deal off the table, the completion of the transaction would in the long run be in his best interests as well as in the best interests of the business. 
  1. Understanding the intricate details of TUPE and managing the number of legal representatives were key factors in acting for 1 in 5 respondents in a multiple claimant (12) matter relating to a restructure and changes in a service provision.  Thankfully, we were successful in establishing that our client was not responsible for failing to transfer the claimants nor was it responsible for any redundancy payments and the compensation for all 12 claimants was covered by another respondent. 
  1. During the closure of a medical provider, we were very hands on with the redundancy process and the complex redundancy calculations in accordance with the NHS Agenda for Change.
  1. We acted for a healthcare provider where a locum GP was alleging he was an employee and not a consultant. This was successfully defended in the Employment Tribunal and Employment Appeals Tribunal (EAT). 
  1. We represented and successfully defended a client in a constructive unfair dismissal claim brought by a long-standing employee.  The claim was brought on the basis that the firm had failed to pay his salary even though he had initially agreed to the delay due to financial reasons. 
  1. Furlough – need I say anymore on this!  We have read reams of government guidance, interpretated new government rules and almost instantly provided advice to clients. 
  1. Advising and assisting a company with breaches of the National Minimum Wage.

Please get in touch if you feel you need some support or advice on any employment related issue.  We’d be delighted to get to know you and help in any way we can.

Samira Cakali

If you have enjoyed this article and would like to be kept updated on Employment Law issues please subscribe to our monthly newsletter. Please do not hesitate to contact us on 0113 350 4030 or at hello@scesolicitors.co.uk

SCE Solicitors is a boutique employment law and litigation practice based in Leeds which advises clients nationwide. Please note that the information in this blog is to provide information of general interest in a summary manner and should not be construed as individual legal advice. Readers should consult with SCE Solicitors or other professional counsel before acting on the information contained here. 

Samira Cakali

Samira Cakali is a pragmatic and approachable solicitor advocate with extensive contentious and non-contentious experience in the fields of employment law as well as civil litigation, within a range of commercial businesses from SME’s to multinationals as well as senior executives.

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