Susanna Gilmartin, Partner, represented a senior director in relation to the abrupt termination of his employment, successfully assisting him in obtaining funding for High Court proceedings and negotiating a six figure compensation package for him.
Our client a senior director of a large company was called into a meeting and informed that his position was redundant. This was clearly not the case as his role did not cease to exist and someone else was already positioned to assume his role. After what was purported to be a consultation process, his employment was terminated with immediate effect. The company paid him his salary to the end of the month, but did not pay him his 12 months contractual notice nor his contractual benefits which were payable during the notice period, nor a redundancy payment despite claiming he was redundant.
The company clearly decided that there was a very good chance that our client would sue them, so tactically decided not to pay him the monies due to him. This was without a doubt a strategic decision designed to place maximum pressure on him. No doubt they hoped that he would be placed under considerable financial pressure given that he had a mortgage and three children to support which would also mean that he would need to secure new employment quickly thereby mitigating any losses he might have. They clearly hoped that adopting this approach would result in him accepting a lower settlement figure. The economic climate however indicated that securing new employment would take time and given that he had extensive and enforceable restrictive covenants it was clear it was going to be difficult to obtain new employment quickly. When he consulted us he felt that the odds were stacking up against him and his hands were tied.
Susanna assisted our client in securing funding for High Court breach of contract and wrongful dismissal proceedings and was ready to issue High Court proceedings within a very short period of time. Once the company realised that our client was ready to issue, not surprisingly they decided to enter into serious settlement negotiations rather than face defending proceedings that they had no prospects of defending and paying out substantial costs. In addition to securing a six figure compensation package, Susanna also secured his release from and the relaxing of various restrictive covenants.