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  • Overview

    Susanna Gilmartin advised a large FE College on a difficult matter that arose involving a fraud and safeguarding investigation against a senior member of staff.

    The member of staff in question sought to bring a halt to the investigation by raising allegations against the College that it had breached the Data Protection Act 1998, the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations 2003 and the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000.

    The important aspect of this case was that the situation was highly disruptive for the College. Seeking to move matters forward took up a great deal of the senior management team’s time and quickly wracked up legal costs. 

    Our client ultimately wanted a quick resolution which would result in the employee leaving the College. The employee wanted to leave without his reputation being damaged.

    Susanna pushed the employee’s solicitor to consider mediation as there were clearly a number of matters to resolve which were not of a financial nature.

    In order to save their clients further costs, the solicitors agreed to mediate the case themselves without an appointed mediator. The format adopted was of a collaborative mediation, with an agreed format and code of conduct.

    The parties reached a resolution that was acceptable to both of them. From the College’s perspective we were able to resolve a difficult and complex matter in a day with an outcome that resulted with the staff member leaving. The employee also achieved his aims which included having an opportunity to speak to the Principal candidly and inform the College how he felt about the investigation process.

    This was a sensitive issue for both parties were reputations would have been damaged if the matter had resorted to legal proceedings being issued. This was avoided and the matter was resolved quickly and cost effectively.

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