200 ex-KWM staff given go-ahead to bring employment claim following firm’s collapse

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By Thomas Connelly on

Just a week after the defunct EUME arm’s debts were laid bare

An employment tribunal claim brought by around 200 former employees of King & Wood Mallesons (KWM) has been given the go-ahead.

The legal action — which is being brought following the collapse of KWM’s European, UK and Middle East (EUME) branch earlier this year — is related to the outfit’s alleged failure to carry out a formal 45-day consultation process prior to making redundancies.

Reports this week now state that an employment tribunal has given the claim the green light, with a hearing expected to take place in the coming months. The matter, which is being brought mainly by ex-support staff, is being handled by Surrey law firm Herrington Carmichael.

Legal Cheek understands that the claim, if successful, will be paid out through the government’s Insolvency Service Redundancy Payments Service and will be capped at £479 per week for each ex-KWM employee. This is because the firm’s EUME arm is now in administration. We got in touch with the administrators at Quantuma on this story, but they have declined to comment.

The news of the claim’s progress comes just a week after the true extent of the outfit’s debts were laid bare.

According to an administrators’ report filed with Companies House, the EUME arm went under owing BPP Law School a whopping £236,000. This is because BPP used to provide Graduate Diplomas in Law (GDL) and Legal Practice Courses (LPC) for future KWM trainees. Speaking at the time, a spokesperson for the law school giant told Legal Cheek:

All of our KWM GDL and LPC students will still be able to complete their programmes with us.

Other organisations purportedly left out of pocket include the University of Law (£4,801), the University of Bristol Students’ Union (£1,700), University College London (£1,374), Oxford Law Society (£1,080), the University of York (£693) and the University of Leeds (£204).

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