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Over £1 million awarded to ex-KWM employees

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Employment tribunal success

Today has spelled victory for 288 ex-London employees at King & Wood Mallesons (KWM), who have been awarded more than £1 million over its redundancy process (or lack of).

The legal action was brought in London Central Employment Tribunal following the collapse of the firm’s European, UK and Middle East (EUME) arm, and relates to the outfit’s failure to carry out a formal 45-day consultation process prior to making redundancies. Businesses must enter into a formal consultation if they make more than 100 redundancies at one time, with KWM having made 600 at the beginning of this year when it went into administration.

The case was given the go-ahead in April, and today has concluded in joy for the claimants. Each of them has secured the equivalent of eight weeks’ pay, a result described by their lawyer, Alistair McArthur of Herrington Carmichael, as “very successful”. He today said:

This was a very unfortunate situation for all involved and we would like to thank the administrators Quantuma for being amenable and helpful throughout the process. Quite simply this was a clear cut legal case as far as we were concerned, KWM failed to carry out a necessary legal process to consult with staff before redundancies were made, and we were confident that the former employees had a strong case for compensation through the employment tribunal.

When KWM EUME went under in January 2017, 50 or so trainee lawyers were left mulling their future legal careers. However, in a rescue plan first revealed by Legal Cheek, 17 City firms came forward to take the stricken aspiring lawyers on. All trainees ended up finding homes at firms including: Ashurst, Reed Smith, Allen & Overy, Hogan Lovells and Freshfields.

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