News

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.

For all the latest commercial awareness info, and advance notification of Legal Cheek’s careers events, sign up to the Legal Cheek Hub.

7 Comments

Employment pupil

Juicy.

(1)(0)

Anonymous

1m divided by 288 is maybe £3.5k each. 8 weeks pay? Something doesn’t add up.

(1)(0)

Anonymous

Works out to an average of about £21k a year.
It doesn’t say what position these employees had, could have been a lot of junior support staff in there. And again, we’re working with averages and rough figures here. Doesn’t seem too far fetched to me.

(6)(0)

Anonymous

Surely the base was at least mid 20s?

(0)(0)

Irwin Mitchell Trainee

That’s roughly how much I am paid for eight weeks of work (if you factor in the digestives).

(2)(2)

Anonymous

I don’t know the source of the £1m figure.

However, it is possible that the reference to 8 weeks’ pay in the article reflects the maximum amount of the tribunal award that can be recovered from the National Insurance Fund in the event that the employer doesn’t pay; i.e. the money that these employees are likely to actually receive given that the employer in this case is insolvent.

Payments from the National Insurance Fund are also subject to the statutory cap on a week’s pay, which is currently £489 per week.

If that is the case then £1m looks about right.

(3)(0)

Anonymous

Scumbag firm. Serves them right to fall down on their ass.

(0)(0)

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