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Wrongful Dismissal

Wrongful Dismissal

Wrongful dismissal claims are, in effect, breach of contract claims. Employees will typically consider making such claims where the claim is high value, over the unfair dismissal limit. Given the risks with such claims, it is essential to have excellent employment lawyers on your side.

Most wrongful dismissal claims will involve senior executives in highly paid roles and positions. Such individuals often have non-standard employment contracts which have been carefully drafted and which may include complex clauses relating to performance and financial packages such as:-

  • bonus entitlements, whether discretionary or otherwise
  • lengthy notice periods, garden leave and non-competition restrictive covenants
  • share options
  • fixed term contracts
  • performance related clauses
  • clauses relating to corporate governance or compliance
  • non-standard employment clauses relating to dismissal or breach of contract

Interpretation of clauses often vital with wrongful dismissal

Given the types of clauses and issues outlined above are generally non-standard, disputes often centre around the interpretation of these clauses. With employment contracts generally, tribunals and courts will tend to be more willing to find clauses are unenforceable by an employer, in whole or part, as being excessive, in situations where there is a perceived inequality of bargaining position. However, the more senior the employee, the less likely this can be used to advantage.

Higher risk of legal costs with wrongful dismissal

Claims are generally made for wrongful rather than unfair dismissal based on the cap for unfair dismissal awards in the employment tribunal. Consequently, most wrongful dismissal claims will be made in The High Court, which in turn means that, in contrast to the employment tribunal, costs may be awarded depending on the outcome of the case. The risk of a costs order against you, potentially for a sizeable amount is an important consideration and a good reason for ensuring that you have specialist, experienced and credible employment lawyers representing you.

The risk is also compounded by the fact that, the higher the value of the claim, the more chance there is likely to be that the employer will fight the case a long way, perhaps even to trial, taking every legal, technical and tactical point available, possibly for attritional reasons or even pursuing a counterclaim against the employee.

Contact our employment law experts today

If you are an employee facing wrongful dismissal, you could be entitled to compensation. Contact IBB's employment team today for expert advice. Call us today on 03456 381381 or email employment@ibblaw.co.uk.

Marc Jones

Marc Jones

Partner marc.jones@ibblaw.co.uk 01895 201719