Employment Lawyers: Who Really Gets The Tips?

The Employment Tribunals (Constitution and Rules of Procedure) Regulations 2004 set out the normal rules for Tribunal proceedings.

Employment Judges have the power, under Rule 18(7)(c), to strike out any claim or response on the grounds that ‘the manner in which the proceedings have been conducted by or on behalf of the claimant or the respondent…has been scandalous, unreasonable or vexatious’.

In the recent case of Force One Utilities v Hatfield, the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) held that it was appropriate to debar the employer from taking any further part in the Tribunal proceedings and to strike out its response, after one of the employer’s witnesses intimidated the claimant outside the Tribunal building, following a hearing on 26 April 2007.

The witness, Mr Shuter, was an executive director of an associated company of Force One Utilities and had played a key role in handling the unfair dismissal case on behalf of the employer. When the matter came back before the Employment Tribunal (ET) on 27 September 2007, Mr Hatfield described how Mr Shuter had sworn at him and made a serious threat of physical harm to him. He told Mr Hatfield he should be careful “how he slept at night”, then drove alongside his car, blocking him in, wound down his window and said, “Me and you – ten minutes up the road now.” The intimidation had caused Mr Hatfield great anxiety and he was still nervous and afraid.

The ET judged that it was unlikely that a fair trial could be held if the employer took part in the proceedings. The employer appealed to the EAT, which upheld the ET’s decision. There was a proper evidential basis for the ET’s conclusion and the decision did not reflect any error of law. Although it was a ‘draconian step’ to take and would affect the ability of the respondent to defend the case, this was something they had brought upon themselves.

Pinder Reaux & Associates

Business Services News

Read Next


What people say

"We shall, no doubt, be engaging you again soon"

"The matter was concluded very successfully and I’d like to thank John and Wilson again for their helpful and highly professional work earlier this year."

Alex Bailey, Trichromic LLP'

"Great Source of Support"

"You have essentially achieved what we had set out to do. Thank you for all of your assistance in this matter. Throughout this ordeal, you have been a great source of support."

Mary Anne Poutanen, Canada

"I could not have chosen a better firm to represent me."

"You provided the key essentials (and more) for client satisfaction. I am extremely pleased with the services provided by your company and the legal team provided for me. To also turnaround my situation making it a positive outcome, I could not have chosen a better firm to represent me."

Marvyn Smith, London

"I would recomend this service to anyone who has a legal matter"

"I'm so glad I had this advice before my CMD. I was very much prepared and think my company (whom I'm taking to a tribunal) were shocked at my knowledge. I would recommend this service to anyone who has a legal matter."

Jacqueline Stevenson, Bristol

"Can’t wait for another session!"

"John Spyrou kindly offered to provide our publishing firm with an update on libel and defamation law. Those who attended - a mix of veteran editors and those new to the world of journalism - all said how practical and useful they found the training – and now can’t wait for another session!"

Paul Snell, Redactive Media Group

"Highly recommended"

"Alana & Pinder Reaux’s level of service has been exceptionally high. Always keen to help out with the work in an efficient manner. Highly recommended."

Trading Point of Financial Instruments UK Ltd

"Fast and Reliable"

"Fast and reliable notary service for notarisation/legalisation of College reports for foreign office and embassies."

Student Services Department, CATS College London

"One step ahead of the opposition"

"'John Spyrou has the ability to pre-empty arguments and see issues before they arise, thereby allowing him to be one step ahead of the opposition’"

Christopher Bovey, Angelbird Technologies GmbH