Clydes, bribes and multi-appeals

A Clyde & Co partner who was asked to leave after blowing the whistle on alleged corrupt practices in the firm’s Tanzania relationship firm has hired Richard Hermer QC of Matrix Chambers to lead her fight against her old firm (see story).

Former Clydes equity partner Krista Bates van Winkelhof says she was pushed out of the firm after reporting that the managing partner of AKO Law, Clydes’ relationship firm in Tanzania, had paid bribes to secure work and favourable outcomes on cases.

She initially brought a claim in the Employment Tribunal and Clydes responded by arguing that she had no jurisdictional grounds to pursue her case in the UK. The Employment Appeals Tribunal (EAT), however, was having none of Clydes’ arguments and said that as a ’limb worker’ Bates van Winkelhof had every right to base her claim here.

Clydes has now vowed to challenge the EAT decision in the Court of Appeal. This is not the first time the firm has tried to keep the case out of court on a technicality, either: last year it argued – unsuccessfully – to the High Court that the firm’s partnership deed stipulated that the dispute must be settled through alternative dispute resolution.

Depending on what happens with Clydes’ appeal, the substantive hearing at the Employment Tribunal is scheduled to be heard on 18 June.