Franks Charlesly taken to industrial tribunal by 11 staff

Eleven former staff of disintegrating 14-partner London firm Franks Charlesly, including two ex-salaried partners, are taking the firm to an industrial tribunal claiming unfair dismissal.

The legal action is the latest event in the firm's acrimonious demise, which was triggered several months ago when Jack Franks decided to dissolve the firm – some 60 years after setting it up.

Ex-Franks Charlesly partners Marilyn Elstow and David Marcus, who moved to London firm Jay Benning & Peltz last week, are among 11 ex-employees – made up of assistant solicitors, legal executives and support staff – who have filed a claim against the firm at Woburn Place industrial tribunal in London.

“They claim they were entitled to redundancy pay because the firm was dissolving, but the equity partners disagree,” said a source.

Marcus, a top London leasehold reforms specialist, and property partner Elstow were unavailable for comment.

But a spokeswoman for Jeremy Franks, son of 82-year-old senior partner Jack Franks, said the firm would fight any action brought against it.

She added: “It is Franks Charlesly's position that the complainants informed the firm of their intention to leave before any notice of termination was served, and at a time when the firm was exploring various alternatives in order to preserve jobs.”

She added: “Jeremy Franks' understanding is that the complainants left the firm in order to take up jobs elsewhere.”

London firm Langley & Co is acting for Franks Charlesly.

Jack and Jeremy Franks and Philip Enoch were the firm's three equity partners. It was Enoch's decision to join rival Salans Hertzfeld Heilbronn that prompted Jack Franks' decision to dissolve the firm.

Jack and Jeremy Franks have become consultants at Radcliffes. Their old firm is dissolving at the end of the month.