King & Wood Mallesons’ (KWM) London ex-employees have been awarded over £1m by an employment tribunal today (20 September).
The 288 claimants in this ongoing claim will receive compensation after the firm failed to carry out a formal redundancy consultation process with their staff after the firm’s collapse in Europe earlier this year.
Last month, The Lawyer reported that ex-employees were poised to accept a six-figure sum offer by the collapsed firm’s administrators instead of taking the claim to the employment tribunal.
Had the settlement gone ahead the employees, which formally launched their action earlier this year against the KWM EUME LLP, would have received almost £800,000 through this deal.
The lawyers acting for the group, Herrington Carmichael, were understood to have urged their clients at the time to accept an offer which would allow a maximum of £479 per week per person to be recouped. The most an individual can claim from the Redundancy Payment Office stands at £3,832.
Herrington Carmichael partner and head of employment Alistair McArthur said: “Today we are delighted to return a positive result for a group of the former employees of the London arm of what was King & Wood Mallesons. The 288 claimants in this case were bold to take on a claim like this and they have been very successful.
“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, King & Wood Mallesons 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.
“We at Herrington Carmichael were pleased to be approached to take on this legal case, and to return an excellent result for our clients.”
This month, The Lawyer calculated that KWM Europe administrators had spent around £1.7m since January 2017 on the administration of the business, based on a report on spending published on Companies House.