A ‘vexatious and scandalous’ claim against national firm Shoosmiths, the Outer Temple and others for £60 million has been struck out for the second time.

Mr W Maseke had made a number of race discrimination complaints against his employer, Telefonica, including that he was asked questions about Tanzania, about his marital status and whether he was in the toilet. 

Employment Judge Gumbiti-Zimuto had described the claims put forward as ‘hopeless’ at the Reading Tribunal Centre in July 2022.

But the claimant brought further claims, in two of which he also added Telefonica’s lawyers, Shoosmiths and the Outer Temple as defendants.

His particulars of claim began by saying: ‘This is a discrimination victimization, harassment, intimidation, aggravation (“conduct”), and a protected disclosure (p.d) claim as there has been a collusion between the tribunal, HMCTS, lead respondent (Telefonica UK Ltd), its representative and counsel.’

The respondents wrote to the tribunal to request a preliminary hearing at which they intended to argue the claims should be struck out. They wrote: ‘In addition to the multiple and excessively detailed correspondence sent by the claimant to the tribunal, the claimant has raised two further claims against the respondent and also a claim against ourselves as the respondent’s legal adviser and also a barristers’ chambers’, it read.

'Since the respondent’s first application, the claimant has continued to make spurious allegations against the respondent, Shoosmiths LLP and / or Miss Clarke in their role as the respondent’s adviser, Mr Lawrence in his role as the respondent’s barrister at the three preliminary hearings, and also Employment Judge Gumbiti-Zimuto and the Employment Tribunal.'

The claimant even applied for Gumbiti-Zimuto to recuse himself from the case, accusing him of deliberate collusion with the respondent and discriminating against the claimant because of his race.

On 22 June last year, Gumbiti-Zimuto said: ‘There are essentially no facts alleged that by the claimant to support these allegations. Though reluctant to do so I am satisfied that it is on balance better that I recuse myself from the further conduct of the claimant’s case. I come to this conclusion because I consider that I act as a lightning rod to further complaints from the claimant.’

Medical evidence submitted to the tribunal stated that the claimant has generalised anxiety disorder as well as a depressive illness.

Employment Judge Anstis later struck out the claimant’s claims on the basis of the manner in which proceedings had been conducted and whether a fair trial is possible, rather than any consideration of the underlying merits of the claims. The judge said: 'I have no hesitation in finding that the claimant has conducted these proceedings in a scandalous, unreasonable and vexatious manner.'

But the claimant had lodged a request for a reconsideration. He asked the court to ‘issue a summary judgment for the amount sought of £60,000,000 against the respondents, which I shall put a percentage on each respondent a percentage based on the weight of their acts.’

Judge Anstis, in a decision on 25 January published today, said there was ‘no reasonable prospect’ of the original decision being varied or revoked.