Nearly 300 former employees of the now defunct European arm of international firm King & Wood Mallesons (KWM) will share £1 million in compensation after an employment tribunal found today that the firm failed to carry out a formal redundancy consultation process.
The amount awarded is eight weeks pay per claimant, for each of the 288 employees who brought the claim forward. The claims were against King & Wood Malleson LLP and KWM EUME Services, both of which are in administration. The payments will be recovered from the Insolvency Service.
Herrington Carmichael, the Surrey and Berkshire firm acting for the claimants, brought the case to the tribunal on account of the fact the firm failed to enter into a formal consultation process before making redundancies. Businesses are required to do this if they make more than 100 redundancies at one time; KWM made around 600 employees redundant when the European arm went into administration in January.
Alistair McArthur, partner and head of employment at Herrington Carmichael, said: ’We are delighted to return a positive result for 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.’
McArthur thanked the administrators Quantuma for helping throughout the process. He added: ’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 courts.’