Letford Case: Record Breaking Employment Success(April 2011)

The client came to the Law Clinic in June 2010 with a potential unfair dismissal case. Following a Disciplinary Hearing in November 2009, he had been dismissed for gross misconduct. His subsequent Appeal against his dismissal in March 2010 was unsuccessful. He therefore, submitted an ET1 Form and approached the Law Clinic to see if we could assist him in his case and possibly represent him at his Employment Tribunal Hearing. After looking at the case, the Law Clinic agreed to represent the client on the basis that he had been unfairly dismissed due to his employer’s failure to comply with proper procedure during the dismissal process. The evidence also suggested that the client’s actions had not amounted to gross misconduct.

The Employment Tribunal Hearing took place in December 2010 and was scheduled to last five days. After the respondent’s led their evidence, we cross examined each of their witnesses and successfully highlighted how they had failed to follow proper procedures when dismissing our client. We then led evidence from our client along with his Trade Union Representative in order to further illustrate the unfairness surrounding our client’s dismissal. We also demonstrated that the client’s actions did not constitute gross misconduct. In the end, the leading of witnesses only lasted two and a half days, after which both sides gave their closing arguments.

We waited three months for the findings of the Employment Tribunal Hearing. However, it was well worth the wait. The Tribunal found that our client been unfairly dismissed and awarded him a total of £69,358 in compensation.

He was absolutely delighted with this outcome, and continually maintained that the important aspect of this result was not the financial gain, but rather the satisfaction that the Tribunal had found him to be have been unfairly dismissed.

This case is just one of many examples where the Law Clinic and work of its advisers can make a visible difference in people’s lives. It is not about how much money we can achieve for our clients, but also about helping them with legal problems which would otherwise go unresolved. In short, it is about helping as many people as possible achieve access to justice.