A solicitor has been awarded more than £32,000 after his employment was transferred from one firm to another with no consultation or notice and he won a claim for constructive dismissal.
Sitting at a London Central tribunal, employment Judge Beyzade found in Eduardo Grazioli’s favour, saying that the solicitor’s claim was well-founded. He ordered Charles Gregory Solicitors, a London firm, to pay the former employee in excess of £32,000.
Transfer of Business
Grazioli had been employed by Rider Support Services Limited, a regulated firm, since 2007. He started as a paralegal but went on to become a personal injury solicitor. Then, however, it became apparent that the firm could not operate under the existing ownership and staff had to move physical files over to Charles Gregory premises in order to facilitate a transfer of the Rider business.
The London tribunal, held as a result of the constructive dismissal claim, found that Eduardo Grazioli’s former firm had had a ‘confusing and troubling’ approach to the business handover and to alleged conduct issues.
It found that he had not been consulted about a contract of employment that was sent to him and there was a lack of evidence that the Charles Gregory firm had met with Grazioli to investigate the Rider Support Services terms of contract and to have a discussion about any changes to the terms previously applied.
Grazioli received an email telling him the results of a disciplinary investigation on the same day he was informed that his employment was being transferred to the Charles Gregory firm. The investigation resulted from allegations that Grazioli had been physically aggressive, had been absent without leave for two days and had allegedly refused to conduct his work in the company’s office.
The solicitor was suspended from his job and paid just a fraction of the expected monthly salary. As a result, his union representative advised that there were grounds for a grievance and requested disciplinary hearing details.
Attempt to Demote
The London tribunal rejected Grazioli’s allegations that his former firm had attempted to demote the solicitor to become a claims handler. It also rejected his claims that he was told to offer advice not in the best interest of clients.
The tribunal also didn’t accept that he was pressured to carry out his work with no practising certificate but did accept that he suffered distress and anxiety through not being kept informed about the status of his employment.
Grazioli said he was increasingly worried he was being forced out of the firm with no redundancy pay and that Charles Gregory did not tell him what was happening. As a result, the tribunal found that there was a fundamental contract breach and a breach of the implied duty of confidence and trust. As is often the case with many clients who Contact Employment Law Friend and similar firms, his subsequent resignation was a response to the breaches.
The judge said that the respondent had fractured the firm’s employment relationship and nothing was done to attempt to repair it. You can read more about a firm’s duty of trust and confidence at.
The judge added that the respondent just wanted Grazioli to put everything behind him and get back to work, not acknowledging that trust had been lost.