This was a long running case involving breach of contract claims brought by investment bank employees after it had been announced by the bank that the employees would be entitled to participate in a guaranteed minimum bonus pool subject to individual performance only. This announcement having been made in order to stabilise the workforce following the collapse of Lehman Brothers and the decision to separate the retail and investment divisions of the bank.
There were a number of legal issues decided almost 2 years after the High Court first held that the claims had no realistic prospect of success. The decision by the High Court was not ground breaking but instead applied well known legal principles of contract law, eventually deciding in favour of the employees that the bank was under a contractual obligation to pay the remainder of their bonus, which had been reduced by 90%.
Following the judgement employers should continue to be careful when making announcements to their workforce in particular when referring to discretionary bonuses as the content of such announcements may amount to a binding contract with staff which cannot be easily withdrawn. The case also emphasises the importance of attempting to anticipate events as far as possible when putting forward proposals or making changes to contractual terms, especially if they are as a result of a specific event, for example by offering a retention bonus or other incentive in order to stabilise the workforce.
Recent changes to the legal industry and the introduction of the alternative business structure (ABS) have sparked a debate within the profession as to whether consumers of our services are â€˜customersâ€™, or as they have traditionally been referred to, are â€˜clients.â€™ Despite the common perception that clients and customers are one and the same, this is not the case. Read More
After much debate in the Commons and the House of Lords, a new form of employment status, to be known as â€˜employee shareholderâ€™ will be introduced in Autumn 2013. Read More
In the wake of the Legal Services Act which came into effect in 2011, there has been a steady flow of well-known brands buying into the legal services market, most recently in the news, a well-known insurance company entering joint ventures with two large law firms in the south west. The pattern is likely to continue, and although these â€˜Alternative Business Structuresâ€™ or ABSâ€™s as they are known will probably focus on personal injury claims as their core market, the likelihood is that they will also branch out into other areas of law such as family, property, employment and wills and probate, to name just a few. Read More
Many people are surprised to learn that it is possible to challenge a Will. Read More
This summer marks the introduction in to the employment tribunal of a fees system and in particular a requirement on claimants (employees) to pay an issue fee when they submit a claim or appeal and a further hearing fee prior to their case being heard. Read More
In todayâ€™s economic climate most businesses are finding that monies which they are owed are not being paid until the last possible moment (if at all).Â Not all businesses will seek outside assistance to recover monies owed but, for those that do, there are many benefits.Â This note aims to highlight the common considerations to bear in mind (either before or after the work has been done or services / goods provided) to ensure that you are paid.Â The key, as in most things, is forward planning. Read More
After much debate in the Commons and the House of Lords a new form of employment status, to be known as employee shareholders, will be introduced and become law in Autumn 2013. Read More
It is important to make sure that a landlord, or his/her agent, protects any deposit received on or after 6 April 2007 when an assured shorthold tenancy has been entered into. Read More
After the Budget of 2013 and the Governments “Help to Buy scheme”, it is clear that they want to assist those first time buyers who have difficulty saving the deposit they need to get onto the property ladder. Read More