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Employment Law Specialists

EAT decides employers are not required to follow a process which would be truly pointless

Garry Moore v Phoenix Product Development Limited – UKEAT/0070/20/OO

Mr Moore was a founder of Phoenix Product Development Limited (Phoenix), our client. He was also the CEO until he was replaced in 2017 by someone appointed by the company’s external investors.

Mr Moore was dismissed in 2018 for misconduct relating to his inability to accept that he was no longer CEO, his interactions with other employees and undermining Phoenix’s prospects to an external investor. Mr Moore was not offered a right of appeal against his dismissal.

Mr Moore’s claim for unfair dismissal included over £1 million in stigma damages. This claim was launched as a pre-cursor to an unfair prejudice action in the High Court with a claimed value of £32 million.

The Employment Tribunal found that Mr Moore had been dismissed fairly by reason of misconduct and that an appeal would have been futile. It further found that even if the dismissal was unfair, he was guilty of contributory conduct and his compensation would have been reduced by 100% to zero.

Mr Moore appealed unsuccessfully to the EAT. The EAT found that the Tribunal’s decision that the dismissal was fair even though Mr Moore had not been offered a right of appeal was not an error of law. The EAT concluded that an appeal would have made no difference to the final conclusion and an employer is not required to follow a process where that process would be pointless.

The team at BDBF acting in this matter was Gareth Brahams, Clare Brereton and Melvyna Mumunie.