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Employment Law Specialists

Successful defence of a whistleblowing claim and achieving a zero damages award for a procedural unfair dismissal reduced to zero

Mofdi Gassoumi v Houlihan Lokey (Europe) Limited – ET

Mr Gassoumi was originally employed by our client, Houlihan Lokey in France. He raised a grievance about his compensation and seniority level. As part of the resolution of this he signed a settlement agreement and moved to the UK.  On moving to the UK, Mr Gassoumi received negative feedback on his performance and was placed on a PIP. Just before the end of the performance process he raised a further grievance. He was subsequently dismissed for gross misconduct for breaching Houlihan Lokey’s IT policies by downloading confidential company information.

Mr Gassoumi claimed that he had been dismissed for making protected disclosures (originally 53 disclosures, later reduced to 45) and that he had been subjected to 43 detriments, subsequently reduced to 36.

The Tribunal found that Mr Gassoumi has made protected disclosures when he raised a grievance in France, but that he had not been subjected to any detriments as a result (on the contrary, Mr Gassoumi received favourable treatment afterwards). The Tribunal also found that Mr Gassoumi made subsequent protected disclosures.

On the detriment claims, the Tribunal found either that the detriments were not made out or, for those instances where Mr Gassoumi was found to have been subjected to detrimental treatment this was not because of protected disclosures.

The Tribunal found that the principal reason for dismissal was misconduct but that the dismissal was unfair on the basis that Houlihan Lokey had failed to disclose part of the IT expert’s report to Mr Gassoumi. However, the Tribunal found that Mr Gassoumi would have been dismissed in any event on the same date had he been given the report. The wrongful dismissal claim failed because the Tribunal found that Mr Gassoumi had committed gross misconduct. His misconduct was so serious that the Tribunal held that he should not be paid a basic award. 

The decision is not available online as it pre-dates the Employment Tribunal database.