Ex-employee sanctioned over “campaign to disrupt” law firm

Tribunal: Unreasonable conduct

A former employee who “entered into a campaign conducted to cause disruption” to a law firm, culminating in issuing an employment tribunal claim with fabricated evidence, has been ordered to pay costs.

Employment Judge Flood in Birmingham said that Mr D Hussain’s “very many serious and damaging allegations of misconduct and criminal activity have caused significant distress to the employees” of Birmingham personal injury firm Claim Time Solicitors

In February, at the end of a six-day hearing, the tribunal dismissed Mr Hussain’s complaints of automatically unfair dismissal and unlawful detriment on the grounds of making a protected disclosure.

Claim Time sought only its £17,750 costs of instructing counsel, which the tribunal allowed in full – costs do not automatically follow the event in the employment tribunal but this was an “exceptional” case, it said.

Judge Flood said Mr Hussain was unreasonable in bringing his claim “in the knowledge that many of the allegations made were untrue”.

She went on: “He fabricated allegations of having made disclosures and constructed a case around information he had discovered elsewhere to try and link this to his own situation. We found as a fact that none of the e-mails relied upon by the claimant were sent.”

Mr Hussain “entered into a campaign conducted to cause disruption culminating in issuing a claim that was ultimately doomed to fail as there was no truth in it”.

He was also unreasonable in the conduct of the proceedings. Rather than heed warnings about the possibility of a costs application, he instead expanded his case “based on disclosures he must have known to be false”.

He also rejected the opportunity to settle the claim “and exit the proceedings without further repercussion”, while at the hearing he maintained “what he must have known was false evidence” despite being given the opportunity to withdraw it.

“In considering whether a costs order should be made, we conclude that this behaviour caused significant unnecessary cost of instructing counsel and also given the very many serious and damaging allegations of misconduct and criminal activity, have caused significant distress to the employees of the respondent.”

Judge Flood said Mr Hussain placed “much weight on his status as a litigant in person and his lack of experience”, but this did not explain making false allegations.

“The claimant is clearly an intelligent and educated man who presented and argued his case eloquently at the tribunal. He does have litigation experience in his career so far so it is not entirely correct for him to allege that he was lacking in experience.

“In our view it is entirely appropriate for an award to be made.”

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