Underhill, Kay and Tomlinson LJJ dismiss appeal of former Wirral Council solicitor Gregory Eyitene of earlier Employment Appeals Tribunal decision involving allegations of race and disability discrimination

Underhill, Kay and Tomlinson LJJ dismiss appeal of former Wirral Council solicitor Gregory Eyitene of earlier Employment Appeals Tribunal decision involving allegations of race and disability discrimination

Underhill, Kay and Tomlinson LJJ dismiss appeal of former Wirral Council solicitor Gregory Eyitene of earlier Employment Appeals Tribunal decision involving allegations of race and disability discrimination

                                                                        

Tim D N Kenward Invoice 2 Page 1 of 2 7 Harrington Street Chambers 19th April 2013 Gregory Eyitene v Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council £900 written advice draft letter
Tim D N Kenward Invoice 2 Page 1 of 2 7 Harrington Street Chambers 19th April 2013 Gregory Eyitene v Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council £900 written advice draft letter

I’m going to write about a rather complicated story now involving a former Wirral Council employee who worked as a solicitor there called Gregory Eyitene.

Mr Eyitene made claims of race and disability discrimination against Wirral Council which was heard by an Employment Tribunal in Liverpool (Employment Judge Ryan, Mr Roberts and Mr Gates) many years ago (the decision was sent out to parties in February 2012). The Employment Tribunal decided in favour of Wirral Council, but Gregory Eyitene then appealed this Employment Tribunal decision to the Employment Appeals Tribunal.

When it was heard by the Employment Appeals Tribunal in 2013, HHJ Richardson, Mrs A Gallico and Ms G Mills dismissed his appeal of the earlier Employment Tribunal decision. Mr Kenward of 7 Harrington Street Chambers appeared at this stage on behalf of Wirral Council.

Gregory Eyitene then appealed the decision of the Employment Appeals Tribunal to the Court of Appeal (Civil Division).

Underhill, Kay and Tomlinson LJJ dismissed his appeal in 2014. The latest decision in the case can be read online [2014] EWCA Civ 1243 and makes for interesting reading.

Mr Tim Kenward of 7 Harrington Street Chambers (who had also appeared for Wirral Council at the EAT stage) also appeared for Wirral Council in the Court of Appeal. Gregory Eyitene (the appellant) who was representing himself, had written in before the hearing to state he was unwell and couldn’t attend but was happy for it to go ahead without him there.

Although you can read the judgement for yourself [2014] EWCA Civ 1243, permission to appeal was granted (mainly) on one point, that is allegations of bias made by the appellant about the original Employment Judge Ryan who referred to a particular aspect of the Appellant’s conduct in the written reasons as “brinkmanship” (paragraph 2.37 of the reasons) as well as other reasons. The lay members (Mr Roberts and Mr Gates) to the original Employment Tribunal decision had stated they hadn’t seen the written reasons before Employment Judge Ryan had sent them out.

The view of the Employment Appeal Tribunal on their original ET decision as quoted in the judgement were as follows on this:

“In our judgment, there is no force in this point at all. The practice is for the Employment Judge to consult the members and agree findings, conclusions and reasons before the judgment and reasons are given. Based on the results of that consultation, the Employment Judge will then give reasons either orally or in writing. There is no reason to doubt that this process occurred here. The fact, if such it be, that the members did not receive a copy of the written reasons does not provide any support for the proposition that they did not associate themselves with the judgment and reasons. The members said they did not have a copy of the written reasons, but nothing in their comments suggests for a moment that they would or did disagree on the question concerned.”

The two lay members at the Employment Tribunal stage stated the following after Elias LJ had required the original Employment Judge and members to provide their comments.

Mr Roberts (one of the two lay members on the ET decision stated):

“This was a lengthy and complex case which generated a considerable amount of discussion between Tribunal members in chambers following completion of the case. I had access to my copies of the bundles and my handwritten notes totalling in excess of 80 pages. Colleagues consulted their own bundles and notes as necessary. In my many years of Tribunal experience, I have rarely been asked to comment on a draft version of the final written reasons for a judgment, nor have I been regularly copied into the written reasons sent to the parties. But I have always contributed fully to discussion and deliberations and been fully consulted in agreeing findings of fact conclusions and a final judgment. I have never had any reason to doubt that the written reasons sent to the parties would do anything other than accurately reflect the views of the Tribunal, unanimous or otherwise. I am content that Judge Ryan issued written reasons in this case that fully reflected the Tribunal’s findings and conclusions.”

and M Gates (one of the two lay members on the Employment Tribunal stated)

“Judge Ryan, Mr Roberts and myself sat down and discussed the issues and matters of fact in relation to all aspects of the case in great detail. We debated the numerous issues that had been raised throughout the hearing. Judge Ryan made full notes on all points and drafted the decision; again, standard practice in my experience. The decision we reached was a unanimous one with a full consideration and input from all the members. Judge Ryan had it typed and sent to the parties. I say this is normal/standard practice on the basis that I have sat as an ET member for over ten years sitting in six Tribunal hearing centres with judges from at least five Tribunal regions, the process followed in the various Tribunals and regions being broadly similar. Throughout my time sitting, I have only twice received from a judge a copy of the typed decision. On both these occasions, the decision of the Tribunal was not unanimous, but majority decisions; the judges on both occasions asking the members to consider the points relating to the differing views in particular.”

So Wirral Council successfully defended themselves at the Employment Tribunal stage, Employment Appeals Tribunal stage and the Court of Appeal stage of the decisions in this matter.

Some of the invoices for earlier stages in this case (for the FY 2013/14) were published in this earlier blog post. Colin Hughes was the solicitor at Wirral Council dealing with this matter at the EAT stage.

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Do you want to know what 10 redacted legal invoices (6 on employment matters) paid by Wirral Council state?

Do you want to know what 10 redacted legal invoices (6 on employment matters) paid by Wirral Council state?

Do you want to know what 10 redacted legal invoices (6 on employment matters) paid by Wirral Council state?

                                                                         

10 invoices for legal work (6 involving HR) to Wirral Council

As had written before that I’d publish some legal invoices relating to Wirral Council’s HR function, which I requested as part of the 2013/14 audit.

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1 Committee: HR

The first (two A4 pages) is from Sharpe Pritchard (numbered 14), transaction 202652 from 2nd May 2013 for £25,698.

It’s dated 31st March 2013 and is for legal services in the matter of:- (the rest is blacked out) in the period January to March of 2013 totalling £15,540.

It carries over to a second page where it states it’s also for Counsel’s fees of £5,875 in the (blacked out) hearing.

These two amounts total £21,415.00. VAT of £4,283.00 is then added making a grand total of £25,698.00.

Sharpe Pritchard Invoice 1 Page 1 of 2 2nd May 2013 £25698 legal services HR Wirral Council
Sharpe Pritchard Invoice 1 Page 1 of 2 2nd May 2013 £25698 legal services HR Wirral Council
Sharpe Pritchard Invoice 1 Page 2 of 2 2nd May 2013 £25698 legal services HR Wirral Council
Sharpe Pritchard Invoice 1 Page 2 of 2 2nd May 2013 £25698 legal services HR Wirral Council

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2: Committee HR

The next is also a two A4 page invoice, this time from Tim D N Kenward of 7 Harrington Street Chambers. It was dated 19th April 2013 and Wirral Council is the defendant in the case of Gregory Eyitene v Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council. It is for £900 and relates to 19 pages of written advice and an amended draft letter (3 pages) that took 6 hours.

It also relates to a previously paid invoice of £1875.00 for an 18 pages submission on grounds of appeal, plus advice by telephone, email, perusal of documentation with regards to disciplinary proceedings.

This totals to £750 (£125/hour * 6) + VAT of £150 = £900. Colin Hughes was the solicitor at Wirral Council that dealt with this matter and the file reference is CJH/LHRAM/25270.

Tim D N Kenward Invoice 2 Page 1 of 2 7 Harrington Street Chambers 19th April 2013 Gregory Eyitene v Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council £900 written advice draft letter
Tim D N Kenward Invoice 2 Page 1 of 2 7 Harrington Street Chambers 19th April 2013 Gregory Eyitene v Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council £900 written advice draft letter
Tim D N Kenward Invoice 2 Page 2 of 2 7 Harrington Street Chambers 19th April 2013 Gregory Eyitene v Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council £900 written advice draft letter
Tim D N Kenward Invoice 2 Page 2 of 2 7 Harrington Street Chambers 19th April 2013 Gregory Eyitene v Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council £900 written advice draft letter

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3: Committee HR

This is also a two A4 page invoice of Tim D N Kenward of 7 Harrington Street Chambers. It was dated 19th June 2013 and Wirral Council is the defendant in the case of Gregory Eyitene v Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council. It is for £3,660.00.

This is for:
Skeleton argument 5 hours preparation £750 + VAT (£150) = £900
List of authorities and paginated bundle of authorities and letter to Employment Appeal Tribunal 2 hours £300 + VAT (£60) = £360
Brief on hearing listed and prepared for preliminary hearing – Prep 10 hours, travel 4 hours, waiting 15 minutes hearing 2 hours 15 minutes £2,000 + VAT (£400) = £2,400

Total: £3,660.00.

Tim D N Kenward Invoice 3 Page 1 of 2 7 Harrington Street Chambers 19th June 2013 Gregory Eyitene v Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council £3660 skeleton argument authorities Employment Appeal Tribunal
Tim D N Kenward Invoice 3 Page 1 of 2 7 Harrington Street Chambers 19th June 2013 Gregory Eyitene v Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council £3660 skeleton argument authorities Employment Appeal Tribunal
Tim D N Kenward Invoice 3 Page 2 of 2 7 Harrington Street Chambers 19th June 2013 Gregory Eyitene v Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council £3660 skeleton argument authorities Employment Appeal Tribunal
Tim D N Kenward Invoice 3 Page 2 of 2 7 Harrington Street Chambers 19th June 2013 Gregory Eyitene v Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council £3660 skeleton argument authorities Employment Appeal Tribunal

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4: Committee EDU

This is an invoice from Sharpe Pritchard dated 18th July 2013 for £10,080. This is for legal services from April to May 2013 in the matter of (blacked out).

Sharpe Pritchard Invoice 4 Page 1 of 1 18th July 2013 £10080 legal services April to May 2013
Sharpe Pritchard Invoice 4 Page 1 of 1 18th July 2013 £10080 legal services April to May 2013

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5: Committee HR

This is an invoice from Jonathan Manning of Arden Chambers for £1,800 dated 26th July 2013. This is for 6 hours of advice given on the 8th March 2013 @ £250/hour (+VAT) in a “Determination of Employment” matter involving Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council. The blacked out bit of the line after DX 33016 is “CARDIFF”.

It appears a duplicate of invoice 6 but with more redaction.

Jonathan Manning Invoice 5 Page 1 of 1 Arden Chambers 26th July 2013 £1800 advice determination of employment
Jonathan Manning Invoice 5 Page 1 of 1 Arden Chambers 26th July 2013 £1800 advice determination of employment

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6. Committee HR

This is an invoice from Jonathan Manning of Arden Chambers for £1,800 dated 26th July 2013. This is for 6 hours of advice given on the 8th March 2013 @ £250/hour (+VAT) in a “Determination of Employment” matter involving Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council.

It appears a duplicate of invoice 5 but with more redaction.

Jonathan Manning Invoice 6 Page 1 of 1 Arden Chambers 26th July 2013 £1800 advice determination of employment
Jonathan Manning Invoice 6 Page 1 of 1 Arden Chambers 26th July 2013 £1800 advice determination of employment

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7. Committee ???

This is an interim invoice for £1,598.40 (including VAT) from Wilkin Chapman LLP. It was dated 16th October 2013 and is for advice to Wirral Council’s Monitoring Officer in August 2013.

Charges
It includes £1,190 (+VAT £238.00) total £1,428.00

Expenses
It includes an amount of £11.60 (+VAT of £2.30) total £13.80 for subsistence.
It also includes expenses for £130.50 (+VAT of £26.10) total £156.60. However the reason for this £156.60 is blacked out.

Wilkin Chapman LLP Invoice 7 Page 1 of 1 16th October 2013 advice to Monitoring Officer in August 2013 subsistence expenses £1598 40p
Wilkin Chapman LLP Invoice 7 Page 1 of 1 16th October 2013 advice to Monitoring Officer in August 2013 subsistence expenses £1598 40p

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8. Committee ENV

This is an invoice for £607.50 from Ruth Stockley of Kings Chamber for email advice (2.25 hours). She charges £225/hour (+VAT). The invoice dated 19th November 2013 and it’s to do with a planning case.

Ruth Stockley Invoice 8 Page 1 of 1 Kings Chambers 19th November 2013 email advice planning £607 50p
Ruth Stockley Invoice 8 Page 1 of 1 Kings Chambers 19th November 2013 email advice planning £607 50p

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9. Committee HR

This is an invoice for £2,220.00 from Tim D N Kenward of 7 Harrington Street Chambers. It was dated 7th January 2014. Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council is the defendant.

It is for the following:

9/12/13 Respondents Notice (8 pages) £350
20/12/13 Skeleton Argument (19 pages) 4 hours £750
3/1/14 Written advice (11 pages)
Notice of application (2 pages)
Draft order (2 pages)
Statement in support of application (10 pages)
Total 4 hours £750

Total £1850
VAT £370

Total Due £2,220

Tim D N Kenward Invoice 9 Page 1 of 1 Harrington Street Chambers 7th January 2014 respondent s notice skeleton argument written advice notice of application draft order statement in support of application £2220
Tim D N Kenward Invoice 9 Page 1 of 1 Harrington Street Chambers 7th January 2014 respondent s notice skeleton argument written advice notice of application draft order statement in support of application £2220

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10.

This is an invoice for a 1 year subscription from 2/4/14 to 1/4/15 for “Law of Food & Drugs” from LexisNexis. Invoice was dated 3rd March 2014 and is for £1659.

LexisNexis Invoice 10 Page 1 of 1 Law of Food and Drugs 1 Year subscription £1659
LexisNexis Invoice 10 Page 1 of 1 Law of Food and Drugs 1 Year subscription £1659

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