Former Greensill staff win maximum award in tribunal case following fintech collapse

Paul Hennity

Almost 300 former staff of fintech firm Greensill Capital (UK) Management, which collapsed into administration last year, have been granted the maximum award of 90 days’ pay following their dismissals.

The 278 claimants, who were employed at Greensill sites in Daresbury and London, took their claim to a tribunal on the basis that the employer failed to consult with them on redundancy.

They were represented by Chester-based Aaron and Partners solicitors, led by Paul Hennity, with Tom Rushton of Linenhall Chambers.

A spokesperson for Aaron and Partners welcomed the decision, saying: “It has been a long-fought battle for the claimants who were all dismissed with immediate effect on 12 March 2021.

“We are pleased that the Aaron & Partners team has managed to secure such an excellent result.

“The tribunal rejected Greensill’s defence of special circumstances entirely, indeed finding that there were no special circumstances at all.

“There was no ‘sudden disaster’ which prevented them from consulting with staff. They failed to prove that they took all practicable steps to consult with the staff, concluding that they took no steps at all.”

Employment Judge Glennie agreed with the claimants’ submission that a failure to do anything must, at best, be seen as serious naivety, or at worst, a deliberate decision to do nothing.

He noted that there was no evidence to suggest whether or not Greensill had the opportunity to take legal advice but, noting the size of the organisation, there was no reason for tribunal to believe that it could not have taken legal advice.

The spokesperson said: “The tribunal found the proposed sale to Apollo, which collapsed on 10 March 2021, was merely a proposal and was not an offer to purchase. They also found that the appointment of Grant Thornton on 31 December 2020 was an indication that Greensill knew there was a risk of job losses and that the company had been in financial difficulty for approximately a year before the dismissals.

“Neither Greensill nor the administrators produced any witnesses at the final hearing to support the special circumstances defence, nor did any representatives attend the hearing to make submissions or to cross examine the witnesses on their behalf.

“We would like to thank the Aaron & Partners team of Paul Hennity, Deborah Coyne, Anjali Brown and Grace Roberts, together with Tom Rushton of Linenhall Chambers, for their hard work in securing this fantastic result.”