29th June, 2020

When is an appeal academic?

Patel v Wolverhampton College EAT

Before the Employment Tribunal, the Claimant had advanced numerous heads of claim; including allegations of race discrimination. There followed a series of orders by which aspects of the claims were struck out. The Claimant failed to comply with case management orders concerning the remainder. Following dismissal of her claims for non-compliance, the parties entered into a conciliated settlement agreement by which the Respondent relinquished its application for cots and the Claimant purported to comprise all claims within the proceedings. At the time of the settlement agreement, the Respondent was unaware that the Claimant had lodged two appeals against the previous strike out orders and reconsideration. The settlement reached through respective solicitors and ACAS made no provision for any appeal. The Claimant sought to pursue her appeals some time later; relying upon significant health difficulties to justify an extension of time. The Respondent successfully submitted that the existence of the settlement rendered the Appeal futile and, insofar as the Claimant was seeking to set aside the settlement, she was required to do so within Court proceedings; not before the Employment Appeal Tribunal. These realities prompted the EAT to refuse to extend time for and the  appeals were dismissed. Ed Morgan appeared on behalf of the Respondent.

Ed Morgan

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