Lancaster solicitors win £1m payout for BHS staff

The JWK litigation team.
The JWK litigation team.

Staff at Lancaster law firm JWK Solicitors have helped 112 former British Homes Stores staff members win a £1million payout at an employment tribunal.

After months of preparation, JWK’s employment law department saw the workers awarded 90 days’ pay each, estimated to be worth up a total of £1million.

The staff, all of whom were based in BHS’s head office in London, were seeking compensation for the company’s failure to deal with their redundancies properly.

In summing up, the employment tribunal ruled that there were no mitigating circumstances excusing the failure to collectively consult with the employees prior to dismissing them and awarded the claimants more than £5,000 towards their tribunal fees.

Carl Moran, director and head of employmentlaw at JWK, said he was delighted with the favourable judgment.

He said: “This case centred on the fact that BHS failed to collectively consult with our clients before making them redundant.

“In light of this the employment tribunal has awarded each of them the maximum possible damages of 90 days’ pay.

“This case involved very complex legal issues and we are pleased to have been able to successfully represent our clients and to have secured a just outcome for them.”

“The fact that this group of former employees, all based in London, chose a Lancaster-based firm to represent them is of great significance not only for JWK, but also for other leading regional firms,” said JWK’s managing director, Craig Hollingdrake.

“So often it is assumed that the bigger cases need to be handled by the most expensive lawyers and that larger clients need to engage the services of city firms, but that is simply not the case.

“We have many highly regarded legal specialists working at our firm, individuals who prefer to be based away from the city and to bring up their families in the beautiful surroundings of north Lancashire and Cumbria.

“Many of our clients have the same experience. They are attracting not only the very highest calibre of staff, but also clients who are tired of paying disproportionately high fees to city centre firms for services that can be provided by excellent companies based in the regions.”