Recent work

Employment disputes (disputes between employees and employers where an Employment Tribunal claim is possible and the relationship is likely to end)

  • Unfair dismissal claim – a multinational pharmaceutical company in a dispute with a senior scientist. The conflict developed when the scientist alleged that she was being bullied by her manager and that HR, who she said had been made aware of her allegation and had a duty of care, had not dealt with the situation. The scientist was subsequently disciplined for using inappropriate words, insubordination, failure to comply with the formal performance improvement plan and failure to comply with the Company’s overtime, annual leave and time-keeping policies, and ultimately dismissed. She filed an Employment Tribunal claim for unfair dismissal. Her claim was for reinstatement, re-employment or compensation in the sum of £2m. The mediation took a day and culminated in a compromise agreement which involved a payment of approximately £60 000. and terms which made it possible for her to find alternative employment. Both parties were legally represented in the mediation.
  •  Discrimination (bullying and victimisation) claim – A dispute between an insurance company and a project manager in their IT department. After his allegations of bullying and victimisation were overturned by an internal investigation he went on six months sick leave. Mediation was arranged to negotiate either a return to work or a compromise agreement.  A settlement was achieved after six hours the terms of which made it possible for the project manager to move on and find employment elsewhere, and the company to move on and rebuild the team. The company arranged for a compromise agreement to be drafted for consideration by the employee and an independent legal advisor.
  • Disability discrimination claim – An employment case post issue of proceedings and six weeks prior to trial in an Employment Tribunal in which the employee was claiming compensation for disability discrimination, damages for injury to feelings, aggravated and exemplary damages, interest, costs and compensation for loss of career earnings. The employer resisted these claims on the basis that it had made reasonable adjustments to take into account the employee’s disability and that they had not discriminated against her.

Workplace conflict (conflict between employees where the relationship is likely to be ongoing)

  •  Pre-grievance relationship breakdown – Two senior academics in a highly respected university had been encouraged by HR to use mediation. The one academic had approached HR to discuss her relationship with her senior, who she alleged regularly humiliated her in front of colleagues and who took unilateral decisions concerning her department. She said she found her senior’s style intimidating, verging on bullying. In the three-hour mediation the parties talked to one another about their concerns and reached agreement on more effective ways of working. Both academics wanted Felicity to contact them six months later to check whether a further meeting would be necessary. When she did this it turned out that relations had improved to such an extent that a further meeting was not necessary.
  • Relationship breakdown between individuals – A workplace dispute between an employment solicitor and a commercial solicitor in a busy practice who needed to co-operate with one another over transactions but who have not spoken to one another for six months. Senior partners encourage them to use mediation instead of raising grievances against one another.
  • Relationship breakdown within a team– A dispute between fours managers and a team of 10 employees. The dispute had led to four of the team members taking 7 months sick leave following an investigation of their complaint against their manager. The investigation had not upheld their allegations. Twelve mediations were held between different managers and individuals within the team and an agreement was reached on future working arrangements. 

Commercial disputes

Felicity is a member of The Court of Appeal panel of mediators in the UK. Mediation in the Court of Appeal applies to all personal injury and contract claims up to the value of £100,000 (£250k from April 2013) for which permission to appeal is sought and obtained (or adjourned).

  • Breach of contract claim of £75 000. and counterclaim of £80 000.- There had been a long-standing commercial relationship and there were future business prospects. The five-hour mediation resulted in an agreement that the defendant pay the claimant £55 000. Including costs and interest, and that the terms of future business is discussed on an agreed date. Both parties were legally represented.
  • Breach of contract claim of over £13 000. and counterclaimed of £9 000. Concerning unpaid invoices and damaged goods – The dispute was settled in mediation on the basis that the defendant pays the claimant £6 500. and withdraw the counterclaim. A Tomlin Order and settlement agreement were drafted at the conclusion of the mediation bringing the legal proceedings to an end. One party legally represented.
  • Breach of contract – A large retail concern that had commenced legal action against a supplier for compensation costs and remedial work done as a consequence of poor workmanship. The supplier had launched a counter-claim for unpaid invoices. Felicity frequently mediates small claim and fast track cases like this one, referred either directly to her or via the National Mediation Helpline.

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