UK Court holds that fixed share partner is not an 'employee'

February 2, 2012 The UK Court of Appeal has ruled that a fixed share partner at Lester Aldridge is not an employee for the purposes of unfair dismissal laws.

The Court drew a distinction between the firm’s fixed share partners and their salaried partners. Since the latter group made no capital contribution, had no share of profits, including on a winding up, and no voice as of right in relation to the management of the firm, they were considered to be employees, which means that they would have the protection of unfair dismissal laws.

The plaintiff in this matter, Martin Tiffin, was a fixed share partner and so cannot appeal to ththe protections under section 230(1) of the Employment Rights Act 1996.

Tiffin was represented by Devereux Chambers’ Shaen Catherwood, instructed through the Bar Pro Bono Unit and Serle Court’s John Machell instructed under the Bar Public Access Scheme. Lester Aldridge was represented by Old Square Chambers’ Jennifer Eady QC leading Mark Whitcombe.

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