Wrongful dismissal—law firms
Wrongful dismissal—law firms

The following Practice Management guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Wrongful dismissal—law firms
  • What you can claim
  • Liquidated damages and penalties
  • The duty to mitigate
  • Benefits in kind
  • Interest
  • Accelerated receipt

What you can claim

Wrongful dismissal is dismissal in breach of contract. If someone is wrongfully dismissed they may claim compensation for all financial and other benefits that would have been received had they been dismissed in compliance with the contract (ie had they remained employed until the end of their notice period or until the end of the contract's fixed term). Some contracts may specify a precise sum (or a precise means of calculating it) that must be paid to end the contract lawfully, either as an alternative to giving notice or as the only means of termination. Other contracts state a specific sum that is to be paid in compensation in the event of dismissal in breach of contract.

It is not generally possible to claim damages for the manner in which the dismissal is carried out, but if an employee has already acquired a cause of action (in contract or negligence) at common law prior to dismissal, that cause of action remains independent of the dismissal. An employee may also claim for financial loss flowing from 'stigma' caused by a pre-dismissal contractual breach.

An employee cannot, generally, claim damages for the loss of a chance to remain employed had a contractual disciplinary procedure been followed properly, but may be able to claim for losses during the period it

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