Category: Successful Cases

Notice pay after termination of employment – when can it be withheld?

Case study – how we recovered a significant sum for notice pay on behalf of a client recently

 Kuldeep S. Clair, our senior Consultant Solicitor in Employment Law and Civil Disputes offers his views and tells the story of one of his recent cases:

This question commonly arises particularly when an employee does not have the right to claim unfair dismissal due to short length of service. Or otherwise, it may be especially important where the employee is lucky enough to be entitled to a lengthy period of notice, or has been on a high salary.

I advised a client recently who worked with a notice period of six months, as a lecturer at one of the country’s most reputable universities. She had initially been dismissed with notice and the university had intended to pay her ‘in lieu of notice’. Within a matter of days afterwards, an allegation was made that she had breached certain confidentiality requirements after the termination of her contract and that the notice pay was to be withheld.

My client disputed any breach. I advised that the suggestion of a breach was nonsense, and I wrote to say that unless any serious evidence of a breach was brought forward by the employer’s HR department, we required payment in full. There was aggravated correspondence between me and the employer; I set out the legal principles which applied, and it did not seem that the employer was disagreeing with anything much that I said, but their HR manager seemed to regard it as a matter to be proven by my client, with the burden of proof on her, rather than on the University.

We were forced to issue a ‘letter before action’ to demand payment of the notice pay, combining my thorough employment law knowledge with my civil litigation skills. I considered that this approach would be the best in ‘upping the stakes’ and extracting payment as quickly as possible. It would also give us the right to claim interest and court costs, if the employer continued to be so obstinate. This was particularly so, given the large amount in question, a substantial five-figure sum for six months pay for a lecturer in London.

We were met with a response from solicitors instructed by the University. This was a well-known respectable ‘Legal 500’ firm with offices around the country. Although their letter was over two pages long and sought to defend their client’s position vigorously on the face of it, it ended in the final very short paragraph by surrendering to our very reasonable demand and offering to pay the outstanding salary. Our client readily accepted, was delighted with the result, and she received payment a few days ago.

Moral and conclusion of the story:

It is always a good idea to seek advice early as to your entitlement in an employment dispute:

Is there a valid wrongful dismissal claim? In this case, the answer was yes – a very substantial claim.

Is there a valid unfair dismissal claim? This is a completely different question. Here the answer was ‘no’ – and we advised our employee-client accordingly from the beginning.

Here, the employer was even seeking to recover alleged losses from my client for the so-called breaches of confidentiality that had been committed by her. Until eventually caving in totally and paying what was due to her!

And more to the point, we managed to conclude the dispute without having to resort to proceedings, although we would have issued proceedings if necessary.

 

Kuldeep S. Clair

Consultant Solicitor

Employment, Dispute Resolution and Litigation

+44 (0) 7484 61 4090

kuldeep@sterlinglawyers.co.uk

 

Permission to appeal granted: PK precedent

Permission to appeal has been granted by the Court of Appeal against the Country Guidance decision of PK (Draft evader; punishment; minimum severity) Ukraine [2018] UKUT 241 (IAC).
 
In PK (Ukraine), the Upper Tribunal held that where an Appellant would be punished for refusing to undertake military service in which they may be forced to engage in acts contrary to basic rules of human conduct, the punishment must reach a minimum threshold of severity in order to result in a successful asylum claim. In this case, it was found that the Appellant would most likely face a fine by way of punishment. It was held that a fine would not meet the minimum threshold of severity.
 
The judgment in PK (Ukraine) is contrary to several authorities, most notably the House of Lords’ judgment in Sepet & Anor, R (on the application of) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2003], in which it was held that where a person would be punished for refusing to engage in acts contrary to international humanitarian law, this will be sufficient for a successful asylum claim. No minimum threshold of severity was specified.
 
The Home Office’s own guidance reflects the ruling in Sepet. The guidance states that a requirement to undergo compulsory military service – or punishment for failing to complete this duty – may constitute persecution where military service would involve acts, with which the person may be associated, which are contrary to the basic rules of human conduct. 
 
The Court of Appeal has granted permission to appeal against the decision in PK(Ukraine) on the basis that the following issues raise important points of principle or practice:
(i) whether punishment for draft evasion must reach a minimum severity.
(ii) the relevance of the Home Office’s guidance, which reflects the ruling in Sepet and does not go any further to impose a minimum severity threshold.
 
The Court of Appeal found that it is arguable that the Upper Tribunal failed to consider these issues adequately.
Ruslan Kosarenko
Senior Partner
info@sterling-law.co.uk

UK Immigration & Legal Assistance

For expert advice and assistance in relation to your particular case and to enquire about the legal fees, please contact our lawyers on

Tel. +44(0) 20 7822 8599

Mobile / Viber: +44 (0) 73 0584 8477

e-mail: contact@sterling-law.co.uk

or via our online appointment booking form.

 

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Immigration Law

Applying for a Sponsor Licence

Unfortunately, very often applicants do not pay the necessary attention to the accuracy of the submitted documentation, avoiding the required procedures and rules. However, this can be a turning point in a decision-making process – and this is what happened to our Client.

One of the Sterling Law clients – an active company incorporated in London sought to employ a foreign worker (outside the EEA). The reason being that the foreign candidate possessed specific skills and knowledge required for a new project launched by the company. According to the British immigration law, in order to employ a foreign worker, a company has to have a Sponsor Licence. This is an obligatory rule which will enable the company to sponsor Tier 2 (work) visa.

Following this rule, our Client firstly applied for a Sponsor Licence on their own, without legal assistance. The application was rejected due to the reason that not all necessary documentation was provided and not in the correct format.

Our Client launched a start-up with a focus on medicine development, so they were not ready to give up that easily. The new application was made with the assistance of Sterling Law Immigration Lawyer Nataliya Varahash. Nataliya addressed and corrected all the issues raised in the rejection letter.

Nataliya, therefore, managed to achieve a positive decision for the business.

We are glad to announce that now our Client can develop their newly launched projects with the help of skillful foreign workers. We believe, that not only British society but the rest of the world will benefit from it, which would be impossible without the right people on board.

 

UK Immigration & Legal Assistance

For expert advice and assistance in relation to your particular case and to enquire about the legal fees, please contact our lawyers on

Tel. +44(0) 20 7822 8599

Mobile / Viber: +44 (0) 73 0584 8477

e-mail: contact@sterling-law.co.uk

or via our online appointment booking form.

 

Natalia Varahash, Immigration Lawyer (OISC Level 2)

Email: nataliya@sterling-law.co.uk

Tel. +44 (0) 20 7822 8535

Mob. +44 (0) 73 0598 9936

 

Appeal allowed for a further leave to remain based on private life in the UK and financially dependent child


Nollienne Alparaque and the team were recently successful in an appeal case in the First-tier Tribunal. 

In this case, the client has appealed against the refusal for a further leave to remain in the UK, in which they heavily relied on their private life in the UK and their financially dependent child of 20 years of age. The applicant is financially self-sufficient and has owned her business for over ten years. The client’s son is a University student, who failed to obtain a student loan to pay his university fees, as he did not have a three year visa.  Due to not being able to finance his own education, as he has no savings and assets, the client’s son seeks full financial support from his mother during his university years. 

The judge has considered the fact that the applicant’s son has been living with his mother before going to university, and continues to do so throughout his university years, as he is wholly reliant on his mother and does not lead an independent life. Furthermore, it was found that there is a clear financial and emotional dependency enabling the applicant’s son to complete his education without the applicant’s support. The judge noted that if the client had to leave the UK, she would not be able to run her business, which would make it no longer possible to generate the income required to support and pay for her son’s university education.

The outcome of this appeal was successful, as the judge ruled that under those circumstances it would be a breach of the right to a family life and the client’s son would be deprived in the event of his mother’s removal from the UK to pursue his education and career.





Nollienne Alparaque 

Email: nollienne@sterling-law.co.uk

Tel. +44 (0) 20 7822 8535

Mob. +44 (0) 0781276 9389

Shakir Hussain, Senior solicitor

Email: shakir@sterling-law.co.uk

Phone: +44 (0) 20 7822 8535

UK Immigration & Legal Assistance

For expert advice and assistance in relation to your particular case and to enquire about the legal fees, please contact our lawyers on

Tel. +44(0) 20 7822 8599

Mobile / Viber: +44 (0) 73 0584 8477

e-mail: contact@sterling-law.co.uk

or via our online appointment booking form.

Using unauthorised immigration services

We would like to warn our clients that there are many visa companies offering their services, however, unfortunately, not all of them are operating lawfully. 

Here at Sterling Law we are dealing with an increasing number of visa refusals issued because of our clients trusted such companies to submit documents on their behalf.

Unfortunately, many agencies find it acceptable to alter documents, such as bank statements without event telling their clients. 

Shakir Hussain assisted by Aliya Rimshelis, Immigration Lawyers at Sterling Law, resolved a spouse visa refusal at the appeal stage. 

Background of the Case:

Our client applied for the UK visitor visa 9 years ago. She sought advice from a visa agency in Ukraine as her English was not good enough to complete the online application form herself. The agency assisted her with documents preparation and completion of all the relevant papers. Her application was however refused. The agent collected documents from the visa centre and explained to our client that they refused solely because she did not have enough evidence. The refusal letter was not provided to our client. Like others who thought that the Home Office could refuse without a reason, just because they are not satisfied with your documents, our client thought the same.

When we assisted this client later on with the spouse visa application to join her settled partner, it turned out that the real reason of her previous application being refused is because the agency altered her bank letter in order for her to demonstrate that she has sufficient funds to support herself in the UK.  This was a main ground for refusal. 

As a result, our client’s immigration history was damaged, which resulted into expensive and time consuming process of appeal. Likely the appeal was allowed at the hearing and this client finally joint her partner in the UK.

This is not the only case of fraud. We also received a number of similar complaints from our clients who used such unprofessional services.

We recommend to only seek legal advice from accredited firms as doing otherwise may lead to unnecessary expenses, stress and wasted time.

UK Immigration & Legal Assistance

For expert advice and assistance in relation to your particular case and to enquire about the legal fees, please contact our lawyers on

Tel. +44(0) 20 7822 8599

Mobile / Viber: +44 (0) 73 0584 8477

e-mail: contact@sterling-law.co.uk

or via our online appointment booking form.

Shakir Hussain, Senior solicitor

Email: shakir@sterling-law.co.uk

Phone: +44 (0) 20 7822 8535

Aliya Rimshelis, Corporate Immigration Lawyer

Email: aliya@sterling-law.co.uk

Phone: +44 (0) 20 7822 8535

Another Asylum Appeal Allowed by First-tier Tribunal

Our leading immigration lawyer Oksana Demyanchuk and her team had more success as the First-tier Tribunal allowed another client’s asylum appeal. 

The client claimed asylum in the UK on the basis that they feared returning to their country of origin due to their political opinion. The client was a support of an opposition in their country of origin. After facing persecution in their country of origin, the client fled to the UK where they claimed asylum. The client then came to Sterling Law for assistance. 

Therefore, the client sought to claim asylum as due to their political opinion. This is one of five categories that may be used to claim refugee status. (The other four being race, religion, nationality, and member of a particular social group.)

This particular client has been very active in his protest against the regime in their country of origin. Due to the client’s political activities, they had been detained several times by the police and eventually imprisoned on fabricated charges! After being released from prison, the client fled to the UK out of fear for their life. 

The application was initially refused by the Home Office. Sterling Law lodged an appeal against the decision. In this case the decision of the Home Office breached the UK’s obligations under the Refugee Convention and the European Convention on Human Rights. 

On the basis of the evidence put forward, as well as expert evidence obtained from a country expert and medical expert, the Judge found that the Appellant’s case was credible and that the Appellant would be at risk on return to his country of origin. Accordingly, the appeal was allowed. 

This result is brilliant news for our client most of all, who can now remain in the UK free from fear of further persecution due to the hard work and thorough preparation of Oksana DemyanchukShould you have any questions regarding claiming asylum in the UK, or would like a free assessment of your particular personal circumstances, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Oksana Demyanchuk

Email: oksana@sterling-law.co.uk

Tel. 020 7822 8535

Michael Carter

Email: michael@sterling-law.co.uk

Tel. 020 7822 8535

UK Immigration & Legal Assistance

For expert advice and assistance in relation to your particular immigration case and to enquire about the immigration and legal fees, please contact our immigration lawyers on Tel. +44(0) 20 7822 8599, Mobile / Viber: +44 (0) 73 0584 8477, e-mail: contact@sterling-law.co.uk or via our online appointment booking form.

Appeal Granted Following Exceptional Case Preparation by Sterling Law

Sterling Law was recently instructed by a Ukraine national in an appeal case. The client was granted a residence card when she married a Lithuanian national in 2012. This residence card expired on 7 March 2018. Unfortunately, the couple separated and divorce proceedings were initiated on 10 October 2017 but it is unsure whether the marriage has been fully terminated. The client made an application for a new residence card on 11t September 2017 on the same grounds but this application was refused due to a number of reasons alleged by the Secretary of State namely; the marriage was allegedly one of convenience, the client’s husband had a number of financial links and the passport submitted by the client’s husband in her application was not valid.  

The Judge noted the fact that Secretary of State failed to adduce evidence on the assertion that the client’s marriage was one of “convenience”. Besides that, the Secretary of State also claimed that the passport submitted by the client’s husband in the application for a residence card was invalid. This is because the Lithuanian passport had allegedly been reported “lost or stolen”. The quick thinking lawyers at Sterling Law sought to get a letter from the client’s husband to be adduced as evidence. This letter was necessary to confirm that his passport was submitted with the application and was not reported lost or stolen. The Judge considered this letter credible. The Judge further noted that the Secretary of State failed to produce evidence to prove that the Lithuanian passport in question was ever reported lost or stolen by the client’s husband. On the other hand, with regards to the assertion that the client’s husband is involved in economic activity, the Judge found that this assertion has “no bearing whatsoever on the question whether his marriage” to the client was one of convenience. As a result of the lack of relevance of this issue the Judge did not take this point into consideration when making the decision. 

In the appeal hearing, the Judge was impressed by the preparation of the case. The Judge particularly complimented the witness statement and appeal bundle prepared by the experienced lawyers at Sterling Law. In addition, the Judge was also impressed by the “professionalism and candour” of the Counsel instructed by Sterling Law. 

The Judge concluded that the Sterling Law’s client provided an “entirely credible explanation” and the client “must succeed in her appeal”. 

UK Immigration & Legal Assistance

For expert advice and assistance in relation to your particular case and to enquire about the legal fees, please contact our lawyers on

Tel. +44(0) 20 7822 8599

Mobile / Viber: +44 (0) 73 0584 8477

e-mail: contact@sterling-law.co.uk

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Appeal allowed under Article 8 ECHR

A Ukrainian national, who was refused asylum, had his appeal allowed under Article 8, which protects the right to a private and family life. The appellant first came to the UK with false identification for the sole purpose to work illegally. The Judge questioned the credibility of the appellant and the documents put forward as evidence. However, this did not prevent the judge from making positive findings on the merits of the appellant’s family life case. His son was in the process of being diagnosed with autism by the NHS and it was held in the best interests of the child for the diagnostic process to continue.

Sterling Law’s analytical lawyers focused on the merits of our client’s case. It was ensured that the severe difficulties in development faced by the appellant’s son were highlighted in the argument. The lawyers made it a point to explain that it was important that parents attend the sessions required in the diagnostic process, otherwise the child would be discharged from the service. Therefore, it was prudent that the appellant was in the UK to support his child’s diagnosis. Our lawyers conducted extensive research on the position of autistic individuals in Ukraine and found that this condition is misunderstood within the Ukraine culture. Evidence of this was put forward to the Judge and it was concluded the removal of the appellant and his family would disrupt the diagnostic process that is currently undergoing by the NHS in the UK. 

Although the credibility of the appellant was initially questioned, the Judge adopted a child-focused approach. The Judge was satisfied that the child’s condition on this occasion amounts to an ‘exceptional circumstance’. The best interests of the child were the sole consideration in allowing the appeal. 

Successful representation against the claim

Sterling Law have successfully represented our client’s case against the Claim for £17,000 with odds. The judgement is now set aside as the District Judge found that the Judgement was entered wrongfully against our client. The Judge founds that the Claimants were mistaken in the identity of the director who provided personal indemnity in hire-purchase agreement.

Our client is a retired company director against who a judgement was entered and his property was charged for the purposes of recovery of the Claimant’s loss. When our client first interacted us we were informed that he was a passive director who was not managing the daily business of the company. His partner was the main manager of the business who actually dealt with the Claimant in the hire and purchase agreement. 

The Claimants notwithstanding the allegations of our client meeting the Claimant in person and giving a personal indemnity did not have any evidence to prove their case. The was no written contact nor there was anyone who could witness the indemnity actually being given by our client.

Because of the lack of evidence and the judge’s finding that our client has a real prospect of successfully defending the claim in accordance with r13.3. CPR.

Not only the judgement was set aside but the interim charging order was also discharged with.

 

Nozima Rakhimjonova

nozima@sterlinglawyers.co.uk

Phone: +44 (0) 20 7822 8599

Mobile: +44 (0) 73 0584 8477

 

 

Navdeep Gill

navdeep@sterlinglawyers.co.uk

Phone: +44 (0) 20 7822 8599

Fax: +44 (0) 87 2352 4427

 

UK Immigration & Legal Assistance

For expert advice and assistance in relation to your particular case and to enquire about the legal fees, please contact our lawyers on

Tel. +44(0) 20 7822 8599,

Mobile / Viber: +44 (0) 73 0584 8477,

e-mail: contact@sterling-law.co.uk

or via our online appointment booking form.

Litigants in Person be vigilant not to be in contempt of Court

The claim on possession of a commercial property was initially stated by our client who was, at the time, a litigant in person. The claim dates back to 2013-14 when his commercial tenants failed to comply with the agreed renting fare payment. 

Subsequently, our client brought a claim against the tenants requiring them to vacate the property. After the first and the second claim for possession, the tenants did comply with the requirements to pay the rent. However, the failure continued. It always ended with our client involving a judiciary power to enforce the compliance with the Tenancy Agreement.

On the last occasion, our client vacated the property himself and gave notice to the tenants. Notwithstanding the pending claim for possession of the property, the tenants neither rushed to vacate the property nor paid the outstanding rent balance. In fact, the Tenants started a claim alleging that some of their personal chattels were lost and disposed of unlawfully.

The client of the Tenants started a counterclaim when our client applied for the Company Strike action from the Companies House register as the company no longer met his commercial commitments. Our client, as a director did not, however, follow up on the progression of his claim on possession of the property at the Court. In fact, he totally disregarded the proceedings when he applied for company Strike off. 

His initial claim was responded with deference and counter-claim by the Tenants. In fact, because of our client’s negligence, his claim struck out for non-compliance. His company now became the Responding party. Subsequently, a judgement was entered against our client’s company to repay the losses of the Claimant’s i.e. the Tenants. 

Our client, unfortunately, was not even aware of these proceedings being actually intact and the judgement being entered against his company until the Claimants applied to the Court to find him in contempt. 

There were several correspondences sent to the company and personal addresses summoning our client, the director of the company, to attend the hearing for examination of the Companies property. Our client informed us that no correspondence was ever received at his personal address, whereas the company address was now occupied by a new company. Subsequently, the Claimants claimed that our client was in contempt of court and applied to lift the corporate veil as per Prest v Petrodel [2013] UKSC 34 and sentence our client with 2 years’ custodial sentence.

We have successfully defended our client’s interest at the County Court in Central London that led the Claimants to withdraw their application both for contempt of Court and lifting corporate veil. The claim was discharged with after two hearing and the Claimants are no longer pursuing the claim against our client.

Navdeep K Gill and Nozima Rakhimjonova represented the client’s interest in cooperation with Charlotte Walker of counsel.

 

Nozima Rakhimjonova

nozima@sterlinglawyers.co.uk

Phone: +44 (0) 20 7822 8599

Mobile: +44 (0) 73 0584 8477

 

 

Navdeep Gill

navdeep@sterlinglawyers.co.uk

Phone: +44 (0) 20 7822 8599

Fax: +44 (0) 87 2352 4427

 

UK Immigration & Legal Assistance

For expert advice and assistance in relation to your particular immigration case and to enquire about the immigration and legal fees, please contact our immigration lawyers on

Tel. +44(0) 20 7822 8599,

Mobile / Viber: +44 (0) 73 0584 8477,

e-mail: contact@sterling-law.co.uk

or via our online appointment booking form.