Lycatel Services Limited v Schneider [2023] EAT 81

Appeal over refusal to stay ET proceedings while High Court proceedings were ongoing in a complex case involving a dispute over £8m in bonus payments.

The claimant was dismissed summarily for gross misconduct but issued a claim in the ET alleging that he was still owed bonus payments of around £8m. The respondent's, who denied the claim, sought clarification of whether the proceedings would be pursued through the ET which went unresolved so issued proceedings in the High Court for negative declaratory relief and separately for a stay of the ET proceedings. The ET refused that application and the respondents appealed.

In this judgment The President, Mrs Justice Eady, allows the appeal broadly because the ET had failed to ask which forum was most appropriate and had failed to properly engage with the complexity of the issues raised in this claim. Their decision was set aside and, with the consent of the parties, the EAT determined the question of stay. The complexity of the issues raised by the claim (which potentially raised questions of shadow directorship and/or agency), the sum involved, and the informality of pleadings before the ET meant this was a matter most appropriately determined by the High Court and stayed the ET proceedings pending pending determination in that forum.

Published: 19/06/2023 08:27

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