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Alex J.
Alex J., Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 4166
Experience:  Solicitors 2 years plus PQE
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I have been terminated from my own company - and I do not

Customer Question

I have been terminated from my own company - and I do not believe that the lawyer that the company employed acted in an impartial and unbiased manner. There were a couple of things in particular. It was confirmed in writing and twice verbally that the disciplinary hearing that I was subjected to would be recorded, which I wanted to happen so that if necessary I could use this going forward as a basis of my appeal. The lawyer confirmed at the start of the call that it was indeed being recorded - however when I asked for the recording she advised me that she had not recorded the call - surely this is unacceptable. Apparently she was aware of the non-recording on Zoom, yet at no point did she advise me that this was the case. Also - she further says that she terminated my employment over the phone that afternoon that fundamentally didn't happen, and the first I knew of my termination was when I received a letter a week later. My disciplinary hearing was booked for the 19th Oct and just a week previously I found out I was having a hip replacement. I asked that the hearing be delayed until after my surgery, as due to COVID I could not have a person (we don't have a trade union and we are only a two person business) with me on the call as I had to isolate. When I asked her why she was not agreeable to that she stated that she felt that I was procrastinating - even though the company has taken seven weeks from the start of this process to the end, and one week delay due to major surgery would not have made a difference.
JA: Have you discussed the termination with a manager or HR? Or with a lawyer?
Customer: I am going through the appeal process at the moment - but have a lawyer lined up - do I need to make this complaint with them?
JA: What is your employment status? Are you an employee, freelancer, consultant or contractor? Do you belong to a union?
Customer: No I am a founding shareholder, director and was an employee - we are a 2 person business, I own just over 38% of the shares in the company - my business partner wanted me out - and the lawyer that the 'Company' employed has not, in my opinion, acted in the best interests of the company. I cannot believe that not recording the call was acceptable. I do not belong to a union
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: No its really just the questions around the lawyers behaviour during this process
Submitted: 16 days ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Alex J. replied 16 days ago.

Thank you for your question and welcome. My name is ***** ***** I will assist you. If there is a complaint against the conduct of solicitor - the best thing to do is to make a complaint to the Legal Ombudsman. https://www.legalombudsman.org.uk/

In relation to the wider dispute - who owns the remained of the shares? Have you been asked to relinquish them? Is there a shareholders agreement? Kind regards AJ

Customer: replied 16 days ago.
we have a shareholders agreement - my business partner owns just under 42% and 15 independent shareholder own the other 20% (although noone owns more that 3%). No I have not been asked to relinquish them as a founder shareholder there is not much they can do about my shares. I am still a director aswell, but even though we have not been through the appeal process as yet - my business partner has changed my status on Companies House and allocated a UK based director, which our SH agreement states that it can only be done with agreement from the founders (obviously I am one of them).
Customer: replied 16 days ago.
Are you still happy to chat online?
Expert:  Alex J. replied 16 days ago.

Thank you. Yes - I am away from computer - I will respond substantively shortly. Kind regards AJ

Customer: replied 16 days ago.
Ok
Expert:  Alex J. replied 16 days ago.

Thank you. Is your directors remuneration part of the SHA? If you are still a director - you have the power to participate in the decision making. I would ask at this point - is there a way to resolve this amicably - or should the strategy be based around obtaining a fair price for your shares? Kind regards AJ

Customer: replied 16 days ago.
I am appealing this - my business partner is not, apparently, willing to enter into mediation, even though this was always on the table. 7 weeks after the start of this process I was not terminated under any of the frankly spurious allegations - but for another substantial reason - which I was very surprised that she was not encouraged to come to the table.
Expert:  Alex J. replied 15 days ago.

Thank you. Is there a mediation clause in the SHA? Kind regarfs AJ

Customer: replied 15 days ago.
No not as such - but this was what had been recommended throughout the process - and the OSR also says that we should do all possible to sort this out!
Expert:  Alex J. replied 15 days ago.

Thank you. Ultimately you have to be able to carry on working with your business partner - if this not possible, because say the trust has gone - either you need to agree to sell your shares or see if the other shareholders will support his removal. Is there anything in the SHA that he has breached? For example is there a contractual right to remuneration? Kind regards AJ