A barrister’s chambers has reported that the East London Employment Tribunal has made an award of costs against a Claimant of over £100,000 – the largest single costs award against an individual in the Employment Tribunal on record.
Ely Place Chambers has reported that an award of costs was made against Dr Makanjuola in the case of Makanjuola v London Borough of Waltham Forest after Dr Makanjuola brought and lost claims of disability discrimination, race discrimination, unfair dismissal, victimisation, whistleblowing, and harassment against the local authority.
Dr Makanjuola started his Employment Tribunal claim in June 2011 and – after a series of unhelpful case management hearings and one vacated merits hearing – the case came before Employment Judge Ferris and two lay members in May 2013. Although there had apparently been difficulty in ascertaining what precisely Dr Makanjuola’s claims related to, by the end of the Employment Tribunal hearing Dr Makanjuola had identified 43 acts of direct race discrimination, 19 alleged detriments arising out of alleged protected disclosures, and 7 alleged acts of direct disability discrimination.
The Employment Tribunal rejected the Claimant’s claims in their entirety, finding that they were not well-founded. The Employment Tribunal, as well as rejecting the Claimant’s claims, also cast doubt on the credibility of the Claimant, finding him him to be “a clever and unscrupulous man”, “dishonest”, and “a stranger to the truth”, who had repeatedly lied during his employment and in evidence to the Employment Tribunal.
According to Ely Place Chambers Dr Makanjuola has appealed the decision of the Employment Tribunal and the Employment Appeal Tribunal will consider the merits of the appeal in due course.
Following the successful defence of the claim, the London Borough of Waltham Forest applied for the costs of defending the unsuccessful claim. A further costs hearing was held – which the Claimant refused to attend – and the local authority was awarded the whole of its costs of defending the claim, which amounted to £117,110.73 (subjected to a detailed assessment).
This recent decision by the Employment Tribunal demonstrates the effect of the new Employment Tribunal rules on the Employment Tribunals’ power to award costs against parties who act in a a vexatious, scandalous, and/or unreasonable way, or whose claim is misconceived
Chris Hadrill, an employment solicitor at Redmans, commented on the case: “Both individuals who make Employment Tribunal claims and businesses who defend them must be careful to act in a reasonable manner throughout the process otherwise they may be sanctioned by an award of costs at the conclusion of the matter.”