By Julius Melnitzer | October 15, 2023
FIRED IN-HOUSE COUNSEL AT BANK AWARDED $1.8 MILLION
A UK employment tribunal has ordered digital bank Starling to pay $1.8 million in damages to Guinaz Raja, whom the bank had employed as a solicitor in its legal department at a salary of $126,000. The employer terminated Raja, an asthmatic called in 2010, after she asked to work from home and take time off during the pandemic. According to the Gazette, general counsel Matthew Newman told Raja that she was “not a Starling person”. Employment judge Natasha Joffe found that Raja “lost her job at what would have been the worst possible time in recent history”.
BURFORD CAPITAL GARNERS $4.5 BILLION IN PROCEEDS FROM NY JUDGMENT
After funding litigation that resulted in a $26.5 billion dollar award against Argentina, litigation funder Burford Capital announced that it is entitled to about $4.5 billion of the proceeds from the claimants in the New York suit, Peterson Energia Investor and Eton Park Management Capital, the claimants in the New York suit. According to the Gazette, Argentina has indicated it will seek review from the US Supreme Court. If the award stands and failing a settlement, lengthy enforcement proceedings will likely be necessary before the claimants and Buford can actually collect.
TORONTO LAWYER TO FACE DISCIPLINE AFTER BERATING OPPOSING COUNSEL
Ontario’s Law Society Tribunal has found Toronto lawyer Paul Alexander Robson guilty of professional misconduct after he made “gratuitous, hyperbolic and venomous” allegations against an opposing party and her counsel. The LST concluded that the attacks were a “systematic attempt to humiliate and intimidate the opposite party, attack the competence of her counsel, and destroy the solicitor-client relationship”. Robson also responded to adverse decisions by three judges with personal attacks on them. A penalty hearing will follow.
SUPERVISOR SENTENCED TO 3 YEARS FOLLOWING ON-SITE DROWNING
The New Brunswick Court of King’s Bench has sentenced Jason King, a supervisor with Springhill Construction, to three years’ imprisonment on a charge of criminal negligence causing the death of 18-year old employee Michael Henderson. According to a McInnes Cooper client bulletin, the court found that King “did nothing he was required to do” to prevent the tragedy, which occurred when a pneumatic plug designed to stop a water trickle from a pipe failed and 32,000 litres of water poured into a hole where Henderson was working. Among King’s omissions were failures to familiarize himself with his duties or the relevant safety manuals, perform a hazard assessment before allowing work in the hole, brace the plug according to specified guidelines, and put a barrier around the hole.
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IBA TARGETS LAWYERS’ “MOST PRESSING CONCERNS“
The International Bar Association has published the IBA Legal Agenda, which identifies the most pressing challenges facing the profession over the next five years and includes a commitment to provide thought leadership on these issues. The key issues identified are artificial intelligence; environmental, social and governance; client and mandate acceptance; talent attraction and retention; the public’s perception of lawyers; delivering legal services across multiple jurisdictions; and promoting and defending the rule of law.
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Julius Melnitzer is a Toronto-based legal affairs writer, ghostwriter, writing coach and media trainer. Readers can reach him at [email protected] or https://legalwriter.net/contact.