Activity of College solicitors Blair & CO

a macdhorcaidh made this Freedom of Information request to Belfast Metropolitan College

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

Response to this request is long overdue. By law, under all circumstances, Belfast Metropolitan College should have responded by now (details). You can complain by requesting an internal review.

Dear Belfast Metropolitan College,
Can you supply me with the following information regarding Blair & Co who represent BMC in industrial tribunals;
1 When were they appointed, by whom and what due diligence was employed in the appointment procedure?
2 In how many Industrial tribunal cases has the College as BMC or formerly as BIFHE used the services of Blair and Co.
3 How many cases has Blair& Co won/lost on behalf of the college.
4 How much college momey has been awarded to Blair & Co

It would be useful if questions 3&4 can be answered on a case by case basis since Blair & Co have been appointed.

Yours faithfully,
aodhan macdhorcaidh

Carol McFadden, Belfast Metropolitan College

Dear aodhan macdhorcaidh

I acknowledge receipt of your FOI Request. I shall respond to your request on or before Friday 31 August 2012.

Yours sincerely

Mrs Carol McFadden
FOI/DP Officer
Belfast Metropolitan College
125-153 Millfield
Belfast
BT1 1HS

Tel: 02890 265335
Email: [Belfast Metropolitan College request email]

show quoted sections

Carol McFadden, Belfast Metropolitan College

Dear Mr MacDhorcaidh

 

I refer to your email of 2^nd August 2012 seeking information under the
Freedom of Information Act in relation to the “Activity of College
Solicitors Blair & Co”.

 

Firstly, we would clarify that the College has never been represented by
any firm of solicitors called “Blair & Co”.   Technically therefore, on
that basis, the answer to all of your questions is either “nil” or
“none”.    However, we have assumed that you are referring to the firm of
J Blair Employment Law Solicitors and have responded to your requests for
information on that basis. 

 

We note also that you have asked for information in relation to Industrial
Tribunal cases.   For the sake of completeness we have included in our
reply information relating to Fair Employment Tribunal cases.  Although
the Fair Employment Tribunal deals with religious and political
discrimination claims, if a Claimant also brings a claim in relation to
matters which are within the jurisdiction of the Industrial Tribunal,
those claims will usually be consolidated with the Fair Employment claims
and the matter will be dealt with before one Tribunal, being the Fair
Employment Tribunal.  You will be aware of this as this applied in your
own claim of sex discrimination and religious discrimination which you
issued against the College.

 

Can you supply me with the following information regarding Blair & Co who
represent BMC in industrial tribunals.

 

1 When were they appointed, by whom and what due diligence was employed in
the appointment procedure?

 

J Blair Employment Law Solicitors are not directly appointed by the
College to represent it at Industrial and Fair Employment Tribunals. The
College has in place a Commercial Legal Protection Insurance Policy. It is
the insurance company which appoints a legal representative from their
panel of Solicitors based in Northern Ireland who specialise in a
particular area ie Employment, Student/Curriculum Contracts and Commercial
Activities, Property, Procurement, Governance & Constitutional Issues and
General Legal Advice. From 2004, the Insurers have appointed J Blair
Employment Law Solicitors to represent the College in Industrial and Fair
Employment Tribunals on a number of occasions because of their expertise
in Employment Law.

 

2 In how many Industrial tribunal cases has the College as BMC or formerly
as BIFHE used the services of Blair and Co?

 

J Blair Employment Law Solicitors, appointed by the College Insurers, have
represented the College in 13 Industrial Tribunal cases and 8 Fair
Employment Tribunal cases since 2004.

 

3 How many cases has Blair & Co won/lost on behalf of the college?

 

Not all cases reach hearing.  Of the 21 cases taken against the College
before the Industrial and/or Fair Employment Tribunal:

 

·         1 case is ongoing.

·         11 were unilaterally withdrawn by the Claimants (including one
case where the claimant withdrew his claim in consideration of the College
not making an application for costs against him).

·         7 were settled. 

·         2 proceeded to hearing

 

CLAIMANT DATE OF CLAIM NATURE OF CLAIM OUTCOME
Surplus, Feeney, August 2004 Unlawful Deduction from Class Action which
Gibson, Bell  Wages (Placement on included other
Bannon & others Lecturers’ Salary lecturers in other
Scale) Colleges –Tribunal
decision – claims
successful
S J Blair Apr 2006 Disability 5 complaints lodged
Discrimination
4 not upheld

1 upheld

 

4. How much college money has been awarded to Blair & Co?

 

The College insurers pays any legal fees arising out of the above cases. 

 

Complaints Procedure

 

If you are dissatisfied with this response, you have the right to ask for
an internal review.  Internal review requests should be submitted within
two weeks of receipt of this response and should be addressed to the FOI
Officer, Mrs Carol McFadden, Belfast Metropolitan College, 125-153
Millfield, Belfast, BT1 1HS or by email to [Belfast Metropolitan College request email].

 

If you are not content with the outcome of the internal review, you have
the right to raise the issue directly with the Information Commissioners
Office at Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF or the
local Information Commissioners Office in Belfast at 51 Adelaide Street,
Belfast, BT2 8FE, Telephone 90269380.

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

 

Mrs Carol McFadden

FOI/DP Officer

Belfast Metropolitan College

125-153 Millfield

Belfast

BT1 1HS

 

Tel:  02890 265335

Email:  [1][Belfast Metropolitan College request email]

 

 

 

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Dear Carol McFadden,
My FOI response is overdue and you probably realise that same is required by law. Perhaps an internal review will reveal why this response is not forthcoming

Yours sincerely,

a macdhorcaidh

Dear Carol McFadden,
I have just seen your response to my foi so the previous email is to be ignored.

Yours sincerely,

a macdhorcaidh