A recent Tribunal decision in the aftermath of the Lehman Brothers collapse will ring alarm bells amongst Insolvency Practitioners.
For the first time they are potentially on the hook as individuals for the discrimination (and potentially other actions) of their companies in administration, even if they didn’t know the discrimination was happening.
Discrimination law means that companies (or individuals) can be liable for the actions of their agents. This is why companies are liable for the actions of their employees. When a company is in administration and Insolvency Practitioners (IPs) appointed, the employee may be more likely to recover money from the (solvent) IPs.
In this case the Tribunal, in a departure from the orthodox position, found that the insolvency practitioners themselves, as opposed to their firm (PWC) were potentially liable as agents for sex discrimination against a redundant employee of Lehman Brothers.
IPs will take some comfort from the fact that Tribunal decisions are not binding, but will be keeping a close eye on any appeal.