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Clyde & Co LLP v Bates Van Winkelhof [2012] EWCA

The Court of Appeal considered whether a member of a limited liability partnership could be a worker within the meaning of Section 230 of the Employment Rights Act 1996 and concluded that it could not.

Ms Bates van Winkelhof initially worked for Shadbolt and Co LLP ('Shadbolts') which entered into a joint venture agreement with a Tanzanian law firm, Ako Law to which Ms Bates van Winkelhof provided services. Clyde and Co LLP (Clydes) acquired certain parts of Shadbolts business and offered Ms Bates van Winkelhof equity partnership. She worked principally but not exclusively in Tanzania with Ako Law.The source of her complaints was that on 23 November 2010 she reported that the managing partner of Ako Law had been involved in money laundering and had paid bribes both to secure work and to affect the outcome of cases. She was dismissed by Ako Law on 25 November and suspended by Clydes the following day. There was an investigation which culminated in her being expelled as a member on 13 January 2011.

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