McKie v Swindon College [2011] EWHC 469 (QB)

An email sent by Swindon College, a past employer, to the claimant's then current employer, raising safeguarding issues, caused him to lose his job, for which Swindon were liable in negligence. (A forthright judgment: '[18] ... Even if there were any substance in that complaint at all, which as I say seems to me to be bordering on the ludicrous... [26] ... We are into the realms of hearsay upon hearsay. ... [27] ... I think when we actually look at the circumstances, we can see that the procedure adopted at Swindon College giving rise to the sending of the email, can be described as slapdash, sloppy, failing to comply with any sort of minimum standards of fairness, certainly any such standards as would be recognised by any judicial body taking decisions and disseminating information about another individual, because Mr Rowe agreed he had no personal knowledge of things at all. ... [29] So not only do I take the view that the contents of the email are not in fact supported by any evidence, I also take the view that the circumstances surrounding the sending of the email flouted elementary standards of fairness, diligence, proper enquiry, natural justice, whichever set of epithets you wish to use. ... [34] ... The idea that she should have been part of a disciplinary process as it transpired on 10 June whilst being on the governing body of Swindon College, I find staggering. It contradicts almost every rule, as it seems to me, about decision making in a quasi-judicial matter.' etc)


Date: 11/2/11

Before: HHJ Denyer QC

Mr M White (Instructed by Messrs Stone King Sewer) appeared on behalf of the Claimant

MR J Davies (instructed by Messrs Beachcroft LLP) appeared on behalf of the Defendant

External links


Mind, 'Legal E-newsletter' (issue 9, July 2011) (summary)