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Wrongful dismissal: "Material breach" of contract had to be analogous to "serious misconduct"

This report relates to 1 case(s)

The summary dismissal of a solicitor for failing to produce missing files for which he was responsible, but in respect of which he was not guilty of any misconduct, was wrongful, holds the EAT in Gard & Co v Symonds 15.3.00 EAT 115/99. The employee's contract provided that serious misconduct or any "material breach" of its terms could give rise to summary dismissal, and in this context "material" should be construed to mean a breach of such seriousness as to be analogous to other situations specified, such as serious misconduct, unprofessional conduct, or bankruptcy.