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High Court adjourns case for employment tribunal to hear allegations of sexual assault

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[Thanks to David Campion of Garden Court North Chambers, for preparing this case summary]

Can High Court proceedings be adjourned pending relevant employment tribunal claims? 

Yes, says the High Court (QBD) in BUQ v HRE.

The Claimant in the High Court action, a Managing Director of a group of companies, sought an injunction against the Defendant, a Chief Executive who had reported to the Claimant, prohibiting the disclosure of information of a sexual nature concerning the Claimant and his wife.

The Defendant had named the Managing Director as one of four Respondents in employment tribunal proceedings, which included claims for unfair dismissal, harassment and sex discrimination.

The Claimant applied for an adjournment of the High Court action pending the employment tribunal proceedings. It was submitted on behalf of the Claimant that financial allegations against the Defendant were an issue in the employment tribunal proceedings and also relevant to credibility in the High Court matter.

The High Court acknowledged that the issue was 'finely balanced' and expressed concern that matters could still be contested via interim applications if an adjournment were granted. However, it was accepted that the employment tribunal, which would have to determine the financial allegations made against the Defendant, would be better placed than the High Court to determine the truth or otherwise of the sexual allegations made by the Defendant.

The High Court hearing was therefore vacated to be relisted following the final determination in the employment tribunal proceedings.