Robert Sutton worked for the firm between January 2013 and February 2016.
In August 2018, he was awarded just over £685,000 ($885,549, €793,148) after the court determined he had been sacked for reporting concerns about Creechurch to the island’s Financial Services Authority.
The compensation was calculated on the basis of the potential income Sutton could have earned had a job working for St James’s Place in Shanghai not been withdrawn after he was sacked.
The investment house fought back and appealed on five grounds:
- The tribunal had not determined that Sutton lost the SJP job because of his dismissal;
- The calculation of the compensation was incorrect;
- The value of Sutton’s sellable book of business should not be taken into account;
- That aggravated damages were not relevant to the case; and
- That exemplary damages were also not relevant.
The first three grounds were dismissed, but judge Rosen QC upheld the latter two.
“Accordingly, in relation to the fourth and fifth grounds I will allow the appeal and reduce the award by £15,000 and £75,000 which was calculated without any rationalisation by the tribunal, in other words reduce the total award by £90,000,” he said.
The crux of the long-running tribunal was whether Sutton was dismissed for discussing concerns about the company to the regulator, as argued by his defence team, or if he was sacked for gross misconduct for using social media messaging app WhatsApp to contact clients, as argued by Creechurch.
The original hearing was held over three days in April 2017, which found unanimously in favour of Sutton.
A bid by Creechurch for the tribunal to reverse its finding that Sutton was “automatically unfairly dismissed because of protected disclosures” was dismissed at a review hearing in August 2017.
Following the August 2018 ruling, a spokesperson for Creechurch confirmed to International Adviser that it would be appealed.
The reduction in damages was delivered on 21 January 2019, but only recently came to light.
The business has since been sold to Chancery Capital Holdings (IOM), which allowed the previous management to deal with the Sutton case, after which it entered with the full approval of the IOM regulator.
Speaking to International Adviser in March; Jaya Nayyer, a member of the family behind Chancery, said that “the claim is now satisfied, so we can move forward with productivity and positivity”.