On 21 April 2017, the international advisory firm lost its case that it did not have to pay Pennell on the grounds that his work permit had expired, nullifying his contract.
The judge, however, ruled in favour of Pennell, deeming him a “more credible” witness than deVere group chief executive Nigel Green, who gave evidence in court.
Pennell confirmed to International Adviser on Tuesday that his former employer has dropped two of its three points of appeal.
One point of contention
On 15 May, deVere appealed the Labour Court ruling and, in November, confirmed to the court that it would pay Pennell £87,384 ($115,610, €98,378) for the outstanding commission and notice period.
It is, however, appealing against having to pay the £130,000 bonus. The original bonus sum promised to Pennell was £150,000, of which deVere has already paid £20,000.
The international advisory firm is arguing that the payment was offered on a retention basis.
According to court documents: “It is submitted that the retention bonus was not unconditional and payment of the amount of £130,000 was clearly subject to Mr Pennell’s services being retained.”
The company is arguing that the payment was not an unconditional bonus, as Pennell claimed.
In court, Green said: “I’m hardly likely to pay somebody some money to leave the company and quite frankly, I’ve never paid anybody some money as a gift, which is what [Mr Pennell] is implying. Certainly, lots of other people left and none of those got a gift either.”
These arguments aside, Pennell told IA: “I am very confident their appeal will fail.”
He added: “Given deVere’s previous confidence/comments about their appeal being successful, it appears they have been badly advised.”
Pennell is fighting back on one issue which he says was “inexplicably” left off of the Labour Court ruling – interest.
His original letter of demand to deVere was dated 29 August 2014 and, at a prescribed rate of 9% per annum, he has calculated that the interest bill is currently £25,000 for the £87,000 he is owed for the outstanding commission and notice pay.
The interest for the £130,000 bonus is around £38,000.
DeVere was contacted for comment but had not responded by the time this article was published.