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Home   Medway   News   Article

Rainham oil trader Andrew Kearns fired for boozing loses damages claim against global giant Glencore

11 December 2013
by Alan McGuinness
Andrew Kearns launched a claim for wrongful dismissal

Andrew Kearns launched a claim for wrongful dismissal

An oil trader sacked after his bosses claimed he was too hungover to attend meetings has lost his damages claim for wrongful dismissal.
 
Andrew Kearns, of Marshall Road, Rainham, took Glencore to court - claiming he was a scapegoat for huge losses. 
 
He was dismissed for alleged serious misconduct after a business trip to Singapore in October 2010.
 
Glencore, one of the world’s biggest companies, claimed he failed to attend critical meetings in what was the latest in a string of incidents. The company also claimed they had offered him help for his drinking.
 
Mr Kearns denied there were any business meetings later that day which required his attendance.
 
He accepted he had been drinking but was not drunk. Mr Kearns, who worked there from January 2009 to October 2010, claimed he was told to take colleagues out for drinks as part of his job.
 
Judge Richard Seymour QC described the claim as "ludicrous" and said it should never have come to court.
 
A cost order was made against Mr Kearns, with an interim payment due of £150,000, at London's High Court.
Kearns was said to have partied too hard in Singapore

Kearns was said to have partied too hard in Singapore

 
It was earlier ruled that Mr Kearns could not claim back shares worth more than £600,000.
 
This left the wrongful dismissal element, which was worth a maximum of £12,000.
 
Glencore's counsel, Jonathan Cohen, said Mr Kearns was "dishonest in his evidence" and "sought to deny the inevitable".
 
Speaking after the verdict, Mr Kearns said he would consider his options, and maintains he was a fall guy.
 
"I'm disappointed naturally, the judge adopted a very legalistic approach as to whether or not I was wrongfully dismissed.

"Throughout the trial the judge asserted he was not concerned about what other possible reasons lay behind my dismissal, nor whether the reasons for my dismissal were fair, but rather if Glencore had a right to dismiss me without warning nor notice, contractually.

"I consider the judgement harsh given the surrounding context heard during proceedings and the clearly hostile feelings certain people within Glencore held for me being proven in pre-trial evidence disclosure."


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