Fired JPMorgan Banker Wins Delay Damages From Own Lawyers

A fired JPMorgan Chase & Co. banker won 66,163 pounds ($111,700) of damages from law firm Mishcon de Reya after his lawyers there failed to file a legal document on time.

Judge Ingrid Simler found that Russell Chweidan lost an opportunity to challenge a decision in his employment claim at the U.K. Employment Appeal Tribunal in 2009 because lawyers at Mishcon missed a filing deadline. Simler based the award on Chweidan having an 18 percent chance of success in the dispute with the bank and a probable claim value of 357,575 pounds, plus interest.

“The breach of duty was the effective cause of these lost opportunities,” Simler said in her ruling at the U.K. High Court today. “There was sufficient time to enable the cross-appeal to be lodged with the EAT before the deadline.”

Chweidan, 50, who was fired as an executive director by JPMorgan in 2008, brought a claim against the New York-based lender, in which Mishcon represented him. He initially prevailed on grounds of disability discrimination and unfair dismissal, and was awarded about 600,000 pounds. JPMorgan appealed. Chweidan’s lawyers at Mishcon missed the deadline for his cross appeal, the discrimination finding against the bank was overturned on appeal and Chweidan was awarded 68,000 pounds for unfair dismissal, according to the ruling.

“The only claim the judge found in favour of the claimant was the one that Mishcon de Reya had candidly accepted” at an early stage, the law firm said in an e-mailed statement. “All of Russell Chweidan’s other claims were rejected and, consequently, he has only received a fraction of the compensation that he sued for.”

Chweidan, who is now head of G3 credit trading at Bank of China International Ltd. in London, said he couldn’t immediately comment on the judge’s ruling.

The case is Russell Chweidan v Mishcon de Reya Solicitors, case no. 13-1462, U.K. High Court of Justice, Queen’s Bench Division.

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