DHR Global’s UK business forced into liquidation

Executive search firm DHR Global’s UK operation has been forced into liquidation due to being unable to pay debts of more than £2.3m.

The debts related to £1.606m owed to its parent company and £563k owed to other DHR Group companies. There were also substantial employment tribunal compensatory awards made against the operation arising from legal action brought by a number of former CTPartners employees made redundant by the global executive search firm, and £158k owed to lawyers.

In June 2015, DHR International, DHR Global’s parent company completed a deal to purchase certain assets of CTPartners.

Ex-CTPartners UK employees subsequently brought a case for unfair dismissal after being made redundant by DHR Global in the summer of the acquisition. They include: former managing partner for European professional & technology services David Burton; former chief operationg officer (COO) Deirdre Kenny; former head of CTPartners’ UK retail financial services practice Adrian Chalkley; former partner Martin Newman; and former managing partner, UK CEO & board practice at CTPartners Augmentum Andrew Davies.

According to court documents, seen by Recruiter, in a case heard at the London Employment Tribunal on 13 October last year, DHR Global was found to have failed to comply with TUPE (Transfer of Undertakings Protection of Employment) rules. These rules govern the preservation of an employee’s terms and conditions when a business transfers employees over to another employer.

Employment Judge Goodman awarded Burton £65,494.52, Kenny £84,747.50, Chalkley £55,259.50, Newman £56,114.10 and Davies £43,655 for unfair dismissal. And as the Tribunal was also satisfied that there had been a breach of redundancy consultation requirements in terms of failing to consult over redundancy, the judge also made what it is known as a protective award with Burton being awarded £53,747.99, Kenny £43,750, Chalkley £27,248, Newman £36,749.96 and Davies £36,749.96.

DHR Global was ordered to pay the claimant costs of Chalkley (£19,630), Burton (£19,446), Kenny (£19,487), Davies (£20k) and Newman (£20k).

Judge Goodman also ordered DHR Global to pay costs plus compensatory awards for unfair dismissal, failure to consult and unlawful deduction of wages to two further CTPartners partners, Louisa Perry and Honor Pollok, who transferred over following the acquisition but subsequently left due to the changes DHR Global made to their employment terms.

A filing on Companies House confirms CTPartners UK Ltd was liquidated on 24 November 2016, with DHR Global Ltd liquidated on 24 February 2017.

In a statement a spokesperson for DHR Global told Recruiter: “Underlying operations have been successful and buoyant, but the acquisition vehicle formed for the UK CTPartners transaction was forced into liquidation because of a substantial legal claim inherited from the transaction with CTPartners. DHR London has since restructured its operations without service disruption to any of our clients. We are actively trading in the market and are committed to the success of our team and operations in London.”

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