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Public Concern at Work has intervened in the Clyde & Co v Bates van Winkelhof case, which starts in the Supreme Court on Monday. It is the latest round of a long line of legal battles between Bates van Winkelhof and her former firm.

Ms Bates van Winkelhof was a junior equity partner of Clyde & Co. She was expelled from Clyde & Co and brought a claim for whistleblowing and discrimination.

The Supreme Court is being asked to rule whether LLP members should be protected by whistleblowing legislation after an earlier decision said that Bates van Winkelhof could not pursue a whistleblowing claim because she was a member of the LLP and not employed by Clyde & Co.

Public Concern at Work, the whistleblowing charity, has intervened because the case raises serious issues of public concern and human rights.

Should the Supreme Court find against Bates van Winkelhof, it will be a serious gap in the whistleblowing protection. Members of LLPs are senior staff, they are closer to the inner workings of LLPs than many ordinary employees.

If the tribunal fails to support Bates van Winkelhof, then members of the LLP are left entirely vulnerable to expulsion if they raise matters of public concern. That would seem entirely wrong, given that employees of the LLP would have protection if they raised the same issues.

Sarah Rushton (

This is intended for general information only and should not be considered as giving advice in relation to any individual case nor be taken as applying to any particular case. No liability is accepted for any such use of the information.


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