Patrick Evershed's legal battle with New Star is unlikely to be completed this week, with the hearing potentially dragging on until January, the chair of the court announced yesterday.
The hearing was expected to finish on Friday but with the chair of the court undecided about whether to permit former New Star CIO Theo Zemek's statement to be used as evidence, the proceedings are ‘unlikely' to be completed this week.
Evershed has claimed he was the victim of constructive unfair dismissal after leaving New Star in 2008, having been "bullied" by founder John Duffield.
Zemek, head of fixed income at Axa Investment Managers, has also alleged she was bullied during her six year stint at the firm.
However, her witness statement was served late, submitted just three days prior to the trial commencing, and the evidence may not be included.
The tribunal has adjourned until Thursday, with the chair of the court taking today to decide whether the evidence can be used.
The chair of the court said if Zemek's evidence is accepted, the trial will go on longer than planned as the panel will have to assess if Zemek's bullying was a fundamental breach of her contract.
The chair added with New Star set to call eight witnesses to respond to Evershed's bullying claims, even if Zemek's evidence is not heard, the likelihood is the hearing will take longer than two days.
"I have great reservations that we will not finish the trial this week," the chair said. "It is unlikely all of the respondents' witness statements will be heard this week which means proceedings will have to recommence either in December or next January."
In yesterday's session Evershed's lawyer, Daphne Romney QC, outlined in her submission statement why it is "integral" Zemek's evidence is heard.
"Zemek's statement will support my client's bullying allegations against Duffield - the witness statement clearly sets out that New Star had an intolerable working environment and that Duffield bullied a number of fund managers," she said.
"The eleven page statement describes four or five recollections of Duffield bullying fund managers."
Daniel Oudkerk, representing New Star, argued the fact Zemek's name has not been mentioned in Evershed's evidence means her evidence should not be heard.
"The allegations date back to 2002 and are stale," Oudkerk said. "Evershed had a clear opportunity to mention that Zemek was also being bullied in his witness statement but did not mention her."
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