RMJM facing court battle as ex-staff sue over ‘unpaid wages’

TROUBLED Scottish architecture firm RMJM is being sued by two of its most prominent former staff for unfair dismissal and 
unpaid wages.

The action is being brought by Tony Kettle, who had been their top Edinburgh office designer, responsible for the iconic Falkirk Wheel and the Gazprom Tower in St Petersburg, the firm’s tallest proposed building, and Colin Bone, the ex-
managing principal of the firm’s European studio.

According to a report in Building magazine, both men are pursuing claims at 
Edinburgh Employment Tribunal against RMJM Scotland Ltd, which are expected to be heard later this year.

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They left the firm in April, following a string of high-profile departures since the start of the year, and well-publicised difficulties in paying staff on time.

A spokesman for the tribunal confirmed that the two had earlier lodged a further “whistleblowing” claim against RMJM, but said this had now been withdrawn. He also said that parties met last Friday at the tribunal 
as part of a “case management discussion” about the legal claims.

A spokesman for Her Majesty’s Court and Tribunal Services confirmed that a hearing date had been set for 8 October, lasting ten days.

The two men’s claims are among a number that the internationally renowned architecture firm is currently facing from former staff.

Principal landscape architect Kirstin Taylor, who left the firm earlier this year, is suing over claims relating to wages, holiday pay, unfair dismissal and sex discrimination.

A spokesman at Edinburgh Employment Tribunal confirmed that a four-day hearing had been set down to begin 13 August for that case.

Ms Taylor was a long-serving member of staff who headed the firm’s landscape architecture division, and had been working on RMJM’s new headquarters building for the National Oil and Gas Authority in Bahrain, having also worked on projects including the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games.

A further claim is also in the pipeline at Edinburgh Employment Tribunal by former senior urban designer Nathan Ward relating to wages and breach of contract. A date has not been set for the case yet.

The spokesman said that a number of tribunal claims brought against the architecture firm had already been closed.

A senior industry source said of the legal claims: “This has been bubbling under in the press for some time, but because the current owners of RMJM are powerful and wealthy, people have been fearful of taking direct legal action. So we are in a better place because this is now going to law.”

Attempts to contact RMJM for a statement were unsuccessful.