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Lehman Brothers at risk of huge unfair dismissal claims

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Staff who have been dismissed in the demise of Lehman Brothers may be able to sue the firm for unfair dismissal resulting in astronomical rewards.

According to Helga Breen, partner in the employment group at Lawrence Graham, if Lehman Brothers or its administrator, PricewaterhouseCoopers, is unable to give staff a 90-day consultation prior to effecting the first dismissal, the firm will risk having to pay staff 90 days' gross salary.

Breen said: "The fact that an employment tribunal can award compensation covering every employee who has been dismissed and in respect of whom there has been no consultation with employee representatives means that just one aggrieved ex-Lehman employee can act as a stalking horse for the whole class."

Lehman employs 5,000 staff and Breen added staff could get up to £2,640 each from a government-backed rescue fund (National Insurance Fund).