In a change to his normal daily procedure, the Managing Partner of Simmons & Simmons has received a letter from German lawyers threatening him with imprisonment after the firm failed to pay off a disgruntled ex-employee.

According to RollOnFriday's impeccable sources© , in the past 12 months Simmons & Simmons has been the defendant in a number of proceedings for unfair dismissal brought by former employees of its Frankfurt and Dusseldorf offices. Apparently the firm lost or settled every case, but in at least one instance it also failed to pay up.

As a result, earlier this year German firm Esch & Kramer commenced enforcement proceedings against Simmons & Simmons on behalf of its client. In a letter seen by RollOnFriday, it notified Managing Partner Jeremy Hoyland that, as the head of the firm, he faced imprisonment if Simmons didn't pay both the amount due under the terms of the court settlement and the costs of the enforcement proceedings.

    "Lisa, hold them off, I've almost got enough! Please God, I don't want to go to Dusseldorf."

An inside source said that the petition for enforcement was withdrawn, presumably because the firm coughed up sharpish, and that the chance of Hoyland actually being imprisoned was "non-existent". However, RollOnFriday understands that the firm also failed to comply with the terms another unfair dismissal settlement, this time relating to an ex-employee of its Frankfurt office.

Enforcement proceedings are now pending for the second case, so if you see a man being hooded and bundled into an unmarked van outside Citipoint, it's probably just Hoyland being renditioned to a cell in the Black Forest.

Simmons & Simmons declined to comment.

     


Tip Off ROF

Comments

Anonymous 27 November 15 05:28

I'm a German qualified lawyer and I have never heard of a remedy of imprisonment for those that fail to pay their debts. I believe the Schuldturm (Debtor's prison) was abolished in Germany in 1867. There is also the small matter of Article 11 ICCPR.

So, I call BS on this one.

Anonymous 27 November 15 08:22

I work at Simmons, and it's true. You can threaten whatever you like in debt enforcement, you don't actually have to be able to follow up on it. Which is presumably why RoF was told that the chances of imprisonment were zero.

Roll On Friday 27 November 15 08:38

Why would the Hessen Enforcement result in a Bavarian rendition?

Jeebus RoF get it together

Anonymous 27 November 15 10:44

Anonymous user 1 slept through all his studies of German Law.

In Germany you pay. If you do not pay a bailiff will impound your Rolex. If that fails you have to give an affidavit of means/oath of disclosure. If you do not give this, you go to prison until you give it.

Anonymous 27 November 15 14:08

From what the "jungle drums" say, it was rather the judge coughing sharply at Simmons and them fulfilling their obligations before the request was ultimately withdrawn.

Anonymous 27 November 15 16:00

Can it be that some facts have been confused in this? Indeed, as indicated in other comments, an order of imprisonment against the legal representative would not be possible under German law if all this was about money. You could send the bailiff instead or seize their bank account. However, it would at least be an option - as an alternative to demanding the court to issue a penalty payment order - if Simmons owed an act or omission to the ex-employee.

Anonymous 27 November 15 23:36

Is it just me that is reading the comments and the words in my head are coming out in a German accent

Anonymous 30 November 15 13:02

It seems that Simmons Germany are finally getting some of the well-deserved public attention, despite their "leadership" being so eager to keep their loads of dirty laundry in the dark. There are many interesting stories to tell about these people.

Law Firm Satisfaction Survey

If you work in private practice, please take RollOnFriday's quick survey measuring how happy you are with your firm. We use the results to rank firms and write stories and reports.

Your firm*
Your role*
Your sex
How satisfied are you with your pay?*
How satisfied are you with your firm's management?*
How satisfied are you with your career development?*
How satisfied are you with your work/life balance?*
How satisfied are you with your firm's culture?*