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Philip Green case brings NDAs back to the limelight



One year after Harvey Weinstein silenced his victims by negotiating secrecy agreements, the use of prohibiting contracts to claim workplace harassment was re-emphasized.

Philip Green, the billionaire retailer whose brands include Topshop, was exposed on Thursday as the man who used the courts to stop a newspaper from blaming him for sexually harassing and racistly abusing some of his employees.

He was named in the House of Lords by Peter Hain, the former Labor cabinet minister, as the nameless businessman who was the focus of a Daily Telegraph story this week.

In the judgment of the Court of Appeal, which issued a preliminary injunction, the executive ̵

1; now being exposed as Sir Philip – was allegedly accused of five people, who were all charged on receipt of "substantial payments" [196592002] have done so through the company's internal complaint procedure, and two of them have filed separate cases of labor courts in dismissing their complaints. All five cases were terminated after the conclusion of settlement agreements, according to the decision of the appeal court.

In a statement, Sir Philip said, "I'm not coming to anything that has been done in court or been said in parliament today, to the extent that it is proposed to have committed illegal sexual or racial behavior, I deny categorically and these allegations completely. "

In July 2018, the Telegraph had contacted Sir Philip's lawyers to comment on the proposed release. He and his companies immediately commenced proceedings before the London High Court to prevent publication of the information on the grounds received from the Telegraph.

At an early stage, a judge asked the five people who filed complaints whether They are glad that information about their cases should be published – even if they were not mentioned.

One individual agreed, but two said they supported Sir Philip's motion for a preliminary injunction to be heard in the High Court in July.

The trial was held in camera to keep Sir Philip's identity a secret, and Judge Haddon Cave refused to issue an order. So Sir Philip went to the Court of Appeal, which this week issued a restraining order until the beginning of next year, a lawsuit was filed.

The injunction protected the confidentiality of the information only for a period of time until the end of the whole procedure, but prevented the publication of the Telegraph.

The three Appeals Court judges announced on Tuesday that they had issued the injunction this stage because there was a good chance of Mr. Philip defeating any arguments from the Telegraph that publication was in the public interest.

"It is not necessary for us to state the exact degree of probability of the applicant's success," said the three judges.

The three judges who included the master of the roll, Sir Terence Etherton, also said that the circumstances of the case "make important and difficult political considerations."

She also noted that "the most serious allegations of specific and particularized incidents are rejected by the plaintiffs."

But Lord Hain's intervention, which asserted the parliamentary privilege of naming Sir Philip, extinguished the formation. Unavailable for comment, Sir Philip joins a growing list of powerful men accused of abusing their positions in the #MeToo era.

Zelda Perkins, the former assistant of Weinstein, welcomed Lord Hain's intervention and said the Green case is "a perfect example of why NDAs are so appalling". Ms. Perkins broke her own NDA with the disgraced Mogul last year in an FT interview to reveal how he and his colleague molested her.

"NDAs should not be used in cases where there are workplace harassment," she told FT. "They should only be used for commercial legal purposes … but there is no other place for them and their existence at every level provides a way to end bad behavior."

Workplace disputes should be brought before the tribunals instead go, she added. "Culture will change if there is no option like an NDA, it's a human right to be safe at work, and using NDAs to hide information that would otherwise be in the public interest is wrong

Maria Miller, the Conservative MP who chairs the committee, called on the government to respond. "The government has our report, but we have not received an answer, so I hope it speeds up the response … that will be a really urgent matter."

She added that it was "surprising" given the importance by Sir Philip "and the number of people he employs that the Court of Appeals ruled that it was not in the public interest [these allegations] to publicize."

Since the end of his BHS retail chain in 2016, Sir Philip has been active in litigation to protect his reputation.

In July, his lawyers urged the High Court to issue a preliminary injunction preventing the publication of a full report by the Accounting Authority on the audit of BHS by PwC.

The lawyers of Sir Philip said that this would allow him to seek a judicial review of the FRC decision, and they claimed the report contained criticisms for which he did not have a reasonable opportunity to respond.

It was the intervention of Peter Hain, who used parliamentary privilege to name Sir Philip, who dismissed the injunction © PA


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