Former council lawyer drops his tribunal case

Peter Hossett
Peter Hossett

A former senior lawyer at Wigan Council has struck a deal with his ex-colleagues after dropping a whistleblowing claim.

Peter Hassett, the authority’s ex-principal solicitor, had lodged an employment tribunal case against the council, which was due to run for more than a week in Manchester.

But an agreement to withdraw the claim has been reached between the parties, according to HM courts and tribunals service, before the second day of the case’s being heard.

Mr Hassett, who was represented by barrister Lee Bronze, had brought the case on public interest disclosure grounds, otherwise known as whistleblowing provisions.

The proceedings had been adjourned on Tuesday morning so Employment Judge Kendrick Horne and fellow panellists could read through submissions.

But it is understood discussions took place between the council, which was represented at the tribunal by Alfred Weiss, and Mr Hassett’s legal team later in the day.

A Wigan Council spokesperson, said: “Peter Hassett has decided to leave the council to pursue a range of opportunities.

“Peter left the council’s employment on Tuesday, July 11.”

An Employment Tribunal Service spokesman confirmed the case, which had been due to run until next Tuesday, had been discontinued.

He said: “There has been a private agreement reached between the parties, which has not been made public.”

Council chiefs are now set to seek a replacement following the departure of Mr Hassett, the latest senior figure to leave the legal department in the past year.

Linda Fisher, the council’s assistant director for legal services, and former Rochdale Council acting chief executive, departed in 2016, after a lengthy leave of absence.

Her role was filled by Brendan Whitworth, who also undertook the principal solicitor role for a period.