Novartis Pharmaceuticals (HK) Limited v. Former Employee

Charles Russell Speechlys has successfully defended an equal opportunities action brought against Novartis Pharmaceuticals (HK) Limited.

A former employee, whose contract was terminated in December 2016 on the ground of redundancy, brought this action against our client claiming that their employment was terminated due to illness. The claimant was seeking various reliefs including a letter of apology, a good reference letter and damages amounting to close to HK$ 1 million. Before the court action, the claimant had also attempted but failed to put his case to the Equal Opportunities Commission.

In addition to this, our client was subject to numerous defamatory statements published by media outlets on the first day of the trial suggesting that the claimant had succeeded and that our client was liable for paying damages. We acted swiftly and successfully demanded that the relevant outlets promptly remove the articles to prevent further disrepute.

In September 2021, following a six-year-long contentious process, the judge dismissed the claim and determined that the sole reason for the claimant’s termination was redundancy. 

Charles Russell Speechlys Partner Patrick Chan (Picture) supported the team at Novartis on this case.


Involved fees earner: Patrick Chan – Charles Russell Speechlys;

Law Firms: Charles Russell Speechlys;

Clients: Novartis Pharmaceuticals (HK) Limited;

Author: Giulia Di Palma