A top City lawyer appearing at an employment tribunal lost her job after unveiling corruption at Ako Law in Tanzania.
Krista Bates van Winkelhof told an Employment Appeals Tribunal that she was fired from her £200,000 per year job at city-based international law firm Clyde & Co after revealing that clients of an associated African firm, Ako Law, were paid bribes to bring in their business.
Ms Winkelhof is a high-flying lawyer who has previously worked at magic-circle firm, Linklaters. She left to join rival firm Shadbolts in 2005 and was later seconded to Tanzania.
Clyde & Co acquired a portion of Shadbolts' African clients, and Ms Winkelhof found herself working for them from 2009 onwards on major contracts worth billions of euros.
Ms Winkelhof raised the alarm at Clyde & Co after becoming worried by the conduct of a director at Ako Law in Tanzania, whom she believed was paying bribes to win new business.
Presiding judge Peter Clerk stated her case.
"On November 23 and 24 2010 she reported to Clyde's money-laundering officers that the managing director had admitted to her that he paid bribes to secure work and to secure the outcome of cases," he said.
"This allegation is denied by Clyde and forms the basis of the claimant's whistleblowing complaint," he added.
Her whistleblowing led to her being fired by Ako Law in November, and subsequently from Clyde & Co the following January. In her case she also notes that she had informed Clyde that she was pregnant prior to her dismissal.
Judge Clerk added: "It is her case that her expulsion was a detriment on the grounds that she had made protected disclosures, and or amounted to unlawful sex discrimination on the grounds that a male partner would not have been treated in that way or it was pregnancy related."
Clyde & Co had argued that the UK courts have no jurisdiction over the case, but this was dismissed by the judge, clearing the case to be heard at an Employment Tribunal on 18 June.
City lawyer 'lost her £200,000 job after exposing corruption' (The Telegraph)
Clydes, bribes and multi-appeals (The Lawyer)
What is whistleblowing? (FindLaw)