Clare executive brings remote working row to High Court

Clare Executive Brings Remote Working Row To High Court
Brian Fitzpatrick claims the dispute between him and his employer arises out of its demand that he work several days a week from its office in Dublin. Photo: iStock
Share this article

High Court reporters

A senior executive who works from home in Co Clare has gone to the High Court in a row over attempts to make him work from the Dublin office.

Brian Fitzpatrick, who works as a senior executive at an aircraft leasing firm, has launched proceedings aimed at preventing his employer from sanctioning him.


Mr Fitzpatrick claims the dispute between him and his employer arises over its demand that he work several days a week from its Dublin offices and not spend all his time working remotely from his home in Quin, Co Clare.

Mr Fitzpatrick is a senior vice president of the Bocomm Aviation Leasing Ireland Company Limited, which is headquartered in Shanghai, China.

His counsel told the High Court that late last year, following the row over working at the office, the company informed Mr Fitzpatrick that he would not be paid his annual bonus.

Counsel said the bonus his client receives is generally over €200,000, and it is his case that under his contract of employment, Mr Fitzpatrick is entitled to be paid the bonus. It is not accepted that the bonus is purely discretionary, counsel added.


Mr Fitzpatrick claims the dispute arose several months ago when his employer demanded that he work several days each week from its Dublin office.

He claims the company never had an issue with him working from his home in Danganbrack, Quin, Co Clare, which he has done for several years.

Disciplinary process

While some informal discussions between him and the company took place over him working from the office, no issue nor formal demand was made of him by his employer on the matter.

Last August, he claims he was made the subject of a disciplinary process completely out of the blue over his alleged refusal to work from the Dublin office.


He claims he explained to the company that working several days a month from Dublin was impractical.

He also rejects his employer's claims that he is required under company policy to work from the Dublin office and claims that the company has wrongfully refused to pay him his annual six-figure bonus.

Represented by Gary McCarthy SC, with Jack Nicholas Bl instructed by O'Gorman solicitors, Mr Fitzpatrick seeks various orders, including an injunction restraining his employer from imposing a sanction on him, from continuing a purported investigation into allegations against him and from interfering with the terms of his employment.

He further seeks an order requiring the defendant to pay all salary and benefits, including his annual bonus, under his contract of employment.


Seeking the injunction, counsel said that for many years Mr Fitzpatrick has worked remotely and from his home in Co Clare, and before the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Counsel said it had never been an issue for the parties until the demand that he work several days from the Dublin office, following which Mr Fitzpatrick was made the subject of an internal investigation.

The matter came before Mr Justice Rory Mulcahy on Tuesday.

The judge granted Mr Fitzpatrick permission on an ex-parte basis to serve short notice of the injunction proceedings on the defendant.

The matter will return before the court later this week.

Read More

Message submitting... Thank you for waiting.

Want us to email you top stories each lunch time?

Download our Apps
© 2024, developed by Square1 and powered by