Mike Shearwood takes Clarks dismissal case to the High Court

Mike Shearwood to appeal Clarks unfair dismissal case in High Court
Mike Shearwood's High Court lawsuit is separate from the employment tribunal case last week, which Clarks won.
// Mike Shearwood to take Clarks to the High Court over breach of contract allegations
// Comes a week after the footwear retailer won an employment tribunal case brought forward by the former CEO
// Shearwood alleges breach of contract by Clarks and has lodged a claim with the High Court

Former Clarks chief executive Mike Shearwood has a lodged a High Court lawsuit against the footwear giant, a week after a similar case was heard in an employment tribunal.

According to Retail Week, Shearwood’s High Court claim is based on breach of contract allegations by Clarks.

The High Court lawsuit is separate from the employment tribunal hearing that took place last week, which Clarks won.


Shearwood had dragged Clarks to an employment tribunal in Bristol over unfair dismissal allegations, whereby he argued he was not given a chance to respond to misconduct allegations at a board meeting in June last year.

Shearwood was forced to resign from his role as Clarks chief executive with immediate effect, allegedly just hours after the misconduct allegations against him were made.

Clarks argued that Shearwood allegedly spoke to colleagues using racist and sexist language and was ousted over “complaints of conduct contrary to the family-owned company’s code of business ethics”.

Shearwood alleged he was ousted from Clarks because he tried to expose questionable corporate governance.

He told Retail Week that was “obviously disappointed” by the employment tribunal verdict last week but remained “convinced” he was dismissed over his corporate governance whistle-blowing.

He added that he would continue to “pursue a claim for breach of contract through the High Court with vigour”.

A Clarks spokesperson confirmed that the retailer is currently engaged in High Court action with Shearwood, who had been chief executive of the footwear retailer since 2016.

“This is an action additional to Mr Shearwood’s action in the employment tribunal that was widely reported last week and rejected by the tribunal,” the spokesperson said.

“The High Court action is a breach of contract action, which again will look at the circumstances of Mr Shearwood’s departure and whether Clarks was entitled to act as it did.

“As with the tribunal action, Clarks remains of the view its actions were both warranted and lawful and is defending the action on that basis.

“In this respect, it stands by the comments issued last week in respect of the tribunal claim.”

Prior to Clarks, Shearwood was Karen Millen chief executive from 2009 until 2015.

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