Joint Press Statement - Resolution to the Group Litigation proceedings (Bates v Post Office Limited)
The Parties to the Group Litigation in Bates v Post Office are pleased to report that they have reached a comprehensive resolution to their long-running litigation in the High Court, following several days of respectful, challenging, and ultimately successful mediation during which the parties engaged with each other in good faith.
The Post Office would like to express its gratitude to claimants, and particularly those who attended the mediation in person to share their experiences with us, for holding us to account in circumstances where, in the past, we have fallen short and we apologise to those affected.
The Post Office is committed to applying the lessons it has learnt. Its new Chief Executive Officer, who joined in September and led this drive to a mediated resolution, is undertaking an ambitious and sustained programme of changes to the Post Office’s relationship with postmasters whose role we recognise as being core to our future success. We look forward to working in genuine partnership with postmasters to seize the opportunities ahead of us and to continue to serve communities across the country.
Post Office Chairman, Tim Parker, said:
“We are grateful to the claimants for taking part in this mediation and agreeing a settlement, bringing the Group Litigation to a close. I am grateful to Nick Read for his important engagement in the mediation process. We accept that, in the past, we got things wrong in our dealings with a number of postmasters and we look forward to moving ahead now, with our new CEO currently leading a major overhaul of our engagement and relationship with postmasters.”
Nick Read commented:
“I am very pleased we have been able to find a resolution to this longstanding dispute. Our business needs to take on board some important lessons about the way we work with postmasters, and I am determined that it will do so.
We are committed to a reset in our relationship with postmasters, placing them alongside our customers at the centre of our business. As we agree to close this difficult chapter, we look forward to continuing the hard work ahead of us in shaping a modern and dynamic Post Office, serving customers in a genuine commercial partnership with postmasters, for the benefit of communities across the UK.”
Alan Bates commented:
“The Steering Committee would like to thank Nick Read, the new CEO of Post Office, for his leadership, engagement and determination in helping to reach a settlement of this long running dispute. During the mediation, it became clear that he intends to reset the relationship between the Post Office and its Subpostmasters and put in place new processes and support for them, as part of a wider programme of improvements. It would seem that from the positive discussions with Post Office’s new CEO, Nick Read, that there is a genuine desire to move on from these legacy issues and learn lessons from the past.”