A former director of Adjaye Associates has sued celebrated architect David Adjaye in Ghana’s High Court. Alice Asafu-Adjaye, who claims she was fired as associate director of African projects in 2015, is suing for $61,903 for ‘unfair termination’ in Ghana’s Accra High Court.
The suit names David Adjaye and the Ghanaian firm Adjaye Associates Ghana Ltd as defendants. According to Architects’ Journal, which broke the story first, Asafu-Adjaye said she was handpicked to run the Ghana office in Accra. The office was closed down three years later.
In her suit, Asafu-Adjaye stated that the office was closing due to a “failure to generate sufficient funds.” All staff contracts, she claimed, were terminated with one month’s notice.
In her claim, she stated that she was let go without redundancy pay or an offer of relocation costs back to the UK, where she was based prior to relocating to Ghana. According to her, she was only given four weeks’ notice instead of the required eleven.
She claimed her dismissal amounted to redundancy. She claimed, however, that no redundancy procedures were followed, a clear violation of Ghana’s Labour Act.
According to Architects’ Journal, Asafu-Adjaye also claimed that Adjaye Associates did not cease operations but instead continued to bid for contracts, including Ghana’s National Cathedral project, through another newly incorporated company, Sir David Adjaye & Associates (SDAA).
She claimed that she did this to avoid having to pay her redundancy. She also claimed that David Adjaye used Ghanaian employees to conduct his private business without paying any fees to the company.
Overall, she is seeking “$61,903 in redundancy pay and compensation, costs and damages, as well as an order directing the defendants to pay the Ghanaian authorities around £3,000 in social security and national insurance (SSNIT) contributions she claims are owed on her wages,” according to Architects’ Journal.
Meanwhile, Adjaye Associates has denied the allegations made against it. According to the company’s defense statement, Asafu-employment Adjaye’s was terminated in accordance with Ghana’s labor laws and the new contract she signed when she moved to Ghana.
On December 20, last year, David Adjaye’s counsel informed the court that they had been asked to settle out of court with Asafu-Adjaye. According to the Architects’ Journal, no settlement has been reached. According to the platform, if no settlement is reached, the case will be heard at the next court hearing on January 19.