Former Wipro salesman sues for £1m in commission

Says it didn't shell out for outsourcing deal

Documents submitted by the defence say that during van den Berg's interviews, Wipro had noted that he worked at Infosys and had good contacts at Shell.

Wipro says it offered van den Berg an index-linked €100,000 salary, a €40,000 sales incentive made "in accordance with the [Wipro's] Sales Incentive Scheme", and medical and car allowances. It denied Wipro offered a 1.25 per cent commission.

"There was no agreement whatsoever between the parties in respect of renumeration (whether by salary, bonus, or otherwise) save as set out in the contract dated 21 June 2003," said the defence.

Van den Berg's contract of employment with Wipro, also submitted by the defence, confirmed the basic salary and €40,000 bonus.

The Sales Incentive Scheme applied to all employees reporting to Nijenhuis, said the defence. It consisted of a sales target and a "Z factor", which was a function applied to the commission that "reflected the difficulty of the financial target applicable to that employee.

Wipro said that van den Berg's terms were set only in his contract and were not also made, as claimed, orally, by email and implied by conduct. It denies some meetings and telephone conversations in which van den Berg claimed his terms were agreed ever took place.

The firm also denied that Azim Premji, its chairman, heard van den Berg's complaint about non-payment of his commission on a visit to Bangalore.

"The claimant would have had no opportunity to speak to someone as senior as Mr Azim Premji on a matter of this nature," it said.

Wipro admitted that van den Berg had "executed" the Shell business, but said he had not "procured" it.

It said in its defence that hundreds of people had been involved in the bid for Shell and he had worked on only one of five "streams" of the initial bid. Then, over five days, van den Berg worked on the due diligence as one in a team of five people, which was one of five such teams, all of which were supported by a 300-strong staff.

It noted that van den Berg was one of seven people involved in the final negotiations, but claimed his role was not pivotal. The defence said Wipro had paid van den Berg all he was due.

A preliminary hearing is set for 14 May, said Weber. ®

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