Lord Sugar and Stella English
Lord Sugar and Stella English

Apprentice winner Stella English will not be forced to pay Lord Sugar's legal costs after a tribunal ruled that she bought an unfair dismissal case against in good faith.

English, of Thamesmead, southeast London, will not have to pay the £50,000 legal fees of Sugar after he won the original case, ruled the East London Tribunal Service panel.

Henry Hendron, lawyer for the mother of two, said his client was "over the moon" at the verdict.

"They have gone further to state that she did not bring the claim against Lord Sugar's company motivated by malice or by bad intentions but she genuinely believed that she had a good case as advised by her then lawyers.

"Ms English is now keen to put this saga behind her," he said.

In their bid to recover legal costs, Sugar's team reiterated the verdict of the first tribunal that her claim "should never have been brought".

Earlier, the 34-year-old had told the panel that since becoming unemployed in July she had struggled to make ends meet, and had only £200 left in her bank account. To feed her family and pay for the mortgages of her three properties, she said she had been forced to apply for housing benefit, and may have to apply for jobseekers' allowance.

"The immense pressure as a result of this tribunal, and in particular statements made by the respondent affecting my credibility, has had a detrimental effect on my career prospects," she said in her witness statement.

"Additionally, the stress on my husband and young children has been a major contributor to the breakdown of my marriage.

"This has left me not only unemployed but a single parent."

In bringing her claim in April, English alleged that her £100,000 a year job at Sugar's IT firm, Viglen, "was not a role of substance," and that she had merely been an "overpaid lackey".

She left the position in May 2011 and started a new job at Sugar's internet set-top box company, YouView, but claimed that she was pressurised to take up the job. Sugar claimed that he had offered her the position only because she had complained of being desperate for money.

After the original verdict, Sugar tweeted: "A victory for the law against the claim culture."