Employment Law

“Six Pump Court’s employment team has extensive experience in restrictive covenants, discrimination cases, unfair dismissals and TUPE matters”.

Legal 500 (2017)

Chambers’ Employment Law team is one of the fastest developing areas of Chambers’ practice areas.

Developed in response to a need for a flexible and economic service for solicitors and individuals as an alternative to larger sets, the team seek to provide a prompt and friendly service dealing with the often complex issues at short notice. The core of the group has recently expanded to include additions at both the most senior and junior end of Chambers. The Employment Law team seek to provide a service based on value for money and is backed by an experienced clerking team used to dealing with Employment Tribunals.

Richard Barraclough QC and Nicholas Baldock have expertise in the most complicated employment law cases. Richard Barraclough QC has particular experience in stress at work claims and restrictive covenant work. He has for many years sat as legal advisor to both the General Medical Council and General Dental Council. Notably, he advises large employers in the financial and legal sector in relation to issues such as disability discrimination and capability procedures.

Nicholas Baldock has a substantial reputation in the context of local authority employment work, for example, acting for the Respondents in a case involving multiple and repeated claims by the same Claimant against a local authority. Another example of the local authority work that he has done includes a claim relating to a social worker who claimed unfair constructive dismissal and discrimination following being given an ‘option’ of resigning. He has also being doing increasing amounts of restrictive covenant work in the area of estate agency (non-competition and confidential information clauses). He also has experience of representing individuals in the legal and medical profession who have been referred to their professional bodies following the termination of employment. He sits as legal adviser on the GMC. This part of the team has been significantly strengthened by the addition of Noelle McGrenera QC who brings her substantial experience at the Northern Irish bar with her, most notably in the cases of SCA Packaging Ltd v Boyle (2009) UK HL 37 (the interpretation of ‘likely’ in the context of the definition of disability contained in DDA 1995) and Shamoon v Chief Constable of the RUC (2003) UK HL 11 (guidance on hypothetical comparators and ‘detriment’).

Gordon Menzies has been recommended for his employment law work in the Chambers UK Bar Guide and the Legal 500 for several years now. He appears regularly in the Employment Tribunals and Employment Appeal Tribunal, for example  Truelove v Safeway Stores plc [2005] ICR 589 (time off for dependents), Piper v Maidstone NHS Trust EAT 18.12.12 (employment status and internal appeals) and Lynch v Sussex Downs College EAT 6.5.14 (standard for disciplinary investigations). He has particular experience in the context of restrictive covenants and acted for the Respondents in the case of Widmar v Earth Island Publishing and others [2013] EWHC 1881 (Ch) which touched upon the correct approach when dealing with ‘linked in’ groups operated by a former employee. A large part of the work that he does in this area relates to discrimination including transgender discrimination (McGrath v Kent Police). He also does substantial amounts of work directly for business advising on the handling of employment disputes prior to issue of proceedings, in particular long term sickness absence. He lectures to other members of the profession about the developments in employment law.

Grace Cullen is also recommended for her employment work in the Chambers UK Bar Guide. Most notably she acted for the local authority Respondent in the case of Arya v Waltham Forest District Council in which a primary school teacher dismissed on grounds including the making anti-Semitic comments attempted to argue that his belief about the merits of Judaism was ‘philosophical’ for the purposes of anti-discrimination legislation. She also acted for the claimant in the case of Roche v London Fire and Emergency Authority who claimed unfair constructive dismissal and disability discrimination having developed Post Traumatic Stress Disorder linked to his experiences as a fire officer in the 2005 London bombings. She also lectures on recent developments in employment law.

The work that Ian Rees Phillips has done in this area has included successfully acting for a respondent recruitment consultant in a claim brought against it by an individual for race discrimination on the basis that the recruitment consultant had not found a role for this individual. The individual involved had brought a number of similar claims against such companies in the past and Ian was successful in securing a costs award on the basis that the claim was vexatious. Other work he has recently done includes claims relating to questions of whether a Claimant was in law an ‘employee’, the correct calculation of periods of continuous employment and disputes concerning whether TUPE applies.

Mukhtiar Singh, recommended for his employment work in the Chambers UK Bar Guide, was previously a member of the GLS working group on employment law and brings to his practice over 10 years’ experience in workforce relations. He is regularly instructed for all types of Tribunal cases including a recent 8-day whistleblowing case and an equal pay case involving directors’ bonus schemes. He is regularly instructed for cases involving civil remedies and cases overlapping over areas of law such as company law and negligence. He is now one of the recommended barristers for a niche employment firm in the city. He has recently lectured on whistleblowing.

Laura Phillips, Thaiza Khan, Nicholas Ostrowski and Frances Lawson form a group of junior practitioners who are developing their practices to cover a wide range of cases enabling chambers to be able to cater for cases which span all ranges of complexity and budget.

Members of the team include individuals who regularly lecture on employment law, sit in the capacity of legal advisors to the General Medical Council and General Dental Council and participate on the Bar Council’s Equality and Diversity Committee.

Click on the subspecialities below for further information on our work in these areas: