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Editorial

Index of tables

  1. Employment – Leading sets
  2. Employment – Leading silks
  3. Employment – New silks
  4. Employment – Leading juniors

Employment – Leading silks

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Employment – New silks

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Employment – Leading juniors

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    • Ben Cooper - Old Square ChambersThe top employment junior at the Bar, who combines formidable intellect with excellent client skills.
    • Thomas Croxford - Blackstone ChambersHe stays very calm and focused at all times, and has a real command of employment law.
    • Thomas Kibling - Matrix ChambersA brilliant tactician, who knows what will work and when.
    • Richard Leiper - 11KBWBrilliantly articulate, incredibly responsive, really, really clever, and very versatile.
    • Jane McCafferty - 11KBWA very impressive senior junior of silk quality.
    • Akash Nawbatt - DevereuxHe is bright, very hardworking and good with clients; one of the strongest junior counsel around at the moment.
    • Sam Neaman - Littleton ChambersHe combines high intellectual capability with practical skills; you know you are in the very best of hands.
    • Amy Rogers - 11KBWShe gets to the crux of the issues and evidence at hand quickly, and is very good with clients.
    • Diya Sen Gupta - Blackstone ChambersA persuasive advocate, who quickly puts clients at ease and wins their confidence.
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We are now three years on from the introduction of employment tribunal fees requiring workers to pay between £169 and £1200 before they can pursue a case, which reportedly caused an initial 79% drop in claims. Although many employment barristers have recently reported a small uptick in tribunal claims for the first time since 2013, UNISON continues to fight against the decision; it was recently unsuccessful in R (UNISON) v Lord Chancellor in the Court of Appeal, but in February 2016, the union was granted permission to take the case to the Supreme Court. The reduced pool of cases has caused increased competition for City clients and High Court work. The tier one sets in our rankings are able to display a strong mix of both.

There will always be exceptional talent on hand’ at 11KBW. For some, it is ‘the pre-eminent employment set’; ‘no other chambers in London has the same depth of ability at every level’. Recent key work includes Marcus Pilgerstorfer’s involvement in Hainsworth v Ministry of Defence, a Supreme Court case concerning whether employers should make adjustments to support employees who are caring for disabled family members.

Blackstone Chambers is ‘a very impressive set’, housing ‘great clerks who maintain really good relationships with both their members and law firms’. High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court cases all feature on chambers’ recent workload, including Petter v EMC Europe & EMC Corporation, which widened the interpretation of the term “employer”; and Nolan v USA, addressing the applicability of redundancy provisions to foreign forces visiting the UK.

Clients receive ‘a great service’ from the ‘top-classEssex Court Chambers, which is ‘the go-to set for High Court employment work and complex disputes’. Three members were involved in the high-profile Arthur J Gallagher v Ross & Ors case, which arose from a team move in the insurance industry and ultimately resulted in one of the highest-value settlements in the sector.

Littleton Chamberssets the bar for employment law’ and is ‘a first port of call’ for its ‘great depth of counsel’. The set handles the full spectrum of cases, but is particularly well known for restrictive covenant and injunctive relief matters. Recent standout work includes indirect discrimination case Essop & Others v Home Office, and blacklisting dispute Smith v Carillion.

At Matrix Chambers, ‘all counsel are accessible and strong on strategy’, and in the practice management team, Cliff Holland has ‘an excellent understanding of employment law’. The set continues to expand its enviable employment practice, with Paul Nicholls QC joining from 11KBW in September 2015. Karon Monaghan QC and Mathew Purchase are continuing to challenge the new employment tribunal fee regime in R (UNISON) v Lord Chancellor.

Instructing solicitors of Cloisters are ‘incredibly impressed with the set’s depth of knowledge and its barristers’ willingness to assist whenever necessary’. In addition to the strength in depth of its barristers, its clerks are ‘easy to deal with and understanding of client needs’.

Old Square Chambers comprises ‘an incredibly talented group of employment lawyers’ and clerks who provide ‘a very efficient service’. Three members acted for Unite in the largest blacklisting scandal in UK industrial history, which resulted in 256 workers receiving more than £10m in compensation. The set expanded further in 2016 with the arrival of a number of employment practitioners.

Devereux is ‘a go-to set for high-value litigation’; ‘its counsel are among the most down-to-earth at the Bar’.

Outer Temple Chambers continues to handle a strong caseload; three of its members are involved in the largest-ever private sector equal pay claim Atkinson and others v ASDA. Emily Gordon Walker joined from 12 King’s Bench Walk.

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Legal Developments in London Bar for Employment

  • TRANSFER OF UNDERTAKINGS (PROTECTION OF EMPLOYMENT) AND AGE DISCRIMINATION

    I have been asked to cover the topic of Employment law within my half an hour speaking slot today. I have narrowed my subject down to Transfer of Undertakings and Discrimination, with the focus on providing an update on the recent spate of cases on service provision change and on the important developments in the law of age discrimination. Needless to say, in my presentation I shall not be able to cover the level of detail which is contained in my written paper, which I will leave you to read.
    - 11KBW

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