Employment in London Bar
11KBW is 'an excellent set of chambers with incredible strength in depth. The clerking is also very good, and I always feel confident that the team understands the needs of my clients'. The 'constructive and commercial' Daniel Stilitz QC successfully acted for Protect, the whistleblowers’ charity, in a Supreme Court appeal which involved the question of whether judges can whistleblow. Meanwhile, Clive Sheldon QC acted for Cambridge University in a judicial review challenge to its decision not to re-engage a lecturer, which followed an employment tribunal's decision that she was unfairly dismissed. Strengthening chambers at the senior end, Marcus Pilgerstorfer QC, Julian Milford QC and Aileen McColgan QC all took silk in 2020. Peter Lockley and Daniel Isenberg are highlighted as rising stars of the employment Bar.
Blackstone Chambers' 'range is huge and it has the perfect barrister for almost any employment dispute. This is a great employment set with a very approachable team, whose knowledge is exceptional; the clerks are also really helpful'. In Owen v AMEC Foster Wheeler Energy Limited and another, the 'intellectually brilliant' Diya Sen Gupta QC, who took silk in 2019, successfully represented the respondents before the Court of Appeal in a complex disability discrimination appeal. Elsewhere, Paul Goulding QC and rising star George Molyneaux represented Clarks in the successful defence of a high-profile, whistleblowing-related unfair dismissal claim, which was brought by the former CEO of the footwear business. In recent news at the junior end, Craig Rajgopaul has joined the set from Littleton Chambers.
Cloisters 'has great strength in depth and availability, and the clerks are always very helpful and efficient. The set even provided brilliant advice notes on Covid-19 and its implications for employment law – no other barrister chambers provided as comprehensive support to lawyers'. In recent work of note, Paul Epstein QC and Dee Masters represent Tesco in the multi-party, equal pay claims brought against it by several firms; Jason Galbraith-Marten QC acted for the drivers in the high-profile Uber litigation over worker status; Robin Allen QC and Rachel Crasnow QC acted in O’Brien v Ministry of Justice, one of the test cases that affects approximately 8,000 part-time judges and their right to equivalent pay and pensions with full-time judges.
Littleton Chambers 'continues to impress with the quality of its members' work on heavyweight employment matters, as well as their excellent availability. The clerking is also very good; senior clerk Jason Drakeford is very accommodating and flexible, and manages to fit the right barrister to the right person'. In a Supreme Court test case on the national minimum wage and sleeping-over workers, David Reade QC led Niran De Silva and Georgina Leadbetter in the representation of Royal Mencap Society; and Naomi Ellenbogen QC was appointed by the House of Lords Commission to conduct an independent inquiry into bullying and harassment in the House of Lords. Strengthening chambers at the senior end, John Mehrzad QC took silk in 2020, while, in the junior ranks, the future looks bright for the set as it contains the 'forensic' Grahame Anderson, 'quick thinking' Georgina Leadbetter, and 'meticulous' Jamie Susskind, all rising stars of the employment Bar.
Matrix Chambers is 'a great chambers with many top-quality employment and discrimination counsel, and many good juniors coming up the ranks'. Acting for claimants, respondents and intervenors alike, the set's members consistently appear in high-profile and complex cases at all levels, from the Employment Tribunal through to the Supreme Court. In a landmark decision that effected a change in the doctrine of severance (which had stood since 1934), James Laddie QC successfully represented a senior executive in the High Court, in relation to a recruitment firm's application to enforce a restrictive covenant. Elsewhere in chambers, Claire Darwin successfully represented Samira Ahmed in her high-profile, equal pay claims against the BBC. In the set's junior ranks, Nathan Roberts and Mark Greaves are rising stars of the employment arena.
Old Square Chambers is 'a high-quality set' that acts in a large range of cases (including before the Appellate courts), which cover worker status, human rights, contract claims, discrimination, industrial action, holiday pay, injunctions and equal pay, among others. In an important test case, Lord Hendy QC led Katharine Newton QC in representing the Independent Workers of Great Britain, in seeking worker status and union recognition on behalf of thousands of Deliveroo riders. Mark Sutton QC is a leading silk for employment disputes involving doctors and other healthcare sector staff. Strengthening the set at the senior end, Ijeoma Omambala QC, Deshpal Panesar QC, Rebecca Tuck QC and Katharine Newton QC all took silk in 2020. At the junior end, Tom Kirk has arrived from the now-dissolved Ely Place Chambers and the 'persuasive advocate' Madeline Stanley and the 'intelligent, calm, and unruffled' Benjamin Jones are rising stars in chambers.
Devereux's employment team consistently acts in complex and groundbreaking employment disputes and its members have strong appellate practices that cover both the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court. The set represents blue chip multinationals, trade unions, and governments, and regularly handles high-profile Metropolitan Police cases. 'Skilled advocate' Bruce Carr QC represented the Royal Mail Group in the first appellate case to address interference in the voting process, under section 230 of The Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992. Andrew Burns QC successfully upheld an EAT decision in the Court of Appeal, which argued that maternity leave was not comparable to leave for childcare purposes. Clients admire the 'fighting spirit and sound commercial advice' provided by rising star Marianne Tutin.
Essex Court Chambers is 'a leading commercial set that is also a leader in employment law, not just because of the quality of its advocates but because its employment barristers have cross-over practices into other areas, which give them an edge in contentious and complex employment and employment-related disputes'. Of recent note, Andrew Hochhauser QC acted in an ET unfair dismissal and disability discrimination claim, which was brought by a former senior banker, who had worked for a bank for almost 40 years. Daniel Oudkerk QC has appeared in several significant commercial employment disputes, including Egon Zehnder v Tillman SC, the first employee competition case in over 100 years to reach the Supreme Court.
Outer Temple Chambers is 'extremely efficient and all the clerks are helpful when looking for suitable counsel at affordable fees'. 'Brilliant legal analyst and highly skilled, clever advocate', Andrew Short QC, who is at the forefront of equal pay claims in the private sector, acts in the representation of approximately 15,000 shop workers in Brierley v Asda, while Keith Bryant QC, leading Saul Margo, acted for the respondents in the first case at appellate level to consider the meaning of 'unfavourable' in a disability discrimination claim (under s15 of the Equality Act 2010). Taking silk in 2020, Andrew Allen QC's practice is predominantly in employment and partnership discrimination law. 'A real talent', Stephen Butler is a rising star in chambers.
Regularly appearing in Employment Tribunals, the Employment Appeal Tribunal, and the High Court, 42 Bedford Row 'has a solid employment practice which offers strength in depth'. Jude Shepherd heads the set's employment team, which fields Orlando Holloway, who represented the respondents in various hearings (including a 10-day trial), which concerned claims of discrimination, whistleblowing, trade union detriment, and constructive unfair dismissal. Michael Salter has joined the set from the now-closed Ely Place Chambers.