Employment in Regional Bar
'Professional and approachable' set Atlantic Chambers includes the 'down to earth and approachable' Simon Gorton QC, whose employment practice includes both tribunal cases and court appeals, including to the very highest levels, with a focus of late on whistle-blowing cases. Instructing solicitors praise him for his 'ability to explain complex legal situations simply which my clients find very helpful' and for his. 'superb advocacy, Simon is a very good advocate and retains composure and charm during difficult and lengthy cases'.
At Doughty Street Chambers in Manchester, the set's members are particularly known for their expertise in high value and complex discrimination claims. Paul Draycott has particular specialisms in whistleblowing, TUPE, and discrimination claims and has also handled a number of cases concerning the interplay of the criminal law and employment law. Also of note, Paras Gorasia, working with local advocates, advised on the Manx Sutton v Creechurch Capital case in the Isle of Man, in which a whistleblower was awarded compensation of around £600,000, a sum thought to be a jurisdiction record. Instructing solicitors are full of praise for 'the friendly barrister' Gorasia: 'First and foremost, Paras is an excellent team player. For instructing solicitors, the fact he always makes himself available at short notice to review a document or provide input, or just to give his view, is priceless and makes him stand out from others.'
Active on the Northern Circuit, Exchange Chambers' 'thorough and efficient advocate' Catherine Knowles is primarily instructed by respondents in the public sector, including government departments, local authorities, and NHS Trusts, across the full spectrum of employment issues, with a particular focus on claims involving allegations of discrimination and whistleblowing. She successfully appeared for the revenue in Wareing v The Commissioners for HM Revenue & Customs, an action by the claimant alleging their employer had failed to comply with a duty to make reasonable adjustments; all claims were dismissed following a four-day hearing.
'A great set that has improved its strength in depth in recent years', Kenworthy's Chambers employment team includes the 'experienced and diligent' Bruce Henry and the 'very astute' Sarah Johnson. Henry represents trade union members in a wide spectrum of employment matters in both employment tribunals and the Employment Appeal Tribunal. Recent instructions of note include successfully acting for a claimant in a claim for discrimination arising from disability when a job offer was withdrawn from the applicant. Johnson has substantial experience in employment and discrimination law and, in particular, equal pay cases involving the NHS.
Littleton Chambers' employment law reach extends from its home base in London to the North West of England with 'superb' 2019 silk Nicholas Siddall QC and the 'hard-working' Daniel Northall. In recent instructions of note, Siddall QC acted for the claimant in Lyons v Derwent Holdings Limited, a multi-million-pound High Court case that would consider the Isle of Man test for whistleblowing and the extent to which this differs from the UK Test. In another potential multi-million-pound claim, Northall has been representing the founder, chief executive, and managing director of a care company who, following external investment, alleges they were forced from their posts and removed as directors to allow investors to take control of the company.
9 St John Street
'A first port of call when seeking counsel in employment matters' in Manchester, 9 St John Street's team covers the full spectrum of contentious and all aspects of non-contentious employment law work. Paul Gilroy QC is considered to be approachable, user-friendly, and incredibly knowledgeable in the world of sports and employment law. 'He balances technical expertise with a common-sense approach that clients really value'. Fielding a strong bench of junior counsel, the set is particularly well-connected in the public sector, with the 'tenacious and inexhaustible' Edward Morgan, in particular, handling a number of cases in the NHS context. In recent instructions of note, 'excellent cross-examiner' Rachel Wedderspoon represented a solicitor who brought a sex discrimination claim against her former firm, while 'fantastic advocate, who is great with clients' Louise Quigley represented a private sector respondent in an unusual case where the claimant alleges her dismissal was orchestrated as her husband, the company's CEO, was dismissed for fraud.
Kings Chambers is 'able to offer a credible alternative to London sets, even for the most specialist and complex areas of employment law', according to instructing solicitors. In recent instructions of note, employment team head James Boyd represented Liverpool John Moores University in defeating a discrimination claim brought by a part-time law lecturer, while Helen Trotter represented the Ministry of Justice in an unfair dismissal claim brought by a former prison officer, who was dismissed for having allegedly assaulted a prisoner; it was contended that even if the assault occurred it was caused by PTSD, ergo his sacking constituted disability discrimination. Strengthening the team, Rosie Kight joined chambers in 2018 having previously been a solicitor at both Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP and Addleshaw Goddard. A rising star at the Bar, Kight is praised by solicitors for her ability to 'focus on the key details of a case and speak to clients in a very straightforward way, making complex points seem easy to understand'.
St John's Buildings
St John's Buildings 'has a large employment team with a wealth of experience and a well-deserved reputation for excellence'. In recent instructions of note, the 'very approachable' Jason Searle represented a day nursery which was blackmailed by two former employees who had hidden cocaine on the premises, while 'excellent advocate' Ghazhan Mahmoud represented a Cumbria firm of accountants in a dispute with a former senior employee concerning restrictive covenants. Jamie Jenkins has been representing a claimant consultant psychiatrist who, after working with dangerous mental health patients, was diagnosed with PTSD following a lengthy absence from work; the claimant was dismissed for a breach of contract. Former solicitor Thomas Wood joined chambers in 2017 and has specialist expertise in TUPE, disability discrimination, and whistleblowing claims.