Rachel Crasnow QC > Cloisters Chambers > London, England > Lawyer Profile

Cloisters Chambers

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Rachel Crasnow photo


Leading QC specialising in employment law, with emphasis on discrimination and human rights. Practices in all areas of workplace and equality law from equal pay to individual and collective rights as well as goods and services discrimination. Frequently instructed in regulatory and disciplinary cases. Notable recent cases include the latest cases on pension rights for part-time tribunal members: O’Brien v Ministry of Justice  [2016] ICR 182 CA (appeal in Supreme Court late 2016); Aziz v CPS EAT [03 February 2015] (race discrimination) Osei-Adjei v RM Education EAT [24 September 2013) (disability discrimination and causation of loss); Dziedziak v Future Electronics Ltd (2012) EqLR 543 (race discrimination and nationality); Miles v lnsitu Cleaning Co Ltd EAT [2 October 2012] (TUPE dismissals and ETO reasons); O’Brien v DCA [2013] UKSC 6; Blackburn & Anor v West Midlands Police [2009] IRLR 135; Cadman v HSE [2006] ICR 1623 ECJ (justifying equal pay); Secretary of State for Trade and Industry v Rutherford & Bentley [2006] ICR 785 HL (sex and age discrimination and European law); Vince-Cain v Orthet [2005] ICR 374, EAT (sex discrimination and taxation of damages); University of Huddersfield v Wolff [2004] ICR 828 (inferences and burden of proof); and acting for Liberty in ECHR cases including Goodwin v UK. Part-time judge in Police Appeals Tribunal. Legal Advisor to the United Kingdom Board for Health Care Chaplaincy (UKBHC). Junior standing counsel to the British Psychological Society for many years. Trained mediator. Counsel to the 1999-2000 Turner Inquiry and instructed in the Climbie Inquiry


Called 1994; Pegasus Scholarship 1999 in Sydney.

Publications include: co-author with Robin Allen QC ‘Employment Law and Human Rights’ (3rd ed OUP forthcoming); ‘Family Rights in Employment Law’ (Jordans 2012); co-author ‘Blackstone’s Guide to the Equality Act’ (2nd ed OUP 2016).

Rachel writes and lectures frequently on a diverse range of topics. She often speaks at European Academy of Law in Trier. In 2015 Rachel gave evidence on behalf of the Bar Council to House of Lords Select Committee on tribunal fees. Long-term advisor at Camden Law Centre. Chair of Bar Council Legislation and Guidance Committee.


ELBA; ELA; ILS; DLA; HRLA; Bar Pro Bono Unit; ELAAS.


Pembroke College, Oxford; City University, London; Middle Temple Diplock Scholarship 1993.

Lawyer Rankings

London Bar > Set overviews: England and Wales

Cloisters is the ‘go-to’ chambers for clinical negligence cases, with some members ‘highly skilled in handling catastrophic injury claims’, as well as for employment instructions as it houses some ‘must-have’ counsel for discrimination claims. In recent news, Rachel Crasnow QC and Christopher Milsom have been elected to serve on the executive committee of the Employment Law Bar Association, while Sarah Fraser Butlin has been elected chair of the Industrial Law Society. The clerks’ room is led by ‘excellent‘ senior clerk Glenn Hudson, who is ably assisted by ‘efficient‘ first junior Mark Skipp and the ‘very helpful‘ second junior, Andy Hunter. Offices in: London

London Bar > Employment

(Leading Silks) Ranked: Tier 3

Rachel Crasnow QCCloistersIncredibly knowledgeable on all things discrimination and very constructive and commercial in her approach.

Cloisters‘ members are highly regarded for their expert knowledge in all aspects of employment law across a broad range of sectors including financial services, transport, education, government, retail, and technology. The set’s members act for both employers and employees, including trade unions. Robin Allen QC and Rachel Crasnow QC acted for part-time judges in O’Brien v Ministry of Justice, a high-value claim which considered discrimination against part-time judges in the calculation of pensions; in November 2018 the Court of Justice of the European Union found in their clients’ favour, bringing the 13-year dispute to a close. Elsewhere, Paul Epstein QC represented Birmingham City Council and Tesco in a multimillion-pound mass equal pay disputes.