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Discrimination

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Employment

Our Discrimination Team

Members of the Employment Group, at all levels of seniority, regularly represent both claimants and respondents in employment discrimination claims.

We recognise that in Employment Tribunal work, where costs are rarely recoverable, it is important to be able to offer experienced counsel at a level that is proportionate to the value of the claim.

As such, many of our junior members have significant Employment Tribunal advocacy experience, both in fighting discrimination trials and dealing with preliminary issues (such as whether a claimant is or is not disabled within the statutory definition). 

Our senior members are regularly appearing in longer or more complex discrimination Employment Tribunal trials and appeals to the EAT and the Court of Appeal.

We have considerable experience (on both sides of such litigation) in cases involving employment discrimination on the grounds of:

  • Race
  • Sex
  • Sexual orientation
  • Religion and belief
  • Disability
  • Age

We provide expertise and commercial experience at all stages of such litigation, from preliminary pre-issue advice through to mediation (including Employment Tribunal judicial mediation, which we find is increasingly appropriate in substantial discrimination claims now) and to representation at trial and on appeal.

Here are some examples of our work:

  • Durrant v Chief Constable for Avon & Somerset  - Tim Adkin for the appellant, successfully appealed to the Court of Appeal against the decision of the High Court arising from the failure of the trial judge to consider the operation of the two-stage burden of proof in a claim of race discrimination against a police force.

  • Jones v Tesco Ltd  – Orlando Holloway represented Tesco in their successful defence of claims of Direct Sex Discrimination and Constructive Unfair Dismissal. The Claimant worked as a female lorry driver in a predominantly male environment and complained of a long history of less favourable treatment and harassment culminating in being given a disciplinary sanction for leaving her lorry by the side of the road at the end of her shift. At the end of a 5 day trial all claims were dismissed.

  • Emerton -v- Marcos Bar Ltd  – Iris Ferber for the respondent. A Disability discrimination claim listed for 3 days, with preliminary question of whether Claimant was disabled. Iris Succeeded in getting the claim dismissed on day 1, on the basis that Claimant had failed to prove he was disabled.

  • Wieclawski v. London Underground Limited – Rebecca Thomas for the respondent. A Disability discrimination and unfair dismissal claim. Train driver dismissed following safety breach whilst suffering from an acute bereavement reaction. Won at first instance and successfully defended appeal in EAT.  Appeal raised issues of knowledge of disability, reasonable adjustments and adequacy of Judge’s reasons.

  • Tiffin v Chief Constable of Surrey Benjamin Uduje was instructed on behalf of the Chief Constable in a 2 weeks multiple discrimination and highly contested claims, which attracted considerable national media attention.

  • EP v The Gym Limited - Stefan Liberadzki represented an Employment Tribunal claimant who successfully established “employee” status, despite the fact that the contract described him as “self-employed” and he received no pay under the arrangement. More information can be found here

News & events

Employment Newsletter

Welcome to the latest roundup from our barristers at 42 Bedford Row Employment Practice, with the latest news and unique insights from our team.

23rd August 2018 Read more

Employment Newsletter

Welcome to the latest roundup from our barristers at 42 Bedford Row Employment Practice, with the latest news and unique insights from our team.

29th January 2018 Read more

Stefan Liberadzki represents Employment Tribunal claimant who successfully establishes “employee” status for claim under the Equality Act

In EP v The Gym Ltd, the Claimant (referred to here as ‘EP’) was engaged by a nationwide chain of low-cost 24-hour gyms as a “freelance personal trainer”. His claim for disability discrimination arises from the Respondent’s termination of his contract on the grounds of absence from work, which he says was caused by a medical condition amounting to a disability.

4th January 2018 Read more

Employment Newsletter

Welcome to the latest roundup from our barristers at 42 Bedford Row Employment Practice, with the latest news and unique insights from our team.

25th October 2017 Read more

2017 Annual Employment Lecture: The Common Law Constitution At Work

42 Bedford Row invite you to their 2017 Annual Lecture on Thursday 28th September 2017 at 18.00pm: Followed by a drinks reception where you will get the opportunity to meet the speakers and members from our employment team. 42 Bedford Row are delighted to announce that Professor Alan Bogg will deliver our 2017 Annual Lecture.

11th September 2017 Read more

Employment Newsletter

Welcome to the latest roundup from our barristers at 42 Bedford Row Employment Practice, with the latest news and unique insights from our team. ET fees. What now? Yesterday employment practitioners up and down the land celebrated Unison’s victory in the Supreme Court but now as the news sinks the judgment raises many questions.1.

21st August 2017 Read more

Tiffin v Chief Constable of Surrey

Reading ET handed down Judgment yesterday in the much publicised case of Tiffin v Chief Constable of Surrey dismissing all claims. Ben Uduje acted for the Chief Constable. Overweight policewoman quits the force ‘after being pressured to pass a bleep test’

26th July 2017 Read more

Employment Newsletter

Welcome to the latest roundup from our barristers at 42 Bedford Row Employment Practice, with the latest news and unique insights from our team over the last month or so. An employee is thinking of quitting? Whoever is involved write it all down! I link a good article here in the Independent, as to the

3rd July 2017 Read more

Nicholas Bidnell-Edwards proved that an NHS Bank Healthcare Assistant working on a zero hours’ contract had been an employee though she had no obligation to accept work offered to her

Nicholas succeeded in proving that a Bank Healthcare Assistant was an employee within the meaning of Section 230 of the Employment Rights Act 1996 even though the Tribunal Judge found that: i) the Healthcare Assistant was under no obligation to accept any offer of work, and was not guaranteed a minimum amount of work; ii)

10th April 2017 Read more

Chambers is proud to announce that 3 February 2017 saw the second annual 42 Bedford Row Disability Law Essay Prize take place at the University of Oxford

This year’s question concerned employment law and challenged students to think about how the law should be framed so as to ensure that persons with disabilities receive equal remuneration for work of equal value. Students and attendees were given the opportunity to question a panel consisting of Lord Justice Bean, Professor Alan Bogg of Oxford

23rd February 2017 Read more

Jude Shepherd delivers a webinar in partnership with Masterclass Training

Jude Shepherd delivers a webinar in partnership with Masterclass Training, looking at the causes of the gender pay gap and the steps being taken to close the gap by introducing mandatory gender pay gap reporting. The new Regulations have a target introduction date of 1 October 2016. Listen to the recording of the webinar to

25th July 2016 Read more

Unison (no 2) v Lord Chancellor and EHRC

This week Susan Chan of 42BR has appeared for the Lord Chancellor in the second judicial review challenge to the employment tribunal fees system brought by the union Unison. A year ago Susan successfully defended the tribunal fees scheme against Unison’s first challenge, which was backed by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC).

23rd October 2014 Read more

Haq -v- Audit Commission – Judgment

In a new equal pay decision Haq v Audit Commission the Court of Appeal upholds the Respondent’s “genuine material factor” defence based on a form of “pay protection ”. The policy entailed that on reorganisation, employees kept the higher pay level of their old jobs where the new and old jobs were in the same

7th December 2012 Read more