Recent Employment and Equalities Cases

Recent Employment and Equalities Cases

LATEST NEWS - Sarah Clarke provides an employment case law update for the past month

20th June 2017

3PB Employment barrister Sarah Clarke provides a case law update covering the past month. Sarah's update includes: Dismissal connected to absence because of cancer treatment was ... read more


Chambers & Partners UK 2017
Employment – Western (Bar) – Band 2


The set's employment group consists of 28 barristers, offering advice and advocacy on all aspects of contentious employment issues. Its members regularly appear in the Employment Tribunal and EAT, as well as the High Court and the Court of Appeal. In recent years, they have developed particular expertise in employment issues related to local authorities, along with the healthcare and transport sectors. Solicitors describe them as "a well-run set of chambers with approachable and responsive barristers."

Client service: "We have always found the clerks in particular to be proactive, helpful and polite." "They are willing to go the extra mile." Russell Porter is the senior clerk.


James Dawson – Band 2
Has a nationwide practice, representing both employers and employees with a focus on discrimination and unfair dismissal law. His crossover work in commercial law also contributes to his expertise in restrictive covenants and TUPE work.
Strengths: "He is incredibly bright, has an encyclopaedic knowledge of TUPE and provides a first-class and responsive service."
Recent work: Acted for a solicitor accused of gross misconduct in misleading the County Court. MacFarlane v BLM was a multi-day trial, including cross-examination of managing and senior partners in BLM. The Employment Tribunal found the claimant had been unfairly dismissed.

Gareth Graham – Band 3
Highly experienced in discrimination law and unfair dismissal. He is widely respected for his strategic approach to complex cases.
Strengths: "As well as being technically competent on legal issues, he is also able to demonstrate a good understanding of a client's business and its commercial drivers."
Recent work: Acted for the respondent in six cases of racial discrimination, harassment and victimisation against The Co-operative Group. 

Stephen Wyeth – Band 3
Experienced in high-value discrimination cases and has had notable recent success in complex multi-day discrimination claims. He is also highly regarded for his knowledge of TUPE, as well as the enforceability of restrictive covenants and confidentiality clauses.
Strengths: "He's an ex-solicitor and a part-time judge. He knows what he's doing and is good in presenting in a tribunal; he's had some phenomenal results for us."
Recent work: Successfully acted for the respondent in Swarzenbach t/a Thames-side Court Estate v Jones at the EAT. Wyeth persuaded the tribunal to uphold the decision, arguing that the claimant was not eligible for continuity of employment to pursue a claim of unfair dismissal.

Andrew MacPhail – Up and Coming
Esteemed for his experience in a diverse array of employment law disputes, ranging from whistle-blowing, discrimination and harassment, to equal pay, unfair dismissal and TUPE.
Strengths: "His experience at tribunal covers a wide range of employment law areas." "He is often instructed for complex multi-day discrimination and whistle-blowing hearings."
Recent work: Acted for the respondent council in Ms Meade v Oxfordshire County Council, an appeal against the judgment of the Employment Tribunal. Ms Meade's claims for whistle-blowing detriment were dismissed at appeal.

Chambers & Partners UK 2016
Employment – Western (Bar) – Band 2


3PB's employment law barristers work for both claimants and respondents on all kinds of contentious cases from the Employment Tribunal to the High Court, and are frequently instructed on restrictive covenant matters. In recent months, members have appeared in cases such as London Borough of Hillingdon v Meso, a complex appeal concerning a race discrimination claim which related to causation and the precision of such claims. They also acted in Woods v Somerset County Council, an appeal on the grounds of issues of procedure and the definition of casual work. "All of them are exceptionally good counsel," say solicitors. "They're timely on paperwork, good on their feet, give sensible suggestions in terms of settlement, and have good all-round ability."
Client service:  "The clerking is very personalised, they always ensure they understand our needs, and that we get barristers who follow our approach." "Russell Porter is their senior clerk, and he goes out of his way to make sure we're happy."


James Dawson
Acts for both claimants and respondents in a broad range of discrimination and unfair dismissal cases across the country. He also advises on confidential information matters and restrictive covenants.
Strengths:  "He clearly dedicates much time to the preparation of matters, and knows the papers back to front, so that he can use them to make points very clearly."
Recent work:  In the whistle-blowing case of England v St Edmund's School, he proved through cross-examination that the claimant's allegations of a colleague's inappropriate behaviour were false and unfounded.

Gareth Graham
Has represented high-profile employers and employees in Tribunal cases nationwide, and also acted for students in university disciplinary hearings and employees in professional internal disciplinary issues.
Strengths:  "He's well regarded, thorough and client-friendly." "He gets the points across quickly and he's good at cross-examination."
Recent work:  Acted for the appellant in the Employment Appeal Tribunal case of Vodafone v Miss A Nicholson.

Andrew Macphail
Has represented both claimants and respondents in matters concerning issues as diverse as whistle-blowing, unfair dismissal, TUPE, equal pay, unlawful deductions and breach of contract.
Strengths:  "He's calm and reassuring, and has a confident approach. He always delivers and always gets good results." "He's sensible, gives the client confidence, and can boil down the information to its essential points."
Recent work:  Successfully represented the claimant in the case of Woodford v Gowrings in the Employment Tribunal. The claimant alleged wrongful and unfair dismissal following the employer's accusations of misconduct.

Stephen Wyeth
Handles high-value or multi-day unfair dismissal and discrimination cases. He also tackles TUPE and restrictive covenant cases for both employers and senior employees.
Strengths:  "He's personable, detailed, conscientious, and he puts an awful lot of work in." "He can pull out a great result from anywhere."
Recent work:  Successfully acted for the respondent in the Employment Appeal Tribunal case of Esparon t/a Middle West Residential Care Home v Slavikovska. This case, which had nationwide consequences, concerned the question of whether care workers on sleep-in shifts were entitled to the National Minimum Wage.

Chambers & Partners UK - 2015:
Employment – Western Circuit - Band 2 Set

This set acts for claimants and respondents on all aspects of employment law, and has experienced advocates across all levels. 3PB boasts particular expertise in the enforcement of restrictive covenants, and maintains strong relationships with nationwide legal insurance companies.

Client service: "The clerking is good there. Russell Porter, the chambers director, is particularly helpful - whenever we phone up he will bend over backwards to assist us."


James Dawson
Offers in-depth employment law expertise to clients on complex cases concerning issues such as race discrimination and breaches of restrictive covenants. He is also a part-time employment judge.
Expertise: "He is a clear, technically astute advocate who is very thorough and approachable." "His knowledge of law is almost nerdy, and he uses it to such a powerful extent that he is incredibly convincing."
Recent work:Instructed by Larchcroft Education Trust on a claim against one of its schools concerning race discrimination and constructive unfair dismissal. 

Andrew Macphail
A junior who advises exclusively on employment law cases, often involving complex, multiple-day tribunal hearings. He has particular experience of cases relating to equal pay litigation.
Expertise: "He is a thorough and systematic barrister. You always know when Andrew is instructed that he will devote his full care and attention to the case." "He's quite technical but very effective as an advocate, and always invested in his work."
Recent work: Represented Community Options as respondent at tribunal and the EAT, against a claim of unfair dismissal and failure to make reasonable adjustments.

Stephen Wyeth
Former solicitor and part-time employment judge, with strong experience of high-value discrimination claims. He also has noteworthy expertise in TUPE claims, particularly cases involving multiple respondents.
Expertise: "He is very proactive and well prepared at all times. His skills and abilities as an advocate, and his client management skills, belie his relatively junior call." "He was a solicitor for a number of years so he knows the commercial reality for his clients, as well as being pragmatic and approachable. He's always been succinct and helpful, even with general queries. His presentational style is adaptable."
Recent work: Represented outsourcing and distribution company Bunzl as the respondent in a tribunal claim of constructive unfair dismissal, concerning an alleged failure to provide a safe system of work and the instigation of a sham disciplinary process.

Gareth Graham
Experienced in a range of employment cases on behalf of clients from a variety of sectors, including recent success with governmental, engineering and automotive clients. Alongside his traditional employment practice, he regularly acts on internal professional disciplinary matters for clients such as rugby clubs and universities.
Expertise: "He is a reliable barrister who is willing to get stuck in."
Recent work: Acted for Horfield Health Centre on an unfair dismissal case brought by a claimant who was dismissed on the grounds of capability.

Simon Tibbitts
Frequently represents clients in tribunal courts nationwide, as well as at the EAT, in complex employment matters. He acts largely for respondents, with particular expertise in discrimination and whistle-blowing cases.
Expertise: "He always has the confidence and respect of the tribunal." "He is practical, and good at explaining difficult concepts in simple terms."
Recent work: Acted for an employer in a convoluted tribunal case involving two respondent companies, three claimants and two interpreters, concerning claims of race discrimination, victimisation, harassment and unfair dismissal.

Chambers & Partners UK: Employment - Western (Bar)

With a large employment practice of 32 barristers, 3PB has a wide employment offering and its members are instructed in High Court injunctive relief matters relating to the enforcement of restrictive covenants. The set handles advocacy at all levels, whether in the ET, EAT, High Court or the Court of Appeal. Recent case highlights include an appeal surrounding the non-payment of national minimum wage to care workers on call during ‘sleep-in’ shifts. The case was successful in the Tribunal at first instance.

Client service: “Both the clerks and barristers provide a very good level of service.”
Chambers & Partners UK Bar Guide 2014

The Legal 500 - The Clients Guide to Law Firms

Legal 500 Bar Directory – Rankings For 2016
Recommendations and Quotes


Employment – Leading juniors
James Dawson - He prepares exceptionally well for his cases and his cross-examination is second to none.
Sarah Bowen - She understands the demands placed upon solicitors and the limitations they sometimes have to work within.

REGIONAL BAR: South Eastern Circuit

Employment – Leading juniors
Andrew McPhail - A pure employment expert.

REGIONAL BAR: South Eastern Circuit

Employment – Leading juniors
Colin McDevitt - Brilliant at absorbing lots of detail and cutting to the main points.
James Dawson - He has a fantastic eye for detail, and first-class commercial and strategic instincts.
Stephen Wyeth - A straight-talking advocate, who gives commercial advice.
Gareth Graham - He has a great cross-examination style and is very effective.
Simon Tibbitts - Very thorough and very bright.
Matthew Curtis - A calm and effective advocate, who shows thorough preparation and meticulous attention to detail.

Legal 500 Bar Directory – Rankings For 2015
Recommendations and Quotes

REGIONAL BAR: Western Circuit

Employment – Leading juniors
Gareth Graham - He has an incisive and forensic approach to legal arguments, and is an excellent advocate
Colin McDevitt - He understands the law and the needs of the client alike
James Dawson - He quickly absorbs and analyses complex information in order to establish the relevant issues
Stephen Wyeth - He is able to very quickly sift through volumes of information to establish what is relevant
Simon Tibbitts - He goes above and beyond what one would expect
Matthew Curtis - He comes across confidently when delivering a case to tribunal.

Legal 500 Bar Directory – Rankings For 2014
Recommendations and Quotes

Ranked as a leading set Tier 2 in the South Eastern circuit

At 3PB, a core of individuals specialise in High Court injunctive relief matters relating to enforcement of restrictive covenants.

Ranked as a leading set Tier 2 in the Western Circuit

3PB’s employment team exhibits broad knowledge of areas such as, whistleblowing, equal pay and discrimination; Colin McDevitt was instructed in a number of complex cases involving the latter in 2013. The team was recently bolstered by the arrivals of Simon Tibbitts and Gareth Graham from Queen Square Chambers.

James Dawson - 3PB ‘He has a fantastic analytical mind and prepares exceptionally thoroughly.’
Gareth Graham - 3PB ‘Pragmatic, commercial and quick to grasp the most important issues.’
Colin McDevitt - 3PB ‘An astute advocate, who will always fight your corner.’
Simon Tibbitts - 3PB ‘He has vast knowledge of employment law, and is always on hand to answer queries.’
Stephen Wyeth - 3PB ‘Very knowledgeable and personable.’
Matthew Curtis - A very competent barrister, with excellent commercial and communication skills.

Fullerton v Interrights (2010) UKEAT/0251/09 -
an appeal on when an act of discrimination is said to be continuing and whether such a decision should be dealt with at a PHR rather than at a full hearing.

Gladwell v Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (2007) ICR 264 -
an appeal on (i) when a Judge can sit alone under ETA 1996, s4 and (ii) whether a controlling shareholder is an employee.

Hosso v ECM (No 1) (2008) All ER D 160 -
an appeal which involved the question whether a grievance raising complaints about basic pay and share options was sufficient under the EqPA 1970 to cover a claim about a bonus.

Hosso v ECM (No 2) (2011) EqLR 328 -
an appeal that addressed the question of whether a share option scheme was regulated by the contract of employment so as to be considered under the EqPA 1970 or whether it was discretionary (and therefore not regulated) so as to be a claim under the SDA 1970.

Mowels v Vox Displays Limited (2007) All ER (D) 40 -
an appeal on whether the statutory grievance procedures were required to be invoked where the complaint was one of breach of contract.

Royal Bank of Scotland v Wilson (2009) UKEAT/0363/08
- an appeal addressing the difficult question of bias of the tribunal.

Spicknell v The Wilts and Dorset Bus Company (2010) UKEATPA/1715/09 -
an appeal on amendments to the ET1.