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Joe England

Joe England

Call 2011

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Employment and Equalities

Joe is an extremely experienced practitioner and his busy practice has ensured that he has in-depth experience of a wide variety of areas and types of claim. His success and evident abilities has led clients to trust Joe with very complex cases. Joe’s practice benefits from representing and advising both sides of employment disputes and he has appeared in the EAT and at a wide range of final and preliminary hearings in the tribunal.

The below lists provide some examples of cases in which Joe has been instructed.

Unfair Dismissal

  • Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust v Mundangepfupfu ([2015] All ER (D) 265): at the EAT, various grounds of appeal successfully resisted concerning unfair dismissal and the balance between substitution of a tribunal’s decision and the correct exercise of the ‘range of reasonable responses test’. Other grounds of appeal resisted included bias and perversity. Remitted for remedy.
  • V v Hertfordshire County Council and Another ([2015] All ER (D) 260): successfully represented a school caretaker who was unfairly dismissed and the victim of sex discrimination. The male school caretaker was dismissed for allegations loosely based on ‘crossing professional boundaries’ in relation to his interactions with children. The dismissal was exposed by Joe at the employment tribunal as involving an investigation that was “seriously flawed”, by the appeal stage “the process was so badly flawed, it was irredeemable” and an act of sex discrimination. At the remedy hearing, the tribunal nevertheless awarded a nearly 100% Polkey reduction to the Claimant’s compensation. However, Langstaff J in the EAT held that the tribunal had erred in its approach to Polkey, remitting the case to the tribunal where compensation was increased from £1135 to over £60,000, in addition to an award of over £20,000 for injury to feelings. See: http://www.3pb.co.uk/newsarticle/940
  • Al Mustafa v Ibrahim (UKEATPA/0830/14): at the EAT, an appeal against a decision of a Registrar that an appeal was lodged out of time, itself an appeal against a tribunal decision that a claim form making a claim of unfair dismissal had been submitted out of time and there were no grounds to extend time under the ‘not reasonably practicable’ test.
  • Boynton v West London NHS Trust: representing the music therapy teacher at Broadmoor psychiatric hospital, successfully demonstrating employee status despite no written contract and consequentially gaining a concession on claims of unfair and wrongful dismissal.
  • P v Topps Tiles UK Ltd – successfully representing a Claimant in a conduct dismissal, demonstrating that although dismissal could have been fair, reliant on computer data of log-in times, on the facts it nevertheless was unfair.
  • L v Lann & Hummell UK Ltd – a claim of unfair dismissal arising out of misconduct allegations for making allegedly defamatory remarks on facebook.
  • J v WBTA – Representing a Claimant whose company was purchased by the Respondent, only for the Respondent to swiftly dismiss him for alleged misconduct. The evidence of the Respondent’s Director was exposed by Joe at trial to be “extremely unsatisfactory...totally unreliable”.
  • Representing a nationwide provider of security personnel against claims of race discrimination and unfair dismissal.
  • F v Mouchel - Representing an accountant against a global firm, bringing a claim of unfair dismissal based on a sham redundancy after a TUPE transfer led to the Claimant being employed on a much higher salary than her comparable new colleagues.
  • Obtaining a deposit order for a care home in response to claims of unfair dismissal and race discrimination.

Discrimination

  • V v Hertfordshire County Council and Another ([2015] All ER (D) 260): successfully represented a school caretaker who was unfairly dismissed and the victim of sex discrimination. The male school caretaker was dismissed for allegations loosely based on ‘crossing professional boundaries’ in relation to his interactions with children. The dismissal was exposed by Joe at the employment tribunal as involving an investigation that was “seriously flawed”, by the appeal stage “the process was so badly flawed, it was irredeemable” and an act of sex discrimination. At the remedy hearing, the tribunal nevertheless awarded a nearly 100% Polkey reduction to the Claimant’s compensation. However, Langstaff J in the EAT held that the tribunal had erred in its approach, remitting the case to the tribunal where compensation was increased from £1135 to over £60,000, in addition to an award of over £20,000 for injury to feelings. See: http://www.3pb.co.uk/newsarticle/940
  • Dawes v X County Council - Representing a County Council in a complex claim of disability discrimination arising out of difficult issues involving the long term sickness absence of a carer dismissed for his absence, successfully defending claims of direct, indirect, ‘reasonable adjustments’ and ‘related’ discrimination.
  • Powell v National Utility Provider – Representing a national utility provider in a complex claim of disability and race discrimination, all claims were dismissed at trial.
  • Representing a charity in a judicial mediation arising out of claims of discrimination based on sexual orientation, linked to the Claimant’s HIV status. The charity themselves focus on providing protection and advice to LGBT clients and a settlement that avoided a tribunal hearing was important and achieved in this emotionally charged case.
  • Jurisdiction: Yasim v X School  and B v D NHS Trust – representing a NHS Trust and separately a school, in both cases Joe successfully had the claims of discrimination struck out on the basis that the Claimants were engaged through student placement pursuant to university courses and therefore the tribunal did not have jurisdiction to hear the claims.
  • L v G – representing a software company against various discrimination claims, including Equal Pay, sex and race discrimination during a trial lasting 11 days.
  • K v T NHS Foundation Trust and another – representing a Claimant paramedic in an ongoing claim involving harassment through text messages and appearances outside the Claimant’s home as well as victimisation for complaints then brought by the Claimant. The employer is relying upon the statutory defence and therefore the claim will consider the extent of liability if discrimination is proved.
  • C v P – representing a national warehouse operative in a judicial mediation, this claim involved extremely stark examples of race discrimination, including swastikas and death threats. Settlement was achieved, including confidentiality.
  • E v B School – representing the school against various claims of disability discrimination brought by a teacher, including relating to dismissal for disability related absence arising out of alleged depression. 

Transfer of Undertakings

Joe’s complementary practice in Business and Commercial Law enhances his Employment practice and he is often instructed in cases involving an overlap between the two, notably in matters involving TUPE transfers.

  • Samra and others v Optimax and others – representing a test Claimant following the purchase by Optimax of Ultralase, a 5 day PH considered whether there was a transfer of undertaking between the two companies, against junior and leading Counsel.
  • L and others v Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership and NHS Trust and others – representing one of four Respondents in a claim in which numerous Claimants had claimed to be employees arising out service provision changes. Joe’s client was held not to be liable.
  • Tucker and others v Premier Security Services and others – representing a Claimant employed to monitor CCTV with one company, the service for which was then brought in house to the County Council, then transferred to another company. The case looked at whether there had been a service provision change at any point between 4 different Respondents.
  • R v Ad Valorem Accounting and another – Representing a Claimant bookkeeper, whose employer was purchased by another, then allegedly kept separate by a complex series of transactions and name swaps between companies.
  • F v Mouchel - Representing an accountant against a global firm, bringing a claim of unfair dismissal based on a sham redundancy after a TUPE transfer led to the Claimant being employed on a much higher salary than her comparable new colleagues.

Whistle blowing

Following involvement in various high profile and extremely significant ‘whistleblowing’ claims, Joe has particular expertise and passion in this area. 

  • Mattu v Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust, acting as Junior to Jack Mitchell then Jane McNeill QC for Dr Mattu in this very high profile claim, Joe was the only lawyer to have been retained through every stage. The case was extremely complex and document-heavy case, involving approximately 25,000 documents. The claim was successful in demonstrating that Dr Mattu had made PIDs, had suffered detriments as a result of making PIDs, had been unfairly dismissed and had suffered various acts of disability discrimination, including by his dismissal. The case provided an in-depth understanding of the particular issues involving PIDs in the NHS, the dichotomy of cultures that can exist between the clinicians and management and the particular features of NHS regulations and disciplinary procedures.  Judgment was finalised in 2016 at £1.22mil. See: http://www.3pb.co.uk/newsarticle/962
  • McTigue v University Hospital Bristol NHS Foundation Trust ([2016] IRLR 742) - a successful appeal before the EAT President, Simler P,  examining the scope of protection under the extended definition of worker at s.43K ERA 1996. Representing the forensic nurse, the appeal successfully demonstrated a broader definition of worker than had previously been understood from the case of Day, heard earlier in the year before the previous President. Following the appeal, the case was remitted and the Trust then conceded that the employee was a worker. The Claimant was employed as a nurse in a Sexual Assault Referral Centre and her employer was a third party that placed her in the NHS Trust. She claims to have suffered detriments caused by the Trust as a result of PIDs and the Trust had tried to claim that she was not protected by the legislation. See: http://www.3pb.co.uk/newsarticle/1027 
  • B v D NHS Trust – Instructed by the Trust, this ongoing case considers whether a Claimant was dismissed from his position as a bank worker at the Trust because of PIDs he made whilst undertaking a student placement at the Hospital.
  • T v James Paget University Hospital NHS FT - This case involved a surgeon dismissed for alleged capability issues. The Claimant brought various claims, including that he had made various PIDs relating to health and safety, particularly around the competency of his colleagues, and claimed that his dismissal was caused as a result of these PIDs. Joe was instructed on behalf of the Claimant in the drafting and advisory stages and appeared at a PH. The case had very dense and complicated facts and was consequently listed for an 8 week trial. Joe produced an 82 page advice dealing with the various claims and the case subsequently settled.
  • W v Ashcourt Rowan Asset Management – Joe represented the Claimant, who was employed as the Head of Intermediary Sales for the Respondent, a large financial services provider. The Claimant claimed he had been dismissed as a result of PIDs concerning the way his previous employer had obtained their credit rating, including through the production of allegedly false documentation. The case provided an interesting analysis of to whom a PID could be made and in this case the potential for PIDs to be made to the new employer about an old employer and to the external regulator, the FCA. 
  • Gilbert v X College - The Claimant was a learning support assistant in the home economics department and brought claims that she had made PIDs relating to health and safety (unsafe cooking facilities) and breaches of legal obligations (theft of cooking materials). Representing the Respondent, Joe demonstrated that although PIDs had been made and detriments suffered, these were not because of any PID but because of her wider behaviour and the manner in which she raised her complaints.
  • S v Z Haulage Contractors – representing a national firm of haulage contractors in a claim in which an employee claims to have been dismissed due to raising allegations of a failure to comply with regulations of the Road Haulage Association.

Restrictive Covenants employee competition

Joe has advised on a number of occasions in this area leading to the settlement of cases. He welcomes further instructions. 

Remuneration, Bonuses,  notice pay

Numerous of the claims detailed elsewhere have involved additional contractual claims for remuneration across the full spectrum of claims.

  • Palmer v Sopwell House Hotels – representing a Claimant beauty spa therapist for various claims relating to underpayment of her wages. The Tribunal stated it had “considerable sympathy” for the Claimant’s confusion over her pay slips and the reality of her payments as against her contract were considered over a 3 day trial. The case looked at issues including whether there was any bonus, whether commission included VAT and whether the Claimant should have been paid hourly or monthly. 
  • Smith v Wholefoods Ltd – Representing the Respondent in a claim that considered the validity of a clause relating to overpayment of wages against a promise to pay a higher than normal bonus shortly before the Claimant’s resignation, including overlap with excess salary provided in a final salary payment.
  • Jurisdiction: E v Nygard International Partnership -  Conducting a hearing via video link with Canada, including cross examination, to successfully demonstrate that the employment tribunal had jurisdiction to hear a breach of contract case against a Canadian company brought by an employee based in the UK.

Tax: Joe has delivered training seminars on the impact of ‘tax law’ on employment matters arising out of the Income Tax (Earnings and Pensions) Act 2003 and as such is particularly well suited to advise on the tax implications arising from compromise agreements and the potential complexities of PILON clauses.   

Professional and disciplinary matters

Utilising his Employment expertise, Joe has been selected to sit on Police Misconduct Disciplinary Panels as a tribunal member.

Vast experience in particular of cases for and against the NHS has ensured that Joe is fully cognisant of the unique and sometimes complex features of NHS regulations and disciplinary procedures. 

Working time, holiday , sickness

Numerous of the claims detailed elsewhere have involved additional contractual claims for remuneration across the full spectrum of claims.

  • Weeks and another v G National Care Homes – representing a chain of national care homes in what was being treated as a test case, Joe successfully ensured the dismissal of two claims for the payment of National Minimum Wage during ‘sleep-in shifts’. See: http://www.3pb.co.uk/newsarticle/995
  • Palmer v Sopwell House Hotels – representing a Claimant beauty spa therapist for various claims relating to underpayment of her wages. The Tribunal stated it had “considerable sympathy” for the Claimant’s confusion over her pay slips and the reality of her payments as against her contract were considered over a 3 day trial. The case looked at issues including whether there was any bonus, whether commission included VAT and whether the Claimant should have been paid hourly or monthly.

Client Testimonials

"Joe England is a gifted barrister with a fantastic work ethic and attention to detail, which were invaluable in preparing and conducting my case. We were successful because he left no stone unturned and held important complex facts and issues at his fingertips. Joe’s passion and commitment to justice is matched by his warmth and friendly approach. His unmistakable ability to readily grasp intricate details, compose a compelling argument, and instinctive compassion, make Joe a most reliable, very likeable and great advocate."

“I would just to say that Joe England is brilliant and it has been a real pleasure setting next to him for 4 days grilling the other witnesses.”

“I was so impressed with the professional way he acted in every aspect, including his attention to detail and the standard of preparation. His respect and politeness to the judge and the wing members was excellent, and I noticed on many occasions the judge acknowledged his manner. On meeting Joe for the first time on the first day of the tribunal, from the outset he treated me with care and consideration.  Although I had been very nervous about the up-coming tribunal, Joe’s calmness and his explanation of how the tribunal works helped me greatly. My wife was with me the whole time, giving her continuing support, and Joe was just as charming and considerate to her questions...although at this time I am not sure whether my case will be successful or not, I just want to say I felt honoured and privileged and so lucky that Joe was my barrister.”

“One moment I particularly liked, Joe had made a point, which the Judge wanted to pass over, so he complied, but at an appropriate moment, he made sure he explained why he`d wanted to go in "that" direction, and made sure he was heard. I was delighted with this, and I think the Judge will have been impressed, too!  He was clearly so well prepared, there was nothing that wasn`t vital to the whole situation.”

“As an aside, I had a call from [client] earlier about the conference. He was really happy with all the advice that you gave him and he told me that last night was the first night he had slept properly since all this began.”

“I would lie if I said I enjoyed the week but was hugely comforted by having Joe as my barrister. I still think he is rock'n'roll, so on the ball and has legal knowledge at his fingertips. He just seemed to live in the ' bundle'”, named Respondent in a lengthy discrimination claim.

Witness Handling

Reflecting the scholarships and achievements gained prior to the Bar, Joe is a very effective trial advocate and is particularly adept at witness handling in long, complex trials through an ability to identify and organise the important facts. The following are tribunals’ assessments of witnesses exposed under Joe’s cross-examination in such trials:

“Mrs X’s account was disjointed and lacking in detail. We were also influenced in our judgment by our general view that her evidence overall was unreliable...Mrs X’s evidence was generally unclear and confused...we found this evidence extremely unsatisfactory and came to the conclusion that it was totally unreliable” – concerning the dismissing officer in a complex 3 day trial involving protected disclosures and unfair dismissal.

“Professor Y came across as quite arrogant...we concluded that he did not engage with the role of Case Manager properly. It was put to him in cross-examination that he had made a number of errors as Case Manager. Professor Y refused to accept that was the case, even in relation to errors which were apparent...we did not accept that he approached his role as case manager impartially or with independence...we concluded that Professor Y's approach to the [allegations] was flawed and that he failed in his responsibilities as case manager.” – concerning the Professor acting as the Case Manager in the unfair dismissal of Dr Mattu (above).

See also

Practice Groups

Expertise

Areas of Expertise

Specialisms

News

April 24 2017:

Commercial update: ‘Avoided loss’ in the Supreme Court - Lowick Rose v. Swynson - an analysis by Joe England ...read more


April 10 2017:

3PB Employment Barrister Joe England succeeds at the EAT under the ELAAS scheme ...read more


August 1 2016:

Joe England successful before Simler J in providing protection for whistleblowers ...read more


... more news

Academic Qualifications

  • Outstanding, BPTC, Kaplan Law School
  • Commendation, GDL, BPP
  • First Class, BA (Hons) English Literature, University of Warwick

Scholarships

  • Best Advocate Award, Kaplan Law School (highest overall grade in Civil Advocacy, Cross Examination and Examination in Chief)
  • Lord Bowen Scholarship, Levitt Scholarship, Buchanan Award and Hardwicke Award from Lincoln’s Inn
  • BPP Law School Mooting Championship Finalist, Warwick University Mooting Championship Finalist (whilst a non-law student), Essex Court Mooting Championship Finalist (researcher)
  • Lincoln’s Inn Debating Team, National Mace Competition



Professional Bodies

  • Employment Law Bar Association (ELBA)
  • London Common Law and Commercial Bar Association (LCLCBA)