Employment disputes and litigation

  • Overview
  • Case studies
  • Our team of employment law specialists has the expertise that comes from defending employers across a range of industry sectors in hundreds of employment disputes in the Employment Tribunal, Employment Appeal Tribunal and higher Courts. We also have significant experience dealing with disputes with a regulatory and/or professional element including defending High Court injunctive proceedings in respect of the NHS Maintaining High Professional Standards (MHPS) procedure. We have preferential arrangements with leading specialist employment barristers' chambers and out team also undertakes advocacy at hearings. We are also experienced in resolving disputes through mediation and other forms of alternative dispute resolution.

    We take a firm but pragmatic, commercial approach in advising on employment disputes to enable clients to manage and reduce future litigation risk whilst managing their legal spend.

    Our training programme includes seminars and interactive workshops to assist your teams including conducting investigations, holding difficult conversations and a mock Employment Tribunal training workshop.

    We are obviously delighted that the Employment Tribunal so robustly rejected all of the claims …. The assistance provided by you and your team was of the usual second to none standard. I would particularly like to thank you for the way in which were able to manage and support both lay and lawyer witnesses … you kept us focused and on the right track whilst still ensuring we all felt superbly supported

    Nicholas Brain, Head of Legal and Democratic Services North Somerset Council,

     

    Working with clients

    Our approach focuses on steps to

    • fully understand clients' risk appetite and to tailor our advice accordingly
    • reduce legal spend through early and active dispute management including "route map" strategy plans
    • identify appropriate use of mediation or other dispute resolution solutions
    • provide a robust defence if litigation commences, whilst providing hands on support for HR and witnesses throughout the process
    • oversee and implement any negotiated settlement
    • follow up by identifying any key themes and 'hotspots', thereby reducing future litigation risk
    • identifying training and development needs to improve internal capability in managing employment disputes and processes to minimise litigation exposure.

    Employment disputes pricing models

    We are aware that costs are often a key concern when a dispute takes hold so we are, therefore, always happy to provide clients with a pricing model which suits them. Pricing options may include

    • fees charged at our normal hourly rate
    • 'menu pricing', with the option to run select parts of proceedings in-house
    • full management of proceedings, from start to finish, for a fixed fee.

    Our service is built on clear, focused, strategic support. We don’t sit on the fence. We’ll talk through the options and explain the risks. Then we’ll go one step further by telling you what we would do if we were in your shoes. It’s an approach that our clients tell us adds real value to what we do.

  • National Litigation for Fire & Rescue Authorities

    Acting on behalf of the Local Government Association, have successfully defended claims brought by over 5,000 fire-fighters against 52 Fire and Rescue Authorities in England and Wales. The fire-fighters alleged that the reforms made to their pensions following the Hutton Report into public sector pensions were discriminatory of the grounds of age, sex and race.

    Complex SOSR dismissal for Local Authority

    We successfully defended a council against claims by an employee for bullying and harassment, race discrimination, victimisation, disability discrimination, whistleblowing and unfair dismissal, following a long period of sick leave. Multiple grievances had been brought against a number of the Council's managers and we worked with the client to create a robust strategy to deal with the grievances and to allow the Council to dismiss the employee fairly for a breakdown in the employment relationship (a "SOSR"). After 10 day hearing none of the allegations against the client were upheld.

    Mental Health Foundation Trust

    We represented a Mental Health Foundation Trust in highly sensitive Employment Tribunal disability discrimination proceedings involving complex analysis of the duty to make reasonable adjustments, but achieving a no cost resolution, in which the claim was withdrawn and the employment relationship was preserved.

    Court of Appeal case for Insurance Company

    We successfully defended a high value complex claim for unfair dismissal, deduction of wages and age discrimination for an insurer client. This reported case has provided guidance on the correct approach for considering discrimination cases where there are allegations that others influenced the decision maker's decision/treatment of a claimant (what the Court of Appeal termed "tainted information cases").

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