Helen is mainly instructed on behalf of Respondents and appears regularly in the Employment Tribunals, Employment Appeal Tribunal and the civil courts in a range of final and interim hearings. Having been appointed as junior counsel to the Crown (C panel), Helen has extensive experience of litigation involving public sector bodies and regular clients include central government departments, local authorities, local education authorities and NHS trusts. She accepts instructions from leading solicitors in the field and also acts on behalf of a broad range of private sector clients from city institutions and large multinationals to individual professionals, often through major insurer clients.
Helen practices in all areas of employment law and has extensive experience of handling legally and factually complex claims, frequently involving overlapping claims for constructive unfair dismissal, discrimination and whistleblowing as well as claims for damages for personal injury.
Helen has particular expertise and interest in claims arising out of workplace stress, harassment and disability discrimination and claims involving expert medical evidence, given her complementary experience of personal injury litigation. She has also been instructed on a number of high profile services discrimination claims given the extensive experience of workplace discrimination claims she has gained from her employment practice.
Helen regularly gives seminars on all aspects of employment law, most recently presenting a practical guide to handling harassment claims on behalf of Chambers’ Employment Group. Helen is a member of the Bar’s pro bono charity, Advocate and the Court of Appeal Pro Bono Scheme through which she provides assistance to litigants in person in relation to employment law cases. She is also a member of Chambers’ Equality and Diversity Committee.
Notable Employment cases
C v MML & Others (ongoing)
Acting for an Employers’ Liability Insurer in respect of a high value claim brought against it and its insured (in liquidation) for disability discrimination. Exceptionally, the claim is pursued against the insurer in the Employment Tribunal under the Third Parties (Rights Against Insurers) Act 2010.
B v LBB (ongoing)
Acting for the defendant local authority to this claim for various types of disability discrimination brought by a visually impaired contact worker following her dismissal for capability.
SVU & KS v NAPAC (ongoing)
Acted for the successful Respondent charity at a preliminary hearing to consider the Respondent’s material factor defence to these claims for equal pay.
Jayadev v AM Technology Limited
Acted for the successful Respondent technology company to this claim brought by a COO and director for automatic unfair dismissal for having made a protected disclosure.
Tesco Underwriting Limited v (1) Mwanza (2) M S Amlin Limited
Advised as to whether the practice of charging higher motor insurance premiums to those who had not been resident in the UK since birth was discriminatory by reference to race in the context of a claim brought by a motor insurer against its insured for a declaration that it was entitled to avoid his policy of motor insurance.
D v ESNE NHS Foundation Trust (ongoing)
Acting for the Respondent NHS Trust to this unusual claim for direct disability discrimination by perception, unfair dismissal and unlawful deduction of wages. The Claimant alleges that the Respondent wrongly perceived that she was disabled by reason of autism and treated her detrimentally as a result.
Abdi v Deltec International Courier Limited
Acted for the Respondent courier company to this claim for substantial damages for discrimination and harassment on grounds of sex, race and religion.
Brooks v Space Architecture Europe Limited
Acted for the successful Respondent to this claim for unfair dismissal and disability discrimination. The Claimant, who was dismissed for harassment and so gross misconduct sought substantial compensation on the basis that his conduct and so his dismissal was caused by one or more of his alleged disabilities, by medication for those disabilities and/or by alcohol consumption caused by those disabilities. Involved the consideration of expert medical evidence in relation to diagnosis and causation in the field of psychiatry.
Thomas v Waypoints Care Group Limited
Acted for the successful Respondent to this whistleblowing claim arising out of disclosures which the claimant made during his employment as a care worker.
Dixon v Stranton Academy Trust
Acted for the Respondent to this claim for unfair dismissal, age discrimination and part-time worker discrimination arising out of a redundancy situation at one of the schools within the Academy Trust. Obtained the dismissal of all discrimination claims and a 70% Polkey reduction.
Melendez v Kepler Chevreux
Acted for the Respondent Financial Services Company to this claim for unfair dismissal, sex discrimination and harassment arising out of a redundancy exercise.
Angel v Cambridgeshire County Council & 2 Others
Acted on behalf of the first Respondent local education authority in this factually complex high value claim for constructive unfair dismissal, victimisation and whistleblowing which the claimant brought against the LEA and 3 other respondents. Involved consideration of complex legal issues relating to the employment status of the claimant teacher vis a vis her school and the LEA.
G & Others v SA & Others
Concerned a claim for disability discrimination brought against the defendant association as a service provider. The Claimants claimed on behalf of themselves and their son and alleged amongst other things a failure to make reasonable adjustments leading to their son’s unlawful exclusion from association activities.
Probert v TSC Ltd
Acted for the defendant through 2 major insurer clients in this high value claim for disability discrimination. The claimant alleged that his exposure to excessively cold temperatures in the workplace caused an exacerbation of a rare pre-existing neurological condition. Involved consideration of complex expert evidence from two consultant neurologists.
Department for Work & Pensions v Coulson
Appeal which concerned the defence of contributory fault in a claim for unfair dismissal.
Anthony Neary v (1) Service Children's Education (2) Ministry of Defence (3) St John's School
Appeal which concerned the Employment Tribunal’s territorial jurisdiction to consider claims for disability and age discrimination and in particular the meaning of the phrase “ordinarily resident in Great Britain” for this purpose.
Parminder Kaur Sahota v (1) Home Office (UKBA) (2) Rick Pipkin
Concerned the question whether a woman undergoing IVF treatment was to be regarded for the purposes of a sex discrimination claim as in a comparable position to a pregnant woman such that, if the reason for her treatment was IVF treatment, her discrimination claim would succeed without the need to consider how a man undergoing medical treatment would have been treated.
Total Gas & Power v Wijnja
Appeal which concerned the circumstances in which the Employment Appeal Tribunal will grant an extension of time in which to file a Notice of Appeal.