Laura is an employment law specialist, regularly appearing in the employment tribunals, the Employment Appeal Tribunal and the Court of Appeal. Laura acts for both applicants and respondents in cases involving unfair and wrongful dismissal, unlawful deductions from wages, redundancy and all forms of discrimination.
Laura has extensive experience of multiple equal pay litigation – regularly appearing opposite Queen’s Counsel – and has acted for over 1000 claimants in one case. Laura has also appeared in the Court of Justice of the European Union and the Supreme Court on a complex TUPE transfer matter. Laura has experience of restraint of trade clauses in both the High Court and County Court.
Using her expertise in dealing with complex employment law litigation and related wage and financial issues, Laura has a developing practice in tax law work related to indirect tax and VAT, with additional expertise in its intersection with public law.
Laura is often invited by organisations to lecture on employment law topics and has written a number of published articles. Academically she has a first class law degree from University College London and obtained prizes for academic achievement including the Herbert Smith Prize for Exceptional Merit (for achieving the highest mark in the UCL Public Law Exam).
In 2012 Laura was nominated for the Bar Pro Bono Award and in 2014 was appointed to the Attorney General’s B Panel of Counsel.
Appellate Level Work
Laura’s Appellate level experience includes:
- Led by Thomas Linden QC in the case of Parkwood Leisure Ltd v Alemo-Herron & Ors in the Court of Justice of the European Union  ICR 1116, Supreme Court ( ICR 920), Court of Appeal ( ICR 793) and EAT ( ICR 703). The issue in this case is whether a collective agreement reached after a TUPE transfer can bind the transferee.
- Hounga v Allen & Anor in the Supreme Court  ICR 847, Court of Appeal ( IRLR 685), and EAT ( All ER (D) 250 Apr) concerning unfair dismissal, race discrimination and illegal employment contract. The appellant’s claim to recover compensation was not allowed based on public policy grounds as it was positively linked to her own illegal conduct in willingly entering the UK for work when she was not permitted to do so. Laura appeared for the Respondent. The Appellant has obtained permission to appeal to the Supreme Court, Laura is instructed to represent the Respondent at that hearing.
- Burke v College of Law & Anor in the Court of Appeal ( All ER (D) 37) and EAT ( all ER (D) 238). Laura was led by Helen Mountfield QC in the Court of Appeal in this disability discrimination case which involved consideration of whether the ability to work under time limited conditions amounted to a competence standard and reasonable adjustments. Laura also solely represented the Respondents before the EAT in this case which was the first case to come before the EAT about the meaning of a competence standard under s.14B DDA.
- Gallop v Newport City Council  IRLR 23. Case concerned the calculation of compensation in an unfair dismissal claim. In this case the Claimant’s compensation had been reduced on the ground that had he not been unfairly dismissed he would have accepted a compromise agreement. Evidence of the agreement had come about following questions from one of the lay members. The EAT held that evidence of without prejudice negotiations were not admissible “absent a clear waiver by the parties”. The case also considered the meaning of the concept of ‘knowledge’ in disability discrimination claims. Permission to appeal been granted by the Court of Appeal (A2/2012/2073) and the judgment has not yet been handed down.
- Iqbal v Metropolitan Police Service  NLRJ 1536. Decision concerning the procedure that Employment Tribunals should follow when considering whether to allow proceedings to be postponed on medical grounds.
- Bozeat-Manzi v Telephonica UK UKEATPA/1799/11. The case concerns the exercise of discretion to extend time in both unfair dismissal and discrimination claims and the need to hear evidence at PHRs.
- Vaidya v GMC  All ER (D) 215 (May). Case concerning the construction of s.12(1A) of the Race Relations Act.
- Bird v Bristol University UKEAT/0469/12/RN. Perversity appeal concerning agreement for a minimum fixed term contract.
- Mahoney v Romnec UKEAT/0474/12/DM. Perversity appeal considering the application of Taylor v OCS.
- Bearne v Sainsburys Supermarket UKEAT/0385/12/RN. Constructive dismissal case considering issues of causation and compensation.
- Ojeke v Partnership In Care Ltd UKEAT/0198/12/JOJ. Perversity appeal, consideration of whether dismissal was a reasonable sanction.
- Dass v The College of Harringey, Enfield and North East London UKEAT/0672/11/ZT. Laura represented at his 3(10) permission hearing and was led at the full hearing by Karon Monaghan QC. Important case concerning the concept of a “stable employment relationship” in an equal pay claim.
- Atkinson v Community Gateway Association  ICR 1. Significant case clarifying the law as to whether an employee can bring a constructive dismissal claim when they are themselves in repudiatory breach of their contract of employment. The Employment Appeal Tribunal also considered whether or not an employer could rely on evidence obtained by searching through an employee’s emails and whether such a search would violate the employee’s Article 8 rights.
- Bone v London Borough of Newham UKEAT/0235/10/LA. Issues concerning assessment of the likelihood of promotion and assessment of pension loss.
Laura is a member of the ELAAS Scheme.
Employment Tribunal Work
Laura’s Employment Tribunal experience includes:
- Extensive experience of multiple local government and NHS equal pay claims – regularly appearing opposite Queen’s Counsel – and has acted for over 1000 claimants in one case.
- Tan v School of Oriental and African Studies  EqLR 924. Race and sex discrimination case concerning a failure to promote an academic from senior lecturer to reader and/or professor.
- Schafer v Royal Holloway and Bedford New College  EqLR 429 Laura represented the Claimant in a 3 week equal pay claim in the Reading Employment Tribunal. The Claimant was a University Professor claiming ‘like work’ with male professors employed at the University. This was a test case in respect of the issue of ‘like work’ and also some elements of the genuine material factor defence.
- Sheterline v Autonomy, Equal Opportunities Review, July 2010, p.31.
- Represented the Claimant in a 5 day Whistleblowing/Unfair dismissal claim at the Manchester employment tribunal (there was coverage of this case in the Evening Standard, the Guardian and local press).
- TUPE transfer and consultation claims involving multiple claimants.
High Court and County Court Work
Laura has represented claimants at both the County Court and High Court in respect of Restraint of Trade clauses.
- Black and Others v Arriva  EqLR 558. Laura was led by Aidan O’Neill in this case which concerned reasonable adjustments required of bus companies in respect of their disabled passengers.
- BBC v (1) Harper Collins Publishers (2) Ben Collins (3) Collins Autosports  EWHC 2424 Laura was led by Hugh Tomlinson QC in this high profile case where they represented the defendants at the High Court. The BBC were seeking to prevent the defendant from revealing that he had played the role of the Stig in Top Gear through his autobiography.
Laura accepts instructions under the Bar Council Standard Contractual Terms, details of which can be found here.
Articles and Downloads
WHAT THEY SAY:
Laura is ranked in Chambers & Partners. In Chambers & Partners 2014 it is said that Laura is “highly thought of amongst practitioners who recognise her expertise in handling complex TUPE and equal pay matters” and that “her calm, intelligent and measured approach to all cases and requests for advice makes her a great legal and commercial asset to any company”