Aileen specialises mainly in public and human rights law, including education and community care law, and in employment law. She is particularly interested in equality/discrimination in which she is recognised internationally as a leading academic in the field. She is also actively involved in privacy, data protection and freedom of information work.
Aileen is described by the legal directories as:
Aileen was appointed to the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s Panel of Preferred Counsel in February 2015 having also been on the Commission’s previous panel.
Aileen’s background as an academic gives her a particular insight into disputes arising in the context of higher education and she appears regularly in higher education judicial review challenges for the Office of the Independent Adjudicator and for a number of higher education institutions. She also appears for claimants in education cases (both in First-tier/Upper Tribunal and in the Administrative Court) and is involved in extensive advisory work in the sphere of education including, recently, on the application of the Prevent duty and on wider questions of freedom of expression, and is editor of the Education Law Reports.
Aileen has a varied public law practice ranging from challenges by commercial bodies against public authority decision-making, on the one hand, to challenges to police and prison authorities on the other. She recently secured a £450 000 settlement in a Human Rights Act/ Data Protection Act challenge to a police force in respect of the wrongful disclosure of the sensitive personal data of a senior member of staff. Aileen is regularly instructed by Arts Council England and other arts organisations. She has represented care home providers in a range of challenges to local authority fee setting decisions. She recently appeared in the Supreme Court in R (Hunt) v North Somerset Council  LGR 859 and in R (Bibi) v SSHD (Liberty intervening)  1 WLR 5055, and will shortly appear in R (Daly) v SSWP (on appeal from R (MA & Ors) v SSWP  EWCA Civ 13,  All ER (D) 217 (Feb)). She has extensive expertise in discrimination law challenges including PSED challenges, having appeared in a number of the important cases in this area (R (Hurley & Anor) v SSBIS  All ER (D) 116 (Feb); R (Hajrula) v London Councils  All ER (D) 119 (Apr) and R (Kaur & Shah) v Ealing London Borough Council  EWHC 2062 (Admin),  All ER (D) 08 (Oct)).
Aileen has a busy employment law practice at employment tribunal level and above. Recent appellate cases include Creditsights Ltd v Dhunna  IRLR 953, on the extraterritorial reach of employment law, and Donkor v Royal Bank of Scotland UKEAT/0162/15/MC. She has provided extensive advice on all areas of employment law including restrictive covenants and other contractual matters and regularly appears for News Group Newspapers, successfully defending The Times against a religious discrimination challenge in Heafield v Times Newspapers  EqLR 901 and an age discrimination claim in Clark v Times Newspapers (2012), and The Sun against a sex discrimination challenge in Self v News Group Newspapers Ltd (2012). She has intervened in the Supreme Court in Jivraj v Hashwani  IRLR 827, which concerned the employment status of arbitrators, and has appeared for the EHRC in a number of employment cases. She has intervened for the Commission and for Liberty in employment-related cases in the domestic courts and the ECHR. She regularly appears in high value discrimination claims for both claimants and respondents, as well as in TUPE and holiday pay claims.
Aileen is Junior Counsel to the Independent Inquiry on Child Sexual Abuse, with responsibility for the ongoing investigations into the Anglican and Roman Catholic Churches.
In addition to advocacy Aileen does extensive advisory and training work, in particular on human rights, discrimination/equality and employment law. She advised the EHRC (of whose standing panel of counsel she is a member) in its assessment of HM Treasury’s 2010 Spending Review, and assisted the Commission in its 2012 report “How Fair is Britain”. She was until 2016 the UK’s National Expert on the European Networks of Legal Experts in the Field of Gender Equality and of Experts in the Non-discrimination Field.
Aileen is Professor of Human Rights Law at King’s College London; Vice President of the Institute of Employment Rights; editor of the Education Law Reports, a member of the editorial committees of Public Law, European Human Rights Law Review and the International Journal of Discrimination and the Law; a trustee of the British Institute of Human Rights and a former Executive Committee Member of the Human Rights Lawyers Association and the Industrial Law Society. She has published very widely on human rights, discrimination and employment law.
Discrimination, Equality and the Law (Hart: 2014)
Labour Law: Cases and Materials (with H Collins and KD Ewing), CUP 2012 (3rd ed); Hart: 2005 (2nd ed) and 2000 (1st ed)
Discrimination Law: Text, Cases and Materials (Hart: 2005 (2nd ed) and 2000 (1st ed))
Discrimination Law Handbook (ed.) (LAG, 2005 (2nd ed) and 2002 (1st ed))
Equality and Diversity (ed), (London: Institute of Employment Rights, 2003)
Women under the Law; the False Promise of Human Rights (Essex: Longman, 1999)
Just Wages For Women (Clarendon Press, 1997)
The Future of Labour Law (ed) (Mansell, 1996)
The Case For Taking the ‘Date’ out of Rape (London: Pandora, 1996)
Pay Equity – Just Wages for Women? (London, Institute of Employment Rights, 1994)
With K.D. Ewing, Law at Work (2nd ed, London, UNISON Education and Training, 1994)
“Litigating the Public Sector Equality Duty: The Story So Far” (2015) 35 Oxford Journal of Legal Studies 453
“Equality and Multiculturalism”  Current Legal Problems 1
“Lessons from the Past? Northern Ireland, Terrorism now and then and the Human Rights Act” in T. Campbell, K.D. Ewing and A. Tomkins, Rescuing Human Rights (OUP, 2010)
“Class wars? Religion and (In) equality in the Workplace” (2009) 38 Industrial Law Journal 1-29
Chapters on Article 14 and domestic discrimination provisions in S. Bailey and N. Taylor, Bailey, Harris & Jones: Civil Liberties Cases, Materials and Commentary (6th ed OUP, 2009)
Contributor to R. Clayton and H. Tomlinson, The Law of Human Rights (2nd ed, OUP, 2009)
Chapter on Article 14 in M. Janis, R. Kay and A. Bradley, European Human Rights Law: Text and Materials (3rd ed, OUP, 2008)
“Harassment” (Chapter 4) in D. Schiek, L. Waddington and M. Bell (eds.) Cases, Materials and Text on National, Supranational and International Non-Discrimination Law (Oxford, Hart Publishing, 2007)
“Reconfiguring Discrimination Law”  Public Law 74-94
“Cracking the Comparator Problem, ‘Equal’ Treatment and the role of Comparisons”  European Human Rights Law Review 650 – 677
“Do Privacy Rights Disappear in the Workplace?” (2003) European Human Rights Law Review 120-140
“Principles of Equality and Protection from Discrimination in International Human Rights Law” (2003) European Human Rights Law Review 157-175
“Discrimination Law and the Human Rights Act 1998” in T. Campbell, K.D. Ewing and A. Tomkins (eds), Sceptical Approaches to Human Rights (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001)
“Women and the Human Rights Act” (2000) 51(3) Northern Ireland Law Quarterly
“Regulating Pay Discrimination” in H. Collins, P. Davies and R. Rideout (eds.), Legal Regulation of the Employment Relation (Kluwer, 2000)
Aileen accepts instructions under Standard Contractual Terms, details of which can be found here.
Aileen is a frequent speaker at conferences and seminars; both purely academic and those orientated more towards practitioners and/or trade union activists and managers. She regularly addresses European audiences in her capacity as UK National Expert on the Gender Equality Law and Non-discrimination Networks and has spoken at seminars and conferences in Japan, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Belgium, Turkey, Croatia, Austria, Germany and elsewhere as well as, domestically, to the TUC, the Industrial Law Society, the Haldane Society, JUSTICE, the Institute of Employment Rights and Incomes Data Services on a wide variety of subjects including equal pay, discrimination/ equality, privacy, data protection and human rights. She has also delivered extensive equality training to regulatory bodies, commercial organisations and judges.
Aileen accepts instructions under the Bar Council Standard Contractual Terms, details of which can be found here.
“Easy to work with and always on top of her case” (Legal 500 2014)
“Provid[ing] insightful and pragmatic advice” and “Very user-friendly” (Legal 500 2015)
“attentive, client friendly, extremely thorough and straight-talking” (Chambers & Partners 2015)
“A recognised expert in the fields of education and discrimination law, and an excellent advocate”, “very responsive, highly pragmatic, and ha[ving] a deep and outstanding knowledge of the law”, “Known for her excellent technical knowledge of employment law … highly praised for her client service”, “certainly knows her onions when it comes to discrimination and jurisdictional questions”; “Very technical, very client-friendly and highly responsive” (Chambers & Partners 2016).