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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.  Laura is also a chapter author of Blackstone’s Guide to the Equality Act.

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 2019 was appointed to the Attorney General’s A Panel of Counsel. In 2019 Laura was appointed as a Deputy Chair of the Central Arbitration Committee.

Experience

Appellate Level Work

Laura’s Appellate level experience includes:

  • Led by Thomas Linden in the case of Parkwood Leisure Ltd v Alemo-Herron & Ors in the Court of Justice of the European Union[2013] ICR 1116, Supreme Court ([2011] ICR 920), Court of Appeal ([2010] ICR 793) and EAT ([2009] ICR 703). The issue in this case is whether a collective agreement reached after a TUPE transfer can bind the transferee.
  • Hounga v Allen & Anorin the Supreme Court [2014] ICR 847, Court of Appeal ([2012] IRLR 685), and EAT ([2011] 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.
  • Okedina v Chikale in the Court of Appeal [2019] EWCA 1393 concerning illegality, in particular whether a Claimant who was working illegality (due to her immigration status) was barred from bringing contractual claims because of the doctrine of statutory illegality. The Respondent has applied for permission to appeal to the Supreme Court.
  • Adecco UK Ltd v Revenue and Customs in the Court of Appeal [2019] 1 All ER 615. Important high value appeal concerning whether employment bureaux made a VAT supply of temporary staff to the end user.
  • Burke v College of Law & Anorin the Court of Appeal ([2012] ELR 195) and EAT ([2011] EqLR454). Laura was led by Helen Mountfield 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[2013] 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.
  • Shui v University of Manchester[2018] ICR 77. Important EAT case giving guidance to ET’s regarding their obligations towards litigant’s in person.
  • Urso v DWP [2017] IRLR 304. The appeal concerned whether the EAT had incorrectly focused on the Claimant’s PTSD diagnosis rather than the impact of it on the Claimant.
  • Atkinson v Community Gateway Association[2015] 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.
  • Duhoe v Support Services Group UKEAT/0102/15/MC. Appeal concerning uplifts under s.207A of TULR(C)A.
  • Doughty v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (Jobcentre plus)[2014] All ER (D) 54 (Sept). Trade Union Detriment, victimisation and applications to amend.
  • Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board v Hughes and others UKEAT/0179/13/JOJ. Harassment on grounds of disability and continuing acts.
  • Bradley v Royal Holloway University [2014] All ER (D) 12 (Sep). Professorial equal pay claim considering the material factor defence.
  • Iqbal v Metropolitan Police Service[2012] 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 TelephonicaUK 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[2012] All ER (D) 215 (May). Case concerning the construction of s.12(1A) of the Race Relations Act.
  • Bird v Bristol UniversityUKEAT/0469/12/RN. Perversity appeal concerning agreement for a minimum fixed term contract.
  • Mahoney v RomnecUKEAT/0474/12/DM. Perversity appeal considering the application of Taylor v OCS.
  • Bearne v Sainsburys SupermarketUKEAT/0385/12/RN.  Constructive dismissal case considering issues of causation and compensation.
  • Ojeke v Partnership In Care LtdUKEAT/0198/12/JOJ. Perversity appeal, consideration of whether dismissal was a reasonable sanction.
  • Dass v The College of Harringey, Enfield and North East LondonUKEAT/0672/11/ZT. Laura represented at his 3(10) permission hearing and was led at the full hearing by Karon Monaghan. Important case concerning the concept of a “stable employment relationship” in an equal pay claim.
  • Bone v London Borough of NewhamUKEAT/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.
  • Bradley v Royal Holloway and Bedford New College [2013] EqLR 1212. Professorial equal pay claim.
  • Tan v School of Oriental and African Studies[2013] 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[2011] 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.
  • Alawi and others v Autism Plus ET (2018). Important test case concerning the decision of Tycoin the CJEU and whether peripatetic workers were entitled to be paid NMW for time spent travelling from home to their first appointment of the day and back home from their last appointment of the day.
  • 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[2013] EqLR 558. Laura was led by Aidan O’Neillin 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[2010] EWHC 2424 Laura was led by Hugh Tomlinson QCin 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 is regulated by the Bar Standards Board and accepts instructions under the Bar Council Standard Contractual Terms, details of which can be found here.

Articles and Downloads

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Laura is committed to protecting and respecting your privacy. I order to provide legal services to her clients, including advice and representation services, Laura needs to collect and hold personal data. This includes her client’s personal data and the personal data of others who feature in the matter upon which she is instructed. To read Laura’s privacy notice in full, please see here.

DIRECTORY RECOMMENDATIONS
WHAT THEY SAY:

Laura is ranked in Chambers & Partners and the Legal 500.

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”

In Legal 500 2019 it is said that Laura “has excellent technical knowledge and is always well prepared”

In Chambers & Partners 2019 it is said that Laura has “a far-reaching practice advising employers, employees and governmental bodies on all aspects of employment law including equal pay and discrimination claims. She is recognised for her proficiency in complex TUPE matters and clients value her commercial acumen”