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Nathan Roberts has appeared as sole or junior counsel in the High Court, Employment Appeal Tribunal, Court of Appeal, Supreme Court, and European Court of Human Rights.

He is on both the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s panel of counsel and the Attorney General’s civil panel. He was appointed to each panel in his first year of eligibility.

Employment

Nathan is instructed in employment cases in the Employment Tribunal and the High Court, and on appeal. He is routinely instructed as sole or junior counsel in cases that are particularly complex, high-value, or of public interest.

His recent experience in discrimination law includes: successfully representing a woman dismissed for cohabiting with her partner in a novel case of sex and religious discrimination, and successfully resisting the employer’s appeal of the sex discrimination claim in Gan Menachem Hendon Ltd v De Groen [2019]; representing a senior television producer in an age discrimination claim against a broadcasting organisation; and representing a broadcast journalist in an equal pay and race discrimination claim. Nathan also has extensive experience of discrimination law outside of employment, detailed below.

His recent experience in commercial employment law includes: Square Global Ltd v Leonard [2020], acting for a successful broking house at trial, restraining competitive trade for 12 months; acting for the defendants in C v B [2020] in successfully resisting an interim injunction application for delivery up of documents and enforcement of confidentiality clauses; representing an employer in X v Financial Services Company [2019], a major whistleblowing claim brought by a senior employee valued at £10m; successfully defending a claim of disability discrimination by an investment manager in P v Aviva Ltd [2019].

His recent experience in whistleblowing law includes: Bamieh v Foreign & Commonwealth Office [2020] on the territorial test for claims against co-workers; representing a former national law firm managing partner at a two-week whistleblowing trial.

Other employment experience includes: representing the employer in a dispute concerning the pro rata entitlement to annual leave for part-time workers in Brazel v Harpur Trust [2020]; acting for c.40 claimants in a high-value group-litigation holiday pay claim against a hotel chain; acting for NHS trusts in group-action holiday pay claims. Nathan has extensive experience across areas such as unfair dismissal; contractual disputes; international law; military rights; equal pay; holiday pay; redundancy; complex pension loss; TUPE transfers and costs.

Nathan is also experienced in professional disciplinary actions. He acted successfully before the Police Appeals Tribunal in reinstating a police officer to his role, and has advised a solicitor in a High Court challenge, both cases concerning disability discrimination. He acted in the Supreme Court on the leading case on the appropriate forum for discrimination claims in a regulatory context: Michalak v GMC [2017] 1 W.L.R. 4193.

Highlight employment cases include:

  • Square Global Ltd v Leonard [2020] EWHC 1008 – High Court restraint of trade financial services trial, enforcing non-compete restrictions for 12 months.
  • Harpur Trust v Brazel [2020] ICR 584 – Court of Appeal – the application of the pro rata temporis principle to part-time workers’ annual leave.
  • Bamieh v Foreign & Commonwealth Office [2020] ICR 465 – Court of Appeal – the territorial jurisdiction test for co-workers; a whistleblowing claim regarding alleged judicial corruption in the EU’s rule of law mission in Kosovo.
  • Gan Menachem Hendon Ltd v De Groen[2019] ICR 1023 – Employment Appeal Tribunal – sex and religious discrimination in relation to a woman dismissed for cohabiting with her partner. The case was funded and supported by the Equality and Human Rights Commission.
  • Chadwick v Sainsbury’s Supermarkets Ltd [2019] – Employment Appeal Tribunal – strike out at a final hearing and the “interests of justice” test.
  • Bamieh v Eulex Kosovo & Ors [2018] – Employment Appeal Tribunal –numerous issues of international law, including the legal personality of international organisations.
  • Hollinghurst v James Hall & Co [2017] – Employment Appeal Tribunal –the burden of proof in Employment Rights Act detriment claims and Equality Act claims.
  • Butler & Ors v Blinkbox Music Ltd [2016] – a group-litigation case regarding a TUPE transfer in the context of a share purchase, acting as sole counsel for 68 claimants. Claim valued at £10m.

Public, Discrimination, Education and Human Rights

Nathan has a broad public and human rights law practice. He has particular experience in claims concerning discrimination under the ECHR or the Equality Act.

He also has particular expertise in private law discrimination claims, including housing, goods and services, associations, education and transport.

Highlight cases include:

  • R (H) v Secretary of State for Health [2019] EWHC 2095 (Admin) – claim seeking a declaration of incompatibility regarding the statutory bar on the genetic father of a child born pursuant to a surrogacy arrangement being named as the father on her birth certificate pursuant to Articles 8 or 14 ECHR.
  • Grand Chamber advisory opinion [2019] (request P16-2018-001) – European Court of Human Rights –the Grand Chamber’s first advisory opinion, issued under Protocol 16, concerning surrogacy and the rights engaged under French law. Nathan represented the United Kingdom Government, led by Sarah Hannett.
  • Romell v Secretary of State for Justice [2019] EWCA Civ 1629 – Court of Appeal – sole counsel successfully resisting a habeas corpus appeal.
  • Michalak v GMC [2017] 1 WLR 4193 – Supreme Court – acting for the Equality and Human Rights Commission on the appropriate choice of forum for claims of discrimination against qualifications bodies.
  • R v R [2019] – representing a mother in a family law dispute regarding the application of the Equality Act in family law proceedings.
  • Hussain v Manningham Housing Association – human rights and Equality Act challenge to a refusal to apply the Right to Acquire scheme to a disabled unit, resulting successfully in the claimant being able to participate in the scheme.
  • Pupil v School B – represented a secondary school pupil in successfully challenging the school’s disciplinary policy as constituting unlawful religious discrimination.
  • PhD Candidate v University of N – represented a PhD candidate in a successful claim of disability discrimination, resulting in compensation of over half a million pounds.
  • Political Candidate v Political Party – representing a major political party in a claim of religious discrimination by a parliamentary candidate.
  • Labour Party: appointed by the Labour Party in 2018 to its panel advising on internal disciplinary proceedings. He has been instructed on cases concerning allegations of antisemitism and sexual harassment.
  • Duce v Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust [2018] PIQE P18 – Court of Appeal – acted as junior counsel in the Court of Appeal about the scope of causation, and patients’ right to informed consent.
  • Transgender prison issues: instructed on various claims relating to the placement of transgender prisoners in women’s prisons.
  • Farhi v Birmingham City Council & Ors [2018]: acted in a claim of racial harassment and discrimination brought by a local authority tenant.
  • Benefits challenges: advising on the DWP’s alleged discriminatory handling of a PIP application made by a blind applicant.
  • T v Health Trust: acted for the claimant’s family in a human rights claim for completing a “do not resuscitate” form without consent.
  • Transport claims: instructed on a claim of disability discrimination against an airline, testing the scope of the Montreal Convention; acted successfully both for and against bus companies in relation to wheelchair use.
  • Services, goods and facilities: successfully represented a wheelchair user in relation to shop access in Leighton v Kahraman [2017]. Nathan has also acted in a broad range of claims brought against organisations such as shops, restaurants and dance companies.
  • Education: other education experience includes advising a parent in a claim against a primary school for victimisation; advising on discrimination issues arising from government apprenticeship schemes.
  • Associations: Gleeson v 10th Harpenden Scout Group [2018]: represented a scout member in a disability discrimination claim at an interim stage; case resulted in a successful £42,000 settlement.

Awards

Eastham scholarship, Lincoln’s Inn

Droop scholarship, Lincoln’s Inn

Kaplan Law School BPTC prize for highest overall performance in: civil litigation, criminal litigation and ethics

BPP Law School highest GDL performance in: public law and land law

Appointments

May 2019: appointed to the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s panel of counsel (C Panel)

March 2018: appointed Junior Counsel to the Crown (C Panel)

Qualifications

BA Philosophy, Politics and Economics, University of Oxford

GDL, BPP Law School: Distinction

BPTC, Kaplan Law School: Outstanding

Privacy Notice

Nathan needs to collect and hold your personal information in order to advise and represent you. He will take all steps that are appropriate, proportionate and practicable to protect your personal information. Nathan is determined to do nothing that would infringe your rights or undermine your trust. This Privacy Notice describes the information he collects about you, how it is used and shared, and your rights regarding it. To read his privacy notice in full, please see here.


Nathan is regulated by the Bar Standards Board and accepts instructions under Standard Contractual Terms. To find out more information on this and the way we work at Matrix, including our fee transparency statement, please see our see our service standards.