Guildhall Chambers

Employment Department

Western (Bar)
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Offers strong experience in the prosecution and defence of Employment Tribunal claims including those relating to unfair dismissal, discrimination, harassment and whistle-blowing. Police forces and other public bodies are well represented among chambers' clients in these areas. The barristers are also experienced in business protection elements of employment law, including restrictive covenants and the misuse of confidential information.

Client service: "I am impressed by Guildhall Chambers. I find the clerks efficient to deal with." Kate Hather leads the employment clerking team.

Allan Roberts

Respected for his expertise in whistle-blowing and discrimination matters, he predominantly deals with high-level tribunal claims and High Court cases. He is particularly noted for dealing with complex police cases and often represents constabularies. He appears regularly in the Employment Appeal Tribunal and the Court of Appeal.
Strengths: "He is a silky smooth advocate; clients love him."
Recent work: Represented the former personal assistant to Lady Dyson in an unfair dismissal claim against her former employer, and in defending a counterclaim for breach of contract in the High Court.

Debbie Grennan

Highly experienced in high-value and complex discrimination and whistle-blowing claims, as well as matters relating to equal pay and TUPE. She regularly receives instructions on behalf of public sector clients, including respondent local authorities and the NHS.
Strengths: "Debbie Grennan is a delight to work with. She is the perfect blend of calm reassurance for the client, and incisive and persuasive advocacy in tribunal, which is always done with a smile." "A fantastic advocate and very client-friendly. She engages with the client and is able to distil complex factual and legal issues in layman's terms. She is calm and collected and gets the best out of witnesses. You definitely want her acting for your side!"
Recent work: Acted for a consultant surgeon in a whistle-blowing detriment claim against BMI Healthcare.

Douglas Leach

Has a well-rounded practice which encompasses all areas of employment. He has significant experience in technically complex TUPE and disability discrimination matters. He is also well versed in competition-related cases involving confidence breaches, restrictive covenants and injunction relief.
Strengths: "Able to navigate complex legal points, whilst communicating in a clear and concise manner with clients."
Recent work: Acted for the claimant in Hextall v Chief Constable of Leicestershire Police, where the Court of Appeal considered whether the force's shared parental leave policy was discriminatory because it only offered statutory minimum pay, whereas those on maternity leave received full pay.

Geraint Probert

Has a practice covering a broad range of employment work, including discrimination, TUPE and whistle-blowing cases. He is experienced in leading complex and lengthy tribunals, and also handles sensitive issues relating to tribunal practice, injunctions, strategy and settlement.
Strengths: "He has a lovely manner about him that clients warm to. He is very straightforward, and the tribunals really trust him and like him."
Recent work: Successfully defended the respondent against direct sex discrimination and breach of contract claims in Brown v Cwtch St Davids Limited.

Julian Allsop

Handles employment matters in both the courts and tribunals, predominantly acting for employers. He is known for his expertise in complex disability discrimination, pregnancy or maternity discrimination, and whistle-blowing litigation. He also works in director-level remuneration claims and restrictive covenants.
Strengths: "He is one of the most technically able barristers I have ever known. He is like the Yoda of employment law. He is really truly excellent."
Recent work: Successfully defended the Chief Constable of Nottinghamshire Police in disability discrimination claim where public sector career loss was sought in circumstances where the claimant had been medically retired.

Kerry Gardiner

Advises both claimants and respondents on the full spectrum of employment law including whistle-blowing, discrimination and unfair dismissal cases. She has notable experience in the Employment Appeal Tribunal and frequently handles jurisdictional matters at pre-hearing reviews.
Strengths: "She is good in terms of thinking outside of the box in resolving issues. She keeps clients on the straight and narrow, and has a good insight into businesses and their needs."

Nicholas Smith

Widely respected for his work on whistle-blowing, discrimination and unfair dismissal, including cases arising out of insolvency. He has vast experience of appellate work, and is highly regarded for complex and high-value cases that have commercial significance. He acts for both respondents and claimants.
Strengths: "He is an outstanding advocate, who engages clients and judges extremely well. His preparation is extremely good. He has a wealth of experience and has really honed his advocacy skills." "He is a very popular and able employment barrister. He is a pleasure to work with."
Recent work: Successfully resisted an appeal in the EAT on behalf of Cleveland Cable, where a plot to stage a fake industrial accident was discovered.