DEPARTMENT PROFILE

No5 Barristers' Chambers

Employment

11 ranked barristersBand 1Midlands (Bar)UK Bar 2021 View ranking table
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Ranked Barristers

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No5 Barristers' Chambers provides a strong offering in the employment law space, with a strong grounding in both Birmingham and Leicester. Members are regularly instructed in complex unfair dismissal and discrimination matters in fora ranging from the Employment Tribunal to the Court of Appeal. The barristers serve both private and public sector clients, and the set is favoured by the NHS among other public authorities. Counsel have been involved in cases which are leading authorities on thorny employment issues such as equal pay and perceived disability discrimination. A solicitor enthuses: "They are all very confident, conscientious and good with clients."

Client service:

"The clerks are extremely helpful and reactive. I know I can rely on them for support where needed. They will always do what they can to find me an advocate when the diary is busy." "Martin Ellis in particular is excellent: very approachable, patient and always very accommodating. Martin and his team have excellent communication skills, are responsive and always go above and beyond to make sure we get the best service."

Strengths:

Anthony Korn
Highly skilled in handling complex disability discrimination and failure to make reasonable adjustment claims. He has further experience of TUPE issues, equal pay cases, whistle-blowing cases and restrictive covenant enforcement disputes.
"He is academic in his approach - thorough and knows the right law." "He is a very technical and detailed lawyer."

Strengths:

Caroline Jennings
Her work in this area spans cases of complex disability discrimination, indirect discrimination, sexual harassment and loss of earnings. She represents respondent employers in both the private and public sectors.
"She is very easy to work with and very good with clients."
Recent work: Acted for the claimant in Smith v United Overseas Bank, a claim for direct race discrimination in respect of redundancy and the bank preferring an external candidate for an alternative role.

Strengths:

Charles Crow
Regularly instructed by clients from the education, housing and police sectors to act in grievance and disciplinary matters. He has extensive experience of unfair dismissal cases and discrimination issues, with further expertise in cases involving whistle-blowing and TUPE.
"One of his strengths is the ability to quickly assimilate a large amount of information and then use it to his advantage in cross-examination. He can then succinctly express the key points to the judge." "He is a very intelligent opponent and he really fights his client's corner." "A bit of a brainiac, and very calm under pressure."
Recent work: Acted for Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust in a five-day dismissal case, which was complicated since the dismissal relied in part on a previous disciplinary issue which at the time did not result in dismissal.

Strengths:

Gemma Roberts
Regularly represents both private and public sector clients across the spectrum of employment issues, including unfair dismissal and discrimination matters. She is regularly instructed by NHS trusts and large multinational organisations for Employment Tribunal proceedings.
"Good in tribunal and also excellent at dealing with clients."
Recent work: Acted for the University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Trust at the Employment Tribunal and the Employment Appeal Tribunal in defending claims for unfair dismissal and race discrimination made by a senior surgeon who was disciplined and dismissed after a number of patient fatalities.

Strengths:

Helen Barney
Handles a wide range of employment issues, including complex discrimination tribunals, unfair dismissal claims and whistle-blowing matters. She is regularly instructed by large NHS trusts, local authorities and private employers.
"Her engagement with the judges and her understanding of how they operate is second to none." "She is very pragmatic and cooperative, and strongly defends her clients' interests."
Recent work: Defended the University of Sussex against number of allegations made by a senior lecturer, which included direct and indirect disability discrimination, harassment and a failure to make reasonable adjustments.

Strengths:

Jack Feeny
Instructed by both public and private sector clients in cases related to TUPE issues and discrimination claims, among other issues. He regularly advises police institutions and claimants from the financial sector, and often appears in the Employment Appeal Tribunal and the Court of Appeal.
"He is professional and effective." "He is very competent and knowledgeable, and punches above his weight." "He is diligent and brilliant with clients."
Recent work: Acted for the respondent in Chief Constable of Norfolk v Coffey, a Court of Appeal case which considered the test for direct discrimination because of perceived rather than actual disability.

Strengths:

Jessica Smeaton
Attracts acclaim for her representation of public sector respondents in connection with employment claims. She often acts for NHS trusts and is experienced in the full range of allegations including disability discrimination, sex discrimination, redundancies, unfair dismissal and whistle-blowing.
"Extremely capable." "Fantastic - she picked up a case at the last minute and had a great manner at the tribunal."
Recent work: Acted for East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust in a case relating to allegations of unfair dismissal, disability discrimination and protected disclosure detriment.

Strengths:

Mugni Islam-Choudhury
Head of the employment group and has experience of handling all aspects of employment law, and particular strength in complicated TUPE issues, high-value discrimination claims and whistle-blowing allegations. He frequently acts for NHS trusts, education trusts and local councils, as well as a range of private sector clients.
"Excellent skills with clients and is able to summarise complex issues very succinctly." "Excellent cross-examination skills and tactical awareness."
Recent work: Acted for Birmingham Airport in the ET and EAT, in defence of a claim for indirect sex discrimination brought by a number of female security operatives. The claimants alleged that the airport made a change to their shift patterns that was unfair and discriminatory to working parents.

Strengths:

Naomi Owen
Regularly acts for both respondents and claimants in tribunal cases, advising on a wide range of employment matters ranging from all forms of discrimination and unfair dismissal to complex TUPE work. She receive instructions from employers in the retail, recruitment and travel sectors. 
"Her advocacy was measured and she was good at the cross-examinations." "Very amenable and personable, and therefore influential in court." "She is conscientious and good with clients."
Recent work: Acted for British Airways in its defence of disability discrimination and constructive unfair dismissal claims brought by a flight attendant who suffered from anxiety and depression, and in a subsequent appeal.

Strengths:

Richard Hignett
Has a respected practice representing employers across the healthcare space. He is particularly experienced in handling whistle-blowing, discrimination and unfair dismissal claims for respondent employers.
"He has a great manner with clients." "He is a impressive performer who is bright and able to cut through a lot of information to get to the core of the case."
Recent work: Acted in a disability discrimination case involving a National Trust employee, which considered whether electrohypersensitivity, a condition recognised in Sweden and the USA but not in the UK, amounted to a disability under the Equality Act 2010.

Strengths:

Tim Sheppard
Focuses his practice on discrimination, whistle-blowing and unfair dismissal claims, making regular appearances in tribunals representing NHS trusts, national charities and a range of private employers. He also has experience of representing clients in the High Court and the Court of Appeal.
"He is agile and quick-thinking." "An excellent advocate and a pleasure to work with. He has vast experience with public sector clients which he draws on for each matter we work on. He is detailed and always knows the papers inside and out." "He delivers arguments with an air of politeness and decorum that brings around both judges and the opposition."
Recent work: Acted for The Royal College of Nursing in a disability discrimination claim, where the defendant was alleged not to have made reasonable adjustments. The claims were successfully defended and subsequently dismissed.

Employment Department

No5 Barristers' Chambers

firm
Department location

Fountain Court

Steelhouse Lane

Birmingham

West Midlands

UK

B4 6DR

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Ranked Barristers

Chambers Research is conducted by 200 Research Analysts, across 200 jurisdictions and provides nearly 6,000 rankings tables. Annually we collect hundreds of thousands of responses from clients, the majority via in-depth interview. Learn more about our methodology.

Juniors

Midlands (Bar)

Employment


Anthony Korn
Band 3
Caroline Jennings
Band 3
Charles Crow
Band 1
Gemma Roberts
Band 3
Helen Barney
Band 1