Cloisters Chambers

Rachel Crasnow QC

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Practice Areas

Rachel Crasnow QC is a leading silk in equality, employment and human rights work . She practices in all aspects of domestic and EU employment law, acting in high-profile cases in forums including the Supreme Court and CJEU. She undertakes a wide range of work from equal pay, working time and maternity rights to TUPE, internal disciplinary tribunals and collective rights. She is particularly recognised for her expertise in discrimination law; her practice includes advising in goods & services cases and regulatory work. Rachel is regularly instructed in high value and complex trials as well as cutting-edge appeals by individuals, private companies, and public sector bodies. She is a trained mediator and also frequently acts as counsel in difficult mediations. She sits as a part-time judge and is frequently instructed as an external independent investigator, (recently by charities, sports bodies, NGOs and religious organisations.


Notable recent work includes: O'Brien v MOJ - [2019] ICR 505 CJEU and [2017] ICR 1101 SC: calculation of judicial pension & EU law; Miller v MOJ- 2019 SC [judgment awaited]: part-time discrimination and primary time limits; Williams v Trustees of Swansea University Pension and Assurance Scheme [2019] UKSC 65: disability discrimination and pension rights; NUPFC v Certification Officer (with the Independent Workers of Great Britain, the Secretary of State for Education, the Local Government Association and the European Children’s Rights Unit intervening) [2019] UKEAT/0285/17: concerning worker status of foster carers and whether domestic law on such status is Article 11 compliant; Gilham v MOJ [2018] ICR 827 CA: whistleblowing & status of office holders; Abertawe v Morgan [2018] ICR 1194 CA: reasonable adjustments; Dudley Council v Whitehead [2012] EAT: equal pay group action ; Blackburn v Chief Constable of W.Midlands Police [2009] IRLR 135 CA: equal pay; Cadman v HSE [2007] 1 CMLR 16 ECJ: justifying equal pay; DTI v Rutherford [2006] ICR 785 HL: sex / age discrimination / EU law; Vince-Cain v Orthet [2005] ICR 374: sex discrimination & tax; Goodwin v UK (2002) 35 EHRR 18: trans rights. Standing counsel to BPS for over 10 years. Counsel to 1999-2000 Turner Inquiry; instructed in the Climbie Inquiry. Long-term advisor at Camden Law Centre. Nominated for Employment Junior of the Year 2013 and Silk of the Year 2017. Winner of Diversity Law Champion Award 2019. Legal speaker & commentator. Master Bencher Middle Temple.

Professional Memberships

ELBA, ELA, DLA, Bar Pro-Bono Unit, ELAAS, HRLA.


Co-author of 'Employment Law and Human Rights' (3rd ed OUP 2018), Family Rights in Employment Law (Jordans 2012), Blackstone's Guide to the Equality Act 2010 (2nd ed OUP 2017); editor of Bullen & Leake's Human Rights & EU Law Sections.


Pembroke College, Oxford & City University, London. Middle Temple Diplock Scholarship 1993; Pegasus Scholarship 1999 (Human Rights & Equal Opportunities Commission, Sydney). Member of the Bar Council Equality & Diversity Committee; Chair of Bar Council Legislation & Guidance Group. Wellbeing- Lead at Cloisters and for ELBA. Trustee at Birthrights.