Daniel Northall has developed an enviable reputation as an advocate and adviser in his core practice areas of employment law and commercial litigation.
He has been praised by clients and commentators alike for his keen analytical skills, developed legal knowledge, pragmatism and client-friendly manner.
Daniel entered the legal directories after only his second year of practice and has been a regular fixture since. He has variously been described as "incredibly hard working", a "rising star", giving a"first class performance in every case", having an "ability beyond his years", offering "strong intellectual analysis and pragmatic advice” and "excellent advocacy” in addition to being "very user-friendly and very popular”.
His practice has developed into areas of increasing complexity and value. He is now regularly instructed as sole counsel on multi-day litigation in the Employment Tribunal, County Court and High Court, in addition to appeals to the superior courts.
See the individual tabs below for further details of his areas of expertise.
Daniel was appointed Treasury Counsel in November 2012 for a term of 5 years.
Daniel appreciates that a successful outcome is usually due in no small part to hard work and a willingness and ability to work as part of a team with professional and lay clients. He provides a focused yet thorough approach whilst maintaining a down to earth and professional service.
Daniel has significant expertise in High Court litigation
arising out of the employment relationship, including claims for unpaid bonus,
commission and wrongful termination. He also has broad experience of business
protection issues, including the enforcement of restrictive covenants, team
moves, breach of confidence and breach of fiduciary duty.
Daniel is acutely aware that time is often of the essence in
these matters. He is able to provide commercially sensible and tactically
astute advice on short notice as the circumstances demand, either by telephone
or in person.
Daniel is a recognized "team player” and easily
integrates into large litigation teams including leading counsel.
Past instructions include:
- Representing a senior executive in a
multi-million pound High Court claim alleging wrongful dismissal and seeking
significant sums by way of unpaid bonus.
- Advising and representing a former Commercial
Director of a high profile media company in respect of claims for breach of
contract and his defence to a counterclaim alleging breaches of his fiduciary
- Advising a board of directors on its power to
suspend or remove a former Chief Executive following his failure to transfer
shares to a new investor in breach of contract and in breach of his fiduciary
duties. The advice included the options available in bringing and/or resisting
interim injunctive relief proceedings.
Daniel provides a full range of advisory, drafting and
advocacy services across all stages of litigation. He normally acts for medium
to large businesses, executives, public sector bodies and Government
departments. He is particularly noted for his forensic skills and his ability
to cut through litigation which is information heavy.
Instructions within the past 12 months have included:
- Representing a Managing Director of a major
European bank in relation to multi-million pound claims of whistleblowing, race
discrimination and unfair dismissal.
- Representing a firm of solicitors in response to
claims brought by a former partner of the firm in connection with the
termination of his Directorship and subsequent performance management.
- Advising an NHS Trust on the contractual effect
of its absence management procedures against a background of threatened industrial
action by various trades unions.
- Representing a recruitment business in only the
second set of Tribunal proceedings to consider the requirements of contracts of
employment under Regulation 10 of the Agency Workers Regulations 2010
(so-called Swedish derogation contracts);
- Representing a major sportswear manufacturer
regarding TUPE claims arising out of it taking certain packaging services back
- Representing a national airline following the
dismissal of an employee who was seriously injured at work following his own
breaches of health and safety.
- Advising a major media distributor on its
contractual arrangements for delivery drivers and the possible implications of
the national minimum wage legislation.
- Representing a nationally recognised charity in
connection with the dismissal of its Chief Executive.
- Representing a national telecommunications and
media provider in response to claims of associative disability discrimination
brought by a current employee.
- Representing a NHS trust in response to multiple
claims of sexual harassment and sex discrimination brought by a current
Daniel has a busy appellate practice. His appellate cases
have included the following:
- Barnett v Performance Car Hire Ltd (2014)
UKEAT/0050/13/SM (concerning the Tribunal's approach to employment status).
- Wincanton v Stone  IRLR 178 (now a leading
authority on the Tribunal's approach to earlier disciplinary sanctions in
claims of unfair dismissal).
- Felstead v Wincanton (unreported) EAT (which
considered the Tribunal's approach to the issue of reasonableness in a claim of
- Reed in Partnership v Fraine UKEAT/0520/10/DA
(which considered the discretion to extend time for presenting claims of unfair
- Dunn v Institute of Cemetery and Crematorium
Management  ICR 941 (a mould breaking decision on marital status
discrimination, since reined back in by a further division of the EAT in
Hawkins v Atex).
- Parker v Northumbrian Water  IRLR 652 EAT
(an appeal considering the doctrines of estoppel and abuse of process in
Employment Tribunal proceedings).
- Garratt v Mirror Group Newspapers Ltd 
IRLR 591 CA (an appeal involving the incorporation of terms into contracts of
employment in which Daniel was led by Clive Freedman QC).
- Wacha v Lewis (debarred) and another - 
All ER (D) 70 (Apr) EAT (concerning the application of the old statutory
dismissal and disciplinary procedures).
- Mackenzie v Billing Aquadrome Ltd  All ER
(D) 161 (Aug) EAT (which considered the principles of constructive dismissal).
- Lindley v Perrys Motor Sales Ltd  All ER
(D) 32 EAT (which involved a novel point of interpretation under Regulation 4
- Wiggan v Wooler & Co Ltd  All ER (D)
60 (Jul) EAT (an appeal considering submissions of ‘no case to answer')
Daniel's commercial practice covers a broad range of
business related contentious work, including:
- Disputes between directors and senior employees
- Shareholder disputes and s.994 petitions
- Contractual disputes
- Commercial fraud
- Corporate and personal insolvency
- Partnerships, including LLPs
Recent instructions have included:
- Advising a company in the care sector on B2B
litigation arising from the historic non-payment of fees due to a service
provider's alleged misrepresentation and fundamental breaches of contract.
- Advising a former President of Lehman Brothers
on her entitlement under the Insolvency Rules to pursue unpaid contractual
amounts against a range of companies within the Lehman group.
- Successfully representing an individual in her
defence against a claim for significant unpaid professional fees on the ground
that a personal guarantee signed by her was procured by undue influence.
undertaken a number of high profile sports related instructions, including:
- assisting in the representation of a
Championship football manager in disciplinary proceedings brought against him
by his then club;
- representing a rugby club in the
Aviva Premiership in response to claims of disability discrimination, breach of
contract and unfair dismissal brought by a former player; and
- representing a director of a Premier
League club in respect of claims of unfair dismissal and breach of contract.
Daniel is a
devout supporter of Wolverhampton Wanderers, arguably the antithesis of glory hunting.
MA (Law), Trinity Hall, University of Cambridge