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Nicholas Siddall
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NICHOLAS SIDDALL

Nicholas is an employment specialist whose practice takes in all facets of employment litigation in the High Court and the statutory tribunals. He also enjoys a significant sports law related practice appearing before the ordinary courts and the relevant disciplinary/adjudicatory tribunals.

His practice encompasses:

  • Employment Law
  • Employment Related Litigation
  • Mediation and ADR
  • Restrictive Covenants and Confidential Information
  • Unfair and Wrongful Dismissal
  • Discrimination and Equal Opportunities Litigation
  • Whistleblowing
  • TUPE
  • Statutory Discrimination claims in the Civil Courts
  • Collective Labour Disputes and Trade Union Litigation
  • Disciplinary and Regulatory Work
  • Sports Law

He was formerly in practice at Kings Chambers, where he had been a member since pupillage. He was educated at Scalby School and Cambridge University. He was called in 1997 and joined Littleton Chambers in 2013.

Nicholas has been continuously listed as a leading junior in employment in the legal directories since 2007. Examples of recent comments are as follows:

“He has notable experience with TUPE, along with high-value discrimination claims and public interest disclosure cases. He is predominantly instructed on behalf of respondents but also works with trade unions and high net worth claimants."
Strengths: "He's excellent on detail, extremely diligent and quick to respond." "Nicholas is a great advocate." Chambers UK 2017

“He is exceptional on his feet and his ability to recall case law is second to none." Legal 500 2016

"He was brilliant in managing a difficult client, he gave advice on injunctions and unfair dismissal claims, and he was great in conference." "Nicholas Siddall is a good advocate who gets the job done." Chambers UK 2016

“An outstanding employment law barrister noted for his expertise in front of the High Court and tribunals. He handles the gamut of employment matters.” "He is a thorough and very well-prepared advocate." Chambers UK 2015

"He stands out due to his exceptional understanding of the law and ability to apply it to unusual circumstances, combined with a calm and focused approach even in the tightest timescales." Chambers UK 2014

Nicholas Siddall is a skilled navigator of public sector-related TUPE, equal pay and unfair dismissal matters. He "impresses with his pragmatism and judgement." Chambers UK 2011:

"Incisive, no-nonsense and meticulous"... he impresses with his "incredible recollection and commanding grasp of the facts" Chambers UK 2008

Instructions over the last 12 months include:

  • Successfully appearing on behalf of Health Education England in defence of a test case addressing the scope of the extended worker provisions in s43K of the Employment Rights Act in the EAT. Permission has been granted to appeal to the Court of Appeal (there led by David Reade QC).
  • Successfully defending a 7 day race/religious discrimination complaint brought by a Muslim employee despite his obtaining racially abusive emails shared within the Respondent organisation.
  • Appearing for the Claimant in a £1.4 million gender discrimination, disability discrimination and whistleblowing claim brought by a prominent academic against her employing London based University.
  • Appearing on behalf of the Claimant in a 10 day sexual harassment claim brought by a former clerk against one of the largest sets of Barristers’ Chambers in the UK;
  • Representing (led by Damian Brown QC) a prominent consultant plastic surgeon in seeking an injunction to restrain his unlawful suspension from his private practice;
  • Appearing for the transferee in a Regulation 12 TUPE claim and seeking to claim as a remedy damages for a fine imposed by the Low Pay Unit for historic underpayment of the transferred employees and reputational damages for the naming and shaming of the transferee. 
 

    Injunctive/High Court Employment Work

Nicholas has significant experience of employment based contractual litigation in the High Court. Nicholas is regularly instructed to appear in both the Queen’s Bench Division and the Chancery Division of the High Court in breach of employment contract and business competition cases (particularly in relation to applications for injunctive relief). In particular he has experience in relation to: Confidential Information, Springboard Relief, Restrictive Covenants, Database Rights, Team Moves, diversion of business opportunities and bonus claims.

Recent cases in this area include:

  • Representing the former COO of an international brand loyalty conglomerate as regards an injunction seeking to restrain his employment with a competitor and addressing the potential enforceability of his post-termination restrictions under Delaware Law.
  • Representing a National Payroll system provider in seeking springboard injunctions to prevent the team move of its Head of Sales, Head of CMS and a number of members of its staff.
  • Securing injunctions to prevent the Sales Manager of an international IT recycling provider from misusing its key confidential information whilst employed by its main competitor alongside affidavit evidence and wide-ranging forensic imaging.
  • Securing injunctions to protect the confidential information of a manufacturer engaged in the provision of bespoke braking systems to various Formula 1 teams and NASCAR.
  • Securing injunctions to prevent the Audit Manager and Marketing Director of an international accountancy practice from setting up a rival practice as part of a staggered team move.
  • Successfully resisting wide-ranging interim relief and committal applications by an international property business for forensic imaging of a former employee’s laptop computer and mobile devices and affidavit evidence in that regard.

    Discrimination

Nicholas acts on behalf of claimants and respondents in heavy weight matters encompassing all facets of unlawful discrimination. He is acutely aware of the sensitivity required in addressing such claims and adopts a collaborative and strategic approach in either prosecuting or defending the same. Recent cases of interest in this area include:

  • A 10 day hearing on behalf of a former criminal clerk of one of the largest Barristers’ Chambers in the UK asserting that she had been subjected to a sustained course of sexual harassment.
  • A 10 day claim on behalf an International Account Manager of Barclays Bank asserting widespread disability discrimination with a pleaded value of in excess of £1 million.
  • A 9 day claim on behalf of a prominent academic seeking damages in excess of £1.4 million as a result of her gender discrimination, disability discrimination and victimisation (alongside whistleblowing detriment) by her London based University employer.
  • A 13 day hearing defending an equal value claim alongside allegations of gender discrimination/harassment/victimisation brought by a female Operations Director of an international retail technology consultancy seeking damages in excess of £600,000;
  • A 7 day claim of race/religious harassment brought by the head of IT of an international travel company based on his obtaining emails which were harassing of Muslims.

    Whistleblowing

Nicholas has particular experience and interest in whistleblowing litigation. He undertakes work on behalf of both claimants and respondents in this field and recognises the complicated issues posed by such claims.

Instructions of note in the recent past include:

  • Appearing on behalf of an international oil exploitation company in defence of a 10 day claim where the Claimant asserted protected disclosure arising from the bribery of senior government officials of the state of Niger. The Claimant sought damages in excess of £30 million.
  • Successfully appearing on behalf of Health Education England in defence of a test case before the EAT to address whether the extended worker provisions in s43K of the Employment Rights Act can extend to doctors in training and permit them a cause of action against HEE. The Claimant has been granted permission to appeal to the Court of Appeal where Nicholas shall be led by David Reade QC.
  • Utilising the whistleblowing provisions on the Isle of Man as a means of circumventing the absence of equality provision on the Island to advance a £300,000 claim on behalf of a disabled financial services provider.
  • Successfully appearing on behalf of the Head of Construction of a UK construction company who was dismissed as a result of disclosing fraud in the procurement of publicly funded construction contracts. The remedy sought was £1.45 million.
  • Appearing for a national facilities management group in defence of multiple claims of whistleblowing detriment brought by its head of Information Technology which she contends was in furtherance of a calculated plan to secure her removal from the former family run LLP.

    TUPE

Nicholas has significant experience in the area of TUPE litigation.  He was successful in his representation of the GMB before the EAT in securing a judgment that the TUPE Regulations and the Acquired Rights Directive are of trans-national effect and can apply outside the territorial scope of the European Union. He also appeared in an appeal addressing whether TUPE applies to the MOD's decision to award a military support contract in the Falkland Islands to a Dutch company. The decision of the EAT addressed the application of the Service Provision Change definition contained within TUPE 2006 for the first time in an international context. He regularly appears for and advises both employers and employees as to the likely application of TUPE

Examples of recent instructions of interest are:

  • Acting on behalf of a South East based trains company (led by David Reade QC) in defence of a collective TUPE consultation claim brought by 599 of its employees.
  • Defending a collective unfair dismissal/TUPE consultation claim over 8 days brought by 21 baggage handlers at Manchester Airport who contend that they were unfairly dismissed following a relevant transfer. The value of the remedy sought was in excess of £2 million. The matter is currently under appeal.
  • Appearing for a prominent Children’s charity in defence of allegations that its assumption of certain elements of the functions of a separate insolvent charity had the effect of transferring the employment of the former charity’s head of finance to it.
  • Appearing for the transferee in a Regulation 12 TUPE claim and seeking to claim as a remedy damages for a fine imposed by the Low Pay Unit for historic underpayment of the transferred employees and reputational damages for the naming and shaming of the transferee. .

    Other Statutory Employment Work

Nicholas undertakes work across all facets of statutory employment law. He receives instructions on behalf of individuals, unions and employers. He is regularly instructed by UNITE, the UDM and Nautilus. He receives instructions from employers ranging from SMEs to blue chip conglomerates.

Examples of the matters in which recently he has been involved are:

  • A multi-claimant unlawful deductions and unfair dismissal claim against a national bakery where the claimants recovered shift premium deductions amounting to £1.2 million per year.
  • Appearing for the employer in multi-claimant equal pay multiples brought against both NHS trusts and Local Authorities.
  • Securing a reference to the CJEU (led by John Bowers QC) on the question of the proper application of the derogation provided by Regulation 21 of the Working Time Regulations and its compliance with EU law.
  • Appearing in the first Employment Tribunal decision addressing the lawfulness of the implementation of the “Swedish derogation” in the Agency Workers Regulations.
  • Appearing in a test case supported by the BMA as to whether payments to consultants for Waiting List Initiative work are to be included in the proper calculation of holiday pay.
  • Appearing (led by David Reade QC) in an appeal to the Court of Appeal to determine the precise interaction of the concepts of affirmation and the ‘last straw’ doctrine in the context of claim for constructive dismissal;
  • Advising an international maritime haulage company as to the lawfulness of amending the contracts of 39 of its employees at a specific location or whether the same amounts to an unlawful inducement to their giving up collective bargaining.

    Statutory Discrimination claims in the Civil Courts

Nicholas regularly applies his expertise in statutory discrimination law to claims in the education and goods and services sector in the civil courts. He is acutely aware of the similarities and, crucially the differences between, litigation of discrimination claims in the County Court as distinct from the Employment Tribunal. Examples of recent instructions of interest are:

  • Appearing on behalf of a University in defence of multiple claims of disability discrimination and reasonable adjustments advanced by a former student. The claim involved multiple allegations and the claimant contended that as a result he had lost a successful career at the bar. Damages of £10 million were sought.
  • Representing the York Barbican theatre in defence of a claim of a failure to make reasonable adjustments as regards the application of its charging policy regarding carers of disabled persons.
  • Appearing on behalf of the MEN Arena in defence of claims of discrimination and a failure to make reasonable adjustments brought by a disabled person as regards adequate provision of toilet facilities.
  • Advising a national retail chain as regards the access issues raised by the format of its premises and as regards a threatened claim of a failure to make reasonable adjustments.
  • Advising a North East based Local Authority as to the gender/religion and belief discrimination issues arising from its operation of a historic Turkish Baths.
  • Advising an international hotel chain as regards its obligations regarding the provision of television access across its estate in order to meet the needs of hearing impaired persons.

    Disciplinary and Regulatory

Nicholas is a member of Littleton’s disciplinary and regulatory team and he accepts instructions in a variety of disciplinary and regulatory environments.

Many of Nicholas’ cases have been in a healthcare setting which has given him a detailed understanding in respect of internal disciplinary procedures (personal and professional conduct cases) and the developing jurisprudence concerning the court’s jurisdiction to grant injunctions to restrain either the dismissal or suspension of medical or allied professionals.

Recent examples of matters on which Nicholas has been instructed include:

  • Representing (led by Damian Brown QC) a prominent consultant plastic surgeon in seeking an injunction to restrain his unlawful suspension from his private practice.
  • Appearing as an advocate on behalf of Health Education England in response to an internal appeal lodged by a GP trainee against the removal of his National Training Number.
  • Advising a prominent consultant surgeon as to the availability of injunctive relief to prevent the termination of his training engagement on the basis of alleged whistleblowing disclosures.
  • Appearing on behalf of a training provider in an internal appeal against the decision of the National Plant Operators Registration Scheme to remove the provider’s training registration.

    Sports Law

Nicholas is a member of Littleton’s sports law team and accepts instructions from individuals and organisations in the ordinary courts and the relevant tribunals. Nicholas is an appointed panel member for Sports Resolutions who are the leading sports appeals/arbitration service. He is also a regular contributor of articles to LawinSport. Recent instructions include.

  • Acting as an independent legal advisor to British Shooting in its selection of athletes for the Cyprus World Cup event.
  • Advising a prominent cyclist as regards the defence of doping claims raised by UKAD.
  • Advising a prominent cyclist as regards his appeal against the decision of British Cycling not to select him for the Rio Olympics.
  • Appearing on behalf of the Head of Business Development of a Premiership Rugby team in his contractual claim.
  • Appearing for the former Defence Coach of a Premiership Rugby team in his claim for wrongful dismissal.
  • Appearing for a former Championship football club manager in his claim for unfair and wrongful dismissal.
  • Advising a Championship Football club as to their rights to compensation as a result of the signing of one of their youth development players by a Serie A club.
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