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EMPLOYMENT

"Littleton is a large employment set with an enviable bench of leading silks and juniors. Its size lends it expert knowledge in all areas of employment law, including restrictive covenants, injunctions and whistle-blowing. Members are involved in some of the most impressive cases of the day." 
Chambers & Partners 2018

Littleton is a leading set in employment law. Ranked consistently in the top tier of the legal directories, we excel at providing the "full package” of employment specialists; renowned silks, expert and committed senior-juniors and up and coming junior-juniors. Chambers & Partners observes that "for many commentators, Littleton is the first port of call for employment advice". 

We appear in the High Court, County Courts, Employment Tribunals, the Employment Appeal Tribunal, the higher appellate courts and the European Courts of Justice. In respect of the ET and EAT, we appear not only in England and Wales, but also in Scotland, Northern Ireland, the Channel Islands and Isle of Man.

Littleton is renowned for its expertise in the ‘crossover’ area of work between employment and commercial law, and this is what sets us apart from other chambers. We often undertake litigation (frequently injunctive proceedings) in the civil courts and we appear in the majority of landmark cases.

Highlights from the Littleton Annual Employment Seminar: Is it getting easier to stop employee competition? Held at The Royal Society on 14 March 2017 

We are active members of the Employment Law Bar Association, Employment Lawyers Association and Industrial Law Society.

Our Employment practice includes:

  • Employment Status: Questions of employment status are often determinative of a claim, but may be both legally and factually complex. Our members have developed niche expertise, having acted in many of the ground-breaking cases on employee and worker status as this area of law has developed.
  • Equality & Discrimination: For many businesses, it is not a matter of if they will face a discrimination claim, but when. This burgeoning area of law is both legally intricate and highly-charged. Whilst the financial stakes can be high for both sides, questions of reputation and principle are just as likely to be of key concern. Littleton has always been at the forefront of equality and discrimination law, acting for the EHRC (and its predecessors) in several cases, as well as Claimants and Respondents/Defendants in every type of discrimination claim. Our depth of shared experience means that even our most junior members can offer an excellent service in this area.
  • Equal Pay: The huge scale of equal pay claims which faced the public sector is well known. Our members have been involved in many of the cases which defined the landscape of this legal and political phenomenon. Following on from the public sector equal pay litigation, there was a growing volume of large-scale private sector equal pay litigation, especially involving the financial services sector, universities and higher education and management consultancy firms. We regularly act for both Respondents and Claimants in smaller scale and individual equal pay claims, often brought alongside more general allegations of sex discrimination. Littleton has particular expertise of such claims arising in the context of City employment, often involving discretionary bonus schemes.
  • Industrial Action & Collective Labour Law: Littleton has always been at the forefront of the development of the law on industrial action. Members have appeared in the injunction proceedings stemming from many of the major industrial disputes of recent times, including the miners’ strikes, the dock work deregulation strikes, various national and regional rail strikes, royal mail strikes, the BA cabin crew strikes, the Gate Gourmet strike, the threatened Olympic bus strikes and the public sector strikes related to government pay policy. Littleton barristers have advised and appeared for both employers and trade unions in these various disputes.and have been involved in advising and litigating at the cutting edge of this area of law. Our expertise in the area of collective labour law is not confined to dealing with industrial disputes. Members are also expert in all aspects of this area.
  • Injunctive Relief & Employee Competition; Every business is reliant on the skills, knowledge and loyalty of its workforce. When the loyalty of a trusted employee or team is lost, decisive steps are required. Littleton has always been at the cutting edge of the developing law of employee and director duties, and the injunctive relief potentially available to restrain employee competition.
  • International and Transnational: Our internationally recognised employment team routinely advises and acts in domestic cases with an international element in Employment Litigation. These cases can raise issues of conflicts of jurisdiction, conflicts of law, territorial reach of domestic legislation, diplomatic and state immunity and anti-suit injunctions.
  • Practice & Procedure: For many clients, the attraction of instruicting Littleton lies in the strong affinity between our employment and commercial law expertise. Where relationships within a business, or between a business and a former director/employee, have broken down, Littleton is superbly placed to advise strategically. We help our clients to bring the right claims, in the most advantageous forum, with a carefully considered strategy designed to achieve the best possible outcome.
  • Remuneration, Pensions & Benefits: From holiday pay and wages disputes handled by Littleton's most junior tenants, to large-scale pensions claims and high profile bonus disputes, remuneration is at the heart of employment. Pay claims, in infinite guises, are a central plank of our work.
  • Termination of Employment: Littleton offers experienced barristers at the appropriate level of call for all termination of employment cases, from straightforward unfair dismissal claims to multimillion pound High Court disputes.
  • TUPE: Littleton advises and acts in relation to the employment consequences of mergers and acquisitions, out-sourcing, in-sourcing, administrative restructuring, public procurement, tendering and service contracting. Our barristers understand that in the context of a large corporate M&A high quality advice is often in required on complicated points at short notice. Littleton barristers have appeared in TUPE cases in the European Court of Justice, House of Lords (as then was) and numerous times in the Court of Appeal, EAT, Employment Tribunal and civil courts.
  • Whistleblowing & Victimisation: Littleton has been highly influential in the development of the law protecting those who have made protected disclosures and protected acts from victimisation.
    John Bowers QC and Jeremy Lewis wrote "Whistleblowing: The New Law” (OUP: Bowers, Lewis and Mitchell) when the Public Interest Disclosure Act came into force; now John Bowers QC, Martin Fodder, Jeremy Lewis co-author (with Jack Mitchell) "Whistleblowing, Law and Practice" (now in its third, 2017, edition), a leading text which is cited in many of significant CA and EAT authorities. A cumulative updater is available by clicking here
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