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Mohinderpal Sethi QC

Mohinderpal Sethi QC

Silk: 2019 | Call: 1996

Queen's Counsel

"He is incredibly hard-working, he is frighteningly clever, his advocacy is beguilingly simple and judges love him." "He is very good with clients and is very technical but presents everything in a very user-friendly way. He is incredibly sympathetic with witnesses, whom he prepares excellently."

Chambers & Partners 2022

"Very highly rated by instructing solicitors." "He has an incisive mind: he simplifies problems and explains them clearly. Clients love him for it."

Chambers & Partners 2022

"A hard-working and energetic advocate, who is able to deal with claims ranging from discrimination and restrictive covenants to complex jurisdictional points with a punchy and clear advocacy style. Great client care skills and easy to work with."

Legal 500 2022

“He frequently acts for some of the biggest clients in the financial services industry. He is particularly knowledgeable about restrictive covenants and specialises in complex international business protection litigation in the context of restraint of trade and team moves.”

Chambers & Partners 2020

“Equally charming and ferocious, he is impressive on his feet. A fearless advocate but one with court instincts.”

Legal 500 UK and Middle East 2020

“An excellent choice, particularly if you want someone who is strong on tactics and strategy."

Chambers & Partners 2020

“A significant player who is prominent in the DIFC courts. He is fantastic. If you have knotty DIFC matters, he is the go-to.”

Chambers & Partners Global 2020

“Stands out for his top-tier work in commercial, employment, equality and partnership disputes. A very skilled and persuasive barrister.”

Who’s Who Legal 2019

Mohinderpal Sethi QC

"He is incredibly hard-working, he is frighteningly clever, his advocacy is beguilingly simple and judges love him." "He is very good with clients and is very technical but presents everything in a very user-friendly way. He is incredibly sympathetic with witnesses, whom he prepares excellently."

Chambers & Partners 2022

"Very highly rated by instructing solicitors." "He has an incisive mind: he simplifies problems and explains them clearly. Clients love him for it."

Chambers & Partners 2022

"A hard-working and energetic advocate, who is able to deal with claims ranging from discrimination and restrictive covenants to complex jurisdictional points with a punchy and clear advocacy style. Great client care skills and easy to work with."

Legal 500 2022

“He frequently acts for some of the biggest clients in the financial services industry. He is particularly knowledgeable about restrictive covenants and specialises in complex international business protection litigation in the context of restraint of trade and team moves.”

Chambers & Partners 2020

“Equally charming and ferocious, he is impressive on his feet. A fearless advocate but one with court instincts.”

Legal 500 UK and Middle East 2020

“An excellent choice, particularly if you want someone who is strong on tactics and strategy."

Chambers & Partners 2020

“A significant player who is prominent in the DIFC courts. He is fantastic. If you have knotty DIFC matters, he is the go-to.”

Chambers & Partners Global 2020

“Stands out for his top-tier work in commercial, employment, equality and partnership disputes. A very skilled and persuasive barrister.”

Who’s Who Legal 2019

Contact

Mohinderpal Sethi QC MA (Oxon) is Co-Head of the Employment Team and Chair of the Employment Law Bar Association.

His expertise spans the full range of commercial, employment, discrimination, partnership and sports disputes in the High Court, employment tribunals and on appeal up to and including the Supreme Court. He is ranked as a Tier 1 Commercial Silk by Legal 500 EMEA 2021 for his offshore work in the DIFC and ADGM Courts. He is highly ranked in his areas of practice by both Chambers & Partners, Legal 500 and Who’s Who Legal.

Before taking silk, Mohinderpal was shortlisted for Employment Junior of the Year at the Chambers UK Bar Awards. He was consistently ranked in Band 1 (the top 10 leading juniors in the country) by the main legal directories. Exceptionally, he was appointed by the Attorney-General ‘directly’ to the top A Panel of Junior Counsel to the Crown to undertake the highest profile Government work.

He has over 25 years’ experience of acting for a wide spectrum of clients ranging from multinational corporations, international banks and foreign governments to high profile public figures, ultra-high net worth individuals, boardroom executives, gig-economy workers and pro bono clients in often high value, market sensitive or politically charged matters.

Work highlights include the following reported cases:

  • Landmark diplomatic immunity appeal victory: Acted for a senior foreign diplomat in the first ever leapfrog appeal from the EAT directly to the Supreme Court (Basfar v Wong [2020] ICR 1185, [2020] IRLR 248). Awaiting Supreme Court judgment.
  • Landmark pro bono appeal victory for working mothers: leading case on indirect sex discrimination arising from ‘the childcare disparity’ suffered by working mothers (Dobson v North Cumbria Integrated NHS Foundation Trust [2021] IRLR 729).
  • Leading case on identity of employer: offshore partnership dispute (Clark v Harney Westwood & Riegels [2021] IRLR 528).
  • High profile sports investigation: appointed by British Gymnastics to conduct independent investigation into high profile complaints brought by Olympians [2021].
  • Brexit, State Immunity and Discrimination Law: First case to consider whether a claimant can rely on the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights despite provisions of the EU (Withdrawal) Act 2018 which confirms the Charter is no longer part of UK law since the end of the UK-EU transition period (Fenniche v Kuwait Health Office [2021]).
  • Business protection injunction and speedy trial: Represented Quilter in multi-week High Court trial involving breaches of fidelity, misuse of confidential information and restrictive covenants (Quilter Private Client Advisers Ltd v Falconer [2020] EWHC 3294 QB).
  • Committal for contempt: successfully obtained permission to bring committal proceedings against former CEO for making false statements and breaching an injunction order (Advetec Holdings Ltd v Shaw [2020] EWHC 2660 QB).
  • Gig economy test cases: acted for CitySprint in 5 worker status test cases concerning cycle couriers (O’Eachtiarna ors v CitySprint (UK) Ltd [2020]).
  • Ground-breaking offshore business protection injunction: Appeared in the first ever restrictive covenant and confidentiality injunction in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) Courts (ED&F Man Capital Markets MENA Ltd & anor v Hussain, RJ O’Brien MENA Capital Ltd & anor).
  • Leading case on apparent bias: race discrimination, victimisation and unjustifiable union discipline (Bhardwaj v FDA [2016] IRLR 789 Court of Appeal).
  • Diplomatic immunity and modern slavery: International Law, Human Rights and EU Law (Al-Malki v Reyes [2014] ICR 135, [2013] IRLR 929).
  • Landmark pro bono dual indirect discrimination appeal victory: first ever case of indirect discrimination arising from combined protected characteristics (MOD v DeBique [2010] IRLR 471). Front page headline of the Daily Mail, 13 April 2010.
  • Leading case on discrimination compensation: leading authority on causation and foreseeability of loss in discrimination cases (Essa v Laing Ltd [2004] ICR 746, [2003] IRLR 346 Court of Appeal).
  • High profile race discrimination case: successfully acted in series of race discrimination claims brought by highly ranked police officers against the Metropolitan Police Commissioner (eg, Virdi v Comr of Police [2007] IRLR 24).

What others say about him:

High Court business protection and injunctions:

  • “Frequently acts for some of the biggest clients in the financial services industry. He is particularly knowledgeable about restrictive covenants and specialises in complex international business protection litigation in the context of restraint of trade and team moves. (Chambers & Partners 2022)
  • Very hands-on, very tactical and a strategic team player. An advocate with stacks of experience of handling High Court injunctions, he knows what the objectives are in a case and how to get there.” (Chambers & Partners 2021)

High profile employment disputes:

  • “A hugely impressive barrister. Outstanding at every turn.” (Chambers & Partners)
  • “A talented barrister who often appears as lead counsel in high-profile employment disputes, particularly those involving clients in the financial services. Sources applaud his clever and insightful handling of complex whistleblowing matters. He is clear-sighted on discrimination issues and clients note his clear understanding of trade union matters.” (Chambers & Partners)
  • “Stands out for his top-tier work in commercial, employment, equality and partnership disputes.” (Who’s Who Legal 2019)

Partnership and LLP disputes:

  • He provides substantial experience in partnership disputes arising from team moves, discrimination claims and whistle-blowing. He is also notable for his experience in the enforcement of restrictive covenants, representing both firms and individuals. He is very highly rated by partnership solicitors. He has an incisive legal mind: he simplifies problems and explains them clearly. Partnership clients love him for it. (Chambers & Partners 2022)
  • Acted in cross-border partnership litigation, defending claims in the UK brought by a senior partner under Cayman Islands partnership law against the global equity partners of an offshore magic circle firm. (Chambers & Partners 2022)

International and Offshore (including DIFC and ADGM):

  • “A go-to employment barrister – he exudes confidence and is extremely knowledgeable. His workload has included a number of highly sensitive cases concerning the DIFC and ADGM’s most prestigious financial and professional services firms.(Tier 1 Commercial Silk, Legal 500 EMEA 2021)
  • “He is increasingly well known in the UAE market for his regular engagements on DIFC employment cases. Commentators note his expertise in restrictive covenant work, further mentioning that he’s fantastic with clients and he’s able to explain things to them in an easy manner.” (Chambers & Partners Global 2021)
  • He represented a senior energy broker in ED&F Man Capital Markets v Hussain & RJ O’Brien MENA Capital, the first restrictive covenant injunction case in the DIFC.(Legal 500 EMEA 2020)
  • He is a significant player when it comes to litigious employment issues in the UAE. He is prominent in the DIFC courts, and sources speak highly of their experiences working with him, with one mentioning: ‘He is fantastic. If people have knotty DIFC matters he is the go-to’. One commentator enthused that ‘he is excellent, very well prepared and a very effective advocate.'” (Chambers & Partners Global 2020)

Outstanding trial and appellate advocacy:

  • “His advocacy is beguilingly simple and judges love him. (Chambers & Partners 2022)
  • “A punchy and clear advocacy style. (Legal 500 2022)
  • “He’s an absolutely fantastic advocate.” (Chambers & Partners 2021)
  • “A strong advocate and it’s clear the judges respond well to him.” (Legal 500 2021)
  • Equally charming and ferocious, he is impressive on his feet. (Legal 500 EMEA 2020)
  • “A very skilled and persuasive barrister. (Who’s Who Legal 2019)

Technical excellence:

  • “Frighteningly clever. Very highly rated by instructing solicitors. He has an incisive mind: he simplifies problems and explains them clearly. Clients love him for it.” (Chambers & Partners 2022)
  • “Terrifically bright. (Chambers & Partners 2021)

Strategic, tactical and commercial acumen:

  • “Very hands-on, very tactical and a strategic team player.” (Chambers & Partners 2021)
  • An excellent choice, particularly if you want someone who is strong on tactics and strategy.” (Chambers & Partners 2020)

A real team player:

  • He is very good with clients and is very technical but presents everything in a very user-friendly way. He is incredibly sympathetic with witnesses, whom he prepares excellently.” (Chambers & Partners 2022)
  • “Great team player – engenders a team approach with solicitors and clients, excellent communicator, strong advocate and it’s clear the judges respond well to him. Very strategic and technically excellent. My go to for key clients as I know they will get excellent client service and feel well looked after.” (Legal 500 2021)
  • “Has the ability to gain the trust and confidence of his clients; has an authoritative manner and focuses on the detail.” (Legal 500 2021)
  • “He’s just fantastic with clients.” (Chambers & Partners Global 2021)
  • “Very personable.” (Chambers & Partners 2021)

Injunctions

Commercial Dispute Resolution

Employment

Equality & Human Rights

Partnership & LLP

Sports

Investigations

Regulatory & Professional Discipline

International & Offshore

Awards, Publications & Appointments

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