Betsan is a specialist in employment law. Her expertise is recognised by her ranking as a leading junior by Chambers and Partners, Legal 500 and Who’s Who Legal. She is described as having a “formidable court room presence” and as being “tenacious, sharp and very user-friendly”. Experienced at the full range of employment and regulatory disputes, she has appeared in some of the cutting edge cases of recent years. Her clients include banks, niche recruitment consultancies, leading public schools, household name transport businesses, NHS Trusts, trades unions, senior employees and the leading medico-legal defence organisations.
Betsan is particularly well regarded for the breadth and depth of her experience in medico-legal work. She is an acknowledged market leader in High Court contractual disputes over doctors’ disciplinary procedures and she regularly called upon to advise in the handling of complex disciplinary proceedings, particularly where there is a regulatory cross-over.
Betsan also has a thriving practice in primarily employment based commercial work, where she advises and represents clients in a wide range of disputes, including restrictive covenant cases, issues relating to termination of Board level employment and high value redundancy and negligent reference claims.
Notable cases include:
High Court disputes
- Advising in various disputes between consultants and NHS Trusts including alleged whistleblowing disputes
- Acting for private sector consultant seeking career losses for withdrawal of practising privileges: whether consultant handbook is a contract.
- Smo v Hywel Dda University Health Board  EWHC 727 (QB) (led by Mark Sutton QC at trial). First High Court dispute concerning the Welsh consultant contract. Successfully obtained permanent injunction to prevent Board from proceeding with working relationships investigation as side-stepping the contractual disciplinary process.
- Chhabra v West London Mental Health NHS Trust  ICR 194. Successfully represented doctor in leading Supreme Court case establishing that an employment contract includes an implied contractual right to a fair disciplinary process and that an injunction may be granted to restrain an employer from charging an employee with gross misconduct where this is unwarranted by the findings of a disciplinary investigation.
- Kerslake v North West London Hospitals NHS Trust  Med LR 568. Successfully represented Trust in significant case determining that dismissal of a consultant outside the MHPS disciplinary scheme is permissible where there is a breakdown of trust and confidence.
- Lim v Royal Wolverhampton Hospitals NHS Trust  Med LR 146. Successfully represented doctor in important case establishing that an NHS Trust may not dismiss a doctor by reason of capability without first referring the case to NCAS (now PPA) for assessment and consideration of an action plan.
Employment Tribunal disputes
- Acting for NHSI in high-profile religious discrimination dispute over removal of Non-Executive Director from office in connection with remarks about same-sex adoptions
- Successfully defended local authority in multi-million pound discrimination claim involving serious allegations of criminal wrongdoing.
- Successfully defended trade union in complex complaint to Certification Officer.
- Town v Chief Constable of Devon and Cornwall Police UKEAT/0194/19/LA. Successfully defended ET’s decision that compulsory transfer of pregnant officer from front line duties amounted to pregnancy discrimination.
- Uddin v London Borough of Ealing  IRLR 332. First appellate case to consider the implications of Jhuti v Royal Mail in determining whether a dismissal is fair.
- Coletta v Bath Hill Court (Bournemouth) Management Co Ltd  ICR 703 (leading Ben Jones). Acting pro bono in the Court of Appeal, successfully establishing that there is no backstop on the recovery of compensation for a series of deductions from wages.
- McNeil v Commissioners for Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs  ICR 515 (led by Ben Cooper QC). Acting for the appellants in the first equal pay case to consider the approach to establishing “particular disadvantage” where pay is variable.
- Galilee v Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis  ICR 634. Key decision on applications to amend in the ET: established that amendment takes effect from date of permission and that permission to amend can be granted subject to the time point being decided at full hearing. Significant authority in discrimination cases involving disputes over “continuing act”.
- Vining v London Borough of Wandsworth  ICR 499. Important Court of Appeal decision recognising the right to consultation as a core aspect of Article 11 ECHR. Successfully represented UNISON and the individual appellants, establishing that the statutory exclusion of parks police from the scope of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992 is an unjustified interference with Article 11 rights.
- Edwards v Encirc Ltd  IRLR 528. Whether time spent by an employee on trade union duties is “working time” for the purposes of the Working Time Regulations 1998. Implications of case required specific guidance on whether trade union work meant that an employee could not be furloughed.