Laith has an employment practice which covers all aspects of the Employment Tribunal and Employment Appeal Tribunal jurisdiction as well as employment and discrimination claims in the High Court and County Courts. Laith mainly represents employers, but he also acts for and advises employees and trade unions.
Laith is experienced in dealing with discrimination cases, whistleblowing cases and TUPE issues, among other areas. He is also experienced in dealing with unfair dismissal claims in the employment tribunals and wrongful dismissal claims in the High Court, County Courts and Employment Tribunals.
Laith has considerable experience of employment law in the healthcare sector, especially representing NHS trusts: in particular, he has experience of aspects of employment litigation unique to NHS trusts, such as Treasury/NHS Improvement approval and doctors’ banding disputes. He is familiar with doctors’ disciplinary cases, and represents NHS trusts in MHPS hearings and in High Court injunctive relief proceedings.
Laith frequently represents clients in the education sector. Laith acts for and/or advises educational institutions (including universities, independent schools and academy trusts) and educational professionals (including teachers, school leaders and academics). Laith’s expertise in the field of education law often proves useful when dealing with employment cases in the education sector: his knowledge of special educational needs provision, safeguarding procedures, examination administration, professional regulation of teachers, and internal disciplinary proceedings in educational institutions has been of help in various cases.
Also, Laith is often instructed by police forces, local authorities and other employers in the public sector, the financial services sector and the retail, consumer brands and leisure sector, among other sectors. Laith has represented the Metropolitan Police, London borough councils, Barclays Bank, Tesco, Asda, Harrods and Hilton among others.
Examples of Laith’s work include:
- Successfully defended an NHS trust in a High Court trial where an employee consultant had claimed breach of contract and was seeking injunctive relief (Al-Obaidi v Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust  I.R.L.R. 1065;  EWHC 2357 (QB), led by Mark Sutton KC).
- Successfully represented an NHS trust in a five-day race discrimination, harassment and victimisation claim brought against it by a current employee;
- Successfully represented a claimant in claims involving TUPE and redundancy brought against two respondents, one of which was insolvent;
- Successfully resisted a specific disclosure application in the High Court. Laith acted on behalf of two employers resisting six-figure claims of unlawful deductions from wages brought by several former employees. Laith also amended the defences of the employers (acting as junior to Melanie Tether);
- Successfully acted on behalf of the Secretary of State for Health at the EAT in resistance to an appeal against an order striking out the Claimant’s claim following payment of a deposit order out of time;
- Successfully defended an NHS trust against claims of whistleblowing dismissal and detriment. Laith successfully applied for costs to be awarded to the Respondent by reason of the Claimant’s unreasonable conduct.
Discrimination outside the employment context
Laith is often instructed in discrimination cases outside the employment context. Laith appears in education discrimination cases involving universities and schools in the County Court, and acts in education discrimination cases involving schools in the First-Tier Tribunal and in the Upper Tribunal. Laith acts in discrimination cases involving service providers and associations in the County Court. Laith has also advised on judicial reviews involving discrimination arguments, including arguments relating to the Public Sector Equality Duty. Laith has particular expertise in disability discrimination, and gives talks on this topic.
Examples of Laith’s work include:
- Successfully represented a chain of independent schools in a four-day disability discrimination claim brought against them in the First-Tier Tribunal (Special Educational Needs and Disability) by a former pupil, and successfully resisted both the claimant’s appeal against the judgment at the Upper Tribunal and the claimant’s application to the Court of Appeal for permission to appeal (ND v the Responsible Body for Cognita Schools (Upper Tribunal: HS/3340/2017; Court of Appeal: C3/2019/1637);
- Successfully defended a service provider and association against a disability discrimination claim and religion or belief discrimination claim in the County Court. The religion or belief discrimination claim related to the Defendant Youth Hostel Association’s alleged failure to provide kosher food to guests;
- Obtained court approval of a settlement for a school pupil with afro hair in a race discrimination claim against her secondary school in the County Court. The case received nationwide press attention;
- Successfully defended a disabled PhD student from strike out and/or summary judgment of her County Court claim for disability discrimination and breach of contract against her university. Laith was unled against a silk. The case later settled;
- Represented a disabled medical student who had been deregistered by his university. Laith advised the student in County Court proceedings (disability discrimination and breach of contract) and represented the student in internal appeal proceedings against the university. A favourable settlement was achieved; the student returned to his course and has now qualified as a doctor;
- Acted for a young person with an EHC Plan in contemplated judicial review proceedings against his local authority for failure to provide transport to and from the educational placement named in his EHC Plan. The case involved arguments under the Equality Act 2010, including arguments relating to the Public Sector Equality Duty. On receipt of the letter before action, the local authority agreed to provide transport.