Mark Sutton KC has extensive experience of the full range contentious employment proceedings.
In recent years, he has represented both claimants and employers in high-value tribunal proceedings in connection with City bonus claims and share option entitlements. Mark was instructed on behalf of a major financial services institution in the successful defence of a multi-million pound race discrimination claim arising out of the dismissal of a senior employee.
Mark has a particular interest in whistleblowing claims and employment disputes involving professional employees.
Alongside his appearances in the employment tribunal and appeal tribunal, Mark has significant experience of High Court employment practice. He is routinely instructed to advise on the availability of interim remedies and has successfully represented both claimants and defendants in a number of significant reported cases:
- Smo v Hywel DDA University Health Board  EWHC 727 (QB) High Court considers procedures for addressing conduct and capability proceedings under policy: Upholding Professional Standards in Wales. Mark Sutton KC leading Betsan Criddle KC for successful claimant;
- Royal Mencap Society v Tomlinson-Blake; Shannon v Rampersad t/a Clifton House Residential Care Home  I.C.R. 241. Court of Appeal consider entitlement of carers to receive national minimum during sleeping-in shifts. Mark Sutton KC for successful respondent in the conjoined appeal of Shannon;
- Agarwal v Cardiff University  I.C.R. 433. Court of Appeal considers whether an ET can construe the employment contract when deciding what amount of wages was properly payable in a Wages Act claim brought under Part II of the Employment Rights Act 1996. Mark Sutton KC, leading Eleena Misra, appeared for the successful appellant in the lead appeal;
- North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust v Gregg  EWCA Civ 387. Court of Appeal hands down important guidance on the conduct of concurrent employment based and criminal investigation processes; the power to dismiss for failure to maintain professional registration during a period of MPTS interim suspension and the right to withhold pay during such periods. Mark Sutton KC, leading Nadia Motraghi, appeared for the successful appellant;
- Jain v Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust  EWHC 3016 (QB). High Court refuses to grant injunction restraining Trust from proceeding with internal process addressing breakdown in working relationships. Swift J. provides important guidance on the proper application of MHPS to complaints of this character and the extent to which reference can be made to the output of an internal mediation process. Mark Sutton KC, leading Louise Chudleigh, appeared for the successful Trust;
- Dahou v Serco Ltd  EWCA Civ 832. Court of Appeal. Mark Sutton KC successfully challenges finding of the ET in relation to (1) detriment for a reason relating to Trade Union membership activities or services contrary to section 146(1) of the Trade Union & Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992; and (2) automatically unfair dismissal on the footing that the principal reason for the dismissal was the appellant’s trade union activities: section 152 of the 1992 Act;
- West London Mental Health Trust v Chhabra (Supreme Court)  ICR 194. Availability of an injunction to restrain the categorisation of disciplinary complaints as “gross misconduct”. Guidance on the proper interpretation of MHPS procedures;
- Langford v Department of Health Employment Tribunal (London Central). Mark Sutton KC for the Secretary of State, leading Christopher Edwards. Successfully defended remedy proceedings brought by former Chief executive officer following a dismissal for alleged mismanagement of the Trust’s finances and other breaches of his duties as accountable officer. Nil compensation ordered;
- Dahou v Serco Limited  Employment Tribunal London Central. Mark Sutton KC for Serco. Multi-day hearing into complaint of alleged victimisation and detrimental treatment on grounds of trade union activity. Permission granted for appeal to the Employment Appeal Tribunal (for hearing in 2014);
- Matthews v Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust  EWHC 753 (QB) Globe J. Whether a breach of contract for disciplinary panel to take account of a “spent” disciplinary warning in the determination of sanction in conduct proceedings against a consultant surgeon. Mark Sutton KC for the successful Trust;
- Palmer v East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust  Age discrimination: Mark Sutton KC successfully representing consultant surgeon in complaint of unlawful age discrimination. Substantial compensation awarded;
- Kerslake v North West London Hospitals NHS Trust  Med LR 568. Whether Trust could proceed to a dismissal hearing on the grounds of an irretrievable breakdown in working relationships: whether SOSR dismissal hearing can be pursued outside disciplinary procedures. (Mark Sutton KC for the successful Trust leading Betsan Criddle KC);
- Lim v Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust (High Court) (2011) 122 BMLR 43,  EWHC 2178 (QB) Mark Sutton KC (leading Betsan Criddle KC) represented the claimant in a successful application for declaratory and injunctive relief requiring an NHS Trust to refer a clinician’s case to the National Clinical Assessment Service as a condition precedent to proceeding with an internal capability hearing;
- Hussain v Surrey and Sussex Heathcare NHS Trust  EWHC 1670 (QB) Mark Sutton KC (leading Ben Cooper KC) representing NHS Trust. Trust successful in resisting an application for injunctive relief preventing it from proceeding with a conduct hearing, in circumstances where a clinician’s practice was also the subject of capability concerns;
- Edwards v Chesterfield Royal Hospital NHS Foundation Trust  2 WLR 55 Supreme Court. Mark Sutton KC representing the successful Trust in a landmark appeal before a seven Justices Court, overturning the unanimous ruling of the Court of Appeal. Judgment addresses the extent to which damages (beyond contractual notice) are claimable for breach of a contractually incorporated disciplinary procedure;
- McGregor v Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Local Health Board  High Court. Mark Sutton KC successfully representing claimant professor of plastic surgery. Case concerned the proper construction of contractual leave entitlements provided for under nationally negotiated terms of employment for medical staff in Wales;
- Puri v Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust  IRLR 582  Administrative Court. Mark Sutton KC representing the successful defendant Trust (with John Bowers KC) in a judicial review application in which the claimant sought an injunction restraining the Trust from proceeding with a disciplinary hearing on the ground of non-compliance with Human Rights Convention requirements;
- Speight v County Durham & Darlington NHS Trust  Employment Tribunal Newcastle. Reported: EqLR 403 ET. Mark Sutton KC representing Trust in successful defence of an age discrimination complaint brought by hospital consultant in connection with refusal of post-retirement employment;
- Chagger v Abbey National  ICR 624 (Court of Appeal). Mark Sutton KC representing Abbey National (with Christopher Jeans KC) Guidance on the availability of stigma damages and calculation of future loss of earnings in race discrimination complaints;
- Chauhan v General Medical Council  High Court (leading Andrea Chute). Six-day appeal before the High Court, overturning key findings of a Fitness to Practise Panel. Case remitted to the GMC for rehearing. Important guidance on the approach to be adopted by a disciplinary panel in determining the proper scope of allegations of dishonesty in regulatory proceedings. Mark Sutton KC representing successful doctor;
- Qasim v The Central Manchester Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust  [High Court]. Mark Sutton KC successfully representing the defendant Trust in resisting application for mandatory injunction requiring it to lift the claimant clinician’s exclusion from work. Reported: 2009 AllER (D) 39/ 2009 53 Sol Jo. (No.34);
- Annis v Eclipse Energy Company Limited [High Court: June 2007]. Mark Sutton KC successfully representing defendant company in resisting a claim for wrongful dismissal and establishing breach of fiduciary duties on the part of a finance director of an oil and gas exploration company;
- Ahmed and others v Secretary of State for Health . Multi-week hearing concerning allegations of nationality discrimination in relation to the government’s scheme for the higher specialist medical training of overseas doctors. Mark Sutton KC (leading G. Mahmood) for the doctors;
- Kircher v Hillingdon PCT [medical law report] injunction restraining dismissal. Post termination injunction granted by the High Court, restraining the employer from acting on a purported dismissal pending compliance with a contractually incorporated disciplinary procedure. Mark Sutton KC (with John Hendy KC) representing doctor claimant;
- Darnton v University of Surrey  IRLR 133 EAT. Mark Sutton KC representing university in successfully resisting claimant’s appeal to the Employment Appeal Tribunal. Important guidance provided on the requirement of “reasonable belief” in whistleblowing claims brought under Part IVA of the Employment Rights Act 1996.