Robin’s practice encompasses all aspects of employment law. Originally trained as a scientist, and a former manager in the transport sector before coming to the bar, she brings a practical eye to employment matters. Robin has particular expertise in matters with a technical or scientific content, complex factual and legal issues, or containing difficult issues of remedy, including pension rights.
Robin acts for employers and employees in all areas of employment law including discrimination of all types, dismissal, whistleblowing, TUPE and contractual claims including restraint of trade disputes. Robin acts for a wide range of employers from small firms to public bodies and multi-national corporations such as pharmaceutical companies. Claimant clients range from union-sponsored production line workers to senior managers and company directors.
Robin has substantial experience of lengthy, complex and high-value employment claims.
Since her own gender transition in 2011, she has advised extensively on transgender matters and acted in a number of transgender cases for both employers and employees. She writes and lectures regularly on the subject and in September 2020 was named ‘Barrister of the Week’ by The Lawyer Magazine for her work on the Taylor v Jaguar Land Rover case.
In May 2021, Robin published (jointly with Nicola Newbegin of Old Square Chambers) ‘A Practical Guide to Transgender Law’ available to purchase here. Robin is also a contributor to Discrimination Law.
Examples of recent cases include
- Taylor v Jaguar Land Rover. (Birmingham Employment Tribunal) Landmark case establishing that gender-fluid and non-binary individuals protected by the Equality Act.
- O’Donnell v Times Newspapers. (Edinburgh Employment Tribunal) Case alleging gender reassignment discrimination by senior management of The Times held over 5 weeks.
- Cullen v ConMed. Defence of case alleging whistleblowing dismissal against medical device manufacture.
- A v Telford NHS Trust. Defence of case in county court alleging gender reassignment discrimination, breach of Gender Recognition Act and data breach. Judge found that exceptions to GRA liability applied to medical practitioners’ support staff.
- B’Bwona v Family Housing. A 55-day race case (held over 3 years) in which, after a successful defence of the case, costs of over £100,000 were awarded against (and recovered from) the Claimant.
Other notable cases include:
- Foley v The Post Office/Bedell v West Ferry Printers — the test for unfair dismissal.
- Beavan v Cabinet Office UKEAT/0262/13 — entitlement of civil servants to pay progression.
- J v HMG — the first successful case brought against the intelligence services by a civil servant.
- Bentwood v Shepherd — discounts for accelerated receipt of compensation in the employment tribunals.
- Zimmer v Brezan, UKEAT/0294/08. Automatic unfair dismissal.
- A v XY. Defence of a claim for victimisation on the ground of sexual harassment in the Northern Ireland Tribunal. 6-figure quantum, 4 week hearing, 30 witnesses.
- Symes v Eaton-Williams. Claim for disability discrimination on behalf of a partially-sighted production line worker. Expert medical/employment consultant evidence. Award over £200,000, lifetime loss from age 40 accepted by ET.
- Spencer v Prime Time. Two EAT hearings for Claimant in a pre s4A sexual harassment claim where female specific objectionable e-mail circulated to mixed-sex work group. Issue: was this gender-specific discrimination? Held: yes it was.
Robin was from 2000 until 2008 a contributor to Sweet & Maxwells looseleaf publication on TUPE and often contributes articles to the legal press and provides in-house lectures, often with an emphasis on remedy.