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News


09/02/16

Drugs gang jailed for ‘flooding’ Grantham with heroin and cocaine.

Members of an organised crime gang who “flooded” a town with large quantities of cocaine and heroin have been jailed. Matthew Lowe and Jonathan Cox prosecuted.

To read more please click here.

01/02/16

After a three week trial, John Lloyd–Jones QC and Mary Loram successfully prosecute Northants Detective Constable for beating his wife to death.

Please click on the links below to read more: 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-northamptonshire-35461145

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3423110/Decorated-police-officer-beat-wife-death-large-battery-paint-pot-went-sex.html

11/01/16

Hannah Markham appointed Silk.

Chambers is delighted to announce that Hannah Markham has been appointed a QC. This is much deserved recognition of her widely praised excellence in the field of Children Law. The formal ceremony will be on 22nd February 2016.

11/01/16

Piers von Berg succeeds in the Employment Appeal Tribunal.

Piers appeared for the Appellant Claimant in Ramphal v Department of Transport [2015] IRLR 985, [2015] ICR D23. The Tribunal had found that Mr Ramphal was not unfairly dismissed. The EAT overturned this judgment. The key issue was the nature of Human Resources involvement in the disciplinary process. The main point to take away is that Human Resources’ intervention in disciplinary processes must be limited to advice on law and procedure. It cannot stray into issues of culpability and sanction. 

The case is notable because it is the first application of the Supreme Court authority of Chhabra v West London Mental Health Trust [2013] UKSC 80 to an unfair dismissal case. It has since been commented on in several law journals and industry newsletters.

The facts: Mr Ramphal was entitled to claim for work–related expenses. His employer accused of him of claiming expenses for illegitimate purposes. The Disciplining Officer found the misuse was not deliberate and recommended a final warning. But Human Resources then met with the Officer and advised him on matters such as Mr Ramphal’s culpability and credibility. The Officer’s finding then changed to one of premeditated misuse and a recommendation of summary dismissal. However, he had one final meeting with Mr Ramphal. At this meeting he was presented with further evidence and arguments on Mr Ramphal’s behalf. In light of these, he reverted to his original finding of negligence and recommendation for a warning. Human Resources then met with the Officer again. Subsequently, the Officer’s report was revised again removing all favourable findings for Mr Ramphal and recommending summary dismissal.

The decisions: The Tribunal found that the Officer had not been improperly influenced. The Claimant appealed. He argued that the Tribunal had not applied the principle in Chhabra to the actions of Human Resources. The EAT agreed. It overturned the judgment and remitted it for rehearing.

The principles: In Chhabra, Lord Hodge, giving the only judgment, said it was not illegitimate for an employer through its Human Resources officer to assist on the presentation of an investigatory report to ensure it addressed all relevant matters and achieve clarity. But where that intervention was to strengthen criticism of an employee, that breached an implied contractual right of fairness. The Respondent in this case argued that this was not applicable to unfair dismissal cases. The EAT, in rejecting that submission, held that Human Resources’ advice should be limited to matters of law and procedure.

A helpful passage from the summary is: ‘A Claimant facing disciplinary charges and a dismissal procedure is entitled to expect that the decision will be taken by the appropriate officer, without having been lobbied by other parties as to the findings he should make as to culpability, and that he should be given notice of any changes in the case he has to meet so he can deal with them’.

Application to practice: The questions to ask where it is suspected Human Resources have improperly intervened are – i) what is the evidence of the advice that was given, ii) did that advice stray into issues of culpability, credibility, findings and/or sanction, iii) was the employee made aware of any such advice, and if so, did he have an opportunity to meet it, and, iv) what was the material effect on the decision to dismiss?

Other issues: It is important to get full disclosure of notes and emails relating to internal meetings between Human Resources and the investigating and disciplining staff. It is also vital to be aware of the context – are there applicable contractual or policy commitments, or undertakings, as in Chhabra, that can be relied on?

Piers was instructed by H Batra Law.

08/01/16

Rebecca Herbert appointed as Chair of the Police Appeals Tribunal.

36 Bedford Row are very pleased to announce Rebecca Herbert’s appointment as Chair of the Police Appeals Tribunal with effect from 2nd December 2015.

21/12/15

Chambers congratulate Rebecca Herbert, Mary Loram, Catarina Sjolin and Olivia Magennis who have been appointed Recorders of the Crown Court.

They will start sitting in the New Year. It is a terrific achievement for Chambers to have three of its pre–eminent women barristers elevated at the same time.

Recent News

Drugs gang jailed for ‘flooding’ Grantham with heroin and cocaine.
Read more

After a three week trial, John Lloyd–Jones QC and Mary Loram successfully prosecute Northants Detective Constable for beating his wife to death.
Read more

Hannah Markham appointed Silk.
Read more

Piers von Berg succeeds in the Employment Appeal Tribunal.
Read more

Rebecca Herbert appointed as Chair of the Police Appeals Tribunal.
Read more

Chambers congratulate Rebecca Herbert, Mary Loram, Catarina Sjolin and Olivia Magennis who have been appointed Recorders of the Crown Court.
Read more