Barrister Susan Belgrave

Susan Belgrave

Year of call: 1989  

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“Outstanding barrister with a profound understanding of the law and procedures.”

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Overview


Susan has years of experience in the employment tribunals and higher courts. She has appeared in a number of high profile discrimination claims and is sought out by claimants and employers alike in this difficult area.

Susan spent her early years of practice in Brussels where she completed a Masters in European Law before returning to London and starting in private practice at the Bar. Her practice covers the full spectrum of employment law from unfair dismissal and redundancy through discrimination, whistleblowing, TUPE and trade union rights.

Susan is regularly instructed by public authorities, schools and private sector organisations. She has been instructed by the Equality and Human Rights Commission on matters for claimants including advising on a claim where two young Black sportsmen sued a major sporting body; this was successfully resolved through mediation.

Susan regularly holds seminars with other members of chambers for local authorities and private solicitors on employment law topics. For several years she presented a seminar on ‘Handling Race Discrimination Claims’ to UNISON regional officers across the country [Glasgow, Midlands, London and South East region].

Susan is recommended as a leading employment barrister in the Legal 500 and is the co-editor and contributor to ‘Remedies in Employment Law’ published by the Law Society in December 2013.

Employment

Employment


Susan has years of experience in the employment tribunals and higher courts. She has appeared in a number of high profile discrimination claims and is sought out by Claimants and Employers alike in this difficult area.

Susan spent her early years of practice in Brussels where she completed a Masters in European Law before returning to London and starting in private practice at the Bar. Her practice covers the full spectrum of employment law from unfair dismissal and redundancy through discrimination, whistleblowing, TUPE and trade union rights.

Susan is regularly instructed by public authorities, schools and private sector organisations. She has been instructed by the Equality and Human Rights Commission on matters for claimants including advising on a claim where two young Black sportsmen sued a major sporting body; this was successfully resolved through mediation.

Susan regularly holds seminars with other members of chambers for local authorities and private solicitors on employment law topics. For several years she presented a seminar on ‘Handling Race Discrimination Claims’ to UNISON regional officers across the country [Glasgow, Midlands, London and South East region].

Susan is recommended as a leading employment barrister in the Legal 500 and is the co-editor and contributor to ‘Remedies in Employment Law’ published by the Law Society in December 2013.

Memberships


  • Employment Law Bar Association
  • Employment Lawyers Association
  • Discrimination Law Association
  • Industrial Law Society

Susan has been a member of the editorial board of the monthly ELA Briefing since 2001 and is a regular contributor to this publication.

Susan was a member of ELA working parties on the Dispute Resolution regulations and the Discrimination Law Review, and has assisted in drafting submissions and giving a presentation to the DTI 2007. She was co-chair of a working party for ELA’s response to government consultation on public sector equality duty. She has been involved in working party preparing submissions on caste discrimination.

Equality & Discrimination Whistleblowing & Victimisation

Equality & Discrimination


Susan has particular expertise in discrimination claims which constitutes the majority of her caseload across all protected characteristics. Susan has written extensively in this area and wrote the chapter on remedies for discrimination in the Law Society 2013 publication ‘Remedies in Employment Law’ of which she was co-editor.

She is often sought out by Claimants wishing to bring cases against large and high profile organisations e.g. she has advised a former Head of Casework for ECHR in his claim for race discrimination and a former senior solicitor who brought claims against the Head of legal Services of the local authority where she worked. These cases often turn on skilful cross-examination of witnesses in seeking to establish whether an inference of discrimination should be drawn or not.

  • Virdi v Metropolitan Police Commissioner (2000): Susan successfully represented Asian police officer wrongly accused of disseminating race hate mail to ethnic minority officers on division during a 5 week trial. He was awarded a record sum of £150,000 damages for injury to feelings.
  • Chatwal v London Borough of Wandsworth (2012): Appropriate test to be applied in indirect discrimination claim when considering group disadvantage where particular belief is not widespread.
  • Amachree v London Borough of Wandsworth (2010): Successfully defended Wandsworth Council in a high profile claim for religious discrimination. The claim was brought by a housing officer who gave unwelcome religious advice to a terminally ill applicant he was interviewing about her housing needs.
  • Rahmeh & Naguib v Joint Committee for Higher Medical Training, Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and Department of Health (2005): On behalf of the RCOG and JCHMT, successfully resisted appeal when two doctors alleged that the system for being placed on specialist register for consultant status was racially discriminatory.

Whistleblowing & Victimisation


Susan has extensive experience in this area and has recently successfully defended organisations accused of dismissing or victimising individuals who have brought whistleblowing claims after having been dismissed on other grounds: Regan v Debden Park School (2012) and Kilraine v Wandsworth Borough Council (2014).

In the case of Hyacinth Rose v United Learning Trust (2013): Susan successfully represented a claimant who was victimised (refused a reference by deputy head teacher) and unfairly dismissed after having brought a previous unsuccessful claim for race discrimination.

Employment Cases


  • Bancroft v Interserve UKEAT 0329/12/1312: This case dealt with the approach the employer should take in dealing with third party pressure to dismiss an employee.
  • Chatwal v London Borough of Wandsworth (2012): Appropriate test to be applied in indirect discrimination claim when considering group disadvantage where particular belief is not widespread.
  • Amachree v London Borough of Wandsworth (2010): Successfully defended Wandsworth Council in a high profile claim for religious discrimination brought by housing officer [article].
  • Soon v Bank of China (2002): Represented manager of branch who alleged race and sex discrimination when manager from mainland China was put in charge of the office.
  • Hazlehurst v Governors of Warwick Park School [2001] EWCA Civ 2056: Successfully appealed finding that school governors had racially discriminated against three black school teachers in failing to shortlist them for senior management posts. Examines the basis on which a tribunal can legitimately make a finding of unconscious discrimination.
  • Virdi v Metropolitan Police Commissioner (2000): Successfully represented Asian police officer wrongly accused of disseminating race hate mail [article].
  • Hicking v Basford Home Fashion UKEAT 1165/98/1910: Equal pay claim – instructed by the EOC on behalf of Mrs. Hicking before the Nottingham employment tribunal. This case was later consolidated with Levez before the EAT on the question of the removal of the two year limit on equal pay claims.
  • Ridout v TC Group [1996] IRLR 628: Claimant suffering from photosensitive epilepsy attending for interview. Extent of the prospective employer’s duty to make reasonable adjustments under the Disability Discrimination Act.
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How to get in touch


For more information please contact our clerks by calling +44 (0) 20 7242 3555 or email: clerks@7br.co.uk.

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