Elizabeth Melville

Year of call 1994

CClerk

William Meade
020 7269 0360 Email William

Elizabeth is recognised as a leading junior in the field of employment law.  She specialises in all areas of employment and discrimination law, but with a particular focus on substantial discrimination cases.  She previously practised for a number of years in the fields of personal injury and clinical negligence, and now applies this experience to the calculation of compensation in high value employment claims and to understanding any medical and causation issues which arise.

Elizabeth also has an established and growing practice in assisting clients with internal issues which have not yet led to litigation; she provides, where appropriate, advice and mediation (she is a qualified mediator) and also conducts investigations and internal disciplinary hearings, usually involving senior individuals within an organisation.

Whilst instructed by a wide range of clients, Elizabeth has built up a particular expertise in the Education and Healthcare sectors, as well as in ‘City’ cases.

The most recent edition of Chambers & Partners said her ‘willingness to be up-front and point out the issues, rather than to sit on the fence, makes her a valued adviser, as does the fact that her view usually turns out to be right.  Combining common sense and pragmatism, she is a safe pair of hands for even the most complex of cases’.  Most recently she ‘won an unwinnable legal argument through hard work, preparation and by taking a less than obvious approach to it’.  She has previously been cited as being ‘100% reliable’ with an ‘effective, client-friendly manner’.

 

Appointments and memberships:

ADR qualified mediator

Registered for public access work

Member of Industrial Law Society

Member of Employment Lawyers Association

Member of Employment Law Bar Association


Elizabeth undertakes work across a wide variety of sectors, both for private individuals and for organisations.  Her work is principally based around London and the South East and the Midlands.  Over her 20 or so years in practice she has, however, gained particular expertise in the following sectors:

Education Sector:

Elizabeth principally acts on behalf of some of the country’s leading Russell Group universities, although she also acts for other higher education and further education institutions, as well as schools.  The claims usually involve claims by academics in a wide range of fields, including allegations of breach of contract, constructive and unfair dismissal and all forms of discrimination.  She is familiar with the particular issues affecting universities, such as the Research Excellence Framework and the statutory underpinning of University procedures.

Recent cases include:

  • Acting for a Russell Group university in a claim by a business lecturer who had previously had a high flying career in the City.  Her claim against the University was for direct sex discrimination, victimization and constructive unfair dismissal.  The claim was listed for 8 days but the Claimant withdrew on the second day after cross-examination by Elizabeth.  University successfully applied for and recovered £120,000 in costs.
  • Acting for a Russell Group university in a claim for constructive unfair dismissal by a Professor of Bioinformatics.  The claim involved a technical analysis of the detailed terms of his contract and the law relating to construction of contracts;
  • Acting for a Russell Group university in claim by a Senior Lecturer in Fluid Mechanics, which involved allegations over 11 years of sex discrimination, disability discrimination including a failure to make reasonable adjustments and victimization.  The Claimant was also alleging she had sustained psychiatric injury by reason of the alleged discrimination;
  • Acting for a Russell Group university in a claim by a Professor of Sociology for pregnancy discrimination, victimization and constructive unfair dismissal.

 

Internal investigations: Recent work includes acting for a leading Russell Group University in conducting an investigation under the University’s internal procedures into a wide array of allegations by a PhD student, including bullying and harassment, discrimination on the grounds of race, religion and nationality and breach of human rights.  Involved producing a 60 page report for use by the University.

Internal disciplinary hearings: Elizabeth conducts internal disciplinary hearings, usually at appeal level, for Universities.  A recent example was conducting an appeal against a dismissal of a Professor in the Medical School of a Russell Group University.

Advice: Elizabeth advises Universities and schools, as well as individuals, in relation to internal disputes that have arisen.  Recent examples include:

  • advising a very senior former academic within a Russell Group university on the prospects of suing his former employer for breach of contract in relation to a Settlement Agreement;
  • advising an academic within another Russell Group university in respect of an internal disciplinary procedure involving allegations of plagiarism against him.

 

Elizabeth also regularly acts for a number of schools and further education institutions in the employment tribunal.

Healthcare sector:

Elizabeth principally acts on behalf of NHS Trusts, usually in claims by consultants or other senior healthcare providers.

Recent cases include:

  • Acting for an NHS Trust in a claim by a senior nurse for unfair dismissal, victimization and whistleblowing.  The Claimant had made an unfounded complaint about a fellow nurse to the Nursing and Midwifery Council.  The claim involved consideration of the application of human rights principles to the dismissal, including the right to freedom of expression;
  • Acting for an NHS Trust in a claim for unfair dismissal by a senior Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist;
  • Acting for an NHS Trust in a claim by a transgender Consultant Anaesthetist for discrimination on the grounds of sex, disability and gender reassignment, whistleblowing and less favourable treatment on grounds of his status as a part-time worker and fixed-term worker;
  • Acting for an outsourced healthcare provider in a claim by an Occupational Health nurse for constructive unfair dismissal, whistleblowing and detriment on health and safety grounds.

Finance sector:

Elizabeth has acted on behalf of banks, financial institutions and individuals in the banking and finance sector, specialising in particular in discrimination claims:

  • Successfully represented a ‘hedge fund boss’ in a tribunal claim for £4million in respect of alleged sex discrimination, sexual harassment and disability discrimination.  This high profile case attracted much press coverage and required expertise not only in discrimination issues but also in matters of privacy, human rights and the handling of the press;
  • Advising a bond trader in a claim for pregnancy and sex discrimination against an investment bank;
  • Acting on behalf of a bank in a claim for pregnancy and sex discrimination.

Elizabeth is experienced in conducting internal disciplinary hearings and appeals, both as representative and as Chair.  She also conducts internal investigations to determine whether conduct proceedings should be commenced, as well as mediating internal disputes.

Recent examples include:

  • acting for a leading Russell Group University in conducting an investigation under the University’s internal procedures into a wide array of allegations by a PhD student, including bullying and harassment, discrimination on the grounds of race, religion and nationality and breach of human rights.  Involved interviewing witnesses and producing a 60 page report for use by the University;
  • acting for a well-known Arts organisation to investigate an internal complaint of serious sexual assault and harassment. Involved interviewing witnesses and producing a report.
  • Mediating an internal dispute for a professional body between two managers where the relationship had broken down

Elizabeth is experienced in representing clients at mediation and is also a qualified mediator.


Elizabeth has 20 years’ experience in the field of employment law and is recognised as a leading expert in the field by Chambers & Partners Legal directory. Chambers & Partners say that Elizabeth’s “preparation is meticulous and her cross-examination is extremely thorough.” She is also an accredited and experienced mediator. She has established a niche practice assisting clients with internal issues that have not yet led to litigation. This includes:

  • Conducting internal disciplinary and grievance investigations and providing investigation reports
  • Chairing internal disciplinary hearings, including appeals
  • Providing advice to managers and HR professional on internal employment issues or ‘in house’ investigations
  • Mediation, in particular where working relationships are strained or have broken down.

 

Elizabeth has extensive experience in dealing with high level employees in various sectors, including partners of law firms, consultants within the NHS, chief executives and other leaders of organisations, professors and academics.  Her clients include investment banks, NHS Trusts, leading law firms, Russell Group universities and other higher education bodies, schools, charitable institutions and public bodies.

Alongside her legal practice Elizabeth is in the final stage of training as a psychotherapist with the Guild of Analytical Psychologists in London.  She believes the combination of her legal and therapeutic skills offers a particular advantage to clients needing assistance with difficult or seemingly intractable internal employment issues.

Examples of recent HR-related work she has undertaken include:

  • Instructed by a London based arts body to investigate allegations of sexual harassment going back some 11 years against the senior manager. The allegations were prompted by the revelations about Harvey Weinstein in the US;
  • Investigating allegations of bullying and harassment raised by an academic against other academic staff within a UK leading business school;
  • Hearing an appeal against the dismissal of a Professor in the Medical School of a Russell Group university;
  • Advising in an internal matter involving allegations of plagiarism by an academic with the Law School of another Russell Group university;
  • Investigating wide-ranging allegations of discrimination raised by a PhD student at a leading Russell Group university against various academics.
  • Mediating between two senior managers of a regulatory and professional body whose relationship had broken down;
  • Investigation complaints of bullying, harassment and disability discrimination raised by a lawyer against a partner and colleagues within a department of a leading law firm;
  • Conducting an internal mediation for a law firm in respect of a partnership dispute;
  • Investigating whistleblowing complaints by three senior employees within a charity against the CEO, including allegations of financial misconduct, manipulation of accounts and inadequate safeguarding;
  • Instructed by the General Secretary of a trade union to investigate and determine complaints of breach of the Union’s Rule Book against 5 members of the NEC in conduct that amounted to an alleged internal ‘coup’.

 

pAwards

2019 C&P individual C&P 2018 Leading Barrister 2017 C&P Leading individual C&P 2016 Ranked Barrister Chambers & Partners 2015 Barrister Ranked in Chambers & Partners 2014

Elizabeth is recognised as a leading junior in the field of employment law.  She specialises in all areas of employment and discrimination law, but with a particular focus on substantial discrimination cases.  She previously practised for a number of years in the fields of personal injury and clinical negligence, and now applies this experience to the calculation of compensation in high value employment claims and to understanding any medical and causation issues which arise.

Elizabeth also has an established and growing practice in assisting clients with internal issues which have not yet led to litigation; she provides, where appropriate, advice and mediation (she is a qualified mediator) and also conducts investigations and internal disciplinary hearings, usually involving senior individuals within an organisation.

Whilst instructed by a wide range of clients, Elizabeth has built up a particular expertise in the Education and Healthcare sectors, as well as in ‘City’ cases.

The most recent edition of Chambers & Partners said her ‘willingness to be up-front and point out the issues, rather than to sit on the fence, makes her a valued adviser, as does the fact that her view usually turns out to be right.  Combining common sense and pragmatism, she is a safe pair of hands for even the most complex of cases’.  Most recently she ‘won an unwinnable legal argument through hard work, preparation and by taking a less than obvious approach to it’.  She has previously been cited as being ‘100% reliable’ with an ‘effective, client-friendly manner’.

 

Appointments and memberships:

ADR qualified mediator

Registered for public access work

Member of Industrial Law Society

Member of Employment Lawyers Association

Member of Employment Law Bar Association


Elizabeth undertakes work across a wide variety of sectors, both for private individuals and for organisations.  Her work is principally based around London and the South East and the Midlands.  Over her 20 or so years in practice she has, however, gained particular expertise in the following sectors:

Education Sector:

Elizabeth principally acts on behalf of some of the country’s leading Russell Group universities, although she also acts for other higher education and further education institutions, as well as schools.  The claims usually involve claims by academics in a wide range of fields, including allegations of breach of contract, constructive and unfair dismissal and all forms of discrimination.  She is familiar with the particular issues affecting universities, such as the Research Excellence Framework and the statutory underpinning of University procedures.

Recent cases include:

  • Acting for a Russell Group university in a claim by a business lecturer who had previously had a high flying career in the City.  Her claim against the University was for direct sex discrimination, victimization and constructive unfair dismissal.  The claim was listed for 8 days but the Claimant withdrew on the second day after cross-examination by Elizabeth.  University successfully applied for and recovered £120,000 in costs.
  • Acting for a Russell Group university in a claim for constructive unfair dismissal by a Professor of Bioinformatics.  The claim involved a technical analysis of the detailed terms of his contract and the law relating to construction of contracts;
  • Acting for a Russell Group university in claim by a Senior Lecturer in Fluid Mechanics, which involved allegations over 11 years of sex discrimination, disability discrimination including a failure to make reasonable adjustments and victimization.  The Claimant was also alleging she had sustained psychiatric injury by reason of the alleged discrimination;
  • Acting for a Russell Group university in a claim by a Professor of Sociology for pregnancy discrimination, victimization and constructive unfair dismissal.

 

Internal investigations: Recent work includes acting for a leading Russell Group University in conducting an investigation under the University’s internal procedures into a wide array of allegations by a PhD student, including bullying and harassment, discrimination on the grounds of race, religion and nationality and breach of human rights.  Involved producing a 60 page report for use by the University.

Internal disciplinary hearings: Elizabeth conducts internal disciplinary hearings, usually at appeal level, for Universities.  A recent example was conducting an appeal against a dismissal of a Professor in the Medical School of a Russell Group University.

Advice: Elizabeth advises Universities and schools, as well as individuals, in relation to internal disputes that have arisen.  Recent examples include:

  • advising a very senior former academic within a Russell Group university on the prospects of suing his former employer for breach of contract in relation to a Settlement Agreement;
  • advising an academic within another Russell Group university in respect of an internal disciplinary procedure involving allegations of plagiarism against him.

 

Elizabeth also regularly acts for a number of schools and further education institutions in the employment tribunal.

Healthcare sector:

Elizabeth principally acts on behalf of NHS Trusts, usually in claims by consultants or other senior healthcare providers.

Recent cases include:

  • Acting for an NHS Trust in a claim by a senior nurse for unfair dismissal, victimization and whistleblowing.  The Claimant had made an unfounded complaint about a fellow nurse to the Nursing and Midwifery Council.  The claim involved consideration of the application of human rights principles to the dismissal, including the right to freedom of expression;
  • Acting for an NHS Trust in a claim for unfair dismissal by a senior Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist;
  • Acting for an NHS Trust in a claim by a transgender Consultant Anaesthetist for discrimination on the grounds of sex, disability and gender reassignment, whistleblowing and less favourable treatment on grounds of his status as a part-time worker and fixed-term worker;
  • Acting for an outsourced healthcare provider in a claim by an Occupational Health nurse for constructive unfair dismissal, whistleblowing and detriment on health and safety grounds.

Finance sector:

Elizabeth has acted on behalf of banks, financial institutions and individuals in the banking and finance sector, specialising in particular in discrimination claims:

  • Successfully represented a ‘hedge fund boss’ in a tribunal claim for £4million in respect of alleged sex discrimination, sexual harassment and disability discrimination.  This high profile case attracted much press coverage and required expertise not only in discrimination issues but also in matters of privacy, human rights and the handling of the press;
  • Advising a bond trader in a claim for pregnancy and sex discrimination against an investment bank;
  • Acting on behalf of a bank in a claim for pregnancy and sex discrimination.

Elizabeth is experienced in conducting internal disciplinary hearings and appeals, both as representative and as Chair.  She also conducts internal investigations to determine whether conduct proceedings should be commenced, as well as mediating internal disputes.

Recent examples include:

  • acting for a leading Russell Group University in conducting an investigation under the University’s internal procedures into a wide array of allegations by a PhD student, including bullying and harassment, discrimination on the grounds of race, religion and nationality and breach of human rights.  Involved interviewing witnesses and producing a 60 page report for use by the University;
  • acting for a well-known Arts organisation to investigate an internal complaint of serious sexual assault and harassment. Involved interviewing witnesses and producing a report.
  • Mediating an internal dispute for a professional body between two managers where the relationship had broken down

Elizabeth is experienced in representing clients at mediation and is also a qualified mediator.


Elizabeth has 20 years’ experience in the field of employment law and is recognised as a leading expert in the field by Chambers & Partners Legal directory. Chambers & Partners say that Elizabeth’s “preparation is meticulous and her cross-examination is extremely thorough.” She is also an accredited and experienced mediator. She has established a niche practice assisting clients with internal issues that have not yet led to litigation. This includes:

  • Conducting internal disciplinary and grievance investigations and providing investigation reports
  • Chairing internal disciplinary hearings, including appeals
  • Providing advice to managers and HR professional on internal employment issues or ‘in house’ investigations
  • Mediation, in particular where working relationships are strained or have broken down.

 

Elizabeth has extensive experience in dealing with high level employees in various sectors, including partners of law firms, consultants within the NHS, chief executives and other leaders of organisations, professors and academics.  Her clients include investment banks, NHS Trusts, leading law firms, Russell Group universities and other higher education bodies, schools, charitable institutions and public bodies.

Alongside her legal practice Elizabeth is in the final stage of training as a psychotherapist with the Guild of Analytical Psychologists in London.  She believes the combination of her legal and therapeutic skills offers a particular advantage to clients needing assistance with difficult or seemingly intractable internal employment issues.

Examples of recent HR-related work she has undertaken include:

  • Instructed by a London based arts body to investigate allegations of sexual harassment going back some 11 years against the senior manager. The allegations were prompted by the revelations about Harvey Weinstein in the US;
  • Investigating allegations of bullying and harassment raised by an academic against other academic staff within a UK leading business school;
  • Hearing an appeal against the dismissal of a Professor in the Medical School of a Russell Group university;
  • Advising in an internal matter involving allegations of plagiarism by an academic with the Law School of another Russell Group university;
  • Investigating wide-ranging allegations of discrimination raised by a PhD student at a leading Russell Group university against various academics.
  • Mediating between two senior managers of a regulatory and professional body whose relationship had broken down;
  • Investigation complaints of bullying, harassment and disability discrimination raised by a lawyer against a partner and colleagues within a department of a leading law firm;
  • Conducting an internal mediation for a law firm in respect of a partnership dispute;
  • Investigating whistleblowing complaints by three senior employees within a charity against the CEO, including allegations of financial misconduct, manipulation of accounts and inadequate safeguarding;
  • Instructed by the General Secretary of a trade union to investigate and determine complaints of breach of the Union’s Rule Book against 5 members of the NEC in conduct that amounted to an alleged internal ‘coup’.

 

pAwards

2019 C&P individual C&P 2018 Leading Barrister 2017 C&P Leading individual C&P 2016 Ranked Barrister Chambers & Partners 2015 Barrister Ranked in Chambers & Partners 2014
About cookies on our website

To find out more about what cookies are, which cookies we use on this website and how to delete and block cookies, please see our Which cookies we use page.

Click on the button below to accept the use of cookies on this website (this will prevent the dialogue box from appearing on future visits)