Helen Gower

Year of call 1992

CClerk

Paul Adams
020 7269 0305 Email Paul

Helen is recommended in Chambers and Partners UK for the South West. Her "very calm" demeanour has endeared her to clients. She recently acted for the Audit Commission in an equal pay case in the Court of Appeal.

Helen is also recommended in the Legal 500 for employment work in the South West. She is regularly instructed in complex discrimination, equal pay and whistleblowing claims. Her practice also includes unfair and wrongful dismissal, TUPE, maternity and paternity rights, victimisation on the ground of trade union activities, failure to consult on collective redundancies and TUPE, working time, deductions from wages and employment related contractual disputes.

In equal pay cases Helen undertakes drafting, advisory and advocacy work including multi-party claims. She has been currently instructed in several claims involving local authorities and other government organisations such as the Audit Commission. Ongoing cases include points relating to the material factor defence.

Helen also has experience in County Court and High Court employment related disputes. She successfully defended a union in a claim for negligent advice relating to the termination of employment.

Helen undertakes pro bono work under the EAT ELAAS scheme.

In 2010 Helen was appointed as a Legal Assessor for the HCPC. She advises on procedural and legal issues and she drafts the Panel decisions.

Helen is regularly instructed in proceedings before other regulatory bodies, including the NMC.

Appointments

  • Legal Assessor HCPC
  • Accredited mediator
  • Member of ILS, ELA, ELBA, ARDL
  • Haq v. Audit Commission [2013] EWCA Civ 1621; [2013] IRLR 203. Equal Pay, material factor defence and justification;
  • Ippoma v. BFAWU [2013] UKEAT/0007/13/RN. Inadequacy of Tribunal reasons in unfair dismissal case;
  • Vernon v. LBHF [2012] EqLR 527. Race discrimination failure to promote and victimisation claim relating to communications to ACAS;
  • Yilmaz v. LBTH (ET, 2013. 8 day hearing. Claim for unfair dismissal – some other substantial reason, race discrimination and harassment, disability discrimination and harassment;
  • John v. LB Newham (ET 2013). Claim for unfair dismissal, race discrimination, harassment on grounds of race and sex, and breach of contract.

 


Helen is regularly instructed in complex discrimination, equal pay and PIDA (whistleblowing) claims. Her practice also includes unfair and wrongful dismissal, TUPE, maternity and paternity rights, victimisation on the ground of trade union activities, failure to consult on collective redundancies and TUPE, working time, deductions, negligence claims relating to employment issues, contractual disputes and deductions claims.

Helen represents Claimants including Claimants supported by their trade union, and a wide range of Respondents including local authorities, police authorities, educational institutions, health service bodies, and commercial and financial organisations.

Helen has experience of a huge range of discrimination claims. This includes handling claims where there is a long history of attrition between employer and employee. For example she represented a local authority Respondent in a disability discrimination claim which included more than forty different allegations of disability discrimination which were alleged to have occurred over more than three years. Helen also has represented a GP practice in defending a claim for discrimination because of religion. Helen is particularly interested in discrimination cases exploring the relationship between UK law and EC law. This was one of the important themes in Rhys Harper v. Relaxion where Helen represented Ms Rhys-Harper throughout the appeal process up to the Supreme Court.

Helen also has experience in claims for discrimination on grounds of trade union activities and blacklisting.

In equal pay cases Helen undertakes drafting, advisory and advocacy work including multi-party claims. She has been instructed in several claims involving local authorities. The issues in these cases include compliance with the grievance procedure, identification of comparators and possible use of a hypothetical comparator, whether "Agenda for Change" (a job evaluation scheme in the NHS is discriminatory). Helen has represented claimants in cases relating to the material factor defence such as the investigation of different types of bonus, whether the particular bonus can be justified on the ground of productivity benefits for an employer and whether the extent of the differential in pay is proportionate.

Helen represents Claimants and Respondents in protected disclosure (whistleblowing) claims. The subject matter is very broad including a claim relating to safety in motorway maintenance and a claim raising alleged accounting fraud.

In TUPE cases Helen has experience of representing Respondents and Claimants in multi-party claims. She recently represented a group of print workers in a claim that included issues of whether there was a TUPE transfer, whether dismissal was transfer related, special circumstances defence, failure to consult on redundancy and failure to consult on TUPE. Helen also represented the successful Claimants in the failure to consult on redundancy claim of Leicestershire v Unison where Leicestershire terminated contracts and offered new contracts of employment.

Helen advises and represents parties in employment related disputes in the County Court and the High Courts. She successfully defended a trade union in a claim relating to alleged negligent advice relating to an employment matter.

Helen is a member of ILS, ELA and ELBA. She undertakes pro bono work through the EAT ELAAS scheme.

 

Discrimination and Equal Pay

  • Rhys Harper v. Relaxion [2003] IRLR 484 HL, [2001] 460 CA, [2000] 810 EAT - discrimination claims after termination of the employment contract
  • Haq v. Audit Commission [2012] EWCA 1621; [2013] IRLR 203. Equal pay, material defence and justification
  • Dattani v. Chief Constable of West Mercia Police - [2005] IRLR 327 burden of proof and whether inference should be drawn from inaccurate response to questions not in the form of a statutory questionnaire
  • Catherall v. Mchelin Tyre plc [2003] IRLR 61 whether DDA applies to constructive dismissal
  • Vernon v. LBHF [2012] EqLR 527. Race discrimination failure to promote and victimisation relating to communications to ACAS

 

Failure to consult

  • Leicestershire County Council v. Unison - [2006] IRLR 810 CA and [2005] IRLR 920 - failure to consult on collective redundancies - effect of EC law
  • Optare Group v. TGWU [2007] IRLR 931. Failure to consult on collective redundancies. Whether volunteers for redundancy included in the requirement for a minimum of 20 redundancies.

 

Procedural issues and bias

  • Khudados v. Leggate [2005] IRLR 540 principles relating to applications to amend appeal in EAT
  • De Haney v. Brent Mind [2004] ICR 348 composition of the EAT - whether parties should be advised of status of member if not a full panel
  • Swansea v. Honey UKEAT/0030/08/RN. Bias and procedural irregularity
  • Ippoma v. BFAWU [2013] UKEAT 0007/13/RN. Inadequate Tribunal reasons in unfair dismissal case.

Helen is a Legal Assessor for health profession and social worker disciplinary panels. Helen also represents practitioners in professional conduct proceedings.

As a Legal Assessor Helen has experience of a full range of conduct, competence and health cases including issues relating to convictions, sexual misconduct, dishonesty, clinical errors and record keeping. Helen advises Panels on procedural issues including adjournments, proceeding in the absence of the Registrant, sitting in private, and evidential issues.

Helen has represented nurses and midwives in disciplinary proceedings. This included a case where Helen preserved the registrations of four nurses in a case where a patient had committed suicide.

Helen is a member of ARDL.


Helen is an accredited mediator through the ADR group.


Helen’s special area of expertise is advising disciplinary Panels and helping disciplinary Panels to draft the written decisions. She was appointed as a Legal Assessor to the Health and Care Professions Council in 2010 and to the General Pharmaceutical Council in 2014. She has considerable experience of the practical issues arising in disciplinary hearings including applications for adjournments, arrangements for witnesses giving evidence including handling potential conflict of interest, vulnerable witnesses, “half time” submissions, and matters relating to admissibility of evidence. She assists Panels to draft concise structured decisions that address all relevant issues. She is able to prepare written decisions based on the reasons of the Panel on the day of the hearing. She has experience in ensuring that hearings are fair, both for those represented by experienced legal representatives and for those who are unrepresented.

Helen’s advocacy experience in the field of employment law and discrimination gives her a sound knowledge base for conducting disciplinary hearings and investigations.

Helen is an accredited mediator.

  • Relaxion Group PLC v. Rhys-Harper & Ors

    The employment tribunal had jurisdiction to hear discrimination complaints after the termination of employment as long as the alleged discriminatory conduct had sufficient connection with the employment relationship. Appeals by...

  • Audit Commission v. Haq (Court of Appeal)

    On 6 December 2012, the Court of Appeal handed down Judgment in Haq v Audit Commission.   Jane McNeill QC and Helen Gower represented the Claimants, instructed by Emma Hawksworth...

  • Unison v. Leicestershire County Council (Court of Appeal)

    The Employment Appeal Tribunal had been right and bound by authority to decline to consider a point of law not advanced before the employment tribunal in the absence of exceptional...

  • Optare Group Ltd v. Transport & General Workers Union

    Where an employer had made 20 employees redundant, three of whom had applied for voluntary redundancy, the latter, despite volunteering, had still been "dismissed" so as to trigger the statutory...

  • Khudados v. Leggate

    On the facts, it was not appropriate to allow the appellant to amend a notice of appeal. The appellant's delay in applying to amend the notice was excessive, inexcusable and...

  • See all cases

     

pAwards

Legal 500 2017 Leading Individual 2017 C&P Leading individual 2016 L500 Leading Individual C&P 2016 Ranked Barrister L500 2015 leading individual Chambers & Partners 2015 Barrister Legal 500 Top Ranked Barrister 2014 Ranked in Chambers & Partners 2014 Ranked in Legal 500 2013

Helen is recommended in Chambers and Partners UK for the South West. Her "very calm" demeanour has endeared her to clients. She recently acted for the Audit Commission in an equal pay case in the Court of Appeal.

Helen is also recommended in the Legal 500 for employment work in the South West. She is regularly instructed in complex discrimination, equal pay and whistleblowing claims. Her practice also includes unfair and wrongful dismissal, TUPE, maternity and paternity rights, victimisation on the ground of trade union activities, failure to consult on collective redundancies and TUPE, working time, deductions from wages and employment related contractual disputes.

In equal pay cases Helen undertakes drafting, advisory and advocacy work including multi-party claims. She has been currently instructed in several claims involving local authorities and other government organisations such as the Audit Commission. Ongoing cases include points relating to the material factor defence.

Helen also has experience in County Court and High Court employment related disputes. She successfully defended a union in a claim for negligent advice relating to the termination of employment.

Helen undertakes pro bono work under the EAT ELAAS scheme.

In 2010 Helen was appointed as a Legal Assessor for the HCPC. She advises on procedural and legal issues and she drafts the Panel decisions.

Helen is regularly instructed in proceedings before other regulatory bodies, including the NMC.

Appointments

  • Legal Assessor HCPC
  • Accredited mediator
  • Member of ILS, ELA, ELBA, ARDL
  • Haq v. Audit Commission [2013] EWCA Civ 1621; [2013] IRLR 203. Equal Pay, material factor defence and justification;
  • Ippoma v. BFAWU [2013] UKEAT/0007/13/RN. Inadequacy of Tribunal reasons in unfair dismissal case;
  • Vernon v. LBHF [2012] EqLR 527. Race discrimination failure to promote and victimisation claim relating to communications to ACAS;
  • Yilmaz v. LBTH (ET, 2013. 8 day hearing. Claim for unfair dismissal – some other substantial reason, race discrimination and harassment, disability discrimination and harassment;
  • John v. LB Newham (ET 2013). Claim for unfair dismissal, race discrimination, harassment on grounds of race and sex, and breach of contract.

 


Helen is regularly instructed in complex discrimination, equal pay and PIDA (whistleblowing) claims. Her practice also includes unfair and wrongful dismissal, TUPE, maternity and paternity rights, victimisation on the ground of trade union activities, failure to consult on collective redundancies and TUPE, working time, deductions, negligence claims relating to employment issues, contractual disputes and deductions claims.

Helen represents Claimants including Claimants supported by their trade union, and a wide range of Respondents including local authorities, police authorities, educational institutions, health service bodies, and commercial and financial organisations.

Helen has experience of a huge range of discrimination claims. This includes handling claims where there is a long history of attrition between employer and employee. For example she represented a local authority Respondent in a disability discrimination claim which included more than forty different allegations of disability discrimination which were alleged to have occurred over more than three years. Helen also has represented a GP practice in defending a claim for discrimination because of religion. Helen is particularly interested in discrimination cases exploring the relationship between UK law and EC law. This was one of the important themes in Rhys Harper v. Relaxion where Helen represented Ms Rhys-Harper throughout the appeal process up to the Supreme Court.

Helen also has experience in claims for discrimination on grounds of trade union activities and blacklisting.

In equal pay cases Helen undertakes drafting, advisory and advocacy work including multi-party claims. She has been instructed in several claims involving local authorities. The issues in these cases include compliance with the grievance procedure, identification of comparators and possible use of a hypothetical comparator, whether "Agenda for Change" (a job evaluation scheme in the NHS is discriminatory). Helen has represented claimants in cases relating to the material factor defence such as the investigation of different types of bonus, whether the particular bonus can be justified on the ground of productivity benefits for an employer and whether the extent of the differential in pay is proportionate.

Helen represents Claimants and Respondents in protected disclosure (whistleblowing) claims. The subject matter is very broad including a claim relating to safety in motorway maintenance and a claim raising alleged accounting fraud.

In TUPE cases Helen has experience of representing Respondents and Claimants in multi-party claims. She recently represented a group of print workers in a claim that included issues of whether there was a TUPE transfer, whether dismissal was transfer related, special circumstances defence, failure to consult on redundancy and failure to consult on TUPE. Helen also represented the successful Claimants in the failure to consult on redundancy claim of Leicestershire v Unison where Leicestershire terminated contracts and offered new contracts of employment.

Helen advises and represents parties in employment related disputes in the County Court and the High Courts. She successfully defended a trade union in a claim relating to alleged negligent advice relating to an employment matter.

Helen is a member of ILS, ELA and ELBA. She undertakes pro bono work through the EAT ELAAS scheme.

 

Discrimination and Equal Pay

  • Rhys Harper v. Relaxion [2003] IRLR 484 HL, [2001] 460 CA, [2000] 810 EAT - discrimination claims after termination of the employment contract
  • Haq v. Audit Commission [2012] EWCA 1621; [2013] IRLR 203. Equal pay, material defence and justification
  • Dattani v. Chief Constable of West Mercia Police - [2005] IRLR 327 burden of proof and whether inference should be drawn from inaccurate response to questions not in the form of a statutory questionnaire
  • Catherall v. Mchelin Tyre plc [2003] IRLR 61 whether DDA applies to constructive dismissal
  • Vernon v. LBHF [2012] EqLR 527. Race discrimination failure to promote and victimisation relating to communications to ACAS

 

Failure to consult

  • Leicestershire County Council v. Unison - [2006] IRLR 810 CA and [2005] IRLR 920 - failure to consult on collective redundancies - effect of EC law
  • Optare Group v. TGWU [2007] IRLR 931. Failure to consult on collective redundancies. Whether volunteers for redundancy included in the requirement for a minimum of 20 redundancies.

 

Procedural issues and bias

  • Khudados v. Leggate [2005] IRLR 540 principles relating to applications to amend appeal in EAT
  • De Haney v. Brent Mind [2004] ICR 348 composition of the EAT - whether parties should be advised of status of member if not a full panel
  • Swansea v. Honey UKEAT/0030/08/RN. Bias and procedural irregularity
  • Ippoma v. BFAWU [2013] UKEAT 0007/13/RN. Inadequate Tribunal reasons in unfair dismissal case.

Helen is a Legal Assessor for health profession and social worker disciplinary panels. Helen also represents practitioners in professional conduct proceedings.

As a Legal Assessor Helen has experience of a full range of conduct, competence and health cases including issues relating to convictions, sexual misconduct, dishonesty, clinical errors and record keeping. Helen advises Panels on procedural issues including adjournments, proceeding in the absence of the Registrant, sitting in private, and evidential issues.

Helen has represented nurses and midwives in disciplinary proceedings. This included a case where Helen preserved the registrations of four nurses in a case where a patient had committed suicide.

Helen is a member of ARDL.


Helen is an accredited mediator through the ADR group.


Helen’s special area of expertise is advising disciplinary Panels and helping disciplinary Panels to draft the written decisions. She was appointed as a Legal Assessor to the Health and Care Professions Council in 2010 and to the General Pharmaceutical Council in 2014. She has considerable experience of the practical issues arising in disciplinary hearings including applications for adjournments, arrangements for witnesses giving evidence including handling potential conflict of interest, vulnerable witnesses, “half time” submissions, and matters relating to admissibility of evidence. She assists Panels to draft concise structured decisions that address all relevant issues. She is able to prepare written decisions based on the reasons of the Panel on the day of the hearing. She has experience in ensuring that hearings are fair, both for those represented by experienced legal representatives and for those who are unrepresented.

Helen’s advocacy experience in the field of employment law and discrimination gives her a sound knowledge base for conducting disciplinary hearings and investigations.

Helen is an accredited mediator.

  • Relaxion Group PLC v. Rhys-Harper & Ors

    The employment tribunal had jurisdiction to hear discrimination complaints after the termination of employment as long as the alleged discriminatory conduct had sufficient connection with the employment relationship. Appeals by...

  • Audit Commission v. Haq (Court of Appeal)

    On 6 December 2012, the Court of Appeal handed down Judgment in Haq v Audit Commission.   Jane McNeill QC and Helen Gower represented the Claimants, instructed by Emma Hawksworth...

  • Unison v. Leicestershire County Council (Court of Appeal)

    The Employment Appeal Tribunal had been right and bound by authority to decline to consider a point of law not advanced before the employment tribunal in the absence of exceptional...

  • Optare Group Ltd v. Transport & General Workers Union

    Where an employer had made 20 employees redundant, three of whom had applied for voluntary redundancy, the latter, despite volunteering, had still been "dismissed" so as to trigger the statutory...

  • Khudados v. Leggate

    On the facts, it was not appropriate to allow the appellant to amend a notice of appeal. The appellant's delay in applying to amend the notice was excessive, inexcusable and...

  • See all cases

     

pAwards

Legal 500 2017 Leading Individual 2017 C&P Leading individual 2016 L500 Leading Individual C&P 2016 Ranked Barrister L500 2015 leading individual Chambers & Partners 2015 Barrister Legal 500 Top Ranked Barrister 2014 Ranked in Chambers & Partners 2014 Ranked in Legal 500 2013
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)