Simon Cheetham QC

Year of call 1991 Silk 2018

CClerk

William Meade
020 7269 0360 Email William

Appointed as Queen’s Counsel in 2018, Simon is an employment and discrimination law specialist. He has a wide-ranging practice in the employment tribunal, High Court and appellate courts. He has written and lectured extensively on employment law and has been recognised as a leading practitioner in employment law by Chambers & Partners, The Legal 500 and Who’s Who Legal for many years.

Although his primary area of practice is employment and discrimination law, he also practises in the areas of data protection, pension law and professional regulatory and discipline practice covers both private and public sectors, including education, financial services and healthcare.

He has been a fee-paid employment tribunal judge for many years and is also a CEDR trained mediator.

“A brilliantly safe pair of hands on detailed, complex matters.  He has a robust and client-friendly approach.” Chambers & Partners 2019

“His calm and measured approach impresses judges and opponents.” Chambers & Partners 2019

“His judgment and knowledge of employment law are first rate and he is an excellent speaker.”  “A pleasure to work with.  He’s insightful and knows his stuff.” Chambers & Partners 2016
 

Appointments

  • Employment Tribunal Judge - fee-paid (London South); appointed 2002
  • Bar Standards Board, Professional Conduct Committee 2008 – 2014; reserve panel 2014 - 2016
  • Chairman, Royal Mail National Appeals Panel 2011 - 2018
  • ELBA Executive Committee 2014 – 2016
  • ELA Training Committee 2016 - 2018
  • International Paralympic Committee; Anti-Doping Committee panel member 2016 – 2017
     

In the last year, Simon has:

  • represented BALPA in the High Court and Court of Appeal in a high-profile injunction application brought by BA to prevent strike action (BA v BALPA)
  • acted for an NHS Trust in a Court of Appeal hearing concerning the meaning of “professional conduct” in MHPS (Idu v East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust)
  • acted for police officers in an appeal from the Pensions Ombudsman, where the police authority failed to inform retiring officers, who were about to re-employed, about taxation of pensions (Corsham v Police & Crime Commissioner for Essex)
  • represented the BMA in its age discrimination challenge to the public sector pension reforms
     

Simon has been recognised by Chambers & Partners and the Legal 500 as a leading practitioner in employment law for many years.  He has extensive experience of employment law and has frequently been instructed in complex and high-value claims. His practice covers the full range of employment cases, including discrimination, industrial relations, TUPE, whistle blowing and contractual disputes; he was heavily involved in holiday pay litigation for several years. 

Before moving to Old Square Chambers in 2011, Simon practised from Ely Place Chambers, where he was head of the employment group and where many of his cases had links with the media and/or an overlap with defamation. He has acted for or against all the major newspapers, as well as in claims and disputes involving film and television companies and media agencies.

Simon represents both employers and employees and has a wide client base.  He frequently acts for NHS Trusts, local authorities, the police and other public bodies, as well as for financial institutions and corporate employers of all sizes. He has been instructed by and on behalf of numerous trade unions and has represented individuals in all types of employment claims - past clients have included Sir Elton John and Selina Scott.

Reported and significant cases include:

  • Corsham v Police and Crime Commissioner for Essex [2020] ICR 268, HC: acting for claimants, where the police authority had failed to advise retiring officers, who were about to be employed in civilian roles, about taxation of pensions.
  • BA v BALPA [2020] IRLR 43, CA: acting for BALPA in BA’s High Court application for injunction and subsequent appeal to the CA; both courts held that BALPA’s description of “categories” of employees under TULR(C)A 1992 s.226A was correct.
  • Idu v East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust [2019] EWCA Civ 1649; acting for an NHS Trust in the CA and EAT   - [2019] ICR 623 – in appeals concerning the meaning of “professional misconduct” in MHPS.
  • Dronsfield v University of Reading UKEAT/0255/18: successfully representing the University in two appeals to the EAT – the first is reported at [2016] ICR 1107 - regarding a claim brought by a lecturer, who had been dismissed for not disclosing a relationship with a student.
  • R (on the application of Boots Management Services Ltd) v CAC [2017] IRLR 355, CA: acting for the PDAU in CA in an appeal from the High Court – [2014] IRLR 887 - arising out of a CAC decision on union recognition and “sweetheart” unions.
  • Lock v British Gas Trading Ltd [2017] ICR 1, CA: acting for the Claimant throughout this leading case on pay in respect of annual leave, which went from the ET to the CJEU ([2014] ICR 813), which held that commission was part of a worker’s normal remuneration, then back to the ET ([2015] IRLR 438) and on appeal to the EAT ([2016] ICR 503) and CA.
  • Fulton v Bear Scotland Ltd UKEATS/0010/16; representing the claimants in the Scottish EAT concerning the three-month rule on claims for unlawful deductions.
  • Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis v. Shaw [2012] ICR 464, EAT: acting for Commissioner in appeal; Underhill P’s judgment sets out principles to be applied by employment tribunals in the award of aggravated damages.
  • Wardle v. Credit Agricole Corporate & Investment Bank [2011] ICR 1290, CA: acting for claimant in high-value City claim for unfair dismissal and victimisation; the CA considered the principles involved in awarding an uplift on compensation and also how the tribunal should approach long-term loss
  • Orr v. Milton Keynes Council [2011] ICR 704, CA: acting for Council in unfair dismissal/race discrimination claim where CA considered what an employer "knows" for the purposes of a fair dismissal. 
  • Rolls Royce v. Unite the Union [2009] IRLR 576, CA; whether use of length of service in collectively agreed redundancy exercises could be justified in age discrimination claim.
  • Fraser v. HLMAD Ltd [2006] ICR 1395, CA: choice of jurisdiction in wrongful dismissal/breach of contract claims.

 

Memberships

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

 

Publications & Training

  • Atkins' Court Forms. Co-contributor (with Victoria Webb) to 2013 edition of Employment Law volume
  • "Equality and Discrimination - the New Law" (co-author with Brian Doyle et al, Jordans, July 2010)
  • "Age Discrimination - the New Law" (Jordans, 2006)
  • Articles for New Law Journal, ELA Briefing
     

Simon has many years' experience of providing training on all aspects of employment, discrimination and industrial relations law at conferences, lectures and seminars, both in-house, for ELA and for leading training providers. He has been a speaker at the annual conference for Employment Judges and has been a trainer for the Employment Judges in London South.


Simon has a growing data protection practice, largely built on his extensive work on the GDPR, which included delivering numerous lectures and seminars for ELA, ILS and in-house.  His experience includes High Court litigation on the extent of disclosure of personal data, multiple advice in both the public and private sectors on GDPR compliance and advising on group litigation over a mass data breach.

 


Simon advises regularly on pensions and in particular on issues arising from public sector pension schemes, including their discriminatory impact, and on pension losses in high value employment cases.  He has been acting for the BMA in its employment tribunal claims concerning the discriminatory effect of the transitional provisions in the NHS Pension Scheme.

Reported and significant cases include:

  • Sanderson v NHS Business Services Authority [2019] EWHC (Ch) 2900: acting for family of locum GP over death in service benefits and whether she was in “pensionable employment” at the time of her death.
  • Corsham v Police and Crime Commissioner for Essex [2020] ICR 268, HC: acting for claimants, where the police authority had failed to advise retiring officers, who were about to be employed in civilian roles, about taxation of pensions.
  • Ellis v Cabinet Office [2015] Pens.LR 379, CA: acting for prison officer member in an appeal concerning the right to an unreduced pension on transfer from public to private sector.
  • Oxer-Patey v. Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis [2013] EWHC 4751 (QB): acting for the Commissioner in High Court proceedings considering Police Pensions and Convention Rights.
     

Simon has advised and represented health professionals and their employers in proceedings before disciplinary panels, professional bodes and in the courts (including injunctions).  He has presented the management case at a number of internal MHPS hearings for NHS Trusts.  He also has extensive experience of the NHS through frequent representation in the employment tribunal. His experience of regulators includes the MPTS, GPhC and the NMC.

In addition, Simon has acted both for academics and for colleges and universities in internal disciplinary procedures. This includes acting as an investigating officer to determine whether conduct proceedings should be commenced. His recent investigations have been carried out for the Universities of Cambridge, Plymouth and Warwick.  He was the chairman of the Royal Mail National Appeals Panel (2011 to 2018), which hears internal appeals brought by trade union officials who have been dismissed or disciplined.

Reported and significant cases include the following:

  • Idu v East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust [2019] EWCA Civ 1649; acting for an NHS Trust in the CA and EAT   - [2019] ICR 623 – in appeals concerning the meaning of “professional misconduct” in MHPS.
  • Jahangiri v St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust [2018] Med. L.R. 625, HC: representing the Trust in a high-profile injunction requiring the Trust to lift an exclusion.
  • Al-Obaidi v Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust [2018] EWHC 2494 (QB): representing the Trust in injunction proceedings arising out of restrictions on practice.
     

Simon trained as a mediator at CEDR and has since acted in a range of mediations arising from workplace disputes and he is also a judicial mediator in the employment tribunal.  His long experience as an employment judge is particularly valued in mediations, as he can provide a realistic assessment of how a tribunal would approach the dispute in question.

Recent Mediations

  • Separate disputes involving an airline, where Simon has been retained by a leading firm of solicitors to act as mediator in high-value claims.
  • A mediation involving a chief executive, where the successful outcome had to address complex pension and company law issues.
  • Mediating successfully in an acrimonious dispute between members of a family who were co-directors and employees of a company.
     
  • Wardle v. Credit Agricole Corporate & Investment Bank

    The court considered the principles that should inform an employment tribunal when it sought to exercise its discretion under the Employment Act 2002 s.31(3) to uplift an award to an...

  • Lock v. British Gas

    The Advocate General has delivered his opinion in Case C-539/12, Lock v. British Gas. The case is about the level of pay in respect of annual leave required under Article...

  • Commissioner Of Police Of The Metropolis v. H Shaw

    An employment tribunal had erred when making an award of aggravated damages by focusing on the seriousness of the employer's conduct in subjecting an employee to an unlawful detriment rather...

  • Rolls Royce Plc v. Unite The Union

    A length of service criterion as part of the redundancy selection terms in a collective agreement could be a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim for the purposes of...

  • Fraser v. HLMAD Ltd (Court of Appeal)

    Once a cause of action for wrongful dismissal had been adjudicated upon by an employment tribunal it was not possible to make a further claim on the same grounds either...

  • See all cases

     

pAwards

2019 C&P individual 2019 Legal 500 individual C&P 2018 Leading Barrister 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

Appointed as Queen’s Counsel in 2018, Simon is an employment and discrimination law specialist. He has a wide-ranging practice in the employment tribunal, High Court and appellate courts. He has written and lectured extensively on employment law and has been recognised as a leading practitioner in employment law by Chambers & Partners, The Legal 500 and Who’s Who Legal for many years.

Although his primary area of practice is employment and discrimination law, he also practises in the areas of data protection, pension law and professional regulatory and discipline practice covers both private and public sectors, including education, financial services and healthcare.

He has been a fee-paid employment tribunal judge for many years and is also a CEDR trained mediator.

“A brilliantly safe pair of hands on detailed, complex matters.  He has a robust and client-friendly approach.” Chambers & Partners 2019

“His calm and measured approach impresses judges and opponents.” Chambers & Partners 2019

“His judgment and knowledge of employment law are first rate and he is an excellent speaker.”  “A pleasure to work with.  He’s insightful and knows his stuff.” Chambers & Partners 2016
 

Appointments

  • Employment Tribunal Judge - fee-paid (London South); appointed 2002
  • Bar Standards Board, Professional Conduct Committee 2008 – 2014; reserve panel 2014 - 2016
  • Chairman, Royal Mail National Appeals Panel 2011 - 2018
  • ELBA Executive Committee 2014 – 2016
  • ELA Training Committee 2016 - 2018
  • International Paralympic Committee; Anti-Doping Committee panel member 2016 – 2017
     

In the last year, Simon has:

  • represented BALPA in the High Court and Court of Appeal in a high-profile injunction application brought by BA to prevent strike action (BA v BALPA)
  • acted for an NHS Trust in a Court of Appeal hearing concerning the meaning of “professional conduct” in MHPS (Idu v East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust)
  • acted for police officers in an appeal from the Pensions Ombudsman, where the police authority failed to inform retiring officers, who were about to re-employed, about taxation of pensions (Corsham v Police & Crime Commissioner for Essex)
  • represented the BMA in its age discrimination challenge to the public sector pension reforms
     

Simon has been recognised by Chambers & Partners and the Legal 500 as a leading practitioner in employment law for many years.  He has extensive experience of employment law and has frequently been instructed in complex and high-value claims. His practice covers the full range of employment cases, including discrimination, industrial relations, TUPE, whistle blowing and contractual disputes; he was heavily involved in holiday pay litigation for several years. 

Before moving to Old Square Chambers in 2011, Simon practised from Ely Place Chambers, where he was head of the employment group and where many of his cases had links with the media and/or an overlap with defamation. He has acted for or against all the major newspapers, as well as in claims and disputes involving film and television companies and media agencies.

Simon represents both employers and employees and has a wide client base.  He frequently acts for NHS Trusts, local authorities, the police and other public bodies, as well as for financial institutions and corporate employers of all sizes. He has been instructed by and on behalf of numerous trade unions and has represented individuals in all types of employment claims - past clients have included Sir Elton John and Selina Scott.

Reported and significant cases include:

  • Corsham v Police and Crime Commissioner for Essex [2020] ICR 268, HC: acting for claimants, where the police authority had failed to advise retiring officers, who were about to be employed in civilian roles, about taxation of pensions.
  • BA v BALPA [2020] IRLR 43, CA: acting for BALPA in BA’s High Court application for injunction and subsequent appeal to the CA; both courts held that BALPA’s description of “categories” of employees under TULR(C)A 1992 s.226A was correct.
  • Idu v East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust [2019] EWCA Civ 1649; acting for an NHS Trust in the CA and EAT   - [2019] ICR 623 – in appeals concerning the meaning of “professional misconduct” in MHPS.
  • Dronsfield v University of Reading UKEAT/0255/18: successfully representing the University in two appeals to the EAT – the first is reported at [2016] ICR 1107 - regarding a claim brought by a lecturer, who had been dismissed for not disclosing a relationship with a student.
  • R (on the application of Boots Management Services Ltd) v CAC [2017] IRLR 355, CA: acting for the PDAU in CA in an appeal from the High Court – [2014] IRLR 887 - arising out of a CAC decision on union recognition and “sweetheart” unions.
  • Lock v British Gas Trading Ltd [2017] ICR 1, CA: acting for the Claimant throughout this leading case on pay in respect of annual leave, which went from the ET to the CJEU ([2014] ICR 813), which held that commission was part of a worker’s normal remuneration, then back to the ET ([2015] IRLR 438) and on appeal to the EAT ([2016] ICR 503) and CA.
  • Fulton v Bear Scotland Ltd UKEATS/0010/16; representing the claimants in the Scottish EAT concerning the three-month rule on claims for unlawful deductions.
  • Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis v. Shaw [2012] ICR 464, EAT: acting for Commissioner in appeal; Underhill P’s judgment sets out principles to be applied by employment tribunals in the award of aggravated damages.
  • Wardle v. Credit Agricole Corporate & Investment Bank [2011] ICR 1290, CA: acting for claimant in high-value City claim for unfair dismissal and victimisation; the CA considered the principles involved in awarding an uplift on compensation and also how the tribunal should approach long-term loss
  • Orr v. Milton Keynes Council [2011] ICR 704, CA: acting for Council in unfair dismissal/race discrimination claim where CA considered what an employer "knows" for the purposes of a fair dismissal. 
  • Rolls Royce v. Unite the Union [2009] IRLR 576, CA; whether use of length of service in collectively agreed redundancy exercises could be justified in age discrimination claim.
  • Fraser v. HLMAD Ltd [2006] ICR 1395, CA: choice of jurisdiction in wrongful dismissal/breach of contract claims.

 

Memberships

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

 

Publications & Training

  • Atkins' Court Forms. Co-contributor (with Victoria Webb) to 2013 edition of Employment Law volume
  • "Equality and Discrimination - the New Law" (co-author with Brian Doyle et al, Jordans, July 2010)
  • "Age Discrimination - the New Law" (Jordans, 2006)
  • Articles for New Law Journal, ELA Briefing
     

Simon has many years' experience of providing training on all aspects of employment, discrimination and industrial relations law at conferences, lectures and seminars, both in-house, for ELA and for leading training providers. He has been a speaker at the annual conference for Employment Judges and has been a trainer for the Employment Judges in London South.


Simon has a growing data protection practice, largely built on his extensive work on the GDPR, which included delivering numerous lectures and seminars for ELA, ILS and in-house.  His experience includes High Court litigation on the extent of disclosure of personal data, multiple advice in both the public and private sectors on GDPR compliance and advising on group litigation over a mass data breach.

 


Simon advises regularly on pensions and in particular on issues arising from public sector pension schemes, including their discriminatory impact, and on pension losses in high value employment cases.  He has been acting for the BMA in its employment tribunal claims concerning the discriminatory effect of the transitional provisions in the NHS Pension Scheme.

Reported and significant cases include:

  • Sanderson v NHS Business Services Authority [2019] EWHC (Ch) 2900: acting for family of locum GP over death in service benefits and whether she was in “pensionable employment” at the time of her death.
  • Corsham v Police and Crime Commissioner for Essex [2020] ICR 268, HC: acting for claimants, where the police authority had failed to advise retiring officers, who were about to be employed in civilian roles, about taxation of pensions.
  • Ellis v Cabinet Office [2015] Pens.LR 379, CA: acting for prison officer member in an appeal concerning the right to an unreduced pension on transfer from public to private sector.
  • Oxer-Patey v. Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis [2013] EWHC 4751 (QB): acting for the Commissioner in High Court proceedings considering Police Pensions and Convention Rights.
     

Simon has advised and represented health professionals and their employers in proceedings before disciplinary panels, professional bodes and in the courts (including injunctions).  He has presented the management case at a number of internal MHPS hearings for NHS Trusts.  He also has extensive experience of the NHS through frequent representation in the employment tribunal. His experience of regulators includes the MPTS, GPhC and the NMC.

In addition, Simon has acted both for academics and for colleges and universities in internal disciplinary procedures. This includes acting as an investigating officer to determine whether conduct proceedings should be commenced. His recent investigations have been carried out for the Universities of Cambridge, Plymouth and Warwick.  He was the chairman of the Royal Mail National Appeals Panel (2011 to 2018), which hears internal appeals brought by trade union officials who have been dismissed or disciplined.

Reported and significant cases include the following:

  • Idu v East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust [2019] EWCA Civ 1649; acting for an NHS Trust in the CA and EAT   - [2019] ICR 623 – in appeals concerning the meaning of “professional misconduct” in MHPS.
  • Jahangiri v St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust [2018] Med. L.R. 625, HC: representing the Trust in a high-profile injunction requiring the Trust to lift an exclusion.
  • Al-Obaidi v Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust [2018] EWHC 2494 (QB): representing the Trust in injunction proceedings arising out of restrictions on practice.
     

Simon trained as a mediator at CEDR and has since acted in a range of mediations arising from workplace disputes and he is also a judicial mediator in the employment tribunal.  His long experience as an employment judge is particularly valued in mediations, as he can provide a realistic assessment of how a tribunal would approach the dispute in question.

Recent Mediations

  • Separate disputes involving an airline, where Simon has been retained by a leading firm of solicitors to act as mediator in high-value claims.
  • A mediation involving a chief executive, where the successful outcome had to address complex pension and company law issues.
  • Mediating successfully in an acrimonious dispute between members of a family who were co-directors and employees of a company.
     
  • Wardle v. Credit Agricole Corporate & Investment Bank

    The court considered the principles that should inform an employment tribunal when it sought to exercise its discretion under the Employment Act 2002 s.31(3) to uplift an award to an...

  • Lock v. British Gas

    The Advocate General has delivered his opinion in Case C-539/12, Lock v. British Gas. The case is about the level of pay in respect of annual leave required under Article...

  • Commissioner Of Police Of The Metropolis v. H Shaw

    An employment tribunal had erred when making an award of aggravated damages by focusing on the seriousness of the employer's conduct in subjecting an employee to an unlawful detriment rather...

  • Rolls Royce Plc v. Unite The Union

    A length of service criterion as part of the redundancy selection terms in a collective agreement could be a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim for the purposes of...

  • Fraser v. HLMAD Ltd (Court of Appeal)

    Once a cause of action for wrongful dismissal had been adjudicated upon by an employment tribunal it was not possible to make a further claim on the same grounds either...

  • See all cases

     

pAwards

2019 C&P individual 2019 Legal 500 individual C&P 2018 Leading Barrister 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
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)