HR Professional Support

Overview

Introduction

Disciplinary and grievances are something which any organisation has to be prepared to deal with on occasion. They are often complex, time consuming, and are draining for those involved in the process.

Our team of independent barristers at Old Square Chambers HR Support are all established experts in the employment law field, and are fully up to date with standards of HR best practice. We provide a full suite of services designed to complement the needs of any HR Department.  We can assist with all aspects of grievance and disciplinary procedures, as well as with issues that have not yet become formal.  Our services include: advising behind the scenes; conducting investigations; presenting the management case at a hearing; sitting on grievance and disciplinary panels, either in an advisory capacity or as the decision maker; conducting appeals and mediating workplace disputes.

The range of services offered can be tailored to the needs of any particular organisation. We have offices in London and Bristol, although our services are offered throughout the United Kingdom.

 

Benefits of using our Team

There are numerous advantages of using our team. We are uniquely equipped with all of the specialist skills which are essential to ensure a fair process is followed. Our team of barristers possesses vast experience of being able to: quickly identify the relevant issues in any situation, analyse complex facts, test the evidence in a sensitive manner, and produce clear and well-reasoned written reports and decisions. We are recognised by the pre-eminent legal directories for our expertise in employment and industrial relations, which shows our standing in this field, so you can be assured you’ve instructed the right barrister.

In some cases the issue may be particularly sensitive, either because of the seriousness of the issue (e.g. discrimination or whistleblowing), or the seniority of those involved. Whatever the circumstances, we provide an independent and impartial service, offering objective oversight where appropriate.

A well-conducted process involving Old Square Chambers HR Support will allow those participating in the process to believe that they have been given a fair hearing by someone independent of the organisation. This can reduce the risk of subsequent Employment Tribunal proceedings being brought, or disquiet rumbling on after the procedure has ended.

Our barristers:

  • Have many years of unrivalled, high-level HR experience, gained through appearing in Employment Tribunals. We have particular insight as to the do’s and don’ts in handling grievance and disciplinary procedures
  • Possess in-depth understanding of the entire spectrum of employment law and recent developments
  • Have a full understanding of what needs to be done to ensure that a fair process is followed
  • Are skilled in handling difficult and sensitive situations, for example in relation to alleged discrimination and harassment (in respect of all protected characteristics in the Equality Act 2010), whistleblowing, bullying or victimisation
  • Are reassuringly independent and impartial
  • Are personable and approachable
  • Respect confidentiality at all times

 

Our team possesses a combined wealth of experience in conducting workplace investigations, preparing reports and recommendations for grievance and disciplinary panels, and advising or sitting as a member of panels.

A number of the Old Square Chambers HR Support team sit as part-time fee paid judges in the Employment Tribunal, act as assessors in Professional Regulatory hearings, and are accredited mediators.

 

Services Offered

The Old Square Chambers HR Support team provides advice and support in relation to any of the following:

  • Advising and assisting with any difficult issues that have not yet entered a formal procedure
  • Mediating internal disputes
  • Conducting investigations into grievance and disciplinary matters
  • Advising managers or HR professionals who are conducting procedures ‘in house’
  • Presenting the Management’s case at grievance and disciplinary and appeal hearings
  • Acting as advisor to grievance or disciplinary panels – and usually thereafter writing up the decision
  • Chairing grievance and disciplinary hearing panels
  • Chairing appeals
  • Ensuring any learning points are captured

 

Other Services Offered

  • Advice on policies and procedures
  • In-house training workshops (e.g. disciplinary and grievance situations for managers, equal opportunities/diversity training)

 

 

What the Directories say

Old Square Chambers is ranked as one of the leading Chambers in Employment & Discrimination Law in England & Wales. Here is a selection of what some of the directories say:

Employment & Discrimination

The clerking team are commended for “finding the best barrister for the case; they go out of their way to make sure they provide the right service." All of them are considered “extremely personable,” “highly responsive and in-tune with client needs." They are also known for the commercial­ity of their thinking. Clients who use the set are appreciative of its seminars, training and mock trials and tribunals, which are considered “incredibly helpful.” (Chambers & Partners)

“​Old Square Chambers is the "first port of call for employment barristers; it has excellent strength in depth from juniors to seniors" and a "well-trained team of clerks, who are always helpful and available".  (Legal 500)

 “​A well-established set that shines most brightly in the employment and personal injury spheres. Practitioners here have a strong grounding in industrial relations, in addition to in-depth knowledge of the entire discrimination gamut. Equal pay litigation is another central plank in the set's offering, with its appearance in Birmingham City Council v. Abdulla exemplifying its market renown. “They bring a certain enthusiasm towards cases,"say sources, "and they understand how to manage both clients and witnesses." ” (Chambers & Partners)

 

Mediation/ADR

The "good solid stable of barristers" at Old Square Chambers have been praised for "outstanding attention to detail and legal knowledge" in addition to "impressive advocacy skills and tactical awareness" (Legal 500)

 

Instructing our team

Our team of independent barristers can be instructed in the traditional way through a solicitor. Alternatively many of our team accept instructions directly from organisations on a Public Access basis, see: http://www.oldsquare.co.uk/public-access  for more information about the Public Access scheme.  This gives HR teams the advantage of being able to instruct many of our barristers directly.

 

Contact & Rates

The rates are dependent upon the type of service required. To talk about your HR support needs, please contact our team either by telephone on 0207 269 0300 - and ask for an HR Support clerk - or alternatively by email at HRSupport@oldsquare.co.uk.

 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How much support do you require from the organisation when undertaking an investigation?

            As a minimum, it is desirable to have a designated point of contact (usually in Human Resources) to arrange interviews and booking rooms.

How long will the investigation process take?

            This depends upon the nature and complexity of the situation, as well as the number of allegations and witnesses that need to be interviewed, and witness availability. Before the investigation begins these matters will be discussed and a realistic timescale will be given at the outset.

Can you provide a ‘lessons learnt’ briefing, to assist in improvements for the future?       

We regularly find it useful to provide this sort of feedback at the conclusion of any internal process.

Will you make the decision for us?

            We find that it is vital to be clear from the outset, telling everyone involved whether our role is to make a recommendation, or to make a binding decision.

What if the employee sues – will you give evidence?

            While litigation following a robust process is less likely, if the matter does go to an Employment Tribunal we continue to offer support which can include giving evidence.

Won’t it cost us more to instruct a barrister than to deal with the matter ‘in house’?

            We believe that instructing a barrister to deal with these issues is cost-effective; internal investigations and grievance and disciplinary procedures can often take up a good deal of internal manpower which is best utilised elsewhere within the business.  In addition, using a barrister at an early stage will minimise the risks of an appeal or of external litigation.  Lastly, our team consists of a range of barristers from junior to more senior; our clerks can advise you on the best person to use depending on your needs and your budget.

 

Meet the team

 

Mark Sutton QC

Ben Collins QC

Louise Chudleigh

Ijeoma Omambala

Helen Gower

Deshpal Panesar

Elizabeth Melville

Mark Whitcombe

Melanie Tether

Cyril Adjei

Robin White

Rebecca Tuck

Katharine Newton

Stuart Brittenden

Andrew Midgley

Betsan Criddle

Nadia Motraghi

Hannah Freeman

David Cunnington

Christopher Edwards

Nicola Newbegin

Katherine Fudakowski

Lance Harris

Laith Dilaimi

 

 

 

 

 

 

Introduction

Disciplinary and grievances are something which any organisation has to be prepared to deal with on occasion. They are often complex, time consuming, and are draining for those involved in the process.

Our team of independent barristers at Old Square Chambers HR Support are all established experts in the employment law field, and are fully up to date with standards of HR best practice. We provide a full suite of services designed to complement the needs of any HR Department.  We can assist with all aspects of grievance and disciplinary procedures, as well as with issues that have not yet become formal.  Our services include: advising behind the scenes; conducting investigations; presenting the management case at a hearing; sitting on grievance and disciplinary panels, either in an advisory capacity or as the decision maker; conducting appeals and mediating workplace disputes.

The range of services offered can be tailored to the needs of any particular organisation. We have offices in London and Bristol, although our services are offered throughout the United Kingdom.

 

Benefits of using our Team

There are numerous advantages of using our team. We are uniquely equipped with all of the specialist skills which are essential to ensure a fair process is followed. Our team of barristers possesses vast experience of being able to: quickly identify the relevant issues in any situation, analyse complex facts, test the evidence in a sensitive manner, and produce clear and well-reasoned written reports and decisions. We are recognised by the pre-eminent legal directories for our expertise in employment and industrial relations, which shows our standing in this field, so you can be assured you’ve instructed the right barrister.

In some cases the issue may be particularly sensitive, either because of the seriousness of the issue (e.g. discrimination or whistleblowing), or the seniority of those involved. Whatever the circumstances, we provide an independent and impartial service, offering objective oversight where appropriate.

A well-conducted process involving Old Square Chambers HR Support will allow those participating in the process to believe that they have been given a fair hearing by someone independent of the organisation. This can reduce the risk of subsequent Employment Tribunal proceedings being brought, or disquiet rumbling on after the procedure has ended.

Our barristers:

  • Have many years of unrivalled, high-level HR experience, gained through appearing in Employment Tribunals. We have particular insight as to the do’s and don’ts in handling grievance and disciplinary procedures
  • Possess in-depth understanding of the entire spectrum of employment law and recent developments
  • Have a full understanding of what needs to be done to ensure that a fair process is followed
  • Are skilled in handling difficult and sensitive situations, for example in relation to alleged discrimination and harassment (in respect of all protected characteristics in the Equality Act 2010), whistleblowing, bullying or victimisation
  • Are reassuringly independent and impartial
  • Are personable and approachable
  • Respect confidentiality at all times

 

Our team possesses a combined wealth of experience in conducting workplace investigations, preparing reports and recommendations for grievance and disciplinary panels, and advising or sitting as a member of panels.

A number of the Old Square Chambers HR Support team sit as part-time fee paid judges in the Employment Tribunal, act as assessors in Professional Regulatory hearings, and are accredited mediators.

 

Services Offered

The Old Square Chambers HR Support team provides advice and support in relation to any of the following:

  • Advising and assisting with any difficult issues that have not yet entered a formal procedure
  • Mediating internal disputes
  • Conducting investigations into grievance and disciplinary matters
  • Advising managers or HR professionals who are conducting procedures ‘in house’
  • Presenting the Management’s case at grievance and disciplinary and appeal hearings
  • Acting as advisor to grievance or disciplinary panels – and usually thereafter writing up the decision
  • Chairing grievance and disciplinary hearing panels
  • Chairing appeals
  • Ensuring any learning points are captured

 

Other Services Offered

  • Advice on policies and procedures
  • In-house training workshops (e.g. disciplinary and grievance situations for managers, equal opportunities/diversity training)

 

 

What the Directories say

Old Square Chambers is ranked as one of the leading Chambers in Employment & Discrimination Law in England & Wales. Here is a selection of what some of the directories say:

Employment & Discrimination

The clerking team are commended for “finding the best barrister for the case; they go out of their way to make sure they provide the right service." All of them are considered “extremely personable,” “highly responsive and in-tune with client needs." They are also known for the commercial­ity of their thinking. Clients who use the set are appreciative of its seminars, training and mock trials and tribunals, which are considered “incredibly helpful.” (Chambers & Partners)

“​Old Square Chambers is the "first port of call for employment barristers; it has excellent strength in depth from juniors to seniors" and a "well-trained team of clerks, who are always helpful and available".  (Legal 500)

 “​A well-established set that shines most brightly in the employment and personal injury spheres. Practitioners here have a strong grounding in industrial relations, in addition to in-depth knowledge of the entire discrimination gamut. Equal pay litigation is another central plank in the set's offering, with its appearance in Birmingham City Council v. Abdulla exemplifying its market renown. “They bring a certain enthusiasm towards cases,"say sources, "and they understand how to manage both clients and witnesses." ” (Chambers & Partners)

 

Mediation/ADR

The "good solid stable of barristers" at Old Square Chambers have been praised for "outstanding attention to detail and legal knowledge" in addition to "impressive advocacy skills and tactical awareness" (Legal 500)

 

Instructing our team

Our team of independent barristers can be instructed in the traditional way through a solicitor. Alternatively many of our team accept instructions directly from organisations on a Public Access basis, see: http://www.oldsquare.co.uk/public-access  for more information about the Public Access scheme.  This gives HR teams the advantage of being able to instruct many of our barristers directly.

 

Contact & Rates

The rates are dependent upon the type of service required. To talk about your HR support needs, please contact our team either by telephone on 0207 269 0300 - and ask for an HR Support clerk - or alternatively by email at HRSupport@oldsquare.co.uk.

 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How much support do you require from the organisation when undertaking an investigation?

            As a minimum, it is desirable to have a designated point of contact (usually in Human Resources) to arrange interviews and booking rooms.

How long will the investigation process take?

            This depends upon the nature and complexity of the situation, as well as the number of allegations and witnesses that need to be interviewed, and witness availability. Before the investigation begins these matters will be discussed and a realistic timescale will be given at the outset.

Can you provide a ‘lessons learnt’ briefing, to assist in improvements for the future?       

We regularly find it useful to provide this sort of feedback at the conclusion of any internal process.

Will you make the decision for us?

            We find that it is vital to be clear from the outset, telling everyone involved whether our role is to make a recommendation, or to make a binding decision.

What if the employee sues – will you give evidence?

            While litigation following a robust process is less likely, if the matter does go to an Employment Tribunal we continue to offer support which can include giving evidence.

Won’t it cost us more to instruct a barrister than to deal with the matter ‘in house’?

            We believe that instructing a barrister to deal with these issues is cost-effective; internal investigations and grievance and disciplinary procedures can often take up a good deal of internal manpower which is best utilised elsewhere within the business.  In addition, using a barrister at an early stage will minimise the risks of an appeal or of external litigation.  Lastly, our team consists of a range of barristers from junior to more senior; our clerks can advise you on the best person to use depending on your needs and your budget.

 

Meet the team

 

Mark Sutton QC

Ben Collins QC

Louise Chudleigh

Ijeoma Omambala

Helen Gower

Deshpal Panesar

Elizabeth Melville

Mark Whitcombe

Melanie Tether

Cyril Adjei

Robin White

Rebecca Tuck

Katharine Newton

Stuart Brittenden

Andrew Midgley

Betsan Criddle

Nadia Motraghi

Hannah Freeman

David Cunnington

Christopher Edwards

Nicola Newbegin

Katherine Fudakowski

Lance Harris

Laith Dilaimi

 

 

 

 

 

 

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