Jennifer is a Partner in the Employment department, specialising in complex discrimination and whistleblowing claims, High Court injunctions, workplace investigations and partnership disputes. She is best known for advising a number of journalists at the BBC, including Carrie Gracie, on high-profile allegations of equal pay and sex discrimination against the Corporation. Jennifer frequently advises LLPs and their members in the professional and financial services sectors, and has long-standing experience advising the recruitment sector.
Jennifer is adept at handling large-scale litigation both in the Employment Tribunal and beyond through the appellate Courts, and has substantial experience in High Court litigation, from high-value breach of contract and bonus disputes to injunction proceedings. Understanding the particular challenges of unfair competition disputes, she prosecutes and defends complex and fast-paced cases involving breaches of restrictive covenants, data theft, team moves and the use of social media. Such cases often involve multi-party claims of breach of contract, breach of confidence, inducement to breach and conspiracy. She is experienced in advising on application of remedies for injunctive relief, including mandatory injunctions such as delivery up and forensic IT searches, prohibitory injunctions such as enforcement of restrictive covenants and springboard relief. Jennifer also has experience of arbitrations under LLP and partnership agreements.
As well as providing commercial and strategic advice to HR teams, in-house counsel and boards, Jennifer advises on complex and high-value settlements for senior individuals – employees, directors, LLP members and partners – exiting businesses in a wide variety of sectors.
Jennifer frequently advises on the investigation of workplace misconduct, and acts for senior executives defending such allegations. She also has significant experience in conducting workplace investigations, including independent investigations for employers for whom the firm does not act.
Jennifer has a leading role in the firm's cross-departmental Recruitment Services Group. Jennifer is a member of the Association of Partnership Practitioners. She also formed part of the Employment Lawyers’ Association’s working parties to respond to the government’s 2016 and 2021 consultations on reform of the law of restrictive covenants and is regularly published in the employment press, quoted in various broadsheet newspapers, and has appeared on news programmes including Newsnight, BBC News, Channel 4, Radio 5 Live, CNN and Sky News to discuss equal pay and gender pay reporting.
For her work in the highly topical debate on Gender Pay Equality, Jennifer was named Human Resources: Individual of the year for London in the Legal 500 Awards 2020 and recognised in The Lawyer Hot 100 Awards 2019. She is also ranked as a Leading Individual for Employment: Senior Executives in Chambers (Band 1) and Partnership (Band 4), as a Thought Leader in Who's Who Legal 2023 and as a Leading Individual for Senior Executives in Legal 500.
- Represented a fund manager in a sensitive and high-value whistleblowing claim. The claim was settled successfully shortly before a multi-day Tribunal hearing.
- Represented a listed recruitment business defending a High Court team move claim brought by a competitor, which also involved allegations of misuse of LinkedIn data. The claims were that our client had (1) induced three of the competitor’s former employees to breach their contracts of employment and LinkedIn obligations; and (2) conspired with the three employees to injure by unlawful means by way of poaching a team and soliciting clients and candidates from the competitor. Secured a favourable settlement part-way through a speedy trial following an interim injunction.
- Advised Krista Bates van Winkelhof on her claims of whistleblowing, sex/pregnancy discrimination and victimisation in the Employment Tribunal following her removal from the partnership at Clyde & Co. The Supreme Court decision in the case ruled that members of LLPs in the UK do benefit from the protection from detriment afforded by the UK's whistleblowing legislation, while a previous decision of the Court of Appeal in the case confirmed that the territorial considerations in the Equality Act will follow the rules in Lawson v Serco. The case has also established that an LLP cannot use an arbitration clause to prevent a member from pursuing claims in the Employment Tribunal.
- Acted pro bono for Mrs Griffin in successive appeals to the Employment Appeal Tribunal and subsequently the Court of Appeal, appealing the Employment Tribunal's decision on quantum following her successful claims for disability discrimination and constructive unfair dismissal against Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust. The reported decision in the Court of Appeal held that the Tribunal had erred in applying the “simplified loss” approach to Mrs Griffin's pension losses, and prompted Underhill LJ to call for an urgent review of the Tribunal’s guidance in such cases, "Compensation for Loss of Pension Rights". The decision was particularly important to Mrs Griffin as it was accepted that she would suffer final salary pension losses to retirement.
- Acted for a high-profile, global business in a long-standing multi-forum dispute against an unsuccessful candidate for a job. Obtained interim and final High Court injunctions for delivery up and to prevent misuse of confidential information. Successfully defended an indirect race discrimination claim in the Employment Tribunal and resisted multiple applications for disclosure in the County Court, the High Court and the Employment Tribunal.
- Acted for Julie Humphryes in her successful claims for sex discrimination, constructive unfair dismissal and unlawful deduction from wages against property design company Yoo Limited, in respect of her treatment following her return from maternity leave. Succeeded in claims of personal liability for discrimination against the then-CEO and co-founder of Yoo Limited.
- Acted for a group of senior City bankers in a successful challenge to the non-payment of multi-million pound guaranteed bonuses and severance payments by Dresdner Kleinwort Limited. The cases were won at summary judgment.
- Acted in a major piece of discrimination litigation for a global interdealer broker. Part of that litigation established (in the Employment Appeal Tribunal) that an employee cannot bring proceedings in the Employment Tribunal in respect of matters arising in another jurisdiction, even if that employment was contiguous with employment in the UK.
- Advised the ex-CEO of a large department store in a high value High Court action against his ex-employer for breach of contract.
- Acted for a senior HR professional in an action against a global bank for disability discrimination and unfair dismissal, and in the subsequent mediation and settlement of the dispute prior to the full Tribunal hearing.
Partner, Mishcon de Reya LLP
Legal Director, Mishcon de Reya
Associate, Mishcon de Reya
Solicitor, Mishcon de Reya
University of Nottingham: BA (Hons) French and Hispanic Studies