Profile

During over a decade at the Bar, Heather has built an
impressive reputation in Employment Law, Discrimination Law and related
areas.  Client testimonials have praised Heather as a "highly competent
and reliable counsel” who is valued for her "patient and professional conduct”,
her "ability to analyse and grasp detailed information” and her "excellent
preparation”. They add that she is a "tenacious advocate” who is "razor sharp
both in cross-examination and her delivery”. Heather is also an accredited Mediator.

What her clients say:

"I would like to take the opportunity for thank
you for all your all of your hard work. You really have been
incredible. You have an innate ability combine sensitivity and
kindness with outstanding professionalism and expertise and I am awe of
how who conducted our case.  Whatever the outcome I know that we have had
the very best possible representation and I thank you whole heartedly."
Client, sexual harassment case, Farnborough.

"I thank you for your patient and professional conduct
in dealing with my legal and health problems”. Claimant, disability
discrimination case, Romford, Essex

"Miss Platt’s ability to analyse and grasp detailed
information is second-to-none and I believe this is helped by the excellent
preparations undertaken in all the matters she is instructed in.  Miss
Platt is a tenacious advocate”. Solicitor, Essex

"Felt that I had to write briefly to thank you so much
for your all of your very hard work yesterday.  Despite the obvious
industry, you were also great company.  Clearly, I found the day very
difficult.  Again, thank you for all you have done and not in a small way
for all of the ground work you did when I must have presented as a 'nightmare'
client!” Claimant, disability discrimination case (judicial mediation) at
London East Employment Tribunal.

Heather says she loves her job: "I do have a passion
for employment law. I enjoy going to court, but I also get great satisfaction
from the advisory and teaching aspects of my work.”

Recent cases include:


Successful claim
for harassment and discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation.

Successful claim
for disability discrimination and unfair dismissal against Tesco Stores
Ltd on behalf of a senior manager.

Successfully
defending a claim against an airline for unfair dismissal relating to a
dismissal for inappropriate comments posted on Facebook by a cabin crew
manager and trade union representative also involved inconsistency of
sanction.

Successful in the
EAT on behalf of a manufacturer of component parts for aeroplanes
involving the application of the now (very!) old Employment Act 2008
(Commencement No.1 Transitional Provisions and Savings) Order 2008

Appealing to the
court of appeal in a case where dismissal is admitted under the Equality
Act 2010 but denied for the purposes of the Employment Rights Act 1996 and
the application of the doctrine of frustration.

Defending a claim
of constructive unfair dismissal on behalf of a housing association. 
After she successfully cross examined the claimant and substantially
reduced the scope of the claim, the claimant decided to withdraw her claim
from the employment tribunal altogether.

Acting in a claim
involving alleged phantom passengers in a road traffic accident and claim
for personal injuries. Currently involved in an ongoing appeal in the
Employment Appeal Tribunal in relation to a costs order made by the
Leicester Employment Tribunal in a case against an NHS Trust.  This
was heard in August 2012 and she was successful: click
here to read more.

Successful sexual
harassment and constructive dismissal claim against a recruitment company.


Heather accepts instructions under the Bar’s Public
Access Scheme for representation, advice and tactical case management and
planning.

EDUCATION

Heather has experience of acting in cases for and
against schools, colleges, universities and examination bodies.  She
recently acted for the Claimant in a claim of disability discrimination brought
against the Institute
and Faculty of Actuaries.  She has experience of advising
schools and further educational institutions as to how to avoid discrimination
as well as on their internal policies and HR procedures.  Heather has also
advised faith schools and dealt with redundancy situations in the education
sector.  Heather is a visiting lecturer at City University in London and
teaches final year LLB students.  Heather is also an external examiner for
the Bar Standards Board. 

Heather's LinkedIn Profile can be viewed here and
you can read more here.

Expertise

EMPLOYMENT AND DISCRIMINATION

Heather represents a wide cross-section of businesses,
from multinational corporations to SMEs, as well as public bodies and
individuals.  She has handled numerous cases before the employment
tribunals, the Employment Appeal Tribunal and in the High Court; Heather is
particularly in-demand for her expertise in disability, sex and race
discrimination, sexual orientation, unfair dismissal, redundancy, stress at
work, bullying and harassment, whistleblowing and TUPE.  Acting for both
claimants and respondents, Heather has successfully obtained injunctive relief
in the High Court and has substantial experience in discrimination law. 
She has acted in several high-value cases for and against large organisations
and public bodies, including Primary Care Trusts, schools and colleges, local
authorities, housing associations, police forces and major airlines.  Her
professional negligence practice largely relates to the conduct of tribunal
proceedings.

Heather is the Head of the Pump Court Chambers
Employment Team and regularly presents seminars and carries out bespoke
training on all aspects of Employment Law.  She is the author of a monthly
employment law update and a regular contributor to chambers’ employment law
newsletter.  Heather does pro bono work at the Employment
Appeal Tribunal for ELAAS and compiles the Pump
Court Costs Reports.

BUSINESS AND COMMERCIAL

Heather regularly advises businesses, partnerships and
companies on a range of matters including debt recovery, disputes about fees,
breach of partnership agreements and insolvency.  Heather is in demand for
advice as to restrictive covenants and their enforceability, she drafts
contracts and also acts and advises in relation to injunction proceedings in
the High Court.

Heather’s cases often involve allegations of fraud.  
She also advises company directors as to their employment law rights and
obligations and carries out training and in house seminars for line managers.
 Before coming to the Bar, Heather worked for a Top 5 Law Firm in Sydney,
Australia.

Recent cases include:


Defending a claim
brought against an accountant in the High Court for solicitation and
breach of restrictive covenants, involves mistake and fraudulent
misrepresentation

Advising as to the
enforceability of contractual terms in respect of trainee surveyors

Advising as to the
enforceability of restrictive covenants in respect of a popular weight
loss franchise programme

Drafting pleadings
for TV personalities upon the termination of their contracts with a
popular reality television series

Advising as to the
terms and enforceability of a partnership agreement

Advising and
drafting undertakings for a pest elimination company as to potential
breach of restrictive covenants and to prevent loss of trade by former
employee


PROFESSIONAL NEGLIGENCE

Heather’s professional negligence practice largely
relates to the conduct of tribunal proceedings.

PERSONAL INJURY AND CLINICAL NEGLIGENCE

In addition to her work within Employment Law, Heather
has advised and represented claimants and defendants in a wide variety of
personal injury litigation including employer’s liability; tripping and
slipping; road traffic accidents with complex credit hire, fraud and phantom
passengers; occupier’s and manufacturer’s liability; injuries arising from the
disrepair of property and claims under the Package Tour Regulations.  She
has particular expertise of cases involving the Manual Handling Operations
Regulations 1992 and the various regulations involving protective work
equipment.

Heather has a particular interest in psychiatric and
neurological damage and has cross-examined medical experts in numerous
cases.  She advises and acts for both claimants and insurers, on both a
private basis and under conditional fee agreements.   Before she came
to the Bar, Heather worked in a specialist Personal Injury and Industrial
Disease law firm and was involved in multi-party actions with complicated
limitation issues. 

REGULATORY AND DISCIPLINARY

Heather has expertise in regulatory matters, in
particular the regulation of professionals such as Doctors, nurses, social
workers, teachers, police officers, accountants and within the provision of
financial services.

Heather has appeared in appeals against decisions
taken by professional bodies in the High Court, most recently in Okee v
Nursing and Midwifery Council - [2014] All ER (D) 07 (Mar).
 Heather's employment and civil law background make her uniquely placed to
advise on the interplay between the regulatory sphere and individual employment
law rights.

 

More information

QUALIFICATIONS:


The University of
Liverpool LLB (Hons) English & German Laws

One Essex Court
Prize for Advocacy (highest marks in Advocacy examinations at the College
Of Law)

Nominated for
Teaching Award 2010 and 2011


PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATIONS:

Employment Law Bar Association, Employment Lawyers’
Association, Industrial Law Society, Personal Injury Bar Association, Public
Access Bar Association, Society of Legal Scholars

PROFESSIONAL ACTIVITIES:


Advisory and
mediation work

Bespoke employer
training for SMEs including tribunal simulations

Tactical advice to
employers during disciplinary and grievance procedures

Webinars for CLT
and DataLaw

Lectures in
employment and discrimination law at City University, London

Chambers’ seminar
programme, bespoke in-house training and Webinars


OUTSIDE INTERESTS:


Heather is an
extreme sports enthusiast and keen traveller; she particularly enjoys high
altitude mountaineering (her last mountain was Mera Peak). Heather loves
scuba-diving, surfing and skiing.


NOTABLE CASES:


Okee v Nursing and
Midwifery Council - [2014] All ER (D) 07 (Mar)

Warner v Armfield
Retail & Leisure Ltd (Contract of Employment : Frustration) [2013] All
ER (D) 260 (Oct) [2013] UKEAT 0376_12_0810 (8 October 2013)

Masson v Meggit
Avionics Limited (2013) UKEATPA/0307/12/KN

Oni v NHS
Leicester City (formerly Leicester City Primary Care Trust) (Practice and
Procedure : Costs) [2012] UKEAT 0144_12_1209 (12 September 2012)

Oni v NHS
Leicester City (2011) UKEATPA/1138/11/LA – costs and list of issues.

Okoro & Okenwa
v Taylor Woodrow Construction & Ors (2011) UKEAT/0319/10/ZT –
continuous discrimination and jurisdiction.

Winchester &
Eastleigh Healthcare NHS Trust v Walker UKEATPA/1794/10/LA – basic award,
continuous service in the NHS.

McKinnon v Greater
Manchester Police (2011) ET – 15 day race discrimination case brought by
volunteer.

Hose Express
Thurrock Ltd v Jacomb (2009) UKEAT 0389_08_3103 (unreported) – disability
related discrimination (possible reference to the ECJ) following London
Borough of Lewisham v Malcolm [2008] 1 AC 1399.

Henry v (1) London
Borough of Southwark (2) South London & Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust
(2008) – race discrimination; application for review and new evidence;
aiding and abetting race discrimination UKEAT/0520/07/DM (unreported).

Hamilton v Tesco
Stores Limited (2007) ET – Damages of £320,000 for Disability
Discrimination; overlapping claims in the County Court for Personal Injury
and Professional Negligence


PUBLICATIONS:


CLT Webinar
Employment Status (August 2012)

Handle with Kid
Gloves (2011) NLJ 762

Out for the Count!
(2010) NLJ 1209

Employment: Stress
alert! (2009) 159 NLJ 1494

Access all areas
(2006) 156 NLJ 1668

On shaky ground
(2006) 156 NLJ 91

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