Partner and Head of Employment


Lucy is ranked by Chambers UK legal directory as a 'Leader in Employment', and recommended by the Legal 500 directory. She has a particular interest and expertise in advising on discrimination, the status of atypical workers (including volunteers), whistleblowing, maternity and working time issues.

She has acted as advocate in the Employment Tribunals and the Employment Appeal Tribunal in numerous reported cases, acting for both employers and employees. She conducted the case of Coleman v Attridge Law, which established the principle of associative discrimination under UK law. She is a frequent speaker on both radio and television on employment law matters. She is the author of Working Time and Holiday: A Practical Legal Guide (Oxford University Press, 2009). Her reported cases include X v Mid Sussex CAB, 2013, IRLR 146 (in which the Supreme Court ruled that volunteers were not covered by the term 'occupation' in the European Framework Directive for the purpose of protection from disability discrimination), Dixon v Croglin Estate, 2012, EqLR 188 (obtaining a six-figure award for age discrimination for the Claimant), Mahood v Irish Centre Housing, 2011, EqLR 586 (liability of principals for discriminatory acts of agency workers), Muhammed v Leprosy Mission International Equal Opportunities Review March 2010 (establishing that a Christian ethos-based organisation was entitled not to employ a Muslim as a finance administrator under the Occupational Requirement defence).

Examples of recent work

  • Negotiating contentious departures of senior members of staff, in particular in circumstances where relationships (chair – chief cxecutive, chief cxecutive – senior management team member/s) have broken down
  • Advice to charities on Serious Incident Reporting about employment situations involving safeguarding, criminal acts or financial irregularities
  • Advising on complex whistleblowing/grievance issues, including #Metoo allegations
  • Independent investigation of sexual harassment complaints for a theatre company
  • Advising employers about the employment law issues arising from an increased use of homeworking/flexible workinge
  • Defending numerous disability discrimination/reasonable adjustments tribunal claims
  • Advice on issues arising out of the misuse of social networking media (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn etc.) by employees both in and out of the workplace
  • Advice on implications of the Equality Act, both for employers and service providers
  • Advice on the full range of employment status issues, including successfully defending claims by self employed contractors and volunteers asserting employee/worker status
  • Advice to national and local social care providers on National Minimum Wage and sleep-ins in light of the judgment by the Court of Appeal in Mencap/Rampersad
  • Advice to employers on large scales redundancies exercises including collective consultation and engagement with trade unions
  • Negotiating settlement agreements on behalf of both employers and employees

Qualifications and career

  • Bristol University, BA First Class Honours in English, 1994
  • Called to the Bar in 1997
  • Joined Bates Wells Braithwaite in 1999
  • Qualified as a solicitor in 2002
  • Partner in 2005

Pro bono, memberships and appointments

  • Member and former Chair of the Industrial Law Society 
  • Honorary legal advisor to Employers for Carers
  • School governor
  • Member of ELA
  • Volunteer youth leader

Employment knowhow from Lucy McLynn