An extremely knowledgeable and skilled lawyer who is also pragmatic, supportive and the ultimate professional.
Recognised as a Key Lawyer
Lucy is "particularly knowledgeable, very sensitive and compassionate, while being robust"
"Excellent technical knowledge, pragmatic approach and business focus"
Sources praise Lucy for her "very clear and timely advice"
Sources praise "her detailed knowledge of the law."
I joined the Employment Department of Bates Wells in 1999. Before that I was a barrister and a firm that did a lot of advocacy in-house was very appealing to me. I have often advocated in the employment tribunals and Employment Appeal Tribunal.
My personal highlight of tribunal advocacy has been successfully defending a religious Occupational Requirement for a faith-based organisation (Muhammed v Leprosy Mission International, EOR March 2010). In the Employment Appeal Tribunal, it is Virgo Fidelis School v Boyle which set the precedent that whistle-blowers are entitled to compensation for injury to feelings. The case of which I am most proud is Coleman v Attridge Law. I was Sharon Coleman’s solicitor from the beginning of the case all the way to the Court of Justice of the European Union where we successfully created the concept of associative discrimination. This means that a person can’t be discriminated against because of the characteristic of a person with whom they associate eg as the mother of a disabled child.
As well as discrimination and whistle-blowing I have a lot of interest and expertise in questions about employment status. Along with colleagues I have acted in many cases where we have established that volunteers cannot sue charities in the employment tribunals. Working time is another key interest of mine. I have given a lot of advice about working hours and minimum wage, and difficult holiday pay issues. I have written a book called “Working Time and Holidays – a practical legal guide” (Oxford University Press 2009). I have frequently spoken on television and radio on employment law subjects, as well as lecturing and providing training to clients.
I became Head of Department in 2017. I currently act primarily for charities/not for profit organisations.
I interviewed all of the relevant witnesses and prepared a detailed report for the Board, with conclusions about whether any inappropriate and/or unlawful conduct had taken place. This involved advising on issues about how historic allegations should be treated.
The advice involved questions of jurisdiction, and detailed consideration of reputation management for the charity. The Chief Executive made allegations that he was a whistle-blower and the “disclosures” that he had made needed to be dealt with. Terms for his departure were successfully negotiated and agreed and there was no negative publicity for the charity.
The charity needed to make a Serious Incident Report to the Charity Commission, which I drafted for them. The post holders in question have now left the college without any compensation and with no claims being brought.