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Home > Barristers > Catrin Lewis

Catrin Lewis

  • Call: 1991
Catrin Lewis

Practice

Employment and discrimination

Catrin specialises in all aspects of employment law. She has particular expertise in race, sex and disability discrimination cases and was regularly instructed in cases supported by the Commission for Racial Equality, Equal Opportunities Commission and the Disability Rights Commission and is now instructed in cases supported by the Commission for Equality and Human Rights.

Catrin advised on Chambers’ LSC funded CallCounsel employment advice line and Counsel’s Advice written advice scheme for 8 years until the LSC funding was withdrawn, the service covered the full range of employment law queries from unfair dismissals to discrimination claims. She has always had a strong commitment to claimant-based work and regularly carries out pro bono work. Catrin also provides training to solicitors and voluntary sector advisers in employment law.

Catrin’s practice also covers a range of civil work involving civil and human rights, including actions against the police and prison authorities, prisoners’ rights, travellers’ rights and judicial review.

Court of Protection

Catrin has considerable experience of acting for vulnerable clients through her employment and discrimination practice; this has led her into Court of Protection work. She is currently developing a COP practice. She has been instructed in deputyship disputes and has experience of scrutinising and challenging capacity assessments. She is also familiar with challenges to DOLS in S.21A proceedings.

Catrin was appointed as an Employment Judge (fee paid) in 2009

Catrin is also an accredited mediator

Background

Catrin worked at Hackney Community Law Centre for seven years before joining Chambers in 2000. Her experience of working in the voluntary sector informs her approach to many of her cases. Whilst at the Law Centre Catrin was a member of the local Community Legal Services Partnership and has extensive experience of the particular funding issues related to the voluntary sector and Legal Services Commission (LSC) contracting.

Catrin is a long-standing member of the Haldane Society’s Employment Law sub-committee, whose activities include campaigning, briefing and lobbying on all aspects of employment rights both collective and individual, and also in providing training to trade unions including the FBU and RMT.

Catrin is a former Chair of the Haldane Society and for many years was editor of Socialist Lawyer magazine.
In addition she is a contributor to Liberty’s “Your Rights” on line service on discrimination law.

Notable Cases

Andreou v Lord Chancellor Department [2002] IRLR 728 CA (Adjournment of Employment Tribunal hearing, proof of illness, nature of medical evidence required)

Mallon v Corus Constructions and Industrial UK Ltd, EAT/857/02 Arrangements for determining whom to employ. On the true construction of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 s.4(1)(a), the fact of premature termination of an interview was as much part of the arrangements within that section as the conducting of the interview or a refusal to interview at all.

MacCulloch and Wallis Ltd v Moore EAT IDS Brief 740
Section 57A Employment Rights Act 1996 Dependant Care leave-notice provisions

Hudson v University of Oxford UKEAT/0488/05, UKEAT/0142/06
Tribunal Chairman sitting alone ought not to have struck out claims for unfair dismissal and whistleblowing; also held without prejudice correspondence admissible in support of whistleblowing claim due to unambiguous impropriety and because not part of a genuine attempt to settle dispute.

Claridge v Daler Rowney Ltd UKEAT/0188/08/CEA
Following Abbey National plc v Fairbrother [2007] IRLR 320, even where the Tribunal concluded that in its view the employer has acted unreasonably, that is not of itself necessarily enough to establish a constructive dismissal. In a case like this where the alleged breach results from a course of conduct, the question is whether the conduct fell outside the range of reasonable responses. In relation to grievance procedures, Fairbrother was not in conflict with W A Goold (Pearmark) Ltd v McConnell & Ors [1995] IRLR 516. A hearing will be sufficiently prompt if in all the circumstances a reasonable employer could have conducted the procedure as the Respondent employer did. Further, the grievance procedure must be looked at as a whole and should not be broken down into stages.

R (Fuller) v Chief Constable of Dorset Police [2002] 3 All ER 57 QBD Travellers: Police powers to require trespassers to leave land, whether direction requiring trespassers to leave land valid if not giving trespassers the opportunity to comply with occupier’s request for them to leave, whether direction to leave land valid if requires them to leave at a future time

Other cases of interest

  • Successful victimisation claims for a number of Muslim workers who brought claims against their employers under the Religion or Belief Regulations
  • Obtaining over £120,000 and costs in a sexual harassment claim
  • Representing the successful claimant in a claim for discrimination and victimisation on grounds of gender reassignment in respect of the provision of a reference;
  • Advising the claimant’s union (ATL) on behalf of their member who was a housemistress at an independent school in her successful claim for failure to pay the minimum wage.
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