Mukhtiar Singh enjoys a broad employment and commercial practice with a strong client base in London and Kent. He has a particular focus on cases involving whistleblowing; discrimination; and business and commercial ethics.
Since 2017, Mukhtiar has been recommended in Chambers UK Bar Guide for his employment work. His depth of knowledge of employment law, coupled with over twenty-five years’ experience in employment relations, enables him to provide sound advice and practical solutions.
Mukhtiar has a particular interest in whistleblowing and discrimination disputes. Cases involving financial services and healthcare workers often call upon his experience with regulatory matters. He has dealt with numerous cases involving the effects of Covid-19, including furlough, redundancy and health & safety detriment and dismissal.
He is instructed in cases that overlap with his commercial practice, including shareholder prejudice; breach of director duties; breach of confidentiality; restraint of trade; partnership disputes; and pay bonus claims, in particular bonuses.
Mukhtiar is now a voluntary member of the Legal Support Network for Protect, the whistleblowing charity (formerly Public Concern at Work). As a member of its Legal Support Network, he provides advice and representation, particularly on complex cases; and advises and shares good practice in order to develop policy.
- Sethi v Elements Personnel Services Ltd Case no. 2300234/2018 (2019). Successfully argued that the no-beard policy of a recruitment agency, which provided staff to 5-star hotels in London, was indirect religious discrimination as it puts Sikhs at a particular disadvantage. The judgment can be read here.
- Parkin v Leeds City Council UKEAT/0178/19 (2019). Successfully appealed on two grounds that allegations of sex discrimination and harassment should not have been struck out either as there being no prospect of success or by failing to apply the two-part test of Hasan v Tesco Stores. The judgment is noteworthy as to the approach to multiple discrimination claims with lengthy pleadings and it can be read here.
- A 7-day religious harassment and victimisation claim. Successfully argued that a Muslim employee was subject to religious harassment the day following the Manchester terrorist attack at the Ariana Grande concert and was victimised after he raised a complaint. The judgment can be read here.
- Unfair/wrongful dismissal dispute involving a city trader. The central issue was the culture of the (well-known investment) bank at the time, including the prevalence of the alleged misconduct. The case involved a consideration of how a settlement, including a reference, could be achieved in light of the Senior Managers Regime.
- A 3-day county court case for unpaid pay with counterclaims for fraud and breach of post-termination restrictive covenants. Having been instructed for 2 years on a direct public access basis, successfully settled on the first day of trial securing the full value of the claim and costs.
- 4-day unfair dismissal case brought by a director-employee involving allegations of financial irregularity and a breach of fiduciary duties.
- A county court claim for a director’s payment in lieu of notice which had been withheld after the employer alleged to have subsequently discovered breaches of fiduciary duties.
- 4-day disability discrimination case involving harassment because the employee had a hearing impairment.
- 3-day claim including age discrimination, detriment, unfair dismissal and holiday pay. Successfully argued that a rolled-up holiday pay clause was a sham.
- Acting pro-bono, successfully negotiated at remedies stage a six-figure settlement for a Claimant who had established that her employer had subjected her to victimisation and race discrimination.
- A county court claim involving the recoverability of finder’s fees and an allegation of breach of post-termination restrictions.
- An equal pay case, including sex and pregnancy discrimination, involving bonus schemes in the City. A substantial settlement was obtained on behalf of the client.
- A whistleblowing case involving a senior manager brought against a leading investment bank.
- 8-day whistleblowing and unfair dismissal claim brought by a nurse, where a key issue was the meaning of “in the public interest” as inserted by s.17 of the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act.
- Unfair dismissal and unpaid holiday case. Successfully argued that a construction worker under a written “self-employed” contract was an employee.
Mukhtiar’s commercial practice involves a broad spectrum of commercial law: contract disputes; insolvency; professional negligence; and company and partnership law. Large parts of his commercial practice overlap with employment disputes particularly restraint of trade, confidential information and director/shareholder disputes.
He is currently instructed in a number of director/shareholder disputes involving allegations of fraud; dishonest assistance; unfair prejudice; and breach of fiduciary duties. Mukhtiar has advised on contractual disputes arising from Covid-19 relating to the interpretation of force majeure clauses and frustration.
Mukhtiar maintains a private client practice for existing clients which includes traditional Chancery work.
- Acted on behalf of a vulnerable individual who had loaned circa £400,000 to two individuals who subsequently denied the existence of the loans and one defendant denied agency making counter-allegations including fraud. The client successfully recovered the capital sum, interest and costs following settlement on the first day of a trial conducted by Zoom (2020).
- Acted on behalf of a UK company who brought a breach of contract claim against a US company it had contracted with to provide sales and marketing. The key issue was of contractual interpretation, particularly whether an obligation to provide notice of termination could be circumvented by exercising a right not to provide work. The Claimant obtained a favourable settlement following lengthy litigation (2019).
- Without notice injunction (settled on the return date). Successfully restrained the winding up of a small football club where there was a genuine dispute over the alleged debt for development work carried out at the ground. The defence included an alleged non-disclosed conflict of interest in the construction company by the club’s former finance director (2018).
- An extended fast-track trial regarding unpaid private school fees. The case involved the applicability of the Consumer Credit Act 1974 and counterclaims regarding the school’s representations and performance (2018).
- C v B  EWHC 3567 (QB): appeal against the striking out, on limitation grounds, of a counterclaim to a possession claim for knowing assistance to a breach of trust involving secured loans used to invest in a Ponzi scheme. Mr. Justice Mitting stated, “She is now represented on a Direct Access basis by Mr. Mukhtiar Singh who has presented her case with moderation and realism. I am grateful to him, as she should be as well”.
- Acted on behalf of a specialist environmental clearance company who undertook work as part of the development of a petrol station to residential properties. The Defendants ran defences involving privity and agency, but ultimately conceded on the day of trial (2017).
- Acted on behalf of the Defendant denying the existence of a number of loans; the Claimant withdrew his claim at the end of the first day of trial (2017).
- On the day of trial, successfully negotiated settlement in a claim under s.14 of the Sale of Goods Act 1979, for rescission and damages involving the purchase of a defective vehicle (2017).
- Professional negligence dispute against a solicitor acting for an elderly purchaser of a lifetime lease who alleged she believed she was obtaining the freehold title (2017).
- Represented an ex-director of two sister companies (one UK and one US) in a breach of contracts claim where the companies had relied upon respective Payment In Lieu of Notice clauses following termination, but subsequently refused to pay citing breach of fiduciary duties and fraud allegedly subsequently discovered. Settled favourably following mediation (2016).
- 4-day multi-track trial involving an alleged loan of £200,000 to a sibling; successfully defended the case and obtained costs on an indemnity basis (2016).
- 4-day multi-track trial involving claims and counterclaims for breach of contract and unjust enrichment, where the dispute was over the completion of renovation works and a failure to execute a commercial lease (2016).
- 2-day multi-track trial involving a substantial loan and a counterclaim for breach of a partnership agreement, which thereafter resulted in protracted enforcement proceedings (2016).
- Successfully obtained summary judgment on behalf of the Claimant in a dispute against guarantor Defendants concerning a failed overseas investment (2016).
- Successful application, with costs, to set aside default judgment entered in favour of a leading parking charges enforcement company for breach of contract. Argued implied terms could be incorporated thus the Defendant had a real prospect of defending the claim (2015).
- 3-day fast track trial involving a claim for misrepresentation, breach of contract and non-acceptance under the Sale of Goods Act 1979 (2014).
Mukhtiar accepts instructions for professional discipline cases and applies his robust advocacy skills to his practical awareness. He has a good understanding of the Senior Managers and Certification Regime as employment cases involving the financial services sector often have a regulatory aspect.
- Mukhtiar represented a teacher in an appeal against the decision by an examinations regulator (the AQA) to suspend a teacher for improper assistance to students.
- He is regularly instructed via Direct Public Access or by the Royal College of Nursing to represent nurses and has been instructed for lengthy hearings involving allegation of dishonesty.
- He has appeared in a number of hearings before the General Optical Council. He has experience of an appeal to the High Court against a decision of the General Optical Council.
- Mukhtiar defended a practitioner in suitability proceedings brought by NHS England. The practitioner faced serious probity allegations, akin to fraud. The proceedings raised legal issues regarding the interpretation of the National Health Service (Performers Lists) Regulations 2013; and the legal effect of breaches of the removal procedures.
- He represented a police officer in a four-day hearing, where the officer faced allegations of racism and sexism. A key issue was which Home Office guidance was applicable .
Mukhtiar’s father came to the UK in the 1950s and worked as a labourer in London until retirement age. Mukhtiar had various part-time jobs during primary and secondary education and then enjoyed nearly 25 years’ full-time employment since leaving school aged 16.
Prior to successfully completing pupillage in October 2013, Mukhtiar completed his Law degree and Bar qualifications whilst working full-time.
Mukhtiar has a particular interest in social mobility at the Bar and has set up the Guru Nanak Social Mobility Scholarship scheme. He is also a Social Mobility Advocate, as part of the Bar Council’s “#IamtheBar” Social Mobility campaign.
The proposed EU Directive on protection for whistleblowers, Employment Lawyers Association (ELA) Briefing. Co-authored with David Woodward of Slater and Gordon, June 2019
University of London Award for Academic Achievement (on four occasions)
Lord Denning Major BPTC Scholarship, Lincoln's Inn
Buchanan Prize, Lincoln's Inn
Cholmeley Studentship, Lincoln's Inn
Learn more about Mukhtiar Singh, including his journey to the Bar and his social mobility work:
- Guardian (University of Law partner zone) - 'I visualised my future': meet the man who became a barrister at 41-years-old
- The Lawyer Portal - Case Study: University of Law, Mukhtiar Singh
- The Bar Council - Spotlight on Mukhtiar Singh, Social Mobility Advocate
- The Sikh Way - Launch of £4000 Guru Nanak social mobility scholarship
- New Law Journal - Guru Nanak Scholarship launched
- Sikh Siyasat News - Sikh Education Council and Barrister Mukhtiar Singh Awards £4,000 'Guru Nanak Social Mobility Scholarship'
- Mukhtiar Singh on Twitter promoting Guru Nanak Social Mobility Scholarships
- The Honourable Society of Lincoln's Inn - Facebook post promoting Guru Nanak Social Mobility Scholarships
- Counsel Magazine - Extraordinary Working Lives: Mukhtiar Singh
- Counsel Magazine - First Guru Nanak award
- Mukhtiar Singh and Danielle Manson of Garden Court talk diversity on BBC Radio 4 Law in Action (12 June 2019)