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Author Archive

Emma Norman-Jones

Emma Norman-Jones

Emma Norman-Jones

Trainee Solicitor

Emma joined our Liverpool office as a trainee solicitor in the Litigation department in September 2020.

Previous to his role at Bermans, she worked as a Paralegal at other leading law firms in Liverpool.

Emma graduated with a degree in Law from Newcastle University in 2019 and received a distinction from the LPC MSc.

She assists the Litigation team by undertaking the following:

  • Drafting formal letters to landlords re tenancy disputes relating to implied and express covenants;
  • Providing a summary of the position in relation to applications to set as default judgement and JCT contracts; and
  • Drafting letters before claim.

Emma lives in West Lancashire and is a keen sportsperson, she is a member of Ormskirk Netball Club and spends time at the gym and running.  She is also a member of the Merseyside Junior Lawyers Division.

 


E: emma.norman-jones@bermans.co.uk

T: 0151 224 0500

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Chris Brain

chris-brain-webTrainee Solicitor

Chris joined our Manchester office as a trainee solicitor in the Litigation department in September 2020.

Previous to his role at Bermans, he worked as a Corporate Analyst for Carteret Capital (Carteret Group) sourcing finance, predominantly for football clubs.

Chris graduated with an LLB from University of Liverpool in 2019.

He is currently working within the litigation department and duties include drafting pleadings/statements of case, conducting legal research on an array of matters/areas, attending meetings and conference calls, file management/review, and liaising with clients and counsel. He has experience of working on commercial disputes, property disputes, issues relating to probate, partnership disputes, and many other areas.

He lives in Cheshire and plays 7-a-side football and likes to spend time with his friends and family.

 


E: chris.brain@bermans.co.uk

T: 0161 827 4600

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Louisa Gardner

Louisa Gardner

Trainee Solicitor

Louisa joined our Liverpool office as a trainee solicitor in the Employment department in September 2020.

She studied criminology and politics degree at University of Melbourne, achieved a Graduate Diploma in Law at BPP in Manchester and completed a Legal Practice Course at Liverpool John Moores University in 2020.

She has previously worked as an employment and commercial Paralegal at a firm in Liverpool.

She is now working with our Employment team assisting them in advising Employers of SME businesses and institutions.

Louisa lives in West Lancashire and is keen on exploring the great outdoors and enjoys hiking and camping.


E: louisa.gardner@bermans.co.uk

T: 0151 224 0500

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Unfair dismissal

adrian_fryer

For a dismissal to be fair, an employer needs to have a potentially fair reason to dismiss – such as misconduct, redundancy or ‘some other substantial reason’ (SOSR) – and the decision to dismiss must be within the range of reasonable responses. In cases where an employer’s reputation may be at risk, conduct and SOSR can overlap. The Employment Appeal Tribunal has looked at this issue recently in K v L.

A teacher was charged with possessing indecent images of children, but he denied being responsible for them. He was suspended from work pending investigation. The Procurator Fiscal (the Scottish equivalent of the CPS) decided not to prosecute. The police evidence provided to the employer was redacted beyond use, so it wasn’t given to the disciplining officer. The employer concluded that there wasn’t enough evidence to show the employee was responsible for downloading the images. However, he was dismissed for misconduct and the potential risk he posed to children. The dismissal letter also cited the risk of reputational damage which hadn’t been part of the hearing.

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Disability

adrian_fryer

In order to qualify as a disability under the Equality Act 2010, an impairment must have a substantial and long-term adverse effect on an individual’s ability to do day to day activities. In order to be long term, a substantial adverse effect must have lasted, or be likely to last, at least 12 months, or be likely to recur.

A tribunal will look at medical evidence and the employee’s own witness evidence about the effects of their impairment. But they will also look at other evidence, including the employer’s, if that is relevant.

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Interim relief

adrian_fryer

The current uncertainty around jobs can cause friction between employers and their employees. In such times, many employees call on their trade unions for support. Unions are keen to stamp their mark, not only to protect existing members but to capitalise on an industrial crisis and turn it into a recruitment drive. Section 161 of the Trade Union and Labour Relations Act 1992 allows an employee to claim interim relief if they believe they have been automatically unfairly dismissed due to trade union membership or activities. If an employee can show they are likely to succeed in a claim for unfair dismissal due to trade union activities, then a tribunal will reinstate them pending a full hearing of the case.

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Data protection

adrian_fryer

This month the High Court has looked at the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Data Protection Act 2018 and their relevance in internal disciplinary proceedings. In Kathryn Hopkins v HMRC, the employee was arrested in connection with various offences, including sexual offences and an offence which took place in a work vehicle. As required by her contract of employment, she told her manager about the arrest. The manager then shared that information with various internal departments, including HR (in relation to pursuing disciplinary proceedings) and the press office (to manage any negative publicity).  The employee was suspended pending a disciplinary process for gross misconduct. The employee’s contract of employment included terms involving appropriate behaviour outside of work and conduct which could give rise to queries about honesty and trust.

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Pleadings

adrian_fryer

The EAT has issued some guidance on written pleadings which will make employers breathe a sigh of relief. All too often, employment tribunal claims run to several pages, documenting several years of alleged ill treatment, often without stipulating a single legal claim.

The EAT has provided its wisdom in a case called C v D, where the employee had brought a claim for discrimination which ran to 37 paragraphs over 6 pages.

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Trust and Confidence

adrian_fryer

Sometimes working relationships just break down and can’t be repaired. The employer may feel that it is left with no alternative but to dismiss an employee who simply cannot work effectively with a manager or key colleagues.

A dismissal on these grounds can fall within the potentially fair category of ‘some other substantial reason’ and the question will then be whether the employer has behaved reasonably.

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