I have over 25 years experience in all areas of employment law, acting for both employees and employers. Unfair dismissal and discrimination claims are particular specialisms and make up the majority of my employment work but I have experience in virtually all employment law areas such as:
* contract claims
* unlawful deduction of wages
* settlement agreements.
I am empathetic and approachable and will explain things in clear, non-technical language. I am highly conscientious and pride myself on giving a prompt response to my clients and ensuring that you are happy with the work I do for you.
Having acted for a variety of clients, I can see a case from all perspectives so will always look at the bigger picture to see if there is a practical, alternative way to achieve what is wished, rather than just focussing on technical legal arguments.
Costs: Initially, I will have a half-hour telephone discussion with you for which I will not charge, to see if the case is suitable for me to take on and so you can work out whether you wish me to act for you. I will clearly set out the fees I will charge and you can then decide whether you are content to accept on those terms. I usually charge a fixed fee for a specific piece of written work or to appear for you at a hearing. The ‘fixed fee’ generally provides reassurance, compared with being charged an hourly rate, because you know precisely where you stand on fees and will not be met with any unexpected surprises! If further work is to be done after that, we will reach a separate agreement on fees and it will always be up to you whether you choose to instruct me to do that further work.
I’ve advised and represented clients from all walks, including virtually every government department and the Judicial Appointments Commission, who appoint all judges in the UK.
- I acted for successful claimant found to have been automatically unfairly dismissed for walking off-site from Jaguar Land Rover factory due to concern that his health was in serious danger from unextracted car exhaust fumes on the factory line. https://www.gov.uk/employment-tribunal-decisions/mr-paul-o-connor-v-jaguar-land-rover-ltd-1303436-2018
- I acted in successful appeal to EAT for teaching assistant who had been dismissed after defending himself from attack by a pupil (Witts v Wyre Forest School). Case report.
- I succeeded in appeal to the EAT, acting for assistant manager of pizza chain branch, who was dismissed for not providing immigration document showing right to work and was not granted a right of appeal (Afzal v Domino's Pizza). https://www.fcsa.org.uk/important-eat-case-update-afzal-v-east-london-pizza-limited-t-a-dominos-pizza/
- I acted for appellant in EAT appeal Nawaz v BG Consulting where tribunal judge had copied and pasted much of one party's submissions: Case report.
- I successfully defended an employment tribunal judge during a 6-week hearing from a claim by a lady that he had aided her employer to commit sex, disability and race discrimination against her: Case report.
- I defended the government in Unison’s two High Court challenges and in the Court of Appeal on the legality of the Employment Tribunal Fees scheme: Case report.
But I don’t just appear for big organisations; I regularly appear for individuals who need a bit of assistance and don’t know where to turn, sometimes in disciplinary hearings, sometimes in employment tribunals. I can advise and negotiate in relation to proposed settlement agreements put forward by employers.
I’ve played the piano since I was aged 4 and have sung in choirs and productions since I was a similar age.
I have been a school governor since 2015.
What my clients say
"Her communication skills, legal knowledge, and the way she understands her customers is very impressive. Susan is very professional, and I really appreciate her support and guidance." myBarrister client
"I am very grateful to Susan as a highly knowledgeable and experienced Employment Law professional and as a person, and I recommend her without any reservation." myBarrister Client
"I instructed Susan to work on my case and this was the best thing I ever did. She went above and beyond her duty, in order to fight my case and she fought hard and kept her nerve. If I was every again in this situation where I needed help without hesitation Susan would be my first point of call, she was the BEST."- myBarrister client.
"Susan, I was really impressed with the way you handled my case. You were professional and provided a very good value for money service. I would definitely use this service again and recommend it to others." - myBarrister client SS
"I very much apprecate your support through these proceedings, both in terms of your advice, and also the human element of what you do which has given me much reassurance." - myBarrister client
"You went above and beyond to help me and I also really appreiciate you answering little queries" - myBarrister client.
“Susan is helpful, quick to see the point of where I am trying to get to, and can cut through problems to a solution… Susan is one of the most popular Counsel that we use, for her analytical abilities, judgment and helpful advice. However part of it is her easy ability to get on with people, and to cheerfully persuade them of the right way forward” – Solicitor
“If you’re in a pickle she’s really good as she’s very supportive and instils confidence.”
“Susan Chan is my first port of call on difficult employment cases. Her intellect and experience speaks for itself but for me and for my clients her main quality is her ability to keep her nerve when it seems everyone else is losing theirs”
“She’s not fazed by anything.” – Chambers and Partners 2015
In addition to the Chambers and Partners recommendation, I am also recommended as a leading junior in the Legal 500 UK Directory 2015 for employment, who say: “Recommended for discrimination claims”.
Professional & academic
BA Hons in Law, Magdalen College, Oxford University
Appointed a Demy (Scholar) in Law of Magdalen College, Oxford (1991-1993)
Gray’s Inn Prince of Wales Scholarship (1993)
Trainer for Gray's Inn teaching pupils and new barristers advocacy and ethics.