Viewing: Employment for Jessica Smeaton

Jessica has a busy practice in the employment tribunal and acts on behalf of both claimants and respondents, with a focus on public sector respondents. In addition to court representation at first instance and appeals, Jessica advises on all aspects of tribunal litigation, including unfair dismissal, equal pay and discrimination and provides day-to-day advice on employment issues and employee relations.
She is well-placed to undertake matters involving an overlap between employment and immigration issues including unfair dismissal and discrimination claims concerning the right to work.
Jessica has up to date experience in cases concerning employee status and the applicability of TUPE.
Prior to joining the Bar Jessica worked in the pro bono department at Hogan Lovells LLP, advising and representing clients in a range of matters including corporate law, employment, immigration, landlord and tenant, and a broad range of human rights work. She is experienced in advising charities and start-up social enterprises on employment rights. Jessica continues to undertake pro bono employment work for charities and social enterprises.
"Extremely capable." "Fantastic - she picked up a case at the last minute and had a great manner at the tribunal."
Chambers UK 2021
“Very thorough, clear and efficient.”
“An excellent junior who puts clients at ease, is very responsive and is wholly engaged with the client and the case.”
Chambers UK 2020
“Up-and-coming advocate who concentrates on representing public sector respondents in connection with employment claims. She often acts for NHS trusts and is experienced in the full range of allegations including disability discrimination, unfair dismissal and whistle-blowing.”
“Incredibly responsive and very thorough.”
Chambers UK 2019
“She has an undoubted talent to be able to distil the core issues in a case”
Legal 500 2019
Notable Cases
Wolfe v North Middlesex University Hospital NHS Trust (Practice and Procedure : Appellate jurisdiction/Reasons/Burns-Barke) [2015] ICR 960
Acted for the appellant employee in this two-day appeal and cross-appeal concerning, inter alia, the Burns-Barke procedure and the requirement on tribunals to consider the question of recurrence within schedule 1 part 1 paragraph 2(2) of the Equality Act 2010 where not expressly raised below
Reynolds v Wye Valley NHS Trust (2019)
Acted for the respondent in a claim brought by an NHS bank worker. Tribunal accepted claimant was not an employee so that there was no jurisdiction to hear the claim
F v NHS Trust (2019)
Acting for the respondent in this ongoing claim of pregnancy discrimination and public disclosure detriment
R v NHS Trust (2019)
Acting for the respondent in this ongoing claim of public disclosure detriment and constructive unfair dismissal
B and six others v Company A (2018)
Acted for the respondent in linked, union-funded cases arising out of the decisions of the ECJ in British Airways v Williams and Lock v British Gas. Claimant argued that the respondent ought to have included overtime and shift payments when calculating annual leave
B v College of Haringey, Enfield and North-East London (2017)
Acted for the respondent in this five-day hearing of a claim of race discrimination and victimisation following budget cuts. Claim withdrawn after four days.
W v Worcester Acute Hospitals NHS Trust (2017)
Acted for the respondent in this two-day hearing of a claim for disability discrimination. The hearing required sensitive handling given previous negative press and the nature of the allegations raised.
Bandara v British Broadcasting Commission (2016)
Acted for the claimant in this seven-day hearing of a claim of unfair dismissal and race and philosophical belief discrimination. Claimant alleged that he had been dismissed for misconduct following discrimination due to his perceived support for the Tamil Tigers
F v Millbank
Acted for the claimant in a case which necessitated tracing the respondent through a number of TUPE transfers in order to establish liability. Successfully obtained a costs order against the respondent due to its unreasonable conduct in the manner in which the claim had been defended
Acted for the respondent in this six-day hearing of a claim of constructive unfair dismissal and religion and sexual orientation discrimination. The claimant maintained that he had been subjected to years of taunting and bullying at the hands of his colleagues. As a heterosexual, catholic man he found it offensive to be called ’gay’.
Employment Lawyers Association
Employment Law Bar Association
Bar Vocational Course
European Master’s Degree in Human Rights and Democratisation