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Joanne Connolly

Year of call 1992, Middle Temple  

Areas of Expertise

Employment: Band 1
"Joanne is a leading practitioner."
"I have been impressed with Joanne's speed of turnaround on papers and advice, and with her ability to get to the heart of a case."

Chambers and Partners 2024

Employment - Northern (Bar):
"Joanne Connolly is a great all-rounder." "She is really accomplished and experienced."

Chambers and Partners 2023

Employment (Northern Bar):
"I think she is the best practitioner outside of London in employment work; she is an exceptional talent and there is nothing she doesn't know about employment law." "She knows her stuff and is thoughtful in her approach; she knows the law and addresses arguments well."

Chambers and Partners 2022

Employment (Northern Bar):
"She has an excellent reputation across the board." "She has razor-sharp attention to detail. She is commercial in her approach and she always has the client's objective in mind." "She is excellent. She inspires confidence in clients and absolutely nails the detail of cases."

Chambers and Partners 2021

Employment (Northern Bar): Leading Junior Band 1
"A great advocate with superb cross-examination skills, who is wonderful with clients."

Chambers and Partners 2020

Employment – ranked Tier 1
“A highly intelligent barrister with a keen forensic mind.”

Legal 500 2019

Employment – Northern (Bar): Leading Barrister (Band 1)
"An excellent, experienced advocate who is intelligent and pragmatic."
"She is always well prepared and has a great manner with clients." "Super-sharp and ultra-focused."

Chambers and Partners UK Bar 2019

"Incredibly thorough and well prepared, she always has complete grasp of the paperwork."

Chambers and Partners 2018

'Recommended for disability discrimination and unfair dismissal claims.'

Legal 500, 2017

"Has cultivated a reputation for her expertise in disability discrimination claims but is also notably experienced in unfair dismissal, whistle-blowing and equal pay claims. She is instructed by a variety of clients including those from local authorities, the education sector, corporate bodies and the NHS. 'She's an experienced advocate.' 'Always on top of the papers and someone with huge attention to detail, she never loses sight of the commercial goal.' "

Chambers and Partners 2017

"Receives instructions from both public and private clients in matters ranging from standard cases of redundancy or unfair dismissal to complex equal pay, working time, TUPE and discrimination work. 'She's readily accessible, easy to work with and puts clients' needs first.' 'Intelligence, great advocacy and great client skills - she has all three.'"

Chambers and Partners 2016

"the 'go-to' junior for disability discrimination claims"

Who’s Who Legal UK Bar 2015

"She is an excellent and experienced advocate who is clever and approachable. She also has excellent client skills."

Chambers & Partners 2015

"Experienced in disability discrimination claims."

Legal 500 2014

"She is exceptionally bright and very tenacious. She is great at getting her point across and clients like her - which helps. She is one of the strongest juniors on circuit." 

Chambers & Partners 2014

"clever, personable and good to work with"

Legal 500 2013

“Joanne Connolly is another impressive junior at the set who ‘ticks all the boxes,’ and has ‘a brilliant mind.’ She has the ‘ability to put a client at ease straight away,’ and tackles a comprehensive employment practice. Disability discrimination cases are a particular forte for her.”

Chambers & Partners 2013

“Joanne Connolly attracts consistent praise for her ‘excellent attention to detail and down-to-earth advice.’ She dedicates her practice solely to employment law issues, from redundancy claims to working time and whistle-blowing matters.”

Chambers & Partners 2012


Legal 500, 2011

"Joanne Connolly is prized for her shrewd, direct and extremely professional attitude. According to sources, she is able to really identify with our business and its aspirations."

Chambers & Partners 2011

"Joanne Connolly impresses clients by being "clear and pragmatic in her presentation" and for understanding the commercial realities faced by her clients"

Chambers & Partners 2010

"A lawyer with a reputation for 'efficiency and relentless thoroughness', and someone with considerable experience of equal pay claims for Local Authority."

Chambers & Partners 2009

Joanne Connolly


Joanne is Deputy Head of Chambers at 9 St John Street. She has been named by Chambers & Partners in the top band of employment law barristers for many years.

Joanne prides herself on her meticulous preparation and a supremely focused attention to detail is central to her approach. For one with such intellectual capacity, she is refreshingly engaging with clients.

Her combination of exceptional advocacy with approachability makes her one of the ‘go-to’ employment advocates both on the Circuit and nationally.


Joanne practices exclusively employment law and employment related disputes. She is pleased to act for both employers and employees, for the public sector and the private sector and for in-house solicitors as well as those in private practice. Her work incorporates employment disputes in all areas including the NHS, education, banking, local government, the police and the legal profession as well as in business generally.

She regularly handles cases where there is a great deal at stake whether in terms of compensation, number of employees affected or publicity. Her practice focuses on the higher-value, more complex, sensitive or multi-week discrimination, transfer of undertakings, whistle-blowing and working time claims but also includes unfair dismissal and redundancy claims. She is experienced at both first instance and appellate level. She also has substantial experience of acting as a representative in mediations.


  • Cottrell v Avon Cosmetics [2022] EAT 89 – Tribunal practice and procedure in respect of Early Conciliation and the joinder of a party.
  • Bessong v Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust [2020] ICR 849; [2020] IRLR 4, EAT – employer’s potential liability for third party harassment in the health sector
  • Private Medicine Intermediaries v Hodkinson [2016] UKEAT/0134/15 – disability discrimination scope of s.15 EqA claims and harassment claims
  • Davies v Droylsden Academy UKEAT/0044/16 – unlawful deduction from wages in the education sector
  • Frenkel Topping v King UKEAT/0106/15 – protected disclosures /whistleblowing and constructive dismissal in respect of an in-house solicitor
  • D'Silva v MMU [2013] UKEAT/0437/11 – multiple appeals in race discrimination claims in Higher Education
  • Marcroft v Heartland (Midlands) Ltd [2011] EWCA Civ 438 - the application of TUPE 2006
  • Patel v Oldham MBC & the Governors of Rushcroft Primary School [2010] IRLR 280 – definition of disability
  • North Wales Probation Area v Edwards UKEAT/0468/07 - employment status of sessional workers
  • Kirton v Tetrosyl [2003] EWCA Civ 619 – definition of disability
  • UNISON and others v RCO Support Services & others [2002] EWCA Civ 464 – the scope of TUPE 2006
  • Batty v BSB [2002] EWCA Civ 648 - employment contract - right to withhold salary from a senior executive
  • Regina v Azmy [1996] 7 Med LR 415 – instructed by a client in the health sector to deal with the entitlement of a defendant in a criminal trial to a complainant's medical records
  • Staffordshire County Council v Barber [1996] ICR 379, CA - listed together with Biggs v Somerset County Council, res judicata and time limits in Tribunal claims brought under EC law
  • Mediguard v Thame [1994] IRLR 504, EAT - whether compensation for unfair dismissal was pay within Article 119 of the Treaty of Rome


Fee Paid Employment Judge, Midlands West 2010

Scholarships and Prizes

Inns of Court Studentship (Middle Temple),
Jules Thorn Scholarship


Employment Law Bar Association and
Employment Lawyers Association


LLB (Hons), Nottingham University

Prescribed Information

Joanne Connolly is a practising barrister, who is regulated by the Bar Standards Board. Details of information held by the BSB about Ms Connolly can be found here.

Ms Connolly’s clerks will happily provide no obligation quotations for all legal services that she provides. Their contact details can be found here. It is most common for Ms Connolly to undertake Court or Tribunal work for a fixed brief fee for the first day plus a daily refresher fee for the subsequent days. Advisory work, paperwork or conferences are most commonly charged at an hourly rate. Ms Connolly will typically return paperwork within 5-10 working days, however professional commitments, complexity and volume of documentation can affect these approximate timescales.

Specialist Areas of Practice:


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