Lena is a skilled, client friendly and tenacious advocate practicing exclusively in the employment law jurisdiction. Lena is recognised for her ability to quickly get to grips with complex issues and her outstanding advocacy. She has a straightforward approach, consistently demonstrating strategic and commercial thinking. Her preparation is meticulous, her delivery clever, confident and comprehensive.
AREAS OF EXPERTISE
Lena appears in both the Employment Tribunal and Employment Appeal Tribunal acting for both Claimants and Respondents. Her practice covers all types of employment disputes with a particular focus on complex multi-day discrimination complaints, whistleblowing, constructive unfair dismissal and breach of contract.
Lena has a wealth of experience in conducting employment Tribunal litigation on behalf of public sector clients particularly NHS Trusts, Universities and Local Authorities. Lena is regularly instructed by multinational corporations and regulatory bodies, particularly the General Medical Council and British Dental Association.
Lena also provides advisory and drafting services in respect of all types of employment disputes including advice on prospects, quantum, procedure and appealing first instance decisions. Lena has a particular strength in dealing with evidential and tactical matters. Lena also frequently delivers seminars to Solicitors on a variety of topics, including most recently, Disability & Pregnancy Discrimination, remedies and costs in the Employment Tribunal, A practical guide to redundancy dismissals and TUPE.
Recent instructions include:
- Waterworth v Central Manchester Hospital - Lena represented the Respondent in a 15-day trial against a vulnerable Claimant bringing 48 discrimination and whistleblowing complaints. In this case Lena showcased her ability to absorb vast material (3000-page bundle and over 250 pages of witness statements). Lena’s careful and detailed planning of cross-examination resulted in numerous concessions by the Claimant. Lena suggested a strike out application mid trial, resulting in a further 15 claims being struck out. Lena also successfully defended the Respondent in a connected claim of breach of data protection rights brought in the County Court.
- Alex Hay v AFC Flyde Limited - Lena successfully represented the football club in this hearing on employment status of a former footballer turned support staff which had implications for multiple prospective claimants and the club’s relationship with existing staff.
- Williamson & Hewitt v Airedale Catering Equipment Ltd & Ors - Lena represented the Respondent in this TUPE case regarding a service provision change from a company which had entered creditors voluntary liquidation (CVL). The case centred upon the circumstances in which the protections afforded by TUPE are excluded and particularly on when insolvency proceedings are said to have been initiated. Since there is no definitive authority on this question in the context of CVL, the legal arguments presented by Lena involved interpretation of European legislation, particularly Article 5(1) of the Acquired Rights Directive, European jurisprudence and Insolvency Act 1986.
- Mellor v The MFG Academies Trust - Lena represented the Respondent in this test case in which the Claimant sought to argue that subsections of the Equality Act were incompatible with recast Equality Treatment Directive and European caselaw. The case involved complex legal argument regarding the supremacy of European legislation as well as the scope of the Pregnancy Workers Directive and its interaction with the Equal Treatment Directive.
- Bishweka v Lifeways Community Care Limited - Lena represented the Respondent in this complex 9-day race and age discrimination complaint involving 3 combined claims with 40 separate allegations of direct discrimination, harassment and victimisation. The case turned largely on the credibility of the Claimant and particularly the authenticity of numerous documents which the Claimant had produced in support of his claim. Lena successfully defended all the claims and persuaded the Tribunal that the documents relied upon by the Claimant were fabricated.
- Herron v Royal London Mutual Insurance Society Ltd - Lena successful represented the Claimants in this group action for breach of contract arising out of non-payment of bonus by the Co-operative Banking Group. The case involved detailed analysis of contractual principles and particularly the circumstances in which a discretionary bonus becomes contractual. As well having a complex factual background the case considered the principles of irrationality and perversity and the impact of an FSA decision on payments of bonus.
With regard to appellate work, examples of Lena’s instructions include:
- Keppel Seghers UK Limited v Mr. Mark Hinds  IRLR 754 - appeal against Tribunal’s judgement that the Claimant was a worker within the meaning of the extended definition for the purposes of whistleblowing complaints. Particularly, focussing on the application of the extended definition of a worker where there is no contractual relationship between the parties.
- Merchandising Sales Force Limited v Dawson (UKEATPA/1762/11/RN) - appeal against the Tribunal's judgement in a claim for unlawful deduction from wages. This appeal was concerned with the authorities on the interpretation of the exclusion of deductions permitted by a signed document or contract.
- Montracon Limited v Mr. Ernest Francis Hardcastle (UKEAT/0307/12/JOJ) - appeal against the Tribunal's judgement on remedy in an unfair dismissal claim where the Tribunal made a reduction to the compensatory award on the grounds of conduct prior to dismissal without making a similar reduction to the basic award.
- Espie v Balfour Beatty Engineering Services Limited (UKEAT/0321/12) - appeal against a Tribunal's judgement on the pool of selection in a redundancy exercise and the application and interpretation of section 15 Equality Act 2010 (disability related discrimination).
Lena also represents clients in the County Court combining her knowledge of the Civil Procedure Rules and employment law to the advantage of her clients. Lena has a particular interest in matters of contractual construction in the employment context and restrictive covenants.
Lena was appointed to the approved list of Counsel for the Equality & Human Rights Commission in 2011 and has completed a secondment with the Commission's Legal Enforcement Team. During her time at the Commission Lena provided advisory services focusing on race discrimination and the provision of public service and functions, particularly members associations. Having studied Human Rights during her Masters, Lena has a particular interest in the area of discrimination both within and outside the employment context.
Lena is accredited by the Bar Council to undertake direct public access work.
Approved List of Counsel for Equality and Human Rights Commission (2011)
Junior Counsel to the Crown (Regional Panel)
Scholarships and Prizes
Hardwick Scholar (2007)
University of Sheffield Centenary Achievement Award (2005)
Employment Law Bar Association,
Employment Lawyers Association
LLM, University College London. LLB (Hons), University of Sheffield
Lena Amartey is a practising barrister, who is regulated by the Bar Standards Board. Details of information held by the BSB about Lena Amartey can be found here.
Lena Amartey'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 Lena Amartey to undertake any Court, Tribunal or Mediation work for a brief fee plus additional refresher days. For advisory and drafting work or conferences, these are most commonly charged at an hourly rate although fixed fees may be available. Lena Amartey will typically return paperwork within 7 days, however professional commitments, complexity and volume of documentation can affect these approximate timescales.