Clare Harrington

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Clare is a specialist employment law barrister and also holds appointments as a fee paid Employment Judge and Legally Qualified Chair of police misconduct panels.

She graduated from Queen Mary College, London University in 1997 with an Upper Second and was called to the Bar in 1998 having been awarded ‘Very Competent’, in her Bar Vocational Course at the Inns of Court School of Law. She returned to study for the LL.M at the London School of Economics, in which she obtained a Merit, before embarking upon her pupillage and later joining the Chambers of Nicholas Syfrett QC, 13 KBW in October 2000. With a strong practice in the areas of both employment and personal injury, Clare joined 5 Essex Court in early 2014.


Clare is an experienced employment law practitioner with an extremely loyal client base that appreciates her quick grasp of factually complex cases, excellent communication skills, attention to detail and tenacious style of advocacy.

With over 16 years’ experience of employment litigation and sitting as a fee paid Employment Tribunal Judge since 2010, Clare is regularly instructed to represent large employers including well known national companies and NHS Trusts in complex cases most commonly focusing on the areas of discrimination and whistleblowing.  She has previously served as Joint Practice Leader on Employment matters and regularly provides lectures and training upon employment law topics. She co-edits ‘5 from Five’, an employment law newsletter in association with Bloomsbury Publishing.


Clare provides representation at inquests most commonly those arising from deaths in road traffic accidents where she has acted of behalf of both vehicle manufacturers and employers of professional drivers.

She has also received instructions in cases involving a death in police custody and the Health and Safety Executive – for example, the death of a tenant of a local authority property caused when a faulty hot water tank fell through the ceiling.

Personal Injury

Clare carries out advocacy and advisory work in many aspects of personal injury litigation. She has particular expertise acting on behalf of both claimants and defendants in claims arising from employer’s liability, occupier’s liability and road traffic accidents.

Recent Lectures and Training

  • Legal Update: Employment Tribunal Judiciary, London South
  • Discrimination Law Update: United Employment Lawyers
  • Mock employment tribunals: ELA, Prettys LLP & Birketts LLP
  • Advocacy in the Employment Tribunal: Oxford ELA
  • The Duty to make Reasonable Adjustments and Victimisation: Tribunal Members training


In addition to sitting as a fee paid Employment Tribunal Judge, Clare has also sat as a Judge to the First-tier Tribunal Immigration and Asylum Chamber.

Most recently, Clare was appointed a Legally Qualified Chair determining misconduct matters for the Metropolitan Police, Surrey, Sussex and Kent Constabularies, the British Transport Police, the City of London Police and the Ministry of Defence Police.

Clare is a member of the disciplinary and lay advisory committees at the College of Optometrists and has acted as the public voice representative to the clinical board of the London Cancer Alliance.


Clare enjoys amateur dramatics and dance.  Other interests include travel, flower arranging and pilates.

On a professional level, Clare has pursued her interests in professional regulation by working with the General Chiropractic Council, the College of Optometrists and the Council of the Inns of Court on disciplinary matters. She is a member of Lincoln’s Inn and the Employment Law Bar Association.

Over the years she has also acted as a part time practitioner lecturer at the Inns of Court School of Law on subjects including negotiation and conference skills.