5 Essex Court

Claire Palmer

Call 2003


Claire has a wide experience of drafting and advocacy in employment matters. She has appeared as an advocate in the County Court, High Court, Employment Tribunals and EAT.

Claire undertakes both Claimant and Respondent work in the Employment Tribunal, ranging from small family employers to large Government organisations (including police forces). Her practice covers all areas of employment law, and she accepts instructions in Tribunals across the country. Since her appointment to the Attorney General’s Panel, she has represented many Government departments including Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service, the Ministry of Justice, the Department of Health, the Home Office, GCHQ and the Ministry of Defence. Since 2014, she has been regularly instructed by several police forces including Kent, Thames Valley, West Midlands as well as the National Crime Agency. She also represents individuals (both on a direct access basis and instructed by solicitors) as well as a range of Respondents from including large employers such as Channel 4 and Ladbrokes.

Claire is regularly instructed in fact-sensitive discrimination and whistleblowing complaints and has considerable experience of disability discrimination claims. She has a strong record of striking out claims at the earliest opportunity, obtaining costs orders in unmeritorious claims, and is regularly called upon to act in cases involving senior Government employees.

Claire’s clients have particularly commented on her pragmatic approach to the underlying issues that often arise in employment relationships and her understanding approach to witnesses and clients.

Notable cases include:

Successfully represented a company who engaged a pilot as Chief Captain of a private plane in a 3-day hearing for unfair dismissal, whistleblowing, and breach of contract, including issues of employment status.

Represented a former finance director of an AIM listed company in a 5-day Tribunal hearing for equal pay, sex discrimination, unfair dismissal, wrongful dismissal etc. The case was settled for an undisclosed sum on day 3 after Claire had cross-examined the Chief Executive of the Respondents.

Successfully represented Millwall Football Club in a 2-day hearing involving unfair and wrongful dismissal from a former employee.

Successfully represented a Government department in a 10-day disability discrimination case.

Claire also appears in the Employment Appeal Tribunal. Reported cases include GCHQ v Bacchus [2012] Eq.

L.R. 1002 and Jennings v Barts and the East London Trust [2013] Eq. L.R. 326 both dealing with disability discrimination.

In March 2014, Claire appeared for the MOD in the first ever full merits hearing in the Industrial Disputes Tribunal in the Sovereign Base Area, Cyprus. She was called to the SBA Bar, and successfully defended the claim dealing with issues of TUPE, contract, unfair dismissal and redundancy.

Claire is a member of ELBA and the Employment Lawyers Association.