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Simon Gorton QC

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  • Lee Cadwallader
  • Emma Rogers

Education and Memberships

  • London University - Queen Mary College LL.B (2:1)
  • Employment Law Bar Association
  • Personal Injury Bar Association
  • Professional Negligence Bar Association

Areas of Work

  • Civil Litigation
  • Employment


General Profile

Simon took silk in 2011 following a highly successful junior practice, in 2012 he became Head of Chambers at Atlantic Chambers for a three-year term until October 2015 and is presently ranked in the Legal 500 and Chambers and Partners where he is identified as a leader in his field. Simon practises in London where he is a member of Old Square Chambers.

Simon handles all types of employment disputes and regularly appears in the High Court, Employment Tribunal, EAT and the Court of Appeal for employers, employees and their related organisations.

Simon's clients are diverse, ranging from companies to company directors, hospital trusts, trade unions, public bodies, doctors and private individuals.

Simon is also able to take direct access instructions. He also specialises in high value personal injury claims (acquired brain and spinal injuries as well as complex psychiatric cases) as well as claims that overlap with employment and personal injury matters, including protection from harassment and stress claims.

General Employment and Appellate work

Simon has a diverse practice which embraces all aspects of employment work at a first instance and appellate level.

Recent successful appearances in the Court of Appeal include representing the claimants in the custom and practice case of Park Cakes Ltd v Shumba & others (31/7/13) where the Court of Appeal gave guidance on when contractual rights may be established by conduct or custom and practice. Simon also represented Dr Westwood in Hospital Medical Group v Westwood [2013] ICR 415 which is now the leading appellate case on the definition of a worker, in  Nugent Care Society v Boardman on the ability of the EAT to set aside a tribunal's finding on unfair dismissal as perverse.

Simon's arguments on the construction of associated employer in the landmark decision of Fox Claimants & Others v Glasgow City Council [2013] Eq L.R. 460 were accepted by the EAT who decided that an LLP was a company for the purposes of the Equal Pay Act/Equality Act.

Simon has extensive experience representing hospital trusts and doctors in internal legal disputes. Simon recently appeared for Alder Hey Children's NHS Foundation Trust in a High Court action brought by a former surgeon Mr Jesudason who secured an interim injunction preventing the trust from holding a panel hearing to consider the termination of his employment based on a breakdown in working relations. At the High Court trial and following cross examination of Mr Jesudason by Simon, the claimant abandoned his claim, withdrew all his grievances, resigned from his employment forthwith and agreed to pay the trust's costs of the action.  




Simon is regarded as a leader in his field on TUPE having appeared in a number of guideline cases including Wilson v St Helens MBC in the House of Lords on TUPE related variations and dismissals, Astle v Cheshire County Council on TUPE avoidance, RCO Support Services v UNISON on labour intensive potential transfers and avoidance and P&O Trans European v Initial on the indices necessary for a transfer.

Simon is regularly instructed to advise on disputes involving TUPE and to appear in ET's for employers and claimants.

Whistleblowing and Discrimination

In Jesudason v Alder Hey Children's NHS Foundation Trust, Mr Jesudason brought a High Court action arguing that a private law breach of contract claim could include a contractual claim for whistleblowing. Simon represented the Trust throughout. Mr Jesudason abandoned his claim and resigned.

Simon regularly appears in whistleblowing cases. Simon represented Commerzbank in an ET in an £18m claim for whistleblowing brought by a former investment banker.

Simon successfully appeared for the Royal Mail Group in the EAT in Nunn v Royal Mail Group [2011] ICR 162.

Simon is regularly instructed to appear in ET's in respect of heavy and complicated discrimination claims

Hospitals and Doctors

Simon has particular expertise in advising trusts in respect of internal breakdowns in working relationships, MHPS issues and the relevant procedures to be adopted.

Simon recently represented Dr A in High Court proceedings against her employers in Dr A v HTX [2012] EWHC 857 concerning a consultant suffering from bi-polar disorder and her employer's intention to hold an internal panel hearing with a recommendation to dismiss.

Simon later represented his client in the internal panel proceedings that rejected the employer's recommendation to dismiss. The doctor was reinstated to her post.

Simon regularly advises employers in respect of similar disputes including terms and conditions of service.

Equal Pay

Simon has been involved extensively in equal pay litigation for over a decade and continues to be involved. Simon is instructed by trade unions and employers alike.

Simon is currently representing a local authority in a pay protection case that is due to be heard over the 3 days in the EAT later this year.
Simon's notable cases in this field include victimisation in respect of equal pay that reached the House of Lords in Derbyshire v St Helens MBC, the longevity of  the choice of comparator for a claimant in Kells v Pilkington and most recently in the EAT in Edinburgh in Fox Claimants & Others v Glasgow City Council [2013] Eq L.R. 460.

Simon has been involved in number of high profile ET cases particularly in Scotland including Wilkinson v Edinburgh City Council which later went on appeal to the Inner House of the Court of Session.

Working Time and the National Minimum Wage

Simon has appeared successfully at appellate level in the leading case in respect of on call work South Manchester Abbeyfield Society v Hopkins [2011] IRLR 300 and for Edinburgh City Council in the EAT on a related issue - Edinburgh City Council v Lauder & others.

Simon advises on individual disputes particularly in relation to working time mainly for, but not exclusively, public bodies.

Industrial Action disputes

Simon regularly advises on such disputes for  trade unions and companies and appears in the High Court in such cases.

Simon appeared in the Court of Appeal for the trade union in the case of Metrobus v UNITE.

Restrictive Covenants and Injunction work

Simon had an extensive junior practice involving High Court disputes in respect of restrictive covenants and springboard injunction work. That practice continues in silk.

Simon's former clients in this area include Capita PLC and numerous recruitment agencies.

Personal Injury

Simon has extensive experience of all aspects of personal injury work including brain, spine and complex psychiatric cases.

A past client, who was rendered tetraplegic, won an £8m plus settlement from a defendant which included periodical payments for care in excess of £200,000 annually.


Employment and Personal Injury overlap

Simon's employment work also overlaps with his personal injury work in cases particularly relating to The Protection from Harassment Act and stress claims.

Simon recently represented Iceland PLC in High Court proceedings under the PHA.

Simon regularly advises on the res judicata ramifications and admissibility of claims in the High Court and County Court for matters that have previously been litigated in the ET. 

General Civil

Simon is regularly instructed by Police Forces in respect of civil claims involving mainly false imprisonment and malicious prosecution.

Contractual Rights and Custom and Practice

Simon has significant experience in representing claimants and employers in cases relating to contractual benefits generally and custom and practice and rights inferred from conduct in particular.

Simon recently successfully appeared in the Court of Appeal for the claimants in the leading case of  Park Cakes Ltd v Shumba & others (31/7/13) where the Court of Appeal gave guidance on when contractual rights may be established by the conduct of employers and employees.


John Benson Legal 500 2014 - Recommended Barrister Legal 500 2014 - Leading Individual SG Chambers UK Bar 2015 Legal 500 2015 - Leading Individual Legal 500 2016 - Leading Individual Legal 500 2017 Legal 500 2019 Leading Individual

Year of call: 1988

Inn: Inner Temple

Area: Civil Litigation