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Claire Millns

Called 2001

Claire Millns is a specialist employment and personal injury practitioner with over 17 years’ experience.

  • "A first-rate counsel" (The Legal 500 2021 - Tier 2 Leading Individual)
  • “Claire Millns gets to grips with cases very quickly." (The Legal 500 2020)
  • "Claire Millns is a very solid advocate and is robust in cross examination.” (The Legal 500)
  • “Claire Millns was extremely helpful, approachable and responsive throughout the case... the client was delighted with her advocacy style and the successful outcome.” (Instructing solicitor)
  • “Claire’s calm logic and advice kept us both sane during what were some fairly stressful times and I am very grateful for her input and her skilled performance. We will certainly continue to recommend her to all who need employment counsel.” (Lay client)
  • “She has a wonderfully balanced manner when representing our clients in Tribunal, convivial and engaging and not over-bearing or domineering but can quickly become equally robust and incisive with witnesses when required…she is a top-class communicator both with clients in conference and with all parties in Tribunal and we are always happy when we can instruct her knowing our clients are in safe hands.” (HR professional)

Claire is qualified to accept instructions on a Direct Access basis. Claire happy to provide talks and mock tribunal training in person or via Skype/Teams.

Gets to grips with cases very quickly. ’

Legal 500 2020 Employment
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Areas Of Expertise

Areas of Expertise
Personal Injury
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Claire has considerable experience acting and advising in cases where allegations of fraud are made against one or more parties and where there are complex causation arguments. She regularly acts in in high value claims providing early advice, attending inquests and representing parties at JSM or trial.

Fatal Accidents

Claire is experienced at advising both claimants and defendants regarding claims arising out of the Fatal Accidents Act 1976 the Law Reform (Misc Prov) Act 1943. 2019: She is currently advising a defendant regarding an unusual claim arising out of the suicide of a driver of a vehicle following a minor road traffic accident. Whilst the defendant accepts breach of duty, causation is in dispute. Claire has provided early advice, attended a CCMC and drafted a schedule of questions for a joint experts' meeting.

Public, Product & Occupiers’ Liability

Claire has extensive experience of cases involving public liability arising out of a variety of circumstances including accidents in hotels, supermarkets, schools, nurseries as well as sports centres, shopping centres and hospitals. Claire has considerable experience of highway tripping accidents, having represented both local authorities and claimants in many trials over the years. Claire has experience of product liability cases from collapsing dart board sets and contaminated ready meals, to food poisoning outbreaks and defective bicycles. Claire has extensive experience and interest in claims involving children, the vulnerable and the elderly.
She has advised and acted at trial in many cases arising out of the Package Travel Regulations (including cases where fraud is suspected) and the Animals Act.

Employers’ Liability

Claire has advised and acted in many matters arising out of wide variety of workplace accidents. She is instructed by insurance companies as well as trade unions. She often advises at an early stage, providing advice on witness evidence and attending site visits.

Criminal Injuries Compensation Appeals

Claire has acted for claimants in a variety of complex cases involving both eligibility and quantum. A number of those cases have involved subtle brain injury arising from assault which have lead to the recovery of substantial awards.


Claire has experience of acting for families and other interested parties in multi day inquests. Claire has attended many inquests arising out of road traffic accidents and workplace accidents, representing the families of deceased as well as insurance companies.

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Claire is a busy, well established senior junior whose education law practice focuses on disability discrimination in an educational setting. Claire regularly advises and acts in cases involving admissions, exclusions and professional disciplinary matters and routinely appears in the First Tier Tribunal (Special Educational Needs and Disability).

Claire is happy to accept instructions on behalf of local authorities, governing bodies of schools, colleges and universities and individuals. She is described as extremely helpful, approachable and responsive and ‘A first-rate counsel’ by Legal 500.

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Claire represents both Claimants and Respondents in all aspects of employment law and has particular expertise in employment issues arising out of healthcare and education. Claire acts for local authorities, NHS Trusts, large commercial employers as well as various trade unions and their members. 

She is able to accept instructions on a Direct Access basis.

Claire’s clients include Amazon UK Services Limited, Ineos Nitriles (UK) Limited, Cumbria County Council, Durham County Council, Durham Police, North Yourkshire Fire & Rescue Authority, NHS Blood and Transplant, Veolia ES(UK), Nationwide Building Society, Nestle, Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust, North Tyneside Council, Newcastle University, Norhtumbria University, Northumberland County Council, Hull City Council, Tyneside Cinema, Nissan UK, Hartlepool College, City Hospitals Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust and Tees, Esk & Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust.

Claire enjoys presenting mock employment tribunals which she believes provide an excellent learning tool for all those who may be involved in the tribunal process. She is happy to present in house or on line talks and training.

 Recently concluded cases:

  • Preliminary hearing on the issue of disability. C claimed to be disabled becasue of the effects of dyslexia. Claire acted for the Respondent. The ET found that C was not disabled which meant that the majority of C's claims were dismissed. (October 2020)
  • EAT - Econ Egineering Limited & Others [2020] UKEAT/285/19 Claire acted for the successful appellant. The EAT held that a profitability bonus should not be included in a holiday pay calculation under Reg 13A of the Working Time Regulations 1998 for a worker with normal working hours, as it was not payable simply for working those hours but was conditional on company performance.
  • Deposit order obtained for university client in repsect of 7 allegations of discrimination; 2 allegations also struck out (December 2019)
  • EAT - Aslam v Tees, Esk & Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust EAT 0039/2019- Claire successfully appealed a finding of harassment related to race. The EAT substituting the ET's decision and overturned the finding of harassment (November 2019)  
  • Advised a Fire & Resuce Authority leading to successful settlement of a complex complaint of sex discrimination (December 2019) 
  • Iwuchukwu v City Hosptials Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust - Represented the Respondent in a high value complex multi day remedy hearing following remission of the matter to the ET by the Court of Appeal in a claim pleaded at 1.2 million pounds. Claire successfully argued that losses flowing from the acts of discrimination ought not lead to a loss a of earnings claim leaving the Claimant limited to claim loss of earnings for Unfair Dismissal only. In that regard Claire achieved an 80% Polkey reduction to the Compensatory Award and 25% reduction to the Basic Award (October 2019) Final quantum hearing will be heard in November 2020. 
  • Judicial Mediation - achieved settlement for a high earning claimant following claim of unfair dismissal and age discrimination (September 2019)
  • Advised a large local authority, achieving settlement at a Judicial Mediation. Complex complaints of disability discrimination including personal injury pleaded at over £300,000 (July 2019)
  • Successfully represented a national bookmaker in a 3 day hearing of construtive unfair dismissal (June 2019)
  • Advised a local authority prior to 5 day hearing regarding a claim of unfair dismissal arising out of covert surveillance of an employee suspected of working whilst claiming sick pay. Article 8 HRA '98 also considered (May 2019) 
  • 4 day hearing representing national holiday company in respect of complaints of constructive unfair dismissal, auto unfair dismissal for making protected disclosures and detriment claims. (April 2019)
  • EAT - Glendinning v Tesco Stores UKEAT/0222/18/DA (22 March 2019) Acting for the Claimant, Claire successfully appealed the ET's refusal to extend time for an out of time complaint of disability discrimination. The EAT substituted and allowed C's complaint to proceed. 
  • Represented a respondent child care business in an unusual claim of post-termination vicitimisation (February 2019)
  • Advised a multi national manufacturing employer regarding a claim of constructive unfair dismissal and disability discrimination (November 2018).
  • 12 day ET (October/November 2018) successfully represented Northumberland County Council in respect of complex claims by two employees alleging sham redundancy, age and disability discrimination. Serious whistleblowing complaints implicating corruption at senior executive level. All claims were dismissed. C's request for permission to appeal to the EAT was refused.
  • Aslam v Tess, Esk & Wear Valleys NHS Foundaiton Trust -8 day ET (August 2018) successfully represented a large north east mental health trust and one other regarding over 25 allegations of race and disability discrimination, harassment and victimisation. C claimed over £650,000. Whether C was disabled and whether claims presented in time also in issue. Judgment for the C on one allegation of race discrimination (where C was awarded £1,500) was succesfully appealed by Claire to the EAT in November 2019 - see above.
  • Advised a north east multi academy trust regarding claims of unfair dismissal and disability discrimination arising out of the dismissal of an employee with an unsual voice loss condition. Provided written advice, attended case management hearing and Judicial Mediation (February 2018)
  • Advised a police authority in respect of a reasonable adjustment and S15. claim in respect of an employee with a back condition. Drafted ET3 and advised in conference on liability and quantum (2018).


  • Judicial Mediation on behalf of a firm of architects regarding claims of disability discrimination (2017). 
  • 5 day ET representing a longstanding government employee in claim of unfair dismissal following alleged improper use of a computer database (2017).
  • 4 day ET successfully representing a claimant teacher regarding a complex claim of pregnancy discrimination (2017).
  • 4 day ET representing a claimant teacher regarding the refusal of a part time work request (2017).
  • Advised a high earning employee regarding a claim of unfair dismissal following an alleged sham redundancy and sex discrimination prior to a 7 day hearing (2017).
  • Successfully obtained a deposit order for a local authority respondent in a claim where a claimant teacher had been dismissed for gross misconduct following an inappropriate relationship with a college student. The claim was withdrawn following the imposition of the deposit order (2017).


  • 7 day ET representing a Sixth Form College and two further respondents regarding allegations of discrimination, unfair dismissal, whistleblowing, and entitlement ot a contractual bonus.
  • 3 day ET successfully representing a local authority regarding allegations of disability discrimination of a dyslexic employee within children's services.
  • 3 day ET representing a global petrochemicals manufacturer in a unfair dismissal claim following a serious “near miss” incident at a production plant.
  • Successfully represented a large food industry employer in a strike out application involving a claim of unfair dismissal and disability discrimination.
  • Advised a north east businessman on the enforceability of restrictive covenants in his contract of employment and share sale agreements prior to him starting a new venture.
  • Represented local authority in 4 day ET arising out of redundancy exercise. Complaints of age discrimination were dismissed.
  • Advised and represented a university in respect of claims of automatically unfair dismissal on grounds of disability. Complex arguments arose in relation to mental illness, alcoholism and the definition of disability.
  • 3 day ET successfully representing a local authority in a claim of disability discrimination arising out of employment within childrens’ services of a dyslexic employee.
  • Successfully represented an NHS Trust in a strike out application in respect of claims of disability discrimination and victimisation.
  • Represented a national care home provider in a 6 day ET involving allegations of sex discrimination, harassment and constructive unfair dismissal.
  • Represented a local authority in relation to claims of unfair dismissal and age discrimination arising out of expiry of a fixed term contract. Issues on remedy included C’s claim for reinstatement.
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Motor Fraud

Claire is experience of advising and acting on behalf of the defendant in respect of staged collisions, induced accidents, low speed impact (LSI) claims, bogus passenger claims and suspicious hire and storage claims. 

Credit Hire

Claire has appeared in numerous multi and fast track trials with significant credit hire claims predominantly on behalf of defendants. She is very familiar with the arguments regarding enforceability, need and basic hire rates.

Costs & Litigation
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Claire regularly attends costs and case management hearings and is well versed with issues of costs budgeting for both claimants and defendants.

Claire is experienced at presenting complex costs argument at detailed assessments hearings as well as dealing with general arguments arising out of litigation funding, including Conditional Fee Agreements and Insurance premiums.

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The Legal 500 2021 - ‘A first-rate counsel.’

The Legal 500 2020 - Claire Millns "gets to grips with cases very quickly"

The Legal 500 2011 - Claire Millns is a "very solid advocate and is robust in cross examination"

Personal Details

LLB (Hons), University of Northumbria

Professional Associations

Personal Injury Bar Association (PIBA); Employment Lawyers Association; Employment Law Bar Association; North East Medico-legal Society.

Claire's Latest News
Awards &

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