Andrew Sugarman

Called 2001

Andrew is quite simply brilliant. He has a lovely manner with clients and understands the relationship between solicitor and client. On his feet, he is impressive and is robust without being aggressive.

Legal 500 2022 (Tier 1 Employment)

About

Andrew is a leading employment barrister who is consistently recommended by both Chambers and Partners and the Legal 500, described as “fiercely bright”, approachable”, “measured” and “technical and tactically astute with an engaging personal style.”  “Andrew is quite simply brilliant“.

Andrew is regularly instructed by firms around the country to act for respondents (including FTSE 100 companies) and claimants, often against silks, in complex and high value cases across the employment law spectrum. He has a particular interest and specialism in the fields of discrimination and whistleblowing, frequently dealing with sensitive cases and those with far reaching implications, and has a reputation for being thorough, client-focused and easy to work with.

Examples of recent cases include:

  • continuing to act for one of the four leading supermarkets defending high value class action equal pay claims;
  • successfully representing a group of judges in their claims of part-time worker discrimination against the Ministry of Justice;
  • successfully acting for various academics at the University of Oxford in a number of ground-breaking age discrimination claims relating to their force retirement in the ET and at the EAT;
  • advising both the Police and Crime Commissioner for North Yorkshire and Sheffield City Council in relation to large scale organisational change.

 

In addition to maintaining a busy practice, Andrew sits as an Employment Judge, is the Joint Head of the Employment Team, Head of PLP’s Recruitment Committee and sits on the Advisory Panel for Leeds Free Legal Representation.

Earlier in his career Andrew practiced at Cloisters in London and spent time working as a judicial assistant in the Court of Appeal with Lady Justice Arden (as she was then) and Lord Justice Mummery.

Outside of work, with three young children, Andrew says the chance of a meaningful hobby would be a fine thing, though he tries to squeeze in a bit of 5-a-side football, skiing, mountain biking, photography and scuba diving when he can. He is, some say surprisingly, a former table tennis international and, for a period, was the practice partner of the women’s Olympic champion.

Areas of Expertise

Accolades

SPECIALIST PRACTICE AREAS: EMPLOYMENT

Introduction 

Andrew acts for both employers and employees in all aspects of employment work, frequently appearing in the ET and EAT. He receives instructions from firms of solicitors around the country and acts for large and small employers in the private and public sector, as well as trade unions and their members. He is currently instructed in a large equal pay class action for one of the big supermarkets.

He has represented various members of the judiciary, including numerous employment judges, in relation to their claims of part-time worker/age discrimination against the Ministry of Justice, and was instructed to defend a member of the judiciary in disciplinary proceedings brought at the behest of the Lord Chief Justice. He regularly act for senior executives in both the private and public sector.

A number of his regular solicitor clients have chosen to instruct him when claims have been made against their firms, and he has also been the first choice counsel for other barristers, as well as other chambers, when they have encountered internal staffing issues. He has much experience of acting for clients in the healthcare sector.

Other clients have included Morrisons, the Rugby Football League, Health Education England, the Crown Prosecution Service, the General Dental Council, BUPA ,the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts (“RADA”), IBM, Unilever, the Priory Hospital at Roehampton, the Crown Princess of Greece, AMEC, Notts County Football Club, Capita, Network Rail and Care UK.

Outside of the litigation context and in addition to advisory and drafting work, Andrew has carried out complex independent investigations into allegations of extremely serious workplace misconduct, including alleged rape and grooming during the course of employment.

Andrew sits as a part-time Employment Judge in East London (and cannot accept instructions on cases listed there). He edits a chapter of Tolley’s Employment Law Service.

Andrew is the Joint Head of the Employment Team. 

Discrimination

Andrew has vast experience across the spectrum of discrimination law including, by way of example:

  • successfully acting, in a high value claim, for a group of part-time fee-paid judges who sit in the “SEND” jurisdiction of the First-tier Tribunal, a number of whom also sit in other jurisdictions too, such as the Employment Tribunal and as a Circuit Judge in the County Court;
  • successfully acting for a number of Oxford University Professors in two different claims of age discrimination following their forced retirement under different policies (against a silk);
  • successfully acting for members of the judiciary at the EAT in part of the judicial pensions part-time worker discrimination litigation (against a silk);
  • successfully acting for NHS Improvement in a case involving allegations of victimisation made against the two most senior nurses in the country;
  • successfully acting for an NHS Trust in both the ET and EAT in a complex race discrimination claim brought by a Consultant Neurologist (against a QC);
  • successfully acting for a senior manager in a 20 day race discrimination claim leading to an award of compensation in excess of £1m;
  • successfully acting for the NHS Trust Development Authority in a multi-party victimisation claim in the ET and, led by David Reade KC, in the EAT;
  • representing the successful claimant in a complex 2-week disability discrimination claim, leading to an award of over £300,000.

 

Whistleblowing

Andrew is particularly experienced in whistleblowing cases and has given numerous lectures on the topic. He regularly appears in lengthy and complicated whistleblowing cases as well as more straightforward, shorter ones. For example:

  • successfully acting for the respondent in a 3 week whistleblowing claim brought by a GP working at a prison;
  • successfully acting for an NHS Trust in complex 4 week claim of whistleblowing detriment / dismissal brought by a Consultant ENT Surgeon;
  • successfully representing a firm of solicitors in a claim concerning alleged wrongdoing in relation to the firm’s claiming of costs;
  • successfully acting for a fire service in a complicated whistleblowing claim brought by a fire fighter who relied upon in excess of 100 protected disclosures.

 

Unfair Dismissal

Andrew has appeared in many in unfair dismissal claims at both first instance and on appeal and edits the Unfair Dismissal Remedies chapter of Tolley’s Employment Law Service. For example:

  • securing a reinstatement order following a forced retirement for, we believe, the oldest claimant to be reinstated in the UK;
  • acting for the successful employer on appeal to the EAT against an order for re-engagement;
  • representing a successful claimant who secured compensation at the statutory cap following a week-long trial;
  • successfully defending a claim for ordinary and automatically unfair dismissal following a 7-day case;
  • acting for the successful employers in a number of multi-day constructive dismissal complaints arising out of alleged breaches of the implied duty of mutual trust and confidence, as well as other duties. 

 

TUPE

Andrew has appeared in many TUPE cases for transferors, transferees, claimants and unions. For example:

  • acting for the governing body of rugby league in a claim brought by the staff of a former Super League club that had been put into administration;
  • acting for a group of claimants at a 2-week Preliminary Hearing to determine whether there was a TUPE transfer and, if so, to which of 6 respondents, a case which made its way to the EAT on the definition of a “service provision change”;
  • acting for a putative transferor in a week long “service provision change” trial raising novel points of law;
  • advising the managing director of media company on a variety of transfer and insolvency related issues;
  • acting for one of a number of alleged transferees in a claim arising out of the contracting out of care services.

 

Equal Pay

Andrew was the co-editor, with (Employment Judge) Seamus Sweeney, of the Equal Pay chapter of Jordans Employment Law Service. Andrew has acted for both claimants and respondents in various class actions. Cases have included:

  • acting for one of the big 4 supermarkets defending a large, complex class action;
  • acting for the successful respondent to a like work/work of equal value claim brought by senior nurses in relation to the provision of out of hours psychiatric care;
  • acting for 2 claimants at a lengthy equal value hearing in their claims against a large private sector employer in the manufacturing sector;
  • acting for a public sector respondent in a large class action involving equal pay and TUPE issues.

 

Breach of Contract Claims

Andrew has dealt with a variety of claims relating to individual contracts of employment and collective agreements in both the employment tribunal and county court. He recently acted for a firm of solicitors in claims brought against it by two former solicitors in the county court, where he is accustomed to appearing on employment related matters.

 

Restrictive Covenants

Andrew often advises on restrictive covenant and confidentiality issues and has appeared in the civil courts in claims for injunctive relief arising out of restrictive covenants, including for City businesses and executives. He recently advised/carried out drafting work in relation to a claim for injunctive relief to stop a strike and is also acting for the claimant company in an action against former employees who were competing both before and after their employment terminated.

 

Collective Issues

Andrew was instructed in a multi-million pound pay dispute between a FTSE 100 employer and several unions which went to ACAS arbitration and ended in success for the company.

He has represented many unions and employers in claims arising out of collective redundancy situations as well as collective consultation in a TUPE context. He has also acted for a firm of solicitors, though their administrators, in connection with claims brought by their former workforce arising out of mass redundancies.

He has advised on trade disputes, including injunctive relief to prevent strike action, and has appeared at the CAC to deal with a union recognition dispute.

 

Employee Status and Jurisdictional Issues 

Andrew has acted for employers and employees in a multitude of cases raising issues of employment status, including acting for BUPA at the EAT in a claim brought by a dentist that had far reaching ramifications. He has advised employment businesses and agencies.

Andrew has been instructed by employers to act as an independent investigator in grievance and disciplinary investigations across a range of different issues covering allegations of extremely serious workplace misconduct, including rape, grooming and safeguarding breaches to more straightforward allegations of discrimination, bullying and harassment.

That work has involved him assisting in drafting the terms of reference, interviewing witnesses, the preparation of detailed investigation reports and the presentation of the findings at a disciplinary hearing. Andrew’s considerable employment law experience allows him to identify the crucial areas that need to be explored and to ensure that the interviews are carried out, and the investigation report is written, thoroughly and in a way a tribunal or court might expect.

Andrew has conducted investigations both in person and remotely.

Legal 500 (2024) - Employment (Tier 1) - "Andrew is incredibly knowledgeable about equal pay, and he always adds value when his opinion is sought."

Chambers and Partners (2023) - Employment (Band 1) - "Andrew Sugarman is an established barrister in the employment law field who commands considerable respect for his representation of claimants and respondents. His client base includes both public and private sector clients. He offers vast expertise in claims such as victimisation, race and sex discrimination, unfair dismissal and equal pay." "Andrew is a star: personable, a very very competent advocate and sensibly commercial."

Legal 500 (2023) - Employment (Band 1) - "Andrew has a tenacious grip on the details combined with intellectual and tactical acuity. He is great on tactics and is approachable and pragmatic."

Legal Who's Who (2023) - Andrew is one of a limited number of employment specialists outside London to be recommended in this publication. He was noted to be "much in demand by both claimants and respondents for his skills across the spectrum of employment law."

PAST EDITIONS
Andrew has been rated by Chambers and Partners and the Legal 500 for over 15 years, with the following reviews:

  • "Andrew is quite simply brilliant. He has a lovely manner with clients and understands the relationship between solicitor and client. On his feet, he is impressive and is robust without being aggressive";
  • "He has an incredible recall of the smallest details, and his client handling is second to none." "Excellent to work with – very pragmatic, approachable and knowledgeable."
  • "He also offers vast expertise in claims such as victimisation, race and sex discrimination, and unfair dismissal." "A pleasure to deal with. Extremely bright and technical on complex issues. A fantastic advocate, easy to get on with and brilliant with the witnesses. He is also extremely well prepared." "Fantastic with clients, great attention to detail and knowledgeable."
  • "Andrew is really approachable and incredibly pragmatic in exploring solutions to problems; calm collected advice, always calm and always commercial."
  • "He impresses with his ability to get to the heart of the matter through a mass of potentially obscuring detail and to develop very quickly a thorough understanding of the specifics of the case in the context of the relevant case law." "He is a very strong advocate, supportive, detailed in his preparation and great with clients"
  • "A very measured and well-prepared advocate. He is very resourceful and gets good results." "His work ethic, attention to detail and robustness are extraordinary."
  • "A fiercely bright and commercially astute advocate"
  • "Technically and tactically astute with an engaging personal style." 
  • "The biggest compliment I can pay him is that I trust him with all of our clients. What he does reflects well on us." "Sugarman is a firm advocate whose calm exterior reassures clients. His grasp of the legal and factual issues inspires confidence."
  • "Receives no shortage of praise in the market for his distinguished practice representing claimants and respondents."
  • "His cross-examination is killer and his submissions are outstanding"
  • "He's straightforward but technically able, and clients feel like they're in safe hands. He's got a lot of common sense and he knows how to play to the Tribunal."
  • "Approachable, personable, easy to work with and 100% reliable."
  • "Represents commercial and public sector employers, charitable bodies, trade unions and their members. ‘He is the calm port in the storm. He looks at things objectively and thinks well on his feet."
  • "Very good at explaining complex legal concepts to clients."
  • "An experienced employment advocate who is instructed by a wide range of clients, and is recognised as being equally adept at acting for claimants and respondents. He is a skilled barrister, but also straight-talking and down-to-earth. He is very good with clients, and can cut to the main issues quickly and explain difficult legal concepts clearly and concisely."
  • "…technically brilliant...a down-to-earth junior, he is popular due to the "efficient and thorough" approach he takes."
  • "He has impressed with his "straightforward style" and is "loved by clients."
  • "He is "highly dedicated and will go to enormous lengths to fight the battle. He is regularly instructed by trades unions and commercial and public sector employers."
  • "He remains a fine choice for employment” and “gains market respect for [his] practice…has a ‘great understanding’ of disability discrimination and employers’ liability for injury” and does a “first class jobs in tough cases..."
  • "Andrew is “a tough advocate with excellent attention to detail”. He has “excellent depth and breadth of knowledge; gives realistic rather than legalistic advice."


SOLICITOR COMMENTS

"Along with a number of Hempsons colleagues I have worked with Andrew Sugarman a great deal over the last five years and have never failed to be impressed by his:

  • legal ability – and (as important) instincts;
  • sheer hard work when required – particularly when the instructions are accompanied by six    files of material all of which has to be read, assimilated and woven into a submission or cross-examination;
  • skills with clients – it always helps when they like as well as trust their advocate;
  • persistence in the face of ill tempered and sometimes rude Employment Judges;
  • ability to work as a member of the team

it is also worth noting a welcome habit of winning his cases."

Janice Barber, Former Managing/Senior Partner at Hempsons Solicitors, London

"Andy is always one of our first choices for counsel on employment litigation, particularly complex claims. He is super bright, personable, and well-liked by our clients and team alike. No hesitation in recommending him for employment law work."

Louise Bloomfield, Partner, DAC Beachcroft, Leeds

"My team have worked with Andy for many years. He has all the attributes I look for in a barrister, down to earth, practical and incredibly supportive of our clients and us. I would highly recommend him."

Rachael Heenan, Senior Partner, Capsticks Solicitors    

 

ELA, ELBA, ILS, Advocate, Leeds Free Legal Representation

Employment

  • Snidal and others v University of Oxford, 2201882/2020: successfully acting for a group of Oxford academics in their claims of age discrimination following their compulsory retirement pursuant to a revised iteration of the University's retirement policy following a major review
    • https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2023/03/17/oxford-professors-win-age-discrimination-case-against-university/
    • https://www.timeshighereducation.com/news/oxford-professors-forced-retire-win-tribunal-case
    • https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-11874661/Four-Oxford-dons-forced-retire-diversity-policy-win-age-discrimination-claim.htm

 

  • Southby and others v Ministry of Justice, 2204470/21 & others: for the successful claimants, a group of fee-paid judges of the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal ("SEND"), part of the First-tier Tribunal, in their claims of unlawful discrimination under the Part-time Workers (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations 2000. 

 

 

 

  • Governing Body of Tywn School v Aplin UKEAT/0298/17/LA [2018] ICR D17: for the successful respondent/cross-appellant at the EAT in a case of sexual orientation discrimination and unfair dismissal brought by a primary school head teacher following allegations of sexual impropriety. Then at the ET for a Remedy Hearing at which he recovered circa £700,000 (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-50441566)

 

  • Aplin v Governing Body of Tywn School, UKEAT/0298 [2018] ICR D17: for the successful cross-appellant before Slade J in a leading case dealing with the provisions governing the lodging of a Respondent's Answer and a Cross-Appeal and extensions of time;

 

  • NHS Trust Development Authority v Saiger and others [2018] ICR 297: for the successful appellant before HHJ Hand QC overturning the Tribunal’s findings of victimisation against one of the country's leading nurses / guidance given on procedural impropriety as a ground of appeal;

 

  • Moseka v Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (2017) UKEAT/0517/13/SM, for the successful respondent at the EAT and the ET following a paper heavy, factually complex 3 week race and disability discrimination / unfair dismissal claim, concluding lengthy litigation that had made its way to the Court of Appeal and back;

 

  • Lincolnshire County Council v Lupton: [2016] IRLR 576: for the successful appellant before Simler P at the EAT overturning a rare order of re-engagement;

 

  • Kowalewska-Zietek v Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust [2016] All ER (D) 262 (Jan): for the successful respondent in the ET and EAT in a race discrimination case brought by a Consultant Neurologist. Langstaff J gave guidance on the burden of proof provisions under the Equality Act 2010;

 

  • Thompson v Ministry of Justice (2016) UKEAT/0004/15/LA (joined with Miller v MoJ): acting for a former Valuer Chair in the First-Tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) in the EAT in his claim of part-time worker discrimination in relation to access to the judicial pension scheme, pay and other benefits;

 

  • Martineau and others v Ministry of Justice [2015] ICR 1122 (EAT): for the successful appellants who were part-time judges of the Immigration Appeal Tribunal. The case raised an important point about the test case provisions in the ET Rules of Procedure and rights of non-parties to appeal ET decisions;

 

  • Stuart v BUPA Dental Services Limited UKEAT/0237/13/BA (2014): for the successful respondent on an appeal to the EAT concerning the employment status of a dentist;

 

  • Osaghae v United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust UKEAT/0576/12/BA, Lawtel 26.3.14; Westlaw (2013) WL 7117533: for the successful respondent at the EAT in a case concerning issues of settlement and withdrawal;

 

  • Browne v Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Trust, [2011] EqLR 545 (liability) and [2012] EqLR 186 (remedies), IDS Employment Law Discrimination Handbook, Chapter 26: 4 week race discrimination/unfair dismissal claim for the successful claimant who recovered in excess of £1m in compensation.

Fee-Paid Employment Judge in London East, from October 2021.

Leeds Free Legal Representation, Advisory Board member

Andrew edits the Unfair Dismissal Remedies chapter of Tolley’s Employment Law Service.

He previously co-wrote and edited, with Employment Judge Seamus Sweeney, the “Equal Pay” chapter of Jordans Employment Law Service.

He has written a number of articles for publications such as the Personal Injury Law Journal,  Discrimination Law Association’s Briefings, Pulse (a magazine distributed to all registered GPs in the UK) and the Leeds and Yorkshire Lawyer.

He assisted Robin Allen KC in updating and redrafting the “Human Rights” chapter of Bullen & Leake on Pleadings.

Andrew taught the “Employment Law” option to the part time students at the BPP Law School in Leeds.

He has given various talks for the Employment Lawyers Association, including "Employment Tribunal Procedure: Tips, Tactics and Pitfalls", "Whistleblowing", "Pension Loss Claims" and “Tactics and Remedies in Employment Tribunal Litigation” as well as substantive case law updates.

Andrew has also given lectures and seminars to many firms of solicitors locally and nationally, including writing and delivering nationally an 8 hour “Employment Tribunal Advocacy Training Programme” to a leading firm of employment solicitors.

The topics of some of his lectures and articles have included:

  • Disability Discrimination: Tricky To Defend?
  • Equal Pay in 2022
  • Age Discrimination and Compulsory Retirement
  • Tips for Winning in the Employment Tribunal
  • Post Covid Remote Disciplinary and Grievance Investigations
  • Covid 19 Overview of Employment Law Implications
  • Unfair Dismissal Remedies
  • Whistleblowing and the Public Interest Test
  • Holiday Pay: The Unexploded Time-bomb
  • Victimisation and Grievances
  • Pension Loss Claims
  • Whistleblowing: The new legislative changes
  • Service Provision Changes under TUPE
  • Are Agency Workers Employees?
  • Claims, Responses and Compromise Agreements in Employment Cases

Trinity College, Cambridge 1996-1999 B.A. (Hons), M.A. (Cantab)

Tulane University, New Orleans 1999-2000, LL.M (with Distinction)

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