Claire Millns

Called 2001

A fantastic knowledge of law and procedure, and she's very reassuring to clients in stressful situations.

Chambers & Partners 2022 (Employment)

About

Claire Millns is a specialist employment, discrimination & education practitioner with over 20 years’ experience.

  •  “Very client-friendly and a very good advocate who grasps the facts quickly.” “A fantastic knowledge of law and procedure, and she’s very reassuring to clients in stressful situations (Chambers & Partners Band 3 Employment 2022)
  • “Claire is excellent to work with. She is unflappable in all situations and offers great reassurance to clients. It is very obvious that Claire is respected and liked by the local employment judges. (Legal 500 Tier 2 Employment 2022)
  • “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 Teams.

Claire sits as a Fee-Paid Employment Judge in the Midlands East Region.

Areas of Expertise

Accolades

Claire represents both claimants and respondents in all aspects of employment law and has particular expertise in employment issues arising out of education and healthcare. Claire acts for local authorities, NHS Trusts, large commercial employers as well as Trade Unions and their members.

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

Claire sits as a Fee-Paid Employment Judge in the Midlands East Region.

Claire’s clients include Northeast Ambulance Service NHS Trust, North Yorkshire County Council, Durham County Council, North Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Authority, Nestle, Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust, Newcastle University, Northumbria University, Northumberland County Council, Nissan UK, City Hospitals Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust and Tees, Esk & Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust.

Claire has presented mock employment tribunals which she believes provide an excellent learning tool for all those who may be involved in the tribunal process. She’s also happy to present in house or online talks and training.

Recent and notable cases:

  •  Advising respondent education provider in ongoing litigation involving gross misconduct dismissal following historical sex abuse allegations (2023)
  •  3 day remedy hearing representing a national energy company respondent in a complex case of sex discrimination where C claiming over 700k (May 2023)
  •  EAT: represented Gentoo at an appeal hearing regarding claims of age discrimination (January 2023)
  •  Interim relief. Successfully defended an application for interim relief on behalf of an ambulance trust (December 2022)
  •  Successful dismissal of 4 day case of race discrimination brought against Tees, Esk & Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust (December 2022)
  •   Successful strike out application of a claim brought against Durham University of sex discrimination and unfair dismissal (October 2022)
  •  3 day preliminary hearing on whether C disabled by virtue of Type 2 diabetes. C represented the employer. ET found C was not disabled (October 2022)
  •  4 day complex disability discrimination complaint where Claire represented a large manufacturing client (May 2022)
  •  Successful Judicial Mediation for national television network (May 2022)
  •  Represented Newcastle University in a 4 day complaint of failure to make reasonable adjustments. All claims dismissed (February 2022)
  • Represented Northumbria University in a complex 11 day case of race discrimination & harassment brought by a university professor following her dismissal for gross misconduct. All claims of discrimination and harassment were dismissed (September 2021)
  • Successfully represented Tees, Esk & Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust  in a complex 7 day hearing of race and sex discrimination, wrongful and unfair dismissal. All claims dismissed (July 2021)
  • Successfully represented Newcastle University in a complex 11 day hearing dealing with over 60 allegations of of race discrimination, harassment and victimisation (April 2021)
  • Obtained the maximum award for a high earning Claimant who brought claims of unfair dismissal after a gross misconduct dismissal was found to be unfair (March 2021)
  • Successfully defended allegations of race discrimination and harassment brought against a national security firm. The hearing lasted 5 days (January 2021)
  • Judicial mediation representing a national law firm involving complex issues of compensation where the Claimant had died following dismissal. C’s estate claimed the value of C’s death in service benefits and other losses (January 2021) 
  •  9 day whistleblowing & unfair dismissal case representing Berwick Academy where C was dismissed for making derogatory remarks on social media (November 2020)
  • Preliminary hearing on the issue of disability. C claimed to be disabled because 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 Engineering 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 respect 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 & Rescue Authority leading to successful settlement of a complex complaint of sex discrimination (December 2019) 
  • Iwuchukwu v City Hospitals 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)
  • 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 victimisation (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 Foundation 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 successfully appealed by Claire to the EAT in November 2019 – see above.

Legal 500 (2024) - Employment (Tier 2) - "Her technical knowledge is very impressive, and she is a confident communicator. A strategically sharp junior who is excellent with clients and witnesses - she instills confidence from the outset."

Chambers and Partners (2023) - Employment (Band 3) - "Claire Millns is a well-regarded barrister who has a strong reputation in employment litigation, with particular expertise in complex discrimination and whistle-blowing claims. She is highly rated for her knowledge of difficult and technical areas of employment law."

Legal 500 (2023) - Employment (Tier 2) - "Claire is incredibly thorough and forensic in her preparation for a case, and her cross examination is professional and robust where it needs to be. Clients her seek out for her personable approach and ability to put witnesses at ease."

Legal 500 (2022) - Employment (Tier 2) - "Claire is excellent to work with. She is unflappable in all situations and offers great reassurance to clients. It is very obvious that Claire is respected and liked by the local employment judges."

Chambers and Partners (2022) - Employment (Band 3) - "Very client-friendly and a very good advocate who grasps the facts quickly." "A fantastic knowledge of law and procedure, and she's very reassuring to clients in stressful situations."

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."

Employment Lawyers Association; Employment Law Bar Association; North East Medico-legal Society

Appointed as a Fee-Paid Employment Judge 

LLB (Hons), University of Northumbria

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