Heather Platt

Contact

Expertise

Professional Negligence

Heather’s professional negligence practice largely relates to the conduct of tribunal proceedings.

Personal Injury and Clinical Negligence

In addition to her work within Employment Law, Heather has advised and represented claimants and defendants in a wide variety of personal injury litigation including employer’s liability; tripping and slipping; road traffic accidents with complex credit hire, fraud and phantom passengers; occupier’s and manufacturer’s liability; injuries arising from the disrepair of property and claims under the Package Tour Regulations.  She has particular expertise of cases involving the Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992 and the various regulations involving protective work equipment.

Heather has a particular interest in psychiatric and neurological damage and has cross-examined medical experts in numerous cases.  She advises and acts for both claimants and insurers, on both a private basis and under conditional fee agreements.   Before she came to the Bar, Heather worked in a specialist Personal Injury and Industrial Disease law firm and was involved in multi-party actions with complicated limitation issues. 

Regulatory and Disciplinary

Heather has expertise in regulatory matters, in particular the regulation of professionals such as Doctors, nurses, social workers, teachers, police officers, accountants and within the provision of financial services.

Heather has appeared in appeals against decisions taken by professional bodies in the High Court, for example in Okee v Nursing and Midwifery Council - [2014] All ER (D) 07 (Mar). Heather recently acted for a teacher and successfully avoided a prohibition order in the Professional Conduct Panel of the National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL) in a case which involced the teacher having admitted tampering with SAT papers.  Heather acted for a Social Worker who was accused of inappropriate touching and successfully had those allegations dismissed against him.  Heather's employment and civil law background make her uniquely placed to advise on the interplay between the regulatory sphere and individual employment law rights.

 

Employment and Discrimination

Heather represents a wide cross-section of businesses, from multinational corporations to SMEs, as well as public bodies and individuals.  She has handled numerous cases before the employment tribunals, the Employment Appeal Tribunal and in the High Court; Heather is particularly in-demand for her expertise in disability, sex and race discrimination, sexual orientation, unfair dismissal, redundancy, stress at work, bullying and harassment, whistleblowing and TUPE.  Acting for both claimants and respondents, Heather has successfully obtained injunctive relief in the High Court and has substantial experience in discrimination law.  She has acted in several high-value cases for and against large organisations and public bodies, including Primary Care Trusts, schools and colleges, local authorities, housing associations, police forces and major airlines.  Her professional negligence practice largely relates to the conduct of tribunal proceedings.

Heather is the Head of the Pump Court Chambers Employment Team and regularly presents seminars and carries out bespoke training on all aspects of Employment Law.  She is the author of a monthly employment law update and a regular contributor to chambers’ employment law newsletter.  Heather does pro bono work at the Employment Appeal Tribunal for ELAAS and compiles the Pump Court Costs Reports.

Business and Commercial

Heather regularly advises businesses, partnerships and companies on a range of matters including debt recovery, disputes about fees, breach of partnership agreements and insolvency.  Heather is in demand for advice as to restrictive covenants and their enforceability, she drafts contracts and also acts and advises in relation to injunction proceedings in the High Court.

Heather’s cases often involve allegations of fraud.   She also advises company directors as to their employment law rights and obligations and carries out training and in house seminars for line managers.  Before coming to the Bar, Heather worked for a Top 5 Law Firm in Sydney, Australia.

Recent cases include:

  • Defending a claim brought against an accountant in the High Court for solicitation and breach of restrictive covenants, involves mistake and fraudulent misrepresentation
  • Advising as to the enforceability of contractual terms in respect of trainee surveyors
  • Advising as to the enforceability of restrictive covenants in respect of a popular weight loss franchise programme
  • Drafting pleadings for TV personalities upon the termination of their contracts with a popular reality television series
  • Advising as to the terms and enforceability of a partnership agreement
  • Advising and drafting undertakings for a pest elimination company as to potential breach of restrictive covenants and to prevent loss of trade by former employee

Alternative Dispute Resolution

Heather has recently trained with the ADR Group and is an expert Workplace Mediator.

Heather's practice in employment and discrimination law matters has given her a keen understanding of how important good industrial relations are.  Workplace mediation is an informal, structured process in which an independent third party, a mediator, helps people in a disagreement or dispute to create a way forward.  Mediation introduces a powerful new dynamic to any negotiation or dispute discussion.  It enables people to restore and develop healthy working relationships.  Workplace mediation is future-focussed - it is concerned with how things will be from now on rather than finding blame for how things have been in the past.  It is optional - any party can withdraw from the process at any time.

Heather also carries out Employment Mediations and Commercial Mediations to settle litigation and has experience in Judicial Mediations.  

Overview

Year of call: 2002
Appointments:
  • Head of the Employment & Discrimination Team
  • Also a member of Riverview Chambers
  • Heather is a visiting lecturer at City University and is responsible for the Employment Law module for final year law undergraduates and post graduates
  • Pupil Supervisor
  • BSB BPTC External Examiner Employment Law
Areas of specialism:
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution
  • Business and Commercial
  • Employment and Discrimination
  • Personal Injury and Clinical Negligence
  • Professional Negligence
  • Public Access and Direct Access
  • Regulatory and Disciplinary
Additional languages:
  • French
  • German
Qualifications:
  • The University of Liverpool LLB (Hons) English & German Laws
  • One Essex Court Prize for Advocacy (highest marks in Advocacy examinations at the College Of Law)
  • Nominated for Teaching Award 2010, 2011 and 2012
Professional associations:
  • Employment Law Bar Association
  • Employment Lawyers’ Association
  • Industrial Law Society
  • Personal Injury Bar Association
  • Public Access Bar Association
  • Society of Legal Scholars
Professional activities:
  • Advisory and mediation work
  • Bespoke employer training for SMEs including tribunal simulations
  • Tactical advice to employers during disciplinary and grievance procedures
  • Webinars and live seminars for CLT, Cullen Schofield and DataLaw
  • Lectures in employment and discrimination law at City University, London
  • Chambers’ seminar programme, bespoke in-house training and Webinars
  • GDRP Compliance for Employers
Outside Interests:
  • Heather is a keen traveller; she particularly enjoys high altitude mountaineering (her last mountain was Mera Peak) - or at least she did before becoming a parent! Heather loves scuba-diving, surfing and skiing.
Notable Cases:
  • Beckford v London Borough of Southwark [2015] UKEAT/0210/14/JOJ
  • Okee v Nursing and Midwifery Council - [2014] All ER (D) 07 (Mar)
  • Warner v Armfield Retail & Leisure Ltd (Contract of Employment : Frustration) [2013] All ER (D) 260 (Oct) [2013] UKEAT 0376_12_0810 (8 October 2013)
  • Masson v Meggit Avionics Limited (2013) UKEATPA/0307/12/KN
  • Oni v NHS Leicester City (formerly Leicester City Primary Care Trust) (Practice and Procedure : Costs) [2012] UKEAT 0144_12_1209 (12 September 2012)
  • Oni v NHS Leicester City (2011) UKEATPA/1138/11/LA – costs and list of issues.
  • Okoro & Okenwa v Taylor Woodrow Construction & Ors (2011) UKEAT/0319/10/ZT – continuous discrimination and jurisdiction.
  • Winchester & Eastleigh Healthcare NHS Trust v Walker UKEATPA/1794/10/LA – basic award, continuous service in the NHS.
  • McKinnon v Greater Manchester Police (2011) ET – 15 day race discrimination case brought by volunteer.
  • Hose Express Thurrock Ltd v Jacomb (2009) UKEAT 0389_08_3103 (unreported) – disability related discrimination (possible reference to the ECJ) following London Borough of Lewisham v Malcolm [2008] 1 AC 1399.
  • Henry v (1) London Borough of Southwark (2) South London & Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust (2008) – race discrimination; application for review and new evidence; aiding and abetting race discrimination UKEAT/0520/07/DM (unreported).
  • Hamilton v Tesco Stores Limited (2007) ET – Damages of £320,000 for Disability Discrimination; overlapping claims in the County Court for Personal Injury and Professional Negligence
Publications:
  • CLT Webinar Employment Status (August 2012)
  • Handle with Kid Gloves (2011) NLJ 762
  • Out for the Count! (2010) NLJ 1209
  • Employment: Stress alert! (2009) 159 NLJ 1494
  • Access all areas (2006) 156 NLJ 1668
  • On shaky ground (2006) 156 NLJ 91