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Ben Uduje

Ben is a results orientated advocate appearing regularly in Employment Tribunals, County Courts and Appellate Courts. His approach to cases is clear, concise, informed but jargons free. He aims to identify the key battleground issues at an early stage in a case and works closely in partnership with his instructing solicitors and clients on case management issues. He has experience of dealing with cases in the public domain and the handling of sensitive issues.

Employment and Discrimination Law:

Ben acts for both employers and employees in every area of employment law with particular emphasis on all types of discrimination, victimisation, unfair and wrongful dismissal, whistleblowing, TUPE, breach of contract, restrictive covenants, wages and trade union and industrial disputes. He is instructed by a large range of solicitors from city firms to regional firms and his clients range from the largest multinational companies to trade unions and local authorities to the entire breadth of claimants, from multi-claimant representative actions to individual claimants from the most junior to senior executives. He also has an interest in the law relating to injuries sustained at work, and claims arising out of workrelated stress.

Professional Regulatory & Disciplinary:

Proceedings as a natural extension of his expertise and experience in employment and discrimination law, Ben is very well placed to handle internal disciplinary and/or professional misconduct matters in a variety of contexts. Of particular interest are professional disciplinary issues arising in the medical and sports fields. He has particular experience in cases involving professionals in the healthcare industry and has extensive experience of acting on behalf of a wide range of NHS Trusts as well as professionals. Ben is currently instructed by an NHS Trust in relation to discrimination claims brought by a GP under s 53 of the Equality Act 2010 in connection with her removal The Performers Lists which is complied and maintained by the Trust.

Ben is also currently instructed by a Research Clinical Pharmacist who was dismissed by a leading Clinical Research Organisation for alleged dishonest conduct relating to disagreement over the appropriate split of time off for study leave and annual leave whilst complying with the requirement for minimum annual leave under the Working Time Regulations 1998.

Accreditations:

‘I have instructed Ben for over 15 years and recommend him, particularly for complex discrimination and\or whistleblowing claims. Ben always works in partnership with me to ensure we achieve the best result for our clients. He is an excellent advocate and always seeks to gain the confidence of clients and witnesses (whether junior or senior) to ensure that they can present themselves in the best light at Tribunal.’ Paul McFarlane, Partner at Weightmans LLP

Professional memberships:

  • Employment Lawyers Bar Association
  • Employment Lawyers Association
  • Industrial Law Society
  • Bar Pro Bono Unit

     

      Selected cases:

      Tiffin v Chief Constable of Surrey – Ben Uduje acted for the Chief Constable. Reading ET handed down Judgment in the much publicised case, dismissing all claims.

      Groves v Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust [2012], Ben is instructed by the Respondent, against a serial litigant who is alleging that closing a vacancy once sufficient applications was received, amounted to unlawful discrimination on grounds of his disability

      Bampoe v Tower Hamlets Primary Care Trust [2011] represented a senior NHS executive in a four weeks race discrimination claim

      Tower Hamlets Primary Care Trust v Ugiagbe [2010] UKEAT 0068_09_1305 (appeal on grounds of failure to explain why inferences of discrimination could be drawn from facts found proved)

      Stewart v BTP [2010] ET, Ben represented the Police in a complex multi-discrimination claim (35 substantive claims of sex, sexual orientation and disability discrimination and ‘protected disclosure’) by a serving Police Sergeant. Given the issues involved and high profile nature of those involved, the case attracted national media coverage, and was heard over 4 weeks in the Employment Tribunal, and on appeal to the EAT

      OCS v Jones [2009] EAT, Ben represented the Appellant employer in one of the first Service Provision Change cases (under TUPE Regulations 2006) to reach the EAT. The case is authority for the proposition that whilst there is no legal requirement under the service provision change for the activity to retain its identity post-transfer, that this element is implicit in the concept. It also illustrates the importance of well-drafted exit provisions in the services agreement
      Lodwick v London Borough of Southwark (2004) ICR 884 CA, Times Law Report 09/04/04. Ben represented the Respondent from the ET to the Court of Appeal. This case is authority for the proposition that where bias is alleged; an appeal tribunal was obliged, first, to test the tribunal’s decision as to recusal by considering whether the fair-minded and informed observer, having considered the facts, would conclude that there was a real possibility that the tribunal was biased, but also to consider the proceedings as a whole and decide whether a perception of bias had arisen; the chairman, as the legally qualified and presiding member of a tribunal of three, had an important position and any apparent bias on his part would not be nullified by the presence of two lay members who might outvote him

      London Borough of Southwark v Bartholomew (2004) ICR 358 EAT Review of tribunal’s decision – authority for the proposition that it was impermissible for an employment tribunal to record that it was unusual for a party not to attend a hearing and yet not take any steps to find out whether there had been an oversight, particularly where contact details were stated on a document before them; that, even if, having done so, there was no attendance by the party concerned , the tribunal might deal with liability, and possibly compensation, but it was wholly inappropriate to make a reinstatement order without proper consideration of the matters contemplated by section 116 of the Employment Rights Act 1996, including whether it would be just to order reinstatement where the applicant might have caused or contributed to some extent to his dismissal

      Frewin v Royal Mail Group Plc (2003) EAT Capability Dismissal – is causation relevant to the issue of fairness in capability dismissals? – In this case, the EAT clarifies the tension between conflicting authorities: London Fire & Civil Defence Authority v Betty (1994) IRLR 384 and Edwards v Governors of Hanson School (2001) IRLR 733

      Plc v Burkett (2003) CA Reasonable Investigation – authority for the proposition that tribunals, when deciding whether an employer had reasonable grounds for its belief in misconduct, must set out and analyse the facts as found by the employer at the time of the dismissal (assuming the employer undertook a reasonable investigation) and that it is an error of law to set out facts as found by the tribunal, unless a clear distinction is drawn between what the tribunal decides occurred, and what the tribunal decides the employer thought occurred
      Judgment

      London Underground Ltd v Praful Shah (2001) EAT – LTL 20/08/2001 Compensatory Award for Unfair dismissal – Employer’s conduct is irrelevant when assessing compensatory award for unfair dismissal

      Dr A Reza v General Medical Council (1998) EAT -LTL 19/05/98 Inference – in the absence of explanation from the GMC’s Professional Conduct Committee on primary facts of discrimination, Employment Tribunal entitled to conclude that decision was not on racial grounds because discovery of similar cases from disclosed documents overcame Committee’s lack of reason

      John Cornelius v London Borough of Southwark (1998) EWCA Civ 225 Contract – authority for the proposition that a teacher’s dismissal is sustainable even where it arose out of a failure to comply with statutory regime for such dismissal.

        Education:

        Ben attended the following institutions at various points:

        • Western Boys High School, Benin-City, Nigeria
        • South Thames College, Wandsworth
        • University of East London
        • Inns of Court School of Law

        Other information:

        Ben has supported Tottenham Hotspurs FC since his youth but as a recent convert to rugby (through his sons’ participation) he now follows the fortune of Harlequins RC avidly.