Katherine Reece

Employment Advisor
Employment disputes

I have 20 years employment law experience, having completed my law degree in 1999 and the Bar Vocational Course in 2000. I conduct all types of employment law work from advice, case preparation and advocacy, representing mostly Respondent businesses but also Claimants.   

I have supported a wide range of businesses from small through to PLCs and multinational companies. My experience spans most sectors with particular focus on professional services, logistics, distribution and care in addition to some public and voluntary sector and education work. I have dealt with a number of large organisations with varying levels of unionisation and with unions directly. 

Types of cases – I have dealt with just about every type of claim including cases of alleged complex discrimination ranging from those which hinge on factual dispute requiring careful presentation of evidence, to those with more technical aspects such as whether there is a disability. My experience covers dealing with every type of protected characteristic and claims with overlapping types of discrimination and with multiple heads of claim. Claims have included dealing with vexatious and serial litigants and cases which require resilience. 

Dealing with high value cases and remedy hearings which involve pension loss and contentious aspects including loss of opportunity, aggravated damages, injury to feelings and personal injury, I am experienced in sourcing, instructing and examining at Tribunal appropriate medical, tax and other financial and other experts along with surveillance / investigation where necessary. I have particular expertise on the minimum wage and have represented businesses in appeals in the Employment Tribunal against Enforcement Notices. I have significant experience of TUPE from early stage negotiations and advice prior to acquisition through to substantive disputes and in bringing section 12 TUPE claims against transferors, and have dealt with many cases of alleged automatically unfair dismissal and detriment cases such as for whistleblowing, health and safety and union related activity. 

Advocacy – In additional to case preparation I have conducted advocacy in several hundred Employment Tribunal cases varying from simple wages claims to multi-week and group claims and complex discrimination and TUPE cases involving a multiple Respondents. I have appeared in every Tribunal in England, Scotland and Wales and keep abreast of regional practice and differing evidence procedures such as in Scotland and have also advised on and appear at reconsideration applications.

Appeals – Much of my work over recent years has focused on appeals, from reviewing judgments and advising on the merits of appeal to drafting, conducting and appearing at the Employment Appeal Tribunal on approximately 30 occasions with a number of my cases being high profile leading cases and widely reported in law reports and in the media. I have particular knowledge of the rules of procedure at the EAT and the potential narrow grounds of appeal and have had several cases that have been appealed to the Court of Appeal.

Negotiating and settlements – I look at quantum at an early stage with an awareness that cost is a significant strategic issue for all parties and am conscious that  minimising the potential for reputational damage is a priority for many Respondents. To this end, I have extensive experience of negotiating and settling cases to achieve the best possible outcome for clients and experience of settlements at pre and early conciliation stage through to door of the Tribunal.

Executive and senior exit packages – I have particular experience in conducting and advising on protected conversations with a view to agreeing an exit package or settlement prior to the instigation of proceedings at all levels including on many occasions at a senior management / high value / director level. I have drafted and advised on settlement agreements of high value where tact and detail are paramount.   

Consultancy services – For both in-house and external clients, I have supported and conducted meetings including - disciplinary hearings, grievance hearings, appeals, redundancy, TUPE and variation consultations, flexible working meetings and appeals, protected conversations and any other sensitive issues that arise such as where there is a clash of personalities. I have also carried out internal investigations as an independent third party on a number of occasions.     

Training – I have experience of designing materials and presenting employment law updates and people management courses at various levels from team leaders in dealing with disciplinary issues to senior management and for professional colleagues. I have contributed articles on a number of employment law topics for colleagues and clients in previous roles.     

I have recently joined Markel Law and look forward to contributing to the team. If you have an employment law issue you would like to discuss, please do get in touch.