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ELEENA MISRA

 

"Has developed a strong reputation for handling employment disputes that require specialist knowledge of either the education or healthcare sector.”

 

"Very good at establishing a rapport with clients. She is also excellent at preparing clients for tribunal."

 

"Detailed and thorough in her preparation, she can digest a large number of documents quickly, and she can really get to the nub of an issue."

 

Ranked in Chambers & Partners, Eleena Misra specialises in employment law, disciplinary/regulatory work and contract/tort claims. Eleena has both broad and in depth expertise in dealing with complex disputes in both the private and public sector. She has been instructed on several judicial reviews for public sector bodies, especially in the field of healthcare and higher education. Chambers & Partners recognises Eleena for her expertise in the healthcare and education sectors with solicitors finding her both "very approachable” and "extremely thorough”.

Recent unsolicited client feedback includes:

'You did a tremendous job at the prelim[inary] hearing and I do genuinely think it was because of your clear thinking and structuring of the case that we got the result that we did. You were seriously brilliant in your summing up. Really brilliant. You carefully built the case over two days and showcased [name] to the judge, which created the right environment for the judge to accept the logic you laid in front of him'.

    (Head of HR of Bank)

 

Eleena has a particular expertise and experience in cases with a medical dimension, having acted for numerous NHS Trusts, doctors, midwives and other health practitioners. These cases have ranged from specialist tribunals and panels (such as the Postgraduate Medical and Postgraduate Training Board and General Medical Council) to High Court actions, restraining the dismissal or suspension of consultants, internal disciplinary and grievance hearings and judicial review. Eleena sits as a Legal Adviser to the General Optical Council. She holds a Diploma in Forensic Medicine having passed all of her exams at first sitting in 2011 and has a specialist interest in coronial work.

In the private sector, Eleena has provided advice to professionals, companies and firms negotiating difficult staff and business transitions in the current economic climate. Clients have ranged from well- known sports and media personalities to multinational corporations and banking institutions. Public sector clients include the police, local authorities and Primary Care Trusts.

Eleena is known for her ability to assimilate complex material swiftly and provide strategic and commercial advice. Highly approachable and hands-on, Eleena is valued by solicitors for her calm approach to even the most time pressured and stressful litigation, including short notice injunctions, as well as sensitive client handling skills.

Eleena is the author of Procedure in Civil Courts and Tribunals (Wildys 2010). She is co-author of Atkins on Employment and Atkins on Equal Opportunities as well as having collaborated with fellow members of chambers on eminent works in employment law including, most recently, Blackstones' Employment Law Practice 2014 (ed. Gavin Mansfield QC). Eleena was the London and South East representative for ELA (2012-14) and serves on the Bar Council's Law Reform Committee. She is on the panel of Approved Counsel for the Equality & Human Rights Commission.

 

    Employment

Eleena is an employment specialist with wide and in depth litigation and advisory expertise in all aspects of employment law as complemented by her other practice disciplines. She is regularly instructed by the leading law firms in this area and has been selected to deal with high value, highly confidential and high profile litigation and internal investigations on several occasions, often against Queen's Counsel.

In recent times Eleena's work has included the following examples within her busy employment practice:

  •  Acting for various Russian banking entities and individuals in the UK and Moscow in a very lengthy sex discrimination and whistleblowing claim in respect of which potentially record-breaking sums are sought in compensation – described in the press as the biggest discrimination claim of the year (2013-2014);
  • Acting for an NHS Trust in relation to claims of religious discrimination brought by a Consultant Paediatrician (again highly publicised and significant for NHS employers) which she won at first instance and successfully defended on appeal;
  • Acting for a well-known University in internal disciplinary appeal proceedings concerning a senior academic;
  • Representing a Consultant against an NHS Trust in injunctive proceedings in the QBD concerning breaches of the MHPS framework applicable to the contract of employment;
  • Obtaining injunctive relief in team move and confidential information breach claims;
  • Striking out multiple complex claims on behalf of entities in the financial services sector resulting in no Full Hearing for the clients;
  • Obtaining an in principle award for career-long losses for a professional claimant client in complex protected disclosure and disability discrimination complaints.

Many of Eleena's successes result in no hearing at all, the art of careful negotiation and strategic planning being especially true of interim relief cases, but included in her reported cases in this field are:

Hardy v Polk (Leeds) Limited [2004] IRLR 420

John Lamb Partnership v. Parfett [2008] UKEAT 0111/08/0207

Phillips v. Xtera Communications [2011] IRLR 724

Dr Drew v. Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust [2013] EqLR 1051

Eleena is a standing editor of the Employment Case Update (Bath Publishing) and, amongst other works, is one of the authors of Blackstones' Employment Law Practice 2014. She served as London & SE representative to ELA from 2012-14, sits on the Bar Council's Law Reform Committee as an Employment Specialist in connection with which she writes papers for the Government and Law Reform Commission and is Approved Counsel to the Equality & Human Rights Commission.

In parallel, Eleena founded and is Joint Head of the Disciplinary & Regulatory practice group with Carol Davis. Many of her disciplinary cases feature an employment dimension and she is often instructed in cases in which crossover expertise (and not just knowledge) is vital.

Eleena offers lectures in all of the principal areas of employment law including discrimination, TUPE, breach of contract, jurisdiction issues, protected disclosures and injunctive/interim relief.

 

    Discrimination

Eleena has conducted long running and high profile litigation, as well as undertaking complex advisory work, in every aspect of discrimination law, in which she specialises.

Eleena is Approved Counsel on the Panel for the Equality & Human Rights Commission.

From cases involving allegations of serious and prolonged discrimination in the banking and financial sectors, often said to be on an institutional level, to cases involving small organisations with very limited HR input, Eleena has advised and steered clients through hard fought and emotional litigation. Eleena is known for her ability to handle witnesses with the sensitivity and intuition which can turn the tide in discrimination cases as well as fighting her client’s corner robustly.

Recent examples of Eleena’s work include:

  • Advising a number of high profile magic circle law firms in respect of allegations of sex and disability discrimination;
  • Complex race discrimination complaints against individuals heard in the Tribunal, EAT and County Court including allegations of harassment and associative discrimination;
  • Acting for an NHS Trust in a high profile religious discrimination claim concerning the expression of religious belief in the workplace.

    Disciplinary & Regulatory

From sitting on internal disciplinary and grievance panels for public authorities and the fire brigade, to representing Specialist Registrars at PMETB and GMC, Eleena has a wealth of knowledge, experience and pragmatism when it comes to disciplinary and regulatory work. Eleena has acted for and against doctors, nurses, midwives and the police including in high profile cases.

Examples:

  • Acted for the Chief Constable of North Yorkshire in 2011 in widely publicised disciplinary proceedings concerning the first misconduct hearing of a CC in over 30 years;
  • Acting as management case ‘prosecutor’ in internal disciplinary proceedings against a firefighter;
  • Acting for doctor in an Interim Orders Panel hearing in GMC proceedings;
  • Acting for a local authority in proceedings associated with the removal of the most senior personnel;
  • Investigating serious allegations of sexual misconduct in the private and public sector.

Many of Eleena’s cases have been for NHS Trusts and healthcare professionals, which has given her a depth of understanding in respect of internal disciplinary procedures (personal and professional conduct cases, for example) and the developing jurisprudence concerning the court’s jurisdiction to grant injunctions to restrain either the dismissal or suspension of medical or allied professionals.

    Medical

At home with the language, science and culture of the medical world, Eleena keeps abreast of developments in the medical world on a regular basis and has a sound basic understanding of medical and surgical concepts and terminology gleaned from her exposure to these cases and a medical family background.

Eleena holds a Diploma in Forensic Medical Sciences (QMUL/Barts).

Eleena’s expertise in employment law often dovetails with her expertise in disciplinary work and knowledge of medical issues such that clients come to her for advice and representation where litigation in a variety of forums is envisaged (e.g. injunction/JR/GMC and Tribunal).

Examples:

  • Acting for an NHS Trust in an application for an injunction brought by a surgeon accused of serious clinical negligence and causing or contributing to patient deaths;
  • Advising a Trust on the human rights issues involved in applying policies concerning the funding of surgery for certain sectors of society;
  • Acting for a Consultant seeking specific performance of his contract of employment against a Trust in High Court proceedings;
  • Acting for Trusts and doctors in local and national pay (scale) disputes.

Eleena is the Group Coordinator for Chambers Disciplinary & Regulatory Group and would be delighted to hear from anyone interested in its proposed programme of activities for the autumn.

    Commercial & Injunctions

Eleena is regularly instructed by leading solicitors’ firms to act for applicants and respondents in cases calling for urgent interim relief. Eleena accepts instructions for both led and independent work in this field. She is particularly experienced in cases involving:

  • Confidential information, restrictive covenants and team moves;
  • Doctors and medical or allied professionals (including "Mezey” type injunctions);
  • Higher education sector.

 In the last ten years, Eleena has covered a range of industries, professions and subjects in the High Court. Ranging from animal rights activism to Formula 1, footballers and surgeons, Eleena brings the same robust yet calm approach to injunctions.

Eleena’s general commercial litigation practice is also diverse when it comes to subject matter. For example, Eleena has been instructed to act for a claimant in the recovery of an unlawfully converted high end sports vehicle and to defend a number of higher education institutions in claims for the recovery of fees. Recently, Eleena acted for the successful bookmaker against a well known football agent and ‘punter’ obtaining substantial damages for unpaid bets. Eleena is often instructed in high value disputes with both contractual and tortious components as well as professional negligence. Eleena has appeared as counsel in commercial mediations in addition to assisting leading counsel in chambers.

    Other

  • Call 2001 (Middle Temple, Diplock Scholar)
  • MA (Jurisprudence) Balliol College, University of Oxford
  • President of Oxford University Law Society
  • Born and educated in North Yorkshire.
  • Memberships include ELBA, ILS, COMBAR, PNBA & ADRL.
  • London and SE Representative of ELA.
  • Serves on Bar Council Law Reform Committee.
  • Equalities and Human Rights Commission Panel of Approved Counsel.
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