NAOMI ELLENBOGEN QC
"Highly intelligent, she is extremely responsive and unmistakably a leader in her field."
"Mature, lucid and excellent on her feet, giving opponents a run for their money time after time. Clients further report that 'she is a delight to deal with.'"
Naomi is joint Head of Littleton Chambers. One of the leading practitioners in the fields of employment, commercial and professional negligence law, ‘first class advocate’, Naomi has won a raft of plaudits from clients, judges and legal directories since she was called to the Bar in 1992. She was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 2010; amongst the most junior to be appointed in that year. Naomi is regarded as a clear-thinking, formidable advocate and a creative lawyer and tactician. She has a flair for putting people at their ease.
Legal directories have variously recognised Naomi’s ‘superb’ skill in cross-examination and her ‘bright and commercial’ attitude, as well as her strong reputation as a ‘punchy advocate, recognised for her ability to assimilate large quantities of information’ who ‘will go that extra mile’ for her clients and ‘never fails to impress’. She ‘achieves success through her successful interaction with clients’ and has ‘excellent advocacy skills - great on her feet, she never concedes a point’. Naomi is ‘thoroughly prepared and tenaciously executes her advocacy without arrogance’. ‘Clients are "lost in admiration” for Naomi Ellenbogen. This "strong and tremendously courteous advocate” has many fans’. Naomi is ‘very strong’, ‘a pleasure to work with’ and ‘user-friendly’.
In commercial law, Naomi comes ‘highly recommended’, ‘singled out by major firms’. She is ‘seen by top firms as an approachable and able commercial practitioner’ and counts blue-chip financial institutions and insurers amongst her clients. Over many years, she has been cited as an expert in this field in the Legal Experts guide. She has been identified as a ‘prominent practitioner’ in the field of professional negligence.
Naomi is an accredited mediator, experienced in mediating complex and high value disputes in all her areas of practice. Recent feedback includes, "Thank you very much for your role yesterday, which you performed breathtakingly well. I am absolutely convinced we would have drawn up stumps before lunchtime without you.”.
Naomi is the General Editor of Butterworths Employment Law: Practice, Procedure & Precedents, Fifth Edition.
Naomi is Barrister Vice-Chair of the Professional Conduct Committee of the Bar Standards Board. She is a Bencher of Gray’s Inn.
Naomi’s practice sees her undertake work across a wide variety of business sectors. She has particular experience within the banking, finance, insurance, legal and property sectors. Naomi regularly acts for and advises firms of solicitors, accountants and other professionals, together with professional and regulatory bodies, in internal disputes and litigation to which they themselves are parties. Naomi also works extensively with clients in the healthcare, local government and education sectors.
Naomi attended King David High School in Liverpool, before gaining an MA in Jurisprudence from Oxford University (New College).
Naomi undertakes a wide range of employment litigation in courts, tribunals and mediation. She regularly appears in appellate courts and tribunals. She is the General Editor of a leading practitioner text.
- Principal areas of High Court work include high value claims concerning breaches of contract and fiduciary duty, misuse of confidential information, restrictive covenants and restraint of trade, garden leave and bonus entitlements.
- Experienced in making and resisting applications for injunctive relief and the speedy trials which frequently follow. Successes include acting for the Claimants in LC Services Ltd & Others v Brown & Kinesis Solutions Ltd (QBD), in which Naomi obtained injunctive relief and indemnity costs for her clients.
- Naomi acted for the successful defendants in Macaulay v Newham London Borough Council & The Governing Body of Newham School (QBD, 16 February 2012, unreported). In this unusual case, the High Court was asked to grant interim mandatory injunctive relief. The case raised novel jurisdictional and highly sensitive factual issues. The Court refused to grant the injunctive relief sought, accepting all of Naomi’s submissions on behalf of both defendants.
- Tribunal work (for claimants and respondents) includes all forms of discrimination, high value unfair and wrongful dismissal, TUPE, whistleblowing and redundancy claims and complex jurisdictional issues. Naomi is experienced in acting in litigation in which issues of national security arise and is considered to be particularly skilful in conducting cases involving publicity-sensitive issues.
- Naomi has acted for a number of NHS Trusts in test cases brought by junior doctors challenging their pay banding and pay supplements under nationally applicable terms and conditions of service for medical and dental staff. Naomi has been successful in all cases.
A specialist in all forms of discrimination law, Naomi has been involved in a wide variety of discrimination cases and is adept at dealing pragmatically with the wider commercial concerns and sensitivities which they can generate; for example, arising from adverse publicity and press coverage.
Over many years, she has acted for numerous solicitors’ practices and sets of chambers, advising and defending their interests in connection with claims of sex, race, religion and belief, disability and age discrimination. Naomi frequently acts for universities, educational institutions and NHS Trusts, defending the discrimination claims which they face. Naomi is regularly called upon to advise employers and professional bodies as to the content of their anti-discrimination policies.
Recent examples of Naomi’s work in this area include:
- acting for the CEO of a FTSE-listed company in his claim for unfair dismissal and age discrimination, achieving a settlement sum in excess of £250,000;
- acting for a senior academic in high value age discrimination and victimisation claims brought against the university which formerly employed her. A favourable settlement on terms confidential to the parties was achieved before the hearing;
- acting for eight respondents in the banking sector (including corporate entities based in Russia and the Cayman Islands) in complex claims of sex discrimination, victimisation and whistleblowing. Novel jurisdictional points arise and the losses claimed exceed £30M. This is the longest running claim of its type;
- acting for eight respondents in the commercial property sector in a high-profile claim for whistleblowing and associative disability discrimination. The case ultimately settled on confidential terms.
Naomi is recognised as a leading expert in all aspects of equal pay law and has contributed to the re-shaping of the law in this area.
Since 2002, Naomi has been instructed by a large number of NHS Trusts, local authorities and private sector organisations in mass equal pay litigation across the country.
Amongst other Trusts, Naomi acts for North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust (formerly, North Cumbria Acute Hospitals NHS Trust) in the largest piece of equal pay litigation in Europe (as measured by volume and value of claims). Notable cases in this area include:
- Potter v North Cumbria Acute Hospitals NHS Trust ("Potter No.1”)  ICR 910, EAT;
- Potter v North Cumbria Acute Hospitals NHS Trust ("Potter No. 2”)  IRLR 176, EAT;
- Potter v North Cumbria Acute Hospitals NHS Trust ("Potter No. 3”)  IRLR 900, EAT;
- Hurst v Suffolk Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust  IRLR 452, CA;  IRLR 12, EAT;
- North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust v Fox ("Fox No. 1”)  A2/2009/0840, CA and
- North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust v Fox ("Fox No. 2”)  IRLR 804, CA.
Naomi has considerable experience and expertise in this area:
- She acts as an independent investigator and disciplinary officer in internal grievance and disciplinary proceedings.
- She has been instructed to act as a Designated Independent Person for the purposes of complaints against a ‘statutory officer’, governed by the provisions of the Local Authority (Standing Orders) (England) Regulations 2001.
- She has advised a number of public and private employers and educational institutions as to their disciplinary and regulatory rules and the conduct of internal grievance and disciplinary proceedings.
- She has appeared as counsel for individuals before professional disciplinary bodies such as the Nursing and Midwifery Council.
- She recently resisted an application for judicial review of an NHS Trust’s decision not to permit an employee to be legally represented in the course of an internal process.
- As a long-serving member, and now Barrister Vice-Chairman, of the Professional Conduct Committee of the Bar Standards Board, she has extensive experience in the practical application of rules of professional conduct and the surrounding considerations and sensitivities.
Naomi’s practice encompasses all forms of business and commercial dispute. She has particular expertise in the inter-relationship between employment and commercial law. As a result, she is often instructed in cases in which employment disputes have arisen against a background of disputes relating to commercial transactions.
Naomi has acted for individuals of high net worth in commercial arbitrations, as well as in the High Court, and is experienced in complex claims involving breaches of contract and fiduciary duty, frequently involving injunctive relief.
By way of example, Naomi:
- acted for an NHS Trust in a claim valued at £16 million concerning the construction and operation of a private finance initiative;
- advised a senior director of a large investment house as to his contractual entitlements in relation to a tax loan;
- acted for the defendant in a substantial commercial arbitration concerning an Eastern European investment vehicle in which the Claimant sought damages/equitable compensation in the sum of £1million;
- acted for one of the largest UK trade federations in connection with rights accrued by hundreds of employees under a staff pension scheme, the application of the Transfer of Employment (Pension Protection) Regulations 2005 and the regulatory implications arising from them;
- acted for the former Head of an Oil Options desk, following his move to a competitor, defending claims by and counterclaiming against a leading interdealer broker. A confidential settlement on advantageous terms was achieved at mediation shortly prior to trial.
Naomi heads the professional negligence team at Littleton.
She has been recognised as a prominent practitioner in the field of professional negligence, in which she has wide experience. She has a particular expertise in those cases in which the alleged negligence arises in an employment or commercial context. In the raft of litigation which followed the property crash of the 1990’s, as a very young junior, Naomi undertook a large volume of work for and against lending institutions, solicitors and surveyors and gained a reputation as a ‘rising star’ and skilled tactician who punched above her weight.
Naomi has built upon and consolidated that reputation ever since and is instructed by financial institutions, surveyors, solicitors, barristers, insurance brokers, accountants, trades union and individuals in this area of law both in the High Court and in the Court of Appeal.
Recent instructions include those to:
- advise counsel and the Bar Mutual Indemnity Fund in proceedings for alleged negligence in the conduct of settlement negotiations in the course of tribunal proceedings;
- advise solicitors in connection with a number of allegedly negligent conveyancing transactions; and
- advise under ‘the QC clause’ in a professional indemnity insurance contract, where allegedly negligent solicitors disagreed with the advice received from their insurers.
- Acting for eight respondents in the banking sector (including corporate entities based in Russia and the Cayman Islands) in complex claims of sex discrimination, victimisation and whistleblowing. Novel jurisdictional points arise and the losses claimed exceed £30M. This is the longest running claim of its type.
- Acting for eight respondents in the commercial property sector, in a high-profile claim for whistleblowing, and associative disability discrimination in the commercial property sector. The case ultimately settled on confidential terms.
- Macaulay v Newham London Borough Council & The Governing Body of Newham School (QBD, 16 February 2012, unreported)
- North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust v Fox ("Fox No. 1”)  A2/2009/0840 (CA); Potter v North Cumbria Acute Hospitals NHS Trust ("Potter No. 2")  IRLR 176 (EAT)
- North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust v Fox ("Fox No. 2”)  IRLR 804 (CA); Potter v North Cumbria Acute Hospitals NHS Trust ("Potter No. 3")  IRLR 900 (EAT)
- Hurst v Suffolk Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust  IRLR 452 (CA);  IRLR 12 (EAT)
- Potter v North Cumbria Acute Hospitals NHS Trust ("Potter No 1")  IRLR 22 (EAT)
- LC Services Limited & Others v Brown & Kinesis Solutions Limited LTL 22/12/2003 (QBD)
- MITIE Managed Services Limited v French & Others  IRLR 512 (EAT)
- Symbian Limited v Christensen (sub nom In The Matter Of Symbian Limited)  IRLR 77(CA).