Suzanne McKie QC

Suzanne specialises in employment, equality law and partnership. She focuses on high level discrimination and whistle-blowing claims, as well as contractual claims and injunctions in the High Court. Suzanne regularly acts for blue chip companies, LLPs, law firms, professional service firms, equity partners, LLP members and senior executives.

The 2014 edition of Chambers and Partners describes her as "an extremely capable barrister and has a lot of experience in dealing with discrimination in professional service firms." "Very forensic and detailed, she has a good robust manner and is very client-friendly."

Suzanne has also been described as "extremely accessible, commercial and clear in her advice" and "unflappable and persuasive...a fantastic cross-examiner" (Chambers & Partners 2013), many of her cases in the last few years have involved equity partners in hedge funds/private equity houses, and legal and accountancy firms in multi-million pound claims. Recently Suzanne successfully defended PwC in two lengthy discrimination cases brought by equity partners, with both claims being in excess of £15m (career loss damages being sought by the Claimants).  She is currently acting for Deloitte in relation to a multi-million pound age discrimination complaint.  Other instructions have come from the Global investment banking arm of RBS, Colt Technologies, Barchester Healthcare Homes (in relation to bonuses and share options), Sandals and Beaches Hotel Groups, Bank of Tokyo, Mitsui & Co, Worldpay and A Industries (anon) (in relation to breach of fiduciary duty/poor performance by a CEO).

Suzanne’s advocacy is a particular strength, being described recently as "works tirelessly for her clients and is incredible in cross-examination" (Chambers & Partners 2012).

Individual clients, as well as companies and LLPs, favour Suzanne as she has "practical experience of what it's like on the other side of the fence and, accordingly, understands what can be achieved", therefore she often advises and acts for senior executives both in defending injunctions and pursuing discrimination, breach of contract and whistle-blowing cases.

The legal directories recommend Suzanne as one of the leading employment specialists:

  • "Very forensic and detailed, she has a good robust manner and is very client-friendly" Chambers & Partners 2014
  • "an extremely capable barrister and has a lot of experience in dealing with discrimination in professional service firms"
    Chambers & Partners 2014
  • "fantastic cross-examiner" Chambers & Partners 2013
  • "unflappable and persuasive" Chambers & Partners 2013
  • "impressive both on paper and in person": Chambers UK 2013
  • "works tirelessly for her clients and is incredible in cross-examination.": Chambers UK 2012
  • "brings a commercial and strategic perspective to any case management; she is almost entirely unflappable and absorbs pressure like a sponge": Legal 500 2011
  • “she is not afraid to mix it with the big players" and "A tough, robust advocate with superb timing when it comes to landing the final punch”: Chambers UK 2011
  • "tells it like it is" and "really lives and breathes her cases." Solicitors find it "hard to imagine that there is anyone who gives of themselves quite so much as McKie": Chambers UK 2010

Suzanne advises in international legal cases concerning employment claims and discrimination, including by reference to the International Labour Organisation Conventions and Constitutions of other countries. Recently Suzanne has appeared in the Turks & Caicos Court of Appeal in relation to the lawfulness of payments by employees for their work permits.

Suzanne has advised very recently on matters arising from the Libor scandal and breach of fiduciary duties and FCA regulations in relation to trading. Suzanne also has extensive experience of leading internal harassment and discrimination investigations.

Suzanne chairs and conducts internal investigations as far as disciplinary matters are concerned, and has recently conducted a detailed investigation into widespread harassment within a workplace.

Suzanne is the Vice-President of the Employment Lawyers Association, formerly its Chair.