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AREAS OF WORK

A summary of the main areas of work undertaken by Littleton’s junior barristers is set out below. Click on the hyperlinked text to see more detailed information on our work in these areas in the main website.

Employment law: Littleton is consistently ranked in the top band in both of the main legal directories (Chambers & Partners and Legal 500) for our employment work. The directories note that we are "an outstanding set with an impressive history of involvement in difficult and precedent-setting cases. Its team is composed of standout barristers at both senior and junior level who regularly take on work at all levels of the court system". The types of cases undertaken by Littleton’s barristers in this field are hugely varied from both a factual and legal perspective. There is plenty of opportunity for barristers to conduct their own employment cases and for oral advocacy (cross-examination in particular) from the very beginning of tenancy. Cases concerning the employment relationship, particularly in the discrimination field, frequently make the headlines. All of this ensures a stimulating and exciting workload for our junior tenants. Beyond litigation in the Employment Tribunal, new tenants are regularly instructed as junior counsel in hotly contested and fast-paced High Court cases where injunctive relief is sought to protect businesses from unlawful competition (e.g., claims based on misuse of confidential information, former directors diverting business opportunities and ex-employees breaching restrictive covenants). Additionally, the ever-evolving nature of employment law makes it a very fertile practice area for appellate litigation and there are plenty of opportunities for even the most junior tenants to be led by our top-ranked silks in the higher courts.

Commercial law: Littleton is consistently ranked as a leading chambers in both Chambers & Partners and Legal 500 for our commercial law work.  The former notes that our “members can often be seen representing parties in high-profile, high-value and high-complexity cross-border commercial litigation, including cases arising at every level from the Commercial Court and Chancery Division to the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court”. Littleton provides a great platform from which to develop a commercial law practice. Newly taken on tenants can expect a rich mix of led and unled work – covering a wide range of banking, commercial / civil fraud, company, contractual and insolvency disputes. Our juniors frequently advise and appear as sole counsel in commercial disputes in the County Court and High Court.  Littleton’s silks are instructed by leading English and international law firms, thereby providing great opportunities for junior tenants to act in high value and complex commercial litigation – including in offshore jurisdictions (such as the British Virgin Islands). Those silks are particularly sought-after for their courtcraft and so find themselves frequently acting with juniors at the sharp end of litigation: e.g., urgently applying for or resisting worldwide freezing injunctions, search orders, Norwich Pharmacal orders etc. Some of Littleton’s juniors choose to focus on commercial law from the early stages of tenancy whilst others seek to maintain a practice in employment law (and other areas) alongside their commercial work – this flexibility is a very attractive feature of tenancy at Littleton.

Sports law: Littleton is ranked in the Legal 500 directory for its work in this field, encompassing cases from individual athlete disciplinary hearings to high value commercial disputes over sporting matters (e.g., player transfer fee disputes). Littleton members sit as chairmen, panel members or appear at Football Association arbitrations, Premier League arbitrations and related appeals to the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne. They are also instructed in high-profile actions in the High Court, tribunals or before internal disciplinary panels in a range of sports-related commercial, employment and disciplinary / regulatory disputes. Littleton has a very active Sports law group, with close relationships with a host of sporting bodies. This ensures that newly taken on tenants at Littleton who are interested in this area of law have ample opportunities to act in sporting disputes – particularly those of a disciplinary nature (e.g., anti-doping) – from the get-go.

Professional Discipline: the disciplining of professionals (e.g., doctors, accountants, teachers etc.) by their regulatory bodies gives rise to disputes in which Littleton’s barristers are frequently involved.  Whilst work in this practice area rewards specialist knowledge and experience of the rules and procedures applicable in different regulatory context, it also draws in particular upon our members’ oral advocacy skills and ability to handle sensitive cases. New tenants who wish to pursue work this field are encouraged and supported by a dedicated Professional Discipline group run by more senior members within Chambers.

Arbitration: Littleton’s recent tenants are often involved in international commercial arbitrations in one of two ways: (i) as tribunal secretaries to one of the many respected international lawyers (who are door tenants of Littleton) when sitting as arbitrators, or (ii) as junior counsel instructed to act for an arbitrating party – in much the same way as general commercial litigation.  It is the opportunities to act as tribunal secretary – a particularly good route to obtain invaluable experience of the arbitral process and to build up a practice in this field – which marks Littleton out as particularly attractive.

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