Courtney Step-Marsden

Courtney Step-Marsden joined Chambers in 2020 following the successful completion of her pupillage.

She accepts instructions across all of Chambers’ areas. Her core practice includes Employment Law, Pensions Law, Court of Protection, Education, international and commercial work. Courtney has also seen the value of working in house, having recently been seconded to the Bank of England and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

Courtney read Law at Somerville College, Oxford, where she won the prize for the highest performance in Law Moderations within her college. During her time at Somerville, she was an active member of her Junior Common Room, acting as Disabilities Officer. This involved advocating for and promoting the needs of disabled students in college and in the larger Oxford community. Courtney was also Undergraduate Representative for the Bodleian Libraries’ Disability Sub-Committee.



Courtney has been instructed on a variety of employment law matters, acting for both Claimants and Respondents, including discrimination matters, unfair dismissal, and TUPE matters. Recent matters have included:

  • Acting for the Appellant (the Claimant) as Junior to Will Young in the Court of Appeal case of Kong v Gulf International Bank (UK) Ltd, which is an appeal from the EAT against the ET’s dismissal of the Claimant’s claim for automatic unfair dismissal arising out of whistleblowing.
  • Assisting in the preparation in Rahim v The Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis [2022] EAT 3, in which she was complimented for her ‘excellent skeleton argument’.
  • Successfully representing a Claimant in a two-day hearing for his claim arising out of Section 15 Equality Act 2010.
  • Advising on redundancy situations and unlawful deductions in wages arising out of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Advising on the termination of Fixed-Term Contracts.
  • Representing and advising Claimants in Trade Union Detriment claims.
  • Advising on disability discrimination claims (direct, indirect, failure to make reasonable adjustments and Section 15 claims).
  • Representing a Claimant in a four-day trial for claims of Section 15 disability discrimination, failure to make reasonable adjustments and unfair dismissal (judgment reserved).
  • As a member of the Attorney General’s Junior Junior Scheme, Courtney has assisted in drafting witness statements and with disclosure.
  • Advising and representing in non-employment discrimination cases.

As a pupil, Courtney was also exposed to a variety of employment law matters, including unfair dismissal, discrimination and whistleblowing claims including an employment dispute on whether the employment tribunal had territorial jurisdiction over a case. This involved complex matters of EU and domestic law.

Courtney has gained experience in pensions work, including Beckmann claims under TUPE and Courage fetters. She also assisted Naomi Ling in Speed v Teachers Pensions and Department for Education [2019] EWHC 3108 (Chancery Division) which involved an appeal from the Pensions Ombudsman in relation to the Teachers Pensions Regulations 2010 for applications for ill health pensions.

Courtney has also been instructed on matters relating to ‘fire and rehire’ in the context of employers seeking to change pension schemes.

Courtney regularly appears in the Court of Protection, addressing the appointment of litigation friends, issues of capacity and suitable placements. Courtney is frequently instructed in Section 21a appeals to challenge Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards.

She also has experience in Judicial Review proceedings, advising on Community Care matters and drafting Statements of Facts and Grounds. This has included reviewing respite, accommodation, the duty to assess and Local Authorities’ failure to meet needs under Section 18 and Section 20 Care Act 2014.

Her Education Law experience often includes representing parents and Local Authorities in appeals of EHC Plans. This has involved extensive consideration of medical records and expert reports and witness examination of parents and experts.  Recently, Courtney assisted a parent in securing a waking day curriculum for the child and full-time residence at boarding school.

As a pupil, Courtney also experienced matters relating to deputyship and has worked on cases on behalf of international civil servants who are victims of harassment. She has also assisted in drafting documents for International Administrative Tribunals.

During her secondment to the FCA, Courtney worked on Judicial Review proceedings brought against the FCA.

Courtney advises on and represents clients in personal injury matters, including trip and slips, burns and road traffic accidents. She has also advised and represented in infant approval hearings, settlements and criminal injuries compensation claim work. She also has experience of claims involving the Athens Convention (Athens Convention relating to the Carriage of Passengers and their Luggage by Sea, 1974) and claims brought under the Package Travel Regulations 1992.

Recent experience includes assisting James Counsell KC in a High Court case involving historic sex abuse. The case involved the responsibility of English professional football clubs for sexual abuse committed on young footballers in their charge (DSN v Blackpool Football Club [2020] EWHC 595 (QB)).

Courtney is happy to consider working under CFAs.

Courtney has advised and represented clients in commercial matters, including advising and representing on claims arising out of the Consumer Credit Act 1974.

She was seconded to the Bank of England to work in Legal Services on a financial investigation to determine whether an insurer had breached its regulatory requirements prior to the potential issuing of a warning notice.

During her secondment to the FCA, Courtney worked in the General Counsel’s Division focusing on the regulation of claims management companies.

As a pupil, Courtney undertook legal research into the Financial Conduct Authority; in particular FCA authorisation and sanctions. She has focused on cross-border matters, including Mutual Legal Assistance treaties and Memoranda of Understandings that allow the FCA to obtain information from other jurisdictions. Furthermore, she assisted with work on cross-border investigations involving tax fraud.

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Courtney Step-Marsden is regulated by the Bar Standards Board (BSB) and holds a current practising certificate. If you are not satisfied with the service provided, please click here.

To find out more, contact Matt Sale +44 (0)20 7427 4910 or Mark Gardner on +44 (0)20 7427 4909 for a confidential discussion.

Our dedicated practice management team can help you identify the right barrister for your case.

  • The Honorable Society of Gray’s Inn
  • Employment Law Association
  • Association of Pensions Lawyers

  • Hebe Plunkett Scholar (Gray’s Inn – 2018-2019)
  • Highest mark in Professional Ethics (University of Law – 2019)
  • Highest mark in Law Moderations (Somerville College -2016)

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