Naomi Ling has twenty years’ experience as an advocate and is sought after as a specialist in both employment law and pensions law. Her practice covers a wide range of fields, including whistleblowing and discrimination claims in the employment tribunal, black letter pensions trusts issues in the High Court, and Human Rights, public law and professional negligence issues across her areas of specialism. She has appeared unled in the Court of Appeal on a number of occasions.

Naomi is frequently instructed in complex and sensitive employment claims, particularly those relating to whistleblowing and discrimination, including indirect discrimination claims where objective justification is an issue and claims with human rights elements. She has also recently been involved in working time claims, claims for unlawful deductions from wages and blacklisting claims. Naomi also acts in and advises on TUPE claims, particularly those with a pensions element, and has significant experience in civil claims for breach of contract including restrictive covenants.

Naomi is currently involved in major ongoing Part 8 proceedings relating to rectification and trust based issues, acting for the representative beneficiaries and led by Keith Bryant QC. She is also instructed, unled, in a substantial Part 7 claim for professional negligence. Naomi also regularly acts in claims relating to Beckmann issues, claims relating to a wide range of employees’ entitlements, and other claims relating to the employer’s and administrator’s duty of care to provide information on pensions entitlements. She has considerable expertise in the developing area of human rights law relating to pensions, via Article 14 and A1P1 of the ECHR.

Recent highlights include:

  • acting for 200 judges in the landmark case of McCloud v Lord Chancellor, relating to age discrimination in public sector pension schemes, led by Andrew Short QC;
  • Representing a retired police officer who was subject to massive tax liabilities as a result of negligence in the case of Corsham v Chief Constable of Essex, and
  • defending the Department of Transport as specialist pensions counsel within an 11-strong team against a claim by Stagecoach and others in respect of the 2019 Rail Franchising procurement process.

Naomi has been described as ‘a brilliant legal mind’, ‘tenacious and driven’ and ‘fearless in litigation’. She is also said to have ‘great client care skills’ and enjoys working as part of a team and forging a mutually supportive relationship with professional and lay clients alike.

Expertise

Naomi is an experienced and sought after barrister, instructed by claimants and respondents in individual and multiparty claims, across a broad range of employment law issues. She regularly appears led and unled before the ET, EAT and Court of Appeal.

Naomi was appointed to the Attorney General’s A Panel of Counsel in September 2020 and is a member of the Employment Lawyers Association, the Discrimination Law Association, the Industrial Law Society and the Employment Law Bar Association.

Notable Employment & Discrimination cases


Thandi v Next Retail Limited

Representing claimants in a group equal pay claim – extending the current retain claims beyond the supermarket sector.

Page v The Lord Chancellor [2021] EWCA Civ 254

Representing the Lord Chancellor in the appeal of a claim that the removal of the Appellant from the magistracy constituted unlawful discrimination and/or harassment in relation to his religion or belief and/or victimisation.

Abdar v Morrisons

A multiparty claim for equal against a major supermarket claim, led by Andrew Short QC

Kunjuraman v Zaha Hadid Ltd

Represented in house legal counsel in her claim against an international legal practice in her whistleblowing claim. The issues in the case explored the relationship between protected disclosures and legal professional privilege.

Page v Lord Chancellor and Lord Chief Justice UKEAT/0304/18/LA

Successfully represented the respondent in this claim by a former magistrate complaining of victimisation and breach of his right to freedom of speech. A case of public importance given the implications for the judiciary.

Corsham v Essex Police and Crime Commissioner [2020] ICR 268

Represented the claimants in this important case regarding the common law duty of care owed to employees by employers and pensions administrators in providing accurate information about their pensions rights. This was a rare result in favour of the claimants in an area of law where the courts are reluctant to extend liability.

Network Rail Infrastructure Ltd v Crawford [2019] ICR 1206

Represented the Claimant in this appeal to the Court of Appeal about the definition of ‘compensatory rest break’ of twenty minutes and whether it was acceptable to provide it in multiple discontinuous chunks.

Lord Chancellor v McCloud [2019] ICR 1489 Led by Andrew Short QC

Successfully represented 200 judges in an age discrimination challenge to the legality of protecting all those within 10 years of retirement from public sector pensions reform, pursuant to the Public Sector Pensions Act 2013. Naomi also acts unled for groups of teachers and doctors in related claims.

Ball v First Essex Buses (ET)

Successfully represented the claimant in a claim for unfair dismissal for having failed a drugs test. The case received some attention in the general and legal press, which can be read here.

Naomi is an experienced and sought after barrister, acting for members, employers, trustees, local authorities and central government in a wide range of pensions issues. She has a particular interest in statutory pension schemes, human rights issues and employee entitlements and is also experienced in trust based part 8 claims, claims for rectification and professional negligence.

Naomi was appointed to the Attorney General’s A Panel of Counsel in September 2020 and is a member of the Association of Pensions Lawyers, sitting on the public sector pensions committee.

Notable Pensions cases


2019 Rail Franchising [2020] EWHC 1568

Instructed as specialist pensions counsel in this claim brought by Stagecoach and others against the Department of Transport. The claimants alleged that the DfT had breached domestic and EU principles of procurement law. The pensions issues involved the Pensions Regulator’s approach to funding and enforcement powers, and the actuarial risks arising out of the procurement process.

Speed v Teachers’ Pensions and Department for Education [2019] EWHC 3108

Represented the respondents in an appeal from the Pensions Ombudsman, in relation to the requirements of the TPS for applications for ill health pensions.

Corsham v Essex Police and Crime Commissioner [2020] ICR 268.

Represented the claimants in this important case regarding the common law duty of care owed to employees by employers and pensions administrators in providing accurate information about their pensions rights. This was a rare result in favour of the claimants in an area of law where the courts are reluctant to extend liability.

Booth and Jones v Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Authority [2019] EWHC 790

Represented the claimants, led by Andrew Short QC, on an appeal from the Pensions Ombudsman in relation to the interpretation of the FPS as to the meaning and treatment of pensionable pay.

Lord Chancellor v McCloud [2019] ICR 1489 Led by Andrew Short QC

Successfully represented 200 judges in an age discrimination challenge to the legality of protecting all those within 10 years of retirement from public sector pensions reform, pursuant to the Public Sector Pensions Act 2013.

Merry v Ministry of Justice [2018] EWCA Civ 2461

Represented the respondent in an appeal to the Court of Appeal as to the meaning of ‘basic pay’ in the Principal Civil Service Pension Scheme.

Related updates

Naomi Ling 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.

"Fearless in litigation and does not sit on the fence."

Pensions, Legal 500 2020

"She’s a brilliant junior with beautiful drafting and excellent analytical skills."

Employment, Chambers & Partners 2021

"She’s outstanding: very intellectual has a great manner in court."

Employment, Chambers & Partners 2021

"She is very sharp, very bright and extremely personable."

Pensions, Chambers & Partners 2021

"She offers something quite special."

Pensions, Chambers & Partners 2021

"A brilliant legal mind and a very effective advocate"

Employment, Chamber and Partners 2020

"A tenacious and driven advocate"

Employment, Chambers and Partners 2020

"Bright, pragmatic and a joy to work with"

Pensions, Legal 500 2019

"Pays excellent attention to detail and has great client care skills"

Pensions, Chambers and Partners 2018

"She is commercial and strong on issues where there is an overlap between pensions and employment"

Pensions, Chambers and Partners 2020

"She really cares about the issues and is very committed and bright. She’s good at finding the solutions to things, and she’ll always find an angle."

Pensions, Chambers and Partners 2020

"Excellent at keeping the confidence of clients"

Employment, Legal 500 2020

What next?

To find out more, contact Sam Carter on +44 (0)203 989 6669 or Colin Bunyan on +44 (0)20 7427 4886 for a confidential discussion.

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