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Naomi Ling

Naomi Ling

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Naomi Ling is a specialist in employment law and pensions law. She is recognised for her expertise and experience in both fields, particularly in areas where there is overlap between the two disciplines. She is especially rated for her strong client skills, excellent judgment and meticulous preparation.

In employment law, Naomi represents both employers and employees across the full spectrum of employment law issues. She is regularly in the Employment tribunal, Employment Appeal Tribunal, County Court and High Court, and has appeared both led and unled in the Court of Appeal.

Recent cases of note include the EAT stage of Ministry of Justice v McCloud UKEAT/0071/17/LA in which she acts for over 200 judges in their claims of age, sex and race discrimination in pension provision, led by Andrew Short QC, Crawford v Network Rail Infrastructure Ltd UKEAT/0316/16/BA, in which she successfully argued that a 20 minute compensatory rest must be unbroken to comply with the Working Time Regulations, and Merry v Ministry of Justice in the High Court concerning the definition of ‘basic pay’ within the Principal Civil Service Pension Scheme. All three claims are under appeal to the Court of Appeal.

In pensions law, Naomi acts for employers, trustees, employees and statutory authorities on a range of different issues. Her caseload includes claims for professional negligence arising out of failed amendments to pension schemes, claims for rectification of pension trust deeds and rules, claims relating to the construction of trust documentation, statutory provisions and employment contracts, and numerous claims relating to individual entitlements. She has a particular interest in public sector schemes and issues and is a member of the Association of Pension Lawyers’ Public Sector sub-committee.

Naomi was appointed to the B Panel of the Attorney General’s Counsel to the Crown in 2013 and also undertakes public law work in her areas of specialism.

Employment & Discrimination

Naomi is an experienced employment law practitioner with a busy advocacy and advisory practice. She appears regularly for both claimants and respondents including NHS Trusts, government departments, financial institutions, charities, and retail organisations.

Her claimant work includes a strong strain of trade union related work and she has appeared before the Central Arbitration Committee.

Naomi’s current caseload includes the case of McCloud v Lord Chancellor [2018] ICR 1039 (a case involving the correct approach to justification in an age discrimination claim where the decision made is ‘political’ in nature, led by Andrew Short QC), Crawford v National Rail Infrastructure [2018] ICR D5 (a case in which she successfully argued before the EAT that a 20 minute compensatory rest break needed to be unbroken to comply with the Working Time Regulations 1998, unled) and Merry v Ministry of Justice (a case concerning the definition of ‘basic pay’ in the context of the Principal Civil Service Pension Scheme, unled) all of which are due to be heard before the Court of Appeal this autumn.

Age and disability discrimination claims are of particular interest to her given their frequent intersection with pensions issues. Naomi has also fought numerous whistleblowing claims including successfully resisting an application for interim relief on behalf of a charity in 2015. She is instructed in a multiparty claim relating to equal pay in a supermarket chain, led by Andrew Short QC.

Recent appearances in the Employment Appeal tribunal include the cases of Ladiende v Royal Mail Group Ltd UKEAT/1097/15/DA, concerning the proper approach to discrimination claims, Habinteg Housing Association Ltd v Holleron [2015] UKEAT 0274/14/BA (relating to the correct application of the burden of proof in harassment cases), and University College London NHS Trust v Thorbourne [2015] UKEAT/0299/14/BA (on a range of disability discrimination issues).

Naomi is also experienced in contractual employment claims, appearing in two cases which have reached the Court of Appeal. In the case of RSA Consulting Ltd & Or v Evans [2011] ICR 37 she appeared successfully for the Claimant in an appeal relating to the strike out of her claim for breach of contract in a complex ‘quadripartite’ relationship. In the important case of Garratt v Mirror Group Newspapers [2011] ICR 880 she appeared unled in the County Court and then in the Court of Appeal, led by Andrew Short QC, in a claim relating to the incorporation of a collective agreement and the implication of terms by way of conduct and custom. In Southern Cross Healthcare Co Ltd v Perkins & Ors [2011] IRLR 247 she appeared unled in the Court of Appeal on the question of whether the Employment Tribunal had jurisdiction to interpret contracts of employment.

In 2012 Naomi appeared, again led by Andrew Short QC, in the landmark case of Abdulla v Birmingham City Council [2012] ICR 1419 in which it was successfully argued that a claim for equal pay brought in the high court could not be struck out if limitation had expired in the Employment Tribunal. Following on from that success she has appeared in numerous multi-claimant claims for equal pay in the High Court.

Her other civil court work, both advocacy and advisory, includes actions relating to the provisions of goods and services, Beckmann claims relating to the payment of early retirement rights following a TUPE transfer, claims for bonus, claims arising out of negligent references and post-employment restrictive covenants and claims for springboard relief.

Pensions & Trusts

Naomi undertakes a broad range of pensions work and is experienced in professional negligence, rectification and Part 8 construction matters in the High Court, alongside advising employers on commercial and drafting matters and companies and individuals on personal entitlements.

She has most recently been instructed, unled, in a professional negligence claim relating to the purported amendment of a pension scheme and appeared, also unled, in the case of Girls Day School Trust v GDST Pension Trustees and Chartres [2016] Pens LR 181, a rectification case in which the judgment set out the procedure that would henceforth be adopted in dealing with such claims on paper. She has appeared unled in Part 8 claims in the High Court relating to the construction of trust deeds and rules and of the terms of statutory instruments (including in the case of Urenco UK Ltd v Urenco Trustees & Mossop [2012] Pens LR 307).

She is also due to appear unled in the Court of Appeal in October 2018 in the case of Merry v Ministry for Justice concerning an individual’s pension entitlements under the Principal Civil Service Pension Scheme, and in November 2018 in the case of McCloud v Lord Chancellor [2018] ICR 1039, led by Andrew Short QC (an age discrimination claim challenging the legality of the transitional provisions introduced with the Public Sector Pensions Act 2013).

Her advisory work includes advice to government departments as to the legislative provisions applying to statutory pension schemes, their legal and practical position in respect of private occupational pension schemes with which they are concerned, and their public law duties and obligations in relation to such schemes.

She has also negotiated and drafted indemnities for employers, has advised employers on the closure of schemes to future accrual, their obligations under the Information and Consultation Regulations, and on the entitlements of employees under their contracts of employment.

Naomi has taken a particular interest in public sector pensions issues and is familiar with the Local Government Pension Scheme, the Teachers’ Pension Scheme, the Universities Superannuation Scheme, the Police Pension Scheme, the Firefighters Pension Scheme, the NHS Pension Scheme, the Judicial pension schemes and others. She advises admission bodies on their obligations under these schemes both to the public sector and to their employees, and advises employees on their personal entitlements.


Appointments & Memberships

  • Association of Pension Lawyers
  • Discrimination Law Association
  • Employment Law Bar Association
  • Employment Law Association
  • Industrial Law Society

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.

Areas of Law




“She is very clear in her advice and works very well as part of the client’s team. Her knowledge of pensions law is invaluable.” Pensions, Chambers & Partners 2019

“Bright, pragmatic and a joy to work with.” Pensions, Chambers & Partners 2019

“A very good junior who provides clear advice. She is also responsive and helpful.” Employment, Chambers & Partners 2019

“She receives praise for her public sector pensions knowledge.” Pensions, Legal 500 2019

“She is highly intelligent and works relentlessly for her clients.” Employment, Legal 500 2019

“Really easy to deal with. She is responsive and turns things around quickly.” Employment, Chambers & Partners 2018

“Very thorough, very hard-working and very effective in tribunal.” Employment, Chambers & Partners 2018

“She is well organised and thoughtful in both a technical and strategic sense. She has an ability to appreciate the ultimate client concerns and seeks to address those sensitively, while also making sure that the right steps are being taken in a case.” Pensions, Chambers & Partners 2018

“She pays excellent attention to detail and has great client care skills.” Pensions, Chambers & Partners 2018

“A tenacious advocate.” Pensions, Legal 500 2017

“She is clever, hardworking and knowledgeable.” Employment, Legal 500 2017

“She’s very thorough and user-friendly.” Pensions, Chambers & Partners 2017

“She’s very bright and super-reliable.” Pensions, Chambers & Partners 2017

“She is on top of her stuff, calm and confident in her advocacy and is unfazed in tribunal.” Employment, Chambers & Partners 2017

“She is very bright, very good with clients and very responsive.” Employment, Chambers & Partners 2017

“She has a robust and reassuring presence in court.” Pensions, Legal 500 2016

“She is always thoroughly prepared and instils confidence in clients through her knowledge of their case.” Employment, Legal 500 2016

“She is intellectually fearsome whilst also being personable and accessible – it’s a crucial mix at the modern Bar.”, “One of her big strengths is her ability to cut through a large amount of information to sift out what’s relevant.” Employment, Chambers & Partners 2015

“Very knowledgeable and always prepared to put in unsocial hours and days to get the job done.” Pensions, Chambers & Partners 2015

“She can think on her feet and is always meticulously prepared.” Employment, Legal 500 2015

“Highly regarded for entitlements and pensions negligence.” Pensions, Legal 500 2015

“She gets on very well with clients and is very good at tailoring her advice to suit the particular needs of the client.”, “She is very good at managing fact-heavy cases.” Employment, Chambers & Partners 2014

“Extremely diligent, clear and authoritative.” Pensions, Chambers & Partners 2014

“Achieves excellent results.” Employment, Legal 500 2014

Naomi Ling “Explains complex legislation in a way that is easy for clients to understand.” Pensions, Legal 500 2014

Naomi Ling is noted for her “very good judgement, and extremely thorough approach.” Employment, Legal 500 2013

Naomi Ling exhibits “great attention to detail, and is always prepared to put in the hours to get a job done.” Pensions, Legal 500 2013

Highlighted as a name to watch, Naomi Ling inspires “complete confidence.” Pensions, Chambers & Partners 2013

“Garnering praise is Naomi Ling, whom market observers applaud for her technical expertise in pensions work and strong client facing skills.” Pensions, Chambers & Partners 2012

Naomi Ling gives “very clear advice.” ” Pensions, Legal 500 2012

“Good response times and well thought-through advice.” Pensions, Chambers & Partners 2011

Naomi Ling is an “excellent junior who gets to the heart of the issue very quickly.” Pensions, Legal 500 2011

“Extremely effective and a star in the making.” Pensions Legal 500 2010

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