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Victoria Brown

Victoria Brown

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Victoria is a civil and commercial practitioner with a particular focus on pensions, employment, commercial and financial services disputes.

She regularly appears in courts and tribunals and has represented clients in the Court of Appeal, High Court, Employment Appeal Tribunal, County Court and Employment Tribunal. Victoria also has significant international experience, and has worked on cases involving the European Patent Office and the Astana International Financial Centre. Victoria acts for and against individuals, public authorities, FTSE 100 companies, senior executives, major financial institutions and NHS Trusts.

Her recent work includes a £60m multi-party professional negligence claim, acting as sole counsel in a multi-track negligent reference claim and successfully acting in a multi-day breach of contract claim involving restrictive covenants.

She is a member of the Attorney General’s Panel of Junior Counsel to the Crown.

Victoria regularly provides training and CPD to firms and directly to clients, ranging from seminars to practical tribunal training (see, for example, coverage in The Times). She is a contributor to Lexis PSL and Atkins Court Forms.

Before coming to the Bar Victoria read Law at the University of Durham. She was graded ‘Outstanding’ on the Bar Professional Training Course and received the ‘Most Successful Advocate Award’.

Employment & Discrimination

Victoria has a busy employment practice and undertakes both advisory and litigation work work in the Tribunals and County Courts. She regularly represents claimants and respondents across all levels of work, from preliminary hearings to judicial mediations to multi-week trials. She has experience across the range of employment matters, spanning discrimination, dismissal, TUPE, whistleblowing, breach of contract and wages claims.

Victoria is frequently instructed by global and national companies, including those listed in the FTSE 250. Victoria is also experienced in acting for public authorities and local governments, including Transport for London and the Prison Service. She regularly represents individual claimants and unions, such as Unite and GMB, as well as being Standing Counsel to the British Association of Journalists.

Victoria’s advisory practice spans opinions and policy drafting, covering both black letter law and topical matters such as social media and dress code policies. She is familiar with exit negotiations on behalf of employees and employers, as well as advising during disciplinary and/or grievance processes.

Examples of recent work include:

  • N v A Company –represented the claimant in a disability discrimination claim against a FTSE 250 manufacturing company. The case settled after cross examination for a figure in excess of the schedule of loss.
  • N v A Public Authority – acted for the public authority in a complex case as to the definition of ‘necessary’ and various functions with the Safety Representatives and Safety Committees Regulations 1977.
  • O v A Company – defended a company against a fixed-term employee detriment claim and whistleblowing allegations of criminal activity by senior executives.
  • Acting for various employers defending equal pay claims involving all aspects of equal work and genuine material factor defences.
  • A Trade Union v A Professional Body – represented a trade union in a TUPE failure to inform and/or consult claim against a professional body for a regulated profession.
  • AB v A Public Authority – represented the claimant in a sex discrimination claim involving admitted sexual assault by a senior executive.
  • N v A Company – successfully resisted an unfair dismissal and breach of contract claim by a senior executive against a global corporation. Counter-sued for breach of restrictive covenants.
  • Bham v 2gether NHS Foundation Trust UKEAT/0059/17/DA – represented the appellant in the Employment Appeal Tribunal on a new evidence appeal.
  • I v A Hotel – represented the claimant in a race and sex discrimination claim against a well-known hotel and bar in London. The case involved allegations of racist door policies and whistleblowing.
  • Y v An NHS Trust – represented the claimant in an automatic unfair dismissal claim against an NHS Trust.
  • Being led by James Arnold in a large discrimination claim on behalf of the Chief Constable of Avon and Somerset.
  • Assisted Sarah Crowther QC with Ashers v Lee – the ‘gay cake’ case recently heard by the Supreme Court.

Pensions & Trusts

Victoria is developing a broad practice in pensions and has advised in relation to construction, rectification, misrepresentation and exercise of powers. Victoria is the co-author of the War Pensions chapter in Atkins Court Forms and has contributed to Lexis PSL on Pensions.

Victoria has completed secondments at the Pensions Ombudsman and a leading national firm in their pensions litigation team. She has gained a range of experience in pensions disputes across a range of schemes from SIPPs/SASSs to statutory schemes, dealing with issues such as pension sharing orders, the Imperial duty, misrepresentation, ill-health and the exercise of discretions/powers. Victoria has since been instructed by the Ombudsman in a long-running project.

Highlights of Victoria’s recent pensions work includes:

  • Briggs & ors v Clay & ors – the £60m multiparty professional negligence claim arising from the judgment of Newey J in Re Gleeds. The interlocutory judgment concerning without prejudice privilege is reported at [2019] EWHC 102 (Ch).
  • Re P – acting in an application for directions in respect of equalisation.
  • Re P – acting in a rectification claim.
  • S v A Public Authority – advising and representing an individual in their claim against a large public authority involving issues of construction, the Imperial duty and estoppel.
  • B v A Public Authority – advising on a claim for misrepresentation arising out of a negligent benefit quotation.
  • Advising in respect of equality issues regarding a public sector scheme.
  • N v A FTSE 100 company – successfully applied for strike out on behalf of the Trustees of a FTSE 100 company’s pension scheme in a claim for restitution.
  • Advising the Pensions Ombudsman on a range of legal issues.
  • A v Secretary of State for Defence – representing a client in respect of their claim under the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme.
  • M v PS – representing an administrator in a multi-party application to set aside a Third Party Debt Order. The claim involved complicated issues of when a pension entitlement crystallises into a debt and unauthorised payments for the purposes of the Finance Act 2004.

 

Commercial & Chancery

Victoria regularly advises and appears in commercial matters covering economic torts and contractual claims. She has been instructed in claims relating to professional negligence, directors duties, debt claims including unpaid solicitors fees, property and regulatory compensation claims.

Victoria advises on all aspects of financial services law, including those related to regulatory perimeter issues and obligations imposed on regulated firms and approved persons. She accepts instructions for and against regulators, firms and individuals in the courts and before decision-making committees. Victoria is also familiar with investigations, including document reviews, interviews, responses and representation. Victoria is also a contributing author to the International Comparative Legal Guide (ICLG) to: Financial Services Disputes 2019. The Guide is free to access here.

Recent work includes:

  • E v A Company – acting as sole counsel for the company in a professional negligence and deceit claim pleaded at £10 million.
  • N v A Bank – represented the claimant in s.140 unfair relationship claim arising out of a credit agreement.
  • A v A Firm – represented a solicitor in a contested claim for unpaid fees. Successfully recovered the total sum sought.
  • S v Trustees – advising on duties in respect of trust property.
  • Assisting with a multi-million pound breach of contract claim.
  • Advising a company on whether they fell within the scope of the FCA perimeter
  • Advising a campaigning body about the extension of the Financial Ombudsman Service powers.

Public Law

Victoria has drafted grounds of review and defence in a range of public law matters, including a challenge to the Spare Room Subsidy (colloquially known as the “Bedroom Tax”). She represents children and young people with special educational needs and volunteers for IPSEA.

Victoria has significant experience in immigration and asylum, having worked for UKVI before coming to the Bar. At UKVI Victoria was one of two individuals responsible for the management of Court of Appeal and Supreme Court cases and assisted with ECHR cases.

Victoria regularly appears in inquests, particularly where robust advocacy is necessary. She has recently successfully challenged a Coroner’s interlocutory decision by way of judicial review pre-action letter. Victoria is experienced in cases where Preventing Future Deaths reports might arise. Victoria regularly appears both for families and institutional interested parties, particularly NHS Trusts and individual practitioners.

Recent work includes:

  • Instructed by the Government Legal Department to review over 70 international trade agreements and advise on the likelihood of any relevant provision having direct effect.
  • Instructed to defend a judicial review involving a high-profile asylum applicant subject to a freezing injunction.
  • Representing a 14 year old who wished to name a further education institution in their EHCP.

Appointments & Memberships

  • Association of Pensions Lawyers
  • Employment Lawyers Association
  • COMBAR
  • Bar Pro Bono Unit

Victoria Brown 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.

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