Elizabeth Hodgetts

Barrister CV

Call 1998

Elizabeth Hodgetts

Introduction

Described in the legal directories as having “a razor-sharp mind” with “formidable” cross-examination skills, an “outstanding” knowledge of employment law, and “exceptional” client care, Elizabeth is a sought-after advocate for high value and complex Employment Tribunal cases. She has extensive public sector work, including work on behalf of Government departments & agencies as a member of the Attorney General’s Panel of Counsel (“A” panel), and on behalf of local authorities, NHS Trusts, and educational institutions. She also undertakes work for private sector clients, and welcomes instructions from claimants.

Elizabeth has extensive experience of advising and representing in:

Discrimination claims, citing the protected characteristics of age, disability, gender reassignment, pregnancy & maternity, race, religion, sex, and sexual orientation.

Her current cases include:

  • advising and representing a respondent local authority defending complaints of race discrimination, victimisation and constructive unfair dismissal, arising out of both the claimant’s allegations of bullying, and disciplinary proceedings instituted against him following allegations that he had made homophobic comments
  • advising and representing the Secretary of State defending a claim for disability discrimination, arising out of the Chief Constable’s refusal to pay an enhanced injury benefit to a police officer
  • advising and representing a claimant claiming sex discrimination and disability discrimination, relating to a 4 year period in a construction sector company

Her recent cases include:

  • advising and representing a respondent company in a 3 week hearing defending complaints of race discrimination, victimisation and constructive unfair dismissal, arising out of the claimant’s failures to secure promotion over a 5 year period
  • advising and representing the Secretary of State defending a claim for age and sexual orientation discrimination arising out of the refusal to pay a survivor’s pension to the same-sex partner of a former local authority employee

Her previous cases include:

  • advising and representing a local authority in a 4 week hearing defending complaints of direct race discrimination, victimisation and unfair dismissal, brought by an individual who had previously successfully claimed race discrimination and victimisation against the same employer and who claimed that his subsequent dismissal, some years later, was part of the same sequence of events
  • advising and representing a university in a 6 week hearing defending complaints of direct disability, race, and sex discrimination, harassment, and victimisation, and unfair dismissal, arising from the response of the university to the conduct of an individual with a significant mental health condition.

Equal Pay Claims

Her current cases include:

  • advising and representing a respondent company defending a claim for equal pay, sex discrimination and unfair dismissal

Her recent cases include:

  • advising and representing a government agency defending a claim for equal pay

 

Protected disclosure (“whistleblowing”) claims, relying on detriments and/or dismissal including constructive dismissal.

Her current cases include:

  • advising and representing a local authority defending a claim for detriments on the ground of PDs, in which the claimant has asserted more than 30 PDs and 14 (ongoing) detriments

Her previous cases include:

  • advising and representing a local authority in a 3 week hearing defending complaints of detriments on the ground of PDs as well as complaints of direct discrimination and harassment citing age, disability and sex, and victimisation
  • advising and representing a claimant claiming detriments on the ground of PDs, resulting in a very significant 6 figure settlement and agreed termination of employment

 

Trade union detriment claims

Her previous cases include:

  • advising and representing in an appeal relating to a trade union detriment claim

 

Protective award claims

Her previous cases include:

  • advising and representing 145 claimants claiming a protective award arising out of a collective consultation in June 2020. Issues included establishment; whether elections should have been held; and whether the consultation was meaningful
  • acting as junior Counsel in a case on behalf of a local authority defending protective award and unfair dismissal claims pursued by 4 trade unions on behalf of some 1000 employees following dismissal and re-engagement on new terms and conditions

 

TUPE transfers and consequent disputes including in relation to the existence of a relevant transfer, assignment, changes to terms and conditions, and dismissals

National Minimum Wage claims; including in relation to the category of worker, the basic hours of work, and the hours deemed to be worked.

Employment in the High Court

High Court

Elizabeth undertakes employment-related litigation in the High Court,  including claims for breach of contract relating to contractual redundancy payments and the implementation of job evaluation schemes; and claims arising from alleged breaches of restraint of trade and confidentiality covenants, and in respect of trade union action.

Her current cases include:

 

  • advising and representing a government department defending a group action for breach of contract arising from a job evaluation scheme;
  • advising and representing a local authority defending claims for breach of contract arising from a job evaluation scheme.

Her previous cases include:

  • advising and representing a company seeking injunctive relief against three former employees in respect of breaches of their restrictive covenants and use of confidential information
  • acting as junior Counsel in Birmingham City Council v Wetherill [2007] EWCA Civ 599, CA, which decided that a local authority could, on proper notice, unilaterally change the basis of the rate at which an employee’s essential user car allowance was paid from a rate appropriate to the engine capacity of the car actually used to a rate appropriate to the nature of the duties performed, even if the employee had acquired a contractual right to payment at the former rate

Education

University of Oxford (Mansfield College) : BA Hons, Exhibitioner, MA
Harmsworth Scholar and Exhibitioner of Middle Temple

Appointments and Memberships

Attorney General’s Panel of Regional Counsel: appointed 2012; reappointed 2018 (‘A’ Panel)

Testimonials

"In my view she's one of the most impressive barristers. She's known for having a formidable cross-examination style you don't want to be on the receiving end of." Chambers UK 2022
"Her razor-sharp mind and very impressive powers of recollection make her a formidable cross-examiner:" Legal 500 2021
"An excellent advocate who is businesslike and responsive." Legal 500 2020
"She always impresses with her exceptional client care, the standard of work and her outstanding knowledge of her subject areas." Chambers UK 2020
"An impressive and inspiring advocate." Chambers UK 2019
"A formidable cross-examiner with a razor-sharp mind." Legal 500 2019
"Knowledgeable advocate." Chambers UK
"She's very thorough; an extremely intellectual individual who provides advice in a very practical fashion instead of just stating the law." Chambers UK
"She is intellectually savvy and very clued-up - there was never an issue which she could not unravel and simplify." and "Very good with witnesses and she can deal with them across different levels of understanding. She also cross-examines very well.” Chambers UK
"She has extremely good advocacy skills and a good level of expertise in public sector work, and is able to build a strong rapport with all of our clients." Chambers UK
"A ferocious litigator with many a fan amongst instructing solicitors due to her no-nonsense approach and extensive knowledge of respondent employment law litigation." Chambers UK
"Highly rated with a large amount of public sector respondent work." Chambers UK
"Forthright, meticulous and attentive, she is well known for getting the job done." Chambers UK