Patrick Keith

Call 2006

Patrick Keith

Introduction

Ranked as a leading junior by Legal 500 2021, Patrick specialises in Employment, with a distinguished track record in Discrimination Law. As a barrister who regularly appears before the employment tribunals and the EAT, Patrick is regularly commended for his style and effective handling of witnesses in cross-examination, particularly when that involves vulnerable parties.

Patrick’s understanding of people, their motivations and decisions sets him apart. His down-to-earth style and personal approach mean that he is trusted by vulnerable witnesses and senior corporate leaders alike, taking time to build a rapport so he can challenge their evidence as appropriate while supporting them through the process. In the same way, Patrick adopts a bespoke approach to each cross-examination, eliciting evidence through careful exploration of the facts but robustly pushing back and challenging troublesome witnesses when necessary.

Across a broad of range of sectors, including the financial services, recruitment and public sectors, his clients value his proactive approach to reputation management and his holistic coverage of the issues. When instructed early on, Patrick ensures risks are mitigated prior to and during litigation and hearings, not just after the result.

Patrick is accredited to accept public access instructions and also represents clients at professional regulatory and disciplinary hearings. Patrick is also an experienced personal injury practitioner. He mainly represents defendant insurers, and has a particular interest in RTA fraud.

Employment

A leading employment junior with a predominantly respondent-leaning practice, Patrick represents a wide variety of clients across multiple industries including large employers, local authorities, international financial institutions, national public bodies and the NHS.

Comfortable with the most technical and esoteric of employment law specialisms and issues, Patrick thrives in cases which require a detailed analysis of human decisions. For example, Patrick is routinely instructed in complex discrimination cases and is able to provide a cradle-to-grave service, from initial merits assessment to final hearing and appeals. Notably, he was sole Respondent Counsel in the high profile “ethical vegan” case of Jordie Casamitjana v League Against Cruel Sports in 2020, which was widely reported in the international media.

A snapshot of Patrick’s significant employment experience includes:

  • Representing an international recruitment agency in a whistleblowing case with 79 protected disclosures, 12 protected acts and 57 detriments, set for a 17-day 2020 trial.
  • Successfully representing a national bank in a 2020 race discrimination claim arguing that the overturning of a Claimant’s successful job application was racially motivated.
  • Representing a well-known FE college in a 7-day disability discrimination trial, conducted over CVP (remote hearing) in the midst of the ongoing global pandemic.
  • Successfully representing an international supermarket in a 2019 dismissal case in Glasgow, against an employee who was dismissed after crashing an HGV amid allegations that he had been using his mobile phone at the time.
  • Successfully representing a foster care agency in a 2019 trial over employee status.
  • Successfully representing a GP Practice in 2019 following the dismissal of its practice manager over allegations that she had fraudulently tampered with her timesheet.
  • Successfully representing various recruitment agencies and giving one of two lead submissions in a 2019 case where a claimant had brought over 100 claims against the agencies, 45 of whom attended and ensuring strike out on the grounds that the claims were vexatious, scandalous, and had no reasonable prospect of success.
  • Successfully representing a direct access client to re-draft her list of issues for a complex 2019 disability discrimination claim against a national clothing retailer. He went on to secure a favourable settlement and avoid trial for a vulnerable claimant.
  • Successfully representing a national hardware retailer in a 2019 claim concerning Sunday working over the Christmas period.
  • Representing a London tech company in a ten-day 2018 disability discrimination trial, including three days’ cross-examination of a claimant suffering from DDNOS.
  • Successfully representing a national bank in 2018 against a senior director who claimed direct and indirect race, sex and disability discrimination, as well as breach of the Part-Time Workers Regulations 2000.

Successfully securing a Vento award at the top of the middle band against a national clothing and food retailer in 2017, after it dismissed a claimant because of his alcohol misuse and self-harm, which arose in consequence of his depression and anxiety.

Personal Injury (Including Fraud)

Patrick also maintains a balanced Claimant and Defendant personal injury practice, which covers road traffic accidents, employers and occupiers. He is instructed throughout the Court process, from interim applications to trial, and provides pragmatic advice and tactical guidance at all times. He also has a busy paperwork practice, drafting pleadings and advising on liability, causation and quantum, including fatal accidents.

Patrick has developed a complementary specialism in insurance fraud, particularly in relation to fabricated and exaggerated claims. He has extensive experience in motor fraud cases, including LVI, phantom passengers, overstated injuries, exaggerated hire and induced accidents.

Working with Patrick

Patrick’s disarming and down-to-earth style sets clients, witnesses and other interested parties at ease. Professional clients, notably in the financial and public sectors, appreciate Patrick’s tactful approach. Many of Patrick’s clients are acutely aware of the reputational impact of their cases, and Patrick ensures these are dealt with proactively, considerately and with ease.

Many of Patrick’s professional clients have trusted him with their work for several years. They value Patrick’s feedback-driven approach to developing and maintaining relationships. With a keen eye for detail, honed in part as a proofreader for Oxford University Press, Patrick is regularly asked to proof defendant witnesses before trial and advise on credibility, as well as advising on prospects and tactics from receipt of the claim through to the final hearing.

Education

University of Newcastle upon Tyne – BA Hons
Nottingham Law School – GDL and BVC
Public Access Accredited

Appointments and Memberships

Attorney General’s Regional B Panel of Counsel

Birmingham Law Society Employment Law Committee

Employment Law Association & Employment Law Bar Association

Personal Injury Bar Association

Testimonials

Patrick is ranked as a Leading Junior by Legal 500, which states:
"Tenacious in cross-examination, he offers upfront and practical advice." Legal 500 2021
"An excellent and well-prepared advocate." Legal 500 2020