Theodora Hand

Call 2014

My Expertise
Theodora Hand

Introduction

A dual Employment and Commercial Law specialist, Theodora has established a broad and varied practice acting for national and international businesses, household name corporates, private individuals and a range of SMEs. Skilled at every touchpoint of the litigation and advocacy spectrum, Theodora is known for her direct style. She is not afraid to provide clear and robust advice on the prospects of a case or argument, no matter the stakes or competing pressures. Clients regularly comment upon, and appreciate, her commitment to their cause. Whilst Theodora is committed to her clients at any point and prides herself on her accommodating and responsive style, she still finds the spare time to enjoy her passions for classical music, travel and her beloved golden retriever.

Particularly busy of late in the Employment arena, Theodora maintains a balanced Claimant and Respondent practice and is a firm believer that this balanced approach provides both immediate and tangible benefits for her clients. She is able to appreciate the motivations, tactics and pressures on both sides and to lead her clients to optimal outcomes each time.

A former pupil of David Maxwell, Theodora has quickly become trusted counsel for several of her key national and regional professional clients, who appreciate her practical and personable approach.

Capability Overview:

  • Employment Tribunal advocacy and advisory
  • Unfair / Constructive / Wrongful dismissal
  • Drafting and advising
  • Discrimination
  • Harassment / Victimisation
  • Misrepresentation
  • Redundancies (including COVID-19 related)
  • Commercial contractual disputes and issues
  • Injunctions
  • Mediation and judicial assessment
  • Consumer credit issues and debt recovery
  • Strike out / Deposit orders / Costs issues

Employment

Theodora is most commonly instructed in Employment work and has established a broad practice across many of the most prevalent sub-specialisms of work. Theodora is instructed  on a broad range of claims including all forms of discrimination, dismissals and whistleblowing, and has a particular interest in contractual and injunctive work.

Comfortable with all manner of instructions, ranging from complex advisory work through to mediations and multi-day final hearings, Theodora acts for both Claimants and Respondents alike and intentionally maintains a balanced client portfolio. Theodora also has a growing appellate practice which she is keen to expand on.

A snapshot of Theodora’s recent employment experience includes:

  • Re a Local Authority (ET, Ongoing, December 2021): Theodora continues to have involvement in this matter but was originally instructed to replead the defence in a complex disability discrimination case on behalf of a major local authority, with over 50 allegations.
  • Re a Local Authority (ET, August 2021): Theodora represented a major local authority against claims of sex discrimination, whistleblowing detriment and unfair dismissal brought by a Deputy Head Teacher in a 13 day case.
  • Paling v HMRC (EAT, March 2021): Following judgment, Theodora was instructed to draft grounds of appeal on the basis of perversity.
  • Re a Recruitment Agency (January 2021): Advising on the validity of contractual clauses to claw-back recruitment agency fees in respect of contracts with a nationwide high-street pharmacy.
  • Gibson v ASDA (ET, November 2020): Theodora successfully defended a leading supermarket in a multi-day disability discrimination final hearing where the self-representing claimant had severe learning difficulties.
  • Re a Dismissal (October 2020): Advising on the merits of a complex pregnancy discrimination claim arising out of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Shah v Royal Mail (ET, August 2020): Theodora secured a £30,000 award for the claimant following a successful race discrimination case which had national media coverage.
  • Re a Catering Company (ET, March 2020): Successfully arguing at a substantive preliminary hearing that neither a school nor local authority were the correct respondent as a result of no TUPE transfer having taken place upon the termination of a services agreement.
  • Re a Retailer (February 2020): Theodora acted on behalf of one of the UK’s largest retailers, making arguments that a settlement agreement was not without prejudice.

Business and Property

Prior to the bar, Theodora gained a wide range of commercial advocacy and legal experience in a number of roles. She worked for nearly two years in the London HQ of a magic-circle international law firm in one of their commercial finance departments, where she assisted in the drafting of key agreements, organised the signing of deals and liaised with high profile global clients. Theodora arrived at the bar already a veteran of the County Court, given her extensive experience as a County Court Advocate with LPC Law. This included her instruction in approximately 350 (predominantly commercial) hearings including mortgage possession claims, landlord and tenant disputes, disposal hearings and insolvency matters.

In a similar vein to her employment practice, Theodora covers a broad spectrum of commercial advocacy and advisory work, particularly on the business and commercial side. Typical examples of her areas of interest include commercial contractual disputes, injunction and restrictive covenants. Theodora’s aligned commercial specialism complements her busy employment practice and means that she can cover many of the issues at the complex interface of employment and commercial contracts.

A snapshot of Theodora’s recent commercial experience includes:

  • Re a Construction Company (Ongoing, 2021): Theodora has been involved in this matter from the initiation of proceedings; she has drafted the particulars of claim, the reply to defence, represented the claimant at a remote mediation and at the application for strike out and security for costs, and is instructed for the PTR and trial.
  • Re a Credit Hire Claim (December, 2021): Theodora represented the defendant in a fast track trial with a value of over £22,000.
  • Re a Haulage Company (December, 2021): Theodora represented a respondent in an application for an injunction to prevent the selling of a unique trailer and successfully persuaded the Judge that an undertaking would be more appropriate. Proceedings are ongoing
  • Re a Recruitment Company (November, 2021): Theodora advised on prospects of success of whether the company were instructed and fees were owing. The matter resulted in settlement before trial.
  • Re recovery of a cocker spaniel (November, 2020): Drafting a letter before action, particulars of claim and advising in respect of the recovery of an unusual chattel under the laws of conversion and bailment.
  • Aujla v (1) Bhogal (2) Bhogal (September, 2020): Theodora successfully established that a defendant was the signatory to a lease and therefore that unpaid rent was owing at a fast-track trial. She also secured part 36 costs.

Working with Theodora

Theodora is renowned for her ability to deal with late and sometimes ‘last-minute’ instructions, consistently turning around those complex matters and issues with confidence and ease. National and leading regional firms turn to Theodora time and again on their work, and value her commitment, often commenting that she goes ‘above and beyond’ for them.

Having built strong relationships with many of her repeat clients, Theodora is keen to ensure any professional relationship both starts off ‘on the right foot’ and that she continues to meet her clients’ high expectations each time. She is keen to invest time in understanding how her clients like to work and their preferences in terms of risk, settlement, reputation/publicity and turnaround times. With Theodora, clients can expect a tailored and considered service.

Education

BPTC - Kaplan Law School
University of Law - GDL
University of Nottingham - BA Philosophy and Theology

Appointments and Memberships

JJEL – which brings junior employment lawyers together in educational & social events

Midlands Circuit Women’s Forum

Employment Law Association

Testimonials

“Theodora Hand has exceptional advocacy skills and is tactically astute. She is able to deliver her service to the highest quality level on each brief. She is dependable and well versed to deal with complex disputes. As instructing solicitor I know clients’ matters are in the best hands possible when she is instructed” Rukudzo Maunganidze (Solicitor), RRM Law