With over twenty years’ experience of dealing with some of the most complex, high-stakes and fiercely contested cases in the industry, Wendy offers genuinely novel and incisive strategies to her clients. Whilst many barristers will say they employ a forensic approach, few can compare with Wendy. Her vast experience of trying cases to the criminal standard of proof (itself, far in excess of the civil standard) means that she naturally ‘deep dives’ into the issues her employment clients face each time. This means that Wendy is across the fullest extent of her briefs and finds those innovative angles and approaches that unlock the complex cases. One of Wendy’s main strengths, honed over many years of assimilating brief containing thousands of pages of evidence, is her ability to cut to the issues quickly and to clarify the areas of dispute.
Wendy has a rare dual specialism in both employment and crime, as well as associated experience in licensing, environmental and trading standards issues. Her clients, many of whom have trusted her for over a decade, regularly commend Wendy for her exceptional level of professionalism, client care and effective, often clinical, advocacy before the Courts and Tribunals. Comfortable with a wide array of employment matters, Wendy’s understanding and expertise at the complex interface of regulation, criminal statute and reputation management sets her apart. Accordingly, Wendy thrives in complex matters with multiple interwoven issues.
Having worked in two large and high-profile solicitors’ firms, Wendy understands the specific needs of her professional clients. A natural advocate with decades of experience, she is equally at home in the Employment Tribunal, Mental Health Tribunals, Magistrates/Crown Court, Disciplinary Hearings, the Coroners Court and The Court of Appeal. Outside of court, Wendy is a keen runner, hiker and has an interest in property refurbishment.
Wendy carefully maintains a balanced Claimant and Respondent employment practice and is called upon by national firms and international businesses alike to provide ‘no nonsense’ advice at all stages of their clients’ disputes. Given her extensive adversarial experience, Wendy covers the full range of employment work with ease before the Tribunals, with particular specialisms in those areas of practice which require a robust analytical assessment of decision-making processes and disputed timelines of event, such as discrimination, harassment and unfair/constructive dismissal cases. Wendy is comfortable across all sectors and industries.
Comfortable and confident in corporate and pressurised environments, Wendy is particularly suited to serving, in an independent capacity, in HR disciplinary and appeals hearings. Given her expertise in the employment discipline and her decades of experience of applying complex legal procedure, Wendy provides the reassurance and measured judgment called upon in such situations, even in the most factually dense and complex cases. Wendy has an active advisory and advocacy practice and is in increasing demand.
A snapshot of Wendy’s employment experience includes:
- Advising on a complicated claim for unfair dismissal, the claimant having been dismissed for gross misconduct having failed to adhere to company policy. The Claimant, allegedly, gave misleading information as to whether the policy had changed. Held, this was an unreasonable response.
- Advising on a complex case involving a teacher accused of sexual allegations, dismissed for gross misconduct. A forensic approach was required to establish whether the dismissal was in the range of reasonable responses when allegations were tenuous and inconsistent.
- Represented a teacher facing allegations of gross misconduct after it was alleged that the teacher kissed a pupil. Investigation into the factual evidence, the responses of the employer and reasonableness test. Determined that having previously been given an alternative course option, the trust had not acted reasonably when that was rescinded in order to dismiss the claimant.
- Succeeding in a disability discrimination claim concerning a failure to make reasonable adjustments over a protracted period of time.
- Providing lengthy advice on a matter concerning a director accused of selling company products privately. Concerned unfair dismissal, gross misconduct and allegations of fraud.
- Advising on a COVID-19 related redundancy and unfair dismissal claim. This concerned an unfair application of the scoring system resulting in a flawed selection process. Wendy identified procedural irregularities to enable a positive claim.
Qualified as a Grade 3 Prosecutor and with a distinguished background in dealing with serious sexual offences, Wendy’s practice includes defending in a wide spectrum of cases, latterly involving the most serious criminal offences. This includes, large-scale conspiracies to steal high value motor vehicles, large scale tax evasion, high value cannabis operations and conspiracy to supply drugs. Wendy also has experience of prosecuting and defending cases under POCA and has an active “organised crime” practice. A true ‘poacher turned gamekeeper’, Wendy’s clients often call her out because of her extensive prosecution expertise, gained since 2001. Wendy’s experience includes:
- R v F – Historic rape – a sensitive case involving 52 charges of serious sexual offences on the complainant when aged between 5 to 18 yrs. The Defendant was the complainant’s father and a paramedic by profession. He was co-accused with an SAS member. This included complex disclosure issues: application for all redacted material concerning a Co-defendant to be un-redacted/disclosed. Issues concerned the MoD, anonymity and extensive issues on disclosure/PII.
- R v R – Child rape – Involved a 4-year-old complainant and 16-year-old Defendant, as well as the cross examination of a vulnerable witness. The Defendant, whom Wendy acted for, was acquitted.
- R v P – Historical rape dating back 38 years – this involved a four-week trial in which the Defendant, then head of the science department at a boarding school for hearing impaired children in the 1980’s, was charged with 13 counts of sexual offences including: rape, buggery and indecent assault against vulnerable children. This also involved five profoundly deaf complainants, all of whom required sign language interpreters and two of whom required an intermediary due to mental health issues. Following very complex and sensitive cross examination the Defendant was acquitted of all counts.
- R v T ‐ Child cruelty ‐ involved an 18-month old child who suffered contusional cleft to the left frontal lobe and a fractured femur, as well as suspected cerebral palsy. This involved complex causation issues, including whether injuries related to birth injury, shaking, deliberate twisting or impact.
- R v J ‐ Evasion of excise duty on contraband cigarettes ‐ A £15m, 13 Defendant case which Wendy handled alone, opposed by both leading and junior counsel for the Crown. Wendy defended a Defendant who was said to be the UK syndicate leader of the operation and therefore first on the indictment. Thereafter, Wendy also contested the associated three-day proceeds of crime hearing.
- R V B – Factually complex child cruelty and arranged marriages abroad. Wendy defended in a case involving a 12-year-old girl sold for marriage and long -term abuse. Extensive disclosure requests of the High Commission in Pakistan for phone records of the complainant speaking to the authorities to check the veracity of her complaint. Resulted in an acquittal on particular counts.
- R V P – Homicide – a complex murder case involving difficult issues of causation of death. Deceased had pre-existing injuries, pathology and neuropathology reports obtained in anticipation of arguments in relation to breaks in the chain of causation, Novus Actus.
- R v K – Armed robbery – Wendy prosecuted 14 defendants in an armed robbery. The evidence was voluminous and complex in the form of cell site, APNR, telecoms and CCTV.
- R V M – Homicide – a complex murder case in which the defendant was kicked down the stairs by the deceased whilst the deceased was fatally stabbed by another. Issues of joint enterprise and intention to cause serious harm.
- R v C – Sexual incitement and distribution of indecent images – Wendy defended a teacher charged with 88 allegations of sexual incitement and distribution of indecent images. The defendant instructed counsel that he was guilty of certain offences and she was able to negotiate the allegations down from 88 to 33 allegations by applying her forensic skills and expertise.
- R v K ‐ Child cruelty – Wendy represented the Defendant alone, opposed by Queens Counsel. This matter involved a campaign of serious abuse by family members with mental health issues.
Wendy has aligned and wide-ranging experience of both defending motorists on a private basis and in dealing with all aspects of fraud. She has dealt with various, technically complex, arguments concerning:
- Exceptional hardship, totting up and disqualification, dangerous and careless driving issues;
- R v B – Charity fraud – accountant accused of obtaining money by deception;
- R v S – Car hire company – vehicles ordered and not delivered – false accounting; and
- BCC v O – Multiple car insurance frauds – Wendy successfully recovered all monies for a party wronged by a Defendant who illegally obtained money by deception, and secured a conviction.
As part of her rounded dual practice, Wendy has developed aligned and associated specialisms in licensing work (including prosecutions and appeals, environmental issues and trading standards.
Working with Wendy
Wendy works hard to build relationships of mutual trust with her clients. Her key focus is on delivering a tailored service which thoroughly explores all of the available facts and avenues of approach. Wendy believes communication is an essential ingredient which can heavily influence the success of a case. Therefore, Wendy takes the time to listen and engage with her clients at length when receiving their instructions. Due to her extensive career before a range of challenging tribunals, including jury trials, Wendy is flexible and provides unwavering support to her clients.
Keen to attend to issues straight away, Wendy’s clients regularly comment on her personable style. Having worked for major firms, Wendy understands what her Solicitor clients expect and what they ought to rightly expect of her in turn.
Her hands on approach, which extends to jumping on to quick calls or messages exchanges (increasingly including video conferencing and mobile messaging), is something that Wendy both prides herself on and that she feels is particularly valuable in providing an extremely responsive service.
Appointments and Memberships
Employment Lawyers’ Association
Member of Middle Temple
Criminal Bar Association