Julie Duane

Introduction

An employment law specialist and former solicitor advocate, Julie Duane works across the full spectrum of employment issues for both Claimants and Respondents. She acts for leading national firms, private individuals, high-profile / senior parties and a wide range of both boutique and regional firms. Increasingly, Julie also acts for leading international firms with a UK presence. Julie’s significant experience in complex whistleblowing, discrimination, TUPE and unfair dismissal cases marks her out as a true employment ‘all-rounder’.

An experienced advocate, Julie regularly conducts multi-day cases in the Employment Tribunal, along with the full range of preliminary applications. One of Julie’s particular differentiators is her pragmatic and thorough approach. This has resulted in her securing various successful costs orders, strike outs and deposit orders in early stages of litigation, as well as excellent results at full merit hearings. Julie’s particular specialisms in large scale redundancy consultations, COVID-19 issues, employee status and GDPR issues also sets her apart. She represents parties in judicial and non-judicial employment mediations, provides CPD training in all areas of employment law and is the current Midlands Regional Representative for the Employment Lawyers Association.

Julie’s significant employment experience means that she is versatile, approachable and is increasingly sought out by her professional clients as a ‘problem solver’. Her invaluable ability to ‘work the problem’ often leads to truly impressive client outcomes. Prior to becoming both a barrister and a solicitor advocate, Julie assisted 23 of the victims’ families in the Hillsborough disaster inquest. Notably, Julie is vastly experienced in virtual or ‘CVP’ Employment Tribunal cases and in dealing with cases involving litigants in person.

Relevant Experience

With a balanced Claimant and Respondent client portfolio, Julie understands how to achieve the best result ‘from both sides of the table’. Her commercially-savvy and clinical approach means that she ensures all of the reputational, commercial, legislative and practical points are covered.

Julie’s client base reflects the broad and varied nature of her employment practice and, in recent months, has included instructions on significant cases in the aerospace, retail, hospitality, manufacturing, public and financial sectors. Julie’s professional clients regularly turn to her on complex, technically demanding and ‘high-stakes’ cases.

A snapshot of Julie’s recent experience includes:

  • Successfully defending a sex discrimination claim against a large international organisation in the highly regulated UK utilities sector;
  • Representing a multimillion-pound aerospace business in complex and overlapping whistleblowing, unfair dismissal, automatically unfair dismissal and detriment claims. Julie dealt with complicated evidential issues in this matter, including the striking out of covert recordings and a Claimant who gave evidence via an interpreter;
  • Representing a Claimant in a 15-day whistleblowing claim in a highly regulated industry concerning a factually dense and evidentially complex series of issues;
  • Successfully defending separate claims of unfair dismissal, race discrimination and breach of contract on behalf of an international logistics service group. This included complex interacting issues concerning parallel personal injury claims;
  • Successfully defending a leading educational charity against factually dense and emotionally charged claims of whistleblowing. This also included the successful defence of parallel claims of race discrimination and unfair dismissal. Julie not only successfully defended the claim in full, but also obtained a costs award for her client;
  • Successfully defending a complex claim of unfair dismissal against an international manufacturing group in a multi-day hearing which required delicate handling of numerous witnesses;
  • Successfully defending claims of unfair dismissal and disability discrimination brought against one of the UK’s leading supermarkets;
  • Achieving a successful strike out of claims that were jurisdictionally out of time and, Julie successfully argued, hosted no reasonable prospects of success for a leading UK provider of behavioural care;
  • Defending a large care home operator against claims of unfair dismissal in the context of parallel and complex redundancy / reorganisation claims;
  • Successfully striking out pregnancy discrimination claims on the basis that they were jurisdictionally out of time, whilst representing one of the UK’s leading retailers; and
  • Representing a leading UK supermarket in an 8-day constructive dismissal, race discrimination and racial harassment claim within which Julie secured a finding that the Claimant’s conduct in the proceedings was unreasonable;
  • Representing an international retailer and successfully achieving 24 deposit orders, as well as the strike out of an indirect discrimination claim against a Claimant;
  • Representing a Claimant in a complex constructive dismissal, sex discrimination and breach of contract claim brought against an international airline; and
  • Securing a finding of pregnancy and maternity discrimination on behalf of a Claimant.

Julie also represents both Claimants and Respondents, via CVP and in person, in ADR, Judicial Mediation and Assessment hearings.

Employment in the High Court

Julie also handles employment law and employment-law related issues arising in the High Court. This can include representation, advice at the pre-litigation, early stage of litigation, post-receipt of disclosure stage and pre-Trial stages.

Often, Julie’s clients benefit from her practical, pragmatic and commercial approach in conference on such issues. Her typical focus areas include restrictive covenants, issues at the interface of contract law and employment (typically concerning the provisions of contracts of employment), breach of contract cases flowing from the employment relationship, injunctions, duties and obligations cases (often involving directors, and often involving events taking place after a party has left the employ of another), as well as a wide array of wider High Court issues in this area.

Style and Approach

Julie is focused on building long-lasting relationships with her clients and she is regularly praised for her ability and willingness to turn instructions around against tight deadlines, by agreement. She regularly vets claims and complex issues with her regular clients outside the context of a specific case and serves as an essential ‘sounding board’. Clients regularly say that being able to ‘pick up the phone’ to Julie is really valuable to them and that her approachability means that they enjoy working with her.

Armed with the benefits of a career in private practice, Julie understands the time and performance pressures that her professional clients face. As such, she takes a thorough approach, ‘deep-diving’ into the issues in each case. What sets Julie apart, in addition to the above, is her commercially-minded, jargon free approach to returning written instructions, supporting clients strategically or in conference, and in terms of her robust advocacy. Above all, Julie is a problem solver who tailors her service and approach each time.

Education

BPTC (Manchester Metropolitan University)
LLM (BPP)
University of Liverpool Law (Hons)

Appointments and Memberships

Midlands Regional Representative for the Employment Lawyers Association

Member of the Honourable Society of the Middle Temple

Employment Lawyers Association

JJEL

Testimonials

“Julie is technically excellent, thorough, responsive, tactical and strategic. She provides tailored advice.” Legal 500 2023

“Julie is extremely thorough and technically sophisticated. She is also very personable, establishes an excellent rapport with clients and offers pragmatic and commercially focused advice.” Legal 500 2023

“I have absolutely no hesitation in instructing Julie in any type of case. She’s brilliant.” Chambers & Partners 2023

“Julie is extremely professional and highly efficient.” Chambers UK 2022

“She is fantastic with clients and really thorough; she leaves no stone unturned. She has impressive knowledge too.” Chambers UK 2022

“Excellent with clients and provides common-sense advice. She is always willing to go the extra mile.” Chambers UK 2022

Languages

English

Julie Duane

Call 2013
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