Sean O’Brien Employment

Call: 2001

Introduction

Having established a civil practice including general commercial and property matters, Sean has for some time specialised principally in employment and discrimination law.

Sean’s cases usually involve the most complex legal and factual backgrounds and the most serious allegations of discrimination and misconduct, acting for both claimant and respondent.  In particular, Sean is highly experienced in handling cases comprising a multiplicity of allegations and causes of action.  He was instructed in a 6-week race, religion and disability discrimination case involving well over 1,000 permutations of allegation.

Sean has extensive experience of all aspects of proceedings in the Employment Appeal Tribunal.   Sean is also well-versed in the military disciplinary hearings and grievance regimes including Courts Martial.

As a trained mediator Sean is often instructed to facilitate dispute resolution between parties and has acted as mediation advocate with considerable success.

Prior to practising law, Sean was a senior air force officer, and completed his degree dissertation in the field of aviation law. He concluded his career in the British Embassy in Moscow. Whilst Sean is qualified as a military interpreter, he is capable of translating most Russian legal documentation. He relishes any opportunity to keep his linguistic skills fresh.

Sean is well-regarded as a personable but highly effective advocate, skilled at putting the lay client at their ease and cutting to the heart of his opponent’s case.

Sean sits as a fee-paid employment judge in the London East Employment Tribunal, and is unable to accept instructions in that region.

 Qualifications and Appointments:

  • MA (Oxon) in Mathematics
  • MSc in Mathematics
  • LLB (Hons) University of Northumbria
  • Fee-paid employment judge in the London East Employment Tribunal

Employment

Reported Cases:

Williams v Bannatyne Fitness Ltd (UKEAT/0485/11/RN) – correct application of burden of proof in disability victimisation claims.

Sood v Christ the King & ors (UKEAT/0449/10/ZT) – the exercise of strike-out powers in discrimination claims

Harris v Restdale  (UKEAT/0052/11/DA) – whether the Employment Tribunal had failed to deal with all claims before it, and in particular an allegation of automatic unfair dismissal contrary to s103 ERA

Recent Cases:

Sean's recent unreported cases include:

  • A two week race discrimination and victimisation case, including allegations of cultural racism
  • A whistleblowing case spanning over 12 sitting days and comprising dozens of individual allegations.
  • A hard fought disability discrimination case on behalf of a former paralympian against a national chain of fitness clubs.

Memberships:

Employment Lawyers Association (ELA)

 

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Discrimination

Sean’s cases usually involve the most complex legal and factual backgrounds and the most serious allegations of discrimination and misconduct, acting for both claimant and respondent.  In particular, Sean is highly experienced in handling cases comprising a multiplicity of allegations and causes of action.  He was instructed in a 6-week race, religion and disability discrimination case involving well over 1,000 permutations of allegation.

 

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Employment in the High Court

Sean has been instructed to advise and appear in a number of restraint of cases, both locally and in the Royal Courts of Justice.

Sean’s also acts in respect of high value wrongful dismissal claims in the High Court.

In addition to the usual question of enforceability of restrictive covenants, Sean’s cases have included such issues as whether key senior employees owe fiduciary duties and the standing of the claimant to bring its complaint.

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Mediation

As a trained mediator Sean is often instructed to facilitate dispute resolution between parties and has acted as mediation advocate with considerable success.

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