Talia Barsam

"she has impressed with her work on high-value and complex discrimination claims, and has noted expertise in disability discrimination"

Chambers UK

Talia Barsam

Year of Call: 2006

Talia's principal areas of practice are employment law, commercial litigation and education law. 

She is recommended as a leading junior for employment by both Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners, where she is noted for her cross-examination skills, exceptional client care and work on high value and complex discrimination claims.  

Talia frequently acts for multinational corporations in the financial, insurance, media, construction, retail and transportation sectors in cases of reputational importance. She also represents individuals, trade unions and public sector clients including universities, NHS Trusts and local authorities. 

Talia was appointed a Member of the Panel of Counsel for the Commission of Equality & Human Rights in January 2011.

  • Recommendations

    Has a broad employment and commercial practice, and represents both public and private organisations in disputes. She garnered high praise for the excellence of her client service, and for her courtroom presence. "Very thorough, and a tough cross-examiner who is good with witnesses." "Clients love her, and she is extremely conscientious and methodical." Acted in the tribunal and the EAT on behalf of Aviva in a complex unfair dismissal and discrimination claim. - Employment, Chambers UK 2016

    "A tough cross-examiner who is very thorough and good with witnesses." - Employment, Legal 500 2015

    An excellent employment junior recommended for her tough cross-examination and ease with witnesses. She has impressed with her work on high-value and complex discrimination claims, and has noted expertise in disability discrimination. Expertise: "She is good under pressure, calm under fire and great to work with." Recent work: Advised the respondent in Lefebvre v British Airways, a disability discrimination claim lodged by a member of cabin crew with obsessive compulsive disorder. - Employment, Chambers UK 2015

    "Demonstrates exceptional client care and the ability to deliver strong advocacy" - Employment, Legal 500 2014

  • Employment

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    Talia has extensive experience in employment law, including all areas of discrimination law, whistleblowing, unfair dismissal, redundancy, equal pay, breach of contract, TUPE, Working Time Regulations, restrictive covenants and jurisdictional issues.  She has particular expertise in complex disability discrimination claims and whistleblowing claims.

    Talia advises clients in relation to all areas of employment law. Recent advisory work includes advice on the employment status of GPs working in Out of Hours services for an NHS Trust, restrictive covenants and confidentiality, TUPE and managing long term sickness absence.

    Recent cases include:

    • E v C, High Court (2016) - represented the defendant recruitment agency in an application for an interim injunction
    • Walmsley v Rightmove, ET (2016) - represented the claimant in a constructive dismissal, age and sex discrimination claim
    • DM and others v British Airways, ET (2014 - ongoing) - representing the respondent in complex holiday pay litigation
    • Burdett v Aviva, ET and EAT (2014 - 2016) - represented the respondent in an appeal on the test for justification under s.15 of EqA 2010
    • G v Charity, ET (2015) - represented the respondent, one of the UK's best known charities, in a age discrimination and whistleblowing claim (settled)  
    • D v British Airways, ET (2015)- represented the respondent in a whistleblowing claim (withdrawn on the second day of trial)
    • Vaseer v Clinical Commissioning Groups, ET and EAT (2014) - represented the respondent in an appeal on an application to amend and complex TUPE transfer  
    • B v Harrow School (2014) - represented the claimant in a disability discrimination claim
    • Wincanton v Kevin De'Cort, EAT - represented the respondent in an appeal considering the application of Polkey
    • M v BBC - represented the respondent in a high value disability discrimination claim
    • D v (1) CP (2) ML, EAT - represented the respondent in an employment status case arising out of a partnership arrangement
    • Reddy & others v South Essex Partnership NHS Trust  - represented the respondent in a complex equal pay claim
    • Switalski v F & C Asset Management - represented the claimant in a high level sex discrimination claim led by Suzanne McKie QC
    • Przybylska v Modus Telecom Ltd, EAT - represented the claimant in an appeal on the correct construction of notice provisions
  • Equality

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    Talia is very experienced in all areas of discrimination law.  She is recommended in the directories for her work in high value and complex discrimination claims, with noted expertise in disability discrimination claims (Chambers & Partners, 2015).  She also receives praise for her tough cross-examination and exceptional client care (Chambers & Partners, 2015 and Legal 500, 2015).

    She represents both respondents/defendants and claimants in the Employment Tribunal, EAT, County Court and SENDIST (First-tier Tribunal). 

    Recent work includes:

    • Walmsley v Rightmove (2016) - represented a senior female manager in an age and sex discrimination claim
    • X v Prep School (2015) - represented a prestigious independent school in a disability discrimination claim brought on behalf of one of its pupils in the SENDIST
    • G v Charity (2015) - represented one of the UK's best known charities in an age discrimination claim
    • Burdett v Aviva, ET and EAT (2014 - 2016) - represented the respondent in an appeal on the test for justification under s.15 of EqA 2010
    • B v Harrow School (2014) - represented the claimant teacher in a disability discrimination claim
    • M v BBC (2013) - represented the respondent in a high value 6 day disability discrimination claim
    • B v University (2013 -2014) - advising and representing the university in a claim for failure to make reasonable adjustments and victimisation brought in the County Court by a student
    • L v British Airways  - represented the respondent in a 10 day complex disability discrimination claim
    • Reddy & others v South Essex Partnership NHS Trust - represented the respondent in a complex equal pay claim
    • Switalski v F & C Asset Management - represented the claimant in a high level sex discrimination claim led by Suzanne McKie QC
    • advised a major police force on the impact of positive action provisions of the Equality Act 2010

    Talia was appointed a Member of the Panel of Counsel for the Commission of Equality & Human Rights in January 2011. 

  • Restrictive Covenants & Injunctions

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    Talia has experience both advising on the enforceability of restrictive covenants and representing clients in High Court litigation. 

    Recent work includes:

    • advised and represented recruitment consultants and a leading recruitment company on defending an application for an injunction for breach of restrictive covenants and breach of confidence in the High Court, as well as drafted the Defence (2016, High Court).
    • advised a national business services provider on a non-compete covenant (2016)
    • advised a multinational corporation on an application for an injunction for breach of confidence and on the enforceability of its restrictive covenants 
    • successfully represented the claimant hairdresser in an application for a springboard injunction in the High Court
    • advised the claimant and drafted pleadings for a claim issued in the High Court for breach of restrictive covenants

    Talia has recently given seminars on anti-strike injunctions and restrictive covenants.

  • Industrial Relations

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    Talia has been involved in a number of claims arising out of industrial disputes and is frequently instructed by organisations within the heavily unionised healthcare, transportation and education sectors. 

    Relevant cases include:

    • led by Bruce Carr QC in an application for an injunction agains the Prison Officers Association 
    • successfully represented a mutinational corporation in a claim for trade union detriment
    • instructed by a bus company in respect of potential injunction to prevent recent strike action

    • successfully represented British Airways in a claim for trade union detriment arising from a cabin crew dispute

    • successfully represented a trade union in a claim for race discrimination brought by an trade union member against a trade union representative.

       

  • Professional Negligence

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    Talia's commercial practice encompasses all areas of professional negligence work.  She has recently advised and drafted pleadings in a number of professional negligence claims against solicitors, financial advisors, surveyors, architects and engineers. She acts for both claimants and defendants.

    Recent cases include:

    • acting for the claimant in a claim brought against financial advisors and solicitors arising out of the removal of funds from the Court of Protection and their subsequent investment, approximate value £1.5 million (with Ben Lynch)
    • acting for the claimant in a claim brought against financial advisors, approximate value £190,000 (with Ben Lynch)
    • acting for the defendant solicitors in relation to a solicitor's negligence claim brought following the late service of proceedings
    • acting for the claimant in relation to a claim brought against an investment fund for payment of a secret commission
    • advising a claimant developer in relation to a solicitor's negligence claim, approximate value £500,000
    • acting for multiple claimants bringing claims against solicitors instructed to act in an unusual property transaction
    • acting for a defendant architect in a claim for negligence arising out of significant building works
    • advised the claimant and drafted pleadings for a negligence and breach of contract claim arising out of an employee's conveyance of property

    Talia has lectured recently on topics including:

    • Limitation
    • Notification of claims
    • Insurance broker's negligence
    • Lawyer's negligence in employment claims

    Talia is a member of PNBA and COMBAR.

  • Insurance & Reinsurance

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    Talia has a burgeoning insurance and professional negligence practice.  She has experience in fast track and multi-track commercial cases in the County Courts and High Court.   She acts for both claimants and defendants.

    Recent cases include:

    • advised a policyholder on coverage under a motorcycle insurance policy
    • acted for the claimant in a claim under Director's Liability insurance involving issues of non-disclosure
    • drafted pleading in a high value insurance claim brought under an Employers’ Liability Policy led by Andrew Burns QC

    Talia has lectured recently on topics including:

    • Limitation
    • Notification of claims
    • Insurance broker's negligence
  • Education

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    Talia has experience representing both claimants and defendants in the County Court, SENDIST (First-tier Tribunal) and Employment Tribunal.  She has particular experience in actions raising allegations of disability discrimination.  

    Recent work includes:

    • S v School (2015) - represented a school in a complex holiday pay claim brought by peripatetic teachers
    • X v Prep School (2015) - represented a prestigious independent school in a disability discrimination claim brought on behalf of one of its pupils in the SENDIST
    • X v (1) School (2) Local Authority (2015) - represented a school in a disability discrimination claim brought by a prospective pupil challenging the approach taken by the school and LA following the naming of the school on the child's statement
    • S v School (2014) - representing the defendant school in a claim brought in the SENDIST following the permanent exclusion of a pupil
    • B v Harrow School (2014) - represented the claimant teacher in a disability discrimination claim
    • B v University (2013 -2014) - advising and representing the university in a claim for failure to make reasonable adjustments and victimisation brought in the County Court by a student
    • LoSicco v University of Arts (2013) - represented the respondent university in a 6 day race discrimination claim in which costs were obtained against the claimant
  • Additional Information

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    Talia has lectured on several subjects. Recent topics include:

    • Limitation
    • Notification of claims
    • Insurance broker's negligence
    • Lawyer's negligence in employment claims
    • Disability discrimination
    • Anti-Strike Injunctions and Actions Against Striking Employees
    • Age Discrimination
    • Changes to Terms & Conditions
    • Remedies

Memberships and Associations

Admitted to the New York State Bar (2008)

ELBA, ELA, COMBAR, PNBA, Free Representation Unit

Awards and Scholarships

Becker Law Scholarship (Cambridge University)

Exhibition Award (Inner Temple)

Education

LL.M, New York University School of Law 2005

B.A. Affiliate Law, Cambridge University 2004

B.A. English, Birmingham University 2000