"Loved by insurer and insured clients for being accessible and empathetic."

Legal 500 2022

Alice Carse

Year of Call: 2008

"Loved by insurer and insured clients for being accessible and empathetic."

Legal 500 2022

Alice Carse

Year of Call: 2008

"Loved by insurer and insured clients for being accessible and empathetic."

Legal 500 2022

Alice Carse

Year of Call: 2008

Alice Carse

"Loved by insurer and insured clients for being accessible and empathetic."

Legal 500 2022

Alice Carse

Year of Call: 2008

Alice is an experienced advocate who is often instructed to appear against leading counsel. She specialises in two areas: insurance and associated professional negligence litigation and trade union, industrial relations and employment law. As Junior Counsel to the Crown (C Panel) she represented the Home Office in the Court of Appeal. She is recognised as a leading insurance and employment junior by Chambers UK Bar 2022 and Legal 500 2022. Her recent work includes:

Insurance

  • Junior to Colin Edelman QC on behalf of an insurer in Commercial Court proceedings relating to a hot works condition precedent.
  • Junior to Colin Edelman QC in various high value arbitration proceedings involving aggregation in solicitors’ negligence, coverage issues arising from construction disputes, methods of premium rebate calculation and the Third Parties (Rights Against Insurers) Act 2010.
  • Junior to Colin Edelman QC advising on various coverage issues arising from a high value, multi-party construction dispute.

Trade union, industrial relations and employment law

  • Representing and advising employers on applications for injunctions to prevent industrial action in some of the largest industrial disputes in recent years including Royal Mail and Birmingham City Council (as junior to Andrew Burns QC).
  • Advising numerous employer clients on industrial relations strategy including black listing, union recognition, changes to terms and conditions across an entire workforce, claims under s145B TULRCA and negotiating terms of a collective agreement.
  • Acting for a defendant in a interim relief hearing in a High Court restrictive covenant dispute and obtaining an order that the claimant fortify the cross-undertaking of damages.
  • Junior to Andrew Burns QC for the successful Respondent in Walker v Co-operative Bank [2020] EWCA Civ 1075, on the material factor in equal pay claims.
  • Recommendations

    Notable for her expertise in acting for insurers in high-stakes disputes. She has a wealth of advocacy experience. "Alice is incredibly thorough in her advice. She is hugely collaborative, which is very helpful, and clients really feel that their views are listened to and taken into account." Acted for Chubb to defend a claim brought by the widow of an insured for an indemnity following a fire at the insured property and the death of her husband. - Insurance, Chambers UK Bar 2022. 

    Is a respected barrister notable for her expertise across a range of employment matters, and a particular specialism in industrial relations matters.  "She is tactically and commercially astute, she provides an invaluable contribution to extremely sensitive matters, she is always available when needed and she is able to present the legal and factual issues in clear, simple and pragmatic forms." "She gets to grips with very nasty claims very quickly, she is very commercial, and she is not too caught up in historic case law but she is across all the technical points." Successfully represented the Co-operative Group in the Court of Appeal in a case concerning the application of the material factor defence in equal pay claims. - Employment, Chambers UK Bar 2022. 

    "She is a source of clear, considered and well-structured advice, and always happy to discuss content and conclusions reached. Loved by insurer and insured clients for being accessible and empathetic." - Insurance and Reinsurance, Legal 500 2022. 

    "An effective team member with an eye for detail and a wealth of experience from previous industrial relations cases."Employment, Legal 500 2022. 

    "She's very smart, tenacious in cross-examination and always on top of her brief." "She's calm, measured, sharp and insightful." Represented Birmingham City Council in a High Court application for interim injunction against two trade unions to stop a city-wide bin collection strike. - Employment, Chambers UK Bar 2021

    "An unshakeable, levelled and precise advocate. She is excellent with clients and translates complex legal matters into commercially focused solutions, enabling decisions to be made." Employment, Legal 500 2021

    She offers experience acting in the Employment Tribunal and High Court. "Her advocacy is a delight to watch: intelligent, robust and thorough." "She has incredible gravitas." Defended a claim brought by the British Airline Pilots Association, alleging that British Airways was in breach of collective agreements by requiring pilots to take on various non-flying duties in excess of agreed hours. - Employment, Chambers UK 2020

    “She has a confident manner which instils confidence in clients.” - Employment, Legal 500 2020

    ‘A brilliant advocate for industrial relations work.’ - Employment, Legal 500 2019

  • Employment

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    Alice’s experience covers trade union, industrial relations and employment practice, both at first instance on appeal. She has been recognised for her industrial relations work by both Legal 500 and Chambers and Partners.

    Recent highlights include:

    • Advising and representing an employer in complex ET litigation (in excess of 1000 claims) for overtime payments on holiday pay (ongoing).
    • Junior to Andrew Burns QC for the successful Respondent in Walker v Co-operative Bank [2020] EWCA Civ 1075, on the material factor in equal pay claims.
    • Advising a large employer on a complex exercise to make changes to terms and conditions across an entire unionised workforce, including strategic advice on managing industrial action (led by Andrew Burns QC).
    • Acting for and advising an employer in the Employment Tribunal in a pay dispute involving a large volume of claims and negotiating terms of a collective agreement.
    • Acting for a defendant in a interim relief hearing in a High Court restrictive covenant dispute and obtaining an order that the claimant fortify the cross-undertaking of damages.
    • Successfully representing Royal Mail in obtaining an injunction to prevent a national postal strike (junior to Andrew Burns QC) (Royal Mail Group Ltd v Communication Workers' Union [2017] EWHC 2548).

     

    Industrial Relations

    Alice has particular expertise in industrial relations and industrial action and has been instructed in some of the most high profile industrial disputes of recent years. She is experienced in making applications for injunctive relief to prevent strike action and in advising on coping strategies to manage industrial action. Alice is instructed to advise on industrial action matters either as sole counsel or junior counsel.

    In recent years Alice has been instructed to advise on and/or act in injunctive relief proceedings for clients in a range of industries (both as junior to Andrew Burns QC and sole counsel): In late 2020 she advised an energy company; in 2019 she acted for Birmingham City Council in its industrial dispute with its bin collection service workers; in 2019 she advised a government department; in 2017 for Royal Mail in obtaining an injunction to stop a postal strike over the Christmas period; in 2016 she was instructed by British Airways in respect of industrial action over the pre-Christmas period.

    Alice advises on the full range of industrial relations matters including blacklisting, collective bargaining, operation of collective agreements, s145B TULRCA, cross-border disputes (Viking and Laval type cases). She also provides strategic advice on industrial disputes, such as managing industrial action or dealing with protests designed to disrupt the smooth running of a business without resorting to industrial action. She is experienced at working with clients in a variety of industries, including construction as she was instructed to assist with industrial relations matters arising in the Construction Industry Blacklisting litigation.

    During pupillage Alice worked on a number of leading industrial relations cases including the British Airways Cabin Crew Litigation - Malone & Ors v British Airways Plc [2010] EWHC 302 (QB), [2010] All ER (D) 220 (Bruce Carr QC leading Andrew Burns QC) and EDF Energy Powerlink v RMT [2010] IRLR 114 (Timothy Brennan QC leading Andrew Burns QC).

     

    Restrictive Covenants, Bonus Claims and Injunctions

    Alice is experienced in making applications for injunctive relief in the High Court and in the Employment Tribunal. She represents both claimants and defendants in High Court restrictive covenant disputes, involving issues of employee competition and confidential information. In 2020 she acted for a defendant employee and obtained an order that the claimant employer be required to fortify its cross-undertaking of damages.

    Alice is currently instructed by an employer in High Court proceedings defending a bonus claim in excess of £1m.


    Other Employment Work

    Alice accepts instructions in complex dismissal, pay and equality disputes before the Employment Tribunal and High Court. Her experience includes redundancy claims, bonus disputes, claims under the Equality Act 2010 and pay claims which have arisen in an industrial relations context. In 2020 she was Junior to Andrew Burns QC for the successful Respondent in Walker v Co-operative Bank [2020] EWCA Civ 1075, on the material factor in equal pay claims.

    Alice is experienced in complex holiday pay claims, including claims for overtime pay. She is currently representing a large employer in ET proceedings comprising in excess of 1000 holiday pay claims. 

  • Insurance & Reinsurance

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    Alice is recognised as a leading insurance junior by Chambers UK 2022 and Legal 500 2022

    Alice has a busy insurance practice, both as sole counsel and as junior to Colin Edelman QC. This includes experience of coverage disputes, aggregation, claims under the Third Parties (Rights Against Insurers) Act 2010, non-payment of premium, defence costs, fire claims including those relating to hot works conditions precedent and claims under the Consumer Insurance (Disclosure and Representations) Act 2012. She has been involved in insurance disputes arising from a range of industries including construction, cladding, roofing and from professional negligence claims. She is also instructed to represent insurers in substantive disputes including sale of goods and breach of contract claims.

    Alice’s recent work for insurers as junior to Colin Edelman QC includes:

    • Acting on behalf of an insurer in Commercial Court proceedings relating to a hot works condition precedent.
    • Representing insurers in various high value arbitration proceedings involving aggregation in solicitors’ negligence, coverage issues arising from construction disputes, methods of premium rebate calculation and the Third Parties (Rights Against Insurers) Act 2010.
    • Advising on various coverage issues arising from a high value, multi-party construction dispute, including notification and number of claims.

     

    Alice’s other recent work includes:

    • Representing an insurer in an application for joinder in proceedings under the Third Parties (Rights Against Insurers) Act 2010.
    • Advising an employer on the right to recover under a group income protection policy.
    • Advising insurers on the consequences of non-payment of premium.
    • Advising insurers of premises on coverage issues relating to occupation and use of premises, including waiver, relating to a claim arising from a warehouse fire.

     

    Alice is a former member of the BILA U35 committee. In 2014 she spent time working in-house at an insurer client in order to gain first-hand experience of the market. Also, in 2014, she completed a four month secondment at a solicitors' firm in the professional negligence and insurance team.  

    Alice assisted Colin Wynter QC with updating the reinsurance chapter of MacGillivray on Insurance Law (Centenary edition).

    Alice was a co-contributor of an article to the British Insurance Law Association Journal (125th edition) entitled "Consumer Insurance: the risks of contracting on unfair terms". Alice has subsequently given a seminar on consumer insurance.

    Alice has worked on the following cases as pupil to Andrew Burns QC:

    • The Court of Appeal hearing of the Employers' Liability Policy Trigger Litigation [2010] EWCA Civ 1096
    • Aviva Insurance v Brown [2011] EWHC 362 (QB). Alice worked on the preparations for the High Court trial of this property insurance dispute
    • Horwood v Argos & Ors [2010] Lloyd's Rep IR 453. Alice worked on interim applications arising out of the insurance dispute in the "toxic sofas" litigation

     

  • Commercial Litigation and Disputes

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    Alice is an experienced litigator and is often instructed to appear against leading counsel. Her recent work includes claims in the Commercial Court, TCC, Chancery Division, QBD and arbitration. She works with clients from a range of industries including the construction, insurance, financial services, and professional services sectors.

    Professional negligence

    In addition to her insurance work, Alice accepts instructions in professional negligence claims. She is currently acting in a high value dispute relating to construction works and involving difficult issues of quantum and based on allegations of negligence by architects. She has acted in claims against solicitors and surveyors, including conveyancing, in addition to dealing with insurance coverage matters.

    In 2014 Alice did a secondment at a firm of City solicitors undertaking defendant professional negligence work. She has a great deal of experience working with insurers and defendants to defend claims.

  • Professional Negligence

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    Alice has particular experience of claims against solicitors, conveyancers, valuers, surveyors and architects. She acts for both claimants and defendants. Examples of her recent work include:

    • Acting for a claimant in a claim against an architect relating to construction works, including a dispute about contractual terms and including difficult issues of quantum.
    • Representing a claimant at mediation in a claim against a surveyor.
    • Advising on claims against valuers in respect of RICS HomeBuyer reports.
  • Tax

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    In 2016 Alice was appointed Junior Counsel to the Crown (C Panel). She accepts instructions from both HMRC and taxpayers.

    Alice was junior to Akash Nawbatt QC on behalf of HMRC in the successful appeal HMRC v Hely Hutchinson [2017] EWCA Civ 1075. This is a leading case on legitimate expectations between HMRC and the taxpayer.

    She is currently instructed to represent HMRC in another set of judicial review proceedings based on legitimate expectations.

    Alice successfully represented HMRC in the Upper Tribunal in ETB v HMRC [2016] UKUT 424. This related to the default surcharge pursuant to section 59 VATA 1994, in particular whether the taxpayer had a reasonable excuse for the non-payment of VAT.

    She is currently instructed by the National Crime Agency in a high value case concerning appeals against a penalty determinations pursuant to section 100B TMA 1970.

    Alice’s experience of contentious tax matters includes residence and penalty determinations.  She is also instructed to advise on issues of employment status and professional negligence relating to taxation. 

Appointments

Junior Counsel to the Crown (C Panel) 2016-2021

Memberships and Associations

COMBAR (Executive Committee member 2016-2019)

BILA (BILA U35s Committee member 2018)

Employment Law Bar Association

CII (Chartered Insurance Institute)

Professional Negligence Bar Association

London Common Law and Commercial Bar Association (former committee member)

Employment Lawyers' Association

Free Representation Unit

Bar Pro Bono Unit

Awards and Scholarships

Albion Richardson Award (Gray’s Inn)

Education

LLM (2008-09) London School of Economics

BVC (2007-08) BPP

BA Law (2003-6) St John’s College, University of Oxford

The Maynard School, Exeter, Devon

St Joseph's School, Launceston, Cornwall