Sophie Garner
Call: 1990
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Sophie has been described by the Legal 500 as someone who is "technically strong and client friendly" with the ability to "get the grips with the detail of a difficult issue".  She has the skills and experience necessary to give sound strategic and tactical advice to clients in commercial employment disputes.

Her commercial practice covers restraint of trade and directorial disputes, and she uses her additional knowledge of corporate structure and governance – as a professional company secretary - to help disentangle the governance disputes between directors/trustees and senior executive employees that can often lead to conflict in both corporate and voluntary sector organisations.

Recent cases have included:

  • Representing an international sales rep of a large organisation supplying the automotive trade as to the applicability of his restrictive covenants.
  • Successfully representing an IT sales company through interlocutory relief applications and resolution of dispute following breach by two employees of pre and post termination restrictions.
  • Advising and representing a senior executive at a university in relation to the terms of a settlement package whilst disciplinary charges still outstanding.

  • What-the-Directories-Say

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      • Legal 500 2019: “Very knowledgeable and accessible.”
      • Legal 500 2017: "Quick to win a client’s confidence."
      • Legal 500 2016: “A specialist in discrimination law”
      • Legal 500 2015:  Someone who “wins the trust and respect of clients”
      • Legal 500 2014:  “A very capable and effective advocate”
      • Legal 500 2013:  “client friendly” with the ability to “get to grips with the detail of a difficult issue”
      • Legal 500 2011: “technically strong and client friendly”.

  • Recent-Experience

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      • On a frequent basis Sophie advises on terms of severance packages, including enforceability of covenants, on behalf senior of employees and employers, including those including share option agreements.
      • Advising on the lawfulness of the constitution of a sporting club
      • Advising on the terms of a Royal Charter
      • Advising and negotiating on behalf of the director of a newly formed company following accusations of breach of restrictive covenants and copyright infringement (IT) by his old employer.
      • Representing a professional pilot in a lengthy termination process where allegations of sex discrimination were made.
      • Advising a Court Leet (falling into the category of a 'Club or Association') as to whether it was operating unlawfully in breach of Part 7 of the Equality Act.
      • Complex TUPE matter involving allegations of fragmentation of assets amongst numerous subsidiaries in order to defeat the application of the regulations. Despite numerous setbacks and delaying tactics on the part of the putative transferee, a successful settlement was finally achieved.
      • Successfully represented a corporate accountant in a claim of sex (pregnancy) discrimination and detriment in relation to a request to work flexibly. Included a fully contested remedy hearing.

  • Reported-Cases

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      • Herry v Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council (2016) UKEAT/0100/16 & 0101/16/LA - represented the Respondent in this appeal brought by an ET claimant against a £110,000 order for costs against him, and on the issue of whether his mental health condition amounted to a disability.
      • Greco v General Physics UK Ltd (2016) UKEAT/0114/16/DM - Successfully defended this appeal against the ET's decision to dismiss a claim of sex discrimination. Grounds of appeal related to adequacy of reasons and bias. Interesting point on the pre-termination discussions and their enforceability under s.111A ERA - see article at
      • Simpson v Intralinks [2012] I.L.Pr. 34; [2012] Eq. L.R. 732 (EAT) - conflict of laws case where employee brought claim in UK Tribunal under German contract of employment. EAT considered the allocation of jurisdiction under conflict of laws in cases with overseas employees, where sex discrimination and equal pay claims made.
      • Owens v Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council [2011] I.C.R. 453 (CA) - appeal on a technical interpretation point, before the Court of Appeal, as to whether a counsellor working in education qualified as a teacher under the Teachers Pension Scheme.
      • Luke v Stoke on Trent City Council [2007] IRLR 777 (CA) - employer's decision to stop pay on employee's failure to cooperate with return to work plan following extended period of absence. Necessity of implying a term that the employer need not pay salary in these circumstances considered.

  • Publications

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    • Sophie was a contributor to ‘Discrimination in Employment’ by Tucker and George (Thomson/Sweet and Maxwell) – Chapter on Positive Action. She writes reports for the DLA’s ‘Briefings’ publication and writes numerous articles for websites and journals.  She has also assisted in the drafting of response documents to government consultations on equality law, and took the lead on the DLA’s written evidence for the 2012 Select Committee on Women in the Workplace.

  • Qualifications-and-Appointments

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      • LLB Hons (1989)
      • ACIS (2002)
      • Accredited Commercial Mediator: CEDR (2000), ADR Group (2009)
      • Accredited Workplace Mediator, Globis (2011)
      • Patron of ‘Amicus’ Charity since 2012