Suzie Palmer combines two main areas of practice: employment law and professional regulatory law.
Head of the 4KBW Employment Team, Suzie has a broad civil common law practice but specialises in employment law, practising in that field regularly for around 20 years and predominantly for 15 of those. Related areas of specialism include professional regulatory fitness to practise tribunals, civil court restrictive covenant disputes and personal injury proceedings.
Her practice encompasses the full range of pre-litigation and contentious employment law advice and representation at first instance and appellate courts and tribunals. Clients range from individuals to small businesses to multi-national corporations. Experience of cases from many industries and sectors, including local and national government, public, private, voluntary and education. Extensive experience of complex multi-week hearings, and of vulnerable parties or witnesses.
- Burns v Consignia plc  IRLR 425, EAT – ET procedure, striking out;
- Lodwick v London Borough of Southwark  EWCA Civ 306, CA – ET procedure; bias, costs orders.
- Case involving applicability of part-time workers’ regulations: potential impact for public
sector respondent ran to £millions;
- 4-week discrimination claim involving 70+ allegations;
- 2-week hearing for voluntary sector employer - allegations of whistleblowing and discrimination over significant period. Vulnerable claimant acting in person;
- 2-week hearing for claimant against government department - allegations of disability discrimination and unfair dismissal, resulting in reinstatement.
Articles written for publications including the New Law Journal. Includes two articles for Lexology (2014), on covert recording of disciplinary proceedings and admissibility of without prejudice discussions, and an article in 2017 for Chambers instructing solicitors on the Supreme Court decision in the Employment Tribunal fees case involving Unison. Past contributor to practitioner textbooks on Employment law. Suzie has written and delivered a number of seminars on employment law issues for solicitors and non-lawyers.
Suzie has a reputation for down-to-earth advice alongside careful and logical analysis of legal and factual issues.
Suzie has been carrying out regular work as a legal assessor for a number of professional regulatory tribunals since approximately 2009. Much of this work has been in the healthcare sector, although not exclusively so. Suzie currently acts as a legal assessor for the Nursing & Midwifery Council, the General Dental Council, the General Council of Chiropractors, and the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England & Wales.
Prior to appointment as a legal assessor, Suzie has also provided advice and/or representation to private clients in relation to regulatory proceedings at a number of regulatory authorities, including proceedings at the Health & Care Professions Council, the Nursing & Midwifery Council, the General Optical Council and the NHS Performers List Panel.
Suzie is highly familiar with the statutory regulatory regime governing the above professions, and with the considerable body of case law and the overarching principles of public protection, public interest and proportionality which are common to all professional regulation.
Suzie’s professional regulatory experience is wide-ranging, covering:
- Fitness to Practise hearings involving allegations of:
- misconduct (both within and outside the workplace),
- lack of competence,
- health, and
- criminal convictions;
- Interim Order hearings;
- Registration Appeals;
- Restoration hearings;
- Investigation Committee proceedings;
- Cases involving multiple and complex allegations against a number of different registrants;
- Cases involving unrepresented registrants and vulnerable witnesses.
Suzie’s work in the field of professional regulation dovetails well with her expertise in employment law. Many cases involving people in regulated professions raise issues engaging both areas of law. For example:
- Employees who have been dismissed for serious professional misconduct or performance issues will often be referred by their employer to a regulator;
- Employees or workers who are convicted of criminal offences in their private lives may find themselves facing consequential disciplinary or regulatory allegations with both their employer and their regulator;
- Health issues (including disability) may give rise to employment difficulties but also to allegations of concerns about fitness to practise;
- Employers may face difficult decisions about whether to address an issue locally as an employment issue or to refer it to a regulator.
Perse School for Girls
Cambridge and Corpus Christi College, Oxford.
BA (Hons) Oxford