Harriet’s main areas of specialism are Commercial, Energy and Employment Law. She came to the bar after a successful career as a journalist and then senior manager in the Media division of Reuters. Her experience means she is quick to grasp commercial realities and, in employment and partnership matters, understands the challenges faced in the working environment. Prior to her practice at the bar Harriet's legal career involved being employed as a Legal Adviser at Ofcom, and time in the legal department at Ofgem. Harriet was described in Chambers UK as being “exceptionally bright” and is repeatedly praised for her attention to detail.
"One of the most accomplished juniors of her generation, with great commercial sense, a complete understanding of the law, and a practical approach to problem-solving. She is also a fearless advocate." - Commercial Litigation, Legal 500 2022.
"She is incredibly hard-working, has a huge breadth of knowledge, fights hard for her corner and has excellent judgement." "Harriet pays superb attention to detail and is a very good team player." Defended Thames Luxury Charters against claims brought by four individuals over the firm's cancellation of events which they had booked on board its vessels. The case concerned alleged breaches of contract and direct discrimination on the grounds of race. - Dispute Resolution: Commercial - UK, Chambers Global 2021 & Commercial Dispute Resolution, Chambers UK Bar 2021
“An absolutely excellent barrister to work with - she has an encyclopaedic knowledge of the case and was genuinely indispensable.” - Commercial Litigation, Legal 500 2021
"Incredibly well organised and very sensible, She drafts beautifully and has creativity and guile that you don't see often." "She seamlessly fits into a team, and she's really prepared to roll up her sleeves and get stuck in." Acted in AHAB v Saad, a claim for more than USD9 billion concerning events in Saudi Arabia and allegedly unauthorised borrowing from financial institutions worldwide. - Commercial Dispute Resolution, Chambers UK 2020
Frequently acts for both public and private sector clients. She is particularly experienced in handling matters of unfair and constructive dismissal, protected disclosure and discrimination. She has notable experience of dealing with issues within the energy sector. “Very approachable and a calm and precise advocate in court.” “She understands her case well and truly gets to grips with the technical side of things.” Successfully acted for BaxterStorey in response to a claim for constructive unfair dismissal and race discrimination. - Employment, Chambers UK 2018
Frequently acts for both public and private sector clients. She is particularly experienced in handling matters of unfair and constructive dismissal, protected disclosure and discrimination. "Exceptionally responsive and fully appreciative of the impact on a client's business." "Always well prepared." Acted for a consultant surgeon in an unfair dismissal claim against a healthcare trust. The tribunal agreed with Harriet’s assessment that the respondent’s failure to properly constitute the dismissing panel in accordance with the national policy meant that her client had been unfairly dismissed. - Employment, Chambers UK 2017
Chambers UK recommended Harriet as up and coming for employment in the 2015 and 2016 editions.
"Handles both private and public sector claims, and is often instructed in restrictive covenant matters and similar employee competition cases. "She's extremely personable and able. She's got a good perspective on how we work and she gets her hands dirty." "Harriet is very responsive and shows great attention to detail. She is thorough and communicates well." Successfully represented the claimant in MacGregor v University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust, a several-day Tribunal hearing concerning claims of detriment and unfair dismissal as a result of whistle-blowing. – Employment, Western Circuit, Chambers UK 2016
"A rising star on the Western Circuit who draws praise for her user-friendly approach. Her growing practice covers all aspects of employment law, on behalf of both public and private sector clients. “She is highly commercial, always prepared and never lets you down – she always goes the extra mile.” “Often in employment there can be industry-specific jargon – she can assimilate difficult concepts quickly, and performs well on her feet. She’s also exceptionally bright.” Successfully represented Brimheath Developments & Ors in a case concerning a discrimination claim on the grounds of sex, sexual orientation and disability." - Employment, Western Circuit, Chambers UK 2015
"Incredibly well organised and very sensible, She drafts beautifully and has creativity and guile that you don't see often." "She seamlessly fits into a team, and she's really prepared to roll up her sleeves and get stuck in." - Commercial Dispute Resolution, Chambers UK 2020
Harriet accepts instructions in all areas of commercial law and is an experienced litigator appearing in the High Court and the County Court.
Harriet has particular expertise in disputes concerning the provision of utilities (gas, electricity and water) and is regularly instructed by ‘Big Six’ energy companies on a wide range of matters. See also her profile under the Energy & Natural Resources section below.
Examples of recent commercial work include:
Representing the Defendant at trial in the High Court in a claim for £2.3m pursuant to a share option agreement.
Advising in relation to ‘dial through fraud’ in which an internal telephone system had been hacked in order to access premium rate telephone numbers at large cost to the company concerned.
An application for pre-action disclosure in a potential unfair prejudice matter pursuant to the Companies Act 2006.
Successfully obtaining summary judgment for the Claimant in a claim arising from a financing agreement and guarantee by way of promissory note.
Harriet regularly acts and advises in relation to data protection (GDPR and the Data Protection Act 2008, and previously the Data Protection Act 1998). She has advised organisations on appropriate steps to be taken following breaches of their data protection obligations, drafted pleadings, and appeared in Court in claims for damages and/or declarations in relation to alleged breaches.
Harriet receives instructions in insolvency matters, appearing in the Companies Court and before Bankruptcy Registrars, as well as accepting instructions relating to applications to set aside statutory demands.
Having worked as a Legal Advisor at Ofcom and in the legal department at Ofgem, Harriet is familiar with regulatory concepts and is well placed to act and advise in commercial matters with a regulatory cross-over.
Banking and Financial Services
Harriet acts and advises in matters concerning financial regulatory issues, breach of contract, misrepresentation, negligence and other areas of law which are frequently engaged in financial services matters.
Examples of work include:
Harriet also has experience of and advises and acts in insurance matters.
Harriet has experience in a range of matters relating to partnerships, either where the partnership itself formed the core of the dispute between the parties, or matters where the partnership was part of the relevant background. Examples include:
"She seamlessly fits into a team, and she's really prepared to roll up her sleeves and get stuck in." Chambers UK 2020
Harriet’s first legal experience relating to energy was gained whilst working in the legal team at Ofgem when she advised on a number of matters relating to the supply and distribution of gas and electricity. Since then, Harriet has developed a successful practice as a specialist in energy-related debt recovery and is regularly instructed by 'Big Six' energy companies. She is instructed in High Court and County Court proceedings, appearing in trials, strike out and summary judgment applications, injunction hearings, and other interlocutory matters.
Additionally Harriet has particular expertise in warrants of entry issued pursuant to the Rights of Entry (Gas and Electricity Boards) Act 1954. She has appeared in applications in Magistrates’ Courts, and injunction hearings where respondents have sought to restrain the use of warrants. Her work in this respect has related to both commercial and domestic properties, including where 'freeman'-type arguments are run.
Harriet’s knowledge of insolvency law means she is able to advise in matters crossing over into that area, including for example where directors have created 'phoenix' companies to avoid energy-related debt, or there have been transactions at an undervalue. She also provides advice on the statutory and licensing regimes.
Other energy-related disputes in which Harriet has been involved include those relating to contracts entered into concerning self-generated measures and the Electricity and Gas (Energy Companies Obligation) Order 2012, and the Green Deal. Also, contractual issues relating to the provision and installation of equipment for generating electricity and to benefit from feed-in tariffs, for example wind turbines and solar panels, and a high value claim concerning energy trading.
Harriet also has experience in advising in water matters and the Water Industry Act 1991.
Harriet regularly acts in employment matters. A particular feature of her employment practice is advising and acting in claims, often high value, concerning senior employees, in the County and High Courts, where there is effectively a cross-over with her work in Commercial Litigation. Clients praise Harriet’s attention to detail and high levels of preparation, as well as her effective cross-examination skills.
Examples of such work include:
Harriet’s previous experience as a manager, including handling disciplinary and capability issues, redundancy selection and negotiations with trade unions, benefits her work as a barrister, in that she is very aware of the challenges faced by employers and employees in the workplace.
In 2014 she was led in the Court of Appeal in Agbenowossi-Koffi v Donvand Ltd t/a Gullivers Travel Associates  EWCA Civ 855,  ICR D27 successfully resisting an appeal relating to res judicata and abuse of process.
Harriet appears in Employment Tribunals and advises in cases concerning the full range of employment disputes, including unfair & constructive dismissal, discrimination (all protected characteristics) and whistle blowing (protected disclosures). She has also appeared in the tribunal in Scotland where evidence is given in chief orally rather than by witness statement.
Other areas and highlights of Harriet's Employment Tribunal practice include:
Given Harriet's regulatory and professional disciplinary experience, she is well placed to advise and act in cases concerning regulated professionals and the caring professions, including for example successfully defending a claim brought by a pharmacist against his employers, and successfully representing a midwife in a whistleblowing matter.
Harriet also has, unusually, experience of Reinstatement Committee Proceedings, which concern the statutory duty on employers to re-engage military reservists after their return from active duty, as provided for by the Reserve Forces (Safeguard of Employment) Act 1985. She has given a talk to representatives of the Ministry of Defence on this subject.
Another area in which Harriet has particular experience is Tribunal claims in an education context, having been instructed on a number of occasions in such matters, including to assist in the preparation of witness statements, visiting schools to take proofs of evidence.
During Harriet’s media career prior to the Bar much of her work concerned the commissioning and implementation of new technology, including bespoke software and the development of websites. Later, acting as a consultant, she advised a number of broadcasters, including BBC World Service, The Discovery Network and Disney, on the impact of operating in a digital, tapeless environment. As a result of her extensive experience in this respect, Harriet is ideally placed to advise and appear in disputes concerning technology, and quickly grasps complex concepts and efficiently processes detailed information.
Whilst at Ofcom Harriet assisted in the preparation of Ofcom’s defence in Vodafone & ors v Office of Communications  CAT 22, a case in the Competition Appeal Tribunal concerning the economics of technology for the porting of mobile telephone numbers. She was also involved in the early stages of the litigation concerning the 2.6 GHz award.
Harriet has a wide range of experience in regulatory and professional discipline. She successfully represented the appellant doctor in Lawrance v GMC  EWHC 586 (Admin), an appeal to the High Court against a decision to erase her from the Register in which there were issues of dishonesty.
Since 2015 Harriet has sat as a lay member on police misconduct panels for Thames Valley Police. This has given her a particularly good insight into effective advocacy in misconduct proceedings. As of January 2020, she has been appointed as a Legally Qualified Chair to conduct such hearings for a range of police areas.
Harriet has undertaken a secondment reviewing cases for the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC), assisted in financial regulatory cases, and accepts instructions in sports disciplinary matters.
Harriet is instructed in professional negligence claims involving a wide range of professionals and sectors. She has particular expertise in relation to matters involving financial advisers.
Harriet has the following experience in sports law:
Harriet also receives instructions in equine-related disputes. She has a good understanding of the issues in this respect, and her experience includes claims relating to the sale of horses engaging the Sale of Goods Act 1982 and for misrepresentation.
Harriet has direct experience whilst a senior manager at Reuters of conducting processes with employees, including disciplinary, grievance and capability. As a barrister, she has a wide range of experience in regulatory and professional misconduct matters, including having been seconded to review misconduct cases for a large healthcare regulator, and sitting on police misconduct panels (in relation to which, she has recently been appointed as a legally qualified chair). She has spent time in numerous organisations interviewing staff to gain a fuller understanding of particular issues as instructed, and providing recommendations and outcomes in accordance with information gathered.
Called to the Bar, Cayman Islands (Limited Admission)
Legally Qualified Chair, Police Misconduct Hearings
Bar Pro Bono Unit, PNBA.
Member of the ELAAS scheme at the Employment Appeal Tribunal
Graduate Diploma in Law (Distinction), College of Law, London
Bar Vocational Course, College of Law, London