Surinder Dhillon



An experienced specialist in employment law since 1998, Surinder is Head of Schools Legal Services at Irwin Mitchell. Her reputation is established with Head Teachers, Executive Head Teachers and School Governor networks/groups.

In addition to dealing with litigation, Surinder is involved in non–contentious work, including the drafting of employment contracts, school policy and procedures for academy and free schools.

She also lectures extensively at Consortium Linking Universities of Science and Technology (CLUSTERS), providing training across the school community.

Her current practice encompasses the full range of employment issues involving constructive and unfair dismissal, discrimination, victimisation and breach of contract and she is also well versed in matters of procedure and costs.

Surinder has a good working knowledge of school governance and undertakes advocacy in the Employment Tribunal and disciplinary hearings involving senior staff.

Surinder previously worked as a Senior Employment Solicitor for Birmingham City Council for 14 years. She has experience of conducting complex and high profile Employment Tribunal Claims at Employment Tribunal and at the Court of Appeal. Surinder joined Irwin Mitchell in 2014 to continue her work with schools and drive the Schools Legal Services practice at the firm.

Recent highlights:

  • Represented a local authority in an Employment Appeal Tribunal which considered whether a decision by governors of a community school to dismiss a teacher, under delegated authority, had the effect of giving the employee notice to terminate her contract of employment.
  • Represented a school in an Employment Appeal Tribunal, challenging the decision of constructive unfair dismissal on the question of whether the Tribunal had lost its objectivity when it found that the employee had been constructively dismissed.
  • Represented a head teacher in a complaint against an Employment Tribunal Judge for race discrimination and bias.
  • Represented a local authority in a group litigation claim with over 500 claimants in the Court of Appeal, successfully reversing the decision of the County Court which had held that the local authority had breached the employees’ contracts of employment, when it removed the upper bands of a car user allowance scheme.

Market view:

"Exemplary, first class, highly professional, her attention to detail is outstanding. I would recommend her expertise and support unreservedly." - Phil Steele, Head Teacher, St Edmund Campion Catholic School.

"(the) advice and guidance provided by Surinder has been most valuable." - Karen Saywood, Head Teacher, Braidwood Trust School for the Deaf.

Read My Comments On The Latest News

  • 02/02/2015
    David Cameron Plans 'All Out War On Mediocrity' On The State Education System

    All education establishments will have performance management policies and disciplinary policies in place. It’s not the procedures that are a problem but the application of them. “Some Local Authorities approach to poor management and performance is that they are too risk averse and their interests will override that of the Governing Bodies. This does not help where school leaders need the freedom to make changes and quickly. “School leaders need the right professional support in dealing with management of staff from the outset and this will impact on school improvement, pupil safety, wellbeing, partnership and community engagement. “The proposals from David Cameron suggests intervention where a school cannot or does not have the capacity to improve itself. For some children that will be a little too late.”

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