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Emilie Cole



Emilie Cole is a Partner in our Employment team, based in London. She has considerable experience in all aspects of employment law and professional discipline, with a particular focus representing professionals in high value and complex whistleblowing actions.

A shrewd tactician and mediator, Emilie has a reputation for negotiating large severance packages on behalf of senior level employees, and is frequently instructed by solicitors and legal professionals. She is regularly instructed in claims with an international element, and is experienced in navigating the complex jurisdictional issues.

Emilie is committed to securing justice for victims of discrimination in the workplace, including harassment and victimisation. She has taken employment disputes all the way from initial grievance stage to the Supreme Court in order to secure the best result for her clients. She regularly acts for members of regulated professional bodies, and is an expert in supporting employees during internal disciplinary proceedings and representing clients before their professional and disciplinary bodies and Tribunals.

She also advises businesses on the effective use of grievance, disciplinary and redundancy procedures, thereby avoiding exposure to expensive tribunal claims. She has extensive experience in negotiating settlement agreements, contracts and terms of secondment.

Recent Highlights

  • Granted permission to appeal to the Supreme Court for District Judge Gilham in her landmark challenge against the Ministry of Justice to recognise that Judges should be legally protected against suffering detrimental treatment after blowing the whistle. Gilham v Ministry of Justice [2017] EWCA Civ 2220 (21 December 2017). Emilie has acted for Judge Gilham throughout her case from the initial grievance stage.
  • Negotiated a settlement of over a million pounds during a multiple day mediation for a female Director of a multinational bank who suffered serious sex and disability discrimination.
  • Represented a senior gas sector executive following his unfair and discriminatory dismissal on the grounds of his age, negotiating a severance package worth in excess of £1M.
  • Succeeded in the Employment Tribunal with a finding of Disability Discrimination for Mrs Walsh, an NHS IT professional in Walsh v Central and North West London NHS Mental Health Trust.
  • Obtained a Tribunal finding of unfair dismissal for a Senior IT Executive in Oakley v Raytheon Systems Ltd
  • Represented Ms Little in her indirect sex discrimination case in the EAT against Richmond Pharmacology Limited [2013] All ER (D) 204 (Sep), providing a new authority on proving ‘individual disadvantage’ in indirect sex discrimination claims.
  • Negotiated a six figure sum for two co-claimants who had been unfairly dismissed and subjected to sexual orientation harassment and discrimination by their new manager.
  • Over £150k for a sexual harassment claim against a senior manager by a female risk analyst posted in Germany.
  • Over £250k for a senior director based in the Hong Kong as a result of attempts to fundamentally vary her terms and conditions of employment.
  • Negotiated a settlement of £200k for a secretary who had been sexually harassed by her manager, a senior partner at a well-known City law firm, to include her legal fees.

Market View

'Emilie Cole is "an excellent pair of hands on lengthy discrimination claims" and "never loses focus".'  – Legal 500, 2017

Emilie qualified as a solicitor in 2006.

Read My Comments On The Latest News

  • 03/06/2019
    Irwin Mitchell Acts For Whistle-Blowing Judge As Case Reaches The Supreme Court This Week

    “Everyone should have the right to blow the whistle, safe in the knowledge that they will be protected from harm for doing so. The background of this legal protection comes from a long line of high profile disasters which caused avoidable, horrific deaths for many innocent people. Anything that stands in the way of an individual expressing concerns about health and safety and breaches of the law can’t be in the public interest or benefit wider society. “The EU Commission has published a proposal for a Directive on giving whistleblowing protection to workers. When this law is enacted, the meaning of ‘Worker’, will need to be extended to the EU compliant definition of ‘Worker’, which as confirmed in the case of Ministry of Justice v O’Brien, included part time Recorders (Judges). For these reasons, the domestic legislation should be interpreted in a way which furthers, rather than limits protection for whistleblowers.”

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  • 12/11/2018
    Irwin Mitchell Acts For Whistleblowing Judge on £10,000 Crowd Funding Campaign

    “Judges must have the right to speak out and blow the whistle, safe in the knowledge that they will be protected for doing so. As the gatekeepers of our justice system, their basic human right to speak out about breaches of the law goes hand in hand with their judicial duty and responsibility.”

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  • 12/07/2018
    FCA Publishes Consultation On New Directory Of Financial Services Workers

    "After recent whistleblowing scandals in the City, we hope that the new public register will help increase accountability and the rule of law amongst regulated professionals working in Financial sector."

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