[photo] David Stephenson (2005)

t 020 7452 8900 e david.stephenson@1mcb.com

David Stephenson (2005)



Employment & Discrimination 


LL.B (Hons) – University of London
LL.M Employment – Law University of Middlesex
BVC – Inns of Court School of Law (Very Competent)


Employment and Discrimination

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David is recommended by Chambers and Partners and Legal 500 as a leading junior in employment. He practices principally in the fields of equality and discrimination law, public law and human rights. He "Specialises in discrimination disputes of all flavours, and is very highly rated by his clients and peers for his stylish advocacy, clear thinking and extensive experience." He is "A brilliant discrimination advocate.  His strength lies in being creative and resourceful with case law (Chambers and Partners 2016). David is "An exceptionally determined, committed and proactive advocate " (Legal 500 2016)."A formidable opponent, a polished and persuasive advocate, and a tough negotiator who goes the extra mile for his clients" (Legal 500 2015). His client care is “second to none” (Legal 500 2014). He has extensive experience in employment and discrimination law and is regularly instructed in high-value multi-day discrimination cases dealing with complex and intricate issues of fact and law. He was appointed to the Equality and Human Rights Commission list of preferred counsel in 2015 and works closely with many law centres providing specialist advice to their discrimination caseworkers.

David has developed a broad practice covering all aspects of discrimination in the employment and non-employment fields. His employment tribunal practice covers all types of discrimination including equal pay and maternity rights. He is regularly instructed in various aspects of employment litigation including whistleblowing claims, TUPE transfers, constructive/unfair dismissal and redundancy. More recently, David acted for the successful claimants in Shields v Chief Constable of Surrey Police (disability discrimination concerning the removal of a firearms license from a police marksman) and Burden v Chief Constable of Hampshire Constabulary (indirect sex discrimination concerning the recruitment and posting criteria applied to the claimant).

David’s non-employment work consists of discrimination in the fields of services and public functions, housing and education. He appears regularly before the county court and has represented clients in both fast and multi track cases concerning direct and indirect race discrimination, harassment, victimisation and failure to make reasonable adjustments. David is particularly interested in disability discrimination and holding public bodies to account under the public sector equality duties contained in s.149 EqA 2010.

David has a growing appellate practice and regularly appears in the appellate courts.  He acted for the successful claimant in Pimlico Plumbers v Smith UKEAT/0495/14 (employee status) and is instructed to represent Mr Smith before the Court of Appeal in May 2016. He has also represented the appellants in the Court of Appeal in the cases of Adegbole v Marks & Spencer Plc (2013 - unreported), Lalil Singh v Spirita Housing [2012] Eq.L.R. 560 C/A, and appeared as Junior Counsel in the very important case of Piretti v London Borough Enfield [2010] EWCA Civ 1104, concerning the application of the equality duties contained in s.49A Disability Discrimination Act 1995 to individual decisions made by local housing authorities under Part VII of the Housing Act 1996. Other notable cases include: Elijah-Jacobs v South West London & St Georges Mental Health Trust UKEAT/0379/14 (reasonableness of investigation); Ukey v Ministry of Defence UKEAT/0225/14 (race discrimination and burden of proof);  Odu-Obi v Interserve FM Ltd UKEAT/0206/13 (victimisation, issue estoppel and abuse of process); Alam v London Probation Trust UKEAT/0016/12 (race discrimination and continuing act); Edwards v London Borough of Sutton UKEAT/0111/12 (new claim by way of amendment); Durrani v London Borough Ealing UKEAT/0454/12 (race discrimination and victimisation/protected act); Chatwal v Wandsworth Borough Council EqLR [2011] 939 EAT (group disadvantage in indirect discrimination); Mahood v Irish Centre Housing Ltd EqLR [2011] 586 EAT (employer's liability for harassment by an agency worker); Martin v Devonshire Solicitors  [2011] I.C.R. 352 EAT (victimisation when features of a protected act can be genuinely and properly severable) and Simpson v Endsleigh Insurance Services  [2011] I.C.R. 75 EAT(Meaning of Reg 10 (3) MPLR 1999). 



Before coming to the Bar, David worked at the Lambeth Law Centre in its London Discrimination Unit where he honed his skills and established himself as a discrimination practitioner. He has an excellent manner with clients and an astute understanding of the sensitivities surrounding discrimination claims. His meticulous and tenacious approach has secured high-value settlements for his clients. David regularly delivers training to barristers, solicitors and caseworkers in employment and discrimination law, and has for the last four years conducted awareness training to Employment Judges as part of its four-day Social Context residential training course at Highgate House. He provides specialist advice to law centre solicitors and caseworkers funded by the EHRC. 

Since joining Chambers, David set up and coordinates the 1MCB General Employment Pro-Bono Scheme providing support and representation to many law centres and voluntary organisations in employment tribunal hearings. David is an active member of the Employment Law Appeal Advisory Service and frequently acts for appellants.


Notable Cases



  • Discrimination Law Association Volume 55 July 2015 Briefing 758 – Discrimination in the provision of goods and services.
  • Discrimination Law Association Volume 49 July 2013 Briefing 681 – Post-employment victimisation, race discrimination, and migrant workers.
  • Discrimination Law Association Volume 49 July 2013 Briefing 680 – Victimisation – false complaints and the ‘reason why’ Revisited.
  • Discrimination Law Association Volume 44 November 2011 Briefing 619 – Indirect discrimination and group disadvantage.
  • Discrimination Law Association Volume 43 June 2011 Briefing 608 – Victimisation – false complaints and the ‘reason why.'


Speaking events, training and seminars

  • Discrimination Law Association conference, Equality Rights – Where Next (Recent developments in race discrimination law) October 2015
  • National Black Police Association conference (Bringing race discrimination claims before the employment tribunal) October 2015
  • Employment Judge Social Context Training – Race Discrimination: A Claimant's Perspective - September 2015
  • Employment Judge Awareness Training – Race Discrimination: A Claimant's Perspective - November 2011, December 2012, December 2013, June 2014, December 2014
  • Discrimination Law Association conference, Equality Act – One Year On (developments in employment discrimination law) October 2011
  • Discrimination Law Association practitioner group meeting, Harassment under the Equality Act – September 2011


Appointments and Memberships

David’s appointments include:

  • EHRC panel of preferred counsel, February 2015
  • Specialist advisor to discrimination case workers funded by EHRC, September 2011
  • Executive Committee of the Discrimination Law Association in, February 2011
  • EHRC panel of preferred counsel, October 2010

 David’s memberships include:

  • Discrimination Law Association
  • Employment Lawyers’ Association
  • Employment Law Bar Association 


Hobbies and Interests

David is a connoisseur of football who enjoys travelling, cycling and having fun.


Contact details

020 7452 8900 e david.stephenson@1mcb.com

Follow David on twitter: @Dstephenson1mcb