Workplace Investigations

This event is in the past
Wed, 27 Feb 2019
London (National)
Venue Address:
Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, 27 Sussex Place, Marylebone, London NW1 4RG
Katharine Newton, Old Square Chambers and David Whincup, Squire Patton Boggs
Event Type:
9.30am for a 10.00am start to 12.50pm
CPD hours:
Fully Booked
Workplace Investigations
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Fee: £150 + VAT. There is a 20% discount until 28 December 2018,  50% discount for voluntary sector organisations, pupil barristers/barristers under 2 years call and 30% out of region discount.

There is an afternoon ELA course also on 27 February on Immigration update and International Assignments. If you have booked for both courses, lunch will be available.

This course brings together two highly experienced employment lawyers to discuss the strategic, practical and ethical considerations that must be taken into account when conducting or advising on a workplace investigation. Katharine Newton and David Whincup will take attendees through each stage of the investigation process, giving guidance on how to balance the various regulatory and legal obligations that arise along the way, through to resolution, giving practical examples throughout. 

The course will then finish with a session discussing mediation in-house as an alternative way of resolving workplace disputes.

The course assumes a good knowledge of the basics of employment law in this area, and aims to build on attendees' practical experience by sharing insight into the key issues that practitioners face.

Katharine Newton is a leading employment law barrister with extensive experience in conducting both disciplinary and grievance investigations, as well as undertaking department and employer-wide reviews of practice and procedure. She has conducted many high profile investigations including the FA investigation into allegations of race discrimination and bullying by the Manager of the England Women’s football team. Katharine’s investigatory reports have been repeatedly praised by Judges in subsequent employment tribunal proceedings.  She also has experience of advising and presenting cases for both employees and employers at internal disciplinary, grievance and appeal hearings. Katharine has particular expertise in the media, sport, financial services, education and healthcare spheres and won the Employment Junior of the Year award at the Chambers Bar Awards 2018.

David Whincup’s expertise gained from over 30 years as a specialist employment law practitioner covers a wide variety of employment-related issues. His clients span a wide range, from senior individuals to household-name corporates, and across all sectors, from aviation and distribution to insurance and sports. His particular expertise lies in advising clients in the financial services sector. He is also an accredited CEDR Mediator and a keen exponent of the role of mediation in the modern workplace, scoring a number of significant successes for corporate and individual clients through that route. David is in the 2018 Global Who’s Who for mediation and also a member of the Workplace & Employment sub-group of the Civil Mediation Council.


Chair: Annabel Mackay, Addleshaw Goddard LLP and member of the Training Committee

9.30amRegistration and tea/coffee

10.00am Planning and Conducting an investigation

  • Terms of Reference, Choice of team, role of HR/in-house legal/the Board (particularly NEDs), external investigators; management of communications

Legal and regulatory considerations

  • Maintaining legal privilege
  • Tactical concerns e.g. when those being investigated submit DSARs
  • Natural justice – anonymity/confidentiality, suspension, legal representation
  • Practical issues – non-co-operation/the reluctant witness/long-term sick leave/reasonable adjustments
  • Role of regulators – HSE, FCA, SRA and the impact of market listing rules (re suspension)
  • Third party harassment – current status of equality law and future reform, trust and confidence, health and safety obligations

Managing the aftermath

  • Resolution – use of NDAs, regulatory references etc.
  • Cultural change – policies and training, ownership/sponsorship.

 There will be a 20 minute break for tea/coffee at 11.00am

12.20pm Workplace mediation -  an alternative way of resolving disputes  

  • What is mediation
  • How does it work?
  • When is it appropriate?
  • Who does it?
  • How can it be used proactively?
  • What if employees refuse to mediate?
  • Tricky issues

12.50pm Close of course