Howard Hymanson provides advice on a comprehensive range of contentious and non contentious employment law issues and is recognised as a leading practitioner by Chambers UK.
He has developed particular expertise in conducting high value discrimination cases, both before the employment tribunal and the appellate courts, as well as High Court. He regularly advises on senior executive terminations, director/shareholder and Partnership disputes as well as restrictive covenant injunctions.
Howard also provides specialist personal injury advice on mental health-related issues, which can have serious implications in a work environment. His experience of high-value, complex employer liability and stress-related High Court claims is wide-ranging and he often deals with multiple jurisdictions and parties.
He represents clients in the media and entertainment, professional sports, investment banking, professional services, and retail and leisure sectors. His clients include GP&J Baker Limited, SpareRoom, Nice and Serious, Isam Investment Management as well as many senior executives in Film and TV, investment banking/investment managers and law firms.
Howard is a member of the Employment Lawyers Association and sits on its Legislative and Policy Committee. He has also contributed to, and chaired, Working Parties commenting on draft legislation. He is well known for his work dealing with stress claims in the work place.
- Contentious and non- contentious employment law issues
- High value bullying and discrimination litigation
- High level senior executive terminations
- Director/shareholder disputes
- Team moves and restrictive covenant injunctions
Howard’s work highlights include currently representing:
- Joanna Torode, a lawyer at city law firm Ropes & Gray, who was so overworked that she suffered a mental breakdown under the firm’s long hours and stressful working conditions. You can read more information on this matter in an article published by The Times.
- David Campbell upon his appointment as Chief Executive of Pizza Express.
- David Pemsel on the terms of his appointment as Chief Executive at the Premier League.
- A City lawyer, who developed chronic fatigue syndrome and depression as a result of excessive work demands, to pursue a High Court personal injury Claim. The Claim was settled at mediation in 2017 resulting in a multi-million pound compensation payment.
- The National Theatre in successfully defending a much publicised application for an interim injunction brought in 2015 by five former War Horse musicians.
- Gillian Switalski, an ex-City employee who was claiming £19m compensation for work-place sex discrimination. More information on this matter is available in articles published by The Guardian and The Express.
- A top 100 UK law firm in defending a disability discrimination claim brought against it by one of its lawyers. The case proceeded to a full two-week hearing before the Employment Tribunal in March 2016, which in rejecting the discrimination claim, held in favour of the law firm.
- A German International Electronics group, which in 2016 successfully defended a high-value, complex, multi-jurisdiction race discrimination claim brought by two senior executives who claimed less favourable treatment on the grounds of nationality i.e. that they were English and not German. The case also involved the application of complex foreign legislation on data protection and privacy.
- A Fund Manager, the Second Defendant in the Marathon Asset Management Litigation, a landmark decision on misuse of confidential information involving a high value team move in the financial service sector. The case proceeded to the Court of Appeal and the 2017 judgment was widely reported.
- Susan Richardson against the Priory Hospital Group in her successful claim for personal injury damages in 2014, arising from related stress and bullying.
- Alec Packham, an IT software sales specialist, in his successful disability discrimination claim against his employer Hewlett-Packard (Packham v Hewlett-Packard 2012). The high-value claim was contested at the Employment Tribunal, which accepted the client’s case that he had suffered mental ill health as a result of the bullying conduct of his manager and that his employer had failed to make reasonable adjustments.
- Rajib Nandi v Credit Suisse – Stress and bullying claim for city executive – claim settled at Trial in 2011.
- Noel Gay (talent agent) in successfully defending a claim for unfair constructive dismissal in the Employment Tribunal brought by its former Managing Director in 2015.
- Lastminute.com in successfully defending a constructive unfair dismissal and breach of contract claim in the Employment Tribunal brought by a senior HR vice president in 2011.
- A football league club in relation to an allegation of race discrimination made by a player against their manager.
- A female City worker in conducting her sexual harassment grievance resulting in the termination of the employment of the harasser, a Partner in a leading investment bank.
- Qualification date: June 1993
- Academic qualifications: LLB degree with honours – 1989
Howard has written and contributed to numerous articles in national newspapers and specialist trade journals including The Guardian, The Times, The Financial Times, The Telegraph, HR Magazine, HR Review, The Lawyer, Personnel Today and Total Football.
- Coverage: Howard Hymanson on mental health in the work place
- The Times: Employers must be held more accountable for workers’ mental health
- HR magazine: Employer duty of care often overlooked when disciplining employees
- iNews: Resurrecting stale sex harassment claims
- ELA briefing: Apportioning liability for psychiatric injury after BAE Systems
- Law Gazette: Mental health: we must do more
- The Times: Law firms must reduce stress for younger lawyers
- Mental health at work: look at the causes as well as the cure
- Working holidays: who should pick up the tab?
- Court of Appeal – Out of Step with the Mental Health of British Workers
- Stress-related injury: is it harder for employees to win a claim?
- Psychiatric injury claims and a fair disciplinary process
- The Times: Groping case diplomat loses £320,000 payout
- The Times: The law is failing the employee stress test
One Head of Employment at a leading regional law firm said the following about Howard: “One cannot underestimate the value of having good, wise and assured counsel because litigation for anyone, especially someone who is not well, is onerous but its burden is lessened by lawyers, and people, of the highest quality.
“The settlement does bring peace of mind and respite not only to me, but also to my family, all of whom have worried about the case, and also supported me emotionally and financially. I’m so pleased I instructed you.”