John Crosfill

Called 1995
He has a chameleon-like ability to attune himself to clients.
Legal 500, 2018
His intuition enables him to identify the true underlying facts of a case without them ever having been presented to him.
Legal 500, 2016
Clients enjoy their dealings with him, and return for his advice over and over again.
Legal 500, 2015
Fights his client’s corner, while maintaining a non-aggressive and likeable stance
Legal 500, 2014
He has great judgement and a quiet authority in court.
Legal 500, 2017

John is a civil practitioner specialising in employment law (with particular emphasis on discrimination law), public law and human rights. He is Head of the Employment Group at Chambers.

John is able to accept instructions directly from members of the public within his specialist practice areas.

John was also appointed as a Fee Paid Employment Judge in October 2013 and Fee Paid Immigration Judge in October 2014.

If you would like any further information regarding John Crosfill’s practice, please contact his clerks or call +44 (0)20 7405 6114.

Employment: Notable cases
  • Ministry of Justice v Blackford UKEAT/0003/17/LA (2018)
  • Butterworth v The Police and Crime Commissioners Office for Greater Manchester & Ors UKEAT/0222/15/JOJ (2016)
  • Rowstock Ltd and another v Jessemey UKEAT/0112/12/DM, Unfair dismissal  – Polkey deduction – age discrimination – post-employment victimisation. The employee was dismissed on grounds of retirement, having reached an age over 65. A failure by the employer to follow statutory procedures in relation to age-related retirement led to findings by an Employment Tribunal of unfair dismissal and of unlawful age discrimination. The Employment Tribunal rejected a claim for victimisation (in the form of giving an adverse reference in consequence of the unfair dismissal claim being lodged) as the Equality Act 2010 did not make a remedy available for post-employment victimisation: s 108(7).The employer appealed from the failure of the Employment Tribunal to make any deduction in the compensation awarded – to reflect the likelihood of the employee being fairly dismissed had the correct procedures been followed. The employee cross-appealed from the rejection of the victimisation claim and the Equality and Human Rights Commission intervened in support of the cross–appeal. Appeal allowed for want of adequate reasoning by the Employment Tribunal as to why no reduction in the compensation had been made. Assessment of compensation remitted. Cross-appeal dismissed. The 2010 Act provides no remedy for post-employment victimisation. John acted for the successful appellants.
  • Beedles v Guinness Northern Counties Ltd [2011] EWCA Civ 442. This was the appeal of the first instance decision in Mr Beedle’s claim under the Disability Discrimination Act 1995, Section 24C. Mr B was the assured tenant of GNC. His tenancy agreement made internal decorations his responsibility. It was accepted that the decorations were in a poor, rather tatty state, although not dreadful. Mr B was disabled and unable to use ladders or safely be near open windows, so could not decorate at a high level himself. He brought a claim saying that GNC should decorate as an auxiliary aid or service under s.24C. To succeed he needed to show that without this service it was unreasonably difficult for him to “enjoy” the property.The claim failed on the Judge’s finding that ‘enjoyment’ in 24C(3) meant nothing more than the right to enjoy the premises as dictated by the terms of the lease. Given that Mr B could in fact do some works himself and that the décor was poor but not dreadful it was not unreasonably difficult to enjoy the property.Mr B appealed to the Court of Appeal. The appeal was dismissed. On appeal the tenant moderated his contention maintained at trial that in this context “enjoy” should mean “derive pleasure from” but instead argued that enjoy should mean “live like any other ordinary tenant”. The court of appeal did not disagree but considered that there was no difference between the tenants later preferred construction and that of the trial judge and that on the findings of the trial judge the appeal was doomed to failure.John acted for the successful landlord. The appeal has continuing significance as the word “enjoyment” is used in the Equality Act 2010 in the same context.
  • Bebbington v Palmer (t/a Sturry News)  [2010] UKEAT 0371.  This appeal concerned the employment status of a 15 year old paperboy. Following a hearing where the Claimant was represented by his father a tribunal concluded that he was not an employee of the business for whom he carried out a paper round. This was surprising given that he had worked regularly for a regular wage. There were unfortunate findings of fact that ultimately resulted in the employment tribunal’s decision being upheld on appeal. Some of the more interesting legal issues raised on appeal will have to wait for another day.
  • Chouglay v EJEF Ltd [2006] All ER (D) 292 (Jun) . Redundancy – Dismissal by reason of redundancy – Dismissal – Employee making protected disclosure – Employee subsequently selected for redundancy – Whether redundancy for legitimate reasons – Whether employee selected for redundancy on basis of protected disclosure.The employment tribunal had not erred in reaching its conclusion that the employee had been dismissed for reasons of redundancy, and not because of a protected disclosure she had made in an earlier disciplinary hearing (John acted for the employer).
  • T-Systems Ltd v Raju & Anor [2006] UKEAT 0633. Complex Sex Discrimination Act 1975 case involving contract workers. Allowed by consent. It was not permissible to remit the case to the Employment Tribunal as the opportunity to put all arguments and evidence was available at the Employment Tribunal when all parties were represented and it would be to expose the Respondents to new claims for the first time (John acted for the successful appellant).
  • Corporate Express Ltd v Day [2004] EWHC 2943 (QB): Judgment by MR JUSTICE DOUGLAS BROWN. The claimant was a substantial company which sold office products to business users. The defendant had been a sales executive in the stationery field for many years. In 2002, she became sales manager for national accounts at the claimant company. Her contract contained at cl 11.1a a covenant in the form of a six month solicitation and dealing ban and at cl 11.2 a six month ban on working for certain named competitors. In both cases the period commenced after termination. In June 2004, the defendant’s employment was terminated. The defendant agreed to comply with the post termination undertakings in cl 11. In July 2004, the defendant entered into employment with a named competitor as set out in cl 11.2. The claimant issued proceedings seeking injunctive or alternatively declaratory relief. The defendant undertook not to breach cl 11.1, and the only issue was in respect of cl 11.2 ( John acted for the claimant). At trial the claimant was successful in obtaining the declaration that it sought and obtained its costs from the defendant.
  • Kelsall v Lewisham Social Care & Health [2003] UKEAT 911. A case where the Claimant appealed against the refusal to permit an amendment and against an order striking out the entirety of his remaining claims. The EAT held that the Tribunal was wrong to have struck out the claims for breach of contract and remitted that matter for a full hearing (John acted for the successful employee).
  • Chouglay v EJEF Ltd [2004] All ER (D) 125 (Oct) . Prior to the hearing by the employment tribunal of the substantive complaints, a directions order was made which included a request to the parties to prepare an agreed statement of issues. The parties complied with that direction. However, the tribunal was unaware of the agreed statement of issues and stopped the solicitor acting for the employee from arguing one of the issues, namely a complaint under s 103A of the Employment Rights Act 1996 . The tribunal accepted that the employer’s pleaded reason for dismissal, namely redundancy, was correct and held that the dismissal was fair having regard to the provisions of s 98(4) of the Act. The employee appealed contending that the judgment was flawed.The appeal was allowed and the matter was remitted for a fresh hearing. That hearing resulted in a further decision in the Respondent’s favour leading to the further appeal above (John acted for the respondent).
  • Lewisham and Guys Mental Heath Trust v Andrews (Deceased) [1999] ICR 774. John acted pro-bono for the executor of Mrs Andrews who wished to continue a race discrimination claim commenced by her mother. The employment tribunal found in the Deceased’s favour but the EAT allowed an appeal. The matter was then passed to the Commission for Racial Equality who mounted a successful appeal to the Court of Appeal (John acted for the employee and drafted the notice of appeal).
  • Petersham Hotel Ltd v Castro [1996] UKEAT 635.  An interesting case concerning a claim for equal pay made by a waitress protesting about the “tronc” system for distributing tips. The appeal also touched upon the question of what inferences should have been drawn when the employer gave incomplete answers to a sex discrimination questionnaire. The appeal was dismissed (John acted for the successful employee).
Regulatory work

John has acted in a significant number of cases where the rights of individuals to work with children or in certain professions has been restricted either by a non statutory blacklist or since 1998 by statute.

  • C, R (on Application of) v Secretary Of State For Health [2000] EWCA Civ 49 (21 February 2000) – extensively reported [ 2000] 1 FLR 627: (2000) UKHRR 639: (2000) HRLR 400 and Times 1 March 2000. A challenge to the right of the Secretary of State to keep a blacklist of individuals considered to be unfit to work with children. The Secretary of State expected all public and most private employers to consult this list before offering work with children. The Claimant challenged this decision shortly before the Human Rights Act came into force. The challenge was dismissed Hale LJ (as was) held that the list did not “determine a civil right”. John acted for the unsuccessful Claimant.   By the time this appeal was heard the informal regime was about to be placed on a statutory footing. C became one of the first cases to be heard in the Care Standards Tribunal.
  • Secretary of State for Health v C [2002] EWHC 1381.  This case relates to the same “C” as the case above. C was successful in applying to have his name removed from the list of persons unsuitable to work with children despite an allegation that he had raped a 16 year old many years before. The tribunal held that a short statement clearly drafted by a lawyer that set out nothing other than the bare bones of an allegation was insufficient to establish an allegation of rape despite the fact that C declined to give evidence. The challenge to the High Court was unsuccessful but on further appeal to the Court of Appeal that court held that insufficient reasons had been given for the decision. The case was remitted for a rehearing.
  • PB v The Secretary of State for Education and Skills [2005] EWCST 628(PC) (24 November 2006) (View without highlighting)([2005] EWCST 628(PC); From England and Wales Care Standards Tribunal. Hearing before the CST where PB had been accused of having an attraction towards teenage girls. PB had been interviewed at a time when he was suffering from a brain tumour and had behaved in a very unusual manner. The case turned on the opinion of an “expert” social worker who had concluded that PB had an improper interest in children. John cross examined that social worker for some time and ultimately the Tribunal rejected her opinions and concluded that much if not all of PB’s behaviour was explicable by reason of his deep religious faith and his brain tumour.
  • MC v Secretary of State For Children, Schools and Families [2007] EWCST 1193(PT) (11 April 2008 ) [2007] EWCST 1193(PT); England and Wales Care Standards Tribunal. A case where MC was prohibited from working with children. He was initially barred from working with children on the grounds of “suitability”. This had the effect that he would not be able to seek a review of that decision for 10 years – a particularly harsh sanction in circumstances where a serious illness had caused or contributed to his conduct and where there was a realistic prospect of a real improvement. The CST were persuaded that they could and should substitute a finding of “misconduct” which meant that he was able to seek a review as soon as there was a change of circumstances.
Discrimination in other areas
  • Beedles v Guinness Northern Counties (Manchester District Registry) Mr Justice Langstaff. This was a claim brought by a severely disabled tenant who wanted his landlord to decorate his property as he said he was unable to do so. The tenant relied upon duties under sections 24C and 24D of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995. No duty is owed under those sections unless it was “unreasonably difficult” for the tenant to “enjoy” the premises. Mr Justice Langstaff held that the word enjoy had the meaning usually ascribed to that word in the law of landlord and tenant and that it did not denote the right to derive any aesthetic pleasure (John acted for the successful landlord).
Other reported cases
  • Hazel v Akhtar [2001] EWCA Civ 1883, [2002] 07 EG 124, Times 7 January 2001
  • R v Haringey LBC ex parte Age Concern 58 BMLR 160 30 October 2000. Successful judicial review of the decision by a local authority to cut the grants offered to local charities.
  • R v Salisbury Magistrates Court ex parte Gray Times 21 July 1999

Ranked Leading Junior – Legal 500 2016

Ranked Leading Junior – Legal 500 2015

Ranked Leading Junior – Legal 500 2014

Ranked Leading Junior – Legal 500 2013

Ranked Leading Junior  – Legal 500 2012

  • LLB (Hons)
  • BSc Mechanical Engineering
Professional memberships
  • ELA