Year of Call: 1999
Discrimination & Equality | Employment | Human Rights | Professional Discipline
"A persuasive advocate who had the respect of the tribunal from the outset and who presented the case with a sense of balance and where necessary a certain dispassionate manner as well. She was good at taking the heat out of things." Chambers & Partners 2021
“Outstanding skills all round, including brilliant, highly effective advocacy and incredibly clear, understandable written advice – makes the most complex points seem straightforward.” Legal 500 2021
Akua is named a Leader in the Field in Chambers and Partners 2014 and 2015, in which she is acclaimed as “superb” and is noted for her ‘gravitas'. She is described as “a highly competent employment junior noted for her skill in representing public and voluntary sector organisations” with excellent cross-examination skills and ability to understand the relevant issues in a case.
Akua is instructed by unions and individual claimants across all sectors of employment, with a particular emphasis on protracted and hard-fought discrimination and harassment cases in which she is valued for her meticulous approach to fact-handling, her incisive cross-examination and her calm and approachable manner with clients. Recent claimant cases include:
• Lichters v Metropolitan Police, a complex four week case in which Akua represented the successful Claimant, a gay police officer who was found to have been subjected to a six year campaign of discrimination, harassment and victimisation on grounds of his sexual orientation.
• Marks v Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust. Akua acted for the successful Claimant in this three week sex discrimination and sexual harassment claim. The Claimant had been the Director of HR. The Tribunal found that she had proved “beyond reasonable doubt” that she had been pressurised by the Chair of the Trust to have a sexual relationship with him, that when she refused he orchestrated a spurious disciplinary case against her, and that the Chair and the Chief Executive had colluded to remove her from the organisation.
Akua has also undertaken pro bono trial work representing migrant domestic workers who have experienced extreme physical and psychological abuse in the workplace and have little or no English.
In her respondent practice Akua is noted for her pragmatic and responsive advice. She frequently receives repeat instructions in protracted and high profile cases from commercial companies such as Marks and Spencer and British Gas, local authorities, NHS Trusts, trade unions and the British Transport Police. She is instructed by the University of Oxford in internal disciplinary and dismissal proceedings.
Akua is also instructed in civil claims and mediations under the Protection from Harassment Act, having appeared for the successful Respondent in one of the only two cases to reach Supreme Court level in this area of law (Hayes v Willoughby  UKSC 17).
Akua delivers witness familiarisation training with Assurety (www.assuretytraining.com). She also delivers training and seminars for the Discrimination Law Association, the Law Society's Law Management Section HR Forum and Central Law Training.
In suitable cases Akua accepts direct instructions from members of the public under the Bar Council Public Access scheme.
Legal 500 2021: “Outstanding skills all round, including brilliant, highly effective advocacy and incredibly clear, understandable written advice – makes the most complex points seem straightforward.”
Chambers & Partners 2020: "Very down to earth, clear and pragmatic, and can make complex information seem straightforward." "She has great attention to detail, is very hard-working and quickly gets to the heart of a case."
Legal 500 2020: "A class act; a quite outstanding junior with the ability to cut to the heart of a matter and a devastating cross-examiner."
Chambers & Partners 2019: "Works primarily on highly complex discrimination cases, often representing trade unions and individuals at appellate cases and in Supreme Court matters. She also has experience handling dismissal claims." "She has got a very calm and measured manner, which is effective." "She has fantastic attention to detail and is always willing to go the extra mile."
APPOINTMENTS AND MEMBERSHIPS
Appointed to Government Legal Department Panel of Counsel (B Panel)
Discrimination Law Association
PUBLICATIONS AND TRAINING
• Singh v Reading Borough Council and Governing Body of Moorlands PrimarySchool  ICR 1158 CA. Akua and Robin Allen QC appeared for the Respondent school in this appeal relating to the the application of judicial proceedings immunity, which was determined while the trial was part-heard. Akua was instructed alone in the long-running and exceptionally complex trial.
• Aziz v FDA  EWCA Civ 304; (2010) 154(14) SJLB 29 CA. A Court of Appeal case concerning continuing acts in discrimination law. This case formed a part of protracted and complex litigation by the Appellant in which Akua was instructed by the Respondent trade union.
• Carter v Ahsan  1 AC 696 HL. A long running race discrimination case against the Labour Party in which Akua was led at liability stage from first instance in 2001 to the House of Lords in 2007 by Robin Allen QC. Akua appeared on her own behalf at remedy stage in the EAT.
• Alabaster v Woolwich plc (ECJ)  ICR 695 ECJ;  ICR1246 CA. A complex equal pay matter in which Akua was led in the Court of Appeal and European Court of Justice by Karon Monghan QC.
• Moonsar v Fiveways Transport  IRLR 9 EAT. A sexual harassment case concerning pornography in the workplace.
• Moroak t/a Blake Envelopes v Cromie  ICR 1226. Time limits in the EAT.