Anna Beale

Year of Call: 2001


Clinical Negligence | Discrimination & Equality | Employment | Human Rights | Personal Injury | Professional Discipline


"An excellent barrister to work with...technically excellent" Legal 500 2019, she is "a really good all-rounder. She is really good with clients and she really cares about the cases"..."Fantastic. Very bright and very reliable" Chambers UK 2019.


Employment & Discrimination

Anna's primary area of practice is employment and discrimination law. She is frequently instructed on high profile cases dealing with difficult and novel points of law, and is also commended by solicitors for her client manner.

Anna acts for both employees and employers, and her regular client base includes well-known claimant solicitors, trade unions, NHS Trusts, universities and multinational companies. She also has experience in the area of goods and services discrimination.

Anna has built up a strong appellate practice. She successfully resisted an appeal on a novel point of law in a widely-reported whistleblowing claim against BP and, more recently, appeared unled in the Court of Appeal in a high value disability discrimination case against JP Morgan. She also has experience of lengthy, high profile employment tribunal litigation, having appeared in equal pay test cases challenging the NHS pay structure (Hartley, led by Daphne Romney QC) and comparing workers in the DVLA with male employees in the Driving Standards Agency (Williams and Jermin v DfT, led by Robin Allen QC). Anna has particular recent experience of claims involving pregnancy and maternity discrimination, equal pay, whistleblowing, the minimum wage, and issues around employment status.

Anna has extensive civil court experience, obtained in part through her parallel personal injury and clinical negligence practice. She has recently acted in a number of County and High Court claims dealing with employment issues, including breach of contract, national minimum wage claims and claims under the Protection from Harassment Act, as well as goods and services discrimination claims.

Anna is very familiar with the European aspects of employment and discrimination law. She co-authored a comparative report on Age and Employment, published by the European Commission in December 2011, and was invited to speak on the same subject at a Commission seminar, 'Equality Law for Everyone: Challenges Ahead' in November 2012. She also addressed the Bar European Group on employment and discrimination law at their 2013 conference, and regularly speaks on the burden of proof at the ERA seminar 'Applying EU Anti-Discrimination Law' in Trier.

In January 2017, Anna was appointed as a member of the Fawcett Society's Sex Discrimination Law Review Panel, which produced a report advising on the future of sex discrimination law in the UK, and in particular the implications of Brexit. The report's recommendations were welcomed by the Chair of the Women and Equalities Select Committee, Maria Miller.

Anna has been recognised as a leading employment barrister by Chambers UK, the Legal 500 and Who's Who Legal for many years.

Clinical Negligence & Personal Injury

Anna undertakes the full range of clinical negligence and personal injury work. Her parallel employment and discrimination practice means that she has unusually extensive advocacy experience for a barrister of her call in this area.

Anna's clinical negligence practice has expanded in recent years. She has acted as junior counsel in a range of medically complex and high value claims involving spinal injury, spinal surgery and negligent cancer treatment. As sole counsel, she has been instructed in claims arising from negligent spinal, hip and bariatric surgery, negligent performance of an episiotomy, and a number of claims relating to the development of severe pressure sores. In the recent case of Crossman v St George's Healthcare NHS Trust (High Court), Anna successfully established causation on conventional principles where non-negligent surgery, which had been performed three months earlier than it should have been owing to a negligent failure to follow a conservative management plan, resulted in nerve root injury.

Anna has experience of all kinds of personal injury litigation, including road traffic and highway accidents, employer's liability and occupational disease, occupier's liability, fatal accidents and Protection from Harassment Act claims. Her employment law practice makes her particularly suited to "crossover" personal injury claims relating to modern slavery and harassment at work.


"A real all-rounder. She is really good with clients and she really cares about the cases." "Fantastic. Very bright and very reliable." Chambers UK 2019

"An excellent barrister to work with and is technically excellent" Legal 500 2019

"A really good all-rounder. Sharp and good with the legal side but also good with clients." "Her work is thorough and technically very good. She is also very pragmatic and commercial." Chambers UK 2018

"Anna Beale is highly regarded in the field of employment and discrimination law and is praised for her expert handling of complex litigation. She is frequently instructed by corporations, trade unions and government bodies for her deep experience in the field." Who's Who Legal 2018

"Technically and strategically excellent" Legal 500 2017

"Strong tribunal advocate representing employers and individuals in complex discrimination and whistle-blowing cases. Clients attest that she is an extremely hard worker who can quickly turn around large pieces of work.... 'She really engages with the client and will go the extra mile - she will not give up for a client. She is very positive and determined.'" Chambers UK 2017

Ranked as one of ten most highly regarded junior employment counsel in Who's Who Legal 2017: "Anna is very impressive, very pragmatic and commercial. She is responsive to enquiries, and very easy and pleasant to deal with. She has good client-handling skills, even under serious pressure."

"A flawless barrister, who is acutely aware of client needs" Legal 500 2016

"She has a particularly strong reputation for handling technically complex disputes, and is known for her skill in dealing with sensitive clients....'She is incredibly bright and very good with clients; the whole package.'" Chambers UK 2016

"She wins the totally unwinnable cases and works so hard for her clients" Legal 500 2015

"well respected for her work on cutting-edge discrimination cases....'personable and intelligent, she has a practical attitude and can really progress a case'" Chambers UK 2015

"impressive attention to detail" Legal 500 2014

"'she is a specialist in the discrimination field', who 'has a tremendous ability to simplify complex legal issues and convey them to the layman'" Chambers UK 2014

"instils utmost confidence in clients" Legal 500 2013

"sharp as a pin and very crisp in court...instructing solicitors agree she is 'a delight to work with'"Chambers UK 2012

"first-rate judgment and sensitivity" Legal 500 2012

“meticulous preparation and savvy tactical insight.” Chambers UK 2011

"...a forceful and attractive argument..." Elias LJ, JP Morgan Europe Ltd v Chweidan [2011] EWCA Civ 648; [2012] ICR 268


Appointed as a member of the Fawcett Society's Sex Discrimination Law Review Panel in January 2017.

Re-elected as Secretary of the Industrial Law Society for a second term in April 2017.

Member of ELA, ELBA, the Institute of Employment Rights, HRLA, AVMA and PIBA.


Co-author with Robin Allen Q.C., Rachel Crasnow Q.C., Claire McCann and Rachel Barrett of 'Employment Law and Human Rights' (OUP, 3rd Edition, 2018)

Panel member and contributor to the Fawcett Society's Sex Discrimination Law Review (January 2018)

Contributor to 'Blackstone's Guide to the Equality Act 2010' (ed Wadham, Robinson, Ruebain and Uppal, OUP, 3rd Edition, 2016).

Editor (with Declan O'Dempsey, Catherine Casserley and Sally Robertson) of 'Discrimination in Employment: A Claims Handbook' (LAG, 2013).

Contributor to 'Family Rights at Work' (ed Allen and Crasnow, Jordans, 2012).

Co-author with Declan O'Dempsey of 'Age and Employment' (Publications Office of the European Union, 2011).

Co-author with Robin Allen Q.C. and Rachel Crasnow of 'Employment Law and Human Rights' (OUP, 2nd Edition, 2007).


BA Jurisprudence (Oxon): 1st class



• Ajayi v Abu & Abu [2017] EWHC Civ 3098 (QB); [2018] IRLR 1028: recovered almost £250,000 in damages for failure to pay the minimum wage, harassment and personal injury on behalf of a victim of trafficking, deploying an unusual argument on fraudulent concealment to extend the minimum wage claim back beyond 6 years.
• Ajayi v Abu & Abu [2017] EWHC Civ 1946 (QB); [2017] IRLR 1113: first case on the meaning of "deductions" in respect of living accommodation and meals in the context of the "family worker" exception to the requirement to pay the minimum wage.
• JP Morgan Europe Ltd v Chweidan [2011] EWCA Civ 648; [2012] ICR 268 (CA): considered the relationship between direct and disability-related discrimination under the DDA 1995.
• BP Plc v Elstone [2010] ICR 879; [2011] 1 All ER 718 (EAT): determined the novel point that the whistleblowing legislation applies when a worker is subjected to detriment by reason of a disclosure made whilst in a previous employment.
• Williams and Jermin v DfT (ET, 2011): ground-breaking equal pay test case comparing claimants employed by the DVLA with male comparators in the Driving Standards Agency.
• Hartley v Northumbria NHS Trust (ET, 2008 – 2009): national equal pay test case challenging the NHS job evaluation scheme, Agenda for Change.
• Davies v Farnborough College [2008] IRLR 14 (EAT), concerning the proper interpretation of the statutory dismissal procedure in a redundancy situation.
• Wong v Igen Ltd [2005] 1 ICR 931 (CA): leading case on the revised discrimination burden of proof provisions.


• Crossman v St George's Healthcare NHS Trust [2016] EWHC 2878; (2017) 154 B.M.L.R. 204: successfully established causation on conventional principles where non-negligent surgery, which had been performed three months earlier than it should have been owing to a negligent failure to follow a conservative management plan, resulted in nerve root injury.
• Masterman-Lister v Jewell and Home Counties Dairies [2003] 1 WLR 1511 (CA): leading case on capacity to litigate.