Caroline Musgrave

Year of Call: 2008


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


"A formidable employment lawyer who is very, very bright, very competent and knows her stuff inside out." "Offers a meticulous approach to preparation, the ability to cut through complex data, accomplished advocacy and exemplary client care." Chambers & Partners 2020

"Excellent on her feet and punching above her weight in terms of her year of call." Legal 500 2020


Caroline Musgrave is a barrister specialising in employment and discrimination, personal injury and clinical negligence law. She acts for both claimants and respondents / defendants advising and representing large and small companies as well as individuals, law centres and trade unions.

In her employment practice Caroline advises and represents claimants and respondents across the full range of employment dispute including discrimination, whistleblowing, redundancy, TUPE, unfair dismissal and wage related claims. She is particularly regarded for her strategic approach, personable style and excellent witness handling.

In her personal injury practice, Caroline settles the full range of pleadings and schedules and advises and acts on claims covering road traffic accidents, slip and trip claims and workplace claims. She has experience of both liability and quantum trials as well as complex case management matters.

Caroline's clinical negligence practice includes advising clients on prospects of success and case management, drafting pleadings and high value schedules of loss and pursuing matters to trial.

After graduating from Clare College, Cambridge, Caroline worked as a relief and development professional for six years in the UK, Pakistan, Indonesia and Rwanda. Since being called to the bar, she has remained interested in international law and in 2013 spent three months as a visiting research associate at the Harvard Law School Project on Disability focusing on how the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities can be used to further the rights of the disabled.


Chambers & Partners 2020: "A formidable employment lawyer who is very, very bright, very competent and knows her stuff inside out." "Offers a meticulous approach to preparation, the ability to cut through complex data, accomplished advocacy and exemplary client care."

Legal 500 2020: "Excellent on her feet and punching above her weight in terms of her year of call."

Chambers & Partners 2019: "Employment law specialist with strong knowledge of whistle-blowing, disability discrimination and parental rights disputes. She is regularly involved in cases concerning local authorities, the professional services and the armed forces. She is undertaking an increasing number of appellate cases." "Strong on her feet and a pleasure to work with." "A brilliant advocate who engages with clients and works night and day for them."

Legal 500 2019: “She is always on top of the case law and provides a clear and practical approach.”

Chambers & Partners 2018: "Caroline gives pragmatic, clear advice and is great on her feet in court. She is good with clients and clearly well prepared in all matters. A very impressive advocate", “Her legal and factual analysis in relation to complex cases is spot on.”

Legal 500 2018: "Very calm under pressure and an absolute pleasure to work with."

Chambers & Partners 2017: “She is seen as a reliable, confident member of counsel who can hold her own against senior barristers", “She establishes a great rapport from day one with both solicitors and clients, and she exudes a persona of capability and confidence", “She is an outstanding junior who punches above her weight.”

Who's Who Legal 2017 name Caroline as one of the top ten most highly regarded employment law juniors and say: “her abilities defy her number of years' call”. Sources add that she is “clear, succinct and inspiring on her feet” and note her “incisive and compelling advocacy style”, as well as her “exemplary client care".

Chambers & Partners 2016: “Has a strong reputation in the market as a counsel who adds value to a team. She primarily handles employment, discrimination, personal injury and clinical negligence disputes, and is very well known for the excellence of her client service.” “She is very good on her feet and very down-to-earth as well.”

Chambers & Partners 2015: “An impressive young barrister who is capable of turning her hand to all areas of employment law." "She's reassuring and calm, and does not get into a flap."

Chambers & Partners 2014: “An up and comer with a specialism in equal pay litigation. Her strong courtroom presence and impressive client-handling skills are said to belie her relatively recent year of call." “She has the desire to work with clients so as to ensure the best outcome”, “Absolutely first-class”, “She's very logical in how she approaches cases.”



Caroline is an excellent presenter and trainer stemming from her experience training managers around the world prior to coming to the bar. Recent topics include TUPE 2014, family rights in the workplace, disability discrimination and employment tribunal procedure and practice:

• “Disability and Absence Management”, Cloisters Employment Law Conference, November 2016.

• TUPE training for University Colleges Union, March 2016

• Penalty Clauses and Mistake, BBC, September 2015

• Contributor to the AvMA Clinical Negligence Conference 2013 Legal Update.

• Contributor to the Legal Action Group's textbook ‘Discrimination in Employment' published by LAG in 2013.

• Contributor and interviewee for the DVD programme “Employment: Equal Pay” produced by Legal Network Television.

• Co-author and presenter of“The Right to Strike Reborn”at the Cloisters 2011 annual Equality Law lecture series alongside Jason Galbraith-Marten.


MA (Cantab)


Patel and Metcalf v SCC [2018] UKEAT/0178/16/LA, UKEAT/0179/16/LA. Caroline successfully represented Mrs Metcalf in her appeal against the 110 page whistleblowing judgment of the Employment Tribunal. The Tribunal had adopted a “rolled up” approach to the protected disclosures and had failed to apply the correct legal test of causation.

Islam v HSBC [2017] UKEAT/0264/16. Right to a fair hearing for persons with disabilities. The EAT determined that the appellant, as an individual with a visual impairment, had had a fair hearing.

Rabess v London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority [2017] IRLR 147, CA. Led by Ed Williams. Whether calculating time limits for unfair dismissal should be governed by the common law (per Societe Generale v Geys) or by statute.

Sandle v Adecco UK Ltd [2016] IRLR 941. Led by Ed Williams. Whether there can be dismissal by omission in relation to an agency worker.

Barry and others v University of Wales Trinity St Davids. In what is thought to be the first class action of its kind, 18 male workers (caretakers and tradesmen) successfully claimed equal pay with female workers (secretaries and library assistants). See the associated press coverage from the BBC and the Guardian. Cost application included in the Equality Law Reports [2014] EqLR 482

Flynn v Warrior Square [2014] EWCA Civ 68, CA. In these whistleblowing proceedings, Caroline represented the respondent in the successful appeal to the Employment Appeal Tribunal and the successful defence of Mr Flynn's appeal against the EAT decision in the Court of Appeal.

Wendy Williams v MOD [2013] EqLR 856. Caroline represented Wendy Williams, the most senior serving nurse in the RAF, in her successful claim of sex discrimination. The Tribunal agreed that the MOD had discriminated against Ms Williams both directly and indirectly when recruiting to senior military roles preferring doctors over nurses, men over women. In the remedy judgment of April 2014 the tribunal made far reaching recommendations including the dissemination of the judgment to all nurses in the MOD. See the Cloisters press release and associated news coverage at the Telegraph for more details.