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Erich Suter
Park Chambers

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Page updated

17 November, 2014




Matters I deal with

Impact on the law

Training and lecturing

Erich Suter - photo

● BA (Hons) Law
● LLM Advanced Litigation (now LLM in Advanced Litigation and Dispute Management)
● Dip IM (ADR) - (Diploma in International Mediation - Alternative Dispute Resolution)
FCIArb (Mediation) - Amongst the first 25 people worldwide to be made Mediation Fellows of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators
FCIPD - Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development
● Accredited Commercial, Workplace and Family Mediator - accredited by Chartered Institute of Arbitrators; ADR Chambers; MTVM and ADR Group.
● IMI Certified Mediator - International Mediation Institute Certified Mediator
● Barrister (called 1979 - Middle Temple)
In July 2002 I became the first Barrister to be granted the right to conduct litigation under the Employed Barristers (Conduct of Litigation) Rules 2002
In March 2004 I was one of the first of a group of Barristers to qualify under the Direct Public Access rules
In March 2014 I was granted the Right to Conduct Litigation as a self- employed barrister.


Member of:
-    Employment Law Bar Association
-    Employment Lawyers Association 
-    Public Access Bar Association (Also a member of the original PABA Steering Committee)
-    Civil Mediation Council
-    Listed on the Bar Council's list of Barrister Mediators
-    Member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators Panel of Commercial Mediators 
-    Appointed Visiting Fellow of Kingston University, School of Law in 2007
-    Appointed mediation training Coach and Assessor by ADR Chambers October 2010

I have specialised in employment and contract law since being called to the bar early in 1979 and in mediation since the 1980s.

In 1980 I was appointed Employment Law Adviser to Institute of Personnel Management (now the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development); a position in which I remained until mid-1994. As such I advised the Institute and its members on day-to-day employment law, industrial relations, dispute resolution and associated matters. This was a part-time time appointment and during this time I also advised and represented members and their companies in employment matters both to avoid tribunals and at tribunals and EAT. Because of my position with the CIPD the emphasis of my work was primarily on respondent work.

I have represented companies and organisations of all sizes and in all areas of operation from Government Departments, Local Authorities, Health Authorities, national organisations responsible for areas of the arts, large charitable trusts, professional firms and companies with many thousands of employees right down to small firms with only a few employees.  

I have been involved in numerous mediations as a workplace mediator (ie: while employment is still continuing), employment mediator (at or after the termination of employment) and as a family mediator and as a commercial and civil mediator as a well as acting as a representative in mediations. I have also acted as an arbitrator dealing with employment and employment law issues including recently being appointed by a private National Association to chair appeals from internal grievances.

From 1984-1991 I was employment law advisor to International Leisure Group: (ILG plc).  I was involved at main board level on a number of acquisitions, TUPEs, re-organisations, redundancies, corporate restructures, directors’, senior employees and ordinary employment contracts as well as training contracts for pilots and being involved in advising on negotiating and drafting the employment aspects of acquisition and merger agreements. I dealt with and represented the group in employment cases.  I was also involved in advising on disciplinary and grievance matters. I was also involved in negotiating and drafting settlements of cases; including complex settlements at the highest levels. I remained with ILG until the group went into liquidation in 1991.

In 1992 I was engaged to advise and represent the Serco plc group of companies. I became increasing involved with the Serco group and was formally appointed In-House Counsel for Serco in 1999; a position in which I continued to hold until the end of 2005 when I to set up my own Chambers. As In-House Counsel for Serco I was involved in all areas of drafting employment contracts. Advising on and drawing up HR and ER procedures and policies as well as being involved with managers and HR in setting up procedures for, and dealing with, transfers of undertakings of many different shapes, sizes and types; together with the cut-overs, redundancies and restructuring that inevitably accompanied such transfers. I was heavily involved in advising on, and leading managers and HR through, disciplinary, grievance, TUPE and redundancy processes. I was also significantly involved in negotiating termination agreements and ultimately in advising on, and in representing Serco at, employment hearings (from Employment Tribunal to Court of Appeal).  During my time with Serco I represented Serco in hundreds of employment tribunal and EAT cases. Also in one case at the Court of Appeal. In 2005 I established my own chambers so that I could represent client's directly under the direct public access rules; although I still retained links with Serco.


Representation - primarily at employment tribunals and EAT. Throughout my career I've represented mainly respondents; although I have also represented many claimants. As an employed Barrister I have invariably had the conduct of the cases in which I have acted (up to Court of Appeal level). This means that I am in an excellent position to act for clients under the direct public access provisions  without needing them to provide very much by way of additional input. I act in cases in all areas of employment law including: unfair dismissal, discrimination of all types - whether race discrimination, sex discrimination, sexual orientation, disability discrimination, age discrimination and religious discrimination as well as breach of contract, wrongful deductions from wages, transfers of undertakings, trade union matters and redundancy. I also act for individuals in "fitness to practice" cases at the NMC and GMC etc.

Mediation - both acting as a mediator and as a representative in workplace, employment, civil commercial and family mediations. (For more on my mediation work click Mediation)

Settlement /compromise greements - involved in drafting and negotiating settlement agreements - previously compromise agreements - on behalf of both employers and employees in all sectors from investment banking,  insurance and financial services companies, professional firms, public and government bodies and major plc's. I have represented individual employees from senior directors,  professionals and managers at all levels to shop and manual employees. From MDs of public companies to cleaners.  Each organisation and each employee has their own individual interests and needs in arriving at a settlement/compromise and it is important that each achieves a result which is appropriate for them in their particular circumstances. This can be a last chance for both sides to reach an amicable resolution or an agreed termination. Often employees look for an employment solicitor / employment law solicitor to act on their behalf; at Park Chambers we can offer a direct public access barrister to represent you and to act on your behalf from the outset.

Drafting employment contracts, restrictions on post employment activities and Handbooks - Advising on, drafting and implementation of contracts at all levels, HR policies and procedures for newly set up organisations, as well as those which are seeking to optimise their policies and procedures on expansion and otherwise - including drafting appropriate employee handbooks and giving management guidance and training.

Discipline, grievances and disputes procedures - drafting, training, implementing and advising on such procedures and their practical implementation. I have also acted as a mediator in internal procedures and processes. In many cases an external person's independence and experience can be a crucial factor in achieving a result in such cases which is acceptable to all concerned. I have also acted as an independent arbitrator in internal employment arbitration. 

Redundancies and redundancy payments - dealing with redundancies from setting up the selection, consultation and redundancy payments options to dealing with appeals from selection as an independent arbitrator.

Arbitrations  and chairing hearings - I have sat as an arbitrator and acted as a representative in employment arbitrations. and hearings. I was recently appointed by a private National Association to chair internal grievance appeals.

Equal opportunities: including drafting and training on Equal Opportunities Policies, advising clients in respect of proposed new legislation, and all types of discrimination advice and representation including mediating to try to resolve harassment allegations. (I was involved in an advisory capacity with the CIPD's first official guidance on sexual harassment).

Transfers of undertakings – including transfers out and transfers into organisations, as well as intra group transfers, terms of transfers, timing particularly of intra group transfers. Setting up terms and conditions - dealing with employment law and IR aspects of transfers.

Negotiating with trades unions and setting up negotiating strategies for companies in relation to recognition demands and industrial disputes.

Training in all aspects of employment law, mediation,  industrial relations and good industrial practice.


impact on the law

My “Guide  to the Wages Act 1986” was the first publication to point out the possibility of an action lying under the Wages Act 1986 for failure to pay in lieu of notice (See IDS Brief review). The position was not conclusively decided until the House of Lords decision in: Delaney v  Staples (t/a De Montfort Recruitment) [1992] 1 All ER 944, [1992] IRLR 191.

Following the publication of my “Guide to the Wages Act 1986” I was invited to advise the Irish Government on its proposed Wages legislation.

Whilst engaged as the CIPD’s Legal Adviser I was involved in drafting and advising on CIPD responses to various legislative proposals as well as in putting together many of its employment policy documents. This included involvement in its first policy on sexual harassment; one of the first applications of a mediation style approach to the resolution of employment based issues.

In 2002 and early 2003 I was involved in providing advice, on behalf of a client, on the Draft Equality (Religion and Beliefs) Regulations 2003. As a result of my advice the DTI agreed to change the wording of Regulation 3 of the Regulations.

I acted for the appellant in the first case in which the Court of Appeal considered the effect of the repeal of s 196 Employment Rights Act 1996 on territorial jurisdiction: Lawson v Serco  [2004] EWCA Civ 12, [2004] IRLR 206, [2004] ICR 204*.


Training and lecturing

Coaching and Assessing for Mediation Training - ADR Chambers October 2010 on
Kingston University:  Visiting Fellow, of the School of Law (appointed 2007)
City University: (1980 - 1982) Employment law for personnel professionals and trades unionists.
Holborn Law Tutors: (1978 - 1984) Senior Lecturer in Contract, Labour and Social Security Law teaching LLB, Law Society and Bar Finals students.
I also lecture from time to time at various colleges and Universities including Redwood College, part of Southbank University and Barnett College, business school.
In-House training on various aspects of Employment law. 
Local and National conferences and other ad hoc courses for:
·      Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development
·      British Institute of Management    
·      Institute of Certified Accountants
·      Humane Technology
·      British Telecom


Pdf link to aritcle

"Unreasonable refusal to mediate and costs" (2015) 81 Arbitration (to be published in the February 2015 edition of Arbitration*.)  Looks at the costs implications of refusing to mediate. (*"Arbitration" is the International Journal of Arbitration, Mediation and Dispute Management published by the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators - CIArb)

Pdf link to aritcle

"Enforcing mediation agreements: Where are we now?" (2014) 80 Arbitration 336 Looks at the current position on enforcement of agreements to mediate by the courts.

Pdf link to aritcle "Conflict resolution and mediation within the workplace" (2012) 78 Arbitration 37-43 Looks at dealing with conflict in the workplace and workplace mediation.

"Building towards compulsory mediation" (2011) 77 Arbitration 375 Considers the importance of mediation and the risks of not agreeing to mediation in building disputes.

"The Devil's in the detail" (2011) 77 Arbitration 274  Considers the use of "without prejudice" material as an aid to interpreting compromise agreements.  

"Discrimination without prejudice" (2011) 77 Arbitration 147 Considers whether there is a different basis on which the "without prejudice" veil can be lifted in discrimination cases in employment.  

"Making a Reasonable Recovery after Mediation?" (2010) 76 Arbitration 349 Considers in what circumstances the person who has agreed to pay to settle a case may be able to recover the settlement sum from a third party.

"As one door opens ... another closes" (2010) 160 New Law Journal 385 Looks at the ECJ view on enforcement of mandatory mediation clauses and the Jackson Report on Civil Litigation costs.

"Costs Impact of Delaying Mediation" (2010) 76 Arbitration 180 Considers the effect on costs awards of delaying mediation unduly.

"Is there any reasonable prospect of a successful mediation?" (2010) 76 Arbitration 176-179  Considers awards of costs where a party has failed to agree to mediation.

"Discrimination, Reputation, Mediation and Taxation", (2009) 75 Arbitration 598-602. Considers issues of taxation of termination payments and severance payments in discrimination and employment settlements.


"The Progress from Void to Valid for Agreements to Mediate", (2009) 75 Arbitration 28-37  considers the move by the courts towards enforcing agreements to mediate
 §§ "Response to Civil Mediation Council's proposals for mediator registration" - January 2009 - my response to the CMC's proposals. This paper was drawn on by the CIArb in putting together its response to the CMC as well as being appended to the Bar Council ADR Committee's response to the CMC.
   "Discussion Required? Report on the Move Towards Enforced Mediation - part 1", (2008) 158 New Law Journal pp 1525-1526 considers the impact of the move towards enforcing mediation agreements and whether the courts should enforce mediation agreements

"Discussion Required? Report on the Move Towards Enforced Mediation - part 2", (2008) 158 New Law Journal pp 1562-1563 (Lexis Nexis abstract link for Lexis Nexis subscribers) considers the impact of the move towards enforcing mediation agreements and whether the courts should enforce mediation agreements


"A Guide to Employment Law Statutes" 8th ed Chartered Institute of  Personnel and Development 2005 (previous seven editions published as: The Employment Law Checklist) For more information visit: http://www.ipd.co.uk/Bookstore/_catalogue/EmploymentLaw/1843981378.htm

  7th ed IPD 2000, 6th ed 1997, 5th ed 1992 IPM; 4th ed 1990 IPM; 3rd ed 1985 IPM, 2nd ed 1982 IPM, 1st ed 1981 IPM


Employment Law Service - updating 1998-2005. Contributor of recruitment and contracts of employment sections, original editor of and consulting editor to the work. Jordans.


Employment Law Manual - (1987-1990) General Editor of this updating encyclopaedia of Employment Law - Gower.


SOAR'S Solicitors' Practice Sections on Tribunal procedure - Butterworths - updating


Guide to the Wages Act 1986 - co-author dealing with the law - IPM 1987


Statutory Sick Pay Consulting Editor on 2nd Edition - Tolley Publishing 1986


Contracts at Work 1982 IPM 265pp


Labour Law Teaching Manual Holborn Law Tutors 1981 300pp


Contract Case Law Handbook Holborn Law Tutors: 1980 250 pp


Restraint of Trade Clauses Holborn Law Tutors 1980 55pp

Other articles

§     CIPD’s People Management,  IPM's PM+ and IPM Digest - monthly articles on recent employment law developments from 1979 to 1994
§     Industrial Relations News: Society for International Research, London
§     RIBA Practice Bulletin: RIBA, London
§     Company Secretary’s review.




































































At Park Chambers we provide employment tribunal representation, help with compromise agreements and employment law advice for Claimants and respondents in a wide range of areas including: Middlesex, Middx, Berkshire, Berks, Buckinghamshire, Bucks, Surrey, West Sussex, Kent and the South East, London, South West London,  Central London, Greater London, the City, City of London, Addlestone, Ascot, Ashford, Ashtead, Bagshot, Barnes, Bisley, Bookham, Bracknell, Brentford, Brookwood, Burpham, Burrowhill, Byfleet,  Camberley, Cartbridge, Castle Green, Cheapside, Chertsey, Chessington, Clandon, Claygate, Cobham, Chobham, Clonbrook, Cranford, Crawley, Croydon, Datchett, Donkey Town, Downside, Ealing, East  Bedfont, East Clandon, East Croydon, East Horseley, East Molesey, Effingham, Egham, Elmbridge, Englesfield Green, Epsom, Epsom Downs, Eton, Esher, Feltham, Felthamhill, Fetcham,  Gatwick, Gatwick Airport, Great Bookham, Guildford, Halliford,  Ham, Hampton, Hampton Court, Hanworth, Harlington, Hatton, Heathrow, Heathrow Airport, Hersham, Heston, Hook, Horsell, Hounslow, Hythe End, Isleworth, Jacobswell, Kingston, Kingston on Thames, Kingston-on-Thames, Knaphill,  Laleham, Leatherhead, Lightwater, Littleton, Little Bookham, Longcross, Long Ditton, Lower Halliford,  Lyne, Maidenhead, Maiden Rushett, Martyr's Green, Mayford, Merrow, Micleham. Mimbrdge, Molesey, New Haw, New Malden, Ockham, Ottershaw, Oxshott, Pachesham, Pirbright, Pitchplace, Putney, Pyrford, Raynes Park, Richmond, Ripley, Row Town, Saint Margaret's, Saint Margarets, Send, Send Marsh, Sheen, Sheerwater, Shepperton, Slough, Spelthorne, St Margaret's, St Margarets, Staines, Stanwell, Stanwell Moore,  Stoke D'Abernon, Stoughton, Stawberry Hill, Sunbury, Sunninghill, Sunningdale, Surbiton, Sutton Green, Tadworth, Teddington, Thames Ditton, Thorpe, Tolworth, Twickenham, Upper Halliford, Valley End, Virginia Water, Walton, Walton on Thames, Walton-on-Thames, Wandsworth, West Byfleet,  West Clandon, West Drayton, West End, West Horseley, West Humble, West Molesey, Weybridge, Windlesham, Windsor,  Wisley, Woking, Woodham, Worcester Park, Worpleston, Wraysbury, Notting Hill, Ladbroke Grove, Holland Park, Westbourne Grove, Bayswater, Queensway, Kensington, London W2, London W8, London W7, London W10, London W11, London W12. If you need an employment tribunal representative, employment law advice, advice on a compromise agreement or an employment law advisor; if you need   representation at an employment tribunal, an employment lawyer or if you have an employment law problem Park Chambers can help.  If you are looking for an employment solicitor or an employment law solicitor you might also think about trying Park Chambers where you can instruct an employment barrister / employment law barrister under the direct public access provisions. We can help with drafting compromise agreements and  advising on your compromise agreement as well as acting as employment tribunal representatives and offering advice on employment law issues.

Remember we mediate too so you  can find a mediator here! whether you want a workplace mediator an employment mediator, a commercial  mediator or civil mediator. All our mediators are accredited mediators. 

NB: These are the employment law and mediation chambers of Erich Suter often misspelt as Eric Suter, Eric Sutter, Eric Souter, Erik Suter, Erik Souter, Erik Sutter, Eric Suiter, Erik Suiter and occasionally even as  Erich Suiter