Edmonds v Lawson & Anor, Court of Appeal - Civil Division, March 10, 2000, [2000] EWCA Civ 69

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Edmonds v Lawson & Anor, Court of Appeal - Civil Division, March 10, 2000, [2000] EWCA Civ 69

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Case No: QBENF 1999/1019/A2

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF JUDICATURE

COURT OF APPEAL (CIVIL DIVISION)

In the Court of Appeal on appeal from the High Court

of Justice, Queen's Bench Division

Royal Courts of Justice

Strand, London, WC2A 2LL

Friday 10 March 2000

B e f o r e :

LORD CHIEF JUSTICE

Of England and Wales

(Lord Bingham of Cornhill)

LORD JUSTICE PILL

and

LADY JUSTICE HALE

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(Transcript of the Handed Down Judgment of

Smith Bernal Reporting Limited, 180 Fleet Street

London EC4A 2HD

Tel No: 0171 421 4040, Fax No: 0171 831 8838

Official Shorthand Writers to the Court)

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James Goudie QC, Sean Jones and Anya Proops (instructed by the General Council of the Bar) for the defendants

Robin Allen QC and Paul Epstein (instructed by the General Council of the Bar)

for the claimant

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Judgment

As Approved by the Court

Crown Copyright ©

Lord Chief Justice:

1. This is an appeal by the defendants against a decision of Sullivan J made on 24 September 1999 when he held that the claimant, a pupil barrister, was entitled to be paid the national minimum wage during her pupillage.

She brought the proceedings against Mr Michael Lawson QC, the head of the chambers in which she was a pupil, and against two junior members of the chambers, to each of whom she was assigned as a pupil for six months of her 12-month pupillage. Counsel on both sides are instructed by the General Council of the Bar, and the proceedings are devoid of acrimony; but the parties make sharply conflicting submissions on the issues which lie at the heart of this appeal, which are whether there was any contract between the claimant and the members of the chambers where she was a pupil and, if there was, whether it was a contract of employment within the meaning of the National Minimum Wage Act 1998.

3. The claimant, born on 1 November 1968, is now aged 31. She graduated fr...

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