Ellie Reeves – Barrister


Ellie talks about her work as an employment rights lawyer and about how the law should change to give employees more rights and work and better access to justice.

Notable cases:

The Construction Industry Vetting Information Group Litigation (blacklisting): Represented 100+ construction workers in High Court group litigation.

Smith & others v Jackson Lloyd & Mears: Multi-party TUPE case in the Employment Appeals Tribunal which established when TUPE could apply in the context of a share transfer.

Williams & others v British Airways: Day to day running of the claim in the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court (up to referral to the ECJ) in which we argued that various allowances should be included in the calculation of airline pilots holiday pay.

Fairshare: Friendly litigation between Unite the Union and TfL to establish whether it was lawful to deduct a sum from a non-union member’s wages to cover the cost of collective bargaining.

Gate Gourmet: Involved in advising hundreds of airline catering staff in relation to settlement after they were dismissed for taking unauthorised industrial action.

Career History:

  • Barrister: Monaco Solicitors. 2016
  • Salaried Partner: OH Parsons LLPs. 2011 – 2016
  • Senior Executive Solicitor: Thompsons Solictors. 2007 – 2011
  • Fee Earner: OH Parsons & Partners. 2005 – 2007
  • Pupillage: 12 Kings Bench Walk. 2004 – 2005

Ellie Reeves – Lawyer’s Biography:

I qualified as barrister over a decade ago and have specialised in employment law ever since. I have always been passionate about my work and about representing employees who often have far fewer resources at their disposal than their employer.

I have experience of providing comprehensive advice on a range of employment law issues, including unfair dismissal, multi-party TUPE issues, collective redundancies, discrimination and whistleblowing. As an experienced litigator, I have prepared complex discrimination claims for lengthy Employment Tribunal hearings. However, wherever possible, I work tirelessly to reach cost-effective settlement for my clients.

I have successfully represented employees against major companies such as British Airways, Virgin, Balfour Beatty, Mears PLC and Swissport. I have a particular interest in pregnancy and sex discrimination claims, as well as cases involving work/life balance.

An experienced employment rights lawyer, I was called to the Bar in 2004 and I have worked as an employment rights lawyer for over a decade. After completing my pupillage in chambers, I started my career at OH Parsons, before moving to Thompsons Solicitors.

I returned to OH Parsons where I became a salaried partner / head of department. I had responsibility for the day to day running of the employment department including supervising junior staff, allocating work and liaising with union clients as well as running a substantial caseload.

I enjoy troubleshooting and finding practical solutions to complex legal problems. I have a track record of getting things done and delivering tangible results for clients. I am passionate about the work that I do and the sense of achievement that comes from getting compensation for clients often against employers with greater resources at their disposal.

Advisory Work:

I have extensive experience of providing detailed, comprehensive advice on a range of employment law issues, including unfair dismissal, multi-party TUPE issues, collective redundancies, discrimination and whistleblowing. I have run significant caseloads of 70+ files and have managed the work by ensuring that on each file detailed advice has been provided from the outset, which avoids difficulties further down the line. Running a large caseload means you have to work efficiently. I am able to make quick but accurate decisions on files after proper legal analysis and then communicate this to the client in an easy to understand way.

I have considerable experience of advising in relation to settlement agreements, including attending workplaces to advise a large number of the workforce during the course of one day or over several days.


I am an experienced litigator. I have prepared complex discrimination claims for lengthy Employment Tribunal hearings, dealing with every aspect of the claim including drafting and issuing Tribunal claims, preparing lists of documents, witness statements, schedules of loss and lists of issues.

I have significant experience of High Court litigation. I represented UCATT (the construction workers’ union) in the Construction Industry Vetting Information Group Litigation (blacklisting). I was acting for over 100 construction workers against some of the UK’s leading construction companies in complex litigation involving issues of privacy law, data protection, conspiracy and defamation.

I also represented over 3000 airline pilots in a claim for holiday pay against British Airways. I prepared all aspects the claim for the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court. Ultimately the pilots were successful in arguing that various allowances should be included in the calculation of their holiday pay, which has had a huge impact on the airline industry.


The introduction of employment tribunal fees means that now more than ever there is an incentive to settle claims before the start of proceedings. I am an experienced negotiator. I have previously represented a large group of international airline staff, based in Hong Kong, who were forced to retire early. The claim was run all the way to the Supreme Court on a preliminary issue concerning jurisdiction. I negotiated a settlement package for the cabin crew which resulted in them all being re-instated, along with a compensation package of over one million pounds.

Managing client expectations is key to successful negotiations. Valuing a claim at an early stage, explaining risks, carrying out a cost/benefit analysis of litigation and gaining client trust are crucial in ensuring that the client has a realistic expectation about what can be achieved.

Communication and advocacy:

I am an experienced advocate and having trained at the bar I spent the early part of my career in and out of Court and Tribunals. More recently I have undertaken advocacy at preliminary hearings and particularly enjoy representing clients in judicial mediation, where I have negotiated a significant settlement package in a sensitive case involving a transgender woman.

I have excellent relationships with clients and I believe that communication is at the heart of that – being at the other end of a phone or email and giving easy to understand advice free from legal jargon. It is important that clients feel that they have a supportive and sympathetic lawyer by their side, as well as someone who will get things done.

Training and development:

I have regularly written and delivered employment law training courses for clients and have given seminars at the Institute of Employment Rights.

I have also responded to a range of government consultations on behalf of clients, including the consultations on tribunal fees, rights for shares and TUPE reform. I have also had regular legal columns in trade union publications which have gone out to thousands of people.

Other interests:

I served on the Labour Party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) for a decade between 2006 – 2016. During that time I chaired the Labour Party’s Home Affairs Policy Commission which dealt with issues such as access to justice. I am currently the Vice Chair of the London Labour Party.

I have a strong interest in International Workers Rights. I have been on delegations to Colombia and Qatar to investigate and raise awareness about the conditions facing workers there.

Outside of law and politics I enjoy travelling and in particular spending time in Italy. I regularly go to the gym and I also enjoy bike rides. I am married to John Cryer MP and we have a one-year-old son, Albert.



Monaco Solicitors helped my partner gain a much better settlement figure from his employer when their original offer was extremely low. It was good to know that there was someone working on your behalf that had sound legal knowledge of dealing with settlement agreements and who was available to talk when we had concerns.

Lawson R.

Extremely helpful

At a very difficult time for me, I received extremely helpful and sympathetic assistance from Monaco Solicitors. I would definitely recommend them if you have any issues with your employer which require legal assistance.

Amanda H.

Very Professional

Monaco Solicitors were excellent. From start to finish I felt in safe hands. They negotiated a much better deal than I expected and I would certainly use them for any future employment issues I have.

Bejamin L.

Great legal advice and service

Monaco Solicitors guided me through a difficult time and got me out the other side in a much better place.

Liam C.

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