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Mukhtiar Singh enjoys a broad employment and commercial practice with a strong client base in London and Kent. He has a particular focus on cases involving whistleblowing; discrimination; and business and commercial ethics.

What the directories say

Fabulous client-care skills with excellent attention to detail. “ – Employment (London), Legal 500 2022

“Mukhtiar is fantastic. He remains calm and is hard-working. Clients feel at ease with him and his human touch. His analysis of the law is always spot on, he thinks outside the box and judges respect him." "Mukhtiar is very easy to work with. He is very good with clients and personable with them, which goes a long way. He is also technically strong." - Employment (Band 1), Chambers and Partners 2022

“Mukhtiar is very switched on and pragmatic. He is extremely articulate and able to provide complex written advice which is concise, easy to read and perfectly drafted." "Clients feel at ease with Mukhtiar: he has the human touch. His analysis of the law is always spot on, he thinks outside of the box and judges respect him. He is my go-to person." -  Commercial Dispute Resolution (South Eastern), Chambers and Partners 2022.

“Mukhtiar is an absolute star. Concise on paper, brilliantly clear with clients, and thoroughly reliable. His advice is always pragmatic and well researched.” – Employment (Tier 1 South Eastern) Legal 500 2022

"He has superb interpersonal skills, and is very detail-orientated." – Commercial Litigation (South Eastern), Legal 500 2022.

"He is one of my go-to employment law specialists. He is able to quickly understand and break down complicated employment law issues and provide concise advice." - Employment (Band 1), Chambers and Partners 2021

"He has a human and caring touch when dealing with cases. Excellent on the law and his drafting." Employment, Legal 500 2021

"He is very knowledgeable and tactically astute. His client care is exceptional and judges respect him greatly. He is my go-to person for any litigation matter." "He is very thorough and approachable." – Employment, Chambers and Partners 2020

"Brilliant. He was really knowledgeable. He cared about the case and was really dedicated." Employment, Chambers and Partners 2019

"Sources praise him for his personable nature and his ability to handle a diverse range of clients." - Employment, Chambers and Partners 2018

Background

Mukhtiar’s father came to the UK in the 1950s and worked as a labourer in London until retirement age. Mukhtiar had various part-time jobs during primary and secondary education and then enjoyed nearly 25 years’ full-time employment in the public sector since leaving school aged 16.

Prior to successfully completing pupillage in October 2013, Mukhtiar completed his Law degree and Bar qualifications whilst working full-time and starting a family.

Mukhtiar has a particular interest in social mobility at the Bar and has set up the Guru Nanak Social Mobility Scholarship scheme. He is also a Social Mobility Advocate, as part of the Bar Council’s “#IamtheBar” Social Mobility campaign.

Employment and Discrimination Law

Mukhtiar is ranked in employment by Chambers & Partners and the Legal 500. His depth of knowledge of employment law, coupled with over twenty-five years’ experience in employment relations, enables him to provide sound advice and practical solutions.

Mukhtiar has a particular interest in whistleblowing and discrimination disputes. Cases involving financial services and healthcare workers often call upon his experience with regulatory matters. He has dealt with numerous cases involving the effects of Covid-19, including furlough, redundancy and health & safety detriment and dismissal.

He is instructed in cases that overlap with his commercial practice, including shareholder prejudice; breach of director duties; breach of confidentiality; restraint of trade; partnership disputes; and wages claims, in particular bonuses.

Although his practice is predominantly Claimant-focussed, he acts for ethical employers who have a genuine motivation to achieve workplace equality and fairness. In addition to advice and representation, he is able to use his 23 years’ experience as a detective inspective to conduct workplace investigations and to mediate workplace disputes.

Mukhtiar has represented police staff and officers in numerous claims including whistleblowing, harassment and discrimination (race, religion, sex and disability).

Mukhtiar is a voluntary member of the Legal Support Network for Protect, the leading whistleblowing charity, and a member of its Advisory Council.  He provides advice and representation, particularly on complex cases and interventions; and advises and shares good practice in order to extend and reform whistleblowing law.

NOTABLE CASES

  • Instructed by two Claimants for a 22-day hearing against a leading European Bank and a number of individual workers. The claims included race and sex discrimination; whistleblowing; and Equal Pay (2022). 

  • Represented a Claimant for a 12-day racial harassment, victimisation and dismissal claim against a high-profile charity. The client, whose case settled favourably, alleged she was gaslighted following her allegations of discrimination which included tokenism (2021).

  • 5-day whistleblowing case. Acted for a Claimant whistleblower (making serious allegations of fraud) against a multinational technology corporation. The client had previously been advised elsewhere that his case had poor prospects, but the case settled favourably shortly before the final hearing (2021). 

  • Acted for a Respondent charity in a claim involving working time, non-payment of wages and illegality (2021).

  • Mehdinejad v Royal Mail Case No: 2204261/2019 (2020). Disability harassment claim, including an award of aggravated damages, where the claimant suffered from ADHD, dyslexia and dyspraxia. The client said Mukhtiar “understood my needs as a disabled claimant… this was critical to success”. Press coverage can be found here.

  • 7-day unfair dismissal claim on behalf of a Claimant junior trader who had been dismissed by a leading global bank following allegations of market manipulation (spoofing) (2020).

  • Sethi v Elements Personnel Services Ltd Case no. 2300234/2018 (2019). Successfully argued that the no-beard policy of a recruitment agency, which provided staff to 5-star hotels in London, was indirect religious discrimination as it put Sikhs at a particular disadvantage. The judgment can be read here.

  • Parkin v Leeds City Council UKEAT/0178/19 (2019). Successfully appealed on two grounds that allegations of sex discrimination and harassment should not have been struck out either as there being no prospect of success or by failing to apply the two-part test of Hasan v Tesco Stores. The judgment is noteworthy as to the approach to multiple discrimination claims with lengthy pleadings and it can be read here.

  • A 7-day religious harassment and victimisation claim (2019). Successfully argued that a Muslim employee was subject to religious harassment the day following the Manchester terrorist attack at the Ariana Grande concert and was victimised after he raised a complaint. The judgment can be read here.

  • Unfair/wrongful dismissal dispute involving a city trader (2018). The central issue was the culture of the (well-known investment) bank at the time, including the prevalence of the alleged misconduct. The case involved a consideration of how a settlement, including a reference, could be achieved in light of the Senior Managers Regime.

  • A 3-day county court case for unpaid pay with counterclaims for fraud and breach of post-termination restrictive covenants (2018). Having been instructed for 2 years on a direct public access basis, successfully settled on the first day of trial securing the full value of the claim and costs.

  • 4-day unfair dismissal case brought by a director-employee involving allegations of financial irregularity and a breach of fiduciary duties (2018).

  • A county court claim for a director’s payment in lieu of notice which had been withheld after the employer alleged to have subsequently discovered breaches of fiduciary duties (2018).

  • 4-day disability discrimination case involving harassment because the employee had a hearing impairment. 3-day claim including age discrimination, detriment, unfair dismissal and holiday pay. Successfully argued that a rolled-up holiday pay clause was a sham (2017).

  • Acting pro-bono, successfully negotiated at remedies stage a six-figure settlement for a Claimant who had established that her employer had subjected her to victimisation and race discrimination (2017).

  • A county court claim involving the recoverability of finder’s fees and an allegation of breach of post-termination restrictions (2017).

  • An equal pay case, including sex and pregnancy discrimination, involving city bonus schemes. A substantial settlement was obtained on behalf of the client (2016).

  • A whistleblowing case involving a senior manager brought against a leading investment bank (2016).

  • 8-day whistleblowing and unfair dismissal claim brought by a nurse, where a key issue was the meaning of “in the public interest” as inserted by s.17 of the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act (2015).

  • Unfair dismissal and unpaid holiday case. Successfully argued that a construction worker under a written “self-employed” contract was an employee (2015).

Commercial

Mukhtiar’s commercial practice involves a broad spectrum of commercial law: contract disputes; insolvency; professional negligence; and company and partnership law. Large parts of his commercial practice overlap with employment disputes particularly restraint of trade, confidential information and director/shareholder disputes.

He has experience of a number of director/shareholder disputes involving allegations of fraud; dishonest assistance; unfair prejudice; and breach of fiduciary duties. Mukhtiar has advised on contractual disputes arising from Covid-19 relating to the interpretation of force majeure clauses and frustration.

Mukhtiar undertakes some traditional Chancery work for existing clients, including contested probate and trust of land disputes.

NOTABLE CASES

  • Represented a vulnerable claimant in a breach of contract claim brought against a builder who undertook a number of projects at her property, without completing any and yet continued demanding payments. The Claimant obtained an order of over £65,000 plus indemnity costs (Central London County Court 2022).

  • Acted on behalf of one of the hundreds of vulnerable (new to the UK) victims of mis-sold mortgages by Dharam Prakash Gopee (through his various companies including Barons Bridge Finance). An order was obtained removing the charge on various grounds, which included that the mortgage was provided by an unauthorised lender under section 40 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974 and were not enforceable without OFT approval or order of the court (Central London County Court 2021). Mukhtiar has acted in similar cases in the past, instructed by DSD law in Kent. News coverage about the prosecution brought against Mr Gopee can be found here and details of a confiscation order totalling £5million here.

  • Represented professional landlords in a dispute against their service company and insurer following significant damage and loss (circa £300,00) caused by a burst pipe (2021).

  • Acted on behalf of a vulnerable individual who had loaned circa £400,000 to two individuals who subsequently denied the existence of the loans and one defendant denied agency making counter-allegations including fraud. The client successfully recovered the capital sum, interest and costs following settlement on the first day of a trial conducted by Zoom (2020).

  • Acted on behalf of a UK company who brought a breach of contract claim against a US company it had contracted with to provide sales and marketing. The key issue was of contractual interpretation, particularly whether an obligation to provide notice of termination could be circumvented by exercising a right not to provide work. The Claimant obtained a favourable settlement following lengthy litigation (2019).

  • Without notice injunction (settled on the return date). Successfully restrained the winding up of a small football club where there was a genuine dispute over the alleged debt for development work carried out at the ground. The defence included an alleged non-disclosed conflict of interest in the construction company by the club’s former finance director (2018).

  • An extended fast-track trial regarding unpaid private school fees. The case involved the applicability of the Consumer Credit Act 1974 and counterclaims regarding the school’s representations and performance (2018).

  • C v B [2016] EWHC 3567 (QB): appeal against the striking out, on limitation grounds, of a counterclaim to a possession claim for knowing assistance to a breach of trust involving secured loans used to invest in a Ponzi scheme. Mr. Justice Mitting stated, “She is now represented on a Direct Access basis by Mr. Mukhtiar Singh who has presented her case with moderation and realism. I am grateful to him, as she should be as well”.

  • Acted on behalf of a specialist environmental clearance company who undertook work as part of the development of a petrol station to residential properties. The Defendants ran defences involving privity and agency, but ultimately conceded on the day of trial (2017).

  • Acted on behalf of the Defendant denying the existence of a number of loans; the Claimant withdrew his claim at the end of the first day of trial (2017).

  • On the day of trial, successfully negotiated settlement in a claim under s.14 of the Sale of Goods Act 1979, for rescission and damages involving the purchase of a defective vehicle (2017).

  • Professional negligence dispute against a solicitor acting for an elderly purchaser of a lifetime lease who alleged she believed she was obtaining the freehold title (2017).

  • Represented an ex-director of two sister companies (one UK and one US) in a breach of contracts claim where the companies had relied upon respective Payment In Lieu of Notice clauses following termination, but subsequently refused to pay citing breach of fiduciary duties and fraud allegedly subsequently discovered.

  • Settled favourably following mediation (2016).

  • 4-day multi-track trial involving an alleged loan of £200,000 to a sibling; successfully defended the case and obtained costs on an indemnity basis (2016).

  • 4-day multi-track trial involving claims and counterclaims for breach of contract and unjust enrichment, where the dispute was over the completion of renovation works and a failure to execute a commercial lease (2016).

  • 2-day multi-track trial involving a substantial loan and a counterclaim for breach of a partnership agreement, which thereafter resulted in protracted enforcement proceedings (2016).

  • Successfully obtained summary judgment on behalf of the Claimant in a dispute against guarantor Defendants concerning a failed overseas investment (2016).

  • Successful application, with costs, to set aside default judgment entered in favour of a leading parking charges enforcement company for breach of contract. Argued implied terms could be incorporated thus the Defendant had a real prospect of defending the claim (2015).

Professional Regulation

Mukhtiar accepts instructions for professional discipline cases and applies his robust advocacy skills to his practical awareness. He has a good understanding of the Senior Managers and Certification Regime as employment cases involving the financial services sector often have a regulatory aspect.

NOTABLE CASES

  • Mukhtiar represented a teacher in an appeal against the decision by an examinations regulator (the AQA) to suspend a teacher for improper assistance to students.

  • He has been instructed via Direct Public Access and by the Royal College of Nursing to represent nurses and has been instructed for lengthy hearings involving allegation of dishonesty.

  • He has appeared in a number of hearings before the General Optical Council. He has experience of an appeal to the High Court against a decision of the General Optical Council.

  • Mukhtiar defended a practitioner in suitability proceedings brought by NHS England. The practitioner faced serious probity allegations, akin to fraud. The proceedings raised legal issues regarding the interpretation of the National Health Service (Performers Lists) Regulations 2013; and the legal effect of breaches of the removal procedures.

  • He represented a police officer in a four-day hearing, where the officer faced allegations of racism and sexism. A key issue was which Home Office guidance was applicable.

Mediation

Mukhtiar was called to the Bar in 2011 having previously enjoyed 23 years as an experienced police detective inspector, which provided him with significant experience with dispute resolution and management. He strongly believes that the skills of mediation can be applied to any dispute or conflict. In his early years of practice, he enjoyed a broad spectrum of litigation cases and disputes. He is ranked in Chambers & Partners and the Legal 500 directories both in employment and commercial dispute resolution. He trained as a mediator during the Covid 19 pandemic and is confident and calm using Zoom. His experience extends beyond all types of employment disputes including discrimination and whistleblowing to the following areas:

  • Professional negligence claims against solicitors, accountants and other professionals.

  • Company disputes, in particular, unfair prejudice petitions and shareholder activism; directors’ duties and conflicts; and buyouts.

  • Property/Real Estate/Land, in particular

    • Landlord and tenant disputes, Including possession, disrepair and enfranchisement.

    • Neighbour disputes, including boundary disputes, trespass, nuisance, easements and adverse possession.

    • Party wall disputes.

    • Trust of Land cases, with significant experience with disputes involving cohabitees and family members.

  • Probate disputes, including disputes over the validity of a Will; capacity; knowledge and approval; undue influence; fraud; breach of executors’ duties; replacing executors; and family disputes over the distribution of inheritance.

  • Commercial disputes including contractual disputes; partnerships; joint ventures; sale and supply of goods and services; rights of third parties; agency; consumer rights; disputes over building work; education fees; and force majeure/frustration (particularly during the Covid 19 pandemic).

Mukhtiar is interested in developing a mediation practice also in the area of education, particularly special education needs. He is one of the Bar Council’s inaugural Social Mobility Advocates and since 2018, he runs and funds the Guru Nanak Social Mobility scholarships (for more information click here). For information about Mukhtiar’s pro bono work click here.