Employment Equality & Discrimination Law

Dispute resolution & mediation

We provide four services which can assist in resolving disputes without litigation: investigation, representation, decision making and mediation. Drawing on years of experience of attacking, defending and conducting internal processes, River Chambers is ideally placed to deliver best outcomes across these service areas.


As employment law becomes ever more complex, and the demands on employers increase significantly, our investigation service provides real benefits to clients.  A fair and thorough investigation is a key element of sound decision making, and assists in guarding against litigation in the future.  

When an employer finds that conducting a grievance or disciplinary investigation internally is inappropriate or time consuming, we can produce a balanced and structured investigation report on their behalf.  We have experience in doing so for Local Authorities and large multi national corporations. Our service is particularly effective where senior personnel might be called upon to undertake a time consuming investigation at short notice.  There are also benefits for smaller employers, particularly those who lack their own HR function, as our investigation expertise allows the business to focus on day to day matters, rather than become embroiled in a lengthy investigative process.  Through our experience we conduct fair and thorough investigations and produce structured reports for decision makers.  Our reports are compliant with the relevant legal landscape, produced in a format which is readily intelligible to an employment tribunal, and withstand scrutiny.


Rights of representation within internal processes are developing swiftly, particularly in the public sector and in circumstances where careers may be in jeopardy.  Specialist representation can assist in maintaining working relationships and reputations, while maximising the prospects of any potential future litigation.  In a dispute with multiple witnesses, complex issues, or where your voice is not being heard, an experienced advocate can now assist.

The Court of Appeal has recently held that the right to legal representation is engaged where there is a sufficient connection between internal processes and future restrictions on the employee working.  An employee facing a ban from their career could benefit.  The Court of Appeal recently held in Edwards v Chesterfield Royal Hospital NHS Foundation Trust [2010] EWCA Civ 571 that where an employee is dismissed wrongfully, damages are recoverable at large, and are not restricted to contractual notice periods.  Our current awareness of legal issues such as these affords great advantage during internal processes and strategic benefits in the event that future litigation cannot be avoided.  We have particular expertise in this area and often represent medical professionals before regulatory bodies.  We understand the significance of maintaining professional reputations and provide a discrete and effective service.    


Employers can benefit from our experience and expertise in a decision making capacity.  From small family businesses to larger companies and public bodies, outsourced expertise can provide cost effective options, deal with technical or legal issues which arise, and ensure compliance with employment law principles.

Employers sometimes have difficulty in finding an appropriate decision maker for disciplinary or grievance processes.  Taking managers out of the business to deal with hearings may be impractical, or there may be an insufficient number of appropriate decision makers for this purpose.  There are also occasions where an external decision maker can assist in providing and demonstrating independence in complex and sensitive matters.  

Through our years of practical experience in adjudication and practice we are well placed to conduct hearings and act in a decision making capacity. We deliver fair outcomes which withstand scrutiny in the event that litigation cannot be avoided.  From small family businesses to larger companies and public bodies, outsourced expertise can provide cost effective options, deal with technical or legal issues which arise, and ensure compliance with employment law principles.

We understand the legal landscape, the latest guidance from case law, ACAS Codes and Guidance to ensure a lawful approach.  We deal confidently with “awkward situations” and demonstrate to the participants an appropriate level of independence.  In an appeal function we are also able to identify and remedy any procedural errors.  In an era where there are potential increases in compensation of up to 25% for unreasonable failure to follow certain procedural safeguards, our decision making can provide added value.       


We are well placed to support employers using their internal procedures or our national external mediation service. All mediators are appropriately qualified and possess an exceptional combination of practical industrial experience, specialist employment law knowledge and formal adjudication in employment law matters. Through mediation disputes can be resolved without resorting to litigation, with associated benefits in terms of costs, working relationships and allowing business to get on with business.

For further information about our dispute resolution services, please get in contact

Discretely resolving disputes without litigation