Sarah Bowen

Year of Call: 2006
Email Address:
Telephone: 0117 928 1520

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Employment and discrimination

Sarah Bowen is an employment law specialist, regularly representing both Claimants and Respondents at pre-hearing reviews, case management discussions, judicial mediations, remedy hearings and final hearings in all areas of employment law.

In particular, Sarah is regularly instructed in actions involving complex legal issues and technical arguments. Sarah is well regarded for her client skills and making her clients feel at ease, as well as her ability to grasp the issues and provide robust and practical advice. She endeavours to resolve claims prior to final hearing wherever possible.

Sarah has extensive experience acting in cases involving; unfair dismissal, constructive dismissal, wrongful dismissal and breach of contract claims. She advises a broad range of clients, including government departments, the police force, local authorities, civil service and educational institutes.

Sarah has a particular interest in discrimination cases, with specific experience of representing clients in matters involving allegations of; sex (including pregnancy-related), race, religion/belief, age and disability. Sarah has also been instructed in actions involving claims of discrimination made by those other than employees under the provisions of the Equality Act 2010.

Prior to joining the independent Bar Sarah was employed as an in house employment advocate for a national law firm. This background gives her a unique understanding of the challenges that solicitors face on a daily basis.

Recent experience 
Acted for a national children’s charity where it was argued that the claimant’s employment status was that of a volunteer.
Advising and representing a large organisation vulnerable to the risk of class action, and successfully negotiated settlement ahead of final hearing.
Advising on a complex constructive dismissal case involving allegations of systematic management failures spanning over a period of years.
Representing a claimant employed in the aerospace industry in a 4 day claim for constructive unfair dismissal argued on the basis of the last straw doctrine.
Acting for a large Educational Institute in a three day PHR to strike out the Claimant’s claims - one of seven educational institutions responding to almost identical allegations of direct and indirect discrimination arising out of job applications.
Acting for an international charity in a complex application to dismiss six discrimination and contractual claims, on the grounds of non-compliance with an unless order; time limits and arguing that the claims had no prospect of success.
Representing a University defending five claims of unlawful deduction of wages, following an attempt to reduce the salary of their administration staff. This case involved complex issues surrounding collective agreements and balancing the risks of triggering a class action by a pool of one hundred affected members of staff.
Representing a claimant dental nurse in a five-day hearing involving allegations of sex discrimination, pregnancy-related discrimination and unfair dismissal.
Representing a large food manufacturer who was responding to a claim for unfair dismissal and unlawful deduction of wages where the Claimant’s claim was ultimately found to be out of time.
Acting for a Claimant employed in the care industry in a claim for constructive unfair dismissal on the basis that the Respondent had ineptly handled her disciplinary procedure.
Representing a national restaurant chain that was defending a claim by a live-in employee for unlawful deduction of wages and a breach of the Working Time Regulations (in work breaks, daily rest breaks and weekly hours).
Acting for a Claimant that had resigned from her employment at a local authority on the basis of racially motivated bullying and harassment by another member of staff.

Sarah has conducted employment law workshops including for ACAS and training with other members of 3PB’s employment law team.


  • 27th Jul 2017

    The Tribunal Fees Order is unlawful and discriminatory.

    3PB Employment barrister Sarah Bowen reviews the Supreme Court’s landmark decision in R (on the application of UNISON) v Lord Chancellor [2017] UKSC 51 that Tribunal fees are unlawful and discriminatory and considers what might happen next!

    View Publication
  • 22nd May 2017

    3PB Employment barrister Sarah Bowen provides a case law update covering the past month. Sarah's update includes: Supreme Court overturns the Court of Appeal and provides clarity on Indirect Discrimination in two cases: Essop and others v Home Office (UK Border Agency) and Naeem v Secretary of State for Justice [2017] UKSC 27; EAT refuses to apply and contradicts previous EAT authority (Agarwal v Cardiff University, Cardiff and Vale University Local Health Board UKEAT/0210/16/RD (22 March 2017)) in relation to the Tribunal's jurisdiction to construe contracts of employment: Weatherilt v Cathay Pacific Airways Limited UKEAT/0333/16/RN (25 April 2017) and Multiple choice test amounts to indirect discrimination: Government Legal Service v Brookes UKEAT/0302/16/RN

    View Publication


Sarah is recommended by the Legal 500 Bar Directory 2016 for her expertise in the London Bar.

Employment – Leading juniors
'Sarah Bowen - She understands the demands placed upon solicitors and the limitations they sometimes have to work within.'

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Academic qualifications

The College of Law, London
Bar Vocational Course (VC)

The College of Law
G. Dip. Law

University of Leicester
BA (Hons) History, 2:1

Professional bodies

  • Discrimination Law Association
  • Employment Law Bar Association (ELBA)
  • Employment Lawyers Association
  • Industrial Law Society

Direct Access

Sarah Bowen is qualified to accept instructions directly from members of the public and professional clients under the Direct Public Access scheme.

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