Employment & Discrimination

Jane practises predominantly in employment and discrimination law. Jane is instructed to represent claimants (including Trade Union backed claimants) and counts local authorities, health authorities and “blue chip” companies amongst her respondent clients. She has been instructed in a number of high profile discrimination cases (see below). She is the head of the employment group at Trinity Chambers.

Administrative & Public Law

Jane appeared for the North East Group of solicitors, intervenors in the high profile case of The Law Society v Legal Services Commission [2010] EWHC 2550 (Admin), an application for judicial review of the 2010 competitive tendering process for the provision of publicly funded family law services conducted by the LSC. The Administrative Court held that the tendering process was irrational, unfair and arbitrary due to the failure to indicate clearly, in advance, the criteria to be met to win contracts.

Jane has also advised in cases involving closure of local authority residential homes.

Education Law

Jane has also advised in cases involving schools admissions and exclusions.  Her expertise in discrimination law places her at a particular advantage in dealing with disability discrimination in the context of education, as does her knowledge and experience of  public and education law. She has appeared for both the local authority and parents in such cases.


  • Appointed to sit as a judge in the Employment Tribunals in 2021
  • Fee-paid judge, First-tier Tribunal, Social Entitlement Chamber, England
  • Formerly Equality and Human Rights Commission Preferred Panel of Counsel


  • Employment Law Bar Association
  • Industrial Law Society
  • Association of Regulatory and Disciplinary Lawyers 


Jane regularly lectures to solicitors on various employment law topics including redundancy, discrimination, equal pay and the Equality Act. Jane has also delivered seminars in relation to education law with a particular focus on discrimination.


  • B.A. , M.Sc. (Industrial Relations, LSE)
  • Harmsworth Award - Middle Temple


Worked for a national employers organisation advising on employment law, particularly equalities issues and transfers of undertakings.

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Lead Employment Clerk & Civil Clerk

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  • "Jane is very experienced." "Jane is very good in all aspects of employment law work"

    Employment, Chambers & Partners 2024

  • "A strong advocate with good commercial vision"

    Employment, Chambers UK 2023

  • "Jane is an outstanding individual who acts with great empathy when needed. She demonstrates professionalism and tenacity and provides balanced, realistic legal advice. Ranked: Tier 1 "

    Employment, Legal 500 2023

  • "She has a calm and persuasive manner with judges and provides excellent written submissions"

    Employment, Chambers & Partners 2022

  • "In tribunal, she is tenacious in all aspects of preparation, presentation and cross-examination"

    Legal 500 2021

  • "Represents a diverse range of clients including local and health authorities, blue-chip companies and individuals, and offers specialist expertise in discrimination cases. She also handles unfair dismissal and whistle-blowing claims". "Excellent at getting to grips with complex cases, very responsive and knowledgeable, and extremely hard-working and results-oriented." "Outstanding grasp of detail; she is tactically astute and very approachable"

    Chambers & Partners 2021

  • "She is very experienced and gets to grips with issues easily." "She has a really good level of knowledge"

    Chambers & Partners 2020

  • "She combines in-depth knowledge of employment law and exemplary forensic skills"

    Legal 500 2020

  • "She is very good on detail. You know she will always be well prepared." "She has a very good reputation"

    Chambers & Partners 2019

  • "Highly experienced in discrimination cases"

    Legal 500 2019

  • "She's quite highly sought after, exceptionally knowledgeable and great with clients. She has a very good rapport with judges and a very good way of advocating." "I was struck by her very high level of preparedness"

    Chambers UK 2018

  • "She has a wealth of experience and sharp analytical skills"

    Legal 500 2017

  • "Represents a diverse range of clients including local and health authorities, blue-chip companies and individuals, and offers specialist expertise in equal pay and discrimination cases.” "Always been known for her excellent standard of practice." "Her communication with clients is excellent and having access to such a renowned counsel helps: since she's so frequently in the courts, she is a known entity"

    Chambers & Partners 2017

  • "Experienced in equal pay and discrimination cases"

    Legal 500 2016

  • "She's very skilled and a quietly persuasive advocate"

    Chambers & Partners 2016

  • "She is clear in both her advice and advocacy"

    Legal 500 2015

  • "is "top-drawer" for equal pay and discrimination cases"

    Who's Who Legal UK Bar 2015 - Labour and Employment

  • ""Heads the set's employment practice. She regularly advises public sector respondents, and demonstrates particular expertise in discrimination and equal pay matters. She also handles claimant work relating to trade union activities and disability claims. "She has incredible attention to detail and is completely thorough. She works really hard, doesn't miss a thing and you know that she is going to go all out for you.""

    Chambers & Partners 2015

  • "Reassures clients through her manner and the thoroughness of her preparation"

    Legal 500 2014

  • "Has focused her practice entirely on employment and discrimination law. She is frequently instructed on behalf of claimants, and acts for a range of clients including local authorities and NHS trusts"

    Chambers & Partners 2014

  • "excellent at identifying the relevant issues from a morass of information"

    Legal 500 2013

  • "Jane Callan, who heads the employment group at Trinity Chambers, has won acclaim for her "exemplary ability to grasp the salient issues" in a case, and for her strength at producing "a clear, concise and well-constructed argument"

    Chambers & Partners 2013

  • "tenacious in cross-examination"

    Legal 500 2012

  • "highly experienced and good on her feet." She acts for a mixed bag of respondents and claimants, and has a focus on discrimination and equal pay cases"

    Chambers & Partners 2012

  • "technically superb and has an excellent grasp of the detail"

    Chambers & Partners 2011

  • "Jane Callan is an experienced employment junior specialising in discrimination and TUPE matters"

    Legal 500 2010

  • "Jane Callan of Trinity Chambers has cultivated a reputation as an "employment star" having trained for the Bar after ten years working as an employment law adviser in a national employers' organisation. She impresses clients with her authoritative approach, proving successful in TUPE, discrimination and equal pay cases"

    Chambers & Partners 2010

  • "Class act Jane Callan impresses clients with her “versatility and attention to detail"

    Chambers & Partners 2009

  • "Sources appreciate the 'professional and cosy bedside manner' of the 'user friendly' Jane Callan. The contentious side of her practice includes disability, sex discrimination and equal pay issues, whilst she has also offered advice to large local authorities on restructuring plans"

    Chambers & Partners 2008

  • "an employment star"

    Legal 500 2007

Ms Katherine O’Donnell v Times Newspapers Ltd, Edinburgh Employment Tribunal 4107419/2018 - successfully acting for The Times following high profile claim by transgender former journalist that she was the victim of discrimination and unfair dismissal.

XC Trains Ltd v D and others [2016] IRLR 748, UKEAT - represented the Trade Union and named respondents in an appeal where the issue was whether a PCP was a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim in a case involving indirect sex discrimination arising from duty rosters.

Northumberland CC v Trebillcock UKEAT/0527/12 - appeared for the appellant local authority in a case involving withdrawal, for the purposes of Employment Tribunal Rule 25, a claim of maternity discrimination

Sandford v Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, UKEAT/0324/12 - appeal against a finding of a fair dismissal in the context of a reorganisation leading to changes in employment contracts.

Doyle v Chief Constable of Northumbria, UKEAT/0576/11 - appeal against non-payment of sick pay under the Police Force's attendance management policy in the context of disability discrimination.

South Tyneside Council v Ward [2011] UKEAT/358/10, LTL 17/08/11 - a case involving the correct test to apply to evaluating a dismissal by notice where it was held by the EAT that events between the giving of notice and its expiry may affect the overall question of fairness, such that that issue should not be decided solely on the facts as at the date notice was given.

Newcastle City Council v Marsden [2010] ICR 743, UKEAT - appeared for the claimant. Key issue was the scope of paragraph 34(3)(e) of the Employment Tribunals' rules. The case was heard by Underhill J, President of the EAT.

Hartlepool Borough Council and others v Llewellyn and others [2009] IRLR 796, UKEAT (combined case) – appeared for Middlesbrough BC. Case involved the ability of males to bring contingent “piggyback” equal pay claims using successful females as comparators.

Surtees v Middlesbrough Borough Council [2008] UKEAT/0282/08 - appeared for Middlesbrough BC in a case concerning disclosure of privileged material.

Redcar and Cleveland Council and others v Bainbridge and others, [2008] IRLR 776 EWCA – (combined case) appeared for Middlesbrough BC. Issues included protection and separate collective bargaining genuine material factor defences in long-running equal pay litigation affecting local government.

Middlesbrough Borough Council v Surtees (No. 2) [2007] IRLR 981, UKEAT – appeared for Middlesbrough BC. Issue was the ability of an Employment Tribunal to allow a party to adduce an expert’s report in equal value proceedings.

Middlesbrough Borough Council v Surtees [2007] IRLR 869, UKEAT – appeared for Middlesbrough BC. Issues as above in combined case of Bainbridge

Middlesbrough Borough Council v Morgan [2005] EWCA Civ 1432 – appeared for Middlesbrough BC in equal pay case involving school based staff. Key issue was whether the EAT had erred in finding that an employment tribunal had insufficient material upon which to reach a conclusion that a claimant had failed to establish that a male was a comparable employee for the purposes of the evaluating like work under the Equal Pay Act 1970.

Vento v Chief Constable of West Yorkshire [2003] IRLR 102 . EWCA – appeared for claimant. Case established the Vento guidelines in assessing injury to feelings in discrimination cases.

Chief Constable of West Yorkshire v Vento [2001] IRLR 124, UKEAT – appeared for claimant. Issue was the evidential material which could be used to construct a valid hypothetical comparator in a sex discrimination case.