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Josephine Van Lierop Principal Lawyer, Employment Law

Experience Profile

Josephine is a principal lawyer and head of the employment law team at Slater and Gordon Lawyers in Edinburgh.

She qualified as a barrister and solicitor in New Zealand in 2002 and qualified in the UK as a solicitor in 2010 and so has a number of years' experience working across different jurisdictions. Josephine is a discrimination expert and has experience acting for whistleblowers, particularly senior executives in the City, and across other organisations, including in the public and voluntary sectors.  Josephine has conducted a number of high value settlements in these areas as well as successfully litigated claims in the Employment Tribunals.

Josephine was recently invited by the Franco British Lawyers Society Limited and Queen Mary University of London in Paris to speak to their delegates on whistleblowing protections within the UK. She regularly appears on TV and radio providing advice and expert commentary in respect of employment issues in the media.

She recently secured an award of over £386,500 in damages the London Central Employment Tribunal for sex discrimination, maternity discrimination, and constructive dismissal for her client in the matter of J Humphryes v Yoo Limited & Others [July 2015]. She succeeded in a complex disability discrimination claim in the Watford Employment Tribunal against a public authority for unfair dismissal, harassment, discrimination arising from disability and a failure to make reasonable adjustments.

The Claimant suffered from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, alleges that her ill health was made worse as a result of the Employer’s actions and the matter of compensation is still to be resolved – C O’Brien v London Borough of Haringey [September 2015].

Josephine successfully represented the District Fiscal in Inverness, Emma Knox, in a claim in the Aberdeen Employment Tribunal following her dismissal as a result of a driving prosecution following a split second error of judgment when driving to work one morning. It was a life changing event for Ms Knox and so a successful outcome to such a tragedy was all the more felt by the client. She has worked on many high profile and landmark cases. Among these was Howard v Chief Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police (2014) where the employment tribunal made recommendations for a complete overhaul of the process for handling discrimination complaints and a review of all other complaints which had been determined under that policy going back a number of years.

She was also involved in the conduct of Wilson v Heath and Safety Executive (2009) EWCA Civ 1074 and in resolving a number of strands of high value equal pay litigation within central government following that case.

Working from both the London and Edinburgh offices, Josephine is able to represent individuals and provide employment law advice for clients based in England and Wales, as well as in Scotland. This includes Employment Tribunal representation, as well as conducting exit negotiations and providing Settlement Agreement advice. For more information, please visit our Edinburgh Employment Law Service page.

While she now works predominantly in the private sector, regularly acting for executives and seeking to resolve disputes amicably, she also has considerable litigation experience in the public sector as a result of her time as an employment litigator for Treasury for five years before to joining Slater and Gordon. Josephine’s practice encompasses all aspects of employment law.

Mary Needham assists Josephine on her cases and their details can be found here.



Career history

  • Since 2013 Slater and Gordon
  • 2007 - 2012 Treasury Solicitors
  • 2003 - 2007 Holland and Beckett (New Zealand)

Professional memberships

  • Member of the Employment Lawyers Association 
  • Member of the Otago Alumni
  • Member of the New Zealand Law Society
  • Member of the Law Society
  • Member of the Discrimination Lawyers Association
  • Member of the New Zealand Business Women’s Network and Lawyers Business Development Club

Recent Testimonials for Josephine Van Lierop

“Thank you for your assistance. I know you probably see this as just doing your job (which you do very well!) but for me your support has been more than that. I can't start to explain how reassuring it was to have someone so knowledgeable and tenacious in my corner at a time in my life when I felt so vulnerable, which was something of a shock to my system. Each time I would get correspondence from my employer, I had a sinking feeling, which would disappear with your response & reassurance. From my family and I, we thank you so much for your support.”

Mr W

“My unfair dismissal/disability discrimination case was the first time I've ever had to deal with a solicitor and Josephine Van Lierop was very supportive, calming and reassuring. She is a very experienced, immensely talented lawyer. I am so pleased that I listened to her advice and got a settlement that far exceeded my expectations.”

Ms L, London

“Working on the case with Josephine van Lierop at a potent point in my life was immensely reassuring. I couldn't have received better support and pragmatic advice. I particularly admire her for explaining the steps simply, being realistic about outcomes and most importantly being straightforward on how to achieve what I needed with the minimum of time. Her empathy for understanding what had happened to me and guiding me through very stressful litigation alleviated a lot of the pressure. I would recommend her to anyone who has a complex claim to make.”

Architect, London

Read All Slater & Gordon Testimonials