Based at Thompsons Solicitors’ Manchester centre, Jo Seery is a highly regarded employment rights lawyer covering all areas of employment legislation.
Jo provides nationwide support for 100 of Thompsons’ lawyers in a dozen offices throughout the country who specialise in her area of expertise, but also retains a personal caseload of strategic cases.
She provides advice and support to outside organisations and delivers much-acclaimed training courses to a range of audiences. Jo is also responsible for the firm’s submissions to government inquiries and consultations on employment matters.
Jo writes regularly for Thompsons’ Labour and European Law Review and speaks frequently at the Institute for Employment Rights.
She values her role at Thompsons because it enables her to test the limits of employment legislation, ensuring that courts use the full force of the law to protect Thompsons’ clients.
Jo qualified as professional support lawyer in 2008 having joined Thompsons in 1999 as a legal assistant. She qualified as a solicitor in 2002, transferring from Thompsons’ London headquarters to Manchester a year later.
In her spare time Jo keeps fit by running and practising yoga.
JO’S CASE EXPERIENCE
Oyarce v Cheshire County Council 
The Court of Appeal delivered a key judgement in a victimisation case taken by Jo. The court decided that the ‘reversal of the burden of proof’ in race relations legislation did not extend to an allegation of victimisation. In most areas of the law the burden is on the claimant to establish that she or he has suffered from an unlawful act or acts. Under the reversal of the burden of proof, the council would have had to prove that the complainant had not suffered victimisation. The judges decided that such a reverse burden of proof only covered cases of discrimination, not where the claimant was alleging victimisation.
Lancaster University v University and College Union 
Lancaster University broke the law when it failed to consult collectively with fixed term staff before making them redundant, according to The Employment Appeal Tribunal. The university had sent out lists of those to be made redundant before consulting over ways to avoid, reduce and mitigate job losses. It had also failed to comply with its duty to provide all relevant information to those selected.
Jo is a member the Professional Support Lawyers Network, the Greater Manchester Law Centre and human rights group Liberty.
From a client in a difficult discrimination claim: “Thank you for your hard work in representing my case … and for its fruitful outcome. Thank you too for your close guidance and support throughout the process.”