Successful bias appeals are rare – this is either because employment judges are strictly impartial or there is no evidence of partiality.
The test for bias is apparent bias. In this case the part time employment judge was also a partner in a firm of solicitors. That firm ran a marketing campaign where employment law consultants (like Peninsula) were compared with Solicitors.
The judge shortly after the marketing campaign then sat on a case where Peninsula was the Respondent and the Tribunal found against Peninsula.
The EAT found that the appearance of bias was made out and Peninsula’s appeal succeeded. The Tribunal’s decision did make the following finding:
“Peninsula’s business model is plainly premised upon a professed expertise in employment law and practice. Peninsula also hold themselves out as being an “Employer of Excellence”. …. In fact, this is a standard devised by Peninsula themselves …”