We spoke to employment law specialist Sheila Aly about her career, her most publicised cases and partnering with Herron on a new brand and website.

We’d love to hear about what you do.

I’m a barrister and specialise in employment law, having qualified in 2002. While I also practice family law and mediation, employment law is what I’ve become known for over the years. This is largely due to the cases I’ve been involved in, including representing Stacey Macken — which remains one of the largest awards ever made by an employment tribunal. It was also highly publicised across major newspapers and a historic victory, which led to the start of the #metoopay movement led by the Financial Times & Dame Moya Greene.

Can you tell us a bit more about that case?

Stacey was a finance specialist at BNP Paribas who was not only facing sexual discrimination at work, but had become suspicious that she wasn’t being paid equally to men doing the same job. The case received a lot of coverage, because it’s rare for it to go as far as a full employment tribunal hearing; a lot of these types of cases settle. One of the challenges with accepting a settlement is that they often come with a Non Disclosure Agreement, so it makes it difficult for stories of these women to be shared so they can protect other women. I think Stacey took a brave stand and has inspired other women to look more carefully at how they’re being treated.

Stacey Macken v BNP Paribas remains one of the most well-publicised equal pay cases, as well as being one of the largest ACAS uplifts that the tribunal have ever made. As far as I’m aware, it’s also the only case where an award that high has been won by someone who’s a direct access barrister.

You were featured in a documentary film called Its Raining Women. Can you tell us about it?

This film features a case I was involved in, Rebecca Burke v Talk Talk. The objective of the documentary was to look at the impact of the glass ceiling around the world. To answer the question: does it exist? And if so, how bad is it?

Rebecca’s case became the central story and the filmmaker, Mari Sopella, followed us to court in February 2020. While you’re not allowed to film inside courtrooms, Mari artfully did some sketches to represent the feeling of what the courtroom was like for viewers. It’s an eye-opening documentary on the glass ceiling phenomenon, and in March of last year it was shown at the Jeden Svet (“One World”) festival in Prague — which is the largest human rights film festival in the world.

What inspires you in your role?

My work can be very challenging. The people that come to me for help are more often than not in difficult positions; women who have been badly bullied or experienced discrimination in their place of work.

But if I’m able to help them through a complex web of getting justice for themselves, that makes everything worthwhile. 

Why did you initially approach the team at Herron?

I had no consistent or central space for people to find or contact me, where I could showcase my legal achievements. I was also looking for a brand and website that looked professional and would suit the work that I do.

What was your experience of the brand process?

I mainly worked with Andy and Paul from Herron, who were both very attentive and understood my perspective and requirements. They had a hands-on approach which I liked; the project and processes were tailored to my needs, and not just an off-the-shelf packaged solution. 

What really made them stand out is that I felt they cared about my business, which ultimately resulted in a brand that I’m happy with.


For more information about our work with Sheila Aly, read the case study.

To see other brands we’ve worked on, view our Client Journeys.

If you’d like to transform your brand, contact us

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