Hilary Slater was a solicitor specialising in employment and discrimination law and a judge of the employment tribunals. Prior to taking up her role as a salaried employment tribunal judge, she was a consultant with Cobbetts solicitors, Manchester. She contributed to a number of publications. Hilary was a Principal Legal Officer with the Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) from 1994 to 2001.
High-profile cases with which she was involved include Hale v Governing Body of Whickham School (schoolgirl seeking the right to wear trousers at school), Canniffe v East Riding of Yorkshire Council ("reasonable steps" defence) and cases of discrimination against transsexuals in the provision of services. Hilary qualified as a solicitor in 1988 and worked for McKenna & Co (now CMS Cameron McKenna), advising corporate and individual clients on all aspects of employment law, before joining the EOC.