+44 (0)20 7421 8000
36 Bedford Row
London, WC1R 4JH
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Areas of Experience

  • Unfair Dismissal
  • Whistleblowing
  • Discrimination
  • Business Transfers (TUPE)
  • Civil Employment Disputes
    • Confidential Information and Database rights
    • Garden Leave
    • Injunctions and other interim remedies
    • Restrictive Covenants

We have a group of specialist employment barristers with extensive advisory and advocacy experience.

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Scope of Our Work

We advise and represent employees, consultants and workers through traditional solicitor instructions as well as under the terms of the Direct Public Access scheme. Please see our website for our bespoke service for members of the public directly.

We are Union-friendly, and work closely with in-house Union legal teams.

Members of our team have represented clients in all courts in England and Wales, from the Employment Tribunals, County Court, High Court, through to the EAT and Court of Appeal, right up to the Supreme Court.

We advise our clients on all aspects of employment law, from the very commencement of the employment relationship, including terms and conditions of employment and employee status, through to disciplinary matters and dismissal and onwards to court or tribunal proceedings.

36 Employment has a team of highly experienced trial advocates. We not only advise on contentious and non-contentious employment law matters, but also represent the clients as their advocates in the Employment Tribunals and in the higher courts and tribunals in respect of contested employment law litigation.

Members of our team regularly deal in Court with everything from small wrongful dismissal and breach of contract claims all the way up to 20 to 30 days hearings in the more heavily contested whistleblowing, discrimination and unfair dismissal claims.

Drafting Claims

Our barristers are experienced in drafting claim forms for employees wishing to bring cases.

All members of the team are experienced at bringing all forms of discrimination claims to the Employment Tribunal. Our members have a particular expertise in age, race, sex and disability discrimination claims.

Our Clients

We have a track record of representing clients with high value claims. We have particular experience in representing senior professionals and executives in high-level cases in the private sector, such as banking.

Equally, members of our team regularly represent other professionals in the public sector such as doctors, nurses, and teachers.

Members of our team work closely with leading Teachers’ unions in defending teachers in both the Employment Tribunal and before the General College of Teaching and Leadership. Indeed, members of our Employment team pride themselves on their ability to represent clients both before the Employment Tribunal and if necessary before the professional regulator. Appearing on behalf of doctors before the General Medical Council is another example.

Professionals who find themselves being disciplined and dismissed by their employers for alleged misconduct or impaired performance, often find that a complaint is also made to their professional regulator. When that happens it can be a considerable advantage for the professional client to have lawyers, such as our barristers, who can act on their behalf both in the Employment Tribunals and also in professional disciplinary proceedings, even though the procedures are quite different.

The Challenges

We are not reticent in taking on big companies. Members of the team have been involved in cases against leading world banks, local authorities both in London and beyond, major corporations of the United Kingdom and worldwide, and on occasion government departments.

36 Employment members will represent their clients fearlessly, without regard to the size of the opponent or its resources.

Our team strongly believes that a good business is one where there is a sound partnership between the business and its staff. Central to all forms of good corporate governance is the value placed on treating employees considerately, compassionately, fairly - and with respect.

Advocacy and Advice

We believe our trial experience at the cutting edge in representing our clients in the Employment Tribunals makes us well placed to advise employees and other potential claimants as to the strengths and weaknesses of their cases.

However, our advice is always pragmatic; as we understand that our clients often have limited financial resources, and will not want to fight long and contentious cases if they can avoid it. We will always put the interests of clients first in the advice that we give.

Our team also recognises that for high-end consultants and clients, pure employment law solutions are often inadequate. We therefore have considerable experience in advising directors and shareholders as to practical potential remedies outside the sometimes blunt instrument of court or tribunal proceedings.

Shareholders, Directors and Employees

We recognise certain clients, may have a multi-dimensional relationship with a company - as shareholders, directors and as employees. Our team can advise on all facets of the employment relationship.

We have experience in bringing and defending unfair prejudice claims, derivative actions and high value claims brought in the County Court and High Court for termination of Directors’ service agreements.

Unfair Dismissal

As a result of the experience our members have acquired in evaluating internal systems and procedures, we are well-placed to provide clients with balanced and informed advice on their prospects in any claims brought for unfair dismissal.


Workers are permitted by law to report certain types of wrongdoing in the public interest. Sometimes difficult questions arise as to whether a worker’s report was in the public interest; or whether the worker has lost a job unfairly, because they ‘blew the whistle’ or for other reasons. Some complaints amount to ‘whistleblowing’, but some do not. We provide advice and guidance and representation in the tribunals on issues such as these.

Members of 36 Employment have been involved in some prominent and hard-fought whistleblowing cases.


Members of our team have extensive experience in the field, and can lend valuable assistance to litigants.

When a dispute or complaint results in litigation, non-lawyers often find the forensic process complicated and lengthy.

In indirect discrimination cases, for instance, the law is both technical and complex.

Disability discrimination is a particular speciality of Richard O’Dair, Head of 36 Employment. Richard is also an expert on age discrimination and appeared in the Supreme Court in the case of Seldon v CWJ [2012] IRLR 476, generally regarded as the defining case on age discrimination.

Another one of our team is a former part-time judge of the Employment Tribunals, with more than 25 years experience in race discrimination cases.

Business Transfers

Our members have also developed considerable expertise in dealing with business reorganisations and handling redundancy matters and business transfers.

Civil Employment Disputes

Civil Employment Disputes refer to disputes between businesses and their employees relating to matters such as confidential information, database rights, garden leave, restrictive covenants, injunctions and other interim remedies, and damages for breach of contract.

We are regularly instructed in disputes of this kind. We advise and represent employees in court proceedings, which normally commence in the High Court or the County Court.

One of our barristers recently appeared in a seminal case in the Court of Appeal on the post-termination obligations of statutory Directors.