Richard O'Dair specialises in employment law and Human Rights, representing both employers and employees.
Richard has appeared in a number of important cases including the case of Seldon v CJW in in the Supreme Court  and more recently cases about freedom of religion in the workplace and a case about a whistle-blower in an NHS Trust where the damages claimed were over £1 million.
Richard’s particular strength is his ability and willingness to immerse himself from an early stage in long drawn out litigation giving important advice on matters of evidence and tactics. He is particularly skilled skill in drafting correspondence and pleadings and in advising on witness statements. He relates well clients (both Respondent and Claimant) and to witnesses from differing backgrounds.
Notwithstanding the value he brings outside the Courtroom, Richard remains a skilled Court room lawyer One judge saw the need to direct himself not to accept too easily the arguments of such a persuasive advocate. Mr Justice Langstaff spoke of “advocacy of the highest quality” when Richard appeared in front of him in the EAT in the case of Swansea University v Williams. He has given seminars on advocacy for lawyers in Rwanda and Uganda
As an employment lawyer, Richard has appeared in the Employment Tribunals, the Employment Appeal Tribunal, the High Court, the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court. He has been involved in making an application to the ECHR. His particular interests are discrimination law, whistleblowing and the influence of human rights on the law of unfair dismissal.
- Employee Competition & Protection of Confidential Information
- Shareholder Disputes
- Regulatory Work
Appointments & Memberships
- Fellow of the Keck Centre for the Study of the Legal Professions (Stanford University 1994-1995)
- Attorney General’s Panel 2011-2014
- Member of the Employment Law Bar Association
- Member of the Employment Lawyers Association
- Member of the Discrimination Law Association
Seldon v CJW  IRLR 452 (Supreme Court – lawfulness of compulsory retirement)
Williams v University of Swansea  IRLR 885 (meaning of unfavourable treatment in S.15 of the Equality Act)
Wilton v. Timothy James Consulting  IRLR 368 (meaning of conduct related to sex in S. 26 of the Equality Act 2010
Christou v LB Haringey  QB 131 (whether double jeopardy applies in unfair dismissal law]
Coppage v Safety Net Security Ltd  IRLR 970 (CA)
Nixon v. Coates  1 Equality Law Report 10 (EAT) (whether gossip can amount to harassment)
Orr v. Milton Keynes  IRLR 341(attribution of knowledge for the purposes of S.98(4) ERA)
James v. London Borough of Greenwich  IRLR 302 (employment status of agency workers)
Dacas v. Brook Street  IRLR 317 CA (employment status of agency workers)
Pendleton v Derbyshire County Council  IRLR 580
Pendleton v Governors of Whether Misconduct of a spouse justified termination of teachers employment
HT v Governors of GS School 
Impact of use by school of confidential diary in disciplinary proceedings: whether advocates toolkit can be used to restrict cross examination of disabled witness.
RF v Governors of the N Primary School 
Impact of Human Rights Act on Unfair Dismissal Claims epecially involving the use of social media
Dr S v D NHS Trust 
NHS whistleblowing claim involving stigma damages: loss of private practice damages and hospitals liability for dismissal procured by misleading evidence to internal decision maker.
Other posts and committees
- Chairman of the Prospects Working Party on the Ethics of Employment. (2015)
- Education, Qualifications & Associations
- BA Hons Jurisprudence – Oxford 1985
- Bachelor of Civil Law Oxford 1986
- Called to the Bar 1988
- Direct Access Qualified
- Licensed to conduct litigation without a solicitor