"He has in-depth legal knowledge combined with a practical approach." "His confident demeanour immediately reassures clients and he's impressively good at taking command of a room. He's incredibly quick-thinking and capable of rapidly getting to grips with issues in a case." - Chambers & Partners 2018
"A silk in junior’s clothing." - The Legal 500 2017
Edward has particular expertise in defending lengthy, complex and high value discrimination and unfair dismissal claims.
He works for both employers and employees, from large PLCs through to small family businesses and Chief Executives through to care workers on the minimum wage.
He has an outstanding ability to master a large amount of detail and is skilled in translating sometimes complex legislation into plain English, sound argument and practical advice.
By being able to draw on his experience as Judge and Mediator Edward is able to focus on what matters and maintain the confidence of the client throughout.
Edward has a strong reputation for robust but fair advocacy (whether in an adversarial or advisory role).
He has over twenty years’ experience of presenting and defending cases of alleged professional misconduct with specific emphasis on Police and NMC disciplinary matters.
Edward also has over fifteen years’ experience of mediating a wide range of commercial, employment and personal disputes, almost all of which have resulted in settlement.
He has a strong appellate practice covering all major aspects of employment and equality law and involving regular appearances before the Court of Appeal.
Edward represents a range of clients including a range of trade unions, and blue chip companies. He is equally at ease acting for claimants and respondents/defendants.
He has extensive experience in conducting long and complex trials. He has a particular interest in confidentiality and privacy, whistleblowing, sex, age and disability claims and is very familiar with the issues that arise in cases which attract media interest.
Edward is also a very experienced appellate practitioner and has had numerous reported cases in the last decade. These reported cases illustrate the breadth of his practice, covering all forms of discrimination, whistleblowing, human rights, contract, restrictive covenants, TUPE, working time and more. His latest case to be reported is O’Brien v. Bolton St Catherine’s Academy  IRLR 547, CA.
Last year, at the Liverpool Employment Tribunal, Edward won a high value and complex maternity discrimination case on behalf of a senior Nuclear Waste expert employed by the Nuclear Decommissioning Agency.
Recently Edward has also successfully appealed a Tribunal’s finding of disability discrimination made against a School by a long serving member of the teaching staff.
Edward has considerable experience of professional negligence claims involving solicitors, architects, surveyors and accountants.
Edward has wide-ranging experience of prosecuting and defending individuals before their respective professional bodies.
Recent experience includes:
• Presenting officer at a police disciplinary hearing where two serving officers had been charged in connection with the death in custody of an elderly lady who, at the time of her arrest, was suffering complicated mental health problems;
• Successfully defending a geriatric ward nurse charged with misconduct following a care home enquiry;
• Advising a firm of solicitors in connection with an enquiry by the SRA arising from inappropriate facebook entries concerning the Alton Towers Rollercoaster accident.
Edward has extensive experience of mediating a wide range of commercial, employment and personal disputes, almost all of which have resulted in settlement.
Edward was CEDR trained and qualified in 1999
Examples of recent mediations include:
• A sex discrimination/constructive dismissal case brought against the Police Force. This took place over two days and resulted in financial settlement and reinstatement.
• A stale boundary dispute.
• A contractual dispute concerning copyright and CD-rom manufacture.
• A dispute concerning the supply of seafood.
• Partnership disputes between retiring and remaining partners.
• Tripartite litigation in a construction dispute between homeowners, a firm of architects and a building firm.
- O’Brien v Bolton St Catherine’s Academy  IRLR 547, CA : A complex case concerning the interplay between disability discrimination (‘discrimination arising’) and unfair dismissal in the context of a very lengthy period of ill health absence.
- Van Straten v Nuclear Decommissioning Agency 2411909/13 : A complex and high value maternity/sex discrimination claim where Edward successfully represented a leading expert on nuclear waste decommissioning.
- Powell v OMV Exploration Ltd  IRLR 80 (Langstaff P) : This case represents the cutting edge of employment law and concerns the jurisdiction of British Employment Tribunals over claims brought by peripatetic oil workers.
- Woods v Pasab t/a Jhoots  IRLR 305, CA : Authority on ‘causation’ in a case where religious discrimination was alleged. Successful at both EAT and Court of Appeal.
- Yerrakalva v Barnsley MBC  IRLR 420, CA : Mummery LJ issuing guidance on the approach to be followed when one party seeks to recover costs on account of the other’s unreasonable conduct. Successful in persuading the Court of Appeal to overturn the EAT (Underhill P).
- Horizon Recruitment Limited v Vincent  ICR 491. : A case concerning the jurisdiction of an Employment Tribunal and specifically whether Tribunals have the power to set aside compromise agreements for misrepresentation.
- B & C v A  IRLR 400 EAT (Underhill J) : where I acted successfully for a Local Authority defending sex discrimination and harassment claims where the central allegation was one of rape and where the remedy claimed was in excess of 1m.
- Kimberley Group Housing Ltd v Hambley & Os  IRLR 682. : This case, in which I acted for the Claimants, concerned the impact of a service provision change (‘spc’) as defined by reg. 3(1)(b) of TUPE 2006 in circumstances where the ‘service’ is split between 2 or more incoming providers and specifically the determination of who should take responsibility for the employees’ contracts after the spc.
- Flett v. Matheson  IRLR 277, CA. : An interesting case concerning the status of a “modern” apprentice with potentially far-reaching consequences. The Court of Appeal accepted the argument that, for employment law purposes, a “modern” apprenticeship and a traditional one could be one and the same.
- McCall and Northern Rail  EAT, HHJ McMullen. : A case concerning the interpretation and application of the (now redundant) s.98A(2) ERA, the so-called ‘Polkey-reversal’ section. Successful on appeal.
- Ramsay v. Walkers Crisps  IRLR 754, EAT. : A case concerning the use of anonymous witness statements in the disciplinary process.
- Campbell v. Leeds United Football Club : in which I acted for the club in a case attracting widespread publicity and concerning race and sex discrimination.
- Morgan & Others v. Middlesbrough Borough Council  EWCA Civ 1432, : CA. An equal pay claim in which I represented a large number of female applicants (primary school staff paid on a ‘term-time only’ basis).
- Berry v. Scottish Courage Limited, EAT. : A complex claim concerning contractual redundancy provisions and incorporation of terms agreed collectively. Successful at both first instance and on appeal.
- Cunningham v. Glasgow City Council  EAT (Scotland) Lady Smith. : A contract ‘test’ claim concerning bonus entitlements and collective agreements and affecting a large number of council employees.
- GMB v. Dewhirst  EAT : concerning large-scale ‘collective’ redundancies following a clothing factory closure in the north-east.
- Duffy v. Leeds City Council. : A DDA claim concerning an individual with debilitating bipolar disorder.
- Singh v. Durham Racial Equality Council, EAT. : A race and sex discrimination claim brought by a Sikh woman (again successfully) and upheld on appeal.
- Miller v. Durham County Council. : A sex discrimination claim concerning selection for an internal post at senior manager level. Successful and resulting in substantial damages.
Edward has been highly ranked in the Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners for many years. He is ranked by Chambers & Partners in Band 1 for 2018. Other recent entries include:
Chambers and Partners UK Bar 2017
- “Very personable, succinct and calm. The witnesses had great confidence in him and he definitely improved their tribunal experience.” “Edward is fantastic to work with. He is very bright, quick to get to grips with issues, thorough, and responsive despite being very busy. He has a positive, can-do attitude and is committed to the case. He has a very nice manner and is a team player.”
The Legal 500 2016
- “Recent experience in complex discrimination and TUPE matters.”
Chambers and Partners UK Bar 2016
- “He is very approachable, knowledgeable, and clients like him; he’s a good advocate.”
The Legal 500 2015
- “Concise but effective in his cross-examination.”
Chambers and Partners UK Bar 2015
- “He is rightly rated as one of the leading employment barristers on the North Eastern Circuit’’
- ”He is rightly rated as one of the leading employment barristers on the North Eastern Circuit. He is a good advocate, really thorough, with a good manner about him in tribunal and a sensible approach outside”
Legal 500 2014
- ”Thorough in cross-examination”
Chambers and Partners UK Bar 2014
- “Particularly highly regarded for his expertise on discrimination cases”
The Legal 500 2013
- “He gets the job done with a minimum of fuss”
Chambers and Partners UK Bar 2013
- An “excellent cross-examiner” who is able to “hit the right notes when putting his point across.”
Chambers and Partners UK Bar 2012
- “…meticulously prepared…” and continuing ‘…to impress sources with his “superb advocacy” and “excellent manner with clients.”
Chambers and Partners UK Bar 2011
- Known for fighting “hard but fair” for his clients and “inspiring confidence” through his ability “to get to grips with what a case is really about in double quick time.” Employment & Equality Law:
- 1995 – 1996 The Inns of Court School of Law: Bar Vocational Course (Graded ‘Very Competent’)
- 1994 – 1995 The College of Law: Common Professional Examination
- 1989 – 1990 Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst: Officer Training
- 1985 – 1989 University of St Andrews
- MA (Hons) English Literature