Employment and discrimination

Richard has practised employment law since qualifying in 2000 and covers all aspects of employment law in the Tribunal, the High Court and County Court. He has represented employers, including multi-national companies, Government agencies and small businesses, in cases of alleged unfair and constructive dismissal, discrimination, TUPE and all other areas of employment law. Richard also undertakes a significant amount of work for claimants, often under the Direct Public Access scheme.  Direct Public Access Scheme work is also undertaken for employers, and Richard has seen many cases from start to finish, including successfully defending the dismissal of a claim in the Employment Appeal Tribunal.

In addition to contentious work, Richard has extensive experience drafting policies and procedures, compromise agreements and COT3 settlements and he regularly advises on the employment issues surrounding the sale or purchase of businesses.

Richard has a particular interest and experience in discrimination cases, having represented both employers and employees extensively in matters of sex, race, religious, age and disability discrimination.

Richard also appears in regulatory proceedings in front of professional organisations such the Health Professions Council.

Richard is a member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, and is happy to be appointed as an arbitrator in employment, and commercial disputes.

Richard has been appointed the barrister panel of ELAAS (the Employment Lawyers Appeals Advice Scheme). ELAAS is a service offering pro bono employment law advice to appellant and respondents where there is a preliminary hearing in the EAT with no previous legal representation on record.

Reported cases include

  • Metroline Travel Ltd V (1) Sean D’auvergne (2) Tariq Khan (3) Kinglsey Chime (4) Kerwyn Dyte (5) Peter Coward (2020): [2020] 1 WLUK 300 - Role of the Tribunal in interpreting the incorporation of collective terms in employment tribunal
  • Anthony E Madu v General Medical Council [2017] EWHC 1000 (Admin) - Appeal against erasure from the list of Doctors
  • In Amenas Inquest [2015] -  Representing the family of a man killed by Al Qaeda terrorists in Algeria, Richard acted in this lengthy, complex and difficult inquest before the now Recorder of London. Acted as leading counsel, and had conduct of the litigation, having been instructed directly by the family
  • Begum v Hafiz & Hai [2015] [2015] WLR (D) 329 - Ground breaking authority for the powers of the Court under TOLATA
  • Riley v Ministry of Justice EAT [2016] ICR 172 -  Authority for the appropriate constitution of an Employment Tribunal considering ordering costs otherwise than immediately after the hearing
  • Ottimo Property Services LTD v G Duncan & Warwick Estate Properties Limited [2015] ICR 859 - Important clarification of the meaning of ‘client’ for the purposes of the TUPE regulations
  • Blackburn v ALDI Stores LTD [2103] IRLR 864 [2013] ICR D37 -  EAT guidance on the scope of the implied term of trust and confidence and how it applies to the resolution of employee’s grievances
  • Zarkasi v Anindita [2012] ICR 788 - Guidance as to illegality in employment contracts, particular in relation to illegal immigrant workers
  • McKinson v Hackney Community College [2011] Eq. L.R. 1114 - Guidance on the power of the Tribunal to require a litigant to narrow the scope of his case
  • Dawes v Lidl [2006] All ER (D) 112 Mar - Appeal against finding of unfair dismissal and the interconnection between wrongful and unfair dismissal.

Richard has conducted employment law training and seminars, including for the White Paper Company.

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Professional bodies

  • Employment Law Bar Association (ELBA)
  • Employment Lawyers Association

Direct Access

Richard Owen-Thomas is qualified to accept instructions directly from members of the public and professional clients under the Direct Public Access scheme.

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