Senior solicitor Joel is part of Thompsons Solicitors’ Employment team, covering cases across Yorkshire and Humberside.

Qualifying as a solicitor in 2004, and based throughout that time at Thompsons’ Leeds branch, Joel has considerable experience of dealing with a full range of employment matters including Equality Act claims, unfair dismissal, protected disclosures and TUPE.

Joel is regularly asked to advise on collective consultations and restructures and has developed an expertise in advising on issues of disability discrimination.

Joel also supervises the work of junior employment executives within the Leeds office and helps to maintain service standards for Thompsons’ trade union clients.

Able to explain complex legal issues to the wider public, Joel has provided briefings on relevant aspects of employment law at trade union events and branch meetings across the region.

Joel values delivering empathetic advice to individual clients with the aim of achieving the best possible outcome, as well as engaging with Thompson's trade union clients on issues with wider relevance.

Joel is recognised as a trusted adviser and is known for his hard work and commitment.

Joel's Case Experience

Waddingham v NHS Business Authority [2015]: A reported case in which the tribunal found the respondent had failed to make reasonable adjustments to a competitive interview process. The claimant received a significant award of compensation.

A Public Sector Employee v A Public Authority: A claim for disability discrimination as a consequence of a capability dismissal. Compensation awarded in excess of £70,000.

An Engineer v A Factory Employer: Claimant dismissed for capability without reasonable adjustments being implemented. The claimant was awarded £45,000.

Professional Memberships

Joel is a member of the Industrial Law Society.


A former client said: “Your care and support has been amazing. Your calls to me have been so much appreciated and the way you handled the two cases and fed back the information has been so gratefully received. Thank you for treating me as a person and not a client only. It meant so much to me.”

Another former client said: “The service I received from Joel Smith was exceptional. He always explained everything clearly, always answered my phone calls promptly, gave me clarity on all aspects of my case … He is a credit to Thompsons Solicitors.”