Doug is the Union and Client Director for Thompsons, overseeing the arrangements between the firm and its union clients and working with the lawyers who liaise with individual trade unions on a day to day basis. 

A member of the firm's Executive Board, Doug continues to advise unions including the RMT, FBU, POA and BALPA. He regularly provides advice on industrial action ballots, working to keep unions out of court where possible and defending unions against employers' attempts to challenge industrial action in the courts.

Experience

Doug has been involved in a number of notable cases, including: 

Tube Lines Ltd v RMT [2010] - High Court decision refusing the employer's attempt to injunct RMT industrial action after a ballot

London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority v FBU [2010] - High Court application for an injunction on picketing

Marrion and ors v London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority [2009] - Court of Appeal test case on fire service pensions

Bull and anor v Nottinghamshire and City of Nottingham Fire and Rescue Authority; Lincolnshire County Council v FBU and others [2007] - Court of Appeal test case confirming that firefighters' contracts required firefighting and related work with the result that paramedic duties could not be imposed as well 

EWS v RMT [2004] - Court of Appeal decision on trade dispute ballots confirming that the RMT were not required to serve separate notices on an employer operating industrial relations as a single unit but using two companies as their legal structure

Expertise

As a result of Doug's expertise on the funding of legal services (particularly trade union legal services), he has been the lead person for Thompsons on the Jackson review (of the costs of civil litigation), meeting with unions, consumer and other groups, government officials, MPs, members of the judiciary and others. 

He also writes articles and commentary on legal matters concerning unions and their members for Thompsons' own publications including Labour and European Law Review, as well as external publications.

Professional membership

Doug is a member of the Personal Injury Lawyers Association and the Society of Labour Lawyers. 

Background

Doug qualified as a personal injury (PI) lawyer with Thompsons in 1990. Although he continues to work as a PI lawyer, he added pensions, industrial action ballots, trade union rules and other areas to his portfolio from 1998 onwards. 

He became the liaison lawyer for the FBU in the same year and for BALPA in 2000. From 2003, he started acting as the liaison lawyer for the RMT and finally for the POA from 2009. 

He became the firm's Union and Client Director in 2007. 

Recommendations for the Thompsons employment rights team 

Chambers: "Thompsons has a knack of getting on particularly well with clients and managing their expectations."

Chambers: "Thompsons fields a top-notch trade union practice".

Legal 500: "Thompsons has a strong hold on trade union instructions, delivering strategic employment law advice to UNISON, Unite, the GMB and the RMT".