Richard heads up Thompsons' Trade Union Law Group (TULG), made up of specialist lawyers working at national and regional level.

The group provides specialist advice and representation in all areas of trade union law, such as industrial action, recognition, rule book issues, elections, trade union governance, Certification Officer cases and TULRCA compliance matters. It also acts as a specialist resource on all aspects of collective employment law, including TUPE transfers and consultation.

After completing his training at Freshfields Solicitors in 1990, Richard became a legal officer at UNISON in 1992. He then moved to Thompsons in 1998 and became the head of the Trade Union Law Group in 2008.

Richard regularly give talks and lectures on employment law to clients both at events organised by Thompsons and external organisations such as the Institute of Employment Rights and the Industrial Law Society.

He writes articles and commentary on employment law matters for Thompsons' own publications including Labour and European Law Review, as well as external publications.

Richard’s case experience

  • Richard has pursued appeals on behalf of clients up to and including the Supreme Court and the European Court of Human Rights.
  • RMT v UK [ongoing] - application to the European Court of Human Rights that UK industrial action legislation fails to comply with article 11 of the European Convention on Human Rights
  • RMT v Serco Docklands [2011] EWCA Civ 226 - Court of Appeal decision that there was no statutory obligation on unions to use any particular category of jobs and therefore no obligation to adopt the categories used for pay purposes
  • PCS v Minister for Civil Service [2010] EWHC 1027 - successful High Court application for judicial review concerning changes to the civil service compensation scheme
  • Matthews and ors v Kent and Medway Towns Fire Authority [2006] - successful test case in the House of Lords concerning part-time workers' rights for retained firefighters on behalf of 11,000 FBU members
  • Ackroyd v Merseycare NHS Trust [2006] - successful defence in the Court of Appeal that journalists' sources are protected under article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights


Professional membership

Richard has been a member of the executive committee of the Industrial Law Society and the Institute of Employment Rights since 2010; and has been a member of the Law Society employment law committee.