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Michael Ford QC

Silk: 2013 | Call: 1992

"Massively knowledgeable on all things industrial relations-related, and despite being massively clever, he always delivers advice that is pragmatic and easy to digest." "A tenacious advocate - he wants to win, and usually does."

The Legal 500 2021

"He is very knowledgeable about employment law and very persuasive as an advocate." "He has an enormous brain - really incredibly bright."

Chambers & Partners 2021

Overview

Michael’s principal area of practice is labour law, both individual and collective, including areas such as equal pay, industrial action, working time and trade union law. His work also includes judicial review, human rights, data protection, health and safety and public inquiries. He specialises in appellate cases, mainly acting for claimants and unions, and has appeared five times in the European Court of Justice, as well as in the European Court of Human Rights, the House of Lords, the Supreme Court and public inquiries. He has over 60 reported cases.

Michael became a QC in 2013. He was awarded Employment Silk of the Year at the Chambers Bar Awards in 2015 and he was Employment Junior of the Year at the Chambers Bar Awards in 2012. He has been listed in all the main directories, such as The Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners, for many years. He is on the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s ‘A’  panel of counsel, acting for them in R(UNISON) v Lord Chancellor on tribunal fees.

Michael is currently a Professor at the University of Bristol, a Deputy High Court judge and a fee-paid Employment Tribunal Judge. He was formerly the editor of Redgrave’s Health and Safety and has many publications on employment law and human rights law. Before starting at the Bar, he was a solicitor with Slaughter and May. He has acted as special adviser to Parliamentary Committees in relation to employment-related matters (e.g. the inquiry into practices at Sports Direct).

He was once a member of the Great Britain road cycling squad (1982-3), and raced in Belgium, France, Holland, Germany and Poland (e.g. 5th Ronde de L’Oise; 1st Tour of Surrey, 1st Jock Wadley Memorial). He has First Class degrees in Law (1983-86) and Biology (2007-2010) and is a fluent French and good Spanish speaker. For nine years he was a trustee of the Bats Conservation Trust, assisting it with issues on wildlife law.

He now spends his spare time cycling, learning Spanish and trying to deal with his two boys.

Professional Recommendations

 

“He is very knowledgeable about employment law and very persuasive as an advocate.” “He has an enormous brain – really incredibly bright.” “His written work is exceptional. He is a labour law expert.”

Chambers & Partners 2021

“Massively knowledgeable on all things industrial relations-related, and despite being massively clever, he always delivers advice that is pragmatic and easy to digest.” “A tenacious advocate – he wants to win, and usually does.”

The Legal 500 2021

“He has a real love and an academic’s command of the detail of employment law which he combines with focused and determined advocacy.”

The Legal 500 2020

“Super clever and has a real depth of knowledge in the employment sphere.”

Chambers & Partners 2020

“An exceptional intellect who is extremely knowledgeable about the area.” “An incredible brain and an incredible advocate.”

Chambers & Partners 2020

“A phenomenally intelligent practitioner who has an almost encyclopaedic knowledge of employment law…an excellent and forceful advocate.”

Chambers & Partners 2019

“An exceptional advocate with a huge intellect.”

The Legal 500 2017

Expertise

Employment & Discrimination

Administrative & Public Law

Health & Safey

Inquests & Public Inquiries

Environment


Recent and current work

Key contacts

William Meade

Senior Clerk
William Meade 020 7269 0360 wmeade@oldsquare.co.uk

Jenny O’Grady (currently on maternity leave)

Senior Clerking Assistant
Jenny O’Grady (currently on maternity leave) 020 7269 0304 ogrady@oldsquare.co.uk

Olivia Moliterno

Team Leader & Assistant to Senior Clerk
Olivia Moliterno 020 7269 0477 moliterno@oldsquare.co.uk
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Out of hours

William Meade (Senior Clerk)

07970 649 755

or

Graham Smith (Deputy Senior Clerk)

07795 023 532