Year of Call: 1993
Discrimination & Equality | Employment | Human Rights
Listed by Power 100 (2016) as one of Britain’s most influential people with a disability. Awarded Bar Council “Pro Bono Lawyer for the Year” in 2003. "A passionate fighter for the legal rights of disabled people and other discriminated groups...John is more than just a barrister!"
John specialises in all kinds of anti-discrimination work and employment law. He was the first barrister to receive guidance from the EAT about disabled people's rights before any court or tribunal. In 2016 John was listed by Power 100 as one of Britain's most influential people with a disability. In 2015 John hosted the European Commission's Monitoring Conference in Brussels on the Rights of People with Disabilities and the Courts.
John successfully challenged the state honour system in Trindad for fostering differences and not being in compliance with international law. He also successfully challenged the terms offered to part-time high court judges as discriminatory at Croydon Employment Tribunal.
His views have lead to him being regularly interviewed by BBC's Ouch! and the national media and press. He champions the rights of the disability community and was awarded Bar Council “Pro Bono Lawyer for the Year” in 2003.
John appears frequently for law centres, the FRU, ELAAS, Bar Pro Bono Unit and the Disability Law Association as well as well-known solicitors firms.
Bar Pro Bono Lawyer of the Year 2003
Appointments and memberships
Trustee, Disability Law Association
Trustee, Different Strokes
The Employment Legal Advice Service
Discrimination Law Association
Free Representation Unit
Admitted to Commonwealth Bar (Trinidad and Tobago) 2005
Publications and training
John contributes regularly to the national and professional press as well as to Disability Now. He has been asked to speak to the House of Commons and House of Lords. He lectures on discriminaton law and human rights to Government departments, the police federation and law centres.
John's 2011 lecture to the Academy of European law can be seen here.
Kumar v Bannatyne fitness Ltd (2014): John successfully acted for a disabled person in this important case where the disabled person was banned from going to his gym and all other gyms in this group owned by the defendant due to his disability (cerebral palsy) although he was a member.
Franklin v Wincanton Ltd (2014): John acted successfully for a black lorry loader who was systematically bullied and harassed by white line managers for four years. He achieved over £100K plus costs in the liability hearing.
Liang v Dragon Inn Rainum EAT (2014): John acted successfully for a non-English-speaking Chinese choux chef who was an immigrant and who worked in the kitchens of the defendants (a Chinese owned company) who was fired when he suffered a stroke. Although the claim for unfair dismissal and disability discrimination was lost, both the employment and immigration courts had to adjourn on several occasions to allow the process to run its course before they could make a decision.