Will Dobson

Year of Call: 2008

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PRACTICE AREAS

Commercial Law | Discrimination & Equality | Employment | Human Rights

HIGHLIGHTS

Appeared as junior counsel in the Supreme Court and regularly instructed in complex multi-day discrimination cases.

Overview

Will specialises in employment and discrimination disputes across a wide range of industries. His diverse private sector clients include banks, railway companies, care homes, housing associations, well-known retailers, media organisations and casinos. His public sector clients include several local authorities and NHS trusts across the country. He is instructed by large City firms as well as smaller regional firms.

He has experience of dealing with all strands of discrimination claims, unfair and wrongful dismissal, redundancy, worker status, TUPE, strike out applications, territorial jurisdiction, issues concerning privilege and wasted costs.

Will has appeared as junior counsel in the Supreme Court and frequently appears in the EAT. He has also been instructed many times to represent clients at judicial mediations.

Appointments and memberships

ELA
ILS

Publications and training

Will has delivered employment law workshops, participated in mock tribunals and given talks, most recently on disability discrimination.

Qualifications

University of Birmingham, LLB (Highest 1st class for dissertation)BVC, College of Law (Outstanding)Open University (Employment Law LLB module - Distinction, top 5 in UK)

Prizes
Cavendish Prize (outstanding contribution to the School of Law, University of Birmingham), Lady Barber Prize for Mooting (University of Birmingham), Scarman Shield, ESU-Essex Court Chambers National Mooting Competition, winner of Camm Memorial Mooting Cup (University of Birmingham), Runner up, OUP National Mooting Competition. 5 prizes from College of Law, BVC (including for employment law). Inner Temple BVC Prize

Highlight cases

Successfully represented respondent in a 3 week trial involving over 60 allegations against 18 witnesses of sex discrimination, whistleblowing, victimisation and issues about contractual variation and unlawful deduction of wages over several years. Appeals ongoing, successfully defended to date (Sept 2017)


Successfully represented respondent at ET in a constructive dismissal case involving without prejudice privilege and protected conversation issues, currently on appeal. (April 2017)


A v B - successfully struck out entire claims of discrimination and constructive dismissal case on the merits at a PH. (Aug 2017)


Successfully represented respondent in a case raising issues about the meaning of who has the right to accompany a worker in s.10(3) ERA 1999, whether someone can rely on another person's protected act (associative victimisation) and race discrimination.


Represented two Claimants in their claims for unfair and wrongful dismissal against a legal firm. Respondent settled after being cross-examined.


Instructed by three teaching unions in a case involving novel TUPE issues in the context of a school converting to an Academy (settled)


R(E) v Governing Body of JFS & ors [2009] UKSC 15; [2010] IRLR 136 (junior to Robin Allen QC, acting for EHRC) - the Supreme Court (by a 5-4 majority) held that the admissions criteria of an Orthodox Jewish faith school directly discriminated against a boy, M, in breach of the RRA 1976. The School had used a test of matrilineal descent which was held to be race discrimination on grounds of ethnicity.

Elsheikh v BBC (2013) (represented BBC in 7 day trial on trade union victimisation)

Shehata v BBC (2013)(represented BBC in 6 day religious discrimination trial - reported in Daily Telegraph here)

Onwukanjo v Royal Borough of Greenwich (EAT 2013, appeal on whether correct test for gross misconduct applied)

Keys v Southern Railway(EAT) [2013] – an appeal on the “trigger date” for making reasonable adjustments


Holton v Bupa Care Homes (EAT, 2014) - appeal concerning whistleblowing, inadequacy of reasons and implied request for adjournment where appellant departed midway through EAT hearing - upheld by Court of Appeal [2015]

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