James Dawson

James Dawson

Call 1994

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Employment and Equalities

James has been an Employment Judge since 2003 and is head of 3PB’s Employment Law Group.

He has a nationwide practice, regularly representing both employers and employees at all levels and in all areas of discrimination and unfair dismissal law. As a specialist in commercial law as well as employment law, James is well placed to advise on matters that go beyond traditional tribunal cases including areas such as the enforceability of restrictive covenants (and associated injunction applications) and the use and abuse of confidential information.

His areas of Employment and Equality Law expertise include:

  • Unfair Dismissal
  • Discrimination
  • Transfer of Undertakings
  • Whistle blowing
  • Restrictive Covenants employee competition
  • Directors Duties
  • Remuneration, Bonuses, notice pay
  • Professional and disciplinary matters
  • Working time, holiday, sickness
  • Trade Unions and Industrial Disputes

James was subject leader in employment law on the Bar Vocational Course at Manchester Metropolitan University and frequently lectured at Salford University.

His ability and his attention  to detail has been consistently recognised by the Legal 500 and Chambers and Partners independent publications as follows:

"He is incredibly bright, has an encyclopaedic knowledge of TUPE and provides a first-class and responsive service."  (Chambers and Partners 2017)

"He clearly dedicates much time to the preparation of matters, and knows the papers back to front, so that he can use them to make points very clearly." (Chambers and Partners 2016)

"He prepares exceptionally well for his cases and his cross-examination is second to none."
(Legal 500 2016 - recommended as a Leading Individual - London Bar)

"He has a fantastic eye for detail, and first-class commercial and strategic instincts."
(Legal 500 2016 - recommended as a Leading Individual - Western Circuit)

"He quickly absorbs and analyses complex information in order to establish the relevant issues."
(Legal 500 2015 - recommended as a Leading Individual)

"He is a clear, technically astute advocate who is very thorough and approachable. His knowledge of law is almost nerdy, and he uses it to such a powerful extent that he is incredibly convincing."
(Chambers and Partners 2016)

"He has a fantastic analytical mind and prepares exceptionally thoroughly."
(Legal 500 2015)

James’s style and advocacy has been frequently praised by Judges:

“I have already paid tribute to the argument of Mr Dawson” - Mr Justice Langstaff: Woods v Somerset County Council.

"We consider he conducted a difficult hearing in an exemplary fashion" - Extract from the judgment of the tribunal in Uche v Oxfordshire County Council.

“Mr Dawson who represented the Claimant with great skill....” - Judge Davies: Hayden v STRI.

Recent Cases

Race Discrimination and Unfair Dismissal
Acting for the respondent in a multi-day hearing. All claims dismissed. In the judgment Judge Hardwick stated “he [James Dawson] conducted a difficult hearing in an exemplary fashion”.

Sexual Harassment and Unfair Dismissal
Acting for the respondents in a sexual harassment and constructive dismissal case. The case was widely reported in the national press. The claimant withdrew her claim after being cross examined by James.

Acting for a professional solicitor in a 9 day case who was accused of actions amounting to sexual assault. All claims were dismissed by the tribunal.

Disability Discrimination
Acting for the claimant in a multi-day trial against Hampshire Police where the allegations were that the claimant had been discriminated against because of her depression. The claimant’s claim was upheld.

Acting for an Oxford College in a claim brought by an employee alleging discrimination on the grounds of physical disability. All claims were dismissed

Acting for a group of 70 claimants against a well known high street brand in a claim worth around £10m. The solicitor instructing James recently commented to the Legal 500 “James has a fantastic eye for detail, and first class commercial and strategic instincts.  His work is of the highest quality.  In addition, James was extremely user friendly – prompt, approachable and clearly understands the needs of his clients”.

Testimonials from clients

An "excellent choice of barrister" (lay client).

"it was very reassuring to be so ably represented" (lay client).

"Thanks for giving me Mr Dawson for this job. He excelled and got us a good result" (instructing solicitor).

"I would definitely instruct him again" (instructing solicitor).

“Most importantly can you please convey our thanks to our barrister James Dawson who represented us so well; it was clearly evident that he had thoroughly prepared for the case. His knowledge of the facts and background information was very impressive and his skills in cross examination ...[were]  excellent. He was very easy to work with and very supportive to those witnesses who were less confident at the prospect of being a witness”. (HR Partner of lay client).

"We consider he conducted a difficult hearing in an exemplary fashion" - Extract from the judgment of the tribunal in Uche v Oxfordshire County Council.

Notable Cases

Abellio v Musse [2012] IRLR 360

A v B  [2013] [UKEAT/0025/13/DM] Cat A listing

Fulthorpe v Heal [2012] UKEAT/0420/11

Johnson v RCUK [2012] UKEATPB/1928/11/ZT

Trustee in Bankruptcy of Gordon Robin Claridge v Claridge [2011] EWHC 2047 (Ch) [2012] 1 FCR 388 : [2011] BPIR 1529

Trustee in Bankruptcy of Louise St John Poulton v Ministry of Justice [2011] Ch 1

Robert Harry Pick v Chief Land Registrar [2011] EWHC 206 [2012] 3 WLR 3


May 31 2017:

3PB Employment and Equalities Group partners with ACAS to deliver Employment Tribunals masterclass ...read more

November 1 2016:

3PB Barristers' Commercial & Business Law Group brings you the Autumn Edition of its Legal Update Handout ...read more

June 10 2016:

3PB Barristers Employment team delivers Mock ET and Employment Law training to more than 200 ACAS delegates ...read more

... more news

Academic Qualifications

LLB (Hons)

Professional Qualifications and Appointments

  • Fee Paid Employment Judge

Professional Bodies

  • Chancery Bar Association
  • Employment Law Bar Association (ELBA)