James is a specialist in employment and discrimination law. His particular expertise lies in defending complex and high-value discrimination, protected disclosure (whistle-blowing) and detriment claims, as well as providing strategic advice on a broad spectrum of employment law issues.
He is predominately instructed by public & private-sector respondent organisations including police forces, NHS Trusts, universities, county councils and large corporate clients. In addition, he successfully represents claimant employees.
James also maintains an extensive and wide-ranging advisory practice on all aspects of employment law, including TUPE and pension transfers, redundancy issues, settlement agreements, equal pay claims, restrictive covenants and bonus schemes.
Other areas of expertise include conducting internal investigations (disciplinary & grievance), presenting or chairing internal hearings and appeals, witness training, pension advice, police collaboration agreements, ill-health retirements, injury on duty awards, policy & reputational issues and sensitive matters of national security, for which James has SC National Security Clearance valid until 18 August 2026. He also lectures extensively and provides training seminars.
As senior counsel, James is comfortable representing clients against leading juniors and QCs. Having formerly worked in the City, as well as completing pupillage at a leading shipping set, James is able to bring his commercial experience to bear on his employment practice.
James is able to accept instructions from corporate clients directly via the Public Access Scheme.
James is an experienced employment law practitioner with a busy advocacy and advisory practice.
James is currently representing a client who was dismissed for raising concerns about his team attending a large work gathering at the start of the outbreak of the coronavirus.
Sharlene Edey v London Borough of Lambeth (2017-20)
The Claimant raised 7 separate claims against the school at which she worked, raising hundreds of allegations. The wide-ranging proceedings included claims of race and disability discrimination, victimisation and unfair dismissal. There were over 4,000 pages of documents and 18 witnesses. The liability hearing was heard over a period of 3 weeks. James represented the Respondent in this matter and successfully defended all claims. He was also able to secure costs against the Claimant in the sum of £20,000.
In this highly confidential matter, James was able to achieve a near-seven figure settlement for his client.
Miss A. de Souza E Souza v Primark Stores Ltd. 2206063/2017
James represented the claimant, who is transgender, in this matter in her successful claims of gender reassignment discrimination and harassment. The case succeeded on almost all counts, was subject to a 25% uplift for ACAS-procedure failures and attracted national & industry media attention. Despite the modest income of the claimant, compensation was awarded in a sum around £49,000.
Mark Lamb v The Chief Constable of West Midlands Police
James represented the respondent Chief Constable in this matter. The Claimant was a litigant-in-person and made hundreds of complaints of protected disclosure detriment (whistle-blowing) and breaches of the Equality Act 2010. His witness statement alone was 161 pages long. Evidence lasted 9 days, with the Claimant cross-examined for 3 of those days. The judgment was 135 pages long. James successfully defended each and every allegation.
James Arnold is regulated by the Bar Standards Board (BSB) and holds a current practising certificate. If you are not satisfied with the service provided, please click here.
"James has established himself as a ‘first choice’ employment barrister. He combines expertise, insight and compelling advocacy. He is charming with clients and a pleasure to work with."
DAC Beachcroft LLP
"James worked for us on a difficult, protracted discrimination case. He is exceptionally able, understands the technicalities of police employment law and is thorough in his preparation. With his down to earth practical approach he gets straight to the key issues in the case. He is very personable and always manages to inject some humour into the situation. Above all, his focus was on how best to resolve the situation for his client."
West Midlands Police
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