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James Arnold

James Arnold

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To find out more, contact David Smith (+44 (0)20 7427 4905) or call us on +44 (0)20 7353 6381 for a confidential discussion.

Our professional clerking staff can help you identify the right barrister for your case.

James is a specialist in employment and discrimination law. His particular expertise lies in defending complex and high-value discrimination and whistle-blowing cases, as well as providing strategic advice on a broad spectrum of employment law issues.

James 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 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.

Employment & Discrimination


Mid-Essex Hospital Services NHS Trust v Mr. A. Smith UKEAT/0239/17/JOJ

On behalf of the employer, James successfully appealed the decision of the Employment Tribunal that the Claimant had been dismissed for making protected disclosures (whistle-blowing). Although the Tribunal found that the claimant had not been dismissed for the reason asserted by the Respondent (conduct), it had found that the Claimant had been a nuisance to the Respondent. Instead of engaging with this third reason, in keeping with Kuzel, the Tribunal merely found that the claimant’s reason for dismissal (whistle-blowing) succeeded. This was an error in law.

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 1301587/2015

James represented the respondent Chief Constable in this matter, which was heard in 2017. 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 nine days, with the Claimant cross-examined for three of those days. The judgment was 135 pages long. James successfully defended each and every allegation.

Riaz Uddin v The Embassy of the State of Kuwait and another 3346892/2016

This claim resonates with the very recent decision of the Supreme Court in Benkharbouche v The Embassy of the Republic of Sudan [2017]3 WLR 957 as to whether the Tribunal has jurisdiction to hear claims of unfair dismissal and disability discrimination made by a foreign national employed by an Embassy (a diplomatic mission). Preliminary issues have included jurisdiction, staying the proceedings, service of proceedings on the Embassy and transfer to London Central Employment Tribunal, as well as the identity of the employer (the second Respondent being a service management company for the Embassy). Substantive issues include complex disability discrimination claims, complicated by the fact that the Claimant requires a translator.

Appointments & Memberships

  • Employment Lawyers’ Association (ELA)
  • Employment Law Bar Association (ELBA)

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.

Areas of Law


“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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