Richard Barker

Position: Principal Associate
Phone: +(44)(0)121 456 8445

What can I do for you?

I specialise in employment law and, whilst I’m based in our Birmingham office, I advise commercial clients nationally on a wide range of employment issues. Areas which I regularly advise clients on include disciplinary processes, TUPE, exiting senior executives, reorganisations and the Equality Act. I also have extensive experience of employment litigation having represented the likes of DHL, Debenhams, Kuehne+Nagel, Topps Tiles and Learn Direct in the Employment Tribunal.

Supporting my clients’ aims

What I really enjoy is helping my clients achieve what they want to achieve. The companies I advise don’t want to be told that they can’t do something – they want me to tell them how to achieve their aim whilst minimising any risk to the business as much as possible. Employment law can be a minefield and there will often be risks when companies make tough decisions – I’m here to help those businesses put those decisions into practice with minimal risk.

Where a former employee does take a client to the Employment Tribunal, I fight to get the best possible result. A highlight was successfully appealing a Tribunal’s original decision that an employee was unfairly dismissed for testing positive for cannabis whilst attending work in a safety-critical environment. The Employment Judge in the first instance had erred in his approach and it was great for me to see the client vindicated in the decision it made at the Employment Appeal Tribunal.

What do others say?

One HR Director once described me as “extremely personable and down to earth” and said that “when dealing with Richard on particularly challenging matters it often feels like he is an extension of my HR team rather than an external service provider because of his ability to understand issues from our perspective and tailor his advice accordingly”. Those words were particularly pleasing for me as understanding a client’s business and their drivers is something I pride myself in.

What else should you know?

I am a member of the Employment Lawyer’s Association which is great for keeping on top of employment law developments and discussing issues with my peers at other firms. I have also written for the Employment Law Journal, Workplace Law, Legal Week as well as being interviewed by Radio 5 Live on an employment matter. Another aspect of my work that I particularly enjoy is the opportunity to deliver training on a wide range of employment law/HR topics, something I do regularly.