Clerking team

Chris Shaw

Senior Clerk – Civil, Commercial & Employment Clerk

Rob Lang

Assistant Senior Clerk

Gemma Eachus

Civil Clerk

Xanthé Young

Civil Clerk

Adam Parker

Civil Clerk

“Thomas’s skills are second to none, he secures excellent results, and he is well-liked by clients due to his down-to-earth nature.”

Legal 500, 2024

Strengths: “Tom is efficient and excellent with clients.”

“Tom has a wealth of knowledge and experience, and uses his analytical mindset to identify and focus on the important issues. He is clear and concise with his drafting, and a very good advocate.”

“Tom is our go-to person for complex employment law issues.”

Chambers UK Bar, 2024

Tom Wood is an experienced specialist at the Northern employment Bar. He frequently appears in the Employment Tribunal, representing both claimants and respondents in the full range of cases.

Tom has practised employment and discrimination exclusively since 2008, often handling complicated and high-value claims in all sectors, with particular experience in the care and education sectors.

As a former solicitor, Tom understands the value in early involvement of counsel, and is happy to advise and assist at any stage of a case.

Tom’s book ‘A Practical Guide to the Law in Relation to Menopause and Perimenopause in the Workplace’ is available to buy on Law Brief Publishing and on Amazon.

Tom is accredited to receive instructions directly from members of the public through the Public Access Scheme.

Click here to view our Public Access pages and details of the process for instructing public access accredited barristers.

Employment

Tom Wood is an experienced specialist at the Northern employment Bar. He frequently appears in the Employment Tribunal, representing both claimants and respondents in the full range of cases.

Tom qualified as a solicitor in 2008 and is a true employment and discrimination specialist, known for his technical expertise and ability to tackle the most complex cases across a variety of fields.  Throughout his career, Tom has been instructed to act and advise, often in complicated or high-value claims, both for and against some of the largest organisations in the country across all sectors including legal (solicitors), accountancy, childcare and education (nurseries, schools/academies and MATs, colleges, universities), sporting (sports clubs including Premier League and Championship football clubs, national sporting organisations), public and charitable (local authorities, housing associations, charities, emergency services), health (NHS trusts, care homes), haulage and logistics, retail and production, and construction.

Tom has particular experience in whistleblowing, TUPE and discrimination (in particular disability and pregnancy discrimination) claims, although he is accomplished in all areas of employment law.

Tom regularly appears in the employment tribunals and has experience in the Employment Appeal Tribunal where he undertakes written work and advocacy.

Notable cases

Whistleblowing

  • Successfully represented multi-million pounds tech brand group in automatic unfair dismissal claim brought by former Chief Property Officer following qualifying disclosure about failure to follow product development processes.
  • Acted for former Women’s Super League first team doctor in whistleblowing (in relation to player safety) automatic unfair dismissal claim.
  • Acted for solicitor in claim against former employer, a firm of solicitors, concerning Covid safety and returning to work. Five-day trial involved health and safety detriment, indirect discrimination, and constructive dismissal.
  • Acted for a large national security company in victimisation, whistleblowing detriment, automatic and ordinary unfair dismissal claims.  Claimant withdrew all but his ordinary unfair dismissal claim after cross-examination. Although unfair dismissal claim succeeded, compensation was reduced by half.
  • Acted for firm of solicitors and seven named respondents in whistleblowing claim comprising 210 detriments and automatic unfair dismissal.  Successfully opposed interim relief application, and succeeding in having a number of claims struck out.
  • Represented a multi-academy trust in 10-day trial of whistleblowing detriment, sex and race discrimination, and unfair constructive dismissal claims. Read the Employment Tribunal Judgment.
  • Successfully represented national tyre-fitting outfit at five-day trial of six-figure whistleblowing claim brought by former CEO. Read the Employment Tribunal Judgment.
  • Represented successful claimant in four-day whistleblowing detriment/unfair dismissal claim.  The claimant was awarded £31,000, which included aggravated damages of £10,000. Read the Employment Tribunal Judgment.
  • Represented respondent fast-food outlet in four-day whistleblowing (health and safety) detriment and constructive dismissal claim and acted in claimant’s subsequent appeal to the EAT.
  • Represented claimant in four-day trial claiming whistleblowing relating to presence of cocaine on children’s nursery premises. The case was covered by the Manchester Evening News.

TUPE

  • Acted for well-known logistics and transport company in substantial change to material detriment opt-out unfair dismissal claim.
  • Currently (2024) conducting appeal in relation to the question of organised grouping of employees.
  • Acted for employment agency alleged to have transferred claimant from another employment agency on assumption of provision of labour activities from the latter.
  • Acted for firm of solicitors following merger with another in claim brought by two employees in which they alleged that a change of office location was a substantial change to their material detriment justifying resignation.
  • Successfully represented ‘transferee’ employer contesting the application of TUPE at a four-day preliminary hearing in £300,000 claim brought by 18 claimants.
  • Advised local authority on the LGPS implications of tendering services (second transfer) following school conversion to an academy (first transfer) where services agreement was assigned to the academy.  In particular considering which party, if any, held responsibility for LGPS post-second-transfer.
  • Represented both a local authority and national charity in a two-day preliminary hearing concerned with the application of TUPE to two claimants. The tribunal agreed that TUPE did not apply.

Discrimination

  • Successfully represented local authority in five-day equal pay, pregnancy and sex discrimination claim. Read the Employment Tribunal Judgment.
  • Represented multi-million-pound national charity in strike-out of discrimination and victimisation claim.
  • Successfully represented international supermarket chain in three-day long-covid reasonable adjustments and unfair dismissal claim.
  • Successfully represented university in defending race discrimination claims following five-day trial.
  • Acted for disabled social worker in discrimination and whistleblowing claim. Case settled for six-figure sum on first day of five-day trial.
  • Acted for respondent hairdressing salon in successfully defending age and sex discrimination claims where claimant was offered money for new clothes. The case was reported in the Daily Mirror and the Daily Mail. Read the Employment Tribunal Judgment.
  • Successfully represented national leading home building company in defending disability discrimination claims on the basis that the claimant was not disabled and that the respondent could not have known that she was.
  • Successfully represented claimant dog-groomer in four-day pregnancy discrimination claim, which rested almost entirely on oral evidence.  The respondent was found to be “wholly unsatisfactory”.  Read the Employment Tribunal Judgment.
  • Represented one of the largest food producers in the country in successfully defeating all claims (six) brought by a disabled former employee arising from premises relocation. Read the Employment Tribunal Judgment.
  • Acted for global software analytics company in six-figure disability discrimination claim brought by former Vice President of Sales.
  • Represented claimant at five-day trial against national charity in claim for failure to make reasonable adjustments for complex trauma disability, harassment, and discriminatory redundancy dismissal.

Unfair dismissal

  • Successfully represented claimant in unfair redundancy claim against multi-million pounds media agency in which the tribunal agreed that redundancy was a sham.
  • Successfully represented firm of accountants in defending constructive dismissal claim following change of office location and alleged falsification of documents.
  • Acted for teacher in seven-day trial.  The claimant had resigned following a course of events that she said amounted to the destruction of trust and confidence.
  • Acted for claim generator in five-day constructive dismissal claim against firm of solicitors in which it was said that the principal’s neglect of the firm created a breakdown of trust and confidence.
  • Successfully represented international religious organisation (UK region) in three-day unfair dismissal claim brought by former pastor alleged to have conducted services contrary to church doctrine. Read the Employment Tribunal Judgment.
  • Successfully represented a former managing director in a three-day unfair dismissal claim (which included a whistleblowing claim) against the UK business of a global manufacturer. Read the Employment Tribunal Judgment.
  • Acted for employer where consistency of sanction was in issue.  The case is referenced in the IDS Employment Law Handbook on Unfair Dismissal.
  • Acted for one of the country’s largest combined further and higher education providers at three-day unfair redundancy and age discrimination trial. Read the Employment Tribunal Judgment.
  • Successfully represented a multi-academy trust in an unfair dismissal claim whose final hearing took place over six days. Read the Employment Tribunal Judgment.
  • Represented a housing association in its successful defence, after a five-day final hearing, of unfair dismissal, disability and age discrimination claims. Read the Employment Tribunal Judgment.
  • Conducted appeal to the EAT on behalf of a claimant in relation to the application of ss.114 and 117 Employment Rights Act 1996 where former employer required repayment of balance of ex gratia sum on reinstatement.

Jurisdiction and employment status

  • Successfully represented global logistics solutions company at five-day trial defending claims of unfair dismissal, age, race, and sex discrimination.  Although the claimant was based in the UK at the time of the complaints, the case was dismissed on the basis of territorial jurisdiction and would otherwise have been dismissed on the facts. Read the Employment Tribunal Judgment.
  • Acted on behalf of claimant in seeking to establish that their employer’s subcontractor was also their agent.
  • Acted for county council in relation to employment status of bank carer where claim was for wages during suspension.
  • Successfully represented a sports governing body in a claim, taking place over a five-day trial, relating to the employment status of the Head Coach of numerous national squads.
  • Acted in a ‘landmark’ case on the employment status of a hairdresser, which was reported nationally on the BBC, the ‘I’ and the Daily Mail, and locally in the Manchester Evening News. The case is also referenced in the IDS Employment Law Handbook on Contracts of Employment.

Memberships

  • Employment Lawyers’ Association