Diarmuid Bunting

Email: clerk@stjohnsbuildings.co.uk

Phone: 0161 214 1500

Year of call: 2006

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Diarmuid (Dermot) is always thorough and professional, but never at the expense of a personable and pragmatic approach. His advice is sometimes frank but always friendly.

He spent six years working for a national law firm before he took pupillage. As a solicitor, he specialised in employment, professional disciplinary and contractual disputes, having previously worked as a personal injury paralegal. His practice at the Bar spans these same areas. Diarmuid has acted for and against a broad range of individuals and organisations in the private and public sectors, including large corporations, trade unions and individual litigants.

Having worked as a solicitor, he is conscious of the workload and pressures under which those who instruct him operate. He is able to offer practical guidance to his instructing solicitors and is happy to assist throughout the lifetime of a case.

He is an active member of the Bar Pro Bono Unit and previously spent five years as a Co-Director of the South Manchester Law Centre. He is authorised to receive instructions directly from members of the public under the Public Access Scheme, and is happy to provide training to solicitors and other professionals.


  • Employment Lawyers Association
  • Association of Regulatory and Disciplinary Lawyers
  • Personal Injury Bar Association
  • Northern Circuit


  • Junior Counsel to the Crown – (Attorney General’s Regional Panel)
  • Welsh Local Authority and Public Sector Panel
  • Professional Conduct Panellist for the Teaching Regulation Agency.

Education and qualifications

  • LLB (Hons) Queen’s University Belfast
  • BVC Manchester Metropolitan University
  • Admitted to Roll of Solicitors



  • Employment

    Diarmuid has an extensive knowledge of employment law and a broad practice. He acts for Claimants and Respondents. He has significant experience in unfair dismissal, discrimination, whistleblowing and TUPE disputes. His practice also encompasses contractual matters (including in the High Court and County Court) and cases involving interim relief. As a solicitor and, subsequently, as a barrister, Diarmuid has acted for and against various public sector bodies and private companies.

    His recent experience includes:

    • Defending a government department in a race discrimination claim
    • Defending a national charity in an age discrimination claim
    • Representing an individual who had suffered sex discrimination and victimisation
    • Acting for a public sector employee in a claim for a failure to make reasonable adjustments
    • Defending a Higher Education College in a race discrimination claim
    • Acting for a Claimant in a TUPE claim against a well-known book-maker
    • Defending a University in a whistleblowing claim
    • Representing a trade union member (and employee of a nationwide company) following his dismissal for SOSR after he refused to accept proposed new terms and conditions
    • Drafting various particulars of claim and grounds of resistance
    • Providing written and oral advice on liability, quantum and tactics in a variety of claims
    • Providing pro bono advice to a national charity
    • Obtaining a strike out order in a High Court claim for breach of contract, harassment and various other complaints
    • Advising on, drafting and advocating in EAT matters.

    In addition to frequently appearing in multi-day hearings, he conducts substantive preliminary hearings, including in relation to time limits and other jurisdictional issues, as well as strike out and deposit applications.

    He is able to advise and assist with professional disciplinary matters when the arise in employment, such as when health professionals are facing internal disciplinary matters which may be referred to their professional regulatory body.

    He undertakes written and advocacy work in respect of Employment Tribunal, County Court and Employment Appeal Tribunal cases.

    Diarmuid has also been instructed in numerous Judicial Mediation hearings, which he finds particularly satisfying.

    Diarmuid has provided comment on the ‘sole or principle’ reason test within TUPE following a recent case.

    Diarmuid has provided a practice note about whether a perceived disclosure is sufficient in whistleblowing cases. Click here to download the article.

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  • Regulatory

    He is instructed in a range of professional disciplinary matters and frequently appears before fitness to practice panels.

    As a Solicitor, Diarmuid was Thompsons Solicitors’ chief regional liaison with the Royal College of Midwives, being the first point of contact for all their professional disciplinary and employment queries. He obtained numerous excellent results in NMC and HCPC cases, including a finding of no impairment in fitness to practise in a case where misconduct and dishonesty were admitted. He also successfully appealed (to the High Court) a decision of the NMC’s Conduct and Competence Committee.

    Diarmuid has been appointed by the Department for Education to serve as a Panellist on the Teaching Regulation Agency’s Professional Conduct Panel, which determines regulatory / misconduct cases involving teaching professionals.

    His recent regulatory and professional discipline experience includes:

    • Appearing before the Medical Practitioners Tribunals Service (in GMC fitness to practise cases)
    • Appearing before the NMC and HCPC
    • Advising upon and litigating professional disciplinary cases, including gathering evidence and drafting witness statements
    • Sending written guidance to registrants to enable them to provide a detailed proof of evidence
    • Assisting, via the public access scheme, a paramedic to draft her response to the HCPC’s Investigating Committee, resulting in a finding of no case to answer
    • Conducting interim orders hearings, review hearings and fitness to practise hearings before the aforementioned regulators
    • Acting in cases involving child-safeguarding issues, alleged sexual relationships with patients and consumption of drugs in and out of the workplace
    • High Court applications to extend interim orders
    • Advising upon and conducting appeals against Ofsted notices under the Childcare Act 2006.

    Diarmuid also provides written advice upon the likelihood of fitness to practise panels finding that:

    • A registrant committed the facts alleged
    • He/she committed misconduct or demonstrated a lack of competence
    • His/her fitness to practise is currently impaired; and
    • What sanction, if any, would be appropriate.

    He is always happy to provide pragmatic advice and guidance by telephone, and can provide professional clients with template letters where available.

    Diarmuid has recently written an article on Delaying fitness to practise proceedings when there are concurrent criminal proceedings.

    He recently defended a healthcare professional in a case before the Conduct and Competence Committee of the Health and Care Professions Council and has provided a short case note. Click here to download the article.

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  • Personal Injury

    Diarmuid has developed a broad civil practice with an emphasis on personal injury work. He undertakes written and advocacy work in employer’s liability, public liability and occupier’s liability claims, as well as those arising from road traffic accidents. He also accepts instructions in professional negligence, protection from harassment and breach of contract claims, as well as consumer disputes. Diarmuid’s recent court work includes:

    • Fast track and multi-track trials
    • Acting for Claimant and Defenders/Insurers
    • Highway and RTA claims, including cases where fraud is alleged
    • Application hearings in the County Court and High Court
    • Credit hire and diminution cases
    • Costs case management

    Diarmuid willingly provides ad hoc advice by telephone and email, to instructing solicitors in respect of procedural and evidential matters.

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  • Inquests

    Diarmuid accepts instructions from various interested parties, including medical professionals, family members and government departments. In addition to advocacy at pre-inquest reviews and inquests (including those with Article 2 considerations), he is able to offer proactive advice during the course of the Coroner’s investigation.  He has a particular interest in matters with a clinical element. In addition to instructions from professional clients, he accepts work from family members and others under the Public Access Scheme.

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  • Public Access

    Diarmuid is authorised to receive instructions directly from members of the public under the Public Access Scheme.

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