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Edward Kemp


Ed is currently ranked in tier 2 of the Legal 500 2018, among the top employment juniors in the country. He is also ranked in Chambers & Partners and has been recognised in both directories for many years.

Ed is singled out for his exceptional legal ability having been consistently described as “extremely intelligent” (Legal 500 2018), “exceptionally talented” (Chambers and Partners 2013) and “one to watch” (Chambers and Partners 2016).

Ed has a broad employment and equality law practice. Ed is particularly sought after for challenging cases raising novel points of law and sensitive factual disputes requiring creative thinking and flexible advocacy skills.

Ed brings to bear a depth of experience across a number of areas of law including commercial, professional negligence and human rights. Ed has also been noted for his “cross-disciplinary expertise” and his “international” practice (Chambers & Partners 2017 & 2018), he regularly works on such cases in the UK courts and he has appeared in a number of important cases in the DIFC Courts in Dubai. 

Ed has a strong practice as both a trial and appellate lawyer. In the space of just a few years he has been involved as junior counsel in two cases in which he represented at every level of tribunal and court all the way up to ultimate victory in the Supreme Court. Ed’s second case in the Supreme Court was heard over two days in May 2017.

Ed’s considerable skills and experience have been commented on by independent market feedback from the leading legal directories:

Exceptional legal ability: “He is extremely intelligent and responsive.” (Legal 500 2018) “Incredibly responsive and knowledgeable on very technical areas of the law” (Chambers & Partners 2019)."He is extremely intelligent and responsive." (Legal 500 2018) “He has great legal knowledge” (Chambers & Partners 2018). “He has excellent technical knowledge” (Legal 500 2017). “He has a remarkable ability to drill down into the fine details of the case” and “he is brilliant at analysing each of the tiny nuances of a case and does an enormous amount of research” (Chambers & Partners 2013).“He quickly masters the details of a matter” (Legal 500 2015).

Oral advocacy skills:“An accomplished advocate who is very client friendly. His cross examinations are effective and his submissions are clear and persuasive” (Chambers and Partners 2019).  “He is very calm and competent, and deals with complicated issues with enthusiasm and diligence” (Chambers & Partners 2016 & 2017). “He has great courtroom presence, and is both reassuringly confident and persuasive” (Legal 500 2015).

Advisory and paperwork: “Very good at drafting” (Chambers & Partners 2017). “He always adds value, is solutions focused and very creative in challenging situations…gives clear and unambiguous advice” (Legal 500 2016). “…has drafting skills which were singled out for praise by sources” (Chambers & Partners 2013).

Team work: “Easy to deal with and good with clients…” (Chambers & Partners 2018).

At Littleton, Ed is a registered pupil supervisor. Ed has sat on the BPTC scholarship interviews for the Inner Temple and spoken to students about life as a barrister. Ed is an appointed member of the Employment Lawyers Association Pro Bono Committee. Ed is also among a number of senior juniors, silks and judges who deliver witness familiarisation training for Assurety.


    Appellate Work

Ed is noted for a practice which “has seen him in courts of all levels, up to the Supreme Court” (Chambers & Partners 2017)

Supreme Court & Court of Appeal:
  • P v. Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis [2018] 2 CMLR 4; [2018] ICR 560; [2018] IRLR 66; Times, November 14 2017 – landmark victory in Supreme Court for police officers bringing discrimination claims in the Employment Tribunal following police misconduct proceedings; important case on direct effect of EU Directives; [2016] IRLR 301, CA – immunity from suit of Police Misconduct Panel from discrimination claims in the Employment Tribunal. Led by Karon Monaghan QC in the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court having appeared alone in the ET and the EAT.
  • Dr S Verma v. Barts and the London NHS Trust [2013] ICR 727, [2013] IRLR 567, SC (meaning of pay protection for doctors in the NHS) – appeared alone and successfully in the EAT and led by Karon Monaghan QC in the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court, where he was personally mentioned for his “diligence” by Lord Carnwath in the Judgment.
  • Green v. SIG Trading Ltd [2018] EWCA Civ 2253, Court of Appeal (listed for two days with British Council v Jeffery [2016] IRLR 935, EAT). Important case on territorial reach of Employment Rights Act to international whistleblowers. Ed led Grahame Anderson in the Court of Appeal against two silks.

Recent EAT cases:

  • Wright v. Aegis Defence Services UKEAT/0173/17/DM – employment status and territorial reach of security contractor in Kabul, Afghanistan (IDS Volume 3, Chapter 2.30 and Volume 5, Chapter 2.67).
  • Green v. SIG [2017] ICR 1274 – objective assessment of strength of connection test in territorial reach cases, attracted widespread industry commentary in the UK and abroad (Harvey Division H [1108.01], IDS Emp. L. Brief 2017, 1073) (sole counsel against a silk).
  • Dr Lees v. Imperial College of Science and Technology UKEAT/0288/15/RN – representing Imperial in an appeal concerning the meaning of the redundancy payment provisions in s.136 ERA (IDS Volume 9, Chapter 1.43).
  • Dr S Verma v. Newham University Hospital NHS Trust UKEAT/0255/15/JOJ – representing the doctor in a further pay protection challenge to the NHS terms and conditions of service following the challenge in the Supreme Court.
  • Russell v. College of North West London [2014] All ER (D) 200 (Sep) – represented local authority in this two day case before the EAT concerning the “Bradford Score” and disability discrimination (see: Equal Opportunities Review, October 2014).
  • George v. London Borough of Brent [2014] All ER (D) 10 (Sep) and (No.2) UKEAT/0233/15/DM – represented local authority in this case about trial periods in redundancy law, successfully defeated claim on remission on each occasion. He recently appeared in (No.3) UKEAT/0089/18/RN as sole counsel against a silk. 
  • Igbinake v. Axis Security [2014] All ER(D) 51 (Sep) – represented appellant pro-bono is case about inadequacy of Tribunal reasons and religious discrimination.
Ed is a member of the ELAAS scheme and appears pro-bono in the EAT in that capacity, assisting and representing litigants in person with apparently hopeless appeals. Ed has also appeared in the EAT on behalf of the Bar Pro Bono Unit. (Now known as advocate).

    Discrimination & Whistleblowing

Ed acts for both employers and employees in complex or high value discrimination and whistleblowing claims. Ed has very broad sector experience including the full spectrum of city claims, NHS, the police, education, local and central government. Ed has been consistently recognised for his long-standing specialist expertise in equality law. In Chambers & Partners 2014, he was “particularly commended for his ability to handle novel discrimination cases”. In 2015, he was again noted for his “standout expertise in discrimination cases”. Ed has also been recently commended in Chambers & Partners 2018 for his “…deft handling of whistle-blowing cases.”

Ed’s recent cases in these fields include:-

  • Instructed to represent a civil servant in a 10 day race victimisation and personal injury claim against a central government department (Autumn 2018).
  • Instructed to represent a senior executive in a 10 day sexual orientation discrimination claim against a bank (Spring 2019) (sole counsel against a silk).
  • Represented a leading consultant in a complex 10 day whistleblowing claim and backdated holiday pay claim (cases settled shortly before trial and at mediation respectively).
  • Represented clinical lead of an NHS department in a complex 11 day whistleblowing detriment and race discrimination claim.
  • Successfully defended a school in a high profile whistleblowing claim by a former deputy of department with widespread media coverage in the Daily Mail and The Telegraph.
  • Represented employer (led by John Bowers QC) in seven figure claim for psychiatric injury (case settled at door of tribunal). 
  • Represented doctor (leading Marc Delehanty) in a ground breaking free movement of workers challenge to a contractual benefit (case settled on eve of hearing) (against a silk at the initial stage).
  • Represented embassy worker in a discrimination claim against State of Qatar raising issues of state and diplomatic immunity under the Vienna Convention with press coverage in the Evening Standard.
  • Representing and advising various workers and companies in territorial jurisdiction cases in territories as far and wide as: Antigua, Afghanistan, Hong Kong, the USA, Tanzania, Mozambique and Saudi Arabia.
  • Successfully represented a household brand in a 3 day sex discrimination case with coverage in The Telegraph.
  • Represented a police constable in a gender reassignment discrimination case with widespread national media coverage in the Sun and the Daily Mail ([2014] EqLR 184).
  • Represented higher education college in resisting disability discrimination challenge to “Bradford score” in two separate cases in Tribunal ([2013] EqLR 737) and in Tribunal and successfully on appeal ([2014] All ER (D) 200 (Sep)).
  • Advising senior executives on discrimination claims of various kinds (e.g. race, age, sex).

    International and Offshore

Ed has particular experience in international employment cases. He is one of very few employment barristers with a practice that is international. He has been noted for his “international” practice (Chambers & Partners 2017 & 2018). Ed’s experience encompasses both jurisdiction and territoriality disputes in the domestic courts in addition to advisory and advocacy work on cases in forums overseas. Ed is also an expert in human rights challenges to sovereign, diplomatic, judicial and intergovernmental immunities. 

Ed’s recent market leading experience in the domestic courts includes:

  • Green v. SIG Trading Ltd [2018] EWCA Civ 2253, Court of Appeal (listed for two days with British Council v Jeffery [2016] IRLR 935, EAT). Important case on territorial reach of Employment Rights Act to international whistleblowers. Ed led Grahame Anderson in the Court of Appeal against two silks.
  • Wright v. Aegis Defence Services UKEAT/0173/17/DM – employment status and territorial reach of security contractor in Kabul, Afghanistan (IDS Volume 3, Chapter 2.30 and Volume 5, Chapter 2.67).
  • Green v. SIG [2017] ICR 1274 – objective assessment of strength of connection test in territorial reach cases, attracted widespread industry commentary in the UK and abroad (Harvey Division H [1108.01], IDS Emp. L. Brief 2017, 1073) (sole counsel against a silk).
  • Anderson & Others v. Swire Pacific - successfully represented the shipowners in respect of a territorial reach challenge by seafarers servicing wind turbines in the North Sea.
  • X v. Y and another – territorial reach of agency / principal provisions of the Equality Act 2010. Territorial scope of EU Directives (January 2019).
  • Representing an ivy league university in defence of an equality act claim; novel points as to territoriality of co-worker provisions and vicarious liability (case settled).
  •   Representing embassy worker in a discrimination claim against State of Qatar raising issues of state and diplomatic immunity under the Vienna Convention with press coverage in the Evening Standard (2014-ongoing).
  • Representing an intergovernmental organisation asserting immunity from suit under the International Organisations Act 1968 and Council Order.
  • Representing a foreign government asserting state immunity post-Benkharbouche [2015] EWCA Civ 33 in first instance and appellate proceedings in the county court.
  • Advising international civil servants in respect of potential before the UNDT in Arusha and before the ILOAT in Geneva (where the staffing agreement provided right of appeal to the ILOAT)
  • Representing as sole counsel a senior executive in a territorial reach issue against a silk and a junior with concurrent anti-suit proceedings in South Asia (case settled on terms on the eve of the hearing).
  • Representing an international commuter in an issue concerning the territorial reach of the ERA to an employment / agency relationship in Tanzania / UK.
  • Representing the owner of a superyacht in an issue concerning the territorial reach and the “mariner” provisions of the ERA in respect of the employment of its former captain residing in the Caribbean.
  • Advising a charity on the employment status of missionaries in Africa.

Ed now has full rights of audience before the DIFC Courts in Dubai. Over the last few years, he has recently appeared in a number of leading employment cases within that jurisdiction:

  • Acting for a global insurer in the DIFC Court of First Instance in defence of a breach of contract / bonus claim by a senior executive with pleaded value exceeding $2 million.
  • Pierre Eric Lys v. Elseco CFI012/2014, Article 59A (termination for cause) and Article 18 (penalty for failure to pay wages).
  • BGC Brokers v. Abourahim CFI027/2013, Article 59A (termination for cause), ground breaking case on mutual trust and confidence in DIFC employment contracts (listed as one of the top three most notable cases in the DIFC Court of First Instance in 2015 in the Court’s Annual Review 2015: (LINK)
  • Gaspar v. Gavrilla & Company SCT 3/4/16 – settled defence and advised the successful (anonymised) defendant in this case concerning pre-conditions of an offer of employment by a law firm.
Ed has a long-standing interest and expertise in comparative and conflicts of law.

Ed was educated in both English Law and French Law.  He has an LLB from King’s College London and a Maîtrise en Droit from Université de Paris I (La Sorbonne). Ed then took an LLM from University College London which focused on employment, equality law and comparative law. 

Ed regularly writes papers, chairs conferences and delivers seminars both in the UK and in Dubai on the subjects of territoriality and influence of English law in the development of the common law in the emerging global litigation market.

Ed is also retained as an ad-hoc consultant in the international aid sector on the duty of care owed by NGOs to their staff in a multi-jurisdictional and high risk environment. Ed brings his knowledge of comparative law combined with the experience in his early years of practice in personal injury law to bear in this developing field. 
Over a two year period culminating in publication in November 2011, Ed drafted guidance on the law of negligence for international aid agencies for a Swiss NGO (Security Management Initiative) in partnership with five magic circle international law firms from five different jurisdictions. This work has become one of the leading sources of guidance to HR professionals within the sector receiving thousands of downloads (LINK).

After publication of this work, Ed then went on to chair conferences and present workshops on the subject in the USA, Geneva and in Brussels. In October 2012, Ed researched and drafted a concept paper for a code of conduct for NGOs with a designated Arbitral Tribunal to resolve personal injury claims against international NGOs. 

In March 2016, Ed co-chaired a conference for the European Interagency Security Forum at Médecins Sans Frontières in Brussels following the landmark ruling by the Oslo District Court in 2015 that an NGO had been grossly negligent in respect of the kidnapping and injury of one of its employees in the Horn of Africa. In September 2016, Ed co-authored a paper on this ruling and its repercussions within the sector (LINK).

Ed is responsible for NGO/Social Enterprise opportunities on the ELA Pro Bono Committee. 

    Commercial Employment

Ed’s experience in this area includes:

  • Re a legal aid firm – acting for a criminal legal aid firm in a dispute over the allocation of legal aid slots and a departing employee. Injunction hearing before Kerr J in April 2018; forthcoming trial.
  • Advising an individual in respect of employee competition issues with an international jurisdiction angle.
  • Advising businesses in respect of ongoing confidential information litigation where previous counsel (including leading counsel) have been involved at the interim stage.
  • Led by Selwyn Bloch QC in defending multi-million pound senior executive wrongful dismissal claim (appeared alone against a silk in an interim application).
  • Defending a senior executive wrongful termination claim in the DIFC Courts in Dubai involving expert forensic accountancy evidence.
  • Representing a language agency in threatened injunction for theft of confidential information and database (case settled before injunction).
  • Litigating concurrent proceedings in the Employment Tribunal / High Court, for example shareholder disputes with good leaver / bad leaver provisions.
  • Advised as part of a multi-disciplinary team of counsel on the bonus element of a partnership dispute proceeding in the Chancery Division.
  • Contractual interpretation – litigation on several occasions in the appellate courts including the Supreme Court.
  • Conflicts of law and jurisdiction.
  • Fiduciary duties.
  • Confidential information (including the Database Regulations).
  • Litigating concurrent proceedings in the Employment Tribunal/High Court.
  • Bonus claims including complex points of contractual interpretation and the scope of implied terms.

    Other Employment

Ed has a broad range of experience across the full width of statutory employment claims. He represents both employers and employees in addition to providing advisory services. Ed has particular expertise in pay disputes of all kinds and work in the medical field, the police service and City disputes. Ed’s recent work in this field includes:

  • Successfully represented a further education college in a 4 day trade union activities and race victimisation claim against a former union representative (costs application pending); local media coverage and related strike action.
  • Representing the employer in the case management of complex mass holiday pay claims. Representing senior executives and atypical workers in very substantial back-dated holiday pay claims.
  • Representing employment agency in complex claim under the Agency Worker Regulations (claim withdrawn after cross-examination).
  • Successfully represented an NHS Trust in a case concerning the meaning of the recognition of previous service provisions in the NHS Terms and Conditions of Service for Doctors.
  • Represented the lead Claimant in a test case on the meaning of the new pay protection provisions for doctors within the NHS.
  • Defending various respondents in cases involving employment status issues and illegality.
  • Persuaded an ET to strike out as vexatious a claim for a declaration of failure to consult under s.188 TULRCA on the basis that the “game [wasn’t] worth the candle, let alone the wick”.
  • Represented a senior employment lawyer at a mediation against a silk which led to a confidential and bespoke five figure settlement.
  • Successfully represented a property lawyer obtaining a finding at a PHR of employment status and resisting various Polkey arguments raised in remedy following a late admission of liability.
  • Advising a banker on the merits of his claim for unfair dismissal arising from allegations of insider dealing.
  • Advising on the TUPE Regulations 1981 for the purposes of an industrial disease claim in the High Court (case settled for a high five figure sum).

    Other High Court/County Court

Ed is recognised in the current edition of Chambers and Partners (2017) for his “cross-disciplinary expertise in employment, commercial and professional negligence matters”. Ed is able to combine the experiences of his early years of practice in personal injury with his skill set in employment and employment-related fields when it comes to novel or complex litigation in the civil courts. 

Ed is regularly instructed to litigate pay disputes and other contractual disputes in the civil courts. He has strong legal expertise in contractual interpretation issues and in the law of implied terms. He has a particular depth of experience in health care sector cases:

  • Instructed to represent a Trust in a county court dispute over the Specialty Doctor terms.
  • Representing almost an entire department of doctors in a pay dispute with a Trust.
  • Advising and representing individual doctors in breach of contract claims in the civil courts.
  • Advising and representing doctors in injunctive proceedings. 
Ed also has an established practice as an equality practitioner in the goods and services field:
  • Successfully representing a company in a three day race discrimination on the multi-track.
  • Successfully representing a parking enforcement company in a race discrimination claim in the county court and at a mediation.
  • Successfully representing an estate agent in a race and sexual orientation discrimination claim in the county court.
  • Led by David Reade QC in drafting a defence to a novel goods and services claim in the banking sector.

Ed’s practice in the professional negligence field continues to develop apace. Chambers and Partners (2016) notes Ed’s “…skill at handling professional negligence and employment situations.” In this sensitive and often highly confidential area, Ed has been involved in a number of High Court/County Court actions. The cases typically include allegations of negligent employment advice or failed employment litigation with complex issues of quantum. The cases sometimes involve concurrent proceedings for breach of contract against former employers.




Ed has a developing interest in arbitration as a forum for dispute resolution within all of his practice areas. Ed is able to combine his skills as a litigator with his knowledge of comparative legal systems and cultures.

In 2012 Ed researched and drafted a concept paper for a code of conduct for NGOs with a designated Arbitral Tribunal to resolve personal injury claims against international NGOs.