Craig Rajgopaul specialises in employment, commercial and education law. Chambers & Partners Guide to the UK Bar 2014 describes Craig as "very hard-working and very highly rated within the market”.
Craig has been a lawyer since 2005, and was a Solicitor-Advocate (with Higher Rights of Audience in all English Courts) from 2007 - 2011. He previously worked as a Solicitor-Advocate specialising in Tribunal and High Court work in the highly rated employment departments of Ashurst and McDermott Will & Emery. Craig joined Littleton as a Barrister in 2011.
Since moving to the Bar in March 2011, he has been instructed on a variety of different commercial matters, numerous multi-day claims in the Employment Tribunal, including complex discrimination claims, in High Court team move, restrictive covenant and confidential information cases and in education matters across different courts and Tribunals. Craig also has good experience of litigation in the Employment Appeals Tribunal, and the Court of Appeal, and frequently acts on high profile (and high value) claims.
Craig prides himself on the quality of his written and oral advocacy, and has received plaudits for the clarity and persuasiveness of his submissions. He particularly enjoys cross-examination.
Craig uses his experience as a solicitor to bring a commercial, client-focussed approach to his work, and likes to think that he is approachable, down to earth and enjoyable to work with. Recent comments from clients include: "not afraid of a good old fashioned scrap in our client’s best interests”; "really did a number on the [other side’s] witnesses in cross-examination”; "Craig is exceptionally easy to talk to, particularly on matters of strategy”, and "Craig pitches in and is … genuinely willing to work as part of a legal team”.
Craig is ranked in Chambers & Partners Guide to the UK Bar (2014) and described in the following terms: "A former solicitor advocate whose broad employment practice is founded on in-depth familiarity with discrimination and restraint of trade issues … He is very hard-working and very highly rated within the market ...” Craig has been instructed (by both Respondents and Claimants) on numerous complex, multi-day discrimination claims, and has a thorough knowledge of the different strands of discrimination law, and of whistleblowing, TUPE, employment status and unlawful deductions issues. He has particular expertise in disability discrimination claims. Craig regularly acts for Respondents and Claimants in unfair dismissal claims, and has obtained a number of strike outs and costs awards at preliminary hearings. As set out in the ‘injunctions’ section of this profile, he also has a strong practice in team move, restrictive covenant and confidential information cases, and has recent experience of acting for employers on strike-busting injunctions.
Craig has extensive experience of litigation in the Employment Tribunal, Employment Appeals Tribunal, High Court and Court of Appeal. A fuller list of claims on which he has acted is included in his CV, which can be downloaded underneath his photograph. Recent cases include:
Craig has particular expertise in restrictive covenant/confidential information/team move claims, and has acted for the poacher, the gamekeeper and the employees involved in such claims. Chambers & Partners Guide to the UK Bar 2014 describes his "in-depth familiarity with … restraint of trade issues” as one of the foundation stones of Craig’s practice. Craig is frequently led by the leading Silks in these areas, and works closely in partnership both with those leading him, and with his instructing solicitors. He is recently acted (led by Stuart Ritchie QC) for a leading inter-dealer broker seeking injunctive relief against a former employee and his new employer both to enforce restrictive covenants and on a springboard basis, for a Lloyds managing agent (led by David Reade QC) resisting applications for springboard relief and delivery up of information, and as sole counsel for a insurance broker seeking damages for breaches of fiduciary duties and restrictive covenants. Although many of these claims settle prior to reaching a Hearing, high profile reported claims on which he has acted include:
QBE v Dymoke & Ors  I.R.L.R. 458: 20-day High Court team move trial relating to the insurance-industry involving complex (and at times novel) legal arguments relating to the application/appropriateness of springboard injunctive relief, pre- and post-termination confidentiality obligations, and the scope of the implied duty of fidelity. The Judge (Haddon-Cave J) described the written and oral submissions as "excellent”. Craig was led by Selwyn Bloch QC and Damian Brown QC.
Tullett Prebon v BGC Brokers: Acted (as a solicitor) for BGC and its President in this 45 day liability trial in the High Court ( IRLR 600) arising out of a team move between rival inter-dealer brokers, including allegations of misuse of confidential information, breaches of court orders, inducing breach of contract and conspiracy. Also acted on the appeal to the Court of Appeal ( IRLR 420).
Craig is an experienced advocate and adviser in a broad range of commercial disputes, at all stages from pre-action and interim stages to trials. He appears in both the High Court and the County Court, as well as in arbitrations.
Commercial claims on which Craig has acted include:
Craig is happy to accept instructions in relation to all such commercial claims.
Craig has a long-standing interest in, and considerable experience of, education law, in particular the law relating to special educational needs.
Craig uses his experience in the education field – referred to further below - to bring a practical, analytical and sympathetic approach to the instructions he receives in relation to all areas of education law. Cases on which he acts include:
Craig has been a Representative for the charity IPSEA (Independent Parental Special Education Advice) since 2002, and has appeared for numerous parents in successful appeals to the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal (now the First Tier Tribunal). Craig has been a school governor since 2003, so has practical experience of the application of education law in schools (and, as the Chairman of the Personnel committee, of the application of employment law in schools). Over the last six years, as a Governor of a state primary school in Wandsworth, he has helped to turn a school in special measures into one which received an Outstanding grade from OFSTED in February 2014. Craig has also worked with autistic children for more than 15 years, taught in a special needs school in Japan, and worked for a few months at the General Teaching Council.
Craig grew up, and went to school in, Edinburgh. He then read Modern History at Keble College, Oxford University, graduating with First Class Honours in 2000.
Craig spent two and a half years living in Toyota City, Japan (teaching English and studying Japanese), and holds Level 1 in the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (the highest Japanese language qualification).
He obtained Distinctions in the GDL and the LPC from BPP Law School.
Craig trained and qualified at Ashurst LLP (qualifying as a solicitor in March 2007, and as a Solicitor-Advocate in the same year). He has spent time on secondment to the in-house legal departments at IBM and Abbey. He joined McDermott Will & Emery in September 2008, and moved to the Bar in March 2011.
He is currently authoring chapters in a forthcoming book on discrimination law for OUP, and chapters on confidential information and legitimate interests for the next edition of the leading textbook on employee competition.