+44 (0)20 7797 8600


Silk: 2012 | Call: 1989
Damian Brown QC



The 'much in demand’ Damian Brown, ranked as a Leading Silk in Employment and Sports Law, comes highly recommended for his specialist injunction work on strikes and industrial action, as well as his commercial experience particularly in the sphere of business protection (team moves. confidential information and database rights). As the owner of two businesses (including one internet startup) he particularly appreciates the issues facing clients on a personal as well as a commercial level. High profile private sector clients have included banks, defence contractors and private equity funds and he has obtained interim relief (including without notice search orders) as well as expedited trials.

 As well as experience of the particular issues in the private sector Damian has also been involved in significant NHS injunctive work in disputes between Trusts and senior employees, often medical staff, including the ground breaking case of Kulkarni v. Milton Keynes NHS Trust [2009] IRLR 289 and Lu v. Nottingham. His regulatory experience also crosses over into sports work where he fully appreciates the regulatory environment and the variety of interests at stake.

His collective employment law work has covered TUPE and redundancy consultation issues, contractual variations, recognition and industrial action (with particular emphasis on the airline and maritime industries and cross-border strikes within the EU).

Damian is also in the  "All-Time Top 40 Advocates" with reported cases in the Industrial Relations Law Reports Equal Opportunities Review of reported cases (which includes Judges as former advocates) with over 40 reported cases in the Industrial Relations Law Reportsalone and others in ICRs and specialist reports.

Clients appreciate his "thorough knowledge of employment law and his keen appreciation of what judges will respond to” and is "commercial and a good negotiator”. He can be `forceful where needed’ but `knows when to be subtle’ and `an excellent cross examiner’. Consistently identified as a leader in his field from early on in his career by Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners who remark that 'He is very highly regarded in the market for his clarity of thought and presentation, as well as for his exceptional client service', he is additionally described in the following terms:

  • "Thoughtful, and excellent at finding the simplicity at the heart of a case." (Chambers & Partners 2016)
  • "He's very assured and extremely powerful in court." (Chambers & Partners 2016)
  • "An all-round class act, who is very user-friendly." (Chambers & Partners 2016)
  •  "A very creative silk with an easygoing manner that engages clients." (Legal 500 2015)
  •  "Very good at assessing strategy and pin-pointing the key issues." (Legal 500 2015)
  • "Delivers outstanding results in a pressurised timetable." (Legal 500 2014)
  • "A creative thinker who establishes a rapport with the client quickly." "He has a strong background in labour relations law." "Really good on team moves, he's a good tactician."
  • "Fantastic, tactically sound barrister" (Chambers & Partners 2013)
  • "Excellent client handling skills" (Chambers & Partners 2013)
  • "Practical, down-to-earth and highly reassuring to clients" (Chambers & Partners 2013)
  • "Instinctively knows when to fight and when to negotiate"(Chambers & Partners 2012)
  • "Good at focusing on the issues that matter" (Legal 500)
  • "Thoroughly deserves his elevation" (Legal 500)

Damian was Chair of the Employment Law Bar Association, a former member of the Bar Standards Board Professional Conduct Committee and a member of the Equality & Human Rights Commission Panel of Counsel.

He is a Legal Adviser to General Optical Council and British Psychological Society disciplinary panels, as well as a Legal Chair Premier League and British Equestrian Federation.

Damian has security clearance at SC level for National Security cases and has rights of audience before the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) Courts where he has appeared in a number of commercial/employment cases.

He has acted as Legal Adviser to a number of regulatory panels and Legal Chair to the Premier League and British Equestrian Federation.

Damian writes in high level publications and lectures regularly.



In injunctions Damian’s experience is fairly rounded and covers industrial action, business protection and professional discipline/regulation but has been known to venture into `pure’ commercial areas.

  • In industrial action he has been involved in many of the significant disputes over the last 20 years for both sides of industry. Reported cases include University College London Hospital v. Unison [1999] IRLR 31, Westminster City Council v. Unison [2001] IRLR 524 both on balloting provisions and the most recent authority on picketing Gate Gourmet v. TGWU [2005] IRLR 881. He was also involved in the Lindsey Oil Refinery dispute (the `British jobs for British workers’ dispute) as well as cross-border disputes involving EU law. He has appeared in the CAC in several recognition disputes.
  • In relation to business protection cases he has dealt with all aspects of interim relief including computerimaging orders and freezing injunctions. He recently represented a defendant in the 3 week High Court trial Lonmar v. SBJ [2011] IRLR 922 which involved a team move and QBE v. Dymocke and others [2012] IRLR 458 which is the leading authority on springboard injunctions.
  • In relation to professional discipline he obtained an injunction to restrain the dismissal of a whistleblower in Jesudason v. Alder Hey NHS Foundation Trust.
  • He acted for a dairy farm resisting an injunction from a dairy collective who were trying to enforce specific performance in Dairy Farmers of Britain Ltd v. Bays Leap Dairy Farm Ltd.


Damian practices and adviseson all aspects of employment law for employees and employers in High Court claims, as well as Employment Tribunals and the appellate courts, including the Supreme Court and ECJ.

  • With over 40 reported cases in the IRLR’s, he has considerable experience in unfair dismissal, whistleblowing, TUPE and discrimination. Reported cases include

    • St Helens Metropolitan Borough Council v Derbyshire [2004] IRLR 851, [2005] IRLR 801. [2007] IRLR 540 House of Lords case on equal pay victimisation for GMB.
    • Bowden v. Tufnell’s Parcels Express [2001] IRLR 838 ECJ case on working time sectoral exclusion.
    • Glendale Managed Services v Graham [2003] IRLR 465 Court of Appeal case on TUPE and collective agreements.
    • Fairhurst Ward Abbotts Ltd v Botes Building Ltd [2004 EWCA Civ 83, [2004] IRLR 304 leading TUPE case on ‘entity’.
    • Briggs V. Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust [2010] IRLR 504 Court of Appeal case on attempt by male employees to use regrading system to maintain pay differentials with women.

    Business Protection

In business protection cases Damian has dealt with all aspects of interim relief including computer imaging orders, breach of confidence, intellectual property, database rights and freezing injunctions. He has also appeared in several expedited trials. He gives good practical advice on securing business after high level departures as well as legal.

Recent significant cases include:

  • Lonmar v. SBJ [2011] IRLR 922 -A team move case,representing thedefendant ina 3 week High Court trial.
  • QBE v. Dymocke and others [2012] IRLR 458-the leading authority on springboard injunctions.
  • In 2012 he was involved in a significant multi-party dispute involving allegations of conspiracy, and misuse of confidential information with defendants in several jurisdictions. 
  • Appeared in Dubai in Roberto’s LLC v. Roberto RellaCFI-019-2103 in a commercial dispute involving unfair prejudice, penalty clauses, relief from forfeiture, intellectual property rights and local statutory employment rights. Significant case to rule on applicability of English law on penalties and forfeiture and local employment law. 
  • Also appeared in the Court of Appeal in Dubai in the same matter. 
  • Appeared in the Court of First Instance in Dubai on an injunction application. 
  • More recently he has acted in a number of without notice search/cloning order to preserve confidential information removed unlawfully.

He is a contributor to Tottel’s Termination of Employment on `Termination and Protection of Business’.

    Disciplinary & Regulatory


From sitting on internal disciplinary and grievance panels for public authorities and emergency services to representing surgeons and trusts Damian has significant experience and pragmatism in this area which has increased in recent years in issues arising from internal proceedings including injunctive relief and is extremely experienced in Maintaining High Professional Standards in the NHS (MHPS). He is fully conversant in both private and public regulatory environments and in particular the Human Rights Act interplay.


  • Conducting an investigation into electoral fraud within a union, investigating claims of race and sex discrimination within the public and private sector.
  • Appeared in the leading Court of Appeal case Kulkarni v. Milton Keynes NHS Trust [2009] IRLR 829 on Article 6 rights and internal disciplinary tribunals. Obtained an injunction restraining the dismissal of a Consultant in Jesudason v. Alder Hey NHS Foundation Trust
  • Lu v. Nottinghamshire University NHS Trust acted for Trust in high profile case involving Consultant who had transmitted bacteria to patients, several of whom died, and his attempts to return to work.

He has acted as Legal Adviser to the British Psychological Society and General Optical Council disciplinary panels.


Damian’s regulatory experience has led to a natural progression to sports law work. He has sat as a Legal Chair to the Premier League and British Equestrian Federation and appeared in a number of football, rugby and ice hockey disciplinary matters. He is ranked in Chambers and Partners as a Leading Silk. He was recently instructed in a high profile RFU case involving allegations of racism.

  • His EU work has been valuable in acting in freedom of movement and quota cases for clubs and players in rugby league and union and he has advised both the RFL and RFU. 
  • He recently advised Northampton Saints on a freedom of movement issue in relation to a player and international games. 
  • He has represented Premiership clubs and managers in bonus disputes and has appeared before Premier League Managers’ Arbitration Panels.
Damian is legal chair for the British Equestrian Society.

    Memberships & Publications


  • Chair of ELBA 2011-2013
  • Bar Standards Board member of the Professional Complaints Committee and Quality Assurance Committee 2006-2010
  • Member of the Industrial Law Society, Employment Lawyers Association, British Association of Sport and Law and the Association of Regulatory and Disciplinary Lawyers
  • Security Cleared to SC level
  • Appearance rights before Dubai International Finance Centre Courts.


  • Blackstone’s Employment Practice and Procedure (2010)
  • Tolleys Employment Law
  • Employment Precedents and Company Policy Documents, Sweet & Maxwell
  • Munkman on Employers’ Liability (2014)
  • Termination of Employment, Tottel
  • Regularly blogs on sport.