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Call: 2015
Joseph Bryan


Called to the Bar in 2015, Joe became a member of Littleton in October 2016 on completion of his pupillage. He is developing a busy practice in employment law and commercial litigation. Approachable and reliable, Joe has been described by instructing solicitors as “superb, proactive, good at handling and calming down the client” and “at ease with the client and good value from my point of view”. He has also been commended for his “prompt and detailed attention”, “very professional manner” and “very clear analysis”.

Joe has acted as sole counsel in the Employment Tribunals, the County Court and the High Court.

Joe speaks fluent French and German, holding undergraduate and master’s degrees in Modern Languages, and worked in both France and Germany before coming to the Bar. He was ranked in the top three students in his law conversion course cohort and went on to gain an Outstanding grade in his Bar finals.

For better or worse, Joe travels far and wide to follow his hometown football club Manchester United.



Joe regularly appears in the Employment Tribunals in discrimination, unfair dismissal, redundancy and contractual claims, for both claimants and respondents, across a range of industries.

He has also acted judicial mediations.

Joe is at ease drafting claim forms and responses involving the full range of statutory and common law employment rights. His drafting work has recently been praised by instructing solicitors as “excellent”.

Recent cases include:

  • Representing the claimant in a multi-day harassment and sex discrimination case (judgment pending).
  • Successfully resisting a claim for pregnancy discrimination in the hospitality sector.
  • Opposing Queen’s Counsel, securing a four-figure compensatory award at a remedy hearing in an unfair redundancy claim.
  • Obtaining a costs award of £6,000 for an employer in the care sector, having successfully defeated a claim for constructive unfair dismissal.
  • Successfully resisting an application for the Employment Judge to recuse himself from a costs/wasted costs application on grounds of bias.
  • Successfully defending a claim for notice pay brought by an ex-employee of a major casino and obtaining costs for the employer.
  • Giving written advice on merits and quantum in a high-profile unfair dismissal claim for a senior official in local government.
  • Advising in conference on the merits and strategy of defending a claim for unfair dismissal and breach of contract claim for a third-sector client.
  • Obtaining a five-figure settlement and advising on the contents of a COT3 agreement for a claimant in a constructive unfair dismissal claim in the leisure services industry.


Joe has appeared as sole counsel in various commercial claims in the County Court, including:

  • Successfully resisting an application to set aside default judgment.
  • Successfully resisting a claim brought by a recruitment agency for an introduction fee.
  • Successfully defending a breach of contract claim brought against a major telecoms provider.
  • Appearing for a firm of solicitors seeking payment of outstanding fees.

Joe has also advised on civil litigation strategy and has drafted letters before action, pleadings and preliminary applications.

    High Court

Joe has a keen interest in High Court employment matters. During his pupillage he assisted with a number of applications for interim injunctive relief (including in the information technology and insurance sectors).

He has also appeared in the High Court on his own account:

  • In the QBD, successfully resisting an application to enforce the terms of settlement of an EAT appeal.
  • Before a Master, in a case management hearing as part of litigation concerning breach of restrictive covenants.
  • On numerous winding-up petitions.

Joe is an experienced user of the Relativity electronic disclosure platform, having been instructed as junior counsel on a multi-million-pound investment dispute.


Joe is a member of Littleton’s Sports Law Group.

As a pupil, Joe assisted his supervisor and other members of Chambers on various sports-related disputes, including:

  • A constructive unfair dismissal claim brought by the personal assistant to a football agent.
  • Drafting WP correspondence in a dispute between a Premiership rugby club and a coach.

Joe welcomes instructions in sports law, both as sole counsel and led by more senior counsel.

    Education, Scholarships and Prizes

2015: Bar Professional Training Course: Outstanding

2014: Graduate Diploma in Law: Distinction

2012: MSt Modern Languages (University of Oxford): Distinction

2011: BA (Hons) Modern Languages (Durham University): First Class

  • Prize for performance in BPTC finals, Inner Temple (2015)
  • Law First Scholarship, University of Law (2014)
  • Exhibition Award, Inner Temple (2014)
  • Paul Methven Award, Inner Temple (2014)
  • Merton College Graduate Prize (2012)

    Publications and professional memberships

Recent articles:

  • ‘Employees, Directors & the Future Path of Corporate Governance Reform’ (co-authored with James Bickford Smith)
  • ‘Equalities in Sport’, Sport Arbitration Handbook 2017-18 (Sport Resolutions UK) (co-authored with John Mehrzad)
  • ‘Pie-eating goalkeeper caught offside? Five things you need to know’
  • ‘High heels and workplace dress codes – is the law working?’
  • ‘Sam Allardyce leaves England post: the law behind the headlines’
  • ‘Five things you need to know: Sam Allardyce and alleged misconduct’

Professional memberships:

  • Employment Lawyers Association
  • ELBA
  • Inner Temple