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Work 0202 7404 3447
Matrix Chambers, James Laddie QC, London, ENGLAND

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James Laddie QC

Work 020 7404 3447
Matrix Chambers (Matrix Chambers)


Specialist in employment & discrimination law;  also enjoys substantial practice in commercial dispute resolution, civil actions against the police, electoral law, professional regulation and media law.  Also instructed to conduct independent investigations in a multitude of settings.  Particularly known for cross-examination and strategic trial skills, and for appellate advocacy.

Employment and Discrimination

2017 L500 Employment Silk of the Year;  ranked Band 1.  Over 40 reported cases including leading Court of Appeal cases in whistleblowing (Nurmohamed v. Chestertons; Day v. HEE; Bolton School v. Evans), restraint of trade (Egon Zehnder v. Tillman), discrimination (Igen v. Wong; Cockram v. Air Products), breach of contract (Locke v. Candy & Candy; Coulson v. NGN; Abrahall v. Nottingham CC), partnership (Roberts v. Wilsons LLP), territorial jurisdiction (Jeffery v. British Council).  He has particular interests in restraint of trade & breach of confidence, whistleblowing and disability discrimination.  Frequently instructed in very high profile first instance disputes, he has extensive experience of obtaining and resisting reporting restrictions and other privacy measures.  He acts for employees and employers and has developed particular expertise in disputes in the financial and medical sectors. 

Advisory work in this sector includes advising on compliance with industrial relations law, working time, equal pay and NMW obligations.

Commercial Dispute Resolution

Commonly instructed in employment-related commercial disputes covering:  breach of confidence and restraint of trade (see above and Farnsworth v. Lacey;  Prophet v. Huggett;  Utilitywise v. NGP);  contractual disputes (e.g. Sheikh al-Nehayan v. Kent);  arbitration proceedings (X Co v. Y Co - succesful defence of 400m Euro claim).

Civil Actions vs the Police

Long-established and directory-ranked practitioner acting exclusively for claimants in assault, false imprisonment, malicious prosecution and misfeasance claims.  Covers the most serious allegations (e.g. Walker v. CC Staffs Police - misfeasance in connection with quashed murder conviction;  X and Y v. CMP - misfeasance in connection with prosecution for the murder of Damilola Taylor).

Electoral Law

One of a very small number of experienced practitioners in this area.  Acted for successful petitioner in successful RPA s.103A challenge to a sitting MP (Watkins v. Woolas); has also acted in electoral coruption case vs. Mayor of Tower Hamlets (Erlam v. Rahman) and in electoral expenses case of R v. Mackinlay.

Regulatory/Professional Disciplinary Law

Reprenting Dr Hadiza Bawa-Garba in her appeal against her erasure from the medical register following her conviction for gross negligence manslaughter.  Has also acted for individuals facing proceedings brought by the FCA.


Regularly instructed to conduct various types of investigation e.g. independent investigations into workplace disciplinary allegations, complex grievances and corporate incidents (E.g. currently instructed on behalf of A Org., to investigate the circumstances behind the suicide of an employee in the workplace.)  All such investigations are carried out confidentially (where required), sensitively and with complete independence and integrity.


Called 1995.  Appointed to silk in 2012.  Chairman of Matrix Management Committee (2018 - )


English and French


Employment Lawyers Association; Industrial Law Society


MA (Cantab).


Birds, blues, cycling, cricket and crosswords.

London Bar


Within: Leading Silks

James Laddie QC - Matrix Chambers ‘ Fantastic cross-examiner particularly with tricky claimants and reads the court really well. ’

Within: Employment

Matrix Chambers has 'a formidable array of talent and expertise' with its members 'offering tremendous strength in employment cases'. James Laddie QC represented the employer in Supreme Court case Egon Zehnder v Tillman, the first employee restraint of trade case to reach the top level of the court system for more than a century. Karon Monaghan QC acted in Gilham v Ministry of Justice, in which the Court of Appeal held that judges are not workers and therefore cannot be covered by protections for whistleblowers. Elsewhere, Thomas Linden QC successfully acted for British Cycling, which was being sued by former track cyclist Jessica Varnish, who was found not to be an employee of the governing body or UK Sport, which funds elite athletes.

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