“A tower of strength with incredible capacity for work and someone you would always want on your team” (Legal 500)
Ronnie is ranked as a leading junior in his two main practice areas: employment and public law.
He is described as “excellent all-round” – “very impressive on his feet”, “great tactical insight”, “great paperwork, great cross-examination, and great advocacy” (Chambers UK Bar/ Legal 500). He is also recommended as “client-friendly”, “highly commercial in terms of looking at what the client wants as an end game”, and someone who, “Keeps things simple and to the point, effectively manages the litigation, and makes the key points heard” (Legal 500).
Ronnie is regularly instructed in complex discrimination and whistleblowing claims, and has acted as sole counsel in employment matters in the EAT and Court of Appeal. He also specialises in employee competition claims, and has acted in a number of confidential information, restrictive covenant and team move cases.
Ronnie’s public law practice encompasses all areas of judicial review, with a particular focus on claims with a commercial context. He has acted in a number of high-profile judicial review claims on behalf of private companies, local authorities and central government.
Commercial Dispute Resolution
Ronnie has acted in a broad range of employee competition disputes, including claims for breach of restrictive covenants, misuse of confidential information and economic torts. His other commercial work includes claims for breach of contract, fraudulent misrepresentation and professional negligence (see case examples further below).
Examples of his work in the field of employee competition include:
Insurance broker competition
(January 2022 to date)
The claimant, an insurance broker in London, has brought claims against two former employees and their new company, alleging they orchestrated an unlawful team move and have since poached other employees. Ronnie acts for the defendants. Read more about the case here.
Equity broker competition
The claimant was an equity broker who resigned without notice to join a competing firm. He sought declarations against his former employer that his notice period and restrictive covenants were unenforceable. His former employer counterclaimed for the opposite declarations and overpaid commission. Ronnie acted for the former employer, led by James Laddie KC.
Non-compete and confidentiality clauses
A global chemical manufacturer sought an interim injunction to prevent its former Head of Marketing from joining a competitor in breach of a non-compete clause, or using its confidential information. Ronnie acted for the departing employee.
Multinational team move litigation
A leading business advisory firm claimed that former employees in the UK, Dubai, Hong Kong and India had orchestrated an unlawful team move to a competitor. Claims included breach of express and implied duties of loyalty and fiduciary duty, inducing breach of contract and unlawful means conspiracy. The parties also sought declarations as to the enforceability of non-compete, non-dealing and non-poaching clauses in the employees’ contracts. Ronnie acted for the former employer, led by James Laddie KC.
Team move litigation
(2018 – 2020)
A commercial real estate company claimed that two former employees had conspired together and with others, including a recruitment consultancy and their new employer, to execute an unlawful team move. Claims included breach of the duty of fidelity and post-termination restraints, misuse of confidential information, inducing breach of contract and unlawful means conspiracy. Ronnie acted for the departing employees.
Confidentiality and data protection
(November – December 2018)
An asset management firm accused a serving Fund Manager of hacking its email accounts and misusing its confidential information. Claims included breach of the duty of fidelity and fiduciary duty, breach of confidence, the DPA and GDPR, and misuse of private information. Ronnie acted for the Fund Manager, led by Anya Proops KC.
Urgent injunction without notice
The High Court granted an urgent injunction at a hearing without notice, to prevent a solicitor from using or disclosing client lists and other confidential information he had taken from his employer. Ronnie acted for the successful applicant.
Non-solicit and non-dealing clauses
The High Court granted an interim injunction to enforce non-solicit and non-dealing clauses in a former employee’s contract of employment. Ronnie acted for the successful applicant.
Examples of Ronnie’s other commercial work include:
Cahane v The Investigative Journal Ltd
 EWHC 2344 (QB)
A journalist claimed she had been induced to join the defendant as Editor-in-Chief by fraudulent misrepresentations about the nature of the journal and the role she would carry out. No defence was filed and she obtained default judgment. At this hearing, Senior Master Fontaine awarded her damages and costs in excess of £225,000. Ronnie acted for the successful claimant.
– Acting for employees and employers bringing/ defending claims for unpaid bonuses and commission;
– Acting for an outdoor goods supplier defending claims for breach of the Commercial Agents (Council Directive) Regulations 1993;
– Acting for a property asset manager defending claims for negligence and breach of contract in connection with an interest rate hedging arrangement;
– Acting for a Cloud Software company claiming an employee had failed to carry out his work with reasonable skill and competence;
– Obtaining a High Court injunction to prevent a sampling agency from dealing with clients in breach of a contract for the sale of goodwill.
Ronnie’s employment practice covers:
- the full range of claims in the Employment Tribunal, with a particular focus on discrimination, equal pay and whistleblowing claims;
- industrial relations disputes; and
- employee competition claims: see further under “Commercial Dispute Resolution” above.
Examples of his work in this field include:
Constructive dismissal, age/sex/race discrimination and victimisation
The claimant was a 61-year-old woman of Indian ethnic origin, who had been employed by a software solutions company as an Account Manager. She resigned when her two key accounts were reallocated to younger, white men, and brought claims for constructive dismissal, discrimination/ harassment and victimisation. Judgment is currently awaited. Ronnie acted for the claimant at the 7-day hearing.
Trade Union detriment and disability discrimination
The claimant was a Trade Union representative, who claimed he had been victimised and dismissed for Trade Union activities. He also claimed he had been discriminated against because of something arising from his depression/ anxiety, and that his employer failed to make reasonable adjustments, by requiring him to carry out a particular role. The Tribunal found his dismissal was procedurally unfair, but that he would have been dismissed in any event, and rejected all other claims. Ronnie acted for the employer at the 4-day hearing.
Council Chief Executive wrongfully dismissed
The claimant was the former Chief Executive of the defendant Council, who claimed she had been unfairly and wrongfully dismissed for making protected disclosures about the new Council Leader. The Tribunal found she had been wrongfully dismissed after a 5-day hearing. Ronnie acted for the claimant.
Gypsy discrimination claims
The claimant, who had gypsy ethnic origins, brought claims against his employer for direct and indirect race discrimination, harassment and whistleblowing detriment. The claims related to comments made to him at work, his unsuccessful application for promotion and his employer’s policy that employees had to live nearby to carry out a particular role. Ronnie acted for the employer at the 7-day hearing.
Covid-19 whistleblowing claims
The claimant was a financial recruitment consultant, who claimed he had been subjected to detriments and dismissed for making protected disclosures about breach of Covid-19 regulations. The Employment Tribunal dismissed all claims after a 4-day hearing. Ronnie acted for the successful employer.
Queensgate Investments LLP v Millet
 ICR 863;  IRLR 637
The EAT ruled that interim relief hearings in the Employment Tribunal must be heard in public, unless the Tribunal makes an Order under Rule 50 of the ET Rules 2013. Ronnie acted for the Appellant, led by Sean Jones KC.
Headley v Sensyne Health plc
(April – May 2020)
Ronnie acted for Sensyne’s former Chief Financial Officer in his whistleblowing claims against the company and its CEO, Lord Drayson. The litigation was reported in the Times, Telegraph and Financial Times.
Bird & Rashid v Morrison Data Services (Water) Ltd
The claimants were two Trade Union Representatives who claimed their employer had subjected them to detriments for their trade union activities. The Tribunal dismissed all claims after a 5-day hearing. Ronnie acted for the successful employer.
Law firm’s bonus policy not discriminatory
The Employment Tribunal ruled that a bonus policy operated by a multinational law firm, which did not reduce hours targets for time spent on holiday, was neither directly nor indirectly discriminatory on grounds of maternity or gender. Ronnie acted for the successful law firm.
Beal v Avery Homes (Nelson) Ltd
 6 WLUK 89
The High Court conducted the equivalent of a “Stage 2” hearing in equal pay claims brought by over 70 female care workers. The judgment contains helpful guidance on what constitutes a person’s work for the purposes of any equal value assessment. Ronnie acted for the claimants, led by Sean Jones KC.
R. (Independent Workers Union of Great Britain) v Central Arbitration Committee
 I.R.L.R. 530
The High Court rejected claims that workers have a right to compulsory collective bargaining with a third party who is not their employer under Art. 11 ECHR. Ronnie acted for the University of London, led by Christopher Jeans KC.
Patel-Jones v Babylon Partners Ltd
The Employment Tribunal dismissed claims for direct disability discrimination (including by association), harassment, failure to make reasonable adjustments, whistleblowing detriment and automatic unfair dismissal after a 12-day hearing. Ronnie acted for the successful employer.
Ayodele v Citylink Ltd
 I.R.L.R. 114
The Court of Appeal ruled that employees bringing claims for discrimination bear the initial burden of proof under the Equality Act 2010, despite the change in wording as compared with the pre-EqA legislation. Read more about the case here.
Extraterritorial discrimination claims
The Employment Tribunal ruled that it had territorial jurisdiction to determine claims for unfair dismissal and discrimination brought by an Engineering Manager against a multinational oil and gas company, relying on acts alleged to have occurred in the USA. Ronnie acted for the successful claimant.
Tribunal grants interim relief in whistleblowing claim
The Employment Tribunal granted interim relief to a Senior Director of Business Development in his whistleblowing claim against his former employer, a multinational computer services company. The Tribunal was satisfied that the claimant was likely to succeed in showing that he was dismissed for making protected disclosures about sexual harassment and tax fraud, rather than for poor performance as alleged by the company. Ronnie acted for the successful claimant.
Merseyrail Electrics 2002 Ltd v National Union of Rail Maritime and Transport Workers  EWHC 515 (QB)
Merseyrail sought an injunction to prevent RMT members from going out on strike in connection with the introduction of driver only operated trains. Ronnie acted for Merseyrail, led by Bruce Carr KC.
Other Employment Tribunal cases include:
- Acting for employees and employers at hearings to determine issues under TUPE, including whether there has been a relevant transfer and assignment;
- Acting for a leading UK housebuilder defending claims of disability and age discrimination, victimisation and unfair dismissal at a 10-day hearing;
- Acting for a national bank defending claims for discrimination, whistleblowing and automatic unfair dismissal on a TUPE transfer at a 15-day hearing. Led by Jane Mulcahy KC;
- Acting for a high street bank defending claims for disability discrimination, failure to make reasonable adjustments and unfair dismissal at a 7-day hearing;
- Acting for a national rail company defending its shift premium policy against claims for indirect sex discrimination;
- Acting for a nationwide retailer defending claims for indirect sex discrimination and unfair dismissal arising out of a redundancy process at a 7-day hearing.
Ronnie’s public law practice encompasses all areas of judicial review, with a particular focus on claims with a commercial context. He also specialises in EU law on State aid and UK law on subsidy control: see separately below.
Examples of his work in this field include:
R. (City of Wolverhampton Council) v Secretary of State for the Home Department
 EWHC 1721 (Admin)
7 local authorities in the West Midlands challenged the Home Secretary’s policy for the dispersal of asylum seekers in the UK. They argued the policy was irrational and unfair for relying on areas to volunteer, but not allowing volunteers to withdraw their consent. Shortly before the hearing the policy was changed, and the claim was withdrawn. In this judgment, Fordham J made no order as to costs. Ronnie acted for the local authorities, led by Peter Oldham KC.
R. (United Trade Action Group Ltd) v Transopco
 EWCA Civ 1026,  RTR 32
The Court of Appeal held that drivers of private hire vehicles using the FreeNow app are not unlicensed hackney carriages ‘plying for hire’. Ronnie acted for the successful defendant, led by Philip Kolvin KC. Read more about the case here.
R. (Williams) v Caerphilly County Borough Council
 EWCA Civ 296,  PTSR 1130
The Court of Appeal dismissed a challenge to the Council’s decision to adopt a 10-year leisure strategy. The strategy was not a relevant arrangement within the scope of the Welsh improvement duty (akin to best value in England); or contrary to the Council’s budget, so that the decision could properly be taken by Cabinet. Ronnie acted for the Council, led by James Goudie KC. Read more about the case here.
R. (L) v Buckinghamshire CC
Supperstone J rejected the claimant’s application for interim relief to prevent the council from taking any further steps to implement a decision to repurpose 19 of its 35 children’s centres. Ronnie acted for the Council.
R. (Independent Workers Union of Great Britain) v Central Arbitration Committee
 I.R.L.R. 530
Supperstone J rejected claims that workers have a right to compulsory collective bargaining with a third party who is not their employer under Art. 11 ECHR. Ronnie acted for the University of London, led by Christopher Jeans KC.
R. (Mas Group Holdings Ltd) v Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
 2 WLUK 12
The claimant challenged the defendant’s policy of refusing to allow animal exporters to use a route via Ireland unless a shorter route via the Channel was unavailable. The claimant argued the policy constituted a disproportionate restraint on trade contrary to the EU Regulation for the protection of animals during transport and Art. 35 TFEU. Ronnie acted for the claimant, led by Conor Quigley KC.
R (Hussain) v Sandwell Metropolitan BC
 P.T.S.R. 142
An elected member of the council sought judicial review of on-going investigations into allegations against him. Green J dismissed the claim, ruling that the Council had the power to investigate under s. 28 of the Localism Act 2011, and that the process had not been tainted by actual or apparent bias. Ronnie acted for the Council, led by James Goudie KC. Read more about the case here.
R. (Justice for Health Ltd) v Secretary of State for Health
 A.C.D. 119
Green J dismissed claims that the Health Secretary’s decision to approve a new contract for junior doctors in the NHS in England was unlawful. The Judge found that the decision was within the scope of his powers, complied with his duty of transparency and was not irrational. Ronnie acted for the the Health Secretary, led by Clive Sheldon KC. Read more about the case here.
R. (British Medical Association) v Secretary of State for Health
The BMA sought to challenge the Health Secretary’s decision to approve a new contract for junior doctors in the NHS in England, arguing that he had failed to comply with the Public Sector Equality Duty. Ronnie acted for the Health Secretary, led by Clive Sheldon KC.
R (O’Neill) v Lambeth LBC
Lang J dismissed a challenge to the Council’s decision to vary a lease on the South Bank of the River Thames as part of the Garden Bridge project. The Judge found that the decision was within the Council’s powers, did not involve any disposal of land under the LGA 1972, and that Reg. 13(1) of the Asset of Community Value (England) Regulations 2012 was intra vires. Ronnie acted for the Council, led by Clive Sheldon KC.
R (Logan) v Havering LBC
 P.T.S.R. 603
Blake J ruled that a Council Tax Reduction Scheme, under which all taxpayers paid some council tax except in cases of exceptional hardship, was not discriminatory on grounds of age or disability. Ronnie acted for the Council, led by Clive Sheldon KC.
R (Sky Blue Sports and Leisure Ltd) v Coventry City Council
 B.L.G.R. 616
Hickinbottom J ruled that the Council had not acted irrationally or failed to take account of relevant considerations when it made a loan of £14.4m to the company that manages the Ricoh Arena in Coventry. Ronnie acted for the Council, led by James Goudie KC.
Sky Blue Sports & Leisure Ltd v Coventry City Council
 A.C.D. 48
The claimant applied for specific disclosure between its application for permission to seek judicial review having been refused, and the oral renewal hearing. Silber J refused the application. Ronnie acted for the Council, led by James Goudie KC.
State Aid & Subsidy Control
Ronnie also specialises in EU law on State aid and UK law on subsidy control. He acted for Coventry City Council in the leading domestic cases on the private investor test for State aid: R. (Sky Blue Sports and Leisure Ltd) v Coventry City Council. He now acts and advises in all areas of State aid/ subsidy control.
Examples of his work in this field include:
Post-Brexit subsidy control
Advising private companies on the compatibility of UK government grants with the subsidy control provisions of the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement, and the Subsidy Control Act 2022.
Defending challenge to the Mayoral Infrastructure Levy
The claimant sought to challenge the Mayor of London’s levy on new commercial, retail and hotel development across London. The claim raised complex issues around the application of the State aid rules to different rates of taxation for different uses in different areas. Ronnie acted for the Mayor of London, led by Jonathan Moffett KC.
(Sky Blue Sports and Leisure Ltd) v Coventry City Council (No. 2)
 EWCA Civ 2252
The owners of Coventry City Football Club argued that the Council had granted a State aid to Wasps RFC by selling its interests in the Ricoh Arena at an undervalue. The Court of Appeal upheld the Judge’s decision that the claim was unarguable. The Council had been entitled to rely on an independent valuation from KPMG, which demonstrated that it had complied with the private vendor test. Ronnie acted for the Council, led by James Goudie KC.
(Sky Blue Sports and Leisure Ltd) v Coventry City Council (No. 1)
 EWCA Civ 453
The owners of Coventry City Football Club argued that the Council had granted a State aid to the operator of the Ricoh Arena, ACL, by lending it £14.4m on non-commercial terms. The Court of Appeal upheld the Judge’s decision dismissing the claim. The Court’s judgment contains a helpful summary of the principles to be applied under the private investor test. Applying those principles, a private investor might also have made the loan because it was at a commercial rate of interest and safeguarded the Council’s 50% share in ACL. Ronnie acted for the Council, led by James Goudie KC.
“Ronnie is excellent; he is calm, authoritative and effective.” (Chambers UK Bar – Employment 2023)
“He is commercial, bright and charming.” (Chambers UK Bar – Employment 2023)
“Ronnie is a really strong advocate and manages to find exactly the right tone in cross-examination – such a pleasure to work with.” (Legal 500 – Employment 2023)
“Great attention to detail whilst at the same time seeing the bigger picture” (Legal 500 – Administrative & Public Law 2023)
“He gets on top of complex facts and law, he works incredibly quickly, he works well with the client, and his analysis is superb in drilling down into what really matters to advance the best possible case” (Chambers UK Bar – Employment 2022)
“He is a safe pair of hands, he pays great attention to detail, he is hard-working and he can cut through the case” (Chambers UK Bar – Employment 2022)
“Great tactical insight (he will not take weak points), highly commercial in terms of looking at what the client wants as an end game, works incredibly hard under pressure (prepared to put in the hours when needed), great paperwork, great cross-examination, and great advocacy – very client friendly too” (Legal 500 – Employment 2022)
“Very smart and diligent. Very good with numbers” (Legal 500 – Administrative & Public Law 2021 & 2022)
“He’s an excellent all-round barrister; he’s very commercial, gives a pragmatic view and is very impressive on his feet” (Chambers UK Bar – Employment 2021)
“Keeps things simple and to the point, effectively manages the litigation, and makes the key points heard” (Legal 500 – Employment 2021)
“He’s very bright, very helpful and has a very quick turnaround of work” (Chambers UK Bar – Employment 2020)
“A tower of strength with incredible capacity for work and someone you would always want on your team” (Legal 500 – Employment 2020)
“An immensely valuable junior” (Legal 500 – Administrative & Public Law 2020)
“He is laser-focused, client-friendly and a relentless cross-examiner” (Legal 500 – Employment 2019)
“He adopts a collaborative approach and has the ability to get to the crux of a case quickly” (Legal 500 – Employment 2018)
University of Oxford, Bachelor of Civil Law, Distinction & Law Faculty Prize
University College London, Law LLB, First Class