Colin Bourne’s experience in and knowledge of employment law pre-dates his call to the Bar in 1997. Although the bulk of his practice is now respondent work, as a full-time officer for the National Union of Journalists between 1981 and 1996 he advised on pensions and European Works Councils as well as representing members in courts and tribunals. He has acted for and against local authorities and NHS Trusts and has much experience of complex, multi-party TUPE cases.
His practice as a mediator, although it includes many sensitive and complex discrimination cases, extends well beyond the employment field.
Even before his call to the Bar in 1997, Colin was a keen advocate for mediation. Since he was accredited by CEDR in 2000, Colin has built a varied practice in mediation and is a member of the Civil Mediation Council and of the Association of Northern Mediators. His experience includes many sensitive and complex discrimination cases but extends well beyond the employment and discrimination field of his legal practice. Recent successful mediations include disputes concerning:
Colin is also very experienced as an advocate for parties in mediation.
Year of Call: 1997
With a range of Claimant and Respondent work in the pubic and private sector, Mr Bourne acts for private and corporate clients, trade unions and individual claimants in the whole range of employment related litigation:
Unfair dismissal, information and consultation, redundancy; National Minimum Wage and working time; discrimination;
Trade union recognition and industrial action
Contractual terms for senior employees, restrictive covenants and other post-termination restraints;
Extensive experience of police work including the Police Pensions Regulations; police discipline;
Significant Reported Cases
Junior counsel in Connolly v Sellers Arenascene  EWCA Civ 184;  ICR 760 CA - a case concerning whether a controlling shareholder can be an employee.
Lincolnshire County Council v Hopper  ICR 1301 - whether a registrar of births marriages and deaths can be an employee.
Christie & others v John E Haith Limited  IRLR 670 –equal pay.
Street v Derbyshire Unemployed Workers’ Centre  EWCA Civ 964  IRLR 687 CA – the leading case on the requirement for good faith when making protected disclosures.
Knapton and others v ECC Card Clothing  ICR 1084,  IRLR 756 – whether early receipt of non-contributory retirement pension to be deducted from post termination losses
B v A  UKEATS/0029/06/MT – concerning the extent of the employer’s duty to make enquiries following criminal records check and ‘soft disclosure’ under the Police Act 1997.
Miles v Linkage Community Trust  IRLR 602 argued successfully for a nil award in a Working Time Regs case
Metropolitan Resources v Churchill Dulwich & others  IRLR 700 identifying a service provision change under TUPE 2006
Leeds City Council v Woodhouse UKEAT/0521/08/DA – employee of Arms Length Management Organisation was contract worker for purposes of Race Relations Act 1976 making Leeds City Council potentially liable for act of race discrimination by one of its own employees
McAteer v Housing Maintenance Solutions  ICR 87 – identifying the correct date for a TUPE transfer
Accredited mediator with Centre for Dispute Resolution (CEDR)
Member Association of Northern Mediators
Colin was accredited by CEDR in 2000 and has since mediated in a wide range of commercial disputes, many of them high value and multi-party cases.
The mediator’s job is not to advise or to decide who is right or wrong. He/she does not have to be expert in the area of law that is the subject matter of the dispute; parties have their own legal advisers. Colin’s real skill lies in encouraging the parties to think differently.
Mr Bourne has long been an advocate of the use of mediation in complex cases, particularly where adversarial litigation is likely to have a destructive effect. Where there is a need to preserve existing relationships such an outcome is not within the gift of any Court or Tribunal.
Colin approaches disputes not merely to try to settle a claim but to deal with the underlying problem that led to the claim. He is particularly effective at helping all parties to look forward for a solution rather than backwards to apportion blame.
On the few occasions when the mediation does not result in agreement on the day it can narrow the areas of dispute and may lead to a resolution soon after.
His knowledge of and practice in employment law was developed over 35 years, predating his call to the Bar in 1997. While at the Bar he trained as a mediator with CEDR and has mediated in many different types of claims.
Recent successful non-employment mediations include:
Claim and counter-claim relating to use of warehouse facilities;
Professional negligence in large scale construction project;
Division of assets on wind-up of partnership;
Dispute over terms of will;
Withdrawal of University place;
Breach of contract/professional negligence in provision of services;
He has also mediated in high value employment claims concerning senior employees, shareholders and directors. Discrimination and harassment claims are especially suited to the process of mediation and Mr Bourne has wide experience both as mediator and as an advocate for parties in mediation.
Employment Law Bar Association
Employment Lawyers’ Association
Industrial Law Society
Association of Northern Mediators
LLB (Hons) Manchester Metropolitan University
BVC Inns of Court School of Law
Chambers UK 2019
"An exceptional advocate. His speed at getting to grips with a case is astounding and his retention of information is second to none. He is incredibly approachable and puts both the solicitor and the client at ease immediately."
Legal 500 2019
"Highly experienced in multi-party TUPE cases."
Previous editions of Chambers UK and the Legal 500 have commented.:
"His knowledge of trade unions and labour relations is very valuable."
‘Recommended for a broad spectrum of employment matters.’
His practice includes TUPE, unfair dismissal and whistleblowing cases.’
"He has compendious knowledge of the law, and is a tenacious and incisive advocate with a very user-friendly manner." "He is a robust individual and will always give full value to his clients."
"He knows what he's doing; he's on top of the papers and he's happy to get involved with a fight."
"A persuasive advocate, who has a very good manner with clients."
"There's not a case or legal provision he doesn't know."
“encyclopaedic knowledge of discrimination law” “a formidable opponent” commended for his “precise advice and ability to put clients at ease in any situation” “always provides timely, high quality advice”
"He is a very experienced barrister in knotty discrimination cases. He is an excellent strategist, always four steps ahead." "He is a seasoned pro who knows the law inside out. He is very comfortable in employment advocacy; it's his subject area. He is a true specialist and I have the highest regard for him."
36 Young Street, Manchester, M3 3FT
DX: 718188 MCH 3
Direct Dial: 0161 832 9082
5 Park Square, Leeds, LS1 2NE
DX: 713113 LEEDS PARK SQ
Direct Dial: 0113 242 1123
Embassy House, 60 Church Street,
Birmingham, B3 2DJ
DX: 13023 BIRMINGHAM
Direct Dial: 0121 200 3570
© Copyright 2019 Kings Chambers. All rights reserved.