Trade Union & Collective Issues

Our Approach & Track Record

GQ|Littler is the leading employment law firm for employers in the UK and Ireland. We offer risk-based advice and litigation services on employment, immigration, employee tax and incentives issues. We work globally as part of Littler, the world’s largest employment law firm with more than 1,800 lawyers practising across 30 countries in over 100 offices.

Our team have substantial expertise in advising employers on a full range of trade union and collective issues, from day-to-day industrial relations to works council negotiations and industrial action.

What makes us different:

  • Risk-based advice
  • We don’t wait for you to tell us what you want
  • Global employment boutique
  • Commitment to fee flexibility and transparency

We take the time to understand your business and risk profile so that we can deliver first-rate industrial relations advice to meet your needs.

Our team is adept at managing complex matters at both a domestic and transnational level. Indeed, Littler attorneys have negotiated union contracts with most of the major US unions for more than 70 years and Littler has one of the largest labour management relations legal teams in the US. 

Our lawyers are highly experienced in day-to-day union work including individual member disputes, industrial action, consultation, recognition, de-recognition and negotiation. Although union membership has declined in recent years, trade unions remain one of the most powerful forces in the world of work. We have a deep practical understanding of their internal politics and priorities. Where employers seek to resist attempts at unionisation we strongly advocate the use of alternative means to employee engagement in an attempt not just to meet the needs of the business but also of the workforce.

Our Team's Experience

EU Works Councils

  • Setting up an EWC for a global engineering company.
  • Managing the negotiations with an EWC in relation to the integration of two global banking groups and the subsequent restructuring of the combined group.
  • Setting up an EWC for a transport company with more than 50,000 employees. The company had long-standing (and difficult) relationships with trade unions in various countries. Our lawyers assisted the in-house legal team with determining the overall industrial relations strategy in relation to the EWC request, obtained local advice on establishing the special negotiating body, and successfully led local HR through the process.
  • Advising a US technology/manufacturing multinational on the application of its EWC agreement to proposed acquisitions/disposals.
  • Advising a European multinational on its negotiations with their long-established EWC in the context of planned factory closures and restructurings.

UK Union Work

  • Advising a European multinational on contingency planning for potential industrial action.
  • Arranging the dismissal of multiple union-backed employment tribunal claims issued to exert pressure on an employer in the context of a broader industrial relations dispute.
  • Advising a multinational professional services firm on consultation with the unions involved in the administration of a large retail chain.
  • Advising a large international banking and financial services company on the sale of hundreds of retail branches, including the TUPE consultation with recognised unions.
  • Carrying out a UK collective redundancy/TUPE consultation with Unite union for a FTSE 100 financial services institution.
  • Advising one of the largest supermarket chains on union recognition issues in the context of ending a joint venture for its banking division.
  • Advising a major telecoms provider in relation to union recognition and de-recognition issues.
  • Advising a company in relation to union recognition proceedings before the Central Arbitration Committee (“CAC”).

What Others Say:

'Philip Cameron has broad experience in employment law and is recognised for his work on industrial relations issues. He is particularly recognised for his authoritative advice on matters relating to trade union recognition.'

Chambers and Partners, 2023

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