Brian's first career was as an academic lawyer. After graduating from Edinburgh in 1971 he undertook a Ph.D in Employment Law at Cambridge University. He then taught there, in various capacities, until 1989. In that year he was appointed to a Chair in Law at London University. In 1990 he was called to the English Bar and for several years had a tenancy at Fountain Court Chambers in London. Since 2008 he has been a member of Cloisters Chambers.
Brian specialises in all aspects of Employment and Discrimination law. Although he retains a presence in England, and continues to undertake work there at both first instance and appellate level, most of his work is now north of the border.
Brian is vastly experienced and highly regarded in his field. He has for many years been an editor of Harvey on Industrial Relations Law, and he has also contributed to a number of other standard works for practitioners. According to Legal 500 (2011) he is one of the `foremost employment lawyers at the Bar in Scotland'. Chambers Directory (2011) describes him as the advocate who 'continues to dominate the Employment Bar in Scotland'. He is regularly instructed on the most complicated and highest-value disputes and is well respected by his peers. He is 'extremely knowledgeable' about employment law and 'commands significant respect from the court', not least because of his 'fabulous capacity to argue the unarguable.'
Brian undertakes work across the spectrum of employment and discrimination law, covering both individual and collective issues. He also undertakes projects that require the application of employment law principles in the wider setting; he sits as a member of the ACAS group of arbitrators. In 2010 he wrote a substantial report on the circumstances of the suspension from office of the chief office of Police of Jersey, commissioned by the Chief Minister of Jersey. In 2011 he was asked to join the working group assisting Mr Justice Underhill in the Fundamental Review of Employment Tribunal Rules undertaken at the request of government.
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