James Tunley

James’s practice and experience spans a range of civil and commercial work including employment, professional negligence, professional disciplinary, personal injury, clinical negligence and inquests.

He advises and represents both claimants and defendants/respondents at all stages of the court and tribunal process with particular strengths in employer’s liability, discrimination, and unfair dismissal, to name but a few.  James has a number of notable cases, which include: Fahy v (1) PCS Union & (2) Thompsons Solicitors [2015] EWHC 3515 (QB); Commissioners for HM Revenue and Customs v Lorne Stewart plc [2015] ICR 708; Ministry of Defence v Hensman UKEAT/0067/14/DM; Embassy of Brazil v DA de Castro Cerqueira [2014] 1 WLR 3718.

In March 2012 James was appointed to the Attorney General’s C Panel of Junior Counsel to the Crown.

James also accepts appropriate work under the Direct Public Access Scheme.

Further information

Seminars and training

James has delivered lectures and training on a range of topics including bringing employment claims in the County Court, enforcement of judgments, negligent misstatement, the National Minimum Wage Act 1998 and clinical negligence.


  • LL.B (Hons) University of Leicester – First (2004)
  • Bar Vocational Course – Very Competent (2005)


  • Employment Lawyers Association
  • Industrial Law Society
  • Personal Injury Bar Association

James has a substantial employment law practice advising and representing both claimants and respondents in the Employment Tribunal and the Employment Appeal Tribunal in range of areas, including unfair dismissal, discrimination, TUPE, redundancy, breach of contract, unlawful deductions from wages.

Over the last few years James has advised on, and acted in, a number of appeals under the National Minimum Wage Act 1998 on behalf of employers and HMRC on the interpretation and application of the National Minimum Wage Regulations 2015 and the permissible deductions from pay.

James also advises on settlement agreements and negotiations concerning termination packages and post-termination restrictive covenants.

Recent and notable cases

Employment Appeal Tribunal include:

  • Commissioners for HM Revenue and Customs v Lorne Stewart plc [2015] ICR 708: Acted for the appellant in an appeal concerning the correct interpretation of the National Minimum Wage legislation.
  • Johnson v UKBA UKEAT/0127/14/BA: Represented the respondent in an appeal against the Tribunal’s decision to strike out the claimant’s claim and award costs on day three of the hearing following unreasonable conduct.
  • Ministry of Defence v Hensman [2014] Eq. L.R. 670 Represented the appellant in a successful appeal against the Tribunal’s application of the law and findings of disability discrimination and unfair dismissal.
  • Embassy of Brazil v DA de Castro Cerqueira [2014] 1 WLR 3718: Represented the claimant in an appeal brought by their former employer in which the EAT had to consider the validity of service of proceedings abroad under the State Immunity Act 1978.
  • Balfour Beatty Rail Ltd v Mitchell UKEAT/0269/11/JOJ (2012): Represented the claimant in the respondent’s appeal in respect of the correctness of the Employment Tribunal’s application of the law regarding vicarious liability in a claim of sexual harassment.

Employment Tribunal cases include:

  • Kumar v Drive Motor Retail Limited (2018): Successfully defended claims of direct race discrimination and harassment.
  • Powell v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (2015): Represented the respondent in a claim of unfair dismissal and disability discrimination.
  • Blake & others v T Brown & others (2012): Represented one of three claimants in a TUPE case involving five respondents.
  • Blake v Pashun Care Homes Ltd [2011] EqLR 1293: Successfully represented the claimant in a four-day third-party sexual harassment claim.
  • Sultana and others v Margaret Moran MP and others (2010): Successfully defended an application to strike out the Claimants’ claims on grounds of claims not being actively pursued and non-compliance with Tribunal orders.
  • Vetta v London Dreams Motion Pictures Ltd (2008): One of the first successful cases ruling that interns should be paid the National Minimum Wage.


James has delivered seminars and training a range of topics including bringing employment claims in the County Court, enforcement, negligent references misstatement, and the National Minimum Wage Act 1998.

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*This barrister is authorised to practice in England & Wales. Click here to search on the Bar Standards Board Barristers’ Register.

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