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"An excellent senior junior"Legal 500 2016
“Unquestionably a leading junior in stress at work cases”Legal 500
"...a real master of the detail"Legal 500
"A strong cross-examiner, who makes mincemeat of witnesses."Legal 500 2017
Bruce is highly sought after for his expertise in employment and personal injury disputes, particularly in stress, bullying and harassment claims and for cases involving sporting injuries. He is recommended as a leading Junior in Chambers UK and is a part-time Employment judge.
Bruce is the head of employment at 2TG, and a part-time Employment Judge. His practice encompasses employment law, employment related commercial disputes, and personal injury claims, often with an employment dimension.
He is described by Legal 500 as “excelling in his forensic approach” and “a real master of the detail”, who has “a wealth of experience on all different aspects of employment law”. Chambers & Partners singles him out for his “calm authority with clients”. For several years, the directories have listed him as a leading junior for both employment and personal injury, describing him as a “highly polished advocate”, with an “attractive and effective cross examination style”. He is currently shortlisted for the Finance Monthly Global Award 2016 in the category of Labour & Employment.
In the High Court, he is often instructed in restrictive covenant disputes, matters raising issues of breach of confidence and contractual claims involving senior executives. In tribunals, he is regularly instructed in substantial and factually complicated discrimination claims, whistleblowing cases and TUPE disputes. Bruce combines his employment expertise with an in-depth knowledge of personal injury law, making him well placed to advise on issues overlapping both jurisdictions, including stress, bullying and harassment claims, and the circumstances in which subsequent claims are considered an abuse of process. He appeared in the Court of Appeal in Dickins v O2  IRLR 58, the leading recent appellate case on occupational stress.
Bruce has a particular interest in religious discrimination cases, where he has advised the Christian Institute and individuals of different faiths on their rights, as well as defending these discrimination claims on behalf of employers, and advising on the suitability of employment policies given potential faith issues. In his role as an Employment Judge, he has recently decided a claim brought by a Seventh Day Adventist, sacked for refusing to work on a Saturday, with implications for other staff at the employing NHS Trust and more widely.
Bruce accepts instructions directly from organisations and individuals under the Bar Council Public Access Scheme, and regularly speaks at seminars on a wide variety of topics. He is the author (with Robert Cumming) of the 2tg Guide to Whistleblowing Claims.
He has substantial experience of arguing cases in the EAT, the High Court and the Court of Appeal. Appellate and other significant cases include:
McNeil v Moore McNeill Inc (2016, ongoing) : Multi-jurisdiction High Court dispute over compliance with sale and purchase agreement and post termination employment covenants, raising co-extensive issues of discrimination on grounds of sex and religion (Woodfines)
Ribeiro v Argo International (2015/16) : Allegedly discriminatory dismissal of senior City executive suffering breakdown at work (Fox Williams)
Cooper v Barclays  UKEAT/0087/14/SM : Extent to which proposal to end employment as part of proposed exit arrangements was privileged;
Z v A  IRLR 244 (EAT) : Dismissal of school caretaker facing prolonged Police investigation into allegations of historical sexual abuse against a child
Hall v UHB NHS Trust (2011): Successfully defeated substantial whistleblowing claim arising out of practices at the respondent Trust, and obtained substantial cost award in respondent’s favour.
Croad v UCU  UKEAT/0012/11 : EAT : Whether denial of legal services by union on grounds of conflict of interest where member pursuing claim against union amounts to victimization (Bond Pearce).
Burgess v Bear Stearns  UKEAT/026120/10 [Underhill J].
Mee v Knowsley MBC and ISS (2010) Liverpool ET and EAT: Group equal pay claim brought by manual workers at Knowsley Council arguing that work rated as equivalent under White Book (Clyde & Co).
Nijjar v LB Newham: Successfully represented claimant in race and religious discrimination claim, and obtained costs. (Birketts)
CNM v Tune (June 2009) QBD: Liability of former employee for breach of implied term of fidelity and post termination restrictive covenants (settled) (Warners).
Dickins v O2  IRLR 58 : Liability of employer for first breakdown where no objective evidence that unable to cope with burden of employment; test for causation in occupational stress cases (DAC Beachcroft).
D’Silva v NATFHE  IRLR 412 (EAT) : Correct legal approach to multiple allegations of discrimination. Relevance to discrimination claims of failure to keep ethnic monitoring information and of inadequate answers in questionnaires (WHCG).
Daynes v Disabilities Trust (2007) Ashford ET: Whether instigation of direct payments scheme amounts to a service provision change under TUPE (ASB Law).
GHBC Limited v Blakey (2007) QBD Walker J: Whether interlocutory injunction should be granted to enforce non-solicitation clause (Towergate Underwriting Group).
McLeain v Butler Service Group Ltd (2007) Whether worker was employee of employment agency – at first instance; and in CA (settled) (Wragges).
Scott-Davies v Redgate  ICR 348 EAT: Whether freestanding right to complain of non-compliance with statutory grievance and disciplinary procedures (Porter Dodson).
Hobbs-Ainley v Zelgrain Ltd (2006): Whether claimant performing work of equal value to male comparator (ASB Law).
Bruce is regularly instructed in high value and other significant claims, often arising from workplace disputes. Since appearing in the leading appellate stress case of Dickins v O2, he frequently advises and acts for both claimants and defendants in stress cases.
He also has a niche practice in sporting injury cases, particularly motor sport claims, where he has appeared in most of the major motor sport cases over the last decade.
Notable cases include:
McKeever v Motorsport Vision (2012): 10-day High Court trial arising out of a motorcycle racing accident at Cadwell Park.
Plato v North One (2012): Injury to Fifth Gear presenter competing in British Touring Car Championship (settled).
Lazarus v BNY Mellon (2011): High Court stress claim brought by City banker (settled).
Green v Sunset & Vine (2010) EWCA Civ 1441 CA: Liability of TV production company for motor racing accident at televised event.
Dickins v O2  IRLR 58 (CA): Whether damages are recoverable for stress at work (Beachcrofts).
Wortham v Philips (2007) QBD (with Howard Palmer QC): Whether employers liable for snowmobile accident during weekend away in Canada (Beachcrofts).
Richardson v Watson & MIB  PIQR P18 (CA): Whether claimant who had failed to give proper notice under MIB agreement could discontinue and issue fresh proceedings (Greenwoods).
Wattleworth v Goodwood  PIQR P25: Whether motorsport governing body liable for a fatal accident on a licensed racing circuit (Davis J QBD) (Edwards Davies).
Bruce has advised on the drafting and interpretation of commercial agreements with an employment dimension, such as LLP agreements and partnership deeds. He has obtained and successfully resisted injunctions in restrictive covenant cases in both employment and business sale contracts, and handled cases involving disputes about directors’ duties and unfair prejudice.
Notable cases include:
Towergate v Lorica and Blue Fin (2010): Pre-action disclosure application in case involving potential breach of restrictive covenants.
GHBC Ltd v Blakey (2007) QBD Walker J: Whether interlocutory injunction should be granted to enforce non-solicitation clause (Towergate Underwriting Group).
Kharegat v Deloitte & Touche (2004) (QBD) : Whether D&T partners could opt out of restrictive covenant and notice provisions in the partnership agreement to join competitor (with James Goudie QC) (Fox Williams).
Filobake v Rondo  EWCA Civ 563: Breach of contract claim for mass production of samosa pastry (Carter Bells).
Chaudhry v Yap (2004) (ChD Leslie Kosmin QC): S.459 petition; costs implications of refusing mediation (HBJ Gateley Wareing).
Over several years, Bruce has been instructed in significant sporting cases where a sporting accident has led to major injury and a high value claim for damages, since appearing in the seminal case of Wattleworth v Goodwood  PIQR P25 (Davis J). His article “Liability for Sporting Injuries” was published in the Journal of Personal Injury Law.
His expertise in this field has been recognised by his peers, in that on two occasions he has been asked to speak on this subject to the Personal Injury Bar Association, most recently at their Annual Conference in Oxford. He has particular expertise in relation to motorsport matters, and cases where there is a media dimension.
Plato v Caparo, North One and others.  The claim is brought by Jason Plato, professional motor racing driver and one of the presenters on the Channel 5 motoring programme Fifth Gear. Whilst filming for the programme, the sports car he was driving caught fire, injuring Mr Plato.
Green v Sunset & Vine, BARC and Goodwood :  EWCA Civ 1441;  EWHC Civ 1610: A 14 day trial in which Bruce successfully acted for one of two defendants in relation to a motor racing accident during the Revival Meeting at Goodwood. Bruce also acted in the Appeal.
Johnson v Norfolk Arena: Mr Johnson sustained serious injuries when he collided with the perimeter barrier whilst participating in a speedway race. He claims that the barrier configuration was so unsafe that the circuit is liable as is the Speedway Control Bureau, Bruce’s clients, who licensed the circuit.
Corbett v Cumbria Kart Racing and RAC (High Court, Preston District Registry): Acted for the RAC Motorsports Association, the Governing body of motorsport in the UK in this claim arising out of a serious head injury sustained in a karting accident at a circuit licensed by the RAC.