Fountain Court Chambers

London & Singapore
Paul Gott

Paul Gott QCCall Date: 1991 | Silk Date: 2012

Regularly advises in the core practice areas below and has extensive advocacy experience in the Court of Appeal, High Court, EAT, Employment Tribunals as well as County Courts and the Coroner’s Court. Treasury “A” Panel(2005 to silk) and instructed by Government Departments on a broad range of commercial and employment law cases.  Instructed by HMG in over 200 matters. Instructed by Royal Bank of Scotland in over 100 matters.

Specialises in Industrial Relations, particularly injunctions in respect of strike action.

Areas of Expertise

  • Industrial Relations and Employment
  • Professional discipline
  • Commercial dispute resolution
  • Banking & finance
  • Insurance and reinsurance
  • Media, entertainment & sport


Listed in both Chambers and Legal 500. Comments in Chambers and Legal 500 include:

  • Extremely practical and commercial
  • Fantastic with clients, as he makes the arguments straightforward
  • Exceptionally bright and able
  • Absolutely top-drawer
  • Clear, astute advice” and “Superb on his feet
  • Prepared to do the tough work to get the result
  • “Always very responsive and nothing is ever too much trouble”
  • Brings in depth legal knowledge, an impressive understanding of the commercial realities and a sense of humour”
  • “Impressive” and “has a superlative knowledge of industrial relations”
  • “He has an encyclopaedic knowledge of the provisions that deal with organising industrial action” and “Great at very complicated industrial disputes”


  • 1979-86 Marple Hall Comprehensive, Stockport
  • 1986-89 MA Cambridge University, Downing College, Double First Class Honours (Proxime accessit Part 1(a) of Tripos; Proxime accessit Part II of Tripos)
  • 1989-90 BCL Oxford University, Brasenose College, First Class Honours

Appointments, memberships, prizes

  • Appointed as Junior Counsel to the Crown, July 1999
  • Appointed to Treasury ‘A’ Panel, April 2005
  • Re-appointed to Treasury ‘A’ Panel, March 2010
  • Appointed as Queen’s Counsel, March 2012
  • Appointed as Board Member to the Standards Board for England, February 2006
  • Re-appointed as Board Member to the Standards Board for England, March 2009
  • Appointed as Ambassador for Diversity in Public Appointments, November 2009
  • Commercial Bar Association
  • Industrial Law Society
  • Employment Lawyers Association
  • Rebecca Flower (Cambridge University) Scholarship 1987
  • JC Platt Memorial Prize for Law (Cambridge University) 1987
  • Downing College Cambridge Tripos prizes: 1987, 1988 and 1989
  • Downing College Cambridge Law Scholarships: 1987, 1988 and 1989
  • Joseph Squire (Cambridge University) Scholarship 1988
  • Clive Parry International Law Prize (Cambridge University) 1988
  • Harris Senior Scholarship (Downing College Cambridge) 1989-1992
  • Hardwicke Entrance Award (Lincoln’s Inn) 1989
  • Brasenose College (Oxford) Graduate Prize 1990
  • Mansfield Scholarship (Lincoln’s Inn) 1990
  • Denning Scholarship (Lincoln’s Inn) 1991

Recent practice

Industrial Relations and Employment

Counsel for the Network Rail in National Rail Strike 2015. Counsel for LU in respect of London Underground Strike Action 2013-2015. Counsel for RM in respect of industrial relations issues arising from Royal Mail Privatisation 2013-2014.  Counsel for BA in British Airways plc v Unite [2010] IRLR 423 (HC – injunction to prevent 12-day strike by BA cabin crew over Xmas 2009) and in British Airways plc v Unite (No.2) [2010] IRLR 809 (HC and CoA – injunction application to restrain May/June 2010 cabin crew strike action). Counsel for NWR in Network Rail v RMT [2010] EWHC 1084 (injunction to prevent 4-day national rail strike, Easter 2010). Counsel for M in Metrobus v Unite [2010] ICR 173 (injunction against London bus strike, TULRA and Art 11 ECHR). Counsel for eJ in Unite v easyJet [2010] TUR1/723 (CAC – application by Unite for statutory recognition).  Counsel for LU in London Underground Limited v ASLEF [2011] EWHC 7 (HC – injunction application to restrain Boxing Day 2010 London Underground strike) and London Underground v ASLEF (No.2) [2012] IRLR 196 (HC – injunction application to restrain Boxing Day 2011 London Underground strike). Counsel for NWR in Network Rail v RMT (2004, 2008, 2010 and 2015 national rail strikes). Counsel in respect of strike action injunctions/advice, including for: Royal Mail (1996 to present),  Network Rail (1996 to present), Telephonica O2 (2013), DHL (2012/2013), Financial Times (2012), British Airways (2009-present), London Borough of Barnet (2011), AstraZeneca (2010-2011), Automobile Association (2010), Virgin Trains (2005 to present), Scottish & Newcastle plc (2006/2007), Aviance (2006/2007), Science Museum (2008), Southern Trains (1996 to present), Northern Rail (2011 – present), First TransPennine Express (2014-present), Morrison Supermarkets (2014-15), Thomas Cook (2014 – present), Telegraph Group (2008/2009), Transport for London (2009-present), Indesit (2015), South West Trains (2000 – present, including SWT v RMT [2000] IRLB 639).

Counsel for ML in Merrill Lynch v Subbiah (HC 2007 – enforcing restrictive covenants and protecting confidential information).  Counsel for M in News International v Mirror Group Newspapers (HC – resisting enforcement of restrictive covenants). Counsel for NH in Darbyshire v Nuffield Hospitals (HC – injunctive relief in respect of hospital practice privileges).

Regular appearances in EAT and Employment Tribunals. Counsel for NWR in Rickhuss v Network Rail (HC 2013-present – collective bargaining dispute – ongoing).  Counsel for LC in Pavithran v London Clinic (ET 2013-2015 – alleged whistle-blowing).  Counsel for CR in Morris v Crossrail (ET 2012-2013 alleged trade union blacklisting). Counsel for IPS in Reckless v IPS (ET 2012-2013 – Equal pay).  Counsel for DWP in Graham v DWP [2012] IRLR 759 (CoA – unfair dismissal, perversity and the role of the EAT). Counsel for DCMS in Goatley v DCMS (ET 2011-2012 – Protected disclosures, unfair dismissal and ECHR). Counsel for DWP in Burke v DWP (ET 2011 – Disability discrimination). Counsel for HMPS in Muschett v HMPS [2010] IRLR 173 (CoA – race discrimination claims brought by temporary workers). Counsel for B in Wheeler v Brixton plc (ET 2010 – Unfair Dismissal claim by dismissed CEO of plc during credit crunch). Counsel for RBH in George v Royal Brompton & Harefield NHS Trust (ET 2010-2011 – alleged race discrimination, unfair dismissal and whistle-blowing) Counsel for MOD in Harman v MOD [2009] WL 4872839 (ET and EAT, disability discrimination, reasonable adjustment and justification). Counsel for the DCA in Jones v DCA [2008] IRLR 128 (ET, EAT and CoA 2006 to 2008 – Disability discrimination, statutory limitation periods and jurisdiction).    Counsel for CR in Pincher v CrossRail (ET and EAT 2008 – Whistle-blowing and unfair dismissal).  Counsel for ML in Ward v Merrill Lynch (2008 – redundancy and alleged discrimination).  Counsel for HMPS in Ireland v HMPS (2008 – Disability and religious discrimination).  Counsel for M in Scotchmer v Man GP Services (2007 – City takeovers and TUPE). Counsel for HMPS in Urbanowicz v HMPS (ET 2007 – extinguishing of dismissal and revival of employment contracts on reversed dismissal decisions). Counsel for DVLA in Stubbs v DVLA (ET 2007 – Equal pay in the public sector).  Counsel for HSE in Fletcher v HSE (ET 2007 – individual challenges to imposed and collectively agreed terms).  Counsel for the DCA in Christie v DCA (ET 2006 – Part-time judicial pension litigation).  Counsel for HMPS in Cooper v HMPS (ET 2006 – Misconduct in the workplace through the use of control and restraint techniques).

Regular employment and Industrial Relations advisory work, including TUPE and Equal Pay.  Regular advice to Government Departments including: BIS (DTi), Cabinet Office, DCLG, DfT, FSA, Dept of Health, MoJ, DVLA, FCO, HMPS, HO, MHS, MOD and Regional Govt Offices.

Commercial dispute resolution

Counsel for NHS commissioning bodies in multi-contract procurement dispute involving fraud and misapplication of NHS standard terms 2013-present. Counsel for NHS commissioning body in large NHS pendulum adjudication2014-2015. Counsel for CO in Contract Options v Barrett (HC 2013 – injunction to reclaim high-jacked social media accounts). Counsel for ISB in ISA v ISB (International Arbitration, 2009-2011: £50m dispute over internet sports gaming franchises in Spain and Latin America – led by Bankim Thanki QC).  Counsel for D in Farm Assist v DEFRA [2008] EWHC 3079 (TCC – economic duress, disclosure, legal advice privilege and waiver). Counsel for B in Polystar v Bogucki (Commercial Court 2007 – judgments in default, ECHR and CPR Part 13). Counsel for S in Hubbard v Sullivan (HC 2006/2007 – joint ventures, loan contracts, interpretation and restitution). Counsel for SWI in Diadora v Sports World International (Commercial Court 2005/2006 – sponsorship and merchandising contracts). Counsel for ESW in Rudman v Essex & Suffolk Water (HC – utility contract dispute). Counsel in Fuerst Day Lawson v Givaudan Roure (HC – insurance and jurisdiction). Counsel for CKL in Hornsby v Clark Kenneth Leventhal (HC – fraud, partnership, agency, negligence and vicarious liability, led by Michael Harvey QC). Counsel for SBAC in Black & Edgington v Society of British Aerospace Companies (HC – commercial contract construction). Counsel for UN General Assembly in Abdullahi v Unisom II (HC – sovereign immunity, immunity from suit and liability of UN organisations).

Regular commercial advice to private and public sector clients, including: BIS (DTi), SFO (on civil matters), MoJ, FCO, MHS, DCLG, MOD, and Dept of Health. Regular commercial advice and work for NHS commissioning bodies, including NHS England.

Professional discipline (and control of vexatious litigants)

Counsel for SRA in SRA v Chan & Ali [2015] EWHC 2659 (SDT and High Court – solicitors’ duties in respect of Stamp Duty Land Tax avoidance schemes). Counsel for SRA in SRA v Charles Henry (a Charity) [2015] EWHC 552 (HC – regulation of solicitors in legal charities, disclosure of documents pursuant to s44BB of the Solicitors Act 1974). Counsel for SRA in SRA v Choudhury and Kamruzzaman [2014] EWHC 809 (SDT and HC 2013-2014 – dishonesty and professional “cut-throat” defences), SRA v Aggarwal (SDT 2013-2014 – dishonesty and abuse of process), SRA v Scott (SDT 2012 – Improper client withdrawals, failing to account, employing staff contrary to s43 SA 74), SRA v Foster (SDT 2012 – Conflicts of interest and back-to-back conveyancing transactions).  Counsel of CLC in Council for Licensed Conveyancers v Hempstead (HC 2013-2014 – High Court proceedings in support of intervention). Counsel for AG in Attorney General v Bentley [2012] UKEAT 0556/11/0305 (Restriction of proceedings orders and s33 Employment Tribunals Act). Counsel for AG in Attorney General v Branch [2008] EWHC 2679 and Attorney General v Branch No.2 [2009] EWCH 673 (vexatious litigants and Noueiri anti-suit injunctions). Counsel for AG in Attorney General v McCluskey UKEAT/0118/09 (EAT 2010 – vexatious litigants in the Employment Tribunal service).  Counsel for the AG in Attorney General v Jubin (HC 2008 – committal for contempt for breach of injunctions against behaviour abusive of the administration of justice).  Counsel for the Law Society (led by Tim Dutton QC and latterly unled) in the Miners’ Compensation Cases (HC 2005-07) and in Law Society v Nwokoro (HC 2006 – Law Society intervention in sole practitioner practices)

Advocate to the Court of Appeal in Bhamjee v Forsdick [2004] 1 WLR 88 CoA (vexatious litigants and civil restraint orders).  Advocate in the Investigatory Powers Tribunal.

Banking & finance

Counsel for Nat West in: Nat West v Thomas (HC – 2005/2006, duress, undue influence and UCTA), Nat West v Field (2003-2006, bank mortgages, deed execution and undue influence), Nat West v Singh (bank mortgages, undue influence and solicitors’ negligence), Nat West v Connolly (HC – bank guarantees, misrepresentation, contractual interpretation), Nat West v Nicholls (Mercantile Court, bank securities, undue influence, misrepresentation, fraud), Nat West v YardleyNat West v Mos (CoA, mortgage possession and bank securities), Nat West v Kitch (mortgage actions, bank securities, RSC Ord 88 (CPR Part 55)), Nat West v Potter (HC – freezing injunctions and civil fraud). Instructed by Nat West in over 100 matters.

Counsel for Lloyds Bank in over 40 matters, including: Lloyds Bank v Acharya (HC 2001, fraud, freezing injunctions and cheque kiting) Lloyds Bank v Marks (HC 2000, insurance, non-disclosure and banker’s negligence).


2nd junior counsel to Cuthbert Heath Lloyd’s names action group (Syndicate 404). Instructed as counsel on “long tail” issues in Clementson v Lloyd’s. Counsel for ML in Kaplan v Murray Lawrence (Lloyd’s of London arbitration arising from Lloyd’s R&R). Counsel for AGF in Total Graphics v AGF (Commercial Court, non-disclosure, Third Party Rights Against Insurers Act 1930). Advocate in the Insurance Brokers’ Disciplinary Tribunal.

Media, entertainment & sport

Counsel for ISB in ISA v ISB (International Arbitration, 2009-2010: £50m dispute over internet sports gaming franchises in Spain and Latin America – led by Bankim Thanki QC).  Counsel for SWI in Sunderland FC v Sports World International (HC 2005/2006 – sponsorship and merchandising contracts).  Counsel for FW in Jones v Frank Warren (HC – Boxing promotion contracts, illegality and duress). Counsel for IMG in Coulthard v IMG (HC – Formula 1 driver/merchandising contracts, undue influence and duress).  Advisory work in respect of boxing management/promotion and film/television licensing.


Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?– New Notification Requirements pursuant to Section 226A of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992 – Chambers & Partners Employment Report – Jan 06.