Paul Goulding QC

Called to Bar:
Appointed to silk:
Practice areas:
MA in Law (Oxon, First Class), BCL (Bachelor of Civil Law)

Paul Goulding QC is recognised by both the leading independent legal directories.

Paul is in the ‘Star’ ranking in Chambers UK 2014 for Employment. “He's probably the best all-rounder at the Employment Bar.” “He manages to command a huge amount of respect and you feel like you're in God's hands.”  Paul is also ranked in the Sport area and “He has gravitas in spades. He manages to command a huge amount of respect, and he is knowledgeable and in command.”

In December 2013, Paul was ranked as one of Chambers UK’s Top Silk Bar 100, in their inaugural listing of the top barristers practising at the Bar of England & Wales. “Paul Goulding QC is among the most accomplished employment practitioners currently at the Bar. He is described by interviewees as a practitioner in possession of “superb analytical skills aligned with an ability to present advice to clients in a clear and concise way.” He is also admired as an “exceptionally thorough and committed” individual who “will leave no stone unturned”.” 

In Legal 500 2013, top ranked in Employment, Paul is regarded as “a very safe pair of hands.”   Paul is also ranked in the Media, Entertainment & Sport practice area where clients say he is “a commanding senior counsel.”

Who's Who Legal, Management Labour & Employment 2010 reports "Blackstone Chambers' Paul Goulding QC receives outstanding international recognition and is hailed an 'awe inspiring' advocate".

Professional Experience


Bencher of Middle Temple

2008 - present

Appeal Board Chairman and Specialist Member of the Football Association Judicial Panel.

2000 - present

Member of the Chairman’s Panel of Arbitrators of Sports Resolutions.


Member for England and Wales of the Executive Board of the European Employment Lawyers Association.


Chairman (1998-2000) and Vice-President (2000-2004) of the UK Employment Lawyers Association.


Employment & Commercial

Paul acts in a wide range of employment and commercial law cases including in the High Court, employment tribunal, and appellate courts. He has a particular interest and experience in:

  • Unlawful competition disputes involving team moves, restrictive covenants, confidential information, garden leave, and injunctions. He is the Editor of Employee Competition: Covenants, Confidentiality, and Garden Leave (OUP, 2nd ed 2011) and contributor to the American Bar Association publication, Restrictive Covenants and Trade Secrets in Employment Law: An International Survey (BNA Books, 2010).
  • Disputes concerning deferred remuneration, bonuses, share options, stock, carried interest and other employment benefits.
  • Whistleblowing cases, particularly in the financial services sector.
  • Discrimination cases, particularly acting for investment banks, and other major organisations, as well as senior executives.
  • Investigatory work including conducting or advising sensitive internal investigations and disciplinary hearings.
  • Arbitration, both acting as an arbitrator and appearing before arbitral panels.
  • Regulatory work, especially where employment issues give rise to investigation and proceedings by regulators, such as the FCA.
  • Partnership disputes.

Current and recent work

Team Moves, Restrictive Covenants, Confidentiality, and Garden Leave

Advises and appears frequently in the High Court in cases involving team moves, restrictive covenants, confidential information, garden leave and springboard injunctions.

  • Fahim Imam-Sadeque v BlueBay Asset Management (Services) Ltd [2013] IRLR 344, [2012] EWHC 3511 (QB)
    Acted for the defendant in case in which the High Court decided that (1) the claimant employee acted in repudiatory breach of his employment contract in assisting the set up and launch of a competitive business, assisting in the recruitment of a fellow employee by that business, and disclosing documents to that business; and (2) a condition in a compromise agreement whereby the claimant would be deemed to be a Good Leaver for the purpose of unvested deferred remuneration provided he did not commit a repudiatory breach of his employment contract prior to its termination, was not an unlawful penalty.
  • Space Airconditioning Plc v Guy [2013] 1 WLR 1293 (CA), [2012] EWCA Civ 1664
    Acted for the appellant in a confidential information case in which the Court of Appeal allowed the appeal and (unusually) ordered a re-trial on the basis that the judge’s error in relation to the contents of a document rendered the decision wrong or unjust as a result of an irregularity.
  • Aon Ltd v JLT Reinsurance Brokers Ltd [2010] IRLR 600
    Acted in High Court claim following a "team move" of a number of insurance broker employees from Aon to JLT. Involved in successfully resisting applications for disclosure orders relating to competitive activity.
  • Litigation in Singapore regarding employee restrictive covenants
    Acting for Hong Kong-based global business engaged in litigation in Singapore regarding the enforceability of employee restrictive covenants governed by the law of Hong Kong.
  • High Court speedy trial concerning employee restrictive covenants
    Acted for employer in claim to enforce non-competition and non-dealing restrictive covenants in employment contract, set down for speedy trial.
  • Team moves litigation in High Court
    Acted for Singapore-based global business engaged in litigation in the High Court in London regarding a team move and confidential information.
  • High Court litigation concerning dismissal of quantitative traders from hedge fund
    Acted for hedge fund in proceedings in several jurisdictions, including the High Court (Queen’s Bench Division and Technology and Construction Court) concerning claims relating to negligence, constructive dismissal, bonuses, confidential information, surveillance, privacy, data protection.
  • Computer Systems Plc v Ranson
    Acted for appellant seeking permission to appeal to Supreme Court in employment dispute concerning duty to disclose competitive threat.
  • Application for search order
    Acted for employer relating to application for search order against employee misusing confidential information.

Deferred Remuneration, Bonuses and other employee benefits

  • High Court litigation concerning deferred remuneration and restrictive covenants
    Acting for hedge fund in defending High Court proceedings in which former employee alleged that he was constructively dismissed and that restrictions in a deferred remuneration scheme were an unreasonable restraint of trade, an unlawful penalty and were rendered unenforceable by the employer’s alleged repudiation. Expert evidence adduced on Jersey law and market practice regarding deferred remuneration schemes.
  • Arbitration concerning employee incentive plan and restrictive covenants
    Acting in arbitration conducted under the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA) Rules and the Arbitration Act 1996 concerning the enforceability of restrictive covenants in an employee incentive plan governed by foreign law.
  • Acted for bank in relation to bonus clawback and malus provisions.


  • Woodward v Santander UK Plc [2010] IRLR 834
    Appeared for Santander (formerly Abbey National) in successfully resisting whistleblowing and sex discrimination claims brought by former employee.
  • Renton v Cantor Fitzgerald Europe UKEAT/0236/10
    Appeared for inter-dealer broker in successfully resisting whistleblowing claim brought by former employee.
  • Appeared for a bank in defending whistleblowing and disability discrimination claims. Case involved unsuccessful application by claimant for interim relief in relation to his whistleblowing claim.
  • Acted for US-based hedge fund defending a multi-million pound whistleblowing claim in the London employment tribunal.

Libor litigation and regulatory work

  • Acting in relation to various employment tribunal and regulatory (FCA) proceedings related to investigations into LIBOR setting.


Appeared in a number of sex, race and disability discrimination and equal pay cases in employment tribunals.

  • Woodward v Santander UK Plc [2010] IRLR 834
    Appeared for Santander (formerly Abbey National) in successfully resisting  sex discrimination and whistleblowing claims brought by former employee. This EAT decision upheld claim to without prejudice privilege in discrimination cases.
  • Acting in race discrimination claim against bank.

Partnership disputes

  • Appointed as an arbitrator in relation to partnership dispute in law firm.
  • Acting in relation to various disputes in LLPs and partnerships, especially regarding partner departures

Transfer of Undertakings/Redundancy Payments

Appeared in a number of cases concerning TUPE in employment tribunals and the High Court. These include:

  • Worrall v Wilmott Dixon (EAT, 9 July 2010)
    Acted for respondent in defending enhanced pension claims following redundancies brought by trade union-backed employees following local authority outsourcing. EAT decision concerns transferee employer's liability where there were changes to pension scheme post-transfer, in light of ECJ decision in Parkwood Leisure.

Other cases

Team Moves, Restrictive Covenants, Confidentiality, and Garden Leave

  • Samengo-Turner v Marsh McLennan [2008] ICR 18 (CA)
  • Acted for former senior executive of a bank in application for an anti-suit injunction to restrain proceedings brought by the bank against the executive in New York.
  • Acted for artistes’ managers who were subject to proceedings in New York following their departure to a rival management company.
  • Acted for financial advisers following a “team move” to join a competing business.
  • Acted for inter-dealer broker in High Court action against former employee broker.
  • Acted for a bank in dispute concerning restrictive covenants and forfeiture provisions in employee benefit scheme. 
  • Tullett Prebon v Davis & GFI [2007] EWHC 2739 (QB)  
  • Credit Suisse Asset Management Ltd v Armstrong [1996] ICR 882
  • Davy International Ltd v Tazzyman [1997] 1 WLR 1256
  • Reading FC v Pardew

Deferred Remuneration, Bonuses and other employee benefits

  • Fish & Ors v Dresdner Kleinwort Ltd [2009] IRLR 1035
  • Acted for asset manager in relation to forfeiture of employee’s unvested stock under deferred remuneration plan.
  • Acted for a bank in defending profit share claims brought by employees following losses made by the bank in 2008.


  • Tradition Securities and Futures v X & Y [2009] ICR 88
  • Tradition Securities & Futures v Times Newspapers [2009] IRLR 354  
  • Madarassy v Nomura [2007] ICR 867 (CA)
  • Bahl v The Law Society [2003] IRLR 640 (EAT) and [2004] IRLR 799 (CA)
  • Dizaei v Metropolitan Police Commissioner
  • Logan v Metropolitan Police Commissioner
  • Coleman v Lansdown Capital
  • Somerville-Cotton v Barclays Capital Services Ltd
  • Reed & Bull Information Systems Ltd v Stedman [1999] IRLR 299
  • Harrods Ltd v Remick [1998] ICR 156
  • Biggs v Somerset CC [1996] ICR 364
  • Gilespie v Mothercare Ltd [1996] DCLD
  • Swithland Motors plc v Clarke [1994] ICR 231
  • Locker v Metropolitan Police Commissioner [1993] ICR 440
  • Bromley v Quick Ltd [1991] 9 DCLD 7, [1992] 14 DCLD 8
  • Appeared for Lehman Brothers defending age discrimination concerning provisions in employee benefit scheme.
  • Acted for the BBC when an employment tribunal held that the BBC was not an emanation of the state for the purpose of the direct effect of EC directives. 
  • Acted on a reference to the ECJ concerning discrimination and maternity rights in relation to occupational pensions.
  • Undertook an investigation into allegations of sexual harassment in a City law firm. 


  • Hussey v Nomura; Burragato v Nomura
  • Appeared for Chesterton Plc in the EAT in its appeal against one of the largest awards of damages for whistleblowing.

Transfer of Undertakings

  • Aquino v Molins Plc (2008)
  • Astle v Omnisure & Cheshire CC [2005] IRLR 20
  • NUMAST v P&O Scottish Ferries [2005] ICR 1270 (EAT)

Industrial action

Appeared in a number of cases involving strikes, ballots, trade union immunities and related issues, including:

  • TNT Express (UK) Ltd v Downes [1994] ICR 1
  • Johnstone v BBC Enterprises Ltd [1994] ICR 180
  • AEEU v Thorn (UK) Ltd. (EAT, 23.6.97)
  • Barretts & Baird (Wholesale) Ltd v IPCS [1987] IRLR 3


  • Fulham FC v Tigana [2005] EWCA Civ 895
  • Neary v Dean of Westminster [1999] IRLR 288
  • Secretary of State for Employment v Bearman [1998] IRLR 431
  • Acted for a number of media and entertainment clients in relation to a variety of employment disputes including wrongful dismissal and discrimination.

Employment status

  • Coker v Diocese of Southwark [1998] ICR 140

Public Law & Human Rights

  • Appeared in a number of public law cases, such as R v BBC, ex parte Rossi [1997] EMLR 1 (judicial review of Radio 1 decision in relation to Status Quo records), and R v Archbishops of Canterbury & York, ex parte Williamson (judicial review of ordination of women priests). Also appeared before the European Commission and Court of Human Rights: Fayed v UK, Tinnelly & McElduff v UK.

Other relevant experience


  • Editor of Employee Competition: Covenants, Confidentiality, and Garden Leave (OUP, 2nd ed 2011).
  • Contributor to Tolley’s Discrimination in Employment Handbook (2nd ed 2011).
  • Contributor to Restrictive Covenants and Trade Secrets in Employment Law: An International Survey (American Bar Association and BNA Books, 2010).
  • General Editor of European Employment Law and the UK, a loose-leaf encyclopaedia published by Sweet & Maxwell.
  • Springboard Injunctions in Employment Law (1995) Industrial Law Journal
  • TUPE and Unfair Dismissal (1994) 138 Solicitors Journal
  • Injunctions and Contracts of Employment: The Evening Standard Doctrine (1990) Industrial Law Journal


  • Team Moves: Lessons of Recent Cases (Sept 2012)
  • Social Media and Employee Competition (July 2011)
  • Springboard Injunctions (March 2011)
  • Team Moves (March 2011)
  • Employee Competition: Recent Cases (May 2010)
  • The English Approach to Jurisdiction and Choice of Law in Employment Covenants Not to Compete (April 2010)
  • Whistleblowing Claims: Their Uses and Abuses (October 2009)
  • Sleeping with the Enemy (May 2009)

Professional Associations

  • Chairman of the Employment Lawyers Association (ELA) from 1998-2000. Served on ELA’s Management Committee from 1992 to 2004, and chaired its working parties on Europe, the Acquired Rights Directive, the Employment Rights (Dispute Resolution) Bill, and the Review of Compensation Limits. Presented written and oral evidence to the House of Lords’ Select Committee on the European Communities (on proposals to amend the Acquired Rights Directive), and led several delegations of UK employment lawyers to Brussels to meet with EU labour law experts.
  • Member of the Employment Law Bar Association, the Bar European Group and the Industrial Law Society.
  • Member of the Administrative Law Bar Association.


Advised and appeared in a number of sports law cases, covering a range of sports.

Current and recent work


  • Chaired FA Commission hearings as a member of the Football Association Judicial Panel.
  • Appeared before Tribunal in dispute between football club and football manager’s representative. 
  • Advised premiership footballer in dispute with football club.
  • Advised a number of Premier League clubs, and other football bodies, chaired FA Appeal Boards and advised individual players. These cases have concerned contractual disputes, the application of the Bosman ruling, competition law, restraint of trade, crowd trouble, and general employment matters.

Other cases


  • Sheffield Utd FC v The Premier League, "The Tevez case"
  • Fulham FC v Tigana [2004] EWHC 2585 QB; [2005] EWCA Civ 895 (CA) 
  • Reading FC v Pardew


  • Hendry v World Snooker [2002] ECC 8


  • Modahl v British Athletics Federation (House of Lords, 1999)

Formula One

  • Acted in various disputes involving formula one teams.


  • Korda v ITF


  • Advised ECB.


  • Advised in relation to broadcasting rights concerning the Five Nations Championships, and on general matters in relation to the 1999 Rugby World Cup. Acted for a Director of Rugby in his dispute with his rugby club, and advised other rugby union players on their employment contracts. Advised rugby league clubs on constitutional matters.

Other relevant experience

  • In March 2008, appointed Appeal Board Chairman and Specialist Member of the Football Association Judicial Panel.
  • In June 2000, appointed to the Chairman’s Panel of Arbitrators of the Sports Dispute Resolution Panel.
  • Chaired a number of Football Association Appeal Boards (2000-2010).

Professional Associations

Member of the Bar Sports Law Group and the British Association for Sport and Law.


  • Chapter on Employment Law in Butterworths’ Sport: Law & Practice (2nd ed, 2008).
  • Article in The Times, 13 March 2001, on new UEFA/EC football transfers regime.


Paul has advised and appeared in many commercial cases in the High Court (including QB, Chancery, Commercial Court, TCC and Appellate Courts) and arbitrations (such as LCIA) involving breach of contract, bonus and deferred remuneration claims, team moves, confidential information and trade secrets, restrictive covenants, cross-border disputes, LIBOR fixing, quantitative trading.

Many of these cases have an FSA/FCA or other regulatory background, and involve jurisdiction and applicable law issues. He has acted for banks, building societies, hedge funds, asset managers, other financial institutions and broking firms, as well as for senior executives working in the financial services sector.

He has also given expert evidence in foreign proceedings on English contract law and restraint of trade.

Many of these commercial cases appear in the ‘Employment’ section above.

Domestic and International Arbitration

Paul has appeared in many arbitrations, both as an arbitrator and as an advocate.

Current and recent work

  • He is a Specialist Member of the Football Association Judicial Panel, and a Member of the Chairman’s Panel of Arbitrators of Sports Resolutions. In these capacities he has conducted many hearings, most notably disciplinary hearings pursuant to the rules of the Football Association.
  • As an advocate, he has appeared before arbitral tribunals set up by regulatory bodies, private associations, and also under the rules of the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA).
  • In 2013, he was appointed as a sole arbitrator to conduct an arbitration under LCIA rules in relation to an employment dispute.

Other relevant experience

  •  Member of the London Court of International Arbitration.

Other relevant experience

After completing undergraduate and postgraduate degrees, taught law at St Edmund Hall, Oxford from 1982 to 1984.

Other Information

VAT registration number:  397190906 

Photo of Paul Goulding

He's probably the best all-rounder at the Employment Bar. 

Chambers UK 2014


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view all

He has gravitas in spades. He manages to command a huge amount of respect, and he is knowledgeable and in command. 

Chambers UK 2014