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.

Chambers UK 2016

  • Employment - Paul is ‘Star’ ranked. “A very formidable operator, who is highly knowledgeable in his field.” “He is a big gun that you can pull out at the right moment." "He wrote the book on restrictive covenants and is the go-to barrister for that type of work.”
  • Sport - “Leading employment silk who assists sports clients with contractual disputes, disciplinary issues and discrimination matters. His work in football is particularly notable.”

Legal 500 2015

  • Employment - top ranked.  "The very best there is in matters relating to restrictive covenants; he is great to have onside.”

Chambers UK’s Top Silk Bar 100

In December 2013, Paul was ranked in Chambers UK’s 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”.

Who's Who Legal, Labour & Employment 2015

  • “Paul Goulding QC is a “pre-eminent” barrister who brings “vast and impressive expertise” to the table when it comes to cases involving team moves, restrictive covenants, confidentiality and garden leave.”

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

Jurisdiction and Anti-Suit Injunctions

  • Petter v EMC Corporation [2015] EWCA Civ 828
    Acted for employee domiciled in England who was sued in Massachusetts by the US parent of his UK employer pursuant to the terms of a stock plan containing a Massachusetts law and exclusive jurisdiction clause. The Court of Appeal granted an anti-suit injunction, restraining the US parent from pursuing the Massachusetts proceedings, in order to protect the employee’s rights under the Brussels I Recast Regulation on Jurisdiction. 

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.

  • Enforcement of restrictions in LLPs, LPs, hedge funds and private equity firms
    Advising in a variety of matters concerning the enforceability of restrictive covenants in the context of LLPs, LPs, hedge funds and private equity firms involving litigation in the UK and Jersey, as well as arbitration.
  • Petter v EMC Europe [2015] EWCA Civ 480
    Acted for employee where Court of Appeal refused employer’s appeal against an order for a speedy trial of the employee’s claim for a declaration as to the non-enforceability of restrictive covenants in employee’s contract.
  • Willis Ltd v Jardine Lloyd Thompson Group [2015] EWCA Civ 450
    Acted in team move case where the Court of Appeal granted an urgent interim springboard injunction.
  • Sunrise Brokers LLP v Rodgers [2014]
    Acted for appellant in obtaining permission to appeal to Court of Appeal in garden leave case.
  • Baker Tilly UK Holdings Ltd v Clough [2013] EWHC 3616 (QB)
    Acted for group of employees who moved to new employer. Issues included the assignability of restrictive covenants following objection by employees to a TUPE transfer.
  • Pre-Action Disclosure Application
    Acted for investors in opposing pre-action disclosure application in the Commercial Court in case involving alleged misuse of confidential information.
  • 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.
  • Litigation in Singapore regarding employee restrictive covenants
    Advising in relation to litigation in Singapore regarding the enforceability of employee restrictive covenants.
  • 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

  • Deferred remuneration schemes
    Advised in a variety of cases involving bonus clawback and malus provisions.
  • 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.


  • Whistleblowing claim
    Acted at trial for global corporation defending employee whistleblowing claims in the employment tribunal.
  • 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.
  • Acted in relation to employment claims following investigation into alleged violations of US sanctions.


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

  • Disability Discrimination
    Acted at trial for employer in defending disability discrimination claim.
  • Zero-hours contract claim
    Acting for employer defending test case brought by employee based on zero-hours contract.
  • Acting in a number of 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:

  • Baker Tilly Holdings Ltd v Clough [2013] EWHC 3616 (QB)
    Case concerned assignability of restrictive covenants following employee objections to TUPE transfer.

Football manager terminations

  • Advised football club in defending unfair dismissal claim brought by former manager.

Other cases

Team Moves, Restrictive Covenants, Confidentiality, and Garden Leave

  • Aon Ltd v JLT Reinsurance Brokers Ltd [2010] IRLR 600
  • 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. 


  • Woodward v Santander UK Plc [2010] IRLR 834
  • Renton v Cantor Fitzgerald Europe UKEAT/0236/10
  • 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

  • Worrall v Wilmott Dixon (EAT, 9 July 2010)
  • 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)
  • Member of ELA Working Party on draft EU Trade Secrets Directive
  • 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


  • Arbitration of Employment Disputes in the UK (May 2014)
  • 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.
  • Advised football club in defending unfair dismissal claim brought by former manager.
  • 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 (3rd ed, 2014).
  • 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 is a big gun that you can pull out at the right moment. 

Chambers UK 2016


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The very best there is in matters relating to restrictive covenants; he is great to have onside. 

Legal 500 2015