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Professor of Law, University of Bristol

Professor Michael Ford QC joined the Bristol law School in 2015 and specialises in labour law, human rights and public law. He has a particular interest in social rights, EU law as it affects labour law, international protections of labour rights, and empirical changes in the labour market. His current interests include the actual means of enforcing labour rights in the UK and how these have been affected by recent reforms and proposed reforms to strike laws in the UK.

After a period as a racing cyclist, Michael studied law at the University of Bristol (1983-6). He then worked as a Solicitor at Slaughter and May, did an MA in Socio-Legal Studies, and taught at the University of Manchester and, later, Birkbeck College, University of London. In 1992 he was called to the Bar, and practised at Doughty Street Chambers (1992-2001) and then at Old Square Chambers (to date). He was formerly a Visiting Fellow at LSE, was appointed an Employment Judge in 2002 and was made a QC in 2013. In practice he specialises in labour law, covering most areas including equal pay, working time, industrial action, judicial reviews, EU law and EHRC applications. His work also encompasses human rights, health and safety, data protection, wildlife law (he has a BSC (Hons) in Biology from…Bristol) and judicial review. He has appeared several times in the ECJ, including in Stringer v HM Revenue and Customs, British Airways v Williams and most recently in Lock v British Gas. His cases in the European Court of Rights include ASLEF v United Kingdom and RMT v United Kingdom. He is on the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s ‘A’ panel of specialist Counsel, and acted for them in judicial reviews challenging the introduction of employment tribunal fees (R (UNISON) v Lord Chancellor) and on the first appellate case on caste discrimination (Chandhok v Tirkey). He was Chambers & Partners Employment Silk of the Year in 2015. has written widely on employment law. His publications include “Two Conceptions of Worker Privacy” (2002) 31 ILJ 135 and “Re-thinking the Notice Rule” (1998) 27 ILJ 220. He was formerly the editor of Redgrave’s Health and Safety and co-author of Munkman on Employer’s Liability.


  • –present
    Professor of Law, University of Bristol