Who we are

The Institute of Employment Rights is run by a small core team of staff, overseen by our Executive Committee and Members.


Carolyn Jones, Director


James Harrison, National Coordinator


Sarah Glenister, National Development Officer



Professor Keith Ewing, President

Professor Keith Ewing is Professor of Public Law at King’s College London. He has written extensively on labour law including recognition procedures and international standards.

Lord John Hendy QC, Chair

Lord John Hendy QC is Chair of the Institute of Employment Rights. He is a barrister in Old Square Chambers, London and is standing counsel to ASLEF, CWUNUJNUMPOARMTUCU and UNITE. He is also President of the International Centre for Trade Union Rights (ICTUR) and a Vice-President of the Campaign for Trade Union Freedom. He is an honorary professor at University College, London. In 2019, he was made a peer by then Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.

Geoff Shears, Treasurer

Geoffrey D. Shears was a trade union lawyer with Thompsons since 1971,eventually becoming CEO and then Executive Chair. He left in 2009 to set up Union Solidarity International, which in 2018 was transferred to the global union, IndustriALL. He is Treasurer of the IER and Vice-Chair of CLASS.

Vice Presidents

  • Len McCluskey, UNITE
  • Professor Aileen McColgan
  • Professor Sonia McKay
  • Professor Tonia Novitz
  • Dave Prentis, Unison
  • Dave Ward, CWU

The Executive Committee

  • Richard Arthur, Thompsons Solicitors
  • Howard Beckett, UNITE
  • Baroness Christine Blower
  • Professor Alan Bogg
  • Amanda Brown, NEU
  • Mick Cash, RMT
  • Steve Cottingham
  • Professor Nicola Countouris
  • Professor Ruth Dukes
  • Professor Mark Freedland
  • Steve Gillan, POA
  • Dr Lydia Hayes
  • Professor Phil James
  • Dr Aristea Koukiadaki
  • Paddy Lillis, USDAW
  • Sampson Low, UNISON
  • Paul Mackney
  • Professor Virginia Mantouvalou
  • Robert Monks, URTU
  • Laura Pidcock
  • Hannah Reed
  • Paul Scholey, Morrish Solicitors
  • Mark Serwotka, PCS
  • Tim Sharp, TUC
  • Bob Simpson
  • Barry Smith, GMB
  • Liz Snape, Unison
  • Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ
  • Barbara Switzer
  • Sarah Veale
  • Adrian Weir, Unite
  • Professor David Whyte
  • Dr Frank Wilkinson
  • Spencer Wood, O H Parsons
  • Sarah Woolley, BFAWU


Members meet once a year to give direction to the work of the Institute. The day-to-day affairs are managed by an executive committee which is elected by the members.

Members of the Institute include:

  • the general secretaries of most of the trade unions in the UK
  • an impressive selection of labour law academics
  • legal practitioners who specialise in representing unions and their members.

Members of the Institute

  • Dr Mary Bousted, NEU
  • Stephen Cavalier, Thompsons
  • Manuel Cortes, TSSA
  • Professor Paul Davies
  • Professor Simon Deakin
  • Professor Linda Dickens
  • Mark Dickinson, NAUTILUS International
  • Richard Evans, SOR
  • Kate Fallon, AEP
  • Michael Ford, Old Square Chambers
  • Steve Gibbons
  • Dr Jo Grady, UCU
  • Chris Keates, NASUWT
  • Chris Kitchen, NUM
  • Ian Lawrence, NAPO
  • Leslie Mercer, CSP
  • Professor Jonathan Michie
  • Doug Nicholls, GFTU
  • Ged Nichols, Accord
  • Joe O’Hara
  • Dave Penman, FDA
  • Roy Rickhuss, Community
  • Rod Robertson
  • Mickey Rubenstein
  • Grahame Smith, STUC
  • Gordon Taylor, PFA
  • Mick Whelan, ASLEF
  • Matt Wrack, FBU