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 works for Union Solidarity International, which links trade unionists across the world with the aim of building a grassroots union solidarity using the latest technology.

Vice Presidents

  • Tess Gill
  • Len McCluskey, UNITE
  • Professor Aileen McColgan
  • Professor Sonia McKay
  • Dave Prentis, Unison
  • Tim Roache, GMB

The Executive Committee

  • Richard Arthur, Thompsons Solicitors
  • Howard Beckett, UNITE
  • Alan Bogg
  • Amanda Brown, NEU
  • Mick Cash, RMT
  • Nicola Countouris
  • Ruth Dukes
  • Mark Freedland, University of Oxford, faculty of law
  • Steve Gillan, POA
  • Dr. Lydia Hayes, Cardiff University
  • Professor Phil James
  • Aristea Koukiadaki
  • Sampson Low, UNISON
  • Paul Mackney
  • Virginia Mantouvalou
  • Robert Monks, URTU
  • Tonia Novitz
  • Hannah Reed
  • Paul Scholey, Morrish Solicitors
  • Mark Serwotka, PCS
  • Tim Sharp, TUC
  • Bob Simpson
  • Barry Smith, GMB
  • Liz Snape, Unison
  • Michelle Stanistreet NUJ
  • Elizabeth Stephenson Pattinson & Brewer
  • Barbara Switzer
  • Sarah Veale
  • Dave Ward, CWU
  • Adrian Weir, Unite
  • Dr David Whyte, University of Liverpool
  • Dr Frank Wilkinson
  • Spencer Wood O H Parsons


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

  • Christine Blower (NUT)
  • Dr Mary Bousted (NEU)
  • Stephen Cavalier (Thompsons)
  • Philippa Childs (BECTU)
  • Manuel Cortes (TSSA)
  • Professor Paul Davies
  • Professor Simon Deakin
  • Professor Linda Dickens
  • Mark Dickinson (NAUTILUS International)
  • Ronnie Draper (BFAWU)
  • 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)
  • Paddy Lillis (USDAW)
  • 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)