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John Sturzaker Practice Group Leader, Employment

Experience Profile

John is a Practice Group Leader in the Employment Law department at Slater and Gordon Lawyers in central London.

John regularly provides head office advice to staff associations and unions in respect of a wide range of collective and policy issues including pensions, terms and conditions, health & safety, working time and sickness/disability issues.

He has significant expertise in relation to police employment related matters and advises the Police Federation on many key issues. Over the last year has provided strategic advice on many issues of national importance, including: a review of police officers' injury benefits; ill health retirement procedures; secondment and collaboration agreements; new performance regulations, police powers and police federation constitutional arrangements. John also regularly litigates key cases.

The 2014 London Super Lawyers Magazine listed John as a Top Solicitor in London.

The Legal 500 2013 edition states that "the ‘efficient and direct’ John Sturzaker is recommended".

Chambers and Partners 2012 legal directory states:"John Sturzaker is widely recognised for his work on regulatory and litigious concerns for the Police Federation and is prized by interviewees for his "punchy style."

Chambers and Partners 2011 says "John Sturzaker acts for the Police Federation and is commended for his “responsible, relevant advice” and "approachable and professional service".

John is widely recognised as a leading whistleblowing expert, following Lingard v HM Prison Service, with an award of nearly £500,000 believed to be the biggest public sector whistleblowing award to date. In 2008 he successfully represented another prison officer in a whistleblowing case in Howie v HM Prison Service, securing over £43,000 in compensation (including aggravated damages) and legal costs in addition in a case with no financial loss. John, who has developed a niche practice in whistleblowing claims, both in the private and public sector, is also considered an expert speaker on whistleblowing issues within the Employment Law community.

In 2008 John acted for the successful claimant police officer in Hodgson v South Wales in which the court accepted that the purported use of a quasi-redundancy provision was susceptible to judicial review and held that the force had acted unlawfully.

He also acted for the claimants in an important and successful challenge to the decision not to backdate fully a change in the formula for calculating pension lump sums in Police Federation v Sec of State for Home Dept.

John has regularly litigated cases in the High Court, particularly judicial review. He has acted for claimants in many successful judicial review claims including Stewart v Sussex Police Authority (which established the meaning of the ordinary duties of a police officer for pension purposes); ex p Harman and Kent JBB (a successful challenge to a proposal to conduct reviews of detention under the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 by video link); R v South Wales Police Authority’ ex p Walters (threat to make unilateral deductions from hundreds of officers was prevented by a successful judicial review) and many of the leading police pension cases.

In Chessels v BT John acted successfully on behalf of representative beneficiaries in a dispute about the payment of Civil Service equivalent benefits to BT staff who had worked for the Post Office prior to 1971 and who left on redundancy in the 1990s. Total compensation was estimated to be over £300 million.

John joined Slater and Gordon as an articled clerk in 1989 and has been here ever since, he is now a Practice Group Leader in our London Employment department.

John Sturzaker was recommended by The Legal 500 in 2014.