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John Sturzaker Practice Group Leader

Experience Profile

John is an expert in all aspects of police employment, including terms and conditions, pensions, working time, duties and lawful orders. He was described in the Lawyer magazine as the Police Federation’s “go-to adviser”.

John has over 20 years’ experience in advising and acting for the Police Federation nationally and locally and for its members. He advises on national issues, including new Police Regulations and Police Pensions Regulations. He has acted for the Federation and its members in many successful cases.

John’s cases include: R v Sussex Police ex p Stewart (definition of disablement in Police Pensions Regulations); R v S Wales PA ex p Hodgson (improper use of Regulation A19); R v Sec of State ex p PFEW (wrongful failure to backdate improved commutation factors under Police Pensions Regulations); R v Chief Constable of Kent ex p JBB (improper introduction of video reviews – led to PACE being amended); Roberts v N Wales Police (rest breaks under Working Time Regulations);  Lavelle v CC of Northumbria (overtime payable for telephone calls to officer when on call); Corkindale v W Yorks PA (meaning of ordinary duties of a member of the force under Police Pensions Regulations); James v Chief Constable of Norfolk (medical retirement was disability discrimination); R v S Wales Police Authority ex p Walters (proposal to deduct alleged overpayments from officers’ salaries was unlawful);  many other cases about ill health retirement and injury awards including: Charlton v Northumbria Police; Rodger v Cleveland Police; R v Caldbeck-Meenan, ex parte Clerk to Cleveland Police Authority; R v Fagin and Travers ex parte Mountstephen; R v S Wales PA ex p Anton; R v Surrey Police Authority ex p Martin; R v Kent Police Authority ex p Tyler.

John has also conducted successful  litigation outside the police service including, in relation to pensions  (Re British Telecom Pension Scheme – successful recovery of over £200 million for union members) and whistleblowing (Lingard v HM Prison Service).

John has advised the Police Federation nationally on terms and conditions including pension matters for well over a decade and was part of the working groups which dealt with the revised guidance on

Ill Health Retirements in 2003; the extension of the Disability Discrimination Act to the police service; the introduction of the New Police Pension Scheme in 2006. He has advised on the drafting of new Police Regulations and determinations and new and amendment Pension Regulations.

In addition John has advised or acted on behalf of officers in relation to matters such as the MacPherson Inquiry; Hillsborough, the Winsor Reports and the Hutton Review.  He is a regular speaker on police law matters and has given evidence to a Parliamentary committee on police pensions.

John joined RJW, now Slater and Gordon Lawyers, as a trainee solicitor in 1989 and has been with the firm ever since. He became a partner in 1995.  He was an elected  member of RJW's Management Board from 2004 until 2012 and, when RJW was acquired by Slater and Gordon Lawyers he became a member of the Management Board of Slater and Gordon (UK) LLP.

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

Fulwood High School, Preston. Hutton Grammar School VIth Form. London School of Economics B Sc (Econ) 1st Class Honours.

City of London Polytechnic – CPE & Law Society Finals (1st Class)