Head of Practice - OMS Employment
It’s an honour to be a leader of an award-winning employment department, which has been named 'Employment Team of the Year' at a number of legal awards over the years.
Get to know Edward
I joined Slater and Gordon in London in 1985 and established the employment department shortly thereafter, which built a leading reputation representing employees, trade unions and senior executives. I am now the national Head of Practice for OMS (Organisations and Member Services) Employment, which handles the “corporate” needs of unions and staff associations as well as all the employment law needs of their members.
I specialise in all aspects of employment law for individuals and the “corporate” needs for trade unions. My experience has a particular emphasis on collective and policy matters, including trade union and industrial law. I've advised on the rules and procedures governing numerous trade unions and have a wide experience in advising trade unions on mergers, internal disputes and industrial action issues. I've conducted numerous judicial review applications in public sector employment rights issues and have also acted for a wide range of individual clients in a wide range of industries.
I also have handled clients in right to practise cases and in professional negligence claims arising from the previous handling of their employment disputes by other solicitors and advisers.
I regularly deliver lectures to clients, most recently on the implications of GDPR for trade unions.
I have many career highlights, but some of the most recent include:
- Acting for Sir Philip Rutnam, who progressed a well-publicised claim for constructive dismissal to settlement, having publicly resigned against a background of bullying claims involving Home Secretary, Priti Patel.
- Acting for civil service trade unions in challenging by judicial review the imposition of pay remit in 2019.
- Representing the Police Federation in their pay disputes with the Home Office in 2007/8 and in 2018, progressing judicial review on both occasions.
- Acting for an association of Gurkhas regarding their pension treatment, through to the European Court of Human Rights.
- Acting for a teacher in the longest right to practise hearing ever in that profession and securing the striking out of the case on grounds of abuse of process.
I’ve been recognised in independent legal guides the Legal 500 and Chambers and Partners for over a decade.
Chambers and Partners consistently ranks me as a 'Leader in the field' at Band 1 and in the 2021 edition said: "Edward Cooper has a practice encompassing industrial relations and trade union law. He is experienced in a variety of contentious employment matters including equal pay claims." "He is very knowledgeable and experienced; his strengths include quick turnaround time and detailed, easy-to-understand advice, a client-focused attitude and deep understanding of the trade union movement." "He's a fantastic solicitor with a brilliant legal brain." "He is extremely knowledgeable, gives timely advice, is very personable and provides the best service."
I’m also consistently ranked as a 'Leading Individual' in the Legal 500 and for the past two years have received the highest recognition, in the Legal 500 Hall of Fame. The Legal 500 states: “Ed Cooper has a brilliant brain and great expertise in the employee-side of employment law, including judicial review, internal trade union matters and collective disputes. The perfect solicitor for sorting out a complicated large claim.”
Additionally, my team has won several awards over the years, including Employment Team of the Year at The Lawyer Awards in 2006, 2000 and 2002, and Executive Reps, the service I introduced, was recognised as a “stand out” client service in the FT Innovative Lawyer Awards 2008. The 2014 London Super Lawyers Magazine listed me as a ‘Top Solicitor in London’.
The extra mile
I’m a member of the Employment Lawyers Association and the Professional Negligence Lawyers Association.
I’m also a regular speaker at seminars and I’ve written articles for several publications.
Edward Cooper heads the firm's employment practice group and is described as "eminent and full of wisdom in this field." His practice encompasses industrial relations and trade union law alongside a variety of other contentious employment matters. Chambers and Partners 2020 (Edward Cooper)
A great trade union lawyer who truly knows his subject. Chambers and Partners 2018 (Edward Cooper)
Edward Cooper is highly rated for his trade union expertise, advising on internal disputes, industrial issues and collective bargaining. Clients say "He always offers the most professional advice and service". Chambers and Partners 2018 (Edward Cooper)