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Edward Cooper National Practice Group Leader, Employment

Experience Profile

Edward is National Practice Group Leader of the employment department at Slater and Gordon Lawyers which handles all aspects of employment law, including advising senior executives, employees, unions, and staff associations.

Edward specialises in all aspects of employment law, both for individuals and for trades unions. His experience has a particular emphasis on collective and policy matters; including trade union and industrial law, as well as public law and human rights-related employment issues. Edward has advised on the rules and procedures governing numerous trade unions and has wide experience in advising trade unions on mergers, internal disputes and industrial action issues. He has conducted numerous judicial review applications in public sector employment rights issues, and acted for a wide range of individual claimants in a wide range of industries.

He also has a growing practice advising claimants in professional negligence claims arising from the previous handling of their employment disputes by other solicitors and advisers.

Edward is a member of the Employment Lawyers Association, and the Professional Negligence Lawyers Association.

Carole Logue assists Edward on his cases and their details can be found here.

Edward’s most recent areas of work:

  • Acting for a number of Trade unions and other associations in Judicial review challenge of Government decision to assess public sector pensions and some state benefits by reference to CPI rather than RPI (for hearing October 2011)
  • Representing BA cabin crew in their continuing complaint of indirect race discrimination arising from the withdrawal of staff travel concessions (for hearing summer 2012)
  • Acting for an association of Gurkhas regarding their pension treatment, now before the European Court of Human rights;
  • Acting in claims of professional negligence on behalf of clients arising from poor advice / service from other firms of solicitors and other providers
  • Representing the Police Federation in their pay dispute with the Home Office in 2007 and 2008;
  • Setting up Executive Reps
  • The landmark victory in the House of Lords and European Court of Justice following an 8 year legal battle in the case of CELTEC v Astley and others.


Edward joined Slater and Gordon Lawyers in 1985 becoming a Principal Lawyer in 1988, since when he has been the National Practice Group Leader of the award winning employment department, which was named the “Employment Team of the Year” at the Lawyer Awards in 2006 (as well as in 2000 and 2002). Executive Reps, the service introduced by Edward was recognised as a “stand out” client service in the FT Innovative Lawyers Awards 2008.

Independent Recommendations

Legal 500: Leading Individual - Hall of Fame, 2020

Chambers and Partners 2020: 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 2019: "A great trade union lawyer who truly knows his subject."

Member of The Legal 500's 'Hall of Fame', 2018 and 2019

Chambers and Partners 2018: 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 2017 Band 1: "Edward is very knowledgeable and experienced", noted by peers for his "eminent reputation."

Chambers and Partners 2016: "Edward has a reputation for pragmatism and high-quality client service."

The Legal 500 2015 edition lists Edward as a leading individual in employment.

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

The Chambers Independent Legal Guide 2015 ranks Edward as a “Leader in the Field” of Employment Law specialising in Employees and Trade Unions, described by peers as pragmatic. He regularly works on issues of national importance and prominence.

In Chambers & Partners 2014 Edward is ranked in Band 1 for both for Employees and Trade Unions "Labelled as the "doyen of trade union work" by one senior source, Edward Cooper retains a superlative reputation for his representation of trade unions and claimants. He acted as lead partner on the Skyshare matter".

Edward is top ranked in the UK by Chambers 2013 both for Employees and Trade Unions, in which his team is also top ranked in the UK in both categories (sole top ranked for Employees and top ranked for Trade Unions).

The Legal 500 2013 edition states that "National practice group head Edward Cooper is recommended for his combination of legal expertise with an ‘ability to give pragmatic advice in a wider context and ‘delivers results exceeding expectations’".

The Legal 500 2012 states that "The firm is also advising public sector unions and pensioner groups in a judicial review of changes to public sector pensions, led by practice head Edward Cooper, who is a Leading Individual"

Legal 500 2011 state that Edward is an ‘excellent strategist’ and ‘deeply impressive’.

Legal 500 2010 describe him as "very intelligent, thorough and analytical" , and as a leading employment lawyer in London and his team as the leading firm for employees in London and the UK.

The Chambers & Partners 2013 UK legal directory states that the "Key Individual and “highly conscientious” Edward Cooper specialises in advising trade unions on matters such as collective disputes and judicial review. He recently advised the Police Federation and other unions on a judicial review of changes to public sector pensions"

Chambers and Partners 2012 says "He applies his intelligence in a practical way and doesn't blind you with legalese," notes one source."

Chambers and Partners 2011 describe Edward Cooper as offering “exemplary advice” and he is recognised for his tough negotiation skills. Sources praise his willingness to get to know his clients' businesses: "He understands our work and the nature of our organisation."

Edward has been described in previous Chambers directories as "a true star” (2009), appreciated for his “pragmatic and strategic advice” (2009), as an “eminence grise”(2008) and in acting for individual claimants…commentators say “there is nobody better – he is incredibly intelligent and really knows what he is doing” (2008).