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Bernard is a Partner in our Employment team. He has specialised in Employment Law for over 25 years with an emphasis on contentious matters, in particular as an advocate in Employment Tribunals throughout the UK.

Bernard personally conducts his own advocacy in Tribunal hearings including matters that go on to the Employment Appeal Tribunal, where appeals (being permitted only on matters of law) require detailed analysis and application of relevant legal principles.

He has sat as a fee paid Employment Judge since his initial appointment to that office in 2000.

Bernard specializes in the delivery of advice and representation to the firm’s extensive public sector client base in employment matters. He is accordingly very familiar with and sensitive to the particular issues arising within the sector.

He does, however, also advise in all aspects of employment law to an extensive portfolio of private sector clients, including large corporations with a geographical presence throughout the UK and internationally.


Recent examples of Bernard’s work include:

  • Advising a number of local authorities and NHS Trusts in their defence of multiple equal pay claims (the claimants numbering thousands)
  • Advising on the conduct of grievances and threat of industrial action arising from a proposed TUPE transfer of services
  • Advising on a complex issue of long-term sickness absence and subsequently successfully defending the Employment Tribunal claim
  • Successfully defending a significant disability discrimination and whistleblowing claim up to the Employment Appeal Tribunal
  • Successfully defending a multi-day Employment Tribunal claim alleging sex discrimination
  • Successfully defending a multi-day Employment Tribunal claim alleging age and disability discrimination
  • Advising on the terms and conditions of a number of outsourcing arrangements covered by TUPE
  • Providing training on recent and prospective employment law developments, both statutory and case law, and including mock tribunals.

Bernard is the only employment lawyer in the region to be accorded the status of “Eminent Practitioner” in the Chambers UK Guide 2017.

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Independent verdict

  • "A real good man to have fighting your case, who doesn't take any prisoners and is strategically sharp."

    Client quote, Chambers & Partners
  • "Bernard Hodgson is an outstanding and highly experienced litigator with a 'good strategic sense, a down-to-earth manner and an in-depth knowledge of local authority structures and arrangements,' according to a client."

    Chambers & Partners
  • "Bernard Hodgson is well regarded for his extensive public and private sector client base. He has considerable experience handling tribunal and appeal hearings."

    Chambers & Partners
  • "Bernard Hodgson is joint head of the team and specialises in contentious matters. Clients believe that he has 'sound technical skills and a friendly but business-like approach.'"

    Chambers & Partners
  • "Bernard Hodgson provides advice to NHS and local authority clients with an emphasis on contentious matters. He is commended for his ‘good judgement’ and ‘common-sense approach.’"

    Chambers & Partners
  • "Bernard Hodgson is deemed a 'good, strong advocate who commands a real following among his clients'. He is admired for his tenacity in pursuing clients' interests. "

    Chambers & Partners
  • "Bernard Hodgson advises on all aspects of employment law for clients in the public sector. Also works with private employers, with recent activity including the defence of discrimination claims."

    Chambers & Partners
  • “Bernard Hodgson is ‘strong, supportive and very knowledgeable’.”

    Legal 500
  • "Bernard Hodgson is noted for his ‘excellent and most valuable’ knowledge of the NHS"

    Legal 500
  • "A tribunal claims expert"

    Legal 500
  • "He is an excellent lawyer and can build strong relationships with clients."

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