Photo of Paul Gilroy KC

Paul Gilroy KC

Year of call 1985, Gray's Inn

Year of Silk 2006  

Areas of Expertise
Employment, Mediation, Employment and Workplace Mediation, Inquiries and Investigations

Sport: Band 1 - Ranked Chambers and Partners 2024 Edition

Chambers and Partners 2024

Employment: Band 1
"Paul is a pleasure to work with. He exudes calm authority and completely reassured the client at a stressful time for them."
"Paul is the best advocate I've come across in 20 years. He's very good with clients."
"Paul is absolutely superb. His knowledge of employment law and his commercial acumen are second to none."

Chambers and Partners 2024

Sports Law:
"Paul is an extremely able and effective advocate who intuitively knows how to get the judge on side. A powerful cross-examiner."

Legal 500 2024

"Paul is right on top of case law and the attitude of judges regarding industrial relations injunction applications. He is pragmatic and commercial, and also delivers his advice in conference in a very down-to-earth way while at the same time exuding a calm authority."

Legal 500 2024

Employment - Northern (Bar):
"Paul Gilroy is excellent. He's superbly knowledgeable, clients warm to him and he consistently delivers results in big cases that merit his involvement. He's a great team player who does what he says he will do and always within agreed timescales." "Paul Gilroy is a top-class operator who delivers exceptional advice and support in a clear and concise manner. Without a doubt, Paul is one of the best employment barristers we have ever had the pleasure of working with."

Chambers and Partners 2023

"A genuine heavyweight KC. Paul is the leading light in acting for football managers and head coaches, and has acted for so many managers in the Premier League and Championship. It is easy to see why: his written submissions are excellent, he is the complete all-rounder, and he is genuinely an opponent to fear."

Legal 500 2023

"Paul is outstanding and has no weaknesses! A phenomenal legal brain who is commercially astute and always client focused. He is quick to understand the detailed background of complex factual matters, the intricate details of a client’s business model, and the significant repercussions for the client in the event of an adverse finding. He puts the client completely at ease and is a top-class operator who delivers exceptional advice and support in a clear and concise manner. Without a doubt, Paul is one of the best employment barristers."

Legal 500 2023

Sports Law: Band 1
Prominent employment silk who regularly acts for football manager clients in matters concerning appointments and dismissals. He is also valued for his work in discrimination and breach of contract cases.
Strengths: "He is really technically able."

Chambers and Partners 2022

"He is a barrister who you would always want in your corner and the leading light in my area of practice." "I can see why he is a leader at the Employment Bar: he is a great advocate with a reputation entirely merited." "He is a heavyweight employment lawyer - top draw."

Chambers and Partners 2022

"Paul's strengths are most definitely the way he builds relationships with both solicitor and client. It felt very much as though we were a team. He was brilliant with my client, for whom this was extremely stressful and arduous. He has a relaxed advocacy style but can be pugilistic when the situation calls for it. I was very happy with his work and will instruct him again."

Legal 500 2022

Sport - The Regions (Bar): Leading Silk Band 1:
"He remains the leading expert in manager disputes and other employment-related issues within football."

Chambers and Partners 2021

Employment (Northern Bar): Leading Silk Band 1
"He has gravitas and he is tenacious on his feet." "He is absolutely first-class. He is our go-to barrister. He is accessible, sensible and a very strong advocate."

Chambers and Partners 2021

Employment - Northern (Bar): Leading Silk Band 1
"He is always very eloquent in his advocacy. He cuts through to the client's objective and gets to the crux of the issue. He is very personable and he does a very serious job while putting his clients at ease."

Chambers and Partners 2020

Sport - The Regions (Bar): Leading Silk Band 1
"Trusted by our board, not only because of the gravitas he has as counsel, but also because of his wider reputation in football arbitration. User-friendly and cost-effective, and gets good results."

Chambers and Partners 2020

"He is very hands on, approachable, knows the sector very well, and he is combative when you require him to be."

Chambers and Partners 2018 (Sport - The Regions)

"He is a leading light in football cases."

Chambers and Partners 2018

"He is brilliant on his feet. He has gravitas and can hold his ground when faced with challenging questions and interruptions from the Bench."

Chambers and Partners 2018

'Renowned for employment matters.'

Legal 500, 2017

"Prominent employment silk with a wealth of experience, who acts for football manager clients in cases of appointment and dismissal. Also valued for his work on discrimination and breach of contract cases. 'If you've got a case you need to fight he's an excellent choice'"

Chambers and Partners 2017

"Paul has a very robust and persuasive style." "He has a well-deserved reputation here in the North West."

Chambers and Partners 2017

‘A nationally recognised employment advocate with expertise in football cases.’

Legal 500 2016

"He is incredibly knowledgeable, very approachable and a supreme advocate."

Chambers & Partners 2014

“Paul Gilroy KC is a ‘topclass strategist’ and ‘the go-to barrister in the North West’ for employment work, who gains plaudits for his gravitas in court as well as his approachable manner out of it. He is especially commended for his ‘ability to explain the intricacies of the law in an easily digestible way.’ A major focus of his practice is sports related employment law, and he has represented both top level football managers and players.”

Chambers & Partners 2013

"has extensive experience in the field"

Legal 500 2012

A lawyer who "has the gravitas and standing that comes from years of battling away in the employment trenches," he is "a peerless performer before the tribunal."

Chambers & Partners 2011

Paul Gilroy KC “performed brilliantly” in a recent high-value case.

Legal 500 Directory 2011

Paul Gilroy KC is, according to feedback, an excellent performer who is a cut above other silks... His "sharp, quick-witted style is entertaining to watch, even from the other side".

Chambers & Partners 2010

Solicitors and clients admire the "robust, user-friendly and extremely commercial" Paul Gilroy KC, who remains "top of the list" for many interviewees. They admire "his willingness to really roll up his sleeves" and his capacity for bridging the gap between solicitors and barristers.

Chambers & Partners 2009

"...the strongest silk on (the Northern) circuit for employment."

Legal 500 Directory 2009

Class act Paul Gilroy KC wins high praise for his "speed, robustness and excellent grasp of detail." Appointed silk in 2006, he is deemed to have "enormous experience" and an "appropriate tenacity in court."

Chambers & Partners 2008

The "excellent and evergreen" Paul Gilroy KC thrives in the market and remains the principal player here due to his comprehensive employment and tribunal experience.

Chambers & Partners 2007

Paul Gilroy was applauded for his "depth of expertise across a wide range of traditional employment law issues." Apart from his obvious intellectual ability, the market commended his client-friendly, commercially astute approach.

Chambers & Partners (*Starred - ie. higher than Grade 1 - rating) 2006

Paul Gilroy "stands head and shoulders above the rest" say solicitors. Researchers heard that his ability to pick up a case and knock it into shape is "phenomenal." Interviewees commented: "He is great at taking something shapeless and giving it the 'Armani' touch." A combination of high intellect, a down-to-earth manner and impressive client skills make sources "sing his praises from the rooftops." The bulk of his work is on behalf of respondents, although he also undertakes instructions from applicants as well. TUPE, discrimination, including sexual orientation cases, class actions. Paul Gilroy is renowned for his disciplinary work, and acted on two class actions over the past year. Solicitors praised him as outstanding, with a brilliant commercial slant.

Chambers & Partners 2005

"Performs cross-examination by scalpel."

Legal 500 Directory, 2005


  • Part-time Judge of Employment Tribunals (appointed 2000)
  • Specialist Member of the Judicial Panel of the Football Association (appointed 2007)
  • Member of the Chairperson's List, Sports Resolutions UK - Panel of Arbitrators (appointed 2007)
  • Member of the Judicial Appeal Board of the Football Association (appointed 2008)
  • Legal Member of National Anti-Doping Panel (NADP) Sport Resolutions UK (2010-2015)

Paul Gilroy is also an experienced mediator and arbitrator in non-sports related matters.


Paul Gilroy The Legal 500 – The Clients Guide to Law Firms

Paul Gilroy KC is a leading barrister in his areas of practice. Recognised as a phenomenal legal brain and one of the leading employment barristers in practice today. He is able to effortlessly merge commercial know how with client focus. He is always in high demand and his cases, client roster and decades worth of directory recommendations are a testimony to his ability to deliver for his clients time and time again.


Paul Gilroy KC's reputation is principally based on his employment practice. He has for some years been recognised by Chambers & Partners, The Legal 500, and Legal Experts as a leader in this field.

Employment Northern (Bar): Leading Barrister (Band 1)
"An excellent advocate who is great on his feet."
"Commercial and approachable."
"Clever and decisive."

(Chambers and Partners UK Bar 2019)

Sport - The Regions (Bar): Leading Barrister (Band 1)
"Thorough and focused, a robust advocate with specialist expertise in sports."
(Chambers and Partners UK Bar 2019)

Employment – ranked Tier 1
"He has particular expertise in sports-related employment matters."
(Legal 500 2019)

"He is very hands on, approachable, knows the sector very well, and he is combative when you require him to be."
(Chambers and Partners 2018 (Sport – The Regions))

"He is a leading light in football cases."
(Chambers and Partners 2018)

"Paul has a very robust and persuasive style." "He has a well-deserved reputation here in the North West."
(Chambers and Partners 2017)

"A noted employment specialist who is frequently instructed in employment disputes in the sports sector. He is a favourite for high-profile footballers and managers who are facing difficulties with their clubs. 'He is very tenacious and personable and is renowned for getting a fantastic deal for managers.' 'He is an outstanding trial lawyer."
(Chambers and Partners 2016)

"Focuses on employment law and is frequently instructed on complex or high level work at the Employment Tribunal, Employment Appeal Tribunal and High Court, such as whistleblowing, discrimination, class actions and executive matters."
(Chambers and Partners 2016)

"He is an excellent advocate who has the gravitas to deal with complex tribunals."

"He is very thorough and focused."
(Chambers and Partners 2015)

Paul Gilroy has over three decades of experience of employment-related litigation at all levels.

He also conducts investigations into employment law-related matters.

He has a particular interest in sports-related litigation and regulatory matters in sport.

He has advised and acted for a stellar list of football clients, including Roy Hodgson, Martin O’Neill, Gianfranco Zola, Gareth Southgate, Henning Berg, David O'Leary, Sir Alex Ferguson, Harry Redknapp, Mark Hughes, Pep Guardiola, Roberto Di Matteo, Roy Keane, Alan Curbishley, Gerard Houllier, Marco Silva, Ray Wilkins, Steve Clarke, Owen Coyle, Roberto Martinez, Sam Allardyce, Brendan Rodgers, Tim Sherwood, Michael Laudrup, Alex McLeish, Chris Coleman, Ryan Giggs, Sean Dyche, Paul Lambert, Neil Warnock, Chris Hughton, David Moyes, Nigel Adkins, Alan Pardew, Phil Brown, Nigel Pearson, Steve McClaren, Mick McCarthy, Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, Martin Allen, Phil Neville, Gary Neville, Nigel Clough, Ray Clemence, Malky Mackay, Gus Poyet, Stuart Pearce, and Rene Meulensteen amongst others.

Most appearances as Counsel before the FA Premier League Managers Arbitration Tribunal (7).

He is a specialist member of the FA's Judicial Panel and the FA Judicial Appeal Board.

He has been instructed in high profile public inquiries (Ashworth Hospital and Harold Shipman), and has wide-ranging experience in the field of professional discipline, both acting in and conducting disciplinary hearings for Universities and sports bodies and in the NHS.

He contributes to professional publications, has annotated employment legislation for Current Law Statutes, has been engaged by Sweet & Maxwell to assist in editing the Encyclopaedia on Employment Law, and is a frequent speaker on employment law topics to professional and other audiences.


Harrod and ors. v Chief Constable of West Midlands Police and ors. [2017] EWCA 191
(Court of Appeal). Indirect age discrimination and justification.

BAE Systems v Konczak [2017] EWCA 1188
(Court of Appeal). Divisibility of psychiatric harm.

Greater Manchester Police v Bailey [2017] EWCA Civ 425
(Court of Appeal). Race Discrimination.

Re: Mr X (2016-2018)
Independent investigation on behalf of an NHS Trust into whistleblowing complaints made by a Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon.

Carl Frampton v Barry McGuigan (2017-2018)
High Court litigation and Arbitration before the British Boxing Board of Control.

Re: Ms Z (2018)
Independent investigation on behalf of British Parasnowsport and UK Sport into complaints of bullying and harassment made by a para athlete.

Middlesbrough FC v Garry Monk (2018)
FA Rule K Arbitration.

Various v Rugby Football League and Super League (Europe) (2018)
Challenges to salary cap and other restrictions on professional rugby league players.

Author of Chapter on Football Managers’ Contracts in 'Football and the Law'
(Bloomsbury - publication in May 2018:


    • Provident v Hayward [1989] 3 All ER 298 (CA) (Garden Leave).
    • YKK v Ely [1993] IRLR 500 (CA) (Equivocal resignation/ SOSR).
    • Cantona v Doyle [1996] (CC) (Civil Assault).
    • Bell v Manchester City FC [1997] (ET) (Unfair Dismissal).
    • Tyrer v Rugby Football League [1998] (HC) (Bye-laws of professional sports body - Restraint of Trade).
    • Abbey National v Formoso [1999] IRLR 22 (EAT) (Pregnancy Discrimination).
    • Hoyland v Asda Stores Limited [2005] IRLR 438 (EAT) (Equal Pay).
    • Khudados v Hayden and others [2007] EWCA Civ 1316 (Court of Appeal) (Conduct of Litigation).
    • Michalak v Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust [2007] (QBD) (NHS Consultant - Injunctive Relief).
    • Oyarce v Cheshire County Council [2008] IRLR 653 (Court of Appeal) (Reversal of Burden of Proof in claims of Victimisation under the Race Relations Act).
    • Lucy and others v British Airways plc [2009] (EAT) (Unlawful Deductions).
    • Curbishley v West Ham United [2009] (FA Premier League) (Wrongful Constructive Dismissal).
    • Bampouras and others v Edge Hill University [2010] EAT (Unfair Dismissal).
    • Goode v Marks and Spencer plc [2010] (EAT) (Whistleblowing).
    • Magilton v Ipswich Town [2011] (QBD) (Wrongful Dismissal).
    • O’Neill v Aston Villa 2011] (FA Premier League) (Wrongful Constructive Dismissal).
    • O’Leary v Al Ahli FC (Dubai) [2011-2014] Successful representation of Head Coach in wrongful dismissal claim before FIFA and on appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne.
    • University of Bradford [2012] Chair of five separate panels to determine grievances brought by senior academics.
    • Alty and 61 others v Bosal UK [2012] Successful High Court class action concerning the incorporation of terms concerning redundancy entitlement contained in collective agreements in contracts of employment.
    • Woodcock v Cumbria Primary Care Trust [2012] Leading Court of Appeal authority on the defence of justification in claims of indirect discrimination.
    • Norwich City v Lambert and Aston Villa [2012-2013] (FA Premier League) (Breach of Contract).
    • Adkins v Southampton [2012-2013] (FA Premier League) (Breach of Contract).
    • Henning Berg v Blackburn Rovers [2013] Successful damages claim for breach of contract.
    • Hindley v BASF [2013] Successful defence of seven figure claim by widow on behalf of estate re: death in service benefit.
    • Griffiths v Liverpool Heart & Chest Hospital NHS Trust [2013] Successful defence of seven figure discrimination claim by consultant heart surgeon.
    • Mackay v Cardiff City [2014] (FA Premier League) (Breach of Contract).
    • Cunningham v AIB (UK) [2014] Settlement of whistleblowing claim by senior director after ET proceedings and appeal to the EAT.
    • AB v CD [2015] Represented Chief Superintendent in proceedings involving substantial claim for compensation against his force for sexual orientation discrimination.
    • Aulton v Various [2014-2016] Successful defence of NHS Trust in ET and EAT TUPE class action by substance abuse workers.
    • Kansal v Tullett Prebon [2015] Successful representation of broker of Indian origin in race discrimination claim against international City brokerage firm.
    • Civil claims arising from Operation Elveden (2015/16) Acting for 15 senior journalists in multiple high value claims against leading national newspaper arising out of arrest and prosecution in the "payments to public officials" inquiry which followed the criminal phone hacking investigation concerning the News of the World.
    • A v B [2016] Substantial claim against globally renowned celebrity by former employee. Successful defence of multiple applications for privacy, anonymity and restricted reporting orders.


Employment Law Bar Association,
Employment Lawyers Association,
Professional Negligence Bar Association


LLB (Hons)

Prescribed Information

Paul Gilroy KC is a practising barrister, who is regulated by the Bar Standards Board. Details of information held by the BSB about Paul Gilroy KC can be found here

Paul Gilroy KC's clerks will happily provide no obligation quotations for all legal services that he provides. Their contact details can be found here. It is most common for Paul Gilroy KC to undertake any Court, Tribunal or Mediation services and advisory work for a brief fee and refresher day fees. For advising either in writing or in consultation his work is most commonly charged at an hourly rate. Conditional Fee Agreements and Damages Based Agreements will be considered in cases with favourable prospects of success. Paul Gilroy KC will typically return paperwork within 7 days, however professional commitments, complexity and volume of documentation can affect these approximate timescales.

Paul Gilroy also practices at Littleton Chambers in London.

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