President & Vice Presidents


Honorary President


Sir Patrick Elias:

Sir Patrick Elias was called to the Bar in 1973 (Inner Temple). He became a Bencher in 1995 and served as Assistant Recorder from 1997 to 1999. He was appointed Deputy High Court Judge in January 1999 and four months later, in May 1999, he was named Judge of the High Court, Queen’s Bench Division.

He was President of the Employment Appeal Tribunal from 2006 to 2008.

He was appointed as a Lord Justice of Appeal in 2009.


Dr Saphié Ashtiany

Principal Ashtiany Associates, Visiting Professorial Fellow Queen Mary University of London and formerly Partner, Head of Employment, Nabarro LLP.  Saphié is also a trustee and Chair of the Equal Rights Trust, a non-executive Director and Vice Chair of the Charities Aid Foundation, an Honorary Fellow of Harris Manchester College and a trustee and director of various arts charities including Oxford Philharmonic Orchestra and Oxford Playhouse and on the Advisory Board of the Welsh National Opera.

She was formerly a non-Executive Director of Channel 4 (and Member of the Audit Committee), a member of the Advisory Board of the Centre for Diversity Studies Oxford Brookes University, Commissioner for the Law Section of the Inquiry into Women Power and inequality set up by the London School of Economics and a Commissioner with the Equal Opportunities Commission until it was wound up in 2008.

Saphié’s  publications include contributions to:

Tottels Employment Law
Sweet and Maxwell Encyclopaedia of employment law
FL Memo – Discrimination Law.

Professor Catherine Barnard MA (Cantab), LLM (EUI), PhD (Cantab)

Professor in European Union Law and Employment Law at the University of Cambridge, and senior tutor and fellow of Trinity College. She specialises in EU law and employment law. She is author of EU Employment Law (Oxford, OUP, 2012, 5th ed.), The Substantive Law of the EU: The Four Freedoms, (Oxford, OUP, 2016, 5th ed), and (with Peers ed), European Union Law (Oxford, OUP, 2014, second edition 2017 forthcoming). Currently, Catherine is a Senior Fellow in the ESRC’s UK in a Changing Europe project where she is working with Dr Amy Ludlow on a project entitled: ‘“Honeypot Britain?” The Lived experience of working as an EU migrant in the UK’.

David Cockburn

The Certification Officer for Trade Unions and Employers Associations. Former Chair of the ILS, partner in Pattinson and Brewer, solicitors, and part time Employment Judge. A member of the Editorial Committee of the ILJ and Editorial Panel of the Encyclopaedia of Employment Law. Visiting Professor at Middlesex University. Former Chair of the ELA and the Employment Law Committee of the Law Society. A founder member and officer of the Institute of Employment Rights and former Chair of the Code Compliance Panel of PhonepayPlus.

Paul Davies QC

Vice-President and Cassel Professor of Commercial Law at the London School of Economics and Political Science. Former Editor of the Journal from 1977 to 2009. Also the Society’s representative on the Executive Committee of the International Society for Labour Law and Social Security.

The Hon Mrs Justice Eady DBE

Former Chair (1998-2000) and Executive Committee member of the Society. From December 2013, Senior Circuit Judge of the Employment Appeal Tribunal. Previously a leading Barrister in Employment and Discrimination Law (called 1989, silk 2006) practising out of Old Square Chambers and held part-time office as a Crown and County Court Recorder (2004-2013), member of the Pension Regulator’s Determinations Panel (2013) and Employment Judge (2001-2008).  Also formerly an independent member of the ACAS Council (2008-2013), a Trustee of the Free Representation Unit (2007-2014), a contributing editor of Harvey on Industrial Relations and Employment Law (2009-2020) and a Trustee of the Wallace Collection (2013-2021).

Lord Hendy QC

Member of Old Square Chambers in London. He specialises in trade union law, having appeared in most of the leading collective labour law cases in the UK over nearly 40 years, in particular in relation to industrial action and collective bargaining. He is Standing Counsel to 8 British trade unions and has worked with many international trade union bodies, including the International Trade Union Confederation, the International Transport Workers Federation and the Irish Congress of Trade Unions. He is an Honorary Professor in the Faculty of Law of University College, London. He is Chair of the Institute of Employment Rights and President of the International Centre for Trade Union Rights. He lectures and writes extensively on collective labour law issues, recent examples including: A Manifesto for Labour Law: towards a comprehensive revision of workers’ rights, KD Ewing, J Hendy, C Jones (eds), 2016, Institute of Employment rights, Liverpool. He has a particular interest in labour history.

Sir Brian Langstaff

Sir Brian Langstaff was appointed to chair the Infected Blood Inquiry on 8 February 2018.

Sir Brian Langstaff was called to the Bar in 1971 and appointed Queen’s Counsel in 1994. He was called to the Bar of Northern Ireland in 1999, appointed to the High Court in 2005 and served as President of the Employment Appeal Tribunal for four years from 2012. As of May 2018, Sir Brian has retired from the High Court to work full-time on the Inquiry.

Michael Rubenstein

Editor of the monthly Industrial Relations Law Reports since it was started in 1972. He is a former chairman of the Industrial Law Society, a former management board member of the Equal Rights Trust, a patron of the British Humanist Association, a former member of the advisory council of Public Concern at Work, and an honorary Master of the Bench at Middle Temple.  His company, Michael Rubenstein Conferences, runs conferences on employment and discrimination law.

The Hon Mrs Justice Stacey

Former Chair (2006-2010) and Executive Committee member of the Society. From March 2013 Circuit Judge in the Midland Circuit sitting in Birmingham Crown Court and the Birmingham Civil Justice Centre. Also Deputy chair of the Central Arbitration Committee, Judicial College tutor judge and Diversity and Community Relations Judge. Previously a solicitor in private practice: Partner and Head of Employment Rights at Thompsons solicitors (and before that Clifford Chance, Simons, Muirhead & Burton and Seifert, Sedley Williams). Appointed as a fee paid (1997), then salaried Employment Judge (2003) in London South ET. Appointed as a criminal recorder on the South East circuit 2006, gaining a civil ticket a few years later. Co-author of Discrimination Law Handbook editions 1 and 2 (Legal Action Group) and on the editorial board of Sweet and Maxwell Encyclopaedia of Employment Law.

Melanie Tether

Vice President of the Society and former Chair. Barrister, Old Square Chambers, specialising in employment law, discrimination, education, administrative/judicial review. Publications : Equal pay section of Tolley’s Employment Law. Speaks regularly on employment law.

Lord Justice Underhill

Court of Appeal, England & Wales