Richard Fox is a Senior Partner and Head of Kingsley Napley's Employment practice. He is known for his straightforward commercial advice and his vast knowledge and experience of employment matters, particularly those that involve litigation or the prospect of litigation through the Employment Tribunals and the Courts. Richard graduated from Manchester University in 1983, qualified with the firm in 1986 and became a partner four years later in 1990. He set up Kingsley Napley’s Employment Department in 1997.
Richard acts for corporates, organisations and high profile individuals in relation to the full range of employment matters with a specific focus on confidentiality and restrictive covenants including related litigation, executive pay, bonus and severance arrangements, unfair dismissal, discrimination and whistleblowing, business reorganisation and redundancy. Richard also has a particular interest in advising US corporates and LLP's operating in the UK.
Richard served as Chair of the Employment Lawyers Association (ELA) from 2012 to 2014, was Deputy Chair 2010 to 2012 and was Chair of ELA’s Legislative & Policy Committee (the Committee responsible for responding to the Government on all consultation papers relating to proposed new legislation on employment matters) between 2008 and 2010. Richard was previously President of the London Solicitors Litigation Association (2000 to 2002) having been its Hon Secretary for many years.
Richard has a particular interest in employment law reform, having chaired numerous Employment Lawyers Association working parties responding to consultations on law change. He has led and continues to lead many teams to see Government to discuss such proposals, particularly BEIS and the Ministry of Justice.
In 2013, Richard was invited to sit on an Independent Advisory Panel at the Cabinet Office, chaired by Oliver Letwin MP to examine the Governments approach to Consultations of the kind in which ELA and other organisations are involved. It reported in November 2013. Richard is a popular commentator on these issues, appearing frequently in the Press and on TV/Radio.
Richard has published numerous articles, and given many lectures on employment topics of all kinds, including Employment Tribunal Reform and dispute resolution procedure, flexible working, race discrimination, e-mail policies, social media, conditional/contingency fees and search orders. He has been appointed by the High Court on a number of occasions to supervise the execution of search orders, having obtained and defended search orders many times in the past.
What clients and directories have said
"...particularly gifted in dealing with highly sensitive issues'..."
Legal 500 UK, 2012
"commercially minded and switched-on"
Chambers UK, 2012
"possesses wide-ranging employment expertise, although he has a particular talent for dealing with employment fraud issues"
Chambers UK, 2012
"gave far more than was required to assisting [us] and we really appreciated your understanding of our position"
"He seems to know everything"
Chambers UK, 2011
"is lauded for his "commitment and speedy, commercial solutions."
Chambers UK, 2011
Professional Societies and memberships
Publications and Media Appearances
Richard has been quoted extensively in the national and employment press over many years, particularly in relation to employment law reform and the role of ACAS and the Employment Tribunals in the resolution of disputes in the workplace.
Some of the numerous articles published in legal and human resources journals, and the National Press, are set out below:
- Where now for tribunal fees? HR Magazine, July 2017
- What the employment tribunal fees ruling means for business. Article in Management Today, July 2017
- ‘A triumph for access to justice’: Supreme Court rules employment tribunal fees unlawful. Quoted in Legal Business, July 2017
- Unison wins landmark employment rights case. Quoted in Economia, July 2017
- What the Taylor review says about tax and employment. Co-written article with Graham Farquhar at RSM in People Management Daily, July 2017
- Litigation Reforms arrive on our shores. Article co-written with Joanne Owers of DAC Beechcroft LLP, March 2017
- Is it all change for employment litigation? Article co-written with Joanne Owers of DAC Beechcroft LLP, February 2017
- Tribunal reform – handle with care. Article co-written with Joanne Owers of DAC Beechcroft LLP, January 2017
- Richard was filmed by ITN on the Uber case in relation to the employment status of Uber drivers. Appeared in the Guardian among others, October 2016
- How to respond to the tougher regime on illegal working, People Management, September 2016
- Proposals for a single employment court, ELA Briefing, June 2016
- A single employment court could be made to work, says legal profession, People Management, May 2016
- Online employment court could hear claims in future, People Management, January 2016
- Early Conciliation through Acas proves its worth, The Times, July 2015
- Early Conciliation proving ‘helpful’ for employers, People Management, July 2015
- Tribunal fees question moves from court to politics, People Management, January 2015
- Important days for Early Conciliation, Law Society Gazette, July 2014
- Partnership members blowing the whistle gain employment protection, PM Daily, May 2014
- Employee dishonesty: do you know your staff?, HR Magazine, May 2014
- 'Making Acas early conciliation work for you', PM Daily, April 2014
- 'Early Conciliation heralds employment law overhaul', The Lawyer, March 2014
- ‘Employers should embrace new early conciliation rules’, The Times, March 2014
- 'Shoesmith case an important lesson for employers', HR Magazine, October 2013
- Interviewed on BBC news discussing the payout in the Sharon Shoesmith case, October 2013
- 'Dispute Resolution may have just got easier', People Management, July 2013
- Interviewed on Sky News in relation to the introduction of fees into the Employment Tribunal in the context of other changes being brought in at this time, July 2013
- 'Employment Law Policy “wide of the mark”', The Times, May 2013
- Appeared as a panellist in BBC Radio 4’s Unreliable Evidence chaired by Clive Anderson on "Employment Law – The Red Tape Debate", December 2012
- 'Labour and Relations - Maternity leave change will revolutionise the workplace', The Lawyer Magazine, November 2012
- 'Osborne's employee plan is flawed', Law Society Gazette, October 2012
- 'HR Talk: Age discrimination', People Management, May 2012
- 'Corporate manslaughter cases increase', People Management, Co-authored in April 2013
- 'Supreme Court rules compulsory retirement may be justified in UK', various publications, April 2012
- 'Employment Law changes 2012', BBC (news and radio), April 2012
- "Legislation should not be blamed for restricting growth", Personnel Today, November 2011
- "Boutiques step in where mid-tier fears to tread" (quoted), The Lawyer, October 2011
- "Accountability: Lessons from the Sharon Shoesmith case", Personnel Today, July 2011
- "Tackling dishonesty amongst partners", Law Society Gazette, June 2011
- Interviewed on BBC News, BBC Radio 5 Live and BBC1's Breakfast Programme about Sharon Shoesmith winning her sacking appeal, May 2011
- "Work it Out", commenting on the government's plans to cut red tape in employment tribunals, Solicitors' Journal, May 2011
- "Resolving Workplace Disputes: ELA Responds", reporting on ELA's detailed response to the government's consultation paper on resolving workplace disputes, ELA Briefing, May 2011
- Interviewed on the BBC by Clive Coleman, Legal Affairs analyst for the BBC about the government's decision to abolish the Default Retirement Age, April 2011
- New laws will 'damage job creation', warn business chiefs, Daily Telegraph, April 2011
- Richard Fox comments again on the ECJ ruling regarding preferential insurance premiums for women, The Lawyer, March 2011
- Interviewed in the Times commenting on legal regulations on behalf of the ELA, February 2011
- Interviewed on ITV’s News at Ten discussing age discrimination in light of the case brought by Miriam O’Reilly against the BBC in relation to the programme Countryfile, January 2011
- Chair of the Employment Lawyers Association
- Former Chair of the Legislative and Policy Sub-Committee of the Employment Lawyers Association and Chair of many working groups on issues such as Employment Tribunal monitoring, the new ACAS Code of Practice on Dispute Resolution Procedures, Age Discrimination and Illegal Working
- Former President of the London Solicitors Litigation Association (2000 to 2002)
- Articles published, and has lectured on employment and litigation topics of all kinds including Employment Tribunal Reform and the law on dispute resolution, Anton Pillar/Search Orders, conditional/contingency fees, Race Discrimination, Blogging and Parental Leave.
- In 2016, Richard was included in the Fourth Edition of The Best Lawyers in the United Kingdom for Employment Law.
"well respected in the market as an expert in contentious employment issues. He assists both employers and employees on matters including restrictive covenant enforcements, discrimination claims and mass redundancies and restructurings."
Chambers UK 2017, A Client's Guide to the legal profession
"punchy and pragmatic" and praised for "quickly understanding issues then finding ways to resolve them'"
Chambers UK, A Client's Guide to the UK Legal Profession, 2015
"... an 'expert in his field' ... capable of giving clients 'exactly the sort of professional advice that they need'."
Chambers UK, A Client's Guide to the UK Legal Profession
"Richard Fox earns the respect of market sources with his 'very wide and impressive knowledge' of employment law"
Chambers UK, A Client's Guide to the UK Legal Profession