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Richard Woodman


T: 020 7842 1439 (DDI)
T: 020 7583 2222

Richard is a partner and Head of our Employment team in the London office. He has been a partner at Royds and now Royds Withy King since 1987.

The "superb" (Legal 500 2015) Richard is recommended by the Legal 500 UK, the clients’ guide to the best UK law firms.

About Richard

Richard studied law at Hull University and qualified as a solicitor in 1983. He started his career as a commercial litigator, with employment law emerging as his specialist interest.

Richard’s commercial litigation experience gives him a perspective in dealing with employment disputes which is unusual among employment lawyers. Described by The Legal 500 UK as “highly experienced”, he is widely recognised for his strategic approach and known for providing clients with pragmatic, commercial solutions no matter how complex the problem.

Richard advises on all aspects of employment law, including:

  • wrongful and unfair dismissal claims
  • the protection of business confidential information including restrictive covenants, confidentiality, garden leave, and the duties of employees, directors and partners not to compete unfairly
  • bonus claims
  • discrimination issues
  • employment tribunal claims and settlements
  • advising, often in conjunction with the our Corporate & Commercial team, on employment issues arising from corporate re-structuring and acquisitions/disposals, especially the application of TUPE and complex redundancies.

In addition to his employment law work, Richard continues acting as a commercial litigator and heads the Royds Withy King team which successfully argued the leading case on aggregation of claims governed by the Solicitors Minimum Terms and Conditions.

Richard also heads the Royds Withy King team representing the Government of Mauritius as its Privy Council Agents in respect of final appeals from the Supreme Court of Mauritius.

Work highlights

Richard’s clients include the leading business services company Christie Group and the UK’s largest watch brand, Rotary.

Richard’s recent work includes:

  • claims totalling in excess of £1m against two former directors of a medical supplies company concerning theft of confidential information
  • defending a sizeable employer against allegations of disability discrimination from a former director
  • representing several traders involved in the fallout from the FX Probe (including working with US attorneys to deal with US regulatory and criminal aspects), involving whistleblowing, breach of contract and unfair dismissal claims
  • injunction proceedings against a former director for breach of restrictive covenants and theft of confidential information
  • contempt of court proceedings against former directors for perjury in witness statements concerning their actions (resulting in suspended sentence of imprisonment ahead of overall settlement)
  • multi million pound breach of contract / duty and professional negligence claim arising from demise of failed overseas property company (now the leading case on the interpretation of the aggregation provisions of the Solicitors Minimum Terms and Conditions – AIG Europe Ltd v OC320301 LLP [2016] EWCA Civ 367)


Richard is a member of the Employment Lawyers Association, the European Employment Lawyers Association and the Industrial Law Society.

Outside of work Richard is a longstanding supporter of Leicester City FC – and so his sporting life reached its zenith in 2016 (no doubt never to be repeated). He enjoys all sports, especially football and cricket; however his main interest is his family, with a newly added grandson.

The Legal 500 - The Clients Guide to Law Firms

We do this job to add value to the client. Not every case is a winner – but, with the right blend of technical and strategic advice, every outcome can be.

Richard Woodman

Related articles

Opinion [4]
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ECJ rules headscarf ban was not direct discrimination

31 March 2017

Amidst a flurry of headlines, the European Court of Justice (the “ECJ”) has once again dipped its toe into the employment arena and specifically the thorny subject of religious discrimination.

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Supreme Court rules in landmark insurance case

22 March 2017

AIG Europe Ltd v OC320301 LLP (UKSC 2016/0100)
Wednesday, 22 March, Supreme Court of Justice

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When is an organised grouping of workers assessed for a service provision change?

29 July 2016

In Amaryllis Limited v McLeod it fell to the EAT to look at the point at which an assessment was made as to whether there was an organised grouping of employees whose principle purpose was to carry out the transferring activities, where a service provision change potentially existed under TUPE. It held that this point must be immediately before the change of provider and not historical.

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Inadmissibility of protected conversation discussions

In Faithorn Farrell Timms LLP v Bailey the EAT has given the first appellate guidance on the scope of the amendment to the Employment Rights Act to incorporate the provision of protected conversations under Section 111A. Since this was introduced in July 2013, evidence of pre-termination negotiations in unfair dismissal claims have been rendered inadmissible in circumstances where, prior to the introduction of this provision, there would have needed to be a genuine dispute in the workplace in order for such discussions to attract the without prejudice protection. In this case, the EAT has held that the inadmissibility of referring to these conversations goes further than the content of the negotiations and extends to the very fact that they have taken place; and that, unlike the without prejudice privilege, this privilege cannot be waived.

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News [4]
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The TUC today calls for a four-day working week

10 September 2018

Comment from Richard Woodman, Partner in the Employment team at Royds Withy King: “Many employers are already going to great lengths to make the lives of their staff easier and more family friendly with flexible working now a high priority for …

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Older women failed by weak enforcement of age discrimination laws

16 July 2018

The Women and Equalities Committee, chaired by Maria Miller MP, is to publish a report today that says the talents of the over 50s are being wasted because of discrimination, bias and outdated employment practices. The report concludes that Government and the Equality and Human …

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Pimlico Plumbers – what the Supreme Court decision means for the hospitality sector

14 June 2018

Comments to be attributed to Richard Woodman, Partner and head of employment, Royds Withy King

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Supreme Court to hear landmark AIG insurance case

6 October 2016

AIG Europe Ltd v OC320301 LLP (UKSC 2016/0100) Monday 10 October 2016 – Court 2, Supreme Court of Justice A landmark professional indemnity insurance appeal brought by AIG Europe Ltd against private investors will be heard in the Supreme Court …

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