Graham Watson (1996)

Graham Watson (1996)

Membership Status: Barrister - Full Member Qualified in 1996 Public Access Accredited


General Information

Graham specialises in civil disputes. He has over 15 years experience in front of the civil courts and employment tribunals.  He has acted for a wide range of clients and addressing a wide variety of problems.

As part of his practice, he has represented companies, partnerships, health trusts, and local authorities.  He is also instructed regularly by the Fire Service, Ambulance Trust and Police Force.  At an individual level, Graham acts for employees, contractors, partners and directors.

Graham is a strong advocate and has developed a busy appellate practice.  He recommends his early involvement in any proceedings (threatened or issued), and enjoys advising on the tactics and approach to litigation and settlement.

Graham is regularly praised for his relationship with clients.  He works on a nationwide basis, and will often appear in London, Manchester and beyond to ensure continuity of service.

Graham is direct access qualified, and can be instructed directly by individuals and organisations.  He has recently undertaken the latest update training from the Bar Council.


Graham advises and represents clients across several areas of civil dispute, but in particular

  • TOLATA claims
  • Building disputes
  • Contractual disputes
  • Inheritance disputes


Graham has been a leading employment practitioner for a number of years and is Head of Clerksroom Employment Group.  He is regularly recommended in the legal directories (please see “feedback” tab), and has been involved in a number of appellate cases, (please see “cases” tab)

Graham advises right across the spectrum of employment work from TUPE and Equal Pay to Victimisation and Unfair Dismissal.  He has acted in a number of high profile and long running pieces of whistleblowing litigation.

He has a particular specialism in contractually-based work such as wrongful dismissal or restraint of trade claims, which dovetail with his pure contractual work set out below.

Commercial and Company Law

Graham is experienced in Commercial, Company and Partnership Law,

In contentious matters, Graham has acted in numerous and wide-ranging claims for breach of contract, including franchise agreements, software disputes and building contracts.  He advises on both business-to-business and business-to-consumer contracts

Graham’s advice is regularly sought in relation to the breakdown of partnerships, where his combination of discrimination law and commercial experience provides a single point of specialism for clients.   Graham advies on shareholder disputes for smaller private companies, including protection of minority shareholders.

In non-contentious matters, Graham can offer a great deal of first-hand experience of negotiation and drafting commercial agreements. At the beginning of his career, Graham spent 2 years as in- house barrister in the commercial department of Osborne Clarke, and focused particularly on risk assessing high value contracts with the government.


Graham advises and supports clients at mediation hearings in all types of civil dispute.


Other areas of work

Graham retains a strong following in inquest work and enjoys acting in these cases.  He has also successfully represented operators at Public Inquiries before regional Transport Commissioners, and would welcome further instructions in such matters.


When he is not being a barrister, Graham is learning to box, and spends a lot of time on the floor of a gym in Exeter. In other reckless pursuits he continues to surf, a habit he picked up when living in Australia many years ago.







Now Motor Retailing Limited v Mulvihill - UKEAT/0052/15/RN (subsitution and peversity)

Way v Spectrum Property Care Limited – Court of Appeal (challenge to decision of EAT not to remit to tribunal) [2015] EWCA Civ 381

Sturmey v Weymouth & Portland Borough Council UKEAT/0114/14/RN  (appeared at first instance, settled Grounds of Appeal and appeared on remitted hearing)

Naldrett v Devon and Cornwall Police – UKEAT (failure to assess evidence in wrongful dismissal claim) - UKEAT/0401/14/DM

Weavin v Devon and Cornwall Police – UKEAT (November 2014).  Expertise and knowledge of dismissing officer

Cox v North Devon Healthcare NHS Trust – UKEAT 0144/13 (November 2014) - Remedy – Likelihood of future dismissal, Use of SOSR as a panacea reason, Contributory Fault

Holt v RES On-sits Ltd UKEAT/0410/13 - Procedure at tribunal

Cox v North Devon Healthcare NHS Trust – UKEAT0623/11 - Whistleblowing

Fahey v Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust – UKEAT0391/11 - Deductions from wages

Johnson v Guinness Care Support Ltd – UKEAT0301/11 - Dismissal – conduct – range of reasonable responses test – non-substitution

A v B Marital discrimination

Hooley v Truro School – UKEAT0234/10 Perversity – adequacy of tribunal reasons – causation of loss

Cox v North Devon Healthcare NHS Trust – 0993/09 - Whistleblowing – Adequacy of reasons

Ladbroke Grove Rail Inquiry (Part 2, Rail Safety)

Graham’s blog can be found at the following link:







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