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David Reade QC & Martin Palmer successfully represent Boots in resisting PDAU’s appeal

David Reade QC and Martin Palmer appeared for Boots in their successful resistance of an appeal by the Pharmacists’ Defence Association Union before the Court of Appeal. The appeal is likely to prove to be an important decision in relation to trade union recognition and the obligations of Article 11 of the European Convention on Human Rights. The judgement can be accessed HERE.

The PDAU had sought compulsory recognition with Boots for its pharmacist members under TULRCA 1992, Sch. A1. Before the PDAU applied to the Central Arbitration Committee (‘CAC’) for recognition, Boots entered a limited recognition agreement for pharmacists’ with the Boots Pharmacists Association (‘BPA’). Under paragraph 35 of the recognition provisions, this arrangement caused the PDAU’s application to be inadmissible. The CAC took a purposeful interpretation of the Act so as to give effect to Article 11 of the ECHR (freedom of association). Boots were represented by David Reade QC  before the CAC.  David then successfully judicially reviewed the CAC ‘s refusal to dismiss the application. Before the Administrative Court. the PDAU had unsuccessfully argued that there was an infringement of Article 11 of the ECHR (freedom of association) on the grounds that trade union members’ rights had been rendered ineffective. The PDAU appealed to the Court of Appeal.

The Court of Appeal rejected the Article 11 arguments on grounds that the statutory recognition procedure provided under paragraph 137 for an individual affected worker to apply for de-recognition of a non-independent union.

David Reade QC has acted for Boots throughout the litigation.  As well as Martin Palmer, Daniel Northall was involved in the early stages of the appeal process. David and Martin were instructed by John Evason and Paul Harrison of Baker & McKenzie. If you would like to discuss issues in this case or the law relating to trade unions more generally, contact David Reade QC, Martin Palmer or Daniel Northall at Littleton Chambers.

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