Francis Mortin
Francis Mortin


Francis Mortin is an employment specialist who was ranked as a “Rising Star” in the 2024 Legal 500 on both the North East and Midlands circuits. Having transferred to the Bar from a successful employment practice at leading international law firm Addleshaw Goddard LLP, Francis brings a far greater wealth of experience to his clients than his recent call year may suggest.

An all-rounder in the employment arena, Francis acts in equal measure for both claimants and respondents/defendants in the Employment Tribunal and beyond. He has substantial experience in high-value, high stakes issues, including: acting for parties in discrimination and whistleblowing cases with valuations in excess of £250,000; advising on strategic collective consultation processes; and advising on urgent interlocutory matters in the Employment Tribunal and High Court.

An active part of Francis’ practice involves dealing with issues at the complex interface of employment and civil or commercial law including: restrictive covenants; urgent mandatory and prohibitory interlocutory injunctions; director (often senior and high-profile) exits; and circumstances where key or valuable corporate information is alleged to have been stolen.

In addition to his employment practice, Francis is an accredited expert level self-defence instructor (Krav Maga), which he teaches free of charge as a volunteer. Also a keen sportsman and charity supporter, in recent years Francis has climbed Kilimanjaro, Mount Triglav and is due to hike the Inca Trail and climb Aconcagua.

Legal 500 Rising Star

Working with Francis

With an acute awareness and understanding of the latest pressures his professional clients face, and an appreciation of the dynamic nature of private employment practice, Francis understands the importance of delivering an excellent standard of service, not just excellent, accurate and pragmatic advice.

Francis’ considerable experience of advising on contentious and non-contentious matters means that he provides a quality experience across many of the most active sub-specialisms in the market. Generally comfortable in almost every sector and industry, Francis has particular expertise in the retail, professional services, construction and education sectors. He also regularly works closely with local authorities and understands the additional pressures faced by instructing solicitors who work in local government.

Drawing on his time as a Solicitor Advocate and due to the nature of his practice, Francis approaches his advice with a client focused methodology and taking a “big picture” approach to cases by focusing on pragmatism and keeping his client’s wishes, and what is most important to them, at the heart of his advice. In doing so, he brings a deep and clear understanding of the intricacies that his professional clients face in private practice and beyond.

Ultimately, professional clients regularly recommend Francis and a large part of his practice are repeat instructions. He has been often commended for his down to earth attitude, his ability to explain complex legal issues in straightforward and easily digestible ways and  excellent interpersonal skills.

Relevant Experience & Practice

Francis has a broad and varying practice that spans from advocacy in the Employment Tribunal to preparing full suites of employment related documents for clients to advising on ongoing strategic consultation processes and managing difficult day-to-day workplace situations ranging from ongoing disciplinary, performance and capability proceedings. In doing so, he brings years of experience from his time as both a Solicitor Advocate and Counsel. Consequently, he can offer a dual perspective for those instructing him and often focuses on pragmatism and viability, not only the legal issues in play.

Francis regularly advises and drafts pleadings on complex claims including multi-limb discrimination and whistleblowing claims as well as those that go beyond the jurisdiction of the Employment Tribunal. This has included drafting and attending court in connection with claims for discrimination in goods and services and advising on business protection matters including restrictive covenants and restraint of trade. In addition to this, Francis frequently provides legal Opinions on prospects of success in connection with liability and likely quantum in both the Employment Tribunal and Employment Appeal Tribunal. Likewise, he has undertaken work in the appellate courts including the Employment Appeal Tribunal and Court of Appeal.

A snapshot of this experience and Francis’ recent practice includes:

  • representing a dismissed teacher during a 9-day hearing (inclusive of deliberations) in which she succeeded in bringing claims for unfair dismissal, five acts of victimisation (including her dismissal) and unlawful deductions from wages against her employing local authority and the governing body of the school;
  • representing a claimant in a 5-week hearing in which he argued he was a contract worker for the purposes of employment status (as opposed to self-employed) and pursued 59 allegations of direct race discrimination/harassment related to race and 10 acts of victimisation over the course of 3 years against a major logistics and shipping company. The claim was valued at near £550,000. During the hearing, Mr Mortin cross examined 26 witnesses and faced senior opposing counsel;
  • conducting several Preliminary Hearings and a Judicial Mediation for a client that pursued a claim for sexual harassment, sex discrimination and constructive dismissal against her former employer. Pursuant to a medical report, the claim was valued at over £550,000;
  • representing the claimant in a 10-day hearing in which the claimant pursued claims of discrimination arising in consequence of disability, failure to make reasonable adjustments, whistleblowing detriments, automatic unfair dismissal and victimisation against a local authority;
  • representing the respondent, a global engineering and consultation company, at a Preliminary Hearing and Judicial Mediation in which the claimant, a senior employee, made 22 allegations of pregnancy/maternity discrimination, 8 allegations of victimisation and claimed she had been constructively dismissed. The case, valued at over £130,000 and listed for a 10-day hearing, was resolved to the satisfaction of both parties at mediation.
  • representing the respondent, a major entity in the construction sector, at a 5-day hearing defending claims for unfair dismissal and breach of contract involving consideration of exercising discretion unreasonably pursuant to the case of IBM UK Holdings Ltd v Dalgleish [2017] EWCA Civ 1212 and others;
  • representing several local authorities at final hearings in which claims for unfair dismissal, direct discrimination, indirect discrimination and discrimination by association relating to disabilities were successfully defended in full;
  • representing the respondent, a “big four” supermarket, in an 8 day hearing defending 5 allegations of direct disability discrimination, 9 allegations of disability related harassment, 3 allegations of a failure to make reasonable adjustments, 7 allegations of direct sex discrimination, unlawful deductions from wages in connection with contractual sick pay and unfair dismissal pursued by the claimant against her former employer. These allegations were primarily against senior managers at regional level and carried reputational risk. The claimant valued the claim at approximately £215,000. All allegations save for the claim for unfair dismissal were successfully defended. The Employment Tribunal accepted submissions made pursuant to Polkey v AE Dayton Services Ltd [1987] UKHL 8 and limited compensation to the claimant’s basic award of approximately £2,000 and just over £400 as a compensatory award;
  • drafting pleadings for complex discrimination and whistleblowing claims;
  • drafting documentation for use in appellate level courts including the Court of Appeal;
  • providing Opinions and liability and quantum in connection with proceedings in the Employment Tribunal, Employment Appeal Tribunal and High Court;
  • drafting across the full suite of employment documents including: employment contracts; directors’ and senior executives’ service agreements; restrictive covenants; policies and handbooks. Recent work has included drafting terms and conditions widely used by a local authority in the education sector; and
  • advising on settlement negotiations and drafting detailed and complex settlement agreements.


Discrimination is one of Francis’ most active suits, he has particular experience and understanding in sensitive discrimination issues involving disabilities often being instructed in connection with mental health matters in the workplace and vulnerable parties. In addition to this, he is regularly instructed on cases involving racial discrimination, harassment and victimisation for both claimants and respondents.

Additional Experience

In addition to his more recent practice, during his time as a Solicitor Advocate:

  • Francis served as a key part of a high-volume litigation team for a major, heavily unionized, “big four” supermarket client with over 140,000 employees. This included regularly advising on a wide variety of employment tribunal claims in different sectors across the UK. He continues to be regularly instructed by this client having successfully defended a whole host of discrimination, whistleblowing, unfair dismissal and unlawful deductions from wages claims over the course of several multi-week hearings;
  • Francis advised on a sensitive, dynamic and major collective consultation redundancy exercise for a major multinational professional services firm, arising out of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Francis was the day to day client contact for a host of well-known clients in the retail, professional services and construction sectors. He provided day to day advice on strategic employment matters including an overview of ongoing litigation, the implementation of policies and managing day to day workplace processes


MSc., Law, Business and Management – University of Law, Leeds
LPC – University of Law, Leeds
LLM International Business Law (Masters Degree) – University of Hull
LLB Law (Hons) – University of Hull
Civil and Commercial Mediation Accreditation – ADR Group, Leeds

Appointments and Memberships

Employment Law Association

Employment Law Bar Association

Industrial Law Society

Honourable Society of Gray’s Inn

Accredited Civil and Commercial Mediator – ADR Group

Midlands Circuit


“Francis is a superb counsel: thorough, diligent and will go the extra mile. I have had the pleasure of instructing him on many cases and he always provides a high-class service, with a great personality as a bonus! I would highly recommend him.” Senior Associate Solicitor 2024

“Francis is an exceptional advocate with excellent interpersonal skills. He fully understands and grasps the key issues and the client’s priorities from the outset and is always willing to go above and beyond for clients to achieve the best outcome.” Legal 500 2024

“His grasp and knowledge of employment law is spot-on. Francis is an exceptional advocate, with excellent interpersonal skills.” Legal 500 2024

“I was very happy with the advice and support I received from Francis, very knowledgeable, helpful and approachable. Also helped us achieve a very successful outcome. I would highly recommend Francis’ services” Client Testimonial, leading building materials provider

“Francis has been a great help and was quick to ask gathering questions to enable him to deliver a great level of service to our company. It helps a great deal when you get a positive outcome from the guidance you provide to your clients” Client Testimonial, leading travel retailer

“Francis provided an excellent service, demonstrating professionalism and brilliant attention to detail. I would highly recommend Francis and I am looking forward to working with him in the future” Client Testimonial



Francis Mortin

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