Trade Unions

Pattinson & Brewer was born out of the trade union movement.  Our history dates back to 1890 and we have been at the forefront of fighting for working people since the very beginning.

At the time working people were facing a barrage of legal attacks from the establishment – there’s a famous case back at the turn of the 20th Century called the Taff Vale case – it was met with outrage because it made Trade Unions liable for any loss of profit arising from strike action.

The case saw the start of a mass movement of people that led to the creation of the Labour Party.  We worked with that movement to lobby for change, and that change came in the form of the Trade Disputes Act of 1906 which provided the foundation for the law on a workers right to withdraw their labour – the right to strike.

We were also at the forefront of fighting for better compensation for working people who were injured at work.  We led the pre War charge to take on and fight cases under the Workman’s Compensation Act, pursuing many to the House of Lords and winning justice for those who went to work and suffered life changing injuries.

Our position as one of the leading law firms was recognised by the trade union movement early in our history.  In the early 1920’s, the leader of the newly formed Transport & General Workers Union, Ernie Bevin, appointed us as the lawyers for what became the largest Trade Union in the Country.

Ever since then we have been proud to act for many of our Country’s Trade Unions, and today we act for thousands of people a year who come to us from their Trade Union.  We have fought in all Courts & Tribunals, including the Court of Appeal, The House of Lords, The Supreme Court and in Europe too, to protect the rights of their members.

The one thing that has remained constant in the firm since 1890 is the unshakable belief of the people who work here that having access to justice is a basic human right, and that it should be available to all.  And we are proud to fight alongside Trade Unions to defend that.

We offer a complete range of legal advice, representation and protection for Trade Unions and their members.  For further information please contact Jamie Hanley on 02076533204 (Helen Clarke) or by email at