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Richard O'Dair

Richard specialises in employment and commercial law, with a particular emphasis on immigration. He has appeared in the Employment and Immigration Tribunals, the Employment Appeal Tribunal, the High Court, the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court.

He is particularly sought after for advice on discrimination law and TUPE. As a trial lawyer, he is recognised by clients to be an incisive cross–examiner (one grateful client spoke of him “annihilating” the other side’s witnesses). He has therefore been very effective in highly contentious whistleblowing cases.


Richard ODair

Richard's Experience

Called in 1988

Public Access Accredited

35+ years experience

Barristers in England and Wales are regulated by the Bar Standards Board

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Employment Law

Richard practices employment law in all of its various forms, including complex discrimination and whistleblowing cases in the ET. And, in addition, High Court litigation arising from employee competition (team moves, breach of restrictive covenant and breach of confidentiality claims). He recently represented 10 former employees who had allegedly conspired to move en masse to new employment. One recent whistleblowing claim lasted three weeks and involved a claim for £1.5million on compensation.

Employment disputes often lead to employer referrals to the professional regulator such as the GMC or the NMWC. Richard recently brought about the dismissal by the NCTL of some very serious charges against a teacher.

Commercial Law

Richard’s commercial practice is backed by considerable experience in employment and regulatory law. He has broad experience of representation in front of professional regulatory bodies such as the GSCC and the GTC.

Building on his background as a senior lecturer in the Faculty of Law at University College London, Richard uses his extensive knowledge of contractual remedies and the law of restitution to undertake general contract and commercial work.

Memberships & Advisory
  • The Employment Lawyers Association
  • The Employment Law Bar Association
  • The Personal Injury Bar Association

Richard is the author of numerous legal articles, and is the author of Legal Ethics (London, Butterworths 2003); an examination of the moral issues raised by legal practice.

Data Protection Policy

DRF O’Dair (Z8456871)

Policy operational on: 1st January 2024

Next review date: 1st January 2025


I need to gather and use personal data about individuals in the course of my practice as a barrister, both for the provision of my professional services and to manage my practice.

I will process personal data relating to a range of individuals. In my capacity as data controller this may include in particular

  • Clients (whether instructed by a law firm or by direct access); 

          But also amongst others

  • Suppliers and support services, including The Barrister Group and its employees;
  • Business contacts;
  • Employees; and
  • Other people I have a professional relationship with or may need to contact.

This policy describes how this personal data must be collected, handled and stored to meet my data protection standards and to comply with the law.


Why this policy exists

This Data Protection Policy exists to ensure that I and any staff I may employ:

  • Comply with data protection law and implement robust data protection policies and procedures within their practice;
  • Protect the rights of all data subjects;
  • Am open about how I store and process individuals’ data;
  • Protect my practice from the risks of a data breach.

Data protection law

The UK General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR) and Data Protection Act 2018 describe how organisations must collect, handle and store personal information.

These rules apply regardless of whether data is stored electronically, on paper or on other materials. 

To comply with the law, personal information must be collected and used fairly, stored safely and not disclosed unlawfully.


The UK GDPR is underpinned by six important principles. They say that personal data must be: 

  1. Processed lawfully, fairly and transparently;
  2. Collected for specific, explicit and legitimate purposes;
  3. Adequate, relevant and limited to what is necessary for processing;
  4. Accurate and, where necessary, kept up to date;
  5. Kept in a form such that the data subject can be identified only as long as is necessary for processing; and
  6. Processed in a manner that ensures appropriate security of the personal data.


Processing personal data and sensitive personal data

Where I am processing personal data, I must do so in a way which is compliant with the UK GDPR and the principles set out above and which demonstrates my accountability under the legislation.

 I must be able to demonstrate: 

  • a lawful basis for processing personal data;
  • transparency with data subjects about how I intend to use their personal data
  • that I have processed personal data only in ways the data subject would reasonably expect; and
  • make sure I do not do anything unlawful with the data.


Where I am processing special category data, I must ensure that I can evidence an exemption which allows me to process such data. The conditions most relevant to my practice are: 

  • The processing is necessary to protect the vital interests of the data subject or another person.
  • The processing is necessary for the establishment, exercise or defence of legal claims or whenever processing is taking place to enable courts to act in their judicial capacity (including members who act in judicial capacities such as a deputy judge or appointed person).
  • Explicit consent from the data subject.


Where I am processing criminal offence data, I must ensure that I can evidence an exemption which allows me to process such data. The conditions most relevant to my practice are: 

  • Explicit consent from the data subject.
  • The processing is necessary to protect the vital interests of the data subject or another person.
  • The processing is necessary for the purpose of, or in connection with, any legal proceedings (including prospective legal proceedings), to obtain legal advice or to establish, exercise or defend legal rights.


This policy will be updated as necessary to reflect best practice in data management, security and control and to ensure compliance with any changes or amendments made to the UK GDPR and Data Protection Act 2018.


People, risks and responsibilities

Policy scope


 This policy applies to: 

  • Any employee of my practice such as support staff (including in particular my book keeper Mrs K O’Dair) as well as trainees, volunteers and work experience students. It does not include chambers staff who are governed by the chambers’ own policy. 
  • All contractors, individuals, suppliers and other relevant parties working on behalf of my practice. 
  • All data my practice holds relating to identifiable individuals. This can include but is not limited to:
    • Name
    • Email address
    • Phone number
    • Address
    • Payment or bank details
    • Date of birth
    • Next of kin details
    • Details pertaining to education and employment
    • Information on your background & current circumstances
    • Financial information;
Special category personal data that reveals: 
  • Racial or ethnic origin
  • Political opinions
  • Religious and philosophical beliefs
  • Trade union membership
  • Genetic data
  • Biometric data for the purpose of uniquely identifying a natural person
  • Data concerning health
  • Sex life and sexual orientation.


Specalising as I do in discrimination the 1-4 and 7-8 of the above categories of Special category data are likey to be relevant

Personal information relating to individuals employed by an organisation, company or public body with whom I work is also included.



Both I and any employees of my practice have responsibility for ensuring data is collected, stored and handled appropriately and in compliance with the law.


Data Protection Policy information 

I will, through appropriate management and strict application of criteria and controls: 

  • Observe fully conditions regarding the fair collection and use of information;
  • Meet my legal obligations to specify the purposes for which information is used;
  • Collect and process appropriate information, but only to the extent that it is needed to fulfil its operational needs or to comply with any legal requirements;
  • Ensure the quality and accuracy of information used;
  • Ensure appropriate retention and disposal of information;
  • Ensure that the rights of people about whom information is held can be fully exercised under the UK GDPR. These include: 
    • The right to be informed
    • The right of access
    • The right to rectification
    • The right to erase
    • The right to restrict processing
    • The right to data portability
    • The right to object, and
    • Rights in relation to automated decision-making and profiling;


  • Take appropriate technical and organisational security measures to safeguard personal information; 
  • Ensure that personal information is not transferred outside the UK without suitable safeguards; 
  • Treat people justly and fairly whatever their age, religion, disability, gender, sexual orientation or ethnicity when dealing with requests for information; 
  • Set out clear procedures for responding to requests for information; 
  • Take appropriate steps to complete due diligence and enter into contractual arrangements with data processors and controllers where personal data is shared; 
  • Ensure all regulatory requirements are satisfied when processing special category data and criminal information. 


Data storage 

All personal information or data processed within my practice will be stored securely and will only be accessible to authorised staff and data processors that I appoint. 

Information will be stored for only as long as it is needed or as required by statute, for compliance with professional regulatory obligations, professional indemnity requirements and in compliance with my Data Retention Policy. All personal data will be disposed of appropriately and securely. 

Where personal data has been shared with third parties for the purposes of providing my services and managing my practice, such data will be retrieved from the third party (data processor) or directions will be given to the third party about safe disposal of such data.

I will ensure all personal data is non-recoverable from any computer system I use or dispose of.

This policy should also be read in conjunction with the Data Security Policy and Data Retention and Disposal Policy of my practice.


Data access and accuracy

All data subjects have the right to access the information I hold about them, except where specific exemptions apply to me as a legal professional. I will also take reasonable steps to ensure that this information is kept up to date.


In addition, I will ensure that: 

  • All employees of mine, or third parties with whom I work: 
    • understand that they are contractually responsible for following good data protection practice;
    • are appropriately trained to do so and are aware of the process for managing requests for access to data by data subjects; and 
    • are appropriately supervised.


  • Any data subject who wishes to make enquiries about how their personal information has been processed knows how to make this request. 
  • Where required, I will work with other parties to facilitate and respond to such requests for data. 
  • I will ensure that where I share data with a third party, they are contractually bound to assist with requests from data subjects seeking access to their data.



I may share data with third parties, including, but not limited to, instructing solicitors, other agencies such as government departments and other relevant parties. Where this occurs, I will ensure that where appropriate a Data Sharing Agreement is in place.


I will ensure that data will not be shared outside the UK or with unauthorised parties without my specific permission. Data subjects will be made aware in most circumstances about how and with whom their information will be shared.


There are circumstances where the law allows the barrister to disclose data (including sensitive data) without the data subject’s consent.


These are: 

  1. Carrying out a legal duty or as authorised by the Secretary of State;
  2. Protecting vital interests of an individual/data subject or other person;
  3. The individual/data subject has already made the information public;
  4. Conducting any legal proceedings, obtaining legal advice or defending any legal rights;
  5. Monitoring for equal opportunities purposes – i.e. race, disability or religion;
  6. Providing a confidential service where the individual/data subject’s consent cannot be obtained or where it is reasonable to proceed without consent: e.g. where we would wish to avoid forcing stressed or ill individuals/data subjects to provide consent signatures. 


Data protection training

I will ensure that I and any individuals employed by me are appropriately trained in data protection annually.

If new members of staff commence work with me, they will be provided with data protection training within the first month of employment. 

I will keep a register of all training completed by me or any employees for ICO audit purposes.


Breaches of personal data 

In the event of a data protection breach, which is defined as “a breach of security leading to the accidental or unlawful destruction, loss, alteration, unauthorised disclosure of, or access to, personal data transmitted, stored or otherwise processed”, I will undertake the following steps:


  • I will instigate necessary investigation as per the guidance in the Data Breach and Crisis Management plan. 
  • Where it is determined that the breach has met with the required threshold and is likely to result in a risk to the rights and freedoms of the data subjects involved, I will report the breach to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO without undue delay and, where feasible, not later than 72 hours after having become aware of the breach. 
  • Where it is assessed that the data subjects should be informed of the data breach, I will take the relevant steps to advise the affected parties. 
  • I will make an assessment whether the data breach merits a report to the Bar Standards Board in accordance with their guidance and code of conduct.



Complaints relating to breaches of the UK GDPR and/ or complaints that an individual’s personal data is not being processed in line with the data protection principles should be referred to myself. In the event of your not being satisfied with my handling of your complaint my Chambers operates Complaints procedure and your should in the first instance contact my Practice Manager Gary Carney on 0333 800 8888 or by emailing him on Your can take you complain further by contacting the Legal Services Ombudsman and the Information Commissioner.


This policy will be updated as necessary to reflect best practice in data management, security and control and to ensure compliance with any changes or amendments made to the UK GDPR and Data Protection Act 2018.



Any employee found to have violated this policy may be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment. 

In case of any queries or questions in relation to this policy, please contact me Richard O’Dair by emailing me at or by phone me on 07952 986147


Richard O’Dair


Latest articles from Richard

Freedom of Expression and Belief: Higgs v Farmor's School & Randall v Trent College (Webinar)

In this seminar, barristers Richard O'Dair and Simon McCrossan will examine whether and to what extent employees can ask their employer to restrict freedom of belief on the ...
The Barrister Group
The Barrister Group

Freedom of Speech in the Workplace: Considering Higgs v Farmor's School (Webinar)

The issue of freedom of speech in the workplace is one that remains ever topical. In a civilisation more socio-politically informed than ever before, debates continue to arise as ...
The Barrister Group
The Barrister Group



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