Owen Warnock

Owen Warnock


Personal profile

Areas of Expertise

Employment and trade union law - especially strikes, union recognition; age discrimination (including retirement), employment tribunal reform, "protected conversations" and compromise agreements; food labelling and advertising law - especially new food labelling laws, nutrition claims and health claims, European food and drink labelling rules, advertising food and drink products.


Academic Background

B.A. in Law at Cambridge 1979

Senior Exhibitioner, Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge 1979

Merit in Solicitors Final Examination 1980



Owen Warnock graduated in law at Cambridge University in 1979. He qualified as a solicitor and was a Partner in what is now the global law firm Eversheds Sutherland until his retirement from the firm in 2018. His clients there included many household names and multi-national businesses, British PLCs and a number of NHS Foundation Trusts.

He has always undertaken a significant amount of teaching and was an active contributor to Eversheds’ internal work analysing and adapting to new and developing areas of law. These interests led Owen, in 2011, to join the UEA Law School as Professor of Employment Law. He taught employment law and Law in Practice and was Director of Employability at the Law School. He became an Emeritus Professor in the summer of 2018.


Owen has specialised in the field of employment law for over 30 years. Owen’s main current interests are collective labour law (industrial action, union recognition for bargaining, union-related rights etc) and age discrimination.

Owen is also a specialist in the law relating to the labelling, advertising and composition of food in the UK, Europe and across the world. Much of Owen’s work in food law field relates to health, slimming and nutrition claims.

Having retired from teaching, Owen’s main activities are as a Contributing Editor to the practitioners’ textbook Harvey on Industrial Relations and Employment Law and as an author of the student textbook Smith & Wood’s Employment Law.

Key Research Interests

Owen is a Contributing Editor to Harvey on Industrial Relations and Employment Law, being responsible for the sections dealing with Modern Slavery, Equal Opportunities, Trade Unions, Labour Relations, Industrial Action and Employee Involvement.

Owen is one of the authors of Smith & Wood’s Employment Law, the leading student textbook in that field.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 4 - Quality Education