I’m delighted to be here with the Industrial Law Society, an organisation which helps shine a light on parts of the law which most of the media and perhaps much of the profession itself knows too little about. It is also a privilege to be asked to deliver the Bill Wedderburn Lecture and I would like to begin by acknowledging his substantial influence in the sphere of industrial law.

Bill was a pioneer and one of the giants of labour law, in the UK, Europe and, indeed, the world. He had an influence that is evident to this day. He is credited with curbing the Heath government’s attempt at rewriting employment relations in the 1971 Industrial Relations Act, and going on to write large parts of the Trade Union and Labour Relations Act of 1974 and Employment Protection...

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