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Barrister Profile

MARTIN WOLFE QC

Year of Call: 1994

QC: 2014

Main Areas of Practice

Coroners or Inquests
Employment Law
Personal Injury
Public Inquiries

Biography

Martin was called to the Bar of Northern Ireland in September 1994, and after completing his pupillage he quickly established himself as an employment law specialist. He has an extensive employment law practice and frequently advises and represents both employees and employers across a wide range of employment law issues, including unfair dismissal, contract claims, discrimination complaints and equal pay matters, both in the tribunals and in the Court of Appeal. Martin counts amongst his regular clients members of the major trade unions, as well as the government departments and public bodies, including employers in both the health and education sectors. He regularly acts for a number of private sector employers, both large and small, and has acted for the Law Society (NI). He is a member of the Northern Ireland Employment Lawyers Group.

Martin has been engaged in many of the significant employment law cases dealt with in Northern Ireland in recent years, including, at appellate level:

As befits the modern practitioner, Martin’s role as an advocate is not limited to the court-room. He regularly provides practical written advice to employers to assist them in dealing with their employment law problems, including advice on how to address industrial relations issues, and guidance when negotiating complex disciplinary matters. On the employee side, Martin was engaged by NIPSA to provide legal and strategic advice throughout the extensive negotiations which led to the settlement of the civil service equal pay dispute in 2009.

Martin sits as a Legal Advisor to the Northern Ireland Social Care Council, and has regularly represented clients in misconduct cases before their professional bodies including the Nursing and Midwifery Council, the Pharmaceutical Society for Northern Ireland, and within the police disciplinary arrangements.

Martin’s professional interests are not limited to the employment sphere. He has significant experience in the judicial review court, and he has a bespoke personal injuries practice, which largely focusses on clinical negligence claims, historical abuse cases, as well as injuries in the workplace. Martin’s experience in the field of clinical negligence saw him appointed as junior counsel to the Inquiry into Hyponatraemia Related Deaths in Northern Ireland (2011-13). Indeed Martin has now acquired extensive public inquiry experience having represented the Police Service of Northern Ireland in the Robert Hamill Public Inquiry (2009), and the Department of Justice in the ongoing Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry. Legacy issues now play an expanding role in Martin’s practice and he has recently accepted instructions in a number of inquests arising out of ‘Troubles’ related deaths.

Martin’s approach is flexible and versatile. His abilities have been recognised with his appointment to the Government Legal Service ‘A’ Panel, and the Directorate of Legal Services Panel of Counsel (Employment Law). He enjoys working in a collaborative fashion with instructing solicitors, clients and expert witnesses, and he endeavours to bring innovative thinking and creativity to resolving legal disputes. He is sensitive to the importance of providing timely advice and cost effective representation. He is responsive to inquiries, and is happy to provide advice and direction in a variety of formats. He is comfortable acting in all court settings, and recognises the advantages which are sometimes to be derived from alternative dispute resolution procedures, including mediation and conciliation.

Qualifications

LL.B (Hons), Queen’s University Belfast

LL.M, Queen’s University, Kingston, Canada