Paul McGowan

Managing Partner

Paul is Collingwood Legal’s Managing Partner and Principal Solicitor. He is an experienced and active employment law specialist and has acted exclusively in employment law since 1997. Paul founded Collingwood Legal in 2010 after having previously worked in large commercial firms in Newcastle and London.

Paul is hugely proud to lead a team of leading employment law experts and has overseen the growth of the firm from a start up business to an award winning Legal 500 “Top Tier” law firm.


Examples of Paul’s experience include:

  • Successfully bringing and recognising and defending numerous Employment Tribunal claims.
  • Providing businesses with practical advice on complex areas such as TUPE and whistleblowing claims.
  • Advising high-profile individuals in the field of sport, particularly football.
  • Providing strategic advice to senior individuals on business exits.
  • Defending and pursuing restraint of trade matters including injunction proceedings in the High Court.
  • Leading Collingwood Legal to win the Northern Law Awards Law Firm of the Year (1 – 5 Partners) in 2017 and 2019 and Employment Law Firm of the Year in 2018.
  • Shortlisted for the prestigious Legal 500 national Human Resources Individual of the Year Award in 2019.
  • Leading many collaborative events with national conciliation service Acas.

Noteworthy cases

  • Allen v Amalgamated Construction Co Ltd [2000] ICR 436, ECJ case C-234/98  – TUPE case regarding inter-group transfers at Employment Tribunal, EAT and European Court of Justice.
  • UK Coal Mining Ltd v National Union of Mineworkers and British Association of Colliery Management EAT 2007 – landmark case regarding collective redundancy consultation and site closures.
  • Former Chief Executive of large business – unfair dismissal claim – achieving maximum award at full Tribunal hearing in 2021.

Outside of work

Paul enjoys spending time with his family including his 3 active boys and sheepdog and when time allows skiing and playing average golf .…


The firm offers a tight, professional, exemplary service. It's enthusiastic, sympathetic and reassuring.

Chambers and Partners

Small enough to care, large enough to battle.

Chambers and Partners

The firm is outstanding; they always go the extra mile to ensure the information given is accurate, informative and can be administered with as much ease as possible.

Chambers and Partners

The team is always pragmatic and looks at the wider issues. They keep me calm, playing the long game and considering all the tactics and policies. They work as a team and everybody is always fully briefed. Good value for money.

Chambers and Partners

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I was in touch with several members of the team and all were polite, professional and extremely honest.

Chambers and Partners 2020