Industrial Relations Masterclass

Ideal for those with responsibility for Industrial Relations within their organisations.

Many Industrial Relations practitioners and those with a keen interest in Industrial Relations, are often consumed with a busy internal workload that prevents them from taking time out for professional development. Yet, taking time to consider current developments, think through issues, meet peers and hear from Industrial Relations specialists in a safe, confidential environment, can be of huge benefit, even for the most seasoned professional.

This Masterclass is led by Andy Cook, and also features Robert Thomas, a leading Employment Lawyer who has a long track record in Industrial Relations and a session with Mike Clancy, General Secretary of PROSPECT, a trade union representing 140,000 professional staff in both the public and private sector. The day is highly interactive, with much time for discussion, reflection and strategising. You will have the chance to discuss issues that are of concern to you in a confidential setting, think through solutions and take this thinking back to your workplace.

Why attend this Masterclass?

This masterclass offers a unique opportunity for professionals to come together and immerse themselves in the topic. You will have the opportunity to:-

  • Refresh your knowledge of the trade union environment and key, upcoming developments
  • Explore the international labour and union environment
  • Discuss case studies with Robert Thomas, a leading Lawyer and former barrister
  • Hear from and put your questions to Mike Clancy, General Secretary of PROSPECT
  • Share experiences with your peers, drawn from many other organisations about their issues and challenges

Who Is this Masterclass for?

This Masterclass is designed for those who have responsibility for Industrial Relations, Labour Relations and Union Relationships inside their organisation. This Masterclass will appeal to those who are specialists in IR, HR people and General Managers.

What will I get out of this Masterclass?

  • A refresh of the domestic (UK) landscape of trade unions, together with any significant events and developments of which to be aware
  • An overview of the international labour context including the International Labour Organisation, global unions, International Framework Agreements (IFAs) and campaigns that affect employers
  • Case studies on disputes, legal cases and other experiences of things that have gone well and not so well
  • A discussion and Q&A with a leading trade union figure
  • Views and experiences from peers, which may provide strategies and ideas to take back to the workplace.
  • Developing a network of contacts with which to network and draw on after the Masterclass

About the presenters

Andy Cook
This workshop will be led and facilitated by Andy Cook. Andy has a long track record of working with domestic and global businesses on disputes and issues, together with Industrial Relations / Employee Relations strategy. He has been involved in many of the most high profile disputes in recent years, has extensive international experience and is a regular contributor to the media. For more information please visit

Robert Thomas
Robert Thomas is a Partner and leading Employment Lawyer with the firm Charles Russell Speechleys LLP. He specialises in all areas of employment law and has particular experience in working with domestic and international clients on Industrial and Employee Relations matters.  He has advised in many disputes, CAC applications and other complex matters. He has dealt with almost every type of case in the employment tribunal and has appeared on numerous occasions in county court, the High Court, the Employment Appeal Tribunal and the Court of Appeal.

Robert is a former barrister and has acted on both sides of the fence – for a number of Trade Unions as well as for Employers in difficult Industrial matters and disputes. For more information, please visit

Mike Clancy
Mike Clancy is the General Secretary of PROSPECT, a trade union representing 140,000 professional staff in both public and private sectors. He was first elected to this position in March 2012 and was recently re-elected unopposed to serve a further five-year term from March 2017. He is a member of the TUC Executive Committee and the General Council.

Mike combines 30 years of experience as a trade union officer with over eight years serving as an Employment Tribunal member. In 2002 he was also appointed to the Employment Appeal Tribunal. In May 2016 he was appointed to the ACAS Council.

Mike holds a degree in Law, an M.A. in Industrial Relations (Warwick) and an M.B.A. (Cranfield). He is a Chartered member of the Institute of Personnel and Development and has held several board level positions in his earlier career in government trading funds and the skills environment.

For more information, about Mike Clancy, please visit:-