Maria Ludkin

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Maria Ludkin
Occupation(s)Lawyer, activist

Maria Ludkin (born in 1965) was a lawyer for the GMB Trade Union, the third biggest union in the United Kingdom.[citation needed] She speaks frequently in relation to prominent GMB campaigns. In particular some of the less well known impacts of private equity on the economy and employment, which led to the calling of Treasury Select Committee hearings,[1] and in relation to redundancies at Marks and Spencer. She has been involved in major GMB campaigns regarding proposed Remploy closures, equal pay, the Swindon hospital workers dispute [2] and construction industry blacklisting, where litigation led to historic compensation payments.[3]

In 2016 GMB ran a test case establishing that Uber drivers were in fact workers with employment rights, rather than self-employed, as Uber claimed. As one of the first major cases testing the proliferation of bogus self-employment and loss of employment rights in the so-called "gig economy", the case has been called "the employment law case of the decade".[4]

Ludkin speaks regularly at conferences regarding shareholder activism, the impact of financial deregulation, as well as developments in good corporate governance and corporate social responsibility and the impact on labour of the gig economy.[5]

In May 2014, the GMB and the Communication Workers Union launched the first trade union owned law firm in the country, UnionLine, to provide a legal service for almost one million trade union members and their families. She was a director of that award-winning firm.[6][7]

She is a member of the oversight board of the ESG Institute.[8]

In 2018, she was named in The Lawyers' "Hot 100" which seeks to recognise the best lawyers in the country.[9]

Previously Ludkin was a lawyer in the art world for ten years working for Christie's in London and New York,[10] as well as working with a range of significant technology firms during their early growth in Silicon Valley.[11]

In March 2018, Maria became chief counsel at Waveoptics, a market leader in hardware components for the AR industry.[12]


  1. ^ "MPS grill private equity bosses". 20 June 2007.
  2. ^ "Great Western Hospital dispute: Staff take Carillion to tribunal". BBC News. 8 October 2012.
  3. ^ "GMB - Apology For Blacklisted Workers". Archived from the original on 13 February 2017.
  4. ^ "Historic victory for Uber drivers as Tribunal finds they are entitled to basic workers' rights | Leigh Day".
  5. ^ "UK court backs plumber in new challenge to 'gig' economy". Reuters. 10 February 2017.
  6. ^ "Unions create law firm ABS to rival high street".
  7. ^ "UnionLine is ABS of the Year at Modern Law Awards | UNIONLINE".
  8. ^ "Grant & Eisenhofer Launches ESG Institute to Help Guide Global Institutional Investors in Socially Responsible and Sustainable Investment" (Press release).
  9. ^ "The Lawyer Hot 100 2018: Maria Ludkin, GMB". 29 January 2018.
  10. ^ "Profiles in Justice: The art of labour relations".
  11. ^ "Tribunal rules Uber drivers should get minimum wage and holiday pay". Wired UK.
  12. ^ "Hot 100 career quiz: GMB's former head of legal Maria Ludkin". The Lawyer. 17 August 2018.