Early Life and Education
Patrick Elias was born in Cardiff and received his undergraduate degree, LL.B with first-class honours, at Exeter University in 1969, where he was a member of both the rugby and cricket teams. He was called to the Bar in 1973 (Inner Temple). His brother is Gerard Elias QC.
Before becoming a Bencher in 1995, he was a fellow of Pembroke College, Cambridge and served as Assistant Recorder from 1997 to 1999.
He was appointed Deputy High Court Judge in January 1999 and four months later, in May 1999, he was named Judge of the High Court, Queen's Bench Division. He was President of the Employment Appeal Tribunal from 2006 to 2009.
Mr Justice Elias was knighted in 1999. On 3 March 2009, he was appointed to Her Majesty's Privy Council.
- R (Seymour-Smith) v SS for Employment  UKHL 12 (represented the government against a claim that legislation was sex discrimination)
- Wilson v United Kingdom  ECHR 552 (represented the employer: lost)
- James v Greenwich LBC  UKEAT 0006_06_2112 (held that agency workers should not get rights: disapproved in principle in Autoclenz Ltd v Belcher  UKSC 41)
- Royal Mail Group Ltd v CWU  EWCA Civ 1045 (holding in the EAT that employers forgetting to consult with trade unions before a transfer of undertaking absolved them of a duty)
- Eweida v British Airways plc  IRLR 78 (held that a woman who wore a cross had no claim for religious discrimination: found wrong by the European Court of Human Rights)
- Royal Mail Group Ltd v Communication Workers Union  UKEAT 0338_08_0212 (held that an employer was not responsible for its own failure to inform and consult staff about business changes)
- X v Mid Sussex Citizens Advice Bureau  EWCA Civ 28 (held that a volunteer had no rights against discrimination)
- RMT v Serco Ltd  EWCA Civ 226 (stated obiter that unions had no right to strike at common law)
- Homer v Chief Constable of West Yorkshire Police  UKSC 15 (held in the EAT that a man had not suffered indirect age discrimination, even though a new rule was introduced requiring him to get a law degree: overturned)
- Clyde & Co LLP v Bates van Winkelhof  EWCA Civ 1207 (held that a partner had no claim against detriment for whistleblowing: overturned)
- Hudson v Department for Work and Pensions  EWCA Civ 1416 (held, against Smith LJ dissenting, that a fixed term worker could not claim a permanent contract after 4 years work because part of that time was training)
- Turner v East Midlands Trains Ltd  EWCA Civ 1470 (held that there is no proportionality test in unfair dismissal)
- Smith v Carillion (JM) Ltd  EWCA Civ 209 (held that a blacklisted union member could be persecuted because he was an agency worker)
- Privy Council appointment of Sir Patrick Elias, 3 March 2009, Prime Minister's Office, Press Notices
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