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Professor Roy Lewis


Roy Lewis





  • International Administrative Law
  • Adjudication, Investigation, Arbitration and Mediation
  • Employment disputes (international and national)
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution (international and national)

International Employment Law

Professor Lewis has judicial experience in international organisations, specifically at 3 multilateral development banks. Central to this experience is his involvement over 16 years in the internal justice system of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (“EBRD”), London. He was Chair of its Grievance Committee (2007-2015), President of its Administrative Tribunal (2002-2007) and Chair of its Appeals Committee (1999-2002). At the EBRD he dealt with a number of leading cases on matters such as expatriate benefits, employee consultation, the taxation of US nationals and the distinction between employees and independent contractors.

In addition, Professor Lewis was Judge and Vice President of the Administrative Tribunal of the Asian Development Bank (“ADB”), Manila (2012-2015). He is President of the Administrative Tribunal of the Black Sea Trade and Development Bank (“BSTDB”), Thessaloniki (since 2006).

Professor Lewis’s international judicial experience is enriched by his specialist judicial experience in employment disputes in the UK. He was a part-time Employment Judge in the Employment Tribunals (2001-2006). The Employment Tribunals are the British labour courts dealing with legal disputes between employees and their employers. For a period of 14 years from 2000 to 2014 he was a Deputy Chairman of the Central Arbitration Committee. This body determines legal issues under UK legislation governing (a) trade union recognition by employers for the purposes of collective bargaining, (b) European works councils, and (c) employee information and consultation.

For Professor Lewis’s role in international and national arbitrations, mediations and investigations, see Alternative Dispute Resolution.

Professor Lewis has had a major involvement in prestigious symposia on international administrative law, including the following:

  • In 2016 as keynote speaker he presented a paper on Expatriates and Americans at the annual International Administrative Law Centre of Excellence Conference, London.
  • He was a speaker on workplace dispute resolution at a conference on Best Practices in Resolving Employment Disputes in International Organisations, International Labour Organisation (“ILO”), Geneva, 15-16 September 2014. His paper was published in Annika Talvik (ed.) Best Practices in Resolving Employment Disputes in International Organizations, ILO, Geneva, 2015.
  • He chaired a session at the conference to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Administrative Tribunal of the International Monetary Fund, Washington DC, 3-4 April 2014.
  • He spoke at the symposium sponsored by the World Bank, Washington DC, 23 March 2010, to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the World Bank Administrative Tribunal. His paper was published as “The Effectiveness of International Administrative Law Compared to Some National Legal Systems” in O Elias (ed.) The Development and Effectiveness of International Administrative Law, Nijhoff, 2012.
  • He spoke on the interaction between departments of institutional integrity and administrative tribunals at the Conference of International Investigators, co-sponsored by the United Nations and the European Commission’s Anti-Fraud Office, Vienna, 9-11 May 2007.

Alternative Dispute Resolution

Professor Lewis is experienced in many aspects of Alternative Dispute Resolution (“ADR”), including arbitration, mediation, investigation and consultancy. He has investigated and made recommendations to an international organisation on the redesign of its internal justice system. He has also conducted a number of international mediations. In 2012 he conducted a mediation in Geneva between a multinational company and an international trade union confederation in order to resolve a labour dispute in Indonesia. In 2013 and 2014 he acted as a mediator in two disputes over the application of the Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development. In 2016 he was appointed to the Panel of Mediators for the United Nations Staff Management Committee, New York.

Professor Lewis developed his ADR expertise in the UK national context. He is a leading labour arbitrator, having been a member of the Advisory Conciliation and Arbitration Service (“Acas”) Panel of Arbitrators and Mediators for Trade Disputes since 1985.   He was Chair of Royal Mail’s National Appeals Panel (1998-2011), in which capacity he decided over 100 disciplinary appeals from trade union representatives. He has been involved in other specialist arbitral and mediation procedures covering, among others, local government chief executives, firefighters, cabin crew and pilots, financial sector personnel and employees in the National Health Service (“NHS”).

Professor Lewis also has extensive experience of investigations into sensitive employment-related matters, for example, within trade unions, in the NHS, and the criminal justice system. Much of this work is highly confidential, but one example which is in the public domain was the Lewis/Acas Report (2015) into how the Metropolitan Police dealt with allegations that it discriminated against its officers and staff on grounds of race, sex and sexual orientation.


Professor Lewis’s university education was at the London School of Economics and Political Science (“LSE”), where he took an undergraduate degree in Law and a Master’s degree in Industrial Relations. He was first employed as a management consultant. He then pursued his academic career: Lecturer in Industrial Relations at LSE (1969-79); Principal Research Fellow, Industrial Relations Research Unit, University of Warwick (1979-87); and Professor of Labour Law, University of Southampton (1987-96). At Southampton he was also Dean of the Faculty of Law and Head of the Law Department.

During his academic career Professor Lewis wrote on British labour law and relations, but the work he regards as most significant was a study of the writings of Otto Kahn-Freund published under the title of Labour Law and Politics in the Weimar Republic, Basil Blackwell, 1981.

In 1994 he joined Old Square Chambers a leading set of barristers Chambers in the field of employment law. He developed a niche practice in third party roles in international organisations and UK industrial relations. In 2017 he retired from Old Square Chambers and later, after retiring as a practicing barrister, became a consultant to BWL.