Alan received his undergraduate and graduate education in Oxford, being awarded his BA in Law (first class) in 1997. Thereafter, he was awarded the degrees of BCL (first class) and DPhil. Following a period as a lecturer at the University of Birmingham, Alan returned to Oxford in 2003 to take up his fellowship at Hertford College. He is now a Professor of Labour Law at the University of Bristol.
Alan’s research focuses predominantly on theoretical issues in domestic, European and International labour law. His book ‘The Democratic Aspects of Trade Union Recognition’ was published in 2009 by Hart Publishing. It was awarded the SLS Peter Birks’ Prize for Outstanding Legal Scholarship in 2010.
He coordinated a Leverhulme International Research Network with Professor Tonia Novitz at the University of Bristol following the successful award of a large scale grant. Details of the network’s activities can be found here. The network includes academics from Stanford, Osgoode Hall, and Monash Universities.
Additionally, his current research projects include examining freedom of association; common law fundamental rights; the role of criminalisation in work relations; and the future of the social democratic constitution. His work has been cited by the United Kingdom Supreme Court (on sham contracts and the illegality doctrine), the Supreme Court of Canada (on the constitutional right to collective bargaining), and the European Court of Justice (on working time and paid annual leave). He is on the editorial committees of the Oxford Journal of Legal Studies and the International Journal of Comparative Labour Law and Industrial Relations, and a general editor of the OUP Oxford Monographs in Labour Law series. He is a member of the executive committee of the Institute of Employment Rights, and an emeritus fellow of Hertford College, Oxford.