020 7650 1200

Mike Cain


Mike Cain is a a partner in the employment department.




0161 393 3541


Manchester, London

Mike is a Partner in Leigh Day's employment department. He has a nationwide practice acting for private clients including senior executive claimants. His particular expertise is in claims under the Equality Act and claims which involve whistleblowing.

What people say

"Even when things were not looking up, he did not throw in the towel, which would have been understandable. He always went an extra mile to explore ways round many hurdles that kept on popping up. Mike organised the best representation any one could ever wish for. Needless to say, the outcome of my case was favourable to me without having to go to the Employment Tribunal." 
- Client of Mike

"Mike Cain is a superstar of claimant employment law. He fights his cases hard, has incredible knowledge and is a great tactician." - Chambers and partners 2024

What the directories say

Mike Cain has a growing team made up fee earners working with insurance, union and high net worth clients. He has run cases of supranational importance to the ECJ and the UK Supreme Court. He engaged at a level well above most, both macro in strategy and planning, and micro in terms of getting the best result for the client. His candour when providing advice sets him apart.

Legal 500 2024

Legal expertise

Discrimination and dismissal

Mike is  a longstanding and  experienced litigator in of claims combining the pursuit of rights connected to the termination of employment and discrimination, having successfully framed and ran claims both before and after the introduction of the Equality Act in  2010.

Senior executive

Mike acts for claimants in the senior executive field including for those working in FCA regulated roles in the finance sector. His work on behalf of ex Analyst Kwasi Afrifa in his claim against Goldman Sachs between 2018 and 2020 is a case in point which was  covered by most of the national and financial press. He has acted for claimants against a wide range of international banks and financial institutions and his practice also incorporates work for senior executive clients in Tech, Legal and the academic sector as well as the advertising and media sectors.

He has extensive experience of work in for senior public sector employees and he acted for and brought to a successful conclusion the whistleblowing claims of Foreign office prosecutor Maria Bamieh against the Foreign and Commonwealth and Development Office.  He also acted for Barrister Robin Somerville in the Court of Appeal in early 2022 which resulted in a significant and definitive  clarification  of the right to paid annual leave for  regulatory panel chairs.

Other Career Highlights

Mike has been  a leading practitioner in collective redundancy matters, having framed the arguments in the nationally significant EAT appeal for USDAW in the Woolworths/Ethel Austin case ([2013] IRLR 686) which resulted in the Preliminary Ruling from the CJEU (C-80/14) in April 2015.  He also acted successfully for the United Road Transport Union (URTU)  in the collective redundancy litigation in the Employment Tribunal arising from the Comet store chain administration of late 2012.  Mike  also oversaw and concluded complex  part time pensions group litigation for nearly 400 claimants in Abbott and Ors v Littlewoods resulting in payments of over a million pounds to affected workers. He acted for  members of the United Road Transport Union (URTU) for several years in a wide range of cases in the Employment Tribunal and in the Appellate Courts. Mike has overseen  a range  of group claims across several Employment Tribunals  focused on the enforcement of rights relating  to underpayment of holiday pay in the infrastructure sector.  

Mike has been professionally active in the area of employment and legal rights for well over 20 years. He was called to the Bar in 2005 but   spent over a decade (1997-2008) working in the CAB service and the Trade Unions.  Mike joined Russell Jones & Walker in 2008 and was admitted as a Solicitor in July 2009.  He joined Leigh Day in April 2015.   Mike is a member of the Employment Lawyers Association and served on the Executive Committee of the Industrial Law Society for four years between 2013 and 2017.
Mike  has featured favourably in nearly every edition of, Legal 500 since 2013, with the 2019 edition  placing him in the “Next Generation” category, concluding  “the ‘tenacious and very committed’ Mike Cain  is ‘not only knowledgeable but also very friendly and compassionate’”.  He has been ranked  in the 2023 edition of Chambers and Partners.

Mike’s previous cases include: 

  • Nursing and Midwifery Council v Somerville [2022] EWCA Civ 229 [2022] IRLR 47 [2022] ICR 755  – The successful defence in the Court of Appeal of the rights of regulatory panel chairs to paid annual leave.

  • Bamieh v Foreign and Commonwealth and Development Office (2022) – representation in the Employment Tribunal  and then  settlement of the whistleblowing claims against the FCDO by  a Prosecutor working for EULEX in Kosovo.

  • USDAW v WW1 Realisation Limited and Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills; USDAW v Ethel Austin Limited (2012-15) – acting for the Shopworkers’ union USDAW in its claims against the administrators  of  the insolvent Woolworths retail chain and its failure to consult on redundancy in the  ET, EAT , Court of Appeal and the Court of Justice of the European Union (C-80/14).

  • Chief Constable of North Yorkshire & Wade v HMRC [2011] IRLR 393 - decision of the Upper Tier Tribunal clarifying the rights of women in respect of commencing Statutory Maternity Pay.
  • Bamber v Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police (2011) - a finding by the Employment Tribunal in a claim for a female Chief Inspector  that the requirement of female and older officers to complete the public safety training shield run in 2minutes and 45 seconds was not justified and constituted indirect Sex and Age Discrimination.
  • Dost v Chief Constable of West Midlands Police (2009) - a successful Race and Religious Discrimination claim for an Asian Muslim Police Officer following multiple incidents of islamophobic abuse.

Mike Cain in the news

SDT, BTAS and other tribunals face hefty bills after appeal court ruling Legal Futures 28.2.22

Foreign Office to pay £423,000 to whistleblowing lawyer who lost job The Guardian 03.7.22

JPMorgan Banker Fired for Expense Errors Sues for Discrimination Bloomberg 17.6.21

Ex-analyst sues Goldman Sachs after losing job ‘because of ADD’ Evening Standard 13.2.19

Ex-Goldman Sachs analyst claims he was denied £11million career because he has ADHD Telegraph 13.2.19

Ex-Goldman Analyst Seeks Record U.K. Discrimination Payout Bloomberg 7.2.19

What our clients say

Mike Cain was recommended to me by a colleague and what fantastic advice that was. Mike was absolutely superb – responsive, measured, thoughtful, deeply knowledgeable and very insightful on both what to do and just as importantly what not to do – he continuously offered excellent counsel and practical advice that delivered a solution for me that provided an “out” from a very difficult employment environment. In the same way he was suggested to me as the “go to person” to deal with a toxic employer, I can’t recommend Mike highly enough for anyone facing these sorts of challenges.

Former client of Mike, 2021