Professor Willy Brown

Former Master at Darwin College, Cambridge


Emeritus Professor of Industrial Relations, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge

William Brown sadly died in 2019 having been Emeritus Master of Darwin College and Emeritus Professor of Industrial Relations at Cambridge University since 2012. He had previously been Chair of the Faculty of Economics and Head of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences. Before he moved to Cambridge in 1985 he was Director of the Industrial Relations Research Unit at the University of Warwick.

His research had been concerned with collective bargaining, workplace trade union organisation, pay determination, incomes policy, payment systems, arbitration, minimum wages, and the impact of legislative change. His publications include Piecework Bargaining (1973), The Changing Contours of British Industrial Relations (1981), The Individualisation of Employment Contracts in Britain (1998) and The Evolution of the Modern Workplace (2009).

He was a foundation member of the Low Pay Commission, which fixes the UK’s National Minimum Wage. He was a member of the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS) Panel of Arbitrators, and was an independent member of the ACAS Council. He chaired the national arbitration and mediation panel for disputes in the UK Fire Services. He researched industrial relations in China as an Honorary Professor at Renmin University of China, Beijing.

In 2002 he was made Commander of the British Empire for services to employment relations.

  • 27 February 2013, 5:30pm

    CSaP Distinguished Lecture: Lord Turner

    Lord Turner of Ecchinswell, Chairman of the Financial Services Authority, will deliver his lecture 'Public Policy and the science base: successes and failures' as part of the CSaP Distinguished Lecture Series.