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For some, Birketts LLP is ‘the best employment firm in the region’. Key individuals include the ‘calm, considered, technically soundJeanette Wheeler, Matthew Newnham, Abigail Trencher and Matthew Potter. Catherine Johnson advised new client Just-Eat plc on HR matters. Experienced partner Tim Tyndall joined from Penningtons Manches LLP.

Cambridge Employment Law LLP is praised for its ‘partner-led service’, with Oliver Pryke, Mandy Lyne and Eleanor Freeman cited as leaders in their field. Pryke advised on the constitution of a newly formed information and consultation forum, for which he also provides ongoing HR advice. Clients include Cambridge University colleges and many technology companies.

Eversheds LLPcompetes directly with Magic Circle and national firms’ and acts for a national client base including mobile phone microchip designer ARM Holdings and pharmaceutical company Roche. Simon Tytherleigh leads a team that features cross-border specialist Elizabeth Graves, education sector specialists Matthew Kelly and Geoffrey Mead, German-qualified Constanze Moorhouse, and trade union expert Owen Warnock. Moorhouse advised Sabre Corporation on HR aspects of the sale of lastminute.com.

Greenwoods Solicitors LLPcompares well to other regional and City firms’. The team, which includes John Macaulay, Robert Dillarstone, consultant Pauline Anning and associates Keith Williams and Joanna Scally, stands out for its ‘solid, commercial advice’ and for its ‘pragmatism and understanding of clients’ needs. Clients include a national housebuilder and a well-known travel company.

Hewitsons attracts praise for its ‘responsiveness, good value for money and breadth of insight’. Clients single out Valerie Lambert for her ‘direct and sensible advice’ and Elizabeth Swinburn for her combination of ‘precision, pragmatism, punctuality and personality’. Clients include Avionicare, Bionicare and Cheffins.

Mills & Reeve LLP’s practice is noted for its ‘excellent client care’. David Millsfully understands clients’ needs’ and leads the practice, which includes consultant Tracy Yates, education specialist Nicola Brown, health expert Stuart Craig and ‘knowledgeable, pragmatic and articulate’ senior associate Andrew MacDonald. Clients include Xaar and Baxter Healthcare.

At Taylor Vinters, team leader Roger James is ‘very focused and always looking for ways to optimise service’. The firm has a growing workload of international matters for technology companies in Cambridge and advised ARM Holdings on its workforce expansion. Christine Berry is recommended for HR advice to charities and education clients. The firm hired senior associate Rachel Ashwood from Which? Magazine.

Ashtons Legal is valued for its ‘good understanding of this area legislatively and commercially’ and for its ‘local, collaborative approach’. The ‘dependable, honest’ Ross Strowger leads the team and ‘gives solid, reliable advice’. Claire Sleep and solicitor Carrie March ‘tailor solutions to clients’ needs’. Clients include Nidera and Volvo Group.

Buckles Solicitors LLP’s ‘approachable and knowledgeable team’ is led by Giles Betts and includes senior solicitor Katharine Holliday. The Cambridge Building Society, Ideal Shopping Direct and Peterborough City Council are all clients.

Ellisons Solicitors’ ‘very professional’ team provides ‘a high level of expertise’, with team head Julian Outen noted for his ‘exemplary knowledge, customer service and communication with clients’. He advised the purchaser of a café on TUPE matters, while contentious work has included unfair dismissal and sex discrimination claims.

Clients describe ‘excellent service delivered in a timely fashion’ from Gotelee Solicitors. Brian Morron and Andrew West are acknowledged experts in their field and Marie Allen ‘always gives the right answer’. West successfully advised a large Suffolk employer on the removal of its HR manager.

Hegarty LLP is valued for its ‘highly professional and competent service’. Tribunal judge Martin Bloom (who is ‘astute, sensible and has a good client manner’) successfully defended an education client in an unfair dismissal hearing. Tim Thompson is also recommended.

Howes Percival LLP is noted for its ‘very responsive, accurate and detailed knowledge of employment law’. Associate Nicola Butterworth is ‘thorough and rigorous but concise and targeted’. She advised shareholders of GEV Group on matters arising from its sale to Braelaw Ltd.

Leathes Prior is ‘excellent in all respects – quick, practical advice and good value for money’. Dan Chapman (who, according to one client, is ‘the best employment lawyer I’ve worked with’) and associate Sarah Appleton advise the British Horseracing Authority on all of its employment issues.

Penningtons Manches LLP’s ‘consistently thorough, attentive, pragmatic and responsive’ team includes Hilary Aldred (who is ‘a very sharp and safe pair of hands’), senior associate Sophie Whitbread and Anna Henry. The practice regularly acts for Abcam and Bell Educational Services.

The employment practice at Prettys has a firm reputation for its ‘excellent overall advice delivered in a reliably accessible manner’. Matthew Cole and the ‘professional, pragmatic and level-headedKelly Sayers are singled out for their ‘superb, practical advice’. Sayers advised a local employer on a £350,000 employment tribunal claim.

Quantrills Solicitors is known for ‘excellent service, speedy replies and a good understanding of the business sector’, with Simon Quantrill cited for his ‘practical approach’. Quantrill and the ‘methodical and analytical’ Julie Temple worked with a US attorney to advise a telecommunications company on its business reorganisation.

At Steeles Law, former barrister and HR manager Oliver Brabbins is known for his ‘pragmatic approach to problem solving’. Brabbins acted alongside barrister Tom Bailey in defending a client in a groundbreaking TUPE consultation case. He also assisted a client with avoiding potential industrial action at a factory.

The ‘seriously impressive’ Frances Barker at Blocks is an acknowledged expert in employment law. She negotiated a six-figure sum for an employee dismissed in breach of their rights under the Equality Act and the Transfer of Undertakings Regulations.

Greene & Greene’s team includes Selene Holden, who ‘puts clients at ease’, and Robyn Armes. They advised Nexus Underwriting Management on its acquisition of EBA. Greg Jones joined from Birketts LLP.

Hunt & Coombs LLP’s team is led by ‘friendly and helpful’ senior solicitor Nicola Cockerill, who joined from an in-house role at Indesit. She is advising a local employer on HR issues arising from the rapid expansion of its workforce.

Clients value the ‘knowledge, customer service and value for money’ of Stone King LLP in Cambridge, where the ‘knowledgeable, practical and thorough’ Caroline Banwell ‘tailors advice to clients’ needs’.

At Woodfines LLP, Nick Sayer and corporate partner Stephen Oliver lead on employment matters. Clients include Geodis UK, Murfitts Industries and Saffron Building Society.

At Clapham & Collinge Solicitors, litigator Mark Kermez took over as head of employment after Gareth Stevens joined Leathes Prior. Kermez is advising a client on a disability discrimination claim against an NHS Trust.

Cozens-Hardy LLPprovides outstanding service’. Part-time employment judge and ‘exceptional lawyer’ Andrew Spencer is ‘incredibly helpful’. He advises SMEs across the UK.

Neil John’s team at Fraser Dawbarns includesSteve McGregor, who advises local and national employers.

At Metcalfe, Copeman & Pettefar, Paul Garner advises SME clients across the Fens and West Norfolk. He provided HR advice to a retailer with 200 employees, and defended a constructive dismissal case brought by a company director.

Rogers and Norton’s Phil Kerridge is greatly respected among local employers. He regularly advises on unfair dismissal and discrimination issues.

At Sloan Plumb Wood LLP, Christina Merrington advised a financial services company on an internal data breach and a whistleblower claim.

Spire Solicitors LLP fields litigators Sarb Gosal and David Harris, who are ‘highly recommended’ for their advice to SMEs in Norfolk.

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Legal Developments in East Anglia for Employment

  • Companies should plan now to minimise their pension protection levy

    The amount that pension schemes have to pay to the Pension Protection Fund (PPF) for the year 2006/07 may have increased by as much as five times the previous year's levy. Employers who ultimately bear the cost of many pension schemes will need to make plans now to ensure the levy payable for the year 2008/09 is kept to a minimum.
    - Stephenson Harwood

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