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The Legal 500 Hall of Fame Icon The Legal 500 Hall of Fame highlights individuals who have received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence. The Hall of Fame highlights, to clients, the law firm partners who are at the pinnacle of the profession. In the United Kingdon, the criteria for entry is to have been recognised by The Legal 500 as one of the elite leading lawyers for eight years. These partners are highlighted below and throughout the editorial.
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United Kingdom > East Midlands > Human resources > Employment > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings



Index of tables

  1. Employment
  2. Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

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Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP’s client base includes FTSE100, FTSE250 and Fortune 500 companies, other major national and foreign corporates in technology, financial services, engineering, retail and energy sectors, and public sector organisations. The team assists employers with non-contentious work and tribunal cases, and also handles employee claims. Cross-border support for international companies and business immigration advice are other areas of focus. Mark Fletcher provides ongoing advice to Celesio and assisted the client with the TUPE transfer of 3,000 new employees following the acquisition of Sainsbury’s pharmacies. He also managed a number of senior employee departures and the recruitment of 150 new employees for Capital One. A team – including senior associates Emily Hasted and Vanessa Challenger – is advising Computershare Mortgage Services on an employee transfer. In other work, Nicola Bennison led a team acting for West Nottinghamshire College regarding structural and strategic employment matters, such as TUPE, equal pay regulation and related pensions advice. Associates Clare Ward, who specialises in trade union law, and Mark Pipkin are also recommended. Specsavers, XPO Logistics and Brakes are new client wins.

Freeths LLP’s β€˜fantastic’ team assists major corporates, executives and public sector bodies with a range of contentious and non-contentious matters. In addition to advising employers on policy issues, grievance procedures and disciplinary actions, the group handles claims for unpaid holiday pay, harassment and unfair dismissal. β€˜Personable, experienced and responsive’ Nottingham department head David Potter successfully represented a former director of workforce and organisational development in a sexual harassment claim against Derbyshire Healthcare Trust. National practice head Julian Middleton provides β€˜excellent advice, combining a solid understanding of the business context with careful evaluation of available strategies’. Rena Magdani handles the employment aspects of corporate transactions such as large-scale mergers and acquisitions, including arranging TUPE transfers, performing compliance checks and drafting long-term employment strategies. However, she is equally proficient in contentious matters and successfully defended DPD Group UK in disputes involving whistleblowing, unfair dismissal and unlawful deduction from wages. Clients have also included Jones Bootmaker, Center Parcs, Sofidel Group, AVG Group and Tarmac. Senior associate Emma Batten’s grasp of the law is β€˜excellent’.

Gateley Plc’s β€˜superior’ team acts predominantly for large corporates, but also negotiates severance packages for senior executives. β€˜Very knowledgeable’ practice head Andrew Macmillan combines β€˜technical knowledge of the law with a relaxed manner’ to deliver β€˜outstanding results’. He led a team assisting West Ham United Football Club with the employment aspects of its move to new premises; advice included drafting a redundancy strategy and managing TUPE in light of crucial ownership structure changes. In other work, the team is defending Deloitte against tribunal claims filed by over 400 individuals and their associated union pertaining to the administration of Paperlinx UK. It also advised NEMS Community Benefit Services with an urgent incoming transfer of employees from Central Nottinghamshire Clinical Service, involving employee consultation and negotiations with the Clinical Commissioning Group. Senior associate Clive Day is a β€˜go-to person for complex technical issues’. Clients have also included Aurum Holdings, Bibby Financial Services, COBA International, Deutsche Bahn and Samworth Brothers.

Renowned for its TUPE expertise, Paula Bailey’s group at Howes Percival LLP supports companies with the employment aspects of corporate transactions. The team assisted the management team of EE Smith Contracts with employment matters related to a Β£11m management buyout such as drafting bonus structures and handling ancillary documentation. It also provided TUPE advice to a major corporation regarding its substantial restructuring project and handled matters arising from a global move of production facilities for a construction business. On the contentious side, the firm defended a regional manufacturer against a group employment tribunal claim regarding validity of pre-transfer employment liabilities, managing a grievance procedure brought by a HR manager alleging discrimination, harassment, whistleblowing and bullying. The firm also represented an employer in a discrimination claim pertaining to a contested redundancy of an employee on maternity leave. The team acquired several new clients in the automotive and food and beverages sectors, including LSH Auto UK.

Shoosmiths LLP’s β€˜pragmatic and honest’ team is renowned for its contentious expertise, defending employers, many of which are in the retail sector, against allegations of discrimination and a wider roster of tribunal claims. A smaller proportion of the group’s work involves assisting senior executives with exit packages. Practice head Helen Burgess and senior associate Michael Briggs defended Coca-Cola European Partners against consolidated claims of race discrimination and allegations of breaches of the Agency Workers Regulations 2010 and successfully represented Saint Gobain Isover in a multi-claimant tribunal case pertaining to the company’s annual leave policy in light of the Working Time Directive. The team also handled an absence management procedure for an employee returning from a prolonged period of illness, and is providing ongoing advice to British Drilling and Freezing Company on collective redundancy obligations and associated TUPE matters for onshore and offshore employees. Peter Duff is another name to note, as is β€˜extremely sharp’ associate Charlotte Staples, who has a β€˜great attitude’ and β€˜constructs the best tactical strategies’. 3D Scanners, Albumedix, Capstone Turbines, Novozymes Switzerland and Renew Health are among new client wins.

Browne Jacobson LLP advises employers in the public and private sector on a range of matters; its client base includes Oclaro, Bureau Veritas UK, East Midlands Ambulance NHS Trust, TT Electronics and Transalliance. The department boasts a designated service for employment advice in the education sector and continues to assist over 300 schools and academies with contentious and non-contentious work. Practice head Peter Jones leads a team handling employment practices liability insurance claims covered by Hiscox for its policy holders. Recent work also includes defending a public sector institution in an employment tribunal case alleging unfair dismissal, disability discrimination and failure to make reasonable adjustments, and advising a local authority on employment aspects of a proposed reorganisation.

Employment law boutique Cummins Solicitors attracts praise for its β€˜excellent and pragmatic’ service, assisting employers and employees in sectors ranging from manufacturing, retail and banking to public sector institutions and charities, with particular expertise in the education sector. Highlights included conducting a policy review and handling a collective consultation for a national company; representing a senior executive in a race discrimination, harassment and victimisation claim; and advising a purchaser on the employment aspects of acquiring another company. The β€˜pragmatic and knowledgeable’ Michael Cummins has a β€˜wealth of experience’ and a β€˜down-to-earth’ approach. The team also includes the β€˜prompt, concise and clear’ Kimbra Welch, who is an β€˜outstanding employment lawyer’ with a β€˜can-do attitude and excellent commercial acumen’, and the β€˜tenacious’ Jo Cosgrove, who is β€˜incredibly detail-conscious and articulate’ with β€˜tremendous credibility’.

The lawyers at Hewitsons are β€˜very switched-on’ and attract praise for their β€˜business understanding’. The team primarily assists large corporates, such as Travis Perkins, with contentious and non-contentious work ranging from TUPE advice and business immigration to collective trade union issues and complex discrimination and whistleblowing claims. It also handles redundancies and senior employee terminations. A team led by practice head Nick Hall assisted Sundial Group with the employment aspects of the sale of one of its conference centres. β€˜Extremely safe pair of hands’ Clare Waller, who has β€˜meticulous attention to detail’, defended Telford Homes against unfair dismissal and disability discrimination claims brought by a former employee before the employment tribunal. Other clients have included Medigold Health, Mace, VolkerWessels, United Church Schools Trust and Barings UK.

Spearing Waite LLP’s client base ranges from international companies to local small and medium-sized enterprises, in addition to charities, sports clubs and schools. The firm handles employment tribunal disputes and appeal proceedings as well as managing the employment aspects of corporate transactions, restructurings and closures. The recent workload spans managing disciplinary proceedings, advising on the appointment and termination of directors, drafting new employee incentive schemes and assisting with harmonisation of TUPE-affected employment contracts. On the contentious side, the group assisted a corporate client with litigation arising from new holiday pay regulations and defended an employer against allegations of unfair dismissal and race discrimination. Andrew Rowell is praised for his β€˜strategic solutions’ and Amanda Badley is also recommended. Freudenberg Oil & Gas Technologies, Marpak, Marks Electrical, Provisional Marmalade and Wheeldon Brothers are also clients.

Actons acts for owner-managed businesses, small and medium-sized enterprises, charities and national organisations; Chesterfield College, Framework Housing Association and Nottingham Greyhound Stadium feature among the client roster. Practice head Claire Bell specialises in advising NHS employees on Mutually Agreed Resignation Schemes, while Nic Elliott handles large-scale fraud, whistleblowing and harassment investigations. In other work, Bell advised a German employer on the redundancies of four senior employees and defended a further education college against a disability discrimination claim before the employment tribunal, and Elliott is defending a national charity against allegations of governance malpractice, bullying and harassment brought by a whistleblower. The group also represented a university lecturer claiming unfair dismissal and disability discrimination, and managed the departures of senior executives to a national retailer.

Flint Bishop LLP’s β€˜excellent’ team provides β€˜sound commercial advice that is tailored to clients’ needs’ in a β€˜timely and comprehensive manner’. The group advises employers on both contentious and non-contentious matters, and the education sector is a particular area of focus, with over 120 schools instructing the firm. In other work, the team defended a company against allegations of age, sex and race discrimination, and is handling a gross misconduct claim against a former employee. Practice head Robert Tice is recommended, as is the β€˜responsive’ Emma Tice. Panasonic, Derby Homes and Loomis UK are also clients.

At Geldards LLP, senior associate Rhys Wyborn attracts instructions from employers in the technology and retail sectors, assisting clients with contentious matters such as unfair dismissal and whistleblowing claims, disciplinary procedures, senior executive terminations and grievances, as well as non-contentious work including TUPE matters. Clients in the automotive, sports, education and manufacturing sectors instruct senior associate Jameel Mann. The group guided Derby Diocesan Academies Trust through the TUPE process following the trust’s expansion; advice included negotiations with trade unions and general conversion support. Clients also include HAE Group, Picsolve International, Zibrant, Red Box Recorders and Trent Vineyard.

The lawyers at Nelsons Solicitors Limited have their β€˜fingers firmly on the pulse of a case’, and act for clients in sectors such as education, food and financial services. Proficient in contentious and non-contentious matters, the group defended a further education provider in a disciplinary claim alleging misconduct and advised a large manufacturer on the employment aspects of a department restructuring. The β€˜conscientious, reliant and diligent’ Andy Jamieson heads the team, which includes Keeley Baigent, who has β€˜excellent knowledge and a pragmatic approach’, and Laura Kearsley, who is β€˜focused and driven to excel for her clients’. Jenny Kinman is β€˜calm, professional and methodical’, and specialises in industrial relations, contractual matters and whistleblowing.

Clients of the β€˜excellent’ Shakespeare Martineau LLP are major players in sectors such as logistics, retail, transport and manufacturing. The firm also acts for third sector organisations such as Nebosh, The National Work and Learning Institute and Quality Assurance Agency. Both contentious and non-contentious matters make up the workload, ranging from high-value and complex tribunal claims to the employment aspects of transactions. Practice head Philip Pepper has an β€˜excellent legal mind’ and gives β€˜sound commercial advice’. His team includes the β€˜proactive and personable’ Chris Kisby, who is providing ongoing assistance to Games Workshop including advising on redundancy strategies following closures of stores based abroad and handling conduct and disciplinary issues relating to senior management in France, Italy, Spain and Germany. Tangerine Confectionery, CE Security and Commonwealth Games England are also clients.

Smith Partnership acts for employees and employers in sectors such as education, healthcare, retail, automotive and sport. With regards to the latter, β€˜extremely impressive’ practice head James Johnson, who provides β€˜clear, comprehensive and concise’ advice that β€˜inspires confidence’, advised a football club on its manager’s departure and subsequently drafted contracts for the new manager and coaching staff. Recent work for the firm also includes representing a private school in disciplinary proceedings brought against a senior employee, and assisting a large healthcare group with the employment aspects of a restructuring such as TUPE and collective redundancy consultation. The group also defended a large tool hire company against allegations of gender and age discrimination, and assisted an employer with a director’s performance review and departure. Derby County Football Club, Staffordshire and Stoke on Trent NHS Partnership Trust, Office Depot, ATL Transport and Logistics are also clients.

Wilkin Chapman LLP’s β€˜knowledgeable, professional and highly skilled’ team is proficient in contentious and non-contentious matters. It is increasingly handling work in the public sector, advising education institutions, but also continues to act for private sector employers. Jane Eatock, who combines β€˜in-depth knowledge, skills and experience’ with β€˜business understanding’, continues to advise Total Lindsey Oil Refinery on employment issues following a major restructuring project. In other work, the group assisted Oil Brokerage with the employment aspects of its acquisition of six brokers in Singapore and London, and advised Jointline on issues arising from historic underpayment of holiday pay. On the contentious side, the firm represented Branston in a tribunal claim for unfair dismissal, disability discrimination and harassment filed by a former employee. Practice head Teresa Thomas is a β€˜helpful sounding board’, and Katie Davies and David Buckle are also noted. Stanford Junior and Infant School and Praxair Gases UK are new client wins.

Chattertons’ group provides β€˜good response times and clear guidance’ to both employers and employees on matters ranging from unfair dismissal and discrimination claims to issues surrounding redundancies and TUPE. Recent work includes acting for an employer during a disciplinary action against a chief executive; handling TUPE matters as part of a client’s acquisition of a smaller business; representing an employee during a misconduct hearing; and defending a director and shareholder of a company against allegations of gross misconduct and criminal activity. Danielle Lister leads the team.

Fraser Brown’s β€˜reliable’ team provides β€˜first-class’ service and mainly acts for employers in contentious and non-contentious matters. β€˜Commercially astute’ practice head John Buchanan has β€˜very good all-round knowledge of the law from the perspective of employers and employees’, and acted for Worksop Manor Estates in tribunal proceedings arising from historical claims of unfair dismissal, disability and age discrimination. The firm also represented an individual in a complex discrimination claim and defended an employer against a whistleblowing claim filed by an interim employee.

Employment boutique Halborns Limited handles contentious and non-contentious matters for employers and senior executives, acting for the latter in cases arising from, for example, departures and discrimination. Ginny Hallam is renowned for her employment tribunal experience and acts for employers in sectors such as retail, social care and automotive. TUPE is another area of focus, with the team advising clients on the employment aspects of acquisitions.

Led by Kate Hindmarch, the practice at Langleys Solicitors LLP predominantly acts for employers; the firm settled a maternity discrimination claim for a company in hospitality industry, assisted a company with TUPE matters and other employment aspects of a restructuring, and assisted an employer with business abroad with the new holiday pay regulation. On the employee side, the team represented an individual in a claim for non-payment of wages and breach of employment agreements against a former employer. The education sector is another area of focus.

Boutique firm Premier Legal LLP operates between Nottingham and London, and counts multinational companies, small and medium-sized enterprises and senior executives among its clients. It assisted Reignwood Group with drafting employment contracts, policies and procedures, and advised a commercial London law firm on the employment aspects related to the acquisition of a regional firm. Praised as β€˜technically strong and good with clients’, Sarah Robinson combines a β€˜wealth of experience’ with the β€˜ability to negotiate in difficult situations’ to provide β€˜comprehensive legal advice’ and β€˜achieve the best results’. Consultant Adrian Barnes and associate Aarti Bedi are also recommended.

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Legal Developments in East Midlands 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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