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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 > London > Human resources > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings




Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Overview clients in London using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact


Social movements and national events have shifted the human resources focus briefly away from the impending Brexit fallout.  In employment, initiatives surrounding gender equality and worker status dominated both the legal and national headlines.

The Gender Pay Gap Reporting results were published in early 2018 leading to pay discrimination claims across a wide variety of sectors and an increased workload for law firms advising on the issues going forward.

The #MeToo campaign and the Time's Up movement have expanded beyond social media into the international corporate world, with sexual harassment claims and bullying issues rising as victims feel increasingly supported and more empowered to step forward, with corporate responses further accelerated by societal pressures and expectations.

The ‚Äėgig economy‚Äô trend continues, with high-profile claims in the Supreme Court, High Court and Employment Tribunal involving companies including Uber, Addison Lee, Pimlico Plumbers and Deliveroo dominating the headlines.

In mid-2017, the Supreme Court’s ruling to reverse the government’s introduction of tribunal fees in 2013 saw a significant spike in the number of claims being brought and a substantial uptick in contentious work for law firms at all levels. Similarly, whistleblowing claims, unfair dismissal disputes and restrictive covenant matters remain prominent and a driving force of many practices.

The Health and Safety Sentencing Guidelines introduced in 2016 continue to generate work,  with larger fines, increased prosecutions of individuals and expanded custodial sentences creating higher stakes for companies and directors alike and ensuring a greater level of boardroom involvement in health and safety compliance programs and audits. Fire safety has also been at the forefront of the market following the Grenfell Tower fire, in which 72 people lost their lives. Many firms are involved in either the public inquiry or the criminal investigation, both of which are set to last for years to come.

Immigration practices have also seen a dramatic increase in instructions as employers plan for post-Brexit changes and the effect it may have on employees who are EU nationals. As migration from the EU has fallen since the EU referendum, the cap on visas for skilled non-European workers for the UK has been reached for an unprecedented number of consecutive months; this has driven the salary required to enter the UK to a much higher level and caused concern for key employers, particularly in the health sector. Immigration firms with a focus on human rights, appeals and overstay have seen an uptick in instructions, particularly in the wake of the Windrush scandal.

Elsewhere, the Pensions Regulator has become increasing active following the highly publicised failures of Carillion and BHS, with an increased political involvement and public interest leading to noticeable increases in regulator intervention and mandatory fines. Firms also report a continued focus on master trust issues, scheme consolidation and defined contribution work. On the contentious side, indexing litigation relating to schemes changing from the Retail Price Index to the Consumer Price Index has been at the forefront with high-profile cases including Barnardo’s v Buckinghamshire and others reaching the Supreme Court. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has also had a notable impact on firms in the pensions arena with many advising clients on compliance issues.

Employee share schemes

Index of tables

  1. Employee share schemes
  2. Leading individuals: Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next generation lawyers

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Employee share schemes clients in London using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact


Allen & Overy LLP's 'experienced and highly responsive' team is 'focused on delivering solutions rather than highlighting problems' and handles the full spectrum of share scheme issues with notable expertise in the finance sector, advising on executive incentives and assisting with global share scheme work. The 'pragmatic and commercial' Paul McCarthy leads the department and has substantial experience in share plan issues arising from corporate transactions; he is advising 21st Century Fox on the incentives elements of its proposed acquisition of the remaining stake in BSkyB and assisted Imperial Brands with the share aspects of its acquisition of Nerudia. Senior associate Louise Batty is also recommended and regularly handles cross-border share plan arrangements.

Sonia Gilbert leads the 'always impressive' department at Clifford Chance LLP, which is 'technically strong, incredibly capable and in Gilbert has one of the best experts in the employee share scheme world'. Clients also praise Gilbert 'for her calmness and togetherness when all hell is breaking loose' and 'level-headed and practical approach' that 'inspires great confidence'. The department advises on high-profile transactions and advisory work. Clients include Technip, which it advised on the remuneration elements of its merger with FMC Technologies; Sensata Technologies, which it assisted with its entrance into the UK market including its directors' remuneration regime; and Booker, which advised on the share option aspect of its £3.9bn merger with Tesco. Comcast, HSBC and Wells Fargo are also examples. Senior associate Becky Moore is recommended for global incentives work. Liz Pierson joined Squire Patton Boggs.

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP's 'absolutely fabulous' department has 'unparalleled experience' with 'excellent industry knowledge and a professional approach that separates it out in the market'. The team handles the full range of share plan and incentives work including transactional support and regulatory issues. Recent highlights include advising Sky on the share elements of its proposed acquisition by 21st Century Fox, acting for Millenium and Copthorne Hotels on the incentives aspects of a cash offer by its controlling shareholder, and assisting the Bank of Montreal with the implementation of a pan-European deferred compensation plan. Other clients include British American Tobacco, The Berkeley Group and Hammerson. The 'pragmatic, decisive and experienced' Paul Ellerman leads the group, which also fields the 'outstanding' Mark Ife, who is 'one of the leading lawyers in the field', and senior associate Bradley Richardson, who is 'approachable, supportive and practical'.

Linklaters LLP's 'excellent' department is noted for its global share plans expertise, with recent highlights including advising Unilever on the share elements of the sale of its global spreads business, and assisting with the incentives aspects of Old Mutual's separation into three separately listed businesses based internationally. BAE Systems, Vodafone and Lloyds Banking Group are also clients. Alexandra Beidas leads the group and regularly advises financial institutions on remuneration issues; she also acted for Aldermore Group on the share elements of its acquisition by First Rand Bank and worked with managing associate Cara Hegarty to develop management incentives arrangements for Rothesay Holdco UK following its buyout of an investor's stake. Gillian Chapman retired in 2017.

Slaughter and May's 'knowledge, client service, responsiveness and ability to cut through complex issues is outstanding' thanks in part to the 'brilliant leadership' of Jonathan Fenn. The department has substantial experience advising on the employee incentives aspects of corporate transactions; recent examples include acting for Standard Life on the incentives aspects of its merger with Aberdeen Asset Management and assisting Market Tech Holdings with the share plan elements of its acquisition by LabTech Investments. Fenn also advised Segro on the incentives aspects of a rights issue and newly promoted partner Phil Linnard handled the establishment of a growth share scheme for a digital advisory company. Other clients include Ocado Group, Centrica and Michael Kors Holdings. Padraig Cronin joined the team from the firm's corporate department and Philip Bennett retired.

Tapestry Compliance is 'easily the most specialised firm in the field' and 'provides a very professional, high-quality and responsive service that really takes the time to get to know the intricacies of its clients and their remuneration arrangements'. Practice co-head Janet Cooper OBE is 'recognised as a market leader, not only in terms of her understanding but also her ability to apply that knowledge practically' and co-head Bob Grayson receives praise as 'an experienced expert who can always be relied on'. Recent highlight include legal director Hannah Needle advising Worldpay Group on its global tax advantage plans, Grayson handling Credit Suisse's international employee incentive awards and also assisting Sage with the implementation of a new global share plan. The practice also gained multiple new clients including Fujitsu, Skyscanner and Rentokil.

Baker McKenzie fields a 'knowledgeable and friendly team' that includes 'true subject matter experts' who are 'professional, responsive, proactive, organised and an absolute pleasure to work with'. The department handles the full spectrum of share scheme work including international share plans, senior executive remuneration work and tax advice. In a recent highlight the group assisted Prudential with the launch of its global share plan; the team also acted for DS Smith on the review and launch of its international executive share plans and advised Accenture on the incentive elements of multiple acquisitions. Jeremy Edwards heads up the team and 'provides pragmatic solutions in an easy-to-understand format'; other key individuals include Stephen Ratcliffe and associate Gillian Murdoch, who is 'a high-quality lawyer in her approach, professionalism and technical knowledge'.

CMS fields 'a team of excellent lawyers' which is noted for its 'good technical advice and truly pragmatic approach'. Nicholas Stretch, Graham Muir, Andrew Quayle, and of counsel Catherine Merry (who is 'a star for commercial and practical advice') jointly lead the team. Recent highlights include Stretch advising Savills on amendments to its employee benefit trust terms, Muir assisting Euromoney Institutional Investor with the incentive elements of its acquisition of Tower Xchange and Quayle acting for euNetworks on the share scheme aspects of its cross-border merger with Stonepeak. Other clients include Bioquell, Braemar Shipping Services, Cineworld Group and ITV.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP handles the full range of incentives work including plan implementation and design, corporate governance issues, disputes and global share plans. The team includes Alice Greenwell, who handles the share scheme elements of corporate transactions and the creation of share plans, and Nicholas Squire, who covers contentious and non-contentious mandates. Simon Evans retired.

Hogan Lovells International LLP's team is 'easy to work with, highly responsive and good under pressure'. 'Absolutely superb' department head Paul Randall advised Paysafe Group on the share scheme elements of its takeover by a consortium led by CVC and Blackstone, acted for Sepura on the incentive aspects of its takeover by Hytera and assisted Lloyds Banking Group and Scottish Widows with the share components of the acquisition of Zurich's UK workplace pensions and savings business. Counsel Kiran Khetia advised Trinity Mirror on the renewal of its restricted share plan. Counsel Tamsin Nicholds handles corporate governance issues. Axa, Coca Cola, 21st Century Fox and Shaftesbury are also clients.

Travers Smith LLP 'performs at a very high level'. The practice covers the full range of work in this area, from designing and implementing incentive arrangements to providing transactional support and handling advisory work. Mahesh Varia leads the department; he recently advised Micro Focus International on the incentives component of its merger with HPE Software, acted for Shazam Entertainment on the share elements of its acquisition by Apple and assisted Rockwell Collins with the implications of its merger with United Technologies on its share incentive plan. Senior counsel Elissavet Grout and associate Kevin Donegan are also names to note; they acted for Vantiv on the share scheme issues involved in its merger with Worldpay Group.

Mathew Gorringe leads the national team at Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP from its Leeds office, with clients also singling out London team head Danny Blum as 'a truly outstanding lawyer with unmatched client service and commerciality and exceptional technical expertise'. The team has notable experience advising on the implementation of international incentive arrangements; Gorringe recently assisted PPD Global with an offer to its employees across 21 jurisdictions, while Blum acted for Shell on the share scheme elements of its acquisition of First Utility and also handled the incentive aspects of Altrad Investment Authority's acquisition of Cape.

At Fieldfisher, Graeme Nuttall's 'focus, energy and drive on all things employee ownership is really quite remarkable' and 'places him as the go-to name in this niche space'. His recent work includes advising Allford Hall Monaghan Morris on the sale of a majority stake to its employee ownership trust and assisting Beta Valve Systems with the transfer of its entire share capital to an employee ownership trust. Mark Gearing and corporate partner Neil Palmer are also key practitioners in the department; Gearing acted for Haydale Graphene Industries on the establishment of a new management incentive plan and Palmer handled Erith Group's transition to an employee ownership trust. BBC Worldwide, Care and Share Associates and Echo Energy are also clients.

Norton Rose Fulbright 'stands out as a highly creative, dynamic and client-centric firm' that handles the full spectrum of share scheme issues encompassing international incentive arrangements and share scheme implementation. Team head Matthew Findley is an 'invaluable resource' for clients providing 'quick and insightful advice when it is most needed'. Findley's recent work includes advising Deliveroo on its UK and global employee incentivisation programmes, assisting IMI with its international share plan and executive remuneration matters, and handling the share scheme elements of SNC Lavalin's acquisition of WS Atkins. Clients also single out senior associate Ann Moseley, who is 'absolutely outstanding and provides a great all-round service'.

Pinsent Masons LLP is 'a joy to work with due to its understanding of the industry, pragmatism and commerciality'. Lynette Jacobs heads up the department and is 'considered by some to be a key figure in the field' and is 'a genuine joy to work with'; and legal director Suzannah Crookes is 'an excellent lawyer who knows her stuff and has a very practical and commercial approach'. The group's corporate and advisory work spans international share plans, transactional advice and corporate governance issues. Clients include Imperial Brands and Halfords Group; Jacobs and Crookes assisted the latter with the introduction of its restricted share plan. Other work includes advising IP Group on the incentive elements of its hostile takeover of Touchstone Innovations and acting for Beeks Financial Cloud Group on the share plan components of its AIM admission.

Simmons & Simmons' 'extremely good' department is led by Ian Fraser and specialises in the financial services sector; clients include Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Marex Financial. Fraser recently acted for Invesco on the incentive aspects of its $500m acquisition of Source; he also assisted Principal Global Investors with the share scheme elements of its acquisition of Internos Global Investors and advised NM Rothschild & Sons on the structuring and implementation of a global partner and employee profit share arrangement. Managing associate Tair Hussain is also recommended; he is active in structuring remuneration arrangements and remuneration reporting and disclosure issues.

White & Case LLP's strength in the technology and financial services sectors 'remains strong' with a client base including RBS, Avast Software and UBS. Recent mandates include advising Brammer on the incentives aspects of its acquisition by Advent International, acting for the Smithfield Group on the incentive components of its sale of Innovia to CCL Industries and assisting Franklin Templeton Investments with its international share incentive plans. Department head Nicholas Greenacre is 'an excellent team member'; other key individuals include senior associate Helen Levendi, who is active in the private equity and technology spaces; and consultant Euan Fergusson.

Noted for its 'good technical knowledge and excellent industry experience', Addleshaw Goddard's expertise encompasses advisory work, corporate support, corporate governance and disclosure obligations, remuneration policies and international  share plan issues. Group head Jonathan Fletcher Rogers is 'an obvious choice for pragmatic solutions to complex problems'; his recent work includes advising Rathbone Brothers on multiple acquisitions and also its directors' remuneration report, acting for GVC Holdings on the incentive components of its £4bn acquisition of Ladbrokes Coral, and assisting Ted Baker with amendments to its directors' remuneration policy including clawback provisions and directors' shareholding guidelines. Victrex, Nationwide Building Society and William Hill are also clients.

Rob Collard leads the practice at Macfarlanes LLP, which acts for international listed corporates, private companies, start-up ventures, senior executives and trustees. Collard is noted for his financial services expertise and has particular experience in tax efficient plans and corporate support work. Senior counsel Ian Shaw is also recommended; he handles the share scheme elements of IPOs and M&A transactions and advises on personal remuneration packages. The team also assists with corporate governance work, clawback provisions and the creation and implementation of equity-based incentive plans.

Mayer Brown International LLP is 'incredibly reliable and shows great attention to detail' under the leadership of consultant Andrew Stanger, who has 'good commercial insight and is always pleasant to deal with'. The department is recognised for its work on private company arrangements and issues in the banking and financial services sectors. The team is also active in cross-border matters; it recently advised Helios Towers Africa on a new management incentive plan and assisted Brookfield Asset Management with the incentive aspects of the sale of the Gazeley warehouse business to Global Logistic Properties. BizSpace, Future Mobility Corporation and Touchstone Innovations are also clients.

At Mishcon de Reya LLP, Stephen Diosi 'has built up a successful standalone practice' that is 'extremely professional in everything it does'. Diosi attracts praise as a 'bright, practical and commercial lawyer with very sound subject knowledge and a calm approach'; he regularly handles the design and implementation of national and international employee incentive arrangements, corporate governance issues and disclosure matters. Clients also praise associate Caroline Nye-Wilkins as 'highly knowledgeable and impressive'. In a recent highlight, Diosi acted for Merlin Entertainments on the global compliance issues surrounding its share plans; he also assisted Akce Holdings with the implementation of new executive and employee incentive arrangements and advised Alony Hetz Properties and Investments on the incentive components of its acquisition of Brockton Capital. Other clients include Bank of New York Mellon, City Financial Investment Company and Jackpotjoy.

Osborne Clarke LLP's 'highly responsive and knowledgeable' team is led by Michael Carter, who is 'very helpful and has strong share plans expertise'. The group regularly acts for national and international clients on corporate mandates; recent highlights include assisting Alfa Financial Software Holdings on the executive remuneration and employee incentive aspects of its IPO, advising HH Global on the share elements of its reorganisation including the rollover of share options and a new cash-based long-term incentive plan, and acted for Topps Tiles on the creation and implementation of a new save-as-you-earn scheme. The team also fields associate director Mairi Granville-George and senior associate Dan Sharman, who joined from Bird & Bird LLP in 2018.

Postlethwaite Solicitors Ltd has 'amazing client service' and 'stands out for its knowledge of the arena'. The team excels in the employee ownership space advising on succession arrangements and the design and implementation of share ownership plans. Other areas of expertise include international issues, transactional support and share scheme administration advice. Recent highlights include advising Blue Chip Technology on an employee ownership transaction in which the company's founders sold the company to an employee ownership trust, and assisting Open Cell with the granting of EMI options. Robert Postlethwaite leads the group and is 'approachable and gives good and balanced advice'; other key names include David Reuben and the 'amazing' Judith Harris.

Stephenson Harwood's 'competent and reliable' team is 'a key name in the market for AIM listed companies' with a client base including easyHotel, Patagonia Gold and Focusrite. The team also acted for Lavendon Group on the incentive aspects of its acquisition by Loxam, assisted Kalibrate Technologies with the share plan elements of its takeover by Canterbury Acquisition and handled the share components of Novacyt's AIM listing. Barbara Allen heads up the team and is 'genuinely excellent'; senior associate Anika Chandra is also a key name to note.

Taylor Wessing LLP 'stands out for its excellent response times, clear, concise and direct advice and brilliant commerciality'. The department regularly advises on the share scheme aspects of complex transactions; examples include acting for Supercell on its acquisition of a majority stake in Space Ape Games, assisting with its sale to ZPG, and advising Inflexion Private Equity Partners on its buyout of Alston Elliott. Ann Casey heads up the team and provides 'consistently good quality advice in a reliable and personable way'; she is particularly knowledgeable on international tax issues. Other key practitioners include newly promoted partner Anna Humphrey, who focuses on the technology and media sectors; and senior associate Samantha Lenox.

Counsel David Baxter leads the department at Ashurst, which handles the share scheme components of corporate transactions, international share plan issues and corporate governance mandates. Baxter's recent work includes acting for Aveva Group on the incentive elements of its combination with Schneider Electric SE's industrial software business, handling the share scheme issues of Ladbrokes Coral Group's acquisition by GVC Holdings and advising Cape on the share plan components of its takeover by a subsidiary of Altrad Investment Authority. Interserve, EnQuest and Renewi are also clients. Rebecca Servian was promoted to senior associate.

Bird & Bird LLP's incentive expertise encompasses executive and all-employee share plans, plan structuring, design and implementation mandates, compliance work and international arrangements. Colin Kendon leads the group and acts for a variety of international and domestic companies; his recent work includes advising the management team of Beach on the share aspects of its sale to Acrisure Holdings and acting for Strategy & Investment Partners on its establishment of an EMI plan.  Legal director Fleur Benns is also a name to note; she recently handled the rollout of restricted stock unit awards to Church & Dwight's employees in 13 jurisdictions. Dan Sharman joined Osborne Clarke LLP.

Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP is recognised for its EMI option plan expertise through the knowledge of practice head David Dennison, and regularly advises start-up and growing companies. Clients praise Dennison as 'a charismatic individual and a true pleasure to work with' with 'an in-depth knowledge of his specialist areas'. His recent mandates include advising Betsson on the share elements of its takeover of Netplay and assisting Niltasoft with a new share option plan. Tesco, Raven Russia and Panmure Gordon & Co are also clients.

James Carter and Martin Griffiths jointly lead the department at Charles Russell Speechlys LLP, which excels in advising AIM listed clients and has notable expertise in advising on tax efficient schemes that are alternatives to EMI plans. Clients span the technology, energy, finance, retail, recruitment and finance sectors; examples include Pennant International, Prime People and Alpha FX Group. Highlights included acting for Centamin on the creation of its performance share plan, assisting Ivory Worldwide with the establishment of an EMI option scheme and handling Social Communications Group's implementation of an EMI share option scheme. Robert Birchall made partner in 2018.

Cooley (UK) LLP's 'responsive and knowledgeable' team has substantial strength in cross-border matters (particularly involving the US) and advises on the share elements of corporate transactions. In a recent highlight, practice head Paula Holland advised SendGrid on the incentive aspects of its IPO in the UK and the Netherlands; she also handled the share elements of Nightstar Therapeutics' Nasdaq IPO and assisted SilverRail Technologies with the share plan components of its sale to Expedia. Holland also focuses on the technology and life science sectors, with example clients including Oxford BioTherapeutics, Appian and Fuze.

Fox Williams LLP's 'knowledgeable and effective' department fields a team of 'talented' individuals including team head Emma Bailey, who is 'a thoughtful and competent tax lawyer with excellent industry insight'. The group is particularly noted for its advice to smaller listed and private companies on bespoke unapproved equity incentive arrangements and handling corporate support work. Recent mandates include assisting Anthesis Consulting Group on the introduction of an equity incentive structure for its senior management and employees, advising QiO Technologies on its option schemes across multiple jurisdictions, and acting for Jonas Computing on the incentive elements of its acquisition of Blayhall Marine. Punter Southall Group, Four Seasons Ventures and Constellation Software are also clients.

At Latham & Watkins, practice head Stephen Brown handles national and international executive incentive matters including the share aspects of corporate transactions, the impact of management changes on schemes and stock-based incentives work. Other key individuals include counsel Sarah Gadd and associate Kendall Burnett.

Shearman & Sterling LLP's incentives team sits as part of its tax practice and primarily focuses on the incentives components of M&A transactions. Tax partner Simon Letherman is the key name to note; he advises clients across the energy, financial services, mining and TMT sectors.

Squire Patton Boggs has seen substantial growth in its employee share plans work through the recruitment of Liz Pierson from Clifford Chance LLP. The practice focuses on the international aspects of incentives work, with recent mandates including establishing a global all employee share purchase plan across 25 jurisdictions for LivaNova, acting for GB Group on the expansion of its existing international savings-related employee share plan, and advising Lifebit Biotech on its new EMI option plan. Other clients include Keywords Studios, Luceco, Low & Bonar and West Corporation. Patrick Ford is also a key name to note.

Wright Hassall LLP is noted for its 'excellent service, specialist knowledge and high responsiveness' and clients single out group head John Dormer as 'a clear thinker, articulate lawyer and incredibly helpful partner'. Clients include Radiant Worlds, Wedlake Bell and Giftwink. The group provides support across all aspects of share plan work including HMRC plans, bespoke plans, transactional support and compliance issues. Associate Sebastian Salt is also recommended.

Employment: employees/unions

Index of tables

  1. Employment: employees/unions
  2. Leading individuals: Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals: Hall of Fame

  1. 1

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Employment: employees/unions clients in London using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact


'Unquestionably a leader in the field', Leigh Day 'combines robustness and empathy in a way most firms could only dream of'. Key areas of expertise include equal pay issues, working time rights, trade union rights, discrimination claims and National Minimum Wage work. The group has also been highly active in the employment status space; recent highlights include representing 68 Uber drivers in a tribunal claim relating to gig economy issues, acting for three drivers in a self-employment challenge against Addison Lee, and representing 50 Deliveroo riders in an employment status claim. Other mandates included associate solicitor Shubha Banerjee representing 230 judges in direct age discrimination claims relating to judicial pensions, and the 'outstanding' Chris Benson and Michael Newman acting for multiple Asda shop workers in an equal pay claim. Benson leads the group, which includes Kiran Daurka, newly promoted partner Nigel Mackay and the 'unbelievably knowledgeable' Emma Satyamurti. Elizabeth George joined Pattinson & Brewer.

Slater and Gordon's 'great depth of knowledge and experience' makes it 'a pre-eminent firm on the claimant side', where it advises employees and trade unions including FDA, PCS and NASUWT. Key names include 'highly experienced' department head Edward Cooper, partnership team head Clive Howard and the 'incredibly intelligent' Emma Hawksworth; Cooper recently acted for an individual in a case arising from the high-profile Trojan Horse affair alleging the Islamification of schools in Birmingham, and Hawksworth represented a Muslim prison chaplain in an indirect discrimination claim relating to pay disparity between Muslim and Christian chaplains. Other work for Hawksworth includes acting for a claimant in a disability discrimination claim relating to her dismissal from her police officer role and representing HMRC employees in equal pay claims. Paul Daniels joined Keystone Law in 2018.

The employment team at Hodge Jones & Allen Solicitors (formerly led by Rhian Radia) represents employees in a wide variety of complex litigation including discrimination and equal pay claims and criminal allegations. It also regularly advises senior executives on employment documentation and the negotiation of severance packages. Newly promoted partner Homa Wilson is also a name to note; she is recommended for discrimination claims. A recent addition to the team is partner Joseph Nicholls.

Pattinson & Brewer's 'very committed and hardworking' practice is led by 'outstanding lawyer' Elizabeth George, who joined from Leigh Day in 2017 and is 'one of the leading claimant lawyers in London'. The team handles contentious and non-contentious mandates for all major trade unions including the Communication Workers Union, Prospect and Equity. Recent highlights include acting in discrimination proceedings and representing workers in a group equal pay claim against Next Retail and Next. Newly promoted partner Elizabeth Stephenson is also recommended for her 'highly practical advice'.

Simpson Millar LLP's 'excellent' department stands out for its trade union client base, which includes the British Airline Pilots' Association, GMB and new client, the Cleaners and Allied Independent Workers Union. In a recent highlight, team leader Joy Drummond advised the Aircrew Officers Association Europe on the proposed closure of Cathay Pacific Airways' Manchester base and the proposed redundancy of its pilots; she also represented it and a member in the Employment Tribunal and Employment Appeals Tribunal in proceedings relating to the unlawful deduction of wages for sick pay, assisted RSPB Staff Association with the rights of its members regarding substantial pay cuts, and acted for FDA in settling multiple claims relating to holiday pay. Aneil Balgobin is also recommended.

'A key name in the market for trade unions', Thompsons Solicitors LLP 'stands out for its strength and depth' and 'consistently impresses with its knowledge, experience and professionalism'. Unison and Unite the Union are key clients; the team recently represented a Unite member in a religious discrimination claim and acted for the union against Argos in its attempts to obtain an injunction to avoid industrial action. Key practitioners include team head Rakesh Patel, Richard Arthur, who is 'fully committed to his clients'; Gerard Airey, who is 'highly tenacious'; Roger Ellis, who is 'very well organised and professional'; and Rachel Halliday.

Elizabeth McGlone leads the practice at Bindmans LLP following her recruitment from an in-house position; she handles discrimination and equal pay claims, employee status issues, whistleblowing issues and wage deduction work. Clients also single out associate Peter Daly, who 'has a growing reputation in the field' and is 'legally on-the-ball, committed to his clients and always goes above and beyond'. Shah Qureshi, Shazia Khan and Emilie Cole joined Irwin Mitchell in 2018.

Paul Mander leads the team at Penningtons Manches Cooper, which was bolstered by the recruitment of Binder Bansel and Anthea Christie from Pattinson & Brewer in 2017. Bansel is praised as 'extremely knowledgeable' and 'an exceptional discrimination lawyer'; he also handles class actions, collective labour issues and trade union law. Recent mandates for Bansel include acting for four members of the Police Federation in a claim for damages against the Metropolitan Police Service relating to its duty of care following the arrest of a terrorist subject and a subsequent civil claim against the officers, representing members of the Civil Nuclear Police Federation in a challenge to its decision to raise its retirement age, and acting for Communications Workers Union members in a test case relating to the worker status of postmasters. Christie, who is 'a force to be reckoned with', handled a judicial review application for a Police Federation representative and is acting for three Police Federation members in claims for unpaid overtime.

Niche employment and discrimination firm Rahman Lowe Solicitors acts for employees and senior executives in a wide range of issues including whistleblowing claims, equal pay and discrimination matters, redundancy issues, unfair dismissals and breach of contract claims. Jahad Rahman and Sarah Lowe jointly lead the team; Lowe has particular experience in discrimination cases, stress at work matters and harassment claims in the High Court.

Belinda Eriksson leads the practice at SW19Lawyers LLP, which is 'an excellent small firm with a personal touch' and provides 'an outstanding service and sound commercial advice'. Eriksson is considered by clients to be 'tremendously experienced' and 'mixes legal knowledge with market expertise and a good dose of common sense'; her recent work includes unfair dismissal and sex discrimination claims, maternity and pregnancy discrimination issues and work-related stress mandates. Clients also praise consultant Mitchell Bell, who is 'a considerate lawyer who considers every angle of a matter'.

Employment: employers and senior executives

Index of tables

  1. Employment: employers and senior executives
  2. Employment: senior executives
  3. Leading individuals: Hall of Fame
  4. Leading individuals
  5. Next generation lawyers

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Employment: employers and senior executives clients in London using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact


Clients rate DWFM Beckman's 'high levels of professionalism and depth of expertise' and 'set it apart due to its focus on its clients and their needs'. The department handles the full gamut of senior executive work with team head Elizabeth Johnson regularly handling unfair dismissal, whistleblowing and discrimination claims; Naylah Hamour working on cross-border issues and Sharokh Koussari focusing on employment disputes. Senior associate Louise Rogers regularly works with Johnson and clients comment 'they make a very impressive and formidable team'.

Fox & Partners 'provides a fantastic service, has extremely good industry knowledge and is always available' with 'excellent client focus and personal attention'. Key names include 'very responsive and insightful' non-contentious specialist Dean Fuller, contentious expert Caroline Field and Catriona Watt, who is 'utterly thorough in her approach and offers a perspective that is highly reassuring'. The team's expertise encompasses whistleblowing and discrimination claims, senior executive departures and recruitment issues.

The employment team at Hodge Jones & Allen Solicitors (formerly led by Rhian Radia) focuses on discrimination claims, regularly handling sex discrimination and equal pay work. The team also assists with unfair dismissal claims, settlement agreements and contract advice. Homa Wilson is also recommended for her discrimination expertise. A recent addition to the team is partner Joseph Nicholls.

Kervin & Barnes 'understands the importance of partnering with its clients' and 'truly understands the culture and work environment to reach the best possible outcome' for its financial services clients. Recent highlights include acting in an age discrimination claim, assisting with post-termination restraints and bonus issues, and representing a money broker in sex discrimination, disability discrimination, associative disability discrimination, age discrimination and unfair dismissal claims. Managing partner Gareth Kervin leads the team and is 'clear and helpful with his advice'; senior associate Lucy Truscott is also 'an excellent resource' for senior executive exits.

Leigh Day 'combines both legal knowledge and practical advice' with highly regarded experience in equal pay, race and sex discrimination claims; associate solicitor Shubha Banerjee recently acted for over 230 judges in direct age discrimination, indirect race and sex discrimination and equal pay claims relating to the judicial pension scheme. In addition, 'committed fighter' Kiran Daurka, who is an expert in discrimination and whistleblowing cases, represented an individual in litigation concerning whether a dismissal can be fair following an act of disability discrimination. Group leader Chris Benson is 'excellent', newly promoted partner Nigel Mackay is 'very impressive' and Emma Satyamurti is 'an absolutely fantastic discrimination lawyer'.

Payne Hicks Beach 'punches above its weight' and specialises in disciplinary and regulatory issues, discrimination claims, pay issues, contractual work and financial settlement matters. Department head Peter McRoberts handles reputational and health-related issues; clients praise him as 'a strong advocate for his clients' interests and fights for their cause with empathy and understanding'. Recent highlights include acting in age discrimination disputes, handling unfair dismissal mandates and representing individuals in whistleblowing and sex discrimination claims. Associate Chris Weaver is also a name to note.

In Royds Withy King's 'responsive, thorough and highly tactical team', Caroline Doran Millett attracts praise as 'a calm, clear-headed and careful lawyer who provides considered advice throughout and fully supports and reassures her clients'; other key names include 'highly experienced' group leader Richard Woodman, racing industry specialist Gemma Ospedale, discrimination expert and 'impressive and tenacious adviser' Helen Murphie and David Israel, who joined from Wedlake Bell LLP in 2017. The practice is noted for its contentious expertise, particularly in discrimination issues and unfair dismissal claims.

Anthony Sakrouge leads the team of 'tenacious and committed litigators' at Russell-Cooke LLP, which 'delivers appropriate and measured advice that gives clients confidence in its ability'. The department focuses on the financial services sector and regularly handles discrimination and whistleblowing claims, restrictive covenants and bonus disputes. In a recent highlight, the 'outstanding' Alex Bearman acted for an individual in a claim for money owed under a joint share ownership scheme; other work includes Sakrouge representing a senior executive who was mistakenly paid a bonus twice and was subsequently dismissed for gross misconduct and Bearman handling negotiations for a chief information officer relating to the termination of his employment. Charity sector specialist Jane Klauber and 'courageous litigator' Edward Wanambwa are also key individuals.

John Reid leads the department at Russells Solicitors, which is active in the media entertainment and sports sectors; the group recently advised a senior executive at EMI Publishing on his move to establish Los Angeles-based operations for Budde Music and assisted Roar Global with negotiating terms for all incoming directors and renegotiating terms for current directors. Gavin Maude and Chris Gossage are also recommended for clients in the music industry; Maude handles appointments, terminations and restrictive covenants work while Gossage is experienced in service agreements and exit arrangements.

Simkins LLP 'goes the extra mile to make its clients feel valued' and 'punches above its weight' thanks to the 'excellent team', which includes 'tenacious and pragmatic adviser' Susan Thompson and Victoria Willson, whose 'judgement is exceptional'. The team has expanded its expertise beyond its media and entertainment sector strength with clients stemming from the construction, finance, professional services and recruitment arenas. Key areas of strength include contracts and service agreements, exit packages and disputes; it recently handled a discrimination claim, acted in a whistleblowing dispute and assisted with senior executive recruitment and terminations.

Slater and Gordon 'excels in the senior executive space' as 'an outstanding firm with a combative and experienced team, which always gets the results its clients need'. The department is 'genuinely brilliant at litigation' with notable experience in whistleblowing and discrimination claims, high-level terminations, bonus disputes, team moves and professional discipline issues.  Deborah Casale represented an individual employed in Saudi Arabia in an unfair dismissal claim; she is particularly active in the financial services sector. Claire Dawson leads the national practice and has notable expertise acting for clients with disabilaties; other key names include partnership team head Clive Howard, Edward Cooper, Julie Morris and London group head Paula Chan, who is 'a rising star and definitely one to watch with superb judgment and a keen intelligence'.

Stewarts Law LLP's 'outstanding' team is 'one of the best in the market for senior executives' with 'an excellent reputation in complex litigation' particularly partnership and LLP disputes. Team leader Tim Spillane is 'a pragmatic and solutions-focused leader in the field' and is 'incredibly easy to work with'; he is noted for his expertise in the financial and professional service industries and handles senior-level appointments and departures, team moves and restrictive covenant work. Richard Nicolle is also singled out for his ability to 'combine deep legal experience with a highly tactical approach'.

Allen & Overy LLP's 'top-ranking practice' stands out for its expertise in the financial services sector and experience representing clients in high-stakes employment litigation. Recent highlights include defending GlaxoSmithKline in a breach of contract claim following its recruitment of a leading pharmaceutical executive from a close competitor, acting for Corbiere and Trenchant in litigation relating to the theft of confidential information by a former employee, and advising JP Morgan on General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) compliance. Barclays, Google, HSBC, Morgan Stanley and Lloyds Banking Group are also clients. Sarah Henchoz leads the department, which also includes the highly regarded Karen Seward, who now leads the firm's global litigation team; Mark Mansell, senior associate David Cummings and counsel Rachel Reeves who joined from an in-house position at HSBC.

'Leading player' Baker McKenzie 'makes a concerted effort to fully understand its clients' needs' and benefits from its 'incredible global footprint' to advise domestic and international clients on contentious and non-contentious mandates including global workforce restructurings, data privacy issues, investigations, union and collective rights work, regulatory advice and matters involving the financial services sector. John Evason leads the department; he recently represented Addison Lee in a gig economy case regarding the employment status of its drivers. Other highlights include Monica Kurnatowska and newly promoted partner Kim Sartin advising on the employment elements of multiple transactions for Emerson including the carve out and sale of its Network Power business and the sale of the Leroy Somer and Control Techniques businesses; Julia Wilson assisting ICU Medical with the employment elements of its acquisition of the Hospira Infusion Systems business from Pfizer, and Stephen Ratcliffe acting for Suez on its acquisition of GE's global water business. British Airways, Prudential, Alliance Boots and Guardian Media Group are also clients. Carl Richards is also recommended for TUPE and transactional mandates and senior associate Lily Collyer is a key name for financial services clients. Annabel MacKay joined from Addleshaw Goddard.

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP 'has one of the strongest employment practices in the market' thanks to 'an outstanding calibre of lawyers who have an excellent reputation and are leaders in the field' with 'genuine experience across every aspect of employment law you can think of'. Team head Andrew Taggart and Peter Frost are 'thought leaders' and 'highly skilled litigators who really stand out above the rest'. Other key figures include Tim Leaver, who 'consistently provides a first-class service and approaches issues with exceptional judgement and commerciality'; Christine Young, who is 'a class leader'; and 'absolutely brilliant' senior associate Jennifer Andrews. The team recently advised BAE Systems Applied Intelligence on large-scale redundancies in multiple jurisdictions, assisted AA with the dismissal of its former executive chairman and acted for the Church of England in a statutory inquiry into the handling of child sex abuse allegations. Senior associate and employment barrister Sian McKinley joined from Chambers of Robin Allen QC in 2017.

With 'unrivalled experience and knowledge', Lewis Silkin LLP's 'absolutely first-class practice' is 'top drawer' and 'has market-leading strength in the field'. The group is 'a go-to name for complex litigation' with recent work including representing Deliveroo in a worker status case, acting for AstraZeneca in a breach of contract claim against a senior executive who joined a competitor and acting for a managing director in a sex discrimination and whistleblowing claim. The department has also been active in investigations; it is advising The Old Vic on an investigation into allegations of inappropriate behaviour during Kevin Spacey's time as artistic director and assisted Rigpa with an independent investigation into allegations of sexual and physical abuse and financial impropriety made by former students against its founding guru. James Davies and Michael Burd jointly lead the firm's employer work while Nicholas Hadaway heads up the senior executive practice. Other key names include 'outstanding practitioner' and litigator Toni Lorenzo, Ellen Temperton, who has 'a superb combination of detailed knowledge and a practical mindset'; the 'highly strategic' Richard Miskella and Colin Leckey, who 'provides strong, commercially driven advice'.

Mishcon de Reya LLP fields 'one of the strongest teams in the market' that is 'now well established at the highest level for both employer and senior executive work'. Key names include team head Daniel Naftalin, who 'achieves spectacular results'; Joanna Blackburn, who is 'incredibly talented and extremely clever'; Sharon Tan, who is 'technically brilliant and has an incredible work ethic'; the 'highly commercial' Greg Campbell, the 'excellent' Sarah Keeble, and Jennifer Millins and newly promoted partner Susannah Kintish, who are 'undeniably stars of the future'. The firm is considered to have 'the standout group for employment litigation'; recent highlights include defending Pimlico Plumbers in a gig economy case, acting for various senior broadcast journalists at the BBC including China Editor Carrie Gracie in equal pay and discrimination claims and representing Tradition in a High Court claim involving allegations of breach of contract, breaches of the equitable duty of confidence and conspiracy to cause unlawful damage. Kering, Warner Music Group, Expedia, Christian Louboutin UK and Harrods are also clients. David Cummings, who advises on all aspects of contentious and non-contentious employment law, joined as a partner in October 2018 after 11 years at Allen & Overy LLP.

Simmons & Simmons 'continues to be one of the pre-eminent employment law teams in London with a strong team of partners reinforced by talented associates at all levels'. Department head Julian Taylor 'makes clients feel fearless when he is on their side' and 'provides elegant tactical solutions'; he recently advised Moody's on the employment elements of its acquisition of Bureau van Dijk and acted for an executive headhunter who was injuncted by a previous employer to restrain her move to a rival firm. Other key names include the 'energetic and combative' Andrea Finn, who advises financial services clients; Mark Hewland, who regularly handles senior executive terminations; Philip Bartlett and Vicky Wickremeratne, who assists clients in the financial services and life sciences sectors. In 2018, Fiona Bolton joined from Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP and barrister Jonathan Newman joined from 42 Bedford Row.

Addleshaw Goddard fields 'an extremely strong employment group comprising pragmatic, responsive and commercial lawyers' who are 'exceptionally knowledgeable, experienced and focused'. The group 'excels in the financial services space' and is highly regarded for its experience in the Employment Tribunal and High Court. In a recent highlight, 'outstanding' team head Michael Leftley assisted the Newcastle NHS Foundation Trust with the suspension and subsequent dismissal of the Trust's Chief Executive; other mandates include Richard Yeomans advising GVC on senior executive issues and corporate support work, acting for a major retail bank in unfair dismissal and race discrimination claims, and advising William Hill on senior executive issues. Other clients include Morgan Stanley, Royal Mail Group, Tate & Lyle, Global Radio and Blackberry. The 'impressive' Alasdair Simpson and newly promoted immigration partner Sarah Harrop, who is 'commercially excellent', are key names to note.

Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP's expertise spans employment litigation, regulatory advice, international issues and transacitonal support with notable experience in the financial, retail and IT sectors. Firm co-chair Lisa Mayhew and Rob Eldridge are key names to note; Eldridge is recommended for restrictive covenants issues in the High Court and high-value discrimination claims. 'Excellent communicator' and new practice head Rebecca Harding-Hill is 'a clear choice for contentious work' and also handles work in the financial services sector, and senior associate Bradley Houlston is another name to note. Key clients include Tesco, UBS, Thames Water, Deutsche Bank and Credit Suisse.

Clients praise Clifford Chance LLP as 'one of the best in the market for transactional support work'; recent examples include advising BNP Paribas on the employment aspects of its acquisition of Strutt & Parker, assisting LV= with its joint venture with Allianz and acting for L&Q on its acquisition of Gallagher Estates. The team also handles employment litigation, legislative issues and investigations; it has recently advised several financial institutions on the requirements of the Gender Pay Gap Reporting regime, represented Acts and the Super-Max Group in a dispute relating to its entitlement to dismiss an executive chairman, and assisted Permira with its compliance with the Senior Managers and Certification Regime (SMCR). The 'experienced and commercial' Chris Goodwill leads the department, which includes 'strong lawyer' Alistair Woodland, Mike Crossan and newly promoted partner Chinwe Odimba-Chapman.

Clients rate the department at  CMS 'incredibly highly' and 'place it among the best' singling out its 'good knowledge of employment law and ability to apply that knowledge in a practical and client-focused manner'. The group handles employment issues at a domestic and international level; recent work includes advising Hewlett Packard on the employment components of its acquisition of Samsung Electronics' global printer business, representing Laing O'Rourke in a race, sex and maternity discrimination and whistleblowing claim brought by a former in-house lawyer, and assisting Telit with the employment elements of allegations made against its CEO alleging fraud. Melanie Lane heads the department, which counts the 'pragmatic and measured' Anthony Fincham, the 'straightforward and creative' Catherine Taylor, and Richard Brown, who is 'highly experienced', as key practitioners. Clients also praise of counsel Sarah Ozanne as 'a rising star in the group'. Graham  Paul moved in-house.

Litigator Caroline Stroud leads the people and reward practice at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP, which handles domestic and global employment issues including corporate support, executive pay issues, redundancy procedures, employment disputes and investigations. Other key practitioners include Nicholas Squire, who regularly handles cross-border matters; and Kathleen Healy, who is noted for her expertise in the employment issues arising from acquisitions, disposals and restructurings.

Hogan Lovells International LLP is 'building a strong presence in the field' with 'a notable ability to develop clear strategies and follow them through effectively, engendering great confidence in clients'. Clients praise department head Stefan Martin as 'a solid and calm individual with the skills to analyse the bigger picture'; he recently defended Goodwin Procter in claims brought by King & Wood Mallesons alleging it unlawfully poached lawyers and clients. Ed Bowyer is 'genuinely excellent' with recent highlights including advising Diligent on the employment elements of its acquisition of BoardPad and Blueprint from ICSA, acting for the London Borough of Havering in the Employment Appeal Tribunal in a dispute relating to TUPE and service provision change issues, and assisting SABMiller with its acquisition by Anheuser-Busch InBev and the related sale of Peroni Grolsch and the Miller brands to Asahi. Elizabeth Slattery has retired.

Linklaters LLP provides 'a Rolls-Royce service to its corporate clients in their employment disputes' and 'stands among the best for big-ticket litigation'; it recently represented a doctor in the Court of Appeal regarding his dismissal following him raising concerns and related whistleblowing issues. Other recent mandates include advising several major banks on the employment components of the implementation of ring-fencing rules, assisting AmecFosterWheeler with the employment elements of its takeover by John Wood Group and handling the employment aspects of Schneider Electric's combination with the Aveva software business via a reverse takeover. Commerzbank, Morgan Stanley, Sainsbury's, Unilever and the National Grid are also clients. Nicola Rabson leads the group and is singled out as 'the star of the team'; other key names include the 'highly experienced and thoughtful' Jean Lovett, the 'extremely knowledgeable' Jillian Naylor, managing associate Sinead Casey and counsel David Speakman.

Mayer Brown International LLP's practice is led by 'first-class practitioner' Nicholas Robertson and is recognised for its strength in litigation; it recently acted for Tradition Financial Services in a dispute relating to the enforcement of post-termination restrictive covenants. The team also handles individual employment rights, data protection matters and regulatory work. Other areas of expertise for Robertson include senior executive recruitments and terminations, trade union issues, corporate reorganisations and outsourcing matters. Christopher Fisher and senior associate Miriam Bruce are also key names to note. Clients include Brookfield, Kleeneze, Mercer, Lombard Odier and Coller Capital.

Recent work for¬†Travers Smith LLP's 'exceptionally talented' department includes representing a client in the media sector in a sex and pregnancy discrimination claim; advising Micro Focus International on the employment aspects of its acquisition of HPE's OpenStack and Cloud Foundry assets; and assisting the Bank of England with the dismissal of an employee and representing it in the Employment Tribunal in claims relating to unfair dismissal and a breach of the right to be accompanied to a disciplinary meeting. Clients include AIG, Bidvest, Metro Bank, Virgin Active and Western Union.¬†Ed Mills¬†took over as head of the department in 2018; other key figures include¬†Si√Ęn Keall, who¬†is the key name for discrimination mandates, and¬†Tim Gilbert, who¬†regularly handles TUPE transfers and employment litigation.¬†Adam Wyman¬†made partner in 2018.

Ian Hunter and Elizabeth Lang jointly lead Bird & Bird LLP's employment team; Lang recently defended in the Court of Appeal in proceedings brought by the British Airline Pilots' Association relating to collective bargaining and acted for Larsen & Touboro Infotech in defence of injunction proceedings brought by NIIT Technologies regarding its recruitment of NIIT's then COO. James Froud is also a highly regarded member of the team and has notable expertise in trade secret matters including restrictive covenants, team moves and injunctions; his recent work includes advising Sony Electronics on the employment elements of the reorganisation of its facilities management services in the UK and Europe, and assisting WD-40 with employment contracts, recruitments and terminations. Legal director Penny Hunt is also recommended. Lenovo and British Lions are also clients.

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP is praised for its 'outstanding technical knowledge, attention to detail and strong business sense and industry awareness' enabling it to 'really get to know its clients and ensure the right risk balance is taken'. Practice head Nick Hurley has 'a deep understanding of the issues and dynamics of the market' and 'combines practical and sensible advice with a brilliant approach'; he recently advised Amundi Asset Management on the employment elements of its acquisition of Pioneer from UniCredit and regularly handles employment litigation including discrimination claims, whistleblowing issues and TUPE-related disputes. Other key individuals include Trevor Bettany, who is recommended for project management issues; Michael Powner, charity sector specialist David Green, Emma Bartlett and 'outstanding' legal director Susan Thomas. Alan Julyan retired.

DAC Beachcroft LLP's 'fantastic' practice is 'excellent in defending claims in the financial services space' with a client roster including Deutsche Bank, Axa Insurance and Arthur J Gallagher. The firm's litigation strength also extends across the commercial, public and healthcare sectors; recent highlights include representing Royal Mail in injunction proceedings to prevent a national strike action by its postal workers and handling multiple unfair dismissal and sex discrimination claims. Other non-contentious work includes advising McDonald's on the roll out of its guaranteed minimum hours contracts and assisting McAfee with the employment aspects of its spin-off from Intel. 'Star individual in the financial sector' Khurram Shamsee is 'a calm, measured and unfussy lawyer' and leads the department, which also fields Udara Ranasinghe, trade union expert Nicholas Chronias, Richard Loxley and the 'highly talented' Georgina Rowley. David Sims joined from Clifford Chance LLP in 2017.

As 'one of the top names in the market for senior executive work', Farrer & Co is notably active in the financial services sector and benefits from the 'excellent reputations' of group head David Smellie and William Dawson; the team recently advised on the appointments and departures of senior executives and directors for a wide range of businesses including HSBC, Tesco and Deutsche Bank. On the employer side, recent mandates include David Hunt defending the British Airline Pilots' Association in the High Court against Thomas Cook Airlines' application for an injunction to stop strike action by its pilots, Kathleen Heycock advising Natura Cosmeticos on the employment components of its acquisition of The Body Shop from L'Oréal, and assisting several international schools with implementing safer working practices for teaching and non-teaching staff. Other key individuals include Rachel Lewis, Eleanor Rowswell, Katie Lancaster, Jonathan Eley and senior associate Serena Nicholls.

Squire Patton Boggs stands out for its 'industry understanding, responsiveness and reliability' thanks to the 'brilliant leadership' of the 'highly knowledgeable' Caroline Noblet. Noblet's recent work includes advising on the Gender Pay Gap Reporting regulations, handling corporate support work and employment litigation. The group is also active in the media, financial services and manufacturing sectors with clients including Ashland, Essentra, WPP, Maxus and Coats. Litigator David Whincup, retail sector expert Janette Lucas, Natalie Bellwood and Miriam Lampert, who has a niche specialism advising Israeli technology clients, are all key names to note.

With 'encyclopedic knowledge and focused management skills', department head Paul Callaghan has taken Taylor Wessing LLP's practice 'to new heights' with 'a clear commitment to truly understanding its clients and a real sense that the service levels, responsiveness and industry knowledge are always being pushed to the highest level possible'. The department has 'a strong focus on acting for US tech and telecoms companies' with notable clients including Fujifilm Sonosite, Medidata Solutions and Callidus Software. The team's recent work also includes representing Charles River Associates in the High Court in a dispute relating to the protection of confidential information and post-termination restrictions, acting for AlixPartners as administrators of Afren in a whistleblowing dispute, and defending easyJet in litigation brought by its cabin crew over holiday pay. Other key areas of expertise include compliance work and gig economy issues. The 'highly dedicated' Sean Nesbitt, Andrew Granger and 'brilliant' senior associate Anna McCaffrey are also recommended.

The 'highly commercial' Jason Butwick and Charles Wynn-Evans, who 'easily cuts to the chase', jointly lead Dechert LLP's department, which is 'able to easily deal with anything its clients can throw at it' with 'excellent responsiveness, a client-focused service and a pragmatic approach'. Key areas of strength include assisting clients in the financial services, insurance, marketing and media sectors and handling work for senior executives; clients include BNY Mellon, Cambridge Assessment, Aspentech, Barbican Insurance Group and The Folio Society. Senior associates Jennifer McGrandle and Emma Byford are also key names to note.

DLA Piper 'always responds in a timely manner and maintains an excellent level of service no matter the problem' with 'a team of great lawyers who are professional, knowledgeable and friendly'. The group handles the full gamut of employment issues and 'benefits from the firm's outstanding global footprint that provides an invaluable international reach'. In a recent highlight, department head Adam Hartley defended Uber in the Court of Appeal in litigation relating to the worker status of its drivers; other work includes Jonathan Exten-Wright acting for a client in a claim brought by an employee regarding employment termination issues and injunctive relief preventing the dismissal, handling the application of TUPE for Hitachi Rail Europe following its successful bid for the Intercity Express Programme and Hartley assisting the London Stock Exchange Group with the employment elements of its acquisition of Citi Group's data business. ITV, HSBC, Park Plaza and Pfizer are also clients.

The 'always practical and pragmatic' team at Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP is 'responsive, commercial and very easy to deal with'. The group is highly regarded for its expertise in the financial services sector, advising on industrial relations issues and utilising its global network to handle international mandates. Recent work highlights include advising the BBC on issues arising out of its employment contract changes and related union negotiations, representing Govia Thameslink Railway in the High Court in injunction proceedings to prevent the train drivers' union from calling a strike on its Southern services, and handling the employment aspects of Charter Court Financial Services Group's IPO on the London Stock Exchange. Clients single out the 'vastly experienced' Martin Warren, who leads the labour relations group; industrial relations team head Marc Meryon, who is 'brilliant'; and the 'smart and commercially savvy' Elizabeth Graves. Diane Gilhooley leads the global practice from Manchester and Paul Fontes heads up the London group. Sophie White joined from Abbiss Cadre LLP, Fiona Bolton joined Simmons & Simmons and Gareth Wadley joined Gateley Plc in 2018.

Fox Williams LLP fields 'a good team that endeavours to provide good customer service and build good relationships with its clients'. The department excels in the financial services and professional services sectors, particularly in contentious matters; it recently defended MS Amlin in a claim for constructive unfair dismissal, age discrimination and failure to inform on its recent global merger with Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance; and defended a senior executive in an application for summary judgement in the High Court regarding a bonus dispute. Other work includes advising UK Payments Administration on TUPE issues and assisting Bank Leumi UK with a major restructuring including the closure of a substantial business line. The 'highly professional and experienced' Jane Mann heads up the group, which also includes the 'incredibly reliable' Joanna Chatterton and legal director David Murphy, who 'provides consistently pragmatic and timely advice in a calm and reassuring way'.

Macfarlanes LLP fields a team of 'seasoned professionals and up-and-coming young stars who provide a Rolls-Royce service'. 'Highly practical' team head Hayley Robinson and the 'outstanding' Seán Lavin  are key individuals in the group, which handles the full spectrum of employment work. It is noted for its strength in the financial services sector with expertise advising financial institutions, private equity firms and hedge funds; example clients include Legal & General, Liontrust Asset Management, Schroders, Nex Group and Rokos Capital Management.

Key figures in Osborne Clarke LLP's 'absolutely excellent' department include group head Victoria Parry and London office head David Cubitt; Parry is praised as 'exceptional at working with clients, getting into their cases and generating confidence' and Cubitt has 'outstanding knowledge and advice alongside a great calmness that really helps in stressful situations'. Parry's recent work includes representing Nomura International in a whistleblowing claim, advising it on Gender Pay Gap Reporting obligations, and acting for Standard Chartered Bank in a constructive unfair dismissal claim. Cubitt recently assisted First Agency with its contractual agreements involving TUPE and handled European employment issues for DocuSign. Lazard, Manpower, Eurostar, Marks & Spencer and Silicon Valley Bank are also clients.  Kevin Barrow is a key name for contingent workforce mandates.

Pinsent Masons LLP is 'excellent across the board' and regularly handles executive and board levels matters, cross-border work, employment litigation and corporate support work. 'Responsive and knowledgeable' department head Edward Goodwyn is particularly active in the engineering and infrastructure sectors; he recently defended Kier Group in an unfair dismissal and indirect age discrimination claim brought by a former director. Steven Cochrane is also singled out for his expertise in the financial services sector; he advised Axa Real Estate Investment Managers on the employment aspects of its acquisition of Retirement Villages Group. Allianz Insurance, Balfour Beatty Group and Laing O'Rourke are also clients.

Ed Stacey leads the group at PwC LLP, which has 'consistently recruited top talent into the department' and recently gained Tom Ince from Reed Smith LLP. The group handles the full gamut of employment work with recent mandates including advising a range of clients on equal pay issues, assisting clients with National Minimum Wage compliance and acting on contingent labour matters. Stacey is highly regarded for his diversity and discrimination work, Ince, who is 'a great pleasure to work with', is recognised for his strength in the employment elements of outsourcing transactions; Tom Williams, who has 'outstanding legal and tactical awareness' is the key name for industrial relations and collective rights work; Chris Perkins focuses on global compliance mandates and Nick Willis focuses on contingent worker issues.

RPC's 'superb' team 'punches well above its weight' with 'clear and practical advice delivered from a solid foundation of technical knowledge'. The group is highly regarded for its 'outstanding contentious expertise'; it recently acted for the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia in a Supreme Court claim relating to diplomatic immunity and represented an executive search company in a case pertaining to non-compete restrictive covenants. Other non-contentious work includes advising a global mining equipment supplier on an investigation into its international business practice regarding fraud and bribery allegations and assisting a global insurer with the employment elements of establishing branch operations in another EU country. Patrick Brodie leads the group; clients praise him as 'the unsung hero of employment law' with 'an uncanny ability to make the right judgment call'. Legal director Kelly Thomson 'provides consistently reliable and practical advice'.

At Slaughter and May, key names include team leader Jonathan Fenn, newly promoted partner Phil Linnard and Padraig Cronin; Fenn regularly handles the appointment and dismissal of directors and senior management, Linnard is 'excellent' and Cronin is recommended for the employment aspects of corporate work. Recent highlights include Linnard handling the employment elements of Tata Steel's joint venture with thyssenkrupp, Fenn acting for Barratt Developments in an investigation into allegations of corruption in its London business and Cronin assisting Legal & General with the employment components of the sale of its Mature Savings business to the ReAssure division of Swiss Re. Aggreko, Bupa and John Lewis Partnership are also clients. Lizzie Twigger is also a name to note; she was promoted to senior counsel in 2017.

Stephenson Harwood excels across employment law with clients praising its 'excellent strength in High Court employment work' and its 'entrepreneurial approach to transactional work'. On the non-contentious side, the team advised Charles Stanley Group on the employment elements of the disposal of its SIPP and SSAS pension administration business to Embark Group, and assisted Trenitalia c2c with its acquisition of the city to coast UK passenger franchise from National Express including related TUPE issues. The group's recent litigation expertise includes defending an AIM listed financial services company in an unfair dismissal claim and acting for 23 claimants in proceedings against a former employer regarding failures to honour contractual obligations. Mark Catchpole leads the team, which fields 'steely adversary' Kate Brearley, the 'highly professional' Anne Pritam, Paul Reeves, who is 'one of the most experienced employment practitioners around'; and the 'unrelenting' Purvis Ghani, who is 'fierce and tireless in the pursuit of his client's interests'.

Crowley Woodford leads the 'strong' practice at Ashurst, which has 'excellent business acumen' and is highly regarded for its work in the financial services and private equity sectors. The group has also seen an increase in advisory mandates and has notable strength acting for the European subsidiaries of Japanese corporates. Recent highlights include on the employment elements of Aveva Group's combination with Schneider Electric's industrial software business, handling board level appointments and GDPR compliance for the National Express Group and assisting Palmer and Harvey with advisory matters including employee loan agreements and a disciplinary investigation. The Bank of England, Park24, EnQuest, Berendsen and Punter Southall Group are also clients. Newly promoted partner Ruth Buchanan is also a name to note; clients single her our as 'a responsive and experienced lawyer with a sensible approach and excellent strategic thinking'.

Bates Wells 'knows the charity and education sectors inside out' and counts British Red Cross and the Royal College of Physiatrists as notable clients. In a recent highlight, department head Lucy McLynn acted for St John's Downshire Hill in a case regarding the dismissal of the church's minister and alleged marriage discrimination issues; further mandates for the group include advising on the merger between the Capital City College Group and the College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London; representing the claimants in the high-profile Uber gig economy case, and acting for a claimant in the gig economy case with CitySprint. On the senior executive side, the group's work encompasses remuneration and bonus issues, workplace disputes, restrictive covenants and breach of contract claims. The 'excellent' William Garnett is the key name for senior executive work and boardroom disputes and Paul Jennings is recommended for class actions and test cases. Paul Seath and the 'highly commercial' Martin Bunch are also key contacts.

Clyde & Co LLP is highly regarded for its experience in the insurance and financial services sectors with a client roster including Aetna, Willis Towers Watson and Arthur J Gallagher. Robert Hill leads the practice and recently defended Cenkos Securities in a discrimination, constructive unfair dismissal and whistleblowing claim and advised ProSight Speciality Insurance on multiple employment issues relating to the company's decision to place the business into run off including collective and individual redundancies, data protection issues and other corporate support elements. Other mandates include Chris Holme assisting UPS with the employment aspects of several transactions and advising Rabobank on GDPR compliance, James Major handling nine Employment Tribunal claims for Estee Lauder and also helping it with the relocation of its Eurpean manufacturing headquarters, and Heidi Watson acting on the employment components of Liberty House's acquisitions of various UK steel businesses. TUPE and outsourcing expert Nick Elwell-Sutton is also a name to note. Nick Dent joined Locke Lord LLP in 2018.

Dentons provides 'excellent advice with a very personable service' under the leadership of the 'brilliant' Virginia Allen. Clients also single out Michael Bronstein as 'a highly knowledgeable and practical individual'; he specialises in employee competition matters. The group regularly handles international mandates, investigations and outsourcing work and is active in the financial space; it recently advised the official receiver and PwC on the employment aspects of the liquidation of Carillion, assisted British Steel with the establishment of its global operations and handled the employment elements of Aberdeen Asset Management's merger with Standard Life. Aegon, John Lewis Partnership and Apax Capital Partners are also clients. Other key individuals include Ryan Carthew, Gilla Harris and Roger Tynan.

'Strong boutique employment firm' Doyle Clayton is 'excellent for senior executive work' and has 'unparalleled strength in depth and exceptional technical knowledge'. Group leader Darren Clayton is 'a wily litigator and knows how to get the best deal for his clients'; he recently worked with Jennifer Nicol to represented an individual in a High Court injunction claim. Clients also praise the 'excellent' Peter Doyle, the 'very sharp and pragmatic' Peter De Maria and 'fantastic collaborator' Dan Begbie-Clench; Doyle is a key name for employment disputes, De Maria recently advised a global financial services business on the recruitment of ten senior investment bankers from a competitor and Begbie-Clench represented a partner in an actuarial consulting business in a race and religious discrimination claim.

Following its 2018 merger with Littler Mendelson, P.C., boutique employment firm GQ | Littler has 'seen its international coverage grow and grow thanks to the recruitment of savvy and driven lawyers' who are 'responsive, hardworking and committed to providing the best legal guidance they can'. Co-founder Paul Quain is 'a man to pour common sense on hysteria with the ability to achieve breakthroughs in seemingly intractable negotiations'; he is recommended for employment disputes. Other key names include co-founder Jon Gilligan, who is 'a true business partner with excellent judgement skills'; 'effective litigator' Darren Isaacs, and Sophie Vanhegan, who has 'a fantastic work ethic and leaves no stone unturned'. Richard Harvey and Daniel Pollard are also recommended.

Stephen Brown leads the department at Latham & Watkins which covers the full gamut of contentious and non-contentious employment issues including disputes, corporate support work, tax matters and compliance mandates. Brown's expertise encompasses the employment aspects of M&A work, TUPE issues, executive recruitment and severance matters and cross-border mandates. Catherine Drinnan is also a name to note for transfer of undertaking work and cross-border acquisitions.

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius UK LLP's 'excellent' department is led by Matthew Howse, who recently defended Guvera in a claim brought by over 80 former employees relating to TUPE issues and advised Integra Life Sciences on the employment elements of its cross-border acquisition of the Codman business from Johnson & Johnson. Allergan, Simon & Schuster, Munich Re, Amnesty International and Amazon are also clients. Pulina Whitaker is a key name for issues covering employment and data privacy work and Louise Skinner is recommended for regulatory mandates including international investigations and is also active in the financial services sector; Skinner joined from Allen & Overy LLP in 2017.

Norton Rose Fulbright handles a wide range of contentious and non-contentious employment mandates including cross-border transactions, recruitment work, disputes, privacy law issues and industrial relations matters. Department head Paul Griffin is noted for his expertise in international employment issues and has substantial knowledge of the technology, financial services and transport sectors. Catrina Smith and of counsel Nick Howard are also recommended: Smith focuses on the energy, life sciences and infrastructure sectors while Howard handles issues in the pharmaceutical and technology fields. Clients include BMW, BP, Direct Line, Starr International and Pfizer.

The 'always assured' Robin Jeffcott leads the 'consistently excellent' practice at Reed Smith LLP following Tom Ince's departure to PwC LLP in 2017. The group is experienced in the financial services, entertainment, media and technology sectors and Jeffcott is recognised for his contentious expertise, recently acting for clients in injunctive proceedings, discrimination claims and internal investigations. Graham Green and newly promoted partner David Ashmore are also key contacts; Green is 'absolutely brilliant' and Ashmore is 'well organised, proactive, sharp and can quickly get to the nub of the issue'.

Arnold & Porter provides 'advice that is prompt, detailed and incredibly helpful' thanks to a team of 'highly responsive lawyers who are balanced and appropriate in their approach to a situation'. Clients single out 'fantastic' group head Henry Clinton-Davis, who 'looks beyond the pure legal requirements and provides trusted and highly commercial advice with a very calming manner'. Clinton-Davis is particularly active in work involving cross-border elements; he recently advised Carestream Health on the pan-European employment elements of the sale of its dental digital business. Telus Corporation, Monsoon Accessorize and McArthurGlen are also clients.

Jesper Christensen leads the team at Bircham Dyson Bell, which is 'a key name in the charity sector' and provides 'commercially sound advice that has been thoroughly thought through and considered from all angles'. With expertise acting for employers and senior executives, recent mandates include representing The Doctors' Laboratory in claims relating to the employment status of its internal courier team, advising Ten Entertainment Group on the employment aspects of its IPO on the London Stock Exchange and assisting four individuals in the media and advertising sector with their exits from various employers and the establishment of a new business. The 'highly pragmatic' Caroline Yarrow, Brian Gegg and Nicholas Le Riche are also names to note.

As 'one of the leading claimant firms in the market', Brahams Dutt Badrick French LLP is 'completely committed to getting the best outcomes for its clients' and is 'a well-established and competitive boutique player in the market'. Managing partner Gareth Brahams is 'both an excellent lawyer and a brilliant tactician' and 'the right man to have on your side and the wrong man to be against'; he recently represented an individual in a high-value whistleblowing claim. Clients also praise the 'impressive and committed' Arpita Dutt; 'great strategist' and financial services sector specialist Alistair French; Ruth Gamble, who is 'an absolute rock-solid choice for complex employment disputes'; the 'tenacious' Polly Rodway; the 'commercially minded' Nick Wilcox; and Cerys Williams, who 'strongly protects her client's interests'. Associate Samantha Prosser is also singled out as 'a rising star that is a real credit to the firm'.

'Fantastic boutique' CM Murray LLP has 'a reputation that can't be beaten' for senior executive work and 'dominates the market in the partnership space'. Managing partner and firm founder Clare Murray is 'an outstanding lawyer' and has particular expertise handling team moves, restrictive covenant issues, whistleblowing claims and discrimination cases. In a recent highlight, Anna Birtwistle and David Fisher acted for Public Concern at Work in litigation relating to the scope of whistleblowing legislation. Other key practitioners include 'tough yet pragmatic opponent' Sarah Chilton, the 'stellar' Esther Martin and Samantha Mangwana, who 'wins clients' confidence with a superb manner'. Bettina Bender joined Winckworth Sherwood LLP in 2018.

DWF has 'a very strong employment team' led by 'extraordinarily robust and commercial employment lawyer' Helga Breen, who is noted for her regulatory expertise and knowledge of cross-border HR projects; she also handles High Court disputes, boardroom issues and executive recruitments and dismissals. Angela Simpson is also a key name to note; she has experience in multi-party litigation, outsourcing issues and restructuring projects. Clients include the British Medical Association, Ladbrokes Coral, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Sandhills East and Places for People Leisure.

Key areas of expertise for Fieldfisher's 'well-established' department include high-level litigation, transactional support work and issues in the technology, retail, media and regulatory sectors. In a recent highlight, Richard Kenyon handled discrimination claims for a client, Nicholas Thorpe assisted a client with an investigation, James Warren represented a client in a whistleblowing claim and Margaret Davis acted for a company in proceedings against its former directors. The group's client roster spans Air China, the Cabinet Office, Cushman & Wakefield, Greene King and the National Gallery.

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher has expanded beyond its corporate support strength to assist clients with employment litigation, redundancies, data protection issues and boardroom appointments and removals. In a recent highlight, department head James Cox defended Asda in a claim brought by current and former store workers relating to equal pay issues; other mandates include assisting Verisign with the employment elements of its sale of iDefense Security Services to Accenture, advising UPS on its acquisition of Marken and acting for Bruin Sports Capital on the employment components of an agreement with the NFL to grow the NFL Game Pass in Europe.

Harbottle & Lewis LLP's 'responsive, flexible and unstuffy' department is led by the 'very bright and unconventional' Howard Hymanson, who is 'excellent at spotting and taking up novel points and has a great eye for the bigger picture'. Hymanson focuses on employment litigation and recently defended a client in unfair dismissal and age discrimination claims. Other key practitioners include Marian Derham and Yvonne Gallagher; Derham assisted a senior executive with her exit from Channel 4 and appointment to Apple TV and Gallagher advised Accession Healthcare on the exit of a founding member.

Howard Kennedy LLP's 'impressive employment department' has 'a straightforward approach that affords pragmatic and practical advice' and 'always puts the client first'. The practice is noted for its cross-border expertise and also handles employment disputes and workforce restructuring work with particular knowledge of the retail and leisure sectors; clients include Pandora, Condé Nast International and Foxtons. The 'brilliant' Jane Amphlett leads the group and 'first-class lawyer' Sam Murray-Hinde is 'meticulous, prepared and thorough'.

Sybille Steiner leads the 'focused and responsive' team at Irwin Mitchell, which handles international work, advises on redundancy issues and assists with Employment Tribunal claims. Steiner is also German qualified and Melanie Stancliffe is experienced acting for French clients; Stancliffe is also active in the financial services sector. Recent highlights include advising Kepler Cheuvreux on restructuring and restrictive covenant issues and assisting Market Securities with multiple issues including categorising the employment status of its brokers and handling team moves and departures. On the senior executive side, the firm was substantially bolstered by the arrival of 'undoubted field leader' Shah Qureshi, Shazia Khan and Emilie Cole from Bindmans LLP.

As 'an exceptional firm that devotes itself fully to the cause with excellent service levels', Joelson 'treats every client with extreme professionalism' and has 'a refreshing approach that separates it out from others in the market'. The 'impressive' David Greenhalgh heads up the group, which also includes 'complete star' Jennifer Maxwell-Harris, who has 'a real talent for communicating constructively and persuasively with opponents to great effect'. The group's work for employers and senior executives spans employment disputes, relocations, senior exits, restrictive covenant issues and workforce restructuring issues with notable expertise in the financial services, technology and food and drink sectors. The team recently advised Healthy Kids on new service agreements for its co-founder and CEO and is assisting Larry King with restrictive covenants issues.

Kemp Little LLP 'ticks all the boxes for technology sector clients' and is also active in the financial services, fintech and airline sectors; clients include Accenture, Buzzfeed, Japan Airlines and Western Digital. David Williams heads up the practice, which also counts Marian Bloodworth and Kathryn Dooks as key practitioners; clients praise Bloodworth as 'an outstanding lawyer with superb judgment and tactical acumen' and single out Dooks' 'responsiveness and industry knowledge'. Dooks recently assisted UK Broadband with the employment elements of its sale to Hutchison 3G.

Kennedys focuses on the transport and insurance sectors with recent highlights including advising AIG on the employment aspects of its establishment of a legal advice helpline for its policyholder client base, acting for Virgins Trains East Coast in several industrial action issues, unfair dismissal and discrimination claims; and assisting Stagecoach South Western Trains with the employment elements of its move out of the South West Trains Rail franchise including related TUPE work and redundancy issues. Chubb, Great Western Rail and Travelers are also clients. Matthew Leake and Fiona Morgan , who is 'very pragmatic and gives clear advice', jointly lead the department.

Kingsley Napley LLP stands out for its experience acting for senior executives in contentious matters with recent work including handling unfair dismissal claims, disciplinary investigations and sex discrimination claims. Richard Fox leads the department and is highly regarded for his confidentiality and restrictive covenants expertise, Adrian Crawford focuses on the financial and professional services sectors, Adam Lambert is noted for his experience in boardroom and partnership disputes, redundancies, discrimination claims and TUPE; and Andreas White is a key name for international clients. Employer clients include RSM, the Health and Care Professions Council and Whitehouse Post Productions.

McDermott Will & Emery UK LLP 'combines a superb level of knowledge with great business acumen' to 'provide everything a business could need including sensible, practical and to-the-point advice'. Katie Clark leads the department; she handles the full gamut of employment work including TUPE, corporate support work, restructurings and litigation. Paul McGrath is also a name to note and has substantial experience acting in whistleblowing and discrimination claims. Clients include Galliard Homes, Formula One Management, Vesuvius, KP Snacks and Callaway Golf Company.

Clients are 'incredibly impressed' with Memery Crystal LLP's 'personal and responsive service that is highly reassuring'. The group is active in employment litigation with group head and litigator Merrill April being 'a key tactician and endlessly professional'. April's recent work includes acting for Marex Spectron in claims brought by a fuel oil broker alleging bullying and harassment. The group's non-contentious work includes advising Electric Word on the employment aspects of a takeover bid by Sports Business Acquisitions, assisting Ten Lifestyle Group with its AIM flotation and handling a redundancy programme for Nord. Stephen Ravenscroft joined from White & Case LLP in 2018.

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe (Europe) LLP has 'a strong international employment team across a wide range of contentious and non-contentious matters' regularly handling cross-border mandates and employment litigation. Department head Nicola Whiteley is praised as 'an exceptional lawyer who is dedicated, diligent and focused'; she is active in the technology and financial services sectors and recently advised Stripe and Goodwater Capital on the employment aspects of a financing round. The 'very robust' newly promoted partner Mandy Perry is a key name for litigation including trade secret matters and post-termination restrictions.

Penningtons Manches Cooper provides 'an excellent cradle-to-grave service with a particular emphasis on client care' and is 'very strategic and unflappable in even the most complex employment disputes'. Key areas of expertise for the department include assisting senior executives, handling boardroom disputes, whisteblowing and discrimination claims, restrictive covenants and confidentiality injunctions, data protection work and reorganisations. Recent highlights include Andrew Haywood acting for Curzon Street Partners in a constructive dismissal claim brought by a former chef. Tom Walker is also a key name to note.

As 'a great firm with passionate lawyers', Proskauer Rose LLP is 'a clear name in the market' for private equity and financial services clients; the team also counts law firms and accountancy firms among its client roster. Key areas of strength for the group include investigations, data protection issues, cross-border work, restrictive covenants and team moves. Daniel Ornstein leads the department, and is praised by clients as an 'extremely knowledgeable, passionate and analytical lawyer with great flair'. Associate Kelly McMullon is also recommended for her 'responsiveness and practicality'.

White & Case LLP 'stands out for its responsiveness, usability, quality and pragmatism of advice' in the technology and private equity sectors; clients include Ameriprise, Avast Software, Digital Realty and Smithfield Group. The group's recent work includes advising EP UK Investments on the employment elements of its acquisition of two combined cycle gas turbine power stations and a gas substation project, acting for Lightsource on the employment components of the sale of a stake in its business to BP, and handling the employment aspects of Accomable's sale to Airbnb. Nicholas Greenacre is the London and EMEA practice head, and Oliver Brettle is another key figure. Helen Levendi made partner in January 2019. Former practice co-head Stephen Ravenscroft joined Memery Crystal LLP in 2018.

Withers LLP is 'superb in every respect' and 'easily one of the best for high-net-worth individuals and senior executives' particularly in contentious matters. In a recent highlight, newly promoted partner Claire Christy advised the CEO of Clear Channel International on his employment package; other mandates include handling whistleblowing claims, discrimination claims and severance issues. On the employer side, group head Meriel Schindler, who is 'a fighter for all of her clients', recently advised the Girls' Day School Trust on employment issues pertaining to senior individuals, Christy handled the employment aspects of Neon Management Services' relaunch including TUPE elements and disciplinary issues, and Schindler assisted The Royal Academy of Arts with various employee relations matters. Clients also single out Elaine Aarons, who is 'exceptionally talented and knowledgeable' and 'incredibly solution oriented'.

As 'a key name in the health arena' Bevan Brittan LLP's client roster encompasses multiple NHS Trusts including Hertfordshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust; department head Jodie Sinclair defended the latter in an unfair dismissal claim. Other highlights include Sinclair acting for Huntercombe Group on the employment aspects of its closure of a residential care unit, assisting Symphony Healthcare with the employment elements of its acquisition of numerous GP practices, and Ashley Norman advising the London School of Economics and Political Science on the implications of the Brexit vote on its workforce. Alastair Currie is recommended for employment disputes.

Browne Jacobson LLP has seen an increase in cross-border mandates alongside its expertise in the retail, education, health and financial services sectors. Recent highlights include representing a former employee of a US bank in a cross-border investigation, defending an NHS trust in an unfair dismissal and whistleblowing claim, and assisting multiple education clients with restrucutrings and staff reductions. TJX Europe, Lion Academies Trust, Metro Bank, University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust and Fresh and Wild are also clients. Raymond Silverstein leads the London group, which also includes associates Heather Mitchell and Gemma Steele.

Capsticks LLP 'consistently demonstrates a high level of expertise in its client's business, particularly in the health and social care sectors' with 'an extremely high level of client care and superb legal knowledge'. Martin Hamilton leads the group, which also fields Andrew Rowland, who is 'a key voice for doctor-related issues' and 'a great partner to work with'; and Victoria Watson, who is 'incredibly knowledgeable'. Recent work includes representing Dartford and Gravesham NHS Trust in an unfair dismissal claim brought by a nurse, acting for NHS England in an unfair dismissal, sex and race discrimination and failure to consult claim; and defending Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust in a whistleblowing claim brought by a junior doctor. Gary Hay retired.

Covington & Burling LLP is also ranked.

Edwin Coe LLP is 'unparalleled in its ability to make the client feel valued' and handles employment disputes alongside assisting the firm's corporate team with acquisitions and disposals. The group is particularly active in the financial services and energy sectors, and recently advised Chubb on TUPE issues, disability, unfair dismissal and sex discrimination claims, and an equal pay claim. Key names in the 'talented' group include team leader Linky Trott, who is 'extremely efficient'; Rachel Harrap, who has 'first-class knowledge of the law'; the 'excellent' Alexandra Carn, and Ruth Hickling, who is 'highly practical'. Emma Sangeelee made partner in 2018.

With 'a personable and practical approach', Fladgate LLP is recognised for its strength in transactional work, often with an international element; it recently advised Penguin Books on the employment aspects of the sale of its travel guide business to APA Publishing. Build-a-Bear Workshop, Audiobloom, Parkway Entertainment, Opus Group and Soothe Massage are also clients. Taj Rehal leads the department following Nick Tsatsas' departure to Keystone Law; client praise Rehal as 'an incredibly practical and commercial lawyer who is very business focused and pragmatic'. Michael McCartney and senior associate Mike Tremeer are also names to note.

Goodman Derrick LLP is 'responsive, effective and able to easily understand its clients' perspectives' and is recognised for its strength in holiday pay issues, restructurings, TUPE, employment disputes and matters involving the recruitment sector. The 'incredibly experienced' Alexandra Bonner leads the department; she recently advised Legg Mason & Co, Butler Snow and Biscuit Filmworks. Clients also praise Clare Gilroy-Scott and Alison Downie; Gilroy-Scott has 'a client-focused approach' and Downie is 'a brilliant employment lawyer who delivers flawless advice'. Dehns, National Skills Academy for Financial Services, the International Planned Parenthood Federation and the International Psychoanalytical Association are also clients.

At Gordon Dadds LLP, clients single out Marie van der Zyl as 'an excellent lawyer with encyclopaedic knowledge of employment law' who 'is highly gifted both in strategy and tactics with a patient, honest and challenging approach'. Other key practitioners include department head Laura Livingstone, Martin Pratt and Rebecca Lynch. The practice has notable strength in senior executive entry and exit packages and Employment Tribunal litigation and is active in the retail, leisure, media, entertainment and technology sectors. Recent highlights include advising two clients on the employment aspects of their merger and a financial services clients with the restructuring of its headquarters.

Keystone Law's 'innovative business model allows for a flawless service, first-rate advice and a pragmatic approach' across the full gamut of employment law issues. The department saw significant growth in 2017 and 2018 with 13 partner-level recruitments overall. Key additions include Paul Daniels, who joined from Slater and Gordon and is active in the sport sectors; Juliet Carp who joined from Kingsley Napley LLP and is the chair of the Employment Lawyers Association; Nick Tsatsas who moved from Fladgate LLP, Nigel Forsyth from Wallace LLP, the 'responsive' Angharad Harris from Watson Farley & Williams LLP; and Sofia Syed who joined from Mundays LLP and is 'always available with punctual and precise professional counsel'.

The team at King & Spalding LLP 'sets an exemplary standard in the market with prompt, clear and informative advice delivered by a team whose experience and knowledge of the field if second to none'. Jules Quinn leads the practice and is 'an intellect to admire with a passion for her clients that is unbounded'; examples include Alexander Proudfoot, MasterCard UK Management Services, Quintain and BearingPoint. Clients also praise counsel Kim Roberts as 'a supportive, competent and trustworthy professional who can easily guide a company through choppy waters'. The group's other clients include Eddie Stobart, Gett Taxi, AEW Europe and Cobham.

Magrath Sheldrick LLP handles the full spectrum of contentious and non-contentious employment work with notable experience in the financial, healthcare, recruitment, leisure, entertainment and construction sectors; it counts Attic Recruitment, BMI Healthcare, Delfont Mackintosh Theatres and The Penguin Group as clients. Adele Martins leads the group and focuses on the theatre and entertainment sectors; she is also experienced in restrictive covenants, confidentiality issues, data protection, employment litigation and team moves. Senior associate Nichola Gallen-Friend is also a key contact.

Ogletree Deakins International LLP's expertise encompasses the employment aspects of cross-border transactions, restrictive covenants, employment litigation, data protection issues, employment contracts and equal pay mandates. In a recent highlight, managing partner Simon McMenemy advised various clients on the employment aspects of GDPR compliance. Independent Print, Minamoto Kitchoan, Ivanti, Feedzai and Cunningham Lundsey Group are example clients. Other key practitioners include cross-border expert Roger James and equal pay specialist Daniella McGuigan.

Steptoe and Johnson UK LLP has 'timely and thorough response times, exceptional legal knowledge and effective advice' thanks to the 'experience and understanding' of group head Nic Hart. Hart is recognised for his expertise in organised labour and trade disputes, executive dismissals, team moves and competition issues; he recently assisted a gas analysis company with the termination of the employment of three of its directors, settled a grievance brought by a manger for a cancer prevention charity and advised a savoury pastry manufacturer on the Gender Pay Gap Reporting regime. Associates Jay Webster and Katya Gevargiz are also recommended.

Teacher Stern LLP's 'commercial, practical and accessible' practice 'gives a personal, partner-level service to its clients'. The group has particular expertise in restrictive covenants and confidential information work, TUPE, the employment elements of corporate disposals and employment litigation. In a recent highlight, practice head James Baker, who is 'extremely personable, unflappable and empathetic', advised SompoCanopius on the recruitment of insurance brokers, an outsourcing program and confidential information theft. Other clients include Euronext Technologies, Brambles and Gaumont Television UK. Clients also praise Sarah Glockler as 'a clever lawyer with first-rate client skills'; senior consultants David von Hagen and Sarah Culshaw (who joined from Collyer Bristow LLP) are also recommended.

Emma Burrows leads the group at Trowers & Hamlins LLP and is the key name in the team for TUPE advice and diversity issues. Other key contacts include consultant Richie Alder, who is experienced in public sector transfers in the housing and care sectors; and Nicola Ihnatowicz, who focuses on TUPE, restructurings, terms and conditions changes and equal pay matters. Tania Tandon left to establish her own practice.

Vedder Price's 'excellent transatlantic practice has particular expertise in complex cross-border transactional work' and has 'continued to cement its reputation in the market' under the leadership of the 'smart, practical and solution-driven' Jonathan Maude, who 'any firm would be lucky to have'. The group also handles investigations, data protection work and reorganisations. Clients include Astellas US, Astellas Pharma Europe, Value Retail and Help for Heroes.

Recent highlights for the 'fabulous' department at Wedlake Bell LLP include advising OKI Europe on the employment elements of the reorganisation of its EMEA operations and assisting Kuehne + Nagel with its liability for enhanced redundancy payments, threats of industrial action and commercial contract arrangements. Other clients include Millenium Hotels, the Royal Academy of Arts, AEG Europe, Countrywide and Nektan. The 'calm, professional and unbelievably intelligent' Blair Adams - who joined from DMH Stallard LLP in 2017 - heads up the group, which also includes the 'highly responsive' Ravinder Mahal, Richard Isham and Julia Jackson. David Israel joined Royds Withy King in 2017.

Winckworth Sherwood LLP's 'first-class' senior executive practice is 'by far and away one of the most professional, assertive and informed in the field' with 'guidance that is realistic and reasonable, deep technical knowledge and a genuine interest in getting the best outcome for the client'. The group is experienced in exit negotiations, whistleblowing issues and discrimination claims and also handles TUPE and restructurings, transactional issues and disputes for an expanding employer client roster. Jo Keddie, who is 'totally on the ball and able to apply the law in a practical and commercial way', leads the department, which also fields the 'highly knowledgeable' Susan Kelly, the 'brilliant' Andrew Yule and Anita Rai, who is 'very professional and has good insight into the processes of the law'. Bettina Bender, who 'picks up the key issues in cases very quickly', joined from CM Murray LLP in 2018.

Michelle Chance leads the department at Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP and specialises in high-value employment disputes focusing on the financial services, media and professional services sectors. The group's clients include multinational corporates, SMEs and senior executives. Recent highlights include handling race and discrimination claims, assisting with corporate restructuring issues and advising on senior executive arrivals and exits.

Health and safety

Index of tables

  1. Health and safety
  2. Leading individuals: Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

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Clyde & Co LLP's 'genuinely excellent' practice is led by 'regulatory genius' Chris Morrison in Manchester and includes Rod Hunt, who acts for clients in the energy, construction and manufacturing sectors; and legal director Mark Brookes. The department also saw substantial expansion in 2017 following the recruitment of multiple lawyers from Slater and Gordon including legal director Helen Simm, and was further bolstered by the recruitment of Jennette Newman and Jonathan Edwards from BLM in 2018. Recent highlights include representing Martin-Baker Aircraft Company in a Health and Safety Executive (HSE) prosecution relating to a fatal accident following the failure of a Red Arrows Pilots' ejection seat, acting for Realm Properties as manufacturer in an investigation relating to the death of a child after a queue barrier fell on its head, and acting for SR & RJ Brown in a corporate manslaughter prosecution regarding a fall from a work-at-height project in a working quarry. Airbus, Sports Direct, Axa and Aldi are also clients.

Fiona Gill leads DAC Beachcroft LLP's 'solid and well-regarded group', which excels in criminal investigations for corporate and gross negligence manslaughter, and regulatory offences including fire safety, product safety and environmental breaches. Gill is experienced in regulatory mandates, policy development and inquest issues, while Colin Moore handles investigations. Moore's recent highlights include defending IS Europe and one of its directors in health and safety and gross negligence manslaughter prosecutions following a pedestrian struck by a metal frame falling from a construction site, and acting for a company in an investigation relating to an explosion of a subterranean petrol tank which killed a sub-contractor. The firm's insurer client base includes Aviva, Zurich and Allianz.

DLA Piper's 'market-leading team' leverages its national footprint to advise domestic and international clients including Tata Steel and Airbus Helicopters; the team is representing the latter in a fatal accident inquiry relating to a helicopter crash in which 10 people died. Sheffield-based team head Teresa Hitchcock 'deserves her recognition as the best health and safety lawyer in the UK' with a 'candid, precise and personable approach'; she assisted Keller Group with the development of its global health and safety guide. Other key names include Manchester-based John Gollaglee, who focuses on contentious regulatory issues; legal director Ailish Oxenforth in Sheffield, who handles non-contentious and advisory work; and newly promoted partner Alastair Clough, who is recommended for transactional matters.

DWF's 'excellent' department is 'a go-to team for high-profile and complex cases' with recent mandates including Hilary Ross leading advise to the Motor Sports Association in a Fatal Accident Inquiry relating to the death's of spectators at two motor rallies held in Scotland, and transport specialist Vikki Woodfine advising Wincanton on legal compliance issues including protocol development. Booker Group, Arcadia Group and Marks & Spencer are also clients. Ross and retail, food and hospitality expert Dominic Watkins jointly lead the London group, while Manchester-based Steffan Groch heads the firm's regulatory team and advises companies, directors and managers on HSE prosecutions and handles corporate manslaughter issues.

With 'real strength in depth across the board', Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP's 'leading practice' handles national and international health and safety issues with a high-profile corporate client base encompassing Siemens, EDF Energy and Centrica. Kevin Elliott leads the group nationally from Leeds; he recently acted for a national property management company in an investigation related to the death of a member of the public who was hit by falling shopping centre debris during a storm. Clients also single out the 'brilliant' Paul Verrico, who acted for Tarmac Marine in a prosecution for a breach of Maritime Asbestos legislation; David Young, who is 'excellent' and Tim Hill, who advises energy, chemical and manufacturing clients.

'A leading firm in the area', Kennedys 'stands out nationally as simply the best' with 'unrivalled strength in depth and expertise' combining 'exceptional legal knowledge with outstanding practical trial experience'. Key names in the 'brilliant' defence department include Richard Crockford, who is 'wise, tenacious and tactically brilliant'; Daniel McShee, who is 'a superstar with encyclopaedic health and safety knowledge'; and David Wright, who is 'highly commercial and exceedingly clever'. Recent mandates include representing Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation in the public inquiry and criminal investigation relating to the Grenfell Tower fire, acting for B&A Contracts in an investigation into an explosion at Chevron's oil refinery which killed three employees, and defending Harsco Group in a prosecution arising from a fatal incident at Tata Scunthorpe Steel Works.

Osborne Clarke LLP provides 'top-class representation and guidance' and 'outshines some of its competitors with the quality of its advice'. Team head Mary Lawrence is 'hugely experienced' and regularly handles crisis management situations and contentious health and safety issues. Other key individuals include Katie Vickery, who is 'practical, pragmatic and an excellent strategist'; Catherine Wolfenden, who leads the regulatory group; legal director Breige Murphy, who handles personal injury-related matters; and senior associate Jo Forbes, who focuses on the healthcare and retail sectors. The team is also highly regarded for its international health and safety expertise and acting for clients in high-risk sectors including the energy, transport, construction and infrastructure sectors. Example clients include RWE Npower, Barratt Homes, EDF, Wales and West Utilities and SSE.

Kevin Bridges leads the national team at Pinsent Masons LLP, which has 'an outstanding reputation in the health and safety field' and is 'undoubtedly one of the top firms in the space'. Clients praise Bridges as 'a top performer' who is 'analytical, astute and an absolute pleasure to work with'. Scottish team head Laura Cameron and Sean Elson are also names to note; Cameron regularly handles crises and regulatory investigations for corporate clients and Elson recently represented a lift manufacturer in a HSE investigation and coroner's inquest relating to the death of a girl who was trapped in a domestic lift. Other clients include Kier Group, Intu Properties, Morgan Sindall and Capita. Kizzy Augustin joined Russell-Cooke LLP.

BCL Solicitors LLP 'has an excellent reputation for its health and safety work' and 'receives full marks for its client service, professionalism and responsiveness'. The team fields practice leader and 'rare find' Guy Bastable, who focuses on corporate crime, crisis management, director liability and contentious matters and is 'very down to earth and incredibly responsive'; newly promoted partner Richard Reichman, who is 'extremely thorough and appreciates the big picture issues'; and senior associate Tom McNeill, who is 'endlessly reliable'. The team's expertise encompasses corporate manslaughter cases, food safety issues, fire safety work and environmental offences.

Burges Salmon LLP 'stands out for its transport expertise' and is 'easily one of the best for health and safety mandates in the rail sector'; London and South Eastern Railway and FirstGroup are clients. The group is also highly regarded for its construction expertise with recent highlights including acting for a large construction company in a HSE investigation following a road bridge collapse. Ann Metherall heads up the department and is 'an excellent lawyer and safe pair of hands with unmatched experience'; other key individuals include transport team head Chris Jackson, who is a risk specialist; food and agri-business expert Sian Edmunds, and 'extremely able' senior associate Matt Kyle, who 'is shrewd, conscientious and thinks deeply about his cases'.

Jan Burgess and Lukas Rootman co-head the team at CMS, which advises clients ranging from individuals to multinational companies across a variety of sectors including real estate, construction, infrastructure, waste, chemical and oil and gas. Rootman handles contentious and non-contentious health and safety matters on a national and international level including HSE investigations. Olivia Jamison is recommended for environmental liability, regulatory compliance and risk transfer mandates.

At Herbert Smith Freehills LLP, the 'superb' department is 'commercially astute, legally knowledgeable and deeply resourced' with 'exceptionally experienced lawyers who are highly capable negotiators and have the ear of the HSE'. Howard Watson leads the practice; clients praise him as 'a superstar lawyer' who is 'immensely knowledgeable, thorough and a great tactician'. Watson's recent work includes advising Chevron on an investigation following an explosion at one of its refineries which resulted in four fatalities and multiple injuries, acting for BAE Systems in multiple investigations relating to the death of two servicemen following the misfiring of a tank gun, and representing SIG as cladding supplier to Grenfell Tower in the public inquiry and the police and HSE investigations. BP and Perenco are also clients. Rod Fletcher is also a name to note.

Plexus Law's 'strong regulatory law team' is 'first-rate in its client care and technical knowledge' and 'cannot be praised highly enough for the way it treats its clients'. Group head Philip Tracey is 'genuinely brilliant' and handles corporate and gross negligence manslaughter cases. Clients also single out the 'excellent' Damon Burt, who focuses on employer liability and public liability claims and recently represented Tata Steel in a sentencing fine challenge in the Court of Appeal; Anthony Baker, who is 'a fantastic lawyer with exceptional technical skills' and handles prosecutions arising from catastrophic and fatal accidents; and Anthony Bushell, who is 'tactically astute and incredibly professional in everything he does'.

RPC's 'well-established and dedicated department is a first port of call for corporate and insurer clients' and has 'a growing presence in the health and safety arena' thanks to the 'brilliant leadership' of practice co-heads Gavin Reese and Nick McMahon; clients praise Reese as 'clever and tenacious' and single out McMahon as 'highly experienced and easy to work with'. Reese's recent work includes acting for a lift installation company in a HSE and police investigation following the death of an employee who sustained crush injuries and representing United Grab Hire and its director in a HSE prosecution following a fatal accident. McMahon acted for a construction company in an asbestos-related issue and represented a senior hospital manager who was investigated following a patient's suicide. XL Catlin and Faraday are also clients.

Squire Patton Boggs 'always provides an excellent service with second-to-none guidance and outstanding experience' across HSE investigations, compliance work, regulatory issues and transactional mandates. Rob Elvin leads the team from Manchester and focuses on corporate defence work; he recently acted for Suez Recycling and Recovery Tees Valley in an HSE prosecution following an accident at an energy-from-waste facility and represented Ontime Automotive in an investigation relating to a fatal accident. Other key individuals include David Gordon, who focuses on the chemical sector; legal director Gary Lewis, senior associate Robert Biddlecombe and associate Laura Clare.

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP's 'extremely effective' team has 'first-class response times, clarity of advice and appropriateness of communication' leading to a 'well-deserved reputation in the field'. The group's expertise spans HSE investigations and prosecutions, judicial reviews and compliance issues. Jon Cooper and Stuart Wardlaw jointly lead the national team; clients praise Cooper as an 'outstanding solicitor whose attention to detail and tactical insight are second to none'. Recent mandates include assisting the HSE with the ongoing investigation and prosecutions arising from the fatal Pembroke Oil Refinery explosions, acting for Carlsberg in a HSE investigation following an ammonia gas leak at its brewery, and representing Squibb Group in a HSE prosecution relating to the alleged exposure of employees to asbestos during a school refurbishment. Babcock International Group, Sainsbury's Supermarkets and B&Q are also clients.

At Blackfords LLP, department head Gary Rubin is 'a star from start to finish' with 'excellent tactical skills and unrivalled experience'. Highlights for Rubin include acting for a tram driver in an investigation following a tram crash in Croydon in which seven people died, representing a machine worker in a gross negligence manslaughter investigation following the fatal injuring of another worker, and working with Gary Bloxsome to act for Martinisation and one of its directors in an investigation following a double fatality in which a balcony collapsed killing two and injuring six others. Trevor Francis and consultant Philip Williams are also recommended.

Gowling WLG 'demonstrates a high level of professionalism at all times' and provides 'good advice based on sound knowledge'. The team has notable expertise in the construction, quarrying, aerospace, food, local government and health sectors; clients include Bakkavor Foods, Starbucks, the London Borough of Croyden and Bloor Homes. Team head Andrew Litchfield is 'very thorough and provides pragmatic advice in a balanced way'; his experience includes accident prevention advice, investigations, inquests and litigation. Principal associate Michael Hafen is also recommended.

Jonathan Grimes leads the 'excellent' team at Kingsley Napley LLP, which 'has real expertise defending individuals and directors charged with health and safety offences' and is increasingly acting for corporate clients. Criminal lawyer Grimes receives praise for his 'great attention to detail and extremely savvy approach'; he regularly acts for clients in police and HSE investigations, inquests and in the criminal courts. Melinka Berridge is also a name to note; she is a member of the firm's regulatory team and acts for clients in the leisure and hospitality sectors.

Norton Rose Fulbright's practice provides 'an excellent level of knowledge and service' across fatal and major accident investigations, corporate manslaughter prosecutions, corporate governance issues, product liability work and transactional support. Department head Caroline May is 'extremely responsive and able to give practical and relevant advice'; she has substantial experience advising on the corporate response to accidents and occupational health and safety issues. Clients include Reckitt Benckiser and IMI. Other key names include consultant Jacqui O’Keeffe and of counsel Lucy Bruce Jones.

Shoosmiths LLP has 'a very strong team, which punches above its weight' and is 'building on the reputations of its market leading practitioners' - team head Roy Tozer and Charles Arrand; Tozer is 'the king of the health and safety world' and Arrand has 'buckets of experience forged over many years making him one of the country's best regulatory lawyers'. Recent highlights for Tozer include representing a contractor in an investigation following an injury during a tower block refurbishment project and acting for a large retailer in multiple workplace accident investigations. Philip Ryan and Hayley Saunders are also recommended.

Crispin Kenyon is the key name to note in Weightmans LLP's London office while David Lewis leads the national regulatory services team from Leeds. Kenyon recently acted for J Cullen Thermals, an asbestos surveying company in a HSE prosecution alleging a defective survey that had failed to identify asbestos in a building; he is also active in the construction, waste management, printing, transport, care and manufacturing sectors. Further clients include Bibby Distribution, Formation Construction and GLL.

Beale & Co 'has a growing presence in the health and safety arena' with 'solid commercial advice and a team that is always approachable'. Key individuals include practice leader Sheena Sood, who is 'tactically astute', and associate Joanna Lewis, who is 'very reliable'. The team is notably experienced in incidents arising out of construction projects; clients include Peter Lind & Company, WYG Group, Ramboll Group, the Building Engineering Services Association and the Association for Consultancy and Engineering.

Bevan Brittan LLP's public sector strength remains prominent with a client list encompassing NHS trusts, local authorities and housing associations. Adam Kendall leads the department and regularly handles prosecutions, prohibition and improvement notices, and HSE and police investigations. The team also includes Stuart Marchant, who primarily focuses on the health and social care sectors, and Simon Lindsay, who also handles matters for healthcare clients and has a particular interest in sharps injuries.

The 'highly impressive' Helen Devery leads the team at BLM following Jennette Newman's departure to Clyde & Co LLP. Leanne Conisbee is the key contact in the firm's London office; she regularly defends companies and individuals in regulatory investigations and prosecutions. The practice also handles compliance and enforcement work and represents clients in inquests. Aviva, Allianz, Fusion and Regis Mutual Management are example clients. Jonathan Edwards also joined Clyde & Co LLP and Victoria Kennedy joined DAC Beachcroft LLP.

Key practitioners in Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP's department include team head Craig Baylis and associate director Jeremy Bark. The practice has substantial experience in fire safety and asbestos-related mandates and acts for clients including banks, utility companies, property developers, and leisure industry companies; examples include the National Grid, Marriott Hotels, Whitbread and Bvlgari Hotel. The group also handles inquests, fatal accident cases and enforcement issues.

Stephen Shergold and Malcolm Gunnyeon jointly lead the national team at Dentons; clients praise Shergold as 'one of the best lawyers you will find, with an astute commercial mind'. Other key individuals include Helen Bowdren, who is a 'clever and committed lawyer', and consultant Sam Boileau, who 'has a keen brain and an excellent eye for detail. The group is active in the oil and gas, waste, food, technology and rail sectors and regularly handles the health and safety elements of corporate transactions; Bowdren and Gunnyeon recently advised PwC and the official receiver of Carillion's insolvency on the related health and safety issues, and Bowdren assisted Group One Automotive with the health and safety due diligence related to its acquisition of Beadles Group.

Fieldfisher advises on the full spectrum of health and safety matters including the establishment and maintenance of health and safety systems, criminal investigations and Corporate Manslaughter Act and Health and Safety at Work Act offences. Andrew Sanderson heads up the practice and is noted for his transport and defence sector expertise; other key individuals include travel specialist Rhys Griffiths, Sarah Ellson, who focuses on the health and social care sectors; and Darren Smith, who regularly defends HSE prosecutions. The National Security and Resilience Consortium, All Transport and Logistics and Mediaforce Group are clients.

As 'an excellent niche firm with a good reputation in the field', Fisher Scoggins Waters LLP 'offers a complete service to companies and individuals alike' and 'really puts in the effort to get to know its clients and their business environments'. 'Star practitioner' Michael Appleby leads the group and is 'a real tactical genius' and a 'mastermind against the HSE'; other key individuals include Mark Scoggins, who is 'a true battle-hardened campaigner and fully dedicated to his clients'; and Charlotte Waters, who is a construction specialist and is 'a pleasure to work with'. Clients include Balfour Beatty, OCS, Biffa Waste and Southern Water.

Tuckers Solicitors' 'rounded and experienced' team is 'a strong performer in health and safety law' and regularly acts for the HSE; recent highlights include acting for the HSE in prosecuting a company following a fatal incident in which an individual was hit by a falling window frame and assisting the HSE in a prosecution arising out of an incident relating to a reversing dustcart. Jim Meyer heads up the practice and is 'a stand-out lawyer with vast experience'; clients also praise senior associate Julia Thomas, who is 'on top of her game and is extremely fair in her approach to defendants'.

Boutique firm Turnstone Law is 'quite simply excellent' and 'punches above its weight' thanks to 'an honest and thoughtful approach' from a team of 'very professional and helpful individuals who know exactly what they're doing'. Practice head Simon Joyston-Bechal 'brings a unique and fresh approach to the practice area' and is 'easily able to assimilate information and articulate concise and clear summaries'. His experience encompasses incident investigations, prosecution defence and liability avoidance. The practice also has a team of barristers to draw from with Valerie Charbit being a key name to note.


Index of tables

  1. Immigration: business
  2. Immigration: human rights, appeals and overstay
  3. Leading individuals: Hall of Fame
  4. Leading individuals
  5. Next generation lawyers

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

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Bishop & Sewell LLP¬†¬†is noted for its focus on human rights, asylum and family work. It also handles PBS applications for high-net-worth individuals and students, and is experienced across public law challenges, appeals and nationality cases. The team continues to be instructed by a number of London Boroughs on immigration matters. Senior associate Mariam Khaliq¬†is active across a range of matters for private clients and handles mandates relating to EU nationals, deportation, settlement and nationality; she has a particular focus on appeals and Judicial Review challenges. Associate Karma Hickman¬†is ‚Äėpositive and confident‚Äô and is ‚Äėimpressive in her fast and comprehensive command of the facts and in her ability to narrow down and focus on the main issues‚Äô; and regularly acts for individual clients, with particular expertise in international surrogacy and inter-country adoption cases. Department head Charles Green¬†joined in July 2018 from Healys LLP.

Fladgate LLP¬†provides a ‚Äėpersonal‚Äô service and regularly acts on behalf of high-net-worth¬†individuals, who are often high-profile, as well as their¬†families¬†and businesses¬†on¬†a range of complex¬†immigration mandates. It also regularly handles¬†human¬†rights¬†and¬†asylum¬†claims, particularly for individuals¬†who¬†are the¬†target of politically¬†motivated¬†extradition. Sarah Gogan¬†is ‚Äėextremely personable, insightful and able to think quickly on her feet, creating appropriate recommendations and solutions for clients‚Äô. Kelly Whiter, who joined from PwC LLP¬†in 2017, is also a key member of the team.

The ‚Äėprofessional and knowledgeable‚Äô team at Healys LLP¬†'stands out for its innovative approach to service delivery'. It is regularly instructed by high-net-worth individuals (including individuals across the sports, music, theatre, films and entertainment sectors) and also advises UK universities on student visas, extensions and reviews. Team head Ivon Sampson¬†is ‚Äėknowledgeable and clear in his advice‚Äô. Middle East department head Omar Shams¬†delivers advice with ‚Äėclarity, efficiency and has total focus on the most relevant legal points‚Äô. Solicitor Nagesh Jain¬†is also recommended.

The ‚Äėdedicated, hardworking and exceptionally knowledgeable‚Äô team at LUPINS¬†handles a range of nationality, immigration, human rights and asylum issues. Judicial Review, unlawful detention work, refugee work, European law, and business immigration are key areas of strength for the ‚Äėfantastic‚Äô team. Lawrence Lupin¬† handles business immigration as well as human rights and asylum cases for vulnerable clients. Solicitors Stefan Vnuk¬† (who specialises in complex immigration and asylum cases) and¬†Tamana Aziz¬†joined Duncan Lewis Solicitors¬†.

Niche immigration firm Wesley Gryk Solicitors LLP¬†‚Äėcombines thorough knowledge of the complex and ever-changing immigration rules and policies with a real dedication to the client and the outcome sought‚Äô. It regularly acts for individuals on personal immigration issues, with a particular emphasis on cases involving human rights, nationality, civil liberties and European free movement issues. The team also acts for corporations, partnerships, religious orders and charities. Working on behalf of LGBTI individuals and families is a key area of specialism and the team regularly advises on same-sex asylum and partner-based applications. Senior partner Wesley Gryk's¬†‚Äėstatus, knowledge and experience is legendary‚Äô.¬†Barry O‚ÄôLeary¬†stands out for his ‚Äėunsurpassed client-handling skills and for his deep knowledge of the law and how it is applied by decision makers and judges‚Äô.¬†Diana Baxter¬†is a ‚Äėlateral and creative thinker‚Äô, ‚Äėcombines compassion, intellect and tactical nous‚Äô and is ‚Äėparticularly good on complex nationality cases, as well as family cases involving children‚Äô.¬†Alison Hunter, who is ‚Äėvery well-known and sought after for her work on complex family cases particularly concerning children in the care system, inter-country adoption and surrogacy', has particular expertise in EEA free movement issues. Solicitor Elizabeth Ruddick¬†is a ‚Äėbrilliant practitioner with extraordinary attention to detail‚Äô.

The ‚Äėexceptional‚Äô team at Wilson Solicitors LLP¬†‚Äėworks tirelessly and demonstrates a commitment to its clients that is second-to-none‚Äô. It specialises in a full range of asylum, nationality and personal immigration cases for individuals. Immigration head Matthew Davies¬†and 'outstanding' senior partner Michael Hanley¬†have ‚Äėtremendous knowledge and experience‚Äô. Ana Gonzalez¬†handles a range of asylum and personal immigration cases, and has ‚Äėfantastic knowledge of EU law, trafficking and immigration rules in general; she has a great tenacity pursuing a case to get the absolutely best for her client and a remarkable insight as to how to get there‚Äô.¬†Anita Vasisht¬†is ‚Äėbrilliant‚Äô and specialises in complex asylum, nationality and security cases. The ‚Äėfantastic‚Äô Muhunthan Paramesvaran¬†is also recommended.

The ‚Äėoutstanding‚Äô team at¬†Bates Wells¬†delivers a ‚Äėprofessional‚Äô service, and is praised for its ‚Äėaccurate, informed legal advice and conscientious, committed representation‚Äô. It acts for a range of individuals, including several well-known entertainers, as well as charities, media companies, and education-sector clients. Clients include Hillsong Church London, which it advises on a range of matters including applications under the Tier 2 and Tier 5 route for individuals to come to the UK to help serve the work at the Church in a variety of roles. Global Innovation Fund, Quant Marketing Company, Natural Resources Charter and Mixam UK are also clients. Philip Trott¬†is a ‚Äėstalwart of the immigration world‚Äô and has ‚Äėvast experience‚Äô in commercial immigration, where recently promoted partner Chetal Patel¬†is also a key figure. Department head Tim Barnden¬†has ‚Äėgreat client skills and is adept at finding a solution for the client and preparing appeals to the highest standard‚Äô; he is particularly known for his work on applications made by couples and families, including advice for LGBT applicants. Senior associate Katie Dilger, who is ‚Äėexcellent with clients‚Äô and has a ‚Äėwealth of experience‚Äô, is also active in personal and human rights mandates.

The ‚Äėbrilliant‚Äô team at Kingsley Napley LLP¬†is particularly experienced in acting for business immigration clients in the legal, professional and financial services, media and entertainment, technology and energy sectors. It also handles multi-faceted immigration cases for private individuals. Department head Nicolas Rollason¬†has ‚Äėextensive experience, particularly in business-related immigration‚Äô and provides strategic advice to businesses on their UK and global immigration needs, as well as advising investors, entrepreneurs, well-known individuals and other ultra-high-net-worth clients. Other key figures include¬†Ilda de Sousa, who¬†is ‚Äėcalm, professional and very easy to work with‚Äô and regularly acts for investors, entrepreneurs and high-net-worth individuals; the 'first-rate'¬†Marcia Longdon, who¬†is particularly experienced in advising clients active in the creative and entertainment sectors; the 'excellent'¬†Elspeth Guild; Andrew Tingley, who¬†‚Äėinspires confidence‚Äô and is ‚Äėreassuring, unflappable and goes way beyond what is expected‚Äô in his advice to high-net-worth individuals, start-ups in relation to Tier 1 applications, appeals, family applications, surrogacy and complex applications; and senior associate Katie Newbury, who¬†is ‚Äėvery experienced and is adept at dealing with a range of clients‚Äô. She specialises in complex and challenging personal immigration instructions, such as applications for Tier 1 applications, nationality and human rights matters, as well as international surrogacy and adoption issues. Legal counsel Gillian Brownlee¬†handles personal and business immigration matters and is experienced in advising high-net-worth individuals. Associates Conor Boyd, Kim Vowden, Rizwana Quazi¬†and Jessica Jim¬†are also recommended.

Immigration boutique Laura Devine Immigration¬†has a ‚Äėwell-earned reputation for excellence‚Äô, ‚Äėundertakes the highest quality work‚Äô and ‚Äėexcels in identifying pragmatic and creative solutions in order to meet the client‚Äôs objectives in the swiftest manner possible‚Äô. The firm has a substantial human rights and appeals practice, which advises on a range of issues covering oversta-s, separated families, elderly dependants and incapacitated applicants, as well as high profile asylum claims for politically exposed persons and other individuals.¬† Its business immigration department, which is particularly noted for its strengths in US and UK immigration law, regularly acts for multinational companies, SMEs, start-ups and executives. Managing partner Laura Devine¬†is a ‚Äėvisionary leader‚Äô; ‚Äėthe¬†client experience is at the heart of all she does‚Äô. Other key figures include ‚Äėexceptional‚Äô¬†UK practice head Sophie Barrett-Brown; Anastasia Tonello, who¬†is the global head of the firm‚Äôs US practice; and senior attorney US practice head in London¬†Christi Hufford Jackson,¬†who is a ‚Äėdynamic practitioner, unsurpassed in identifying the best solution to a tricky problem‚Äô. Head of compliance and risk Natasha Chell¬†is a ‚Äėpolished professional with an excellent client manner, who inspires complete confidence and consistently provides well thought out advice‚Äô, and is experienced in corporate immigration, with particular strengths in advising on sponsor licencing and Tier 2 matters. Senior solicitor Francesca Sciberras¬†is ‚Äėextremely professional‚Äô, ‚Äėalways accommodating‚Äô and ‚Äėgives clients the hard line, but also understands the reality of the client‚Äôs business‚Äô. Malini Skandachanmugarasan¬†heads the appeals and human rights department, which includes recently promoted senior solicitor Matthew Wills, who also handles business immigration, and solicitor Zeena Luchowa.

Business immigration specialist¬†Magrath Sheldrick LLP¬†provides an ‚Äėexcellent level of service'.¬†The team comprises¬†'true subject matter experts in the immigration field‚Äô who act for a number of clients in the financial services sector, and for a number of ultra-high-net-worth individuals, particularly in the media and entertainment fields. Managing partner Ben Sheldrick¬†stands out for his ‚Äėexcellent technical knowledge and client service‚Äô and senior partner Chris Magrath¬†specialises in all aspects of business immigration law from a UK and US perspective. Alfreda Joubert¬†and Zulaykha Bhaijee, who is ‚Äėpersonable, knowledgeable and provides an excellent service‚Äô, are also names of note.

The business immigration team at PwC LLP¬†has ‚Äėreal strength in depth‚Äô and is active across the education, financial services, IT and technology sectors. It regularly handles complex immigration compliance matters for both corporate and private clients, and is adept at co-ordinating emergency business evacuations and business continuity advice. The team also has close links with key government organisations and is engaged in high-level consultations with government on immigration policy changes; the ‚Äėexcellent‚Äô Andrea Als¬†is the government liaison head, while practice head Julia Onslow-Cole, who is described as ‚Äėthe immigration lawyer‚Äôs immigration lawyer‚Äô, was appointed to the Home Office EU Immigration Employers' Representative Group to represent employers in relation to immigration and the position of EU citizens‚Äô pre and post Brexit. She was also appointed to sit on a 14-strong Brexit Expert Advisory panel. Other key figures include private client and private business team head Lyudmyla Davies, who¬†is 'extremely knowledgeable';¬†Katrina Cooper, who¬†leads advice to outbound UK nationals and third country nationals; Sapna Patel, who¬†leads the financial services immigration team and acts for a number of high-profile banks; technology head Sharan Kundi; and Lindsey Barras,¬†who leads the short-term business offering, advising on global immigration, tax, social security and permanent establishment risks around business travel.

Boutique immigration outfit Carter Thomas Solicitors¬†delivers an ‚Äėexceptional service‚Äô. It is regularly instructed by clients in the education sector on Tier 4 licences, and also acts for high-net-worth individuals seeking to enter the UK as investors and entrepreneurs, and advises businesses holding or seeking Tier 2 sponsor licences. Nichola Carter¬†has ‚Äėunrivalled experience in business immigration‚Äô and is ‚Äėdynamic, thoughtful and has an excellent relationship with the Home Office, which is an enormously important asset in this area‚Äô; ‚Äėshe knows the law and is can be relied on to provide clients with outstanding service‚Äô. Carter is also ‚Äėable to convey highly technical legal points or case law in very practical and accessible terms‚Äô. Associates Jessica Taylor¬†andNick Gore¬†are also recommended.

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP¬†regularly acts for corporate and individual clients on a range of business-related immigration issues. Its corporate client base includes names such as Wagamama, Sports Direct, Harrods, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe, Mercedes, Pole Star Group and Cobb Europe are among the firm‚Äôs clients. ‚ÄėExceptional‚Äô department head Rose Carey¬†acts for a range of multinational enterprises and high-net-worth individuals on a range of PBS and non-PBS matters, and is noted for her experience in acting for Russian and Chinese high-net-worth clients with business interests in the UK. Senior associate Paul McCarthy¬†acts for a range of clients on Tier 1 (exceptional talent, investor and entrepreneur) applications as well as, Tier 2, Tier 4 and Tier 5 matters; he also acts for corporate and individual clients on right to work and right to rent legislation and handles Tier 2 sponsor licences. Associate Katherine Dennis¬†regularly advises private and corporate clients across business and personal immigration law issues covering PBS, spouse and partner applications, EEA issues, nationality and settlement; and has particular expertise in Tier 2 sponsorship, partner visa applications and Tier 1 investor applications. Tax associate Elena Vasilyeva¬†is also recommended.

With expertise spanning business and human rights immigration cases, the team at Gherson¬†regularly handles complex human rights and asylum cases, both in the UK and internationally, and is particularly adept at handling politically sensitive and high-profile cases.¬†The team represents internationally based clients in matters relating to INTERPOL and Red Notice notifications, and also manages a growing number of international sanctions cases. Solicitor Thomas Garner¬†heads the extradition department. Associate Joe Levtov¬†handles human rights and asylum cases. Roger Gherson¬†is active across business and personal immigration; he is a ‚Äėmaster at handling complex, politically sensitive cases‚Äô; and is the ‚Äė‚Äėgo to‚Äô lawyer for clients facing the most challenging of circumstances‚Äô. Consultant Lisa Amos¬†heads the business immigration team which acts for over 100 companies, and handles a full range of business immigration work. Solicitors Alina Fosh¬†and Isobel Neilson¬†head the general immigration team, advising individuals on UK immigration applications.

Lewis Silkin LLP¬†is noted for its sports-sector advice, in addition to advising clients across the professional services, fashion, media, entertainment, technology, retail, leisure and hospitality sectors. It is particularly noted for its expertise in advising on Tier 5 visas, working closely with the firm‚Äôs employment department. ¬†Deliveroo, Benevolent AI, Marks & Spencer, Ford, Fulham Football Club and ASOS are clients. Team head Andrew Osborne¬†acts for a range of large multinationals, small companies and individuals on PBS applications, intra-company transfers and new hires. Senior associate Ben Maitland¬†‚Äėexudes a calming reassurance‚Äô and ‚Äėexplains complex immigration rules in layman‚Äôs terms‚Äô; he specialises in advising employers and employees on the PBS. Senior associate Naomi Hanrahan-Soar¬†is noted for her¬†‚Äėextremely detailed knowledge and ability to synthesise and package this into client friendly solutions‚Äô; she is experienced in advising high-net-worth individuals, as well as corporate clients, particularly in the science, technology and engineering sectors. Senior associate Stephen O‚ÄôFlaherty¬†¬†is regularly instructed by clients in the sports and fashion sectors. Managing associate Joanna Hunt¬†is also recommended. Diana Okoeva¬†joined¬†Clintons.

Mishcon de Reya LLP's immigration practice¬†is ‚Äėoutstanding‚Äô, ‚Äėexhibits excellence in all it does‚Äô and ‚Äėshows a keen interest in customer satisfaction‚Äô. The business immigration team advises corporate, investor and high-net-worth clients across the financial, creative, media, technology, sports and fashion sectors and its human rights, appeals and overstay group is adept at acting for high-net-worth individuals, handling a raft of complex immigration cases. Applications for naturalisation and complex Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) cases are a key area of expertise for the team. Maria Patsalos¬†is ‚Äėexceptional‚Äô and regularly acts for sports-sector clients and specialises in all Points Based applications, sole representative visas; fianc√©e, spouse, civil partnership and unmarried partner applications; rights under European law and claims for political asylum. Steven Bostock¬†regularly handles a range of complex asylum applications in the UK, detention issues, appeals, judicial reviews, and human rights-based applications, regularly advises high-profile individuals seeking political asylum in the UK, and also heads the firm‚Äôs Tier 2 business immigration group. Key associates include¬†Natalie Loader, who specialises in business immigration cases,¬†Fran Rance,¬†Jessica Good,¬†Elnara Ismagilova, and¬†Neil Shanghavi, who joined the team in 2018 from Fragomen LLP. Also recommended are¬†Lucy Grant, who recently joined the team from Gherson; Hannah Barnett, who ‚Äėmakes the complex web of legislation appear comprehensible‚Äô; David Deane, who is ‚Äėprofessional, responsive, knowledgeable and keen on proposing practical solutions to customer challenges‚Äô; and Matt Ingham, who is ‚Äėextremely motivated, hardworking, committed, determined and completely reliable‚Äô and focuses on complex asylum claims involving political persecution and corporate raiding, as well as Tier 1 visa and discretionary British citizenship and naturalisation applications. ‚ÄėOutstanding‚Äô department head Kamal Rahman¬†is instructed by a range of high-net-worth individuals and families seeking to establish in the UK.

Penningtons Manches Cooper‚Äôs ‚Äėprofessional‚Äô department is ‚Äėapproachable and collaborative‚Äô and ‚Äėexcels in the field of immigration‚Äô. It provides advice to corporate and personal immigration clients, which are often high-net-worth individuals. The team advised tech company Paddle on its sponsor licence application. Navitas Holdings, Coventry University, Tata and Florida State University are also clients. Department head Pat Saini¬†is experienced in advising education and tech-sector clients, as well as high-net-worth individuals.¬†Hazar El-Chamaa¬†heads the private wealth immigration offering, is ‚Äėexceptionally good with private clients; she instantly builds trust, understands what the client goes through and helps them navigate their way through complex immigration rules seamlessly‚Äô. El-Chamaa regularly acts for education, fashion, luxury, lifestyle, sports and entertainment sector clients, as well as high-net-worth individuals. Afeefah Shabbir¬†has joined from Clarkslegal LLP.

Squire Patton Boggs¬†delivers ‚Äėprompt replies‚Äô and has a ‚Äėprofessional approach‚Äô. It acts for a number of leading global businesses, across the sports, media, food, beverages, automotive, aviation, construction, manufacturing, engineering and financial services sectors, on high-end and complex immigration law issues. The team benefits from the firm‚Äôs extensive international network of offices, advising on complex, cross-border issues. Practice head Annabel Mace¬†has extensive experience in all aspects of business immigration and the PBS, particularly in relation to applying for Tier Two sponsor licences and related complex compliance issues, and is also experienced in defending Home Office fines for alleged illegal working in addition to advising on the transfer of staff to countries outside the UK. Supinder Sian¬†is ‚Äėknowledgeable, pro-active, and gives clear and practical advice‚Äô; he is noted for his sports sector expertise; and is regularly instructed by Premiership and Championship league football clubs on applications for players and their family members, and also advises clubs on sales and acquisitions and related sponsor licence issues.

The global immigration and mobility team at Baker McKenzie¬†provides a ‚Äėvery high level of service‚Äô to multinational companies, often advising on international transfers. The team also acts for individual clients such as entrepreneurs, sports personalities, leading musicians, actors and high-net-worth individuals on a range of immigration issues. Senior associate Tony Haque¬†leads the department and is ably supported by employment head John Evason, and senior associate Richard Mills, who has expertise acting for clients across the banking, finance, professional services, pharmaceutical and technology sectors.

Bindmans LLP‚Äôs ‚Äėimpressive‚Äô immigration, asylum and nationality practice has vast expertise across a range of asylum and human rights cases such as extradition law, representing victims of trafficking and other vulnerable clients, detention, bail and deportation. It is the ‚Äėgo-to firm for complex family immigration work, in particular for children in care, adopted and surrogate born children and children subject to guardianship orders; its asylum and human rights work is first-rate‚Äô. On the business immigration side, the team acts for individuals, SMEs, trade unions and not-for-profit organisations. Associate Emma Cohen¬†handles cases involving family issues and is ‚Äėone of the ‚Äėgo- to‚Äô people for advice on inter-country¬†adoptions and foreign-born surrogacy children‚Äô cases, as well as advising entrepreneurs. Associate Ashley Fleming¬†‚Äėdemonstrates a wealth of knowledge and experience, pays attention to detail and is very efficient‚Äô, and Roberta Haslam, who is also an associate, has extensive experience of working with victims of trafficking and vulnerable individuals, and also acted for an international not-for-profit organisation on issues relating to its senior employees outside the EEA. Solicitors Abigail Evans, who ‚Äėbrings endless energy to every case‚Äô, and Alice Davis¬†are also recommended. Alison Stanley¬†has a ‚Äėwealth of experience and is extremely thorough‚Äô. Stanley heads the team with Liz Barratt, who has ‚Äėexcellent client skills; she is extremely experienced in representing a range of clients, and is particularly skilled with vulnerable clients‚Äô.

Clyde & Co LLP‚Äôs ‚Äėlevel of service is consistently high‚Äô; the team provides ‚Äėefficient and professional‚Äô advice to multinational corporate clients, benefitting from its international network of offices. It regularly provides strategic immigration advice to clients within the oil and gas sector and acts for insurance sector clients on global corporate restructuring programs. Cardano Risk Management, Sasol, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Total Gas & Power and Halfords Media UK are clients. The ‚Äėoutstanding‚Äô¬†Jonathan Chaimovic¬†leads the team, which includes¬†recently promoted legal director Tim Richards¬†and¬†senior immigration specialist Neena Samuel.

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius UK LLP‚Äôs ‚Äėpro-active but practical‚Äô department advises clients operating in the UK and globally in the entertainment, media, technology, investment funds and financial services sectors on of UK, US and global immigration programmes, with expertise on immigration issues arising from a major corporate transactions or reorganisations. The team also acts for a number of entrepreneurs and high-net-worth individuals. The team advised Cameron Mackintosh on the immigration strategy and visa requirements for the entire US-based creative team of the musical Hamilton in its recent transfer from Broadway to London's West End, also secured a UK visa for leading theatre actress Rachelle Ahn Goh, and obtained visas for a number of the cast of the UK tour of Miss Saigon. Matthew Howse¬†and Nick Hobson¬†head the team, which also features associates Jennifer Connolly¬†and Yvette Allen. Former practice head Tracy Evlogidis¬†recently left the firm to join Withers LLP.

Russell-Cooke LLP‚Äôs business immigration team is noted for its experience in advising on the immigration law implications of complex and high value corporate transactions. Its client-base spans the education, professional services, healthcare, finance, media and pharmaceuticals sectors. Acting for individuals, the team also regularly handles complex children and family law issues and also advises on sensitive immigration adoption cases involving adoption of children abroad. The team is also experienced in advising on personal injury claims with an immigration element. Department head Edward Wanambwa¬†is ‚Äėvery experienced‚Äô and has a focus on business immigration; and senior associate Nisha Patel¬†is active across human rights, appeals and overstay matters, as well as business-related immigration cases.

Taylor Wessing LLP's immigration department benefits from the firm’s European, Middle East, US and Asian presence, working closely with its employment, private wealth and tax specialists. The team regularly advises corporate clients and high-net-worth individuals on their inward investment into the UK and Europe, particularly from North America and China; and the team also advises on the immigration implications of international M&A deals and restructuring projects. ROLI, Askonas Holt, Tele Tracking Technologies, Dahua Technology UK, Touch Surgery and Applied Predictive Technologies are clients. Senior counsel Charlie Pring advises a number of North American companies across the technology, digital media, financial services and energy sectors on their operations in the UK, and also acts for a number of UK headquartered clients in the technology space on immigration issues. Senior counsel Vikki Wiberg advises corporate clients based in the Middle East and Asia, as well as high-net-worth clients. Sean Nesbitt heads the team.

Bird & Bird LLP’s business immigration offering acts for a range of multinational companies and sports governing bodies in addition to advising high net-worth individuals, and media and entertainment personalities. The team is noted for its experience in advising clients on their HR, talent and mobility strategies. Nuance Communications UK,, Truphone, WD-40 Company, Danfoss and Cadence Design Systems are clients. Key figures include associate Yuichi Sekine, who joined in 2017 from Magrath Sheldrick LLP and is UK head of business immigration; and 'excellent' senior associate Jonathan Goldsworthy.

Specialist immigration firm Bonheur Legal regularly acts for corporate clients and it regularly handles Tier 1, Tier 2 and Tier 5 immigration issues. Deutsche Börse Group, ThyssenKrupp, Volvo Financial Services and Tetra Pak are clients. The firm is also regularly instructed by high-net-worth individuals on a range of immigration issues. Managing director Thierry Hervet is the key contact.

Specialist immigration firm DavidsonMorris¬†provides strategic mobility advice and managed UK immigration services to international and UK-based organisations across the financial services, technology, hospitality, health and social care, education, sports and oil and gas sectors. ¬†It also stands out for its experience in advising on civil penalties. Cennox, Gordon Ramsay Group, University of York, London Stock Exchange, Sage Publishing, Distell International and Renault F1 are clients. Compliance specialist Jemima Johnstone¬†leads the sponsor licence team and managing partner Anne Morris¬†is ‚Äėfirst-rate‚Äô.

Watson Farley & Williams LLP‚Äôs ‚Äėextremely pro-active‚Äô department is praised for its ability to ‚Äėgo the extra mile‚Äô. It acts for individuals and businesses seeking to establish in the UK, and is especially experienced in acting for digital and tech-sector clients. Longleat Safari & Adventure Park, TransferWise, Edinburgh Zoo and ChemCina UK are clients. Senior associate Anna Robinson¬†handles applications for sponsorship, European related-issues and settlement and naturalisation applications, and also advises on immigration compliance matters. Devan Khagram, who is also a senior associate and is ‚Äėparticularly knowledgeable‚Äô, advises businesses, individuals and their families on their rights to work and reside in the UK. Angharad Harris¬†heads the firm‚Äôs employment and immigration team.

Wright Hassall LLP’s business immigration department acts a number of multinational companies across the charity, financial services, IT, gaming, professional services, education, retail, insurance, oil and gas and manufacturing sectors, and also acts for a number of high-net-worth individuals, in the financial, entertainment and media industries. Team head Matthew Davies  regularly advises law firms on internal immigration issues. Recently promoted partner Tracie Udall advises corporate clients on all aspects of the PBS and also advises individuals on personal immigration matters. Associate Kelly Tomkinson acts for business and individual clients, and also has a substantial sports sector following.

Bircham Dyson Bell¬†provides ‚Äėprompt, accurate responses‚Äô; it has ‚Äėsignificant experience and is able to provide clear, thorough, and commercially aware advice‚Äô as well as a ‚Äėseamless service‚Äô. On the business immigration side, the team acts for start-up companies, medium-sized businesses, charities and international entities. Clients include Inotec AMD, The Power of Nutrition, Adam Smith International, C40 Climate Leadership UK, Applied Blockchain, University of Notre Dame (UK), The Doctors Laboratory and Smurfit Kappa UK. The team also works closely with the firm‚Äôs private wealth department and advises domestic and international private clients on a range of immigration issues. Associate Tim Hayes¬†is ‚Äėcommitted to his clients and is very well¬†organised with¬†an eye for detail‚Äô; he handles business immigration matters such as from sponsor licences and global mobility issues. Personal immigration head Alastair Collett¬†advises individuals on estate and tax planning, investors on their entry into the UK, and charities and royal charter corporations on constitutional and governance issues.

The team at Doyle Clayton¬†is ‚Äėalways prompt‚Äô, ‚Äėvery commercially minded‚Äô and provides ‚Äėstraightforward advice‚Äô for multinationals, SMEs, international law firms and high net worth individuals. Fueled, VAT IT UK, VAT Compliance Europe and WTax UK are clients. UK head of immigration Anita de Atouguia¬†has ‚Äėlengthy experience and knowledge of the immigration process‚Äô. Senior associate Elizabeth Timmins¬†has a particular focus on the education sector. Associate Nicola Richards‚Äô ‚Äėcommand of UK immigration law is excellent‚Äô.

Duncan Lewis Solicitors’ business immigration team is instructed by SME clients on a range of matters such as the PBS, sponsorship licence applications, and compliance. It also acts for high-net-worth individuals from Asia, Russia and the Middle East on Tier 1 and investor visas. The firm also handles a range of asylum, nationality, detention, deportation, bail, human rights, detention, Judicial Review, and trafficking cases for business, individual and vulnerable clients. Toufique Hossain handles Judicial Review cases involving immigration, EC Law, civil liberties and human rights matters. Jenna McKinney specialises in fast track cases, appeals, asylum, deportation and Judicial Review work. James Packer regularly handles unlawful detention cases, while Stefan Vnuk specialises in immigration, asylum and human rights law, with a particular emphasis on complex cases in higher courts including the Supreme Court and the European Court of Human Rights.The business immigration department is headed by Ayan Yalchin, Vicash Ramikissoon, and Tamana Aziz , who joined the firm from  LUPINS with Vnuk.

Fox Williams LLP¬†has an ‚Äėexcellent grasp of the technicalities of immigration law‚Äô and acts for both individuals and companies on their UK immigration needs. It regularly handles have sponsorship licence applications, applications for indefinite leave to remain and permanent residence and applications under Tier 2 of the PBS, as well as nationality-related applications. Department head Sacha Schoenfeld¬†has a ‚Äėgreat eye for detail‚Äô and is ‚Äėextremely good at communicating in a timely manner and responding to questions and enquiries‚Äô. Associate Ad√®le Standard¬†is ‚Äėreally pro-active and responsive‚Äô.

Macfarlanes LLP¬†regularly advises high-net-worth and ultra-high-net-worth individuals and their families on inbound and outbound immigration and nationality issues, in addition to acting for companies, senior executives and their families on a range of matters. Rokos Capital Management LLP is a key client. Senior counsel James Perrott¬†is ‚Äėresponsive and has an excellent knowledge of UK immigration law‚Äô; he heads the team with Edward Reed.

Travers Smith LLP‚Äôs ‚Äėprofessional‚Äô and ‚Äėapproachable‚Äô business immigration department works closely with its employment department and is regularly instructed on sponsorship licence compliance issues, Tier 2 visas for senior executives and highly specialised professionals, as well as Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa applications and extensions. Davidson Kempner, Bridgepoint, Bain Capital, The Access Group, Bidfood and Metro Bank are clients. Tim Gilbert¬†acts for clients across the financial services, leisure, media and sports sectors on immigration sponsorship licences, compliance and work visas. Si√Ęn Keall¬†is instructed by a range of clients in the financial services sector. Senior associate Moji Oyediran, who joined from Kingsley Napley LLP¬†¬†in 2017, is ‚Äėresponsive, pro-active and thinks around corners‚Äô. Employment head Ed Mills¬†leads the team and acts for clients across the financial services, media, pharmaceuticals, manufacturing, retail, leisure and defence sectors.

Withers LLP¬†delivers a ‚Äėpersonalised service‚Äô and regularly advises corporate clients on their international strategies, such as sponsorship licence applications, maintenance and renewals, right to work and ongoing compliance, visa applications, and project management issues. The practice also advises on a range of personal immigration for their senior executives. ¬†It also acts for high-net-worth individuals, and high-profile figures in media and entertainment. The team is headed by the ‚Äėimpressive‚Äô Tracy Evlogidis, who recently joined from Morgan, Lewis & Bockius UK LLP¬†in 2017, heads the team. Also recommended are counsel Philip Barth, and associates Zoe Jacob¬†and Gulcin Kashano.

The ‚Äėexceptional‚Äô team at A Y & J Solicitors¬†handles the full gamut of UK visa applications, with a focus on advising on Tier 1 and Tier 2 applications, Judicial Reviews, spouse visas; and its corporate team regularly advises on Tier 2 and 5 sponsor licences. Team head Yash Dubal¬†has ‚Äėvery strong knowledge and understanding of the sponsor licence system‚Äô and provides an ‚Äėoutstanding service‚Äô.

Clarkslegal LLP is regularly instructed by international corporate clients and investors on a range of business immigration matters. Its expertise spans advising high-profile clients entering the UK on entrepreneur visas, and acting for corporate clients on employer sponsorship licences and staff transfers. Jardine Motors Group UK and Coffey International are clients. Managing partner Monica Atwal heads the department and senior solicitor Afeefah Shabbir has left to join Penningtons Manches LLP.

The ‚Äėskilled‚Äô, ‚Äėaccurate‚Äô and ‚Äėefficient‚Äô team at Druces LLP¬†focuses on Tier 1 and Tier 2 visa work, advising entrepreneurs, investors, exceptional talent and companies wishing on bringing skilled migrants into the UK. The team also provides advice on spousal visas, commonwealth ancestral visas and sole representatives of overseas companies, as well as queries on citizenship, registration and naturalisation. Consultant Graeme Kirk, who has a ‚Äėgreat deal of industry knowledge and experience‚Äô, heads the team which includes senior associate Charles Avens.

Edwin Coe LLP is routinely instructed by individual and business clients on a range of immigration matters and operates closely with the firm’s employment and private client departments. Immigration head Dhruti Thakrar regularly advises on sponsor licensing work for UK employers, Tier 1 entrepreneur and investor applications and also handles complex nationality applications and immigration appeals. Consultant Christine Chiew regularly handles private and corporate immigration matters, and nationality issues, as well as related appeals and administrative reviews. Robert Sparks, who joined in 2017 from Fisher Meredith, advises high-net-worth individuals and those seeking to settle, study or visit the UK.

The ‚Äėhighly skilled‚Äô and ‚Äėprofessional‚Äô business immigration department at Freeths LLP¬†handles a range of immigration mandates such as; advising on sponsor licence applications, outsourced licence management, compliance audits, right to work support and immigration risk management issues. The team is led by Tom Bradford, who joined in 2017 from Russell-Cooke LLP, and has a ‚Äėmasterful command of immigration law and displays a passionate understanding of the subject matter‚Äô; he ‚Äėdisplays excellent judgement and is able to advance his client‚Äôs case with exceptional clarity and persuasion‚Äô. Associate Shradha Virji, who also joined in 2017 from Russell-Cooke LLP, stands out for her ‚Äėcool and calm attitude‚Äô.

Ganguin Samartin provides advice across UK and US immigration for individual clients and also services corporate clients across the entertainment, technology, luxury goods, finance, media and sports sectors. The firm also acts for investors and entrepreneurs seeking to invest and conduct business in the UK and US. Head of UK immigration Vanessa Ganguin handles a range of corporate, human rights and personal immigration mandates, acting for SMEs, large multinationals, high-net-worth individuals, high-profile individuals, tech firms and entrepreneurs. Paul Samartin regularly advises corporate clients and individuals in the entertainment industry; and heads the US immigration department. Associate solicitor Meghan Vozila is also a key name.

The ‚Äėoutstanding‚Äô department at Gulbenkian Andonian Solicitors¬†is well known for its ‚Äėstrong‚Äô track-record in human rights, appeals and overstay work, European free movement, and nationality cases. It handles a range of emergency injunctions, bail, unlawful detention claims, appeals and Judicial Review applications, and is particularly praised for its ability to conduct its own advocacy. The firm also handles a range of business immigration matters and clients include several football clubs. Consultant solicitor Bernard Andonian¬†has a ‚Äėwealth of knowledge‚Äô across immigration, asylum and human rights law, and also sits as a part-time judge. Managing director¬†Dave Vasoodaven¬†is ‚Äėapproachable‚Äô and has an ‚Äėexcellent way with clients‚Äô. Consultant solicitor Hayk Sayadyan¬†handles a range of human rights cases and has handled several complex judicial review matters, with particular experience in nationality and national security cases. Legal director Fadi Farhat¬†heads the appeals and public law department and is ‚Äėexceptional‚Äô.

Mills & Reeve LLP is active across a range of business immigration, student immigration, and private client mandates, and regularly acts for clients across the commercial, education, health, charity and sports sectors. Redgate Software, Regent’s University London, Olympus, King’s College London, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and IDEO are clients. Norwich-based principal associate Alex Russell heads the team, and senior associate Abisola Latunji Cockbill, who is based in Birmingham, is also recommended.

Osborne Clarke LLP¬†is praised for its ‚Äėgreat customer service‚Äô and the team is particularly experienced in acing for US multinational clients, particularly digital businesses, on the establishment of their UK operations. The team also advises clients in the energy, financial services, insurance, recruitment and luxury goods sectors on immigration matters. Stora Enso, VICE Media, Zuffa, Boiler Room and Refinery29 are clients.Gavin Jones¬†heads the team and regularly acts for multinationals, professional services firms and educational institutions, and high-net-worth individuals, with a particular focus on inward investment.

The team of ‚Äėfocused immigration law specialists‚Äô at OTS Solicitors¬†stands out for its ‚Äėcrisp and professional approach to its work, which inspires confidence‚Äô. The team handles a raft of human rights cases, with expertise spanning appeals and refusals, Judicial Reviews, indefinite leave to remain, EEA applications, British nationality cases, deportation and asylum claims. On the business immigration side, the team handles a range of investor, entrepreneur and exceptional talent visas, sponsorship licences, illegal working compliance, global migration planning, temporary worker and transfer advice. Oshin Shahiean¬†is ‚Äėvery professional‚Äô and Teni Shahiean¬†is a ‚Äėgreat entrepreneur, who is passionate for her business and her clients‚Äô, and ‚Äėadds a human touch in her work which gives comfort to the client‚Äô. Consultant Paul Gulbenkian‚Äôs experience is ‚Äėexceptional‚Äô.

Payne Hicks Beach‚Äôs citizenship and immigration department provides ‚Äėclear and practical advice‚Äô for high-net-worth individuals particularly from the US, the Middle East, India, Turkey and South America. It also advises UK companies across the arts, fashion, financial services, and the not-for-profit sectors on immigration requirements and obligations. Team head Kathryn Bradbury¬†‚Äôs ‚Äėclient service is second to none; she goes the extra mile to devise a solution for her clients, is extremely professional, and quickly puts any client at ease‚Äô; and is an ‚Äėexcellent tactician and this results in excellent outcomes for clients with even the most complicated cases‚Äô.


Index of tables

  1. Pensions (non-contentious)
  2. Pensions: dispute resolution
  3. Leading individuals: Hall of Fame
  4. Leading individuals
  5. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Pensions clients in London using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact


DWF has 'come on leaps and bounds in the last few years reflecting its continued growth, understanding of the market and expertise in the area'. National head Tim Green is 'poised, confident, organised and provides a bespoke service' and London team leader Amanda Banister is 'technically brilliant and a really bright and thoughtful lawyer'; national commercial litigation head Joel Heap is also a name to note. Recent highlights include Green acting for Safeway in Safeway v Newton, a high-profile equlaisation matter; and Banister defending the Board of the PPF in a challenge to the PPF compensation limits alleging they are insufficient to meet the requirements of the EU Insolvency Directive. Other clients include Dalriada Trustees, Favier and the trustees of Prudential Platinum Pension Plan.

Boutique employment firm Signet Partners LLP is 'a great firm for dealing with technical pensions issues' and 'punches well above its weight' with a client roster spanning trustees, employers, scheme members, industry bodies and representative beneficiaries. Group head Deborah Latimer 'takes an intelligent, efficient and sharp approach to all challenges as a commercially minded litigator' and 'has an absolute wealth of experience to draw on'; she recently handled a scheme closure, represented a client in rectification proceedings and acted in a professional negligence claim.

Allen & Overy LLP 'expertly combines technical expertise and commercial acumen' to provide 'an excellent service that is pragmatic, responsive and client-oriented'. The 'outstanding' Maria Stimpson leads the department, which includes the 'excellent' Neil Bowden, the 'talented' Däna Burstow and the 'highly knowledgeable' Jane Higgins. Bowden's recent mandates include advising the trustees of the BT Pension Scheme on the proposed transfer of its additional voluntary contribution (AVC) arrangement and acting for the trustees of the ICI Pension Fund on a high-profile derisking matter including advising on 14 tranches of insurance covering £9bn of liabilities. Other highlights include Burstow's advice to Arriva on the restructuring of its defined benefit (DB) pension arrangements; Stimpson's work on restructuring for the trustees of the hibu Pension Plan; and Higgins and Bowden's work for the trustees of the Lloyds Banking Group Pensions Trust on an application to the High Court regarding whether guaranteed minimum pensions (GMPs) need to be equalised. Other key individuals include counsel Jessica Kerslake, who 'provides top-quality advice', newly promoted partner Andy Cork, who 'communicates clearly, and consultant Derek Sloan. Stephen Richards joined Stephenson Harwood.

CMS has 'one of the best pensions offerings in the country'. The practice's 'unrivalled resources' enables it to provide 'incredible tailored advice, a commercially minded approach and an ability to remove the fluff to get straight to the point and find the best solution'. Recent non-contentious highlights include Mark Atkinson advising the trustees of the ICI Pension Fund on issues arising from the corporate activity of the scheme's sponsors, Maria Rodia assisting Scottish Hydro-Electric Pension Scheme and Scotia Gas Networks Pension Scheme with the hedging of £1.2bn of longevity risk via two buy-ins and a longevity swap, and Keith Webster acting for BT on the management of its pension deficit. On the contentious side, Webster recently represented BT in a court application regarding its ability to move pension increases to a different index away from RPI and acted for the Wedgwood Pension Trustees in a Part 8 application establishing whether its closure to accrual was valid. Other key practitioners include 'utterly unflappable and savvy' team head Mark Grant, Neal Gibson and 'masterful negotiator' Neil Smith. Clients also single out the 'exceptionally bright and refreshingly pragmatic' Dominic Harris, Jennifer Bell, who has 'very sound judgment'; the 'brilliant' Emma Frost, the 'highly knowledgeable' Simon Pilcher and senior associate Alexandra Tomlinson.

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP's 'market-leading pensions practice' provides 'a first-class service' with 'top-notch strategic guidance, excellent technical breadth and a level of commercialism that cannot be beaten'.¬†On the non-contentious side, Francois Barker, who ‚Äėhas the commercial overview to back up the specialist pensions knowledge‚Äô, leads the global practice while Jeremy Goodwin, who clients praise as ‚Äėone of the best pensions partners in the City‚Äô, heads up the London team. Recent highlights include Goodwin advising the trustees of the General Motors pensions scheme on the switch of its sponsoring employer and assisting the trustees of the BHS Pensions Scheme with the establishment of the BHS2 Pension Scheme following negotiations with Sir Philip Green. Contentious team head Claire Carroll, who is ‚Äėa very authoritative and measured lawyer‚Äô, and Jennifer Miles¬†are the key names for pension litigation matters; Miles recently defended Airways Pension Scheme Trustees in High Court proceedings brought by BA challenging the validity of decisions made by the trustees, and represented Barnardo's in its Supreme Court appeal relating to whether the trustees can adopt an index other than RPI. British Airways pensions schemes, P&O Pension Scheme, GE Pension Plan and Deloitte are also clients.

Clients 'unreservedly recommend' the 'excellent' team at Hogan Lovells International LLP, which is 'first-class across the board' and is 'top notch in terms of content, performance level and responsiveness'. The non-contentious team is 'truly unmatched' with key names including group head Katie Banks, who is 'clearly a leading light in the pensions world'; longevity hedge and investigations expert Edward Brown, and the 'incredibly pragmatic and client-friendly' Duncan Buchanan. The practice recently assisted the Pension Protection Fund (PPF) with the restructuring of Tata Steel Pension Scheme and advised Lloyds Banking Group and Scottish Widows on the acquisition of Zurich's UK workplace pensions and savings business. Angela Dimsdale Gill is the key name for litigation mandates; she recently represented the trustees of the Nortel Networks UK Pension Plan and the Board of the PPF in pension deficit recovery litigation and acted for ITV in the high-profile Box Clever pension scheme regulatory proceedings. Nicholas Heaton, Matthew Bullen and senior associate Nathan Sherlock are also names to note.

Linklaters LLP's 'service levels are of the highest standard' with 'a detailed and methodical approach that sets it apart from the rest'. While historically recognised for its strong non-contentious practice, the firm also fields a robust litigation team; Ruth Goldman leads the transactional side while Mark Blyth is 'simply the best pensions litigator around'. Goldman's recent work includes advising MMC UK Pension Fund Trustee on a longevity swap; other non-contentious work includes Philip Goss assisting Sir Philip Green, Arcadia Group and Taveta Investments with issues surrounding the BHS pension schemes and managing associate John Sheppard handling the pensions elements of the merger between Centrica's European oil and gas exploration and production business with Bayerngas Norge for SWM. On the contentious side the group represented the trustees of the Staveley Pension Scheme in proceedings relating to the issuance of a financial support direction, and acted for Sir Philip Green and Taveta Investments in the inquiry into the BHS schemes. Also recommended are Claire Petheram, Rosalind Knowles, 'highly pragmatic' managing associate Alasdair Smith and 'clear and practical' managing associate Geoff Egerton.

'First-class boutique' Sacker & Partners LLP is 'incredibly strong for all types of pensions work'. Ian Pittaway and Peter Murphy lead the non-contentious and contentious practices respectively; Mark Greenlees and defined contribution scheme expert Helen Ball are also names to note. The group's contentious work includes representing the trustees of the HSBC Bank UK Pension Scheme in multiple member complaints and acting for the trustees of the Carillion Pension Scheme in the inquiry and regulator investigation relating to anti-avoidance powers regarding the company's insolvency. Non-contentious highlights include advising the trustees of the Express Pension Scheme and the Arla Foods Pension Scheme on the scheme merger which used an asset-backed contribution structure to equalise funding levels, assisting EDS Trustee with the spin-off of the enterprise services division from Hewlett Packard Enterprises to DXC, and acting for Meredith on the pensions aspects of its $2.8bn offer for Time. The National Grid Pension Scheme, Royal Mail Pension Plan and the TfL Pension Fund are also clients. Ralph McClelland, Lucy Dunbar and Jacqui Reid all made partner in 2018.

Charles Cameron (who is noted for his 'thoughtful insight') heads the department at Slaughter and May, which is 'a leader in the field' for non-contentious work and was bolstered by the recruitment of Daniel Schaffer from Herbert Smith Freehills LLP in 2017, who is praised as 'ruthlessly good' and 'extremely creative'. Recent mandates include Cameron, newly promoted partner Phil Linnard and Padraig Cronin advising Tata Steel on the restructuring of the British Steel Pension Scheme; Sandeep Maudgil assisting the Royal Mail with the closure of the RMG section of the Royal Mail Pension Plan and the design of a replacement plan; and Schaffer and Maudgil acting for the Railways Pension Trustee Company on multiple transfers and structural changes. The group is also becoming increasingly involved in pensions litigation; it recently represented the trustees of the BT Pension Scheme in Part 8 proceedings in the High Court and acted for Granada Group in High Court and Court of Appeal proceedings relating to whether it is obliged to maintain gilts as security for the pension benefits of former directors. Senior counsel Isobel Carruthers joined from Herbert Smith Freehills LLP and Philip Bennett retired in 2017.

Baker McKenzie 'demonstrates exceptional industry knowledge' and 'really makes an effort to know its clients and provide a positive experience across the board'. Jeanette Holland leads the team with senior counsel Robert West 'providing sound useful advice thanks to his extensive expertise in the field'. Key areas of strength for the team include derisking issues, funding and investment mandates, corporate support work and matters with a global element. Recent highlights include advising Serco on the conversion of a longevity swap to a buy-in policy, acting for Emerson Electric on the pensions aspects of its £$3.2bn acquisition of Pentair's valves and controls unit, and assisting Post Holdings with the pensions components of its acquisition of Weetabix. The group is also active in pensions litigation with notable expertise in cases regarding indexing issues and equalisation requirements. Arron Slocombe and Chantal Thompson are also names to note.

With 'a top-tier practice, strong presence in pensions litigation' and 'first-class knowledge of the transactional side of the coin', Pinsent Masons LLP's 'sensible and pragmatic' team 'performs in the premier league of pensions law firms'. Carolyn Saunders leads the group; she recently advised the trustees of the Singapore Airlines Scheme on the implications of a corporate restructuring. 'No-holds-barred litigator' Isabel Nurse-Marsh heads up the pensions litigation practice and recently represented Gracebay and the Silentnight Group in a claim against the Pensions Regulator relating to issues surrounding its sale; she also acted for Wandel & Goltermann in a High Court claim regarding the validity of pension scheme deeds. Other key individuals include the 'highly tactical' Ben Fairhead, who defended Dalriada in proceedings brought by the regulator regarding fraud claims; Raj Sharma, who assisted the group trustees of the RWE power Group of the Electricity Supply Pensions Scheme with the reorganisation of the fund into two new funds; senior associate Charlotte Scholes, and the 'extremely knowledgable' Matthew de Ferrars. Hayley Goldstone made partner in 2018.

The 'personable and highly strategic' Daniel Gerring leads the department at Travers Smith LLP, which 'clearly understands the client's needs and has the knowledge to execute a comprehensive and reliable plan'. The team handles investment, risk and liability management work, contractual issues, funding matters and pensions disputes. In a recent highlight, the 'excellent' Paul Stannard advised the trustees of the British Steel Pension Scheme on separating the scheme from its sponsoring employer and establishing a new scheme; other work includes Gerring assisting the trustees of the MGN Pension Scheme with its merger with the Mirror Group Pension Scheme, Philip Stear advising the trustees of the Dow Services UK Pension Plan on the company's separation into three independent companies, and the 'thorough and determined' Dan Naylor handling the non-US pensions elements of Micro Focus' merger with Hewlett Packard Enterprise. Susie Daykin is recommended for trustee advisory work and derisking transactions, and senior associate Karen Sahota is 'brilliant'.

Under the joint leadership of Anna Rogers, who is 'a calm and authoritative influence', and Chris Mullen, who has 'excellent technical knowledge', 'outstanding' specialist pensions boutique ARC Pensions Law is 'a growing force in the market'. Rogers recently acted for the Littlewoods Pension Scheme trustees on an invitation to insurers to tender for bulk annuity transactions and advised Bovis Homes Pension Scheme Trustee on the employer's proposal to stop future accrual of defined benefits. Other highlights included Anne-Marie Winton assisting Sealed Air with the pensions aspects of a disposal restructuring and handling a Regulated Apportionment Arrangement (RAA) negotiation for Hoover. Highlights for Rogers involved advising Bovis Homes Pension Scheme Trustee on the employer's proposal to stop future accrual of defined benefits. Other key practitioners include newly promoted partner and 'rising star' Anna Copestake, Rosalind Connor (a 'class act'), and Jane Kola, who joined from Gowling WLG in 2017.

Burges Salmon LLP's pensions practice is 'easily comparable to some of the best City firms' and 'fields a team of strong tactical thinkers who step up to the plate every single time'. Richard Knight and the 'genuinely fantastic' Justin Briggs lead the non-contentious and contentious teams respectively; Knight recently advised on equalisation issues and Briggs represented the affected members and representative beneficiary of the Safeway Pension Scheme in an equalisation claim that has been referred to the Court of Justice of the European Union. Other key names to note include 'highly analytical' legal director Suzanne Padmore, 'incredibly knowledgeable' public sector pension specialist Michael Hayles, regulatory and funding expert Clive Pugh, who is 'the star of the team'; Tim Illston, Alice Honeywill and Susannah Young.

Clifford Chance LLP stands out for its expertise in investment and transactional issues, particularly buy-ins and buy-outs; recent examples include assisting The Co-operative Bank with dividing its pension scheme into two separate sections and advising the trustees of the Dairy Crest Group Pension Fund on the decision to change the fund's index. The team also acted for AA on changes to its DB pension scheme, handled a potential rectification action for Mitchells & Butlers, and advised the trustees of the Brimar Limited Pension Plan on the plan's entry into the PPF. Hywel Robinson leads the department, which also includes Clare Hoxey, senior associate Rebecca Trapp and newly promoted partner Sarah McAleer. Imogen Clark retired.

Matthew Swynnerton leads the 'practical, high-quality, responsive and commercial' practice at DLA Piper and is praised by clients as 'highly responsible and approachable' and 'able to demonstrate a deep knowledge of pensions law which he deploys with great pragmatism'. Tamara Calvert is also singled out as 'prompt, efficient and an expert in her clients' needs'. Key areas of expertise include scheme advisory and documentation advice, multi-jurisdictional transactions, pension fraud and compliance issues. Recent mandates include Swynnerton assisting the Working Group with the Combating Pension Scams Code of Practice and Calvert advising the trustees of the Allied Domecq Pension Fund on a member complaint relating to the revaluation of deferred pensions. The Premier League, Aviva, Novartis UK Pensions Scheme, Uber and Hitachi Rail Europe are also clients. David Young in Leeds is the key name for pensions litigation.

Fieldfisher's 'effective and commercial team' is knowledgeable of pensions schemes in the utilities, transport, public and not-for-profit sectors; clients include South East Water, the Trustees of the Carillion Group of the Electiricty Supply Pension Scheme (ESPS) and the trustees of the General Medical Council Pension Scheme. The 'extremely client-focused' David Gallagher heads up the department and recently led advice to the trustees of the British Energy Generation Group of the ESPS on issues including transferring members between schemes, creating new benefit schedules, negotiating new funding arrangements and handling individual member cases. Clients also praise 'excellent technical lawyer' Michael Calvert and 'brilliant' director Andrew Patten; the pair worked with Gallagher to assist Electricity Pensions Trustee Limited with the restructuring of NWE nPower's group of the ESPS to create two new groups and acted for the trustees of multiple Arriva pension schemes on its statutory consultation procedure and GDPR compliance. Ann Benzimra and Simon Moore are key names for pensions litigation.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP's pensions practice advises companies and trustees on occupational pension plans with expertise in cross-border transactions, product development, funding matters, scheme mergers, benefit changes, insolvency, liability reduction and restructuring work. Key names include Charles Magoffin, Andrew Murphy and Dawn Heath; Magoffin is regularly instructed by financial institutions to assist with derisking matters, Murphy focuses on transitional work and Heath specialises in DB pension schemes.

Gowling WLG 'is a standout firm for pensions litigation' with 'vast industry knowledge, an attentive approach and professional acumen'. Team head Peter Shave is 'measured, unflappable and an excellent tactician'; he recently represented the board of the PPF in proceedings aiming to establish the meaning and effect of the compensation cap provisions, and acted for Thales Pension Trustees in a Part 8 application. Ian Gordon 'leaves no stone unturned' and represented a motor trade business in a negligence claim against two law firms and acted for the trustees of a pension scheme in proceedings relating to the scheme's employer attempting to change the basis on which pensions are increased under the scheme's rules. Jason Coates and Paul Feathers are the key names for non-contentious work; Coates advised the trustees of the UK pension arrangements of Fujitsu Services on scheme advisory work and Feathers assisted Rothesay Life with its pensions risk transfer transactions. Principal associate Nicky Yarwood is recommended and Jane Kola joined ARC Pensions Law.

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP's 'outstanding' team includes Alison Brown and Paul Lewis, who lead the non-contentious and litigation elements respectively; Brown is 'excellent commercially' and Lewis is 'exceptional at understanding complex issues'. Clients also single out Samantha Brown, who is 'superb in combining technical brilliance with excellent judgement and strategical awareness'; newly promoted partner and derisking expert Rachel Pinto, who 'provides incredible service throughout'; and 'excellent' senior associate and former barrister James Rickards, who joined from Chambers of Michael Bowes QC, Christopher Gibson QC and Andrew S.  Recent mandates include representing Lloyds Bank in Part 8 proceedings relating to GMPs and advising Irish Life Assurance on a bulk annuity transaction.  Daniel Schaffer joined Slaughter and May.

Mayer Brown International LLP's 'high-quality pensions law team' provides 'well-considered and timely advice' and is 'highly responsive and thorough in its approach'. Ian Wright and Jay Doraisamy jointly head the non-contentious group and Stuart Pickford leads the pensions litigation practice. Recent non-contentious highlights include acting for the PPF on the settlement of the Hoover Pension Scheme's benefit deficit, assisting the Atkins Pension Plan with the pensions components of WS Atkin's takeover by SNC-Lavalin Group, and advising Molins UK Pension Fund on the implications of the sale of part of the sponsoring employer's business. On the contentious side, the group represented JMEPS Trustees in a Pensions Ombudsman complaint relating to the distribution of a lump sum death benefit and acted for the trustees of a substantial DB scheme in a member complaint. The BT Pension Scheme, Kingfisher Pension Trustee and Prudential Staff Pensions are also clients. Other key names include Richard Evans, Edward Jewitt, Andrew Block and Richard Goldstein. Philippa James retired.

Norton Rose Fulbright fields a team of 'incredibly thorough lawyers with a deep knowledge of the industry' who 'always deliver on time' led by Peter Ford. Ford's recent work includes advising the trustees of the Invensys Pension Scheme on changes to the scheme's benefit structure, compliance issues and a review of pension increase provisions. Lesley Browning is also a key name to note; she assisted Carrier Pension Trustee with the closure of the Carrier (UK) Pension Scheme to future benefit accrual, advised the trustees of the Stena Drilling Final Salary Pension Scheme on the scheme's merger into a group arrangement and handled John Menzies' closure of its DB pension scheme to future accrual. Katie Stephen is recommended for contentious mandates.

With 'a growing presence in the pensions space', PwC LLP 'is not only increasing in depth but is demonstrating innovative ways of assisting clients' across pensions indexation, bulk annuity transactions, VAT issues and fiduciary management agreements. Oliver Reece heads up the group, which was recently bolstered by the recruitment of Marcus Fink from Ashurst. In a recent highlight, Fraser Sparks advised Stena on the merger of its five UK DB schemes into a single pension scheme; he also assisted the Zoological Society of London with the closure of its DB pension scheme to future accrual. David Farmer is also recommended; he advised De La Rue on an index change.

Squire Patton Boggs' 'knowledgeable and approachable group' is recognised for its expertise in the public, not-for-profit, investment and utilities sectors and counts Hertfordshire County Council, Merseyside Pension Fund and Action for Children Pension Fund Trustee as clients. London practice head Wendy Hunter has 'a keen eye for detail' and recently advised the trustees of the Combined Nuclear Pension Plan on issues surrounding a Chapter 11 process and assisted the trustees of the Anglian Water Group Pension Scheme with the division of the scheme. Clifford Sims leads the national practice and Victoria Leigh heads up the pensions disputes group; Leigh recently acted for a representative beneficiary in an application for rectification.

Stephenson Harwood 'has an excellent reputation in the pensions litigation market' with team co-head and 'tremendous litigator' Helena Berman, the 'first-rate and strategically brilliant' Jenny McKeown and the 'brilliant' co-head Philip Goodchild making the group 'a first choice for clients'. Recent mandates include representing the representative beneficiary of the BT Pension Scheme in proceedings opposing the BT's application to change the scheme's price index, acting for Honda Motor Europe and Honda of the UK Manufacturing in rectification claims, and representing the trustees of the Barnardo's Staff Pension Scheme in the Supreme Court in a claim relating to indexing issues. The non-contentious group is led by the 'knowledgeable and experienced' Mark Catchpole; he advised Bic Pension Scheme on issues relating to benefits payable to different member classes and assisted the Bank of Montreal with the introduction of new arrangements. Clients also single out senior associate Naeem Noor, who 'always delivers'.

Addleshaw Goddard fields  'a strong team with a high degree of technical knowledge'. Its pensions expertise encompasses auto-enrolment issues, public sector pension work and pension products with particular expertise in self-invested personal pension (SIPP) and small self-administered scheme (SSAS) products. The national practice is led by Rachel Rawnsley, who 'instils confidence in clients', and includes pension products team head Jade Murray, who is 'always great and an excellent strategist'; Catherine McAllister, who leads the public sector pensions team; Rachel Uttley and Susan Garrett, who is the key name for contentious matters.

David Dennison leads the department at Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP and regularly handles pension plan mergers, outsourcing issues, pension plan closures, ombudsman claims, restructurings and investment-related work. The team is also highly regarded for its experience handling the pensions elements of wider corporate transactions. Clients include Thames Water, D.E UK Pension Plan, Lockheed Martin UK Pension Plan, Linpac Group Pension Fund and World Duty Free Group Pension Fund.

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP provides 'good practical pensions advice' across funding issues, risk reduction, M&A, restructurings, regulator work, pre-pack arrangements and compliance mandates with substantial experience in the charity and not-for-profit sectors. Recent highlights include advising a client in the education sector on the pensions elements of its transfer to academy status, assisting a telecoms client with the pensions aspects of a corporate restructuring and handling the transferral of pensions liabilities for a motor trading client. Other clients include Westminster Abbey, Ericsson and PS Independent Trustee. Michael Jones leads the department, which also includes senior associates Lee Colgate and Esther White, and legal director Andy Williams.

Dentons fields 'an experienced team that produces good sound advice for clients and really has their best interests at heart' with expertise in pensions litigation, insolvency related matters, investment work and corporate support with notable public sector strength. Elmer Doonan heads up the team and has 'a very practical streak allowing him to see the bigger picture'; his recent work includes advising the Bank of China on issues arising from the closure of its pension scheme to new members and future accrual, assisting Fleet Trustees with a new actuarial valuation, and representing the representative beneficiaries of the Barnardo's Staff Pension Scheme in a Supreme Court case regarding indexing changes. The firm expanded its UK offering with a merger with legacy firm Maclay Murray & Spens LLP that brought David Knox into the team.

Macfarlanes LLP has a 'knowledgeable, responsive and experienced team' that provides 'technically brilliant, pragmatic and commercial advice'. Camilla Barry  heads the group and is 'an expert in the field; she is a safe pair of hands with a down-to-earth approach'. bARRY recently advised Pernod Ricard on the redesign of its death benefits, assisted Darty with the actuarial valuation of its pension scheme, and acted for South Downs Trustees on the pensions elements of the sale of Portsmouth Water to Ancala Partners. Legal & General Assurance Society, Hogg Robinson and Visa are also clients. Andrew Barton leads the firm's pensions derisking practice.

Jonathan Hazlett leads the 'excellent' team at Osborne Clarke and is recognised as 'a good team player who can always be relied on for sensible and practical advice' with notable experience in PPF matters and the not-for-profit, railway and shipping sectors; clients include TfL and the Environment Agency. Recent contentious highlights for the team include representing the representative beneficiary of the Gleeds Retirement Benefits Scheme in a High Court appeal relating to a Part 8 application and Paul Matthews acting for Vocalink in rectification proceedings. On the non-contentious side, Matthews advised trustees of the Imperial Tobacco Pension Fund on the implications of an employer leaving the fund, Hazlett assisted the trustees of the Lincoln Staff Pensions Plan with liability management exercises, and Mark Womersley handled the creation of the Brunel Pension Partnership for ten Local Government Pension Scheme funds.

The 'excellent' team at Reed Smith LLP 'always keeps its clients well informed and provides pragmatic and commercial advice'. The group advises corporates and trustees on the relationship between employers and their schemes, investment issues and corporate support work. In a recent highlight, practice head Simon Hartley acted for a scheme on a buy-in of a tranche of benefits. Other key team members include 'highly responsive' consultant Justine Senior and public sector specialist William Sutton, who 'understands his clients' needs well'.

Simmons & Simmons has 'truly exceptional expertise across pensions law' and 'a talented team' led by the 'knowledgeable and wise' Danny Tsang, who handles pensions scheme restructurings and mergers for corporate clients. Tsang's recent work includes advising XL Catlin Services on the pensions aspects of the international merger between XL and Catlin. Clients also single out James Dean, who provides 'sound advice and has good client awareness' and the 'brilliant' Michael Wyman; Wyman assisted Zurich UK Pension Scheme with the appointment of a new investment manager, acted for the trustees of the SmithKline Beecham pension plan in member disputes and investment matters, and advised the Gallaher Group on the proposed closure of its DB pension schemes to future accrual.

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP is 'a key player in pensions litigation' and has 'a sophisticated service that puts the client front and centre'. Recent contentious mandates include 'tremendously experienced' pensions litigation head Suzanne Duff acting for IBM in the Court of Appeal in proceedings relating to the employer's duty of good faith. Managing associate Joanna Bromhead is also a key name to note for pensions litigation. On the non-contentious side, Martin Poore leads the group and Tracy Walsh heads up the public and voluntary sector pensions unit. Poore recently assisted Signet Group with the closure of its DB scheme to future accrual and Walsh advised Procter & Gamble on the pension elements of the sale of its beauty brands to Coty. Go-Ahead Group, Carnival and Bellway are also clients.

Ashurst is noted for assisting corporate clients with the pensions elements of transactional work; it recently advised Berendsen on the pensions aspects of its takeover by Elis, assisted the Aveva Group with its acquisition of Schneider Electric's industrial software business and handled the pensions issues relating to the Bank of England's takeover of the Chaps payment system. Counsel John Gordon, who joined from Linklaters LLP, leads the group following Marcus Fink's departure to PwC LLP; he has notable experience structuring pension scheme benefits, liability management, funding issues and regulatory mandates. Angela Pearson leads the contentious team and recently repesented First Data in the Court of Appeal in proceedings relating to pension increases under the governing documentation of its FDR Limited Pension Scheme.

Mark Howard leads the department at Clyde & Co LLP, which 'works hard to find commercial solutions to complex issues' and 'inspires confidence in clients'. The group has notable experience in PPF issues, bulk annuities, derisking mandates and trustee liability insurance work; recent highlights include advising on the pension elements of Liberty House Group's acquisition of Covpress and assisting Just with its bulk annuity policies. The British Medical Association Pension Scheme, NHBC Pension Scheme and Saudi Arabian Airlines are also clients. Other key individuals include Terry Saeedi who joined the Leeds office from Gordons LLP and senior associate Paul Hodges, who 'provides practical solutions'.

Noted for its 'good industry knowledge and expertise', DAC Beachcroft LLP is active in the public, retail, health and charity sectors; clients include the trustees of the Aircraft Research Association Pension Scheme, McDonalds and London Luton Airport. Recent work includes advising the trustees on the winding up of the Conran Shop occupational pension scheme, assisting Lancashire County Council with the pensions elements of the merger of its investment and administration services and acting for Mitie on the pension aspects of multiple outsourcings. The 'calm, pragmatic and knowledgeable' Neil Bhan leads the group, which includes senior associate Joanna Taylor.

Freeths LLP is active in the charity sector, regularly acts for local government clients and handles new pension products, PPF issues and corporate transactions. The 'responsive and understanding' Parminder Latimer leads the national group; her recent work includes advising Ultra Electronics Pension Trustee Company on new consolidated Trust Deed and Rules and GDPR compliance, and assisting Kikki.K with its UK obligations relating to auto-enrolment and overseas secondees. Tarmac Holdings and Travis Perkins are also clients. Other key practitioners include litigator Louise Wilson and Nigel Bolton, who joined the Leeds office from Irwin Mitchell.

Penny Cogher and Martin Jenkins jointly lead Irwin Mitchell's national team; Cogher is 'truly invaluable in her experience and knowledge' and Jenkins is 'an exceptional practitioner'. Key areas of expertise include pensions tax work, auto-enrolment issues and corporate support work; Jenkins recently advised Covpress on the sale of the business and related issues including rescuing its pension scheme out of PPF administration and transferring it to a new employer, and acted for the Council of Mortgage Lenders on the pensions aspects of its amalgamation with UK Finance. Rpmi and Pan Trustees are also clients.

Pitmans LLP's team of 'highly competent lawyers establish a good working relationship with clients' and 'provide pragmatic, clear and commercial advice in a timely fashion'. Department head Chris Netiatis is 'astute and personable' and handles transactional work, liability reductions and regulatory issues; he recently advised the trustees of the Olivetti (UK) Limited Pension and Life Assurance Scheme on benefit corrections and handled the establishment of a final salary scheme for the trustees of the Fire Brigades Union Pension Scheme. Clients also single out litigator David Archer and Denise Fawcett, who is experienced in insolvency matters and regulatory work.

Taylor Wessing LLP stands out for its 'first-rate service' in pension fraud and fields 'an outstanding team with deep experience and an ability to provide practical solutions'. The department is led by 'go-to person' Mark Smith , who 'has a rare ability to find a path through the most complex situations' and is noted for his expertise acting for professional trustees in litigation and restructuring disputes. The group's recent non-contentious mandates include advising Pi trustees on an investigation for pensions liberation fraud, assisting Rutland Partners on the pensions element of its acquisition of Armitage Pet Care, and handling a proposed bulk transfer of assets and liabilites to a master trust and related scheme wind up for the trustees of Lynx Technology Limited Pension and Life Assurance Scheme. Independent Trustee Services, the trustees of the Royal British Legion Staff Pension Fund and the trustees of the Visa UK Pension Plan are also clients.

Sasha Butterworth leads the pensions and incentives team at TLT, which advises trustees and employers across asset-backed funding arrangements, restructurings, buy-ins and litigation. Butterworth's work includes outsourcing issues, risk reduction work and scheme mergers, and associate Chris Crighton advised an industry-wide pension scheme on its proposed closure to future accrual and assisted the UK branch of an international bank on funding arrangements for its DB pension scheme. Ed Fiddick, newly promoted partner Victoria Mabbett and Chris Owen are the key names for contentious mandates; Mabbett recently represented the trustees of the Wandel & Goltermann Retirement Benefits Scheme in a Part 8 claim.

Trowers & Hamlins LLP's 'great industry knowledge, attention to detail and client care' makes it 'a strong alternative in the pensions space'. Team head Martin McFall 'has the knack of making complex issues more understandable' and is recognised for his expertise in benefit restructuring, liability management, scheme windups and Local Government Pension Scheme matters. His recent work includes advising Bic Worldwide on its obligations and duties as a sponsoring employer and assisting Castles and Coasts Housing Association with the pension elements of a merger. Rebecca McKay is also a key name to note; she specialises in investment issues.

Wedlake Bell LLP's 'responsive, knowledgeable and partner-driven team' provides 'an excellent service that is sensible, pragmatic and technically strong'. Justin McGilloway leads the department, which also counts Clive Weber and partner Alison Hills as key names. McGilloway led advice to WNS Services on the pensions components of its outsourcing contracts with financial services companies, Weber assisted Buhler and the trustees of a single-employer final salary scheme with the implications of a principal employer being acquired, and McGilloway and Hills acted for the trustees of the Jotun Paints (Europe) Limited Pension Scheme on scheme funding and employer covenant issues. The Scandinavian Airlines System Pension and Assurance Scheme, Natixis Pension Scheme and Carlton Tower Pension Scheme are also clients.

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