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  1. Employment: employees/unions
  2. Leading individuals

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The ‘truly exceptional’ practice at Leigh Daystands out as one of the top teams in the area’ and ‘consistently pushes the boundaries for employees in innovative ways’. ‘Extremely hardworking’ practice head Chris Benson is continuing to act for over 20,000 Asda employees in an equal pay claim. Clients also single out Emma Satyamurti, who ‘leaves no stone unturned when fighting for her client’, and litigator Michael Newman, who focuses on trade union mandates; both were promoted to the partnership in 2015 and 2016, respectively. The ‘experienced, sensitive, knowledgeable and clear’ Elizabeth George is also recommended.

Edward Cooper leads Slater and Gordon’s practice, which includes Paul Daniels, who recently acted for Oisin Tymon, former Top Gear producer, in a high-profile racial discrimination and harassment claim against the BBC and Jeremy Clarkson. Other key matters included representing Razwan Faraz, a teacher involved in the Trojan Horse investigation in Birmingham schools, in unfair dismissal and religious discrimination tribunal proceedings; and Simon Cuthbert’s successful representation of a police firearms officer in a disability discrimination claim. Clients also recommend discrimination specialist Kiran Daurka and head of the firm’s major litigation group Ivor Adair.

Bindmans LLP’s ‘friendly, professional and unflinching team’ ‘rises to any challenge presented’ and ‘has a level of expertise not often seen in the market’. Practice head Shah Qureshi is representing six High Court judges in a test case challenging the government’s changes to the judicial pension schemes on the basis that they discriminate against age, race and gender. The team also acts for trade unions including the National Union of Journalists and United Voices of the World. Emilie Cole and Shazia Khan are also recommended, as is associate Peter Daly, who has ‘an excellent legal mind and analytical skills’.

One of the best trade union firms around’, Pattinson & Brewer’s client list includes the GMB, Unite and Equity. The practice, which is led by the ‘extremely knowledgeable’ Binder Bansel, also has substantial expertise representing police officers and the Police Federation; the team recently acted for multiple officers in litigation relating to payments owed to officers recalled to duty for overtime work. Anthea Christie and Elizabeth Stephenson (who ‘works hard to ensure a successful outcome’) made partner in 2015 and 2016, respectively.

Led by Linda Stewart, the practice at Simpson Millar LLP has notable experience representing trade unions, particularly in the aviation sector, with clients including the British Airline Pilots’ Association, the Hong Kong Aircrew Officers Association and the Aircrew Officers Association Europe. The firm also has expertise in equal opportunities and discrimination mandates, and leads in holiday pay claims. Key names include Joy Drummond and Aneil Balgobin; Balgobin joined the firm in 2016 from Rollingsons.

Thompsons Solicitors LLP focuses solely on representing trade unions and union members, and recently represented clients in cases relating to disability discrimination and holiday pay. The main contact in the department is Rakesh Patel, who is head of the firm’s employment rights strategy.

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