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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 > Employment: employers and senior executives > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings



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

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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.

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