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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 > North West > Human resources > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings




Index of tables

  1. Employment
  2. Leading individuals: Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next Generation Partners
  5. Rising stars

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next Generation Partners

  1. 1

Rising stars

  1. 1

Addleshaw Goddard's employment team enjoys an excellent reputation in the Manchester market, acting for an array of FTSE 100 and FTSE 250 companies and other significant regional and national employers  in the transport, retail, financial services and manufacturing sectors. The department, which is run by Jamie Hamnett and the 'calm and thorough' Malcolm Pike, has significant experience of high-stakes litigation and boardroom and senior level work, including restrictive covenant disputes. Legal director Kate McGough is also recommended.

Practice head(s):Jamie Hamnett; Malcolm Pike

Other key lawyers:Kate McGough; Tessa Harland; Carly Mather; Ed Gregory; Victoria Davies


'They are organized, manage expectations with regular communication. They are experienced and knowledgeable in their specialism.'

'Victoria Davies and Tessa Harland are excellent - very professional and approachable.'

'Great personal service - highly professional.'

Key Clients



British Airways

JD Sports


Primark Stores




Scapa Group

HMS Host

Work highlights

  • Acting for SME Wealth Management , northwest based wealth management company, following exits to set up a rival company.
  • Acting for Cadent Gas in defending Tribunal Claims brought following the dismissal of two engineers for breach of safety rules, one involving an application for interim relief brought by a Trade Union official at one of its regional sites and allegations of disability discrimination, the other involving whistleblowing allegations.
  • Instructed to act for privately owned building infrastructure company Geobear Infrastructure Ltd to help protect its critical business interests, following the departure of one of its senior, customer facing employers to join a competitor, in breach of restrictive covenants in his contract of employment.
  • Providing strategic and business critical advice to CCL Label Ltd in connection with a concerted approach by Unite, pressing for formal recognition and collective bargaining rights at one of the client's sites in West Yorkshire.
  • Acted for new client LADBible on the restructure of its business following its acquisition of a former competitor out of administration.

Brabners LLP is adept at handling complex employment tribunal litigation, particularly whistleblowing and discrimination claims. While mainly acting for employers, the team also acts for high-profile and high net worth employees and senior executives, and is further noted for its expertise in the logistics, hospitality, social housing charities, retailers, sports, manufacturing and recruitment sectors. In the non-contentious space, the team advises on the employment aspects of a significant number of corporate deals. Nick Campbell leads the Liverpool office, while Paul Chamberlain is the practice head in Manchester. The firm significantly ramped up its capabilities in mid-2019 with the takeover of 15-strong firm HRC Law LLP, which is led by former Brabners lawyer Simon Whitehead.

Practice head(s):Nick Campbell; Paul Chamberlain; Christine Hart

Other key lawyers:Joseph Shelston; Andrew Cross; Lydia Edgar; Kate Venables


'A excellent all-round team who are very astute to secure the best outcome for their clients.'

'Joe Shelston always goes the extra mile for his clients.'

'Extremely professional and responsive to changing demands.'

Key Clients

Shop Direct Home Shopping Limited

Typhoo Tea Limited

JD Whetherspoon plc

Peel Ports Ltd

James Hall & Co Ltd

Travelodge Hotels Limited


Liverpool Football Club & Athletic Ground Ltd Liverpool

AXA Insurance UK plc

DHL Supply Chain Ltd

Carpenters Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised on the amalgamation of the Torus Group with Liverpool Mutual Homes and dealt with the employment law issues.
  • Helped Grady to achieve successful conclusion of a claim representing an employee in pursuit of a claim of vicarious liability against Lloyds Banking Group; a claim arising after the employee was held hostage at knife point by a co-worker.

DAC Beachcroft LLP's impressive client base draws on business across sectors including logistics, retail and leisure. The team is known for handling cross-border employment matters, industrial relations matters as well as HMRC audits relating to national minimum wage issues. Other areas of activity include complex and high profile employment tribunal cases and High Court injunctions, as well as large strategic reorganisations and TUPE matters. Philip Harman and Deborah Hely jointly lead the practice. Nicola Sherry is also recommended.

Practice head(s):Philip Harman; Deborah Hely

Other key lawyers:Richard Kay; Nicola Sherry; Michelle Jenkins; Helen Rowley


'The team are very commercially driven and nothing is too much trouble - they have great knowledge and apply this to the task in hand in a very commercial and pragmatic way.'

'Nicola Sherry and Deborah Hely are great assets to the team - they are accessible, practical in approach to a commercial business and provide options when faced with a problem so that a business has chose.'

'Everyone is very helpful and they always listen to our requirements. Nicola Sherry understands how we function and what our needs are and always gives us advice and information that we find perfect for our business.'

'Philip Harman knows our business, is highly commercial, readily available and his counsel cannot be faulted.'

'They have been incredibly supportive, requests for support and advice are always met very promptly and they are always able to help no matter what the situation. They are able to help no matter what the query is and we have had a range of challenging issues.'

'Michelle Jenkins and Philip Harman have provided invaluable support over the years.'

Key Clients

2020 Legal Limited

A & S Leisure Group Limited

Abbots Bromley Surgery

Accent Housing Group


ARAG (Confidential)

Arcadia Group Limited

Assura plc

Balfour Beatty Utilities Limited

Barrington Stroud Limited

Bentley Motors Limited

Bolton Council

Broderick Group Limited

Bullhorn International Limited


Care UK

Care Management Group Limted

Castlefield Partners Limited

Chem-Trend (UK) Limited

Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS FT

Chubb Insurance of Europe SE

City of Wolverhampton College

Clatterbridge NHS Trust

Clean Tech UK Limited

Computer Design Systems Ltd

Cornelius PLC

Countess of Chester NHS FT


Cygnet Health Care

Derwent Living


Dixons Carphone

Doric Group Limited

Ear to the Ground (UK) Limited

East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust

Emerald Kalama Chemical Limited

Essity UK Limited

Fastflow Group Limited

Fircroft Engineering Limited

Frederic Robinson Limited

Freedom Finance Limited

Fruehauf Limited

Fusion Consulting Gmbh

Gateshead College

GEA Farm Technologies UK Limited

GEA Mechanical Equipment UK Limited

GEA Mechancial Equipment Retirement Benefit

GH Elias Ltd

Greater Manchester Mental Health and Social Care NHS FT

Greiner Extrustion Group GmbH

Help Systems

Henri-Lloyd Limited

High Peak CVS

Hydes' Brewery Limited

Internorm Windows UK Ltd

James Halstead plc

J B W Group Limited

J W Suckling Transport Limited

Johnnie Johnson Housing Trust Ltd

Klueber Lubrication GB Ltd

Krenmayr Transport GmbH

LeadX Holdings Limited

Lease Comparison Limited

Lewis Home Retail t/a TJ Hughes

Liverpool Community Health NHS Trust

Liverpool Hope Students' Union

Liverpool Students' Union

Loft Talent

Manchester Growth Company

Manchester Students' Union


Middlesex Students' Union

National Union of Students

NHS Greater East Midlands Commissioning Support Unit

North West Boroughs Partnership NHS FT

Oasis Healthcare t/a Bupa Dental

Optegra UK Limited

Perstorp UK Limited

Pitmans ABC Ltd

Places for People Group Limited

Plastipak UK Ltd

Portlock Hotel Ltd

Praesidiad Limited

Preferred Homes Limited

Ramsey Care

Reaseheath College

Reclaim Project Limited

Robert Lister Events Limited t/a LIT Productions

Roseland Property Capital Ltd

Royal British Legion

Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen Hospitals NHS Trust

Royal Mail Group

Salford Van Hire

Skillforce Development

Soda Software Labs Limited

Soditic Ltd

Spark Therapeutics Ltd

Summer Infant Europe Ltd

Summer Infant Inc

St Gobain Building Distribution

Tameside Hospital NHS FT

Thera Trust


Training 2000 Limited

Tyldesbury Rugby Union Football Company Ltd

Unilever Plc

University Hospitals Central Manchester NHS FT

University Hospitals of South Manchester NHS FT

University of Manchester Students' Union

University of Salford Students' Union

University of Sheffield

University of Sunderland Students' Union

University of Westminster Students' Union

University of York Students' Union

Vesuvius Plc

Virgin Care Services Ltd

Warmer Energy Services Ltd

Williams Lea Limited

Wirral Community Health NHS Trust

Wood Street Mission

Workforce Software Ltd

Yorkshire Ambulance NHS Trust

Zurich Plc

Work highlights

  • Advised Williams Lea Tag on the transfer of staff in a project involving nine jurisdictions across Europe and in the United Arab Emirates.
  • Assisted McDonald's Restaurants Limited with employment claims and immigration matters as sole employment law adviser to the company.
  • Advising DHL Parcel UK on worker status issues, reviewing subcontractor driver terms in the context of a high-profile campaign orchestrated by the GMB.
  • Advised British Telecom in relation to a procurement process of a potential customer changing the supplier of its wireless infrastructure.
  • Advised Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council in relation to the collapse of Carillion.

Led by Alan Chalmers, DLA Piper UK LLP's caseload is heavily dominated by international work spanning multiple jurisdictions. The team routinely advises prominent local, national and international businesses, while also handling complex and high value Employment Tribunal and High Court cases, particularly relating to discrimination and whistleblowing claims. Other areas of expertise include industrial relations and TUPE issues, both in the private and public sectors. The department operates in sectors such as manufacturing, chemicals and food and drink. Legal directors Helen Hall and Emma Mills are key members of the team, while senior associate George Nicholson is recommended.

Practice head(s):Alan Chalmers

Other key lawyers:Helen Hall; Emma Mills; George Nicholson


'We have received first class service from Emma Mills and Sam Whittaker. Emma provides a high level of technical expertise and Sam is excellent at the practical engagement required for dealing with matters pragmatically.'

'Very professional, yet personal in approach.'

'Long-term relationships enable quality conversations due to an understanding of the organisation and the organisational history - stability within the team has enabled this relationship to grow over a number of years.'

'George Nicholson is highly responsive to our matters and provides reliable, thorough advice.'

'George Nicholson is unique because he does not overcomplicate and makes clear and concise summaries of options, without too much legal jargon.'

Key Clients

AB InBev

ABB Limited

Akzo Nobel

ATPI Group

Canon (UK & Europe)

Collaborative Solutions LLC

Compass Minerals Group

Diversey Limited

Elopak UK Limited

International Hotels Group plc (IHG)

Johnson Matthey plc

Kelly Group

Magnox Limited

Northumbrian Water Group

NuGeneration Limited

Reach plc (formerly Trinity Mirror Group plc)

Sealed Air Limited


The Claims Guys

The Co-operative Bank Limited

Verna Group International

Wave Utilities

Runshaw College

Argo Aviation International Ltd


Work highlights

  • Successfully defended the Independent Office for Police Conduct in complex and high value Employment Tribunal litigation concerning race discrimination, harassment, victimisation and whistleblowing claims brought by a high profile former employee.
  • Representing AB InBev in defending multiple claims presented by the same claimant for failure to permit time off to carry out Trade Union and Health and Safety duties, unfair dismissal and wrongful dismissal.
  • Advised Calvin Capital throughout its GDPR readiness project.
  • Acting for Argo Aviation International Limited in an application to recover confidential information and secure a springboard injunction against former employees and their new employers.
  • Advising NuGeneration Limited on the employment aspects of the solvent wind-down and liquidation of the company.

DWF provides strategic advice to national and international bluechip clients across a range of sectors including retail, education, outsourcing and insurance. The firm's significant national and international reach enables it to effectively handle complex employment work such as significant restructurings, redundancies and large-scale TUPE exercises. The team is also involved in employment disputes in Court of Appeal as well as a number of Employment Appeal Tribunal cases. Joanne Frew took over leadership of the Manchester team on her promotion to partner in February 2019, while Tim Scott leads the practice in Liverpool.

Practice head(s):Joanne Frew; Tim Scott

Other key lawyers:Kirsty Rogers; John Keeble; Jamie Campbell; Nigel Cousin; Jessica Jones; Sinead Donnelly


'DWF's industry and sector knowledge is second to none. I am extremely confident in the advice they provide and they're open to discussion and debate. Their broad geographical reach has been a bonus as we've internationalised our business.'

'With DWF you gain the benefits that you associate with a large legal firm but you also receive a personal tailored service from their partners and teams.'

'Jon Keeble is fantastic  - I have absolute faith in the advice he gives.'

'Tim Scott is a very experienced lawyer with a wide range of knowledge. He is very balanced and thoughtful.'

'Joanne Frew is exceptional - available at all times, clear and concise in her advice and explains all angles of the issue to enable the client to assess the decision.'

'Kirsty Rogers is pragmatic, knowledgeable and always available and she and her team take time to understand our business and the likely challenges we face. She is hugely personable and always keen to get the right result, even when that means a difficult conversation is required. She is very adept at managing key stakeholders in our business and in navigating politics smoothly.'

Key Clients



Ladbrokes Coral

Finsbury Food Group Plc

Arrow XL / Yodel

Redx Pharma plc

Wincanton Plc

Kier Group Plc

SGS United Kingdom

Newsquest Media Group


Autism Initiatives


Total Fitness


Watkin Jones Group

European Wealth Management Limited




Work highlights

  • Advised Total Fitness Health Clubs on its investigation into allegations of race discrimination and harassment made by a member of a club branch against a number of other members, as well as against the club itself.
  • Advised a multi-site education establishment in a high profile and potentially costly dismissal involving issues of safeguarding, disability discrimination and reputationl risk.
  • Representing a healthcare company in a tribunal claim brought by an employee seeking a declaration of terms and conditions following a TUPE transfer.
  • Acted for the successful defendant in a Court of Appeal hearing relating to rights of disabled litigants in Employment Tribunal proceedings.

At e3 employment law LLP 'all partners have exceptionally good experience in employment matters' and 'provide high quality, tailored advice'. In Manchester, Nick Jones advises on boardroom disputes, restructurings, severances and restrictive covenant enforcement. Also in Manchester, the 'exceptional' Dan Bickerstaffe is known for his TUPE and international restructuring expertise, while Liverpool-based Simon Ost has significant experience of large-scale change programmes, collective labour issues and trade union disputes. Former Pinsent Masons LLP lawyer Jenny Walker joined the team in mid-2018.

Practice head(s):Simon Ost; Dan Bickerstaffe; Nick Jones

Other key lawyers:Jenny Walker; Kate Catherall


'The team offers clear and pragmatic advice that allows us to implement the best solutions. We are always given information that allows us to assess the risks of various approaches to the business problems we are facing.'

'Very reliable and up-to-date advice - particularly strong on TUPE, GDPR and industrial relations.'

'Simon Ost has a common-sense approach to the operational application of the minefield that is employment law. He has a great skill in explaining employment law and potential risks.'

'E3 deliver excellent employment law advice in an easily understood format and always after taking account of the commercial nature of the situation. The advice given is tailored to the specific scenario and question.'

'Professional and also very practical and commercial in their advice and guidance. They take into account the practicalities of applying their guidance and the potential risks associated with it. Because they are small, they don't carry the overheads of many larger firms and their rates are quite competitive.'

'Jenny Walker uses clear unambiguous language and is always patient when discussing the way forward on a particular case.'

'Dan Bickerstaffe is an exceptional lawyer. He responds almost instantly and is highly approachable and incredibly astute.'

'The team complement each other extremely well, with the right balance of technical expertise, experience and personalities.'

'Their experience and knowledge is second to none, but the most important factor is their personalities, commitment and willingness to innovate.'

'Nick Jones is fantastic. His advice is very commercial and very tactically astute. He is very responsive and goes out of his way to make himself available. He is very knowledgeable and is able to accurately predict what his opponent is likely to do.'

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP's practice handles both contentious and non-contentious employment law issues, with sector specialisms in education, food retail, aerospace and defence, utilities, chemical and healthcare. The department has seen an uptick in cross-border matters, as well as employment-related immigration advice and maters relating to equal pay and gender and ethnicity pay. Other areas of expertise include worker status, TUPE, class actions, restrictive covenants, trade unions and advocacy in the higher courts. Michael Thompson, who leads the team, has a particular focus on the chemical sector.

Practice head(s):Michael Thompson

Other key lawyers:Diane Gilhooley; Naeema Choudry; Peter Norbury; Michael Burns; Mark Hammerton; Jane Cotton; Robert Gray

Key Clients

Warburtons Limited

Sellafield Limited

University of Bradford


B&Q plc (Kingfisher)

United Utilities

Ecolab Limited

The Hut Group

Equality Human Rights Commission

Tarmac (CRH)

Work highlights

  • Advising Maplin in the run-up to its administration as well as advising the administrators on the employment aspects of the business post-administration.
  • Acting for Cox & Kings on the sale of its Travel Education Division (based in the UK, Germany, France, Austria and Australia) to Midlothian Capital Partners Limited.
  • Providing advice to Interserve's group HR director in implementing the termination of two senior executives.

The employment team at Gateley Plc has particular strengths in the healthcare space, acting for hospital doctors and those in primary care, as well as demonstrable expertise in the retail and sports sectors. The team also supports the firm's corporate department, advising on the employment aspects of major transactions in sectors including hotels, logistics and travel. The experienced Michael Ball heads up the practice, while senior associate Emma Butterworth is also recommended. Avril England was promoted to partner in May 2018.

Practice head(s):Michael Ball

Other key lawyers:Stephen Hills; Chris Thompson; Avril Englans; Rizwana Ishaq; Lorna Harris; Heather Aust; Emma Butterworth; Elizabeth Ebrahimi

Key Clients

British Medical Association


Manchester City Football Club

Casual Dining Group

Swinton Group Limited

Wolverhampton Wanderers Football Club

Lancaster City Council

Bilfinger Industrial Services (UK) Limited

Work highlights

  • Represented a consultant urological surgeon who claimed constructive dismissal from an NHS Trust based on whistleblowing and unlawful deduction from wages and was awarded £102,000.

Led by employment, education and pensions head Jeff Middleton, Hill Dickinson LLP's employment team enjoys an excellent reputation in key sectors such as health, where the team is very active for the NHS, advising on discrimination and whistleblowing cases as well as injunctions. Another major focus is the education space, where the firm advises on all aspects of employment, including collective agreements for teachers as well as support staff. Investigations is an emerging area of activity, with the practice conducting independent disciplinary and grievance investigations for in-house legal and HR teams. Gareth Roberts joined from Turner Parkinson LLP in July 2018, while Bernadette Worthington is a new arrival from Weightmans LLP.

Practice head(s):Jeff Middleton

Other key lawyers:David Perry; Kerstie Skeaping; Luke Green; Michael Wright; Philip Farrar; Caroline Prosser; Suzane Nulty

Key Clients




Britvic Soft Drinks


Travel Republic

Odeon Cinemas

Liverpool Airport

Grant Thornton UK LLP

Health Education England

The Christie NHS Foundation Trust

dNata Travel (part of Emirates Group)

Parkwood Leisure


Agility Chemical Logistics

Premier Care





Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust

Cheshire & Wirral Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

City of Liverpool College

Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust

Sonoco Alcore

Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospital NHS Trust

Myriad Genetics

Caldic (UK)

G2 Speech UK

Oldham Council

FRP Advisory LLP

Ramsay UK Healthcare Group

Arrow XL

Greater Manchester Health & Social Care Partnership

Leeds CCG

Work highlights

  • Successfully represented Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust as respondent in employment litigation proceedings for constructive unfair dismissal, from Tribunal to Supreme Court.
  • Instructed by the Institute of Directors to conduct an independent investigation into allegations against its chair, Lady Barbara Judge, including claims of racism, bullying and harassment.
  • Advising Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership on a new protocol for local authorities and NHS organisations in the Greater Manchester area to voluntarily recognise continuous service.
  • Represented NHS England in relation to its restructure and alignment with NHS Improvement and restructure of its workforce across the country.
  • Appointed legal advisers to Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust in relation to its acquisition of Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust.

Squire Patton Boggs advises on the full gambit of contentious and non-contentious employment law issues, from complex Employment Tribunal claims involving whistleblowing and discrimination, to large scale restructuring projects and day-to-day employment issues. The team is well-regarded for its involvement in significant strategic change projects and cross-border TUPE matters. The firm's clientele encompasses global and regional companies as well as financial institutions, across sectors including retail, recruitment, manufacturing, life sciences, energy and natural resources. Experienced litigator Alison Treliving leads the department.

Practice head(s):Alison Treliving

Other key lawyers:Bryn Doyle; James Pike

Key Clients




Ashtead Plc




Kemira Chemicals

Savers Health & Beauty Limited

SThree Plc

The Perfume Shop

Mamas & Papas


McColls Retail

Think Money Group

Tom James International

Vida Healthcare

Mark Leach leads the Manchester employment team at Weightmans LLP, while associate solicitor Lee Rogers leads the team in Liverpool, advising clients across the education, healthcare, police and logistics and distribution sectors. The team also provides support to the firm's corporate department, handling TUPE matters and other employment aspects of transactions. Bernadette Worthington left for Hill Dickinson LLP in September 2018, but the team has been bolstered by a number of hires from firms including Clyde & Co LLP, Jackson Lees Group and EAD Solicitors LLP.

Practice head(s):Mark Leach; Lee Rogers

Other key lawyers:Mark Hatfield; Emlyn Williams; Phil Allen; Steve Peacock; Ian Pace

Key Clients

The Ombudsman Services Limited

National Museums Liverpool

Forum of Private Business Limited


Equality & Human Rights Commission

White Stuff Limited

Griffiths & Armour


Greater Manchester Art Centre Limited

Royal Mail Group

Manchester Metropolitan University

Solent University

Colas Ltd

Work highlights

  • Serving as sole legal provider to Champion Consultants on IR35 matters.
  • Advised the Office for Nuclear Regulation HR directorate on a project to review and implement new whistleblowing policies and deliver training.
  • Successfully advised Swissport in respect of discrimination claim by an agency worker who had been engaged via an agency.

Helen Watson is the head of employment at Aaron & Partners LLP, which has expertise across across a wide range of sectors, including logistics, education, recruitment, leisure, travel and tourism. Watson is one of only a few employment solicitors in the region with Higher Rights of Audience, and is also a qualified mediator. Areas of work in which the firm is seeing an increasing amount of instructions include atypical contracts and zero hours contracts, as well as contracts for media and sports professionals. The team also routinely conducts high level investigations, including compliance and risk audits.

Practice head(s):Helen Watson

Other key lawyers:Claire Brook; Steven Davies


'The team is easily accessible and works hard to get to know their clients. Relationships are built and maintained over many years.'

'I have worked with Helen Watson and Claire Brook, both of whom are very approachable, offer sound advice and often more importantly, will discuss issues from all angles and offer a number of options with the relevant potential consequences outlined.'

'The service we receive from Aaron & Partners is personalised. Nothing is too much trouble.'

'Helen Watson has impressed me significantly with the speed with which she can process information and turn this into advice. She has an amazing ability to de-escalate a concern you may have and will simply produce a simple plan with the appropriate reassurance that you need to take this forward. Helen shows empathy as needed but is also able to be fully objective and take some of the complexities and emotional stress out of significant HR issues.'

Key Clients

Imagine Independence

Connah’s Quay Nomads FC Limited

gap Group

Sovini Limited (One Vision Housing Trust)

Boots Hearingcare Limited

North of England Zoological Society (Chester Zoo)

Zip World Limited

Columbus McKinnon

Christleton Learning Trust


Specialist employment law firm Analysis Legal LLP works across all industry sectors, with particular strengths in manufacturing and education. Under the joint chairmanship of the 'straight talking, smart and intuitive' Anna Lees and the 'meticulous and affable' Andrea Paxton, the firm - which was founded in 2015 - acts for a wide range of small and medium sized businesses, as well as larger corporate clients defending complex Employment Tribunal claims. Other key areas of expertise include restrictive covenants, TUPE issues and senior executive exits. Karen Fletcher is also recommended.

Practice head(s):Anna Lees; Andrea Paxton

Other key lawyers:Karen Fletcher; Catherine Parkinson; Sheila Shaw; Fiona Jeffers; Fiona Miller


'An excellent boutique employment law firm which is solely focused on employment law and related disputes. They are incredibly responsive and are vastly experienced across the entire spectrum of employment law. A very friendly and accessible firm who care about their clients. One of the pre-eminent employment firms in the North West.'

'Anna Lees is an excellent employment lawyer who is diligent, technically excellent and utterly committed to her clients.'

'Andrea Paxton is very approachable and friendly and is always willing to develop long-lasting relationships. She is very hard working and ensures that all aspects of a case are considered.'

Key Clients


British Canoeing

Ashcroft Support

Co-operative Group Limited

Jam Recruitment

Lancashire Eccles Cakes

Elap Engineering


Delta V Limited and FireStart Sports (formerly Georgia Golf)

Nerudia Limited

Ginger Recruitment Services Limited

M2 Digital Limited

Liz Cotton leads JMW Solicitors LLP's Manchester employment department, which has particular expertise in the recruitment and retail spheres, while also advising a range of clients across the hospitality, automotive, pharma, manufacturing, education and charities sectors. The team also covers NHS and local authority work, while particular areas of expertise include advising on large scale redundancies and reorganisations, TUPE matters, restrictive covenants and whistleblowing claims. Sarah Evans  - 'a real safe pair of hands for any client' - joined from Slater and Gordon as partner in January 2018, while Jennifer Smith was promoted to partner in May 2018.

Practice head(s):Liz Cotton

Other key lawyers:Ian Tranter; Simon Bloch; Sarah Evans; Jennifer Smith; Michael Legge


'Sarah Evans stands out head and shoulders as an expert employment litigator. You do not want to be on the other side in any dispute she is engaged in. She is a team player and fiercely committed to her client base. She has a reputation for giving solid, commercial, practical advice. A real safe pair of hands for any client. Whenever I am asked to refer a client to a solicitor she is my first port of call. Sarah is exceptionally bright, personable and highly creative in deploying legal arguments.'

'They are incredibly pragmatic about their advice it is most reassuring that you not only get the best legal advice but it is also commercially sensitive to ensure we get the best result all round.'

'Ian Tranter is excellent in the confidence he gives our business to make decisions.'

'JMW is a bright, ambitious, forward thinking law firm with great leadership. The reputation that they have earned is fully deserved and all of the senior staff that they have working for them are real experts in their chosen fields.'

'Jennifer Smith always delivers prompt, practical, accurate and reliable advice that we can rely upon. Her commitment and enthusiasm to us as clients is second to none. She is always willing to go that extra mile for us whether that be in the service that she delivers or the times she makes herself available for us. She is a real asset to JMW.'

'JMW are exceptionally professional and provide comprehensive solutions. Their advice is thorough and clear with fantastic client communication.'

'Simon Bloch is a pleasure to work with. I cannot recommend him highly enough. His communication skills and knowledge of employment law within our sector stands out.'

Key Clients

T J Morris Limited trading as Home Bargains

Industrial Personnel

British Parking Association

Greenthumb Limited

LWC Drinks Limited

In Touch Networks

Cantel UK Limited

Douglas Scott Legal Recruitment Group

Jordan Fishwick Group

Gong Cha England Limited

Work highlights

  • Acting for a claimant in a multi-respondent matter involving a national governing body for a Team GB Olympic sport.
  • Acting on behalf of a director of corporate services in a county council.
  • Advised start-up company Gong Cha England on the employment and immigration issues of starting up a business in the UK.
  • Successfully defended Ginger Recruitment in a complex disability discrimination claim.

Kuit Steinart Levy LLP has strength in a wide range of employment issues, including complex tribunal litigation concerning whistleblowing and discrimination, senior executive terminations and restrictive covenants. In addition to advising large companies on restructurings and redundancies, the team also provides corporate support on matters such as TUPE. The team is developing expertise in the sports sector, advising international sports players and staff at senior level. Other sector specialisms include family businesses and leisure, as well as hospitality. Kevin McKenna - who 'has an incisive intelligence and a real instinct for what matters' - leads the team, while Sally Bird is also a key team member. 'Effective communicator' Mark McKeating also comes recommended.

Practice head(s):Kevin McKenna

Other key lawyers:Sally Bird; Mark McKeating


'Kevin McKenna has an incisive intelligence with a real instinct for what matters in a case - and beyond.

'Kevin McKenna is a problem solver, not a problem describer. He clearly leads the team. We as clients are content to go to battle led by him.'

'The team has strength in depth and their advice is pragmatic and jargon-free.'

'Kevin McKenna is commercially minded with a wealth of experience - he gets to the point and provides practical no-nonsense advice. He is always available and a real team player.'

'Mark McKeating is a team player and great lawyer; his client service is excellent.'

'Great service delivery, very approachable and responsive'

'Sally Bird is brilliant - she offers good practical advice.'

'The team offer such a personal approach to each case. You really do feel like a valued client and that nothing is too much for them. The team take the time to really understand the case and the development of the business to ensure they are advising accurately. Other firms just do not take time to put in the time and effort like Kuits do. you really feel like they are a part of your team and that you re a part of theirs.'

'Kevin McKenna in an exceptional partner. He is dedicated to our business and will do all he can do help and support. His team follow in a similar vein too and always make your questions feel welcome. They are an exceptional credit to Kuits.'

Key Clients

Maersk Line UK

DW Sports

Harnbury Holdings Limited (trading as San Carlo restaurants)

Turtle Bay

Crown Oil Limited

Salford City Football Club

The 'commercially savvy' Joanne Evans leads Myerson Solicitors LLP's employment department, which covers all aspects of employment law, including business critical matters such as large-scale redundancies, collective consultations and complex tribunal claims. The team also works with the firm's corporate team, handling employment law aspects of transactions such as TUPE. Charlotte Gilbert is recommended.

Practice head(s):Joanne Evans

Other key lawyers:Joanne Henderson; Charlotte Gilbert; David Jones


'A fantastic employment team - highly skilled, very commercial, approachable and fun to work with.'

'The go-to team for employment advice for individuals in the North of England.'

'Joanne Evans is a subject matter expert, tough and reliable but a real pleasure to work with. Very persistent on behalf of a client and takes the time to explain what is important and why. Commercially very savvy.'

'Joanne Henderson is a great lawyer and a wonderful adviser to have on your side. She has a good sense of humour and is a really dedicated, hard-working commercially minded solicitor.'

'Efficient and extremely professional. '

'Joanne Evans is quick to grasp the issue and tell me what I need to know and her advice is always professional and to the point.'

'Very efficient and effective in providing appropriate and timely advice.'

'Joanne Henderson provides sound advice - she is professional and pragmatic.'

'Joanne Evans is very easy to deal with and her advice is clear, concise and constructive.'

'David Jones is extremely capable and knowledgeable.'

'The team at Myerson are adept in understanding the commercial needs of our business and the need for a swift resolution on usually complex issues.'

'I have dealt with Charlotte Gilbert who has been incredibly professional and responsive to my needs as a client. The level of service I have received from Charlotte in relation to her in-depth knowledge of her specialism but also in regards to customer service has been second to none.'

'Jo Evans has built a practice from scratch over the past 10 years. They have strength in depth and can offer quality advice at fee rates which are very competitive.'

'Jo Evans is very experienced and client friendly.'

'Jo Evans is an expert in employment law with significant experience in all areas of employment law. Under her leadership, the team gives commercial and practical advice to its clients. The team compares very favourably to Manchester city centre employment teams at national law firms.'

'Jo Evans stands out amongst the team and she is the person I refer conflicts too. She has the ability to see the wood for the trees, quickly identifying the issues important to her clients and tailoring her advice to suit them. She is also very knowledgeable in the area of employment law, with experience in dealing with partner disputes too, which is useful.'

Key Clients

Aluprof UK


Associated Security Solutions

CCP Building Products Limited

Customs Connect

Eastern Airways

Elcometer Limited


European Metal Recycling

Evans Textiles

Flamefast UK

Fine Decor

Freshasia Foods

Halewood International

Humberside International Airport

Joseph Holt


Lotus Bakeries


MBA Polymers UK

National Nuclear Laboratories

Renaker Build


Risktec Solutions

Rosehill FF&E

Royal Exchange Theatre

Stax Trade Centres

Styles & Wood Group PLC

TATA Chemicals

Total Systems Services Inc (TSYS)

Travel Counsellors

Trendsetter Home Furnishings

Urban Fresh Foods

Willows Veterinary Group

Work highlights

  • Advised on Freshasia Foods Limited v Jing Lu, successfully securing injunctive relief against a former employee of Freshasia.
  • Advised Renaker Build Ltd on a breadth of employment and HR issues.
  • Successful defence of an Employment Tribunal claim brought by the former managing director of Rosehill FF&E Limited, including shareholding, insolvency and TUPE issues.
  • Supporting employment clients with compliance advice in relation to modern slavery and gender pay gap reporting.

Jack Harrington is at the helm of Pannone Corporate LLP's employment department, which advises multinational corporations, large public sector organisations, SMEs and social landlords on the full gambit of employment matters. One of the team's specialisms includes advising on TUPE matters, especially in the context of outsourcing, while the practice is very active in industry sectors including retail, charities and social housing. Other areas of expertise include the provision of HR support for disciplinary and grievance investigations.

Practice head(s):Jack Harrington

Other key lawyers:Fiona Hamor; Stephen Mutch


'Personable, professional, responsive and always able to put themselves in your shoes and understand different perspective.'

'Jack Harrington stands out for his calm, supportive, professional advice through some tricky personnel issues.'

'Communication is what sets Pannone Corporate apart. They always keep us updated of progress and communicate in a clear and honest manner.'

Key Clients

Astonbrook Care Limited

BDR Thermea (Baxi)

Chevron Energy Limited

Rail Gourmet Limited

Select Service Partner UK Limited

SMG Europe Holdings Limited (operators of the Manchester Arena and the Bridgewater Hall)

The Big Life Group

Tradebe Environmental Services Limited

Transport for Greater Manchester

Victim Support

JT International Business Services Ltd

Work highlights

  • Handled employment aspects of a transaction which saw Perwyn LLP invest into Percy Bidco Limited on its acquisition of Freshcut Foods Limited.
  • Advised a multinational waste management company on a cross-border dispute involving a senior employee based in Oman.

Pinsent Masons LLP's employment team - which is led by Neil Black, who is known for his work for food and drink clients - has expertise in large-scale reorganisations and restructurings, minimum wage enforcement and matters relating to the gender pay gap, industrial relations, TUPE and outsourcing. The team serves local, national and international clients including large bluechip corporates.

Practice head(s):Neil Black

Other key lawyers:Lynette Jacobs; Rob Childe; Leanne Francis;


'A knowledgeable team, with good practical advice.'

'Commercial and pragmatic - the firm understands our business and culture.'

Key Clients

Wincanton plc

Mondelez International (Cadbury / Kraft)



Costain plc

Morgan Sindall plc


Barratt Developments plc

N Brown plc

Witherslack Group

Work highlights

  • Successfully represented SIG plc in the Court of Appeal in an important reported case.
  • Supporting a major UK retailer in respect of a HMRC audit into National Minimum Wage compliance.  
  • Successful defence of UK Sport in a claim involving discrimination and whistleblowing made against UK Sport and British Cycling.
  • Providing advice to Checkatrade in respect of the relocation of their HQ to a new dedicated site.
  • Supporting English Institute of Sport on a high-profile Employment Tribunal claim linked to allegations of over-training.

TLT's employment team has grown recently with the arrival of Paula Cole from Squire Patton Boggs, followed by the addition of two other solicitors - Melissa McLoughlin, also from Squire Patton Boggs, and Katie Dyson from Aaron & Partners LLP. The department, under the leadership of Ed Cotton, advises on a range of complex employment issues, including matters relating to equal pay, TUPE, large scale reorganisations, restrictive covenants, whistleblowing, trade union and industrial relations, working with clients across the banking, insurance, financial services, retail, housing, leisure and technology sectors.

Practice head(s):Ed Cotton

Other key lawyers:Paula Cole; Jessica Foster

Key Clients UK Limited

Search Consultancy Ltd

Preston North End Football Club

Servoca plc

Classic Lodges Limited

Well Pharmacy (formerly Co-operative Pharmacy)

Nichols plc

University of Central Lancashire

Bombardier Transportation

Ultimate Products plc

Auden Group

Finning UK & Ireland Limited

Name partner Phil Bramhall is at the helm of Bramhalls Solicitors' employment team, which handles complex, high value matters for large private and public sector clients. Specific sector expertise lies in food and drink, aerospace and defence, education and healthcare. Another area of activity includes industrial relations, where the team regularly advises clients on industrial action and issues including union recognition.

Practice head(s):Philip Bramhall

Other key lawyers:Rehan Pasha; John Hassells


'The personal service we received from Bramhalls was exceptional from the initial brief through to the delivery of the end product. They took on board the culture of the organisation when engaging with stakeholders which helped ensure that the end product was fit for purpose.'

'Phil Bramhall was a pleasure to work with - he was professional, informative and had a flexible approach. He was available when needed and went out of his way to give us the assurance we needed. He worked with integrity and delivered a product fit for the organisation.'

'Responsive, pragmatic, clear advice. Always accessible and approachable. Great value for money. They all know what they are talking about. We go to Bramhalls when things are complex or high value. A team of senior lawyers doing the best work. They cut through issues and provide sensible solutions.'

Key Clients

PD Ports Group

Poundstretcher Ltd

Avdel UK Limited. Part of Stanley Black & Decker

Cheshire College, South and West

Warrington and Vale Royal College


Titan Airways Ltd

Edward Billington Group

The Contact Company

Extrastaff Ltd

Autism Together

RSK Group

Work highlights

  • Successfully defended a high value whistleblowing claim from a senior manager and obtained significant costs.
  • Advising one director of national household name plc on their departure from the business and advising another director of the same company in respect of a public boardroom dispute.

The team at Forbes Solicitors is well-versed in advising clients in the commercial, education, public and social housing sectors. National head Jonathan Holden has specific expertise advising educational establishments on the full range of employment law issues. Emma Swan has been appointed as head of commercial employment, while Ruth Rule-Mullen was promoted to head of public sector employment, while the team has further been bolstered by three lawyers from Langleys Solicitors LLP and Napthens LLP.

Practice head(s):Jonathan Holden; Emma Swan; Ruth Rule-Mullen

Other key lawyers:Sal Chowdhury; Laura Cieplak


'Forbes are very responsive - the team has significant experience and I would not hesitate to recommend them.'

'Jonathan Holden is always approachable and responds quickly to our enquiries. His advice has been invaluable through some difficult and complex employment matters. Ruth Rule-Mullen is equally responsive and thorough in her advice.'

Key Clients

Leyland Trucks

J & J Ormerod Plc

Alexander Dennis Limited

Blackburn College

Information Commissioner’s Office


Kepak Group

GA Pet Food Partners Ltd

Prefix Systems Ltd

Preston’s College

Six Town Housing

The Spencer Academy Trust

Work highlights

  • Providing advice on a TUPE transfer for the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Lancashire.
  • Represented Alexander Dennis Ltd both in advising and then successfully in Tribunal proceedings on a five-day employment tribunal claim brought by an employee for unfair dismissal, race discrimination, whistleblowing and health and safety.
  • Advised Wigan Council on a significant tribunal matter, consisting of 53 claimants pursuing claims for unlawful inducements.
  • Provided advice to a local authority client in relation to a member of staff who had accumulated a substantial number of absences over a long period of time and was not providing an effective service.
  • Advising a charitable trust for sporting activity following allegations of sexual harassment and the inappropriate conduct of an employee.

Alison Loveday leads Kennedys' practice, which provides comprehensive employment law advice with a particular emphasis on advising high net worth individuals, as well as handling contentious matters on behalf of individuals, businesses and the third sector, especially charities and education. On the non-contentious side, the department advises on data protection and GDPR matters related to employment issues . Senior associate Amanda Beaumont joined from Seabury Beaumont.

Practice head(s):Alison Loveday

Other key lawyers:Amanda Beaumont

Key Clients


M&P Engineering Limited


Vitaflo International

Dmg events (UK) Limited

I Cogent Skills Services

Avara Avlon Pharmaceuticals

Work highlights

  • Advise the HR director and team, legal counsel and other board members of JD Sports on complex or high level/high profile employment and commercial issues, including advice regarding a bonus restructure and its implications for the business, particularly in the light of the gender pay gap reporting requirements.
  • Advise senior management team of ITC Luxury Travel Group on all their employment issues from drafting contracts to enforcement of restrictive covenants and training.
  • Instructed by Carluccio’s Limited prior to and following its Company Voluntary Arrangement.
  • Advised Avara Avlon Pharmaceuticalson a range of employment and litigation issues including potential claims for holiday pay, employment status, restructures and redundancies, and compliance issues, including working with the company on a major GDPR project.
  • Acting for a well-established engineering business in relation to disciplinary proceedings and Employment Tribunal claims.

Run by founder and managing director Sue Morrison, employment law boutique Law by Design Limited is recognised for its specialist knowledge of the NHS, acting for some of the biggest NHS Trusts in the North West. The firm also has a strong track record of advising schools and charities as well as  companies in the logistics, construction and insurance sectors. The team also routinely advises private sector clients on general employment issues relating to transactional matters. Saira Ali was promoted to director during 2018.

Practice head(s):Sue Morrison

Other key lawyers:James Upton; Rob Coward; Caroline Shafar; Kirsty Macdonald; Saira Ali


'Sue Morrison and Caroline Shafar have extensive experience of advising health sector clients and in successfully handling litigation at all levels.'

'Jim Upton advises you as if it were his own business.'

Key Clients

Acropolis Hotels Limited

Addiction Dependency Solutions

AEJ Management Ltd

Apple Aviation Ltd


Broadstock Office Furniture Ltd

Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust

Centre For Education and Finance Management Limited

Cheshire Set Nail Lounge (The)

Complete Demolition Ltd

Dayinsure Limited

Dean Trust Wigan

Sara Barrett, who leads the Manchester employment team at Mills & Reeve LLP, routinely acts for senior individuals, and is also recognised for her experience in the education sector. The wider practice advises clients across a wide range of sectors such as food and logistics, manufacturing, pharma, professional services and technology, and has recently seen an increase in work in the insurance sector, representing clients at the Employment Tribunal. Principal associate Deborah Coyne, whose 'personal skills are second to none', is recommended.

Practice head(s):Sara Barrett

Other key lawyers:Deborah Coyne


'Well known for work in the education sector.'

'Sara Barrett is a very experienced employed lawyer and offers pragmatic and sensible advice.'

'The team have a real grasp of the issues modern employers have to deal with. Their combined knowledge and approach is a real breath of fresh air within the legal market.'

'Sara Barrett is straight talking, explains legal procedures easily to lay people whilst pointing out options that are not unrealistic.'

'Debbie Coyne has excellent legal knowledge; her personal skills are second to none and always has time to listen, and is willing to point out where we can improve in the future.'

'I cannot praise Sara Barratt enough - her professionalism, rigour and empathy are exemplary.'

Key Clients

Lancaster University

Befesa Salt Slags Limited

LTE Group

Victrex Manufacturing Limited

Royal Northern College of Music

Manchester Metropolitan university

Sefton Council for Voluntary Service

Turley Associates


Phoenix Group

Work highlights

  • Advising and representing Cumbria Logistics Limited in relation to a claim by disgruntled employee in relation to an argument and claim by a former employee that he had been dismissed.
  • Advised on insurance-backed tribunal claim brought by a staff member following disciplinary allegations being brought against him.
  • Advising Puratos NV on the employment aspects of its acquisition by Fruitapeel.
  • Acted for Turley Associates, one of the UK’s largest planning and development consultancies, on the purchase of Beacon Planning.
  • Advised Bolton College on the employment aspects of its'merger' with Bolton University and compliance with the transfer of undertakings legislation.

The SAS Daniels LLP employment team, which is led by Karen Barker has particular strengths in the education sector, representing a range of schools and academies. Former senior partner Jonathan Whittaker, a mainstay of the team, now serves as a consultant and part-time employment judge. 'Approachable and knowledgeable' senior associate Katie Hodson is recommended.

Practice head(s):Karen Barker

Other key lawyers:Jonathan Whittaker; Katie Hodson


'The team were very sympathetic and understanding in a very difficult situation. All the people we dealt with were very professional and well informed.'

'Katie Hodson's availability to discuss circumstances and her excellent level of practical advice and interpretation is really helpful. She is very approachable and knowledgeable about the subject, quick to understand the situation circumstances and needs of any particular situation. She has an excellent understanding of the bigger picture and applying this to the circumstances to obtain an optimal but practical outcome.'

'The service provided by SAS Daniels - namely Katie Hodson - the best that I have ever experienced. Regardless of the nature of the query, Katie's experience in providing straightforward advice in a no-nonsense fashion, I find to be second to none.'

The employment department at BLM, which is led by Jim Lister, has diverse expertise across a range of sectors including healthcare, where the team advises some of the largest care home groups - as well as retail, travel, hospitality and technology. The team also acts for most major insurers in relation to employment tribunal claims, regulatory prosecutions and investigations.

Practice head(s):Jim Lister

Other key lawyers:Laura D’Arcy

Key Clients

Rezidor Hotels Group

Slater and Gordon LLP

Halliwell Jones Group


Black and Decker

Healthcare Management Solutions Group

Bank of England

Lubrizol Inc

GGR Group

London International School of Performing Arts

Beaverbrooks the Jewellers Limited

Kalibrate Technologies

Russell Hobbs

Park Inn Hotels


Eclerx Group


Harley Medical Group

HCA Group

Led by the highly regarded Kerren Daly, the Browne Jacobson LLP employment team is 'incredibly responsive, knowledgeable and thorough in its approach.' In addition to routinely advising on restructurings and the employment aspects of M&A, the team has also recently seen an uptick in private and public sector work, including instructions relating to boardroom disputes  The department is also known for its HR support offering.

Practice head(s):Kerren Daly

Other key lawyers:Ian Deakin


'Kerren Daly has always been outstanding in her commercial approach to resolving issues and supporting the business in a much wider forum than simply employment law. Working at a senior level, she has gravitas, tact and an ability to engage her audience.'

'Kerren Daly's leadership and drive makes this a standout legal team. Very personable individual lawyers who are encouraged to bring their own style to each matter, and this makes for a versatile team.'

'Kerren Daly has passion and commitment for her clients. She is a naturally strategic thinker and will not hesitate to call a spade a spade. We have been in situations where we have lost sight of the bigger picture in employment disputes and she is able to cut through in a very short timespan to identify key issues and propose short and long term solutions.'

'The employment team headed by Kerren Daly is extremely responsive and pragmatic. They give very clear advice which is different to other firms we have worked with. They are straight talking and do not hide behind the law or sit on the fence.'

'Kerren Daly is simply the best employment lawyer I have ever worked with. She is conscientious and very focused on partnership working with her clients. She provides clarity and confidence in managing complex cases and is tuned into the organisational culture.'

'Kerren Daly has provided efficient and practical employment law advice on a number of difficult complex cases. I value and admire her direct no nonsense approach. She is incredibly thorough and can succinctly outline risk factors, but also gives a balanced view to provide options to overcome or mitigate these. Kerren balances humour with sound legal advice to develop strategies for dealing with senior complex cases and is often a great sounding board for discussing options or alternative approaches.'

'Kerren Daly is outstanding in her responsiveness, her attention to detail and knowledge of laws. She provides conscientious, tailored and pragmatic advice.'

'Kerren Daly goes well above and beyond to deliver the best outcome'

Key Clients

Imagination Technologies Group

Kerry Logistics



Ego Restaurants

Hull College Group

Nottingham Trent University

Digital UK and Freeview

Dock 10

Burton & South Derbyshire College

Work highlights

  • Advising a technology business on the departure of the CEO and at the same time the advising on the terms and conditions of a new CEO.
  • Setting up a global network of law firm contracts and instructions to several of those firms throughout the year following Imagination’s delisting on the London Stock Exchange.
  • Advising a media business on handling a highly sensitive matter involving an employee who was off work sick and subsequently died.
  • Advising a logistics company on day to day employment issues in the UK and overseas subsidiaries following a further restructure of the companies within the group.
  • Advising Ego Restaurants on strategic and day to day advice including dismissals, breach of post-termination restrictions, holiday pay, tenancy issues and various employment tribunal claims.

Chambers O'Neill's employment practice advises businesses across a wide range of industry sectors, including manufacturing, logistics, retail, property, healthcare and education. With extensive experience of both contentious and non-contentious work, Andrew O'Neill and Jim Chambers, who jointly run the firm, advise on matters including redundancies, TUPE and the employment aspects of corporate transactions.

Practice head(s):Andrew O’Neill; Jim Chambers


'Chambers O'Neill take considerable time to understand the issues and individuals within our business, always constructively challenging our approach, before providing bespoke tailored advice and solutions which best suit the interests of the company.'

'Friendly and no-nonsense - the firm provides good value, practical advice and are able to get to the heart of a matter very quickly. They are responsive and flexible too, and really understand our business and culture.'

'Only a small team of two, but both hugely capable. I value their expertise, personal attention and close involvement in matters, as well as their caring for the outcome, which seems to be lacking in the larger firms. I feel confident they are representing the business to the very best of their abilities and not simply generating fees.'

Key Clients

ABM Group

Urban Splash

IDG Holdings Limited

Community Integrated Care (CIC)

A&M Energy Solutions Limited

The Fieldfisher employment department, which is led by David Carmichael and senior associate Alex Watson, has enjoyed a period of recent growth, with client wins in the technology and life science sectors. Carmichael has particular expertise in advising on executive exits, restrictive covenants, whistleblowing claims and reputational matters. Watson, who joined in June 2018 from Brabners LLP, mainly focuses on contentious employment law issues with a particular emphasis in the manufacturing and hospitality sectors. Associate Richard Branson joined from Addleshaw Goddard in December 2018.

Practice head(s):Alex Watson; David Carmichael

Key Clients

British Cycling Federation

Royal College of physicians

Stonegate Pub Company

Iceland Foods

Dods Group PLC

Cedar Group (Broomco (3602) Limited)

Work highlights

  • Represented British Cycling in successfully defending the landmark employment status and discrimination claims brought by former Olympian Jessica Varnish.
  • Providing ongoing strategic, risk and advisory support to AIM listed company Dods Group and subsidiaries.
  • Providing ongoing strategic, risk and advisory support to The Royal College of Physicians.

Joanne Tindall at gunnercooke LLP advises clients in sectors such as manufacturing and retail, as well as public sector and education providers and charitable organisations, while Simon Horsfield handles both contentious and non-contentious employment law issues.

Justine Watkinson  leads Hillyer McKeown LLP's employment department, which advises both businesses and high net worth individuals on the full suite of employment law matters, routinely linking up with the firm's other departments to provide a seamless service. The team also provides a fixed-fee HR retainer service to clients in areas such as the haulage industry, food and drink and the third sector.

Practice head(s):Justine Watkinson

Other key lawyers:Lindsey Kidd; David Jones


'A delight to work with. The firm's knowledge of difficult issues is great.'

Work highlights

  • Advised client on a complex disability discrimination matter and provided assistance in achieving a commercially sound settlement, avoiding the need to proceed to a full Employment Tribunal hearing.
  • Advised the client on a complex gross misconduct disciplinary matter involving two key staff members, and successfully liaised with the firm’s commercial litigation team on a consultancy dispute to provide an all-around commercially focused service to the client.

PwC LLP's employment head Laura Nadel, who was promoted to director in 2018, has been leading the firm's work on the liquidation of Carillion, one of the biggest and most complex insolvencies of its kind in UK history. The team also advises employers on national minimum wage and holiday pay compliance as well as gender and equal pay issues. The team has seen a number of recent significant changes, with James Buckley and Jo Payne both promoted to senior manager in December 2018 and two new junior lawyers joining from VWV and Hill Dickinson LLP in November 2018.

Practice head(s):Laura Nadel

Other key lawyers:James Buckley; Jo Payne


'A highly effective employment team.'

'Laura Nadel is very gifted as an employment lawyer and is able to build confidence with the client.'

'Laura Nadel's combination of broad commercial experience and first class technical knowledge delivered great advice, that was accessible, relevant and tailored for us.'

Key Clients

City & Guilds

Flytech Limited

Moto Hospitality Limited

Rico Logistics Limited

The Official Receiver

Work highlights

  • Leading the HR work stream, alongside colleagues from Business Recovery Services and on behalf of the Official Receiver, on the Carillion liquidation.
  • Acting as general employment law counsel to Moto Hospitality Limited, dealing with the full spectrum of employment legal matters.
  • Representing Rico Logistics Limited in an employment tribunal claim for worker status.
  • Advising a leading retailer on a National Minimum Wage compliance review by HMRC.
  • Conducted a review of the business of a large manufacturer, taking advantage of the ability to work on a multidisciplinary basis and incorporate advice from PwC employment tax and pensions experts.

Slater Heelis LLP's specialisms in the employment space include matters relating to TUPE and collective redundancies. The team, under the leadership of 'calm, professional and approachable' practice head Tracey Guest, has a strong reputation in the education sector, acting for schools, universities and teachers. On the contentious side, the department routinely acts for clients in the healthcare sector such as GP surgeries, dental surgeries and pharmacies.

Practice head(s):Tracey Guest

Other key lawyers:Sarah Calderwood; Helen Frankland; Daniel Wise; Lucy Flynn


'Extremely knowledgeable and professional but also very approachable. They understand issues from an employer's perspective and give sound, practical advice. Any documentation produced is always of a very high standard - they are well organised and thorough.'

'Tracey Guest is calm and professional but also very approachable and easy to get on with. She always responds in a timely fashion and has an excellent eye for detail and gives practical advice. She understands the employer's perspective as well as the legal issues.'

'Tracey Guest really knows her subject area. This in turn gives me 100% confidence when dealing with any of her specialist areas.'

'Tracey Guest is very professional and provided high quality advice.'

Key Clients

Blueberry Therapeutics Limited

Matrix Telematics Limited

Angela Mortimer Plc

The Seashell Trust

Eastwood and Creswell Dental Surgeries Limited

Greenhalgh’s Craft Bakery Limited

P J Livesey Holdings Limited

Elle R Leisure Limited

Kids Allowed Limited

Scapa Group Plc

Baines Wilson LLP has a range of specialisms in the employment sphere, including advising on dismissals of senior executives, settlement agreements, Employment Tribunal matters, redundancies and TUPE issues. On the non-contentious side, the team, in addition providing day-to-day HR advice, lends support on M&A deals and advises on data protection issues for employers. Joanne Holborn is the practice head.

Practice head(s):Joanne Holborn

Other key lawyers:Tom Scaife; Caroline Rayner


'The Baines Wilson employment team is extremely effective - there is a stability to the team that breeds confidence.'

'A local firm with local businesses' interests at heart. They are friendly whilst professional.'

'Joanne Holburn has encyclopaedic knowledge of all aspects of employment law and is also able to problem solve effectively and provide sound, practical advice.

Work highlights

  • Represented the client on a disposal of part of the business, the acquisition of a holiday park and termination of employment of two senior managers.
  • Provide day-to-day employment law advice and represented the client in ACAS Early Conciliation negotiations.
  • Represented the client in an Employment Tribunal claim brought for sexual harassment. Provide day-to-day employment law advice.
  • Represented the client in five separate Employment Tribunal claims, achieving withdrawals or favourable settlements in each concluded claim.

At Clarke Willmott LLP, the team run by the 'bright and tenacious' Emma Hamnett is adept at dealing with business protection matters, injunctions and complex High Court case. The department has recently been very active in advising on the enforcement of restrictive covenants, as well as the defending of breaches, particularly in the financial services and recruitment sectors, acting for medium-sized employers and senior executives.

Practice head(s):Emma Hamnett


'Outstanding quality in depth - clients are realising they can obtain cost-effective solutions with very high quality lawyers.'

'Emma Hamnett is bright, tenacious and excellent with clients. Through a mix of her legal knowledge, judgrment and commerciality, she repeatedly gets results - whether by settlement or in court - that other lawyers simply never would. She has a loyal and unsurprising growing following, not just in the North West but also from other regions.'

Key Clients

Bauer Radio

Talent International

Square 1 Products Limited

Independent Port Handling Authority Limited

NVC Lighting Limited

Panmure Gordon & Co

Ruskin Properties Limited

Abt Associates Ltd

Calbee (UK) Limited

Work highlights

  • Successfully defended three individual defendants in a High Court Claim for conspiracy which has now been appealed to the Court of Appeal.
  • Represented long-standing national client Bauer Radio Limited in a claim in the Glasgow Employment Tribunal for employment status, unpaid holiday,  unfair dismissal and whistleblowing brought by a former radio presenter.
  • Representing distribution company Fast Despatch Transport Limited in multiple claims across the UK for worker status and unpaid holiday pay and wages.
  • Instructed to advise Panmure Gordon and a new senior corporate banker in respect of a dispute with a new recruit whose former employer was alleging that Panmure Gordon had induced a former employee to breach his employment contract.

The Gorvins Solicitors' employment team, led by David Walton, provides comprehensive employment law advice, with specialisms in a number of areas, including work relating to redundancy and bulk settlement agreements, where the firm has recently seen an uptick in instructions. Other areas of expertise include representing employers in Employment Tribunal cases, disciplinary matters and providing employment support on corporate matters. The team is also recognised for its proficiency in relation to family-friendly rights and its assisting businesses and local cancer centres as well as charities with advice to individuals and employers in the management of cancer issues in the workplace.

Practice head(s):David Walton

Other key lawyers:Danielle Ayres; Amanda Isherwood


'The service is excellent and the knowledge of the lawyers is exceptional, there is no situation they cannot assist with.'

'David Walton provides an excellent, personal service, he is very supportive and makes every effort inside and outside of work hours to resolve any issues.'

'There is a close working relationship built with several members of the team via a regular series of regular events called HR Junction. In addition we have built a flexible approach to retained fees balancing costs out over the year. Thanks to this the employment team feels like a department within my own business that I can rely on as requirements come up.'

'David Walton provides clarity and take a personal interest in matters that relate to our business even if they are relatively minor or straightforward.'

At KBL Solicitors LLP, Sarah Collier has taken over leadership of the employment department from Christine Hart, who left to join Brabners LLP in mid-2018. She advises a loyal client base comprising local businesses, SMEs and senior executives, advising on both contentious and non-contentious matters, with specialisms in sexual harassment, discrimination, unfair dismissal, whistleblowing, restrictive covenants and TUPE matters. The team also provides support on corporate transactions.

Practice head(s):Sarah Collier


'They are down to earth and always willing to work alongside you, rather than them just doing what they think is best for their client. They are always welcoming and try to go the extra mile in supporting you as a client.'

'I like that they visit the workplace and understand how your business works. They get to know you and the values of the company which helps when dealing with current and future legal issues. They always respond quickly and keep you very informed and up to date on all processes.'


Key Clients

Folsana Pressed Solutions

SGH Moulds

Alan Lewis leads Linder Myers' employment team and has substantial experience representing employers in Employment Tribunal and High Court disputes on a wide variety of matters including restrictive covenants, redundancy, transfer of undertakings, unfair dismissal as well as sex, race and disability discrimination. Lee Bronze joined as in-house counsel from Thompsons Solicitors LLP in January 2019.

Practice head(s):Alan Lewis

Other key lawyers:Lee Bronze

Key Clients

Family Care Associates Ltd

Name partner John Martin sits at the helm of niche employment law firm Martin & Co, which has a strong footprint in the education sector, acting for colleges and academics, alongside work for a number of clients in the IT sector. Another speciality includes executive termination work, as well as handling complex discrimination matters.

Practice head(s):John Martin

Other key lawyers:Matthew Ainscough


'The service we have received is second to none and assists us in running our business. The knowledge that we have a safety net in Martin & Co gives us peace of mind, greatly reduces any risk on the business and ensures our policies and procedures are up to date.'

'We really value the high quality advice we receive from John Martin and the team. John and Matthew Ainscough have developed a real understanding of our organisation, our values, our challenges and our complexities. They are both experts in employment law and also handle employee case work which gives them a rounded perspective of issues which we value.'

'John Martin is excellent. He provides very clear advice which allows you to weigh up the risks with any issue, so that balanced decisions can be made on moving employment issues forward. He is very personable. He is also exceptional on tribunal work.'

Key Clients

Keolis Amey Metrolink

David Lewis Centre

Oldham College


Freestart Plc

Heyrod Construction

Manchester Health Academy



Opus 4

Work highlights

  • Defended three complex Employment Tribunal claims for Keolis Amey Metrolink.
  • Defended a claim for discrimination in the Employment Tribunal for Oldham College.
  • Defended a claim for unfair dismissal and age discrimination against David Lewis Centre in the Employment Tribunal.
  • Advised Novosco Limited on two Employment Tribunal claims and numerous TUPE issues.
  • Successfully applied for an injunction in the High Court to restrain a former senior employee of Freestart Plc from unfair competition.

Karen Bexley now heads up the employment team at MLP Law LLP, taking over from Daniel Walker following his departure to Knights plc. The team acts for large corporations including global chemical manufacturing companies, SMEs and high level executives in the North West, handling all contentious and non-contentious employment law issues. The team's particular strength lie in the retail, hospitality and chemical manufacturing sectors.

Practice head(s):Karen Bexley

Other key lawyers:Gareth Matthews; Joanne Alvey

Key Clients

Malmaison and Hotel Du Vin Holdings Limited

Missguided Limited

Sim Trava Limited t/a Costa Coffee

TB Resorts Operations Limited t/a The Belfry

VUR Village Trading No 1 Limited t/a Village Hotels

Calgaz Limited

Britplas Commercial Limited

The Manchester Crematorium Limited;Pulsar Communications Limited

GKR Karate Admin Services LLP

Rota Engineering Limited

Colloids Limited

F2R Group Limited

ICX4 LtdJefferies Solicitors Limited

Osborne Delta (Lightning Conductors) Limited

Delta Steeplejacks Limited

Pulsar Communications Limited

Futuresky Limited t/a Cubiq Recruitment

Rota Engineering Limited.


Senior associate Danielle Ingham leads the Shoosmiths LLP employment offering, which has a particular focus on clients in the financial services, retail, leisure and construction sectors. On the contentious side, she handles complex and high value unfair dismissal and discrimination claims, while her non-contentious work includes advising on collective redundancies, reorganisations and TUPE matters.

Practice head(s):Danielle Ingham

Key Clients

Costco Wholesale UK Limited

Late Rooms Limited

Superbreak Mini-Holidays Limited

Cityfibre Holdings Limited

Xyfil Limited

Renaker Build Limited

Place First Limited

United Kapital Limited

Babington Business Limited

Stroma Developments Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising Costco Wholesale UK Limited on all of its UK employment matters, including employment tribunal claims and business immigration.
  • Provide employment law advice to Late Rooms, a leading national online leisure brand, in relation to all matters across its UK business.
  • Providing Renaker, a Manchester based construction developer, with advice in relation to all its UK employment matters.

Backhouse Jones enjoys an excellent reputation in the transport space, advising small businesses and multinational PLCs within the haulage and passenger carrying sectors. The team, under the leadership of Steven Meyerhoff, deals with a range of employment matters for transport clients including matters relating to unfair dismissal, bullying, harassment and victimisation, as well as worker status issues, restrictive covenants and industrial action.

Practice head(s):Steven Meyerhoff

Other key lawyers:James Lomax; Heather Lunney; Laura Smith


'A superb team, with exceptional knowledge of the industry and fabulous case management. Always happy to help, offer guidance and advice. Simply the best public transport legal advice within the industry.'

DTM Legal LLP's head of employment Tom Evans was promoted to senior associate in October 2018, while Rachel Giles is a new addition to the practice, after joining in May 2018. The team advises on both non-contentious and contentious employment matters, especially complex Employment Tribunal cases and high value shareholder disputes.

Practice head(s):Tom Evans

Other key lawyers:Alison Brennan; Duncan McAllister


'DTM have a team of lawyers with excellent knowledge, great response times, thorough and commercially sensitive documented advice.'

'Tom is personable, extremely knowledgeable, very thorough and gives us absolute confidence in his advice. Rachel is pleasant, knowledgeable and really cares about the people involved in our cases.'


Key Clients


CSA Group Testing UK Limited

Ellison Europe Limited

Cygnet Texkimp Limited

Proximo Holdings Limited

Henrob Limited

Calder Industrial Materials Limited

Quality Freight Limited

Zachary Daniels

Rotex Europe Limited

Mando Group Limited

Andrew Collinge Hairdressers

Surgitrac Group

Angel Solutions Limited

Building Careers (UK) Limited

Let Alliance Limited

United Air Power Limited

Esterform Packaging Limited

Thornton Hall Hotel

Tiger North Limited (Zebra A/S)

Work highlights

  • Successful defence of claims of sex discrimination and unfair dismissal against a property client resulting in strikeout of all claims and pursuit of client’s costs.
  • Acting for the owners and managers of Daisy and Jakes Day Nursery, a high profile local chain of children’s day nurseries, on its sale for consideration in excess of £13m.

Freeths LLP's Manchester employment practice, which is led by Charlotte Rees-John, has a strong track record in the leisure and retail sector where it acts for household names, while education and sports are areas of increased activity for the team. The team regularly advises senior executives on their exits, and covers the whole range of employment law issues, including restructurings and redundancies, corporate transactions, restrictive covenants and employment tribunal claims. Tahera Khan is a new addition to the team, having joined as a senior associate from DAC Beachcroft LLP in May 2018.

Practice head(s):Charlotte Rees-John

Other key lawyers:Tahera Khan; Matt Fraser

Key Clients



Colosseum Dental Limited

Aldi Stores Limited

JM Fitness Limited (Orange Theory Fitness)

Salford Reds Rugby League Club

Lift Brands UK Limited

Place North West Limited

Workspace Design Limited

Olive Tree School

Work highlights

  • Provided employment advice to Fleetondemand Limited on an investment transaction as part of the wider corporate team.
  • Advised Roadchef Limited on nationwide change to terms and conditions of employment and full consultation process.
  • Offering support and guidance to the Consortium of Local Medical Committees of Lancashire and Cumbria on complex employment law queries.

Led by director Louise Carr, Nexus Solicitors Limited's employment department has in recent times focused on its more traditional client base in the public sector, particularly schools and local authorities, while also strengthening its presence in the private sector. Clients come from a variety of sectors including retail, TMT and manufacturing, and the team advises on board disputes, senior executive terminations, due diligence and TUPE related issues.

Practice head(s):Louise Carr

Other key lawyers:Craig McCracken


'Small firm, very personal service. Responsive, knowledgeable and realistic.'

'Louise Carr gives us clear, realistic advice.'

'Craig McCracken's form of communication is brilliant - he talks my kind of language and doesn't baffle with legal talk.'

Key Clients

Sovereign Trust

Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council

Senior associate Helen Cookson leads Trowers & Hamlins LLP's Manchester employment department, which is best known for its TUPE work, acting for private as well as public sector clients. Other areas of activity relate to restructuring, industrial relations and advising clients on managing difficult employees. Cookson predominantly advises employers in the housing and social care field, but also acts for local authority trading companies.

Practice head(s):Helen Cookson

Other key lawyers:Laura Welchew




Key Clients

A2 Dominion Housing Group Ltd

Anchor Trust & Hanover Housing Association

Association Care International

Association of Accounting Technicians

Aster Group Limited

Asthma UK

Aurora Options

BACS Payment Schemes Limited

Chartered Institute of Housing

Choice Support

Dimensions (UK) Limited


Golding Homes Limited

Grant Thornton LLP

Hyde Housing Association Limited

Norwood Ravenswood

Saxon Weald


Settle Group

The English Heritage Trust

THFC (Services) Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising Dimensions on significant tribunal claims relating to TUPE.
  • Providing GDPR advice to the Epilepsy Society.
  • Negotiating the departure of Cardiff Community Housing Association's chief executive.
  • Advising Hightown Housing Association on a number of tribunal claims.

Employment: employee/union firms

Index of tables

  1. Employment: employee/union firms
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Rising stars

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Rising stars

  1. 1

The practice at Gorvins Solicitors, which is led by David Walton, has recently seen an uptick in work relating to collective redundancies and bulk compromise agreements, as well as settlement agreements for both senior executives and lower-level employees. The team also regularly assists employees with their Employment Tribunal claims with Walton often conducting his own advocacy. Advice for employees and their families affected by cancer is a particular niche area of expertise for the firm, while another specialist area is advice on maternity and pregnancy discrimination, which a speciality of senior associate Danielle Ayres.

Practice head(s):David Walton

Other key lawyers:Danielle Ayres


'The experience and skill-set of the whole team brings a level of confidence to proceedings. This is compounded by a vein of integrity that runs through to whole practice.'

'David Walton's ability to put into words what I struggled to was awesome. It was as if he could read my mind and find the words that clarified everything that needed to be said. David's experience and knowledge meant that the advice he gave to me was just right for me. He gave me confidence to stand up for what I believed was right and I am grateful to have had him on my side.'

'As well as being part of a winning team, Danielle Ayres helped me cope with my circumstances on a personal level too. She also gave me confidence and explained everything perfectly whenever I needed it.'

Kuit Steinart Levy LLP's team, which is led by Kevin McKenna, advises clients throughout the UK on a wide range of union-related matters, including complex Employment Tribunal litigation involving whistleblowing and discrimination. The team is also adept at handling issues relating to confidential information, injunctions and restrictive covenants.

Practice head(s):Kevin McKenna

Other key lawyers:Sally Bird; Mark McKeating


'The team got up to speed in a short amount of time and provided excellent service, both in its advice and negotiations with the counterparty.'

'Clear, concise and effective in communication and also in conducting negotiations in a calm and constructive manner.'

Led by Chris Benson, who divides his time between Manchester and London, the team at Leigh Day has a strong track record of advising union members in claims for equal pay against public and private sector employers and supporting union causes in high-profile litigation. The team has an established relationship with the GMB Union, providing head office and other high level legal advice. Associate solicitor Mike Cain is praised for 'coming up with imaginative ways of ensuring clients can obtain representation'. The team was recently strengthened by the arrival of senior solicitor Claire Burton from Cumbria Law Centre in January 2019.

Practice head(s):Chris Benson

Other key lawyers:Mike Cain; Lauren Loughee; Linda Wong; Ryan Bradshaw


'The firm has an exceptional commitment to access to justice and client welfare. Their nose for important points of wider interest is second to none, as well as their commitment to getting the right result for their clients.'

'Mike Cain has a track record of coming up with imaginative ways of ensuring clients can obtain representation. He is focused on obtaining the best client outcomes, as well as ferreting out important points of law in cases that ensure wider access to justice.'

'The team are all dedicated, professional and practical. It is always a pleasure to work with Leigh Day.'

'Chris Benson is a fantastic lawyer. His work is always of the highest calibre and his dedication to achieving a successful outcome for his clients is unsurpassed. He has an extensive profile of complex employment cases, particularly in the field of equal pay.'

'Ryan Bradshaw is empassioned about people's rights and is a rare creature in that he maintains a working knowledge of the social security arena.'

'Mike Cain is incredibly efficient when dealing with any cases that we pass to him and he is very knowledgeable on various aspects of employment law. The majority of our clients have commented on how Mike puts them at ease and briefs them on the merits of their case in a way that they completely understand the legal perspective.'

Key Clients

GMB Union

Andrew Short QC

Nick Toms - counsel

Jo Chimes - Equality & Diversity Forum

Dan Manville Wolverhampton Welfare Rights

Matt Jackson  - counsel

Sue Hastings - Indepdendent Expert

Work highlights

  • Representing over 30,000 individuals on their claim for sex discrimination against ASDA.
  • Representing over 2,000 individuals o their claim for sex discrimination against Sainsbury’s.
  • Representing claimants in a TUPE dispute between GMB Union & Unite and several contractors at the Sellafield nuclear waste disposal site.
  • Pro bono representation of client in claim for unfair dismissal.
  • Representing 500 GMB members on claims regarding holiday pay.

'Leading light' Alan Lewis is at the helm of Linder Myers' employee/union firms team, which  has a track record of acting senior employees and directors. The team has recently seen an increase in protective awards work, while other areas of expertise include representing clients  in  the Employment Tribunal and High Court in relation to matters including restrictive covenants, confidentiality breaches, redundancy and TUPE scenarios, unfair dismissals and sex, race and disability discrimination claims. The team was recently bolstered by the arrival of in-house counsel Lee Bronze from Simpsons Solicitors.

Practice head(s):Alan Lewis

Other key lawyers:Lee Bronze


'This team stands out due to its practical, down to earth advice.'

'Alan Lewis is the leading light at this firm. Clients find him affable in nature, yet a tough negotiator and shrewd litigator, not to mention technically sound.'

Slater and Gordon handles the full range of employment issues in relation to unions, with principal lawyer Sadiq Vohra stepping up to lead the practice group in early 2018. Vohra focuses on private client matters, working in tandem with Jennifer Ainscough, who handles the membership side of the practice. The team is experienced in negotiating employment contracts, and advising on restrictive covenants, severance agreements and employment disputes, particularly concerning breach of contract, equality claims, whistleblowing and redundanies. Non-contentious instructions such as negotiated exits also feature.

Practice head(s):Sadiq Vohra; Jennifer Ainscough

Other key lawyers:Clare Armstrong; Sharon Wardale; Lauren Broderick

Work highlights

  • Acting for a claimant in a multi-day employment tribunal case relating o race discrimination and unfair dismissal.
  • Represented claimant seeking wife’s entitlement to pension on his death.
  • Acted for claimant challenging use of positive action in recruitment process.  
  • Represented dog handlers denied allowance despite transporting police dogs in own vehicles.
  • Representing over 300 claimants in covert/intelligence department not paid for overtime.

Thompsons Solicitors LLP, dubbed 'the go-to firm for virtually all of the trade unions', has a national reputation for acting for some of the largest trade unions in the country, representing members in a variety of employment tribunal claims, from unfair dismissal to disability discrimination. Employment and trade union law unit manager Bernie Wentworth leads the practice. Senior case handler Neil Todd is also well regarded for his knowledge of collective trade union rights.

Practice head(s):Bernie Wentworth

Other key lawyers:Matthew Pull; Jamie Humphries


'Thompsons are the leading claimant employment law firm with a nationwide presence. They have strength and depth in numbers with fee earners at each level impressing with their knowledge, and practical advice.'

'Thompsons are responsible for expanding the frontiers of labour law and are the go-to firm for virtually all of the trade unions.'

'The employment team's technical ability on the law and consideration of the crossover into industrial relations is second to none. The service provided by the personal injury serious injury team is compassionate, thorough and with a particular emphasis on ensuring their clients are set up for life. The asbestos team deal with the sensitive nature of such cases with compassion and empathy and provide an absolute first class service to clients and their families.'

Work highlights

  • Acted for PCS member in case of unfair dismissal, discrimination arising from disability and a failure to comply with a duty to make reasonable adjustments under the Equality Act 2010.
  • Successful ET claim of unfair dismissal and discrimination arising out of disability under s.15 Equality Act 2010.
  • Successful claim for automatic unfair dismissal under s.103A of the Employment Rights Act 1996 against former employers.
  • Acted for a PCS member in a successful tribunal case for unfair and wrongful dismissal against the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions.
  • Acted for Unison members in a successful ET claim for unlawful deductions from wages relating to nationally agreed terms and conditions of employment.

Sarah Collier now leads the department at KBL Solicitors LLP after joining from Napthens LLP in July 2018. Collier has experience in advising on complex discrimination cases, with particular expertise advising on cancer in the workplace. She also represents employment tribunal claimants on a range of matters including unfair dismissal, wrongful and constructive dismissal, unlawful deductions from wages, equal pay and whistleblowing.

Practice head(s):Sarah Collier

Health and safety

Index of tables

  1. Health and safety
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next Generation Partners
  4. Rising stars

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next Generation Partners

  1. 1

Rising stars

  1. 1

Consultant Iain Moore heads up DAC Beachcroft LLP's health and safety practice. The department provides advice for companies who are suspected of corporate manslaughter, health and safety as well as environmental offences, particularly those operating in the construction, manufacturing, healthcare and public sector.

Practice head(s):Iain Moore

Other key lawyers:Barrie Hall


'The team at DAC Beachcroft are available, professional and knowledgeable, who often go above and beyond to ensure our needs are met'.

Key Clients



At Addleshaw Goddard, practice head Erin Shoesmith - 'a fantastic lawyer who is that great mix of technical and commercial' - was promoted to partner in May 2018. The team was also strengthened by the arrival of Alan Fox , who joined as a legal director from the Health and Safety Executive in March 2019. The team acts for large national and multinational corporate defendants on matters pertaining to fire safety, food safety and product safety, as well as a wide range of criminal regulatory matters. In addition to legal representation, the firm provides advice and training on issues such as compliance and employee duties.

Practice head(s):Erin Shoesmith

Other key lawyers:Nick Ashcroft; Priscilla Addo Quaye; Helen Mattingly; James Currie; Alan Fox


'Erin Shoesmith is very committed to providing a quality service to high-profile clients'.

'The team is experienced and pragmatic.  It understands business needs and is proactive in its advice. Where necessary it ensures that those from the business involved in any investigation are reassured and given confidence in the quality of support.'

'The team are very experienced in health and safety matters. They attract some of the best quality work and provide a very high level of service to clients.'

'Erin Shoesmith is a fantastic lawyer who is that great mix of technical and commercial. She is well supported by her team, who show real strength in depth.'

'An informed, sleeves-rolled-up, can-do mentality that really engages with the client and the issues.'

'The team is very switched on and client friendly.'

'It is the inspiring leadership of Erin Shoesmith which gives this practice its unique stamp. Her relentless focus on the client's best interests, coupled with her phenomenal work rate, gives this team its hallmark. The incredibly high standards to which she works gives the team its benchmark. The result is an exceptional team, which achieves exceptional results.'

'Erin Shoesmith is dedicated, bright and knowledgeable. Committed to her clients and on top of the law.'

'Erin Shoesmith is at the top of her game. A very experienced and very knowledgeable lawyer who is a pleasure to work with.'

'Erin Shoesmith is excellent. She is a great lawyer, as well as being approachable and commercial.'

'Erin Shoesmith and Priscilla Addo-Quaye brought real clarity and honesty to our cause and gave us real confidence that we had engaged a best in class team that personally cared about our business and the outcome of our particular challenge.'

'Nick Ashcroft is peerless in navigating the minefield of privilege and getting to the best commercial answer.'

'The individuals in this team bring a clear sighted focus to the task in hand, coupled with unremitting application and energy. This and their genuine interest in client outcomes sets them apart.'

Key Clients

Skanska Construction UK Limited and Morrison Utility Services Limited

Marks and Spencer Plc

PZ Cussons Plc

National Grid Property

Manchester Arena Inquests - Pro Bono

Air Liquide UK limited

Build-A-Bear Workshop Inc

Accrol Papers Limited Plc

Work highlights

  • Instructed to represent Air Liquide UK Limited in a prosecution by the Health and Safety Executive in relation to a breach of section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.
  • Appointed following a bidding process involving three firms to deliver health and safety training to National Grid Property.
  • Providing pro bono representation for three families in the Manchester Arena inquests scheduled to take place during 2020.

BLM has strength in sectors including manufacturing, construction and care, handling complex fatal accident investigations and high profile inquests for public and private sector clients alike. The team also offers a 24-hour helpline for immediate post-incident advice, encompassing attendance at site and legal advice representation. Practice head Helen Devery focuses on defending companies and individuals in investigations and prosecutions. David Rainey was promoted to partner in May 2018.

Practice head(s):Helen Devery

Other key lawyers:Sally Hancock; Natalie Puce; Nick Gianferrari

Key Clients

Zurich Insurance

Allianz Insurance






Warburtons Limited

Redrow Homes Limited

Oldham Council

Stockport Council


Thomas Cook

CNA Hardy




Thames Valley Community Rehabilitation Company





Clyde & Co LLP¬†is praised for its ‚Äėcustomer focus and understanding‚Äô as well as its ‚Äėin-depth knowledge and experience‚Äô. The team, which acts for both insurer and corporate clients, is led by¬†Chris Morrison, who is described as 'the best lawyer in this field'.¬†Rod Hunt¬†is sought after by clients in the energy, construction and manufacturing sectors, while legal director Mark Brookes¬†handles work relating to fatalities, corporate manslaughter and gross negligence manslaughter, advising blue chip clients, SMEs and individuals in the retail, agricultural, manufacturing and construction space. Legal director Nathan Buckley¬†regularly undertakes his own advocacy before the Magistrates' Courts and the Coroner's Courts.

Practice head(s):Chris Morrison

Other key lawyers:Steven North; Rod Hunt; Mark Brookes; Nathan Buckley


'The team is second to none - they work extremely hard for their clients. They provide honest, reliable and timely advice and always, always work in their client's best interests.'

'The team are incredibly personable and approachable; they can deliver detailed, practical advice in a human and caring manner. Their attention to detail is second to none, and they have tremendous strength in depth'.

'One of, if not the, best teams of health and safety lawyers, with strength in depth from partner to associate.'

'From the head of the unit - Chris Morrison - down to the most junior member, the team are aware of the important part they play in the team as a whole. Chris works tirelessly to make sure that he is doing all that he can to help his clients and the rest of the team follow his lead. It really is a pleasure to work with Chris and his team.'

'Chris Morrison is a valued partner for myself and our business. He balances knowledge with experience and empathy which is a unique combination, putting us at ease that our cases are in good hands. You can tell Chris genuinely cares about his business, his cases, his clients and most importantly his team which shines through in the team's dedication and delivery.'

'Nathan Buckley is a superb lawyer - he has unrivalled knowledge of the law; his attention to detail; ability to identify the crucial elements of a case and his professional and friendly approach make him my first choice.'

'From a regulatory perspective, Chris Morrison is the best lawyer in this field I have ever worked with. Chris and his team constantly surpass my expectations from a customer anticipation perspective.'

'Having Chris Morrison on the team means I never have to worry about the legal aspect.'

Key Clients

Sports Direct






Work highlights

  • Advised Martin Baker Aircraft Company Limited on a HSE prosecution arising from the death of a Red Arrows pilot in 2011 at RAF Scampton, when he was inadvertently ejected from his aircraft whilst stationary on the runway.
  • Representation of CEP Facades Ltd, a St Helens based (Merseyside) cladding fabricator in the ongoing Metropolitan Police investigation and the public Inquiry arising out of the Grenfell Tower fire of June 2017.
  • Instructed to represent Geof Van der Vliet, director of Petroleum Distribution (Jersey) Limited, following a serious fire at the company's premises in La Collette in May 2017.

DWF's health and safety team acts in some of the largest cases for major clients nationwide, and is frequently involved in cases resulting from major incidents including corporate manslaughter, fatalities and very serious injuries. The firm's clients are drawn from a wide range of sectors, including energy, retail, transport, education, healthcare, construction, hotels and manufacturing. Steffan Groch and Vikki Woodfine are the key contacts.

Practice head(s):Steffan Groch; Vikki Woodfine; Gary Smith

Other key lawyers:Simon Belfield; Joanne Witheford


'Top level technical knowledge, allied with excellent service both for insured clients and insurers'.

'James Roden, Joanne Witheford and Vikki Woodfine are three top notch lawyers. Always go the extra mile, no matter what time of day'.

'An excellent group of like-minded professionals; commercially minded as well as operating at the top of their game.'

'Highly professional and go above and beyond what would normally be expected when delivering the service to all of their clients.'

Key Clients

Premier Foods PLC

Hovis Ltd


Severfield PLC

Booker PLC

Wincanton PLC

Fusion Insurance Services Ltd

Faraday Insurance

Work highlights

  • Instructed to act for a large food manufacturer following a serious accident involving a subcontractor.
  • Successful defence of specialist water jetting company following a serious accident during contract works.
  • Instructed to act for a large utilities company in relation to a fatal accident.
  • Instructed to act by a national high street discount retailer following the fatal injury of a delivery driver.

David Walton heads up the Bolton-based health and safety team at Keoghs LLP, which represents clients in a wide array of sectors, including food and drink, transport and logistics, leisure and hospitality, retail, manufacturing and public. The team is instructed in matters relating to corporate manslaughter, gross negligence manslaughter, environmental offences, food safety and fire safety matters,as well as care sector related investigations.

Practice head(s):David Walton

Other key lawyers:Suzannne Drinkwater; Neena Sharma; Kathryn Turner; Heather Vyse

Key Clients




Hastings Direct




Direct Line Group


Kevin Bridges leads the health and safety team at Pinsent Masons LLP, which acts for major players in high hazard industries including construction, waste, manufacturing and energy. Bridges, who is also qualified as a Chartered Safety and Health Practitioner and member of the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health, has wide-ranging experience, while senior associate Zoe Betts has a particular focus on the waste sector. Associate Emma Evans handles, among other things, manslaughter investigations, inquests and challenges to enforcement notices.

Practice head(s):Kevin Bridges


'Zoe Betts is a very dedicated lawyer and has a keen eye for detail'.

'Kevin Bridges provides high quality expert advice immediately'.

'Zoe Betts is approachable,  confident, clear in terms of advice, bold and very trustworthy'.

Key Clients

Kier Group plc

Crest Nicholson Operations Limited

Into Properties

Morgan Sindall Group plc

Pennon Group plc (Viridor and South West Water)

Future Industrial Services Limited

Bouygues Group


FedEx / TNT

Work highlights

  • Represented Morgan Sindall Construction & Infrastructure following a hand amputation incident which gave rise to a prosecution for a guarding offence.
  • Represented national waste contractor Viridor Waste Management Limited in two-week trial arising out of a rollaway skip lorry fatality and a sentencing hearing following a fatal incident involving entrapment in a large waste sorting machine.

Rob Elvin leads Squire Patton Boggs' health and safety team, which has a good reputation for its work defending large corporates and directors facing serious health and safety issues, as well as handling accident and internal investigation work across a wide range of sectors including entertainment, food and drink, retail, construction, energy and sport. Other expertise includes advising on regulatory compliance relating to large corporate and real estate transactions, as well as audits of compliance management systems.

Practice head(s):Rob Elvin

Other key lawyers:Gary Lewis

Key Clients

Ei Group (formerly known as Enterprise Inns)

EDF Energy

Live Nation

Showsec International Limited

Suez Plc (and subsidiary)

Bayer Crop Science

Mamas & Papas


International Tennis Federation


Work highlights

  • Advised EDF Energy in relation to a prosecution following work at height accident.
  • Represented Homebase in relation to its appeal against a prohibition notice imposed as a result of work practices.
  • Represented Vale Park Demolition Limited at its prosecution by the Health and Safety Executive following a serious injury of an employee.
  • Advising on the health and safety aspects of the acquisition of Wigan Athletic Football Club (including its stadium and training ground) from the Whelan family. The matter included advising in relation to asbestos management and fire safety.

Weightmans LLP's health and safety department is now led by regulatory head Dewi Ap-Thomas, who succeeded David Lewis, now the firm's senior partner. The team is known for its work in relation to fatal accidents, assisting clients with investigations, representing them at inquests and providing a 'cradle-to-grave' service for clients, working closely with the national firm's other offices around the country. Gillian Hulme, who is dual qualified as an Environmental Health Officer, is also recommended.

Practice head(s):Dewi Ap-Thomas

Work highlights

  • Advising Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council in the wake of a tragic fatal accident in 2016 where a tree branch fell on a stationary car, causing injury to the female driver, leading to her unborn baby having to be delivered under emergency C-section but who subsequently died.

Lachlan Nisbet  leads the Brabners LLP health and safety team, which is adept at dealing with matters relating to compliance and both fatal and non-fatal accident investigations. Other areas of expertise include corporate manslaughter, coroners' inquests, asbestos-related matters and product safety. Clients come from the ports and logistics, the social housing and the manufacturing sectors.

Practice head(s):Lachlan Nisbet


'Lachlan Nisbet quickly identifies pertinent matters in litigation and directs focus to influence outcomes.'

'The team provide an unparalleled level of expertise across HR and health and safety, taking time to understand the matters at hand before providing excellent legal and commercial advice and support through the processes that follow.'

Key Clients

The Peel Ports Group

The Riverside Group

Work highlights

  • Retained by The Peel Ports Group as exclusive health and safety advisers for ongoing proactive/preventative advice and responsive support for any matters which arise.
  • Instructed by the UK arm of a large international manufacturer of hose in relation to an ongoing investigation by the HSE following an incident whereby an employee’s arm was broken after being caught in the mechanism of a machine.
  • Instructed to act for a manufacturing company in relation to an ongoing HSE investigation into alleged breaches of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 by a self-employed individual whom has a supervisory function on a construction site.
  • Instructed in relation to a Health and Safety Executive investigation into a work at height incident whereby a male was photographed at height in the bucket of an excavator, attempting to remove the gable end of a building with a chainsaw.
  • Instructed to advise a client in connection with a potential release of asbestos at their office buildings in view of intimated investigations by the HSE.

Investigations and interviews lie at the heart of Hill Dickinson LLP's health and safety practice, which is led by Philip Moy. He is adept at dealing with serious criminal and regulatory matters, working alongside senior associate Stephen Barnfield, whose workload includes defending substantial prosecutions.

Practice head(s):Philip Moy

Other key lawyers:Stephen Barnfield

Led by Madeleine Abas, Osborn Abas Hunt's team is adept at handling inquests, defending at trial, appealing enforcement notices, particularly for clients in the construction sector. Another notable feature of the firm is the provision of advice on complex compliance questions, as well as the designing of bespoke programmes for increased compliance.

Practice head(s):Madeleine Abas

Key Clients

BAM Construction Limited

Beautiful Drinks Limited

MP Lifts

Vinci Construction Limited

Bowmer and Kirkland

Amec Foster Wheeler Plc (now Wood Group)

Barratt Homes Limited

Rochdale Borough Council

Crossrail Limited

Cordant Group Plc

Pochin Construction

Serco Limited

Work highlights

  • Represented Beautiful Drinks Limited and its directors in the aftermath of the death of an 18-year old customer who suffered anaphylaxis after consuming food to which she was allergic.
  • Representing the West Midlands Fire and Rescue Services in respect of an accident in which a fire fighter became unconscious during a selection exercise to join the Technical Rescue Unit.
  • Acting for Vinci Construction Limited in respect of an accident in which barriers around a construction site were lifted in stormy conditions.
  • Acting for Barratt Homes Limited in respect of an HSE investigation following the fall from height of an electrician who sustained life changing injuries.
  • Acted for BAM Construction Limited both during investigation and in the subsequent prosecution after a tower crane hit a building and a load of scaffolding tubes fell to the floor striking and seriously injuring a worker.

Rhian Greaves now serves as head of regulatory at Pannone Corporate LLP, having arrived from Clyde & Co LLP in March 2018. Tristan Meears-White stepped down from the partnership in September and is now acting as a consultant. The team covers a wide array of matters in the health and safety arena, including corporate manslaughter, gross negligence manslaughter, coroners inquests, food, fire and product safety as well as environmental law issues. Director Bill Dunkerley joined from Keoghs LLP in January 2019.

Practice head(s):Rhian Greaves


'Rhian Greaves is extremely professional and highly competent'.

'Rhian's knowledge and ability to target her message appropriately makes her a highly value business partner. Coupled with her exceptional presentation skills she is an absolute pleasure to work with and I would not hesitate to put her in front of our clients'.

'Pannone has emerged as a specialist in the area of Health and Safety. They have recruited the best from other firms in the marketplace and are now well poised to become a big player. Their attention to detail and strength in depth enables them to provide a comprehensive service to their clients. One to watch for the future.'

Work highlights

  • Represented a large industrial client following a fatality by drowning at one of its sites.
  • Represented a major food retailer following an allegation of failure to control pests at a store in the South East.
  • Representing an individual suspect in the manslaughter investigation following the collapse of the boiler house at the Didcot power station.

Led by Gareth Martin, the practice at Markel Law LLP has recently seen an uptick in work in the care home sector. Associate Lauren Wilson specialises in representing providers against regulators such as the Care Quality Commission, Ofsted and the Department of Education, and has experience of defending professionals in fitness to practice proceedings.

Practice head(s):Gareth Martin

Key Clients

Federation of Small Businesses

The Fostering Network

Serendipity Devon (Devon) Ltd

Greenacre Care Services Ltd

Work highlights

  • Successfully defended fitness to practise proceedings for Wholesale Hearing Ltd.
  • Successfully defended A1 Budget Skips Ltd in proceedings brought by the Office of the Traffic Commissioner, avoiding revocation or suspension.
  • Representing Serendipity (Devon), a large family assessment centre in a First Tier Tribunal Appeal, appealing cancellation against Ofsted since early 2018.
  • Successfully represented a paramedic over a period of 18 months, facing fitness to practise proceedings brought by his regulator.
  • Successfully represented Bondcare, a care home provider at an inquest following the death of a resident in hospital following a fall.

Led by Jason Cropper, TLT's health and safety practice handles food safety, environmental enforcement and other criminal prosecutions. The department also advises companies on regulatory compliance, particularly in relation to remedial action following injuries or fatalities.

Practice head(s):Jason Cooper

Other key lawyers:Duncan Reed; Angela Craven; Liam Whitefield


'TLT has a unique experience in health and safety in the water Industry. It is ideally placed within the market to give big City experience and advice at a regional level.'

'Duncan Reed is the standout individual in the team, with substantial experience in the area. His easy, confident manner underlies his iron determination to get the best result for the client. He is known by both other solicitors and counsel who operate in the area as the man with for the big case.'

'Jason Cropper is very experienced, while Angela Craven is a very well prepared and detailed solicitor with a cheerful and helpful approach.'

Key Clients

Iceland Foods

Biffa Waste

Pennon Group

South West Water

JD Sports

James West Ltd

Gaskell Waste (North West Ltd)

British Renewables Ltd

Nationwide Building Society

Elavon Financial Services

Bohoo / PLT (Pretty Little Thing)

The Co-operative group

Bibby Hydromap

Greene King

Work highlights

  • Received three new regulatory instructions from Iceland Foods, an existing client of the firm, relating to health and safety and food safety.
  • Advised Southern Water on an internal investigation concerning safety and other environmental concerns at the company from 2014 to 2018.
  • Advising James West in respect on a health and safety investigation concerning a site in Manchester where there were two fatalities. The investigation was originally a joint investigation involving GM Police who were investigating a potential murder
  • Advise Pretty Little Thing in connection with various health and safety and regulatory matters.


Index of tables

  1. Immigration
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Rising stars

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Rising stars

  1. 1

DAC Beachcroft LLP advises both public and private sector clients on issues relating to the recruitment or transfer of overseas workers into the UK, with particular reference to the points-based system. As a result of Brexit, the team has seen an uptick in work relating to the status of European workers in the UK, while other areas of activity include advice on compliance and risk levels regarding potential illegal working and potential licence revocations. Shahjahan Ali leads the team, while Philip Harman and Nicola Sherry are other key contacts.

Practice head(s):Shahjahan Ali

Other key lawyers:Philip Harman; Nicola Sherry; Sajida Hussain

Key Clients

McDonald's Restaurant Limited

DHL GBS (UK) Limited

Manchester Diocesan Board of Finance

University of Sheffield

General Medical Council

Royal Mail Group Limited

DHL Parcel UK Limited

Care UK

Milton Keynes University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust


Work highlights

  • Advised DHL Parcel UK Limited on immigration issues including right to work checks and visa issues. Supported the business on successfully managing compliance visits from the Home Office.
  • Continue to support and advise McDonald's Restaurants Limited in respect of immigration matters and complex queries concerning eligibility to work issues, training, visitor visas and their sponsorship licence.
  • Continue to support and advise the General Medical Council in respect of immigration and matters and complex queries concerning eligibility to work issues and their Tier 2 sponsorship licence.

'True expert' John Dorney leads DWF's business immigration department, which acts for household name businesses including multinationals and other FTSE 100 and AIM-listed companies. While the team advises on all aspects of immigration law, a mainstay of the practice is the securing of Home Office sponsorship licences and subsequent assistance in respect of migrant sponsorship applications, coupled with advice on Home Office reporting obligations. The team also regularly acts for high-net-worth and skilled migrants in respect of Tier 1 investor, Entrepreneur and Exceptional Talent Visa applications.

Practice head(s):John Dorney

Other key lawyers:Roxanne Buckley; Emily Snape


'Excellent in-depth knowledge and a UK-wide base means that there is always a professional available when required.'

'The level of knowledge that has been provided by this team demonstrates they are true experts in this area.'

'John Dorney is both proactive and reactive - his attention to detail has helped us be successful on first application and we are very grateful to him for his attentiveness.'

'John Dorney is a true expert in this subject matter and explains it in such a way that is easy to understand - he is a trusted partner.'

Key Clients


AirPlus International (Part of Lufthansa)


Aviagen Limited

Gruppo Campari

Impellam Group plc

Liberty Living PLC

Stephenson Group

Vesuvius PLC

Western Thermal Limited

Work highlights

  • Represented Western Thermal Limited in securing Home Office sponsorship licence.
  • Represented Gruppo Campari in securing Home Office sponsorship licence.
  • Securing European permanent residency for AirPlus International's head of HR and subsequent assistance with British citizenship application.

Led by 'first rate lawyer' Gary McIndoe, Latitude Law covers the full gambit of immigration law. The immigration specialist firm has recently uptick in instructions in sponsor licensing for religious orders and pre-emptive Tier 1 applications. Clients comprise charities, education providers, and private individuals across the north west, the UK and globally. Solicitor Shara Pledger is recommended.

Practice head(s):Gary McIndoe

Other key lawyers:Shara Pledger; Bilal Ehsan; Gemma Wylie


'Knowledgeable and qualify professionals with experience.'

'The team is helpful, professional and organised.'

'Bilal Ehsan is totally amazing - he is always on hand to answer questions and is very informative.'

'Gemma Wylie is definitely an expert in this field.'

'Gary McIndoe is not only an expert in the black letter law of immigration, but is exceptionally gifted at challenging process and procedure when it comes to the decisions made by the Home Office. He is proactive in his approach, methodical and gets to grips with the facts of each case, using a strategic approach to challenge decisions that other firms have failed to successfully overturn.'

'Latitude Law has become a firm of last resort for many of its clients, and has an exceptionally strong record of winning seemingly unwinnable cases - for both corporate and private clients.'

'Gary McIndoe is a first rate lawyer with great immigration law knowledge.'

Key Clients

Travel Jigsaw t/s rental

US multinational manufacturing concern

Eamar Developments (UK) Limited

Infraflex It Solutions Ltd

Work highlights

  • Ongoing retained relationship with Travel Jigsaw to provide corporate inbound immigration services.
  • Ongoing retained relationship to US manufacturer to provide corporate inbound immigration services following its acquisition of a UK manufacturing business.
  • Instructed by Eamar Developments to obtain UK sponsor licence and facilitate the hire of a highly skilled senior member of staff, switching from Tier 4 into the sponsored work category.
  • Instruction by a serial tech entrepreneur to prepare endorsement application to Tech Nation under Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) category.

Principal associate Simon Kenny, who leads Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP's Manchester immigration team, frequently advises universities and companies seeking to sponsor from overseas for study or work in the UK. Another key stream of work is advice on the immigration risk issues in the aftermath of Brexit, as well as handling illegal working allegations and helping clients to respond to sponsor licence suspensions. Kenny also handles global immigration programmes for multinationals seeking to transfer employees to multiple jurisdictions.

Practice head(s):Simon Kenny

Key Clients

The Epilepsy Society

YuMe Europe

South Tyneside College

Community Integrated Care


Index of tables

  1. Pensions
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next Generation Partners
  4. Rising stars

Next Generation Partners

  1. 1

Rising stars

  1. 1

DLA Piper UK LLP's pensions team, led by Liverpool managing partner Ben Miller is recognised for its trustee work, acting for the trustees of some the largest UK occupational schemes. The practice has a wide range of capabilities including scheme advisory and documentation work, as well as advising providers of small, self-administered schemes and self-invested personal pensions. Other areas of expertise include scheme mergers, reconstructions, scheme closures and pensions aspects of corporate matters. The team is also experienced in advising on de-risking strategies such as changes in benefit design and buy-in and buy-out of liabilities. Claire Bell, Jeremy Harris and senior associate Kate Beech are key team members.

Practice head(s):Ben Miller

Other key lawyers:Claire Bell; Jeremy Harris; Gary Davies; Kate Beech; Angela Stokes


'Strong technical pensions knowledge delivered in easy to follow language.'

'Excellent team, very professional - always delivers a quality outcome.'

'Claire Bell is an excellent partner with a reassuring and supportive attitude. Always delivers a quality product on time. Friendly and approachable but completely professional.'

'This practice is responsive, direct, pragmatic and efficient and very cost effective which leads to a happy client. They have a very practical and pragmatic 'can do' approach which leads to the client reaching where it wants to be with a minimum of fuss.'

Key Clients

Trustee of the Universities Superannuation Scheme

Trustee of the Royal Insurance Group Pension Scheme

Trustee of the VINCI Pension Scheme

Trustee of the Jacob's Bakery Retirement Benefit Scheme

Trustee of the Trinity Retirement Benefit Scheme

Trustee of the Medical Research Council Pension Scheme

Trustees of the Warburtons Pension and Life Assurance Plan

Trustees of the Navigator Terminals UK Pension and Life Assurance Plan

Trustee of the Svitzer Marine Pension Scheme

Trustees of the Horserace Totalisator Board (1968) Pension Scheme

Work highlights

  • Advising the trustees of the pension plans of a large logistics company in relation to GMP equalisation.
  • Advising the trustee of the scheme of a large insurance company on a large scale rules consolidation exercise involving approximately 50 separate amending deeds and two bulk transfer agreements.
  • Advising the trustees of a scheme of a large bulk liquid storage provider in relation to covenant, risk management and other legal issues arising from a £220m refinancing of the principal employer's business.
  • Advising the UK's largest structural steel company in relation to the group's participation in a new master trust arrangement.
  • Advising the trustees of the pension scheme of the world's leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company in relation to liability management and benefit redesign.

Manchester partner Tim Green - 'the complete pensions lawyer' - is national head of pensions at DWF, which is known for its proficiency in pensions litigation, particularly in relation to the distressed market and pensions restructurings, as well as advising on complex multi-employer pension schemes. The department has expertise across a number of sectors such as retail, transport, utilities and insurance. 'Technically superb' senior associate Sinead Sheehan is well-regarded for her 'excellent eye for detail'.

Practice head(s):Tim Green

Other key lawyers:Sinead Sheehan; Jane Smith


'The DWF pensions team is a leading player in pensions, both nationally and in the North West. They have a stellar client list that most firms in the field would envy, and have been involved in many of the most significant cases or deals in recent years.'

'Tim Green is the complete pensions lawyer - he has a very commercial outlook combined with great technical know-how. His drive and vision make him extremely popular with his clients, his team at DWF and with other professionals.'

'Sinead Sheehan has an excellent eye for detail and is technically superb.'

'Tim Green is omnipresent, omniscient and always willing to help all the parties achieve the right answer

'Jane Smith loves the white heat of the negotiating room. A first rate front line operator.'

'Sinead Sheehan gets the toughest assignments, laughs at the adversity and brings home the best results for her grateful clients.'

Key Clients

WM Morrisons Plc

Trustee of the British Steel Pension Scheme

Trustee of the Carillion Pension Schemes (10+ schemes in PPF assessment period)

Trustees of the Nottingham City Transport Pension Fund

Trustee of Standard Life DC Master Trust

Trustee of the Christie, Manson & Woods PLSA

Pension Protection Fund

Burton's Biscuits

Trustee of the Princes Pension Scheme and the Princes (1977) Pension Scheme

Trustee of the Edmundson Electrical Group Pension Schemes

Bentley Motors Limited

Princes Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising Safeway on the Safeway v Newton equalisation proceedings referred by the Court of Appeal to the Grand Chamber of the Court of Justice of the European Union, a case which concerns equal pay for equal work between the sexes.
  • Advising the Old British Steel Pension Scheme Trustee on benefit structures and the compensation to be provided under the PPF following the Tata Steel restructuring deal.
  • Advising the Carillion Pension Schemes Trustee on the consequences of insolvency of Carillion on its 11 pension arrangements including compensation and passage of the schemes through PPF assessment periods.
  • Advising the Trustee of the Nottingham City Transport Pension Scheme on the full range of business as usual pensions issues.
  • Providing trustee advice to the Trustee of Standard Life DC Master Trust in relation to transfers into the scheme.

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP's client base consists of trustees, employers and providers, which it advises on the full gambit of pensions issues including debt and liability management, pensions insurance, scheme funding solutions, scheme closures and scheme mergers. The practice is led by Ele Lovering, alongside Charmian Johnson, who is particularly adept at handling moral hazard investigations and advising employers and trustees on compromise deals with the Pension Protection Fund and the Pensions Regulator. Helen May, Sarah Lown, Simon Daniel and principal associate Amanda Small are also key team members.

Practice head(s):Ele Lovering

Other key lawyers:Charmian Johnson; Jon Walters; Sarah Lown; Simon Daniel; Amanda Small; Helen May; Lauren O’Connor

Key Clients

Trustees of the MAN UK Group Pension Scheme

INEOS pension schemes

Carlsberg UK Limited Pension Scheme

The Co-operative Group’s Pension Schemes

Thomas Cook



Manchester Airport Group Pension Schemes

Avis Budget

Manchester United Group Pension Scheme

Work highlights

  • Advised a major manufacturer in the food sector on pensions and employment issues relating to the design and implementation of the closure of the defined benefit section of the Kellogg’s (Great Britain) Pension Fund, a £1bn hybrid scheme.
  • Advised Lloyds Development Capital on pensions aspects of its disposal of the NEC business - which includes the National Exhibition Centre, the International Convention Centre, the Genting Arena and the Barclaycard Arena - to Blackstone.
  • Advised the trustees of the MAN UK Group Pension Scheme on a broad range of matters including a bulk transfer of the assets and liabilities in respect of employees of one of the scheme’s participating employers.
  • Acted as employer-side legal advisers to Nissan’s UK business in relation to 2018 benefit change proposals.
  • Advised the regulatory arm of a non-departmental UK government body on the pensions aspects of its transition to a separate legal entity.

Pinsent Masons LLP's pension department advises in relation to some of the largest pension schemes in the country with significant experience of scheme restructuring, funding and security projects. The team also has substantial capability in pensions litigation, helping clients with investigations by The Pensions Regulator or the Pensions Ombudsman. The team's client base includes financial institutions and pension providers, as well as pension schemes and their employers. Stephen Scholefield leads the department; litigator Hayley Goldstone was promoted to partner in May 2018 and senior associate Robert Tellwright is also recommended.

Practice head(s):Stephen Scholefield

Other key lawyers:Pippa Read; Howard Ridley; Hayley Goldstone; Robert Tellwright; Peter White


'The pensions team at Pinsent Masons has a strong London and regional presence and the extensive network of pensions lawyers allows the team to service clients in a prompt and cost effective manner. The size of the team and collaborative working patterns means that they can tap into specialist advice from their tax, insurance, employment and data protection teams, amongst others.'

'Stephen Scholefield is always pragmatic and understands our business and any constraints within which we are working.'

'Personable, friendly, accessible. Technically hugely competent but wrapped in a very friendly package which was just right for the circumstances.'

'Stephen Scholefield is pragmatic, organised, experienced, knows his clients well and is good to work with.'

Key Clients

Balfour Beatty Pension Fund

Royal Ordnance Pension Schemes

Rentokil Initial plc

Unite the Union Pension Scheme

Newell Rubbermaid UK Pension Scheme

Mercer Limited and Mercer (Ireland) Limited

Baxi Group Pension Schemes

Babcock International Group Pension Scheme

Eurotunnel Pension Schemes

Laird Pension Scheme

Makro Staff Pension Scheme

Work highlights

  • Advise the trustee of the Balfour Beatty Pension Fund on a wide range of issues, including an asset backed funding and security arrangement, member communications, member queries, investment matters and procedures to simplify and improve the governance of the day to day operation of the fund.
  • Providing a full legal service to the trustees of the two Royal Ordnance pension schemes, which relate to BAE Systems.
  • Advised Rentokil Initial on the buy-out of its pension scheme with Pension Insurance Corporation, one of the largest pension buy-out transactions of 2018.
  • Advising Unite the Union Pension Scheme on the use of contingent property assets, member communications, scheme mergers, a flexible apportionment arrangement, as well as routine compliance issues.
  • Advised the independent trustee of the BWI Retirement Benefits Scheme in securing benefits with Scottish Widows in a 'PPF plus' buy-out transaction.

Ian Mylrea - 'the man you want in your foxhole when the heat is really on' - is the head of Brabners LLP's pensions department, which acts for employers and trustees alike. The team has experience across the full range of scheme types, including defined benefit, defined contribution and hybrid schemes, as well as more specialised pension schemes such as self-administered and self-invested pensions. Consultant Andrew Ashley Taylor is also a key team member.

Practice head(s):Ian Mylrea

Other key lawyers:Andrew Ashley Taylor; Siu Yin Ho; Elspeth Beatty


'The team is solutions driven and extremely client focused. They can work quickly into challenging matters. They also work extremely professionally with other firms as part of complex multi-layered projects. They are an ideal firm in the local area to deal with issues that arise.'

'Ian Mylrea has an extremely strong market presence, and commands a wide network of key contacts. He can take the challenging issues and relay them in simple plain English. His client relationships are strong and they trust his judgement.'

'Completely in tune with the business community of the Northern Powerhouse.'

Key Clients

Trustees of the Arighi Bianchi & Company Limited Pension Scheme

Trustees of the Ingersoll-Rand Holdings Limited Retirement Benefits Plan (1974)

Trustees of the Unity (1993) Retirement Benefits Scheme (a GMB scheme)

Peel Ports (in relation to all 19 of their pension schemes)

Budenberg 4B Group Limited


Trustees of the H S Walsh and Sons Limited Managed Pension Plan

Lakeland Laboratories Limited

Praemium (Australian parent company and UK subsidiaries)

Alliance of participating employers in the Scottish Solicitors Staff Pension Fund

Walker & Sharpe

C.O.H. Baines Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised the NCR (Scotland) Pension Plan Trustees on the assignment of approximately £500m of assets, a parent company guarantee for full buyout liabilities, and investment management and professional adviser agreements from the outgoing trustees to the new trustee.
  • Advised a large, national housing association on its ability to end its participation in the Local Government Pension Scheme and on the steps it would need to take in order to do so.
  • Advised the Trustees of the Ingersoll Rand Pension Scheme on their GDPR requirements to ensure they were compliant in all their communications and dealings with employees, pension beneficiaries and third parties.
  • Advising Liverpool Mutual Homes on the pensions aspects of the amalgamation between Liverpool Mutual Homes, Golden Gates Housing Trust, Torus 62 and Helena Partnerships, one of the largest mergers of two already large housing associations.
  • Advising the UK sponsor of a defined benefit pension scheme in respect of a proposed compromise with the Pension Protection Fund and the Pensions Regulator.

The team at Gateley Plc is led by Patrick Kennedy, who is described as 'a pleasure to work with' and is well-versed on all aspects of pension law. He is also the founding director of Entrust, and independent professional trustee company which operates as part of the firm and helps organisations run their pension schemes effectively. Stuart Evans has particular expertise in master trusts and works on many schemes to which Entrust has been appointed as trustee.

Practice head(s):Patrick Kennedy

Other key lawyers:Stuart Evans; Stephen Maynard; Becky Ryding


'The lawyers in this team have a particularly good understanding of the trustee position - the team is particularly good at cutting through the complexity of pensions law to advise on key points.'

'Patrick Kennedy is very interesting, with many talents, engaging the room and bringing humour to a dry subject matter. He is a pleasure to work with.'

'Stuart Evans is very direct and gets the key issues, finding solutions quickly.'

'Stephen Maynard is a very good pensions lawyer who has a good understanding of this technical area of the law, with an ability to translate technicalities into clear, plain English.'

Work highlights

  • Represented a consortium of sureties in a £600m pension surety bond exercise.
  • Established a new pension scheme for employer to create an environment better suited to capturing sponsor support and auctioning ‘best idea’ solutions.
  • Protecting a family company’s interests to facilitate support for its pension scheme.
  • Supporting investment in important manufacturing facility to help the sponsor achieve good results and be better placed to support the pension scheme.
  • Transitioning two UK schemes with weak covenants into some of the best supported pension schemes in Europe.

Hill Dickinson LLP's broad pension practice led by Barry Gibb is skilled at advising on scheme mergers, design and restructuring, as well as funding solutions encompassing guarantees, security and escrow arrangements. The team also advises on closing schemes to future accrual and has expertise in the drafting and interpretation of pension-related documentation. Paula Warnock is also a key team member.

Practice head(s):Barry Gibb

Other key lawyers:Paula Warnock; Heather Lucas; Lisa Suares

Key Clients

Trustees of the MWH UK Limited Pension and Life Assurance Plan

Swissport GB Limited

The North of England Zoological Society

Trustees of the William Jackson Pension Plan

Hellmann Worldwide Logistics Ltd

Trustees of the A&P Group Pension Scheme

The Trustees of the Instem LSS Pension Scheme

Trustees of the PJKI Pension Scheme

Vynova Runcorn Limited

The Trustees of the Eden Friendly Society

Trustees of the Iggesund Pension Scheme

Trustees of the Goricon Metallurgical Services Limited Retirement Benefits Scheme

Tote (Successor Company) Limited (Betfred)

Trustees of HJ Enthoven Limited Pension Scheme

Trustees of the Milford Haven Port Authority RBS

Stobart Group

Trustees of Thomas Cook UK DC Pension Scheme

Work highlights

  • Advised the Trustees of the MWH UK Limited Pension and Life Assurance Plan on a scheme restructure.
  • Advising Swissport Group in respect of its obligations towards the defined benefit pension schemes within the corporate group.
  • Advising The North of England Zoological Society on setting up an escrow account into which it can pay contributions in the event that the scheme’s funding deficit calculated on the solvency basis falls below a certain figure.
  • Advising the Trustees of the William Jackson Pension Plan in respect of the company’s decision to sell subsidiary company, Aunt Bessie’s Limited.
  • Advising Hellmann Worldwide Logistics on a rewrite of the Trust Deed and Rules within a very tight timeframe.

David Griffiths is at the helm of Squire Patton Boggs' Manchester pension team, which has been very busy in recent months advising pension funds and employers in relation to GDPR compliance. The team has a strong presence in public sector pensions, while other sector specialisms include utilities, manufacturing, chemical, engineering, automotive, healthcare, financial services and infrastructure. Victoria Leigh  is noted for her contentious experience.

Practice head(s):David Griffiths

Other key lawyers:Victoria Leigh


'David Griffiths is always very approachable and offers quick, clear and pragmatic solutions.'

Key Clients

Homestyle 2007 Pension Plan

Cruden Group

Trustees of the ABB Pension Plan

Nampak Pension Scheme

Marshalls Pension Scheme

PZ Cussons PLC Pension Trustees

Trustees of the Siddall and Hilton Pension Plan

PwCEE BV Pension Plan

West Midlands Pension Fund

Work highlights

  • Advising Cruden Group on the restructure of pension scheme deficits to avoid insolvency.
  • Handling complex deficit matter involving The Pensions Regulator for a newly-appointed trustee client.
  • Advising Trustees of the ABB Pension Plan on a cross-border guarantee on a £1bn pension scheme.
  • Advising trustees on a potential buyout situation involving PwC.

Mark Poulston, who heads up the pensions team at Weightmans LLP, has particular expertise in scheme termination and risk management work for trustees and employers, as well as track record in life insurance issues. Jane Marshall has a particular focus on the intersection of employment and pensions, such as pension scheme changes, TUPE transfers and outsourcing arrangements.

Practice head(s):Mark Poulston

Other key lawyers:Jane Marshall

Key Clients

Dorset NHS Trust

Equality and Human Rights Commission

National Scheme Advisory Board for the Firefighters’ Pension Scheme

Motor Insurers’ Bureau


Cumbria University

N Brown Pension Trustees Limited

Well Pharmacy - the trading name for Bestway Panacea Healthcare Ltd

Sefton Borough Council

The Greenbank Project

Post Office Limited

The Football Pools

Work highlights

  • Advised Swissport Cargo Services on the successful termination of accrual for future service under a defined benefit pension scheme operated for cargo services employees at Heathrow Airport.
  • Advising the Motor Insurers’ Bureau, in its capacity as principal employer of a defined benefit pension scheme and an associated life insurance scheme, on various matters including amendments to the pension scheme trust deed and rules, GDPR compliance issues, and the provision of death in service benefits.
  • Advising the Equality & Human Rights Commission on the winding-up of its scheme, including advising on negotiations between the client, HM Treasury and the scheme trustees to conclude the winding-up of the scheme to the satisfaction of all parties.

gunnercooke LLP's team was bolstered in 2018 by the arrival of Suresh Bhatt from Gateley Plc. Bhatt, who covers both contentious and non-contentious matters, advises employers, trustees and law firms without pensions capabilities on a broad range of issues including corporate transactions, liability management, trust documentation drafting and liaising with the Pensions Regulator. Other key team member Wyn Derbyshire has extensive experience of pensions issues that can arise during corporate transactions.

Other key lawyers:Suresh Bhatt; Wyn Derbyshire

Shoosmiths LLP's pension department, under the leadership of Paul Carney, advises on the full spectrum of pensions issues, with particular strength in public service pension schemes, scheme mergers, closure of schemes to future accruals and risk management within schemes. The team also handles automatic enrolment issues, administration and investment management agreements as well as advising on the pensions aspects of corporate transactions. Associate Alexandra Ventham is also recommended.

Practice head(s):Paul Carney

Other key lawyers:Alexandra Ventham


'Excellent knowledge of public sector pension schemes. Pricing is very competitive. They have become our go-to people when it comes to legal assistance with pensions.'

'Paul Carney is excellent. He is always available when we need him and can turn things around very quickly for us. His reviews and legal advice is always of a very high standard and written in a way that is detailed, yet understandable. He is always willing to assist us and we would be lost without his knowledge and expertise'

'Paul Carney is not just a pensions lawyer of unrivalled experience, intellectual capability and a personal delight to deal with, but is also a jurist capable of distilling the most complex issue down to its essentials and building a solution from there. Add to this a keen commercial instinct and you see why the North West is blessed indeed with Paul's pensions legal capabilities.'

'Alexandra Ventham has the ability to calm the storm of a client's anxieties, and focus the mind on solutions she then implements with an ease matched in the world of tennis by vintage Roger Federer.'

Key Clients

PSA Peugeot Citroën UK

Trustees of the Guardian Media Group plc pension schemes

Elior UK plc

Markem-imaje Limited

Shoreham Port Authority

PSA Peugeot Citroën UK

Trustees of the Guardian Media Group plc pension schemes

Legal director Damien Garrould, who leads TLT's northwest pensions team from Manchester, is adept at advising on wide range of pension law matters including public sector outsourcings and pension scheme investments. Garrould also has particular expertise in relation to self-invested personal pension schemes as well as small self-administered schemes, and regularly provides pensions advice to the wider firm's employment clients.

Practice head(s):Damien Garrould


'Very knowledgable in their field, -they explain things in laymans terms so it is easy to understand the processes required and the risks involved.'

'Damian Garrould is very friendly, affable and knowledgable.'

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The latest news direct from law firms. If you would like to submit press releases for your firm, send an email request to

Legal Developments in the UK

Legal Developments and updates from the leading lawyers in each jurisdiction. To contribute, send an email request to

Press Releases in the UK

The latest news direct from law firms. If you would like to submit press releases for your firm, send an email request to