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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
  3. Next generation lawyers

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

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


Addleshaw Goddard 's ‘excellent and responsive’ team provides ‘high-quality advice' to FTSE100 and FTSE250 businesses and key regional employers. It has significant experience in the retail, transport, financial services and industrial sectors. Active clients include British Airways, JD Sports, Wolseley UK, BP International, Primark Stores and Lidl. In an important High Court matter the team successfully defended XRail in a complex claim for conspiracy and breach of confidence. In another highlight the team advised its client on a major investigation that arose as a result of a number of complaints by a whistle blower.  Malcolm Pike  is ‘one of the best employment lawyers in the North West’. The ‘very experienced’ Jamie Hamnett  has extensive employment tribunal experience and is well regarded for his business protection work such as the protection of confidential information and the enforcement of post-termination restraint of trade clauses. Hamnett is ‘balanced and informed in his approach and can judge what is fair and reasonable’.

Brabners LLP's group acts predominantly for employers but also acts for a significant number of employees, directors and senior executives, with particular expertise in discrimination and whistleblowing claims. In addition, the group is skilled at advising on complex employment tribunal litigation, frequently advises senior executives on contractual terms, remuneration and benefits, and is noted for its sector expertise in the areas of recruitment, immigration, housing and regeneration. Clients include JD Wetherspoon as well as premier league football clubs, owner managed businesses, charities, schools and senior executives. Nick Campbell  leads the team in Liverpool and is described as a ‘leader in the market and great for board level exits’. The head of the team in Manchester is Paul Chamberlain . Other key figures include Andrew Cross, who has a ‘very incisive mind’; the ‘very experienced’ Joseph Shelston, who is noted for his ‘great commercial perspective and expertise in discrimination and TUPE’ the ‘excellent’ Paul Ryman  and the ‘top drawer’ Kate Venables both of whom are senior associates, are also recommended, as is associate Emma James,  who is praised for her ‘attention to detail’.

DAC Beachcroft LLP  fields a ‘knowledgeable, commercially aware and practical’ team that is ‘exceptional in all areas of employment'. The department ‘takes a genuine interest in its clients’ and acts in the most high-profile matters for FTSE-listed companies, global employers in addition to the largest employers in the region. Active clients include Balfour Beatty Utilities, Bentley Motors, McDonald’s and Chubb Insurance of Europe. Deborah Hely  and her team are ‘outstanding’. Philip Harman  is a ‘very experienced and technically able lawyer who thinks outside the box and gives very clear and unambiguous advice'. At associate level Kim Freeman-Smith  is ‘considered, very responsive and straightforward’. Michelle Jenkins  and Nicola Sherry are both ‘very approachable, pragmatic and experienced’.

DLA Piper UK LLP  ’s team is ‘willing to go that extra mile’ and attracts praise for providing ‘fully thought-through advice from all angles’. Head of department Alan Chalmers  is ‘really great for giving practical advice that is useful and actionable’. The ‘bright, astute and pragmatic’ Helen Hall  ‘provides thorough and considered advice’. Emma Mills  is ‘able to quickly understand complex issues and articulate advice in an easy to understand way’. The team advises leading global, national and regional business such as Akzo Nobel, Trinity Mirror Group plc, International Hotels Group plc and the Co-Operative Bank. The team is currently defending a complex and potentially high-value employment tribunal claim concerning race discrimination, harassment, victimisation and whistleblowing that is being brought by a high profile former employee.

DWF's  team is 'able to cover sensitive and technical areas of employment law really well’. Andrew Chamberlain  is ‘extremely attentive, responsive and supportive throughout complex and often stressful situations’. Kirsty Rogers  is praised for her ‘proper and consistent supervision of the work that is undertaken by the team and she is very engaging to deal with’. Joanne Frew  is also ‘excellent ‘and oversees the insured employment team acting for some major insurers. The ‘technically able’ Jon Keeble  is a ‘fantastic advocate’. The ‘strong, responsive and thorough’ team acts for clients such as Ladbrokes Coral, Lookers, Capita and Kier Group. Highlights included successfully settling a case for its client following a claim by an ex-employee for automatic unfair dismissal in respect of making alleged ‘protected disclosures’.

e3 employment law LLP  is a ‘strong boutique practice' whose team ‘combines strong technical advice with a pragmatic approach’ and is also praised for its ‘rapid response times’. Dan Bickerstaffe is a ‘superb communicator, able to explain the risks associated with each step very well’. The ‘outstanding and unflappable’ Nick Jones  is ‘attuned to the needs of his clients and is tactically very savvy’. Simon Ost  provides ‘consistently relevant and pragmatic advice and really understands his clients’ business’. It has considerable expertise in complex employee change programmes in addition to sensitive and high-value litigation, employee relations issues and industrial disputes. The ‘commercial’ team is also skilled at advising on board level disputes, international employment issues and on restrictive covenant issues. Active clients include longstanding clients such as BASF, Thomas Cook and Mexichem in addition to new clients such as Lumenpulse Group and Perspex Distribution.

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP ’s ‘highly accessible’ team ‘provides an outstanding service and has comprehensive industry knowledge’. Head of department Michael Thompson  ‘cuts to the chase to get matters resolved’ and ‘manages large international projects well’. Michael Burns  ‘develops a very good rapport with his clients and provides pragmatic and commercial advice on the most complex issues’. Legal director Jane Cotton  is praised for her ‘deep technical knowledge’. The team advised Warburton on negotiating new terms and conditions for its bakery staff to provide for more flexible contracts. Other key clients include Sellafield, United Utilities and the University of Bradford.

The ‘seasoned and unflappable’ Michael Ball heads the team Gateley Plc . He is someone who ‘gets the job done without fuss without trying to drag things out and score unnecessary legal points’. Ball often advises on the TUPE aspects of business sales and service provision changes together with large-scale restructuring and harmonisation programmes. Chris Thompson regularly advises on the employment aspects of corporate and commercial transactions and is a skilled tribunal advocate. Stephen Hills  is recommended for his work on trade union matters with an emphasis on contentious work such as unfair dismissal, redundancies, executive severance and other issues such as discrimination. The team has particular strength in the retail and leisure sectors. Clients include the British Medical Association, Halfords Autocentres and Mothercare and Early Learning Centre.

Hill Dickinson LLP   has a large team of seasoned practitioners. Philip Farrar  has a wealth of experience in NHS matters; Jeff Middleton  regularly advises on senior executives’ appointments and terminations and Luke Green has considerable expertise in the schools sector. Kerstie Skeaping is recommended for her broad range of employment experience and is an accomplished tribunal advocate. Senior associate Kate Shute  is ‘brilliant, pragmatic and technically excellent. She really has lots of public sector/NHS experience’. The department advises blue-chip clients such as Astra Zeneca UK, BBC and the University of Chester Academy Trust. Other active clients include Royal Liverpool & Broadgreen University Hospital NHS Trust, NHS England and The City of Liverpool College. It is representing Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust in a long-running dispute with three individuals who have brought multiple claims against the trust for victimisation relating to their redeployment in the aftermath of tribunal proceedings.

Squire Patton Boggs  is praised for its ‘five-star service’. ‘I feel totally comfortable asking the team any questions. The team provides consistently excellent advice –I cannot rate the team highly enough for its friendly and professional approach’. Head of team Alison Treliving  is ‘passionate about what she does, she listens and then provides timely , clear and unambigious advice in a cost-effective way on a broad range of employment matters’. Senior associate James Pike  is ‘friendly, polite, pragmatic and business focused’. Bryn Doyle  is also recommended for his work on a broad range of issues such as discrimination, unfair and wrongful dismissal as well as TUPE and redundancy advice. The team has a particular focus on high-end strategic change projects and Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employees) work. It combines strength on the contentious and non-contentious side and frequently acts for global and regional corporates such as Mamas and Papas, Tesco, Pets at Home and Veolia. The group has a host of sector specialisms with a core strength in retail as well as considerable expertise in recruitment, manufacturing, engineering and higher education. The ‘helpful and polite team provides pragmatic and business-focused solutions'. Paula Cole is now at TLT  .

Weightmans LLP has a large team with a number of standout individuals, including Stuart Jones, who has particular expertise in TUPE, reorganisations and collective issues. Mark Hatfield  predominantly advises employers on all aspects of employment and discrimination law. Emlyn Williams  is a ‘strong advocate’ in both the Employment Tribunal and the Employment Appeals Tribunal. The team has considerable strength in the public and private sectors with particular expertise in social housing and the healthcare sectors. The department acts for a significant number of major registered providers in the North West and other clients include White Stuff, National Museums Liverpool, Swissport and The Ombudsman Services Limited. Steve Peacock is leading the advice to Royal Mail in the forthcoming high profile proceedings in the Supreme Court. In other major matter. Mark Leach  led the successful defence for The Bridgewater Community Healthcare NHS of 13 different claims for whistleblowing.

Aaron & Partners LLP's team has been advising Zip World on various employment matters. Other key clients include Sovini, Txtlocal and North of England Zoological Society as well as Stagwell Media (NRG) UK. Helen Watson heads the team and is praised for her ‘prompt responses and for her depth of knowledge’. Watson regularly advises clients in both the private and public sectors on contentious and non-contentious matters and has Higher Rights of Audience. Associate Adam Haines is ‘assertive and is particularly strong on contentious matters’ and is experienced at conducting employment tribunal claims. Haines has wide ranging sector expertise covering financial, retail, facilities management and hospitality.

Analysis Legal LLP  is ‘an excellent employment focused firm made up of knowledgeable and experienced employment lawyers with an excellent pedigree. It contains a deep bench of committed and commercially savvy lawyers who are able to provide a premium service at a lower cost’. Andrea Paxton  ‘takes away a lot of our worries and stresses. She is extremely professional yet puts us totally at ease’. Anna Lees  ‘inspires confidence with her candid, balanced and structured approach’. The ‘top-class’ Karen Fletcher  (a consultant) also receives a lot of praise for being ‘consistently excellent’ and consultant Joanne Alvey  is also ‘exceptionally impressive’. Senior consultant Chris McAvoy  is a ‘very client friendly practitioner who is an excellent tactician during the course of protracted litigation’. Lees continues to provide strategic training courses for employee representatives at Astra Zeneca in Cambridge.

JMW Solicitors LLP  fields a ‘very professional, proactive, responsive and knowledgeable team that is always willing to answer any questions’. Head of team is the ‘very approachable and professional' Liz Cotton  who is ‘adept at explaining the legal implications of each move’. The team added to its ranks at a senior level with the appointment of Simon Bloch  from Knights plc and Sarah Evans  from Slater and Gordon  . Evans ‘gets the job done and is tenacious and fearless in the pursuit of her clients’ claims’. Senior associate Jennifer Smith  is 'very thorough and totally committed to her clients’. The ‘very accessible’ team has a broad range of experience such as advising on large-scale redundancies and reorganisations, whistleblowing claims and multi-party actions. It has particular expertise in the recruitment sector and is currently advising a recruitment agency about terminating the employment of its operations director. In another significant matter it is acting for 50 former employees of Hewdens in two class action claims for protective awards following a failure of the now insolvent employer to consult with staff prior to redundancies.

Key figures at Kuit Steinart Levy LLP  include Kevin McKenna, who ‘not only dissects a client’s (and potential opponent’s) case and problems, he then provides solutions with equal alacrity and commercial realism and sensitivity’. Sally Bird  is also recommended. The team has a broad range of expertise including tribunal litigation for complex claims involving whistleblowing and discrimination, executive terminations and a growing practice in advising senior healthcare professionals. It also routinely acts for larger corporate organisations on restructuring and redundancy programmes and has recently advised on a number of High Court injunctions. Clients include Maersk Line UK, GG Hospitality (a venture that was founded by Gary Neville and Ryan Giggs) and Viridor Waste.

Myerson Solicitors LLP's ‘reliable and highly professional’ team is headed by the ‘extremely thorough and diligent Joanne Evans , whose 'great communication ensures that all parties are comfortable with the likely outcomes’. The 'excellent' Joanne Henderson  and ‘very knowledgeable’ senior solicitor Charlotte Gilbert  are also recommended, as are solicitor David Jones  and Helen Littlewood, who was promoted to senior solicitor. Clients include Eastern Airways, Humberside International Airport, TATA Chemicals and the Royal Exchange Theatre.

Pannone Corporate LLP's ‘superb' team 'provides advice that is equal to the quality provided by City of London firms but at highly competitive charge-out rates’. The ‘professional, friendly, pragmatic and approachable’ Jack Harrington ‘listens to his clients – he is excellent’. The ‘exceptional’ Fiona Hamor  has the ‘ability to assimilate information quickly, get to the crux of the problem and then offer viable solutions while always highlighting the pros and cons and the likely impact of any decision’. The department advises on the full range of employment issues to clients such as multinational corporations, large public sector organisations, SMEs and social landlords. The team has particular expertise in TUPE especially in the context of outsourcing and in-sourcing and routinely advises clients in the social housing sector on TUPE issues as they arise in the context of local authority procurement.

Forbes Solicitors   provides ‘swift, efficient and pragmatic advice to its clients’. Head of department Jonathan Holden  leads a team of ‘highly competent individuals’ covering the full range of employment matters, including Ruth Rule-Mullen, who ‘communicates in understandable language whilst wearing a commercial hat when advising’. The team, which has been boosted by the hire of Emma Swan in July 2017 from Knights Professional Services, has significant experience of dealing with public sector clients and has wide-ranging knowledge of the employment issues that surround the social housing sector. ‘Very practical’ associate Laura Cieplak  is also recommended. Active clients include Leyland Trucks, Blackburn Rovers FC and new client Bolton School.

Kennedys merged with Berg in 2017. Principal contact Alison Loveday advises on the full range of employment issues from restructuring businesses and introducing gender pay gap reporting provisions to dealing with discrimination and harassment claims in the workplace. Senior associate Michelle Gray  acts for SMEs and senior executives (with a particular focus on negotiating exits). Clients include JD Sports Fashion and ITC Luxury Travel. DBL Asset Management, Aerial Platforms and Packaging Automation are also clients.

The team at Law by Design Limited  is ‘extremely knowledgeable and adapts its working practices to suit its clients’ needs’. The boutique practice has a ‘good understanding of the NHS’ and a strong sector presence in schools, logistics and other areas such as construction and charities. Managing director Sue Morrison  is ‘well respected’. The ‘responsive’ James Upton  and Rob Coward both ‘go above and beyond to assist their clients’. The ‘practical’ Caroline Shafar  ‘does not sit on the fence’ and senior associate Saira Ali  is ‘consistently excellent’. The firm has been attracting work from a number of significant sized commercial organisations. It also has a strong sector presence in other areas such as insurance, friendly socieities and charities.

The ‘very experienced’ team at Mills & Reeve LLP  provides ‘practical advice’. Sara Barrett ‘uses her wealth of experience and knowledge to get to the heart of the matter and then provides good support to help clients achieve their goals’. Principal associate Deborah Coyne  ‘quickly gets to grips with the key issues and is very solution orientated’. Associate Miriam Guilding is a ‘great source of advice, knowledge and support when  dealing with complex issues’. Clients include Lancaster University, Royal Northern College of Music, Bolton College and Turley Associates. Victrex Manufacturing and Sefton Council for Voluntary Service are also key clients.

Neil Black  heads an ‘excellent team’ at Pinsent Masons LLP  that provides ‘very commercial advice’. Legal director Kate Dodd  ‘is very knowledgeable and has a great understanding of her clients’ businesses’. Black specialises in  manufacturing and infrastructure and is a leading employment adviser to the food and drinks sector. Highlights for the team included advising Cargill plc on the creation of a joint venture with Faccenda, which required UK Competition and Markets Authority clearance in addition to European Commission approval under EU Merger Regulations. Other key clients include Odeon Cinemas and Weetabix along with Muller Dairy (UK) and Mondelez International (formerly Kraft / Cadbury).

SAS Daniels LLP's  ‘knowledgeable’ team has a particular strength in the education sector and ‘gives superb advice’. The ‘sensible and very professional’ Jonathan Whittaker is praised for his ‘no-nonsense and down-to-earth advice’ - he also acts part time as an employment tribunal judge. Senior associate Katie Hodson  advises on a variety of employment issues such as re-organisations and TUPE, in addition to disciplinary and grievance issues.  Karen Barker  and Stephen Foster  are also recommended.

The ‘very commercial’ Ed Cotton at TLT  ‘gets to the key issues quickly and is very commercial in his approach and style’. Cotton regularly advises on complex strategic and organisational issues as well as on the employment aspects of disposals, mergers and acqusitions. The team was further strengthened by the recruitment of the ‘top-class’ Paula Cole from Squire Patton Boggs. At associate level Jessica Foster and David Birchett are both ‘excellent and very commercial’. The ‘exceptional’ team advises on a broad range of complex matters such as TUPE, large scale reorganisations, whistleblowing, restrictive covenants as well as trade union and industrial relations issues – often where there is a significant reputational issue at stake. Clients include Search Consultancy and Preston North End Football Club. Classic Lodges is another major client.

Bramhalls Solicitors fields a ‘responsive team that gives no-nonsense and commercial advice’. Phil Bramhall  heads the team and is ‘very experienced and gives very clear advice’. Rehan Pasha  is a ‘great negotiator who acts for his clients with absolute determination to resolve the difficulty at hand quickly'. John Hassells  is also praised for his ‘tremendous customer service and his attention to detail’. The team is skilled at advising on high-value employment law issues and on industrial relations matters. It has particular sector expertise in acting for food and drink producers, aerospace and defence as well as in education.

Kerren Daly  at Browne Jacobson LLP  regularly advises on executive terminations, on restructures and on mergers and acquisitions as well as on collective issues. Clients consider her to be ‘unrivalled for her detailed knowledge of employoment law and her depth of experience'. Associate Ian Deakin gives ‘sound and commercial advice’. Key clients include Kerry Logistics (UK), Cohens Chemists and Bovis Homes. Burton and South Derbyshire College, Dock 10 and Entu plc are other major clients. The firm fields a ‘strong and approachable team that offers straightforward advice’.

Chambers O'Neill is an excellent niche employment practice that continues to act predominantly for employers but also acts for a substantial number of individuals at a senior or board level. Andrew O'Neill routinely supports clients on issues arising out of multi-site reorganisations and TUPE as well as on contentious matters and Jim Chambers is an effective tribunal advocate. Its corporate clientele includes large and small businesses in sectors such as manufacturing, retail, property development and healthcare. Active clients include IDG Holdings and DT Automotives. Highlights included advising an individual on a complex claim for unfair dismissal and disability discrimination against a large supplier.

The ‘technically excellent’ Joanne Tindall at gunnercooke LLP is praised for her ‘calm and measured approach’. Tindall has a diverse range of sector experience in areas such as manufacturing and retail, and has considerable expertise in working with public sector and education providers as well as with charitable organisations. Simon Horsfield has expertise in contentious and non-contentious employment law with a particular emphasis on TUPE, business change and high-profile litigation. Ian Deakin is also recommended.

The ‘very approachable’ Justine Watkinson  heads the department at  Hillyer McKeown LLP; she is rated for her ability to ‘determine the main issues quickly’. Other key members of the team include Lindsey Kidd  and Ian Millington . Clients include local and national businesses across a wide range of sectors. The group continues to support its client Job Vacancy Portal (which is a recruitment business with a strong presence in North Wales and the Chester area). The department also has strong links with local educational establishments such as the University of Law (Chester).

The team at HRC Law LLP  adopts a ‘practical and intelligent approach that is focused on achieving its clients’ business objectives’. Simon Whitehead  has a ‘particularly calm and balanced approach and provides clear advice’. Whitehead has significant recruitment sector expertise and advises more than 100 regular recruitment clients on employment and regulatory issues. Among its many and varied work highlights it was instructed by Transline to deal with numerous issues relating to its supply of 2,500 temporary workers to Sports Direct.

The service Martin & Co  provides is ‘seamless - it is almost as if the services were provided in-house’. John Martin has an ‘eye for detail and an ability to quickly identify the key issues and assess the risk’. Associate Matthew Aiscough is ‘knowledgeable, attentive and customer focused’. The team has considerable experience in the education sector acting for clients such as Oldham College and is well known for its executive termination work and for dealing with complex discrimination matters. It also has a significant number of clients in the IT sector and the team does a lot of its own advocacy at the employment tribunal. Other key clients include the David Lewis Centre.

At Clarke Willmott LLP  Emma Hamnett advises on a myriad of issues such as applications for springboard relief, claims for breach of confidence. She also has considerable experience in restructuring and redundancy exercises. The team predominantly acts for medium-sized employers and has a strong reputation for its work with senior executives and for senior executive terminations. The department has a particular strength in restrictive covenants, injunction work and employment litigation in the High Court. It is also known for its restraint of trade work.

Clients of David Walton  at Gorvins Solicitors  say that they would have ‘no hesitation in recommending him whether to an employer or for an employee seeking advice on unfair dismissal, and redundancy discrimination cases’. Walton ‘gets to the heart of any problem very quickly and is determined to get the best for his clients’. He is an experienced litigator and advocate in the Employment Tribunal and acts for both claimant and respondent clients. He also advises employer clients on complex employment issues such as whistleblowing, TUPE transfers and restrictive covenants as well as disputes involving shareholder directors and employees. The practice has a particular strength in maternity discrimination. Senior associate Danielle Ayres has developed a particular specialisation in advising on family friendly rights and managing complex pregnancy and related sex discrimination issues.

KBL Solicitors LLP  provides ‘legally sound and commercially astute advice. In terms of its overall level of service, the team is always available for either over the phone advice or more detailed face to face meetings’ under the leadership of Christine Hart  Hart represents employers and employees on a broad range of contentious and non-contentious matters from unfair discrimination and whistle blowing claims to drafting director/executive service agreements. The majority of her time is spent assisting senior employees and directors.

Alan Lewis heads the team at Linder Myers and has considerable experience of representing employers and senior employees on a wide range of employment tribunal and High Court disputes. Solicitor Jen Challis  is ‘very knowledgeable’. The team routinely acts for SMEs especially in the medical and legal sectors.

The ‘commercially savvy’ team at MLP Law LLP’s ‘service levels are second to none’. Head of department Daniel Walker is ‘exceptionally knowledgeable and reliable’. The department has an impressive roster of clients such as Malmaison and Hotel Du Vin Holdings, TB Resorts Operations t/a The Belfry, Oasis Fashions and Village Hotels.

Senior associate Danielle Ingham  heads the department at Shoosmiths LLP . Ingham has particular expertise in advising clients in the financial services, retail and leisure sectors and is also an experienced litigator regularly handling complex and high value unfair dismissal, discrimination and other claims in the employment tribunal and at the Employment Appeals Tribunal. The team advises Costco on all of its UK employment issues, including employment tribunal claims and on business immigration matters. The team recently advised Costco on a claim for unfair dismissal where the claimant was sectioned under the Mental Health Act. Other key clients include Renaker Build, Placefirst and Acadian Asset Management (UK).

Slater Heelis LLP  has a ‘very responsive team that always provides timely and very clear advice’. Sarah Caulderwood is ‘sound in her advice and is able to simplify the key issues and the associated risks. She has a direct style which we find really helpful as we know where we stand’. Tracey Guest  specialises in advising on TUPE issues and collective redundancy procedures. Guest has a keen interest in the health sector regularly advising doctors and dentists. The team has extensive experience in the education sector dealing with schools, universities and teachers in addition to its skill in the healthcare sector. Clients include Kids Allowed, Eastwood and Creswell Dental Surgeries as well as Blueberry Therapeutics.

Backhouse Jones  is well regarded for its expertise in the transport industry. Steven Meyerhoff  heads the employment team that has a particular skill in advising on a broad range of complex employment issues in the transport sector.

Baines Wilson LLP   has a ‘dedicated and professional team of effective communicators’. Joanne Holborn  is rated for her ‘trustworthiness and judgement when it comes to particularly complex issues’. Both Holborn and Tom Scaife  are rated as ‘experienced and knowledgeable’. The department acts exclusively for employers from household names to small family-owned companies, sole traders and entrepreneurs across a range of sectors including manufacturing, construction, nuclear, renewables, agribusiness, the health sector and professional services.

Key figures at Bermans  include the ‘very active and excellent’ Nicky Benson, who heads the practice, and  Adrian Fryer, who has particular specialisms in TUPE, collective redundancies and trade union recognition. The team primarily acts for SMEs as well as a number of large household names. It also has a significant presence in the not-for-profit sector and particular strengths in various sectors such as retail, education and social housing. Active clients include Alternative Futures Group, Birkenhead School and Fusion 21 as well as Chester Zoo Staff Association and Key Recruitment.

The team at DTM Legal LLP  provides ‘realistic advice’. Alison Brennan  and Duncan McAllister  (who is recommended for his work on breach of covenants and wrongful dismissal) are recommended along with associate Tom Evans  Evans who is well-regarded for his work on complex tribunal litigation is ‘down to earth, friendly and supportive. He communicates well which really helps us to make informed choices’. It regularly assists its corporate clients on a wide range of contentious and non-contentious employment matters.

The ‘very innovative and entrepreneurial’ Charlotte Rees-John at Freeths LLP  provides ‘very commercial and pragmatic advice and explains things in simple, non-legal language so that people don’t feel intimidated’. The team advises a range of clients from the leisure, retail and care sectors on a broad range of matters such as TUPE transactional advice, training and policy review and tribunal claims. Active clients include JM Fitness, Roadchef, Southern Dental and Puregyms.

The team at Hibberts LLP  acts for both employers and employees and does claimant and respondent work in the employment tribunal and EAT. Highlights included advising a manufacturing business on its collective redundancy consultation and processes as well as on the closure of a UK site and its relocation abroad. The ‘extremely professional’ Camille Renaudon  provides ‘very clear advice, has a high knowledge of employment law and is excellent at managing clients’ expectations’.

Head of department at Nexus Solicitors Limited  is the ‘accessible and down to earth’ Louise Carr  who gives ‘clear and concise advice. She knows her area of law and is very commercial. All this is done in an exceptionally personable way’. The ‘very knowledgeable and approachable’ Craig McCracken  (a director) gives ‘sound advice’. Clients include Sovereign Trust and Tameside MBC. It represents clients from a number of sectors such as retail, TMT and manufacturing and routinely represents respondents and claimants in the employment tribunal.

Laura Nadel  heads the department PwC LLP . The team regularly advises the executive board and HR team of Moto Hospitality on the full range of employment matters including on the employment aspects of transactions, defending employment tribunal litigation and on various compliance issues.

The key contacts at Stripes Solicitors  are Andrew Stripe  and David Gallagher . The team advises on the full range of employment matters from employment tribunal litigation to TUPE advice, advice on discrimination as well as on other areas such as executive terminations.

Taylors LLP  ’ team ‘answers emails quickly, is very knowledgeable and its business acumen is fantastic. It produces work of the highest standard that is tailored to the client’s individual circumstances’. Head of team is the ‘personable and knowledgeable’ Peter Byrne  who is a ‘good communicator’. It is a niche commercial firms that works primarily with SMEs, owner-managed businesses and senior management on the full array of employment issues.

Helen Cookson  at Trowers & Hamlins LLP  is a ‘brilliant public sector lawyer’. Cookson’s work focuses on TUPE, changes to the terms and conditions, restructuring and managing difficult employees. She mainly acts for employers in the housing and social care fields. Cookson has provided specialist data protection support to Origin Housing Association to help it prepare for the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation. Other key clients include Dimensions, Imagine Act and Succeed as well as Funding Affordable Homes Housing Association.

Employment: employee/union firms

Index of tables

  1. Employment: employee/union firms
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

  1. 1
    • Alan Lewis - Linder Myers

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

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


Gorvins Solicitors has an ‘efficient, responsive and very knowledgeable’ team under the leadership of David Walton . The ‘extremely helpful’ Walton is an experienced advocate and ‘has a detailed knowledge of employment law’. Walton has expertise in more complex employment issues such as whistleblowing, TUPE and works hard to protect employees if the business in which they are employed changes hands. Walton's other areas of expertise include advising on the role of directors and the application and enforceability of restrictive covenants. Associate Amanda Isherwood  is praised for the ‘depth of her knowledge and for her ability to understand her clients’ personal situations when bringing a claim’. Isherwood has particular expertise in the contentious aspects of employment law such as Employment Tribunal cases and settlement negotiations. Senior associate Danielle Ayres  specialises in advising on pregnancy and maternity discrimination cases and associated employment tribunal claims. The team has also achieved considerable success in the niche area of representing clients with life-limiting illnesses and disabilities and has developed strong links with a number of local charities and medical institutions. The group is handling a number of significant redundancy and bulk compromise agreements and has been representing clients at the employment tribunals.

Kennedys merged with Berg in September 2017. The team advises on the full range of employment matters with a particular focus on advising high-net-worth individuals on their exit strategy. Alison Loveday is well regarded for her work on incentive arrangements for senior executives. Loveday is also adept at negotiating severance packages and at advising on the conduct of employment tribunal claims. Senior associate Michelle Gray  led the advice to Georgina O’Brien who was assaulted in a school by a pupil. After an initial period of sickness absence the client was dismissed from her employment. Ms. O’Brien succeeded in her employment tribunal claim on the basis that the academy had discriminated against her on the grounds of her disability and harassment in the work place. The matter ultimately went to the Court of Appeal which significantly upheld the employment tribunal’s original decision.

The ‘efficient, strategic and concise’ Kevin McKenna  heads a ‘very strong department’ at Kuit Steinart Levy LLP  that provides ‘excellent practical advice’. McKenna is a ‘consummate professional and is skilled at handling numerous issues well both in and out of cour’. Sally Bird provides ‘sound and commercial advice’. The skilled team regularly acts in the most high-profile employee cases throughout the country. It is experienced at advising on boardroom disputes and has particular expertise advising on fiduciary duties, confidential information as well as advising on injunctions and restrictive covenants. It also frequently advises on complex claims involving whistleblowing and discrimination and has been involved in a number of High Court injunction matters recently (both making and responding to claims involving post-termination restrictive covenants). Highlights included successfully advising on a claim for constructive dismissal and age discrimination on the ground of less favourable treatment and harassement. The matter was a high-profile case as it was widely reported in the press.

Leigh Day  ’s work ‘is absolutely first-class especially for equal claims. Few firms compete with this firm for class action claimant work’.Chris Benson  who divides his time between London and Manchester heads the team. The ‘tenacious and very committed’ Mike Cain  is ‘not only knowledgeable but also very friendly and compassionate’. Linda Wong  is ‘dedicated and inspirational’ and Lauren Lougheed  has an ‘extraordinary grasp of detail without ever losing sight of the big picture’. The team’s expertise ranges from large group claims for employees to advice on policy. It routinely represents unions (such as the GMB Union), senior executives and individuals. In a case that is attracting a lot of media interest and is a very large equal pay claim in the private sector, the group is advising in excess of 20,000 individuals (mostly female supermarket workers) on their equal pay claims for sex discrimination against ASDA.

Linder Myers  has an ‘impressive practice that specialises in complex employment cases’. It has a particular expertise in ‘complicated employee discrimination cases’ and ‘is now emerging to compete way above its relative size’. Department head is the ‘very approachable’ Alan Lewis, who has a ‘wealth of experience coupled with an ability to master the facts in heavy cases and a great legal insight into the key points’. Lewis has a strong reputation for acting on behalf of directors, senior executives and individual solicitors in employment disputes. He regularly advises on diverse areas such as restrictive covenants and breaches of confidentiality, redundancy, dismissals of directors and senior executives as well as drafting directors’ service agreements and contracts of employment.

The team at Slater and Gordon  ‘always keeps clients up to date at each stage of a claim’. Jennifer Ainscough  is the practice group head with particular expertise in discrimination litigation. Solicitors Nazia Khan and Jackie Morris  are also recommended. Morris led the advice to the client in a claim for constructive dismissal and in a disability claim against Manchester City Council. The department routinely represents members of trade unions and staff associations in complex allegations such as race discrimination and collective labour issues. Sarah Evans is now at JMW Solicitors LLP  and Jim Lister is at BLM

Thompsons Solicitors LLP  ‘has a group of specialists who deal with union employee work’ among them Bernie Wentworth  (a union law unit manager). Nationwide the firm has a ‘fantastic reputation as market leaders acting for trade unions in strategic litigation and high value discrimination claims’. Neil Todd  ‘shines when advising on industrial action injunctions and really pulls out all of the stops to get his union clients the right results – he is phenomenal in this field . He is one of the leading lights in the UK on trade unions and industrial action’. The ‘impressive’ Rachel Halliday is ‘routinely called upon to act in high profile union claims and those with strategic importance for workers rights’ –both are senior case handlers. Highlights included successfully acting for a UNISON member in a tribunal claim against an NHS Foundation Trust under the Equality Act 2010. This case is significant as successful claims for discrimination when discrimination occurs during the recruitment process are rare. The team is praised for its ‘high quality work and excellent client care’.

KBL Solicitors LLP  has Christine Hart  at the helm. Areas of expertise include advising on settlement agreements, unfair dismissal claims, discrimination, harassment and bullying as well as grievances. Hart also regularly advises on issues arising as a result of redundancies and business transfers.

Health and safety

Index of tables

  1. Health and safety
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

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


Addleshaw Goddard  fields a ‘very responsive’ team that has a ‘detailed knowledge of the sector’. Practice head Erin Shoesmith  ‘steers each case to the best conceivable outcome’. The team acts solely for corporate defendants and covers the full array of matters with specialist experience in private finance initiative cases that are in distress. Highlights included acting for a leading Northwest manufacturer that was investigated following an employee suffering injuries that were caused by failures to have appropriate guarding and supervision procedures in place. The team secured a good outcome for the client as ultimately the fine was significantly reduced by the sentencing judge. Other active clients include PZ Cussons,, Britvic Soft Drinks and Manchester Metropolitan University.

BLM's department is headed by the ‘undoubtedly impressive’ Helen Devery, who is ‘calm, helpful and very capable’. Other members of the large team include the ‘very smart, hardworking and accessible’ Natalie Puce, Sally Hancock, who has ‘great judgement and communication skills’, and Nick Gianferrari, who is regularly called on to represent clients in coroners' inquests. Associate David Rainey is ‘very sensitive to clients' needs and very knowledgeable’. The team is best known for its work in complex fatal accident investigations and very high-profile inquests. The team is currently representing Redrow Homes following a fatal incident at a site in Liverpool where a contractor was struck and killed by a large item of plant which was being operated by an employee of another sub-contractor. Other key clients include Warburton’s and G4S as well as Travelers and Aviva.

Clyde & Co LLP   is a ‘major player in the North West’. Department head Chris Morrison  is ‘possessed of excellent judgement and works like a Trojan’. Mark Brookes  is a ‘phenomenal lawyer, incredibly hardworking and with great nous’. Rod Hunt  is ‘well regarded’ and Helen Simm  joined the team as a legal director from Slater and Gordon . Highlights included representing a leading ejection seat manufacturing company in relation to a HSE prosecution arising out of a fatal accident involving a Red Arrows pilot. Other key clients include Airbus, Mitie Group, NFU Mutual, RBS/Natwest and RSA.

DWF   regularly acts in cases following major incidents and involving corporate manslaughter, fatalities and very serious injuries. The team has particular sector expertise in the energy, retail, transport, education, healthcare and construction sectors as well as in hotel and leisure, local authority and manufacturing. Key clients include Persimmon Group, Hovis, Wincanton, Fusion Insurance Services and Booker plc. Vikki Woodfine  and Steffan Groch  are well regarded. The ‘solid’ team is currently representing Landor Cartons and its finance director in an investigation into the death of a contractor at the client’s premises following a fall through a fragile roof. In this matter the HSE is now investigating serious health and safety failings.

Hill Dickinson LLP   has a team of ‘intelligent and hardworking lawyers who provide a highly personalised and seamless service to clients’. Philip Moy  is ‘without doubt a specialist in this field and has a criminal solicitor’s savvy’. Senior associate David Keenan  ‘couples excellent analytical skills with an ability to unpick his opponent’s arguments in a moment’. Stephen Barnfield (also a senior associate) is ‘as quick as lightning in grasping the true significance of each bit of evidence and has outstanding analytical and tactical awareness’. Richard Green is another key member of this ‘really great outfit’. The broad practice has considerable expertise in a number of sectors such as construction, retail, healthcare, logistics and professionals ( including vets, surveyors and healthcare professionals). The team has vast experience of handling PACE interviews.

Head of team Kevin Bridges at Pinsent Masons LLP  ‘deservedly has a national reputation. He is experienced in a range of areas in health and safety and quickly grasps the key points behind disputes’. The team overall has ‘genuine expertise and experience and is able to provide practical and commercial advice coupled with a very good strategic insight. It is also aware of all the latest developments in this area and is able to deploy its knowledge well and skilfully’. The ‘tremendous’ senior associate Zoe Betts  has a ‘great eye for detail and is very much on the ball’. Associate Emma Evans  is an ‘astute litigator who is able to assess the evidential strengths and weaknesses of a case quickly, as well as identifying what steps need to be taken to resolve problems. She also has excellent client skills’. Solicitor Alex Hudson  is ‘clever and one to watch for the future. He is conscientious and unflappable under pressure and shows good judgement regarding technical points of difficulty’. The ‘outstanding’ team continues to advise a major waste management, recycling and landfill contractor on various matters. In the last two years there have been two separate fatal incidents and the team has been advising this client on all aspects of these matters. Other active clients include Capita, Crest Nicholson Operations and Bouygues Group.

Squire Patton Boggs's ‘excellent’ practice is led by the ‘highly effective’ Rob Elvin, who has ‘a great deal of experience in relation to the many different scenarios experienced by clients’. The broad practice has been increasingly advising on product safety work, suicide in the workplace as well as security and terrorism related risks and duties under health & safety legislation. The team has also been active on the non-contentious side advising on accident investigation protocols, modern slavery and child safety in relation to Ofsted guidance. Highlights included advising a client after an employee sustained serious burns to his back whilst carrying out rodding of a blockage at the plant.  Clients include Clinton Cards, Cancer Research UK, the NEC Group and Homebase.

Keoghs LLP ‘is well regarded for its work in health and safety infringement cases’. David Walton  is at the helm and his ‘years of experience shows in the way that he navigates clients through difficult investigations and prosecutions’. He is ably assisted by associate Bill Dunkerley, who is ‘exceptionally hardworking and clever’. Suzanne Drinkwater  has a ‘great depth of understanding of the issues that arise in health and safety cases and in navigating complex cases through the enforcement process from letter of intervention to Crown Court trial’. Rekha Sharma  is ‘dogged and determined’ and Neena Sharma  is ‘vastly experienced’. ‘Perceptive and pragmatic’ associate Heather Vyse  also garners praise for having a ‘clear eye for the right strategy in a case’. The team continues to represent a manager in an ongoing joint police/HSE investigation in the aftermath of the Bosley wood mill explosion when four people were killed.

Madeleine Abas  at Osborn Abas Hunt  is a ‘recognised expert in H&S law and always strives to achieve the best outcomes for her clients’. The group has considerable experience in defending matters at trial and at appealing enforcement notices. Other areas of expertise include securing decisions of no further actions. Key clients include BAM Construction, TK Gallagher, Barratt Homes, Beautiful Drinks Limited and Rochdale Borough Council. It is currently representing its corporate client 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.

At Weightmans LLP  the ‘excellent’ Dewi Ap-Thomas specialises in criminal and coronial work and focuses on assisting public sector organisations in post-death investigations, managing regulatory enforcement action, and in representing clients at inquests. The team acts for a broad range of clients from the public, commercial, charity and insurance sectors, including Wrexham Borough Council, ESL and Reece Balfour. Leeds-based David Lewis  is also recommended. .

The ‘excellent’ Lachlan Nisbet  leads the regulatory team at Brabners LLP. Clients include public limited companies, one of the world’s largest port authorities, a large UK trailer manufacturer as well as various manufacturers, logistics businesses and large social landlords. Recent highlights include advising a major chemicals company on notices that had been served as well as advising a charitable organisation following a workplace stabbing. The team has also provided fire safety advice to a company that was involved in the Grenfell Tower investigation and has advised on a fatal farm accident. In other work the practice advised a leading manufacturer of beauty treatment products on a Public Health England investigation over blood-borne viral infection risks and advised a registered provider of housing on a fire related double fatality

At DAC Beachcroft LLP  consultant Iain Moore  is ‘sensible and pragmatic, with the ability to translate the legal requirements and issues into reality and practice’. The Manchester office receives instructions nationally as panel solicitors for a number of major insurers and acts for multinational corporate clients on a broad range of  investigations, inquests and prosecutions, as well as on ad hoc health and safety matters.

Pannone Corporate LLP   has ‘significant depth of expertise and experience’ in this area. Head of team isTristan Meears-White  who is a ‘first-class health and safety lawyer. He has significant experience of complex and high profile cases under his belt and is a great tactical thinker. He has formidable judgement and fantastic client skills’. Meears-White has particular expertise in helping to develop crisis management planning and incident response protocols and is ‘so calm and supportive when advising on regulatory issues. He is very responsive to tight deadlines and offers very practical advice’.


Index of tables

  1. Immigration
  2. Leading individuals

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

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


DAC Beachcroft LLP  has a ‘very knowledgeable team that is able to convey complex issues and associated solutions in clear and understandable terms. The team tailors its advice to suit its clients’ needs and provides pragmatic and commercial advice’. Senior associate Emma Morgan  is a key contact along with the ‘extremely brilliant and technically able’ Philip Harman  who is very experienced on employment matters and ‘thinks outside the box’. Harman ‘talks with you (rather than at) you to understand the issues and agree approaches. He then provides succinct and clear advice ’. The department advises private and public sector clients on all issues surrounding recruitment and the transfer of overseas workers into the UK primarily under the Points Based System. In the aftermath of Brexit it is also increasingly advising on the status of European workers in the UK and on the steps that employers need to take to ensure permanency of residence. It routinely advises and trains clients in the retail, leisure, health, education, transport and logistics sectors. Key clients include McDonald’s Restaurants, UK Mail, Care UK, DHL GBS (UK) and the University of Sheffield. It regularly advises Aegis Outsourcing (UK) on immigration matters and undertakes quarterly audits of its employee files to ensure compliance with its sponsorship obligations and other matters.

John Dorney leads the team at DWF  that acts for multinationals, FTSE 100 and AIM listed businesses as well as financial sector leaders and household brand names. The team provides the full range of services and routinely advises on Home Office sponsorship licences and on subsequent assistance in respect of migrant sponsorship applications and Home Office reporting obligations. Key areas of expertise include acting for high-net-worth/highly skilled migrants in respect of Tier 1 investor, entrepreneur and exceptional talent visa applications. The team has recently advised senior executives of major multinational companies on their personal settlement applications. It also continues to advise on right to work issues and on appeals against civil fines and penalties for unlawful working.

Latitude Law fields a team of 'experts in their field' who provide the full range of immigration advice to individuals and commercial clients. Gary McIndoe has a ‘very analytical mind’ and ensures that his team ‘delivers a proactive service and will always go that extra mile’. Both McIndoe and solicitor Shara Pledger have a ‘font of knowledge to deal with any immigration query’. Other key clients include charities, education providers and religious organisations across the North West, the UK and globally. The team also advises various sportspersons and their clubs or sponsors, and is adept at advising on intra-company transfers of companies’ employees once sponsorship is established. It has particular expertise in migrations from the USA and Israel.

At Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP, principal associate Simon Kenny  regularly advises universities and companies seeking to sponsor people from overseas to work or study in the UK. A major focus of his work is handling the immigration risk issues in the aftermath of Brexit in addition to advising on illegal working allegations and sponsor licence suspension. He also manages global immigration programmes for multinational companies seeking to transfer employees to multiple jurisdictions. The team has been advising the University of Manchester on various matters such as obtaining permission to live and work in the UK for key members of staff as well as advising on the right to work process. It is also providing ongoing support to the university in respect of immigration queries related to Brexit. Other key clients include The Epilepsy Society, YuMe Europe, South Tyneside College and Community Integrated Care

MLP Law LLP  is a ‘trusted firm with great business knowledge and a solid reputation for immigration advice’. The team is led by the ‘very approachable’ Charlotte Ashton  who concentrates on business immigration advice both for individuals and for employers. Ashton acts with a ‘high degree of professionalism and answered all my queries promptly and well. She always does what she says she will do’. She has particular expertise in advising individuals on Tier 1 (exceptional talent) visas in the digital technology sector as well as experience in advising clients involved in software and computer services, retail, commercial and professional services as well as construction and industrial engineering.


Index of tables

  1. Pensions
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Who Represents Who

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


DLA Piper UK LLP fields 'undoubtedly one of the best pensions team in the North West'. Highlights included advising the trustees of a large company in the chemical industry on various matters such as answering a number of queries from members and advising on a complex consolidation of the rules in addition to advising on investment documentation. Ben Miller ‘consistently produces truly excellent work of the highest quality’ and Jeremy Harris  is ‘superb on pure pensions law but is well able to bridge the gap across to the commercial side if required’. Claire Bell is ‘very competent and exceptionally capable’. Other key clients include the Trustee of the Jacob's Bakery Retirement Benefit Scheme, the Trustees of the Navigator Terminals UK Pension and the Life Assurance Plan. The Trustees of the Warburtons Pension and Life Assurance Plan and the Trustee of the Svitzer Marine Pension Scheme are also major clients.

The ‘very efficient’ Ele Lovering  leads the team at Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP , which has ‘real strength in depth both nationally and internationally’. Simon Daniel  ‘combines excellent technical knowledge with a strong commercial awareness’.  Charmian Johnson  has extensive experience of advising trustees and companies on a diverse range of pension issues.  Helen May  is a ‘very able and technical lawyer with strong presentation skills; she is very thorough and does not easily get fazed by technical questions even where there is not an easy answer’. Both are principal associates. Legal director Sarah Lown  is ‘practical and knowledgeable’ and associate Scott Rorke is praised for his ‘excellent organisational skills’. The practice is advising the Trustees of two of INEOS’s largest pension arrangements on a proposal from INEOS to close the schemes to future accrual. Once closed to future accrual significantly all active members of the Scheme on the closure date will become ‘special deferred members’ in the scheme and will receive enhanced levels of spouse, incapacity and death benefits. Manchester Airport Group Pension Schemes is another key client.

The ‘very highly regarded’ Stephen Scholefield  heads the department at Pinsent Masons LLP . Scholefield advises trustees and employers on both strategic and day to day legal and governance issues, and specialises in complex reorganisations, buy-ins and buyouts as well as advising on schemes in distressed situations and on long-term strategic planning. The team's blue-chip client base includes financial institutions and pension providers as well as pension schemes and their employers. Pippa Read is recommended for her work with trustees and employers. Senior associate Robert Tellwright advises a number of insurance companies on buy-in and buyout transactions and routinely advises trustees, employers and financial institutions on other areas such as benefit changes, scheme mergers and restructuring in addition to complex funding arrangements. The team advises Balfour Beatty Pension Fund on a wide range of issues such as advising on an asset backed funding and security arrangements, on member communications and on investment matters. It also advises the trustees of two Royal Ordnance pension schemes on various issues such as scheme documentation, benefit security and member disputes.

At Squire Patton Boggs David Griffiths is ‘able to translate complex technical issues into sensible advice’ and advises employers and trustees on a myriad of complicated pension issues. Victoria Leigh  is also recommended for her work on the contentious side. The broad practice regularly advises on issues such as corporate rescues, scheme closures and overseas pension schemes. It has a strong market presence in public sector pensions particularly in local government pension scheme issues. During the past year the team has worked as trustee on a major scheme with cross-border implications and has been dealing with a full range of pension scheme trustee business including assisting with two scheme actuarial valuations. Other active clients include Denholm Pension Scheme, Fenwick Limited Superannuation Fund and Holland & Sherry Pension & Life Assurance Scheme.

The ‘omnipresent’ Tim Green  at DWF  is a ‘great lawyer who understands his clients’ needs – he is a natural and tenacious problem solver who has the magic touch with clients’. He advises trustees, sponsors, government bodies and providers on the full range of pension issues both contentious and non-contentious. He has particular sector expertise in retail, energy, nuclear, transport, public and the charitable sectors. Senior associate Sinead Sheehan  has significant experience advising clients on a wide range of pensions issues including legal and regulatory compliance as well as liability management and pension scheme restructurings. Highlights included advising the Trustee of the British Steel Pension Scheme in a matter that has been widely publicised in the press and concerns 130,000 members of the £15bn pensions scheme. Other key clients include 2020 Trustees Limited, Edmundson Electrical Ltd and Ladbrokes Coral Plc.

The team at Gateley Plc is led by the ‘very professional’ Patrick Kennedy and is ‘extremely experienced and focused’. Kennedy works on all aspects of pension law including advisory, transactional and trustee appointment. Stuart Evans has particular expertise in master trusts and works on many schemes to which Entrust Pension Limited has been appointed as trustee. Highlights included advising the trustees of the Usdaw staff superannuation fund on an internal dispute over a complaint by a member of the scheme.  Andrew Cawley joined the team as a consultant from KPMG United Kingdom, while Suresh Bhatt is now at gunnercooke LLP.

Hill Dickinson LLP 's  team has strength in advising on closing schemes to future accrual and severing the final salary link (the team is adept at acting for companies and trustees alike). The group is also skilled at advising on scheme wind ups and scheme restructuring. It is currently advising Vynova Runcorn Limited and its German parent on the closure of future accrual of benefits in the EVC UK plan and the Ineos Chlor Pension Fund respectively. Other key clients include Swissport GB Limited, Tote (Successor Company Limited (Betfred) and Keysight Technologies UK Limited. The ‘proactive, measured and practical’ Barry Gibb and Paula Warnock  are recommended.

Brabners LLP's highlights included advising an alliance of employers in the Scottish Solicitors Staff Pension Fund on how to negotiate their exit from the fund and how to manage the substantial liabilities of the fund. Clients include global corporations such as Toyota and Ingersoll Rand and well-known UK companies such as Travelodge and Peel Ports. The ‘very responsive and helpful’ Ian Mylrea  is ‘completely dedicated to his clients’. Andrew Ashley-Taylor is another recommended member of the team and joined from Irwin Mitchell.

Paul Carney   at Shoosmiths LLP  advises on all aspects of pension law and has considerable experience in public service pension schemes. Associate Alexandra Ventham  routinely advises corporate and trustee clients on all aspects of pension law. The team also advises on other matters such as risk management within schemes, scheme mergers and the closure of schemes to future accruals. Clients include the Trustees of the AH Marks Pension Scheme, the Trustees of the Nufarm Pension Scheme as well as Markem-imaje Limited.

Weightmans LLP  has an ‘excellent team’ under the leadership of the ‘well-known and sensible’ Mark Poulston. Poulston has particular expertise in handling the pension aspects of corporate transactions as well as on scheme redesign and terminations. He also frequently advises on life insurance matters. Jane Marshall  is well regarded for her work where matters span employment and pension law such as public sector outsourcing and pension scheme changes. The team is advising the Equality and Human Rights Commission (a principal employer of a defined benefit occupational pension scheme) on the winding up of the scheme. Other clients include Liverpool Hope University, Pochin’s and the Football Pools.

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