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Employment

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  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 david.burgess@legal500.com.

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Addleshaw Goddard fields a β€˜personable and approachable team that takes the time to build relationships with clients’, and which is praised for its β€˜excellent and commercial advice’. Key figures include Malcolm Pike, who is β€˜a superb all-round employment lawyer’; and Jamie Hamnett and associate Tessa Harland, who provide β€˜sound, timely and commercial advice’. The team acts for a significant number of FTSE 100 and FTSE 250 businesses and for a number of key regional employers, with an emphasis in the retail, transport, financial services and industrial sectors. The group recently defended Flowserve in a race discrimination claim, which reached the Court of Appeal. Other highlights for the β€˜superb’ team included advising on the restructuring of the treasury team within the head office of a well-known plc, which resulted in the exits of two very senior employees. Key clients include British Airways, BP, Primark, National Grid and Wolseley.

Brabners LLP has β€˜retained the ethos of client care associated with a smaller firm while leveraging the support that being part of a larger corporate firm provides’. Key members of the β€˜excellent and balanced team’ include the β€˜very thorough and talented’ Nick Campbell, who heads the team in Liverpool, the β€˜extremely knowledgeable’ Paul Chamberlain, who heads the practice in Manchester, and the β€˜very professional’ Andrew Cross, who is β€˜great with clients and gives straight answers’. Senior associates Paul Ryman and Chris Pavlou are ones to watch; the β€˜friendly’ Pavlou β€˜fiercely fights his clients’ corner extremely well’. The team has particular expertise in employment tribunal litigation, in addition to providing high level support on acquisitions, disposals, mergers and business reorganisations. It also acts for senior executives advising on various contractual matters in addition to termination arrangements. Lydia Edgar led the advice to a rugby association on the introduction of a new standard players’ contract for the professional game. The team is also acting for a senior executive in potential claims of whistleblowing, unfair dismissal and other serious breaches of contract. Other key clients include AXA, JD Wetherspoon, and new client wins such as Alexander Wang, Travelodge Hotels and LK Bennett.

Alan Chalmers heads the β€˜top-notch’ team at DLA Piper UK LLP, which attracts praise for its ability to β€˜distil complex legal arguments into plain English’. Legal directors Emma Mills, who is β€˜responsive, knowledgeable and widely experienced in all aspects of employment law’, and the β€˜highly intelligent and practical’ Helen Hall are ones to watch; Chalmers is recommended for his wide-ranging advice to high-profile clients in the public and private sectors, covering executive severance and other complex issues including industrial relations and redundancy payments. In an illustration of its ability to leverage the firm’s considerable international reach, the team advised a client on the review of the vetting procedures for the recruitment of personnel in 23 jurisdictions. In a showcase if its skill in complex discrimination claims, the team defended high-profile publicly funded body in a potentially high-value Employment Tribunal claim of sex and race discrimination brought by an unsuccessful job applicant. Other clients include the Co-Operative Bank, Trinity Mirror Group, Akzo Nobel and Canon (UK and Europe).

DWF has an β€˜excellent team that provides clear and straightforward advice’. The β€˜extremely client-focused and responsive’ Joanne Frew β€˜builds incredibly close relationships with her clients and works tirelessly to secure the best outcome’. Frew now heads the team in Manchester, while Andrew Chamberlain heads the national employment team. Kirsty Rogers (β€˜great with clients’) and Jon Keeble (β€˜proactive and supportive’) are also recommended. The team has considerable cross-border capabilities, in addition to significant sector expertise in retail, food and leisure, education, outsourcing. It has also been appointed to a number of major insurance panels. The practice has been retained by Capita for all its HR and employment work and routinely advises it on restrictive covenant and injunctive matters. Following a competitive tender process the group was one of two firms appointed to Wincanton’s panel for employment work. Other clients include Adidas and Lime Pictures. Philip Harman has joined DAC Beachcroft LLP.

e3 employment law LLP is an β€˜outstanding’ niche employment practice that β€˜puts the client at the heart of everything it does by providing timely, well informed, considered and practical advice’. The three-partner practice is praised for its β€˜attentive and personalised service; it robustly defends claims and provides strong litigation support to clients when needed’. Standout individuals include the β€˜very experienced and tenacious’ Nick Jones, who is β€˜great with clients’; the β€˜very friendly, technically able and extremely responsive’ Dan Bickerstaffe, who is singled out by clients for his β€˜total commitment’; and Simon Ost, who is noted for his β€˜tremendous ability to translate complex matters into an easily understandable format’. The β€˜exceptional practice’ advises clients such as Thomas Cook, Big Easy Restaurants and Mexichem UK on the full spectrum of employment matters, with considerable experience in complex employee change programmes, sensitive high-value litigation and other matters such as board-level disputes and international employment matters. Highlights included advising an international pharmaceuticals company on a contested restrictive covenant dispute and defending it against a claim by a former employee that he had been dismissed for whistleblowing.

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP’s team is headed by the β€˜truly excellent’ Michael Thompson, β€˜one of the most brilliant employment lawyers around; he can distil the most complicated matter into a simple form that clients can easily understand’. Thompson specialises in executive terminations, restrictive covenants and reorganisations, and is ably supported by Peter Norbury, who is experienced in industrial relations matters and employment tribunals; Diane Gilhooley, who leads on education-sector mandates; and Naeema Choudry, who has a particular focus on discrimination and executive termination matters. The team was further strengthened by the addition of Mark Hammerton from Clyde & Co LLP. Recent work includes handling a long-running dispute in which a former employee has been seeking to establish the right to a survivor’s pension for his civil partner, and advising the employees of a university in the North of England on the immigration implications of Brexit. Clients include Warburtons, Speedy Hire, United Utilities and EDF Energy.

The β€˜vastly experienced’ Michael Ball heads the employment practice at Gateley Plc and has a β€˜great reputation’ for work in the retail and leisure sectors. He is regularly called on to advise on the TUPE aspects of business sales and service provision changes, together with large-scale restructuring and harmonisation programmes. Ball is ably assisted by Chris Thompson, who routinely advises on the employment aspects of corporate and commercial transactions and is an accomplished tribunal advocate; and Stephen Hills, who is particularly strong on trade union matters with an emphasis on contentious work such as unfair dismissal, redundancies, executive severance and other issues such as discrimination. The department’s clients include household names such as Halfords Autocentres, TUI Travel, Ladbrokes, Swinton Insurance and Chubb, as well as new clients Integral Medical Holdings and Evans Cycles.

Clients of Hill Dickinson LLP β€˜always feel confident in the advice provided by the team, which gives 100% at all hours of the day’. The β€˜pragmatic’ Philip Farrar β€˜consistently provides work of the highest quality; he has a wealth of experience in NHS matters and this shows in the advice he provides on complex, politically sensitive and potentially serious reputational issues’. The β€˜commercially astute’ team advises blue-chip clients such as Astra Zeneca UK, BBC and the University of Chester Academy Trust, in addition to many of the region’s largest public sector organisations. Jeff Middleton routinely advises on senior executive appointments and terminations, while Luke Green has considerable strength in the education sector. Also recommended are Kerstie Skeaping, who has a broad range of employment experience and is a tribunal advocate, and Daniel Rubin. Highlights included advising a trust in a professional misconduct case involving a consultant surgeon.

The team at Squire Patton Boggs stands out for its β€˜willingness to find solutions; it is incredibly professional, very much in tune with the customers’ needs and actively goes out of its way to understand the challenges that face its clients’. The β€˜immensely experienced’ Alison Treliving heads the practice, which includes Bryn Doyle, who β€˜is a role model of what a client partner should be’, according to one client. Paula Cole and senior associate James Pike are β€˜highly competent, give sound advice and always actively and fiercely pursue the clients’ best interests’. The team has a particular focus on high-end strategic change projects and Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employees) work, regularly acting for global and regional corporates such as Superdrug and Mamas and Papas. The group has a host of sector specialisms with a core strength in retail in addition to considerable expertise in recruitment, manufacturing, engineering and higher education.

Weightmans LLP fields a number of standout individuals, including Mark Leach, who is β€˜extremely quick and commercial’; consultant Martin Edwards and Emlyn Williams, who are both rated as β€˜knowledgeable, experienced and technically excellent’; Mark Hatfield, who is well regarded for his work in discrimination law; and Stuart Jones, who has particular strength in TUPE, reorganisations and collective issues. The team has strength in the public and private sectors, with particular capabilities in social housing and healthcare. Clients include Thomas Cook, Mersey Travel and Swissport. The firm recently defended a client in a claim brought by a senior manager alleging unfair dismissal and a number of other claims under the Equality Act. In another highlight it successfully represented its client in Employment Tribunal proceedings brought by several former nurse employees who were not retained with a new healthcare provider.

Headed by the β€˜vastly knowledgeable and experienced’ Helen Watson, Aaron & Partners LLP’s team is praised for its β€˜no-nonsense approach’. Watson has wide-ranging experience in contentious and non-contentious employment matters, including TUPE disputes and discrimination and harassment cases, and undertakes her own advocacy in addition to being an accredited mediator. Other key team members include Claire Brook, who attracts praise for providing β€˜appropriate advice that is tailored to clients’ needs’; she has been leading the general employment advice to a global provider of computer skill games and amusement arcades for theme parks – the client operates in 15 countries and employs 1500 people in peak season. The team has also been busy advising clients such as NWF Group on diverse matters such as exit negotiations, redundancy advice and tribunal representation.

Clients of DAC Beachcroft LLP are quick to highlight β€˜the quality of its advice and the consistency and depth within the team’. The β€˜outstanding’ Deborah Hely is nored for her β€˜very commercial approach; she provides workable solutions even in the most complex cases’. Also recommended are solicitor Nicola Sherry, who attracts praise for her β€˜ability to analyse complex issues with ease and skill’, and the β€˜sensible and commercial’ Philip Harman, who joined from DWF. The group acts for some of the largest transport and logistics companies, including Royal Mail and DHL, and has a large retail and leisure centre client base that includes McDonald’s and Whistles. It also acts for a number of NHS trusts is the sole employment law provider to UK Mail and Arcadia Group.

Kuit Steinart Levy LLP provides a β€˜top-end service at a rate that represents an immense saving’. The β€˜organised, efficient, diligent and knowledgeable’ team is headed by Kevin McKenna, who can β€˜work consistently well under pressure and whose advice is always focused and considered; he can explain complex legal issues plainly without obfuscation’. Sally Bird is also recommended. The team’s wide-ranging expertise encompasses corporate transactions and employment litigation, and it is developing an β€˜excellent reputation’ for its work with senior healthcare professionals, as well as for work on behalf of high-profile, international sports professionals. Notable clients include Maersk Line UK and GG Hospitality (a venture founded by former professional footballers Gary Neville and Ryan Giggs).

Myerson Solicitors LLP is praised for its β€˜fantastic speed of response and constructive, helpful and pragmatic advice delivered by a team that clearly knows its stuff’. Joanne Henderson and Joanne Evans β€˜always go the extra mile to find the right solutions’; Evans is skilled at advising on a broad range of issues, from complex reorganisations and large-scale redundancies to collective consultations and trade union disputes. Henderson has a wealth of experience in all areas of employment law, from TUPE and multi-party actions to complex whistleblowing and discrimination claims. β€˜Proactive’ senior solicitor Charlotte Gilbert is appreciated for her ability to β€˜separate the wheat from the chaff amongst the legal jargon’. Clients include National Nuclear Laboratories, Blackpool FC and Eastern Airways.

Pannone Corporate LLP β€˜provides pragmatic and succinct advice in a cost-effective way’. Key contacts Jack Harrington and Fiona Hamor have a β€˜very detailed knowledge of employment law, are very patient and very solutions-driven’. Senior associate Stephen Mutch advised on the employment aspects of the sale of the companies responsible for running the Parklife and Warehouse Projects events (two of the largest Manchester-based live music festivals), which involved handling employment issues concerning the employment of a large number of seasonal staff. The practice has a strong presence in a number of sectors including social housing, public sector, third sector and retail.

Analysis Legal LLP is a growing niche employment practice that β€˜punches well above its weight’ and which is praised for providing a β€˜very personalised service’. Key figures include Karen Fletcher, who β€˜blends technical excellence with a commercial and practical approach’; Andrea Paxton, who β€˜gives 100% to her clients and provides thorough and innovative solutions’; and the β€˜ΓΌber-commercial’ Anna Lees, who ’will always do her best for her clients and is excellent at providing support throughout the litigation process’. Also recommended are β€˜very diligent’ consultant Joanne Alvey and senior consultant Chris McAvoy, who has β€˜very impressive advocacy skills’. Clients include Astra Zeneca and Georgia Golf.

Berg is praised for its β€˜excellent response times and great understanding of how best to manage risk’. Key individuals include β€˜extremely knowledgeable’ team head Michelle Gray, who β€˜always makes herself available so you feel secure knowing that she is contactable if you are dealing with a particularly tricky situation’; and Alison Loveday, who provides β€˜very clear advice’. The group has particular expertise in the education, healthcare, professional services, travel and retail sectors, acting for clients such as JD Sports, Outdoor and Cycle Concepts, Resthaven Nursing Home and DBL Asset Management. It acted for Champneys Henlow on the employment aspects of the acquisition of the business assets of some companies. Kim Freeman-Smith is now at DWF

gunnercooke LLP provides β€˜pragmatic, commercial and accurate advice and is always quick to respond’. Simon Horsfield has a β€˜huge breadth of experience across different business sectors, which he is able to draw on and use to the clients’ tactical advantage’. The β€˜very sensible’ Joanne Tindall β€˜really knows her stuff’ and led on the employment aspects of Busy Bees’ acquisition of Kids First Nurseries (which operated 13 nurseries across the North East of England). The group added Bovis Homes to its roster of clients, which includes Clingen Group, Dixons Academy Trust and Leeds Federated Housing Association. Simon Robinson joined from Shoosmiths LLP.

JMW Solicitors LLP is a β€˜well-established unit with a strong reputation in retail’. The β€˜industrious’ Liz Cotton leads the team – she has β€˜excellent client skills and is quick to get to the heart of the problem and provide client-led solutions’. She is assisted by β€˜very level-headed and accessible’ senior associate Jennifer Smith, who is a β€˜very safe pair of hands’. Recent work includes acting in a significant claim for unfair dismissal, age discrimination and breach of contract in the Liverpool Employment Tribunal, and representing footballer Michael Farnan in a Β£1m High Court claim against Sunderland Association Football Club for breach of contract, including unpaid bonuses/commissions. The team’s other areas of expertise include the recruitment, hospitality and pharmaceuticals sectors. Carl Moran moved to JWK Solicitors.

Law by Design LTD is β€˜is a highly innovative firm that provides a great service’. Key figures include Sue Morrison, who is praised for her β€˜great leadership and focused approach’; and James Upton, who is β€˜intellectually very able, practically very aware and totally committed to getting the best for his clients’. Also recommended are director Caroline Shafar and associate director Neal Mellor, who is β€˜always approachable and clear in his advice’. The firm further strengthened its healthcare-sector capability with the recruitment of Kirsty MacDonald from DAC Beachcroft LLP. Clients include Central Manchester NHS Foundation Trust and National Polytunnels, the latter of which is a new client for 2017.

Mills & Reeve LLP fields a β€˜strong and knowledgeable team that is flexible and quick to respond’. The β€˜confident, knowledgeable and extremely responsive’ Sara Barrett heads the team, which includes principal associate Deborah Coyne, who β€˜provides sound and timely advice’. It is active across a broad range of sectors such as food and logistics, and has been receiving a steady flow of instructions in the insurance sector and in the education sector, where it acts for clients such as Lancaster University. Recent work includes acting for the Global Group (the owner of several of the UK’s leading music/entertainment brands such as Capital FM and Classic FM) on the acquisition of a number of festival businesses.

At Pinsent Masons LLP, team head Neil Black handles the full range of contentious and non-contentious matters with particular experience in TUPE issues, reorganisations, collective redundancies and strategic HR advice. Financial services, energy, infrastructure, advanced manufacturing and universities are all key areas of expertise. Its blue chip-client base includes household names such as MΓΌller Dairy (UK), Weetabix, Arqiva and British Engineering Services Limited. Ian Deakin is now at Browne Jacobson LLP.

SAS Daniels LLP β€˜commands respect among practitioners, opponents and clients alike’, with clients singling out Jonathan Whittaker; he is β€˜at the top of his game and passionately cares about delivering top value to his clients’. The β€˜commercial and responsive’ team has a particular strength in the education sector. Active clients include Bakkavor Foods, Victrex, Stockport Grammar School and The King’s School in Macclesfield. Louise Carr is now at Nexus Solicitors Limited.

Chambers O'Neill’s standout individuals include Jim Chambers, who has β€˜a wealth of experience and knowledge of employment law’, and the β€˜articulate and courteous’ Andrew O’Neill. Both individuals have β€˜excellent investigatory skills’. The practice acts primarily for employers but also for a substantial number of individuals, often at a senior or board level. Clients include IDG Holdings and DT Automotives.

Forbes Solicitors is singled out for its β€˜significant experience in dealing with public sector clients’ and attracts praise for its β€˜invaluable advice and support’. The β€˜always approachable and responsive’ Jonathan Holden leads the team, which includes Ruth Rule-Mullen, who is β€˜experienced, thorough and helpful’. It also acts for private sector clients including Leyland Trucks, Guardian Financial Services and Blackburn Rovers FC, and has considerable niche expertise advising educational establishments including Bolton School, a new client of the firm. Emma Swan joined from Knights Professional Services Limited.

HRC Law LLP fields a team β€˜that is very easy to deal with; it does not bamboozle you with legal speak that you can’t understand’. Key figures include Simon Whitehead, who β€˜always provides a fantastic service and has a very detailed knowledge of employment law’; and the β€˜commercial and client-focused’ Richard Whalley. The team has carved out considerable niche expertise in the recruitment sector, as demonstrated by its work for Transline in an investigation into working practices at Transline’s client Sports Direct related to underpayment issues and other regulatory matters.

Hillyer McKeown’s β€˜proactive, pragmatic and accessible team’ is headed by Justine Watkinson, who is especially strong on the contentious side and provides β€˜technically accurate advice that is solutions driven and commercially sound’. The β€˜very professional’ Lindsey Kidd attracts praise for her β€˜ability to quickly grasp concepts and deliver exceptional levels of client care’. The department also has strong links with local educational establishments such as the University of Law (Chester) and Manchester Metropolitan University.

Martin & Co’s team attracts praise for its β€˜professional service and clear, prompt advice’. The principal contact is John Martin, who is singled out for his ability to β€˜explain complex issues very calmly and in a logical and patient way’. He is ably supported by Matthew Ainscough. The team is known for its work in the education sector and for executive terminations and complex discrimination claims in particular. Recent work includes acting for the David Lewis Centre in a claim for disability discrimination and constructive dismissal, and acting for Oldham College on a large-scale reorganisation.

TLT’s team attracts praise for providing β€˜advice with a strong commercial bias’. The β€˜practical and approachable’ Ed Cotton β€˜understands how a business needs to function; his advice is quick and accurate and enables his clients to reach their business goals’. The team acts for high-growth businesses, FTSE-listed national and international organisations and public institutions and has considerable experience in the recruitment and sports sectors. The team recently acted for a large online retail business to provide advice on employee-related issues (including executive severance issues) arising from a large-scale business restructuring.

Clients of Bramhalls Solicitors appreciate its ability to β€˜find the most efficient and cost-effective solution to a problem’. Philip Bramhall is praised for his β€˜ability to explain the various courses of action that are available, their implications and the best way forward for its clients’. Associate Rehan Pasha is β€˜extremely knowledgeable and detail orientated; he can work at speed, leaves no stone unturned and ensures that a business is fully protected while still adopting a very commercial approach’. The team was joined in May 2017 by John Hassells from KBL Solicitors LLP. Highlights included advising the senior management team on employment law implications arising from the takeover of the client. It also defended an Employment Tribunal claim for unfair dismissal brought by a managing director.

Browne Jacobson LLP fields an β€˜empathetic practice that is totally focused on the client; its strong team has talent, muscle and depth, yet still has the feel of a boutique firm’. For some, Kerren Daly is β€˜in a class of her own; she has the ability to effectively communicate the risks associated with any proposed strategies in a jargon-free, succinct and caring way’. The team has particular expertise in executive terminations, restructurings and high-profile and sensitive matters involving issues arising from acquisitions and mergers and collective redundnacies. Active clients include Q-Park and Kerry Logistics (UK).

Clarke Willmott LLP fields an β€˜extremely strong, personable and efficient’ team. Emma Hamnett is recommended. The team primarily acts for medium-sized employers and also has a strong reputation for its work with senior executives. It has a particular strength in restrictive covenant and restraint of trade work.

Gorvins Solicitors has a β€˜strong team that cares a lot about its clients and always goes the extra mile to offer pragmatic and sound legal advice’. Key figures include experienced advocate David Walton and β€˜very knowledgeable’ senior associate Danielle Ayres. The team regularly acts for employers in Employment Tribunal claims, as well as representing employees pursuing claims against their employers, with particular strength in maternity discrimination. Highlights included advising a large employer on the winding down of its operations.

KBL Solicitors LLP continues to act for small and medium sized businesses in addition to larger employers on the full range of employment matters. Christine Hart, an associate solicitor who specialises in advising on redundancy, disciplinary procedures, grievances and settlement agreements, is now the key contact following the departure of former team head John Hassells to Bramhalls Solicitors.

The β€˜clever, responsive and thoughtful’ Alan Lewis heads the team at Linder Myers; he has considerable experience representing employers and senior employees on a wide range of Employment Tribunal and High Court disputes. The team regularly acts for SMEs especially in the medical and legal sectors. Active clients include RJ Gill Solicitors, National Federation of Occupational Pensioners and the National Association of Retired Police Officers.

Chris Boyle leads the three partner department at Napthens LLP, which handles the full range of employment matters, from redundancy, discrimination and harassment issues through to compromise agreements and TUPE matters. Boyle has particular expertise in the leisure and manufacturing sectors and acts for public companies, owner managed businesses and SMEs, as well as individual directors and senior employees.

Senior associate Danielle Ingham heads the department at Shoosmiths LLP, which has particular strength in the financial services, retail and leisure sectors. It advises Costco on all of its UK employment matters, including Employment Tribunal claims and business immigration matters; recent work includes defending Costco against an unfair dismissal and disability discrimination claim brought by a former employee with a severe nut allergy. Other clients include Medtronic, which the team recently advised on the implementation of new business-wide terms and conditions of employment and recruitment processes following the client’s acquisition of Covidien.

Clients of Slater Heelis LLP single out the β€˜commercial’ Tracey Guest for her ability to β€˜think like clients and not just like a lawyer’; and Sarah Calderwood, who has a particular specialism in injunctive relief for the enforcement of restrictive covenants and provides β€˜jargon-free explanations and comprehensive advice’. The β€˜excellent’ team has extensive experience in the education sector and has a growing profile in the healthcare sector. Clients include The Seashell Trust and Manchester Communication Primary Academy.

Slater and Gordon attracts praise for its β€˜accurate, timely and effective advice’. Jim Lister has a β€˜great reputation – the calm and friendly advice he provides is invaluable’. Lister has particular sector expertise in areas such as care, construction and engineering. Clients include Academy of Ancient Music, Rootcroft and Beaverbrooks the Jewellers.

Backhouse Jones stands out for its β€˜first-class understanding of the transport industry’. Steven Meyerhoff provides β€˜great levels of service, is very confident in the court room and is someone who will do his utmost to represent his clients professionally and well’.

The team at Baines Wilson LLP provides β€˜prompt, informative and accurate responses’. It acts exclusively for employers, from household names to family-owned companies, sole traders and entrepreneurs in diverse sectors such as manufacturing, construction, nuclear, agribusiness and the health sector. Key figures include Joanne Holborn, who β€˜takes the time to understand her clients’ businesses’, and Tom Scaife.

The team at Bermans is headed by the β€˜knowledgeable’ Nicky Benson, who is β€˜vastly experienced and very responsive’, and includes Adrian Fryer. It primarily acts for SMEs in addition to a number of professional services firms and high-net-worth clients in sectors such as retail, education and social housing. Clients include Alternative Futures Group, Birkenhead School and Fusion 21.

DTM Legal LLP β€˜takes the time to understand our business and provides good advice’. Alison Brennan and Duncan McAllister (who is recommended for his work on breaches of covenants and wrongful dismissal claims) are both β€˜proactive, responsive and client-focused’. Associate Tom Evans β€˜exceeds expectations’ and regularly advises commercial clients and senior executives on bringing and defending employment tribunal claims.

Camille Renaudon leads a department at Hibberts LLP that acts for employers and employees. Highlights included advising on restrictive covenant litigation and pre-action work for a telecommunications company, and acting for a senior executive who was facing dismissal for allegations of gross misconduct.

MLP Law LLP’s team has an β€˜in-depth knowledge of employment law combined with an excellent understanding of its clients’ needs’. The β€˜very responsive and commercial’ Daniel Walker is praised for his experience in the fashion and retail sectors in particular and associate solicitor Gareth Matthews is β€˜very reassuring and does a great job’. Clients include Malmaison and Hotel Du Vin, The Belfry and Oasis Fashions.

Nexus Solicitors Limited’s β€˜very experienced team’ is led by Louise Carr, who is known for her particular expertise in representing clients in multi-day discrimination claims at the Employment Tribunal. Other key figures include director Craig McCracken, who provides β€˜timely and sound advice’. The department also provides support to corporate clients on a number of board disputes, senior executive terminations and other TUPE-related matters.

β€˜A leading light in the local market’ according to some, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP’s Manchester employment practice is spearheaded by Laura Nadel, who has an β€˜excellent client manner and keen legal skills. She is very bright, always pragmatic and is team spirited’. Highlights included advising NorthEdge LLP on all the employment law issues stemming from its investment in the management buyout of Belfield Furnishings.

Andrew Stripe and David Gallagher are the key contacts at Stripes Solicitors; Gallagher advises employers on issues involving redundancy and unfair dismissal and is regularly instructed by employees to handle settlement agreements. He is also skilled at conducting litigation relating to the enforcement of restrictive covenants.

At Taylors, team head Peter Byrne is noted for his β€˜ability to understand an issue quickly and then to respond in a straightforward manner with advice that is easy to follow and understand’. The firm acts primarily for SMEs, owner-managed businesses and senior management on a whole host of employment issues.

At Trowers & Hamlins LLP, Helen Cookson acts primarily for employers in the housing and social care fields, in addition to local authority trading companies, and is adept at advising on data protection issues linked to employment. Clients include The Brandon Trust and Bolton At Home.

Ward Hadaway’s team attracts praise for its β€˜commercial, supportive approach and clear, balanced and concise advice’. The β€˜very responsive’ Stephen Robinson advises on a wide array of employment matters, from workplace disputes to Employment Tribunal litigation and mediation involving unfair dismissal, discrimination and whistleblowing claims.


Employment: employee/union firms

Index of tables

  1. Employment: employee/union firms
  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 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 david.burgess@legal500.com.

CLICK HERE TO VISIT THE WHO REPRESENTS WHO SITE

Slater and Gordon is a β€˜leading firm for claimant work’ and its team β€˜knows everything there is to know about claims against the police’. Clients single out Sarah Evans for her β€˜impeccable judgement; she is a fierce negotiator who is determined to always get the best for her clients’. Also recommended are Jennifer Ainscough, who β€˜really knows her stuff’ on federation and union matters in particular, and Jim Lister, whose advice is β€˜second to none’. The team regularly represents members of trade unions and staff associations in high-profile claims against their employers, often involving complex allegations of unlawful discrimination, race discrimination, whistleblowing and collective labour issues. In addition the team is often instructed by directors of NHS trusts and local authorities. Recent work includes representing a client in a race discrimination spanning a number of years against Cleveland Police, and acting for a police inspector in a whistleblowing claim against South Yorkshire Police. Martin Price joined Knights Professional Services Limited.

Berg’s clients highlight the practice’s β€˜atmosphere of integrity and professionalism’, as well as its β€˜clear advice’. Michelle Gray β€˜rigorously pursues matters on her clients’ behalf in an open and honest way’ and is known for negotiating exits for senior executives. The β€˜exceptional’ Alison Loveday advises on the full range of employment matters, from negotiating severance pay for senior executives to advising on complex bonus/incentive pay matters. In a potentially landmark case the team is representing a teacher who was assaulted by a pupil at a school and was off sick for a considerable period of time; the case, which will be heard before the Court of Appeal, could have far-reaching consequences on determining how long to wait before dismissing an employee on long-term sickness absence.

Gorvins Solicitors is singled out for its β€˜pioneering work in disability discrimination, maternity/sex discrimination and whistleblowing’. David Walton leads the team and β€˜goes above and beyond to provide a high-quality service, as well as measured advice, often in very stressful circumstances’. He is supported by β€˜up-and-coming’ associate Danielle Ayres who is praised for her β€˜warm, caring and supportive matter, which helps during a difficult litigation process; she always seems totally up to speed on each claim’. Highlights included acting on behalf of a large number of employees in a company restructuring, which resulted in a bulk settlement agreement.

Key figures at Kuit Steinart Levy LLP include the β€˜outstanding’ Sally Bird, who provides β€˜sensible advice that balances the law with the clients’ commercial needs’; and the β€˜professional and personable’ Kevin McKenna, in whom clients have β€˜the utmost confidence’. Associate Lorna Rigby is also recommended. The team is skilled at handling executive terminations, advising on fiduciary duties and, and acting in high-value litigation involving claims for contractual redundancy pay, loss of bonus and share options. Recent work includes representing a client against the Ministry of Justice in a case concerning part-time worker discrimination when his application to work beyond the age of 70 was refused unlike his full-time comparator (a Circuit Judge), whose appointment continued. The London Central Employment Tribunal held that its client had been discriminated against on the grounds of his part-time status.

Linder Myers has a developing niche claimant practice that is β€˜going from strength to strength’. Alan Lewis is a β€˜leading light’ who can β€˜analytically assess the most difficult cases and always remain focused on the big picture’. Lewis has an excellent reputation for working for directors, senior executives and individual solicitors in employment disputes with their employers. He also assists numerous firms of solicitors with their employment law issues.

KBL Solicitors LLP regularly acts for employees advising on restrictive covenants, confidentiality and other associated contractual breaches and fiduciary duties. It has also experienced increased instructions from employees pursuing claims against employers for alleged breaches of the Equality Act 2010. Christine Hart is now the key contact following John Hassells’ move to Bramhalls Solicitors.

London-based Chris Benson heads a β€˜very responsive’ team at Leigh Day that includes associate solicitor Mike Cain, who is β€˜outstandingly creative; if one approach doesn’t work, he will try really hard to find another one that does’. The team handles the full range of employment matters for claimants and trade unions, including issues concerning equal pay, working time rights and the national minimum wage. The GMB Union is a client. The team is representing up to 20,000 individuals in equal pay claims in addition to a significant number of senior executives on matters such as favourable exit terms.


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

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Addleshaw Goddard’s β€˜excellent team’ is led by the β€˜extremely able’ Erin Shoesmith, who is regularly called on to assist corporate clients and individuals facing prosecution or investigations by the police, HSE and other authorities. Highlights included achieving a significant reduction in the fine imposed in a matter concerning hand-arm vibration syndrome, and assisting another client in relation to an investigation and prosecution by the HSE for a breach of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations. Key clients include Build-A-Bear Workshop, Britvic Plc and Britvic Soft Drinks and Speedy Hire. Managing associate Lee Hughes is also recommended.

BLM’s team is recommended for its handling of fatal accident investigations and high-profile inquests, with a strong presence in the manufacturing, construction, public and care sectors. It’s impressive roster of clients include Zurich Insurance, Warburtons and QBE. Helen Devery has β€˜excellent communication skills and is able to fully relate to clients from the boardroom down’. Natalie Puce is also recommended, as as is associate Nick Gianferrari, who is β€˜proactive when dealing with the prosecution authorities and as a result places himself in a position where he regularly secures better than expected results for his clients’.Sally Hancock is best known for her work on police and regulatory body investigations, prosecutions and inquests.

Chris Morrison heads the team at Clyde & Co LLP and is noted for his β€˜ability to communicate at all levels of the organisation and provide considered and measured advice’. The The team provides β€˜balanced technical and commercial advice, which ensures that clients are best placed to respond and protect their organisations during any investigations’. It continues to represent a company and two of its directors in a corporate manslaughter charge following the death of an employee. In another significant matter the practice successfully represented the ride operator at Alton Towers who released the carriage on the β€˜Smiler’ ride which subsequently crashed and caused devastating injuries. Other key clients include Royal and Sun Alliance, Airbus, Asda, NFU Mutual and Sports Direct.

DWF provides β€˜exceptional levels of service, and its highly responsive and supportive team goes above and beyond’. Steffan Groch is β€˜one of the industry leaders in the sector, with a proven track record of success’. Vikki Woodfine is β€˜not afraid to stand up and fight for her clients’. Gary Smith β€˜handles sensitive matters in a professional way and remains contactable at all times’. The firm also has a crisis management service that is β€˜absolutely first-class; it provides exceptional support in very difficult circumstances’. The β€˜very accessible’ team regularly acts in cases following major incidents involving issues such as corporate manslaughter, fatalities and serious injuries. The team has particular strength in the energy, retail, transport and construction sectors to name but a few and counts Premier Foods, Hovis, Cape Industrial Services and Scottish Power as clients. Recent work includes acting for a major client in a police and HSE investigation following a lifting accident, which involved an international product recall and related notification requirements.

Pinsent Masons LLP’s team is β€˜very practical, responsive and proactive and has real experience of how to manage incidents and investigations’. The β€˜immensely experienced’ Kevin Bridges β€˜truly understands what corporate clients need at the highest level’; he leads a β€˜very strong team’ that has real strength in depth with some β€˜very capable associates’. Recommended individuals include β€˜very thorough’ senior associate Zoe Betts, and associates Emma Evans (β€˜very knowledgeable’) and Gareth McManus. The retail, construction, energy, manufacturing, financial services and care homes sectors are all key areas of strength for the team, which is handling eight fatal accident cases in addition to other matters such as a corporate manslaughter investigation and matters arising out of the high-profile Crossrail construction project in London.

The β€˜very effective’ Rob Elvin leads the team at Squire Patton Boggs, which has β€˜excellent knowledge and is thoroughly prepared and professional’. Elvin is praised for his ability to β€˜cut to the chase and put across the details of the case in an easy to understand way. He had a calming effect on our team as we were highly nervous about going into court’. The diverse practice does a large amount of complex corporate defence work and has been busy advising on a broad range of matters such as suicide in the workplace, security and terrorism related risks. Other areas of expertise include advising on accident investigation protocols, modern slavery and child safety in addition to product safety at work. It was pleased to secure some excellent new clients wins such as Joseph Gallagher and UBH International to add to its client base of household names such as the NEC Group, Clintons Cards and Cancer Research UK. Highlights included securing a favourable outcome for its client in a local authority prosecution over a landlord’s responsibilities regarding gas appliances at a tenanted pub.

Philip Moy, Richard Green and the β€˜thoroughly prepared’ Simon Parrington are the key figures at Hill Dickinson LLP, whose broad practice has considerable expertise in a number of sectors including construction, retail, logistics, and healthcare.

Key figures at Keoghs LLP include David Walton, who is β€˜tremendously experienced and has seen it all before; he gives realistic advice and has the ability to cut through the rubbish and identify the points of real merit’. Also recommended are Suzanne Drinkwater, who is β€˜experienced, conscientious and great with clients’; and Neena Sharma, who takes a β€˜pragmatic view of cases, gives informed advice, is street-wise, well informed and very good at her job’. Associate Heather Vyse is β€˜able to consume vast amounts of information very quickly’ and assistant solicitor Bill Dunkerley is a β€˜star of the future; he is always willing to go that extra mile for clients’.

Osborn Abas Hunt is praised for its β€˜excellent client care and fantastic in-depth knowledge ’, with clients singling out Madeleine Abas, who is described as a β€˜recognised expert in H&S law who strives to achieve the best outcomes for her clients’. The practice has been highly active defending organisations and individuals nationally at substantial trials, acting in appeals of enforcement notices and securing decisions of no further action for its clients. Key mandates included representing a company in a five-week trial at Wood Green Crown Court in a prosecution by the HSE following a serious accident in which a glazing operative was crushed by in excess of a tonne of glass units. Other clients include Pochins and Serco.

Weightmans LLP attracts praise for its combination of β€˜superb commercial awareness when advising on complex H&S matters, with an ability to give a good strategic overview which is perfectly matched with the clients’ needs’. Associate Dewi Ap-Thomas is the key figure in Manchester. The team recently represented East Riding Borough Council at an inquest following the death of a motorcyclist which the family alleged occurred as a result of poor street lighting and an inappropriate approach to parking restrictions in the area. HM Area Coroner recorded a conclusion of accidental death.

Brabners LLP’s β€˜highly professional team’ includes the β€˜intelligent’ Lachlan Nisbet, who is praised for β€˜handling matters calmly’. The group is regularly called on to advise on matters arising from serious incidents, from internal investigations and discussions with the regulator, to attending PACE interviews through to acting in prosecutions by the HSE and local authorities. Key clients include Ashland Specialty Chemical Company and Jungheinrich UK.

DAC Beachcroft LLP fields a team of β€˜talented individuals who achieve good outcomes for their clients’. Consultant Iain Moore advises on all aspects of risk for insurers, captives and self-insureds.

At Pannone Corporate LLP, the β€˜very experienced’ Tristan Meears-White regularly defends businesses under investigation by the HSE and local authorities, in addition to advising clients on crisis management, managing legal risk and formulating health and safety compliance and corporate governance solutions.

Slater and Gordon β€˜is making significant strides in health & safety’, with clients singling out the β€˜first-class’ Helen Simm as a β€˜very hardworking and committed lawyer’. The team represented a company and its director during an investigation and prosecution by the HSE following a fatal incident at a demolition site.


Immigration

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 david.burgess@legal500.com.

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Senior associate Emma Morgan is a key member of the team at DAC Beachcroft LLP. The practice has strong international capabilities and regularly advises global organisations on bringing overseas nationals into the UK to work, and on eligibility to work requirements and compliance. It has also been advising on the transfer of overseas workers into the UK, on the Points Based System (including intra-company transfers) and following the Brexit vote has been increasingly advising on the status of European workers in the UK and helping employers to plan on what to do next to ensure permanency of residence for their workers. The team is particularly known for its expertise in the retail, leisure, health, education, transport and logistics sectors advising excellent clients such as McDonald’s, Arcadia Group, UK Mail, Care UK, DHL and the University of Sheffield. It regularly advises Aegis Outsourcing (UK) on immigration matters and also conducts quarterly audits for the client on employee files to ensure compliance with sponsorship obligations. It also provides it with ongoing advice on visa queries. Philip Harman joined the team from DWF.

DWF is praised for its β€˜very speedy response times and excellent industry knowledge’. John Dorney β€˜manages to simplify the law and the actions that need to be taken; he is always happy to help with urgent questions and has a vast understanding of immigration laws’. The team continues to work for leading multinationals, FTSE 100 businesses, and high-profile financial services organisations in securing Tier 1 visas for wealthy investors and entrepreneurs. Philip Harman has joined DAC Beachcroft LLP.

At Gateley Plc senior associate Rizwana Ishaq and associate Heather Aust attract praise for their β€˜great ability to explain matters well; they work quickly and are very professional’. Aust regularly advises on compliance issues in the context of the recruitment of migrants, and the team acts for a mixture of regional, national and international clients in various sectors such as manufacturing, construction and telecoms. Highlights included supporting City Football Group with a Tier 2 General Visa for a Tier 4 graduate and assisting New York Baker Company with the appointment of a migrant role, which involved finding a suitable candidate from overseas and providing support to ensure the individual could take up the role in the UK.

At Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP, principal associate and immigration law specialist Simon Kenny routinely advises universities such as the University of Manchester and companies including Community Integrated Care seeking to sponsor people from overseas to work or study in the UK. A major focus of the practice is handling immigration risk issues in the aftermath of Brexit. It advised YuMe (a US-headquartered digital advertising company) on the immigration implications of transferring staff to the UK and of extending permission to stay of those already here. In addition it advised the company on the duties of acting as sponsor to workers in the UK.


Pensions

Index of tables

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

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

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 david.burgess@legal500.com.

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DLA Piper UK LLP provides β€˜clear and pragmatic solutions to complex problems; what sets the team apart is its clear understanding of how important it is to get a real answer and not just a long technical answer’. The firm fields a number of β€˜outstanding’ individuals, including Claire Bell, who is an β€˜extremely knowledgeable partner’; Jeremy Harris, who is β€˜very responsive, practical and above all realistic’; and Ben Miller, who heads the team and is advising on some of the UK’s largest occupational pension schemes. David Wright is now a consultant. Scheme advisory and documentation is a cornerstone of the practice, which acts for some of the largest pension schemes in the UK as well as providers of SSASs and SIPPs. It regularly advises on scheme mergers, reconstructions, scheme closures and wind ups. It also handles the pension aspects of national and cross-border company acquisitions and disposals, restructurings and outsourcings. In a recent highlight it advised the Trustee of the Royal Insurance Group Pensions Scheme on all aspects arising from the closure of the scheme through to its future accrual, which involved advising on the changes needed to the rules and on how best to communicate with the members of the scheme.

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP fields a β€˜highly specialised, personable and diligent team that is willing to and capable of working to tight timescales’, led by the β€˜excellent and very accessible’ Ele Lovering. She is assisted by the β€˜technically excellent’ Jon Walters, and Charmian Johnson, who is described as a β€˜true expert in pensions law’. Amanda Small is β€˜very professional and excellent at tailoring her advice to ensure that the client understands it’, and Simon Daniel (both principal associates) β€˜handles potentially difficult situations with sensitivity, which typically contributes to a collaborative outcome’. β€˜Commercial and knowledgeable’ legal director Sarah Lown is also recommended. The team acts for clients including Kellogg’s and Electricity North West on a range of complex and high-value matters; recent highlights include advising DuPont on the closure of its Β£1bn UK scheme to future defined benefit accrual and the addition of a new defined contribution section. It is continuing to advise a leading water, hygiene and energy technology company on ongoing pension matters in relation to strategic pension projects, which has included advising the company on the closure of future accruals and the winding-up of its overseas pension plan (this was a cross-border scheme that was established in 2007).

The team at Pinsent Masons LLP β€˜combines excellent technical pension knowledge with genuine litigation experience’. The β€˜pragmatic and responsive’ Stephen Scholefield heads the team, which includes senior associate Hayley Goldstone, who is β€˜tenacious and determined to get a good result for her clients’; the β€˜extremely well-respected’ Pippa Read, who advises employers and trustees; senior associate Robert Tellwright, who is β€˜very well thought of’; and associate Helen Connor. Howard Ridley specialises in large buy-ins and outs, scheme changes, corporate support work and various contentious matters in particular Pension Ombudsman complaints. Highlights included advising Balfour Beatty Pension Fund on a wide range of issues, including asset backed funding and security arrangements held via Scottish and English limited partnerships, investment matters including the appointment of a fiduciary manager in a multi-billion mandate, and procedures to simplify the day-to-day operation of the fund. Other clients include Royal Ordnance Pension Schemes and Baxi Group Pension Scheme.

Key figures at Squire Patton Boggs include the β€˜technically excellent and sensible’ David Griffiths, who acts for major corporate organisations and the trustees of their pension schemes, and Victoria Leigh whose strength lies on the contentious side and is β€˜very diligent at keeping clients fully informed’. The other key contact is Elizabeth Graham, who has wide-ranging experience of all aspects of pension law. The practice’s expertise covers a range of issues, including corporate rescues, scheme closures and overseas pensions schemes. Highlights included advising Graphic Packaging UK on a pension scheme merger which led to a merged pension scheme in Bristol and the North with combined assets of Β£100m. In another matter it advised three local government scheme funds (Greater Manchester Pension Fund, West Yorkshire Pension Fund and Merseyside Pension Fund) on a collective investment pooling with a value of Β£35bn.

DWF has a β€˜solutions-driven team’s that is rated for its ability to β€˜accommodate challenging timescales while at the same time ensuring that the work it produces is never compromised’. The β€˜calm and intelligent Tim Green is β€˜hugely in demand and is blazing a trail in the North West’. Jane Lathwood β€˜can handle anything with a cool professionalism that wins the delight of clients and the respect of the market’. The well-established practice has a particular strength in the retail sector and has an extensive institutional corporate client base as well as a large trustee advisory practice. It advised Morrisons on the implementation of an asset backed funding arrangement and assisted Burton’s Biscuits with the pension aspects of its disposal of its Cadbury’s licence. It also advised the administrator of Redcar Steel Works on the pension aspects of the closure of Redcar Steel Works.

Gateley Plc has an β€˜extremely professional and highly business-orientated team with excellent communication skills’. The β€˜friendly and practical’ Patrick Kennedy is a β€˜lateral thinker who finds innovative solutions’. Senior associate Suresh Bhatt β€˜stays on top of the detail and remains calm and assured in meetings’. They make a β€˜very strong team whose skill set balance each other’. Clients of the practice include the Trustees of the CH Johnson Pension Plan, Motor Industry Pension Plan, the Trustees of the USDAW Staff Superannuation Fund and Stanplan F.

Hill Dickinson LLP’s practice is led by the excellent Barry Gibb and includes recently promoted partner Paula Warnock. The β€˜timely and responsive’ team has strength in advising on closing schemes to future accrual, scheme wind-ups and scheme restructurings. Highlights included advising Chester Zoo on its funding commitments to its final salary pension scheme and on its ability to renegotiate a funding agreement entered before the scheme was closed to accrual. In another significant matter it advised Carr’s Group on a proposal to apportion the liabilities of an existing employer to the principal employer under a flexible apportionment arrangement.

Brabners LLP’s recent recruitment of Ian Mylrea from Irwin Mitchell is a β€˜game changer’, according to some. Mylrea is β€˜developing his place in the local market through excellent client relationships; he is sensible and extremely well received by all sides of the negotiating table’. The team has particular strength in the sports industry. Philip Woolham has left the firm.

Irwin Mitchell has a full-service pension practice regularly advises on matters such as outsourcing, contentious matters for major corporates, privately owned businesses, their pension trustees and individuals. It also provides expert tax advice on corporate transactions. Andrew Ashley Taylor joined Brabners LLP in September 2017.

Paul Carney at Shoosmiths LLP is β€˜very knowledgeable, approachable and competent’. He is well regarded for his ability to handle high-value matters on behalf of employers, trustees and public bodies. He has particular expertise in public service pension schemes. Other areas of expertise include advising on risk management, advising on scheme mergers and the closure of schemes to future accruals. He also regularly provides support to both companies and trustees with the pensions aspects of corporate transactions.

At Weightmans LLP, Mark Poulston advises clients in the private and public sectors on contentious and non-contentious matters. He has particular experience in the pension aspects of corporate transactions, as well as scheme redesign and terminations. In addition he regularly advises on life insurance matters. Jane Marshall is skilled at advising on matters that span employment and pension law, such as public sector outsourcing and pension scheme changes. Highlights included advising the Football Pools Limited on the provision of death in service benefits to employees.


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