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




Index of tables

  1. Employment
  2. Leading individuals

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Addleshaw Goddard LLP’s ‘exceptional team’ regularly acts for FTSE 100 and FTSE 250 businesses together with key regional employers including BA, Primark, Wolseley and Malcolm Pike is ‘very able, competent and extremely supportive’. Managing associate Tessa Harland is praised for her ‘attention to detail’ and Jamie Hamnett is ‘very pragmatic and experienced’.

Brabners LLP’s nine-partner practice is headed in Liverpool by Nick Campbell and the ‘clever’ Paul Chamberlain in Manchester. Lydia Edgar has niche expertise in the sports industry. Clients include Axa, JD Wetherspoon, Nando’s, England Golf and the British Canoe Union.

DLA Piper UK LLP’s ‘professional, commercially aware and friendly’ team is adept at handling complex multi-jurisdictional work for clients including Akzo Nobel, The Co-Operative Bank and the Intercontinental Hotel Group. Alan Chalmers is recommended alongside Mary Clarke and legal Directors Emma Mills and Helen Hall.

The ‘commercial and extremely professional team’ at DWF has considerable expertise in a number of sectors such as retail, leisure, education and outsourcing, where it acts for major clients such as Securitas, Yodel and Adidas. Andrew Chamberlain leads the team, which includes the ‘experienced’ Philip Harman, who ‘knows employment law inside out’. Kerren Daly is now at Browne Jacobson LLP.

The three-partner practice at boutique firm e3 employment law LLP is noted for its ‘impressive partner-led advice’. The ‘commercially astute and perceptiveNick Jones is a ‘very able negotiator’, Simon Ost is ‘immensely experienced’ and the ‘outstandingDaniel Bickerstaffe is rated as being ‘very strong on the contentious side’. Clients include Thomas Cook, BASF and Leonard Curtis Recovery.

The ‘sensibleMichael Thompson leads the five-partner practice at Eversheds LLP. Naeema Choudry has vast experience of discrimination and boardroom issues and the ‘responsiveMichael Burns is noted for his ‘robust advice’. Diane Gilhooley leads on education-sector mandates. Clients include Warburtons and Tyco.

Gateley Plc’s ‘very reliable’ team is led by the ‘very experienced, commercial and personableMichael Ball, who has particular expertise in the retail and leisure sectors. The team is also noted for its expertise in the healthcare, insurance, energy, sport and travel sectors. Clients include Halfords Autocentres and The Edinburgh Woollen Mill Group. Chris Thompson provides ‘robust and professional advice’.

Hill Dickinson LLP is especially rated for its NHS and education sector expertise. Kerstie Skeaping is ‘great with clients and delivers very complex technical advice in a practical and humane way’. Luke Green is skilled at advising schools on employment issues. Clients include Nadler Hotels and The City of Liverpool College. Jeff Middleton is also recommended.

The ‘insightfulAlison Treliving at Squire Patton Boggs leads a team of ‘very personable and technically excellent lawyers who are completely client-focused’. It has particular expertise in the recruitment and manufacturing sectors, and handles high-value litigation as well as multi-jurisdictional reorganisations and redundancies. Clients include SThree and Mamas & Papas. The ‘very experienced’ Paula Cole and ‘diligent’ Bryn Doyle are recommended.

Weightmans LLP’s team is ‘quick to grasp the essence of the problem and to provide common-sense solutions’. Practice head Stuart Jones advises a broad range of public and private sector clients including Royal Mail, Littlewoods and Mersey Travel. Phil Allen is ‘technically very able’ and Mark Leach can ‘diffuse the most heated arguments.

Helen Watson heads the team at Aaron & Partners LLP, which acts for clients including Severndale Specialist School, the Hammond School and Bangor University. Claire Brook and recently promoted partner Helen Kidd are recommended.

Deborah Hely leads the two-partner team at DAC Beachcroft LLP and has particular expertise in logistics, while the ‘sensible and commercial’ Kirsty MacDonald has considerable experience in the health sector. Clients include Royal Mail, DHL, Unilever, Pets at Home and McDonald’s.

At Pannone Corporate LLP, the ‘quality of work and expertise are on a par with City firms’, and its practice covers a number of industry sectors including social housing. Clients include Transport for Greater Manchester and Chevron. The ‘technically very able’ Fiona Hamor and the ‘very responsive’ Jack Harrington are recommended.

Berg has a ‘highly intelligent team that also demonstrates a strong level of commercialism and pragmatism’. The team has particular expertise in the care homes, professional services, travel and retail sectors, where it acts for clients including JD Sports Fashion. Alison Loveday and senior solicitor Kim Freeman-Smith are recommended.

At gunnercooke LLP, Simon Horsfield, Sara Sawicki and Joanne Tindall are recommended.

Hempsons’ team has a key focus on public sector healthcare work. The ‘personable and helpfulPaul Spencer acts for clients such as North West Ambulance Service NHS Trust and Ryhurst.

Ian Tranter heads the team at JMW Solicitors LLP, which acts for clients including Everest Group and Amaze. The ‘hardworking’ Elizabeth Cotton has a wealth of experience in the retail sector.

Kuit Steinart Levy LLP recently acted for two criminal sets in their merger. Kevin McKenna is noted for his ‘incisive and astute analysis of problems’.

Mills & Reeve LLP’s ‘responsive and balanced team’ has been involved in several international projects for clients including Co-operative UK, Bidvest Fresh and IDEO. Sara Barrett is ‘reassuring, incisive and clear’.

Myerson Solicitors LLP’s clients include B&M Bargains, National Nuclear Laboratories and European Metal Recycling. Key figures include the ‘very commercially mindedJoanne Evans, Joanne Henderson, who provides ‘sound and commercial advice’, and senior solicitor Charlotte Gilbert, who is ‘thorough and tenacious’.

Pinsent Masons LLP acts for household names such as Weetabix, Müller (Dairy) UK and Costain. Senior associate Ian Deakin is ‘sensible and commercial’.

SAS Daniels LLP provides ‘clear and practical advice’ with a particular strength in the schools sector. Clients include Senator International. The ‘experienced’ Johnathan Whittaker is recommended. Louise Carr joined Nexus Solicitors Limited in August 2016.

Newly established boutique firm Analysis Legal LLP is ‘very much a growing force in the North West’. Karen Fletcher ‘really knows her stuff’ and the ‘personable’ Anna Lees ‘rolls up her sleeves and gets the job done’. Andrea Paxton is ‘very client friendly and down to earth’.

Chambers O’Neillgoes above and beyond’. The niche practice includes the ‘very committed and knowledgeable’ Andrew O’Neill and Jim Chambers, who is especially strong on the contentious side.

At Forbes Solicitors, Jonathan Holden ‘always goes the extra mile’ and has particular expertise in local government matters.

Hillyer McKeown provides ‘clear advice and explains any risks very carefully’. The ‘very client-focused’ Justine Watkinson is strong on the contentious side and is recommended alongside the ‘very commercial’ Lindsey Kidd.

Law by Design LTD’s team ‘really knows its stuff’ and provides the full range of employment services. Sue Morrison ‘always seems to be able to put her clients in a position of strength’, and director Rob Coward ‘inspires confidence’. ‘Highly experienced’ director James Upton is also recommended.

The ‘top-class’ team at niche firm Martin & Co advises clients including Oldham College and Eurowrap. The ‘calm and reassuringJohn Martingives very accurate advice’, and is especially rated for his work in the education sector and on executive terminations.

At TLT, Ed Cotton provides ‘pragmatic advice’ and regularly advises on complex strategic and organisational issues as well as the corporate aspects of disposals, mergers and acquisitions. Associate Jessica Evans is ‘a safe pair of hands’.

Clarke Willmott LLP’s clients include Bauer Radio, Talent International (UK), Carfinance247 and Matrix Recruitment. Emma Hamnetteasily puts herself in her clients’ shoes’.

At Gorvins Solicitors, practice head David Walton advises employers and employees on a wide range of issues, while associate Danielle Ayres is especially rated for her maternity discrimination work and ‘fights hard for her clients without losing perspective’.

HRC Law LLPtells clients what they can do rather than what they can’t do’. Richard Whalley displays ‘exceptional commercial awareness’ and Simon Whitehead provides ‘succinct advice’. This team is strong in the recruitment sector.

At KBL Solicitors LLP, senior associate John Hassells heads the team and ‘gets to grips with complex matters very quickly’.

Linder Myers has particular expertise in the medical and legal sectors and counts the Medical Defence Shield and the National Association of Retired Police Officers as clients. Alan Lewis and William O’Neill are recommended.

Chris Boyle leads the ‘proactive team’ at Napthens LLP, which includes the ‘very helpful’ Oliver McCann.

The ‘logical’ Danielle Ingham heads the team at Shoosmiths LLP. Senior associate Ingham is ‘adept at analysing the risks and dealing with them’.

Slater Heelis LLP has the ‘excellent and responsiveTracey Guest and Sarah Calderwood, who is ‘always one step ahead’.

Baines Wilson LLP provides ‘superb levels of advice’. The ‘extremely helpful’ Joanne Holborn and ‘very commercial’ associate Tom Scaife are recommended.

Bermans fields a ‘grounded, experienced, commercial and sensible team’, which includes Nicky Benson and Adrian Fryer.

The ‘practical and decisive’ Philip Bramhall at Bramhalls Solicitors advises employers on contentious and non-contentious industrial relations matters and trade union negotiations.

Kerren Daly joined Browne Jacobson LLP from DWF, and is experienced in executive terminations and collective issues.

Alan Lewis heads the two-partner team at Freeths. Liz Mulvaney is also recommended.

The ‘approachable and professional’ Camille Renaudon leads the team at Hibberts LLP.

MLP Law LLP has particular expertise in the retail, leisure and hospitality sectors. Karen Bexley is recommended.

The ‘knowledgeable’ Craig McCracken leads the team at Nexus Solicitors Limited and ‘excels at finding solutions’.

The very well-regarded Jim Lister leads the team at Slater and Gordon.

Key individuals at Stripes Solicitors include Andrew Stripe and David Gallagher.

Standout figures at Taylors include the ‘very experienced and hardworking’ Nigel Crebbin and ‘very commercial’ Peter Byrne.

At Trowers & Hamlins LLPexcellent and well prepared’ senior associate Helen Cookson regularly advises on TUPE and governance-related employment issues.

Ward Hadaway recruited Stephen Robinson from Laytons, joining ‘logical and business-focused’ team head Richard Port.

Employment: employee/union firms

Index of tables

  1. Employment: employee/union firms
  2. Leading individuals

Leading individuals

  1. 1

The ‘brilliant team’ at Slater and Gordonputs things in simple and understandable terms’. ‘Tenacious and very skilled’ senior associate Sarah Evans has a ‘very good eye for detail’ and the ‘very clever’ Martin Price provides ‘spot-on advice’. Highlights included successfully acting in a number of complex unfair dismissal claims. Jennifer Aiscough is also recommended.

Thompsons Solicitors LLP’s specialist team acts for some of the country’s largest trade unions. Highlights included acting for RMT in claims for disability discrimination. Janet Finney in Stoke-on-Trent is recommended.

Key figures at Berg include the ‘sensible and pragmatic’ Alison Loveday and Michelle Gray, who is leading the advice on a complex unfair dismissal claim that has reached the Court of Appeal.

At Gorvins Solicitors, experienced advocate David Walton regularly represents his clients at Tribunal hearings. Senior associate Ed Gregory has particular strength in senior executive exits and is praised for his ‘in-depth knowledge of employment law’.

Kuit Steinart Levy LLP acted in a high-profile case for a client who had been rejected for a post within a car rental company on the grounds of indirect religious discrimination. Kevin McKennaquickly grasps the key issues and delivers practical solutions’.

At Linder Myers, Alan Lewis is skilled at advising directors, senior executives and individual solicitors in employment disputes. William O’Neill regularly conducts cases in the Employment Appeals Tribunal.

At KBL Solicitors LLP, senior associate John Hassells ‘gets things done no matter how busy he is’.

Health and safety

Index of tables

  1. Health and safety
  2. Leading individuals

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Addleshaw Goddard LLPis very skilled at harnessing the full resources of the firm to deal with the issue at hand’. ‘Very well-respected’ legal director Erin Shoosmith has a ‘gift of devising practical and attractive solutions. It regularly advises corporate clients such as Britvic Soft Drinks and individuals facing prosecution or investigation by the police, HSE and other authorities.

BLM’s ‘strong team shows excellent attention to detail’. Helen Devery is ‘just outstanding’, and Sally Hancock is ‘gentle but firm in cases involving fatalies’. Natalie Puce is also recommended for her ‘sound and realistic’ advice. The team acted in two major corporate manslaughter cases. Clients include Warburtons.

Clyde & Co LLP’s corporate and insurer clients include MITIE Group, AIG, Airbus, Asda and Axa. Highlights included acting for the manufacturer in a high-profile corporate manslaughter case. Chris Morrison heads the team and is skilled at handling fatal and serious health and safety, fire safety and food safety incidents. Rod Hunt is ‘very knowledgeable’.

DWF provides ‘great value for money and always goes that extra mile’. The ‘efficient, professional and commercially mindedSteffan Groch advises companies, directors and managers on a variety of health, safety and environment prosecutions. Key clients include Persimmon Group, Premier Foods and Hovis. The ‘excellentVikki Woodfine and Gary Smith are also recommended.

At Pinsent Masons LLP, Kevin Bridges is ‘an incisive tactician with a first-rate knowledge and client-care skills that are second to none’. Senior associate Zoe Betts is ‘industrious and provides robust and practical advice’.

Squire Patton Boggs represented Bayer CropScience in relation to a HSE prosecution following an electrical airing incident in which a contractor was seriously injured. Other high-profile clients include Clintons Cards, Gallagher and Enterprise Inns. Rob Elvin ‘has a wealth of experience and his advice is always excellent’.

Hill Dickinson LLP has a ‘very responsive and personable team’ that is regularly involved in high-profile defence work for household names in the manufacturing, retail, services and construction sectors. Clients include Liverpool City Council. Richard Green provides ‘balanced and realistic advice’. Philip Moy and Simon Parrington are also recommended.

Osborn Abas Hunt provides a ‘Rolls-Royce service to clients’ with particular expertise in the construction industry and other high-hazard sectors such as marine, nuclear, oil, gas and transport. The ‘tenacious’ Madeleine Abas is ‘one of the most experienced health and safety lawyers in the country’.

Weightmans LLPrapidly gets to the heart of the problem and identifies the right way forward’. Clients include Jaguar Land Rover, Emcor and Zurich Insurance. Team head David Lewis is ‘the top of the tree and resolves issues in a very practical way’.

No stone is left unturned’ at Brabners LLP, where Lachlan Nisbet is ‘always willing to help, advise and listen and then comes up with practical solutions’. Clients include Peel Ports Group.

Iain Moore heads the team at DAC Beachcroft LLP, which advises a wide range of major insurers and multinational corporate clients.

Keoghs LLP’s team is very experienced in dealing with regulatory prosecutions undertaken by the HSE, Environment Agency, local authorities and the CQC. David Walton, Suzanne Drinkwater and Neena Sharma are recommended.

Pannone Corporate LLP re-launched its health and safety practice with the arrival of Tristan Meears-White from DWF in May 2015.

Slater and Gordonmaintains a personal approach to cases while being extremely professional’. The team enjoys a steady flow of instructions in both advisory and in defending against prosecution. The ‘hardworkingHelen Simm exercises ‘sound judgement’.


Associate Emma Morgan heads the team at DAC Beachcroft LLP and regularly advises organisations in the private and public sectors on bringing overseas nationals into the UK to work. Key clients include Royal Mail and DHL.

DWF acts for a number of multinationals, including FTSE 100 businesses and high-profile financial services companies. The ‘extremely professional’ Philip Harman is recommended.

Led by senior associate Rizwana Ishaq, Gateley Plc is an established name for immigration advice. Key clients include Manchester City Football Club and DJI Holdings.

Eversheds LLP is noted for its ‘invaluable experience with the Border Agency’. Principal associate Simon Kenny is a key contact.


Index of tables

  1. Pensions
  2. Leading individuals

The ‘technically excellent’ David Wright at DLA Piper UK LLP is noted for his ‘very strong leadership’. Ben Miller is adept at advising on large occupational pensions schemes. Jeremy Harris and Claire Bell are ‘sensible, pragmatic and responsive’. The group advises on the full spectrum of complex pension issues for clients such as Manchester Airport Group and the Trustees of Warburtons Pensions Arrangements.

Eversheds LLP fields a ‘large and well-resourced team that is very strong technically’. Clients include DSM Nutritional Products and Thomas Cook Group UK DC Pension Scheme. The ‘very sensibleEle Lovering provides ‘extremely clear advice’ and is recommended alongside the ‘thorough and pragmaticJon Walters. Charmian Johnson joined the team from Squire Patton Boggs in May 2016.

Pinsent Masons LLP is ‘full of outstanding individuals’, including the ‘very knowledgeableStephen Scholefield, who leads the team and ‘explains really complex and technical issues in layman’s terms’; and Pippa Read. The ‘commercially aware’ team advises clients including Balfour Beatty Pension Fund and Rentokil Initial.

Squire Patton Boggs’ team includes the ‘very professional and sensibleDavid Griffiths, who is ‘great with clients’. Charmian Johnson joined Eversheds LLP. Clients include the ABB Plan and the trustees of the ICM Computer Group Pension & Life Assurance Scheme.

At DWF, Tim Green handles the full range of pension issues with particular expertise in PPF-related issues. Clients include Yorkshire Building Society, Standard Life DC Master Trust and Princes.

Clients of Gateley Plc include CILIP, the British Medical Association and Frank Roberts & Sons Limited Pension Scheme. Patrick Kennedy heads the team, which advises on innovative funding issues such as asset backed funding structures for pensions.

Team head Barry Gibb at Hill Dickinson LLP frequently advises employers and trustee boards on scheme closures, funding solutions and pensions restructuring. Clients include A&P Pension Scheme, Carr’s Group and the trustees of the William Jackson Pension Plan.

At Addleshaw Goddard LLP, the ‘excellent’ Rachel Rawnsley divides her time between the Leeds and Manchester offices and leads a team that acts for Norcross plc and the trustees of the Kellogg Pension Scheme.

Brabners LLP advises trustee bodies, employers and individuals across a broad range of pension issues including pensions and FAS Ombudsman complaints. Associate Philip Woolham is a key contact.

Irwin Mitchell recruited the ‘experienced and knowledgeable’ Andrew Ashley Taylor from DWF, who is skilled at advising on all aspects of occupational pension schemes. Key clients include National Grid.

Shoosmiths LLP’s ‘reliable’ team adopts a ‘commercial approach when solving problems’. London Metropolitan University, James Hall Pension Trustees and Civica UK are clients. The ‘very proactive and responsivePaul Carney is recommended.

At Weightmans LLP, Mark Poulston and Jane Marshall are recommended. Clients include Pochin’s, Pertemps and the Football Pools.

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