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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 > Employment > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings



Index of tables

  1. Employment
  2. Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next generation lawyers

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

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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.

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Legal Developments in North West for Employment

  • Companies should plan now to minimise their pension protection levy

    The amount that pension schemes have to pay to the Pension Protection Fund (PPF) for the year 2006/07 may have increased by as much as five times the previous year's levy. Employers who ultimately bear the cost of many pension schemes will need to make plans now to ensure the levy payable for the year 2008/09 is kept to a minimum.
    - Stephenson Harwood

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