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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: employee/union firms > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings



Index of tables

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

Leading individuals

  1. 1
    • Alan Lewis - Linder Myers

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Value Reimagined: part of the Legal Reimagined Series

Our Manchester Legal Reimagined event will focus on the value proposition for the in-house function, but with a greater focus on reimagining how teams manage both the strategic risk challenge and effective outsourcing solutions.

Legal Reimagined goes beyond the ‘talk shop’, focussing on outcome-based and solution-orientated discussion. Conversation will be led by our Advisory Group of North West based general counsel and supported by insights from KPMG partners Nick Roome, Ed Bartlett and Paul Kelly. We welcome guest contributors on risk (Annabel Reoch) and value in the supply chain (Nicola Brooks).

Be part of it: peer-to-peer experience, knowledge-sharing and insights to transform ideas into solutions and action.

12 September 2019 | One St Peters Square, Manchester

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Value Reimagined: part of the Legal Reimagined Series

12 September | 6pm | Manchester

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Legal Developments in North West for Employment: employee/union firms

  • 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

Legal Developments in the UK

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