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Who Represents Who

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Gareth Walls heads the ‘absolutely top-notch’ team at A&L Goodbody stands out for its ‘dedication to the case, which is second to none’. The team handles contentious and advisory work, and recently advised Dalradian Gold on corporate immigration matters. The team are also assisting UK-wide retailer Poundland on potential holiday pay claims arising from the ruling in Bear Scotland v Fulton.

Arthur Cox Belfast acts for a number of household names on organisational and contentious employment matters, and has established a reputation for defending universities and county councils in tribunal cases ranging from discrimination and equality law, to disciplinary and grievance procedures. Whistleblowing cases and corporate immigration are another area of expertise for the practice. The group are also adept at M&A-related HR issues. Rosemary Lundy is the key name.

Carson McDowell LLP’s ‘excellent’ practice is noted for its ‘practical approach’ to employment issues, and acts for a client base that includes Chain Reaction Cycles Limited and Royal Mail Group. The firm acts as sole Northern Ireland employment law adviser to the latter client and has handled numerous tribunal cases arising from discrimination and dismissal claims. Practice head Orlagh O’Neill is noted for her expertise in contentious employment matters and for her track record in large-scale redundancies and reorganisations, as well as dealing with TUPE matters. Rachel Penny is also recommended.

Boutique employment firm Jones Cassidy Brett Solicitors covers all areas of employment law, including defending large corporates in employment disputes, advising public sector bodies, and representing employees. Adam Brett is providing ongoing advice to an electricity network on equality legislation, disability allowances and allegations of discriminations. Fiona Cassidy is currently advising a financial institution on employment law policy and practices, as well as tribunal claims concerning disciplinary issues, grievances and severance arrangements. Other key names include Beverley Jones and Alison Collins.

Tughans’ ‘pre-eminent respondent employment department’ has represented major companies in employment disputes. It is also highly active in non-contentious employment matters, recently advising TotalMobile Holdings on employment issues arising from Lyceum Capital Partners’ investment into the client. Practice head Anne Beggan is noted for her ‘encyclopaedic knowledge of the law’.

Cleaver Fulton Rankin stands out for its ‘great market awareness’. The practice advises some of the largest employers in the region, including Sainsbury’s Supermarkets, Titanic Belfast and numerous county councils. Its expertise spans policy and structuring in relation to mergers, to TUPE and advocating at Tribunal claims. Practice head Michael Black is ‘outstanding in his commitment to his clients’. Christopher Neill and associate Aisling Byrne are also key names.

Elliott Duffy Garrett’s ‘highly-rated’ practice represents employers across a range of sectors, and is well known for working with professional regulation bodies. Recent highlights include advising Translink on its management restructuring and voluntary exit scheme. The group also has a solid contentious practice representing employers in discrimination cases. Key figures include Adrienne Brock, whose ‘understanding and working knowledge of trade unions is second to none’, and Julie Anne Clarke.

The employment practice at Pinsent Masons Belfast LLP is led by Paul Gillen, whose expertise spans employment issues arising from insolvencies and reorganisations. The practice handles advisory and contentious matters for a client base that includes Queen’s University Belfast and major retailers.

Rosemary Connolly is the key figure at Rosemary Connolly Solicitors, which specialises in employment and equality law and includes seasoned litigators who handle disputes for employees and local companies.

Thompsons NI Solicitors is ‘highly regarded’ for its representation of unions and their members in contentious employment issues. Tribunal cases handled range from equal pay disputes to discrimination claims centring on gender, maternity and political opinion. John O’Neill heads up the practice.

Andrea McCann heads the employment team at John McKee Solicitors, which focuses on contentious matters for clients including major banks, construction companies and recruitment companies.

John McShane heads the employment practice at McCartan Turkington Breen, which has a strong employee focus. It recently acted for NIPSA in the Court of Appeal case of Patterson v Castlereagh Borough Council, which concerned the impact of Fulton v Bear and examined whether employers should include voluntary overtime payments in their calculations of holiday pay. Other clients include the Police Service of Northern Ireland and Montgomery Transport.

Millar McCall Wylie LLP’s ‘commercially minded’ employment practice is noted for its ‘sound business advice’. It advises on contentious and non-contentious employment issues for clients including Jefferies LoanCore, and Thorntons. Practice head Jan Cunningham is ‘strategic, professional and commercial in his approach’.

Mills Selig’s practice advises on contentious and non-contentious matters and provides ‘an excellent level of service’ to a client base that includes First Derivatives, Hughes Insurance and Dunnes Stores. Kiera Leehas an excellent grasp of the commercial aspects of employment law’.

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Legal Developments in Northern Ireland for Human resources

  • 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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