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Clients of Blake Morgan LLP rate its willingness to ‘work with them to find solutions that achieve the best outcome’. The team acts for a range of clients (including those in the leisure, education and retail sectors) on company restructuring, senior management exits and mass redundancy procedures. It advised HQ Theatres and Hospitality on TUPE advice concerning its acquisition of a new theatre and acted for a secondary school in a case concerning allegations of discrimination against a disabled pupil. It also advised an aerospace company on general employment restructuring within the business as well as high-level exit strategies. The team also has immigration expertise, having assisted with modern slavery statements in 2016 in addition to having a strong pensions advice offering. Other clients include the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC), Apollo Fire Detectors and Costa Coffee. Max Craft heads the practice and is noted for his expertise in handling contentious strategic exits. Also recommended are the ‘extremely courteous, patient and professionalSarah Peacock, senior solicitor Natalie Painter, who ‘takes the time to understand the client’s business’, and Tim Forer, who is an experienced employment tribunal litigator.

The team at Bond Dickinson LLPis responsive, efficient and provides professional and reliable legal advice to its clients’. Highlights included assisting Trimline with its HR infrastructure changes, including drafting new employment policies, and advising LV= on severance pay for 6,000 members of staff. The team also assisted Carnival with closing and replacing its employee benefits scheme and on the closure of the Merchant Navy Officers’ Pension Fund (MNOPF). Post Office, Colgate-Palmolive Group, Sunseeker International and Old Mutual Wealth Management are also clients. The team is jointly headed by Christina Tolvas-Vincent (‘very personable and takes a commercial approach’) and Jon Hales, who has expertise in transactional employment advice. Also recommended are managing associate Daniel Fawcett, who ‘is very bright, with a solid grasp of technical legal issues’; and ‘responsive and commercial’ senior associtate Charlotte Bloomfield.

Paris Smith LLPdelivers accurate, suitable and expedient advice’ and ‘provides a fantastic level of support and service’. The practice is known for its track record in disputes, having represented clients in the communications, logistics and motoring sectors in employment tribunal cases, discrimination claims and minimum wage disputes. Recent work includes acting for a contracting company in the public sector in an employment tribunal trial concerning whether TUPE was applicable to a transferred Ministry of Defence contract, and defending a transport company’s administrator against a protective award claim brought by an employee union, securing a reduction in the claim for the client. It also represented Coletta in a case concerning non-payment of national minimum wage, where the claimant’s argument was whether they were entitled to pay for hours on call or not. Other clients include Draper Tools, AFC Bournemouth, Focal Point Fires and Millbrook Industries, as well as several schools. Department head Clive Dobbin ‘has great integrity and always provides an honest response to queries’; he leads a team that includes ‘supportive and considerate’ managing partner Peter Taylor, restrictive covenant expert David Roath, and associate Claire Merritt.

Clarke Willmott LLP has an ‘exceptionally professional team’ with notable experience in handling contentious employment matters. The team recently acted for a client in a dispute with a former employee concerning a claim for unfair dismissal. Other areas of expertise include discrimination cases and employee termination disputes. Its non-contentious work extends to TUPE transfers, restructuring issues and mass redundancy mandates. Highlights included advising OneCom Group on updating its employment policies as well as its commission and bonus structures following the client’s acquisition of a company. The team also advises clients in the maritime, construction and IT sectors. Marc Long is ‘hugely knowledgeable, vastly experienced and manages difficult cases with ease and confidence’; he is adept at advocating at employment tribunals, outsourcing issues and employment mandates arising from insolvency proceedings. Clients also single out education sector expert Nicole Adams, who ‘is a trusted and respected adviser’.

Coffin Mew LLP handles the full spectrum of contentious and non-contentious employment matters, including management and board restructuring issues, trade union litigation, employee discrimination issues and disciplinary matters. It regularly advises Pets Corner on employment advice relating to acquisitions and disposals, TUPE transfers and redundancy processes, and acted for Raystede Centre for Animal Welfare on a review of its employment contracts and staff handbook, as well as advising a charity that was running an independent school on employee redundancy settlements and employment tribunal claims following its administration. Other clients include companies in the transport, food and leisure sectors. Dorlee Monschau is particularly adept at handling employment matters for education and charity sector clients. Also recommended are associates Amy Richardson, an employment tribunal expert, and Holly Cudbill, who advises clients on redundancy policies.

DC Employment Solicitors covers the full range of contentious and non-contentious employment matters for its clients, which rate its ‘commercial focus’. In 2016 the team advised on employee termination disputes, discrimination allegations, mass redundancy issues and TUPE transfers. Other areas of expertise include high-level directors and shareholders exit strategies and constructive dismissal claims. Guildford Borough Council, Vitality Health, Acclaim Logistics and Lakesmere Group are all clients. Key figures include the ‘pragmatic and straightforward’ Darren Tibble and Daryl Cowan, whose ‘advice is always highly valued presented in a clear and understandable way’. Laurence Dunn and senior solicitor Kirsty Alleyne are also highly regarded.

Penningtons Manches LLPis a brilliant regional firm with a very strong employment team’. The practice handles transactional employment matters, internal company restructurings and employment tribunal litigation work related to unfair dismissal, among other claims. The team advised a facilities company on TUPE transfer issues arising from the transferor’s inaccurate information and is assisting a media company with several sex discrimination claims against high-ranking members of the business. Clients include Wellington College, the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), Bouygues UK and Redhall Group. David Bickford heads the team from the Basingstoke office; he is assisted by Gemma Woodhouse, who ‘has a professional approach as well as providing commercial and pragmatic advice’; associate Katie Glendinning, who ‘has an excellent eye for detail and very strong drafting skills’; and TUPE expert Chris Syder.

Shoosmiths LLP is praised for its ‘excellent service and sound knowledge’. With experience in employment tribunals, pensions and data protection advice, the firm provides a complete range of employment expertise for clients. Clients include Phase Eight, which the team advised on multiple flexible working employee needs and internal restructuring issues. Other highlights included assisting Gourmet Burger Kitchen (GBK) with employment policy reviews, settlement agreements and immigration support for documentation checks; and advising Martin & Co on the employment aspects of its £15m acquisition of EweMove. Krispy Kreme, Gattaca, Brightside Group and Big Yellow Storage Company are also clients. Stuart Lawrenson heads the practice in Southampton and specialises in advising retail clients on employment matters. Clients also single out associate Pamela Tatlock, who ‘has an excellent day-to-day knowledge of employment legislation’.

The ‘excellentIrwin Mitchell advises on the full range of employment matters, including employment tribunal claims, restricted covenant disputes and TUPE transfer matters. The firm advised Paula Rosa Manhattan on its internal restructuring following the Brexit vote, as well as assisting a motor research company with streamlining its pension scheme. It also advised Hendy Group with the employment law aspects of its acquisition of a car dealership. Other clients include Micheldever Tyres, Accord Healthcare and Transun Travel. Clients single out Simon Fenton, who ‘has a commercial view on employment law and offers good advice’; and associate Andrew Crudge, who ‘excellent on all fronts’.

Moore Blatch LLPhas very good industry knowledge and responds quickly to a crisis’. The practice works closely with the firm’s corporate and commercial team for matters, such as assisting Drake & Morgan with the employment law aspects of its share purchase agreement following its acquisition of Corney & Barrow Bars. Other areas of expertise include employment termination matters, restricted covenant disputes and discrimination mandates. Department head Katherine Maxwellis technically strong and able to apply commercial understanding to projects’; she is ably supported by media and advertising employment matters specialist Naomi Greenwood. Paul Whitaker retired in May 2016.

Pitmans LLP handles the full range of contentious and non-contentious employment work, including discrimination cases, restrictive covenant issues and internal restructuring mandates. Highlights included assisting the founder and shareholders of World of Books on new service agreements and settlement agreements, and advising Westfield Medical on multiple employee service agreements and pension scheme issues. Ideal Leisure, the Wilton Carpet Factory and The Concorde Club and Hotel are also clients. The highly regarded Jonathan Gray leads the team, which includes senior associate Claire Anderson; they are adept at handling TUPE transfers, HR support matters and employment tribunal litigation.

Phillips Solicitors assisted Markwins International with multiple employment matters in 2016, including disciplinary issues, employment termination matters and advice on updating its policy agreements. Other clients include Savona Provisions, Optalis and Metso. The Basingstoke-based team is headed by director Gillian Brown, who is adept at handling employment cases that intersect with corporate and commercial work. ‘Excellent’ senior associate and experience litigator Karen Bristow is also recommended.

Trethowans LLP advised a market research company on an alleged discrimination case arising from an employee interview as well as a potential data protection breach; it is also acting for X Limited in a dispute with two senior management members concerning allegations of fraud and abuse. Other clients include Radio Taxis and the Royal Association for Deaf People. Simon Rhodes heads the practice and regularly advises corporate and commercial clients on TUPE issues. Other key figures include Kathryn Casey-Evans, who ‘is an exceptional solicitor’ and an expert in shareholder and director disputes; and senior solicitor James Humphery, who specialises in immigration law.

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Legal Developments in South East for Employment: Hampshire

  • TRANSFER OF UNDERTAKINGS (PROTECTION OF EMPLOYMENT) AND AGE DISCRIMINATION

    I have been asked to cover the topic of Employment law within my half an hour speaking slot today. I have narrowed my subject down to Transfer of Undertakings and Discrimination, with the focus on providing an update on the recent spate of cases on service provision change and on the important developments in the law of age discrimination. Needless to say, in my presentation I shall not be able to cover the level of detail which is contained in my written paper, which I will leave you to read.
    - 11KBW

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