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  1. Employment: Hampshire
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Who Represents Who

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Blake Morgan's team is 'quick to respond, has excellent strength-in-depth and a pragmatic and sympathetic approach to problem resolution'. Its comprehensive workload encompass contentious and non-contentious work including discrimination cases, business reorganisations, outsourcing and TUPE and data protection. Highlights include acting for Portsmouth University in a complex and lengthy Employment Tribunal claim for disability discrimination and unfair dismissal; practice co-head Tim Forer has been conducting the advocacy at the preliminary hearings. Fellow co-head Sarah Peacock has 'a wide knowledge of current employment law which she applies pragmatically to find the best solution for employer and employee'. Senior associate Lisa Wallis and Natalie Painter are other well-regarded members of team, which was further boosted by the addition of associate Holly Cudbill, who joined in July 2017 from Coffin Mew LLP. Max Craft retired from the partnership but remains with the firm as a consultant.

Employment specialists DC Employment Solicitors is praised for its 'phenomenal response times and technical knowledge that is, without doubt, exceptional' and for providing 'spot-on advice'. The sizeable team handles the gamut of employment, labour relations and immigration matters. In addition to handling HR advisory work, other recent work includes acting in a number of tribunal cases involving discrimination and unfair dismissal claims; acting for a commercial client in respect of its decision to derecognise a trade union; and representing a managing director in a dispute with his company. Darren Tibble is 'exceptional in his interpretation of a situation and getting to the core issue', Daryl Cowan 'is very personable and commercially aware' and Laurence Dunn provides 'superb advice and support'. Other team members include the well-regarded Kirsty Alleyne.

The team at Paris Smith LLP represents both employers and employees and is a popular choice due to its breadth of expertise, which covers advisory and disputes work. It has a focus on the education, transport and logistics sectors and handles such matters as director exits, restrictive covenants and a range of discrimination cases. Clive Dobbin, who leads the team, successfully acted for a client in a dispute where 15 employees brought an action at the Employment Tribunal concerning the application of TUPE rules. David Roath has extensive expertise in dealing with employment cases, especially those concerning director exits, restrictive covenants and whistleblowing. He routinely conducts his own advocacy and is also a  mediator. Claire Merritt was promoted to partner in January 2018, and the team was further enhanced by the recruitment of associates Tabytha Cunningham  and Charlotte Farrell, who joined in 2017 from  Coffin Mew LLP.

At Penningtons Manches LLP, 'the overall level of service is phenomenal, the advice given is tailored to the business and has a view to the commercial' issues at stake. David Bickford heads a department that acts largely for employer clients and handles cases concerning whistleblowing, liability for holiday pay, discrimination actions and senior employee exits. In recent work, it has dealt with an harassment case in the film industry and separately advised on the dismissal of two board directors amid allegations of corruption. Chris Syder, whose expertise includes gender pay matters, is 'very responsive' and has a 'pragmatic' approach. Gemma Woodhouse and associate Katie Glendinning are 'knowledgeable and personable and meticulous with their case preparation'.

Since Bond Dickinson's merger with US firm Womble Carlyle in 2017, Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP is an increasingly popular choice for international clients. In addition to handling all-round contentious and non-contentious employment matters, the team also assists clients with immigration support and has a strong focus on employment issues within a corporate context. The team worked with in-house counsel and a Danish firm in advising Colgate-Palmolive (UK) on various employment issues resulting from the merger of Colgate's UK function with its Nordic counterpart. The 'receptive, available and pragmatic' Christina Tolvas-Vincent jointly heads the group with the highly regarded Jon Hales, who has a focus on TUPE regulations and issues arising from corporate reorganisations. Managing associates Daniel Fawcett and Charlotte Bloomfield are other core members of the team.

The team at Clarke Willmott LLP provides 'an overall excellent service' and handles the full spectrum of employment and employee relations work, from restructurings and TUPE regulations to tribunal work including advocacy. Practice head Marc Long, who has advocacy experience, is a key name for strike action and pay change issues. In recent work, the team advised on the TUPE transfer of around 100 staff and assisted an employer on its obligations in a misconduct case where the employee was suffering from HIV. Kevin Jones and associate Nicole Adams are other core members of the team.

Coffin Mew LLP is, according to one client, 'one of the best' for advisory work and contentious matters. It acts for large corporates and also has a focus on the technology and not-for-profit sectors. In recent work, it is assisting a well-known high-street retailer with a raft of issues including employee exits, grievances and disputes, as well as a data protection project. It is also advising on a constructive dismissal and matters related to restrictive covenants. Leon Deakin is valued for 'his pragmatism' and commercial approach and associate Amy Richardson and solicitor Charlotte Allery are other key members of the team.

Shoosmiths LLP acts for an impressive range of clients and undertakes the full range of HR advisory and contentious work. The team advises Phase Eight (Fashion & Design) on day-to-day employment matters, most recently in connection with a number of employee relations matters and minimum wage compliance. In other work, Stuart Lawrenson , assisted by senior associate Sian Hoare, is assisting Gourmet Burger Kitchen with a range of matters including a grievance and right to work issues. Lawrenson's expertise also includes unfair dismissal and discrimination cases, TUPE regulations and workforce reorganisations.

Irwin Mitchell's team provides 'responsive and pragmatic advice' which is appropriate to the clients' culture. It handles a range of work spanning restructures and TUPE transfers, to restrictive covenants, discrimination cases and harassment matters. The 'very pragmatic' Simon Fenton 'provides great support on some complex issues' and is well supported by 'positive and confident' associate Andrew Crudge. Clients include Kenwood, Thatcham Research, World of Books and Topcon (Great Britain).

The team at Moore Blatch LLP is 'very knowledgeable, commercially focused and makes themselves available at short notice'. It is headed by Katherine Maxwell, who is 'very practical, a steady pair of hands and always mindful of the risk to the business'. The team handles a  broad range of employment matters in conjunction with the corporate group as well as HR advisory work and contentious matters, such as boardroom disputes and high-value terminations of employment. Stephanie Bowen 'stands out' for her quick responses and ability 'to evaluate all possible scenarios' and associate Emma Edis is 'very knowledgeable'. Naomi Greenwood, who 'a strong negotiator', splits her time between the London and Richmond offices.

The 'excellent' team at Pitmans LLP, which is led by Jonathan Gray, advises on HR and corporate support matters,  in addition to handling constructive and unfair dismissal cases, disability claims and sexual discrimination actions. Gray is also a mediator and conducts his own advocacy at employment tribunals. In recent work, the team defended a client in a constructive dismissal and age discrimination case, and it is assisting Toshiba UK with day-to-day HR matters as well as handling disputes. Associate Claire Anderson is another name to note.

Trethowans LLP counts regional, national and multi-national companies among its clients and has a focus on the leisure, retail, construction, manufacturing and healthcare sectors. Its mandates range from HR advisory including reorganisations and TUPE regulations to hearings and litigation at Employment Tribunals and the High Court. It is handling a long-running director and shareholder dispute and is advising an international logistics company on the various employment issues arising from its reorganisation. Simon Rhodes, who heads the department, Kathryn Casey-Evans and James Humphery are the key names.

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