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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 > South East > Human resources > Employment: Kent, Surrey, Sussex > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings



Index of tables

  1. Employment: Kent, Surrey, Sussex
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

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Charles Russell Speechlys LLP's 'amazing' team is entrusted with heavy weight advisory matters and disputes from sectors such as financial services, not-for-profit, and TMT including computer games. Ericsson, Zenium Technology Partners and Photo-Me International are among its clients. Its work spans matters ranging from corporate reorganisations and TUPE to discrimination and dismissal actions. In one highlight, it is advising Amundi Asset Management on areas such as restraints of trade, disciplinary matters and employment tribunal litigation. Nick Hurley, who heads the employment, pensions and immigration teams, is 'a strategic superstar who has seen it all before and can always anticipate the other side’s next move'. Ben Smith has a broad range of expertise and 'personally commits to his client’s cause, offering constant reassurance and support'. Other key lawyers include the 'excellent' Andy Williams and associate Emily Chalkley, who is highly regarded for 'her vast legal knowledge and fluency in best practices' and is 'a true up-and-coming talent, who has a wonderful manner and intellect'.

Cripps Pemberton Greenish has 'a very strong team at all levels', which is able to 'tailor its advice to suit clients' businesses'. In conjunction with the corporate team, it advises on the HR issues that arise from M&A transactions, as well as handling board and shareholder disputes discrimination claims, whistleblowing and redundancies. In one matter, it is acting for Slough Borough Council on a tribunal case involving whistleblowing and also advised the same client on discrimination and constructive dismissal issues. The team is led by Erica Dennett, and also includes 'the excellent and commercial' Rhona Derbyshire  and associate Camilla Beamish.

DMH Stallard LLP provides 'a superior level of service in all aspects'. It handles work from the public, private and not-for-profit arenas with education one of its specialisms. The team is also  experienced in handling cross-border matters in support of its international clients. Recent work includes advising Change Grow Live, following its acquisition of another national charity, on such matters as TUPE and pension issues. In other work, it assisted Stockholm-based CLX Communications, following its acquisition of a UK company, on a raft of employment matters. Tony Hyams-Parish and Simon Belham 'are flexible in their approach and pro-active in developing solutions to often difficult situations'. Other key names include Gregory Burgess, Adam Williams and senior associate Phillip Vallon.

At Mundays LLP, the team provides 'customer service that is outstanding compared to others in the market'. The 'extremely effective and proactive' Andrew Knorpel leads a team that handles matters including complex sexual and disability discrimination, dismissals, redundancies and pensions, frequently involving tribunal hearings. It also assists clients with data protection issues. Key members of the group include partner Fiona McAllister and Sophie Banks; the latter joined the team in August 2017. Clients include ACS International School, ChannelAdvisor UK,  Habib Bank and MiTAC Europe.

The 'highly regarded' team at Penningtons Manches Cooper is valued for its 'responsive and pragmatic' approach. It handles matters covering the spectrum of employment and data protection issues, predominantly for employers. Recent work includes handling a novel claim regarding the transfer of vicarious liability for the actions of employees; boardroom disputes; the integration of employees following mergers and acquisitions, as well as various grievance and discrimination matters for national and international clients. Michael Cole is 'exceptionally talented on all fronts, with tactical nous and a willingness to test the frontiers of settled law'. He undertakes the resolution of all types of employment issues assisted by associate Elizabeth Cardy for clients including Blue Oil Energy, Intrinsic Technologies, Wurth UK and Fullbrook Ventures t/a Bernard Sims Associates.

Stevens & Bolton LLP advises on all aspects of employment and immigration law and counts senior executives as well as corporations among its clients. It has deep expertise in TUPE issues and works closely with in-house HR departments. It also handles the range of dismissal, discrimination and pay disputes, frequently before employment tribunals. Employment and immigration expert Kerry Garcia leads the team which includes Lloyd Davey,  whose expertise encompasses data privacy as well as employment matters, especially within the technology and media sectors, and recently made-up partner Hannah Ford. Stephanie Dale left the legal profession in November 2017.

The team at asb law LLP is 'exceptionally knowledgeable, professional and assertive'. It handles corporate restructures and redundancies, director exits, negotiations with unions, as well as unfair dismissal, disability and sexual discrimination claims. Clients include easyJet, Markerstudy, TUI Travel and Mid Sussex District Council. The group is led by Rebecca Jorgensen , who is highlighted for being 'friendly and approachable and providing strategies, tactics and risk analysis'. She is well supported by Abigail Maino, who gets 'top marks' according to one client for being efficient and informed. Solicitor Sophia Akram joined the group in March 2017 from Wilsons and Paul Lambdin joined in October 2017 from Stevens & Bolton LLP as a senior consultant.

Barlow Robbins LLP's team provides 'excellent service and great advice' and assists clients with the employment aspects following reorganisations, restrictive covenants and breach of confidentiality, in addition to handling High Court, Employment Tribunal and Appeal Tribunal cases. Recent work includes advising Wellden Turnbull on complex constructive dismissal claims and restrictive covenants, which involved a High Court action and obtaining an injunction. The 'thorough and calm' David Ludlow has a wealth of experience in both advisory and litigation matters and is well supported by 'knowledgeable and responsive' associate Laurie Heizler. The team includes Joanna Lada-Walicki, who specialises in acting for schools and charities, and senior associate Michelle Tudor. Immigration specialist Hesham Shoeb joined in December 2017 From Simpson Millar LLP.

Brachers has 'a strong employment team with bright friendly personalities and a pragmatic common sense approach to the resolution of issues'.  In addition to corporates, its clients are drawn from public bodies and NHS trusts and it has strong sector focus in areas such as healthcare, education, manufacturing and tourism. It also has a dedicated HR consultancy arm. Practice head Catherine Daw is highly regarded for the breadth of her expertise, as is Colin Smith. Associate Rachael Russell is, according to one client, 'insightful and knowledgeable' and has 'a way of removing the stress from a difficult situation'.

The 'excellent' team at Furley Page Solicitors has a noted specialism in the education and charity sectors in addition to acting for corporate clients. It advises on redundancy programmes, restructurings and TUPE, and also handles discrimination cases as well as day-to-day HR matters. Andrew Masters, who heads the team, is 'hard to beat in the service that he provides and the knowledge and experience he has' according to one client. Senior associate Amanda Okill is also well regarded for her breadth of expertise and Tessa Robinson joined the team from DMH Stallard LLP.

Harry Sherrard and Dan Soanes are the highly regarded senior practitioners at specialist employment firm Sherrards Employment Law Solicitors that is valued for its 'measured' advice and solutions that 'do not sit on the fence'. Other team members include Victoria Bevis  and Peter Jones, who collectively advise clients such as Lufthansa Tecnik, Singapore Airlines and Cubic Transportation Systems on the gamut of employment and HR matters including disciplinary matters, working time issues, restructuring, TUPE matters and data protection.

Thomas Mansfield LLP is a substantial, specialist firm that includes solicitor-advocates and which was founded by Neill Thomas and Jonathan Mansfield. Its diverse client list ranges from plcs to not-for-profits and it acts for both employers and employees including senior executives and directors. Its recent work encompasses TUPE transfers, unfair and wrongful dismissals, disability discrimination and holiday pay issues, as well as deferred compensation schemes. David Gray-Jones' expertise includes working time regulations and other team members include Meredith Hurst and Angie Crush.

According to one client, the 'outstanding' team at Thomson Snell & Passmore  'consistently impressed' with its handling of employment matters. It acts for clients from diverse sectors with an emphasis on education, charity, food and beverage, distribution and insurance fields. Recent work includes advising the Goody Bag Company on an unfair dismissal, which was successfully resolved following a tribunal hearing. Well-regarded practice head Nick Hobden has a focus on the education and charity sectors. Susanna Rynehart, who is 'fantastic with a great eye for detail', handles a full range of dismissal and discrimination cases and senior associate Ben Stepney specialises in the social care sector.

Helen Boddy at Boddy Matthews Limited is 'rigorous and authoritative' in her handling of difficult employment cases including TUPE issues. The firm offers a full employment law service, predominantly to corporate clients as well as senior executives. In recent work, the team is advising Caremark on a raft of matters including national minimum wages,  holiday pay,  zero hours contracts issues and TUPE regulations. Other clients include Rolls Royce Power Systems AG, PJ Valves Group and Offshore Shipbrokers. Co-founder Kate Matthews is noted for her 'commercial awareness' particularly with regard to disputes.

Clarkson Wright & Jakes acts for an impressive range of corporate clients, as well as senior executives, directors and other employees on contentious issues such as unfair dismissals, various discrimination cases and the exit strategies of senior executives. On the non-contentious side, it works closely with clients' HR teams on restructures, especially in the healthcare sector. Judith Curran is the well-respected head of department and Laura Claridge is also noted.

The team at Downs Solicitors LLP provides an 'exemplary' service and is 'responsive, comprehensive, compassionate and friendly'. Practice head Matthew Kilgannon is 'particularly strong' when dealing with contentious cases, and David Seals is 'accessible, practical and provides good value for money'. It assists corporate clients and senior executives with matters pertaining to bullying and disciplinary procedures, restraint of trade, sexual and other discrimination cases, senior exit strategies and TUPE transfers. The group also provides related HR and health and safety support.

GBH Law Limited's team has broad expertise in HR advisory work and is noted for providing 'an exceptionally strong service when it comes to all aspects of employment litigation'. Clients include SMEs, schools  and partnerships, and it has noted strength acting for legal and accounting practices. Hamish Cameron Blackie is acting for Ringway Infrastructure Services in complex holiday pay litigation and a long-running whistleblowing case. Fellow director Andrea Tishler handles HR advisory and contentious cases and is advising the World Wide Fund for Nature on a range of HR issues. Director Christine Goodyear is also a noted practitioner.

Led by Amanda Finn, the team at Gullands Solicitors handles HR issues such as retirement and long term sickness, contractual reviews, the restructuring of workforces and Employment Tribunal claims. As well as acting for corporates, the team has a specialist focus on acting for trusts and clients from the charity sector. In recent work, it is advising on disability discrimination, TUPE regulations, various disciplinary and data protection issues. The group is able to draw on the expertise of David Brown and associate Andrew Clarke for health and safety-related issues.

Pamela Loch, who is the managing partner at specialist boutique firm Loch Employment Law, provides 'clear advice on a range of employment law matters'. The team, which provides 'advice that is always given in a business context, so it is outcome focused', handles the full range of employment and HR services. In recent work, it acted for employer clients in disputes pertaining to sexual and race discrimination and a complex case of bullying. It also handles TUPE matters and restrictive covenants and often helps clients to resolve conflicts without recourse to the courts. Alex Kiernan and Helen Baxter are other core members of the team.

The team at Martin Searle Solicitors 'compares well with other high street firms of a similar size and profile'. Fiona Martin heads the team, which represents both employers and employees and has a strong focus on equal pay and equality issues, including pregnancy and maternity discrimination. Recent work includes handling a range of matters including constructive dismissal, disability and race discrimination cases. Associate Laura Middleton and caseworker Matthew Grant,'who is very client focused and very knowledgeable', are other noted team members.

Morrisons Solicitors LLP's team acts for plcs, SMEs and high-net-worth individuals. It provides a range of advice including on TUPE in addition to handling contentious matters including restrictive covenants  and tribunal work. Recent work has included advising a client on the enforceability of restrictive covenants relating to the hire of new employees and acting for a board member in a high-value case involving discrimination issues. Practice head Joanne Kavanagh  is 'excellent to bounce ideas off and coming up with pragmatic ways forward' and is well supported by associate Emma McLoughlin.

Rix & Kay Solicitors LLP acts for companies, partnerships and individuals drawn from the professional services, hospitality and charity sectors, among others. The team frequently works closely with the firm's corporate department in advising on TUPE regulations, redundancies and employee exits following sales and acquisitions. In one highlight, it acted for a claimant who was made redundant following her pregnancy; the case involved issues of discrimination and was settled prior to the tribunal hearing. Victoria Regan  joined the team from Dawson Hart in September 2017 and managing partner Bruce Hayter is also a key part of the team. Miranda Martin retired.

Emma Thompson heads the team at Thackray Williams LLP, which also includes Sarah Ludlam. The group acts for company and individual clients in  disputes which are frequently settled by way of mediation. Its work spans grievance processes, discrimination and harassment claims and tribunal cases as well as day-to-day HR matters. The team's broad client base includes many well-known local and international companies and it is also appointed to an impressive number of panels.

TWM Solicitors LLP's team assists local, national and overseas companies and individuals on the full range of employment and HR matters from providing training on HR policies and data protection to TUPE and tribunal hearings. Recent highlights include advising a European company on all employment considerations pertaining to setting up in the UK and handling a case of gross misconduct disciplinary proceedings. Team head Patrick Stewart has broad expertise with a specialism in post-termination restrictions in contracts. Senior associate Clare Chappell and HR consultant Karen Beard are other names to note.

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