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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 West > Human resources > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings



Employment: Bristol

Index of tables

  1. Employment: Bristol
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Employment: Bristol clients in South West using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact


Bevan Brittan LLP's employment practice is ‘outstanding in every respect’. It advises public sector organisations, in particular local governments, housing associations and the health sector, in addition to acting for clients in the private sector, including Canada Life, Cross Manufacturing, ISG, the Professional Cricketers Association, Driver Group plc, United Health and Guinness World Records. It provides healthcare organisations with advice on performance and conduct issues involving senior executives; workforce issues; litigation; and patient confidentiality issues. The team is headed by Jodie Sinclair and includes Sarah Lamont, who is ‘a first-class lawyer, immensely conscientious and hardworking, and has extremely sound judgement’. She recently led the successful defence of 52 Fire and Rescue Authorities in England and Wales against claims brought by over 5,000 firefighters alleging that reforms to their pension scheme were discriminatory. Julian Hoskins, who is ‘knowledgeable, commercial, practical, and very responsive and supportive’, recently acted for the Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust in high-value whistleblowing and unfair dismissal employment tribunal claims. Jane Wallenstein, who combines ‘expert knowledge coupled with relationship management’, is also recommended.

Burges Salmon LLP  advises employers across the UK and internationally on the full range of employment law matters, including sensitive and high-profile disputes and complex, cross-border matters. The practice handles matters across the defence, transport, financial services, education, retail and public sectors. Key clients include The Crown Estate, FirstGroup, Ofgem, University of Bristol and Bank of Ireland. The practice acts for the John Lewis Partnership on employment tribunal claims, including unfair dismissal, sex discrimination, disability discrimination, race discrimination, breach of contract, harassment and wrongful dismissal. Other highlights included advising Thomson Reuters on whistleblowing and discrimination claims. Partner Adrian Martin led for BAE systems on a major restructuring involving 2,000 potential redundancies. Luke Bowery who is ‘incisive and understanding’ and ‘easy to work with’, acts for Babcock International Group, on complex employment tribunal claims, restructurings and gender pay gap reporting. The team is led by Roger Bull and Chris Seaton and is praised for its ‘invaluable insight’.

DAC Beachcroft LLP  provides employment law advice across the insurance, health, and public sectors. Clients include FTSE 100 companies, NHS trusts and local authorities. The practice recently acted for South Western Ambulance NHS Foundation Trust in terminating its contract to provide an NHS 111 service in Devon, which resulted in TUPE claims of over £1m brought by 59 claimants. Head of department Alex Lock is advising Dixons Carphone on the integration and harmonisation of terms and conditions of employment following the merger between Dixons Retail and Carphone Warehouse, in addition to handling restructuring and redundancy programmes following the merger. Joanne Owers, who has a ‘very straightforward style’, advised a leading software provider on gender pay gap reporting, holiday pay in relation to bonus/commission arrangements, and terms and conditions for the workforce following several acquisitions. Key clients include Zurich Insurance, BT, EE, OFWAT, University of Oxford, Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust, Dorset Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust and Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust. The team is ‘very responsive’ and has ‘strong industry knowledge, with no areas for improvement’.

Osborne Clarke  handles national and cross-border matters, including those with complex jurisdictional issues. It has a particular focus on the digital business, energy and natural resources, real estate and infrastructure, retail, finance, defence, bioscience and recruitment sectors, and assists clients with employment tribunal, discrimination and whistleblowing claims. It also advises on business restructuring and TUPE matters, as well as team moves, redundancy and contract appointments. Partner Julian Hemming recently advised on employment, TUPE, remuneration, FCA regulatory and governance issues concerning the transfer of 10 local government pension schemes to Brunel Pension Partnership. Other clients include Vodafone, for which it handles all UK employment litigation; this matter is led by Paul Killen. Tech Mahindra, Deckers Brands, Allegis, Air Canada, The Medical Defence Union, Axway, Grifols and Motorola are also clients.

TLT's  sector strengths include financial services, retail, social housing, leisure, energy and renewable, and technology. The employment practice (which is ‘excellent in all areas’ and ‘looks for pragmatic ways to assist in complex matters’) advises on whistleblowing, equal pay, outsourcing, business-critical employment issues, benefit change processes, industrial action and board-level exits. Stuart Bride heads the team and is acting for a high street bank on general employment advisory matters, regulatory issues, and TUPE matters. Recently promoted partner Siobhan Fitzgerald provides ‘pragmatic advice’ and is ‘responsive and understanding of strategic objectives’. She is advising a social housing association on a merger, which involves restructuring, general employment issues, pension scheme liability, TUPE implications, contractual changes and departure of senior staff. Esther Smith is advising a large insurance company on day-to-day HR matters, as well as representing it in tribunal litigation. Key clients include Imperial Brands, J Sainsbury, Savills, Ageas Group, Southern Water, Biffa, Westfield, Homebase/Bunnings, WH Smith, Good Energy Group and the National Crime Agency.

Wilsons provides advice on due diligence, TUPE, drafting employee provisions, settlement agreements, staff contracts, senior appointments and terminations, restructuring, safeguarding, contracting-out and severance agreements. Recent highlights include advising Krysalis Consultancy on the employment status of neuro-rehabilitation assistants and occupational health consultants, which involved advising on holidays, working practice, redrafting documentation and transferring workers from employees to self-employed status. Anthony Edwards heads the team and advises on contentious and non-contentious issues, including senior board management issues and TUPE-related matters. Partner Stephen Oxley focuses on the education and charities sectors and is adept at restructures, senior level exit strategies and strategic talent management at board level.

Womble Bond Dickinson's large employment team specialises in the retail, financial services, insurance, energy and fast moving consumer goods sectors, advising on litigation, TUPE, general insurance issues, strategic advice, dispute and exit-strategies, industrial action, industrial relations and collective bargaining. Key clients include Post Office, B&Q, H Samuel/Ernest Jones, Historic England, Devon Partnership NHS Trust, Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board, and Hydro Plc. The firm is on AIG's employment panel and is one of a number of firms providing advice and support for insured businesses under AIG’s PrivateEdge policy. It also acts for TSB as the sole adviser on employment and employment litigation matters. Partner Tim Woodward joined from Allen & Overy LLP and leads the department with Joanne Boyle. The team has ‘good depth’ and offers ‘innovative and sensible solutions’.

Ashfords LLP  has a national and international client base, working for commercial clients such as ARAG, Bluebird Care, Connect44, Teleglobal Consulting, PGA, Greenleaf Corporation (Greenleaf Europe BV) and New Directions Holdings. It is experienced in dealing with complex Employment Tribunal claims and High Court litigation and is regarded for its experience in the private healthcare and retail sectors. It also has a track record enforcing and defending restrictive covenant claims and assisting clients with drafting employment contracts, staff handbooks and policy documents. Practice head Stephen Moore provides ongoing advice to a number of McDonald’s franchises on Employment Tribunal claims, disciplinary procedures, union activity, and immigration matters . He also advises Post Office on TUPE, employment matters and negotiating settlement agreements. Associate Kim Wright deals with discrimination claims, breach of contract, TUPE, restrictive covenant claims, holiday pay and business sales and acquisitions.

Clarke Willmott LLP's ‘excellent, practical and very responsive’ team handles restructuring, director exits, redundancy, TUPE, company acquisitions and corporate insolvency issues. Kevin Jones jointly heads the practice and recently acted for new client Gates and Fences in relation to restructuring and redundancy matters, the introduction of new terms and conditions of employment, the relocation of the factory, and trade union and individual consultations. He also regularly advises clients in the sports sector including  a number of professional sports organisations, agents and leading sports men and women. Sharon Latham heads the practice alongside Jones and ‘gets to the key issues with no lost time’; she recently advised a global manufacturer on TUPE, TULRA and redundancy issues. Senior associate Tim Copplestone  represents a number of leading international sportsmen, and also advises a US-based sports agency. Other key clients include Marland Yarde, Bandai UK Limited, Marshfield Farm Ice Cream Limited, CityWest Homes Limited and M+W Group.

Foot Anstey  provides strategic and operational employment advice to local and national clients from its new Bristol office. Areas of expertise include general employment matters, contentious and non-contentious employment law issues, TUPE, redundancies, restructures, exitinig of senior staff, and drafting and enforcing restrictive covenants. Karen Bates heads the team and specialises in discrimination matters, equal pay litigation, advisory and strategic work. Partner Patrick Howarth led the advice to new client Lucozade on disciplinary, grievance matters and HR projects. The practice also acts for Screwfix on day to day employment issues, disciplinary action, poor performance, sickness and absence issues, senior exits, and ammendments to policies and procedures. Richard Neary advises on general employment matters, workforce issues, TUPE, and corporate and commercial matters. Other clients include Odeon/UCI Cinemas, Halfords, Midas, Livewell South West, TNT, Cornwall Council, Met Office and City Electrical Factors. Kathryn Evens joined from Mills & Reeve LLP and Charlotte Mortlock joined from Penningtons Manches LLP. Matthew Huddleson joined OTB Eveling.

At Menzies Law, practice head and director Luke Menzies is a dual-qualified barrister and solicitor with experience in handling tribunal and court claims. He also deals with senior executive exits, strategic issues, restructuring, pay and reward, trade unions and industrial action. Recently promoted partner Anne-Marie Boyle specialises in TUPE issues, equal pay, litigation, and collective and industrial relations issues. She recently acted for Spandex against an unfair dismissal claim that related to pregnancy and maternity leave. Partner Simon Martin is experienced in advising executives and senior employees and also advises on day-to-day employment issues for large businesses. The firm recently launched a gender pay gap audit and advice service. Clients include Babcock International Group, Bristol City Football Club, Bristol Rugby, Bristol Water, MAN Truck and Bus UK, Miele Company, SAS International and City & Islington College. Barrister Joanne Sefton has left the firm.

Thrings LLP provides a ‘superb service with prompt response times’ and ‘excellent, reliable advice’. It advises on site closures, TUPE, board-level exits, restructuring, employee relations issues and employment tribunal claims. The practice recently settled a tribunal claim of unfair dismissal and disability and sexual orientation discrimination, all claims were dismissed at a preliminary hearing. Kerrie Hunt heads the team and is rated for providing advice that is ‘clear, concise and easy to understand’. The manufacturing, engineering, charities, agriculture, food, telecoms, IT, technology, creative industries and FMCG are all sector strengths. Key clients include Centurycomm, Denhay Farms, Lydney Settled Estate and CFH Docmail.

VWV works extensively with local authorities and has a particular focus on the education sector. It also advises commercial clients and charities on employment tribunal claims, sex discrimination, unfair dismissal, and disciplinary procedures. Gareth Edwards heads the team and advises on contentious and non-contentious employment law issues, including labour relations, TUPE, executive exits, outsourcing and business reorganisation. Partner Simon Bevan focuses on the education sector; he recently acted for the Harpur Trust in a number of test cases concerning the Working Time Regulations. Partner Alice Reeve acts for independent schools and academies on a full range of employment law issues including restructuring, redundancy, grievance and capability processes. Naseem Nabi has particular expertise in acquisitions, mergers and TUPE issues in the education sector. Allison Cook acts for local authorities, emergency services, third sector and commercial clients on day-to-day HR advice, complex employment disputes, internal dispute resolution and public sector pension schemes. Clients include Airbus, ATG Media, Bristol Grammar School, Cheltenham College, Museum of London Archaeology and South Wales Fire and Rescue Service.

Humphreys & Co. specialises in unfair dismissal, unlawful discrimination, harassment and breach of contract claims. It also deals with post-termination restrictions, disciplinary procedures, redundancies, TUPE, termination agreements and directors’ duties. The firm has a strong bias towards acting for claimants but also acts for respondents in Employment Tribunal, High Court, County Court and Employment Appeal Tribunal cases. Stephen Burbridge heads the department and has a ‘no-nonsense approach’ and ‘good knowledge of employment law and tribunal procedure’. Katherine Hodge acts for trade union members.

Employment: Dorset and South Wiltshire

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Employment: Dorset and South Wiltshire clients in South West using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact


Lester Aldridge LLP advises on the full range of employment issues such as discrimination claims, TUPE, unfair dismissal, redundancy, restructuring, high-level exits, due diligence and Equality Act claims. Key figures include Catherine Geddes, who handles a range of contentious and non-contentious issues, and Kevin Barnett, who acts for corporate clients and also some individuals. The firm recently acted for an insurance company in relation to a collective redundancy that involved an office relocation and restructuring. In another highlight it acted for Dorset Wildlife Trust advising on disciplinary matters, terminating a consultancy agreement, restructuring and redundancy. Curtiss Wright, Ceuta Holdings, General Asset Management, Muc-Off, Global Maritime Consultancy Limited, Osprey Europe Limited and Moorfields Corporate Recovery are clients. Susan Evans has left the firm.

Steele Raymond LLP handles a range of contentious and non-contentious matters, including discrimination and whistleblower claims, TUPE-related transfers and breach of restrictive covenants. Managing partner Peter Rolph handles contentious employment matters, exit packages, enforcement of post-termination restrictions and strategic commercial advice. Partner Tim Stone focuses on non-contentious matters such as consultancy agreements, employment contracts and employment policies. Other key figures include Paul Longland, who provides non-contentious support to commercial clients, Craig Hardman, who specialises in incentivisation and remuneration packages, and Amy Cousineau Massey, who heads the team and specialises in contentious employment issues such as discrimination and whistleblowing, as well as senior employee exit packages.

Blanchards Bailey LLP provides an ‘excellent overall level of service’ with ‘quick response times and invaluable advice’. It advises on issues related to whistleblowing, unfair dismissal, TUPE, employment contracts, and discretionary commission payments, and represents clients at employment tribunals and the County Court. Highlights included providing advice to a consumer protection organisation with regards to long-term sickness, evaluation appeals, employment contracts, health and safety, and employee wellbeing. In another highlight the department represented a manager from a housing association who was unfairly dismissed for gross misconduct; the firm acted for the client at her disciplinary hearing and then her appeal hearing which was successful and led to her reinstatement. Paul Dunlop heads the practice and is supported by Edward O'Brien, who is noted for his ‘sound knowledge’.

Ellis Jones Solicitors LLP provides ‘consistent and comprehensive’ advice on contentious and non-contentious employment law issues and also day-today HR support. The firm also advises on regulatory matters, redundancy, TUPE, employment contracts, disciplinary matters, business start-up advice, settlement agreements, and changes to terms and conditions. It is increasingly focusing on the education sector, but also handles employment mandates for clients across a broad range of sectors. Highlights included advising Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra on musicians’ agreement contracts, sickness, defending against allegations of discrimination, changes to terms and conditions and also liaising with union representatives. Kate Brooks  was promoted to partner and heads the department; she is ‘confident and clear in her advice, summarises the case, weighs up the options fairly and then advises on the correct approach’.

Frettens LLP Christchurch's ‘very professional, friendly and approachable’ team  provides advice on employee exits, redundancies, disciplinary and grievance procedures and general HR matters. It acts for several organisations in the care sector such as for Jewish Care for whom it recently handled employment tribunal claims relating to unfair dismissal and discrimination. It also assists Bond Recruitment, a local recruitment company, with training local business in HR issues and employment law. Another highlight includes advising a fast-growing technology company on senior-level employee exits and the reorganisation of the business’s structure. Paul Burton heads the department and is supported by partner Kate Fretten. Key Clients include Newton Care, Peeks the Event Makers, Affinity Care and Lightwell (UK).

Employment: M4 Corridor and Gloucestershire

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Employment: M4 Corridor and Gloucestershire clients in South West using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact


BPE Solicitors LLP acts primarily for national clients  on whistleblowing, TUPE, and employee relations, issues, as well as business restructures, trade union negotiations and industrial action. It handles a number of cases in the EAT, High Court and the Court of Appeal, and acts for private individuals advising on senior level severances. It recently defended key client Interserve in a complex whistleblowing , unfair dismissal, breach of contract and disability discrimination claim. In another key mandate the practice acted for Just Go Travel Group on the acquisition of Omega Holidays and Cruise Connections, which included advising on restructuring, collective consultation and TUPE issues. Other clients include PureGym, Sytner and Omega Resource Group. Lisa Gettins heads the team, which includes Tim Gofton, Heyma Holmes and Sarah Lee.

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP acts for national and international clients on reorganisations, business transfers, board structure and corporate governance issues, and Employment Tribunal and High Court litigation. Clients stem from the retail, leisure, charity and landed estate sectors. Recent highlights include acting for a large art dealer on executive entry/exit, long term sick and PHI, grievance processes, amendments to terms and conditions and general HR issues. It also advised a large national charity in relation to strategic issues such as workforce structure, terms and conditions of employment and training for the HR department and managers. The ‘outstanding’ Sara Wilson heads the department and is ‘professional at all times’ with ‘a truly lovely personal and human approach’. She specialises in advising corporate and healthcare sector clients, as well as high-net-worth individuals and NHS consultants. Key clients include Pennant International, Trifast, Ambrell Corporation, Immedia, Motability Operations, Executive Jet Charter, Gulf Air BSC and B&M Babbage & Co. Sarah Jane Brostoff joined Signet Partners LLP.

Royds Withy King provides ‘practical advice that is easy to understand’. It handles all aspects of employment law, including discrimination issues, complex redundancies, re-organisations, business transfers, whistleblowing and TUPE transfers. The practice acts for a number of plcs as well as SME businesses, focusing on the social care, professional services, manufacturing, technology, transport and rail sectors. Recent highlights include advising a waste management company on a complex restructure which involved a contentious director exit with aspects of whistleblowing and age discrimination, and acting for a large furniture manufacturer in relation to proposed industrial action by a trade union following changes to shift patterns.  Partner Richard White is ‘very responsive, approachable and provides a good sounding board for employment related issues’; he ‘offers pragmatic common sense advice at all times’. Malcolm Gregory  heads the team and advises on all employment law aspects. Partner James Sage  is experienced in disciplinary action and dismissals, sickness, performance management and grievances. Lauren Harkin  was promoted to partner and handles employment tribunal claims, exit packages and TUPE transfers. Key clients include Airsprung Group, Blue Marlin Brand Design, Churchill Investments, Clarion (GB), Novia Financial, Ohasi Technica (UK) and Salters Hill Charity.

Stone King LLP specialises in providing employment advice to the education, charity and social enterprise sectors, and has a strong HR consultancy that works in tandem with the employment team. Expertise in the education sector includes advising on changes to terms and conditions, pay awards and appeals, union activity, trade disputes, strike action, immigration, child protection and safeguarding. The firm has been involved in converting a large number of schools into academies and is acting for an increasing number of Multi Academy Trusts on drafting contracts for CEOs and advising on teachers’ pension scheme membership. Other highlights included advising a charity in relation to the potential dismissal of a finance director over allegations of gross negligence and gross misconduct, and acting for a national bus group in relation to a joint venture, which involved drafting employment and secondment arrangements, advising on the process and commercial practicalities of the employment information and consultation processes. The firm also acts for high-net-worth individuals. Practice head Nick Watson  has ‘excellent knowledge’ and is ‘very approachable and keen to assist’; he has expertise in trade union disputes and complex governance structures. He is supported by Peter Woodhouse  and Jean Boyle.

Willans LLP has a particular focus on acting for technology and high-end engineering companies but also advises clients in the professional services, charities and not-for-profit sectors on contentious and non-contentious employment law issues including restructurings, business transfers, executive exits and protection of confidential business information. It also provides support on TUPE transfers, redundancy, collective consultations with unions and GDPR implementation issues. Recent work includes acting for Bridgeworks, a data optimisation and data transfer company, in an unfair dismissal claim by a senior sales person, and representing a director of a PR company in a dispute with a co-director. Moog Aircraft Group, PegasusLife, The Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators, Stroud District Council and Excelerate Technology.  Matthew Clayton heads the team and specialises in data issues in the context of employment law.

Harrison Clark Rickerbys  Cheltenham handles business immigration, connection protection and gender pay gap reporting issues, as well as disciplinary procedures, discrimination and unfair dismissal claims and TUPE transfers. Manufacturing, construction and engineering, agriculture, defence, education, and health and social care are all active sectors for the practice, which is headed by Jenny Okafor-Jones, who has particular expertise in equal pay, discrimination and whistleblowing matters. She is regularly called on to provide strategic HR advice to business and public sector organisations. Senior associate Mark Gray deals with matters concerning senior executives, including tribunal claims.

Lodders Solicitors LLP advises both employers and employees on the full range of employment law matters. The practice's client base includes senior directors, stakeholders, high-net-worth individuals and also former international athletes, for which it handles regulatory matters, TUPE, reorganisations, redundancies and exit packages. Recent highlights include advising Dairy Partners, a cheese manufacturer and distributor, on HR matters and in relation to claims for unfair dismissal, and advising a financial services company with regards to breach of contract and breach of restrictive covenant provisions. The practice also advised on the post-sale restructuring and reorganisation of a large retailer of boats and yachts, and provides ongoing HR advice to a large sporting and entertainment provider. Titus Consultancy, Athlete Career Transition (ACT), Midland Communications Company, Premiere Healthcare, Conclusive Financial, Bamboo Technology Group, Brunsdon Financial Services and Microcomms Professional Services are all clients. Nick Rowe heads the team and provides ‘very impressive response times' and 'delivers pragmatic, robust advice that meets commercial expectations’.

Employment: The West Country

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Find out which law firms are representing which Employment: The West Country clients in South West using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact


Ashfords LLP Exeter advises local, national and international clients on issues related to TUPE, local government pension schemes, collective redundancy consultation processes, termination of senior executives, and settlement agreements. It also handles insolvency-related employment issues and tribunal litigation. Clients include The Royal Devon & Exeter NHS Foundation Trust, foe which it providing advice on contentious issues such as whistleblowing, unfair dismissal, discrimination, and representation at employment tribunals, as well as non-contentious matters. It also acts for Hello Fresh, a food and recipe box distributor, on TUPE issues, senior employee performance and exits, disciplinary action and service agreements. Recent work includes advising catering company Somerset Larder on a severance package for a managing director. The London Boroughs of Wandsworth and Richmond and The Roald Dahl Literary Estate are additional clients Stephen Moore heads the team, which includes Charles Pallot, who has expertise in TUPE, redundancy consultation processes and managing senior employee relationships; senior associate Kirsty Cooke, who specialises in complex tribunal litigation, staff management issues and insolvency matters; legal director Su Apps, who handles industrial relations matters; and  senior associate Chloe Ricciardi, (now no longer with Ashfords) who handled discrimination and whistleblowing litigation.

The ‘user-friendly and knowledgeable’ practice at Clarke Willmott LLP advises on unfair dismissals, redundancy, restructuring, discrimination claims, whistleblowing, grievance procedures and employment tribunal claims. It also handles general HR matters such as long-term sickness, contracts and employee handbooks. Recent highlights include defending a client in an Employment Tribunal claim and assisting with the restructuring of a farming business. Kate Gardner heads the team and provides ‘invaluable, down-to-earth practical employment advice for the real commercial world’. Senior associate Paula Squires' expertise includes providing corporate support, handling employment tribunal work, and advising on restructurings.

Foot Anstey advises on a broad range of employment matters including equal pay, discrimination, TUPE, redundancies, restructures, senior staff exits and restrictive covenants. The client base is predominantly drawn from the firm's core retail, leisure, food and drink, media, technology, financial services, property and construction sector strengths. The practice provides day-to-day employment advice to Screwfix, including disciplinary matters, grievances, long term sickness, and amendments to polices and procedures, as well as assisting it with Employment Tribunal claims. Other clients include the Met Office, which the practice advises on TUPE transfers, senior staff exits and the civil service voluntary termination programme; and new client Lucozade, for which it handles disciplinary matters, grievances and HR issues. Karen Bates heads the team and specialises in discrimination and equal pay litigation. She is supported by partners Patrick Howarth and James Collings; senior associate Kathryn Evens, who joined from Mills & Reeve LLP; and Penningtons Manches LLP. Matthew Huddleson joined OTB Eveling.

Michelmores LLP  Exeter provides advice on the full range of contentious and non-contentious employment law issues, including executive terminations, breach of covenants, TUPE, discrimination, whistleblowing and tribunal litigation. It also provides specialist HR support on issues such as recruitment, policies, dismissals, tribunals and restructuring. Recent highlights include defending Somerset County Council against claims of unfair dismissal, disability discrimination and whistleblowing, and acting for International Schools Theatre Association in relation to HR issues including employment and engagement contracts which bound staff, artists and external contractors. Andrew Tobey heads the team and is experienced in high-profile NHS disciplinary matters concerning professional misconduct. He is supported by partner James Baker, who is adept at high-profile discrimination and whistleblowing tribunal litigation, and Nikki Duncan, who specialises in discrimination and collective representation. Senior associate Tom Stenner-Evans is also recommended. Other clients include Carey Group, Haynes Publishing Group, Devon Doctors, Flybe, Metropolitan Police, Torbay & South Devon Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, The Met Office and Dorset County Council.

Stephens Scown LLP  Exeter's expertise covers whistleblowing, discrimination, regulatory issues, tribunal claims, corporate support work and disciplinary matters. It also has a dedicated HR support service that handles staffing and documentations, and includes three CIPD-qualified HR professionals. Terry Falcão advised Exeter City Footballl Club with regards to the transfer of two players and in relation to a disciplinary matter at the club which involved whistleblowing. Verity Slater, who is rated for her ‘clarity and precision’, advised Cornwall College Group on changes to terms and conditions following its acquisition of Bicton College. Laura McFadyen jointly led the team handling the share sale of Foxes Academy Limited, which involved advising on pension warranties and indemnities, liabilities, and drafting a settlement agreement relating to the termination of a senior member of staff. Jeremy Crook  handles employment litigation, restrictive covenants and issues arising from breach of contract.

Kitsons LLP advises on unfair dismissal claims, restructurings, reorganisations, redundancies, senior-level exits, whistleblowing and TUPE matters. It also provides HR support in the form of bespoke training, development and mentoring for HR managers. Recent highlights include advising a large national plc on self-employment arrangements and employment status, and assisting Duchy Group with the sale of a group of hotels valed at £12.5m, which involved TUPE issues. Rhodri Davey  heads the team and recently advised Outlook South West with the transfer of 50 employees from the local Primary Care trust for counselling services in Cornwall. He has also been handling a number of TUPE issues for various clients. Jayme Nicholson  ‘understands the world of employment’, is ‘incredibly knowledgeable’, and ‘always delivers’.

Womble Bond Dickinson advises on a broad range of employment matters including grievances, employment litigation, TUPE, reorganisations, senior level exits, disciplinary matters and discrimination issues. Tim Woodward, who heads the team from Bristol, advised the Agriculture & Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) on senior exits, sickness, the gender pay gap and grievances. It also successfully defended AHDB before the Employment Appeal Tribunal against a termination of service supply arrangements. Other highlights included advising Plymouth Community Homes on general employment matters including litigation, strategic advice and grievances. Litigation expert Emma Doble is ‘sensible and personable’.

Battens Solicitors Limited advises employers on day-to-day HR issues, grievances, disciplinaries, restructures, redundancies, sickness, termination, contracts, handbooks and represents respondents and claimants in Employment Tribunals. The firm also acts for employees in relation to severance agreements, discrimination, dsiciplinaries and exit negotiations. Key sectors include agriculture, industry, engineering, education and tourism. Recent highlights include advising a client in the hospitality sector on the sale of their business, and acting for a business in relation to performance issues, redundancy, disciplinary matters and also negotiating the settlement of a Tribunal claim against the business. The ‘exceptional’ Dawn Gallie heads the team and provides an ‘excellent service’.

The ‘accessible and professional’ practice at Nash & Co provides advice on restrictive covenants and TUPE, and also handles Employment Tribunal claims arising from unfair dismissal, age discrimination, race discrimination, sex discrimination, whistleblowing, maternity discrimination and transgender discrimination. Recent highlights include advising Premiere Coffee across 50 of its Costa Coffee stores in relation to day-to-day HR matters. It also represented ARAG in Employment Tribunal claims arising from insurance matters. Ian Grimshaw heads the team and has ‘encyclopaedic knowledge of the law’. He is supported by partner Jon Loney who is ‘a very competent lawyer with superb judgement’. Partner Karen Bussell is ‘very professional and hardworking’ and provides ‘pragmatic advice with the ability to understand complex scenarios very quickly’.

OTB Eveling advises corporate and commercial clients on TUPE, restructuring, redundancies, reorganisations, changes to terms and conditions, staff transfers and corporate transactional support. Senior associate Nathalie Ingles acted for Spirent Communications on the sale of Epitiro Group to a US business, which involved cross-border TUPE issues. Other highlights included representing Stagecoach East Midlands in an an unfair dismissal and disability discrimination claim, which was resolved in the client's favour. Team head Matthew Huddleson joined the firm from Foot Anstey.

Pardoes Solicitors LLP Taunton provides advice to employers and employees on contentious and non-contentious matters employment matters, including TUPE transfers, restructures, reorganisations, redundancies and high level exits. Client sectors include transport, insurance and aerospace engineering. The firm is part of the Hinkley Professional Services Group (PSG) which provides HR support to companies who supply to the Hinkley Point C construction project. It also advises Taylors Transport on general employment law and HR support. Other clients include Tods Aerospace, Somerset Skills and Learning, and Kings Square Dental Clinic. Maeve Vickery provides ‘good, clear and responsive communications’.

Porter Dodson LLP  provides advice to clients in aerospace, defence, charities, commercial and professional services, education, financial services and transportation sectors. It also provides niche advice to the care and medical sectors. It provides advice on HR issues, whistleblowing, discrimination litigation, unfair dismissal and represents clients in Employment Tribunals. The firm also represents employees with a particular focus on senior executives and GPs. The firm works with Somerset Local Medical Committee to keep practices up to date with employment law and is currently working on a tool to help with Care Quality Commission compliance. Adrian Poole who is ‘very down-to-earth and works with sound principles’ heads the team. The firm offers a service that is ‘uniformly good from the reception team to the senior partners’.

Tozers Solicitors LLP acts mainly for respondents, clients include commercial organisations in the retail, leisure, tourism, social housing and education sectors, and also public sector and charitable organisations. It advises on discrimination, dismissal, breach of contract, day-to-day employment matters and represents clients in Employment Tribunals and at EAT. It also provides advice to senior employees and directors for high-value claims. Recent highlights include successfully defending a claim of unfair dismissal and unequal pay against client Stonewater. Another highlight includes successfully appealing to the EAT with regards to a case of unfair dismissal and disability discrimination against client The Guinness Partnership. The team is ‘excellent in terms on alacrity of response, clarity of guidance and unparalleled industry knowledge’. Stephen Jennings heads the team and has the ‘ability to interpret and apply the theory to the practice within the industry’. Paul Kelly is also recommended.

Trowers & Hamlins LLP specialises in TUPE matters and also advises on disputes, senior staff exits, unfair dismissals, redundancies, discrimination, sexual harassment and due diligence. It also represents clients in Employment Tribunals and the EAT. Client sectors include healthcare, food and drink, leisure, manufacturing and charities. Recent highlights include representing ITS Asbestos in a breach of restrictive covenant claim, the claim was settled and monetary damages were recovered. Another highlight includes advising on a restructuring with provisions for pensions, governance, tax, redundancy, collective consultation, changes to terms and conditions and advising on the relocation and closure of offices. Key clients include Smiths (Gloucester), Otter Nurseries, FWS Carter & Sons, All Fleet Services, Grice Collins Long, London & Devonshire Trust and Inter-Line Building Supplies. John Turnbull heads the department and specialises in dismissal, redundancy and discrimination matters.

Health and safety

Index of tables

  1. Health and safety
  2. Leading individuals: Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals: Hall of Fame

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Health and safety clients in South West using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact


‘Market leaders in the South West’, Burges Salmon LLP advise clients on operational safety, governance, risk management, regulatory matters, safety authority investigations and prosecutions. It also advises commercial landlords and public sector clients on safety issues. Recent work includes acting for a construction company in relation to a Health and Safety Executive (HSE) investigation into a road bridge collapse, and representing a utility company in relation to a death of a member of the public who fell from a disused water tower. Food safety is a niche area for the practice; Sian Edmunds provides advice around issues including contamination, product liability and product recall. Ann Metherall heads the team and is ‘extremely competent in the field’. Chris Jackson advises on all aspects of safety compliance. Matt Kyle and Charlotte Whitaker are also recommended. Clients include The Crown Estate, London and South Eastern Railway, FirstGroup and John Lewis Partners.

DAC Beachcroft LLP has ‘a highly professional and very experienced team of specialist regulatory lawyers' who handle issues arising from corporate manslaughter, health and safety offences and environmental offences. The practice recently acted for a delivery company in a case where an employee was struck by a lorry resulting in a serious brain injury, and acted for Unite Students following an incident where a member of the public was struck by debris from cladding on one of its buildings. Richard Ottley heads the team and ‘leaves no stone unturned’. Consultant Neil Scott handles criminal and regulatory proceedings and specialises in health and safety prosecutions. Associate Ian Manners is ‘very professional, courteous and knowledgeable’.Caroline Harvey left the firm.

The ‘experienced, dedicated and highly efficient' practice at Lester Aldridge LLP is highly active in prosecution work on behalf of the Health & Safety Executive (HSE), Maritime & Coastguard Agency and local authorities such as Torbay Council. It also carries out defence work for commercial clients and public bodies in the marine, care and construction sectors. Recent work includes acting for the HSE in prosecuting Whirlpool UK Appliances following a death at its factory, and acting for the HSE in the prosecution of Synergy Housing, Aster Property and Orona in relation to the death of a child which occurred when using a lift at the family home. Michael Veal heads the team and is ‘a very impressive practitioner’ who is ‘adept at getting the best solutions for his clients’.

Osborne Clarke advises on high-profile investigations by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and police. This includes support in regulatory investigations, prosecutions, advisory and personal injury defence, incident investigation, inquest proceedings, criminal prosecutions and regulator interventions. The firm is increasingly focusing on mental health and has been advising clients on the topic. It also advises international clients in the impact of Brexit on health and safety liability and compliance. Mary Lawrence heads the practice and is ‘hugely experienced, down to earth and a pleasure to work with’. Senior associate Jo Forbes provides ‘excellent client care’ and Anna Lundy, who joined from Eversheds Sutherland, is ‘a fantastic addition to the team’. John McGovern joined the team as a consultant.

TLT advises clients on compliance, incident management, investigations and prosecutions by major regulators including the Health & Safety Executive (HSE), Environment Agency (EA), Local Authorities, BIS and the CMA. It also defends against complex, multi-jurisdictional prosecutions. Recent highlights include advising Glastonbury Festival in relation to a prosecution by the EA in which the client was accused of polluting a river with effluent. The client admitted breaching regulations but successfully argued that this did not constitute negligence. The practice also acted for WHSmith on the international recall of travel adaptors, which involved analysing safety reports and interacting with regulatory bodies in the UK, EU and other territories. Kerry Gwyther heads the team and specialises in fatal incident cases and representing clients at inquest. Other clients include Punch Taverns, Greene King, Severn River Crossing, Merlin Entertainments Group, Vertase FLI, Energy Savings Trust and Gaskell Waste.

Womble Bond Dickinson provides operational and enforcement advice in relation to identification of risks, strategic board-level advice, corporate governance, risk management, reputational issues and matters relating to international operations. The practice acted for the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) on the ongoing investigation and possible prosecutions arising from the explosions at Pembroke Oil Refinery in June 2011. It also acted for Carlsberg in a case arising from fatality and several serious injuries resulting from a leak of ammonia gas at one of its brewery locations. The firm has also been instructed by HSE in relation to its prosecution of Western Power Distribution, advising on expert evidence, disclosure and liaison with the police in relation to an employee fatality. Team head Jon Cooper is ‘one of the leading practitioners in the field’ and is ‘an excellent tactician’. He is supported by Womble Bond Dickinson, who specialises in the waste, construction, energy and manufacturing sectors.

Ashfords LLP provides advice to large corporations, small businesses and individuals who face prosecution. It has experience advising on fatalities, inquests, compliance and risk exposure reduction. The team provides support from the time an incident has occurred, through to trial and sentencing if applicable. Head of team Richard Voke is ‘excellent, has great judgment, is efficient and effective’, he also has ‘the unique insight of a former HSE inspector and prosecutor’. The team is supported by an in-house business regulatory consultancy which provides advice on gap analysis, risk assessments, and audit services.

Bevan Brittan LLP advises mainly public sector clients such as NHS trusts, ambulance trusts, local authorities and housing associations. It is adept a handling health and safety incidents that involve investigations by the police, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and Health and Safety Executive (HSE). It provides an emergency response service, strategic risk management, due diligence and training. Adam Kendall heads the department from Birmingham, while Simon Lindsay operates from the Bristol office and focuses on cases with police investigations and inquests. Senior associate Debbie Rookes advises on RIDDOR, reporting requirements, compliance and press strategy.

Browne Jacobson LLP represents public and private sector organisations in relation to fatal and non-fatal accidents, including cases of causing death by careless driving. It also advises insurers, health trusts and public bodies with regards to inquests and regulatory investigations. Recent highlights include defending several public and private sector organsiations against asbestos claims with RIDDOR implications. The practice also represented representing an individual accused of a number of offences in relation to the management of a care home. Clients include Ageas, AIG, Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service, Cornish Mutual and Tesco Insurance. Andy Hopkin heads the department from Nottingham and is supported by Nigel Lyons, who is ‘a superb navigator’ and ‘a very hard worker who keeps his eye on the ball and produces the best possible results’. Dale Collins focuses on regulatory crime, environmental and food safety issues.

Foot Anstey provides advice on risk management and operational matters, as well as liaising with external regulatory bodies and handling serious incidents, fatalities and inquests. It also has experience of conducting prosecutions on behalf of the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and Local Authorities. Practice head Nathan Peacey takes ‘a considered and pragmatic approach’ and is a ‘valuable asset in crisis situations’. He recently acted for Modus Workspace in relation to a workplace accident that involved life changing injuries. The team focuses on risk management and internal and external investigations and Chris Pritchett  is a recommended team member. Other clients include Royal Shakespeare Company, Eden Project, Livewell Southwest, BMW, Brend Hotels, Football Safety Officers' Association and NFU.

Michelmores LLP advises on work place fatalities, serious injuries, RIDDOR, HSE and police investigations. It also provides crisis management advice to minimise prosecution risk and represents clients at all points in the legal process. Key client sectors include agriculture, manufacturing, construction and real estate. The firm advises on policy and procedure reviews and training for large businesses. It also advises trustees in tandem with its employment and private client teams. Andrew Oldland QC heads the team and has experience of conducting prosecutions for the HSE.

Nash & Co focuses on defending prosecutions brought by regulatory bodies such as HSE, local authorities and South West Water. It has also conducted prosecution work for HSE in relation to industrial accidents. It advises businesses and employees in crisis situations. The team consists of partner Ian Veater and consultant Guy Walker .

VWV provides advice on compliance, governance issues, regulators, and contentious and non-contentious matters such as due diligence on corporate transactions. It also advises on internal and external investigations, reputation management, liability, compensation claims and reviewal of policies and procedures. The firm is adept at handling investigations by the HSE, local authorities, the Independent Schools Inspectorate, Ofsted, the CQC and the Charity Commission. It is mainly focused on the education sector, where it acts for clients including independent schools, maintained schools, academies, FE colleges and higher education institutions. Recent cases include historical abuse allegations, accidental deaths, asbestos issues, fire safety compliance and a Noise Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL) claim. Tabitha Cave heads the practice and focuses on governance issues, operational management, compliance and incident management. Senior associate Andrew Andrews joined from Freemans Solicitors and focuses on environmental matters, contentious regulatory issues, and food safety and hygiene matters.


Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Immigration clients in South West using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact


Burges Salmon LLP  advises employers on the full range of business immigration such as obtaining and maintaining sponsors’ licenses, immigration strategy, immigration audits and the prevention of illegal working, and advising on the immigration implications of corporate transactions and outsourcing arrangements. The firm also acts as representatives on the sponsor management system and advises on procedures and policies needed to ensure compliance with UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) requirements. It also advises high-net-worth individuals and their dependants on visa requirements often under the Tier 1 category. Suzanna Harvey has assisted EU nationals with immigration following the Brexit vote and also non-EU nationals with their immigration status. Roger Bull  heads the team and advised Wavepower on immigration strategy and in relation to a Tier 2 visa application. Clients include Computershare Investor Services, Insure & Go/Mapfre, Babcock International Group, Bank of Ireland, University of Bristol and Avon Rubber.

VWV Bristol advises on all aspects of immigration law across all sectors with a particular focus on services to technology companies and the education sector, acting for independent schools and higher education establishments. Consultant Matthew Burgess is particularly adept at assisting independent schools with Tier 4 compliance. Associate Judith Hockin  advises on all aspects of immigration such as family applications, appeals, judicial reviews and corporate immigration issues. Senior associate Tom Brett Young heads the team and specialises in advising employers on immigration and nationality law. Recent highlights include acting for a university to prevent its Tier 2, Tier 4 and Tier 5 sponsor licenses being revoked. The firm also assisted a high-net worth individual who wanted to invest money in a UK company.

Ashfords LLP advises on a full range of immigration issues including recruitment and employment issues for foreign nationals and non-contentious immigration issues for high-net worth individuals such as obtaining Tier 1 visas. It advises regional, national and international clients in applying for Tier 2 sponsorship and obtaining Tier 2 visas for overseas workers to work in the UK and also intra-company transfers. It also advises on employment-related immigration issues in corporate transactions as part of due diligence and post-acquisition. Another area of expertise is advising private individuals on applying for spousal visas. Senior associate Kirsty Cooke heads the team, she led in advising Techstars London on obtaining a Tier 2 Sponsor Licence. She also advised The Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust on all immigration issues including sponsor obligations, liaising with UKVI, documentation retention, and carrying out right to work checks. Clients include Penhaligon’s, Rathlin Energy and Teneo.

Clarke Willmott LLP provides immigration advice to businesses and also private clients in relation Tier 1 investor visas, marriage visas, permanent residency and naturalisation. It acts for a domestic and international client base and has a particular focus on Far East clients whom it advises through its China desk. The firm specialises in advising on routes for foreign migrants to enter the UK to establish a business or obtain permission to work for a subsidiary or foreign registered branch. Recent highlights include successfully obtaining a Tier 2 intra-company transfer visa for the commercial director of Bandai to its UK subsidiary. Partner Alex Jakubowski  heads the team and is supported by senior associate Tim Copplestone  who is ‘very sharp’ and 'sees solutions from different angles’. Clients include Jiangsu Guotai International Group Shanghai Import and Export, CityWest Homes, Kong Company and Alliants.


Index of tables

  1. Pensions
  2. Leading individuals

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Pensions clients in South West using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact


The ‘accessible, knowledgeable and responsive’ practice at Burges Salmon LLP  provides advices on all pensions matters for trustee and employer clients across the public and private sectors. Clients include AT&T, Honda, Siemens, Toshiba, Department for Education and UK Atomic Energy Authority. Clive Pugh acted successfully acted for the trustees of the Silentnight scheme in a Judicial Review brought against the Pensions Regulator in relation to the case. Partner Richard Pettit  advised Brunel Holdings Pension Scheme on one of the largest ongoing moral hazard investigations by the Pensions Regulator. Tim Illston advised on the merger of five legacy-defined benefit and hybrid pension schemes with a total value of over £1bn. The ‘knowledgeable, supportive and accessible’ Alice Honeywill advised University of Oxford Staff Pension Scheme on a large-scale benefit restructuring. The ‘experienced and knowledgeable’ Michael Hayes advised FirstGroup in relation to consolidation of its pension assets in to the local government pension scheme (LGPS). Susannah Young  advised the trustees of the Leonardo Pension Schemes in relation to its transition to a new administrator. Practice head Richard Knight and Justin Briggs are also recommended.

Osborne Clarke provides advice on corporate insolvency and public sector, private sector and third sector pensions. It advises on issues around the local government pension scheme (LGPS) including outsourcing, investment strategy, governance and benefit issues. It also deals with pensions disputes, complex pension scheme investment, investment and custodianship of scheme assets, private equity, currency hedging and corporate work involving pension schemes. Paul Matthews  led the team advising trustees of the Imperial Tobacco Pension Fund in relation to ongoing legal matters, day-to-day benefit queries, GDPR integration and benefit calculation queries. Jonathan Hazlett  heads the team and advised the trustees of the National Museum of Wales Pension Scheme in relation to changes to future service benefits, including a move to career average benefits. Mark Womersley  and Brent Wright , who is ‘a very high-level performer with great technical analysis', specialise in public sector pensions and LGPS matters. Alicia Cain  joined as senior associate

TLT  Bristol advises trustees and employers on all pension scheme types and asset-backed funding arrangements, innovative multinational restructurings and flexible buy-ins. It provides an extranet service to customers with interactive trust deed and rules, as well as governance compliance information. The firm has a particular focus on public sector pensions and advises on pensions investment and SIPPs and SSASs. Chris Crighton was promoted to partner and led in advising the UK branch of an international bank on complex funding arrangements with regards to its UK defined benefit pension scheme and also risk reduction exercises. Sasha Butterworth (who is ‘a pleasure to work with and always proactive in meetings’) heads the team and advises on all aspects of pension schemes, including scheme governance.

Foot Anstey provides advice on day-to-day penions issues, strategic advice, defined benefit and defined contribution pension schemes, significant rule consolidations, amendments and appointments. It is adept at at handling pension issues related to corporate transactions, restructures and moral hazard risks from the Pensions Regulator. The firm advises public and private sector clients such as Morgan Lloyd Administration Services (part of the Clifton Group), Somerset County Council, Plymouth City Council and Trustees of the St Loyes Foundation Pension and Life Assurance Scheme. Karen Bates heads the team and is supported by senior associate Helen Trethewey who advised Odeon Cinemas/UCI in relation to two final salary pension schemes. This included advising on appointing a new independent trustee and scheme amendments. She also led on providing pensions support to Vospers Motorhouse, this mainly related to governance regime.

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