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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 Europe, Middle East and Africa, the criteria for entry is to have been recognised by The Legal 500 as one of the elite leading lawyers for seven consecutive years. These partners are highlighted below and throughout the editorial.

Chapters Name Firm Section Work Area Firm ID Lawyer ID Office URL Lawyer URL

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


Top of the classBevan Brittan LLP provides ‘prompt and tailored’ employment advice to public sector bodies, including those from the health sector, local governments and housing associations, but also undertakes work for a broad range of clients from the private sector. The ‘excellent’ practice, which is ‘the equal of any in the field and better than most’, undertakes work in the voluntary and independent health and social care sector, and also acts for the NHS. The team’s expertise ranges from advising on performance management and governance to providing the full spectrum of operational and strategic employment law matters. Its local government service advises on, among other issues, robust staffing models, senior level disputes and departures (regularly handling politically sensitive senior level terminations), restructuring and redundancy programmes, and complex employment tribunal claims. Clients include Canada Life, the 2Gether NHS Foundation Trust and the London Borough of Wandsworth. London-based partner Jodie Sinclair heads the practice. Julian Hoskins led the advice to the board of an NHS Trust on the dismissal of a consultant who had been arrested for possession of indecent images of children. Sarah Lamont, who is recommended alongside ‘natural HR lawyer’ and associate Jane Wallenstein as a ‘brilliant lawyer’, defended 52 fire and rescue authorities against claims which alleged pension reforms to be discriminatory.

Bond Dickinson LLP provides ‘very good’ legal advice on major restructuring projects and industrial relations, and is also adept at handling high-profile litigation matters with multiple claimants. It was appointed by TSB to handle employment litigation and offer support on more general HR matters. Headed by Tim Woodward and Joanne Boyle, who are both ‘good at providing strategic commercial advice’, the team’s caseload shows a strong sector specialisation, with expertise in retail, financial services, insurance, energy and fast moving consumer goods. The Post Office, Sainsbury’s, Historic England, Plymouth Community Homes and GDS Publishing/GDS International are clients. Boyles is also recommended for ‘her approach to handling very complex claims’, such as the work done for Ernest Jones & H Samuel (Signet Trading) which the team advised on several tribunal claims, including zero value settlements, and assisted with complex HR and employment relations matters, notably regarding whistleblowing and discrimination. As employment panel advisor for AIG, the team provides employment advice and litigation support for businesses insured under AIG’s relaunched PrivateEdge Policy. Another highlight was advising TSB on complex and sensitive grievance matters and tribunal claims. The group is also noted for its Manager Training Programme, a front-line training aimed at improving performance and manage risk which is used by Cotswold Outdoor and Snow + Rock.

Burges Salmon LLP advises major employers across the UK on the full range of employment law. The practice is renowned for ‘displaying consummate knowledge and pragmatism’, combining an ‘overall excellent level of service’ with ‘strength in depth’. It has established a multijurisdictional network of independent law firms as part of its international strategy. Led by Chris Seaton and ‘clear, effective communicator’ practice head Roger Bull, the group defended John Lewis Partnership against complex claims of disability discrimination and unfair dismissal brought by a former employee, involving allegations against a large number of senior managers. Other highlights included advising Thomson Reuters on changes to its European Works Council, in particular on the implications of EU law and on the structure and operation of the Council, which is made up of union and other employee representatives from across Europe. The team excels at handling complex cross-border matters, such as advising BAE systems on a major project concerning the management of regulatory and security obligations, which required, under the leadership of Adrian Martin, the coordination of legal advice from 32 countries. It also advised Virgin Active on the employment issues arising from the sale of up to 35 gyms and health clubs, which involved the TUPE transfer of over 3,000 employees. Luke Boweryhas detailed knowledge and experience’. Clients include the Bank of Ireland and Mulberry.

DAC Beachcroft LLP provides a broad range of employment services to clients, including FTSE 100 companies, from a diverse range of sectors such as healthcare, insurance and public services. It has expertise in advising NHS health organisations and private health sector clients, representing large global insurers and acting for local authorities as well as regulatory bodies. Led by Alex Lock, the practice also handles complex advisory and transactional work. Katy Horner was involved in several recent high-profile matters, including representing the University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust in the Employment Appeal Tribunal Case of McTigue v University Hospital Bristol NHS Foundation Trust, and successfully defending the Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust against a rare application for ‘interim relief’ in respect of a former employee. In another Employment Tribunal-related highlight, the group represented North Bristol NHS Trust, in Nursing & Midwifery Council and another v Harrold, successfully securing a general civil restraint order against a claimant who had brought a large number of claims against the NHS Trust. Joanne Owers, who has ‘excellent listening skills’ and ‘delivers innovative and workable solutions, joined from Fox Williams LLP while Simon Lambert left to work for the Centregreat Group. Clients include Dixons Carphone and Zurich Insurance.

Osborne Clarke is adept at handling major cross-border employment matters, including matters involving complex jurisdictional questions. The practice works for clients from a variety of sectors, including digital business, energy and natural resources, real estate and infrastructure, retail, financial services, defence, manufacturing, bioscience and recruitment. The team has experience in handling complex claims before the Employment Tribunal and Employment Appeal Tribunal, also providing strategic advice to clients looking to receive business protection advice, including advice on team moves, restructurings and redundancy exercises. Another area of expertise is assisting with TUPE issues arising from the acquisition and disposal of companies and contract appointments. London-based Victoria Parry heads the practice. Julian Hemming led the advice to Indian company Tech Mahindra on British and Spanish employment law issues in relation to the client’s IT outsourcing deal with International Airlines Group. The practice further demonstrated its strength in cross-border matters when it provided US-American client Deckers Brands with coordinated advice on employment issues across its major European operations, including France, Germany, Holland, Belgium and Italy. Recent work includes advising Caledonia Investments on the employment aspects of its multimillion-pound acquisition of part of the business Gala Bingo, carrying out employment due diligence, advising on employment warranties and disclosures, as well as drafting and negotiating service agreements for the management team. Another highlight was advising Western Power Distribution on its HR and employment law issues for the Midlands, South West and Wales, including successfully representing the client at a number of Employment Tribunal Cases and advising on a range of TUPE issues. Paul Killen heads the practice. Greg Chambers was promoted to associate director. Senior associate Elizabeth Williamson joined Accenture.

TLT undertakes complex advisory work, including on issues relating to TUPE, large-scale reorganisations, whistleblowing, restrictive covenants and industrial relations. The team has experience in handling board-level exits as well as benefits scheme-related matters. ‘Star’ associate Siobhan Fitzgerald, who gives ‘unequivocal and balanced advice’, advised a large housing association on its negotiations with a trade union, interpreted the collective agreements with that union, and assisted with senior exits as well as with changes to key terms and conditions for the entire staff. Practice head Stuart McBride acted for Brothers Drinks Company on the employment aspects of its multimillion-pound acquisition of a historic cider production site, negotiating the provisions of the sale and purchase agreement. Another highlight was providing training and support on the new Senior Manager Regime for the in-house staff of two major high street retail banks, including advice on updating the contracts for senior staff and whistleblowing. The practice operates across a range of sectors, with a particular focus on retail, financial services and housing; clients include Imperial Tobacco, Sainsbury’s, the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime, and Symphony Housing. Esther Smith is ‘commercial’ and gives ‘business-focused advice’.

Ashfords LLP has vast experience in the retail and private healthcare sectors. The practice is adept at handling tribunal and High Court litigation, notably in disability discrimination claims, providing commercial and corporate business support. A particular area of strength is handling disability discrimination claims. Clients include recruitment group New Directions, ARAG and the Institute of Ecology. Bristol-based practice head Stephen Moore advised the Post Office on a range of matters, such as TUPE issues, the drafting of employment documents and negotiating settlement agreements. The team also acted for Bluebird Care in relation to potential and actual Employment Tribunal claims. It also regularly advises McDonald’s franchisees on all aspects of employment law, including potential and actual Employment Tribunal claims, disciplinary actions, drafting various staff and disciplinary policies, and immigration. The group was also instructed by a private individual to handle a whistleblowing, disability discrimination, and unfair dismissal claim, obtaining an outstandingly high £1,2m in tribunal awards.

Clarke Willmott LLP offers ‘excellent service’ in a combination of employment law and HR consultancy services. The ‘pragmatic’ team offers advice to a variety of clients, with a niche expertise in advising clients from the education and sports sectors. ‘Very experienced’ practice head Kevin Jonesprovides rock-solid employment advice’; his recent high-profile mandates include advising Bristol Rugby on the termination of their director of rugby, laying out the strategy for the termination and negotiating its terms. Sharon Latham heads the Bristol team and led on several key cases, including advising over 100 Post Office employees on settlement agreements following large-scale redundancies. Senior associate Tim Copplestone is ‘calm and authoritative’, provides ‘exceptional service’ and ‘knows what professional sports clients’ needs are’. He assisted a subsidiary of Jiangsu Guotai International Group with setting up a business platform in the UK for the European market, providing a broad range of services to the client, including business immigration and employment documentation advice, working with the practice’s Chinese counsellor. The group was also instructed by Bridgwater College to advise on its merger with Somerset College, handling all TUPE-related aspects, including due diligence, trade union consultation, warranties and indemnities, and the exit of the senior management team pre-merger. Post-merger, the practice advised on a significant reorganisation programme, involving collective consultations with trade unions and the work council.

The ‘very goodFoot Anstey provides ‘practical, supportive and prompt employment advice’ on strategic and operational issues to regional, national and international clients. The ‘succinct’ and ‘very personable’ Richard Neary specialises in acting for employers on matters ranging from the enforcement of covenants and consultations in the context of collective redundancies to TUPE transfers. The practice has experience in advising on the employment aspects of corporate acquisitions, contractual documentation, and changes to remuneration structures and their implementation, including carrying out large scale audits of HR operations. It represented Halfords in tribunal claims and acted for it on complex employment issues, including TUPE outsourcing. Another highlight was representing Hinduja Global Solutions UK in a series of tribunal claims and providing ongoing advice on employment law issues, particularly in relation to pension issues, including TUPE and public sector pension considerations. The team also assisted Hinduja with tactical advice on government contracts under public procurement and with two large-scale inward TUPE transfers. Clients include Kingfisher, Odeon Cinemas, Torbay Council, TNT and the Royal Shakespeare Company. Exeter-based Karen Bates heads the practice. Senior associate Nick Davies is recommended.

Thrings LLP is renowned for providing a very good level of service and ‘building good relationships with clients’. The team advises on contentious tribunal and High Court claims, provides strategic advice on the management and restructuring of companies, including high-value mergers, offers corporate support on the employment aspects of sales and acquisitions of companies, and has handled high-profile sensitive cases relating to gangmasters licensing as well as offences under the Modern Slavery Act. Particular areas of strength are discrimination claims, claims for injunctive relief in regard to team moves, board-level exit strategies, TUPE, and collective redundancies. Expertise also covers business immigration and employee relations. The practice has an online HR consultancy service. Practice head Kerrie Hunt has experience in handling unfair dismissal claims as well as disability discrimination claims, sexual harassment claims, and claims related to dismissal due to pregnancy or maternity. AirTanker Services, Dynamatic Limited UK, Centurycomm and Denhay Farms.

Recommended as ‘supremely efficient’ and ‘thorough as well as responsive’, VWV (Veale Wasbrough Vizards) has ‘a very well-respected’ educational employment practice, but also undertakes work for commercial clients, charities, and clients from the public sector. A particular specialism is advising on academy conversions. The team also acts for clients from the public sector, such as local authorities and emergency services, in high-value employment litigation. Other work for emergency services includes the interpretation of the regulations governing the Firefighters’ Pensions Scheme, handling industrial relations and restructurings, as well as day-to-day advisory work. Simon Bevan is ‘a relaxed and very commercial’, ‘enormously reassuring’ ‘go-to presence’, and practice head Gareth Edwards provides ‘very creative and successful strategies’. The ‘clever and commercialNaseem Nabi is ‘a good leader’, and Alice Reeve and Allison Cook are ‘well respected’. The group advised Haberdashers Monmouth Schools on complex employment tribunal claims of unfair dismissal and unlawful deduction from wages. Another highlight was successfully defending the Harpur Trust, a charity encompassing four independent schools, against an employment tribunal claim involving the calculation of holiday pay for term-time only workers and less favourable treatment on the grounds of part-time status.

Burroughs Day LLP is ‘well known for providing robust advice’ to both individuals and small to medium-sized enterprises. The practice undertakes work for individuals mostly in high-net-worth matters and complex cases, with a particular focus on work for non-unionised individuals. Its commercial clients are from a range of sectors, including construction, IT and charity, advising on the whole range of employment law services, including full HR support. Discrimination-related matters are a particular focus, acting in cases relating to age, sex, pregnancy and maternity, race, sexual orientation and gender reassignment. Another area of strength is representing clients in social care, dentistry and pharmacy, where the group handles safeguarding issues, carries out internal employment investigations and advises on all regulatory and employment issues. Practice head Julia Beasley is ‘tenacious and fights for her clients’.

Humphreys & Co. handles unfair dismissal and unlawful discrimination claims, disciplinary and other internal procedures, TUPE issues, and post-termination restrictions. The team is particularly strong in acting for claimants, but also represents respondents. The practice’s caseload includes advocacy in a variety of employment tribunal claims and it has experience in acting in High Court, County Court and Employment Appeal Tribunal cases. Practice head Stephen Burbidge is ‘clear and smart’, ‘adept at quickly understanding very complex scenarios’ and ‘offers a balanced perspective’.

Excellent’ boutique firm Menzies Law delivers ‘soundly commercial’ and ‘straightforward, pragmatic advice’ to clients from the manufacturing, education, logistics and facility management sectors. Further education colleges make up a large portion of the the client base. Practice head and director Luke Menzies has a reputation for providing advice that is ‘very clearly articulated’ and senior solicitor Anne-Marie Boyle is ‘a consummate professional’. The team has launched a gender pay gap and advice service. Recent work also includes advising South Downs College on major changes to its staff pay and other terms of employment. The group also supported the college during the ensuing strike by 170 lecturers, putting its knowledge in trade union and industrial action law to good use. Barrister Joanne Sefton led in defending South Gloucestershire and Stroud College in a constructive dismissal Employment Tribunal case with high reputational risks for the client.

Employment: Dorset and South Wiltshire

Index of tables

  1. Employment: Dorset and South Wiltshire
  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: 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


Dutton Gregory LLP provides specialist advice on harassment, occupational stress and related employment claims. The practice is renowned for its experience in handling high-profile discrimination cases, pursuing them tenaciously and ‘with complete commitment to its clients’. Particular areas of strength are advising on disability, sexual harassment and race discrimination claims. Practice head Nick Hanning has ‘a wealth of experience which is difficult to rival’, offers ‘very straightforward, honest and to the point’ advice and ‘has very good knowledge in bullying and harassment’ claims. He is ‘one of the leading employment and discrimination lawyers in the South West of England’. Sheila Johns joined Integrex Solutions.

Lester Aldridge LLP fields ‘a well-managed team’, which is ‘responsive and quick’ and provides advice on a broad range of employment law issues, from collective redundancy procedures to disciplinary matters, the employment aspects of business restructurings and day-to-day issues. The team has a particularly strong focus on clients from the care sector, such as large regional care providers. Another area of expertise is advising on employment issues in insolvency-related matters; it acts on administrations and LPA receiverships as well as TUPE issues arising from the sale of insolvent businesses. Headed by Catharine Geddes, the practice is renowned for its ‘clarity in guidance’ and ‘very strong, detailed knowledge’. Evans is ‘excellent on all employment matters, particularly TUPE’ and Geddes provides ‘a highly valued safety net for clients’. Recent highlights include advising a professional communications and publishing company on an internal reorganisation and the potentially ensuing redundancies of staff working on differing contract terms. Another highlight was advising a Curtiss Wright company in relation to a collective redundancy procedure which involved a relocation of some of the work to a subsidiary in Germany. The matter required the team to advise the client on the prospect of success of potential claims by 25 employees who had contacted ACAS for the purpose of making claims of unfair dismissal and failure to inform and consult in relation to collective redundancy and TUPE.

Steele Raymond LLP regularly acts for claimants and also specialises in advising employers on a broad variety of employment matters, with particular strength in advising on major policy considerations. It is increasingly handling contentious discrimination claims for claimants as well as respondents, and also provides advice on whistleblowing matters. Other areas of expertise include acting in commercial disputes which involve crossovers between employees, shareholders and directors, handling TUPE transfers, and advising on potential injunctive proceedings in relation to breaches of restrictive covenants. Solicitor Amy Cousineau Massey, who specialises in discrimination and whistleblowing matters, joined from Coles Miller Solicitors LLP as practice head. Managing partner Peter Rolph has particular experience in advising on exit packages and the enforcement of post termination restrictions.

Wilsons handles all aspects of employment law, contentious as well as advisory, and acts mostly for employers. The practice’s areas of expertise cover restructurings, senior management appointments and exits, the protection of organisations through enforcement of business restrictions, as well as employee relations, including disputes. Other areas of strength include advising on discrimination, whistleblowing, safeguarding and employment-related data protection law issues. The practice’s client base is varied and contains listed companies, wealth and asset managers, partnerships, owner-managed businesses, senior executives and managers but also charities, rural estates, schools and academies. Practice head Anthony Edwards has experience in advising employers and employees, in particular on TUPE-related matters, restrictive covenants and post-termination protection, but also advises employees recruitment issues, disputes and exits at executive level.

Blanchards Bailey LLP advises clients who come mostly from the agricultural sector, with particular strength in advising family-run businesses, in particular on management and ownership succession, but also on structuring and restructuring issues. The practice’s expertise covers contentious and non-contentious employment law including TUPE, unfair dismissal, whistleblowing, unfair dismissal, settlement agreements and contractual disputes; it also offers a HR consultancy service. Paul Dunlop heads the practice. Recent highlights include defending a client accused of professional misconduct by the Health & Care Professions Council, and advising a midsized construction company on overhauling the staff handbook as well as updating the company’s policies, which included putting a data protection policy in place and revising director’s service agreements. The practice also provides ongoing HR advice to Chafyn Grove, a private school in Salisbury, including disciplinary cases, grievance issues, and long term health cases. Clients include both employers and employees.

Ellis Jones Solicitors LLP provides advice to employers and employees in relation to all aspects of employment law and HR matters, including breach of contract, dismissals for capability reasons, data protection, director’s service agreements, disciplinary action and grievance procedures, trade unions, and whistleblowing. Settlement agreements are a particular area of strength. The team is adept at assisting employees with Permanent Health Insurance (PHI) benefits, mostly through Unum, including applications to the Ombudsman, and negotiations with the client’s employer and Unum. Practice head Kate Brooks was promoted to senior associate. Recent highlights include defending a client against an employment appeal tribunal claim in a dispute relating to national minimum wage during sleep in shifts and advising the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra in relation to a number of employment law issues, including advising on how to change the contractual terms through collective bargaining with the Musicians Union and on how to exercise parts of the collective agreements incorporated in the contractual terms. The team also assisted Aerotech Precision Engineering with introducing an appraisal process, from preparing the appraisal specifically for the needs of the client to carrying out the appraisals alongside the client’s operations director and finally preparing a report to the board of directors including recommendations out of the appraisals. Other clients include Quantum Marketing and Windfall Drinks.

Frettens LLP provides a ‘high standard’ of advice to employers, mostly small to medium-sized enterprises. It has strong expertise in advising clients from the care sector and offering employment advice in relation to company sales and acquisitions. The team provides day-to-day HR support to clients such as Sandown Mercedes Benz, A.L. Younger, Peeks the Event Makers and Bond Williams Professional Recruitment. The practice also has experience in advising on employment issues in relation to business reorganisations, including handling ensuing redundancies and senior management exits. Practice head and associate Paul Burton is ‘very helpful in all aspects’ and delivers ’pragmatic, clear and useful advice’. He is ‘particularly good at identifying training needs within organisations’. Kate Fretten handles contentious and non-contentious employment matters, but has particular expertise in non-contentious matters such as senior executive recruitment and severance. The practice has advised Jewish Care on a number of Employment Tribunal claims relating to unfair dismissal and discrimination. Affinity Care instructed the team to handle several disciplinary and grievance issues.

Kemp Jones Solicitors LLP is an employment law boutique that acts mostly for employers, but also advises senior managers and directors. The team handles disciplinary procedures, dismissals, grievances, redundancies, as well as maternity and paternity leave issues. It also advises on matters relating to contracts and handbooks, TUPE, boardroom disputes, restrictive covenants and discrimination cases. The practice has experience of acting in the Employment Tribunal and the Employment Appeal Tribunal. The very varied client roster includes Cobham Aviation Services, Biome Technologies, Hoburne Holiday Parks, and Whitehaven Harbour Commissioners.

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 advises on the full spectrum of employment law, both contentious and non-contentious, providing ‘strong advice’ that shows ‘a clear understanding’ of the needs of a business. It has experience in handling complex tribunal and High Court claims relating to restrictive covenants, has particular expertise in restructurings, including sensitive boardroom restructurings, outsourcing, as well as TUPE issues, and regularly advises high-level executives on severance issues. The practice acts for many clients from the manufacturing sector, leveraging its experience in handling trade union issues and collective agreements. It was reappointed to the Interserve panel. Equity partner Lisa Gettins, who heads the team, which also includes Tim Gofton, senior associate Sarah Lee and newly promoted partner Heyma Holmes, ‘has a wealth of technical experience and knowledge’ and provides ‘an excellent level of service’. Recent highlights include advising Interserve Defence on handling a sensitive issue following a redundancy exercise related to the client’s outsourced cleaners at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Omega Resource Group, PureGym, and Howard Tenens are other clients.

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP provides employment advice ‘with the highest level of professionalism’, delivering an ‘outstanding service’ across the full range of employment law, from general HR advice to corporate reorganisations and business transfers. It is adept at representing clients before the Employment Tribunal and has experience in High Court litigation. A particular area of strength is advice to listed companies on complex board structure and corporate governance issues. The team is experienced in handling multijurisdictional matters, including global mobility, business protection, global severance negotiation, cross-border employment disputes and the employment aspects of cross-border transactions. Clients are drawn from the retail, leisure, charities, and agriculture sectors, with a particular focus on advising employers and high-net-worth individuals. ‘Very impressive’ and ‘outstanding’ practice head Sarah Jane Brostoff ‘combines a friendly manner with a razor sharp brain’. Legal director Sara Wilson, who is ‘compassionate, flexible and clear’ and is noted for having immense knowledge of relevant case law, has expertise in the healthcare sector. The practice’s recent caseload includes advising Sotheby’s on the closure of the final salary pension scheme and the transition of all employees into the defined contribution section of the scheme. Another highlight was assisting Cats Protection with several strategic issues, including the workforce structure and the terms and conditions for different staff levels. THB Group, Calcot Health and Leisure, RAF Benevolent Fund, and Immedia are other clients.

Harrison Clark Rickerbys advises on a broad range of employment law matters, with equal pay, discrimination and whistleblowing being particular areas of expertise. It acts for employers from the corporate, public and third sectors, with clients including large multi-nationals but also start-ups, SMEs and charities. The practice has experience in advising on employment matters related to senior executives, in particular on senior-level exit packages. It also has sector strength in education, with two partners focusing on employment advice for schools and academies. Jenny Jones is the head of the team which now includes consultant Mark Gray, who joined from Slater and Gordon. Recent highlights include defending Pertemps Recruitment Partnership in a claim brought by an employee for unfair dismissal, unlawful deduction of wages, as well as age, race and marital discrimination, successfully striking out all the claims at the preliminary hearing. British Airways, Network Pertemps Group and Spirax Sarco are clients. Emilie Darwin made partner in April 2017. Matt Jenkin joined Moorcrofts LLP.

Royds Withy King advises clients from a number of industries, including professional services, manufacturing, technology, electronics, transportation and retail. The ‘excellent’ practice has a particular focus on advising clients from the social care sector, reinforced with the recruitment of James Sage from Burroughs Day LLP. It acts mostly for employers, from large plcs to small owner-managed businesses, advising on large- scale redundancies including collective consultations, complex TUPE transfers and high-value restructuring processes involving a numerous employees. The team also has experience in advising on local authority tenders. Work for employees focusses on discrimination claims. The ‘fantastic’, ‘efficient and knowledgeable’ Malcom Gregory heads the practice. Solicitor Olivia Coles is ‘excellent’ and recommended alongside Richard White as ‘extremely helpful’. Senior associate Lauren Harkin is another key contact. Clients include Airsprung Group, Blue Marlin Brand Design, Churchill Investments, and Salters Hill Charity.

Stone King LLP acts mostly for clients from the education, charity and social enterprise sectors, advising state-funded and independent schools as well as commercial clients and high-net-worth individuals. It has in-depth knowledge of transforming schools into academies and assists a very large number of these academies, including multi-academy trusts and large academy chains, with ongoing legal HR advice. The team’s expertise in the education sector includes assisting with teacher’s terms and conditions, with a particular focus on pay awards and appeals, acting in trade union disputes including strike action as well as actions short of strike, and advising on matters relating to Teachers’ Pension Scheme, child protection, safeguarding and capability processes. Its work for clients from the charity and social enterprise sector focuses mostly on issues relating to senior management, while advice to commercial clients consists of supporting businesses with the employment-related issues in business transactions, such as employee contract drafting issues and TUPE consultation. The group also acts for directors and shareholders who are in conflict with their employers. Practice head Nick Watson has represented several schools and academies in claims brought by employees seeking to extend the sick pay afforded by the Sick Pay Scheme to absences caused by work-related stress. The team also advised several multi-academy trusts on CEO contract matters.

Willans LLP provides ‘appropriate, sensible’ advice on a broad range of employment issues. The practice has a particular focus on acting for technology and high-end engineering companies, but also advises charities, especially on sensitive matters such as senior-level exits. The practice is adept at advising employers on complex redundancy and restructuring exercises, and also has experience in advising on TUPE transfers, non-compete restrictions and the protection of confidential business information. Practice head Matthew Clayton, who ‘provides calm, measured and commercial advice’, defended Warner’s Retail Group in an employee claim regarding the relation of the increase of the basic rate of pay and the payment of weekend supplements. Other highlights included assisting IRESS FS with a complex transfer of staff between IRESS and one of its customers under TUPE. The team demonstrates strength in whistleblowing claims, for example when it advised Lilian Faithfull Homes on a claim made by a former employee who alleged that she had been dismissed for whistleblowing. Moog Controls instructed the practice to assist with the legal terms of a golden parachute agreement for a member of staff taking up a post in the USA, taking into consideration similar agreements in US law.

Lodders Solicitors LLP advises employers and employees on the full gamut of employment law, providing contentious and non-contentious services. It is particularly adept at acting for senior directors, high-net-worth individuals and former sportsmen. The team has in-depth knowledge of termination issues, in particular exit packages, in relation to senior employees, directors and stakeholders. The employment aspects of complex reorganisations and multi-party TUPE matters, in particular during transactions and redundancies, are another area of strength. The practice is also regularly instructed by the owners of privately owned as well as family-owned businesses. Practice head Nick Rowe assisted Bamboo Technology Group with the departure of an employee and successfully defended it against claims for unfair dismissal, breach of contract, as well as sex and disability discrimination. Other highlights included advising Athlete Career Transition, a business supporting elite athletes with their transition from sport to business, on general contractual matters, such as the terms of engagement with the client’s athletes and business partners, and acting for it in negotiations with the Welsh Rugby Union regarding the terms of engagement of a partnership with the Union. The team’s recent caseload also includes advising a mid-sized telecoms company on the dismissal of a senior sales person because of gross misconduct, and assisting a large sporting and entertainment provider with discrimination policies and procedures.

Mogers Drewett LLP advises employers and employees on a broad range of contentious and non-contentious employment law issues. The practice’s work for employees focusses on pre-contentious work for senior level employees. It provides HR support for employers and areas of expertise range from Employment Tribunal disputes to drafting contracts and HR policies. The team advises on dismissals, exit packages, but is also experienced in handling collective issues, restructurings and redundancies, restrictive covenant disputes and the employment aspects of commercial transactions. Practice head Sean McDonough advised a chemical engineering firm on organisational changes, including redesigning the management and shop floor organisational structures and drafting new contracts and procedures. Another highlight was assisting a software company with the restructuring of its UK management team, including implementing three agreed senior level exits.

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 undertakes work in the full range of employment law, acting in both contentious and non-contentious matters. It is adept at handling tribunal litigation for local authorities and has experience in handling TUPE matters in relation to business sales, insolvency sales, and in private sector outsourcing projects for multinational companies. Another area of strength is advising on the HR and employment law aspects of international share purchases. The team, led by Bristol-based partner Stephen Moore, consists of ‘highly effective, very responsive, practical advisors’. Charles Pallot, who has ‘enormous breadth of knowledge and experience’, assisted Viridor Waste Management with a complex collective redundancy consultation process, and acted for national brewery group C&C Group on all the employment aspects of the disposal of its remaining business at the Shepton Mallet Cider Mill. This latter highlight included supporting the client in its relationship with unions and negotiating complex TUPE and related risk sharing issues. The practice is also representing the Royal Devon & Exeter NHS Foundation Trust in a complex claim for alleged constructive dismissal and disability discrimination brought forward by a former employee. ‘Highly practical’ senior associate Kirsty Cooke, whose case preparation is ‘second to none’, and ‘thorough’ legal director Su Apps are ‘clear and succinct’ as well as ‘very experienced and true specialists’. Clients include Mylan Group, HelloFresh, and Somerset Larder.

Clarke Willmott LLP provides employers ‘very good and commercially minded’ employment law advice on a broad range of issues, ranging from large-scale business restructuring to unfair dismissal and discrimination claims. It also offers a combined employment law and HR consultancy service. The ‘extremely strong’ practice demonstrates strength in acting for clients from the agricultural sector and is adept at representing clients before the Employment Tribunal and Employment Appeal Tribunal and has experience in handling reputation-sensitive matters, including investigations and disciplinary procedures. It has experience in resolving matters through ACAS procedures. Bristol-based Kevin Jones heads the practice. The ‘energeticKate Gardner has ‘good business acumen’ and specialises in advising clients from the education and agricultural sectors, advising on disability and race discrimination claims, complex TUPE issues and agricultural occupancy rights. Associate Sarah Driscoll has ‘very good knowledge’ of her field.

Foot Anstey has in-depth knowledge of the employment law aspects of board level disputes and departures, as well as of restructuring arrangements including TUPE matters. It is adept at acting in complex discrimination tribunal claims and also advises on post-termination restrictive covenant issues. Clients include Kingfisher, Screwfix, DAS Insurance and Torbay Council. Karen Bates heads the practice following the departure of Matthew Huddleson to OTB Eveling in April 2017. Patrick Howarth recently represented Screwfix in five Employment Tribunal claims, some of which were particularly complex. The group also handled a series of matters for Halfords, which included advising the retailer on senior level exits, restructuring, salary as well as incentive issues, implementing new apprenticeship arrangements and tribunal litigation. James Collings, alongside Howarth, assisted Odeon Cinemas with intra-group secondments, cinema relocations, service provision changes, implementing the apprenticeship levy and the employment aspects of its sale to AMC Theatres.

Michelmores LLP provides employment law advice for a mix of private and public sector clients, in particular those active in the health and education sectors. It has experience in advising on the full range of contentious and non-contentious employment law, including senior executive termination matters, breach of covenant injunction claims, TUPE outsourcing issues, and high-profile discrimination and whistleblowing tribunal litigation matters, with particular strength in advising on the implementation of external investigations into such allegations. The practice was appointed to the National Police Legal Framework Panel to provide employment law support to the Metropolitan Police Service (Met) and a large number of other police and related public bodies nationally. Work undertaken for the Met included the defence of unfair dismissal and discrimination tribunal claims. Andrew Tobey heads the practice. James Baker has experience in advising on complex safeguarding claims and matters involving allegations of bullying, harassment and victimisation. Consultant Nikki Duncan is ‘a great tactician’ and has experience in handling sensitive and complex matters relating to the health sector. Clients include Enotria & Coe, the South Devon Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, and Carey Group.

Stephens Scown LLP is ‘a leader in the employment field’ that has ‘the resources needed to be able to deal with all queries’. The ‘excellent’ practice fields a team of ‘very knowledgeable, but practical’ lawyers who handle complex and high-profile employment issues relating to corporate matters and also conduct litigation work, including whistleblowing and discrimination cases as well as representations in front of professional regulatory body hearings. The team’s two Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD)-certified HR professionals offer HR support to employer clients. The ‘first-rate’ practice has particular expertise in advising clients from the engineering, manufacturing and hi-tech sectors, but also acts for clients from a range of other industries. The ‘outstanding’ Terry Falcao, who is ‘very experienced and confident’, acted for German company BOWA Electronics on the employment aspects of a major purchase of share capital, which involved handling TUPE matters, hive-out redundancies, restrictive covenants, and due diligence. The ‘highly skilled’ Verity Slater, who ‘gives practical advice with clear recommendations and options’, advised Cornwall College Group on a number of issues, including disciplinary matters, restructuring and the harmonisation of terms of employment after the acquisition of Bicton College. Other highlights included defending a client against claims of unfair dismissal after a protected conversation with two employees and advising CMS Network on drafting and negotiating a postal and courier service outsourcing agreement with Time Inc.

Bond Dickinson LLP specialises in advising clients from the retail, financial services, insurance, energy and fast-moving consumer goods sectors. It is adept at handling restructuring and disciplinary matters, and offers day-to-day HR and employment law advice to employers. The practice was appointed to the AIG panel to advise several thousand insured businesses under the relaunched AIG PrivateEdge Policy, acting for them in employment litigation matters and providing general employment support. Bristol-based practice head Tim Woodward supports Plymouth Community Homes in its litigation, also providing strategic advice and assisting with complex grievance matters. The team also advised Meat and Livestock Commercial Services, an Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board subsidiary, on significant TUPE issues and contracts at a number of abattoirs, also acting for it in several tribunal claims arising from TUPE transfers. Other recent highlights include successfully representing E-ACT, an independent academy sponsor for 24 state-funded academies across the country, in litigation claims for disability discrimination and unfair dismissal, and advising B&Q on a large volume of employment litigation, ranging from simple tribunal cases to complex and brand-sensitive cases, including successfully defending a disability discrimination action as well as whistleblowing and unfair dismissal allegations. The Post Office, Plymouth University and Sainsbury’s are other clients.

The ‘excellent’ and ‘very attentive’ team at Kitsons LLP provides employment law advice and HR support to a broad client base, with a particular focus on the education, healthcare, construction, leisure and tourism sectors. It has experience in handling senior-level exits as well as redundancy and restructuring processes, including attending collective consultation negotiations with trade unions, acting in whistleblowing claims and settlement agreements, and assisting with the employment law aspects of company mergers, share sales, and transfers of assets, in particular TUPE-related matters. Advising clients from the education sector on dismissals and complaint processes, including providing support to the respective governing bodies, is another area of strength. Other areas of expertise range from advising on investigations in relation to competing business activities of employees to providing ongoing advice and HR support to clients. Rhodri Davey heads the team. Jayme Nicholson is ‘very knowledgeable’ and ‘very commercial in her thinking’. Clients include The Guild of Construction Workers, Duchy Group and Qualitest Software Testing.

Battens Solicitors Limited provides general day-to-day employment advice, but specialises in disciplinary grievances and disciplinary advocacy as well as in TUPE, restructurings and redundancy processes. It also has expertise in specialist employment contracts, including apprenticeship arrangements, bespoke commission and bonus policies, annualised or flexible hours clauses as well as service occupancy arrangements. Through its Employment Law and HR service, the team also delivers ongoing support to business clients, from advice on equal opportunities to issues relating to maternity leave and pay and shared parental leave. There is a strong focus on providing pre-litigation and preventative advice to employers, including performance management, directorship issues and termination negotiations. The team also assists employees with severance arrangements, internal employment issues such as discrimination issues, sickness absences and exit negotiations. Senior associate Dawn Gallie, who heads the department, is ‘a remarkable lawyer’ and ‘a credit to her profession’.

Nash & Co has ‘a strong reputation’, mostly focusing on providing employers with HR support, advising them on collective redundancies and handling TUPE procedures. It also acts in Employment Tribunal, Employment Appeal Tribunal and Court of Appeal matters. Managing partner Jon Loney is very experienced in trade union recognition, employee relation issues and restructuring. ‘Very commercially minded’ practice head Ian Grimshaw has ‘vast knowledge’ and a track record of handling large scale redundancies and multi-jurisdiction outsourcings. Karen Bussell has a reputation for preparing her cases ‘thoroughly and realistically’ and specialises, among other things, in advising high-net-worth employees on contractual terms negotiations and settlement agreements. Clients are mostly charities, manufacturing SMEs, and hotel, leisure or retail businesses, but also include schools, care homes and professional services providers. Oggy Oggy Pasty and the Cattewater Harbour Commission are clients.

Pardoes Solicitors LLP is a regional practice with a very good reputation for providing ‘advice that comes from an in-depth position of expertise and knowledge’. It advises employers and employees, in particular from the transport and insurance sector, on a broad range of contentious and non-contentious employment issues. The practice has a particular focus on handling transactional issues, TUPE-matters related to acquisitions and sales, as well as restructurings and business reorganisations, including redundancy processes. It was appointed to the Hinkley Professional Services Group to provide HR support to companies wanting to supply the Hinkley Point C construction project. The team also has experience in handling TUPE issues related to the acquisition of licensed premises as well as in advising on high-level exit scenarios for clients from both the public and the private sector. Practice head Maeve Vickery is ‘extremely knowledgeable’ and ‘highly professional’.

Porter Dodson LLP provides niche advice to employers from the care and medical sectors on all aspects of employment law, but also undertakes work for employees. It has particular expertise in advising on complex whistleblowing and discrimination claims and successfully represents respondents in tribunals. The team provides day-to-day HR advice for a variety of businesses ranging from manufacturers and professional services providers to care homes and GP surgeries, which it also advises on compliance with Care Quality Commission standards. It is adept at advising on disciplinary and grievance matters, and expertly handles issues relating to underperformance and sickness absences. Another area of strength is post-termination restrictive covenants, including enforcement action. Practice head Adrian Poole acted for a claimant in multiple whistleblowing detriment claims against an employer from the medical sector.

Tozers Solicitors LLP acts for commercial clients and charities, almost exclusively for respondents, but also undertakes work for clients from the public sector and senior employees. The ‘excellent’ and ‘extremely professional’ team has a particular focus on the housing sector, acting for a number of registered housing providers in relation to senior level exits, proposed mergers and day-to-day HR support. The team’s expertise also covers advising holiday and residential caravan parks as well as hotels. Stephen Jennings heads the practice and is ‘a calming influence’. The team’s recent caseload includes defending security and training company Mabway against a claim alleging breach of the minimum wage legislation, and advising The Guinness Partnership on a claim alleging multiple breaches of law, including unfair dismissal, whistleblowing, breach of data protection legislation, disability discrimination and breach of the Human Rights Act. Another highlight was successfully defending housing association Alliance Homes against a claim for unfair dismissal. Paul Kelly is recommended.

Trowers & Hamlins LLP is very adept at handling TUPE-related matters, including creating TUPE strategies and advising on high-value TUPE transfers. It regularly acts for registered providers on sensitive and high-value issues, supporting a large number of registered providers in particular during transformation processes. The team also supports charities and social enterprises with advice on disputes and exits of senior employees and excels in changing employment contract terms, in particular for clients in the care sector. Other areas of expertise include restructurings, including collective consultations, and defending clients against discrimination claims, in particular highly sensitive discrimination claims for sex, pregnancy, disability and age. John Turnbull heads the practice. ITS Western, Otter Nurseries, the London & Devonshire Trust, and Inter-Line Building Supplies are clients.

Health and safety

Index of tables

  1. Health and safety
  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 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


Bond Dickinson LLP is ‘one of the leading firms in the country in health and safety work’. It delivers strategic board-level advice, such as project planning and the identification of risks, but also assists clients with corporate governance issues, supply chain management risks and standardisation procedures. The team also assists clients with compliance issues and enforcement advice, among other things handling investigations and prosecutions brought by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and other enforcement bodies. Practice head Jon Cooper is ‘a leading solicitor in the country’ and ‘a very persuasive negotiator’, and managing associate Stephen Panton has ‘huge experience in all types of regulatory work’. Under Cooper’s lead, the team is advising the HSE on the ongoing investigation and potential prosecutions arising from the explosions at Pembroke Oil Refinery in 2011. Other highlights include advising Babcock Integrated Technology on a number of issues in relation to the death of a contractor’s employee at the client’s premises, including handling the internal investigation, advising on potential offences of corporate manslaughter by the police, and assisting with the investigation of health and safety offences by the HSE, establishing that any breach on the part of the client was not causative to the fatality. General Motors and Northern Powergrid are other clients.

Burges Salmon LLP’s team of ‘true specialists’ provides advice of ‘the highest standard’ and delivers a ‘truly excellent service’. It demonstrates particular strength in advising clients from the transport and construction sectors, but also has experience in supporting clients from the chemical, food and farming, advanced engineering, manufacturing and renewables industries. Ann Metherall heads the ‘top class’ practice and has ‘massive experience of the rail industry’. She successfully defended a food manufacturer in a HSE investigation arising from an accident involving a vulnerable adult visitor to the client’s manufacturing site. The team is also advising a train operating company on a complex prosecution brought by the Office of Rail and Road, including advice on the relation between a dutyholder and its contractor concerning health and safety issues. Another highlight was supporting a trade association with the drafting of guidance for key stakeholders on race day risk assessments, which involved knowledge of the regulations and guidance produced by the sport’s governing bodies as well as of relevant health and safety legislation. The practice also advised the managing director of a large company on the scope of the Maritime Accident Investigation Branch and the Maritime Coastal Agency investigatory process in relation to a fatality during a fire on a vessel. Chris Jackson specialises in the full range of safety compliance. Senior associate Matt Kyle’s ‘previous experience in the police is invaluable’.

DAC Beachcroft LLP is ‘regarded as being in the top tier of insurance-backed defence work’. It provides an ‘exceptional’ level of service and has ‘in-depth knowledge’ of the health and safety sector. Areas of expertise range from advising on product and environmental risk to high-profile fatal health and safety cases. The team focusses on work in the construction, manufacturing, retail and healthcare sectors and has in-depth knowledge of undertaking work for major insurance companies, regularly acting for large national and international businesses. Richard Ottley heads the team, supported by deputy head and associate Ian Manners. Consultant Neil Scott has experience in a wide range of regulatory proceedings, particularly health and safety prosecutions. Manners defended a company in a prosecution relating to a fatality caused by a fall from height at warehouse premises, representing the client at the inquest. Other highlights include acting for the managing director of a haulage company who had been charged with four counts of manslaughter and advising Keepmoat on incident investigations, enforcement matters and providing employee health and safety advice and training.

Lester Aldridge LLP’s ‘highly professional and expert’ lawyers undertake both prosecution and defence work, acting for the HSE, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, and local authorities such as Torbay Council, also advising commercial clients, in particular from the marine, construction and care sectors. The practice is noted for having ‘a wealth of experience’ and being ‘on top of its game’. Practice head and ‘seasoned proMichael Veal is ‘highly experienced and extremely knowledgeable’ with ‘encyclopaedic knowledge of both the law and procedure that will apply to it’ while being ‘practical and realistic in his approach to cases’. He ‘invariably demonstrates excellent judgement’. The team is extremely experienced in conducting prosecutions for the HSE, such as the prosecution of the St James Group and two others in relation to the collapse of a platform during construction of a tower block in Putney causing one fatality and two serious injuries. It also prosecuted the Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust in relation to the death of a patient after falling from a hospital trolley. Other work for the HSE includes prosecuting the St Austell Education Trust following an injury of a student in a science lesson and prosecuting Babcock DSG following the serious injury of a worker.

Osborne Clarke advises on high-profile national HSE and police investigations, acting mostly for clients in high-risk sectors, such as transport, energy and utilities, construction and infrastructure. The deep team is adept at providing advisory and litigation services, from liaising with the police and HSE to contractual management issues and reviews of policies and procedures, including large compliance reviews involving jurisdictions from Europe, the Middle East and Africa. It excels at risk management, including early board briefing, PR and HR management, and increasingly undertakes work in the mental health sector. Another area of expertise is advising global businesses on the health and safety aspects of their UK operations, coordinating health and safety advice across jurisdictions, and giving strategic advice at senior and board level. Practice head Mary Lawrence is highly regarded among peers and was promoted to partner. She has experience in advising on niche health and safety issues, such as guidance on high security environments with potential hostage situations and political instability. Senior associate Jo Forbes joined from DAC Beachcroft LLP and Katie Vickery joined from Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP.

TLT advises corporate clients, directors and individuals on a broad range of health and safety issues, with particular expertise in handling complex multi-jurisdictional prosecutions. The ‘outstanding’ team advises clients on the improvement of their policies, including advice in relation to driving at work and on noise abatement. Asbestos-related health and safety issues, such as handling contribution claims for asbestos exposure and asbestos management, are particular areas of strength, as are product safety matters, including health and safety regulations around advertisement promotions and the classification of products as medicinal products. The practice regularly undertakes work for national pub companies. Practice head Kerry Gwyther, who provides ‘good tactical advice’, has experience in handling investigations and prosecutions from a variety of regulatory bodies, including the HSE, the Environment Agency, the Office of Fair Trading, the Department of Trade and Industry, Trading Standards and the Food Standards Agency. Clients come from a broad range of sectors, including environmental remediation, charities, waste management, energy and transport. The practice’s client list includes Glastonbury Festivals, Punch Taverns, Merlin Entertainments Group and Barclays.

Ashfords LLP specialises in defending large corporations and smaller businesses from a broad range of industry sectors, notably construction, manufacturing, food and agriculture, waste, education and sport. The ‘excellent’ team is ‘thorough and professional at all times’, delivering ‘excellent advice’. A key area of expertise is advising clients on the health and safety issues surrounding corporate and property transactions, also regularly acting on the health and safety aspects of fatalities in the workplace, especially allegations of corporate manslaughter. Practice head Richard Voke is ‘outstanding both in the depth of his knowledge and in his pragmatic and tactical approach’, providing ‘superb service’. He is also a director at Safety in Design, an organisation set up by the HSE and construction industry organisations with the aim of providing guidance to design professionals in relation to health and safety issues.

A ‘major player’ in the South West, Browne Jacobson LLP advises on a broad range of health and safety issues, advising both clients from the public sector, in particular local authorities, and private sector clients. It is adept at handling fatal and non-fatal investigations by all government enforcement agencies, the police, and the fire authorities. The practice’s expertise ranges from assisting with internal investigations to liaising with the HSE and providing training to senior level executives. Nottingham-based Andrew Hopkin heads the team, which also includes Dale Collins, who specialises among other things in serious pollution incidents and care home investigations undertaken by Ofsted, as well as ‘master tactician’ and ‘very experienced solicitorNigel Lyons. Highlights included advising a private client on a long-running prosecution for a number of offences in relation to the management and care of residents in a care home and acting for a client convicted in a prosecution for a health and safety breach involving the death by electrocution of an appointed contractor at a construction site. Gallagher Bassett, AIG, and Chaucer Insurance are clients.

Foot Anstey provides the full range of health and safety advice to public and private clients, delivering strategic and operational guidance on risk management, but also assisting clients with investigations and enforcement actions. It offers in-depth knowledge of prosecutions by the HSE and is adept at liaising with other regulatory bodies in case of health and safety breaches. Sector strengths include healthcare and charities, advising on serious incidents including fatalities and acting in inquests. Key work also includes advising on sports grounds, stadia and events safety issues. Nathan Peacey heads the team, which also includes Chris Pritchett who led in advising Bristol Sport on a dispute with its stewarding support partner, making sure the client’s stewarding practices met the Green Guide standards as enforced by the Safety Advisory Group. Other highlights included assisting Ashton Gate with the review of a draft special police services agreement for the provision of police at football matches at Ashton Gate, subsequently negotiating with the police on police liability and operational control on match days, and being appointed to BMW’s advisor list for health and safety. Senior associate Liz Perry joined from Bond Dickinson LLP. The Royal Shakespeare Company and Livewell Southwest are other clients.

Michelmores LLP is particularly experienced in handling cases involving workplace fatalities, providing initial crisis management and representing clients in prosecutions. It can also apply this expertise to cases involving serious injuries. The team handles reviews of policies and procedures, offers trainings to employees of large corporations and advises trustees, working closely with the firm’s employment and private client teams. Senior partner Andrew Oldland QC QC heads the practice and has considerable experience in prosecuting for the HSE.

The ‘very goodNash & Co advises private and public-sector clients on a broad range of issues, from assisting with formal investigations by the HSE to investigations by the police, environmental agencies and local authorities. It has experience in undertaking defendant work for clients from the construction sector in formal prosecutions brought by the HSE. Judicial review proceedings in health and safety matters are another area of strength, as is advising on Tree Preservation Prosecution orders, asbestos-regulations-related prosecutions, and food safety regulations. The practice delivers ‘very good and comprehensive level of service’. Practice head Ian Veater, who is ‘extremely good with clients’, specialises in contentious and non-contentious health and safety work. Consultant solicitor Guy Walker has ‘very good technical knowledge in the field and good communication skills’.

VWV (Veale Wasbrough Vizards) advises on a broad spectrum of health and safety issues and is particularly experienced in assisting clients with incident management services. It handles issues relating to regulatory action by the HSE, local authorities, the Independent Schools Inspectorate, Ofsted, and the Charity Commission, also advising on related PR, insurance, and liability matters. The practice is adept at handling sports-related health and safety issues, including first aid and medical arrangements, and has strong expertise in delivering strategic as well as operational advice, conducting investigations, acting in highly sensitive matters such as abuse allegations, and representing clients in enforcement actions. Practice head Tabitha Cave further specialises in advising clients on due diligence matters. Advising on asbestos-related health and safety issues, in particular on internal investigations and RIDDOR procedure issues, are other areas of strength. The practice’s client base consists largely of clients from the education sector and includes independent schools, universities, academies, FE colleges, and schools for children with special needs. The team’s recent highlights include advising a number of schools on health and safety due diligence issues in relation to the acquisition and merger of schools, particularly with regard to asbestos, legionella, and fire safety compliance.


Who Represents Who

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Burges Salmon LLP specialises in business immigration and immigration of high-net-worth individuals and their dependents where its expertise covers the recruitment and employment of overseas nationals in the UK, the planning of immigration strategies, the immigration implications of corporate transactions and outsourcing arrangements, obtaining and maintaining sponsor’s licences, immigration audits and the prevention of illegal working. The team regularly acts as representative on the sponsor management system, dealing with all associated applications and issues, and advises on the procedures and policies required to ensure compliance with UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) requirements. Clients include InsureandGo, Babcock International Group and the Bank of Ireland. Practice head Roger Bull advised Computershare Investor Services with ad hoc immigration issues as well as on substantive and strategic matters, including issues relating to the biometric residence permit, Tier 2 visas, visitor visas and family visas. Suzanna Harvey is supporting EU nationals with their immigration position following the Brexit vote, and also assists non-EU nationals with their UK immigration status, with a special focus on Tier 1 investor visa and points-based dependants visa.

VWV (Veale Wasbrough Vizards) provides immigration advice across all sectors, but with a particular focus on independent schools, higher education, and technology companies. The team, headed by associate Judith Hockin, has particular strength in Tier 4 and Tier 2 applications, and, through Matthew Burgess, is able to offer advice to independent schools on Tier 4 compliance and crisis management.

Ashfords LLP delivers ‘extremely efficient’ advice to regional, national and international clients on the full range of recruitment and employment law for foreign nationals, but also advises on non-contentious immigration issues for high-net-worth private individuals. Its Tier 2 expertise encompasses applications for companies to become sponsors under the points-based system, obtaining visas for overseas workers recruited to work in the UK, and intra-company transfers. The practice also advises on employment-related immigration issues in corporate transactions, as part of the due diligence process or post-acquisition. It has experience in handling applications for indefinite leave to remain and spousal applications. Senior associate Kirsty Cooke, who is ‘able to answer questions articulately and with backed up evidence’, heads the immigration practice and advised a large NHS foundation trust on a number of immigration work issues, including its sponsor obligations. She also assisted Techstars London Ltd with immigration issues arising from the opening of a new accelerator programme in the UK. Other clients include SWMAS, Cachematrix UK, Penhaligon’s, and Diana Food.

Clarke Willmott LLP delivers ‘an always very efficient, professional and appropriate’ as well as ‘trustworthy’ service on the full range of immigration law. The team ‘has strength in depth’, acting for a domestic and an international client base, in part through its China desk, which includes businesses and high-net-worth individuals. A particular specialism is advising on the appropriate route for foreign nationals to enter the UK to establish a business or to obtain permission to work for a UK subsidiary or foreign registered branch. Practice head Alex Jakubowski and ‘very professional’ and ‘accurate as well as circumspective’ senior associate Tim Copplestone acted on a number of high-profile immigration matters, with a particular focus on large international businesses. Clients include Somerset Cricket Club, the University of the West of England, and Bandai UK.


Index of tables

  1. Pensions
  2. Leading individuals

Leading individuals

  1. 1
    • Sasha Butterworth - TLT

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


Burges Salmon LLP has ‘excellent industry knowledge’ and provides ‘practical and pragmatic’ ‘first-class advice’ on pensions in the regulatory field. The team’s expertise encompasses the full range of pension matters relating to personal pension schemes, including self-invested personal pension (SIPP) and small self-administered scheme (SSAS) arrangements, but also includes occupational pension schemes. Clients include the trustees of FirstGroup, Oxford University, and several local authorities. ‘Calm and unflappable’ practice head Richard Knight provides ongoing advice to the trustees of the Selex Pension Scheme. Richard Pettit acted for the trustees of Brunel Holdings Pensions Scheme on one of the largest ongoing moral hazard investigations by The Pensions Regulator (TPR). The ‘hugely experiencedTim Illston led in advising the trustees of the Beales Pension Scheme on the company voluntary arrangement and subsequent scheme rescue from an insolvency process. The ‘pragmaticClive Pugh represented a global technology and manufacturing giant in complex funding negotiations with the scheme’s principal employer, and advised the trustees of the Silentnight Pension Scheme on the defence of judicial review proceedings. Alice Honeywill and Susannah Young, who gives ‘excellent practical advice’, were promoted to partner; both also led on high-profile matters. ‘Top lawyerMichael Hayles and Justin Briggs are also recommended. Senior associate Sarah Jeffrey-Gray joined Pi Consulting UK.

The ‘very good’ and ‘proactiveOsborne Clarke provides ‘prompt and appropriate advice’ and ‘excellent service’ to employers and trustees. Particular areas of expertise are pensions issues in relation to corporate insolvency and restructuring, and advising authorities as well as private and third sector employers on all legal issues regarding the Local Government Pension Scheme, including advice on outsourcing, investment strategy, governance, benefit issues and disputes. Pension disputes as well as investment and custodianship of scheme assets, including private equity and currency hedging, are other key areas of work. The team also advises on the Railways Pension Scheme, the Merchant Navy Officers Pension Fund, and the Merchant Navy Ratings Pension Fund, also assisting with pension issues affecting charities, ecclesiastical bodies, and higher education institutions. Jonathan Hazlett, who heads the team, and senior associate Joe Webster provide ‘pragmatic advice with a superior understanding of TPR requirements’. Mark Womersley advised the Trustees of the Imperial Tobacco Pension Fund on the legal implications of a participating employer departing the fund, in particular on the use of a flexible apportionment arrangement. Paul Matthews was lead partner in advising the Trustees of the Western Provident Association Pension Scheme on a closure of the scheme to future accrual. Another highlight matter was advising the Trustees of the National Museum of Wales Pension Scheme on changes to the future service benefits, including a move to a career-average basis of accrual. Brent Wright is ‘clear and practical’ and has a ‘well-considered style which is robust in his client’s interest without being aggressive or confrontational’.

TLT advises on scheme governance, SIPPs and SSASs, and public sector pension issues. The practice, which regularly handles asset-backed funding arrangements, multi-national restructurings, and flexible buy-ins, has a specialist investment team. It provides an extranet to its clients which includes an interactive trust deed and rules in order to help trustees fulfil the requirements of good governance. Sasha Butterworth heads the group, which includes James Dean. She led the team in advising the trustees of a large well-known insurance company on a defined benefit pension scheme with over £100m pounds in assets. The team also advised on the pensions aspects of the strategic reorganisation of a large FTSE-listed company’s corporate group. Other clients include WHSmith and the Co-operative Group.

Foot Anstey has ‘expert knowledge’ on all aspects of pension law, including the full range of issues in relation to final salary pension schemes, pension harmonisation and reorganisation issues, as well as public sector outsourcing arrangements. Its expertise also includes handling strategic pensions advice, assisting with the pension aspects of corporate transactions, and dealing with issues relating to occupational defined benefit, defined contribution pension schemes and automatic enrolment legislation. Clients come from a variety of sectors, with a particular focus on media and technology, financial services, local and central government, and charities. Karen Bates took over the lead of the practice from Matthew Huddleson who left in April 2017. Senior associate Helen Trethewey, whose ‘level of knowledge is second to none’ according to a client, led in advising Odeon Cinemas/UCI on Odeon’s two final salary pension schemes. She also assisted Vospers Motorhouse Group with the transition from one master trust to another pension provider. Other clients include Morgan Lloyd Administration, and the County Councils of Somerset and Devon, as well as Plymouth City Council.

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