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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 > Employment: Bristol > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

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Index of tables

  1. Employment: Bristol
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next Generation Partners
  4. Rising stars

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next Generation Partners

  1. 1

Rising stars

  1. 1

Bevan Brittan LLP  has a standout capability handling employment law matters for clients in the local government arena; its team acts for over 100 local authorities. The scope of the work includes advice on staffing models, senior-level disputes and departures, and redundancy programmes. The healthcare sector is another area of strength; the firm acts for private and third sector clients, as well as NHS providers and commissioners. Sarah Lamont has expertise in restructurings, changes to terms & conditions, redundancy programmes, Employment Tribunal claims, discrimination claims and TUPE . Julian Hoskins is another name to note.

Practice head(s):Jodie Sinclair

Other key lawyers:Julian Hoskins; Sarah Lamont

Key Clients

Local Government Association

Richmond LBC

Wandsworth LBC

Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust

West of England Combined Authority

Plymouth NHS Trust

Liverpool City Council

Professional Cricketers Association

Cross Manufacturing

RUH Bath NHS Trust

Southern Housing Group

Local Government Ombudsman

Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes Fire Authorities

Northern Devon Healthcare

North Somerset Council

Bristol City Council

4 R Group

Kingston RBC

Sutton LBC

Catalyst Housing

Simply Serve Ltd

Brent LBC

Barnet LBC

Hackney LBC

London Borough of Kingston

Bath & North East Somerset Council

Sanctuary Housing

Wiltshire Council

Driver Group

Surrey County Council

Northamptonshire County Council

Healthcare Financial Management Association

Sirona CIC

North Somerset Community Healthcare NHS Trust

Places for People Leisure

Work highlights

  • Acting for Yeovil District NHS Trust in a re-claim of disability, race and sex discrimination by a perimenopausal midwifery student.
  • Advising a professional services organisation on conducting a sensitive and complex investigation relating to the 'MeToo' movement
  • Successfully defended Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust against high- value whistle-blowing and unfair dismissal claims brought by its former medical director.
  • Advising Bournemouth Council on local government reorganisations following the Secretary of State's decision to create two new unitary councils.
  • Defending a local authority against claims by a senior officer of allegedly unfair dismissal, disability discrimination and whistle-blowing detriments.

Burges Salmon LLP advises FTSE100 and global businesses, central and local government organisations and major brands. On the contentious side, it represents clients in employment tribunal and appellate court proceedings; cases involve complex whistle-blowing and discrimination issues, among others. Non-contentious advisory work covers GDPR and management issues, senior executive severance and large-scale TUPE transfers. The team works closely with overseas-based lawyers from its preferred firms network on cross-border employment matters. Team leader Adrian Martin has particular experience of the TUPE and employment aspects of corporate transactions, outsourcing arrangements, and public and private sector projects. Luke Bowery is another name to note.

Practice head(s):Adrian Martin

Other key lawyers:Chris Seaton; Luke Bowery

Testimonials

'Very strong across the board from partner level downwards, they have lots of experienced and talented lawyers'

'Burges Salmon has a strong employment team which includes litigation at appellate level for big clients'

'The team at Burges Salmon is an extremely capable employment law team, they understand the client's key objectives and give sensible commercial advice'

'They take time to get to know their clients and are highly responsive and give excellent personal service'

'They put the needs of their clients first and develop excellent relationships with key personnel, becoming a trusted advisor'

'They give practical advice and are very responsive'

'Chris Seaton is an excellent leader, very experienced, hands-on and client driven'

'Roger Bull is a very thoughtful and pragmatic litigator'

'Adrian Martin is an experienced litigator who delivers excellent client service and fantastic support to counsel. He is very responsive, and takes full responsibility for cases'

'Adrian is extremely knowledgeable and understands the nuances of different legal arguments and the best way to persuade a court to find in favour of his client'

'Adrian Martin is a highly impressive practitioner. He has a comprehensive knowledge of employment law that he is able to apply in a commercially sensible and pragmatic fashion to meet the client's objectives'

'Adrian develops excellent personal relationships with clients really taking the time to get to know them and their business. He can explain complex legal issues in such a way that the client clearly understands the choices they have to make'

'Adrian has superb attention to detail but never loses sight of the big picture. You would want Adrian on your team every time'

Key Clients

Babcock International Group plc

Thomson Reuters

BAE Systems plc

John Lewis Partnership

FirstGroup plc

Bank of Ireland

The Crown Estate

Mulberry

Reiss

Ofgem

Ofsted

Leonardo

Reading City Council

Endemol Shine

University of Bristol

Premier Asset Management

The Warranty Group

Wessex Water

York St John University

Office for Students (formerly Higher Education Funding Council for England)

Yeo Valley

National Composites Centre

Hochtief UK Construction Limited

Transport for Wales

The Racecourse Association

Octopus Investments

Nessy Learning Limited

The Exeter

Ecclesiastical Insurance Group

Work highlights

  • Advising the client  on a complex employment tribunal case involving a number of claims by an alleged whistleblower.
  • Handle all UK employment tribunals issued against the client, including unfair dismissal claims, construction dismissal and race discrimination.
  • Advising the client on a major redundancy exercise involving c. 500 planned redundancies.
  • Provide the client with employment law services, including day-to-day advice to its HR and legal teams in respect of the 6,000+ workforce.
  • Advised the client over the past year on restructuring exercises involving redundancies, changes to terms and conditions of employment and internal TUPE transfers.

Osborne Clarke employment practice is catered to serve national and international clients in both contentious and non-contentious matters. European Works Council matters are a notable strength of the practice, with the team representing multijurisdictional clients in reorganisations and the employment aspects of corporate transactions. Bristol-based practice head Paul Killen advises on dismissals, breaches of contract, discrimination claims and the management of employee relations. Anna Elliott, who joined from the Sydney office of Squire Patton Boggs, is knowledgeable about post-termination restraints and harassment issues, among other matters.

Practice head(s):Paul Killen

Other key lawyers:Julian Hemming; Anna Elliott

Testimonials

'Paul Killen's depth of experience, responsiveness and practical advice are greatly appreciated by our team'

'Paul is well-complemented by the bench strength of his team, which efficiently and effectively handle the full spectrum of human resources matters we throw at them'

Key Clients

Business Growth Fund ("BGF")

MITIE Group Plc

Mirriad Advertising

Mountain Healthcare

etc venues

Goldman Sachs

Dennis Publishing (“Dennis”)

The Law Commission of England and Wales

Tech Mahindra

Ralph Lauren

Work highlights

  • Advising Business Growth Fund on employment documentation relating to its investment in HeleCloud.
  • Advice to MITIE Group Plc on all employment law aspects of its £14 million acquisition of Vision Security Group Limited, including all TUPE aspects of pre-sale reorganisation.
  • Advised Mirriad Advertising plc on all employment aspects of its admission to AIM on the London Stock Exchange, as well as on the company’s subsequent transition to a new CEO.
  • Advised the management on the MBO of Mountain Healthcare, a 350-employee company, and all employment law aspects of the deal.
  • Assisted the management of Etc venues on its global expansion through new investment, which included handling employment law advice on service agreements.

TLT's Bristol team, which operates as part of a wider national group, acts for local clients and London-based businesses on all types of employment matters. Although it generates work from clients across a wide range of industries, the retail, financial services and social housing sectors are particular areas of strength. Stuart McBride leads the team, whose expertise  includes TUPE matters, large-scale reorganisations, whistleblowing, restrictive covenants and trade union relations. It has also been advising clients on equal pay issues and Gender Pay Gap Regulations. Siobhan Fitzgerald has a strong track record in the social housing sector.

Practice head(s):Stuart McBride

Other key lawyers:Siobhan Fitzgerald

Testimonials

'Good strength in depth, responsive and proactive'

'The team are supportive and really get to know the business and its needs understanding not only the law, but what the business is trying to achieve'

'They are very responsive, commercially focused and provide excellent advice on all employment and tax matters. They will give a clear view on matters which is not always the case with legal firms'

'The team offer a very responsive but human service, providing access to regular email legal updates as well as a free annual session to discuss pertinent issues around employment law'

'TLT provide excellent advice which is prompt, professional, pragmatic and clear compared with other legal firms I have used'

'They work together and it's clear that put their clients first. The firm is adequately resourced and there is always someone around to assist'

'They have an excellent commercial view of employment matters'

'Siobhan Fitzgerald is very supportive and engaged with us as a business. Because she has taken the time to get to know us she is able to provide advice and guidance with our specific needs in mind'

'Esther Smith and Kate Williams are both excellent. They provide an outstanding service but are also a delight to work with'

'We have found Siobhan Fitzgerald and Dave Maton extremely personable, friendly and accessible. They have taken the time and effort to understand us as an organisation and we feel we are a valued client'

'Esther Smith is excellent- she explains things simply, outlining risks and benefits of solutions and is always professional and provides quick responses'

'Siobhan Fitzgerald, Partner is our main go-to person. She has a wealth of knowledge across all areas of employment law and is always up-to-date. She has a pragmatic approach in the advice that she provides, balancing the commercial interests with the speed of trying to get things resolved'

'Siobhan has a lot of interpersonal skills when advising us on the way forward, taking a longer-term view, helping us to minimise risk. She always responds promptly to requests and works around the clock to get things done'

Key Clients

Imperial Brands plc

J Sainsbury plc

National Crime Agency

Savills plc

Ageas Group

Southern Water

Hastings Direct

Biffa plc

Smiths News / Connect Group plc

Westfield

Bromford Housing Group

Onward Homes (formerly Symphony Housing)

WH Smith Plc

Good Energy Group Plc

Phoenix Housing Association

Ofsted

Work highlights

  • Advising a client on a high-value discrimination complain with reputational risk considerations, as well as management of claimant's ongoing employment and strategy.
  • Advising a client on a large-scale restructure and redundancies within a private school arising from a change in offering.

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP's employment team is highly reputed in the retail, financial services and public services sectors. It primarily acts for large blue-chip organisations from across the UK, including banks and national supermarkets. It also acts for international corporates in contentious and non-contentious matters. In a notable development, in 2018, the firm was appointed to provide Employment Tribunal litigation support to the Government Legal Department; practice head Tim Woodward is the employment lead to this client, as well as other key clients.

Practice head(s):Tim Woodward

Other key lawyers:Jo Martin; Heather Stickland

Key Clients

AIG

B&Q

Historic England

Post Office

TSB

Government Legal Department

Network Rail

Plymouth Community Homes

Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board

Oak Furniture Land (T/a JB Global)

Corbin & King Restaurant Group Limited

kgb group (including 118 118 Money, The Number UK and Conduit Global)

Sainsbury's Supermarkets Limited

Countrywide Farmers plc

Work highlights

  • Continue to be a part of the AIG panel providing employment and litigation support for insured businesses under the client's PrivateEdge policy.
  • Sole adviser to TSB on employment matters and employment litigation; recently advised the client on grievances, exits, settlement, tribunal and TUPE matters.
  • Advised Countrywide Farmers Plc on TYPE aspects relating to the sale of the liquid petroleum gas business, to DCC plc.
  • Advised Agriculture & Horticulture Development Board on a range of employment and pensions issues, including some very challenging grievances, TUPE issues, litigation and transactional work.
  • Appointed to provide sole legal advice to the client, handling a number of employment claims through different government departments.

Ashfords LLP has an excellent reputation in the private healthcare and retail sectors, and it is also highly regarded in other areas; associate Jenny Marley has a particular focus on defending employment tribunal claims for social care and housing association clients. Her experience covers claims in relation to unfair dismissal, discrimination, unlawful deductions from wages and whistleblowing. Elsewhere, the employment team assists clients with enforcing and defending restrictive covenant claims, as well as dealing with other reputationally-sensitive matters. In addition, the group works closely with the corporate team to draft director's service agreements and senior employees' contracts. Stephen Moore, who leads the practice, predominantly acts for employers and senior executives in the UK, Europe and the US.

Practice head(s):Stephen Moore

Other key lawyers:Kim Wright; Jenny Marley

Key Clients

Molly Maid

Work highlights

  • Ashfords have continued to provide day-to-day employment advice and support to New Directions Limited on a broad range of employment matters, in particular restrictive covenant issues.
  • Advising a high net worth claimant on his High Court claim in relation to a failure of the employer to make a claim on the employee’s health insurance within the required time.
  • Advising iAdvize on a broad range of employment matters in relation to its UK work force.
  • Advising US-based company Aventri on a broad range of employment matters in relation to their UK work force.
  • Continue to provide day-to-day employment advice and support to the Post Office on a broad range of employment matters, in particular restrictive covenant issues.

Clarke Willmott LLP has a strong reputation for advising on complex employment matters in the sports sector, and represents a number of local and national sporting bodies and teams. In addition, the team regularly acts for high-profile athletes and sports managers in employment matters, both in terms of ongoing disputes and transfers. The team also performs well in the agricultural, manufacturing and retail sectors. Kevin Jones is head of the firm's national employment team from the Bristol office, and is active in the aforementioned sports sector. Sharon Latham covers both the public and private sector, and comes highly recommended in the employment practice.

Practice head(s):Kevin Jones

Other key lawyers:Tim Copplestone; Sharon Latham

Testimonials

'Over the years, Clarke Willmott has provided our business with invaluable support and guidance. They are an integral and significant part of our suite of external advisors providing both HR and Employment specific advice, as well as guidance and support on crossover areas like GDPR'

'Their holistic approach really sets the team apart from the siloed advice of their competitors'

'Sharon feels like an extension to our in-house HR team. She knows our business so well I always feel like she fully understands the challenges we face and is always on hand in a moment's notice which can prevent situations escalating'

'Sharon advises our legal and HR teams as well as our local, regional and global executives providing them with advice and guidance appropriately tailored to the audience'

'Sharon stands out for her efforts to provide genuinely practical guidance and her ability to offer real world solutions to our HR and employment problems'

Key Clients

M+W UK

Rawle Gammon and Baker Holdings Limited

Wasserman Media Group

Oscar Mayer Limited

Decathlon UK Limited

Primrose Group Limited

Fowlers of Bristol Limited

Bradfords & Sons Limited

The Rugby Players’ Association

Aqua Italia

CityWest Homes Limited

Work highlights

  • Retained to support on all employment law issues for players and non-players
  • Retained support service on all employment law issues
  • Retained to advise the client on an internal employment law issue concerning theft of significant sums of cash.
  • Advising on the departure of the existing CEO and the terms of employment for his replacement.
  • Full legal support to the professional rugby players’ trade union, including advising on employment contract terminations.

DAC Beachcroft LLP primarily acts for the firm's corporate clients in matters concerning discrimination, transfers of undertakings and detriment claims in employment tribunals. Alex Lock advises public and private sector employers on TUPE and outsourcing issues. Joanne Owers is praised by clients for her 'blend of pragmatism and commerciality' and 'unflappable style'; indeed, clients say they have 'complete confidence in her guidance and advice', particularly in the regulated financial sector.

Practice head(s):Alex Lock

Other key lawyers:Joanne Owers

Foot Anstey provides support to national and international clients in the retail, media and technology sectors. It is particularly strong in defending clients in high-value litigation cases and, on the non-contentious side, advising on the implementation of pay and grading schemes. Elsewhere, the team's recent work included assisting several local authorities with negotiating pay deals for council staff and handling a high-value TUPE claim, which involved a significant number of staff. Richard Neary has particular expertise in collective workforce issues.

Practice head(s):Karen Bates (Exeter)

Other key lawyers:Richard Neary (Bristol)

Testimonials

'Foot Anstey's HR and Employment team feel like an extension of our in-house team. It is available for urgent matters by phone or email at a moment's notice and understands the business enough to speak to board members and colleagues alike. Their training sessions are tailored to fit real examples within your business too'

'We rate the team's ability to get to the heart of the matter rapidly, marshal the appropriate resource at the right time and direct effort proportionate to the required result. This is a finely calibrated team of lawyers with a range of expertise across all the areas of law which might influence our work. In twenty-five years they have come to our assistance rapidly and with an outstanding, in fact incomparable, rate of success'

Key Clients

Screwfix

T Clarke Contracting Ltd

Becton Dickinson UK Ltd

Odeon Cinemas Ltd

Halfords

Monster

Flybe

Livewell Southwest CIC

Ropes & Gray LLP

Reed & Mackay Travel Ltd

Employment law boutique Menzies Law delivers specialist advice to clients in the manufacturing, utilities, education, logistics and facilities management sectors. Its offering is led by Luke Menzies, who is a dual-qualified barrister and solicitor. The firm's legal advice covers both contentious and non-contentious bases; Menzies himself is experienced in senior executive exits, Employment Tribunal claims and industrial action advice. He is also an expert on the Gender Pay Gap.

Practice head(s):Luke Menzies

Other key lawyers:Anne-Marie Boyle; Simon Martin

Key Clients

Avado Learning Ltd

Babcock International Group

Bristol City Football Club

Gloucestershire College

GS Yuasa Battery Europe Ltd

Havant & South Downs College

Jehu Group

MAN Truck and Bus UK Ltd

Miele Company Ltd

Parmenion Capital Partners

Richard Huish College

Ruskin Mill Trust

Work highlights

  • The firm is defending a barristers' chambers against a disability discrimination claim brought by an applicant for a pupillage.
  • Advising the HR team of Babcock (Defence Systems Technology) on significant employment issues, including various reorganisations and restructurings.
  • Advising Cray UK Limited on a number of significant issues, such as managing the exit of a senior member of the sales team.
  • Advising GS Yuasa Battery Europe Limited on a number of significant issues, including health and safety for factory workers, finance department restructuring and disciplinary proceedings.
  • Acting for Brand Alley UK Limited in an Employment Tribunal claim brought by a former employee whose flexible working request was refused.

Thrings LLP's employment team works closely with the corporate team to advise clients on reorganisations, restructures, outsourcing and TUPE issues arising from mergers and acquisitions. The firm acts for clients from a broad cross-section of sectors, including charities, education, IT and manufacturing. On the contentious side, employment tribunal work is on the increase, particularly in relation to whistleblowing and discrimination claims. Practice head Kerrie Hunt is knowledgeable about regulatory regimes concerning discrimination, parental leave, flexible working and working hours.

Practice head(s):Kerrie Hunt

Other key lawyers:Natalie Ward

Key Clients

AirTanker Services Limited

Brunel Capital Partners

Dycem Limited

ORX UK Limited

St John’s Foundation

Kohler Mira Ltd

Work highlights

  • Represented multijurisdictional group of consulting companies in a complex and high value unfair dismissal and whistleblowing claim brought by a former employee.
  • Represented a client in a constructive dismissal claim brought by a former employee.
  • Representing a respondent client in an alleged unfair dismissal and discrimination claim brought by a former employee and litigant in person.
  • Provide general employment advisory advice to a large secondary school client that had transitioned from local authority to academy status.

The VWV employment practice has a strong profile nationally acting for commercial, charities, education and public sector clients. The firm is highly reputed for advisory work, and it is also equally adept in representing clients in complex Employment Tribunal claims. Within the education sector, the employment team acts for numerous independent schools and academies in contentious and advisory matters. Gareth Edwards is knowledgeable about discrimination law and freedom of information uses, and he is also experienced in advising clients on industrial relations, executive severances and TUPE and outsourcing issues.

Practice head(s):Gareth Edwards

Other key lawyers:Simon Bevan

Testimonials

'The team has wide experience and excellent subject knowledge and is at the forefront of employment law practice for charities and independent schools'

'Simon Bevan is an outstanding partner for employment law matters. His advice is always sound but is also balanced by a good understanding of the practical issues and the operational requirements of his clients'

Key Clients

CBRE Limted

CBRE Global Investors Limited

British Library

Bristol Old Vic Theatre

North Wales Fire and Rescue Service

Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service

South Wales Fire and Rescue Service

South Gloucestershire Council

Clifton College

REAch2 Academy Trust

Rugby School

University of Bristol

Loughborough Endowed Schools

Eton College

Dorset County Council - the Shadow Dorset Authority

Bournemouth Borough Council

Millfield

Redmaids High School

Cheltenham Ladies College

Work highlights

  • Providing advice to CBRE on the full range of employment law issues, including grievances and senior manager exits.
  • Defended The Harpur Trust in Court of Appeal litigation relating to holiday pay and entitlement for term-time only workers.
  • Defended Haberdasher's Monmouth Schools in Court of Appeal litigation relating to time limits for lodging proceedings.
  • Undertake a wide range of employment advisory work for Cheltenham Ladies College, including strategic support with gender pay gap reporting.
  • Ongoing advice to Mid & West Wales Fire & Rescue Service on the full range of employment law issues, including managing grievance, sickness absence, capability and disciplinary matters.

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