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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: Dorset and South Wiltshire > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings



Index of tables

  1. Employment: Dorset and South Wiltshire
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

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Next generation lawyers

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Who Represents Who

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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.

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