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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 > Yorkshire and the Humber > Human resources > Employment: Sheffield and South Yorkshire > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings



Index of tables

  1. Employment: Sheffield and South Yorkshire
  2. Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals (region-wide)
  4. Next generation lawyers (region-wide)

Next generation lawyers (region-wide)

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

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DLA Piper UK LLP’s employment team in Sheffield is led by Clare Gregory; she has wide-ranging expertise in contentious and non-contentious employment matters for regional, national and international employers, and is particularly noted for her track record handling the employment aspects of multi-jurisdictional outsourcing projects. In 2016, Gregory led the team advising LloydsPharmacy on its acquisition of the in-store pharmacies of Sainsbury’s, involving the transfer of more than 2,500 Sainsbury’s employees to LloydsPharmacy. Beverley Ensor, who also acted on that matter, is regularly called upon to assist private and public sector clients on equal pay claims litigation, and regularly appears before the Employment Tribunal. Other key figures include Gurpreet Duhra, who led the team that successfully represented Verizon in a claim before the Reading Employment Tribunal involving allegations of discrimination brought by an individual with a serious degenerative condition. In addition to Verizon, the Sheffield office handles a number of other global HR relationships, including for clothing retailers Karen Millen and All Saints. In another contentious highlight, Duhra and Ensor successfully defended Paddy Power in an Employment Tribunal whistleblowing and race discrimination case brought by a former employee claiming that she was dismissed on the grounds of sex and race.

Tracey Marsden is the key employment figure in CMS’s Sheffield office; she can draw on more than 20 years of experience handling employment issues in the public and private sectors, including handling trade union and industrial relations issues, business transfers, redundancy and restructuring programmes, and TUPE transfer issues. The practice is noted for its strength in depth in the real estate sector; 2016 highlights included advising International Hotel Group Limited on its acquisition of hotels at Gatwick and Heathrow airports, which involved TUPE transfer issues and the negotiation of employment warranties and indemnities. In another key mandate, Marsden led the team advising on the employment aspects of the administration of Lowcosttravelgroup, which involved advising on the handling of potential redundancies across its sites in Europe. Marsden also defended UK Coal Production in a collective claim brought by the National Union of Mineworkers against UK Coal Kellingley Limited (in liquidation) arising from the closure of the last working mine in Kellingley.

HLW Keeble Hawson handles employment matters for owner-managed businesses across Yorkshire and the North Midlands, with notable strength in the engineering, transport and professional services industries. Barry Warne leads the team; his expertise encompasses TUPE transfer issues, executive severance matters, collective redundancy, and unfair dismissal and discrimination disputes. Highlights included advising Sheffcare Limited, which operates a number of care homes in Sheffield and employs 450 staff, on the GMB’s application to the Central Arbitration Committee seeking an order for compulsory recognition for collective bargaining by the GMB. Lauren Fulcher handles collective and individual redundancy matters, as well as providing corporate support. Other clients include Chesterfield Football Club and Newell & Wright Transport.

Irwin Mitchell’s employment team in Sheffield is headed by Kirsty Ayre, an experienced tribunal advocate that acts for a number of household names, including EasyJet and Henry Boot. She leads a team of three associates in Sheffield and can call on the wider firm’s resources in Leeds as well as nationally. The practice acts for a number of manufacturers, including medical devices and aerospace manufacturer Tecomet, as well as educational institutions and charities. Ayre acted alongside associate Jennifer Walton in a number of Employment Tribunal claims, and defended Capita in an equal pay claim involving local authority pay arrangements. Liesel Whitfield acted for Henry Boot to design and implement an employment law training programme for all managers up to board level.

Lupton Fawcett LLP’s employment team in Sheffield works in conjunction with its offices in Leeds and York to provide comprehensive coverage across the Yorkshire and Humber region’s main business centres. Joan Pettingill is the key figure in Sheffield; her wide-ranging employment expertise encompasses trade union and industrial action issues, TUPE transfer matters and large-scale restructurings. Pettingill also heads the firm’s GP practice, for which she handles employment issues. In a cross-office highlight, the group provides ongoing employment advice to the Yorkshire branch of Arcelor Mittal, which has included advice on holiday pay, restrictive covenants, maternity matters, and performance and conduct issues. Pettingill is also advising a highly unionised employer in multiple holiday pay claims.

Taylor & Emmet LLP’s employment team is now headed by newly promoted partner Tom Draper following David Poddington’s departure to Keystone Law. Draper has particular expertise in Employment Tribunal litigation, executive severance work and discrimination issues. He has guided a number of employers through industrial relations issues, such as collective grievances and structural changes. Draper defended NG Bailey IT Services in a claim for constructive dismissal and race discrimination; prior to the commencement of the five-day hearing, the case was successfully settled. Kelly Gibson, who joined the firm in July 2016 from Elliot Mather LLP, acted for NG Bailey Facility Services in successfully persuading the tribunal to strike out a claim at an early stage of the litigation process.

Wake Smith Solicitors Limited attracts praise for its combination of ‘friendly and prompt advice with first-class regulatory knowledge’. The practice acts for SME employers throughout Sheffield and the wider Yorkshire region, and also handles matters for employees. Mark Serby heads the practice, which includes Holly Dobson, who is highlighted by clients for her ‘exemplary support and advice’. Dobson has been providing ad-hoc data protection advice to clients including Westfield Contributory Health Scheme Limited, Sheffield Diocese and Birkdale School.

Clare Fowler heads the employment and discrimination group at Howells, which primarily handles work for employees. It is among a small group of firms nationally able to provide discrimination advice under the Legal Help scheme. Past work has included assisting an employee with its appeal before the Employment Appeal Tribunal against a decision that the dismissal of the employee for acts constituting a risk to health and safety was fair.

Barnsley-based MKB Solicitors LLP provides a ‘very responsive’ service and is noted for its ‘commercial approach’ on employment matters. Clients include businesses and individuals, which the team advises on a wide range of employment, HR and personnel issues. Recent work includes negotiating a settlement in an executive dispute; TUPE issues arising from a client’s organisational restructuring; advising on disciplinary proceedings related to investigations into historic sexual abuse; and advising on the employment implications of a company takeover. Simon Brian heads the team, which includes Ben McFeely, ‘a safe pair of hands and very knowledgeable in the field’.

Taylor Bracewell’s employment team acts for a mixed client base of individuals, charities and not-for-profit organisations, and a number of national and international companies. Sara Ellison heads the practice and has an extensive track record in Employment Tribunal matters; recent work includes representing a superintendent pharmacist in his claims against his former employer for constructive dismissal, whistleblowing and failure to follow ACAS’ Code of Practice. On the employer side, Ellison acted for Ed Lounge Limited in Employment Tribunal proceedings for unfair dismissal brought by a former employee.

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