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Greenwoods GRM

Work 01733 887700
Fax 01733 887701

John Macaulay

Work 01733 887708
Greenwoods GRM

Work Department

Employment and Employee Benefits


Partner / Head of employment.


As a result of John’s employment law specialism – he’s been advising on legal HR issues since 1991 – he is a solicitor that has in-depth knowledge, and, as a result, delivers accurate and insightful solutions when needed.

Having undertaken a number of secondments at major household name organisations working side by side with large and sophisticated HR teams, John understands how legal advice can best be tailored to suit both the commercial needs of the client and the practical realities of working life. He has developed particular experience in assisting clients to successfully navigate their way through large scale business re-organisations and difficult TUPE transfers.  The legal directories have commented that John is ‘distinguished by his skilled handling of large and complex restructurings, involving trade union negotiations’ and have also recognised John’s expertise, stating ‘clients admire him for his “easy explanations of complex and technical points”, remarking on his “impressive understanding of the employer’s point of view” and noting that he is “highly capable of appreciating the challenges facing business and industry”’.

John leads the firm’s HR training programme, delivering seminars and workshops, both regionally and nationally, on a wide range of topics. He also recognises the importance of the human element in any employment matter. He has a degree in psychology and is a trained counsellor. His skill is therefore to deliver practical solutions that will actually work in the highly complex field of human relationships.

East Anglia: Human resources


Within: Leading individuals

John Macaulay - Greenwoods GRM

Within: Employment

Greenwoods GRM is ‘very strong in the employment law area‘ and ‘advice is always pragmatic and timely‘. The firm has one of the largest employment and employee benefits practices in the region, and it is led by the highly regarded John MacAulay, who regularly advises clients on large-scale business reorganisations and difficult TUPE transfers. Managing partner Robert Dillarstone is still actively engaged in fee-earning and clients describe him and associate Keith Williams as ‘very good at coming up with the pros and cons of a situation such as the benefits of a textbook approach versus a pragmatic approach'. ‘Very approachable‘ newly promoted partner Joanna Scally in Cambridge is highly recommended for her ‘clarity of advice and reliable service'. Scally and senior solicitor Siobhan Thomson recently advised Bedford Borough Council on the employment aspects of its move to a digital operating model by 2020, which includes a major staff restructure and more than 250 proposed redundancies. The practice has many strong associates including Suzanne Wrench who has experience in TUPE transfers and tribunal proceedings; Vincent Galea who handles senior hires and departures, and post-termination restrictions; and Natalie Wiliams who is known for complex tribunal litigation.

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Within: Immigration

At Greenwoods GRM, the lawyers are 'very responsive, very clear in their communication and go beyond necessity to ensure that clients are satisfied'. Solicitor Rebecca Bridges specialises in immigration matters and is a key part of John MacAulay's employment department. She is ‘an expert in her field, extremely thorough and gives great attention to detail'. Clients praise her 'tailored and clear explanations, her patience, her understanding and knowledge of clients and the law'. Associate Vincent Galea is also recommended. The firm advises numerous clients in the commercial and education sectors on matters including licensed sponsor issues; Tier 1, 2 and 5 visas; right to work; and modern slavery statements. Bridges recently advised a company in the travel sector on international secondments.

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Within: Pensions

Greenwoods GRM joins the ranking on the strength of consultant Pauline Anning's specialist pensions practice, which complements the work of Robert Dillarstone and John MacAulay in the firm's standout employment practice. Anning has more than 20 years’ experience in advising corporate entities, public authorities, trustees and unions on occupational pension schemes. Last year, she advised a large client in the insurance sector on the reorganisation of its employee benefits package, which included issues of automatic pension enrolment compliance and pension scheme amendments.

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East Anglia: Private client

Charities and not-for-profit

Within: Charities and not-for-profit

Associate Victoria Robinson leads the charities practice at Greenwoods GRM, where a multi-disciplinary team acts for regional and national charities, schools and not-for-profit organisations. The practice handles re-organisation, the formation of subsidiaries, joint ventures, mergers, investments, constitutional documentation, employment, data protection and property matters for these clients. Head of the employment and employee benefits team John MacAulay recently acted for a well-known charity in tribunal proceedings brought by former employees. Robinson and head of corporate David Woods handled membership matters for a new charity client. Senior solicitor Ann-Marie Clow led a team that advised St John Ambulance on its national property portfolio. Regulatory team leader Kathryn Gilbertson and property partner Stephen Illingworth also play key roles in the practice.

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