Employment in East Anglia

Birketts LLP

Birketts LLP ‘brings all the expertise and level of service I would expect from a London firm, but with local rates and a friendliness and approachability that makes them great to work with, whatever the requirement‘, says one client. The firm has five partners in a 26-lawyer team that covers every aspect of employment law from general HR matters to complex litigation. Jeanette Wheeler in Norwich leads the cross-office employment practice, assisted by Matthew Newnham and, in Cambridge, Abigail Trencher. Catherine Johnson and Sonya O’Reilly are the lead partners in Ipswich. Legal director Olivia Toulson in Cambridge joined from Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP and senior associate Lucy Churchill in Norwich joined from Hansells, while Laura Brown is now a director at Howes Percival LLP.

Practice head(s):

Jeanette Wheeler

Other key lawyers:

Matthew Newnham; Abigail Trencher; Catherine Johnson; Sonya O’Reilly; Lucy Churchill; Olivia Toulson; Tom Sharpe; Catherine Hepworth

Testimonials

‘Birketts brings all the expertise and level of service I would expect from a London firm, but with local rates and a friendliness and approachability that makes them great to work with, whatever the requirement. Overall, the team has a vast array of experience that can be quickly and easily applied to bring a broad perspective and problem-solving approach.’

‘I deal primarily with Lucy Churchill. Lucy is always available to deal with urgent matters, is efficient and cclear in her handling of complex HR issues. Extremely efficient which keeps the bills at a manageable level.’

‘Tom Sharpe acted recently in relation to a high value claim. His advice, as always, was pragmatic and responsive and he delivered a good outcome for the business.’

‘Mat Newnham is exceptional. Always up to date and customises his advice for your organisations culture’

‘Very responsive advice delivered in an easily understood manner, with optional follow up. Excellent listening skills and ability to grasp the real issue They value my time and look to make best use of it Inspire confidence Excellent in their roles and delegate to colleagues with specialisms where needed. Highly recommend Catherine Hepworth.’

‘Legal issues surrounding people, and the emotional response that this inevitably brings, can be one of the most difficult legal challenges we face. Mat Newnham and Tom Sharpe are always at the end of a phone to give support, guidance and options which are based on a wealth of knowledge and experience to enable us to calmly and carefully navigate any situation we may be faced with. The personal service and regular check ins are always really helpful.’

‘We work closely with Mat Newnham and Tom Sharpe from the Norwich office. Both Mat and Tom were incredibly supportive, knowledgeable and guided us carefully through a process which was fraught with potential pitfalls throughout the height of a global pandemic. No question ever felt ‘silly’ or situation that arose where a solution couldn’t be found.’

‘Clear communication and ability to explain complex law matters to business people like myself. good at listening and thought gathering as part of any process.’

Key clients

East Coast Community Healthcare CIC

Acteon Group Limited

C. Hoare & Co

Diamond Learning Partnership Trust

Service Express Europe Limited (formerly Blue Chip Customer Engineering Limited)

Cambridge Office and Environment Limited

The Leys and St Faith’s Schools Foundation

Trinity Hall, Cambridge

Applied Satellite Technology

Cambridge Employment Law LLP

Cambridge Employment Law LLP is a specialist firm based in Newmarket that acts for a wide range of technology, biotech and pharmaceutical clients, high-growth start-ups, Cambridge colleges and other educational organisations, charities and senior individuals. Founded ten years ago, the firm has grown a stellar reputation among companies of all sizes, from start-ups with limited cashflow to large multinationals. It has three experienced partners in Oliver Pryke, who acts for numerous technology companies and research institutions, Eleanor Freeman, who deals predominantly with clients in the biotechnology and technology sectors, and Mandy Lyne, who frequently assists engineering and manufacturing businesses, as well all as education service providers and many small businesses.

Practice head(s):

Oliver Pryke; Eleanor Freeman; Mandy Lyne

Key clients

Trinity College, Cambridge

Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute

Cambridge Consultants Ltd

Adder Technology Limited

The Chartered Institute of Legal Executives

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP

The Cambridge office of Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP  is a key hub for the firm’s employment and labour practice group, with four partners in a 16-lawyer local team. They form ‘a very business-minded team that is very responsive and able to think from client’s perspective.‘ Practice head Simon Tytherleigh is noted for his expertise in Employment Tribunal litigation. Elizabeth Graves advises on employment matters in the life sciences, technology and financial services industries. Matthew Kelly specliases in assisting Further Education colleges, Higher Education institutions and Academies with employment and governance issues. German-qualified Constanze Moorhouse is the key contact for international employment matters. Legal director Rachel Bennett has numerous clients in the pharmaceutical, transport and water sectors, and principal associate Sasha Willmott focuses predominantly on life sciences and technology.

Practice head(s):

Simon Tytherleigh

Other key lawyers:

Elizabeth Graves; Matthew Kelly; Constanze Moorhouse; Rachel Bennett; Sasha Willmott; Alice Townley Smith

Testimonials

‘Lizzie Graves and Simon Tytherleigh are super-responsive, understand our business and priorities and always come up with practical solutions to our problems.’

‘Very business minded team, very responsive, able to think from client’s perspective.’

‘Constanze Moorhouse – great key account partner, able to build strong team across different Eversheds’ offices for bigger project, sound and business oriented legal advice and high level of responsiveness

‘We work with Eversheds Sutherland on both contentious and non-contentious matters and in both cases the Cambridge team have been key partners in helping us respond to business challenges in new ways. They are prepared to think outside the box, both by helping us to put our own ideas into practice, and by bringing their own ideas to the table. It’s been a real pleasure working with this team.’

‘Simon Tytherleigh has been excellent in helping us to work out how to put new ideas into practice, particularly around how to develop new legal processes that involve collaboration and hand-offs between the internal and external legal teams. In this way, Simon has helped us to achieve significant improvements in our ability to protect our business, in a cost-effective way.’

‘Extremely responsive. Very pragmatic advice. Understand the needs of the client well.’

‘Matthew Kelly – extremely responsive. Very good technically, but also provides clear and pragmatic advice to the client group. Senior associate Alice Townley Smith – extremely responsive. Excellent rapport with the client group.’

‘Matthew Kelly is always available and ensires a quick turnaround. He has gained an excellent understanding of our institution, issues and stakeholders.’

Key clients

PPD Global Limited

Avantor Inc

City, University of London

Revolution Beauty Group PLC

Richmond-upon Thames College

The Wensum Trust

Expedia Inc.

Greenwoods Legal

Greenwoods Legal has '‘a highly professional team, with the qualifications and experience necessary to meet probably any client demands'. Employment law is a core practice for the firm, which provides strategic and technical advice to blue-chip and nationally recognised organisations, as well as smaller regional companies. Its work encompasses large-scale reorganisations and mass redundancy exercises, TUPE matters, pensions, complex Employment Tribunal litigation, data protection and all areas of strategic HR advice. Peterborough is the main hub of the practice and it is where practice head John Macaulay , managing partner Robert Dillarstone and key partner Keith Williams reside. Joanna Scally and senior associates Natalie Williams and Siobhan Thomson are the key contacts in Cambridge.

Practice head(s):

John Macaulay

Other key lawyers:

Robert Dillarstone; Keith Williams; Joanna Scally; Natalie Williams; Siobhan Thomson

Testimonials

‘Jo Scally and Siobhan Thomson are both very knowledgeable and experienced practitioners. They are always easily accessible with reassuring balanced advice and guidance. They never shy away from difficult honest conversations. They have developed strong constructive working relationships within our organisation enabling positive outcomes for some complex cases.’

‘They are dedicated to delivering. There is no reticence to debating with the client, an important factor in my view as a broader analysis and the consideration from differing perspectives will lead to better decision-making in case management.’

‘The Greenwoods employment team have a straightforward, friendly and knowledgeable approach. They provide pragmatic advice and advice is helpfully tailored to our business needs.’

‘We have been working with Greenwoods for the past few years and during that time we have found them to be a responsive, professional organisation. We use them for employment law which we consider them to be experts in. They give advice that is practical, easily understood and to follow. We would recommend them without hesitation to other organisations.’

‘It’s a highly professional team, with the qualifications and experience necessary to meet probably any client demands. They listen carefully to client concerns, but are nonetheless clear in their evaluations and recommendations.’

‘I have worked closely with Siobhan Thomson for a number of years. I very much value the thoughtful and pragmatic advice she gives. She is quick to respond and always on hand to give guidance whether this is simply a reassuring sanity check at an early stage or more detailed work when a contentious issue has escalated. When Siobhan is not available I know queries will be picked up by other members of the team, especially Jo Scally. I highly value the service and support received from Greenwoods.’

‘They have a personal approach and seek an understanding of our business in order to best advise us.’

‘The Greenwoods team always does a fantastic job when assisting us with our legal queries. They provide support on a wide range of issues to us and when one specialist is unable to assist, they are always happy to refer to a colleague who is better suited. They will always follow all referred queries on to ensure timely completion. I would 100% recommend Greenwoods to anyone with their Employment Law queries.’

Key clients

Bedford Borough Council

Clare College, Cambridge

Real VNC Limited

Stratagem IPM Limited

Willmott Dixon

Taylor Wimpey

US Embassy

Hollister Inc (and its UK subsidiaries)

Work highlights

  • Partnering with Hollister Inc (and its UK subsidiaries), a US-owned medical device company, in connection with its employment law requirements throughout the year.
  • Providing tailored legal advice and support to Taylor Wimpey regarding employment matters throughout the year.

Mills & Reeve LLP

The Cambridge office of Mills & Reeve LLP is home to an employment practice that is ‘professional and knowledgeable, providing prompt responses to enquiries and tailored advice‘. The firm has in-depth expertise in key sectors including technology, mid-market and owner managed businesses, education, health, food and agribusiness, charities and life sciences. Practice head David Mills is ‘extremely commercial in his thinking and clear on what the law says‘. Nicola Brown spearheads the firm’s work for national higher education clients and charities, Stuart Craig leads work for health sector clients in the East of England and London, and Melanie James acts primarily for large private employers. In Norwich, James Kidd leads the employment, pensions and immigration team, while Alex Russell also plays a key role in advising educational institutions.

Practice head(s):

David Mills

Other key lawyers:

Nicola Brown; James Kidd; Stuart Craig; Melanie James; Alex Russell; Patrick Gass

 

Testimonials

‘The team are professional and knowledgeable. I always receive a prompt response to enquiries and where a colleague is an expert in a particular area their input in sought. Advice is tailored to our organisation and considers our desired outcome.’

‘Nicola Brown is the partner that we work closely with. She provides us with an excellent service and harnesses the particular skills of her team really well. Alex Russell has recently dealt with some difficult cases, working closely with team members to navigate these.’

‘During Covid, everything went digital and many webinars still remain digital, that ensures that we can all attend or watch back a recording, even if we have other work or personal commitments.’

‘David Mills is very knowledgeable about the subject, as you would expect, but he stands out because he is also highly aware of the breadth and depth of my knowledge so doesn’t waste time explaining what I know already or assuming I know things I don’t. He is also extremely commercial in his thinking so is clear on what the law says, what case law has demonstrated but also gives me the level of risk to enable us to way up all the different factors before making a decision on how to proceed.’

‘We use the practice via an annual retainer for complicated issues as we don’t have any in-house legal support. We have a dedicated point of contact which makes it very easy to navigate through to the right advice when we need it. The ability to hold case meetings with HR colleagues and managers has been invaluable in managing difficult and sensitive issues and gaining trust and buy-in to the advice and proposed solutions.’

‘Alex Russell has supported our HR team for several years. Working with Alex is always rewarding as he takes the time to help us understand the background and context for his advice, treating us as peers and fellow professionals.’

‘Very good knowledge of the HE sector. Keenness to come to the client and discuss solutions.’

‘Nicola Brown – excellent sector-specific knowledge and experience. Patrick Gass – a safe pair of hands for managing employment tribunals.’

Key clients

Xaar Plc

Mick George

Tilney Smith & Williamson

Bio Products Laboratories

Baxter Healthcare

Cambridgeshire & Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust

Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

University of Bedfordshire

University of East Anglia

East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust

North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust

Hexcel Composites Limited

F-star Therapeutics Limited

Taylor Vinters

Taylor Vinters in Cambridge works closely with the firm’s employment group in London to deliver a comprehensive range of services to assist entrepreneurial clients with senior level hires and exits, strategic HR projects, workplace grievances, complex litigation and immigration support. The firm supported u-Blox Cambridge Ltd with strategic hires and overseas secondments. ‘They deliver clear and helpful advice and are flexible and clear in their communication‘, remarks one client. Kim Wedral-Rooke (who is ‘an exceptional lawyer who always finds practical solutions‘) and Rachel Ashwood (who is ‘exemplary and will always go over and above in terms of their time and advice‘) are the key partners in Cambridge. Senior associate Alix Beese also plays a key role in the practice.

Practice head(s):

Dominic Holmes

Other key lawyers:

Kim Wedral-Rooke; Rachel Ashwood

Testimonials

‘I have been working with the team for more than a decade. They are always responsive, understand our business and offer practical advice for our labour concerns.’

‘I work regularly with Kim Wedral-Rooke and she is an exceptional lawyer. She helps us always find practical solutions, knowing our business so well. She spends time getting to know our company and our legal needs, so she is a great resource. I would strongly recommend her.’

‘We found the team very flexible with our business needs. They proposed very efficient strategy for a start-up. For instance creation of template contracts and guidelines to utilise as manual.’

‘They deliver clear and helpful advice across a range of matters, including across International territories. They are flexible and clear in their communication. Rachel Ashwood is exemplary and will always go over and above in terms of their time and advice to ensure that the business is supported.’

‘The team was very supportive in situations that needed to be addressed quickly and with discretion. They were available, regardless of the hour and day of the week.’

‘This practice is very strongly attuned to the type of business that we are. They have taken the time to understand our needs and respond in ways to try to solve our problems and protect our business.’

‘Kim Wedral-Rooke is our goto lawyer for employment advice and issues, and she never fails to help us in a constructive, and effective way.’

‘TV always provides practical solutions, not limited to legal assessments or evaluation of potential risks, but having an overall business approach.’

Key clients

Fujichem Sonneborn Limited

EnaraBio Ltd

Heraeus Noblelight Ltd

u-Blox Cambridge Ltd

Thorlabs Ltd

ECi Software Solutions Ltd

Imanage

Envea

Enhnac3d Genomics

Sepura Ltd

Fluidic Analytics Ltd

Work highlights

  • Several fast emerging tech and life science companies (all of which have asked to remain anonymous given the early stage of their businesses)
  • Several fast emerging tech and life science companies (all of which have asked to remain anonymous given the early stage of their businesses).

Ashtons Legal

Ashtons Legal merged with Steeles Law in 2021 and consequently expanded its employment practice, which now has five partners. The practice provides ‘sound, pragmatic, commercially focused advice‘ on discrimination claims, employment/worker status claims and statutory protections such as unfair dismissal. Ross Strowger in Norwich leads the practice, where up-and-coming partner Robert Hickford and veteran Oliver Brabbins, who both joined in the merger, are also highly recommended. In Cambridge, Clare Sleep is noted for her in-depth knowledge of employment matters in the education sector and the ‘straightforward, approachable and professional‘ Colin Makin has notable expertise in TUPE matters.

Practice head(s):

Ross Strowger

Other key lawyers:

Robert Hickford; Oliver Brabbins; Colin Makin; Clare Sleep

 

Testimonials

‘Sound, pragmatic, commercially focused advice.’

‘Colin Makin – straightforward, approachable and professional.’

‘The customer service is excellent and the team are committed to understanding exactly what our challenge may be and doing everything possible to resolve and support.’

‘Clare Sleep is outstanding both in terms of quality of relationship and quality of advice and results.’

Key clients

Premier Foods PLC

Hovis Limited

Anglian Windows (T/A Anglian Home Improvements)

Robinson Motor Group

Marshall of Cambridge Aerospace Limited

The Perse School, Cambridge

Cambridge Colleges including Christ’s College, Hughes Hall, Clare Hall, Pembroke College

Volvo (Services Machinery & Trucks Limited which is the exclusive dealership of Volvo Construction Equipment products)

Falcon Tower Crane Services Limited

Marshall Fleet Solutions

Praemium (UK) Limited

Thales Group

Caremark

Beggars Group

Monkey Puzzle Day Nurseries Ltd

HB Pizza Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised on an Employment Tribunal claim brought against the client by an employee who claimed to have been promised a job by a senior manager who was subsequently dismissed. The case involved complex novel contractual arguments around apparent authority of the manager.
  • Obtained ex parte interim injunction and agreed permanent injunction to prevent leaking of client’s business critical R&D material to a competitor.
  • Undertook an internal equalities audit through reviews of policies, interviews of cross sections of all levels of seniority, and assessment of recent grievance and claim history, providing report to executive board for a national food manufacturing company.

Ellisons Solicitors

The employment practice at Ellisons Solicitors in Ipswich not only supports the firm’s corporate group with transactional work, but also handles major Employment Tribunal cases, complex TUPE work and strategic advisory matters. Practice head Julian Outen excels in complex TUPE and corporate support matters, and in high-stakes litigation and discrimination issues. Associate Tina Maxey has a broad practice that encompasses representing professionals at internal disciplinary hearings, conducting high-value race and sex discrimination Employment Tribunal Claims and advising on TUPE matters. Clients feel ‘respected, listened to and comfortable with the approach at all times‘.

Practice head(s):

Julian Outen

Other key lawyers:

Tina Maxey

Testimonials

‘All processes, billing etc. was clearly explained prior to any work taking place, so I was kept fully aware at all stages, so there was no surprises, which was appreciated.’

‘I worked with Julian Outen, who came highly recommended, and Tina Maxey. Because of my ex-profession I have worked with many lawyers, both good and bad – both Julian and Tina kept me fully in the loop, I felt respected, listened to and comfortable with the approach at all times.’

‘I have only engaged with Tina Maxey at Ellisons, I can praise Tina’s professionalism, her quick response to communications and her patience in covering all areas needing professional support.’

Key clients

East of England Cooperative Society

Gray Dawes Travel Group

Gotelee Solicitors

Gotelee Solicitors in Ipswich has a strong presence in the local market and frequently acts for corporate clients, to which it provides a fixed price HR advice retainer service. 'Every single person has been kind, fun, knowledgeable and responsive', remarks one client, picking out practice head Marie Allen, who handles a broad range of employment and immigration matters, and managing partner Andrew West. 'They work quickly, respond quickly and their knowledge is great', says another. Allen advised Boost Drinks Limited on the termination of the Covid-19 furlough scheme and return to work issues.

Practice head(s):

Marie Allen

Other key lawyers:

Andrew West

Testimonials

‘The most outstanding and refreshing thing about working with Gotelee is the strength of the relationships that you form with them. They are very human- which is (in my experience) rare across the board in legal firms. Everyone is so willing to help and they seem to have a culture where they thrive on helping their customers. They work quickly, respond quickly and their knowledge is great. I found it refreshing that they listen to my needs and don’t just come up with a blanket standard solution.’

‘My company is a bit unusual and our approach isn’t very traditional, and Gotelee have helped us in the tone we want, not in some stiff legal style.’

‘I have worked with multiple people at Gotelee over the last five years and every single person has been kind, fun, knowledgeable and responsive. I feel listened to, cared for and I feel like a unique client, not just a number or a job. I have has especially good interactions with Andrew West and Marie Allen and both have left me feeling hopeful, energised and confident that every detail was thought through. I honestly cannot fault anyone- the best service I have ever had from legal professionals.’

‘The firm is a traditional business with care for its clients needs. Access to the advice on the HR retainer has always been timely and responsive. The employment team understands the needs of a business at our size that also has the family element which fits with our values.’

‘Access to Andrew West has always been brilliant. He is responsive, pragmatic and the business trusts the advice he gives. He gives no nonsense approach with measured risk for each situation and talks in a language we all understand at every level. He is my go to for all HR advice and would always recommend him to any business needing employment law or HR support.’

Key clients

Mervyn Lambert Ltd

Boost Drinks Limited

Jack Sealey Limited

Hotel Technology Management (HTM) Limited

East Suffolk Council

Sackers Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising Jack Sealey Limited on day to day employment law issues under an HR retainer.
  • Advising Mervyn Lambert Plant Limited on day to day employment law issues as and when they arise under a longstanding HR retainer arrangement, and regularly audit all employment policies, procedures and related documentation.
  • Boost Drinks Limited: providing general employment law advice.

Greene & Greene

Greene & Greene in Bury St Edmunds ‘provides a level of service that you would expect from a top London firm‘. Selene Holden (who ‘puts the client’s needs first and focusses firmly on getting the best result for them‘) is head of employment law and a frequent adviser to domestic and international clients in the manufacturing, insurance, education and pharmaceuticals sectors. Key partner Greg Jones has notable industry knowledge in technology, insurance, manufacturing, recruitment and facilities management. Specialist employment barrister Angharad Ellis Owen also plays a key role in contentious matters and is ‘extremely personable and effective at putting the client at ease‘.

Practice head(s):

Selene Holden

Other key lawyers:

Greg Jones; Angharad Ellis Owen

Testimonials

‘From the very first conversation I was convinced I was using them. They immediately showed interest in my situation compared to other practices that spoke time as if it was just another employment case. I feel many solicitors talk down to customers but Selene Holden and Angharad Ellis Owen were unbelievably good at communicating. Always available, very very efficient and prompt. Customer service was first class.’

‘Selene Holden – experienced partner who puts the client’s needs first and focusses firmly on getting the best result for them. Greg Jones – a hard worker with very good technical knowledge. Angharad Ellis Owen – extremely personable and effective at putting the client at ease while also possession very good in depth knowledge of the law.’

‘Selene Holden and Angharad Ellis Owen are extremely professional. Patient and very understanding. Filled me with confidence through the whole process. They are the best solicitors I have ever worked with. I would recommend them to everyone.’

‘Selene Holden has supported me and my company for 15 years. We have never had a negative outcome or lost any challenge in which Selene has guided us. We work in manufacturing and she is able to adapt he offer to suit all levels and is never condescending or seemingly frustrated with repeating basic information’

‘We have worked with Greene & Greene on all employee and privacy matters since 2016. The team consistently demonstrate excellent legal knowledge as well as business acumen. What makes Greene & Greene stand out is that they understand our business and our culture deliver appropriate and creative solutions to our issues. We enjoy working with them proactively and they are swift and efficient when the situation calls for it. We are grateful for the partnership and see them as a natural extension of our own team.’

‘Greg Jones is my main contact. He is very easy to get hold of, always calls back, manages his time extremely well letting me know what to expect and by when when. He listens very carefully and gives very appropriate solutions to our solutions. We are able to debate situations and come to thought out solution. I value this immensely as I have worked with many lawyers who give you solutions before listening to the entirety of your problem or give solutions which serve their egos rather than my business.’

‘The team provide very clear advice and do it efficiently. Providing a level of service that you would expect from a top London firm.’

Key clients

Nexus Underwriting Management Limited

Treatt Plc

AJN Steelstock Ltd

Tristel Plc

Culford School

The Vitec Group Plc

TER (UK) Limited

Cobb Europe Limited

Besins Healthcare (UK) Ltd

JCS Hi-Torque Ltd

Howes Percival LLP

Howes Percival LLP provides ‘a full comprehensive range of legal services with the added value of sound, commercial advice‘. The firm has a substantial respondent-based Employment Tribunal practice and also provides day-to-day advice on HR matters. ‘I have the greatest confidence in their employment team to solve any issues we might have‘, remarks one client. The ‘ knowledgeable, resourceful and always responsive‘ Matthew Potter in Cambridge is the lead partner and he has extensive experience in board-level disputes and exits. Legal director Laura Brown in Norwich joined from Birketts LLP to add experience in domestic and cross-border matters in the leisure, technology, education, energy and renewables, motor, manufacturing and food sectors.

Practice head(s):

Matthew Potter

Other key lawyers:

Laura Brown

Testimonials

‘Everyone, without exception, at Howes Percival in my experience has given me every reason to recommend their services and I have the greatest confidence in their employment team to solve any issues we might have. They are very highly recommended by me.’

‘Dynamic, good-sized law firm with a well known brand name.

‘Laura Brown dealt with my case with a high level of professionalism as one would expect from a lawyer, but what made her stand out is that she had the canning ability to understand the thoughts and emotions within my case. If any area was misunderstood, she was able to express in layman’s terms. Laura put me at ease from the off and displayed the right level of intelligence to understand what was going on.

‘Empathy is much needed trait for employment lawyers and I was glad that Laura Brown was recommended to me.’

‘What you get with Howes Percival is a full comprehensive range of legal services with the added value of sound, commercial advice. The team have complementary skills and expertise from different areas of law that are brought in, as required to give you the answers you need.’

‘Matt Potter is an exceptional exponent of providing me with commercially focused employment related solutions. Matt is knowledgeable, resourceful and always responsive. What is also impressive is the fact that no issue, challenge of problem is too small for Matt to assist with. If it’s something we need help with, Matt is always there on hand.’

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP in Cambridge has 'a fantastic team with unrivalled knowledge of the law that is completely dedicated to achieving the best outcomes for clients'. The firm is particularly adept in dealing with employment matters affecting clients in the technology, life sciences, charities and education sectors. Lead partner Hilary Aldred is 'hardworking, brilliantly intelligent, and her judgment is second to none'. She provides on-going HR and immigration advice to Abcam Plc, including assistance with employee grievances and disciplinary matters. 'Supremely organised' managing associate Sophie Whitbread and senior associate Charissa Upton are highly recommended by clients.

Practice head(s):

Hilary Aldred

Other key lawyers:

Sophie Whitbread; Charissa Upton

Testimonials

‘Practical, concise advice, good understanding of commercial situation, as well as the legal.’

‘Very supportive, responsive and helpful.’

‘A fantastic team. Unrivalled knowledge of the law. They are completely dedicated to achieving the best outcomes for clients. They have formidable expertise in managing complex and sensitive investigations.’

‘Hilary Aldred is a truly exceptional lawyer. Hardworking, brilliantly intelligent, judgment is second to none. Sophie Whitbread is a fantastic lawyer, very knowledgeable, supremely organised.’

‘With n ability to think through the ramifications of problems both legally and practically, this team is excellent at dealing with complex employment litigation. Great support from a team of associates and paralegals.’

‘Hilary Aldred – a “go-to” partner who thinks through issues with care and skill. Particularly adept at dealing with highly complex legal problems and heavy contentious disputes. Excellent with clients, measured and calm, she is someone you would want in your corner.’

‘I have the found the team to be uniquely pragmatic in the advice that they have provided. At all times, I felt that they had the best interests of my company at the core of their thinking and the guidance we received enabled us to navigate some potentially very difficult situations in a logical and calm manner. We were never encouraged to over-reach nor to seek exceptional or unachievable results, only to bring the matters to a realistic and entirely acceptable close. We always had the confidence that our business was in safe and knowledgeable hands.’

‘I have worked most closely with Charissa Upton who has provided me with the opportunity to explore best practice, to seek the best resolution and has given me the reassurance that the decisions we have taken were backed by solid knowledge and experience, both of the issue and our of business. She is my ‘go to’ call when I need additional advice, guidance and support in the minefield which is the area of employment law.’

Key clients

Nuffield College

Ocado Central Services Ltd trading as Ocado

Abcam Plc

Christ Church, Oxford

Ubisense Limited

Cambridge Commonwealth European and International Trust

Corpus Christi, Cambridge

Whiting & Partners

Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge

Freight 24

The Company of Biologists

Work highlights

  • Supported Ocado Central Services Ltd by providing a senior associate as a secondee to the team for six months to provide advice on day to day matters and handle employment tribunal claims, as well as to be available to consider difficult technical points when required.
  • Acted on the well publicised disputes with the Dean of Christ Church including defending both the claims raised by him against Christ Church as well as the claim raised by woman the Dean was alleged to have sexually harassed.

BDB Pitmans

BDB Pitmans has an experienced partner, Caroline Yarrow, who now works across both the London and Cambridge offices. The firm frequently handles matters concerning employees and consultants, including senior executives, at all stages of an employment/consultancy relationship. This includes negotiating and advising on the initial engagement contract, as well as disciplinary, grievance or whistleblowing matters. It also advises on the negotiation of settlement terms, and provides extensive HR support to corporate clients. Furthermore, it assists both claimants and respondents with Employment Tribunal and High Court cases.

Practice head(s):

Caroline Yarrow

Testimonials

‘From the initial interaction through to conclusion of the matter, communication was clear, concise and prompt.’

‘Caroline Yarrow took the time to understand my position, provided tailored advice, considered the wider picture and achieved a positive outcome in the negotiations. Fair for both sides. She communicated in line with expectations set or sooner if matters enabled such. Seamless service at what can be a difficult time for an individual engaging solicitors on employment matters.’

‘Caroline Yarrow is an exceptional lawyer.’

‘Caroline Yarrow has great knowledge of employment law and in particular the issues I was facing. Her guidance at a very difficult time for me was very reassuring. She provided great support which also emphasised my rights at work. But the best advice she had given me was to talk to my employers, to break the ice and defuse the situation and to discuss my options with them which at times was very hard to do but which worked. A very ugly and uncomfortable situation turned out to be bearable. It all worked out and I received a good package. Thank you Caroline for getting me through what would have been a very difficult and expensive legal case, if it wasn’t for your advice, support and kindness. I will definitely be recommending Caroline to my friends and family.’

‘Caroline Yarrow came recommended and provided a professional and courteous service. Caroline provided continual and appropriately measured responses and communications to myself and the other party involved at an appropriate cadence.’

‘The team headed by Caroline Yarrow provides a level of expertise that equals the standards that draws large clients to London.’

‘Caroline Yarrow is a sound lawyer and sage tactician. She sees the strengths and vulnerabilities of the client\s case and is not afraid of providing her advise in clear terms when there is judgement call to be made in the midst of litigation.’

‘Just fantastic overall. The way the partner with your business is brilliant and make their support so easy for me as the customer. Their knowledge, honesty and guidance is invaluable and has provided the insight we need at the times we need it to help us be successful.’

Key clients

Smurfit Kappa UK Ltd

Lifetime Training Limited

Employment Related Services Association (ERSA)

Health and Care Professions Council

Connected Places Catapult

Jones Lang LaSalle

Royal Opera House, Covent Garden

National Audit Office

St John Ambulance

Worshipful Company of Stationers and Newspaper Makers

Work highlights

  • Providing strategic advice and assistance to Smurfit Kappa UK Limited, a leading multi-national corporate in the manufacturing sector, offering innovative packing, paper and recycling solutions, on all of its UK employment law and HR needs.
  • Provided extensive assistance to the then shareholders of a key energy consultancy business on the employment aspects of a corporate share sale.
  • Advising and defending a retail and leisure client on and defending an East Anglian Retail and Leisure client in an employment tribunal claim for constructive dismissal and disability discrimination.

Buckles Solicitors LLP

Buckles Solicitors LLP has a prominent position in employment law in its home market of Peterborough and, since the acquisition of Miller Sands in 2020, in Cambridge. The firm, which also has strong resource in its London office, acts for a diverse mix of clients, among them public authorities, local businesses, charities and senior executives. The presence of the firm in Paris and Milan also feeds international employment law matters into its teams in East Anglia. In Peterborough, senior associate Nicola Cockerill is the key contact for contentious and non-contentious for businesses and senior employees. Former practice head Giles Betts  moved to Stobbs IP in 2022.

Practice head(s):

Giles Betts

Other key lawyers:

Nicola Cockerill

Key clients

London Internet Exchange Limited

Stobbs (IP) Limited

The Leprosy Mission England and Wales

Trade Commission of Peru

Durr Limited

Clapham & Collinge Solicitors

The employment practice at Clapham & Collinge Solicitors is 'extremely polite and helpful - when they say they are going to do something consider it done'. In contentious matters, the firm acts predominantly for claimants and this is the mainstay of its practice, though it continues to grow its non-contentious workload and its representation of respondents in employment litigation. Legal executive Nicola Strefford in Norwich leads the practice, which works closely with the firm's commercial group on TUPE matters and supporting employers with the acquisition of businesses. Strefford is 'a very professional individual and brings a human touch in our dealings'.

Practice head(s):

Nicola Strefford

Testimonials

‘This practice from day one of my engagement with them were professional, clear with their advice and understanding of what I was seeking to achieve.’

‘Nicola Strefford and her team continuously worked hard for me. I had no doubts that work was being undertaken on my behalf in a timely and professional manner, with feedback being given to me promptly, advice provided whenever I asked, but with realistic expectations of what I could achieve through various routes of progressing my particular case. In what was sometimes very difficult times for me, the service they provided was second to none.’

‘I can not praise them highly enough, particularly Nicola Strefford. I particularly liked the way in which Nicola was always calm and considered in her conversations with me.’

‘For the last couple of years I have worked with Nicola Strefford. I can honestly say that she has been brilliant. She has always responded to my questions and worked through with me the best course of action to take along each step of the legal journey. I feel that she is almost a personal friend from the way she conducts her business. However, when she needs to tell me straight she still manages to do that gently.’

‘Thank goodness for the solicitors of this world that are there to support the small individuals when dealing with large organisations that should know better. We have still a way to go, but I feel with Nicola Strefford I have the best chance to get the right outcome.’

‘My reason for recommending this firm is that they were extremely professional from my first contact. Their initial guidance was clear and they responded to my questions both quickly and very thoroughly. That made a huge difference and I felt valued as a client.’

‘Nicola Stefford is a very professional individual to work with but also brought a human touch in my dealings. I would highly recommend.’

‘My dealings are with Nicola Strefford. Nicola is very approachable and always has time to deal with inquiries. She is very responsive when queries are raised and very prompt in responding. In my experience she has a wealth of knowledge and provides sound advice.’

Work highlights

  • Advised client on claims of unfair dismissal, wrongful dismissal, failure to make reasonable adjustments, victimisation and discrimination arising from disability.
  • Instructed in relation to claims against an NHS Foundation Trust, which include discrimination (direct, indirect, harassment, victimisation) because of and/or related to disability, age, sex and pregnancy and maternity.
  • Received instructions to advise and represent some 200 claimants in a class action against a large company. We are currently in the preliminary stages of this claim but it is anticipated that the class action value is likely to be in the region £1.8M.

Fosters

Fosters is 'professional and extremely efficient but also very approachable and friendly'. The firm is instructed by international and national companies, as well as local businesses, providing advice on Employment Tribunals and HR matters. It has also launched its In House model, which enables clients to outsource their HR function to the firm. Senior associate Doug Frame in Norwich leads the three-lawyer employment practice. He 'always goes above and beyond for his clients, nothing is ever too much trouble day or night'. 'Everyone I dealt with was kind and patient and explained everything thoroughly', remarks one client.

Practice head(s):

Doug Frame

Testimonials

‘I find the team are extremely helpful and knowledgeable in their area of expertise. They respond to our questions promptly and provide a great service.’

‘We moved our business from a previous company when Doug Frame joined Fosters as we wished to continue working with him. The level of service he has provided to date has been exemplary.’

‘They were patient and understanding, dealing with my nervousness throughout the case. They were professional and extremely efficient throughout but very approachable and friendly.’

‘Fosters provide a variety of services capturing everything under one roof for any business. All departments are experts in their field providing a quality, friendly and professional service.’

‘Doug Frame always goes above and beyond for his clients, nothing is ever too much trouble day or night. Even with urgent last minute requests, he ensures their client requests are completed. Doug especially walks you through the process and answers all “silly” questions. Fosters are always there for you whenever you need them!’

Key clients

EBM-Papst UK Limited

Brands Direct Limited

Direct Dialog Visual Limited

Lifeline24 Limited

Snelling Business Systems Limited

Work highlights

  • Lifeline24 Limited – Advising client on its day-to-day HR matters.

Hatch Brenner LLP

The practice at Hatch Brenner LLP, which has recently seen seen a growing workload of employment matters, is overseen by head of dispute resolution Colin Cook; however, the key practitioner is solicitor and employment law specialist Dionne Dury who has ‘a keen eye for both the detail and the bigger picture‘. One client remarks that she is ‘fair, responsive and keen to move things forward in a positive and understanding way‘. Her work encompasses policy and contract drafting, disciplinary and grievance procedures, redundancy, and the defence of discrimination, unfair dismissal and other contentious matters.

Practice head(s):

Colin Cook

Testimonials

‘The employment team at Hatch Brenner’s key strength is their keen eye for both the detail, and the bigger picture. Forward looking and solution focussed, they integrate virtual working seamlessly into their working and this makes them accessible and flexible.’

‘Working with Dionne Dury has been an absolute pleasure. Fair, responsive and keen to move things forward in a positive and understanding way. Dionne has been able to give robust and speedy responses when issues crop up and provides sage advice to nuanced problems. This reflects the work of the team, and Dionne exemplifies it.’

Work highlights

  • A settlement agreement was breached by the client’s former employer which resulted in a High Court action for breach of contract and malicious falsehood. Settled claim, prior to issuing proceedings, at £19,000.
  • The client was a cleaner at Norse Group. Having disabilities including autism, dyslexia and ADHD, he required certain adjustments to be made / training to be provided, to be able to carry out his role. Ongoing claims; one of which related to breach of contract / unlawful deductions from pay, which was settled for £4,000.
  • The client was involved in a business which he owned shares in. Professional relationships broke down, resulting in the client wanting to sell his shares. Negotiations for settlement became tense with cross allegations and dispute. Following an impartial investigation, the valuation was agreed on and the client received £35,970.

Quantrills Solicitors

Quantrills Solicitors in Ipswich ‘delivers a high degree of personal service and client care, response times are excellent, and partners are always available to explain the legal issues and provide robust defences‘. The firm focuses purely on employment law, predominantly assisting employers with complex cases, among them disciplinary matters and grievance related investigations. Its work for employees includes numerous instructions from teachers and headteachers. Lead partner Simon Quantrill ‘takes time to understand the company culture to ensure best advice always considered‘.

Practice head(s):

Simon Quantrill

Testimonials

‘Quantrills delivers a high degree of personal service and client care. Response times are excellent and partners are always available to explain the legal issues around employment disputes and provide robust defences.’

‘Simon Quantrill is our main point of contact. He is highly knowledgeable on all aspects of employment law and provides timely and practical advice as required.’

‘Quantrills have always given us a personal service. We have built a good relationship over the years and they always look at the advice given to us in light of our personal circumstances in oppose to just generalization.’

‘Simon Quantrill offers prompt and considered advice – he takes time to understand the company culture and relationship with parent company to ensure best advice always considered.’

‘The team are clearly experts in employment law and practice but can combine this with both practical application and commercialism.’

‘Simon Quantrill’s knowledge and application of the law is second to none. He is always able to find a workable solution to every situation put to him and his guidance is invaluable in dealing with difficult and complex cases.’

Spire Solicitors LLP

Spire Solicitors LLP in Norwich is 'willing to go the extra mile to understand commercial pressures and imperatives'. The firm is well versed in Employment Tribunal litigation, including bringing and defending unfair dismissal, whistleblowing, and discrimination claims. 'Very commercial and knowledgeable' senior associate June Salmon leads the employment practice, along with litigation partners Jane Liddle in Norwich and Sarb Gosal in Dereham. Salmon, an accredited mediator, has extensive experience in employment matters affecting clients in insurance, the public sector and education, as well as private companies and individuals.

Practice head(s):

June Salmon; Jane Liddle; Sarb Gosal

Testimonials

‘Willing to go the extra mile. Understands the commercial pressures and imperatives.’

‘June Salmon is very commercial and knowledgeable of employment matters. A well rounded and professional team dealing with business critical issues.’

‘Excellent service. Made to feel comfortable from the first meeting. Kept up to date at all times. Nothing was too much trouble. Wording that I understood.’

‘The business although relatively small local firm, has a wealth of experience and knowledge. The team supporting me from an Employment perspective has a wealth of experience to assist me. The engagement with experienced baristers who can assist is also excellent. The operation is a diverse team, from gender and ethnically diverse teams / employees through to the quality of the teams providing service.’

‘We have been consulting with June Salmon and have been very pleased with the advice received so far.’

‘The team has a “can do” attitude. Nothing is too small or to large and the teams are always ready to assist. No issues with IT, even when a new member of the team starts, no issues to engage with video conferences.’

Key clients

Cherry Tree Farm

Dardan security

Redman Stewart Holdings

Mrs Jill Francis

PACT

Mr Peter Marshall

Mr Robert Parfitt

WindsorWallace limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Cherry Tree Farm on the necessity to ensure that correct redundancy processes takes place on the retirement of adjoining landowner to prevent any questions regarding the employment being continued by the previous farmer and the effects of TUPE in relation to the question of employment continuing on the transfer of a contract to lease land.
  • Advised Dardan Security Limited on how HMRC and ET considers the test for employment liability in relation to organisations duties and responsibilities for tax and employment purposes.
  • Redman Stewart Holdings – advised on the differences between self employed as a consultant and being engaged as an employee, the burden and benefits to the organisation and the employee.

Stone King LLP

Stone King LLP‘s Cambridge office is a key hub in its firm-wide employment law practice, which is led from Bath. It has ‘an extremely helpful team, very knowledgable and it has  been incredibly supportive‘, remarks a client. Legal executive Julianna Barker is the key practitioner and she ‘provides excellent support‘. The firm focuses predominantly on the needs of clients in the charity and education sectors, which include senior exits, whistleblowing claims, misconduct investigations and cases concerning discrimination. Partner Tim Tyndall moved to Keystone Law.

Practice head(s):

Peter Woodhouse

Other key lawyers:

Julianna Barker

Testimonials

‘Extremely helpful team, very knowledgable and have been incrediably supportive with the various employment law challenges that we have faced.’

‘I have worked closely with Julianna Barker in the Cambridge office and she provided excellent support in a couple of recent employment cases.

Woodfines LLP

Woodfines LLP in Cambridge has a small employment team that works closely with lawyers in the Bedford and Milton Keynes office. Highly experienced local partner Nick Sayer leads the group, and clients remark that he ‘provides excellent legal advice and guidance and does so in an easy to understand way making the legal process and implications clear without using too much jargon‘. The firm works with clients in sectors as diverse as financial services, recruitment, manufacturing, software solutions and healthcare, but its main focus is on road transport. Sayer handles a broad range of TUPE and collective employment law issues, including pay negotiations and industrial disputes.

Practice head(s):

Nick Sayer

Testimonials

‘As business we generally only deal with Nick Sayer as part of our retainer with them, so normally only get to speak and engage with Nick. However, on the occasion I have had to speak to someone else the standard of service, advice is consistently high.’

‘Nick Sayer is fantastic. He is easily contactable when needed whether by phone or virtually. Nick provides excellent legal advice and guidance on issues and does so in an easy to understand way making the legal process and implications clear without using too much jargon. Nick also looks to understand the business and situation and in turn adapt the solution to fit rather than providing a one size fits all approach. It is a true collaboration when working on an issue.’

‘Nick Sayer is always available at short notice when I need advice on important matters.’

Key clients

Saffron Building Society

Pilatus Clinical Services Limited

Murfitts Industries Limited