Employment in East Anglia

Birketts LLP

Birketts LLP has one of the largest employment practices in the region and it ‘always provides pragmatic and practical advice, explained in straightforward terms‘. The ‘simply outstandingJeanette Wheeler leads the cross-office employment practice from Norwich, where ‘legal genius‘ Matthew Newnham ‘provides exceptional service and is always commercially aware'. ‘Very thorough‘ senior associate Lucy Churchill is also a key practitioner. Catherine Johnson who is ‘calmness personified and has an incredible memory bank of legal knowledge‘ and the ‘approachable, empathetic‘ Sonya O’Reilly are the lead partners in Ipswich. Abigail Trencher is the standout partner in Cambridge, where legal director Olivia Toulson is recommended. Tom Sharpe in Norwich defended an unfair dismissal claim for The College of West Anglia.

Practice head(s):

Jeanette Wheeler

Other key lawyers:

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


‘The key attributes we look for are responsiveness and creativity. Birketts are always quick in their response, and adept at finding a creative solution to tricky employment problems. A further feature is adaptability.’

‘Catherine Johnson has an incredible and instantly accessible memory bank of legal knowledge.’

‘Always provides pragmatic and practical advice, explained in straightforward terms. The team always have someone available if advice is needed at short notice. I would highly recommend their services.’

‘Matthew Newnham provides exceptional service, he is always commercially aware whilst explaining the risks.’

‘Jeanette Wheeler is simply outstanding. An excellent lawyer who gives clear and efficient advice with a sense of empathy and humanity. I would not use anyone else.’

‘The team are prompt in responding to any issues and are able to find the most appropriate person to support me. The advice always is clear and explains the impact of any action taken.’

‘Josie Beal and Abigail Trencher take great care to understand our business environment and needs and tailor their advice so that we can achieve the best possible outcome.’

‘The team are all very pragmatic and approachable. They provide solutions in a timely and effective manner.’

Work highlights

  • Acted for The College of West Anglia in its defence of an unfair dismissal brought by Mr G Beardon (a former Course Director and Lecturer). The claim raised important health and safety issues.
  • The Felixstowe Dock & Railway Company (Port of Felixstowe) has a collectively agreed Management of Absence caused through Ill Health policy, that the firm regularly advises on and has been collectively agreed by the recognised Trade Unions.
  • Instructed by Brentwood Borough Council & Rochford District Council to advise on a strategic partnership agreement.

Cambridge Employment Law LLP

Cambridge Employment Law LLP's focused practice, which has a strong reputation for its expertise in the health and life sciences sector, is noted as being ‘approachable, personable, pragmatic and commercially-focused whilst sensitive to workplace cultures and values'. The experienced partners in the team are the ‘professional yet very down-to-earth‘ Oliver Pryke, who frequently acts for technology companies and research institutions; Eleanor Freeman, who focuses on work in the biotech and tech sectors; and Mandy Lyne, who supports clients in the engineering, manufacturing and education sectors, as well as numerous SMEs. The team's advice is described as being 'quick, spot-on and practical‘.

Practice head(s):

Oliver Pryke; Mandy Lyne; Eleanor Freeman


‘Approachable, personable, pragmatic and commercially-focused whilst sensitive to workplace cultures and values, with great knowledge and understanding of the health and life sciences sector. They have never failed to respond promptly and make time for a conversation.’

‘The team is able to provide advice on the full-range of UK issues.’

‘Oliver Pryke’s approach has made me keep coming back to this team for advice. His thoughtfulness about impacts on workplace culture and his ability to hit the right tone has been really appreciated. I also appreciate his recognition of what I already know and to provide his ability to provide advice on the level required. He is absolutely not condescending, which isn’t always the case in my experience.’

Key clients

Trinity College, Cambridge

Cambridge Consultants Limited

Public Library of Science

Adder Technology Limited

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP

The national employment and labour practice at Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP has a hub in Cambridge which is well-equipped to handle local, national and international-level employment matters, ranging advising on restructurings and redundancies to handling litigation. Practice head Simon Tytherleigh, who ‘listens and delivers’, stands out for his Employment Tribunal work. Key partner Elizabeth Graves advises on employment matters in the life sciences, technology and financial services industries. The ‘very client-friendlyMatthew Kelly specialises in advising education sector clients, as does ‘thorough and prompt’ principal associate Alice Townley Smith. Constanze Moorhouse, who handles cross-border matters, is ‘very responsive and provides spot-on advice‘. Legal director Rachel Bennett has numerous clients in the pharmaceutical, transport and water sectors, whilst principal associate Sasha Willmott focuses 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


‘Simon Tytherleigh and team have done a great job supporting us on some very significant matters this year, both non-contentious and contentious. Working with Eversheds we have been able to reset perceptions both internally and in the market about our appetite to protect our business when individuals break their employment contracts after exit.’

‘A wide-range of employment expertise across all fields of employment law.’

‘The team is very approachable and responsive with great understanding of business mindsets and how to give practical advice therein.’

‘Constanze Moorhouse is very responsive, has broad experience, a business mindset and provides spot-on advice.’

‘Matthew Kelly turns around work very quickly, is very client-friendly, good at explaining the law to HR advisers and has excellent sector knowledge. Alice Townley Smith is very calm under pressure, and very client friendly. She is also methodical and thorough in her approach to complex legal case work.’

‘Eversheds were excellent at helping us formulate a plan of action, coordinate with international colleagues and agree a process.’

‘They provide timely, clear, pragmatic advice and have a highly professional approach to a range of complex employment situations, taking a risk-based approach.’

‘Matthew Kelly is outstanding in his rapid grasp of the salient issues, aligned with our organisation’s context and values. Alice Townley Smith is a consummate professional in her thorough and prompt advice. Both have a depth of knowledge which we value highly.’

Key clients

ITC Infotech India Limited

City, University of London

University of Portsmouth

Acacium Group

AstraZeneca UK Limited

Russell Group University

London South East Colleges

Arm Limited

Thames Water

Greenwoods Legal

Greenwoods Legal‘s team ‘continually provides a high-level of customer service’. The firm has a large cross-office practice that operates from London, Peterborough and Cambridge, respectively. It frequently acts for blue-chip and nationally recognised organisations, among them, Cambridge University colleges. Practice head John Macaulay and key partner Keith Williams in Peterborough, along with senior associate Natalie Williams in Cambridge ‘demonstrate their knowledge and experience when exploring practical options’. Cambridge-based team members Joanna Scally and senior associate Siobhan Thomson are described as being ‘knowledgeable, approachable and flexible‘. Managing partner Robert Dillarstone also plays a central role in the practice.

Practice head(s):

John Macaulay

Other key lawyers:

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


‘The employment team simply understand us as an employing organisation and what matters here.’

‘Greenwoods provides a high-level of customer service. They offer practical, up-to-date advice which is explained in plain English!’

‘All members of the team are approachable and helpful – they demonstrate their knowledge and experience when exploring practical options with us to support business decisions. Their advice is straightforward and clearly explained, and they are quick to follow-up if something needs further investigation or a second opinion.’

‘They have developed a good understanding of the sector and nature of institution in which I work, which allows them to provide tailored and pragmatic advice.’

‘Both Siobhan Thomson and Joanna Scally are knowledgeable, approachable and flexible. I value the way they work with me to assess risk and explore options for action in a collaborative way; as a client I feel I am well supported but with full control of whatever process or situation is at issue.’

‘A friendly, helpful team who are always willing and able to help on a variety of employment matters.’

‘Always a quick response from the employment team who always able to work with me to find a suitable solution.’

‘They provide really high-quality advice. They understand the organisation and its needs and have a really good understanding of the risks we face. Siobhan Thomson is excellent.’

Key clients

Uppingham School

Bedford Borough Council

Jesus College

Challs International

Churchill College

Clare College

Christ’s College

Uppingham School

Real VNC Limited

Willmott Dixon

Fittleworth Medical Limited

Hollister Inc (and its UK subsidiaries)

Richard Wolf UK Ltd

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.
  • Providing an independent workplace investigation for Richard Wolf GmbH.

Mills & Reeve LLP

The Cambridge office of Mills & Reeve LLP is a key hub nationally for the firm’s employment work. The ‘open and friendlyDavid Mills leads the practice, wherein Nicola Brown heads up the firm’s work for national higher education, and charity clients, specifically. Stuart Craig focuses on advising health sector clients in the East of England and London, and Melanie James is a key adviser to large private employers. James Kidd leads the employment, pensions and immigration practice in the Norwich office, where ‘expert in his field’ Alex Russell focuses on supporting educational institutions; Russell notably acted for Royal Veterinary College in the successful defence of an unfair dismissal claim.

Practice head(s):

David Mills

Other key lawyers:

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


‘The Mills & Reeve team know our organisation and team well. They are responsive and advice is tailored to our specific needs and the particulars in the situation.’

‘Nicola Brown is an excellent source of advice and information.’

‘Mills & Reeve are always business-minded and manage the risk for a company based on the legal situation. Easy to talk to and quick to recommend solutions.’

‘They take the commercially-focused, pragmatic approach, have excellent focus on client service and attention-to-detail. We have a strong collaborative relationship.’

‘This practice is always responsive to the needs of our business and has specialist practitioners on-hand to provide advice and guidance over the whole range of issues that we face as an organisation.’

‘Alex Russell is an expert in his field and inspires trust. He is our go-to person whenever anything difficult drops into my inbox.’

‘The team building and close client relationships helps us feel like we are always on their radar for support and discussion, and indeed we are.’

‘They make time with us to have personalised discussions and always provide space and silence to hear our concerns and understand our requirements. They are always available when we reach out.’

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

Mishcon de Reya LLP

Mishcon de Reya LLP's practice in Cambridge is an important extension of the wider national employment group, and it is noted as being ‘highly responsive and highly attuned to the needs of technology businesses'. ‘Excellent employment lawyer and astute strategistKim Wedral-Rooke and Rachel Ashwood, who ‘provides an exemplary service, are the key partners in East Anglia. Wedral-Rooke and associate Jessica Pinto assisted u-Blox Cambridge Ltd with UK and global strategic hires, including overseas secondments, and complex ER matters. Senior associate Alix Beese is also recommended.

Other key lawyers:

Kim Wedral-Rooke; Rachel Ashwood; Alix Beese; Jessica Pinto


‘Taylor Vinters is the only firm of lawyers I would ever consider using using as the standard of service I have received has always been outstanding. I have dealt with Rachel Ashwood for several years now.’

“Rachel Ashwood provides an exemplary service, always responding quickly and with expert, sensible guidance and advice. Rachel has been our employment lawyer for several years and her advice and help have been invaluable to me – I would have absolutely no hesitation in recommending her.’

‘This team is highly responsive, with a strong understanding of business needs. They are highly attuned to the needs of technology businesses working on a global basis.’

‘Kim Wedral-Rooke is an excellent employment lawyer and astute strategist.’

‘I particularly work with Kim Wedral-Rooke and Jessica Pinto. They see cases from all aspects and advise accordingly. They also provide a service with a personal, friendly approach, which makes it easy to communicate with them at all levels. They have also taken the time to learn about our business and the people we employ within it.’

‘Kim Wedral-Rooke and her team are very personable and able to communicate appropriately. They understand the audience and adapt style and approach accordingly.’

‘The employment practice team provides timely and effective legal advice for all matters, proving pragmatic solutions to a myriad of problems we encounter. They take the time to understand business needs, understand the particular problems at hand and then offer up solutions that help our company move on – a trusted advisor.’

‘Kim Wedral-Rooke is an excellent solicitor who asks the tough questions when needed and provides us with exceptional advise on all labour and employment matters. She speaks from experience with a wealth of legal knowledge in the area and understands our company’s particular approach so is always on target. She is a valued member of our extended legal team.’

Key clients

Fujichem Sonneborn Limited

 EnaraBio Ltd

u-Blox Cambridge Ltd

Thorlabs Ltd

ECi Software Solutions Ltd


Fluorok Ltd

Skewb Ltd

The Infuse Group (trading as Pinpoint)

Ashtons Legal

Ashtons Legal‘s employment team has particular specialisms in claims of discrimination, employment and worker status, and of statutory protections such as unfair dismissal; it alos operates an established HR consultancy for its employer clients. Notably, it acts for numerous longstanding clients in the food sector, including Premier Foods PLC and Hovis Limited. Norwich-based practice head Ross Strowger is highly knowledgeable in regards to employment issues arising in insolvency and business rescue contexts. Also based in Norwich are Robert Hickford and former HR manager and experienced employment practitioner Oliver Brabbins. Clare Sleep in Cambridge is an expert on education sector-related work. Colin Makin left for an in-house role in July 2022.

Practice head(s):

Ross Strowger

Other key lawyers:

Robert Hickford; Oliver Brabbins; Clare Sleep

Key clients

Premier Foods PLC

Hovis Limited

Anglian Windows (T/A Anglian Home Improvements)

Marshall of Cambridge Aerospace Limited

The Perse School, Cambridge

Cambridge Colleges including Magdalene College, Hughes Hall, St Catharine’s College, Pembroke College


Falcon Tower Crane Services Limited

Marshall Fleet Solutions

Praemium (UK) Limited

Thales Group


Beggars Group

Monkey Puzzle Day Nurseries Ltd

Valeo Foods Limited

Kettle Foods Limited

Cox Powertrain Limited

Cosworth Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising and assisting Premier Foods Group Limited in respect of all aspects of a potential closure of a site which may result in large-scale redundancies including cross-jurisdictional TUPE implications.
  • Advised an international leading recruitment and marketing organisation on multi-jurisdictional redundancy and TUPE exercises across the business’ Belfast, New York and Delhi offices.
  • Advising Cosworth Limited in relation to a range of employment law issues in relation to reorganisations, executive exits, holiday pay with regards to overtime, long-term sickness absence and flexible working requests.

Ellisons Solicitors

Ellisons Solicitors‘ team in Ipswich has ‘good employment law knowledge and experience in the field‘ and the four-lawyer team is regarded as being ‘pragmatic in its approach’ with an ability to give varied advice to suit the business circumstances‘. ‘Kind and sensitive‘ practice head Julian Outen handles complex TUPE and corporate support matters, and high-stakes litigation and discrimination issues. Associate Tina Maxey has a broad practice that includes advising employers on exit strategies and negotiating termination payments.

Practice head(s):

Julian Outen

Other key lawyers:

Tina Maxey


‘The individuals have good employment law knowledge and experience in the field. They are pragmatic in their approach, giving varied advice to suit the business circumstances. They have a good understanding of our business.’

‘Julian Outen is a pleasure to work with, supporting me at a very difficult and unhappy time. He was kind and sensitive in his approach, and sensing when matters were becoming overwhelming for me, which in turn helped manage my stress. This did not prevent them from giving me hard news when it was needed and my level of trust and respect for him made that was easier to hear.’

‘Julian is responsive, knowledgeable and clear in his communications in meetings and in writing.’

Key clients

East of England Cooperative Society

Gray Dawes Travel Group Limited

Gotelee Solicitors

Gotelee Solicitors' Ipswich-based employment practice is a major player in Suffolk, frequently acting for corporate clients, public sector bodies and high-ranking employees. Practice head Marie Allen is highly regarded for her 'willingness to consider different points of view‘. She recently assisted East Suffolk Council with redundancy, TUPE, disciplinary issues, long-term ill-health, collectively agreed terms and other contractual issues, and she is considered to be ‘highly responsive and knowledgeable'. Managing partner Andrew West also plays a key role in the practice.

Practice head(s):

Marie Allen

Other key lawyers:

Andrew West


‘The team is very helpful at all times. They actually make one feel that the work in question is important to them as a firm and they serve with great care.’

‘It is excellent that Marie Allen is always available and deals with the issues speedily – she has a willingness to consider different points of view within legal parameters too. She is very approachable which makes it easy to discuss matters of concern and allay any fears.’

‘A very experienced, knowledgeable and professional team.’

Key clients

Boost Drinks Limited

East Suffolk Council

Hotel Technology Management (HTM) Limited

14twelve Consulting

Jack Sealey Limited

Mind in Camden

Vapourtec Limited

St Nicholas Hospice

Work highlights

  • Advised Hotel Technology Management (HTM) Limited on the handling of a flexible working request and new staff appointments.
  • Advised Jack Sealey Limited on a broad-range of employment law issues.
  • Advised East Suffolk Council on a range of employment law issues.

Greene & Greene

Greene & Greene in Bury St Edmunds has ‘a very friendly and professional team that is accessible, flexible and quick to grasp an understanding of the context when giving advice’. The firm’s work for large regional employers encompasses complex discrimination and whistleblowing claims, equal pay disputes, TUPE matters, redundancies and restructuring, disputes relating to post-termination restrictions, senior exits, data protection issues, and more. ‘Truly outstanding‘ practice head Selene Holden ‘has a very quick and intuitive mind‘. ‘Great listener’ Greg Jones is noted as being ‘able to empathise and calmly advise’. Specialist employment barrister Angharad Ellis Owen  and senior associate Katie Harris-Wright also play key roles in the practice.

Practice head(s):

Selene Holden

Other key lawyers:

Greg Jones; Angharad Ellis Owen; Katie Harris-Wright


‘What makes the team at Greene & Greene so unique is that we see them as an extension of our team, we know them as people and teammates – they understand our business and operations and we celebrate our wins together.’

‘The employment team at Greene & Greene are my go-to legal advisers for employment. The lawyers are responsive, provide great advice and always leave me feeling assured.’

‘Greg Jones is a phenomenal lawyer. He is a great listener and is able to empathise and calmly advise us on very technical issues. Greg is super responsive and takes the time to fully understand our objectives and issues.’

‘Selene understands us and our business and is able to add a commercial viewpoint to a legal position.’

‘Katie Harris-Wright is good at relating to any business issues.’

‘Selene Holden continues to provide excellent employment advice. She is adept at discussing technical legal issues in a non-complex way and is always ready to give practical advice as well as legal opinion. Selene’s client service is exemplary, she will work long into the night without request to deliver on urgent issues.’

‘Selene Holden and Angharad Ellis Owen are both highly professional but also very supportive.’

‘The range of services Greene & Greene Solicitors offers us and their capabilities across other commercial areas allows the team to provide legal support across all aspects of our business.’

Key clients

JCS Hi-Torque Limited

Videndum Productions Solutions Ltd part of Videndum plc (Formerly the Vitec Group Plc)

Kentro Limited

Cobb Europe Limited

Besins Healthcare (UK) Limited

Digi Europe Limited

Like Zero Limited

HCR Hewitsons

HCR Hewitsons' employment offering has cemented its standing in the Cambridge market. Key practitioners in the team are Valerie Lambert, who is regarded as being ‘totally committed to her clients, for whom she leaves no stone unturned' and the 'knowledgeable, objective and personal' Elizabeth Swinburn, who is noted as providing 'impeccable' advice. The team's workload includes handling High Court litigation work, restrictive covenants, breach of fiduciary duty disputes, business reorganisations, Employment Tribunal disputes and TUPE transfers. Associate Charlotte Herrington ‘shows great attention-to-detail in HR-related legal matters‘.

Other key lawyers:

Valerie Lambert; Elizabeth Swinburn; Charlotte Herrington


‘HCR is a large company which offers a very good personalised service to its clients. Communication is very good and the company has a very broad-range of specialists in all areas of law.’

‘Charlotte Herrington shows great attention-to-detail when assisting us in HR-related legal matters. Charlotte achieves excellent results for her clients. Valerie Lambert we have known for a decade and she is probably one of the best lawyers that we have ever had the pleasure of dealing with.’

‘The 2018 merger of HCR and Hewitsons has been good for both firms, and has given HCR a presence in East England, and given Hewitsons a national profile.’

‘Valerie Lambert is the standout employment solicitor in the whole firm, nationwide. She is totally committed to her own clients for whom she leaves no stone unturned, she is a formidable opponent and a match for any Magic Circle city firm. She is hugely experienced, and has great expertise in difficult statutory employment law issues such as TUPE.’

‘Valerie Lambert can handle the largest employment tribunal claims but also has an enviable specialism in crossover High Court employment litigation, including confidential information and restrictive covenant work, and unlawful means conspiracy claims.’

‘The team is always prompt to respond and give an accurate timeline of when I will receive my advice. When necessary, they can provide advice quickly.’

‘Valerie Lambert has built up very good knowledge of the industry I work in and understands the challenges that we face from our ample diverse colleagues.’

‘Elizabeth Swinburn is knowledgeable, objective and personal and her advice is impeccable.’

Howes Percival LLP

Howes Percival LLP provides an ‘efficient, communicative and personable service' to its clients across East Anglia and further afield. Practice head Matthew Potter in Cambridge has extensive experience in board-level disputes and exits. Norwich-based legal director Laura Brown is valued by clients for her 'honesty and excellent problem-solving skills'; she also provides ‘superb client management with consideration and instinctive understanding' in both domestic and cross-border matters for clients in the leisure, technology, education, energy and renewables, motor, manufacturing and food sectors.

Practice head(s):

Matthew Potter

Other key lawyers:

Laura Brown


‘The team is efficient, communicative, good at meeting timescales, and personable.’

‘Laura Brown is extremely knowledgeable; I value her honesty and excellent problem-solving skills. She demonstrated empathy and offered support to others involved in the case where appropriate. Her goal is to get a resolution between the two parties before it reaches tribunal. She sets realistic expectations, the good and bad; her communication and efficiency are excellent.’

‘Laura Brown supported me through a pretty traumatic time. She is responsive and friendly whilst managing to get across some strong advice when I was in a very emotive state. I cannot thank her enough.’

‘The team is totally committed learning and development. They encourage investigations to enable inter-departmental knowledge transfer with a view to delivering a higher quality of comprehensive customer service.’

‘Proactive and positive in recognising and implementing opportunities for new working practices to facilitate better employee engagement. Excellent engagement with the local business community through professionally delivered, topical employment seminars and webinars which are beneficial, informative and readily assimilated.’

‘Laura Brown is highly competent and knowledgeable with excellent customer focus. She provides superb client management with consideration and instinctive understanding allied to expertise in all aspects of employee relations negotiations.’

‘Laura continually provides professional, pragmatic solutions with excellent attention-to-detail. Thorough and consistent service across all client business sectors displaying objectivity in all commercial transactions.’

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP in Cambridge is noted as having impressive ‘commercial pragmatism‘. The Cambridge office is a key hub in the national, firm-wide employment practice, and the local team is a key advisor to major clients in the technology and education sectors in particular. ‘Pragmatic and decisive‘ practice head Hilary Aldred recently settled long-running, high-profile tribunal claims for Christ Church, Oxford concerning its former Dean. Managing associate and ‘very logical thinker’ Sophie Whitbread is described as ‘providing clear and succinct legal advice‘, and ‘responsive, indefatigable, innovative and supportive‘ senior associate Charissa Upton are highly recommended team members.

Practice head(s):

Hilary Aldred

Other key lawyers:

Sophie Whitbread; Charissa Upton


‘Hilary Aldred is excellent, knowledgeable, pragmatic, decisive and always offers quality advice.’

‘Charissa Upton is very knowledgeable and has a very commercial approach.’

‘This practice is super efficient.’

‘Charissa Upton is excellent; responsive, indefatigable, innovative and supportive.’

‘The personal service – you deal with one person and you can build up a working relationship with them. They get to know your organisation which saves time and their strengths are their communication skills and supportiveness.’

‘Sophie Whitbread understands how our business works.’

‘The team at Penningtons is very knowledgeable, approachable and commercially pragmatic.’

‘Sophie Whitbread is a friendly, knowledgeable and authoritative professional. She has offered considered and valuable advice to our business in key matters.’

Key clients

Abcam Plc

Christ Church, Oxford

Corpus Christi College, Cambridge

Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge

Nuffield College, Oxford

Urban Intelligence Limited

UCL Business PLC

Vix Technology Limited

Wintercomfort for the Homeless

Whitings LLP

Campbell Buchanan George

Ubisense Limited

Unifrog Education Ltd

Norbar Torque Tools Ltd

Elixirr Consulting Ltd

Haberdashers’ Elstree Schools

Work highlights

  • Advising Christ Church, Oxford day-to-day in respect of academic and non-academic staff issues, which has included advising on the settlement of the employment tribunal claims brought against their former Dean, Martyn Percy.
  • Advised Abcam Plc on all employment and immigration matters, including the recruitment of staff overseas; recruitment of non-UK nationals into the UK; and a number of difficult disciplinary issues, grievance matters and benefits issues.
  • Advised a University on the payment of holiday pay following the Supreme Court judgement in Harpur v Brazel Trust, for a number of workers engaged on various types of atypical contract.

Prettys Solicitors LLP

Prettys Solicitors LLP‘s Ipswich team has a growing roster of high-calibre clients and matters of increasing value in its gamut. ‘Realistic, honest and trustworthy’ practice head Matthew Cole acts for some of East Anglia’s largest employers within the region, as well as both national and overseas companies and offers great solutions’ therein. Vanessa Bell acts for a wide-range of clients in both East Anglia and London, among them, Call Assist and Chelmsford City Council. Senior associate Sheilah Cummins has a particular interest in the ecclesiastical sector. Bell and Cummins are both noted as ‘taking the time to get to know their clients and provide an outstanding service’.

Practice head(s):

Matthew Cole

Other key lawyers:

Vanessa Bell; Sheilah Cummins


‘Matthew Cole is always professional and pragmatic, offers clear guidance and reassurance which at times has been enormously encouraging from both a professional and personal perspective. He listens to my ramblings and still manages to understand my questions and our organisational needs. I trust the advice I am given.’

‘Sheilah Cummins and Vanessa Bell are both excellent – they are knowledgeable and professional, taking the time to get to know their clients and provide an outstanding service.’

‘The team under Matthew Cole’s leadership is exceptional and very customer-focused. They are very up-to-date with current practice and always offer a pragmatic and sensible solution to however complex an issue might be. They always see it through the lens of the employer.’

‘Matthew Cole is brilliant. He is very responsive, understands the problem presented and always offers great solutions. Matthew is a realistic practitioner, honest and trustworthy.’

‘The employment team are a great bunch of people to work with.’

‘Matthew Cole is an exceptionally knowledgeable chap.’

‘A fantastic team to work with; there is always someone available to assist or advise. We have a longstanding relationship.’

‘Vanessa Bell is very approachable, understanding, supportive and reassuring; Sheilah Cummins is thorough whilst taking into consideration what client is trying to achieve. The team overall is super supportive, professional and goes above and beyond our expectations.’

Key clients

Arthur D Little Ltd

Bacton Transport Services Ltd

Call Assist Ltd

Chalegrove Properties Ltd

Chassis Cab Ltd

Chelmsford City Council

Clearsprings Ready Homes Ltd

Colchester Borough Council

Confer Ltd

D. S. Watson Civil Engineering (Anglia) Ltd

Fryers Transport Ltd

Greene King Services Ltd

Godolphin Management Co Ltd

Gyroscope Therapeutics Ltd

Harwich Haven Authority

Ichiban UK Ltd

Itsu Ltd

Killik & Co LLP

Kirkman & Jourdain Limited

Leading Lives Ltd

Mactenn Systems Ltd

Maritime Transport Ltd

Mestag Therapeutics Ltd

MGC Lamps Ltd

Pegasi Management Co Ltd

ChangeGroup Corporation Ltd

The Kennel Club Ltd

Trinity House Corporation

University of Suffolk

BDB Pitmans

BDB Pitmans has a large employment practice in London with one partner, the ‘extremely practical and solutions-focused‘ Caroline Yarrow, also working from the Cambridge office. Yarrow recently acted for Smurfit Kappa UK Ltd in the successful defence of a claim for unfair dismissal brought to the Cambridge Employment Tribunal by a former employee who had allegedly been dismissed during the pandemic for coming to work with COVID-19 symptoms. The firm acts for both claimants and respondents in litigation cases, and also provides HR support to corporate clients.

Other key lawyers:

Caroline Yarrow; Duncan Walker


‘Caroline Yarrow is an extremely practical and solutions-focused partner who brings sound technical and tactical expertise to delivering her client’s objectives. She is a calm, reassuring and sensible lawyer who is very good to have on your side in the most sensitive contentious matters.’

‘The practice is very easy to navigate and distance is no obstacle to a great service. My matter was worked on thoughtfully, my options were explained to me clearly, my questions answered thoroughly and my decisions acted on speedily. Where questions required input from members of other teams collaboration was easy. Payment of bills was convenient. I wouldn’t contemplate taking my matters to anyone else.’

‘I found Caroline Yarrow to be thoughtful, attentive and calming. Quickly, she was able to understand my matter and have me understand my options. Her experience enables her to quickly sort possible strategies and outcomes understanding practicalities and likelihoods of various options – this ensured that my decisions were made confidently. I never felt forgotten, as I have done elsewhere, and the matter was concluded within time and budget, for which I am extremely grateful.’

‘When working with BDB I didn’t feel I was working with a business because Caroline Yarrow and Duncan Walker were very personable and easy to deal with. Business is all about people and I highly recommend both.’

‘BDB Pitmans provides a top-level of service to all clients who seek assistance in the field of employment law. They are well-resourced with individuals who are specialist in the field and can provide assistance to any client and such advice will be precise to the issues that are at hand. There is no distinction between the standard of service with the London office and the East Anglia office.’

‘Caroline Yarrow represents the gold standard of an employment lawyer in terms of the depth of her knowledge and her precision in applying that knowledge to the legal issues of a case. She is unfazed by the complicated legal issues and has a good commercial awareness. Nobody should be looking for a second opinion after receiving her advice or assessment.’

‘Caroline Yarrow and her team are amazing. They always reply to emails giving such excellent guidance and advice. Their consistency, promptness and clarity are some of their strengths.’

‘People skills, commercial awareness and commercial sense with great tenacity is evident in Caroline Yarrow and her team at BDB Pitmans, which makes clients feel comfortable and at ease with the service that they are paying for. The team were very supportive and encouraged me to have faith in my own abilities and to just keep going and not to let anything sway me away from my goals. Their sensitivity encouraged me to strike a balance between being empathetic and having a thick skin, whilst going for what I believe in. They are very supportive and offer great guidance.’

Key clients

Smurfit Kappa UK Ltd

Accolite Digital LLC

Vandersanden UK Ltd

Health and Care Professions Council

Employment Related Services Association (ERSA)

National Audit Office

Worshipful Company of Stationers and Newspaper Makers

Jones Lang LaSalle

Royal Opera House, Covent Garden

The Doctor’s Laboratory

Work highlights

  • Defended a claim for unfair dismissal successfully for Smurfit Kappa UK Ltd in the Cambridge Employment Tribunal brought by a former employee who had been dismissed during the COVID-19 pandemic for health and safety related reasons.
  • Assisted on the employment aspects of a purchase by Accolite Digital of a leading digital services provider in the banking and financial services sector.
  • Defended a company successfully in an Employment Tribunal claim brought by a former employee for discrimination allegedly arising from disability.

Buckles Solicitors LLP

Buckles Solicitors LLP's employment team in Peterborough works closely with the firm’s London and East Midlands offices, as well as its overseas affiliates, to advise a growing regional and international client base on HR and contentious employment matters. In Peterborough, 'excellent' senior associate Nicola Cockerill is the key contact for contentious and non-contentious work for businesses and senior employees. The services the team provides are noted as being ‘high-quality, trustworthy and personalised'.

Other key lawyers:

Nicola Cockerill


‘The service provided by Buckles is one of high-quality, trustworthy and personalised. Buckles provide various legal services with partners and members of their team who pay attention to the urgency, details and special needs of each client. The billing is clear, well-detailed and professional.’

‘In cases of urgency, somebody from the team has always responded promptly to our questions and doubts.’

‘You can trust that Buckles will give you the best advice for your case.’


Fosters in Norwich has an effective employment practice led by experienced senior associate Doug Frame, who experienced advising international and national companies as well as local businesses. Frame’s workload includes advising the manufacturer of fans and motors ebm-papst UK Limited on day-to-day matters including employment disputes in the workplace, discussions and advice on business reorganisations, and employee exits. The firm also provides an the retainer-based in-house service.

Practice head(s):

Doug Frame

Key clients

ebm-papst UK Limited

Brands Direct Limited

Direct Dialog Visual Limited

Snelling Business Systems Limited

Work highlights

  • Providing ebm-papst UK Limited with ongoing, daily support in relation to all employment matters the business faces.
  • Providing Snelling Business Systems Limited with ongoing daily support in relation to all employment matters the business faces.

Keystone Law

Keystone Law's team is highly regarded for its provision of ‘unique insight' into clients' businesses in relation to employment. Key names in Cambridge are Kelly Sayers, who is ‘an absolute expert in this field', and experienced employment practitioner Tim Tyndall who are both known for their ‘excellent negotiating skills and exceptional levels of client service‘. Key partner Rachel Flynn also works from East Anglia and has an industry-leading specialism in the horseracing and equine world.

Other key lawyers:

Kelly Sayers; Tim Tyndall; Rachel Flynn


‘The team has unique insight into my business, excellent negotiating skills and exceptional levels of client service.’

‘Kelly Sayers is an absolute expert in this field with a truly unique range of relevant experience.’

‘Kelly Sayers has a deep understanding of our organisation and sector. We very much appreciate her clear advice and ability to work with us and our associated organisations in a flexible, understanding and communicative way.’

‘Advice given is plain and sound – the team quickly determine my capabilities and understanding of the subject matter so that when they communicate with me they don’t make me feel belittled, or out of my depth, which makes for a great relationship.’

‘We have worked with Kelly Sayers for a number of years and find her to be down-to-earth, approachable, and realistic. She talks to us, not at us. These are only some of the many reasons we like working with Kelly. I’d have no hesitation in recommending Kelly to any HR professional, or company requiring her skills.’

Key clients

Newsells Park Stud Limited

Quantrills Solicitors

Quantrills Solicitors in Ipswich is a niche employment law practice wherein ‘the lawyers take the time to understand clients' businesses'. Lead partner Simon Quantrill provides a ‘personal and attentive service', supported by associate Ola McGhee who joined the team in September 2022 from Palmers' Thurrock office. The firm’s work is predominantly advising employers in complex cases, namely being disciplinary matters and grievance-related investigations.

Practice head(s):

Simon Quantrill

Other key lawyers:

Ola McGhee


‘Quantrill Solicitors runs a good practice. They are well-versed in all aspects of current employment legislation, cases and approaches to use in the Employment Tribunal. They bill accurately, staff are responsive and go the extra mile when they can.’

‘Simon Quantrill makes himself available in a timely manner and the quality of his advice is always spot-on and useable.’

‘The partners take the time to understand clients’ businesses as well as the full details of any advice, help or guidance required, which makes the service more personal.’

Spire Solicitors LLP

The Norwich office of Spire Solicitors LLP has ‘a dedicated, experienced employment team that is attentive to client needs‘. The firm frequently handles Employment Tribunal litigation, including prosecuting and defending cases of alleged unfair dismissal, whistleblowing, and discrimination. Senior associate June Salmon leads the practice and is noted as being ‘an experienced, diligent and creative lawyer with excellent client care’. Litigation specialists, Norwich-based Jane Liddle and Dereham-based Sarb Gosal frequently support accredited mediator Salmon in contentious matters.

Practice head(s):

June Salmon; Jane Liddle; Sarb Gosal


‘A dedicated, experienced employment team, attentive to client needs.’

‘The team is very reactive and provides clear advice and communications.’

‘A diverse team with a wide-range of skills and experience.’

Woodfines LLP

The Cambridge office of Woodfines LLP's key name in employment is experienced practitioner Nick Sayer, who works closely with the firm’s Bedford and Milton Keynes offices to advise both employers and employees on the full spectrum of related issues, both contentious and non-contentious. Sayer frequently handles business protection matters, including restrictive covenant, and confidentiality and data theft cases, on which he has been instructed by national companies.

Practice head(s):

Nick Sayer

Key clients

Saffron Building Society

J W Suckling Transport Limited