Employment in East Anglia

Birketts LLP

Birketts LLP operates a single employment practice across its four offices, three of which are in East Anglia. The group is led from Norwich by Jeanette Wheeler with key partners Abigail Trencher and Catherine Johnson in Cambridge and Ipswich respectively. Matthew Newnham is highly regarded for his work in Employment Tribunal matters, TUPE transfers and mass redundancies. The firm has a dedicated investigations and employee relations consultant, who leads its HR consultancy and investigations service, and a raft of talented associates who are key to work on both contentious and non-contentious matters for employer clients in sectors including food, agriculture, energy, education, transport and health.

Practice head(s):

Jeanette Wheeler

Other key lawyers:

Abigail Trencher; Catherine Johnson; Matthew Newnham; Sonya O’Reilly; Katie Harris-Wright; Tom Sharpe; Sam Greenhalgh; Lorna Townsend; Laura Brown


“Birketts takes the time to really understand the business and how we operate, which makes a big difference when liaising with them about cases and the reasons behind these.”

“I’ve worked with Katie Harris-Wright and Josie Beal for a number of years now and the professionalism and consistency of their work is brilliant. I trust both of them with any case that opens and to me that is what sets them apart.”

“Birketts responds quickly, and Tom Sharpe and Abigail Trencher are very supportive with difficult case management.”

“Catherine Johnson and Sonya O’Reilly are both exceptional. They are accessible and quickly pick up the context within which their advice is being requested. As well as being excellent lawyers, they are also highly commercial and provide business advice as opposed to just legal opinion.”

Key clients

Procam CP Limited

Flagship Housing Limited

Sapientia Education Trust

Kettle Foods Limited

Trinity Hall (University of Cambridge)

Just Eat plc

Servest Group

Bernard Matthews Limited (now part of 2 Sisters Group)

CITB (Construction Industry Training Board)

The Leys and St Faith’s Schools Foundations

Petrogas Group UK Limited

Cambridge Employment Law LLP

Cambridge Employment Law LLP is a one of the UK's leading employment law boutiques, acting for a large roster of clients in key sectors such as technology, biotechnology and pharmaceuticals, as well as Cambridge colleges, high-growth start-ups, charities and senior executives. The practice consists of four highly experienced partners - Oliver PrykeEleanor Freeman, Mandy Lyne and Julie Pryke - who handle all of the work personally.

Practice head(s):

Oliver Pryke

Other key lawyers:

Eleanor Freeman; Mandy Lyne; Julie Pryke

Key clients

Trinity College, Cambridge

Wellcome Trust

Sanger Institute

Cambridge Consultants Ltd

CambridgeEducation Group

Work highlights

  • Advising a leading research institute on the dismissal of a director and reaching a mediated settlement of the dispute.
  • Advising the CFO of a FTSE 100 company upon his retirement from a bank and subsequent appointment at one of the world’s leading technology companies.
  • Advising a large legal services business on a data breach.
  • Advising a multinational education provider on the national minimum wage and an investigation into the pay received by a number of night-workers at one of their establishments.
  • Advising a small professional services company on the dismissal of one of the founders, including negotiating his exit from his employment and the acquisition of his shareholding.

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP

The Cambridge office of Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP plays a central role in the firm's nationwide employment practice, which handles a high volume of cross-border matters for an international client base. The practice has particular experience in the education, financial services, pharmaceutical and transport sectors, for which it handles complex Employment Tribunal litigation, business restructuring and redundancies, and business immigration. Practice head Simon Tytherleigh, co-head of the financial services employment sector team Elizabeth Graves, and head of the firm's international employment counsel team Constanze Moorhouse, are leading lights in the market. The team also includes Matthew Kelly, who has worked on a number of high-profile further education mergers, as well as principal associates Rachel Bennett and Sasha Willmott who both demonstrate broad experience.

Practice head(s):

Simon Tytherleigh

Other key lawyers:

Elizabeth Graves; Constanze Moorhouse; Matthew Kelly; Rachel Bennett; Sasha Wilmott; Olivia Toulson

Key clients


URBN UK limited

Cell Therapy Catapult Limited

Anglian Water Services Limited

ARM Holdings

Roche Products Limited

Sepura PLC

Lineage Logistics

Barnet and Southgate College

Epping Forest College

Work highlights

  • Providing employment law support globally to AVEVA Group plc in connection with the integration of the Schneider Software business which it acquired in March 2018.
  • Advising URBN UK Limited on changes to terms and conditions of employment relating to shift patterns for all Distribution Centre employees, involving advice on collective consultation obligations, contractual changes, employee communication and engagement strategy and drafting of all associated documentation for announcements, scripts for meetings, contractual amendments, letters and FAQs.
  • Providing employment law support to Cell Therapy Catapult Limited, an important life sciences organisation involved in the development, delivery and commercialisation of cell and gene therapy.
  • Providing employment law support to Anglian Water Services Limited (“AWSL”), a major employer in the region, including, assistance to its Employee Relations and Human Resources teams for a number of complex employee relations matters.
  • Continuing to advise global technology business, ARM, on its employment needs across all countries including operating an international employment helpline.

Greenwoods GRM

Greenwoods GRM has a large employment and employee benefits practice spanning its Cambridge, Peterborough and London offices, with experienced and respected partners in practice heads Robert Dillarstone and John Macaulay. Partners Joanna Scally, who has significantly grown the profile of the Cambridge office, and Peterborough-based Keith Williams are also highly recommended in a practice that acts for large regional employers and, increasingly, London-based corporates.

Practice head(s):

John Macaulay; Robert Dillarstone

Other key lawyers:

Joanna Scally; Keith Williams


“Every member of the team has always demonstrated a polite, professional and approachable manner. Every issue is dealt with promptly and to a very high standard.”

“It is unique in that it provides practical solutions and is not afraid to deal with any issue head on.”

“John McCaulay and Stephanie Wilcox are the most friendly and likeable people you could ever wish to work with, nothing is too much trouble.”

“The team takes the time to build long-term relationships and to really understand your business.”

“All the team work hard to understand your business and what will work for you.”

“The team provided exemplary service. They dealt with the legal matters but also had a thorough understanding of the practical implications of the law and took into consideration our own specific circumstances when providing advice.”

“Sophie Askew and Adele Whaley were both highly skilled but also highly experienced. They balanced a thorough understanding of the law with a practical approach to ensure we obtained the best outcome possible.”

Key clients

Taylor Wimpey

Bedford Borough Council

Real VNC

UL International UK Ltd

Moy Park Ltd

Churchill College

Work highlights

  • Advising RealVNC on TUPE matters in relation to the management buyout of its automobile division.
  • Providing a a full employment advice service to a leading UK children’s charity.
  • Advising a multinational manufacturer and marketer of home appliances on an unfair dismissal claim brought by a purported self-employed engineer.
  • Advising a US healthcare manufacturer on all aspects of employment law within its UK businesses.

Mills & Reeve LLP

Mills & Reeve LLP has a vastly experienced practice led by veteran head of the firm's national employment group David Mills. Nicola Brown has nearly 30 years' experience and focuses on the firm's numerous higher education clients. The firm has the largest employment practice in East Anglia and is a leading player for  technology, mid-market owner-managed, education, health, food and life sciences companies, as well as charities. Stuart Craig is a leading adviser to the health sector. The team also includes experienced principal associate Andrew Secker, and senior associate Lindsey Hill who supports a number of the firm's private clients on employment-related matters.

Practice head(s):

David Mills

Other key lawyers:

Nicola Brown; James Kidd; Stuart Craig; Melanie James; Andrew Secker; Lindsey Hill; Robyn Gee; Tracy Yates


‘Approachability, clarity of communication and very useful regular in-house workshops and seminars for client employment law updates.’

‘Patrick Gass quickly understands the nature of our queries and gives clear advice, responding very promptly without delay.’

Key clients

Xaar Plc

Mick George

Alere Inc

Olympus Keymed UK Ltd

Baxter Healthcare

Cambridgeshire & Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust

Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

University of Bedfordshire

University of East Anglia

University of Essex

Work highlights

  • Acting for a major retail client in its sale, in which we assisted with all pre- and post-closing issues affecting a large workforce.
  • Advised on the employment aspects of the sale of Ubisense Group Plc’s RTLs Smart Space business.
  • Advised Aveva Group PLC on several employment matters in advance of the combination of its software business with Schneider Electric.
  • Instructed to advise a multinational employer on a complaint relating to a sexual advance made by a senior employee in an overseas group company to a UK colleague whilst both were in a third country.
  • Helped a higher education client to prepare for a large restructuring exercise involving potential redundancies.

Taylor Vinters

The Taylor Vinters employment practice works seamlessly between the firm's London and Cambridge offices, with practice heads Dominic Holmes and Jo Edgley, as well as key partner Christine Berry, spending time in both, while supporting the firm's group in Singapore. The firm serves both local businesses and large corporates, notably in the charity, education and technology sectors, for which it handles contentious matters, complex business reorganisations and TUPE matters. The Cambridge office handles a significant caseload of cross-border matters involving innovative and entrepreneurial businesses, on which rising star senior associate Kim Wedral-Brooke is a key player.

Practice head(s):

Dominic Holmes; Jo Edgley

Other key lawyers:

Christine Berry; Kim Wedral-Rooke; Kate Ledwidge


“The team really offers a solutions-based approach. It has a joined up approach and is cohesive in its offerings.”

“Kim Wedral-Rooke has a real interest in building a lasting relationship. She genuinely cares about you as a client and delivers a high quality service.”

Key clients


Fujichem Sonneborn

Heraeus Holdings GmbH

International Flavours & Fragrances Group

Carter Jonas

Work highlights

  • Defended a complex Employment Tribunal claim involving 90 different claims for a charity and a non-profit educational trust which helps promote cultural and international understanding.
  • Providing global legal support to a global provider of payroll solutions.
  • Advising a higher education provider on a difficult situation involving an employee who was underperforming and in neglect of their duties.
  • Defending complex race and religious discrimination claims for a national firm of estate agents and property consultants.
  • Successfully defending a complex multi-party employment claim brought in France by nine claimants, managing and successfully resolving pregnancy discrimination litigation in the UK, and managing and advising on the HR aspects of a cross-border merger and TUPE transfer in the Netherlands and Belgium.

Ashtons Legal

Ashtons Legal's employment practice is particularly strong in key industry sectors such as education, manufacturing, food and beverage, road transport, healthcare, and oil and gas. The firm also has a new HR consultancy for employer clients. It acts for employees in regard to transfers and terminations. The practice has an impressive client base that includes numerous Cambridge Colleges, as well as large regional and national businesses. Practice head Ross Strowger and partners Claire Sleep and Colin Makin are the key contacts.

Practice head(s):

Ross Strowger

Other key lawyers:

Colin Makin; Claire Sleep


“It has an experienced litigation team, particularly in the field of TUPE.”

“I have worked with Colin Makin on a number of complex and high-value claims. He is highly efficient and and a tough litigator.”

“Claire Sleep and Carrie March respond to my requests very quickly with clear and easily understood advice. Some lawyers respond using very legalistic words that are hard to actually understand and I don’t find that with Claire and Carrie. I value their assistance enormously. They are extremely professional and practical.”

“Claire Sleep and Carrie March are approachable, professional, easily understood and quick to respond.”

“The firm provides straightforward, pragmatic and commercially-focused advice.”

“Colin Makin is my ‘go-to’ source of advice for employment matters. He is always a pleasure to deal with and gives robust, commercially sound advice.”

“The firm is always available and quick to respond with excellent succinct advice. It is a firm that grasps the commercial reality of the situation and offers pragmatic sensible advice

“Ross Strowger has an excellent understanding of the issues and always understands what we as the client want to achieve.”

“Jessica Piper has excellent depth of knowledge and delivers sound, pragmatic advice and always within the time frames that she promises.”

Key clients

Cosworth Group

Glenny LLP

Anglian Windows Limited t/a Anglian Home Improvements

Marshall Thermo King Limited t/a Marshall Fleet Solutions

Greene King PLC

Kettle Foods Limited

The Cambridge Building Society

Moores Refrigeration Controlled Transport Limited t/a MRCT

The Perse School

Clare College

OPPO Digital

Caremark Limited

Addenbrooke’s Charitable Trust

Kudos Residential Limited (Hunters Estate Agents Franchisee)

Pretoria Energy Company Holdings Limited

Clarkes of Walsham

Work highlights

  • Ashtons acted for 19 employees in Employment Tribunal claims against their ex-employer for a protective award due to failure to collectively consult in a whole-site redundancy, statutory redundancy payments, wrongful dismissal and unfair dismissal, gaining a successful judgment for all employees.

Buckles Solicitors LLP

Buckles Solicitors LLP advises on all employment law issues for businesses, the public sector and senior executives. Its clients range from local SMEs to large organisations with their own in-house HR functions. Thanks to its alliance with CastaldiPartners in Paris and Milan, the firm has seen a growing flow of cross-border matters for clients that include household names in the retail sector. Practice head Giles Betts is the key contact and has particular expertise in managing terminations of senior executives and advising on complex TUPE transactions.

Practice head(s):

Giles Betts

Other key lawyers:

Nicola Cockerill


“The team is very approachable and provides answers in plain English. The lawyers respond quickly and understand that when you are dealing with employment issues, information and support is often needed quickly.”

“Nicola Cockerill is easily contactable and always confirms when she will reply. She has a good understanding of our business and the key areas in which we need employment law support.”

“Giles Betts has been very supportive with clear, straightforward advice and recommendations. He is very patient and gets to the crux of the issue quickly with little fuss.”

“With Giles Betts and his team the legal advice is always clear, pragmatic and easy to understand. The service provided is always personal and specific to your business requirements.”

Key clients


Ideal Shopping Direct Limited

Qualvis Print & Packaging

Flexisolar Limited

Stobbs (IP)

GeoSpock Limited

Peterborough City Council

Reesink Turfcare UK Limited

The Leprosy Mission

Venues Management Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising a New York law firm on the establishment of an operation in the UK and assisting with all employment, consultancy and IP matters.
  • Advising on the complex TUPE issues arising from the decision by a school to terminate a contract for the provision of breakfast clubs at the school and replace with a different contractor.
  • Advising a national charity on potential discrimination issues arising under the Equality Act regarding the performance management of an employee with stress and maternity issues.

Ellisons Solicitors

Ellisons Solicitors has a strong client base in the SME, food and light industry sectors, and is growing its presence among professional services, finance and insurance, property and technology companies. Lead partner and trained mediator Julian Outen grew the team in 2018 with the hire of solicitor advocate Zoe Parker from Prettys Solicitors LLP, who handles claimant tribunal matters, and assistant solicitor Tina Maxey from Hayes + Storr Solicitors and Notaries, who has 12 years' experience. The practice handles an increasing volume of work for employees and employers, including work with a cross-border element, particularly involving Israel, the US and Germany.

Practice head(s):

Julian Outen

Other key lawyers:

Zoe Parker; Tina Maxey


“From first contact, I received nothing but excellent service.”

“Julian Outen has the ability to summarise succinctly the issues, offer alternative courses of action with advice on the ease of and consequences of each option.”

“Julian Outen practises exemplary customer service.”

“We have found all members of the team that we have dealt with to be personable and approachable. They make the legal aspects accessible and are able to contextualise their knowledge to make even the most complex issues easy to understand.”

“The team is very customer-focused and responsive. The team displays a strong culture which is evident comes from the top of the organisation and the partners. The added value that the company brings in terms of its experience and breadth of knowledge across different sectors is evident when dealing with them.”

“Julian Outen has proven to be most knowledgeable and his calm and measured approach to dealing with issues has made him a pleasure to do business with.”

“Julian Outen’s approach is collaborative and makes us feel that we are in it together. We consider him to be part of our team. We would highly recommend him.”

Key clients

East of England Cooperative Society Limited

Gotelee Solicitors

The employment practice at Gotelee Solicitors is 'always practical and readily available with solutions that are usually very cost-effective'. Practice head Andrew West is a frequent advocate in Employment Tribunals, as well as providing support in corporate transactions and due diligence work. The firm also operates a fixed-price HR Retainer package, which gives clients HR-related services at discounted rates, including occupational health and employee benefits advice. Marie Allen is recommended for her clear advice and high level of client care.

Practice head(s):

Andrew West

Other key lawyers:

Marie Allen


“The whole team at Gotelee is quick to respond, always friendly and when you deal with them you feel you are in safe hands.”

“Marie Allen is very professional but also very down to earth and explains matters in such a way that anyone can understand. She is very good at providing positive solutions to the many employee problems we have and I would recommend Marie and the practice to others.”

“Andrew West is terrific. He has proven himself time and time again with helpful, sincere advice that is aimed to resolve situations fast, but in a thorough fashion to try and eliminate any future issues.”

Key clients

Mervyn Lambert Plant

St Nicholas Hospice, Bury St Edmunds

Seven Group

Jack Sealey Ltd

Goldstar Transport

Staylists Ltd

Work highlights

  • Defending an unfair dismissal claim, which is likely to lead to a maximum award.
  • Advising a company on the removal of a director and on allegations of disability discrimination that have arisen in response and as part of a dispute over share valuation.
  • Advice on a sexual harassment complaint.
  • Providing support to the corporate restructuring of a large local employer.
  • Advising on forensic analysis of a laptop and disciplinary process against a recruitment company director accused of copying and taking sensitive and commercial company data for competitive purposes.

Greene & Greene

Greene & Greene is praised as 'strong in responding quickly to any HR issue that arises and providing clear and concise advice'. The firm advises on the full spectrum of employment law issues through a small team of experienced lawyers. Selene Holden leads the practice which has particular expertise in the education, insurance, horse racing, food, recruitment and manufacturing sectors. Newly promoted partner Greg Jones is 'one of the brightest stars of his generation of employment lawyers - underestimate him at your peril'. Angharad Ellis Owen is a rising star.

Practice head(s):

Selene Holden

Other key lawyers:

Greg Jones; Angharad Ellis Owen



“Selene Holden and Angharad Ellis-Owen have been outstanding. Their work has been to the highest level and we have often achieved an excellent outcome due to their thoroughness.”

“Greg Jones has a commercial attitude to resolving problems but still gives clear advice on options. He understands our business and its culture.”

“Selene Holden is extremely personable. Her correspondence and documentation are always crisp, clear and to the point.”

“Selene Holden and Greg Jones have both been unfailing in their attention and I would not hesitate to recommend them.”

“A highly professional yet personal approach. Local and easy to access but knowledge and skills compare very well with larger distant firms.”

“Selene Holden has on more than one occasion provided me with first-class advice and support. Her kind, well balanced, professional and knowledgeable approach makes her stand out from the many competitors I have worked with in the past.”

“Greg Jones is excellent. He is proactive, utterly professional, commercial and gives clear advice. He instilled confidence and we felt completely assured that the best resolution was achieved for our circumstances.”


“Greg Jones is fast, efficient and a very good tactician.”

“Angharad Ellis-Owen is a very creative problem-solver with very thorough attention to detail.”

“Their clients are stellar and the quality of the output is unparalleled.”

Key clients

Nexus Underwriting Management Limited

The Vitec Group Plc

Treatt plc

Taylor Made Joinery Interiors Ltd

ForFarmers Limited

Cobb Europe Limited

Besins  (UK) Limited

Direct Table Foods Limited

Tristel Plc

HBP Management Limited

Work highlights

  • Providing support and assistance to ForFarmers UK Ltd on a range of complex employment matters for an internationally operating feed company that offers Total Feed solutions for conventional and organic livestock farming.
  • Providing general employment law advice to Church Manor Estates Company Plc, recently drafting bespoke employment contracts and documentation and advising on a business restructure.
  • Provide on on-going support to Holiday Property Bond: HPB Management Limited on the full spectrum of HR related matters and corporate support.
  • Advising prestigious joinery business Taylor Made Joinery and Interiors Limited and reviewing its full suite of employment documents and contracts and delivered training to the senior leadership team.
  • Advising international business Cobb Europe Limited on a range of contentious and non-contentious matters and Greg Jones has delivered a number of training days to the UK HR Team.


The employment practice at Hewitsons, which is led from the firm's Northampton office, has a strong presence in Cambridge through experienced partners Valerie Lambert and Elizabeth Swinburn. The team increased its capacity in 2018 with the internal transfer of solicitor James Makin from its commercial practice group, in order to handle a growing workload of High Court litigation, business reorganisation, Employment Tribunals, TUPE transfers, disciplinary matters and support for M&A transactions. The practice increasingly handles cases with cross-border elements.

Howes Percival LLP

Howes Percival LLP has 'highly valued professional advisers' in its Norwich and Cambridge offices, and practice head Matthew Potter is respected for his work for both PLCs and large SMEs. Potter frequently handles heavyweight and high-profile litigation on behalf of boardroom directors and CEOs. Associate Nicola Butterworth is a rising star who advises on all areas of employment law from policy drafting and business change, to defending complex Employment Tribunal claims.

Practice head(s):

Matthew Potter

Other key lawyers:

Nicola Butterworth


“The team at Howes Percival is knowledgeable and responsive.”

“Their ability to deliver timely advice and pragmatic solutions, combined with an eagerness to support our business is very much appreciated.”

“Our main contact has a very common-sense approach and is very knowledgeable from a legal perspective but also with our business and history in mind. A very responsive individual who will ensure practical advice is provided with the business’ aim in mind.”

Key clients


Gallagher Bassett International Ltd

Bauder Ltd

Thomas Ridley and Sons

Fox’s Marina and Chandleries

S Sacker (Claydon) Ltd

Maxxis International Plc


Work highlights

  • Advising and negotiating terms for CEO of Tech PLC.  Involving shareholder issues, announcements to the market.
  • Providing advice on complex litigation in employment tribunals and day-to-day advice on multiple HR issues and TUPE transfers.
  • Advising a regional employer on and seeking to strike out of ET claims, and on senior level exits and GDPR issues.
  • Defended both the employer and multiple employees who were pursued in respect of Equality Act Claims by a former employee leading to the withdrawal of the claims by the Claimant.
  • Provision of employment law advice to Shareholders of Quattro Group Holdings Limited in connection with the sale of their majority shareholding to Gap Personnel Holdings Limited.

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP

The Cambridge office of Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP plays a vital role in the firms wider national employment practice and clients remark that 'the legal advice is sophisticated and spot-on'. Hilary Aldred, who frequently advises clients in the education sector, and senior associate Sophie Whitbread are the key contacts. Outside of education, their practices focus on life sciences, technology and charity sector clients, as well as high-net-worth individuals and entrepreneurs. The firm is sought-after for boardroom disputes and the management of multinational reorganisations and redundancy programmes.

Practice head(s):

Hilary Aldred

Other key lawyers:

Sophie Whitbread


“The Employment team at the Cambridge office has an excellent knowledge of the higher education sector, and particularly Cambridge/Oxford University and collegiate systems, which is invaluable.”

“I work with Sophie Whitbread and Hilary Aldred. Both are extremely responsive and deliver an unrivalled level of customer service.”

“Sophie Whitbread stands out for her customer focus and completely pragmatic advice. She has an excellent insight into how the organisation works. She understands the issues immediately and has a unique way of working in partnership with us to own and deal with the issues to the most effective and timely resolution. Her written advice notes are always really clear and invaluable.”

“Hilary Aldred stands out for her unrivalled knowledge of academic employment issues and her willingness to challenge long-held views in this area. She is able to help on the most technical of employment issues within this complex arena.”

“Sophie Whitbread is excellent.”

Key clients

Ocado Retail Ltd

Abcam Plc

Oxford Hydrotechnics Limited

Florida State University

UCL Business Plc

Fitzwilliam College


University of Cambridge Local Examinations Syndicate

Work highlights

  • Providing employment advice to Abcam Plc to support its in-house legal team and on the non-contentious side, this includes dealing with day-to-day HR matters, such as the apprenticeship levy, and implication of Brexit with a EU heavy workforce.
  • Providing ongoing employment advice to Florida State University, including in respect of their policies and procedures which need adapting from the policies adopted in the US.
  • We advised a university in respect of their interaction with the UCU on a pay dispute.
  • We have  advised a property company on the TUPE implications of an outsourcing arrangement countrywide, and on the claim for failure to provide employee liability information against the transferee.
  • We advised this client on the closure of one of its offices and the redeployment of its staff.

Steeles Law

'The advice given has always been timely and of a very high standard', remarks a clients of Steeles Law in Norwich. Former barrister and HR manager Oliver Brabbins leads the employment practice, in which associate Robert Hickford is a rising star. The firm acts for a number of notable clients in the food sector and continues to attract prominent clients in other industries for discrimination cases, large-scale redundancies and restructuring, TUPE matters and industrial relations. It also handles a significant flow of cross-border employment matters.

Practice head(s):

Oliver Brabbins

Other key lawyers:

Robert Hickford


“I trust and appreciate their counsel. Unlike some other firms they don’t sit on the fence and work through solutions with you to enable a decent outcome. They also don’t labour points and issues that don’t need reams of advice, which we appreciate.”

“Robert Hickford always makes himself available to help . He is very experienced and gives excellent counsel including ideas, options and other considerations.”

“When things are urgent, Robert Hickford is able to mobilise in a way that gets the outcome we need. Always willing to help and support.”

“I work with Oliver Brabbins who has extensive experience that I rely on and trust. He doesn’t pontificate and gives timely and practical advice which is critical when you are trying to run a business.”

Key clients

Premier Foods

Hovis Limited

Pasta Foods Limited

Robinsons Motor Group


Cox Powertrain

The Liberal Democrats

Peninsula Business Services Limited

Association of Independent Music

Falcon Crane Hire

AVK UK Limited

Hire-A-Lite (UK) Limited

Considerate Constructors Scheme


Praemium (UK) Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised on employment aspects of the sale of the Animax Group to Carrs Group plc.
  • Delivered training to both Hovis and Premier Foods’ internal HR teams on topics including disciplinary/grievance procedures, sexual harassment and mental health in the workplace.
  • Employment advice regarding the closure of Hovis’ Southampton mill and the sale of two further mills.
  • Board-level nationwide review and legal support on the implementation of new working patterns.
  • Settlement of multiple claims from part-time workers following a TUPE transfer from local authority.


Blocks has a highly regarded partner in Frances Barker, who leads the employment practice and has more than 20 years' experience in HR as well as contentious and non-contentious employment matters. She is a leading name in the market in Suffolk and acts for both SME employers and senior employees in Employment Tribunals claims and in the negotiation of settlement agreements.

Practice head(s):

Frances Barker

Clapham & Collinge Solicitors

The employment practice at Clapham & Collinge Solicitors is part of the firm's commercial group, which has an increasingly prominent standing in Norfolk. Legal executive Nicola Strefford leads a team of four, which has the support of a barrister from a local chambers. The firm handles both claims on behalf of employees and defence work for employers against allegations of unfair dismissal, whistleblowing and disability discrimination.

Practice head(s):

Nicola Strefford


“There is a wide range of very impressive individuals in different departments, and the employment team had excellent staff from paralegals to fee earners with no obvious weaknesses.”

“There is obvious expertise in the team and it is very easy to deal with.”

“Nicola Strefford listened to the issues, had a very good knowledge of the industry sector we were involved in, was prepared to listen to our views on how ideas should be presented and the most suitable action to be taken at anytime.”

Prettys Solicitors LLP

At Prettys Solicitors LLP, head of employment Kelly Sayers is highly regarded for her legal knowledge and her level of client care. She advises on the full range of HR and employment issues including managing difficult employees, complex tribunal claims, redundancy and restructuring exercises, as well as policies and procedures. Partner Matthew Cole has more than 20 years' experience and senior associate Vanessa Bell is also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Kelly Sayers

Other key lawyers:

Matthew Cole; Vanessa Bell

Quantrills Solicitors

A boutique practice specialising in employment law, Quantrills Solicitors handles employment and HR matters for universities, a local authority and UK-wide employers, as well as representing employees. 'Extremely professional and trustworthy' practice head Simon Quantrill hired associate Katherine Sheerin to handle the firm's workload of training, litigation and advisory work. Partner Julie Temple left to lead the employment practice at Birkett Long LLP in Colchester.

Practice head(s):

Simon Quantrill

Other key lawyers:

Katherine Sheerin


“Simon Quantrill has been an enormous help to us as a start-up. He has balanced key employment law advice with the needs of a small business, and always in a caring and personable manner.”

“Katherine Sheerin is an extremely experienced and knowledgeable lawyer who provides clear advice.”

“A lot of shared knowledge and a small team so you feel that whoever you speak to knows the details of your case; friendly and very helpful!”

“Everyone I have dealt with is diligent, polite and forward thinking. I don’t feel like a number I feel that we have a relationship which works for both parties.”

“I like the firm’s attention to detail, support, best practice, superior in terms of knowledge. Simon Quantrill is absolutely brilliant.”

Work highlights

  • Provided HR and employment law support during the acquisition of the company by a large UK pension fund.
  • Advised on the dismissal of the Managing Director and dealt with the severance negotiations.
  • Represented a former headteacher in an Employment Tribunal and in the Employment Appeal Tribunal.
  • Represented a university in its defence of a combined unfair dismissal and disability discrimination case.
  • Successfully had claims of unfair dismissal and disability discrimination struck out at Employment Tribunal.

Woodfines LLP

Woodfines LLP in Cambridge has one highly experienced partner in Nick Sayer, but this small team works in close co-operation with the extended practice in the firm's offices in Milton Keynes and Bedford.  Sayer has more than 30 years' experience and acts for both employees and employers including local SMEs and national and international businesses. He handles contentious matters in the High Court, Employment Tribunals and Employment Appeal Tribunals, as well as handling advisory work.

Practice head(s):

Nick Sayer


“Nick Sayer is an exceptional lawyer. He is a very wide knowledge of employment law and is able to deploy that to excellent effect in representing clients.”

“I would have no hesitation in recommending Nick Sayer to anybody, irrespective of how complicated the case.”

Key clients

Saffron Building Society

Murfitts Industries Ltd

J.W. Suckling Transport Ltd

Work highlights

  • Represented a group of employees in a redundancy exercise.
  • Represented a former CEO of a charity in a Tribunal claim for, amongst other things, equal pay and sex discrimination.
  • Acting in defence of claims of automatic unfair dismissal (whistleblowing) and breach of the National Minimum Wage legislation.
  • Represented a manufacturer in the successful relocation of a business unit.
  • Represented a company in connection with the departure of its Managing Director

Fraser Dawbarns

Fraser Dawbarns has a strong following in East Cambridgeshire and West Norfolk and is sought-after by both employers and employees for advice on contentious matters and consultation regarding TUPE. The firm has a highly regarded employment and commercial litigation practitioner in associate Kim Cross.

Hayes + Storr Solicitors and Notaries

Hayes + Storr Solicitors and Notaries has a respected partner in Anissa Hallworth, who frequently conducts her own advocacy in Employment Tribunals. She has a track record of success for both companies and high-profile individuals in employment disputes, which included a recent win in a five-day tribunal claim for disability discrimination against the local authority.

Practice head(s):

Anissa Hallworth


“Anissa Hallworth is phenomenal. From start to finish she was absolutely amazing. We cannot thank her enough for her kindness, expert advice, guidance and patience.”

Work highlights

  • Acting for a client in a dispute with his employer involving significant losses and bonus payments.
  • Acting for a company on a retainer basis providing full employment law support.
  • Acting for individual in a claim against employer for constructive dismissal.

Hegarty LLP

Hegarty LLP has a small but highly respected employment practice that punches above its weight thanks to the vast experience of its partners. Practice head and tribunal judge Martin Bloom has 35 years' experience as a partner and frequently advises on contracts, unfair dismissal and discrimination claims, consultancy agreements and employment tribunals. Tim Thompson has a 40-year track record and is recommended for dismissal and discrimination cases, disciplinary proceedings, terminations and tribunal advocacy.

Practice head(s):

Martin Bloom

Other key lawyers:

Tim Thompson

Kerseys Solicitors LLP

At Kerseys Solicitors LLP in Ipswich, former lead employment litigator Anthony Wooding is now a consultant, but partner Kimat Singh has taken over responsibility for the practice. The firm handles both contentious and non-contentious work and has a loyal following among both employers and individuals in Suffolk. Associates Adrian Green and Kate Barnes play central roles in a practice that handles employee relations issues, redundancies, business transfers and Employment Tribunal claims.

Practice head(s):

Kimat Singh

Other key lawyers:

Adrian Green; Kate Barnes

Work highlights

  • Acted for an employee who was dismissed because of something arising from her disability.
  • Acted for an employer to prevent an employee using confidential information that she had taken from the business.
  • Acted for an employee who was constructively unfairly dismissed.
  • Advised an employer in respect of a complicated disciplinary process.
  • Acted for an employee who was discriminated against at work.

Leathes Prior

Leathes Prior acts for a large number of large employers across East Anglia, though it has a particularly strong presence in Norfolk. The practice led by Dan Chapman is known for its Employment Tribunal advocacy. Partner Sarah Appleton is recommended for complex TUPE and redundancy matters.

Practice head(s):

Dan Chapman

Other key lawyers:

Sarah Appleton

Stone King LLP

Stone King LLP joins the ranking this year having hired vastly experienced consultant Tim Tyndall from Birketts LLP in Cambridge. Tyndall has 30 years' experience in employment law that includes advising individuals, public and private institutions, and multinational companies. The firm-wide employment practice focuses predominantly on the needs of education and not-for-profit clients, though the firm also has expertise in the transport, logistics and financial services sectors.