Employment in Guernsey

Carey Olsen

The employment, pensions and incentives team at Carey Olsen 'is a force to be reckoned with' in employment tribunal proceedings. Market-first examples saw 'powerhouse' practice head Elaine Gray and counsel Natasha Newell ( who is praised as 'an accomplished and fearless litigator') handling notable equal pay disputes. Konrad Friedlaender and senior associate Julie Currie are the group's pensions experts, notably in regards to employee scheme governance issues and risk transfers. Through Mark Dunster, the team leads on matters with significant regulatory elements, including grandfathering provisions, immigration issues and appeals, professional negligence claims, and staff reorganisation procedures for financial services clients. Associate Lois Madden brings 'an abundance of experience and wise counsel' to a wide range of discrimination investigations.

Practice head(s):

Elaine Gray

Other key lawyers:

Natasha Newell; Konrad Friedlaender; Julie Currie; Mark Dunster; Lois Madden

Testimonials

‘Elaine Gray is absolutely amazing, she is responsive and proactive, extremely supportive and professional at all times. To be able to have such personal service from an extraordinarily busy partner is truly impressive.’

‘The employment team at Carey Olsen were our natural choice for handling complex and contentious employment matters that arose throughout the year. Their professionalism is second-to-none, their knowledge extensive and their ability to advise on appropriate strategies invaluable. We have absolute faith that Carey Olsen’s team is a force to be reckoned with at all stages of a matter.’

‘Elaine Gray is a stand-out in matters of employment law and really the only logical choice for matters of this nature. She is approachable, knowledgeable and incredibly pragmatic in her advice. We also worked with Lois Madden, who brings with her an abundance of experience and wise counsel; she was a joy to work with and made a potentially difficult situation run smoothly.’

‘Particular mention of Lois Madden – a rising star in the field of employment. Lois has valuable recent experience in the UK that is helpful in providing a balanced analysis and advice and guidance.’

‘The employment team is very collaborative. Between them they have lots of hands-on experience and are able to provide wise counsel.’

‘Elaine Gray – a powerhouse of knowledge whose advice is measured and whose experience and commerciality shines through. She is also down to earth and practical in her approach and is an excellent communicator as well as being a formidable litigator.’

‘The team’s practice is unique as not only are the team incredibly professional and capable, they are also very empathetic and supportive at all times. It is rare to find a team such as this who genuinely put the client first and strive to ensure the right outcome for the client rather than focus purely on fee-earning.’

‘Natasha Newell is an accomplished and fearless litigator. She quickly cuts to the core of an issue and is exactly who you want fighting in your corner.’

Appleby

Appleby operates a pan-Channel Islands employment practice under the leadership of the 'extremely approachable, friendly, knowledgeable and transparent' Richard Sheldon, making it a go-to name for large-scale corporates with a multijurisdictional presence. Contentious senior exits, staff reorganisations resulting from company administrations, and constructive dismissal claims are also frequently handled. New instructions were received from financial services, retail, professional services and aviation clients. The group also advises on issues relating to employee data, including access requests and GDPR mandates.

Practice head(s):

Richard Sheldon

Testimonials

‘I have recently worked with Richard Sheldon in the employment law team who was recommended to me by another lawyer from another firm which speaks volumes. The attention to detail in the document I was having reviewed was very impressive and I reached a better conclusion because of it. Richard was extremely approachable, friendly, knowledgeable and transparent. I would have no hesitation in recommending him to others.’

‘Richard Sheldon is practical, thoughtful and, without fail, quickly grasps the issues involved.’

‘Richard Sheldon is an expert in his field – he listens to issues and not only provides legal advice but also how to put this into practice.’

‘Richard Sheldon has a calm and clear approach to questions – he applies suitable terminology and examples to cover questions ensuring his client understands the guidance provided.’

‘Quality advice given – proactive and knowledgeable.’

‘Richard Sheldon is a standout in this area.’

Key clients

Aurigny

Canaccord Genuity Wealth

CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang

Deloitte LLP (Arcadia administration)

Eversheds Sutherland

FRP Trading Limited (Accessorize / Monsoon administration)

Grant Thornton

HSBC Group

International Energy Group Limited

PraxisIFM

Sanne Group

Work highlights

  • Advised Deloitte on the employment aspects of the administration of the Arcadia Group across the Crown Dependencies.
  • Instructed by Aurigny to defend a constructive dismissal claim.

Mourant

Key areas of non-contentious expertise in Mourant’s employment practice include employee data privacy advice encompassing processor agreements, redundancy matters borne out of insolvencies, corporate M&A support and immigration advice. The latter was enhanced by the addition of senior associate Hana Plsek from Collas Crill. Counsel, advocate and practice head Rachel Guthrie takes on tribunal and Royal Court litigation, recently including novel disputes pertaining to restrictive covenants. John Lewis assists with routine pension enquiries.

Practice head(s):

Rachel Guthrie

Other key lawyers:

Hana Plsek; John Lewis

Testimonials

‘Our instruction was time critical and the Mourant response time from the initial contact to finalised advice was outstanding. In particular, Rachel Guthrie understood the key issues very quickly and with the minimum of fuss and drafted her advice accordingly.’

‘Highly professional, yet always friendly and approachable.’

‘The team were very responsive, efficient, helpful and diligent throughout.’

‘The Mourant team leads with counsel Rachel Guthrie and senior associate Hana Plsek. They have junior support but the offering is powerful because of the presence of two senior people who know the law inside out but are commercially minded and pragmatic.’

‘What marks Rachel Guthrie and Hana Plsek out is that they are unafraid to tell you what to do and what your risks are. They advise where others can be fearful. Hana is super-available and energetic and engaged in her advice.’

‘They can put themselves into your position. They aren’t afraid to challenge your reasoning and help steer you in the right direction. They are empathetic.’

Key clients

Saffery Champness

Work highlights

  • Advised a fiduciary service provider on the sale of its audit arm to a large professional services network of independent accounting and consulting firms. Assisted with all employment aspects relating to the transaction, including preparation of the novation documentation and advice regarding data protection.
  • Represented a client in the Employment Appeals Tribunal following the publication of a judgement outlining adverse findings against the client.
  • Advising a global investment business on the full range of employment issues including the employment aspects of a large acquisition, specifically advising on key HR and employment matters during the due diligence process as well as providing post-completion support on a programme of changes to employee contacts.

Ogier

Primary contentious employment instructions for Ogier’s practice relate to breach of contract claims, defamation suits and sex discrimination issues. Recent partner promotion Sandie Lyne and practice head Rachel DeSanges represent employers and senior employees in tribunal proceedings, with assistance from various dispute resolution team members including senior associate Kellie Sherwill. The addition of Fay Warrilow from Carey Olsen added strength at the senior associate level. Current non-contentious mandates include contractual variations relating to remuneration issues, redundancy procedures and health and safety queries.

Practice head(s):

Rachel DeSanges

Other key lawyers:

Sandie Lyne; Kellie Sherwill; Fay Warrilow; Charlotte Ward

Testimonials

‘The team at Ogier were kind and understanding, putting me in touch with an advocate straight away. They were responsive to my calls and emails getting back to me the same day.’

‘Rachel DeSanges was fantastic! She was kind and sympathetic. I was very stressed and distressed by losing my job suddenly. Rachel listened to me and immediately realised that I had been discriminated against on grounds of my sex. She supported me through a claim against my employer and a successful out-of-court settlement was made. I cannot thank her enough. The money was important but so was my self esteem and I now have a great job after what was a horrible time. Charlotte Ward was also efficient, kind and helpful.’

‘Good technical expertise coupled with commercial awareness.’

‘Rachel DeSanges was very responsive and provided commercial and practical advice. I recommend her.’

‘The employment team at Ogier provides excellent client service to us on all aspects of employment law, be it employment advice, publications or updates. The team is always very responsive, advice is always provided in a clear and concise manner, always professional, but delivered in an empathetic and practical manner.’

‘Rachel DeSanges is our main point of contact. Rachel provides the very best client service, her knowledge across all areas of employment law stands out against her peers. Rachel is very approachable, is quick to understand our requirements and responds to queries in a timely, practical and professional manner.’

‘The Ogier team are always very prompt in responding to clients’ needs.’

‘Prompt and clear advice.’

Walkers

In a change of hands in Walkers’ employment practice, recently promoted partner Sarah Ash took over as team head from Louise Hall following the latter's retirement. Ash has expert knowledge regarding discrimination law pertaining to age, equal pay and gender claims. Heavily regulated entities in the financial services sector engage 'knowledgeable, professional and friendlysenior counsel Victoria Pratt on data protection matters; she recently advised on investigations into employer use of employee data. Domestic and international corporate clients regularly enlist the team to handle contentious senior exits, including sensitive unfair dismissal claims.

Practice head(s):

Sarah Ash

Other key lawyers:

Victoria Pratt

Testimonials

‘The team is unique in that from senior partner to receptionist they have a personal approach. They are interested in clients as individuals and take care to respond in a bespoke manner, rather than treating clients as just another number. The firm is very innovative in relation to billing.’

‘Sarah Ash is very professional but also has empathy and understands the human aspects of the advice which she gives. She also has good judgement allied with pragmatism.’

‘It is the relationship that has developed over the years that makes them unique. They know our business and can easily assist with guidance and recommendations.’

‘A very friendly team who are incredibly responsive and technically exceptional.’

‘We predominantly work with Sarah Ash and Victoria Pratt and they take the time to meet with us to understand our needs and the conditions we operate in. They also have a very good understanding of the market challenges faced. They will always make time to assist us and our clients and their knowledge and expertise is impressive.’

‘As a charity we rely on legal issues being dealt with in a timely, cost effective manner. We have dealt with the employment team at Walkers for over ten years and they would always be our first choice. They take time to understand the business and indeed the complexity of the charity and its role in the community which can have reputational risks if the wrong advice is given.’

‘Victoria Pratt is the perfect balance of knowledgeable, professional and friendly. She appears to genuinely care for reaching the right solution rather than just ticking the box, billing time and then moving on to the next client, which other firms are prone to.’

‘Sarah Ash has proved to be such a valuable resource that she always has the misfortune of being my first port of call with any employment law, regulation, or policy query. Seems to understand our needs perfectly (a small subsidiary of a much larger parent) and is able to adapt appropriately.’

AFR Advocates

The client portfolio at AFR Advocates features a number of union bodies, which practice head Paul Richardson represents in contentious employment and pensions claims. Employers and executives in the financial services sector engage the team on constructive dismissal and disqualification actions before the Employment Tribunal. The team also provides advice on restrictive covenants, contract drafting issues, staff handbooks and workforce restructurings.

Practice head(s):

Paul Richardson