Employment in Jersey

Carey Olsen

Carey Olsen fields a full-service, pan-Channel Island employment law and pensions practice that is known for contentious and non-contentious matters. The employment group, headed by Huw Thomas , has substantial experience acting before the Jersey employment tribunal. It is also often called upon to assist with employment-related data protection issues. Thomas often works alongside Tarina Le Boutillier, who in addition to employment issues handles immigration law work. Other key names include pensions counsel Julie Currie, and trusts and private wealth head Siobhan Riley, who works alongside Alexa Saunders.

Practice head(s):

Siobhan Riley; Huw Thomas

Other key lawyers:

Alexa Saunders; Julie Currie; Stephen Fitzgerald; Tarina Le Boutillier

Testimonials

‘Carey Olsen have been running weekly employment law update seminars for HR professionals, since the start of Covid, which have been really great – well done team!’

‘My main two contacts are Huw Thomas and Tarina Le Boutillier who are both excellent.’

‘I have recently dealt with Huw and Tarina on a case, their advice was clear, the process was easy to follow, they provided regular updates and were transparent and supportive throughout. The expertise available is second to none.’

‘I have maintained an excellent working relationship with Huw Thomas over many years. He will always find time, sometimes last minute to assist. Huw is incredibly personable and professional, his advice is clear and it is evident he is client focused. Huw is a trusted advisor with proven expertise within his field and is well regarded not only by myself and my organisation but across the island.’

‘They know my business – creative solution provision.’

‘A strong team with an aligned approach. You will get the same advice from all of them, which is refreshing.’

‘Make themselves available, sometimes at short notice. The provide practical advice, they don’t just recite the law.’

‘Huw Thomas is a very pragmatic person to deal with. Always provides considered advice in a very timely manor. A pleasure to deal with’

‘Good solid team, plenty of experience and always pragmatic in their approach’

Key clients

Committee of Management of the Public Employees’ Pension Fund

Management Board of the Jersey Teachers Superannuation Fund

Fairway Trust Limited

KPMG

Rossborough Financial Services Limited

Alexander Forbes CI Limited

Trustees of Aberdeen Asset Management Pension Scheme

Nedbank Private Wealth

Work highlights

  • Advising the Committee of Management of the Public Employees’ Pension Fund, the largest public sector pension scheme in the Channel Islands.
  • Advising the Management Board of the Jersey Teachers Superannuation Fund, a scheme for those teachers employed by the Island’s government and by certain of the local private schools in the Island.
  • Acted for Fairway Trust Limited in relation to one of the more significant employment tribunal of recent years, which involved the dismissal of a senior director and subsequent tribunal proceedings for unfair dismissal and wrongful dismissal.

Mourant

Mourant‘s team is credited for having ‘a discreet manner that gives comfort to companies and institutions who rely on quality advice and guidance in a wide range of activities‘. Led by Carla Benest , the team cooperates with employment and pensions lawyers across the firm’s office network to provide a full multi-jurisdictional employment service to corporates and financial institutions. On the contentious side, lawyers are well-versed in unfair and constructive dismissal, discrimination claims and contractual disputes. On the non-contentious front, the group regularly advises on agile and flexible working issues, employee mobility and business restructurings. Senior associate Laurie Child takes the lead on a number of employment issues, including matters concerning restructurings and redundancy processes. Associate Katie Phillips is developing a practice that involves relocations and matters relating to the establishment of businesses on Jersey.

Practice head(s):

Carla Benest

Other key lawyers:

Laurie Child; Katie Phillips

Testimonials

‘Extremely personable to deal with. Understand our business and its culture. Advice is always practicable and easy to understand and follow.’

‘Mourant is a renowned legal firm in the Islands and hugely respected in the industry. Their discreet manner gives comfort to companies and institutions who rely on quality advice and guidance in a wide range of activities.’

‘Carla and her team provide a first class service in the Employment Law field. Always available and willing to give constructive, clear and concise guidance on any topic. Their factual and honest views are valuable to the work we undertake and always recommend them to colleagues in our profession.’

‘First class customer service, always very responsive and able to offer alternative solutions to challenges. Great handle on the local market and current practices. Compared to other firms I have been in contact with in Jersey Mourant definitely have a competitive edge.’

‘A very pragmatic approach to problem solving and thorough in contract work. You feel completely comfortable that you have received the best possible advice. Laurie Child has excellent insight and provides impeccable client service with a commercial lens and Carla Benest provides a high level of relationship management and business acumen.’

‘Mourant provides a very professional but personal service to it clients. Mourants are very client focused and understand the needs of their clients by building rapport and relationships that foster trust.’

‘Laurie Child is a very competent professional that goes out of his way to maintain good relationships by providing sound advice and support.

‘Carla Benest is very well respected in her field and has given insight on various topics, Carla is very good at understanding her clients needs and goes over and above to build relationships that are lasting.

Work highlights

  • Advised on the sensitive and high risk exit of a director in the context of significant ill-health issues related to work and the individual’s significant equity interests in our client’s business
  • Advised on enforcement action and potential litigation relating to a breach of restrictive covenants by a senior executive proposing to join a market competitor
  • Defended a breach of contract claim brought by a global director relating to long-term share incentives arising under a deferred compensation scheme

Ogier

According to clients, the team at Ogier is ‘very responsive, commercial in its approach and will handle all aspects of any particular employment issue‘. The group handles tribunal claims for claimants and respondents, advisory work and as support to corporate transactions. The team is also equipped to act in work-related injury claims, data protection matters and issues related to employee benefit schemes. Helen Ruelle heads the employment team and handles contentious and non-contentious employment and discrimination law issues. Ruelle is ably supported by senior associate Will Austin-Vautier.

Practice head(s):

Helen Ruelle

Other key lawyers:

Will Austin-Vautier

Testimonials

‘The team is good at getting the work done by the appropriate level of lawyer. They are very responsive, commercial in their approach and will handle all aspects of any particular employment issue. This takes the pressure off where clients are nervous of handling difficult issues themselves eg dismissal conversations.’

‘The individuals just get the job done in an efficient manner. Can’t ask for more.’

‘Excellent private equity sector knowledge, rapid delivery of advice, clear and concise, very user friendly approach.’

‘Pragmatic and commercial with delivery.’

‘The team at Ogier were incredibly helpful to use especially when we required assistance taking over our business. Any queries we had were answered in a quick and professional manner. We would have no issues in recommend them to clients which we have since.’

‘The team at Ogier are first rate, I wouldn’t hesitate in recommending them. All the things that you can expect them to excel at they do. They care about the client and nothing is a challenge for them. They are also incredibly well connected which is a plus when trying to get things done and quickly. In terms of innovation, Ogier uses a really great document sharing portal which is really easy to navigate.’

Viberts

The team at Viberts handles the spectrum of employment law issues, with experts in litigation, regulatory issues, business licensing, contract advice and compromise agreements, as well as employment issues following M&A transactions. The team is led by Vicky Milner, who specialises in representing senior individuals in claims involving allegations of discrimination and psychiatric injury, as well as non-contentious advisory work. Paul Wilson is a non-contentious employment law expert with experience in redundancies. Rebecca Morley-Kirk is a litigator who regularly appears before employment tribunals, representing individuals and unions, while Giles Emmanuel  is another key member of the practice. Chris Hendry is also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Vicky Milner

Other key lawyers:

Paul Wilson; Rebecca Morley-Kirk; Giles Emmanuel; Chris Hendry

Testimonials

‘They have a good team and have been responsive to our requirements in a timely fashion.’

‘A good understanding of HR law in practice, so able to give practical and proactive advice.’

‘Solid technical knowledge, partner involvement, practical application, competitive fees and all with a sense of humour.’

‘Worked with Vicky Milner and Chris Hendry. They work very well together and the service provided by them was technically solid and personally empathetic in what was at times an emotional time for me. Chris Hendry was always able to set the legal analysis within the practical and pragmatic context. At times my emotional reaction to do something was well and sympathetically managed with the potential implications of following certain courses being clearly but not patronisingly set out. A good sense of humour was appreciated. Vicky has a seniority of approach and practical wisdom which is reassuring.’

‘I have dealt, for many years, with Vicky Milner. I consider her to be a trusted advisor.’

Key clients

Institute of Law

JP Mauger Limited

Baccata Trustees Limited

IQ-EQ (Jersey) Limited

National Education Union

USDAW

Work highlights

  • Represented the Institute of Law in a case in the Jersey Employment & Discrimination Tribunal and in the Royal Court: the Royal Court decision set a new precedent on costs.
  • Represented JP Mauger Limited in a case in the Jersey Employment & Discrimination Tribunal, which confirmed the position on employment status.

Appleby

The practice at Appleby is geared towards advising corporates and large financial institutions on cross-border employment issues. In 2021, the group handled a number of Covid-related employment matters, including concerning outsourcing agreements. It is also active in advising on employment law aspects of M&A. Heading the group is Richard Sheldon, who is based across Jersey and Guernsey and often provides pan-island advice. In September 2021, the group was joined by Niall MacDonald from Walkers; a major boost, given his expertise in immigration, business licensing, as well as managing experts and enforcing post-termination obligations. Lara von Wildenrath joined from Werksmans Attorneys in August 2021, and handles employment disputes.

Practice head(s):

Richard Sheldon

Other key lawyers:

Niall MacDonald; Lara von Wildenrath

Testimonials

‘This practice is always quick to respond to our needs and had great international links that work for our business’

‘I work with Richard Sheldon who is responsive, commercial and practical’

‘In my dealings with Appleby (Jersey) LLP I have always found them to be friendly, well informed and very helpful. They honour their deadlines and are easy to work with. They work is to high standard and they pull together as team to help each other out.’

‘The individuals I have worked with are incredibly helpful and very professional. They have gone out of their way to put us in touch with other external contributors simply to enhance the outcome for us. They are polite, available and very personable. They are also very efficient, and ensure that they take care of their client relationships.’

Key clients

Canaccord Genuity Wealth

CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang

Eversheds Sutherland

Grant Thornton

HSBC Group

International Energy Group Limited

PraxisIFM

Sanne Group

Suntera Global

Work highlights

  • Advised Suntera Global on the employment aspects of its acquisition of Nedgroup Trust, a fiduciary services provider in Jersey and Guernsey from Nedbank Private Wealth.
  • Advised PraxisIFM on the employment aspects of its sale of their Fund Administration division to Sanne Group Plc.

Walkers

Walkers predominantly advises the firm’s regulated financial services clients on the gamut of employment law issues, with experience in immigration law and matters arising from M&A transactions. Taking the lead is recently promoted partner Daniel Read, an English barrister and Jersey advocate who is known for contentious employment matters relating to restrictive covenants, unfair dismissal claims, team moves, as well as redundancies and senior executive terminations.

Practice head(s):

Daniel Read

Other key lawyers:

Jenny Brunton

Testimonials

‘I couldn’t have asked for a better employment lawyer than Dan Read: knowledgeable, experienced and capable under pressure. I have no hesitation recommending him.’

‘The regular contact, updates and events have provided the foundation for a strong professional relationship. The team are readily available for quick queries. They are always forerunners to bring DE&I material so we can stay on the front foot. Very relevant pandemic related work advice was provided virtually and allowed us to avoid potential pitfalls.’

‘We predominantly deal with Dan Read who we have found to be personable and professional while delivering the relevant advice, concisely and on time.’

‘Excellent responsiveness, outstanding knowledge, pragmatic focussed advice. First class all round.’

‘Our main contact has been Dan Read and he has provided exceptional service and support. Quick to respond, expert knowledge and pragmatic focussed advice. First class all round and excellent value.’

‘The Walkers team guided us with very precise notes for the meetings with an employee throughout the process, responded very quickly to the questions/comments. The process was very well organised and was very cost-effective.’

‘Commercial and pragmatic – easily digestible advice’

‘Dan Read – my “go to” person in Jersey for employment matters. Clear, user friendly advice with a commercial stance.’

Key clients

Clarivate

Entrust

KPMG

Vistra

G4S

Norman Piette

Advocate Davida Blackmore

Established in 2019, Advocate Davida Blackmore is the base for sole practitioner Davida Blackmore, who is highly active in advising on service provision contracts and handling employment-related personal injury claims, particularly mental health issues including those arising from psychiatric injuries. Blackmore is also a go-to name for matters at the intersection of employment and data protection law.

Practice head(s):

Davida Blackmore

Key clients

Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust

D’Houet Limited t/a FCJ School

Marbral Advisory

Work highlights

  • Providing advice and assistance to Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust in respect of all employment and data protection related matters, including representation before the Employment and Discrimination Tribunal.
  • Acting for a number of senior HR individuals in respect of employment exits, including claims for unfair constructive dismissal, unfair dismissal, redundancy and ill-health grounds.
  • Acting for a senior employee in respect of a claim for psychiatric injury, discrimination and constructive unfair dismissal against their former employer.

Bedell Cristin

Bedell Cristin kickstarted its standalone pan-Channel Islands employment practice in May 2021, with the arrival of Carly Parrott from Carey Olsen to the Guernsey office. Parrott handles employment matters in Jersey, including in relation to contentious issues. Heather Watters is another name to note for contentious employment matters.

Practice head(s):

Carly Parrott

Other key lawyers:

Heather Watters

Key clients

JT Group

Work highlights

  • Providing advice to JT Group on the full spectrum of employment matters including the exit of senior and junior level staff, advising on the restructuring of operations, data protection and health and safety matters, dealing with staff absences, capability and conduct issues and policy re-drafting.
  • Assisted a multi-national consultancy and construction company in the transfer of employees from England to Jersey and the set-up of operations in Jersey as part of the Jersey Hospital Project.
  • Advised one of the largest agricultural employers in Jersey on a myriad of issues including defending a number of tribunal claims, re-drafting their employment related documentation for salaried, seasonal and contract workers and advising on the re-structuring their seasonal working arrangements.

Parslows

At Parslows, the team advises businesses in Jersey on the updating of and new sets of employment contracts and handbooks, as well as assisting with employment advice stemming from M&A. The team is led by Carl Parslow , who according to clients ‘offers realistic and solid advice‘ and Lorraine McClure .

Practice head(s):

Carl Parslow; Lorraine McClure

Testimonials

‘Accessible, friendly presence. Listening and accommodating client’s needs.’

‘Carl Parslow offers realistic and solid advice and case work and oversight. Very trustworthy and can be quite passionate. Strong thinker with great skills and attributes.’

Work highlights

  • Acted for client in relation to advisory on restrictive covenants issue.  Ex – employee acting in same space attempting to poach client base.  Advised on the effectiveness of the relevant clauses in the contract and suggested way forward.
  • Advising client in relation to share scheme dispute over distribution rights and appropriate compensation relating to his past employment with a Jersey trust company
  • Advisory in relation to redundancies at firm as a result in the downturn of the market.

Seymour Law LLP

Clients praise the ‘personal service‘ offered by Seymour Law LLP, which has significant expertise in advising high-level employees and business stakeholders on exits. In addition, key partner Jean-Marie Renouf  provides day-to-day employment advice to regulated businesses operating in Jersey.

Practice head(s):

Jean-Marie Renouf

Testimonials

‘Personal service and expertise from well established partners who are highly thought of in their chosen areas. This means the legal advice is of high quality and to the point and the process of obtaining it efficient and cost effective.’

‘Advocate Jean-Marie Renouf was attentive and responsive and ready with a summary of the key practical issues and focussed pre-emptive words of advice to manage expectations regarding the negotiations to be undertaken. He has an excellent grasp of employment law and whilst he will present the position at each end of the spectrum, is ready with pragmatic realistic advice. He also showed great client care and was a reassuring point of reference checking in and following up from time to time.’

‘I recently engaged Jean-Marie Renouf in relation to a recent employment dispute with my former employer. It required a very swift turnaround of less than a week. Jean-Marie made himself available to assist me in an urgent matter at very short notice, which was appreciated. In all of my dealings with him, I have found him to be highly effective, knowledgeable, responsive, and empathetic. When handling a personal matter rather than a corporate matter, this is all the more important. This is in comparison with other lawyers with whom I have dealt who do not communicate and leave clients waiting for days with little consideration. Jean-Marie’s advice is robust, thorough, and pragmatic.’

Key clients

Le Quesne Garden Centre

Hotel de France

Work highlights

  • Advised Le Quesne Garden Centre on an employment dispute which ended ultimately with the negotiation of terms of exit for that individual.
  • Advises Hotel de France on all matters pertaining to employment law; providing general advice, drafting documents and procedures, and dealing with specific issues which arise relating to individual employees.