Employment in Jersey

Carey Olsen

At Carey Olsen’s employment, pensions and incentives practice, co-head Siobhan Riley deals with the breadth of HR issues, ranging from remote and flexible working matters and employee mental health to employee data protection issues (including subject access requests). The contentious bench includes co-head and counsel Huw Thomas and senior associate Tarina Le Boutillier as key team members; the team represents domestic and international employers in tribunal proceedings. Alexa Saunders, counsel Stephen Fitzgerald and senior associate Julie Currie (who splits her time between Guernsey and Jersey) all have a core pensions focus; notably, the team is retained by the Jersey Government’s public service pension fund.

Practice head(s):

Siobhan Riley; Huw Thomas

Other key lawyers:

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

Testimonials

‘They have extensive and broad pension knowledge, mixed with extensive trust knowledge.’

‘Julie Currie has been amazing this year. She has kept on top of all issues during what has been a really busy year, and has provided me a colleague and a secretarial back-up which has made her far more than a paid legal advisor. In addition she has worked diligently and always provided well-researched, comprehensive and understandable advice. She works well with Siobhan Riley.’

‘I work with Huw Thomas in the Jersey practice- always very pragmatic and puts matters into broader context. Huw initiates regular touch points and invests in the relationship with us.’

‘The team are always very responsive to direct requests for assistance and quick to be proactive on local issues affecting HR teams in Jersey with regular webinars and news sheets which are accurate and very helpful.’

‘Julie Currie is a pensions expert and is especially helpful in providing advice on regular day-to-day legal matters.’

‘I find the Carey Olsen team to be leaders in their field and wholeheartedly recommend them when asked by peers who I partner with as external legal counsel. The element that sets them apart from others is their ability to translate employment law and share that with me in a way that is risk aware, commercial and pragmatic.’

‘Very well-respected professional firm. Known for its people and ability to deliver for their clients.’

‘Huw Thomas – Probably the best employment lawyer I know, and I deal with a lot. He has a very practical and pragmatic approach and can articulate this in to sound advice. He will go above and beyond, offering free insight to HR forums, business networks and the like.’

Key clients

Committee of Management of the Public Employees Pension Fund

Management Board of the Jersey Teachers Superannuation Fund

Fairway Trust Limited

KPMG

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 teachers employed by the island’s government and by certain local private schools on the island.
  • Acted for Fairway Trust Limited in relation to a significant recent employment tribunal which involved the dismissal of a senior director and subsequent tribunal proceedings for unfair dismissal and wrongful dismissal.

Mourant

Mourant has a 'reliable, responsive and supportive' employment practice that is retained by top-flight financial institutions, retail chains and professional services companies. Practice head Carla Benest and senior associate Laurie Childs have a vast skill set, which encompasses contentious senior exits, HR advice and, notably, discrimination matters pertaining to harassment and sexual misconduct claims. The team regularly defends employers before the Employment Tribunal. Clients also benefit from senior associate Carly McIver’s pension knowledge, and Katie Phillips’ immigration expertise. Working closely with the firm's insolvency partners, the team assists with the employment aspects of global restructuring exercises.

Practice head(s):

Carla Benest

Other key lawyers:

Laurie Childs; Carly McIver; Katie Phillips

Testimonials

‘A reliable, responsive and supportive employment law team who work with you to understand the people challenges, where the business wish to go and collaborate to find the right way forward.’

‘Laurie Childs has provided outstanding support on a number of complex employee relations issues. Laurie can be trusted to provide a sensible, down-to-earth, pragmatic approach to emotive and challenging people situations. He always considers different options and approaches to get to the right outcome taking into account the potential risks and exposures that the actions could bring. Lastly Laurie shows a good sense of humour – he takes the work very seriously but himself less so.’

‘Part of the success of the Mourant team is that they are always accessible and respond in a timely manner when consulted for advice. Correspondence will include all team members which ensures that any current matter can be picked up by more than one team member and also demonstrates how they collaborate within the team.’

‘The individuals that we work with are professional, knowledgeable, honest and provide an excellent service. As we have worked with Mourant for a number of years they have built a sound understanding of our business which provides a known platform for us to enter into any new discussions relating to employment matters.’

‘Laurie Childs is a particular stand out in the Mourant employment team. He is always very approachable and has been a pleasure to deal with over the years.’

‘Each person on our team believes in and cares about what we do, why and how we do it.’

‘The Mourant employment team are a great combination of highly technical, but also commercial, approachable and personable. Rather than just citing the legislation, they translate it and offer commercially viable options to clients in an accessible, but never condescending, way.’

‘Carla Benest and Laurie Childs are a formidable team in the Jersey employment arena.’

Work highlights

  • Defending a wealth management business against a complex employee equity investment claim brought by a former senior executive.
  • Advised a fiduciary and administration business on serious and highly sensitive allegations of sexual harassment relating to a director, supporting with grievance and disciplinary processes arising from the allegations and managing the risk of discrimination and dismissal claims.
  • Advised a private equity client on its investment in a local trust company business, particularly implementing new terms and conditions (including a share option scheme) and bespoke new restrictive covenants for the directors and senior management.

Ogier

With strength across contentious and non-contentious mandates, Ogier’s employment offering is a key choice for a diverse, international client roster. The group leverages its knowledge of immigration law when handling staff relocations during company reorganisations and the related appeal hearings; practice head Helen Ruelle and senior associate Will Austin-Vautier are go-to names. Regular contentious mandates include senior employee exits and defending employers in discrimination claims in the Employment Tribunal; the team also represents senior employees in breach of contract claims.

Practice head(s):

Helen Ruelle

Other key lawyers:

Will Austin-Vautier

Testimonials

‘We had a unique presenting issue that the partner, and the team, responded to immediately in spite of a positive/successful outcome being estimated at less than 10%. They were transparent, efficient and kept me fully informed throughout.’

‘We and Ogier were fairly sure we would not get a Visa for a member of staff but wanted to try anyway. Ogier did an exceptionally good job in presenting a compelling case for the applicant. To our joy and surprise the relevant government department said that the case was so well presented and the argument so compelling that they felt able and comfortable to grant the requested residence visa.’

‘Will Austin-Vautier was accessible, clear and concise in his advice, and very diligent and articulate in presenting our case.’

‘Will Austin-Vautier was excellent. Extremely flexible and ready to go the extra mile to get a creative solution to a difficult situation for our mutual client.’

‘Excellent, skilled people.’

‘They know the business well and ensure every step you take is well directed and thought out.’

Viberts

Employment litigation in the Employment Tribunal and Royal Court is an area of strength for the team at Viberts; advocates including practice head Vicky Milner, Rebecca Morley-Kirk and senior associate Giles Emmanuel represent clients in complex contractual disputes, contentious exits, pay-rate disputes and discrimination claims. Paul Wilson and associate Oliver Hughes are key names for non-contentious work, including immigration matters, general redundancy procedures and M&A-related work. Scottish-qualified solicitor Chris Hendry, who recently moved from BCR Law, adds a broad set of knowledge, including in regards to employee data issues and trade union matters.

Practice head(s):

Vicky Milner

Other key lawyers:

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

Testimonials

‘The team at Viberts are very professional and forward thinking. They are on point with current legislation changes and advise in the most appropriate way, providing exceptional support and guidance.’

‘The two individuals that I would like to recommend are Vicky Milner and Chris Hendry. Both are very capable and diligent workers that always go over and above expectations. They provide an exceptional service to their clients and always offer sensible advice and support.’

‘Vicky Milner’s qualities are her attention to detail, grasp of the legal issues, responsiveness and her personable/engaging nature.’

Key clients

Institute of Law

Jersey Financial Services Commission

Prospect Union for Professionals

Unite the Union

Baccata Trustees Limited

IQ EQ (Jersey) Limited

JJ Fox International Limited

Work highlights

  • Represented the JFSC in an appeal to the Royal Court against a decision of the Tribunal.
  • Advised a multinational construction business on its move to Jersey of 30 members of staff from other jurisdictions, giving rise to a range of complex employment and regulatory issues in the post-Brexit context.
  • Advised the directors and senior executives of financial services businesses, retailers and public sector clients on employment terminations, shareholdings and related matters.

Appleby

Appleby’s ‘highly commercial and accessible‘ employment practice recently secured a swathe of client wins, including notable pan-Channel Islands employers in the retail and financial services sector. The team guides clients through internal investigations relating to harassment and misconduct claims. Practice head Richard Sheldon (who splits his time between Guernsey and Jersey) and litigation head Jared Dann represents clients in tribunal claims concerning high-stakes senior exits, employee contract disputes and issues of data theft. The group also advises on the employment aspects of insolvencies.

Practice head(s):

Richard Sheldon

Other key lawyers:

Jared Dann; Niall MacDonald

Testimonials

‘Highly commercial and accessible, they provide a range of scenario-based outcomes which are clearly risk assessed.’

‘Richard Sheldon explains things concisely and clearly and pitches the level of detail and potential outcomes well to his audience be it HR or Directors. A genuine pleasure to deal with and makes himself accessible to deal with any time-critical matters.’

‘Efficiency and communication is great.’

‘I have worked with Richard Sheldon for some years and he is practical, commercial and very accessible to clients.’

Key clients

Canaccord Genuity Wealth

CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang

Deloitte LLP

Eversheds Sutherland

FRP Trading Limited

Grant Thornton

HSBC Group

International Energy Group Limited

PraxisIFM

Sanne Group

Work highlights

  • Advised the administrators (Deloitte LLP) on the employment aspects of the administration of the Arcadia Group across the Crown Dependencies.
  • Instructed by the Parish of St Helier in discrimination proceedings.
  • Instructed by a number of high-profile UK retailers with a presence in the Guernsey, Jersey and the Isle of Man to provide advice on the implementation and differences with the Payroll Co-Funding Schemes introduced by governments in response to Covid-19.

WALKERS

WALKERS’ employment practice focuses on contentious mandates, with highlights seeing ‘sharp, knowledgeable and to-the-point‘ practice head Daniel Read representing employers and senior executives in contentious exits, breach of contract claims and discrimination proceedings before the Employment Tribunal. Regular non-contentious instructions include workforce reductions, advice on employee share schemes, contract and policy reviews, restrictive covenant work and immigration matters.

Practice head(s):

Daniel Read

Testimonials

‘When you walk into Walkers you walk in to an energetic practice that wants the win or next best for the client either a settlement or just the believable realisation that perhaps your case doesn’t have merit. In my case, I thought my Christmas of 2019 was decimated by a pre-Christmas threat of termination. One hour into my meeting all those worries vanished and I genuinely felt I had the weight of the world shifted from my shoulders and the weight of a potent force behind me.’

‘My lead has been Daniel Read. My goodness that chap is sharp, knowledgeable, and to-the-point efficient! He keeps me abreast of the political landscape, my options and strategies every step of the way. You feel like you have someone in charge- no nonsense in your corner. Strategic. Pragmatic. A true force to be reckoned with.’

‘Daniel Read – in the case of legal matters, he was always available to deal with any questions we had and always delivered documentation in a timely matter. Furthermore when he was involved in a project, he clearly communicated timelines and delivered prior to set deadlines.’

‘Daniel Read – good technically, practical, quick, pragmatic, solutions-driven.’

‘The quality of service, speedy response times, excellent summary of meetings, use of technology to facilitate Covid requirements was all first class.’

‘The employment team are engaging and collaborative and above all have excellent technical knowledge and skills that are applied in a practical way.’

Key clients

Affinity Private Wealth

Consolidated Materials

Work highlights

  • Advised Affinity on the employment aspects of its acquisition of Pinnacle Trust Company, including employment litigation risks, pensions and benefits.
  • Successfully defended Consolidated Minerals in a constructive unfair dismissal claim brought by the former CFO.

Advocate Davida Blackmore

Advocate Davida Blackmore has experience in personal injury claims in an employment context; recently Davida Blackmore represented an employee in a claim of workplace psychiatric injury and discrimination. The group also acts for employers in the Employment Tribunal. As a data protection expert, Blackmore also handles any matters pertaining to employee data protection issues.

Practice head(s):

Davida Blackmore

Testimonials

‘Davida Blackmore is so easy to work with which is beneficial when dealing with challenging employee relations issues. Her advice and guidance is always met with success. Davida is honest and fair, which in turn means we do not have unrealistic expectations.’

‘Davida Blackmore was most efficient in dealing with an employment matter on my behalf. I had every confidence in her at each stage of the process, and would not hesitate to recommend Adv Blackmore in the future.’

Key clients

Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust

Work highlights

  • Providing advice and assistance to Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust in respect of all employment matters, including representation before the Employment and Discrimination Tribunal.
  • Acting for a senior individual in respect of a claim for constructive unfair dismissal, disability discrimination and defamation.
  • Acting for a senior employee in respect of a claim for psychiatric injury and discrimination against their former employer.

BCR Law

Practice head Wendy Lambert and English-qualified solicitors Ashley Quenault and Nour Belal handle employment matters at BCR Law. Typical matters range from discrimination issues and internal policy updates to employee incentive plans and redundancy procedures. Lambert leads on contentious employment mandates; she primarily handles contested exits on behalf of both employers and employees.

Practice head(s):

Wendy Lambert

Other key lawyers:

Ashley Quenault; Nour Belal

Testimonials

‘We find BCR to be extremely approachable and down to earth which cannot always be said about other law firms. They really listen to issues and give empathy to situations but also practical advice and make you feel supported at every stage. As a smaller, commercial client they are also conscious of cost and will suggest what we do ourselves and offer to review work as opposed to us running up big bills, unnecessarily. They are extremely professional and I would never think to question their advice or knowledge.’

‘Our main contact is Wendy Lambert who we really value. Her experience and knowledge is so vast that we feel in such safe hands. She explains things very well and never bombards you with legal terms so we can fully understand what she is saying at all times which cannot always be said with other lawyers. She is extremely down to earth can really empathise with the commercial position. She will also make you feel good about what we have done as opposed to criticise which is really important and makes us want to engage with her more.’

‘BCR have the desirable blend of a depth of expertise and wide resource whilst maintaining a personal service and intimate knowledge of your business.’

‘Wendy and her team are always committed, accurate, efficient and precise with the pertinent advice and holistic understanding both of our strategic needs and the legal framework within which they sit.’

‘Wendy Lambert has a mastery of our internal procedures that allows for quick and clear advice.’

‘Excellent collaborative approach in complex third sector environment balancing commercial, political and charitable considerations towards eminently practical solutions with consideration for best value given our organisational status.’

‘Wendy Lambert has been outstandingly helpful in understanding and then helping us understand the challenges we face as a third sector, charitable organisation with very limited human resource capacity but employing a large workforce across a very broad range of services and in the context of changing employment law in Jersey.’

‘BCR Law have been an amazing support during several challenging cases. Their expertise and knowledge has been excellent and their collaboration with third parties has been invaluable.’

Work highlights

  • Advising a financial institution on the termination of numerous employees, including negotiating compromise agreements.
  • Advising a Jersey-regulated charity on employment training matters and flexible working arrangements.
  • Advised an investment management business on employee incentivisation schemes.

Bedell Cristin

As advocates in Bedell Cristin’s litigation practice, Edward Drummond and David Cadin are well placed to represent employers in tribunal proceedings, including personal injury claims.

Other key lawyers:

Edward Drummond; David Cadin

Parslows

A steady roster of Jersey-based SMEs and senior employees instruct Parslows on contentious employment matters. Co-heads Carl Parslow and Lorraine McClure recently represented clients in breach of restrictive covenant claims. Notable non-contentious instructions encompass M&A support, contract and handbook drafting, and workforce restructuring issues.

Practice head(s):

Carl Parslow; Lorraine McClure

Testimonials

‘The team at Parslows present a cohesive approach to the needs of the client that remained consistently high even during a global pandemic.’

‘A firm where service levels are excelled and where a client is an individual and not just a number.’

‘A reliable and trustworthy service that other competitors could only hope to achieve.’

‘Carl Parslow gave friendly and invaluable advice throughout the litigation process explaining the technicalities of law into layman terms when required. Patient and understanding of the concerns and stress of the client. Always available to answer questions and focused on a best resolve for his client and their reputation.’

‘Friendly, approachable, with a broad service offering at very competitive prices. I use them for business and personal matters.’

Seymour Law LLP

Employment law is a primary focus at boutique firm Seymour Law LLP, which represents employers and senior employees in contentious employment exits. 'Calm, personable and competent' practice head Jean-Marie Renouf acts in tribunal proceedings relating to unfair and constructive dismissals. The team also has non-contentious expertise relating to discrimination law, handbook drafting and severance negotiations.

Practice head(s):

Jean-Marie Renouf

Testimonials

‘Jean-Marie Renouf was very responsive and was able to very quickly assist me on numerous occasions. He was extremely efficient and helpful in delivering an excellent service.’

‘Boutique practice, individuals with strong expertise in their chosen field.’

‘I engaged with Jean-Marie Renouf on an employment matter. He was always available when required, and I found him to be demonstrably experienced, as well as calm, personable and competent.’

‘Jean-Marie Renouf was outstanding from the first moment I spoke to him. He was reassuring, friendly, knowledgeable, understanding of my situation.’

‘Jean-Marie Renouf made me feel that I was in good hands from the initial conversation, so helpful in making sure I fully understood the agreement I was due to sign.’

Key clients

Ortac (AoC) Limited

Work highlights

  • Retained by aviation company Ortac to advise on its obligations under employment and discrimination law, including through the advent of the Covid-19 pandemic.