Firms To Watch: Employees/unions

Receiving strong praise from clients, Mariel Irvine Solicitors is a popular choice for associations and their members, including the Prison Governors’ Association and the Chief Police Officers’ Staff Association, seeking assistance with discrimination claims, exit packages, pension matters and psychiatric injury cases.

Employees/unions in London

Leigh Day

Described by clients as the 'foremost claimant employment law firm', Leigh Day's 'unparalleled knowledge of group litigation' is brought to bear on equal pay, discrimination and workers’ rights mandates. The group is also praised for its expertise relating to actionable collective and individual trade union rights issues and claims related to the prevention of forced labour in the workplace.  The team is co-led by Nigel MacKay and Emma Satyamurti, with MacKay being well regarded for his collective representation of workers in cases related to the gig economy and the latter an authority on discrimination issues and equal pay. Kiran Daurka sports particular expertise in equality cases and in advising whistleblowers, and discrimination claims based on gender critical grounds stands out as a recent area of activity for Elizabeth George. Paula Lee specialises in equal pay matters while Michael Newman frequently takes strategic control of large group claims. Chris Benson acts as managing partner, and continues to provide strategic input on group claims. Annie Powell, Nick Webster and Liana Wood are key names to note.

Practice head(s):

Nigel Mackay; Emma Satyamurti

Other key lawyers:

Chris Benson; Michael Newman; Paula Lee; Kiran Daurka; Elizabeth George; Annie Powell; Nick Webster; Liana Wood; Thomas Hewitt


‘The effort put into my case was enormous. The preparation left no stone untouched. Fully prepared for the tribunal, with a total focus on client wellbeing.’

‘Leigh Day are undoubtedly the foremost claimant employment law firm fighting for the Davids versus the Goliaths, and regularly winning.’

‘Nick Webster is an incredible lawyer with judgment and negotiation skills that are second to none.’

‘Michael Newman is one of the leading equal pay litigators in the country, and a pleasure to work with.’

‘Leigh Day is certainly the pre-eminent firm for mass claims on behalf of employees. They are also very strong in dealing with individual claims – the full package.’

‘Brilliant lawyers, creative and hard working – a hugely valuable pool of people working together and exceptionally knowledgeable about group litigation.’

‘Highly rate Kiran Daurka in particular. She is deeply insightful, very knowledgeable about the law and committed to her clients.’

‘Possibly the best and most innovative employment team servicing multiple claimant cases in the UK.’

Key clients

2,500 GMB Union members

Morrisons supermarket workers’ group

Tesco supermarket workers’ group

Next workers’ group

Operation Fort

Amazon delivery drivers


Work highlights

  • Acting in group equal pay claims on behalf of employees of Morrisons and Tesco and Next.
  • Acting in claims relating to the duty to prevent forced labour in the workforce.
  • Representing over 2,000 Amazon delivery drivers in gig economy claims.

Cole Khan Solicitors LLP

Noted for its ‘growing reputation in the employment world’, Cole Khan Solicitors LLP has extensive experience in disability claims, hybrid working disputes and worker’s rights cases such as mandates related to the gig economy and the use of fixed term contracts. The team has also seen an increase in instructions from unions, notably strategic litigation mandates. Shazia Khan co-heads the team; her wide-ranging practice spans race discrimination claims and private mediations for clients in cases of unfair dismissal.  Fellow co-head Emilie Cole is praised for her ‘brilliant legal mind’ and commitment to ‘ensuring social justice in the workplace’Thomas Moore and Colin Davidson are further names to note.

Practice head(s):

Shazia Khan; Emilie Cole

Other key lawyers:

Thomas Moore; Colin Davidson


‘The two dynamic people who founded the firm are striving for excellence and committed to diversity.’

‘They are one of the firms to watch of the next few years.’

‘I would say that Emilie Cole goes the extra mile for her clients in that nothing is too much for her.’

‘Shazia Khan is a superb solicitor that I have know for many years and continues to be at the top of her game.’

‘Emilie Cole is just as lovely and personable as she is a brilliant legal mind.’

‘Cole Khan is a fantastic firm doing excellent work, delivering a very personalised, client focused service.’

‘Emilie Cole and Tom Moore are committed to ensuring social justice in the workplace and fighting to end work place discrimination.’

Key clients

University College Union

Work highlights

  • Instructed by University College Union on a number of cases – particularly relating to anti-casualisation – aka ‘Stamp Out Casual Contracts’.
  • Represented an academic after she was dismissed from her role with Leeds Beckett University over her tweets calling a mixed race politician a ‘house negro’.
  • Instructed to defend a doctor against the General Medical Council’s appeal after the Employment Tribunal upheld that the GMC discriminated against him because of his race.

Irwin Mitchell

Irwin Mitchell‘s employment and professional discipline team is well placed to advise on complex discrimination and whistleblowing claims, pay and bonus disputes, and restrictive covenants and post-termination restrictions. Clients include senior executives, employees and unions. Additionally, the team is well known for advising senior executives from the medical, banking and legal services sectors. Team head Shah Qureshi is equipped to handle contentious and non-contentious matters and is described as ‘a force of nature in the field of discrimination claims.’  Deborah Casale is well placed to advise on whistleblowing and equal pay issues, while acting for employees in relation to professional and regulatory and disciplinary proceedings stands out as a recent area of activity for Danielle Parsons. Shazia Shah is a further key contact.

Practice head(s):

Shah Qureshi

Other key lawyers:

Deborah Casale; Danielle Parsons; Shazia Shah


‘Great team, they get to the heart of the matter quickly and listen to the client’s instructions. You feel they are on your side and that they care about your case and you as a person’

‘Shah Qureshi is a force of nature in the field of discrimination claims. He gets to grips with the core of the matter with ease.’

‘Irwin Mitchell is a small but powerhouse team.’

‘Deborah Casale has carved an enviable niche in financial services work.’

Key clients

Over 30 forensic medical examiners

Royal College of Nursing

Work highlights

  • Issued claims in the employment tribunal  against Hampshire County Council and Ors for associative disability discrimination, whistleblowing detriment and constructive unfair dismissal.
  • Representing a group of over 30 forensic medical examiners in a group action against the Metropolitan Police Service to determine worker status and associated rights and benefits.
  • Instructed by the Royal College of Nursing to carry out an investigation into the actions of their currently suspended Chair of their Council David Dawes.

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP

Acting for a number of police officers and the Police Federation, the ‘assiduous’ team at Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP is trusted by clients from unionised work places, or workplaces with a staff association, to advise on issues such as industrial action, police law, collective bargaining issues and pension rights. Team head Binder Bansel has longstanding experience of representing a diverse range of trade unions and staff associations. Anthea Christie's broad practice includes a niche focus on regulatory issues affecting police officers, while Clare Walsh is well placed to handle disability discrimination test cases.

Practice head(s):

Binder Bansel

Other key lawyers:

Anthea Christie; Clare Walsh; Gemma Faulkner; Saima Sarwar


‘Anthea Christie has been stand out to me. Her communication has been excellent and her attention to detail is second to none.’

‘The interaction I had with Penningtons was a very positive one from the outset, the team was amazing.’

‘Gemma Faulkner is truly an exceptional individual she always made herself available and made sure I fully understood the legal jargon.’

‘Assiduous, thought leaders who are masters at running group and large scale litigation.’

 ‘I have been very impressed by Saima Sarwar; she is so easy to work with and meticulous in her approach.’

‘Binder is vastly experienced and knowledgeable, but wears it lightly with a good sense of humour.’

 ‘Clare Walsh is very knowledgeable on the law but very practical in her advice. And very hard working.’

‘Great union-side employment team, covering the full range of employment issues including pensions and employment crossover.’

Key clients

Police Federation of England and Wales

Communication Workers Union

Civil Nuclear Police Federation

United Road Transport Union

First Division Association

Police Superintendents’ Association

Association of School and College Leaders

National Association of Schoolmasters and Union of Women Teachers

School Leaders Scotland

British Dietetic Association

Work highlights

  • Advising the CWU on its ongoing industrial dispute with Royal Mail and its subsidiaries regarding pay and changes to terms and conditions.
  • Pursuing test claims for three retired police officers in the High Court for breach of statutory duty arising from their former Chief Officers’ failure to pay their correct pension benefits.
  • Representing over 200 female and part time officers of Essex Police for indirect sex discrimination and the force’s failure to accurately record work undertaken on public holidays.

Slater and Gordon

‘Passionate about representing employees’, Slater and Gordon acts for trade union members, private clients and staff associations with mandates such as race discrimination cases, sex discrimination and sexual harassment claims. The practice is well regarded for its handling of high-profile whistleblowing complaints. Practice head Edward Cooper has significant experience of representing employees from both the public and private sectors. Head of private employment law and ‘stand out starDoreen Reeves is highlighted for her bulk settlement agreement know-how. TUPE specialist Laura Thompson is the head of organisation and membership services and frequently assists clients including police officers, seafarers and retail workers on a range of employment matters. Jo Mackie departed in October 2022.

Practice head(s):

Edward Cooper; Doreen Reeves; Laura Thomspon


‘The level of service is superb and they have kept me up to date throughout the case.’

‘Doreen Reeves has been fantastic. Supportive and reassuring and always explains complex legalities in an easy to understand manner.’

‘A diverse strong team with lawyers of all levels doing leading cases across the board.’

‘Doreen Reeves is a stand out star. She is top class and a pleasure to work with. Highly recommended!’

‘Slater and Gordon solicitors are well known for their employment work representing employees and trade unions. The teams have been passionate about representing employees.’

Key clients




Police Federation





Unite the Union

Trades Union Congress

Work highlights

  • Representing a client in respect of her claims for indirect sex discrimination and unfair dismissal against North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust.
  • Representing a client in respect of her claims for race, age, sex, and disability discrimination which she alleges she suffered during the course of her employment.
  • Representing a client in respect of her claims for constructive unfair dismissal and discrimination on grounds of sex, age and disability against her former employer, Experian Limited.

Thompsons Solicitors LLP

Led by Bernie Wentworth from the Liverpool office, Thompsons Solicitors LLP advises a wide array of unions such as UNISON, the NUJ and the POA, and is praised for having ‘intimate knowledge of how unions approach litigation’. Brian Wilson is adept at handling mandates involving detriment and dismissal due to whistleblowing. Emma Game has a strong track record in unfair dismissal, discrimination and redundancy cases. Richard Arthur is described as ‘a leader in the field of union employment law, including industrial action litigation’. Rakesh Patel retired in April 2023.

Practice head(s):

Bernie Wentworth

Other key lawyers:

Brian Wilson; Richard Arthur; Emma Game


‘The Employment team is the provider of legal services for many national unions. That means it has an intimate knowledge of how unions approach litigation.’

‘Emma Game stands out; she has excellent judgment and strong client-handling skills.’

‘The best trade union employment team in the UK.’

‘Richard Arthur is a leader in the field of union employment law, including industrial action litigation.’

Key clients

Unite the Union











Work highlights

  • Represented over 750 members of Unite the Union in their claims for unpaid holiday pay against Felixstowe Dock and Railway Company.
  • Represented a member of UNISON in claims for disability discrimination and constructive unfair dismissal against the Royal Free London NHS Trust.
  • Represented a member of the PCS trade union in relation to claims for maternity discrimination.

Anthony Gold Solicitors LLP

Anthony Gold Solicitors LLP represents trade unions, their members and employees, notably in matters relating to equal pay, whistleblowing claims and restrictive covenants. The firm is also well regarded for its work on discrimination claims and has a a strong track record of litigating stress at work cases. Joy Drummond joined the team in December 2022 from Simpson Millar LLP; Drummond has longstanding experience in acting on behalf of trade union backed claimants in individual and collective claims. 'Stellar negotiator' Inbar Rabinovitz  maintains a particular focus on discrimination matters, while Aneil Balgobin spearheads the team’s offering.

Practice head(s):

Aneil Balgobin

Other key lawyers:

Joy Drummond; Inbar Rabinovitz


‘I worked with Aneil and what makes him unique is that he is straightforward and cuts through the jargon to get to heart of the issue.’

‘Joy Drummond is a real asset to the team and is our go to solicitor. She cares deeply about seeing our members getting access to justice.’

‘The team is practical and forward thinking. They are diverse and think innovatively and creatively.’

‘Inbar Rabinovitz is able to really listen to each client and tailor her approach accordingly. She is practical, commercial and a stellar negotiator. She is incredibly responsive and efficient and a pleasure to deal with.’

‘Joy Drummond: thorough yet pragmatic, flexible and committed to customer satisfaction’

‘They are practical and approachable to work with – and work really well as a team together and with myself as a barrister. They really know their stuff both in terms of the law and procedural matters.’

‘Nick Hanning is a brilliant solicitor to work with. He brings his experience both as a solicitor and a judge so has useful and important insights. 

Key clients




CWU Great Western Branch

RSPB Staff Association

The Cleaners & Allied Independent Workers Union

Aircrew Officers Association Europe

Work highlights

  • Advising the ISU and representing ISU members as the lead claimants in the multiple Employment Tribunal proceedings against the Home Office.
  • Advising the FDA on issues and disputes arising from their collective agreement with HMRC on pay and contract reform.
  • Advising the FDA National Official, representing their member in her Employment Tribunal claim against DEFRA for pregnancy and maternity leave discrimination.

Bindmans LLP

Bindmans LLP‘s employment practice is noted for its expertise in matters involving whistleblowing, discrimination at work and trade union victimisation. The group also exhibits expertise relating to the use of NDAs in sexual harassment claims. Interim team head Krishna Santra is well versed in complex discrimination claims and settlement agreements. Yavnik Ganguly is well placed to advise on issues such as protected disclosure detriment claims.

Practice head(s):

Krishna Santra

Other key lawyers:

Yavnik Ganguly


‘They have an impressive proven track record and great legacy.’

‘Krishna Santra is an immensely talented and approachable lawyer.’

‘Takes good care of clients, while understanding the bigger picture issues raised by the case.’

‘This is a diverse team of highly experienced employment practitioners who are committed to their clients and regularly take on some of the most challenging employment cases. They are very accessible and dedicated.’

‘Krishna Santra is very user friendly and excellent when dealing with clients.’

Key clients

Agency Worker

Work highlights

Curzon Green Solicitors

Curzon Green Solicitors is active across a broad range of issues faced by employees, encompassing equal pay complaints, disguised disability claims and shared parental leave issues. The firm advises a number of clients from the recruitment, financial, and media industries. Practice head Jennifer Sole leverages her ‘wide knowledge and appreciation of the law’ when representing employees before the Employment Tribunal, EAT and the High Court in whistleblowing and discrimination cases. Lauren McLaughlin focuses on equality matters such as equal pay and sex discrimination, while Uzair Zafar is well versed in whistleblowing detriment and race discrimination claims.

Practice head(s):

Jennifer Sole

Other key lawyers:

Lauren McLaughlin; Uzair Zafar


‘Jennifer Sole is a knowledgeable and skilled employment lawyer with a wide knowledge and appreciation of the law.’

‘The Employment Team at Curzon Green are professional, personable and offer straightforward advice. 

‘Curzon Green solicitors have always made time to explain the legal process and to provide sensible support and guidance.’

‘Empathy. Going the extra mile. Listening to understand. Reassurance. Detailed responses.’

‘Lauren McLaughlin was a standout. She was extremely responsive and attentive to my needs and ensured that I received a favourable outcome.’

Key clients

Skilled Careers Limited

The National Federation of Prostate Cancer Support Groups (TACKLE)

Lime Tree Court Limited

Work highlights

  • Acted for a former ethnic minority senior executive in achieving a six-figure settlement sum in a race discrimination claim.
  • Representing a former headteacher in an ET claim for unfair dismissal and whistleblowing detriment against a local authority.
  • Representing an architectural firm and founding partners in all aspects of a merger with cross border aspects.


The core pillars of didlaw‘s practice are disability discrimination and health issues at work; the team is also handling an increasing number of cases related to women’s rights involving sexual harassment and sex, and maternity and pregnancy discrimination. Practice head Karen Jackson is an authority on disability discrimination matters, frequently speaking and delivering training on the matter. Elizabeth McGlone is well versed in the field of women’s rights, while her disability practice know-how extends to learning disabilities and neurodiversity. Anita Vadgama, who frequently acts for women of colour in senior positions, is another name to note.

Practice head(s):

Karen Jackson

Other key lawyers:

Elizabeth McGlone; Anita Vadgama

Rahman Lowe Solicitors

Described by clients as a 'stand out firm', Rahman Lowe Solicitors' areas of expertise encompass whistleblowing, unfair dismissal, and restrictive covenant issues, in addition to collective labour law matters. The firm handles litigation at all levels including appellate courts. Practice head and founder Jahad Rahman is well regarded for his handling of employment tribunal whistleblowing claims. Zillur Rahman is an authority on reputational risk issues, including defamation claims in the High Court. Both lawyers are praised for having the ‘tenacity and skill to take on complex cases‘.

Practice head(s):

Jahad Rahman

Other key lawyers:

Zillur Rahman


‘Zillur Rahman succeeds in drawing out all the most important and salient points of the case and threaded them together in a brilliantly coherent way.’

‘Rahman Lowe Solicitors is a well respected, professional and client-focused firm and my first choice for employment matters.’

‘Both Jahad Rahman and Zillur Rahman are exceptional lawyers.’

‘A stand out firm renowned for some of the key cases in the field.’

‘Zillur Rahman and Jahad Rahman are both innovative, dynamic lawyers who are wonderful to work with.’

‘Utterly devoted to each case.’

‘Jahad Rahman and Zillur Rahman have both got the tenacity and skill to take on complex cases – even against the odds.’

Work highlights

  • Advised a doctor on whistleblowing issues and complaints of race and religious discrimination, and successfully advanced arguments for the right to be accompanied by a solicitor at a work hearing.
  • Advised a disabled client who was subjected to detriments following her return from work after surgery for a brain tumour, and assisted with her grievance regarding reasonable adjustments and pay issues.
  • Acted for a client who worked for a charity and had complained that the employer’s training contained discriminatory language concerning a particular religious community.

Ronald Fletcher Baker LLP

Noted as being ‘a strong choice for employees with substantive claims against their employers’, Ronald Fletcher Baker LLP acts for a variety of clients including headteachers, police and civil servants on issues such as sexual harassment, whistleblowing and unlawful deduction from wages. The team is jointly led by Rebecca Roberts and Michael Michaeloudis, with Michaeloudis being praised for his ‘particular strength in employment litigation’ and ‘attention to detail’. Gerard Airey departed the firm in March 2023.

Practice head(s):

Rebecca Roberts; Michael Michaeloudis


‘This is the most dedicated, motivated and passionate set of lawyers I have had the pleasure of working with.’

‘Michael Michaeloudis is an outstanding lawyer of the highest degree of professionalism, dedication and tenacity. He would be the first name on the team sheet when picking your side. His attention to detail is incredible.’

‘Excellent employment team.’

‘Michael Michaeloudis has particular strength in employment litigation. His is very devoted to his clients.’

‘The team has a strong Union background with their team formerly of large Trade Union firms, and some having acted in-house at Trade Unions.

‘This firm stands out as a strong choice for employees with substantive claims against their employers.’

Knowing that Michael was representing me gave me a much greater sense of control over proceedings. Communication was excellent; Michael kept me up to date on all matters and always responded to my emails and phone calls promptly.’

‘Very friendly and helpful. Quick response time and made each step very clear. Have options and alternatives and made me feel like I was able to consider my choices and make informed decisions.’

Key clients

National Association of Headteachers

United Voices of the World

Work highlights

  • Acted for a client in his claims for unfair dismissal and disability discrimination in the Bury St Edmunds Employment Tribunal.
  • Successfully represented a single mother in Employment Tribunal claims for sexual harassment and victimisation in the Wales Employment Tribunal.
  • Acted for an assistant store manager in her Employment Tribunal claim for indirect sex discrimination against Lacoste in London Central Employment Tribunal and her successful appeal to the Employment Appeal Tribunal.