Offering clients ‘an exceptional level of service’, Allen & Overy LLP's employment practice has particular strength in the TMT and financial services sectors, in which it acts for myriad household names. Led by Sarah Henchoz, who is renowned for her knowledge of complex whistleblowing and discrimination disputes and investigations, the department handles the full suite of employer-related litigation, strategic advisory projects and transactional support. It has continued to see a rise in investigations work relating to sexual harassment, race and other cultural issues. ‘Extraordinary in terms of solution-finding', Karen Seward stars in contentious arises arising in the financial services space, not least in delicate boardroom issues, sensitive management challenges, and senior executive exits. Also crucial to this lively employment practice are the 'incisive' employment specalist Vicky Wickremeratne and Robbie Sinclair, who 'never sits on the fence and takes a firm view to guide clients through difficult matters'.
Employers in London
Other key lawyers:
Karen Seward; Robbie Sinclair; Vicky Wickremeratne; Sarah Hitchins
‘I have had the pleasure to work with the A&O team on a few matters and I honestly can’t think of anything on which they can improve. They are extremely responsive and provide advice that is pragmatic and tailored to the business’s needs. They are proactive and think of creative solutions when issues arise. A&O Employment provides an exceptional level of service and are now my preferred firm for legal matters.’
‘Robbie Sinclair is very straightforward and does not beat around the bush – he tells it like it is and that is very much appreciated. He never sits on the fence and takes a firm view to guide clients through difficult matters. I feel very safe in his hands. I find him to be the most responsive lawyer I have ever worked with which is pretty exceptional given his partner status.’
‘The team is notable for its breadth of knowledge, commercial approach and speed of attention.’
‘Karen Seward is extraordinary in terms of solution-finding, communication, knowing our business. Sarah Hitchin has been excellent in relation to regulatory issues.’
‘Excellent leadership from Vicky Wickremeratne, which remains in place even when the matter has been passed to her colleagues. She is incisive and available and sees the problem from the point of view of the employer/client. I have worked with a number of magic circle firms but Vicky stands out with her qualities.’
‘Of course, they know the law, but their breadth of knowledge of similar businesses and situations is outstanding. The speed of response is very good and the advice – which stretches beyond the merely legal – is of a high intellectual caliber.’
Over 100 banks, building societies, insurers, asset managers, funds and benchmark administrators
Noted for its global footprint as well as its ‘very strong collaborative approach’, Baker McKenzie is ‘great at multijurisdictional work’, trusted the world over for high-end strategic advisory projects. It excels in global workforce restructurings, compliance issues, diversity and inclusion projects, as well as staffing model mandates. Spearheaded by John Evason, the department demonstrates notable strength in the financial services space, where it is frequently instructed in regulatory issues, investigations, disciplinary and accountability reviews, and in discrimination and whistleblowing claims. Monica Kurnatowska, lauded for her ‘ability to cut to the issue and find practical and commercial solutions to any challenge’, is also well-versed in industrial relations issues. TUPE expert Carl Richards, data protection specialist Julia Wilson and Kim Sartin, who specialises in the HR aspects of large global deals, are key practitioners within the group. At a more junior level, of counsel Lily Collyer and senior associate Annabel Mackay stand out, advising on a range of issues, from discrimination complaints to employment status matters.
Other key lawyers:
Monica Kurnatowska; Carl Richards; Julia Wilson; Stephen Ratcliffe; Kim Sartin; Lily Collyer; Annabel Mackay
‘Extraordinary depth of capability in the team. Very focused, business-orientated team.’
‘Good collaboration model through central point of contact (London office for global employment matters) that is collecting input from various country offices or partner firms. Very good client relationship management, very friendly attitude.’
‘The individuals we have worked with have been exceptionally commercial; they genuinely look at situations from a client’s perspective and appreciate the nuances of our business.’
‘The key differentiator for Bakers is their global reach. They are great at multijurisdictional work and have many talented lawyers in multiple offices.’
‘I consider Monica Kurnatowska to be one of the best employment lawyers that I have worked with. She is extremely knowledgeable and has the ability to cut to the issue and to find practical and commercial solutions to any challenge.’
‘Very strong collaborative approach, understanding issues in the context of the company’s situation and working in close partnership.’
‘One thing that makes the team stand out is the consistent quality of its lawyers, across the spectrum. They are collaborative and generally responsive.’
‘The team are hugely knowledgeable and experienced. Two things stand out: (1) their global footprint allows them to source advice from overseas where needed, and (2) they are incredibly responsive, always keeping me up to date on timelines.’
Alliance Boots PLC
Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE)
Sony Music Entertainment
Symphony Technology Group (STG)
Tapestry Inc (formerly known as Coach Inc)
- Acting as international counsel to Symphony Technology Group (STG) and a consortium of investors, on the $2.075b acquisition of RSA from Dell Technologies.
- Advised Sony on the HR aspects of the agreement for Simon Cowell to acquire Sony’s stake in their global joint venture talent and production company.
- Advising GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) on the strategic separation of that combined Consumer Healthcare business from the GSK Biopharma business.
Herbert Smith Freehills LLP
At Herbert Smith Freehills LLP, an ‘outstanding commercial employment team with huge strength and depth’ routinely litigates the biggest cases, as illustrated ‘by its recent run of big-ticket team move cases in the insurance sector’ and its ‘extensive experience of financial services sector employment work’. Augmenting this well-respected contentious offering are its capabilities in crisis-management work, particularly in the wake of IT failures and data breaches, as well as high-value bullying and harassment claims and internal investigations. Cited for his ‘superb technical grasp and wonderful judgement’, Andrew Taggart heads the group, which features a number of adroit employment lawyers. This includes 'top-class' pair Tim Leaver and Christine Young. The former is praised for his ability to win and retain high-profile clients, and regularly advises on the employment dimensions of transactions, outsourcing arrangements and restructurings, whereas Young not only handles complex disputes but also specialises in data protection issues. Another name to note is Jennifer Andrews, who was promoted to counsel in May 2021 in light of her burgeoning contentious practice.
Other key lawyers:
Tim Leaver; Christine Young; Peter Frost; Jennifer Andrews; Nick Wright
‘Very strong team who make themselves part of the business and own issues with my in-house team. The team is always approachable and will go the extra mile on issues, working to deadlines and being available to speak at short notice. Could not rate highly enough.’
‘Partner-led team that has incredible knowledge of many unique issues. Advice is given always clear and easy to understand. Readily available to speak to my team.’
‘Outstanding commercial employment team with huge strength and depth. Routinely litigate the high profile cases as is illustrated by their recent run of big-ticket team move cases in the insurance sector. Extensive experience of financial services sector employment work from inter-dealer brokers to insurers.’
‘I highly recommend Tim Leaver, who I used for broad employment-related matters for over 12 years, across three different major law firms.’
‘Exceptionally high intellectual and technical input, grounded in detailed knowledge of employment law. Always up to date and insightful. Highly collaborative.’
‘Andrew Taggart has a superb technical grasp and wonderful judgement. Relaxed, clear, and insightful with clients. Peter Frost is famously knowledgeable about all aspects of employment law with great attention to legal detail; excellent legal judgement and great at spotting new angles and potential legal developments.’
‘This dedicated employment team is extremely competent, flexible to adapt to client needs and able to provide excellent level back-up resources to face any challenge.’
‘Christine Young and Tim Leaver are top class.’
Penguin Random House
- Acting for the Post Office in relation to the defence to proceedings issued in the Employment Tribunal by 120 sub-postmasters seeking accrued holiday pay on the basis that they claim to be “workers” under UK employment protection law.
- Advising Scandinavian insurance company Tryg A/S, as part of a consortium with Intact Financial Corporation, on its bid for RSA.
- Acting for JLT in relation to a team move claim in the High Court against Ed Broking and BGC.
Firmly at the ‘heart of the firm’, the employment team at Lewis Silkin LLP is widely viewed as ‘one of the leading employment solicitor firms’, whose ‘experience in High Court, tribunal and arbitral proceedings is second to none’. Fielding one of the largest employment teams in the UK, it also has wide-ranging capabilities outside of litigation. ‘Highly commercial and fantastic at managing powerful clients’, managing partner Richard Miskella presides over the wider employment group, specialising in investigations and culture change programmes. Karen Baxter, too, takes the lead on many highly sensitive workplace investigations, particularly for professional services firms. Elsewhere in the department, Michael Anderson attracts plaudits as a ‘behemoth of High Court employment litigation’, Michael Burd wins praise as a ‘brilliant high-level strategist and commercial deal maker’, and Colin Leckey is ‘always on top of his cases in cutting edge law’, especially in relation to employment status issues in the gig economy. Other key names include the ‘very commercial, smart and personable’ tech expert Sean Dempsey, and ‘master of High Court employment litigation and of whistle-blowing claims’ Toni Lorenzo. Additionally, the department is noted by some as having ‘the strongest team in the UK for some industrial relations issues, particularly union recognition and European Works Councils’ - David Hopper leads the firm's industrial relations work. ‘Brilliant tactician‘ Shalina Crossley is another name to note.
Other key lawyers:
Colin Leckey; Michael Burd; James Davies; Sean Dempsey; Toni Lorenzo; Michael Anderson; Karen Baxter; Shalina Crossley; David Hopper
‘I don’t know why a company would use another firm for employment advice: Lewis Silkin has fantastic lawyers who offer excellent, commercial advice and charge substantially less than bigger City firms. They have an unparalleled breadth of offerings (all of which we have used).‘
‘Provide timely, pragmatic advice, offering a range of options and recommendations on highly complex matters in a simple to understand manner, effectively becoming an integral part of our international labour relations team.’
‘With employment being a major focus of the firm, we know that this is not a ‘nice to have’ department – it is the heart of the firm. This means we can expect (and get) strength in-depth, excellent client updates, and a genuine appreciation of employment law and industry matters affecting our business.’
‘Lewis Silkin has a talented and experienced team of lawyers that can advise on all employment / labour related topics. Some of the lawyers have specialised on niche areas such as European Works Councils (EWC), which implies that their knowledge is best in class.’
‘Lewis Silkin has provided my team with exceptional support and advice over the years. They are true partners in the way they work with not only our in-house lawyers but other key stakeholders in our business. We rely on them as trusted advisers for all of our key cases and decisions in the employment sphere.’
‘Extraordinary strength in depth. Excellent training and empowering of associates means that everyone in the team can be relied upon to provide exceptional work.’
‘They have covered almost all aspects of Employment Law and the associated angles with both statutory law and litigation. They not only focus on the strategic issues for their clients, they have also derived innovative ways in which to structure their teams to accommodate their clients’ needs and provide a cost-effective solution. They also have a very strong bench and the associates are switched on and a pleasure to deal with.’
‘Their experience in High Court, tribunal and arbitral proceedings is second to none. They are tremendously hardworking without simply grinding their associates into the ground, have great clients, and lead the way in responding to client’s changing needs.’
‘They have immense strength and depth of expertise, and no other City firm has as much experience in commercial employment litigation.’
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang LLP
- Advising Citadel on a dispute concerning the alleged misuse of highly valuable confidential information and trade secrets by a former employee who provided the information to a key competitor.
- Supporting the Houses of Parliament with the implementation of a Guardians programme to ensure a safe working space for all employees.
- Advising a professional services firm on government support packages, flexible/ remote working options, changing contracts, health and safety obligations and remote overseas working requests across 46 countries.
In the employer space, Mishcon de Reya LLP focuses on business-critical issues, undertaking some of the highest-profile cases in the High Court and Employment Tribunal. Blending senior executive expertise with employer work capabilities, the overall employment practice is overseen by Daniel Naftalin, a ‘tenacious litigator’ with a long track record in restrictive covenant enforcement, team moves, discrimination and whistleblowing disputes. Meanwhile, the ‘highly experienced, knowledgeable’ Joanna Blackburn fuses her stellar contentious practice with non-contentious employment law know-how, Sharon Tan notably shines in the employment aspects of transactions and restructurings, while Susannah Kintish stands out as ‘one of the very few relatively junior partners who have managed to carve out a niche in this area’, acting in a variety of worker status, investigations and restrictive covenant matters. Managing associate Emily Knight also provides key support to the group.
Other key lawyers:
Joanna Blackburn; Sharon Tan; Sarah Keeble; Susannah Kintish
‘They really understand my business, are very approachable, listen to the issues and problems and come up with great solutions. They are very supportive.’
‘For Joanna Blackburn, nothing is too much trouble and she is super intelligent, razor-sharp, very strategic, and utterly responsive.’
‘Excellent lawyers, strong commercial approach, highly experienced, client-friendly. Particularly strong for employer work, as well as employee, in high-value employment disputes.’
‘A standout litigation house dong some of the highest profile and biggest cases in the High Court and Employment Tribunal with a large, experienced and highly capable team.’
‘Daniel Naftalin is at the top of his game and highly in demand. Fantastic at seeing the big picture and working out how to navigate around potential difficulties so that all is smooth sailing. Unflappable and brilliant on the commercials.’
‘Susannah Kintish is developing a real name in High Court employment litigation involving team moves, injunctions and conspiracies – and one of the very few relatively junior partners who have managed to carve out a niche in this area.’
‘Daniel Naftalin is a tenacious litigator; Joanna Blackburn is highly experienced, knowledgeable, and a fighter; and Susannah Kintish is an expert on restrictive covenants.’
Kering (formerly known as Gucci Group)
Kirkland and Ellis LLP
Warner Music Group
Cancer Research UK
Simmons & Simmons
The ‘completely unflappable, commercially astute’ Julian Taylor until recently led Simmons & Simmons’ international employment practice, which offers ‘a Rolls-Royce service to clients that more often than not steamrolls the other side’. Following Taylor's appointment as senior partner in summer 2021, the Paris-based Laurence Renard assumed leadership of the international practice. The firm's client base mainly comprises high-profile corporates from the financial services and asset management space, which it represents in highly complex and sensitive litigation, most notably in claims concerning whistleblowing and discrimination. Fintech expert Olly Jones, SMCR maven Andrea Finn and Cathryn Bean ('the ideal mix of technical knowledge, practical commercial experience and an understanding of the importance of an urgent response’) are other noteworthy practitioners. In March 2021, the department welcomed Mandy Perry from Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe (UK) LLP, strengthening further the group’s growing footprint in the TMT sector.
Other key lawyers:
Julian Taylor; Andrea Finn; Fiona Bolton; Daniel Ornstein; Cathryn Bean; Olly Jones; Mandy Perry
‘Just really great, down-to-earth people. They are a pleasure to work with and the advice they provide to us is faultless.’
‘Superb partners, a ream of talented associates, unparalleled sector knowledge and, above all, battle-hardened. They offer a Rolls-Royce service to clients that more often than not steamrolls the other side. Simply outstanding team.’
‘I’d describe Julian Taylor as an elder statesman of employment law if he wasn’t so young. Completely unflappable, commercially astute and a man who makes considered decisions in his clients’ interests. Witty and urbane, he is capable of making the difference in any case.’
‘Cathryn Bean is a standout professional in her field. Cathryn has the ideal mix of technical knowledge, practical commercial experience and an understanding of the importance of an urgent response.’
‘We use Mandy Perry and have followed her from her previous firm. Mandy is extremely pragmatic, highly knowledgeable and very responsive.’
‘There is a wide knowledge base across the whole team and anyone I use on a matter has impressed. They are also the best team I’ve worked with in terms of horizon scanning and proactivity and they have been very creative during lockdown in finding ways to connect with clients and the industry network.’
‘Olly Jones has provided consistently excellent counsel for us, particularly during this challenging year. I always come off a call from him feeling reassured and supported. He is balanced and pragmatic and a pleasure to interact with personally.’
‘Mandy Perry’s level of service and support has been incredible, I have a new MD in our business, and we are making a number of changes and reshaping the business which has resulted in a restructure of positions. Mandy has provided her legal expertise to assist and support me.’
Monzo Bank Limited
- Represented Future Plc, a global multi-platform FTSE 250 listed media company, in relation to their £594m acquisition of GoCompare.com, the financial services price-comparison website.
- Advised WeWork on a multi-jurisdictional collective redundancy and restructuring exercise.
Under the leadership of Michael Leftley, the employment and immigration group at Addleshaw Goddard handles the full gamut of employment work, covering both contentious and non-contentious angles. In particular, it places a premium on resolving issues of strategic or reputational importance, including complex litigation, boardroom issues, investigations, global mobility, transactional support, and compliance. Within the group, which operates at a national level through its network of regional offices, Richard Yeomans, recognised as ‘a complete all-round star’, excels in senior executive appointments and terminations, whereas 'stand-out individual' Sarah Harrop’s practice centres on business immigration issues and large-scale reorganisations and redundancy programmes. Key clients span the financial services, retail and consumer, and transport sectors.
Other key lawyers:
Richard Yeomans; Sarah Harrop; Alasdair Simpson
‘Richard Yeomans is a complete all-round star – his performance has been flawless throughout. Excellent advice and the best client care in the market.’
‘Addleshaw Goddard LLP have maintained their consistent excellent service throughout the pandemic.’
‘I mostly work with Sarah Harrop and Isobel Pickard. They are both knowledgeable and experienced and I have a lot of confidence in their advice.’
‘The team are very personable, commercial and diligent.’
‘Sarah Harrup is a stand-out individual for her exceptional client care, high emotional intelligence and strategic thinking.’
British Airways plc
FreeNow/Kapten (the taxi booking apps)
Urenco (the nuclear fuels business)
River & Mercantile Group plc
The Commonwealth Games Federation
Global (media business)
Royal Mail Group
Moore Stephens LLP (now MSR Partners LLP)
- Defending Co-op in in a senior executive equal pay claim, which has been running for over four years.
- Advising Primark on all employment law/HR aspects of their response to the pandemic.
- Advising Entain Plc (formerly GVC Plc) on senior executive matters.
Clifford Chance LLP specialises in the employment considerations of major cross-border deals, ranging from high-value M&A to sweeping outsourcings. With strong foundations in the financial services and private equity and funds sectors, the group is also comfortable handling litigation, investigations and key advisory matters at the board level, namely the appointment and termination of senior executives and corporate governance issues. It is led by Mike Crossan, who brings a wealth of experience in SMCR issues, workplace conduct and culture investigations, data protection and privacy, and crisis management. Chinwe Odimba-Chapman and Alistair Woodland, meanwhile, both routinely advise on the employment elements of corporate deals. Promoted to partner in May 2021, Alastair Windass - an ‘exceptionally dependable’ lawyer noted for his ability to ‘keep abreast of multiple complex matters simultaneously’ - is another name to note.
Other key lawyers:
Alistair Woodland; Chinwe Odimba-Chapman; Alastair Windass
‘Very experienced team with a good insight of market practice among other financial services firms. Highly responsive and commercial.’
‘Knowing the needs and expectations of their client and their stakeholders really well. Advice given is tailored.’
‘Mike Crossan is a great communicator and a safe pair of hands.’
‘Alastair Windass is exceptionally dependable. He is always confident and unflappable, clear in his legal advice, and able to keep abreast of multiple complex matters simultaneously.’
‘Strategic thinking is key: able to advise on strategic handling of matters, not just legal advice.‘
‘A standout partner is Alastair Windass – I have been working with him for about a decade – but everyone I interact with at Clifford Chance is excellent.’
Chrysaor Holdings Limited
Jupiter Fund Management plc
International Automotive Group
- Advising Nuveen on complex employment issues in the acquisition of Glennmont Partners.
- Advising a leading global financial investor on employment issues arising out of a wide-ranging investigation into allegations raised by whistleblowers.
- Carrying out a sensitive ethics and culture investigation for a major international bank regarding potential bullying and exclusion issues, following a whistleblowing incident.
Offering clients ‘practical and commercially sensible solutions in a jargon-free way’, CMS‘ employment practice encompasses the full spectrum of transactional support, standalone employment matters, litigation and international projects. Jointly led by outsourcing expert Melanie Lane in London and Aberdeen-based Alison Woods, the group acts for a plethora of high-profile multinationals, spanning a range of sectors, with particular expertise in cross-border acquisitions and disposals, pan-European outsourcing and restructuring projects, and global policy reviews. Catherine Taylor is proficient in employee competition and contractual disputes; ‘class act’ Richard Brown is skilled at advising on discrimination, whistleblowing and remuneration risk issues; Steven Cochrane assists predominantly financial services clients with both contentious and advisory work, and has particular expertise in regulatory change projects and global investigations by regulators and authorities; while Anna Cope principally focuses on media, technology and retail and consumer sectors.
Melanie Lane; Alison Woods
Other key lawyers:
Catherine Taylor; Richard Brown; Steven Cochrane; Anna Cope; Hannah Netherton
‘CMS get to know your business in order to provide the best advice. Their advice has always been commercial whilst clearly presenting the risk framework. They are very confident in their delivery and provide robust training to the team and our executives.’
‘The individuals are always professional but very friendly too. They take time to understand our needs and are always timely in their responses.’
‘Someone is always available and they respond quickly. They also offer practical and commercially sensible solutions in a jargon-free way. Hard to beat.‘
‘Richard Brown stands out. Nothing is too much trouble for him and he’s taken the time to understand our business and how we operate. He never sits on the fence and will fight your corner relentlessly. A class act.’
‘They are extremely professional and always do what they say they will do within the timescales provided. They listen, understand and unfailingly offer practical and sensible advice.’
‘Richard Brown is outstandingly professional and always reliable. His communication skills are exceptional and he has a pragmatic and down-to-earth approach.’
‘Highly responsive, expert commercial advice – a trusted member of our team.’
Del Monte Fresh Produce
Hewlett Packard plc
Marks and Spencer
National Maritime Museum
FRP Advisory (Debenhams in Administration)
Royal Mail Group Limited
Value Retail plc
- Advised Centrica on its buy out of Robin Hood Limited’s energy business (owned by Nottingham City Council) through its British Gas business, including complicated employee issues concerning Robin Hood’s unionised workforce.
- Advised a household name national airline on the significant challenges to its business arising from the Coronavirus pandemic and the implementation of a cost transformation initiative international employment model and strategy across Europe.
- Successfully defended for a global media organisation in an interim relief application brought by a disgruntled former employee.
DAC Beachcroft LLP
Increasingly sought after for high-end litigation, DAC Beachcroft LLP’s employment practice distinguishes itself through its ‘exceptional knowledge and experience of employment issues for financial services clients’, but also has considerable expertise in the healthcare, technology and commercial sectors. Employment tribunal claims, discrimination and whistleblowing cases, investigations, regulatory employment matters such as SMCR, High Court injunctions and industrial relations and data privacy issues are among the key pillars of the group, which is fronted by Khurram Shamsee, who is retained by a variety of household names in the financial services sector. Elsewhere, David Sims specialises in SMCR-related issues, Udara Ranasinghe presides over the health and social care sub-practice, while experienced legal director Kate Galloway is particularly well-versed in discrimination and whistleblowing claims. David Speakman joined in June 2020 from Linklaters LLP.
Other key lawyers:
Udara Ranasinghe; Nick Chronias; Georgina Rowley; David Sims; Kate Galloway
‘The team has exceptional knowledge and experience of employment issues for financial services clients and provides an excellent service to in-house counsel. The team is extremely responsive, clear and direct in their advice and focused on delivering exceptional client service.’
‘Khurram Shamsee has excellent availability, engagement, significant technical expertise and is extremely responsive. Kate Galloway has excellent client manner and communication skills, and is very impressive in dealing with witnesses/senior managers.’
‘They have a very strong employment team, with an ability to tap into the pulse of the business offering practical solutions to companies where often the decisions have been made.’
‘Highly experienced and skilled in Industrial Relations law as well as wider Employment Law. Great on agency worker and holiday pay advice.’
‘I have been impressed each time by the thoroughness of the thinking and the quality of the detail, coupled with the simple explanations, sound advice and guidance through what could have been tricky situations.’
‘David provides excellent leadership, advice and direction for the steps required. I feel they are always going the extra mile for us and their standards of output are very high.’
‘We were incredibly impressed with them all: they listened in order to understand our problem in depth, provided excellent advice, very often against our initial plans and instincts, and were very responsive. Indeed, they did that thing that good lawyers often do which is to recommend that “less is more”. In short, it was an excellent service provided with an unimprovable bed-side manner.‘
Kohlberg Kravis & Roberts
Engadine Partners LLP
Bvlgari Hotel London
Royal Mail Group plc
Guy’s & St Thomas NHS Foundation Trust
University College Hospitals London, NHS Foundation Trust
- Defended leading investment bank against sensitive, high profile Employment Tribunal proceedings arising out of the FOREX investigations.
- Acting for a large, global financial services firm in connection with a complex and culturally significant whistleblowing claim, related regulatory and disciplinary processes, and its culture-change programme.
- Supporting a NASDAQ listed US software company with a complex cross-border business disposal, covering all EMEA jurisdictions.
Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP’s international presence not only enables the group to undertake ‘cross-jurisdictional litigation’, but also to handle cross-border projects, global outsourcings, and high-value transactional work. A large proportion of the work ‘tends to be collective labour law and industrial relations-related’, particularly for industrial relation expert Marc Meryon. Global head of the firm’s HR and pensions practice, Diane Gilhooley, steers the group alongside the ‘dedicated, intelligent, diligent and commercial’ Paul Fontes, who has particular expertise in advising major PLCs and clients in the financial services sector on issues such as SMCR, remuneration, restrictive covenants and team moves, as well as whistleblowing and discrimination claims. Sophie White, meanwhile, specialises in diversity issues and the TUPE implications of outsourcing, insolvency and real estate transactions.
Diane Gilhooley; Paul Fontes
Other key lawyers:
Marc Meryon; Sophie White; Elizabeth Graves; Fiona McMutrie
‘The Eversheds team is responsive and adept, and provides commercial advice on cutting-edge regulatory and employment matters. We rely on them exclusively for UK advice impacting our international financial practice.‘
‘Paul Fontes is dedicated, intelligent, diligent and commercial. He has an excellent understanding of our operations and business, including the commercial history, and provides useful, timely commercial advice.’
‘The work tends to be collective labour law and industrial relations/industrial action related. Always for employers. Eversheds has the size and depth to allow for specialisation. It also academic links with leading universities which can be tapped into for views and advice.’
‘International presence in substantial employment litigation enabling the firm to pull together substantial resources in cross-jurisdictional litigation.’
‘Paul Fontes is superb. Not showy or bombastic – just quietly gets on with beating the other side. On top of the detail, great with clients, great with counsel and really smart – also a great drafter of documents.’
‘The entire team are a class act and the project simply would not have been a success without them.’
‘Niche and deep technical expertise in the industrial relations arena which has been critical to us on key programmes of work.’
London City Airport
Saputo Dairy UK (formerly Dairy Crest Group plc)
Complementing Linklaters LLP’s longstanding reputation as a key name for the employment aspects of large transactions is its ‘impressive experience, and strength and depth of talent, in the employment litigation space’. Key areas of strength in this space include discrimination, harassment, equal pay, dismissal and contract disputes. In mid-2021 Alexandra Beidas was appointed as the firm's new global head of employment and incentives, succeeding the ‘hugely experienced and superb litigator’ Nicola Rabson. The team is known for its ‘particular expertise in the financial services sector, where they have a strong understanding of the regulatory context’, receiving a steady flow of instructions concerning HR, executive and culture-related employment issues, conduct investigations and crisis management mandates. Whistleblowing expert Jillian Naylor, Jean Lovett and ‘stand-out partner’ Sinead Casey are further names to note.
Other key lawyers:
Nicola Rabson; Jean Lovett; Jillian Naylor; Sinead Casey; Rachel Morgan
‘The team clearly has impressive experience, and strength and depth of talent, in the employment litigation space. They have navigated the proceedings wonderfully despite delays and postponements out of their control, and a largely unresponsive Respondent. The team has acted strategically throughout the process, providing me with specific advice at the right time and fully explaining the potential outcomes of any decision.’
‘The Linklaters employment team provides excellent advice to its clients on a range of issues and in a variety of sectors. They have particular expertise in the financial services sector where they have a strong understanding of the regulatory context.’
‘Nicola Rabson is a hugely experienced and superb litigator with a formidable reputation, while Sinead Casey is a stand-out partner in the team – she provides extremely high quality legal, commercial and strategic advice to clients. She has particular expertise in complex whistleblowing matters and was recently successful in defending an application for interim relief.‘
‘Strength in depth across the team and seamless collaboration between them. The employment team are very knowledgeable, tactically smart and experienced.’
‘Nicola Rabson is the stand-out partner. A hugely impressive individual who combines a deep knowledge of employment law with commercial acumen and great judgement. She knows how to navigate clients through the thorniest of problems.’
‘I cannot speak highly enough of them. They provide a fully comprehensive and one-stop-shop for all and any employee and employee-related issue.‘
‘Sinead O’Casey is the best lawyer I have ever worked with – incredibly knowledgeable, organised and pragmatic.’
‘Alex Beidas is both brilliant and user-friendly. No one else in the market can match her for her knowledge of regulatory remuneration. She wears her brilliance lightly and is immensely user-friendly. ‘
Astrea Asset Management
Jingye Group Co. Ltd
- Defended Astrea in the Employment Appeal Tribunal against four high value claims involving unfair dismissal, breach of contract, and TUPE.
- Acted for Jingye Group Co. Ltd in negotiating new terms and conditions of employment with the four unions who represented the UK workforce.
- Defending for FICC Markets Standards Board (“FMSB”) a complex whistleblowing claim brought by a former employee who was dismissed following serious allegations relating to conflicts of interest between the former employee’s work for FMSB and other work that he was conducting privately as an expert witness.
Taylor Wessing LLP is recognised as one of the leading firms ‘in the London market advising foreign employers in the UK, particularly for tech companies inbound from the US and Canada’. This strand of work is a key part of the practice of department lead Paul Callaghan, who also is ‘very well known in the life sciences and medical device sectors in the US’. Helen Farr, who arrived from Fox Williams LLP in March 2020, has extensive experience in the financial services space, where she regularly services clients on issues at the intersection of employment law and regulatory regimes. Other names to note are Sean Nesbitt, whose practice has recently centred on cross-border projects such as restructurings, and senior associate Joe Aiston, ‘a rising star in the group’ who maintains a ‘particular focus on the gig economy’.
Other key lawyers:
Sean Nesbitt; Helen Farr; Joe Aiston
‘They are incredibly responsive, turning advice around no matter how demanding the time frame imposed, very practical, have a real understanding of risk and have a great online tool to facilitate advice across EMEA.’
‘Paul Callaghan will always go the extra yard for us and offers sensible pragmatic advice. Very unflappable.’
‘This is a great firm with great lawyers in employment law. We have worked with a number of them and they are super reactive and always give practical advice to the client. Very happy to work with them.’
‘Paul Callaghan and Sean Nesbitt are great partners in the firm. Very active as well in international associations such as the IBA and the ABA. Very warm people.’
‘Helen Farr has contributed huge value to the banking sector in respect of employment law matters, directly through her retained work and indirectly to a substantial pool of Heads of HR, Compliance and C-suite officers within regulated institutions through regular professional development events.’
‘They have been a leading firm in the London market for many years now in advising foreign employers in the UK, particularly for tech companies inbound from the US and Canada. They act for some of the biggest household names in the tech sector, as well as start-ups. We would consider them the go-to team for international clients looking to expand into Europe. They are also well regarded as the key UK firm for gig economy companies.’
‘Paul Callaghan’s knowledge and experience in advising US and Canadian employers in the UK is a stand-out feature. Clients place incredible value on his experience and insights. He’s also now very well known in the life sciences and medical device sector in the US. Joe Aiston, is a rising star in the group, with a particular focus on the gig economy.’
Charles River Associates
Interactive Investor limited
Forbo Flooring Systems
Oppo Mobile UK
Piper Sandler Limited
Enterprise Rent-A-Car UK Limited and Enterprise Holdings Inc
Hometrack (a part of the Zoopla Group)
British Airways Pension Services Limited
British Airways Pension Investment Management Limited
Nedbank Limited (London Branch)
Particularly well-established in the financial services space, Travers Smith LLP is singled out for its ‘innate ability’ to thoroughly understand its clients' operations, in turn allowing it to ‘propose fit-for-purpose solutions that are practical and balanced in nature’. Overseen by Ed Mills, a ‘great team leader’ who ‘lives the matter with you’, the department is active in sensitive internal investigations for City clients and litigation work in the Employment Tribunal and High Court. ‘Exceptional legal adviser’ Siân Keall excels in discrimination law issues, Tim Gilbert offers ‘excellent, practicable advice and support on all HR matters, from small issues through to advice and support in employment tribunals’, while Alex Fisher - who was made partner in July 2020 - is praised as ‘one of the best new partners in the employment law market’, leading on immigration-related employment mandates.
Other key lawyers:
Siân Keall; Tim Gilbert; Adam Wyman; Alex Fisher; Sarah Baker
‘Travers Smith have an excellent team who advise a wide variety of clients across the industry.’
‘They have an innate ability to really understand our business and propose fit-for-purpose solutions that are practical and balanced in nature. Their approach is also very human, and you feel like you are speaking with a colleague rather that a law firm.’
‘The Travers team are wonderful partners in every sense of the word. They are incredibly responsive, practical and thoughtful in their approach and have taken the time to learn about our business and our company as a whole so that they can provide the best advice possible.’
‘Ed Mills is a great team leader and is not afraid to get stuck into a case. Alex Fisher is one of the best new partners in the employment law market. He is really on top of the issues and has excellent client management skills.‘
‘Travers Smith are an excellent firm who provide high quality and pragmatic advice. They take time to build relationships with their clients and have become a highly respected partner for us across many disciplines, of which employment law is one. They are a firm that cares about their colleagues and have a commitment to diversity and inclusion, which is a valuable asset from a client perspective.’
‘Siân Keall is an exceptional legal adviser – she always provides balanced and high-quality advice and has the absolute respect of our CEO, who trusts her judgement and advice when making the big calls. She is a joy to work with and we are extremely lucky to have her in our network.’
‘Sarah Baker is a knowledgeable and trusted partner who provides high quality advice and is extremely efficient in managing her work – the response times are always fantastic.’
‘Alex Fisher and Siân Keall are exceptional. The support they have given us navigating through so many major phases of our business has been truly exceptional. They are friendly, approachable and most importantly available when we need them at short notice.’
Ambassador Theatre Group
Atelier Capital Partners
Business of Fashion
Carmignac Asset Management
De La Rue plc
Environmental Resources Management
Gunpowder & Sky
Micro Focus International plc
The Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employment (IPSE)
The Hut Group
Tysers Insurance Brokers
- Advised Groupon on the restructure of its international business across France, Germany, Netherlands, Spain, Italy, Belgium, Australia, India, UAE, New Zealand, UK, Ireland, Japan and Poland
- Advised Advent on a global speak-up compliance programme in jurisdictions including the USA, Germany, Spain, India and Luxembourg, and devised training for managers on handling speak-up complaints.
- Advised a global financial services firm, insurance body and asset manager on complex investigations in relation to serious sexual harassment allegations.
Bird & Bird LLP’s employment team operates ‘at the cutting edge of the law’, according to one client. Ian Hunter ‘leads an effective team’, which advises large corporations in the technology, life sciences, aviation and retail sectors on a range of matters, from non-contentious advisory matters to sophisticated litigation. Elizabeth Lang largely deals with boardroom issues and sensitive grievances and investigations, while Tim Spillane’s practice marries senior executive know-how with employer capabilities, including whistleblowing and discrimination disputes. Alison Dixon, another 'standout partner', regularly advises on the employment aspects of commercial and corporate mandates.
Other key lawyers:
Tim Spillane; Elizabeth Lang; Alison Dixon
‘Strong support, quick turnaround, and good industry/sector knowledge.’
‘Elizabeth Lang really knows her stuff and has a great reputation.’
‘Alison Dixon is the standout partner for me. Always provides commercial advice which is to the point and can be immediately implemented. She is also always very responsive and genuinely a really nice person to work with.’
‘Unlike many other international practices, the Bird & Bird team have established a well-integrated service provision across their offices with a consistently practical approach to solving the challenges presented to them, operating often at the cutting edge of the law.’
‘Ian Hunter leads an effective team, ensuring that they appreciate our industry and commercial objectives well and that the advice provided is appropriately tailored and practical to implement.’
SUEZ Recycling and Recovery UK
- Advised Mothercare on the employment aspects of the appointment of Boots as its UK and Republic of Ireland franchise partner in August 2020.
- Advising a global software company on a wide range of employment law issues in the UK and Europe.
- Advising a global pharmaceutical company on a wide range of contentious and non-contentious employment matters.
Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP fields ‘a particularly strong employment team who act for a wide range of large financial services clients in the City’. It is instructed in a broad range of matters but is best known for handling complex litigation, sensitive internal investigations, restructurings, regulatory compliance, and transactional support. The group is spearheaded by ‘excellent tactician’ Rebecca Harding-Hill, whose practice emphasises injunctions, discrimination and whistleblowing claims. Transactional support specialist Adam Lambert, who is well-versed in TUPE transfers, is a further practitioner to note.
Other key lawyers:
Lisa Mayhew; Adam Lambert; Catherine Turner
‘The team is responsive and provides consistent cover when others are on leave, so good continuity; work is not over-staffed; willing to work with the client on billing issues.’
‘Each of the team is just genuinely nice and a pleasure to work with, and their desire to help is very sincere.’
‘Bryan Cave has a diverse background of staff who provide excellent service.’
‘This is a particularly strong employment team who act for a wide range of large financial services clients in the City of London. They have practical experience of the issues which challenge such organisations and the skill to deliver successful results.’
‘The team have been proactive in investing in the relationship and as a result understand our business better than other firms we deal with. They are a pleasure to work with and make us feel valued as a client.’
‘Rebecca Harding-Hill is my go-to for complex employment advice. Smart and client-focused.’
‘We have a longstanding relationship with the team and view them as an extension of our HR team for day-to-day issues. They are very easy to engage with and go above and beyond.’
‘Rebecca Harding-Hill is incredibly personable, she really engages with us and seems to manage her team very efficiently.’
Redde Northgate PLC
Cavendish Asset Management
City Chic Collective Limited
The administrators of Flybe
Le Pain Quotidien UK
- Acted for Redde Northgate PLC on its acquisition, through a subsidiary, of part of Nationwide Accident Repair Services from its administrators.
- Acted for the sellers of Cavendish Asset Management’s investment management division to Stonehage Fleming.
- Acting for the administrators of Flybe following it going into administration in March 2020, on employment-related issues throughout the administration including advising on retention arrangements and employee exits.
At Dechert LLP, the labour and employment team brings extensive experience in financial services to bear on a variety of employment mandates. In particular, it specialises in the employment and TUPE implications of cross-border transactions, as well as contentious employment matters, including dismissals, investigations and defending against various claims brought by employees. The group has a ‘calm and hugely experienced leader in Charles Wynn-Evans’, a TUPE expert who is ‘ably supported’ by Jason Butwick, who combines a robust contentious practice with proficiencies in complex regulatory issues, chiefly in relation to remuneration and covenant enforcement.
Other key lawyers:
Jason Butwick; Emma Byford
‘Charles Wynn Evans is my main contact and I have been working with him for over 20 years and so we have build up a very good working relationship. Charlie has a great insight into our business and the senior team and so knows exactly the level to pitch his responses. He is commercial and pragmatic and his opinion is greatly valued. His expertise is in TUPE and more complex terminations. He is also a tribunal judge which I think gives him the edge when advising us.’
‘Emma Byford is very calm and knowledgeable‘
‘Always thorough, very efficient, and helpful. Highly commercial with an excellent understanding of our business. Very trustworthy.’
‘Jason Butwick provides an excellent level of service – always responsive, makes sure we are happy, he will go above and beyond to ensure we have what we need.’
‘The team always demonstrates a professional, honest and pragmatic approach which is very helpful from an organisation’s perspective where a fair solution is the priority.’
‘Charles Wynn Evans takes a pragmatic and solution-focused approach which I have always found to be professional and accurate. He and his team will always make themselves available and offer support at different levels depending on the issue.’
‘They are excellent and a have a calm and hugely experienced leader in Charles Wynn Evans, ably supported by Jason Butwick.’
‘Charles Wynn-Evans has a wealth of experience, including a broad cross-section of employment situations that play out all the way to tribunal. He knows what is important/material and is invaluable in helping us plan accordingly. Emma Byford is also very personable and responsive, commercial in approach and great at getting the job done.’
GSA Capital Partners LLP
DLA Piper’s employment practice, which is led by financial services expert Tim Marshall, frequently takes the lead on high-value strategic matters. In addition to providing ‘excellent advice’ on non-contentious employment law issues, the group is also noted for its experience in employment tribunal and High Court litigation, particularly as it relates to employment status. Cross-border restructurings and discrimination claims (a core area of focus for ‘standout partner’ Jonathan Exten-Wright), as well as data privacy and compliance issues (a strong suit of Katherine Gibson, who was promoted to partner in May 2020), are additional areas of strength.
Other key lawyers:
Jonathan Exten-Wright; Vinita Arora; Nick Hipwell; Jane Hannon
‘Good geographical coverage.’
‘The team provided excellent advice on employment law matters, in particular employment status issues.’
‘Jonathan Exten-Wright is a standout partner who goes the extra mile. Nothing is too much trouble for his clients, always responsive and thinking one step ahead.’
‘The team has a superb ability to grasp our business requirements and provide responses that are expertly tailored to the context of our organisation. There is no jargon in their approach with our senior executives, it is straight-talking, highly professional and totally reliable.’
‘The team are kind, close and responsive. They handled the death of [former colleague] Adam Hartley by working closely together and doing their very best to pick up the significant work in progress.’
London Stock Exchange
(Lloyd Webber) LW Theatres
Fielding a large, multifaceted employment team, Farrer & Co has carved out a reputation in Employment Tribunal and High Court cases, ranging from complex discrimination, whistleblowing and employment status disputes to litigation arising from collective redundancies. Safeguarding expert David Smellie, who primarily acts for education institutions and large sports clubs, heads the group. Employing a ‘practical, realistic and a commercial approach’, Rachel Lewis shines in sensitive discrimination claims, senior-level dismissals and large-scale reorganisations, Kathleen Heycock has made a name for herself advising high-profile professional services and education clients, and David Hunt is rated as an employment law generalist, capable of handling contentious and non-contentious mandates.In March 2021, Katie Lancaster departed.
Other key lawyers:
Rachel Lewis; David Hunt; Anna Birtwistle; Kathleen Heycock
‘The team at Farrer & Co always deliver an excellent service. Compared to other firms the real difference I have found is that they are able to help me to translate the legal considerations into practical and realistic solutions applicable to the circumstances and culture of my firm.’
‘Rachel Lewis is my go-to person for any tricky issues as she provides a practical, realistic and commercial approach with clearly laid out options/risks that are enormously helpful and enable me to be confident in my decision making.’
‘Proactive, prompt and approachable service at all times.’
‘David Hunt is highly knowledgeable yet approachable with a goal-orientated outlook.’
‘The breadth of knowledge and the responsiveness of the team is excellent. Their non-nonsense approach to proving clear advice advice is welcomed.’
British Airline Pilots Association (BALPA)
C Hoare & Co
The Natural History Museum
London Business School
The Independent Schools Council
The Independent Bursars’ Association (ISBA)
Meaden & Moore LLP
A leading national museum
A global asset manager
A number of leading independent schools and school groups
An international company which owns a portfolio of beverages across the world
A leading not-for profit organisation
- Acting for British Airline Pilots’ Association (BALPA) on all employment-related matters, including claims in the Employment Tribunal for protective awards coming out of the insolvency of a number of airlines, for holiday pay during furlough and in relation to blacklisting and TUPE.
- Act for C Hoare & Co on complex HR and regulatory issues, as well as ongoing litigation, including a significant equal pay claim.
- Advising Fisher Phillips on the enforcement of confidentiality and non-compete obligations and on the investigation, disciplinary process and dismissal of a UK Managing Director of multinational manufacturing company.
Fox Williams LLP wins praise from one client as ‘one of the most experienced specialist employment teams in London, with particular expertise in the financial and tech sectors’. The group has an enviable track record in regulatory issues, board and partner-level disputes, team moves and internal investigations arising from the professional services sector, particularly solicitor firms and barrister chambers. Specialising in work for City clients, Jane Mann is an experienced name operating inthe group, which is fronted by the 'immensely experienced, very down to earth and user-friendly' Joanna Chatterton. FinTech expert Aron Pope, Daisy Jones and David Murphy are also highly rated.
Other key lawyers:
Jane Mann; David Murphy; Aron Pope; Daisy Jones; Tom Pennington-Hare
‘We are extremely satisfied with the service provided by the team at Fox Williams – they provided a wide breadth of clear, concise and practical knowledge and certainly have strength in depth. The whole team are incredibly responsive especially when time sensitive advice is required.’
‘The team are very knowledgeable, approachable, explain complex legal terms in more laymen’s terms. They completely take on board what a business needs as well as making sure we are doing right by employees. It’s a well balanced approach.’
‘Their reputation is as one of the most experienced specialist employment teams in London, with particular expertise in the financial and tech sectors.’
‘A technically excellent team combining cutting edge approach with a close personal touch.’
‘Joanna Chatterton is immensely experienced, very down to earth and user-friendly.’
‘Aron Pope is a very effective lawyer, combining good legal knowledge with excellent case management skills. Has an uncanny ability to hit the right note in correspondence and to focus on the aspects of litigation that matter in the end.‘
‘The team is led by the awesome Joanna Chatterton who is calm, collected and a pleasure to work with. She is superb at managing tricky matters.’
‘David Murphy and Daisy Jones are our day-to-day contacts. Both are excellent, technically knowledgeable, approachable, commercially astute and pragmatic.’
King & Wood Mallesons
Paul Hastings (Europe) LLP
Domestic & General
Crown Agents Bank
Sovereign wealth fund
- Advised a global law firm on a high value, complex and sensitive tribunal dispute involving allegations of harassment by an equity partner.
- Represented C5 Capital in its successful defence of a whistle blowing interim relief application brought by a former Managing Director.
- Advising international sports organisation on a long-running dispute between the sports body and its former Group Marketing Director including in a successful Employment Appeal Tribunal hearing.
A ‘truly fantastic group of employment law specialists’ at GQ | LITTLER is carving out a reputation in the employment sphere, offering the ‘experience, technical expertise and quality of advice of a magic circle law firm, but with the personal touch and client-focus of a boutique firm’, according to clients. Co-heading the expanding corporate support group alongside Daniel Pollard is the ‘highly commercial, very strong technically’ Cerys Williams, who advises on the employment considerations of M&A, financings and business restructurings. In addition to its fast-growing transactional support and advisory capabilities, the group is also instructed in investigations, disciplinary proceedings and Employment Tribunal claims. Vastly experienced litigator Paul Quain, international project expert Darren Isaacs and HR requirement specialist Richard Harvey are other names to note.
Cerys Williams; Paul Quain; Daniel Pollard; Darren Isaacs; Richard Harvey
Other key lawyers:
Philip Cameron; Raoul Parekh; Sophie Vanhegan; Hannah Mahon
‘The GQLittler team has the experience, technical expertise and quality of advice of a magic circle law firm, but with the personal touch and client-focus of a boutique firm. They know our business exceptionally well and can almost anticipate what our legal advice needs are on any given matter. We treat GQLittler as an extension of our in-house legal team, and find their support invaluable.’
‘The level of partner attention and participation is what makes the relationship with the firm especially valuable.’
‘Philip Cameron, who has been our legal adviser for a number of years, has exceptional knowledge and is highly experienced in his ability to assess the issues that may arise in dealing with our various employment cases.’
‘Cerys Williams is excellent; highly commercial, very strong technically, a great negotiator. She’s very client delivery-focused and also great fun to work with.’
‘This team has deep knowledge in the constantly changing landscape of employment law in the UK. The team took time upfront to learn our business and people processes, and were proactive in advising on the many legal changes implemented by the UK Government over the last year.’
‘Raoul Parekh has a fine legal brain and gives wise strategic advice to clients in complex litigation.’
‘Darren Isaacs is brilliant. He is very approachable, knowledgeable, and cares about my business and the questions and employment challenges I face. His responses and guidance are timely and thorough.’
‘A truly fantastic group of employment law specialists. They are highly responsive and expert at all aspects of their sector.’
CSM Bakery Solutions
E. A. Gibson Shipbrokers
Elo Touch Solutions
Morgan Sindall Group Plc
- Defending Commerzbank AG in a high-value Employment Tribunal (ET) claim (whistleblowing, sex and pregnancy and maternity discrimination, harassment and victimisation).
- Advised Argo Global on the employment law implications arising from the sale of Ariel Re from the client group to Pelican Ventures and J.C. Flowers & Co for $30m.
- Advised a global retailer on a high-profile project involving potential equal pay claims from a group several hundred employees.
Working ‘well across relevant disciplines’ with ‘good support from regulatory and corporate law’ departments, Hogan Lovells International LLP’s employment team is particularly dynamic in the financial services and life science sectors, where it excels in complex multi-jurisdictional project work for multinational corporates. The employment aspects of major transactions and complex disputes arising from white-collar crime, whistleblowing and discrimination are among its other core areas of focus. Stefan Martin, the 'clever and tactical' group lead, also has considerable expertise in matters concerning senior executives, chiefly high-level appointments and terminations. Another name to note is Ed Bowyer, who ‘has handled a range of non-contentious, potentially contentious and contentious matters over the years, and provides no-nonsense, practical advice based on a deep understanding of the law’.
Other key lawyers:
‘Strong team that can handle most employment aspects relevant to our business. The firm works well across relevant disciplines, and we have had good support from regulatory and corporate law teams, whilst maintaining a single point of contact through the employment partner.’
‘Ed Bowyer is exceptional, and has a very broad practice in areas relevant to our company, a FTSE100 firm operating in multiple countries. Ed has handled a range of non-contentious, potentially contentious and contentious matters over the years, and provides no nonsense, practical advice based on a deep understanding of the law and how Courts/Tribunals are applying it.’
‘Stefan Martin is our main contact at Hogan Lovells for employment law matters. He has been flexible in his approach with us and both his written and verbal advice has always been good.’
‘Hogan Lovells’ employment practice stands out for its practical approach and trusted expertise.’
‘Excellent technical skills. Very client-friendly. Trusted advisor providing commercial advice. Excellent teamwork. Keen to develop juniors and expose them to clients.’
‘Stefan Martin and Ed Bowyer are very skilled – particularly in City cases. A great team with real depth and experience – lots of engagement with clients and really good at keeping city organisations out of hot water when a dispute comes.’
‘Great partner involvement. Stefan Martin is a clever and tactical lawyer.‘
‘The team always give very clear, practical, easy to follow employment law advice. This also applies on complex cases too.‘
Mayer Brown International LLP leverages ‘a good network of offices’ globally to ‘provide quality support on cross-border projects’, with notable strengths in the employment considerations arising from M&A, restructurings and outsourcing. Headed up by the ‘shrewd, experienced’ Christopher Fisher, the department - which is instructed by international and domestic clients alike - also has a track record in litigation, data protection mandates and regulatory issues. All-round employment law specialist Miriam Bruce (‘unflappable under pressure and generally very personable and easy to deal with’), handles a mixture of transactional support deals, strategic advisory work and senior executives exits.
Other key lawyers:
‘Particularly strong on banking and insurance.’
‘Miriam Bruce is clever, good judgement, dedicated, warm. Christopher Fisher is shrewd, experienced.’
‘Particularly good on regional and global project work. They have a good network of offices and provide quality support on cross-border projects, delivering reports that are focused, easy to read and follow, and which provide succinct and clear answers.’
‘Miriam Bruce is a lovely person to work with, personable and client-focused. She generates trust quickly. She delivers technical advice in a comprehensible, accessible way.’
‘Know our organisation and the pace the business, so what will work and what won’t. Plus know the history and this impacts when and how we make organisation/employment decisions.’
‘Full-service employment team. They know our businesses very well and have been a highly valued partner for a number of years. Very responsive and a great team to work with.’
‘Miriam Bruce has been excellent on a significant team move matter she handled for us – unflappable under pressure and generally very personable and easy to deal with.’
The Hartford Financial Services Group
CDK Global Inc.
Nestlé Health Science
The Jordan Company, L.P.
CBPE Capital LLP
Permira Debt Managers Limited
- Represented The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc. (NYSE:HIG) on its agreement to sell its Navigators continental European insurance business in a complex carve out involving four separate transactions.
- Advised PWC as administrators of the Nationwide Accident Repair Services Group (NARS) – the largest independent accident repair business in Europe – on the employment aspects of the sale of its business by way of administration prepack to Redde Northgate PLC.
- Represented CDK Global, Inc. in the sale of its CDK international segment to Francisco Partners for $1.45bn, coordinating the required advice for the pre-signing/closing consultation processes with works councils/employees.
Leveraging the firm’s global labour and employment footprint, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius UK LLP’s London team, which is overseen by Matthew Howse, is noted for defending high-value discrimination claims and pursuing restrictive covenant cases in High Court. Aside from this, the department routinely supports clients in complex disciplinary, culture and conduct, whistleblowing and regulatory investigations, with particular expertise in SMCR issues. Louise Skinner, for her part, is particularly active in the financial services and life sciences sectors, while Lee Harding excels in trade union law issues as well as FinTech-related mandates.
Other key lawyers:
Lee Harding; Louise Skinner; Pulina Whitaker
‘Very responsive and commercial. Understand our business. Good quality service.’
‘Louise Skinner is very responsive and commercial – always available, delivers commercial advice and is great fun to work with! She and her team are like an extension of our in-house function.’
MSP Sports Capital
- Represented MSP Sports Capital in the £185m investment in McLaren Racing.
- Retained by UNICEF to conduct an independent review and report on serious allegations made against the UK Board of UNICEF and its outgoing Chair.
Marrying ‘the proven ability to litigate with equal adeptness in the employment tribunal and the High Court, with the guts to take difficult cases to the Supreme Court and win’, complex litigation forms the bedrock of the RPC employment group. Many cases are overseen by practice lead Patrick Brodie, ‘an unsung hero of the employment law world’ who commands a reputation nationally for his record in Supreme Court cases, namely in restrictive covenants, diplomatic immunity and unfair dismissal right disputes. Elsewhere in the group, the ‘outstanding’ Kelly Thomson, who was promoted to partner in May 2020, focuses on diversity, inclusion and equality work. The group is also adept at handling large restructurings and outsourcings.
Other key lawyers:
‘They marry the proven ability to litigate with equal adeptness in the employment tribunal and the High Court, with the guts to take difficult cases to the Supreme Court and win.’
‘Patrick Brodie is, quite simply, an unsung hero of the employment law world. I do not think that there is anybody better than Patrick. He hides his extraordinary intelligence behind a jovial exterior, but when it comes to getting the job done there is nobody better.’
‘Very satisfied by the support provided by RPC. Have provided effective written responses to support local communications on volatile situations.’
‘Kelly Thomson is a very capable, highly professional and responsive individual. Provides timely and clear strategies to employment issues raised.‘
‘This team is excellent for innovative thinking and solutions.’
‘Kelly Thompson is outstanding – her very thorough understanding of the law, combined with empathy and pragmatism, give me complete confidence in her advice and guidance.’
‘RPC has a great employment team that has substantial expertise in working for both employers and individual employees. I really rate their abilities – both in terms of their knowledge and their practical skill.’
‘They are excellent lawyers, skilled tacticians, always on top of their cases at a macro and micro-level and charming to their clients and counsel.’
Frasers Group, including House of Fraser, Sports Direct etc
Coca Cola European Partners
Royal and Sun Alliance
Associated Newspapers (Daily Mail etc)
Essity (a Swedish headquartered global consumer goods company)
The Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia
- Supported the boards of major name clients (covering tens of thousands of employees) on the design, implementation and communication of their employment strategies to address the financial pressures of lockdown with an emphasis on furlough and new ways of working.
- Advising The Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia in the Supreme Court on a case that will define the reach of diplomatic immunity in respect of employment.
- Advising financial services clients, with an focus on the insurance markets, on the restructuring and relocation of businesses within the European Union
In the employers arena, Slaughter and May concentrates not just on board-level employment matters but also demonstrates ‘particular strength in its expertise in support of mergers and acquisitions’. Other strong suits of the team - which is presided over by Charles Cameron - are TUPE transfers, large-scale redundancies and reorganisations and sensitive internal investigations. Key names within the department are Padraig Cronin and Philip Linnard, both of whom have considerable expertise in outsourcings, board-level recruitment and exits, whistleblowing and executive remuneration issues.
Other key lawyers:
Padraig Cronin; Philip Linnard; Philippa O’Malley
‘Outstanding employment team, who demonstrate flexibility to accommodate the demands of our business. Friendly, supportive but able to challenge without conflict. Their ways of working (in partnership) with our business has been excellent.‘
‘Padraig Cronin has been our key point of contact. An individual who has demonstrated considerable knowledge in specific areas of employment law (TUPE) and been able to operationalise this to the benefit of our business.’
‘The team demonstrates many of the attributes found when using any major law firm: availability, knowledge of the law and a team that works well together. However, there is an important difference between simply interpreting the law and applying know-how. The team at S&M are able to do both, providing clear advice so that high profile employment issues can be dealt with properly and fairly, taking into account the perspectives of different stakeholders.’
‘The Slaughter and May employment law team has particular strength in its expertise in support of mergers and acquisitions, and in the depth of its bench. They are sophisticated practitioners and experts in employment law, and they are pragmatic and responsive. A first rate employment law practice compared to other firms.‘
De La Rue plc
Drax Group plc
Land Securities Group plc
Oxford Sciences Innovation
Premier Foods plc
- Advising Everis on an innovative payroll funding scheme, to assist employers whose financial situation has been adversely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic
- Advised Walmart on the employment aspects of its sale of Asda through an auction process involving three private equity bidders.
- Advised Santander on the employment, incentives and pensions aspects of the reorganisation of its UK business, including complex TUPE and cross-border issues.
Squire Patton Boggs’ employment team, singled out for its ‘practical approach and agile nature’, is noteworthy for its routine involvement in high-value corporate change projects on a global scale. Spearheaded by the vastly experienced Caroline Noblet, 'a force to be reckoned with' whose international perspective is cherished by clients, the group also represents clients in contentious matters in both Employment Tribunals and the High Court. Other key names operating in the department include internal workplace investigations specialist David Whincup and transactional support expert Janette Lucas.
Other key lawyers:
David Whincup; Janette Lucas; Miriam Lampert
‘David Whincup always asks the right questions and his sense of humour makes a complex case less painful to deal with. David provides sound advice to steer us in the right direction from both a legal and commercial perspective.’
‘For me, a key strength of the SPB employment team is in its depth of experience across different offices and being able to act cohesively on multi-jurisdictional projects.’
‘Caroline Noblet is a force to be reckoned with. She is incredibly commercial and steers the global team to ensure a consistency of approach in terms of commercialism, pragmatism and even billing.’
‘The practical approach and agile nature of the UK employment team is outstanding – true partners, always feel in safe hands.’
Cambridge University Press
Fortnum & Mason
PageGroup (Michael Page)
- Represented Immunocore, a pioneering clinical stage T-Cell Receptor Bio-technology Company, on an employee breach of fiduciary and bribery issue.
- Representing Tesco in its defence of multi-claimant equal pay claims brought against the company before the Employment Tribunal by claimant law firms, Leigh Day and Harcus Sinclair.
- Supporting dual Australian/American-listed packaging company Amcor with its Covid-19 response strategy, which involved navigating emergency legislation introduced by different European governments during the various stages of lockdown.
Clyde & Co LLP has a strong historical foothold in the insurance sector but also has a presence in the financial services and professional services sectors. It primarily acts for employers in complex claims in the Employment Tribunals and the High Court. Robert Hill, who leads the ‘partner-driven’ group, demonstrates notable strengths in sensitive discrimination and whistleblowing claims. Meanwhile, Chris Holme, whose ‘client service is excellent’, specialises in regulatory issues arising from the financial services and legal sectors, including advice on bullying allegations and harassment claims. Another name to note is James Major, a ‘high-class strategist’ who clients assert ’know how to successfully run large-scale High Court litigation'.
Other key lawyers:
Chris Holme; James Major; Heidi Watson; Charles Urquhart; Laura Kings
‘I have worked with Charles Urquhart, Rob Hill, Chris Holme, James Major and Heidi Watson over the past year. They are all excellent lawyers and superb practitioners. They each know the law well but also have an excellent manner.’
‘Highly dedicated “hands-on” team. Very knowledgeable. Excellent collaborators.’
‘Chris Holme has superb interpersonal skills and outstanding judgement. Highly knowledgeable and strategic.’
‘James Major is a class act. Nothing phases him. A high class strategist, he knows how to successfully run large-scale High Court litigation.’
‘Are able to explain complex legal matters in a way that those with a non legal background can easily understand. Take a pragmatic approach, weighing up the legal and commercial side of matters. Explain the options and then assist you to make the right decision for your business.’
‘The team was efficient and very available. They work in an inclusive manner and are extremely flexible accommodating requests at short notice. They worked well with our in-house team. We appreciated the insight provided following litigation including lessons learned.’
‘The team is very partner-driven which is important to us since we are looking for judgement calls on very important and sensitive issues and we reliably get that.’
‘Chris Holme’s client service is excellent. I feel that we have a real partnership where I set out what I need and a realistic timescale and he always over-delivers. He understands the internal politics that I need to juggle and produces commercial, pithy answers.’
Charles Stanley & Co Limited
United Parcel Service (UPS)
Willis Towers Watson
Estee Lauder Cosmetics
University College London (UCL)
Canada Pension Plan Investment Board
Randall & Quilter
Outdoors & Cycle Concepts
McGill & Partners
Taylor & Francis
- Successfully defended a breach of contract claim in the High Court for Charles Stanley & Co Limited, which was the subject of a two-week trial in October 2020.
- Advising UPS on all their UK employment needs.
- Advising Malaysia Airlines on all their UK employment matters.
Presided over by Virginia Allen, Dentons’ practice has extensive experience handling Employment Tribunal litigation and transactional support work for high-profile clients from a broad range of sectors. Leveraging the firm’s international network, the group is skilled at advising on cross-border projects, ranging from large-scale reorganisations to assistance with redundancy processes, employee exits, and grievances and disciplinaries. Restrictive covenant expert Purvis Ghani is a key name in the department, which in September 2020 saw the departure of Ryan Carthew.
Other key lawyers:
Purvis Ghani; Rebecca Jorgensen
London Stock Exchange / Refinitiv
Marks and Spencer
Bank of China
Islamic Relief Worldwide
- Providing employment law advice to Spotify in the UK, including advice on redundancy processes, employee exits, employee grievances and disciplinaries, post-termination restrictions and general HR queries.
- Advised Refinitiv, a global provider of financial market data and infrastructure, on the employment and pensions aspects of its purchase of The Red Flag Group.
- Advised CreditSights on the full spectrum of employment law, including performance, grievances, disciplinaries, post-termination restrictions, and reorganisations.
Kingsley Napley LLP stands out for its representation of clients in the regulated financial and professional services sectors. In addition to its deep well of expertise in day-to-day employer issues, the group is noted for its record in highly sensitive cases of sexual misconduct in accountancy and law firms. Practice head Corinne Aldridge excels in advising on equal opportunities-related issues and investigations into allegations of sexual misconduct in the workplace. Other names to note include SMCR expert Adrian Crawford, internal investigations specialist Nikola Southern and Andreas White, who shines in mandates containing multi-jurisdictional considerations.
Other key lawyers:
Adrian Crawford; Nikola Southern; Andreas White; Nick Ralph
‘They were smart, thought outside of the box and were sensitive to what we needed rather than just box-ticking.’
‘Corinne Aldridge is excellent. Thorough, pragmatic, makes herself available and cost-effective.’
‘Nick Ralph was able to cut through to the heart of the matter without getting bogged down in minutiae – very commercial, approachable and likeable.’
‘Corinne Aldridge has a good cultural understanding of the work environment in an international financial services firm. She grasps employment issues quickly and gives very clear and decisive advice and guidance.’
‘Our contacts seek to know our business well. They are very timely in their responses. They are very flexible by the channels we have contact with them.’
Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC)
Chief Police Officers Staff Association (CPOSA) & its members
Working closely with the firm's regulatory and litigation departments, the employment team at Macfarlanes LLP concentrates on work arising from the financial services sector, where it advises a broad range of institutions. The group is overseen by Hayley Robinson, who advises on grievance and discipline procedures, restrictive covenant and other post-termination disputes, Employment Tribunal litigation, sensitive day-to-day employment issues, as well as the employment aspects of corporate transactions. Another name to note is the vastly experienced Sean Lavin.
Other key lawyers:
Seán Lavin; Tabitha Al-Mahdawie
‘Hayley Robinson and her team have a deep knowledge of their field and of our commercial landscape and routinely combine the two to provide timely and invaluable advice. They are highly responsive and their clear communication helps us to navigate often complex situations.’
‘Hayley Robinson is a creative thinker and takes a thorough and measured approach to challenging situations. She is an excellent lawyer and a trusted partner of our business.’
‘They are all personable and approachable and have strong knowledge of employment law. They have personalities which makes them fun to work with.’
‘They are not only competent, but also endowed with great social skills – which is not a given with lawyers.’
The Macfarlanes employment team are unfailingly responsive, insightful and commercial. They have built a detailed knowledge of our business and culture and are adept at crafting solutions to fit.’
‘Macfarlanes has a strong employment law practice with strength and depth in the team. Their advice is reliably insightful and well thought through. They are a trusted partner to our business.
‘Very collaborative and approachable team that take time to understand their clients and the business.’
Regularly working in tandem with colleagues across the firm’s myriad international hubs, Norton Rose Fulbright’s employment and labour practice in London routinely handles contentious and non-contentious matters with complex cross-border dimensions. Department lead Paul Griffin frequently coordinates responses globally to multijurisdictional labour and employment issues. The firm's areas of expertise include trade union disputes, Employment Tribunal claims, severance issues, boardroom disputes and corporate governance matters. Also providing key support to employer clients is Catrina Smith.
Other key lawyers:
‘The firm offers a significant breadth of expertise across a range of sectors, delivering on-point legal and commercial advice.’
‘The team works very well together, and delivers timely and accurate legal/commercial advice and insights. It is always a pleasure to work with them even when dealing with challenging situations.’
‘Having worked with a number of NRF teams over the past four years I have been impressed with the calibre of the people and their adherence to deadlines.’
‘Having worked with Catrina Smith for the past 20 months I have valued her practical, pragmatic and common-sense approach. Her support, direction and guidance have been invaluable and she always made herself available. Approachable and personable, Catrina has been a joy to work with.’
‘The team has strong knowledge in diverse areas: regulatory, employment law, GDPR, etc.’
‘Balanced judgement of cases; great experience in managing a variety of situations; good market liaisons.’
Royal Bank of Canada
Battersea Power Station
Boston Consulting Group
- Undertaking an investigation for a global bank into issues raised by an employee via the client’s Speak Up channel.
- Advising Carlsberg, one of the world’s leading brewers, on its £780m joint venture with Marston’s plc to combine (as Carlsberg Marston’s Brewing Company) their UK brewing and distribution activities.
- Advising Total on the UK employment aspects of its acquisition of ‘Blue Point London’ from the Bolloré Group.
Led by David Cubitt and Victoria Parry, Osborne Clarke LLP’s employment offering encompasses high-level strategic advice, day-to-day support and representation in contentious matters, placing a premium on complex multijurisdictional issues. It is most frequently instructed in large restructurings, employee relations matters, regulatory issues, TUPE transfers and high-profile team moves, but is also active in the Employment Tribunal and High Court space. An expert in FCA compliance, Prianca Patel is a key senior associate within the group, which is also trusted to carry out data privacy projects and reputational risk management mandates.
David Cubitt; Victoria Parry
Other key lawyers:
Olivia Sinfield; Claire Bowles; Prianca Patel
‘Osborne Clarke – and in particular David Cubitt and Victoria Parry – are excellent. I have worked with them on innumerable occasions over the years. They are just an excellent firm. They are extremely capable lawyers, having an ability to use the law to advance their clients’ cases.’
‘The Osborne Clarke employment team worked on an important employment dispute for the company, and they did a fantastic job.’
‘There is a consistent culture of bright, capable lawyers who can deal pleasantly, clearly, and pragmatically with clients. Not all lawyers do this “pragmatic translation” bit well.’
Silicon Valley Bank
Standard Chartered Bank
Tremor Group / Unruly
Institute of Directors
- Advising Nomura International plc on a wide range of ongoing employment matters, including a large-scale restructuring, various employee relations matters, and in employment tribunal claims.
- Advising Veritas on all their EMEA and Asia Pacific & Japan employment law issues.
- Advised Gemini on a claim to restrain a former employee from joining a competitor in breach of their non-compete restriction.
Pinsent Masons LLP
Pinsent Masons LLP fields experts in restructurings, team moves, whisteblowing and discrimination claims, and outsourcing projects. The core sector focuses of the department include the financial services and life sciences industries, yet practice head Edward Goodwyn also enjoys a strong reputation in the infrastructure and technology sectors. Anne Sammon, meanwhile, is ‘extremely knowledgeable in employment law, particularly in the context of the financial services industry’, where she is instructed in equal pay disputes and discrimination claims.
Other key lawyers:
‘The practice is very professional. I appreciate the ‘extras’ provided e.g. webinars, email updates on recent case law and changes to regulation. Recently, this has been very helpful to deal with issues caused by the pandemic and the introduction of new financial regulation i.e. SMCR.’
‘Dr Anne Sammon is always available to me and provides pragmatic, easy-to-understand advice. She always ensures she fully understands the context for any question or issue she is being asked to advise on which then results in a comprehensive plan of action.’
‘My experience of working with them has been very positive. I receive quick, clear advice, usually from direct conversations with the partner and am very pleased with the service level.’
‘Dr Anne Sammon is a standout employment law Partner. She is extremely knowledgeable in employment law, particularly in the context of the financial services industry; amazingly quick to understand the substance of a scenario and the nub of the issues involved; not shy to give quick, clear advice on the recommended course(s) of action and the risks involved in each; and is always available, if not immediately, then within a very short timeframe.’
Direct Insurance Group plc
Allianz Insurance plc
SEI Investments (Europe) Limited
Barratt Developments plc
McDermott International, Inc.
Houlihan Lokey EMEA LLP
Shangri-La Hotels Pte Ltd
Kier Group plc
Laing O’Rourke plc
Royal BAM Group
Masai Clothing Company ApS
Balfour Beatty Group
- Represented Direct Insurance Group plc in pursuing claims against an employee exiting for a competitor, having uncovered evidence that suggested the employee had retained confidential information and passed on client information to the competitor prior to departing.
- Supporting Liverpool Victoria in its recent reorganisation of the LV operating model and re-sizing the business to deliver the integration of the L&G business, which includes advice on the removal of approximately 600 roles by the end of the migration period (end of 2022).
Reed Smith LLP
Reed Smith LLP's labour and employment practice specialises in multifaceted cross-border strategic projects, which it is trusted to execute by a variety of household multinational clients. On top of this, the department - especially practice head Robin Jeffcott - is regularly instructed in complex High Court and Employment Tribunal matters, particularly in the financial services space. A go-to name for media, entertainment and technology corporates, Graham Green enjoys a reputation nationally for his track record in high-profile executive exits, restructurings and major multijurisdictional projects.
Other key lawyers:
Graham Green; David Ashmore
‘Highly knowledgeable, efficient, and likable. They overhauled all our employment contracts and the quality of the work was a significant step up from the previous firm we used, who were themselves a highly respected firm.’
‘Hardworking, keen to understand what is needed and then work collaboratively to reach the common goal. Open to feedback. Felt very much like a team effort.’
‘Graham always takes the time to understand where we are at with the business and the journey we are on and ensures we have the knowledge and resources we need to succeed. He is highly intelligent and is an invaluable resource to us as we go from startup to scaleup in a heavily people-focused business.‘
‘Graham Green regularly checks in to ensure the service is going well, asking for feedback, etc. He is responsive and keen to deliver a service that works for us and is delivering.’
Though especially skilled in restrictive covenant disputes and team moves, Stephenson Harwood is well-equipped to handle the gamut of non-contentious and advisory issues, including large-scale redundancy, TUPE processes and restructurings. Most active in the financial services, rail, luxury goods, hospitality and professional services sectors, the department is now overseen by Paul Reeves, ‘the person you want in your corner for a thorny employment issue’, after former practice head Mark Catchpole stepped down in May 2020 as a partner to work as a consultant. Kate Brearley and seasoned litigator Anne Pritam are other key names.
Other key lawyers:
Anne Pritam; Kate Brearley; Richard Freedman; Mark Catchpole
‘Strong partner involvement, very practical advice, good sense both of what’s market and what’s feasible. Able to see the big picture.’
‘Paul Reeves is a terrific advisor, and the person you want in your corner for a thorny employment issue. Paul sees issues from all perspectives and provides advice that reflects short-term and long-term objectives.’
‘Richard Freedman is excellent – capable, rigorous, technically excellent.’
‘Kate Brearley and her team are always available and provide excellent service with a great understanding of the client’s business and concerns.’
ThyssenKrupp Elevator AG
Host Europe Group Limited
Therium Capital Management
Standard & Poor’s
DNB Bank ASA
Bank of Montreal/BMO Financial Group
Mizuho Bank Ltd
DO & CO Aktiengesellschaft
Oak Furniture Land
Mizuho International plc
Yes To Inc
Philex Electronic Ltd
Circa Healthcare Ltd
The Mines Advisory Group
DO & CO Aktiengasellschaft
The Council for Responsible Jewellery
UKSL Management Ltd
- Acted for Louis Vuitton UK Limited after a former employee made a claim for unfair dismissal, breach of contract and disability discrimination.
- Defended for Fiera Capital a claim by a former employee including compensation/damages for: whistleblowing (£44m) and breach of contract (£150m).
- Represented MicrosensDx in employment tribunal litigation by a litigant in person, involving complex claims arising from Mercer’s merger with JLT, and cutting-edge disability discrimination issues concerning whether an employer can be on notice of an employee’s undiagnosed condition.
Bates Wells is best known for its work in the charity and not for profit sector, in which it advises a wide range of national and international organisations. At ‘the top of her field’, Lucy Mclynn spearheads the litigation-focused group, which is particularly active in sensitive Employment Tribunal cases and board-level disputes but also handles corporate support. Paul Seath specialises in data protection issues, while Paul Jennings and William Garnett regularly act for employers in complex claims.
Other key lawyers:
William Garnett; Paul Jennings; Paul Seath
‘Very good, in-depth, practical knowledge of all areas of law, they adapt for big and small and NFP organisations.’
‘Bates Wells have provided me with support for many years. They provide consistently expert, pragmatic, proportionate advice in a way that represents value for money, which has meant that I have never felt the need to look elsewhere for employment law advice.‘
‘Lucy McLynn is an exceptional lawyer and I understand why she is the Head of Employment at BatesWells. She is at top of her field; superb advice, pragmatic, reliable and provides clarity and a route through very challenging situations.’
‘I have used Bates Wells for employment advice for several years. Their advice is excellent: practical and responsive. They help me to achieve my objectives.’
‘Paul Seath is exceptionally responsive. His advice is always sound and straightforward.’
‘Excellent support – collaborative way of working, practical advice, solution orientated, highly knowledgeable.’
‘Lucy McLynn is excellent all round. The team understand our business and flex their advice and risk analysis perfectly.’
Centre for Global Development Europe
Tenon FM Limited
Royal College of Nursing of the United Kingdom
The Alan Turing Institute
Capital City College Group
English National Ballet
Architects Registration Board
- Acting for the Center for Global Development in a leading and very high profile case establishing whether gender critical views are protected under the Equality Act as a philosophical belief.
- Advised Unicef in relation to the high-profile resignation of its executive director and associated allegations made against the (former) Chair concerning bullying.
- Defending the Green Party in proceedings brought by a Board Member on the grounds of race discrimination.
Capsticks LLP flourishes in the public sector, where it represents large NHS trusts, as well as NHS Employers, but also acts for police services, emergency services and local authorities. Department head Victoria Watson specialises in high-profile cases involving doctors, the MHPS framework and whistleblowing claims, while Andrew Rowland steers a healthcare sub-group that primarily services NHS clients. Promoted to partner in September 2020, Paul McFarlane principally focuses on police matters.
Other key lawyers:
Rachael Heenan; Martin Hamilton; Andrew Rowland; Siân Bond; Alessandra Gettins; Paul McFarlane
‘Good working relationships have been formed with Partners, and once you have a good working relationship it helps manage the casework as it emerges.’
‘The Capsticks team offer pro-active advice and practical solutions with an attitude of “every problem has a solution”.’
‘Capsticks is able to provide expert advice across a broad range of topics. The team are responsive not just to current issues but are quick to identify emerging themes to provide us with insight and support.’
‘The team at Capsticks are able to adapt their message to their audience, blending technical advice with strategic thinking. All the work is delivered to a high standard, on time, and with clarity around charging.’
‘They have a very strong employment team and now have a national presence, specifically in the healthcare sector but we have also seen a huge increase in instructions in police-related matters for them and they are building up a strong reputation in dealing with blue light services.’
‘Vicky Watson and Andrew Rowland are both highly professional, efficient and a delight to work with and always put their clients’ best interests first.’
‘The employment law team are highly professional but also pragmatic and straightforward to work with. They bring innovative solutions to difficult workforce issues. They have supported our Trust through a broad range of issues with many successful outcomes.’
‘Andrew Rowland is genuinely fantastic to work with. He doesn’t just quote the law but thinks through the practical application and how to achieve real solutions to really difficult issues. He is thoughtful, flexible and engaging. The team – including Sian Bond, Vicky Watson and others – offer excellent support and effective training on a wide variety of relevant topics.’
Barts Health NHS Trust
London Ambulance Service NHS Trust
The Extracare Charitable Trust
West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust
Ramsay Health Care UK
Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust
South Central Ambulance Service NHS Trust
Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust
Gateway Housing Association
London Borough of Redbridge
Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust
East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust
Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust
London Fire Brigade
Solicitors Regulation Authority
Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust
- Instructed by London Ambulance Service to provide advice on the employment law issues arising out of a proposed policy to make the wearing of fully fit-tested face masks mandatory for front-line staff.
- Represented Extracare Charitable Trust in a high-profile dispute with Nadia Whittome MP arising out of statements she made to the press regarding the availability of PPE.
- Advised Covid Clinical Assessment Service (CCAS), an NHS 111 service commissioned by NHS England in response to the unprecedented demand on NHS 111 services at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Charles Russell Speechlys LLP's employment team emphasises non-contentious mandates, deploying particular strength in the professional services, financial services and retail and leisure sectors. It is led by Trevor Bettany, who concentrates on collective redundancies, TUPE and large-scale variation exercises. Another key name is ‘exceptional lawyer’ Michael Powner, whose workload extends from LLP disputes to the employment aspects of high-profile internal reorganisations. Other areas of strength include senior executive issues, post-termination restrictions, and disciplinary and termination matters. Emma Bartlett departed in January 2021 to join CM Murray LLP.
Other key lawyers:
Michael Powner; Nick Hurley
‘I have worked with multiple associates in the practice over the years and they are shockingly competent and confident. They present like partners.’
‘Michael Powner is very business-minded and gives practical, easy-to-understand advice. He is highly responsive and a valued business partner.’
‘The employment team at CRS is exceptional. They offer calm and practical advice, they never panic and are an excellent partner.‘
‘Mike Powner is an exceptional lawyer. He challenges me, supports me and is a highly engaging person to be around. Always available and highly responsive when time is tight but equally at home playing a long game when that is right strategy. Mike’s modesty belies his incredible legal talent.’
‘Advice is practical, commercial and easy to understand for non-lawyers. Good links into firms with different specialisms / jurisdictions. Well-linked internally so will seek specialist input from within the firm as well.‘
‘It is the individuals I deal with who provide me with the experience of the team and the impression I have of the firm. Proactive, practical, collaborate well within their firm and with linked firms. Able to explain things in a practical and easy to understand way. Take a commercial view.’
‘Extremely responsive. Willing to move things around. Make you feel like their only client.’
Sony Interactive Entertainment Europe
- Advising Nike on the high-profile sponsorship deal with Liverpool FC for Nike to become their new kit provider.
- Advising Rapha Racing on a wide range of UK and cross-border employment matters, including matters relating to COVID-19 and employment contract and policy reviews as well as contentious matters.
- Advise Sony Playstation on a broad spectrum of employment law matters ranging from specific projects to day-to-day advice, to employment tribunal matters.
On the employers side of the employment fence, boutique outfit CM Murray LLP places an emphasis on work emanating from the financial services, professional services, technology, life sciences and luxury brands sectors. The ‘exceptionally bright and knowledgeable’ Clare Murray heads up the practice, which has a substantial track record in highly sensitive sexual harassment and bullying allegations and restrictive covenants. In recent times, Merrill April has excelled in boardroom disputes, while breach of confidentiality issues figure prominently in the practice of David Fisher.
Other key lawyers:
Merrill April; David Fisher; Sarah Chilton; Beth Hale
‘This practice is unique owing to the people who work there. It is a firm specialising and excelling in employment law and the strength and breadth of expertise at all levels across the firm is unrivalled. The work it does representing professional services firms as well as individuals working within them is a real area of strength and many would regard CM Murray as the go-to firm in that area of specialism.’
‘Clare Murray is clearly a leader in her field. Not only is she exceptionally bright and knowledgeable, she brings a sense of calm to any case and is always extremely balanced in her views and well-reasoned and pragmatic. Beth Hale is also an extremely talented lawyer – she has a no-nonsense straightforward approach with clients and always goes the extra mile to get things done. Again, a very knowledgeable and approachable individual to work with.’
‘A truly expert boutique firm that outclasses many larger departments with their knowledge of employment and partnership disputes. They are at the forefront of some excellent networking and knowledge sharing initiatives.’
‘Clare Murray, Beth Hale and Sarah Chilton – all outstanding leaders in their field. ‘
‘Excellent team – very efficient, client focused. Always on the ball.’
- Advised a Silicon Valley-based cyber security company on potential breach of confidentiality issues involving a UK employee, including related investigation and threatened litigation.
- Advised a UK-headquartered multinational employer seeking strategic advice on labour relations issues in the UK and Europe inherited by the client from a prior business acquisition.
- Advised an international law firm on employee allegations of bullying, discrimination and whistleblowing concerns relating to wider practices across the firm.
Deloitte Legal’s employment offering was bolstered by the acquisition of Kemp Little LLP in February 2021, strengthening the firm’s depth and fortifying its experience in the technology, telecoms and consulting sectors. Data subject access rights, TUPE support on corporate transactions and gig-economy-related issues are key areas of strength for the enlarged group, which is overseen by David Williams and works in close collaboration with the wider firm’s tax consultancy, risk advisory and human capital consulting departments. Marian Bloodworth is particularly adept in the financial services sector, whether that’s day-to-day advice or complex tribunal litigation, while former Travers Smith managing partner Andrew Lilley, who joined in 2019, frequently handles corporate support matters.
Other key lawyers:
Marian Bloodworth; Andrew Lilley; Kathryn Dooks
‘The employment team at Deloitte have proven to be knowledgeable, adaptable and efficient in their specialist sector and have always provided very sound and robust commercial advice, which can often be lacking from law firms where law is their main focus.’
‘They are always readily available, often at very short notice and are quickly able to get to grips with topics that are presented to them cold. Their support over the last year has been unwavering in very challenging times and their advice has always been robust and commercially sound.’
‘David Williams is an extremely commercial and highly effective problem solver. Able to work with me to understand business issue/outcome needed and then advise/ coach accordingly to ensure effective management of risk and guide us through execution. Have been supported through multiple tricky scenarios. ‘
‘The team has a very broad depth of knowledge in all matters related to employment law. They have helped me navigate some extremely tricky and sensitive situations over the years, and have also taught me everything I know about how to handle these legal situations. They guide me using their lawyer’s perspective, but also help me as an HR professional to understand what I need to do, and how.’
‘All employees at Deloitte Legal are knowledgeable, engaging, helpful and do not baffle with “legal speak”. No job is too large or too small. I have dealt with many individuals, depending on the topic and they have never let me down. All of these individuals are guided and mentored by David Williams, who has a proven track record in developing his staff to provide excellent service.’
‘I work with Kathryn Dooks, and I think she’s brilliant. She is knowledgeable, particularly about my sector and that is really helpful. She is able to find practical solutions to issues that I can sell to senior stakeholders in the business. I also really enjoy working with her, she feels like part of the team.’
‘Such a great employment team – they take time to really understand the business and provide a seamless service as tight-knit team. Love working with them.’
‘Marian is great – drives her team to provide highly effective service. Will anticipate potential issues and prepare us for them. ‘
- Advised a national retailer on their current holiday pay practices across their stores and Head Office in the UK, providing a gap analysis of current practice against best practice.
- Advised an online travel deals website on a contentious redundancy from the business which in turn involved assisting the client to comply with a Data Subject Access Request, handling a complex and sensitive grievance involving allegations of disability discrimination and sexual harassment.
- Advised a client in the hospitality sector on furloughing 2,000 employees to secure the viability of a national food distributor.
' Experienced in acting for both employers and employees', workplace law firm Doyle Clayton ‘punches above its weight in terms of the strength and breadth of its expertise’. Key areas of strength are High Court litigation and Employment Tribunal work, disciplinary issues, post-termination restrictions, redundancies, and restructurings. Leading the group, Peter De Maria is 'widely renowned for his expertise in employee competition cases’. Other practitioners of note are financial services expert Dan Begbie-Clench and 'definite rising star' Katie Mahoney. De Maria and Mahoney, as a combination, earn praise as ‘a dream team’.
Peter De Maria
Other key lawyers:
Darren Clayton; Dan Begbie-Clench; Simon Henthorn; Helen Brooks; Katie Mahoney
‘While not a huge firm, Doyle Clayton punches above its weight in terms of the strength and breadth of its expertise. Proactive, responsive and with an especially friendly team.’
‘Doyle Clayton is a boutique employment firm who are at the top of their game and the best at what they do because their primary focus in on employment matters.’
‘The combination of Peter di Maria and Katie Mahoney can truly be described as a dream team. They are both incredibly thorough, wonderfully responsive and totally on top of their game.’
‘The team is uniquely experienced in acting for both employers and employees. Their strength lies in them being very commercial as well as knowing the law. Notably, their response to adapting to working virtually, implementing the best technology was swift and seamless. They had everything in place to ensure all needs were met.‘
‘Our experience working with Helen Brooks is consistently positive and I know that we can rely on Helen to provide excellent advice. She listens attentively to the issues we raise with her and is quick to grasp the nuances of a case. She combines her excellent legal knowledge with sound judgement and an appreciation of our business context.’
‘Peter De Maria and Katie Mahoney are the best in the business. They know exactly what they are doing, are sensible and commercial and understand what is important to their clients. I would not hesitate to recommend them to others.’
‘Katie Mahoney is dedicated, astute, hard-working and exceptionally pleasant to deal with. A definite rising star.’
WH Ireland Group Plc
Salvation Army Housing Association
Novo Nordisk Limited
Dowgate Capital Limited
Cimpress / Vistaprint
Torch Partners IB Ltd
Paragon Insurance Brokers
- Advised a global healthcare client on an Employment Tribunal claim for discrimination, whistleblowing, unfair dismissal and breach of contract from a former employee, who has appealed the decision to the Employment Appeal Tribunal.
- Advised an investment management client on a number of issues, including the employment law aspects of the acquisition of a financial planning business, an internal restructure and a key senior employee’s performance issues.
- Advised an insurance broker client on all of their UK employment law issues, including the exit of their HR director, a restructuring and integration (including collective consultation and TUPE) and unlawful team moves.
In addition to its advisory and transactional capabilities, Howard Kennedy LLP is increasingly active in contentious employment work, exhibiting a 'great degree of employment law expertise along with commercial common sense.' Practice lead Jane Amphlett, ‘a font of all knowledge on all things employment-related’, places a focus on discrimination issues. Principally established in the transport and sport sectors, the 'exceptionally good, commercially astute' Sam Murray-Hinde excels in both the employment aspects of insolvencies and Employment Tribunal claims.
Other key lawyers:
Sam Murray-Hinde; James Townsend; Lydia Christie
‘Jane Amphlett has been extremely helpful and adept at navigating some difficult issues, including successfully defending Employment Tribunal claims and negotiating early settlement COT3 agreements.’
‘Sam Murray-Hinde is exceptionally good, commercially astute, savvy and personable.’
‘The HK team are a delight to deal with and have a great degree of employment law expertise along with commercial common sense.’
‘Jane Amphlett heads up the department and is a font of all knowledge on all things employment-related.’
‘I have always been impressed by the personal down-to-earth approach and timely response when having had any dealings. We have always been given a clear timeframe.’
‘Lydia Christie has always provided clear, concise advice. She clearly understands our company’s practices and ways of working.’
‘Sam Murray-Hinde is absolutely superb. Good with clients. Technically excellent. And very good company.’
‘The team is very commercial in their approach which makes for well-balanced and helpful, meaningful advice.’
PANDORA UK Limited
Condé Nast International Limited
East London Bus & Coach Company Limited
South East London & Kent Bus Company Limited
Gordon Brothers International
TCI Fund Management
The Children’s Investment Fund
Hutchison 3g UK Limited
- Advising PANDORA’s HR and in-house legal teams on a wide range of employment matters including handling employment aspects of their franchising arrangements.
- Providing regular and ongoing advice to leading transport providers, including in Employment Tribunal, EAT and Court of Appeal cases, as well as advising on contractual matters, minimum wage, working time, holiday pay issues, TUPE, and trade union negotiations.
- Advising numerous clients in the hotel and restaurant sector on issues including minimum wage compliance and HMRC enforcement.
Characterised by its nontraditional structure, Keystone Law has assembled a deep bench of employment law specialists. ‘Exceptional lawyer’ Angharad Harris has a track record in dealing with sensitive strategic employment law issues, from board-level disputes to employment litigation. In addition to advisory work, Kelly Sayers also takes the lead in high-level grievance and disciplinary hearings and undertakes investigations. Other names to note include Nick Tsatsas, Fraser Younson, Emma Clark, and ‘superb strategist ’ Nicholas Robertson, who joined from Mayer Brown International LLP in January 2021.
Other key lawyers:
Nick Tsatsas; Kelly Sayers; Angharad Harris; Rob Eldridge; Fraser Younson; Emma Clark; Sofia Syed; Rachel Tozer; Alexandra Carn; Nick Robertson
‘I have found Keystone to be totally reliable, professional and on point to deliver an outstanding service to my organisation. We have used them now for numerous issues over the last few years and are very happy to keep returning to them.’
‘Nick Tsatsas is incredibly reliable, hard-working and thorough. He is also particular personable and easy to deal with. Nick gets totally involved in the issues, reads into the detail really thoroughly, and has impressive recall for all the facts.’
‘Kelly Sayers’ advice was clear and concise and she framed our obligations and opportunities very clearly. She anticipated most of the concerns that the Board might have and gave the project team clear guidance on appropriate ways to address those concerns.’
‘Angharad is an exceptional lawyer, who knows her field extremely well. She is creative in her approach and will often think outside of the box, which I find unique in this particular field. Angharad gives extremely clear guidance and reasoning on every aspect of a case, which helps me make the right decisions.’
‘Emma Clark is a wonderfully practical adviser – she listens and understands our commercial and organisational realities and responds swiftly with legally robust guidance. Her support has been outstanding on both everyday matters and in more sensitive and challenging situations.’
‘What I like about Keystone Law (Sofia Syed) is that they always own your problem and they listen and advise every step of the way in any issues I have within my companies.’
‘Nick Robertson is an exceptional lawyer! He is extremely knowledgeable, and can handle complex and challenging issues with ease. He is a superb strategist and brilliant tactician, always focussed on delivering the outcome the client seeks.’
Simmons & Simmons LLP
MSX International Limited
Phillips Auctioneers Limited
SRLV LLP Accountants
Energy Developments (UK) Limited
Advanta Wealth Ltd
Clsh Management Limited
Coach Stores Ltd
Dorsett Hotel London
Temporis Capital Ltd
Ely Diocesan Board of Finance
St Edmundsbury and Ipswich Board of Finance
Jefferies International Limited
- Acting for Simmons & Simmons LLP in defending a tribunal claim brought by a former partner.
- Providing general employment advice to Phillips Auctioneers, including around furlough arrangements for most employees, self-employed and casual employees as well as advice around seeking voluntary consent to other contractual arrangements designed to mitigate the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
At McDermott Will & Emery UK LLP, the employment practice has experience representing employers across a diverse range of industries but is developing particularly strong links in the healthcare sector. It routinely handles employment litigation, the employment aspects of corporate transactions and restructurings, HR-related data privacy matters, and has a busy employment competition practice, spanning trade secrets, non-competes, and restrictive covenants. Practice head Katie Clark and standout partner Paul McGrath attract plaudits as ‘very commercially focused lawyers’.
Other key lawyers:
‘Pragmatic and no-nonsense approach.’
‘The team I work with, regardless of which area of expertise, are always diligent, professional, available and thorough.’
‘I always find that Paul McGrath offers great advice, but is also pragmatic.’
‘The team are professional and relate to business. The advice they provide is practical and they take the pain out of any difficult negotiation.’
‘Katie Clarke is an inspiration. Katie is thorough in her questioning and provides a practical solution to any complex ER case. She has somehow a magical ingredient that supports the client to feel safe and able to progress. I have worked with Katie on a number of cases and continuously learn from her.’
‘The key attribute of this team is their understanding of our business, our culture, our objectives for our people issues and our need for trust in dealing with these on our behalf to secure better outcomes than we could have achieved alone. MWE are great at establishing rapport and keeping a momentum with that.’
‘Katie Clark and Paul McGrath stand out as very commercially focused lawyers, always keen to deliver a great outcome for us as their clients and secure a pragmatic outcome within the ambitious timeframes that we generally like to work towards.’
Callaway Golf Company
D. E. Shaw & Co
Underpinned by a strong financial services focus, Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP fields an ‘extremely strong team covering the full range of employment law’. The practice, which is led by Paul Mander, mainly advises on restructurings, redundancies, whistleblowing issues, and senior management dismissals and boardroom disputes. The practice of Tom Walker, a ‘first port of call for boardroom disputes’, emphasises confidentiality, whistleblowing and discrimination issues. Another key name in the group, Andrew Haywood has experience advising on competitive moves and social media-related matters.
Other key lawyers:
Tom Walker; Andrew Haywood; Nick Humphreys
‘An extremely strong team covering the full range of employment law, capable of dealing with all issues. Highly responsive to client needs. Provides high-quality advice and associated tailored services to clients.’
‘Nick Humphreys offers unparalleled client service. Really fights the client’s corner. Coupled with detailed subject matter knowledge and good tactical nous makes for a potent combination.’
‘Paul Mander’s sizable team has the breadth and depth to be able to support us on urgent or time-intensive matters should they arise. They are extremely efficient and provide great value for an exceptional standard of advice.’
‘Paul Mander is extremely commercial in his advice and truly understands our business. He is incredibly responsive and solutions-focused, tailoring his advice to the individual stakeholders on each matter and anticipating issues before they arise. He is a genuine partner to our people team.’
‘Tom Walker is our first port of call for boardroom disputes. He is user-friendly, keeps it simple, and gets solutions for the board. We mainly see Tom working with senior c-suites and fiduciaries, within the regulated sphere. He’s an executive trouble shooter.’
‘They are very cooperative and efficient in replying to our views. Their advice is always very professional. They listen to our views and try to accommodate our points wherever possible.’
‘Andrew Haywood advice is always comprehensive and takes into consideration our point of view. Available at short notice and revert back within agreed timelines.’
‘One-stop shop for most legal requirements due to a wide area of expertise and offices located throughout the UK and internationally. Professional approach, quick turnaround, and a good understanding of client’s business needs translated into the advice angle.’
Farfetch UK Limited
Lanson International Uk Limited t/a Lanson Champagne
Brummer & Partners Capital LLP
Seahorse Maritime Limited
Curzon Street Partners
Ayondo Markets Limited
Soap & Co
Habib Bank plc
Comsec Investigations Limited
Exchange Capital Partners
John McAslan & Partners
Heals 1810 Limited
‘Now a major force in the UK employment law market’, according to clients, PwC LLP handles a diverse range of matters but is singled out as ‘particularly strong' in integrating its advice with 'restructuring and insolvency advice’. Tom Williams has ‘extensive practical industrial relations experience’ and is considered ‘one of the most insightful and experienced advisers on national minimum wage investigations’. Other names to note are restrictive covenants expert Chris Perkins, who primarily assists multinational companies with their myriad international employment law requirements; equal pay, inclusion and diversity specialist Ed Stacey; and Tom Ince, whose practice emphasises transactional support.
Chris Perkins; Tom Williams; Tom Ince
Other key lawyers:
Ed Stacey; Tilly Harries
‘Fantastic – they have the insight and ability to discuss the wider policy implications of the law and to look ahead and prepare for the next phase‘
‘A large team with strength in all areas. Good teamwork to ensure they get the best results. Particularly impressive is the level of detail they work to. Solicitors who know their client and the case inside out.’
‘PWC has built a strong employment team. They are now a major force in the UK employment law market. They are particularly strong in integrating their advice with restructuring and insolvency advice.’
‘Chris Perkins is the stand-out partner – he has real clout and authority.’
‘Really expert team covering all the sectors with deep knowledge and hard working expertise.’
‘Ed Stacey is very knowledgeable and is a strategic partnership leader.’
‘The team has excellent industrial relations experience and so is able to provide excellent strategic advice based on years of practical experience.’
‘Tom Kerr-Williams is exceptionally knowledgeable and has extensive practical industrial relations experience. He is also one of the most insightful and experienced advisers on national minimum wage investigations.’
Eli Lilly and Company
Northern Trust Management Services Limited
The Pensions Regulator
DNA Payments Limited
John Lewis Partnership
The Official Receiver
Bourne Leisure Limited
Naked Energy Limited
- Supported a large global consumer markets company on a significant rationalisation of its workforce across more than 50 countries throughout Europe, AsiaPac, the Africas and Central and Southern America.
- Advising the BBC on a number of employment law issues, including equality and equal pay-related issues.
- Working alongside data assurance, reward and diversity and inclusion specialists from PwC to provide legal advice to the internal Reward team on its gender and ethnicity pay gap reporting and carried out an equal pay audit.
Winckworth Sherwood LLP is regularly involved in complex whistleblowing cases, as well as being instructed by clients across redundancies, restructurings and high-level strategic removals. The department is overseen by Jo Keddie, who is ‘tireless in her pursuit to get to the right decision for the business and the law’. The ‘tremendously supportive’ Andrea London and Blair Adams, who excels in large global projects, are additional practitioners of note.
Other key lawyers:
Andrew Yule; Blair Adams; Louise Lawrence; Andrea London
‘My main contact is Andrea London who is easy to communicate with, has a commercial approach and the more junior colleagues she sometimes delegates to have always been highly effective too.’
‘A very strong team – they are aligned, knowledgeable and able to pick up work quickly and seamlessly. I think their collaboration is second to none – whoever you speak to they understand our business and can advise accordingly.’
‘Jo Keddie is always available, tireless in her pursuit to get to the right decision for the business and the law.’
‘Good, precise and prompt professional advice which has a real positive impact.’
‘The practice is excellent. The team has been outstanding in terms of communications, extremely helpful on cost, and highly effective in tackling the issues which brought me there.’
‘Andrea London is one of the most generous and attentive solicitors I have ever encountered. In fact, I followed her to this practice from her previous firm, and have consulted her for several years.‘
‘I have been impressed with their ability to react quickly as well as make clear and effective strides in aiding our case. They provide a bespoke and personalised service to their customers and are very easy to contact.’
BNP Paribas Real Estate
Mountview Estates P.L.C.
The Financial Conduct Authority
R Raphael & Sons plc
Rise Investment Limited
Quintain Services Limited
Novacyt UK Holdings Limited
- Successfully fought off claims in the Employment Tribunal against all three Church of England Dioceses/Bishops by clergy claiming to be employees.
Arnold & Porter is particularly well-versed in the employment issues that arise in the life sciences sector. The group stands out for its knowledge of cross-border work, above all in investigations, data privacy projects, outsourcing and M&A transactions. It is presided over by Henry Clinton-Davis, ‘an excellent partner who brings a wealth of experience and creative thinking’ to employer-side mandates.
‘The level of relationship management, involvement and understanding of the business when AP assisted me was unparalleled.’
‘Understanding of real-life issues of running a business/factory.’
‘Henry Clinton-Davis is an excellent partner who brings a wealth of experience and creative thinking from being an employment barrister to his practice at A&P. His input is always constructive, creative and challenging in the best possible way – and ensures that the advice given to clients is the best it can possibly be. He values the input of everyone in the team and his contribution inevitably raises the quality of the advice given to the clients.’
Roche Diagnostics Limited
Roche Diabetes Care Limited
Skillsoft UK Limited
Argenta Syndicate Management
The Hospital Group
- Advise Roche, one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies, on all key employment issues.
- Advise international telecoms and call centre giant, TELUS, on their pan-European data privacy compliance program.
- Advise WorldStrides, the world’s leading educational tour operator, on all UK employment issues.
Sitting within the firm’s business advisory department, BDB Pitmans 's employment practice is described by one client as an 'exceptionally talented team with an unparalleled passion to go beyond client expectations'. It frequently undertakes corporate support work but is also skilled at defending Employment Tribunal claims. Overseen by Jesper Christensen, the department is especially active in the charities and not-for-profit sector. Brian Gegg, Nicholas Le Riche, Caroline Yarrow are other names to note.
Other key lawyers:
Brian Gegg; Caroline Yarrow; Ian Wasserman; Nicholas Le Riche
‘Ian Wasserman is very attentive and offers very sound legal advice.’
‘An exceptionally talented team with an unparalleled passion to go beyond client expectations. Wonderful to work with at all times, this is a team that don’t just want to resolve your problems, they want to know your business so that they can anticipate issues or challenges that may arise and help head them off before they do!‘
‘Brian Gegg has unrivaled passion to understand the business area and what the challenges are and then apply excellent commercial judgement to legal challenges that arise.’
‘They provide a top-quality service, attention to detail, excellent customer care.‘
‘Very approachable and always available for prompt advice on employment and litigation matters.’
‘Nicholas Le Riche offers superb support. He is practical, knowledgeable, engaging, responsive and inspires confidence. On the occasions where he delegates work to his team it is always completed to a high standard.’
‘Personable and friendly. Take time to listen to gain full understanding. Expert knowledge is readily on hand and if the person you are consulting needs expertise outside their field they know how to access this.’
‘Nicholas Le Riche is a marvel. His advice is prompt, pragmatic and clearly explained. He is also a very personable employment lawyer , so easy to talk to and endlessly patient.’
HARWOOD CAPITAL LLP
SMURFIT KAPPA UK LIMITED
JONES LANG LASALLE (JLL)
ROYAL OPERA HOUSE, COVENT GARDEN
THE DOCTORS LABORATORY
TONY’S CHOCOLONELY LTD
MAPELEY GROUP / SALISBURY WORKPLACE LTD
LONDON GENERAL TRANSPORT SERVICE (GO AHEAD)
- Advising Harwood Capital on the employment aspects of the admission of Verici DX PLC on the London Stock Exchange AIM market
- Providing Salisbury Workplace Limited with TUPE transfer advice relating to the expiry of the STEPS contact across the UK relating to the estate of properties occupied by HMRC and Customs & Excise.
- Advising the Smurfit Kappa Group on day-to-day employment strategy in the UK and on their presence across Europe.
Bevan Brittan LLP is a go-to name in the employment market for health and social care organisations, including the NHS and third sector. Among the work it receives are internal investigations, recruitment, retention and engagement processes, as well as High Court and Employment Tribunal litigation. The two crucial names, Alastair Currie and Jodie Sinclair, also on occasion assist clients in the education, housing and private sectors.
Other key lawyers:
‘Personable service. Jodie Sinclair in particular has always been responsive and supportive.’
‘Offers pragmatic, reliable advice. An excellent employment team.’
‘Jodie Sinclair and Alastair Currie are both extremely credible, highly regarded and respected.’
‘BB takes a partnership approach to their work – when we engaged them they made time to understand our needs and then proposed a preventative approach to dealing with our employee relations cases to benefit us as a client instead of them benefiting by receiving the highest amount of money for the work they do.’
‘Alastair is amazing – he is authentic, listens carefully, down to earth making him very approachable. He also gets it right and he is very responsive and very reliable. He is also very flexible , very knowledgeable and very patient.’
Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust
St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Clece Care Services
West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust
Hertfordshire Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust
One Medical Group
Leonard Cheshire Disability
North East London NHS Foundation Trust
Maintaining a strong emphasis on regulated professions, Brahams Dutt Badrick French LLP’s employment practice, fronted by Gareth Brahams, specialises in High Court proceedings, Tribunal litigation and contentious exits. A popular referral choice, the group also undertakes internal investigations and disciplinary issues. It welcomed Paula Chan in September 2020 from Slater and Gordon, as well as Claire Dawson from CC Solicitors in April 2021. Going the other way, in 2020, Ruth Gamble departed while Arpita Dutt retired to a consultancy role.
Other key lawyers:
Claire Dawson; Polly Rodway; Nick Wilcox; Tom McLaughlin
‘The team is approachable, calm, responsive and understanding.’
‘BDBF continues to be completely customer-centric and deliver exceptional service. They are responsive, always available when needed and they provide sound pragmatic advice which means we reach sensible solutions to a range of complex employment issues.’
‘Nick Wilcox has exceptional technical knowledge both in terms of the market and employment trends/issues but also knowledge of our business as it has evolved. I have complete faith and trust in his advice and guidance at all times. Tom McLaughlin provides great support for Nick and we work well with him on a range of issues.’
Working between the firm's London and Bristol offices, Burges Salmon LLP's employment team routinely assists high-profile multinational and FTSE-100 companies, drawn from the financial services, defence, transport, education, retail, healthcare, energy and utilities and public sectors. Handling the full gamut of contentious and non-contentious work, including restructurings, sensitive Employment Tribunal claims, and day-to-day employment advice, the team is overseen by Adrian Martin, who 'really understands what the client wants and delivers great commercial results.'
Other key lawyers:
‘Burges Salmon have incredibly close and supportive relationships with their clients and are real sector specialists, particularly in defence and utilities. Their lawyers are unstuffy and approachable.’
‘A really strong team with great technical knowledge and commercial acumen.’
‘Adrian Martin really understands what the client wants and delivers great commercial results.’
‘Adrian Martin has excellent judgement.’
Babcock International Group plc
Thomson Reuters / Refinitiv
BAE Systems plc
John Lewis Partnership
Bank of Ireland
The Crown Estate
Causeway CSP Limited
The Racecourse Association
University of Bristol
Spire Healthcare Group plc
Government Legal Department
Transport for Wales
Quartz Media Inc
Office for Students
UK Atomic Energy Authority
- Advising Babcock International Group plc on the full range of day to day employment and HR issues across its c.34,000 employee global (and UK wide) workforce including advice on a whole host of employment issues arising from the COVID-19 pandemic, executive appointment and termination, complex Employment Tribunal claims and numerous other Board-level issues.
- Acting for Transport for Wales on the employment and pension arrangements involved in the establishment of the Wales and Borders Rail Service (a newly created rail franchise for Wales) and restructuring in the light of the Covid-19 pandemic.
- Acting for John Lewis Partnership/Waitrose in a wide range of Employment Tribunal claims.
Demonstrating an ‘expert understanding of employment law’, Fladgate LLP combines transactional support know-how with a robust contentious practice, most notably in discrimination, whistleblowing and High Court claims. Other pillars of the group, which is led by Taj Rehal, are redundancy matters and senior exits. Mike Tremeer is an all-round employment law specialist, while Michael McCartney’s practice centres on restrictive covenant issues.
Other key lawyers:
Michael McCartney; Mike Tremeer
‘Fladgate has always provided clear and comprehensive advice to me in layman’s terms that is easy to understand and follow. They have given me the confidence to deal with a range of ER situations whether complex or straightforward and they always find time to speak to me.’
‘Mike Tremeer is approachable, knowledgeable and will always make himself available when I need support. He is definitely my go-to person on any employment issue.’
‘Taj Rehal is an incredible partner. His clients adore working with him – cool and calm under pressure but also very commercial.’
‘The team are highly pragmatic and commercial and always give advice or propose solutions taking into account an appropriate consideration of the commercial context in which we are working. The team are always very responsive, extremely helpful when asked but also proactive in anticipating issues and preparing for those issues before they arise. Expert understanding of employment law and how to apply it in a commercial setting.’
‘Michael has recently guided us through a particularly difficult employee relations situation, to a very satisfactory conclusion.’
‘I find the team to be highly responsive and understanding of our particular business requirements.’
Wayfair Stores Limited
Build-a-Bear Workshop Inc.
Penguin Random House Limited
Rotary Watches Limited
Weber-Stephen Products UK Limited
Lord Simon Restaurants Group
The Television Company (a Tinopolis Group Company)
Black Sheep Coffee (Conilon Limited)
Blockchain Worldwide Plc
Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher
Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher handles the full suite of employment matters but is particularly adept at advising international clients on cross-border projects. The department is led by James Cox, who ‘provides excellent and measured advice to his clients’. As well as assisting clients in strategic projects and transactional support, Cox also has considerable expertise in industrial disputes, redundancies, restructurings, boardroom appointments and removals, and whistleblowing and discrimination claims.
‘The level of service from this team is unparalleled. We have entrusted James Cox with our most sensitive executive matters and he was responsive (even across time zones) and kept things moving.’
‘James Cox provides excellent and measured advice to his clients. We recently worked together on a potentially high-profile employee competition dispute and achieved a great result, including undertakings that extended beyond the scope of the covenants in the former employee’s contract. He was a pleasure to work with.’
‘James Cox is clever, experienced, astute, and fun to work with.’
‘The employment law team at GDC London are very knowledgeable and responsive.’
‘James Cox is a good listener and closes on time-sensitive projects quickly.‘
AIM Software Limited
AO World plc
Amryt Pharma plc
The Berkeley Group
Bruin Sports Capital
Corporate Executive Board
Investment Company Institute
Liberty Hall Capital Partners LP / Bromford Industries
Realty Income Corporation
Riot Games Inc.
The Related Companies
Equally strong in contentious and non-contentious work, Harbottle & Lewis LLP is best known for its work in the media and entertainment sector. Practice co-head Yvonne Gallagher routinely defends employment tribunal claims, in addition to her extensive record in TUPE transfers and day-to-day issues Fellow co-head Howard Hymanson specialises in personal injury claims and senior executive issues, while Marian Derham focuses on matters pertaining to the theatre, television and film industries.
Yvonne Gallagher; Howard Hymanson
Other key lawyers:
Marian Derham; Sarah Verrachia
‘Efficiency, knowledge and clarity.’
‘Marian Derham is proactive and has our institution’s Vision and Values firmly in mind when giving advice. Very strategic thinker. Mark Primrose is thorough and gives excellent technical HR advice.’
‘Very responsive, practical and commercial advice from experienced and approachable lawyers who understand our business.’
‘Technically strong and competent, always available.’
NFU Mutual Insurance Society Limited (Insurance)
Nimax Theatres (Theatre)
Harrods Limited (Retail)
GP&J Baker Limited (Retail)
Taj Hotels (Leisure)
Take Two Interactive Software Inc (Games)
Wolford London (Retail & Fashion)
Punchdrunk Global Limited (Theatre)
Wanis International Foods (Food & Beverage)
Astrid & Miyu (Fashion & Retail)
LAMDA (Higher Education)
- Defended NFU Mutual Insurance Society Limited against a claim in an Employment Tribunal.
- Advising Take Two Interactive Software Inc on their $1bn bid to take over Codemasters – an AIM listed company.
- Providing wide-ranging employment law advice to Astrid & Miyu Limited.
Under the stewardship of Shah Qureshi and Dr Sybille Steiner, the latter of whom is dual-qualified in German law, Irwin Mitchell differentiates itself through its extensive representation of German, French and Austrian clients. Redundancies, TUPE transfers, restrictive covenants and employment contracts are key strengths. Emilie Cole and Shazia Khan left the group in April 2021 to found their own firm, Cole Khan Solicitors LLP. In the opposite direction, it welcomed Danielle Parsons and Deborah Casale from Slater and Gordon in the same month.
Sybille Steiner; Shah Qureshi
Other key lawyers:
Natalie Flynn; Danielle Parsons; Deborah Casale
‘ The service has been superb and all the responses I needed have come in a timely manner reducing the costs.’
‘Sybille Steiner has worked with me at a level I can digest, explaining everything in a detail I can understand and work with. Sybille has been exceptional and honest on all the aspects I have sought guidance.
‘I like working with this team. They have provided alternate billing proposals and offer employee education sessions. Whilst most of the services are similar to other firms, their diverse experience means they have a wealth of knowledge which gives me great confidence in their advice.’
‘Natalie Flynn and Sybille Steiner are just great. Very detailled, easy to understand answers. Very quick return to all questions. Super helpful since day one.’
Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts
Association of Colleges
- Povide day-to-day employment advice to Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts.
- Provide employment law support to the Association of Colleges (AoC) until 2022 – including a dedicated advisory service for over 300 AoC member colleges across the UK.
- Provide day-to-day employment advice to Ruby Hotels.
Kennedys is an ‘incredibly hardworking team with great knowledge in the field and sectors they work in’, which are predominantly the insurance and transport industries. Led ‘brilliantly’ by Matthew Leake, the employment and labour relations practice is particularly well-versed in industrial action, collective bargaining and trade union rights issues but also regularly handles complex litigation and Employment Tribunal claims.
Other key lawyers:
‘They are an incredibly hardworking team with great knowledge in the field and sectors they work in. Led brilliantly by Matthew Leake, who never seems to stop working no matter what hour of the day or week. A nice friendly team to be working with which is very important.’
‘Matthew Leake is just on it each time you speak to him, along with being very personable. Has a great feel for cases and seems to have a great deal of respect from his clients.’
‘The standout qualities for me were their teamwork, their abilities to understand and work with the client.’
‘Very solid employment team, with a definite focus on what is practical and what is achievable in terms of business outcomes but where there is an interface to consider in relation to many complex aspects of the law.’
‘Matthew Leake is a very trusted partner for us in relation to a range of employment matters, in particular collective and trade union aspects and where many firms lack genuine experience of our sector and the particular challenges it faces.’
Virgin Trains Group
- Advised Stagecoach Group on furlough and other Covid-related arrangements over a number of different operating companies with various different terms and conditions and collective bargaining arrangements in place.
- Acted in various complex, high-value claims for AIG, RSA, Travelers & Liberty.
- Advising First Group on complex litigation matters, trade union and industrial action advice, and non-contentious advice on day-to-day HR and business issues.
Memery Crystal LLP enjoys a stellar reputation in board-level employment mandates, including the hiring and terminations of senior board members. Alongside its long-established financial services client base, the group also has a proven record in the natural resources, real estate and cannabinoid and medicinal cannabis sectors. The offering is led by Stephen Ravenscroft, whose ‘great balance of technical ability with commercial pragmatism’ is prized by clients.
Other key lawyers:
‘Very responsive, technically excellent, deliver good pragmatic advice.’
‘Stephen Ravenscroft is excellent. Great balance of technical ability with commercial pragmatism.’
Sana Life Science
Aramco Overseas Company
J O Hambro Capital Management
Chariot Oil & Gas
All Star Minerals
Corporate Value Associates
Hempyre/Next Frontier Brands
Trade Information Network (TIN)
Dandi Living/York House Trading
- Advising the European business of Saudi Aramco, one of the world’s largest oil and gas companies, in relation to a range of employment matters.
- Advising the EMEA business of Sterling, a global leader in background and identity services headquartered in New York, on a wide range of employment matters.
- Advising Curaleaf on the UK employment aspects of its proposed $285m acquisition of Europe’s leading cannabis cultivator EMMAC Life Sciences.
Paul Hastings LLP
Paul Hastings LLP's employment offering encompasses day-to-day advisory work, transactional mandates, multi-jurisdictional projects, as well as litigation. Lauded as a ‘top-class lawyer’, practice head Suzanne Horne is noted for her frequent representation of high-level clients - ‘mostly UK/US listed companies and many household names’. At the associate level, Kirsty Devine, who is ‘thoughtful in her approach’, regularly advises on hiring and firing, restrictive covenants and employment contracts and policies.
Other key lawyers:
‘Generally, the pragmatic approach to nuanced situations is appreciated and has been more useful than the approach used by others in the space. They obviously are well attuned to the issues, but are able to find create solutions to complex problems.’
‘Kirsty Devine has been a great partner to us for years. Kirsty is thoughtful in her approach and in general anticipates and prepares us for any pushback an adversary might contemplate. This approach has allowed us to resolve matters involving third parties efficiently and quickly.’
‘My overall impression of the employment practice is that they are a centre of excellence. The team is strong and cohesive and works very well together: they all seem to know what’s gone on with every client, even though the file might not necessarily be theirs.’
‘Suzanne Horne’s strengths are manifold: apart from being a top-class lawyer, she has a very practical and commercial approach to the law and is a great communicator. She advises very high-level clients (mostly UK/US listed companies) and many household names. She manages their needs and expectations expertly and operates well under pressure.’
‘Suzanne Horne is an immensely capable senior lawyer – brilliant at herding cats and shepherding large matters to trial.’
‘A small team which undertakes primarily non-contentious work. Suzanne Horne who leads the practice is excellent.’
‘Suzanne Horne is a great lawyer, knowledgeable and creative and gives great delivery as she’s always available. She’s also a pleasure to deal with.’
‘Suzanne and the team at Paul Hastings are capable of providing good commercial advice when it comes to employment law in the UK.’
AIG Inc., AIG Financial Products Corp. and AIG Management France, S.A.
Chevron Products (UK) Limited
De Vere Hotels
Jacobs Engineering Group
World Vision International
Strategic Value Partners (UK) LLP
Nude By Nature
Ocean Technologies Group
- Defended AIG and two of its subsidiaries against claims that deferred compensation accounts of bankers in London were improperly reduced and should have been restored notwithstanding massive losses that were sustained by an AIG subsidiary as a result of the financial crisis in 2008.
- Assisted Chevron Products (UK) Limited on a number of key projects for its EMEA business during the pandemic, including an EMEA transformation project impacting employees across 18 different jurisdictions.
- Assisted De Vere Hotels with the restructure of its business as a result of the lockdown restrictions imposed on the hospitality industry by the UK Government in light of the pandemic.
Trowers & Hamlins LLP acts for a broad assortment of public, private and charity and not-for-profit clients, dealing primarily with Employment Tribunal claims, TUPE issues, senior exits, internal grievance and disciplinary processes, investigations, as well as day-to-day work. Leading the practice, Emma Burrows, an ‘outstanding employment law practitioner and great business partner’, remains a go-to lawyer for clients in the social and affordable housing sector.
Other key lawyers:
‘The team works together, the right people are always looped into conversations and the breadth of insight across a range of sectors is invaluable. At all levels, customer focus and service is excellent.’
‘Emma Burrows is an outstanding employment law practitioner and great business partner. Emma is highly knowledgeable, able to advise on current thinking at government level and best practice/challenges across a wide range of sectors. Her advice is always pragmatic, business focussed and has the wellbeing of employees as a critical consideration.’
‘Excellent employment law team with a thorough grasp of all topics and real depth to available expertise. Excellent shared advice in newsletters and online. Full support to clients.’
‘Nicola Ihnatowicz has exceptional knowledge, clarity of advice, speed of response and availability when it matters, rigour and accuracy, all under time pressure and significant exposure and scrutiny.’
‘Very practical and commercial. Explain various options, as opposed to simply reciting law.’
‘Excellent commercial capability and advice. Solutions focused. Work with you. Great organisational and sector understanding and sound advice.’
‘Emma Burrows is my most trusted legal counsel. She is pragmatic, commercial, understands and supports the bigger picture. I would not choose to work with anyone else.’
Industrial Dwellings Society
Prospect Supported Housing
Advance Housing and Care
Metropolitan Thames Valley
Nursing & Midwifery Council
- Defended Wilson James in a breach of contract claim and interim injunction application from a security guard both in the County Court and on appeal to the High Court.
- Acted for Peabody in a claim brought by UNITE for a protective award, alleging a transfer had taken place on the statutory amalgamation of Peabody, Family Mosaic Housing Association and Gallions Housing Association in March 2018.
- Advised Aquaterra on two employment tribunal claims arising out of the investigation, disciplinary processes and dismissals of two directors.
Wedlake Bell LLP offers employment law assistance to clients both through its flagship department and a subsidiary, iGlobal Law, an independent practice geared towards international employers. Richard Isham tends to focus on litigation and strategic projects for UK-based clients, whereas iGlobal director Ravinder Mahal is an international law expert with considerable experience in multijurisdictional projects, from reorganisations to M&A transactions.
Richard Isham; Ravinder Mahal
Other key lawyers:
William Granger; Adam Grant; Jemma Pugh
‘The employment team at Wedlake Bell make sure that they go the extra mile to help me as a stand alone HR professional.’
‘Jemma Pugh and Adam Grant provide most of our day-to-day advice. They are both able to take the legal position and help align it to the requirements of the organisation.’
‘A great team who are always quick to respond and refer me to the right person for the specific question.’
‘All individuals are very nice to work with and they are knowledgeable. I mainly work with Adam Grant who has been brilliant over the years – succinct, knowledgeable and responsive. He has taken the time to learn about our industry and UK office / team. A pleasure to work with!‘
Cosworth Group Holdings Limited
Electus Healthcare 1
Fuller, Smith & Turner
The Relais Henley Holding Limited
White & Case LLP’s employment, compensation and benefits team primaily assists clients with the employment aspects of large corporate transactions, such as TUPE and collective consultation processes, executive compensation arrangements, employee transfers and restructurings. The names to note are EMEA lead Nicholas Greenacre and Helen Joseph, the latter of whom is also comfortable handling senior exits, grievances issues and redundancies.
Other key lawyers:
‘An excellent team. They have been a true partner to us, and have been invaluable in helping to take us from a small start-up to a 150-person company on two continents with a number of strategic investors.’
‘The team have been very professional and down to earth to work with, with a pragmatic approach.’
‘They are remarkably personable for a massive firm. To have a global leader both in size and expertise, whilst knowing you’re speaking to people with empathy and understanding of a business’ (and founders’) needs is very impressive. The combination of those two elements allows us to sleep easy at night, even at peak times of an intense fundraise or negotiation. With that understanding of business’ needs comes incredibly practical advice, even when it relates to complex issues. Knowing that we are getting truly the best legal advice but also in a time-efficient manner allows us to continue focusing on running our business at pace.’
‘Very efficient service with people who really take time to understand the client business needs.’
Avon Rubber p.l.c
Takeda Pharmaceuticals International AG
Inflexion Private Equity Partners and its portfolio company Ocorian
- Advised Kobalt Music Group Limited on an agreement to divest its recorded music operations, including AWAL, a leading provider of services to independent recording artists, and Kobalt Neighbouring Rights, its global neighbouring rights agent, to Sony Music Entertainment.
- Advised Avon Rubber p.l.c. on the employment, compensation and benefits aspects of the £180m sale of its dairy division, milkrite.
- Advised Swissport Group on its restructuring and recapitalisation.
Under the leadership of Meriel Schindler, Withers LLP’s practice has expertise in domestic strategic projects and advisory issues. It is regularly instructed in severance negotiations, TUPE issues, disciplinary processes and restructurings. Claire Christy notably acts for a preponderance of UK subsidiaries of Italian companies, inspiring 'confidence and loyalty in her clients’, whereas Hugh More takes the lead on many matters for large charities.
Other key lawyers:
Elaine Aarons; Claire Christy; Hugh More; Libby Payne
‘The team has provided valuable assistance on a number of challenging assignments. They adapted quickly as the engagements evolved and provided clear and thoughtful advice on some unique issues. We had absolute confidence in the advice and recommendations from the team.’
‘I work with Claire Christy, a fabulously able partner, who is supported by a team of very able associates. The head of group is Meriel Schindler, and she too is incredibly strong.’
‘Very well regarded employment team not only for employers but also for individuals.’
‘Meriel Schindler is a brilliant tactician, who rightly installs great confidence in her clients.‘
‘Elaine and Libby provided clear and thoughtful advice to some unique issues and we had absolute confidence in their advice and recommendations.’
GB News (All Perspectives Limited)
REDD Intelligence Ltd.
Galileo Global Education
Aston Martin Racing Cognizant (formerly Racing Point UK Limited)
Kensington Mortgage Company
Winton Capital Management Limited/ Winton Group
Edward James Foundation
Syracuse University (London Program)
Mustard Seed Capital
- Advised GB News on a full range of employment matters, including talent & employment agreements for on-air and editorial staff.
- Advising the Galileo Global Education group in the acquisition of Regent’s University London.
- Advising Aston Martin Racing Cognizant (formerly Racing Point UK Limited) on all aspects of employment law, including its contracts, day-to-day HR issues and post-termination restraints
Axiom DWFM's practice focuses on litigation and Employment Tribunal proceedings, including unfair dismissal, breach of contract, whistleblowing and discrimination issues. The department, which is spearheaded by Elizabeth Johnson and features another experienced employment litigator in Naylah Hamour, also handles employment contracts, TUPE transfers, redundancies, disciplinary and grievance processes, remuneration, recruitment and GDPR compliance mandates.
Other key lawyers:
Naylah Hamour; Sharokh Koussari
‘Just very sensible, easy to work with, they adjust to your knowledge level and provide excellent constructive advice in an efficient simple manner.’
‘Their suggested approach to matters is excellent and you would regret not following it.’
‘Elizabeth Johnson is an exceptional employment lawyer and team leader, renowned in the relevant circles for her intellect.’
Bellevue Law, particularly active in the tech and fintech sectors, fields a team that according to clients delivers 'all that the Magic Circle does in terms of expertise, judgement, client handling skills'. Florence Brocklesby, 'an outstanding individual' heads the group, which frequently advises fast-growth businesses on employment contracts, disciplinary processes, TUPE, redundancies and disputes. Rachel Clementson joined as a consultant from Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP in January 2020.
Other key lawyers:
Rachel Clementson; Leigh Edgar
‘They are all extremely good lawyers but offering a service at a much-reduced rate than the large City firms, where they worked in prior to joining Bellevue. They are different from competitors because they are all very experienced – the work is not farmed out to juniors. Florence Brocklesby is extremely diligent and fiercely bright. Leigh Edgar is excellent.’
‘Bellevue represents an extremely compelling value proposition: they are a team of highly trained lawyers who deliver all that the Magic Circle does in terms of expertise, judgement, client handling skills but at a fraction of the cost. Their success is richly deserved.’
‘Leigh Edgar is a pleasure to work with. Very knowledgeable, experienced, pragmatic, and empathetic. Aside from a deep understanding of the employment law that you’d expect, Leigh was also excellent at anticipating potential outcomes/responses, and working them through with us such that we could put forward solutions or offers that had the best chance of working for all parties.’
‘The expertise yet personal service of this firm is exceptional. The firm provides excellent flexibility for its lawyers yet with no negative effect on the level of service provided to clients.’
‘Florence Brocklesby is exceptional and a true star.‘
‘Florence Brocklesby, an outstanding individual, is central to many, if not all of the cases handled by the group. Florence founded Bellevue Law and her dedication and commitment to the business and the community that she has built up over the years is unparalleled and inspiring. I have found Florence’s commercial acumen to be superb.’
‘Rachel Clementson has become a trusted partner and in many ways an extension of our team. She is diligent, responsive, balanced, and highly commercial in approach. She has supported a broad range of Employment Law-related cases, and worked effectively with members of my team, at all levels.‘
‘I would highly recommend Leigh Edgar as a highly competent, calm and approachable solicitor who consistently provides excellent and clear advice to employers.’
Global Health and Beauty Brand
Fast-growth Technology Business
Fast-growth Health and Wellness Business
Technology-based Risk Management Business
Public Affairs Consultancy
Fast-growth Technology Business
Specialist Building Supplies Business
Building Supplies Wholesaler
Luxury Hotel Group
- Advised a global health and beauty brand on its department-wide HR training programme and subsequently on its external HR/employment law issues.
- Assisted fast-growth technology business in an investigation into workplace culture and subsequently advising on a large-scale redundancy.
- Advising a fintech business on a wide range of day-to-day and critical employment law matters.
BLM mainly represents public sector clients, including Members of Parliament and education institutions, in sensitive Employment Tribunal claims. Joining the group from iLaw in April 2020, Julian Cox now spearheads the group, which also has a track record servicing EPL insurers. Andrew McDonald, meanwhile, regularly handles senior exits and recruitment, TUPE transfers and trade union issues.
Other key lawyers:
Andrew McDonald;Vanessa Latham
‘Exceptional expertise in their field, which provides real reassurance to us as an organisation, particularly throughout the pandemic. They really are expert at what they do and give sensible, accurate and timely advice which has, and continues to, protect our organisation’
‘Vanessa Latham and Richard Wilkins are quite simply excellent. Their expertise is second to none. Brilliant subject knowledge in their respective fields and what sets them apart from other lawyers is how hard they have worked over the years to understand the culture and values of our organisation and ensure their advice carefully considers our context and the bigger picture. They know us well and what we expect and are, quite simply, a dream to work with’
‘Andrew McDonald deals with the unique characteristics in a perfect way. He knows the demands and needs of the client and is able to ensure that the best settlements are achieved in a very difficult environment whilst always ensuring that the client is taken on the journey and understands and agrees with the steps being taken.’
‘BLM could not have handled the matter in a more caring and professional manner. They put all the resources that were required into the case and delivered a very satisfactory outcome’
CNA Hardy Insurance Company Ltd
Jackson Lift Group
Drayton Manor High school
University of Portsmouth
Cooley (UK) LLP's employment team in London, fronted by Ann Bevitt, demonstrates noteworthy strengths in the life sciences and tech sectors. The employment aspects of corporate transactions, reputational risk issues, litigation, and data protection work are key areas of strength. In recent news, the 'truly exceptional' Chris Stack was promoted to partner in December 2020.
Other key lawyers:
‘Cooley understands our business context so well, we can transition between corporate and employment law seamlessly. When we are looking for solutions to our challenges they are clear and concise, helping us to understand the legal and practical risks and implications of our choices. This might sound basic but I have not experienced any other law firm do this as well as Cooley do!‘
‘The team stands out for its support with complex employment issues, from navigating the pandemic to complex individual situations. They are candid, warm and great at helping us think through our options. I am confident coming out of a conversation with either of them that they will have asked the right questions to fully understand a situation and to help us navigate it. Plus they are both a delight to work with!‘
‘The team is what makes Cooley unique. The personal touch, the familiarity and the genuine relationships they have built with us over the years make them not only trusted for their legal expertise, but comfortable and easy to approach and consult with.’
‘Chris Stack has been our main contact for many years, and is always happy to help with queries large or small. He is friendly, personable and professional and has certainly been a great support to me and to our business over the years.’
‘Cooley is incredibly responsive to our needs and their advice and guidance is of exceptional quality. The partners and associates we work with are wonderful to work with despite the circumstances we often need their assistance with being less than enjoyable. I wholeheartedly recommend Cooley for their work.’
‘Chris Stack is truly exceptional, always helpful and willing to jump on a quick call or provide more in-depth support throughout any employee issues we have.’
‘I like their direct approach, availability, responsiveness.’
‘I appreciate they deliver always detailed information under request. They explain in detail the problem, possible solutions. They give examples, additional information. It’s very useful when you are not an expert and trying to make important decisions.’
Headed up by Helga Breen, DWF's London employment team is particularly active in the financial services, insurance and professional services sectors. It has notable strengths in cross-border and domestic HR projects, internal investigations, financial services regulation issues, team moves, High Court disputes, and executive recruitment and exits.
Other key lawyers:
British Medical Association
Chesterfield Insurance Brokers Limited
Collinson Group Limited
Cushman & Wakefield
Endeavour Mining Corporation
Guidepoint Global Inc.
Places for People Leisure
Wolters Kluwer Group
Edwin Coe LLP excels in discrimination and High Court cases. Linky Trott, the practice head, frequently advises on the employment considerations of corporate transactions, not least in acquisitions and disposals. Another name to note is Ruth Hickling, who ‘provides exceptional legal advice’, predominantly to clients in the pharmaceutical, engineering and financial services sectors. In September 2020, Alexandra Carn departed to join Keystone Law.
Other key lawyers:
Ruth Hickling; Rachel Harrap; Emma Sangeelee
‘Edwin Coe is a very impressive firm. All my dealings with them, at whatever level, are professional and smooth running.’
‘Linky Trott is fantastic to work with. She is incredibly professional, gives clear, pragmatic and cogent advice, and responds quickly when urgent issues arise. ‘
‘This is a good practice that punches well above its weight. A tight team that offers good value for money compared to many of its competitors.’
‘Rachel Harrap is an outstanding operator. She is very experienced, very commercial, and technically accomplished. She knows the law and she knows how to apply it in a practical manner.’
‘Friendly, readily available, excellent customer service and exceptional, pragmatic legal advice.’
‘Ruth Hickling provides exceptional legal advice, she listens and fully understands the situation we find ourselves in and what we want to achieve.’
Chubb Fire & Security Ltd and Chubb (NI) Ltd
Guinness World Records Ltd
Kout Food Group (owners of Costa Coffee, Burger King & Little Chef franchises)
Choice International Limited and Choice Forex Limited
Ince‘s team places an emphasis on employment disputes, with a proven track record in discrimination claims in particular. Senior exits, small-scale restructurings and remuneration issues are other key areas of focus for the group, which is spearheaded by Laura Livingstone, whose practice includes clients in the luxury retail, media, pharmaceuticals and shipping sectors.
Other key lawyers:
Martin Pratt; Marie van der Zyl
‘ Ince are an excellent “fit” with our specific needs. The firm has consistently provided a broad range of personnel-related advice and in our experience that advice has been consistently of the very highest professional standard: it has been timely, comprehensive, accurate and at a cost which is commensurate with the budget of an organisation of our size.’
‘Laura Livingstone felt more like a colleague than an external adviser – a colleague you could rely upon. The Covid-19 pandemic placed a huge burden on the company and would have created huge personnel and health and safety compliance issues had we not benefitted from the hands on involvement of Laura. Her attention to detail, professionalism and responsiveness was second to none.’
AWH Legal Ltd
Osprey Charging Network Ltd
Serverfarm Global Holdings Limited
Gear Construction Limited
Decision Inc South Africa Limited
- Managed a complex employment claim relating to discrimination (age, disability and race), unfair dismissal and breaches of the Working Time Regulations.
- Successfully defended a claim by a former employee of a practice it acquired out of administration in December 2018 for disability discrimination, sex discrimination, unfair dismissal and breach of contract claims.
- Defended AWH Legal, a full-service law firm based in Manchester with offices across the North West, in a complex claim arising out of the now-defunct “employee shareholder” provisions that the then Coalition Government introduced in 2013.
King & Spalding LLP’s employment team largely offers multinational clients advice on day-to-day issues, including data privacy, regulatory frameworks, post-termination restrictions, senior exits, and the drafting of internal handbooks and employment policies. Jules Quinn heads up the group, which is particularly active in the tech and financial sectors.
Other key lawyers:
‘Strong commercial advice, combining technical expertise with common sense and commerciality.’
‘Jules Quinn provides excellent commercial advice, very responsive to requests and gets to the point quickly and clearly. Sees the bigger picture but able to give a pretty good steer – some HR lawyers tend to sit on the fence due to the inherent uncertainties of some of the issues.’
‘Jules Quinn is excellent. A huge presence in the employment field. And Kim Roberts is terrific too.’
‘I have found that the unique quality they have is that they are not too risk-averse, they are very commercial and practical in their employment advice.’
‘I have complete confidence and faith in the advice they provide, it’s a breath of fresh air working with them as they are super commercial and practical. They are subject matter experts and also provide the options in a clear and concise manner. Their advice and support is excellent.’
AEW Europe LLP
Bank of East Asia
Sojitz Europe plc
SCSK Europe Ltd
Sumi Agro Europe Ltd
The Utmost Group
Bank and Clients PLC
Eddie Stobart Logistics Limited
Clarion Partners LLC
Quintain Limited (client for 5 years plus)
Toronto Dominion Securities
Hurst Point Capital Limited
iland Internet Solutions Corporation
United Rentals, Inc.
Amryt Pharma Plc
Morrison Foerster's practice, which is fronted by Annabel Gillham, provides advice on an array of advisory, contentious and transactional matters. Continuing to grow year on year, the department handles the employment aspects of cross-border M&A and outsourcing, privacy and cross-border data transfers, business restructurings, HR advisory work, as well as investigations and disputes. Also active in this area is Oliver Spratt, who was promoted to of Counsel in January 2021.
Other key lawyers:
Sage Automotive Interiors
Doxim Striata Ltd.
- Acted for the respondents in successfully dismissing an appeal to the Supreme Court in a matter that is now the leading authority regarding the application of the National Minimum Wage legislation to employees who are permitted to sleep while at work.
- Advised LIVEKINDLY Collective on the employment aspects of its acquisition of No Meat, Iceland Foods’ vegan meat alternative company.
Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe (UK) LLP, working closely with US-based colleagues, primarily advising clients in the technology and financial services sectors. Practice lead Nicola Whiteley provides transactional support but also assists clients with complex disputes, senior terminations and recruitment, TUPE issues, team moves and restructuring exercises. In March 2021, the group saw Mandy Perry leave for Simmons & Simmons.
Other key lawyers:
‘Nicola Whiteley is a consummate professional. Her knowledge and judgement are excellent.’
‘Strong technical expertise, pragmatic, good knowledge of our company culture – hence tailored solutions are provided.’
‘Nicola Whiteley is very responsive, thoughtful, pragmatic, commercial. Strong expertise. Trusted.’
‘Good at nurturing longstanding relationships. always ready to help no matter how small the issue and a needle-sharp intuition and expertise that get straight to the heart of an issue.’
‘Straightforward, direct, solutions-focused and expert. They are responsive, quick to return calls, and also succinct – things aren’t dragged out to increase fees.’
‘Nicola Whiteley has a unique skill of making you feel like her only client and that she is an extended part of the business; incredibly supportive and makes time for us whenever we ask. Nicola has such extensive experience we have 100% confidence in her advice and she never fails us.’
Hudson RPO Limited
ADM Investor Services International
Rathbone Brothers plc
GFT Financial Ltd
Ampelmann Operations BV
Typeform UK Ltd
Ocean Technologies Group
- Represented Aptean during the acquisition of Paragon Software Systems Limited, including advising on employment due diligence, the SPA and management departures.
- Advised money-transfer platform provider Vitesse on employment aspects of its $8.125m Series A financing, including advising on the employment aspects of the SPA and contractual arrangements for senior personnel.
- Advised Kinnevik on its investment in the $70 million Series C financing of HungryPanda, which included employment work such as due diligence and advising on the enforceability of senior management’s post-termination restrictions and the risks of operating within the gig economy.
RWK Goodman primarily advises employers on TUPE issues and the employment aspects of transactions but also has a proven record in employment status issues, off-payroll working mandates, and Employment Tribunal proceedings and disputes. Department lead Alexandra Bonner, who 'fights the corner of clients with humour, intelligence and client interests front and centre', and Clare Gilroy-Scott are the names to note.
Other key lawyers:
‘The team are open and friendly, give relevant and considered advice and understand and respond to the peculiarities of our industry. They don’t create work for themselves, and are happy to collaborate with us on finding the best approach in every situation.’
‘Alexandra Bonner has been an incredible support over the last couple of years; she’s helped us navigate a few different situations, and we’ve always felt we are in safe hands.’
‘The employment team is approachable, thorough, patient with clients and practical.’
‘Alexandra Bonner is quick to understand the essence of an issue and assess the legal consequences of it. She is good at providing realistic solutions, whether they be a legal remedy or offering practical advice to avoid the need for legal action.‘
‘Goodman Derrick seems to be to be an excellent firm. I feel comfortable dealing with lawyers from GD.‘
‘Approachable, knowledgeable, and client-centric.’
‘Alex Bonner fights the corner of clients with humour, intelligence and client interests front and centre.’
360 Europe Asset Management Limited
Ambition Europe Limited
Ercol Furniture Limited
Thrombosis Research Institute
Pure Sports Medicine
- Advising Outmatch, a leading SaaS talent intelligence platform and a portfolio company of US private equity firm, Rubicon Technology Partners, on its acquisition of UK based LaunchPad.
- Advising Bleach London, its London salons and its hair care and colour products business, on a range of employment law matters.
- Providing employment law support to Soho Theatre, a registered charity and social enterprise.
Regularly instructed by US and international corporations, Vedder Price primarily handles advisory work arising in regulated sectors. Senior appointments and exits, workplace investigations, redundancy exercises, and TUPE transfers form the bedrock of the practice, which is led by Jonathan Maude, a key name for international clients.
Other key lawyers:
‘Expert legal knowledge combined with practical business application.’
‘I particularly like their commercial approach when advising us on matters.’
‘I have always been impressed by the way the can handle highly complex projects, particularly in the context of cross-border transactions and deals with equity firms having an employment component. The London office of Vedder Price is also very impressive in terms of contractual arrangements of any type.’
‘Jonathan Maud conducts the employment law practice with the utmost professionalism, offering his clients and colleagues a very high level of service quality and availability. He is very creative and pragmatic when advising on a labour matter.’
‘A small team but able to get to the nub of complex issues quickly and explain them to clients in a straightforward manner. Excellent knowledge and sector specialism.’
Thames & Hudson Limited
Value Retail PLC
Via Manco (UK) Limited
Riverbed Technology Limited
Wallace LLP’s practice, headed up by Daniel Isaac, primarily advises corporates from the financial services, private equity and hospitality sectors, on matters involving employment law, partnership law, and shareholders’ rights issues. In addition, it services the employment needs of the firm's commercial property clients and commonly advises clients on the employment aspects of M&A transactions.
‘They are responsive and pragmatic and able to work effectively across teams within the practice to deliver a wrap-around solution to complex issues.’
‘Daniel Isaac is accessible, prompt and more commercial and pragmatic than most other employment lawyers.’
‘Daniel Isaac is a legal legend. Over the years he’s introduced me to other associates, who are also very talented. I only trust Daniel and the Wallace team.’
‘In my experience, Daniel Isaac at Wallace brings together knowledge of the subject with the practicalities that I as a business leader require. No going around circles or unnecessarily extending the life of the inquiry to ensure a higher fee.’
The Analyst Research LLP
Equiteq Advisors Ltd
Intratone UK Ltd
AH UK Animal Health (PVT) Limited
Henry Schein UK Ltd
Saffron Brand Consultants Ltd
- Advising Soho Estates on the closure of the Boulevard Theatre in Soho and the associated redundancies.
- Advising Daniel Litvin on the employment aspects of the sale of Critical Resource to ERM.
- Advising Kim Wharton on the employment aspects of the sale of Regulis to Pharmalex.
London-based outfit Watson Farley & Williams LLP is best known in the employment space for its representation of maritime and energy clients in a wide range of employment law issues. The employment team, which is jointly headed up by Anna Robinson and Devan Khagram, assists clients on both contentious and non-contentious work. The team regularly advise on areas including TUPE, employment litigation, restrictive covenants, severance terms, board restructures and corporate acquisitions.
Anna Robinson; Devan Khagram
Other key lawyers:
‘Very experienced employment team with particular skills and reputation in the field of shipping, including experience of cross-border applicable law issues.’
‘Great knowledge, approachable and human. They are professional without being robots.’
‘Advice is backed up by evidence/precedents and tailored to our organisation.’
‘The team are responsive and efficient. They not only provide us with the answers we need, but will spend time with us as required, to ensure we are familiar with the relevant legislation and how it operates on a practical basis.’
‘Anna Robinson is responsive and provides solid advice.’
‘Devan Khagram is a very responsive, client friendly partner with highly tuned legal skills.’
‘Devan Khagram is very friendly, but also a sharp lawyer. Devan stands out for his excellent communication and management skills (for example his ability to manage a complex cross-border redundancy process in several countries instructing several foreign law firms), but also for his swift response, his practical and proactive approach, his great availability, his in-depth knowledge and his good knowledge of the maritime industry.’
Advance Energy plc
Holland America Group (Part of the Carnival Corporation)
Rightship Pty Ltd
Carnival plc (trading as Carnival UK)
Robert Bird & Partners Limited
Frasers Management (UK) Limited
JX Nippon Exploration and Production Ltd
- Advising a leading European Stock Exchange company on employment law matters, including advising on the implications of Covid-19 in a number of employment-related areas, particularly in relation to specific employees who were refusing to return to work in the office.
- Advising a number of international shipping and trading companies on various employment law matters including, in respect of repatriation of crew, and potential termination of contracts and preparing new seafarer employment contracts.
- Advising a leading defence and security technology company on complex employment, immigration, tax and practical issues associated with secondments between the UK and Germany post-Brexit in relation to a range of scenarios.