Senior executives in London
Best known for its senior executives work and expertise in discrimination and whistleblowing cases, Brahams Dutt Badrick French LLP has an excellent track record in litigation, especially in regulated sectors such as insurance and financial services. Its advice to employers is also noteworthy, making it a popular referral choice. For senior executives, the practice attracts some of the most complex and high-value work available, often for board-level clients associated with household-name companies. Work for these clients includes negotiation of appointments and severance packages, the handling of investigations, disciplinary proceedings and litigation involving sensitive issues, such as sexual harassment. The highly reputed Gareth Brahams heads up the practice. Another key name is Arpita Dutt, an equality and whistleblowing expert. Two junior partners with impressive senior executive practices are Nick Wilcox and Polly Rodway. In team moves, former name partner Alistair French departed for Keystone Law in May 2019 and Cerys Williams left for GQ | LITTLER in October 2019; while Paula Chan joined from Slater and Gordon.
‘Arpita Dutt was tenacious and determined throughout my dealings with her. I am not a lawyer and found her ability to communicate in the most simplistic terms very useful. Arpita’s human approach meant it was easy for me to quickly build a rapport with her and be brutally honest about my situation. Arpita’s work made the most difficult period in my entire career much easier.’
‘This is a highly specialised, highly experienced team of employment litigators. They have very few rivals in securing excellent outcomes for claimant executives in employment disputes.’
‘Nick Wilcox is an excellent lawyer: he is diligent and shrewd, and has very good judgement.’
‘Gareth Brahams is a highly experienced employment litigator. He has seen it all before.’
‘Nick Wilcox is very bright and can explain matters to clients in a very clear and coherent way. He quickly gains clients’ trust.’
‘A powerhouse team with laser-like focus on their clients’ interests.’
‘The premier league for high level claimants. Tenacious and dogged in chasing the best result for an employee.’
‘Gareth Brahams is a household name in employment law circles for very good reason. A sharp legal mind combined with impeccable judgment and fearsome negotiating skills.’
Ruth Gamble combines an almost encyclopaedic knowledge of the case with a reassuring manner with clients. She has the perfect skills required for representing senior executives at the most vulnerable times.’
‘What Arpita Dutt does not know about important employment law principles is probably not worth knowing anyway.’.
‘Tom McLaughlin was outstanding on my case. He always presented facts and options extremely clearly and made sure that I made the right decisions for me at the time. All of his advice was extremely measured and I felt like he always had my best interests at heart. I don’t think Tom is afraid to tell clients what they don’t want to hear, which can be difficult when you’re in the heat of the battle, but having a measured experience professional like Tom on my case made the difference between success and failure.’
‘Nick Wilcox stands out for his conscientiousness. He leaves no stone left unturned when it comes to his client’s cases. Polly Rodway is also excellent, and has been doing a lot of #MeToo work. Gareth Brahams is a senior statesman of senior executive work.’
‘Gareth Brahams is the standout partner. The boldness of the practice reflects his approach to litigation but it is not boldness at the expense of charm, pragmatism or commercial acumen. He is particularly strong in whistleblowing cases, where he has made a significant contribution to the development of the law and the strengthening of whistleblowing protection for individual employees.’
‘Gareth Brahams is outstanding – empathetic and commercial as well as technically superb. His tone in negotiations is pitch perfect, getting results through an artful balance of assertiveness and pragmatism.’
‘Paula Chan is an exceptionally smart lawyer, technically strong and eminently pragmatic. From a client perspective, during what was an emotionally charged time, she showed compassion whilst never losing sight of achieving a good client outcome.’
Boutique employment law firm CM Murray LLP is highly respected for its work for senior executives, often drawing mandates from top clients in the financial services, tech, luxury brand and manufacturing sectors. The team’s expertise spans negotiating severance agreements, defending restrictive covenant litigation, raising allegations of unlawful discrimination and harassment, and advising senior executives under investigation for alleged serious misconduct. Managing partner and practice co-head Clare Murray is a leader in this field. The department is also has an active practice for employers, regularly advising on complex and sensitive matters involving allegations of bullying or sexual harassment, and on restrictive covenants. Clients are primarily drawn from sectors such as professional services, tech, pharmaceuticals and luxury brands. Other key names include practice co-head Merrill April, who specialises in board-level issues for PLCs, and David Fisher, an expert in High Court injunctions. Senior associate Nick Hawkins has built an active senior executives practice.
‘Specialist understanding of discrimination law; outstanding empathy and client care.’
‘Sarah Chilton goes above and beyond; has deep expertise; and is hugely supportive and empathetic to clients.’
‘CM Murray is very clearly a leader in its fields. They have great leadership in Clare Murray herself and the team is well balanced in terms of skills offered.’
‘Clare Murray has a unique sense for what is really going on with the clients, brilliant intuition and eye for detail.’
‘Merrill April is fast-thinking, forward-thinking and responsive.’
‘CM Murray is a niche market leading employment and partnership firm. Without exception, the partners are fiercely intelligent, driven and at the forefront of the issues that affect their clients.’
‘Sarah Chilton is phenomenally bright, decisive and humane; a heavyweight litigator and deft negotiator.’
‘They have immense experience in handling issues for senior executives and are a constant referral from leading magic circle firms because of client conflict issues.’
‘Beth Hale is professional, knowledgeable and generous with time and availability. I valued Beth’s directness and straightforward approach in presenting the realistic set of options and outcomes of my case.’
‘Clare Murray is great – full of energy and ideas and so knowledgeable and excellent at handling clients.’
‘The firm has a stellar reputation for advising senior executives, with tremendous strength across the board. They are dedicated, thorough and uniformly excellent.’
‘Clare Murray has assembled a great team around her, and provides clients with the reassurance that they are in really good hands. The team are quick to recognise where other issues, be they reputational, regulatory or otherwise, need to be addressed, and call on their impressive network of experts to advise alongside to achieve the best result for the client.’
‘Sarah Chilton is a tremendously astute lawyer and an assuring presence for clients. Like all at the firm, she is incredibly hard working and ensures that what needs to be done gets done, regardless of the time pressure.’
‘Nick Hawkins is assured and expert beyond his years. He quickly builds the confidence of clients and has an impressive track record of results.’
‘Clare Murray is unflappable whatever the size and sensitivity of the case. Sees all the risks and provides clear, practical and flexible advice on how to address them. A great team player and a delight to deal with.’
‘This practice is uniquely focused on the legal needs of senior executives, and is uniquely qualified to protect both compensation and careers.’
‘Clare Murray is a dean of the executive advocacy bar, across industries and across borders. She is the go-to person for this work in the UK and for matters over-lapping with the UK.’
- Acting for a high-profile individual in the performing arts accused of alleged sexual misconduct.
- Advising the co-founder of a leading global technology company who had been placed on leave following a company investigation.
- Advising a senior lawyer at a major bank on potential disability, race and sex discrimination claims against her employer, following a nervous breakdown caused by stress at work.
Farrer & Co fields a deep bench of experienced employment lawyers, and has an impressive client roster for both employers and senior executives work. The firm is notably active in Employment Tribunal and High Court cases. Recent areas of growth include collective redundancies and industrial action work. On the employers side, the team maintains strong sector links in financial services, retail, media, education, museums, sports and charities. For senior executives, the department focuses on acting for prominent individuals at leading banks, retailers, media companies and City partnerships; it also regularly handles restrictive covenant and team move claims for individuals in High Court. David Smellie heads up the London team, while senior counsel William Dawson is a key name for senior executives work. In a major coup, the 'highly intelligent and hugely strategic' Anna Birtwistle joined from CM Murray LLP in July 2019. A key junior partner with an enviable client roster of senior executives is Eleanor Rowswell.
Other key lawyers:
‘Anna Birtwistle is a gem. She has unmatched client skills, incredible energy and enthusiasm in her subject and there is no doubt about her breadth of knowledge. She reads between the lines and used the full arsenal of her extensive knowledge when it comes to solutions.’
‘They are a leading player in this space. Not that many leading employment practices do both employer and employee work, and they stand out for their work for individuals.’
‘William Dawson is an éminence grise. He has great gravitas, and is a formidable opponent..’
‘I recently had a case opposite Anna Birtwistle and was really impressed. She did an excellent job, with a very tricky client.’
‘Anna Birtwistle is wonderful. A genuine pleasure to work with, highly intelligent, hugely strategic, committed, focused and an impressive ability to deal with the most difficult of clients.’
‘They have a rare spread of talent, lawyers who can cover the full range of both types of employment law and just as importantly types of client. Certainly in the top rung of firms for senior executives.’
All new lateral hire partners joining Ernst & Young
The pilot members of the British Airline Pilots Association (BALPA)
Partners leaving a private equity firm
Partner at a Magic Circle law firm
Senior equity partner of a big four accountancy practice
- Continuing to provide independent legal advice to all new lateral partner hires on their recruitment to EY, which includes advising on complex contractual obligations, often with international elements.
- Acting for and representing the members (who are all professional airline pilots) of BALPA in all employment-related matters affecting them, including representing individuals in Employment Tribunal proceedings and in relation to contractual claims relating to their employment.
- Acting for a group of partners in complex negotiations regarding their departure from a well-known private equity firm.
Kingsley Napley LLP acquired Archon Employment Solicitors in October 2019, more than doubling the size of its employment department and also boosting its capabilities with regards to financial services and regulatory matters. The practice is regularly instructed by clients based in the US, and has recently been active advising corporate and professional services companies on SMCR, sexual misconduct claims, equal pay, as well as senior-level exits and confidentiality breaches. On the senior executive side, the team is regularly sought out to act for board-level clients, especially on sensitive matters involving claims of discrimination or unfair dismissal. Partner level arrivals following the acquisition include Corinne Aldridge, who now heads up the practice and is an expert on equal opportunities-related issues, Nick Ralph and Nikola Southern. Former team head Richard Fox maintains an active practice. At the time of the merger, the experienced Adam Lambert departed for Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP.
‘A common sense approach along with empathy shown made the legal information much easier to assess and make decisions upon.’
‘Experience and personal interest was very clear – its makes a big difference. Helped to keep everything in perspective.’
Chief Police Officers Staff Association (CPOSA) & its members
Lewis Silkin LLP has a longstanding status as a premier employment firm and provides the full spectrum of market-leading advice. The practice is uniquely structured to include dedicated teams focusing on High Court litigation, trade unions, data protection and international work, respectively. 'Fantastic' team head Richard Miskella (also the firm's joint managing partner) has expertise in discrimination cases, investigations and culture change programmes. Other key names include the 'hugely experienced' chairman of the firm, Michael Burd; the 'exceptional' Sean Dempsey, an expert in the tech sector; and the 'great strategist' Toni Lorenzo, whose practice focuses on restrictive covenants and team moves. Nicholas Hadaway heads up the senior executives practice. Among notable junior partners are the 'outstanding' Michael Anderson, co-head of the High Court employment litigation practice, for his expertise in the financial services sector, and the 'excellent' Karen Baxter, for her investigations practice. Associate Sarah McWhinney is building a strong senior executives practice.
‘Richard Miskella is as good as it gets.’
‘The largest and most experienced employment team in London. Tony Lorenzo is the High Court supremo.. The firm has a great reputation for promoting women to partner. The employment team is renowned for being a flexible, supportive and decent environment.’
‘They have one of the best teams in the market: for employers and senior execs; for statutory employment law and for High Court matters. I deal mostly with their High Court litigators, who I think are among the best in the market. They have an unrivalled knowledge of running High Court employment litigation, both on the employer and employee side. They combine legal skills with highly effective project management of a case.’
‘Toni Lorenzo and Michael Anderson are two of the best litigators I have worked with. Toni has unrivalled knowledge of the employee competition field, and superb tactical nous. he can pull off running a big case at great speed keeping all the plates spinning. Mike Anderson is a great lawyer and a tireless litigator. He is a delightful person to work with, and a superb collaborator.’
‘Nicholas Hadaway is a top class operator.’
‘Nicholas Hadaway is clever, determined and knows how to get a result. Richard Miskella is nuanced, sensible and gets on well with people. Toni Lorenzo is amongst the very best for High Court litigation.’
Mishcon de Reya LLP fields specialist practitioners across the full gamut of employment law. The well-resourced team is particularly renowned for its litigation expertise, and has recently been involved in a number of significant team move cases in the High Court. Expert at handling work for both employers and senior executives, the department regularly advises on appointments, exits and disputes relating to CEOs, board members and senior executives of major clients. The team also has capabilities in strategic advisory work for multinational clients and in industrial relations matters. 'Hugely reliable' team head Daniel Naftalin leads the firm's highly respected litigation offering, supported by 'force of nature' Joanna Blackburn, and Sharon Tan, who lends expertise in employment aspects of corporate transactions. Among junior partners to note, Susannah Kintish is a specialist in worker status and investigations, and Jennifer Millins is highly experienced in the equal pay space. Associates to note are Emily Knight (for employers) and Matthew Wood (for senior executives).
‘The Mishcon team is one of the largest in London. The size gives immense strength in depth and a huge level of communal knowledge.’
‘Jennifer Millins is technically superb, diligent, careful and delightful.’
‘Daniel Naftalin is absolutely first class: very skilful and meticulous and understands the practical implications a dispute has for a client. His advice actually helped me make decisions, and I was very impressed by his commitment and dedication. I could not have been happier with the way he dealt with my case.’
‘Daniel Naftalin is exceptional. He is supported by a strong team – clients love them. They go the extra mile.’
‘Susannah Kintish is particularly strong. Extremely thorough, gets to the point of an issue quickly. Tenacious, someone you really want on your side.’
Various senior broadcasters and journalists at the BBC, including Carrie Gracie, former China Editor
Max Conze, former CEO of Dyson
Gavin Patterson, CEO of BT PLC and current Executive Chairman, Europe of Salesforce
Nawaf Hasan, former Middle East and North Africa Director of Arthur J Gallagher
Marjan Jahangiri, Cardiac Surgeon at St George’s NHS University Hospitals Foundation Trust
Derek Sach, former Head of Global Restructuring at Royal Bank of Scotland
Winckworth Sherwood LLP
Winckworth Sherwood LLP has a standout reputation for advising senior executives on complex and high-value matters, with particular expertise in corporate governance, restrictive covenants, bonus and equity incentives, protected disclosures and regulatory obligations. Many of the firm's clients hold senior roles at major banks and financial services firms. The department also has strengths in employers work, and is known for its specialism in complex whistleblowing cases. Sector specialisms for employers include financial and professional services, pharmaceuticals, charities and religious institutions. Jo Keddie heads up the employment group. Other notable lawyers include Andrew Yule, Susan Kelly, who has a niche specialism in advising high-ranking clergy in the Church of England, and Blair Adams, whose practice focuses on employer clients.
Other key lawyers:
‘Winckworth Sherwood are exceptional. They provide clear, easy to understand legal advice with pros and cons of different approaches. Most importantly however, the team really treats you as individuals and human beings – showing empathy and understanding during difficult times.’
‘Louise Lawrence gave me clear, well-articulated advice that was easy to understand – and helped me understand the pros and cons of different approaches so I could make a judgement, Her team was very efficient, and turned work around very quickly. What distinguished Louise most however, was her high degree of empathy in addition to all this which made working through a difficult time so much easier for me.’.
‘Sue Kelly was excellent, provided thoughtful advice, was very responsive and worked efficiently both on email and in person.’
‘The Winckworth Sherwood team provides considered, thoughtful and up-to-date advice on how to navigate the often complex world of employment issues, supporting clients (both employers and employees) throughout the engagement process. Fees are made very clear up front and billed at timely intervals.’
‘Andrew Yule has been the lead partner with whom I have engaged. He has always applied sound, realistic judgement to the matters in hand and provided strategic and tactical advice that lead to successful outcomes. He is prompt to respond to questions, turning drafts and submissions around quickly. Particularly valued is his ability to explain in layman’s terms the sometimes arcane aspects of employment law and is very supportive throughout the employee relations process.’
‘I work with Jo Keddie and she brings in external expertise as required. She is always a pleasure to work with, very engaging, and with a phenomenal work-rate. She also has an acute attention to detail that she very effectively balances with commercial realism.’
‘Winckworth Sherwood has a real depth of expertise across the public and private sector. They have long-standing expertise in ecclesiastical matters which is hard to find elsewhere.’
‘Fantastic advice, fair, really tailoring to special circumstances and desire of tone. Much more tailored than other firms I have worked with.’
‘Andrew Yule really stood out as extremely reactive, very knowledgeable, highly understanding.’
The employment team at Withers LLP is known for its formidable senior executives practice, but also works with an impressive roster of employer clients, including high-profile luxury brands, financial services companies, charities/not-for-profit organisations, sport organisations, family offices and tech start-ups. Meriel Schindler heads up the department, acting for both employers and senior executives, while Claire Christy and Hugh More are co-heads of the employer practice. On the senior executives side, the department attracts industry leaders, often from regulated industries and associated with multinational companies, for advice on team moves and disputes. Almost exclusively focusing on senior executives and highly regarded in this field, Elaine Aarons lends expertise across the board and has recently been active advising on investigations and disciplinary proceedings. Senior associate Lisa Lewinsohn has developed an impressive senior executives practice.
‘Withers handled my case to a very satisfactory conclusion in a professional manner. They provided comprehensive advice, always laying out the potential risks to any strategy. My dealings with all their employees were polite, professional and efficient from the receptionist to the senior partner. They were clear and detailed in their forecasting of costs, timely and helpful in dealing with any invoice queries and were transparent at all times.’
‘James Hockin handled my case for over twelve months to a very successful outcome. He gave clear and thoughtful advice at all times. As well as the legal advice which was exceptional, James took care to ensure that I considered all options and that my mental state through a very rough time was healthy. He was unflappable and his attention to detail and understanding of all the issues was a key driver in the success of the case, including taking into account the quickly changing external environment. I felt at all times that I was in the best hands, completely trusted his opinion and am extremely grateful that he was recommended to me. I would not hesitate in recommending him to anyone if they found themselves in need of an employment lawyer.’
‘Elaine Aarons – personal, strong client advocate, very thoughtful.’
‘Hugh More – thorough, provides comprehensive advice, covers all options.’
‘I found the fact that I dealt with a team of all women very refreshing. It shouldn’t be, but it’s rather unusual. This added to my feelings of empowerment in managing my case.’
‘Elaine Aarons is one of the most inspirational people I have met in a long time. I admired and appreciated her professional expertise. However that is as you would expect. As a senior female professional I saw in Elaine a lot of what I look for in colleagues and indeed executives – strength, focus, ability to listen and hear and also the ability to adapt to the needs of her client. I was in a difficult place and she allowed me to go through the process in a way that I was comfortable with, whilst driving for the best outcome.’
‘The team at Withers is simply outstanding. There is no other way of describing them. They are at the absolute top of their game – they know their area inside out, they can read the dynamics of situations incredibly well and they are always three steps ahead of the other side. And when it comes down to it, they fight harder than anyone for you and your cause. I wouldn’t use anyone else and I recommend them to everyone I know.’
‘I have worked with Elaine Aarons and James Hockin over a significant and very challenging employment situation. My experience is that Elaine is an absolute master strategist, has seen it all and completely outflanks the opposition at every turn. What really matters in these sorts of situations is having someone who can step back and think strategically, who can work out quickly what is important and then fight hard on those things and who also knows when to tell the client to back down or not worry (and conversely to tell clients when to fight really hard when necessary and not to back down). That latter point is invaluable and comes from her years of experience.’
‘James Hockin is a rising superstar. He has a very co-operative demeanour but that shouldn’t fool anyone – he is the steel fist in a velvet glove. He is constantly available, responsive, proactively proffers his advice and excellent guidance but is also not afraid to change tack when circumstances require it. He’s an excellent, thoughtful and likeable lawyer but also one that knows how to get results. Like Elaine, he also gets the fact that strategy wins the day and and he knows what the other side will do before they do.’
Charlie Todd/Paul Dixey
Diego de Giorgi
- Acting for HSBC’s former global head of currencies and commodities, Frederic Boillereau, in his claim in the Employment Tribunal against HSBC and some of its most senior staff.
- Advised the CEO of Virgin Media on his exit.
- Advised a CEO of global bank on their exit.
Bates Wells‘ employment practice has a strong profile acting for both employers and senior executives. Department head Lucy McLynn is known for her litigation experience for employers, including recent cases involving sensitive topics such as #MeToo and transgender rights. Two other key team members are William Garnett and Paul Jennings, who lead on senior executive disputes and are often pitted against the biggest names in tech and financial services. On the employers side, Garnett is also known for his expertise in handling contentious work for political and campaigning entities. Paul Seath is another notable junior partner, whose practice includes specialist advice on employment data protection issues. The team also performs well in the not-for-profit/charities sector. An associate with a noteworthy senior executives practice is Rachel Mathieson.
‘Well balanced, experienced and capable team. Always available and prompt responses.’
‘William Garnett was exceptional and provided a great level of pragmatism, challenge and support. Regardless of seniority it is always daunting to be dealing with a very large PLC. William displayed a huge degree of confidence and experience when negotiating with them. At all times I felt as if my case was important to him and he was seeking to achieve the best outcome for me. He also considered the broader situation to ensure there were no loopholes which could impact on me in the future. He had the skill and experience to recognise when to challenge very hard and when to be very cordial during the negotiations. He kept me fully informed at all times. Ultimately I got the outcome I was seeking, without jeopardising my relationship with the company.’
‘A dedicated friendly team.’
‘William Garnett is a proven, renowned expert in employment law. He is able to see the issues surrounding the application of the law in the context of a client’s circumstances and therefore provide very clear purposeful advice. Employment issues are invariably complex so this skill is key attribute. It enables client to act and make decisions in a purposeful and informed manner. This in turn leads to good outcomes.’
People’s Vote Campaign staff
James Farrar and Yaseen Aslam in the Court of Appeal case of Uber BV and ors v Aslam, Farrar and ors
Chris Johnson – MyTaxi/FreeNow
Helen Rudge – Microsoft Ltd
Alex Chamming’s – BaxterStory
- Acting for over 40 staff working for People’s Vote Campaign, including members of the Senior Management Team, who serious concerns about a number of steps taken by certain members of the Open Britain board, including their handling of sexual harassment allegations, the safety of the work environment and the treatment of staff who have raised legitimate concerns.
- Successfully representing two test claimants taking on Uber in the Court of Appeal, in a landmark case concerning the employment rights of an estimated 45,000 drivers across London.
- Acting in a “gig economy” test case about the worker status of taxi drivers operating through the MyTaxi app and their entitlement to holiday pay and National Minimum Wage.
The international HR team at Bird & Bird LLP is notable for its experience advising large US corporations in the technology, life sciences, aviation and retail sectors. Ian Hunter heads up the London team. Also an area of strength is work for senior executives. In a significant lateral hire, the well-regarded Tim Spillane joined from Stewarts Law LLP in September 2019, bringing expertise advising senior executives in City-based financial and professional services companies, with Alison Dixon, an expert on the employment aspects of commercial transactions, making partner the same year. Associate Penny Hunt is another prominent name in senior executives work.
‘Tim Spillane is excellent; a very good lawyer, a wise tactician and someone very easy to deal with. He is one of the few people to whom I would be happy to entrust my own case. Just first rate.’
‘Very international with good network of lawyers around the globe for cross-border matters. Strong on data protection/employment crossover issues. An impressive cohort of junior lawyers at associate level, who work independently, responsively and dynamically. Confident litigators.’
‘Tim Spillane is an excellent negotiator, incisive and good matter manager, very practically-focussed, partners very well with clients.’
‘Penny Hunt was absolutely stellar in her advice and support for me during what was a very stressful period of my life. She gave clear and level-headed advice, and was very prompt in getting back to me about queries.’
‘Tim Spillane is someone I have come to rate very highly. He was recommended to me by a FTSE 100 HR Director who viewed him as “one of the best best negotiators I have sat across a table from”. Tim is able to balance a number of skills, including supporting the client, swiftly establishing a clear sense of what are the realistic, possible outcomes, and exceptional tactical sense and negotiating skills. He also earns the trust of the client through being exceptionally clear and agreeing next steps and then delivering as promised. In over thirty years in the City instructing lawyers I found Tim truly exceptional – he inspired immediate confidence, has great experience and judgement, listens very carefully and puts the client first.’
‘Tim Spillane is excellent. He is hard working, clever and sensible. He fights hard but sensibly in the way that many claimant lawyers do not. he manages client expectations well and does not set expectations at an unrealistic leave. He is also a thoroughly nice man and a joy to deal with.’
‘Tim Spillane is a stand-out performer – sharp, responsive and very easy to deal with. A class act.’
‘A market leading team in the employment field. They address senior executives and work on behalf of ‘blue chip’ commercial entities. The strength of their client relationships and their tireless determination to secure a good outcome are unparalleled. Points are carefully selected based on their merits and are pursued with tenacity and appropriate vigour.’
‘A top class outfit with a real focus on senior execs. They are always my first choice when I am asked to recommend someone.’
‘Elizabeth Lang is an outstanding lawyer and a marvellous tactician. Able to read the landscape to identify the best options for the client.’
‘Penny Hunt is terrific. Will identify the problem that her client needs to solve.’
Charles Russell Speechlys LLP has strong links with clients in the food and drink sector as well as a number of large multinationals. The professional services sector is also a key source of work for the practice. The team has recently handled matters relating to gender pay reporting and the gig economy. Team head Trevor Bettany has particular interest in collective redundancy exercises and TUPE transfers. Another key name is Michael Powner, whose recent work has included advising on a high-profile inquest in the food sector. The team is also active for senior executives, with particular sector expertise in financial services and retail and leisure. The experienced William Granger departed for Wedlake Bell LLP in September 2019.
- Acting for the former chief HR officer and board director of the Co-Operative Group in her unfair dismissal, equal pay and sex discrimination claims.
The labour and employment team team at Dechert LLP excels in international and cross-border work, especially involving questions of covenant enforcement and the regulation of renumeration. While maintaining strong relationships with clients drawn from a wide range of sectors, the department has particular strength with regards to financial services clients, as well as insurance firms and media clients. The team is led by the well-regarded Charles Wynn-Evans and Jason Butwick, a leading name in complex investment management and finance sector employment law situations. Both also excel in advice to senior executives, and have advised CEOs of FTSE 100 companies.
Specialist workplace law firm Doyle Clayton operates out of three offices across London, and serves corporate clients from a wide range of sectors on the full range of employment law work. It is equally comfortable advising employers and senior executives. Notably, the firm maintains a strong client base of fellow law firms and partners. Recent areas of significant development have included an increase in work involving an international element and a greater investment in start-up clients. Practice head Peter De Maria is known for his litigation expertise, especially High Court cases concerning high-profile team moves and restrictive covenant disputes. Other key team members are senior partner Darren Clayton and CEO Peter Doyle, both known for their expertise across the full spectrum of employment law.
‘Peter De Maria was personable, approachable and was able to provide legal advice in understandable terms. He also provided a lot of time and attention to my case, which provided me extra comfort to carry on even though my case was incredibly stressful at times. I would highly recommend Peter to anyone.’
‘Doyle Clayton are highly experienced in team move litigation and provide their clients with an excellent service.’
‘Peter De Maria is a very astute tactician and understands the nuances of team move litigation.’
‘Katie Mahoney is very well recognised by practitioners in this field as being involved in lots of high profile employee competition cases. She is someone with extensive knowledge of this sector, with extremely high standards and a true fighter for her clients.’
‘Katie Mahoney is a stand out star. Impressive but approachable, she is a hard worker, who knows what she is doing and is particularly effective. A delight to work with.’
‘Doyle Clayton have particular experience advising senior executives in matters involving employee competition including restrictive covenants and team moves.’
‘Katie Mahoney is particularly collaborative, response and has very strong relationships with her clients.’
‘They are the market leaders in dealing with senior executives. They are really the first port of call for niche advisors in this area. Because they will not have conflict issues they are a constant referral in cases where senior executives are exiting and an independent lawyer is needed to advise them.’
‘Peter Doyle and Darren Clayton are giants in the field but they have developed the firm with a group of exceptional partners and associates.’
‘Peter de Maria is a partner with particular expertise in High Court litigation. He understands which points are important and which aren’t. That sounds simple, but it’s the product of great judgment and huge experience. It enables him to focus on what needs to be done to win.’
‘Dan Begbie-Clench has a knack for finding practical solutions to seemingly impossible situations.’
‘Peter De Maria and Katie Mahoney are both excellent.’
‘Doyle Clayton is a powerhouse in senior executive work, especially in the area of employee competition. It has as much experience in High Court litigation as any other firm and a wealth of specialist knowledge which puts it above its peers. It has particular strength in advising senior executives who are moving to a new employer, and in team move litigation, having been involved in many of the major team move cases over recent years. Its specialist experience and knowledge means that from the outset of a dispute clients are in exceptionally competent hands.’
‘The firm is adept at managing the particular pressures and demands of fast-paced employee competition cases, and at working towards speedy trials in the shortest of time frames. It is also aware of the intricate and often hidden legal and tactical points that these cases throw up, which other less experienced firms may miss.’
I worked with Peter De Maria and Katie Mahoney on a complex and hard-fought employee competition arbitration. I was immensely impressed by Katie’s dedication and hard work, and her ability to always think a step ahead. She was alive to the unique legal and strategic issues that arise in these types of cases, and demonstrated a considered and confident approach to dealing with issues as they arose.’
‘Peter De Maria – brilliant lawyer, great tactician and know which points to push and which ones not to. Great with clients too.’
- Successfully acting for Peter Burton in the High Court litigation brought by AJ Gallagher and Alesco against the Ardonagh Group, Mr Burton and Nawaf Hasan.
- Acting eight employees who left Investec Bank PLC to join Muzinich & Co on their contractual obligations to Investec.
Edwin Coe LLP is highly active in employment litigation; in particular, acting for employer clients in discrimination and High Court cases. The team also frequently supports the firm’s corporate department on large acquisitions and disposals. Team leader Linky Trott has notable expertise in matters concerning absence due to mental ill health. Senior executives work is a key strength of the department; the team has recently handled a number of sensitive sex and disability discrimination cases in the Employment Tribunal. The team’s sector expertise spans financial services, energy, hospitality, pharmaceuticals, charities and tech.
‘Ruth Hickling is thorough, sensible and commercially astute. Ruth responds quickly and efficiently and is mindful of costs for private clients. She is also an excellent negotiator, working collaboratively to ensure a great outcome without falling into the trap of expensive litigation.’
‘Rachel Harrap never disappoints. She has the invaluable ability of being able to cut through, to absorb all the necessary information, and then apply the law to get to the desired outcome. She is very strong on strategy which gives her stand out value in my view. I can’t recommend her more highly.’
‘Linky Trott is smart, hard-working and dedicated in her pursuit of the best outcome for her client. She draws on her wealth of experience of employment issues and prevailing market trends and on her technical expertise to provide well considered, pragmatic and strategic advice. Linky is highly regarded across the industry for her abilities, for the results which she secures for her clients and for her thought leadership’.
‘Emma Sangeelee is an exceptional lawyer who utilises a unique mix of strategic insight, technical expertise and a strong understanding of human nature to secure the best outcomes for her clients. Emma provides outstanding client service and is incredibly dedicated – she sees her client through to the end. Her advice is insightful and practical, and she achieves viable outcomes to complex and multi-faceted issues. She retains an impressive grasp of the detail while keeping sight of the broader issues and is a trusted adviser.’
‘Linky Trott provides an outstanding service. She combines emotional intelligence to support clients during times of great stress with a sharp forensic legal mind and tactical approach to get the best results for the client.’
- Representing a senior banker in his claim up to the Court of Appeal for disability discrimination and unfair dismissal against Citibank.
- Continuing to represent Xenia Gytaki in successfully claiming constructive dismissal in the EAT case of Upton-Hansen Architects Limited v Gyftaki.
- Acting for senior executive Mark Davis, formerly of P2CG, obtaining successful judgment for direct disability discrimination.
Fox Williams LLP's employment practice is centred around work for clients in the financial services, insurance, fintech and professional services sectors. For employers, it often provides advice on board-level exits and investigations. Other sources of work include handling the implementation of SMCR for clients in regulated sectors. On the senior executive side, the team has expertise in advising senior banking figures, including on bonus disputes, investigations and disciplinary proceedings. Joanna Chatterton took charge of the employment team in May 2019, with Jane Mann stepping aside to focus on her practice of board-level advice on severance agreements, disputes and litigation.
‘The Fox Williams team always, and without fail, provides a prompt and comprehensive response, regardless of which team member delivers. What I value most is their ability to highlight the key legal risks in a manner which allows me to take a prompt decisions and assess the legal risk that my firm might be open to at anytime.’
‘Aron Pope is pragmatic, but doesn’t hesitate to express clearly the legal risks involved to ensure it is heard and understood. Aron goes to great lengths to build a strong relationship with his clients, taking time to understand what legal challenges may be on the horizon so these may be mitigated sooner. Ultimately, Aron makes the most difficult of legal challenges, simper and has been key in helping our business to grow and thrive.
‘The team are extremely experienced in the nuances and complexities of difficult employment disputes at a senior corporate level. Wherever there is a crossover into the realms of corporate business law, as is so often the case in high level employment disputes, there was instant access to the other disciplines and senior partners, often at very short notice. The whole team worked cohesively and in a joined up manner giving me great confidence all through my complex dispute. Not being part of a large global law practice has advantages, and in fact makes it fairly unique these days, as I felt having access to a smaller, more focussed team that were all based in a single office, they were able to give me support, both legally and emotionally whenever it was needed.’
‘Jane Mann is without doubt one of the UK’s stand out employment lawyers. Jane’s long standing experience in employment law has given her a proficiency in the art of skilful judgement and negotiation that puts her at the very top of her game. Jane has an ability to read accurately the next steps and tactics that your opponent is likely to take. She will advise you of the sensible pathway to take whilst maximising the best outcome for you to suit the circumstances of the legal case.’
‘Aron Pope is an exceptional partner. Always available, always up to speed with my issues. Very balanced, and has the ability to draw matters to a practical solution whilst protecting my interests.’
- Acting for Michael Curless in his disability discrimination claim against Shell International.
- Acting for Nathalie Abildgaard in her high profile claim that she was sexually harassed by a senior, longstanding employee (who was due to receive a substantial pay out under a carried interest scheme if he remained in employment) and victimised by her employer.
Harbottle & Lewis LLP has particular expertise in the media and entertainment sectors, and the employment department advises both employers and senior executives. Team co-head Yvonne Gallagher is an expert at resolving board-level disputes and advising on TUPE for corporate clients, while fellow co-head Howard Hymanson is a leading lawyer specialising in high-value personal injury claims, including psychiatric injury. Another key name is Marian Derham, whose practice includes a variety of media and entertainment clients. Among other senior executives work, the practice handles exit negotiations related to claims of unfair dismissal and discrimination, and restrictive covenants, especially for clients in the financial services and tech sectors.
Other key lawyers:
‘The clarity and precision they brought to my situation was extraordinary. They were much easier to understand than others I have worked with.’
‘Marian Derham brought an amazing range of qualities to the task. She was absolutely brilliant at manoeuvring the twists and turns of my situation and in briefing me on what to do. She enabled me to be much stronger than I would normally have been in a situation such as mine and was an inspiration to me.’
‘The team is highly knowledgeable and where necessary are able to refer to colleagues within the team for additional input. The relationship is personal and committed.’
‘Marian Derham is knowledgeable and experienced and highly practical in her approach.’
‘Creative and lateral thinkers, resourceful, ‘big picture’ approach, buddy-scheme four-eyes approach to strategy, emotionally intelligent approach to handling clients, extremely fast turnaround, transparent and proportionate regarding fees. All major sectors covered.’
‘Marian Derham has the ability to make you feel like yours is the only case she is working on. She is focused, clearly explains all detail, and is happy to clarify any aspects again and again. She was always available to discuss information over the phone – nothing is ever too much trouble. Marian also displays a very wide knowledge of all the different sectors.’
‘Marian Derham’s detailed knowledge of legislation and her calm, measured approach to issues have made her invaluable when dealing with some complex matters. She evaluates things from all angles helping clients to make informed decisions. I would not hesitate to recommend Marian in particular to anyone.’
‘Harbottle were always proactive and one step ahead of the other side at all times. They exuded an aura of calm in a stressful situation.’
‘Marian Derham is at the top of her craft, one of the very best, an exceptional lawyer. Offering immense professionalism, incredible intellect and sheer talent; additionally she has the gift to offer calm, logic, strategic focus at a time of intense fear and anxiety. Marian is fast, astute, works with zero fuss and few words that are clear, direct, powerful, decisive and directional. Marian quietly takes control and leads with total transparency. I felt that I could trust Marian 100%. She is a quiet, gentle, deeply caring individual and there was not one moment I felt unsupported; legally, emotionally and psychologically… she had my back from our first hello and to this day I credit her with saving my life and preserving my future.’
Andrew Coppel CBE
- Advised David Pemsel, the former chief executive of Guardian Media Group, on the terms of his appointment as chief executive of The Premier League.
- Advising Andrew Coppel CBE on his appointment as Chairman of Arcadia Group (Topshop and Topman).
Irwin Mitchell offers a wide range of services in employment law, and is distinguished by its work for international clients, particularly those from German or French-speaking countries. Dr Sybille Steiner heads up the national firm’s southern employment team across London, Gatwick and Southampton; she is also dual-qualified in German law. She has recently been advising a number of significant German corporate clients on the implications of Brexit. Shah Qureshi leads the London-based employment and professional discipline team, which has a strong reputation for advising senior executives from the healthcare, financial and professional services sectors. In this area, the team’s expertise includes whistleblowing, bonus disputes, unfair dismissal and restrictive covenant matters.
‘This is a large firm which handles the service package with first class organisation. It is able to respond in high profile cases, offering an effective interface with the media.’
‘A team which has gone from strength to strength since the arrival of three stellar partners: Shah Qureshi, Emilie Cole and Shazia Khan. Operates at the cutting-edge of employment law and adored by clients.’
Judge Claire Gilham (v Ministry of Justice)
Charles Raw (v Guy Carpenter Reinsurance)
Mohamed Al-Obaidi (v Frimley NHS Foundation Trust)
Meena Argarwal (v Cardiff University & Anor)
Mr AG Bailie –v- ADM Investor Services International Limited & Others
Nawal Kumrai v MOJ
Trustees of Hattron Pension Group Plan
D –v- DEFENCE UNLIMITED INTERNATIONAL LIMITED AND OTHERS
- Representing Judge Claire Gilham in her successful appeal to the Supreme Court. The case established that public office holders including judges are entitled to whistleblowing protection under the European Convention on Human Rights.
- Successfully representing a management consultant who headed up the London office of French consulting company Eurogroup in the settlement of his race discrimination claim on the grounds of his Serbian national origin.
- Successfully representing a senior consultant cardiologist who worked for Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust in obtaining a High Court interim injunction allowing him to return to work full time at his usual place of work.
Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP has a strong reputation for its board-level work, such as restructuring, redundancies, whistleblowing and senior management dismissals and disputes. Team head Paul Mander regularly acts for both employers and senior executives, managing a number of the firm's long-term client relationships, while other notable team members include Tom Walker, an expert in handling board-level disputes and crisis management, and Andrew Haywood, known for his expertise in post-termination restrictions and injunctive relief work, for both employers and senior executives. The June 2019 merger of Penningtons Manches and Thomas Cooper strengthened the team with the addition of Nick Humphreys, who brought expertise and clients from the shipping sector, as well as a strong sports practice.
‘Professionalism, dedication and good advice, coupled with their commitment to their clients. This helped to resolve a difficult situation that I was in, in my favour.’
‘When any long term relationship breaks down including in a work setting, having someone on your side to navigate you through the process and help to remove the emotion of the situation is invaluable. This is what I got from Penningtons and in particular from Andrew Haywood. I would highly recommend him to anyone going through a complicated and challenging employment issue.’
‘Andrew Haywood offers excellent support in a practical, very human way. He does what few lawyers take sufficient time to do today: deeply understanding your needs. This sets him apart in delivery terms, cutting through the noise. He invests in relationships, cares about his clients, and operates with integrity.’
‘First rate team of employment solicitors. Real experts in the area, very responsive.’
‘Nick Humphreys is a really excellent partner. He is without doubt who I would choose in the event of an employment dispute. Fights the client’s corner very hard. Tactically astute and very knowledgeable in the area. He gets on brilliantly with clients too, who really enjoy working with him. Highly recommended.’
‘Paul Mander is as astute as he is outcomes-driven. His eye remains firmly fixed on winning at proper cost to the client.’
‘Andrew Haywood is a partner who drives his teams to win with the focus on delivering the result that the client needs. He is charming but driven.’
‘It’s a small team but has a significant amount of expertise particularly when it comes to advising senior executives and especially in respect of complex whistleblowing claims.
‘Tom Walker is really clever and offers great tactical advice.’
- Advising on injunctive relief sought against two traders for breach of non-compete post termination.
- Advising on injunctive relief sought to enforce the terms of restrictive covenants preventing an employee from competing with his former employer’s business.
Russell-Cooke LLP has particularly strengths in the areas of professional regulation and personal injury. Team head Anthony Sakrouge is highly active advising senior executives, especially in relation to high-value settlement agreements and executives who wanted to change role. Other key names are Alex Bearman, who specialises in complex whistleblowing and discrimination cases, and Edward Wanambwa, whose practice spans employment and immigration law.
‘The phrase that stands out is professional and pragmatic. I received good, realistic advice that allowed me to make informed decisions about the available courses of action.’
‘I have found Anthony Sakrouge to be a careful listener and a very clear thinker. His ability to understand the situation and focus on the most important elements is excellent.’
‘Attention to detail, bespoke advice, excellent client service.’
‘Alex Bearman was diligent, patient and professional. My case was complicated with various moving parts, yet he was able to help me navigate my grievance and every step of the process to achieve a good outcome. I would highly recommend Alex’s services.’
‘Anthony Sakrouge is very knowledgeable and resolutely transparent and realistic. His advice is consistently focused on my best interests as the client. The service provided is responsive, efficient and straightforward even though the contents of issues can be complex.’
‘I felt in safe hands with Russell-Cooke. I had total trust in their dealings with my case.’
‘Alex Bearman handled my case, and kept me grounded during a difficult period. He was calm and collected.’
Patrick Heneghan OBE
- Representing Stephen Imber in his breach of contract claim against Staffline Plc.
- Representing Patrick Heneghan in relation to the allegations of sexual harassment made against him, in relation to which he was eventually cleared.
The London-based 'Employment Private' team at Slater and Gordon - which acts for clients who are not union-funded - handles a wide range of work for senior executives, including terminations, bonus disputes, team moves and whistleblowing claims. Other core areas of work for the practice come from cases involving sex, maternity, race, age and disability discrimination claims. Deborah Casale heads up the firm's national employment practice. Former practice head Claire Dawson departed for CC Solicitors in May 2019, followed by Julie Morris, who left for Keystone Law in July 2019.
‘This is a highly knowledgeable and engaged team skilled not only in the law but in managing the process including client expectations.’
‘Peter Daly is an exceptionally smart lawyer, technically strong and eminently pragmatic. From a client perspective, during what was an emotionally charged time, he showed compassion whilst never losing sight of achieving a good client outcome.’
‘The team are practical, knowledgeable, compassionate and supportive. They take the time to understand every nuance of your circumstances and outline clear guidance and clarity of thought; objective analysis of your options and potential outcomes and deliver a thorough service.’
‘Deborah Casale provided an efficient and informative service with the right level of empathy and support to ensure you felt your voice was heard but balanced with rational interpretation of potential outcomes.’
‘Fantastic clients, fantastic service. Shrewd, thoughtful, practical.’
‘Peter Daly has an encyclopaedic knowledge of employment practice as well as a very effective strategic mind.’
Jordi Casamitjana Costa
- Advising the claimant on establishing ethical veganism as a protected philosophical belief under s.10 Equality Act 2010 for the first time.
- Advising the claimant in a case that established that employees who research how to blow the whistle can rely on the same legal protections as actual whistleblowers, in a first instance yet significant case closing the glaring loophole which previously meant a whistleblower only had protection against detriment/dismissal once they had made a public interest disclosure.
- Advising a dentist bringing claims of maternity discrimination and breach of contract against her former surgery, which involved establishing that the Claimant as associate dentist was not self-contracted, but had Equality Act 2010 employment status. This case has the potential to establish workplace rights for a broad class of dentists.
BDB Pitmans offers a wide range of employment services to both employers and senior executives. Sector strengths include transport, charities/not-for-profit, professional services and social media. With regards to senior executives, the practice has expertise advising on high-value exits, team moves and restrictive covenant issues, especially for clients in the financial services, travel and retail sectors, as well as the NHS. Jesper Christensen heads up the department; other key team members are Brian Gegg, head of the business services group, and Caroline Yarrow, a specialist in the employability and learning and skills sector.
Employment boutique Kervin & Barnes, led by founding partner Gareth Kervin, attracts clients from the financial services industry for specialist advice on regulatory issues, post-termination business protection and litigation. The team regularly handles Employment Tribunal cases concerning whistleblowing, sex discrimination and equal pay. Other sector strengths include FMCG, recruitment and sport.
Keystone Law now has one of the largest bench of employment practitioners in the UK and is continuing to grow, with a number of new recruits in the past year. Alistair French – 'a true champion for senior executives' – joined from Brahams Dutt Badrick French LLP in May 2019 at partner level, followed by Rob Eldridge from Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP in December 2019. Other recent arrivals include Chris Goodwill, former global head of employment law at Clifford Chance LLP, who joined as a consultant in May 2019, and financial services employment specialist Alexandra Carn. The diverse team has expertise in every area of employment law; key individuals Nick Tsatsas and Angharad Harris both advise employers and senior executives, while Paul Daniels focuses on work for senior executives.
Other key lawyers:
‘Keystone supported me extremely effectively through my employment law request and were careful to take a pragmatic approach reflecting my needs. They provided excellent continuity of service and engaged experts where needed including pension and external foreign law support where required.
‘Angharad Harris provided me with excellent support through my employment change. She was supportive and understanding throughout ensuring that the right expert was brought in when required, including outside foreign law. She was transparent throughout the process regarding fees and expectations were understood on both sides. It was a fairly difficult time for me and I felt she was critical to me getting the right outcome and feeling satisfied with the process.’
‘A collection of highly able solicitors who have forged their reputations elsewhere before moving to Keystone.’
‘Alistair French is charming and highly committed to his clients. He is a well-liked figure in the employment law community.’
‘One of the go-to firms for high-value employment law cases. An already exceptional team has recently been strengthened by the astute recruitment of Alistair French.’
‘The already strong Keystone team has been further strengthened by the astute recruitment of a true superstar of the London employment law circuit, Alistair French. Alistair would be my first choice if I personally had a serious employment dispute. Alistair’s natural, disarming charm beautifully complements a tactical acumen and employment law knowledge that is second to none. A true champion for senior executives who have run into trouble with their employer or colleagues.’
‘Alexandra Carn is calm, down to earth but confident and therefore inspires confidence that you are being looked after.’
‘Most recently I have dealt with Alexandra Carn, in relation to problems arising from the Covid-19 pandemic, including furlough agreements and pay reduction agreements. She responds very quickly, which is great when you need to deal with matters speedily there and then within your own workforce.’
‘Alexandra Carn goes the extra mile for the clients. She combines empathy with competence and extraordinary strategic thinking.’
‘Alexandra Carn is excellent. Very client focused, incredibly bright, negotiates and communicates fantastically well, always gets a brilliant result.’
- Representing Paul Bell in a case concerning a major team move which was the subject of a High Court trial in November 2019.
Specialist claimant firm Leigh Day undertakes a wide range of work for senior executives, including complex injunction proceedings and high-value discrimination cases. Recent work has included an increasing number of sexual harassment and equal pay cases. Team head Chris Benson has a specialism in cases involving breaches of performance targets and professional standards. Nigel Mackay and Emma Satyamurti are other notable names in the team.
‘In my experience, Leigh Day’s employment team demonstrate a combination of integrity, tenacity and fastidiousness.’
‘Formidable team, formidable fight, formidable talent.’
‘Kiran Daurka and Nigel Mackay are standout partners, an absolute delight to work with; ultra dedicated, with great team spirit – they are brilliant and creative lawyers, and they fight hard for their clients. Fantastic to work with both of them. Kiran is also one of the most creative and intuitive discrimination lawyers I have every worked with. Nigel has a strong grasp of detail and a commitment to his client that is unmatched.’
‘A team of dedicated, committed and creative lawyers who genuinely care for their clients and have a great track record of acting for individuals. Undoubtedly the leading specialist claimant firm in the field.’
‘Paula Lee is a really passionate and committed solicitor with excellent client care skills and a thoughtful and wise approach to her work. She has a particular expertise in claims in international arbitral tribunals.’
‘Leigh Day is rightly regarded as one of the go-to firms for senior executives looking to bring claims. They are particularly good in relation to discrimination law issues, and are utterly fearless even in challenging cases.’
‘Annie Powell handled my case and was outstanding. I believe she went above and beyond in terms of honesty, transparency and kindness. Annie always managed my expectations and made me consider worst case scenarios. She empowered me to make decisions on what action I would take by walking me through all possible scenarios. I had complete confidence in Annie and always new I was being advised in a completely ethical way. I never felt pressured into taking action I didn’t want to take.’
‘Paula Lee is an exceptionally talented lawyer. Supremely knowledgeable in the areas in which she was acting for me – equal pay and sex discrimination. At the same time she has a lovely, approachable and down to earth personality. I particularly appreciated her patience and honesty throughout my time of dealing with her.’
‘Annie Powell is fantastic. Has ability way beyond her years. Totally on top of her game and would recommend her to everyone.’
- Representing a senior HR executive in his £1m employment tribunal and subsequent Employment Appeal Tribunal claim for breach of contract and disability discrimination.
- Representing a bank’s head of energy in his £10m Employment Tribunal claim for age discrimination against Citibank.
- Advising a derivatives broker on his claims to the value of £1m for disability discrimination and failure to make reasonable adjustments.
Elite City firm Macfarlanes LLP handles the full range of employment law work, with a particular strength in advising major institutions in the financial services sector. Work in this area includes advice on SMCR implementation, investigations and contentious senior executive exits. Employment Tribunal cases and employment law support to corporate transactions are other sources of work for the team. Hayley Robinson heads up the firm’s employment group. The veteran Seán Lavin is another key name in the team.
Other key lawyers:
The employment department at Payne Hicks Beach advises senior executive clients on a broad variety of work, including discrimination and whistleblowing cases, wrongful and unfair dismissal claims. Practice head Peter McRoberts' client base is drawn from the financial services, commodities, advertising and media sectors; he often acts on high-value and reputationally sensitive cases and is also often instructed by medical professionals.
‘Peter McRoberts is always very well prepared and goes the extra mile for his clients, but is also pragmatic and helps them find workable solutions to often challenging problems.’
‘The firm has a track record of being involved in high-quality, high-profile cases. They punch above their weight in terms of the cases they are able to attract.’
‘Peter McRoberts has a depth of experience and brings professionalism and sensitivity to very challenging issues. He has a good team of senior associates too.’
‘Peter McRoberts is excellent – empathetic, but calm and level-leaded and good at assessing the risks ahead. He also has very good relationships with his clients.’
- Acting for former Citi trader Rohan Ramchandani in his unfair dismissal case.
Royds Withy King
Royds Withy King is known for its advice to senior executives in the sports, hospitality and charities sectors. It is also experienced in working with clients from the financial services, life sciences, nanotechnology and healthcare sectors. Richard Woodman heads up the practice, David Israel has a specialism advising the chief executives of hotels and Caroline Doran Millett has a strong track record of advising international clients and employees at law firms.
‘I have retained Royds on seven different occasions. I have been 100% happy with how they handled my affairs on every occasion. I can’t imagine any other firm being able to match them in terms of expertise, commercial knowledge, quality of individuals, professionalism and results.’
‘I have worked with Caroline Doran Millet on seven different occasions and have been extremely well looked after each time. She has vast experience and knowledge. She gives the impression that she really cares about her clients. I have full confidence in her ability to represent me, she is firm but calm, professional and a pleasure to work with.’
‘Pragmatic and practical solutions orientated lawyers who have dealt with multiple clients over many years. Their advice is solid and just makes sense, while appreciating the nature of the situation clients are often in.’
‘Caroline Doran Millett is partner of choice to call in any challenging situation.’
‘Gemma Ospedale has a lovely, friendly manner and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend her to any individual that needed employment advice. She can be a formidable and robust opponent and tenaciously acts in her client’s best interests.’
‘Caroline Doran Millet is a sound lawyer with good judgement. She presents a really capable and good value service for senior executives. Clients know that she will be with them all the way.’
‘Caroline Doran Millet is very commercial and supportive. She provides sharp objective advice but lets you know she there to fight your corner.’
- Acting for an ex-CEO of a significant investment fund in an unfair dismissal claim, and pursuing the remaining contractual claims for unpaid bonus, unpaid notice pay and unfulfilled share options, alongside a professional negligence claim against the client’s previous legal representative.
- Advising a CEO of a NYSE-listed company regarding the terms of their departure in the context of an ongoing company restructuring, successfully securing an approx. £8m settlement package.
- Representing an employee at an international fintech company in a multimillion pound sexual harassment and victimisation claim.
The employment department at Stephenson Harwood is distinguished by its expertise in restrictive covenants, with Kate Brearley a particularly well-respected name in this area. The team is increasingly involved in cross-border employment law work, and is known for expertise in sectors such as financial services, the rail industry, luxury goods, hospitality and professional services. The practice has also seen a significant increase in instructions relating to the appointments and exits of high-profile senior executives. Mark Catchpole heads up the practice.
Tobias Gruber and 22 other claimants against AIG
Jill Easterbrook, former CEO of Boden
Amerigo Perasso, former CEO of Abercrombie & Kent
Directors & Leadership Team of BTG including the CEO,Dame Louise Makin
Ian Peters MBE, CEO of Chartered Institute of Internal Auditors
- Acting for 23 claimant individuals who have successfully sued American insurance giant AIG for unpaid bonuses dating back to before the financial crisis, worth over $110m plus interest.
- Advising the directors and entire leadership team of fully listed BTG plc on the $4.2bn acquisition by Boston Scientific Corporation via a court sanctioned Scheme of Arrangement.
- Advising the CEO of a well-known British fashion retailer on the terms of her exit from the business.
Stewarts Law LLP has expertise advising on individual and team moves, whistleblowing and discrimination claims. The team has recently gone through a series of changes - following the departure of Tim Spillane to head up the employment department at Bird & Bird LLP in September 2019, Joseph Lappin was promoted to practice head (having been made up to partner in 2019). That year Richard Nicolle also departed to become an employment judge, but in summer 2020, the team was boosted by the arrival of former Harbottle & Lewis LLP senior associate Charlie Thompson, who joined as a partner. Ian Gatt QC, 'a master of his field', is also on hand for heavyweight employment disputes.
‘Reliable employment team delivering a high level of client care.’
‘Joseph Lappin is a conscientious and reliable lawyer who provides a high level of client care.’
‘Tremendous industry and commitment to clients whilst maintaining the highest standards of objectivity and integrity.’
‘Joe Lappin is an extraordinarily hardworking and resourceful solicitor, utterly committed to the the client’s cause whilst maintaining the highest professional standards. He is very knowledgeable in the employment field, tactically astute and and a skilful draftsman.’
‘Ian Gatt QC is a master of his field and sees the big picture with great clarity.’
‘Stewarts takes a detailed and robust approach to senior executive employment litigation – good at combining forcefully advocating for their client’s position with pragmatism.’
‘Joseph Lappin who is very detailed orientated and willing to give each matter the time it deserves.’
‘Strong litigators for senior executives.’
‘Ian Gatt QC – a class act, you know you are in safe hands.’
Boutique London firm Bellevue Law focuses on employment, litigation and private client work. 'Excellent' practice head Florence Brocklesby specialises in advising senior female employees, especially those bringing claims for sex discrimination, sexual harassment or maternity-related matters - she is described as 'full of energy and unflappable'. The team is particularly active in financial and professional services sectors.
‘Leigh Edgar – a remarkably empathetic and warm individual who combined objective legal opinion with a very welcome degree of empathy and sensitivity at a very stressful time for me. Leigh was easily accessible, readily available and demonstrated to me a strong desire to try to keep me calm, with a good balance of realism and optimism. I could not have wished for better legal support.’
‘Victoria Misselbrook was delightful to work with, clear in communication, managed my expectations well and went above and beyond in providing highly technical and timely counsel on the engagement. I would certainly work with Victoria again and would have no hesitation in recommending her or Bellevue Law in the future.’
‘Florence Brocklesby is excellent, very understanding and her advice is outstanding. Very strategic approach and very strong experience advising employees in finance.’
‘The team are very professional, experienced and committed so providing an excellent service to their clients. They care and go that extra mile.’
‘Florence Brocklesbury is amongst the best solicitors I have worked with. She truly understands the meaning of client service, provides excellent clear advice and focuses on providing true value.’
‘Florence Brocklesby and her team are extremely knowledgeable and deliver their advice in a friendly, pragmatic and sensitive way. They are responsive and always a pleasure to deal with.’
‘Florence Brocklesby is one of the nicest people I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with. She always has time for you and makes you feel very supported and in safe hands. Her advice is clear, to the point and practical and enables you to clearly assess the risk of the decisions you are making.’
‘Bellevue Law are an absolute pleasure to work with. They provide a full-service, professional approach to employment disputes and always go above and beyond to reach favourable settlements for their clients. With expertise in the IT sector, construction and financial services, they are able to bring real-world commercial experience to their clients’ advantage.’
‘What makes Bellevue Law special is its outlook. They foster close and loyal relationships with all their stakeholders. They have a refreshing lack of pomposity. They are formidable opponents who make the bladework of adversarial employment litigation seem light and effortless. They are vocal supporters of local charities and legal advice services for the less fortunate. They are driven and energised in serving their clients’ best interests.’
‘Florence Brocklesby is not only a talented lawyer and inspires immediate confidence, she is also a pioneering business leader. Within the space of a few years, she has built Bellevue Law after a successful career at a bluechip city firm. At the helm of her own firm, she is in her element and has drawn in a fantastic array of similarly expert lawyers who have ditched the City in favour of the flexibility and creative freedom offered by Bellevue Law.’
‘They are excellent on strategy as they know what the other side is thinking, having worked for many years for employers.’
‘Leigh Edgar is very astute and good with clients.’
‘Florence Brocklesby is full of energy, unflappable, and excellent in disputes.’
- Representing a lawyer at a major City firm in a sex and maternity discrimination claim.
- Obtaining a substantial settlement, following protracted negotiations, for a senior investment banker in sex discrimination claim.
- Representing the founder of a successful tech company in relation to injunctive proceedings threatened by the business he founded.
Brown Rudnick LLP
The London employment practice at Brown Rudnick LLP, led by the 'absolutely fantastic' Nicola Kerr, acts predominantly for senior executives, advising on matters encompassing restrictive covenants, boardroom disputes, team moves and severance negotiations. Recent work has included advising on the appointment of a number of C-suite executives at well-known companies in the financial services, retail and energy sectors.
‘Very focused, practical advice.’
‘I would recommend Nicola Kerr to anyone who wants a very experienced, pragmatic, hands-on, responsive, robust employment lawyer. Nicola is also very personable and communicates well and is very comfortable and confident when dealing with difficult people or situations on the other side of the table. I would most definitely call her again when I next need help over an employment issue.’
‘Nicola Kerr has been absolutely fantastic. I am not able to describe how grateful I am to Nicola for her support and for taking up my case in the first place.’
‘Nicola Kerr is a very caring and empathetic person and she has extraordinary people skills. She communicates very efficiently and very clearly. She also has a good sense of humour, which is much needed in these very stressful and upsetting situations.
‘I can’t recommend Nicola Kerr highly enough. She is a very smart lawyer with a very big heart.’
DWFM Beckman provides the full range of employment law services for senior executives. A large proportion of the practice's work is advisory, but the team is equally experienced in litigation in the Employment Tribunal or High Court. The department's client base is drawn from a broad variety of sectors, including financial services, media, retail, tech, energy and PR. Elizabeth Johnson heads up the team.
‘Naylah Hamour a very charming yet steely operator who goes the extra mile to deliver the best possible result for her clients.’
‘Naylah Hamour is a remarkable lawyer. Endlessly tenacious, energetic and able to use her deep legal knowledge creatively. Gets startlingly good results for her clients.’
‘Sharokh Koussari’s advice has been very valuable to me. He navigated me through challenging situations with expertise and foresight. He has a no-nonsense approach to dealing with disputes which is just what you need, when dealing stressful high level employment disputes.’
‘Louise Rogers was the epitome of professionalism – she was very personable, clear in her position, and knew when to push in negotiations.’
‘Elizabeth Johnson is a stand out partner, whose depth of experience and knowledge is invaluable, and is delivered in an informed but approachable manner. Her breadth of industry understanding and experience in employment law is exceptional.’
‘Louise Rogers executed her legal strategy with great precision, paying close attention to detail, no stone was left unturned and she took great care in making sure that her availability to me was constant, my messages and emails were replied to almost instantly. At all times it felt like Louise was ten steps ahead with the negotiations with my employer’s lawyer trying to keep up responding to Louise’s requirements.’
‘ I could not have asked for a better solicitor than Louise Rogers. At a high stress time she gave me the kind of straightforward and knowledgeable counsel I needed. I would recommend her wholeheartedly and without any hesitation.’
‘Sharokh Koussari is a shrewd negotiator who sees the big picture and is able to draw focus to and prioritise elements that need critical attention.’
‘Naylah Hamour is an astute tactician who combines an empathetic manner with a commercial approach. Her sensible advice and quiet confidence provided me with the support I needed and the result I wanted during a stressful time for me.’
‘The firm provided what I would describe as a Rolls-Royce service. They were quickly able to get to grips with both the fundamental issues of the case, as well as the intangible issues at play.’
‘Naylah Hamour was incredibly supportive and knowledgeable at a difficult time in my life.’
‘Elizabeth Johnson is amazing. From the first call I had with her I instantly felt reassured. Elizabeth really boosted my self confidence throughout the process and really encouraged me to look forward in my career, I feel she went above and beyond her role when dealing with my case, even after the dispute was resolved, Elizabeth kept in touch to see how I was and was genuinely interested in my progress.’
‘Louise Rogers was incredibly thorough in assessing my case and needs, she provided solid, detailed and thoughtful advice on how to proceed, she was at all times totally clear as to direction, actions and approach in managing my case and it was at all times, a pleasure to work with her. From the outset I had immediate and continued full assurance as to her complete competence, strength of her advice and her supportive manner at what was an incredibly difficult and stressful point in time for me. I would firmly recommend her to others.’
- Acting for a senior banking executive accused of misconduct and dismissed, and representing him in claims against his dismissal and for unpaid bonus.
- Acting for the CEO of a multi-million pound company in relation to the company’s attempt to dismiss him to avoid paying out on his £3m share options.
- Advising on breach of contract and settlement terms relating in particular to share value and post termination restrictions.
Fox & Partners provides employment advice to senior executives, with a focus on clients in the professional, financial and insurance services sectors. It is regularly instructed in connection with senior executive departures following allegations of misconduct or poor performance. Team heads Ivor Adair and Caroline Field are known for their litigation expertise.
‘Highly specialist team of employment lawyers, who are technically skilled and focused on their clients’ needs.
‘Ivor Adair is calm under pressure and a pleasure to work with.’
‘Ronnie Fox is one of the doyens of employment and partnership law.’
‘Extremely strong boutique firm able to handle cases of significant complexity and reach at short notice. The team demonstrates exceptional commitment, versatility and judgment. They regularly go toe-to-toe with the best known operators in the field and their track record speaks for itself.’
‘Catriona Watt has exceptional judgment and client skills.’
‘Ivor Adair is one of the most legally astute and technically gifted partners in the market.’
‘Fox & Partners handle high-end senior executive work both in the employment and the partnership context. They are a leading London boutique firm in this market.’
‘Ivor Adair has a creative legal mind; good at hard-edged legal challenges but also has a very compassionate and sympathetic bedside manner with clients.’
‘Catriona Watt is enthusiastic and very committed to fighting for the best outcomes for clients.’
‘A small team with great expertise. They are really focussed on the client, and great to have in your corner. Good strategic thinking alongside their litigation skills. Their focus on partnership and LLP matters in the financial sector really make them stand out.’
‘Caroline Field and Catriona Watt are both great – efficient, super with clients and a delight to work with. Both are partners who really take the lead and go the extra mile for clients. Ivor Adair is a great lawyer and well organised litigator.’
Ince‘s employment practice acts for a wide range of clients, both employers and senior executives, drawn from industry sectors spanning luxury retail, logistics, shipping, media and entertainment. A niche area of specialism is in matters relating to offshore workers and seafarers. Laura Livingstone, the department head, is well known for her advice to luxury retail clients.
‘Good value for money – a broad practice with wide ranging experience; very user friendly.’
‘Julia Whyte is a superstar. I thoroughly enjoyed working with her. She gives clear, crisp, commercial advice, listens well to the client’s needs and implements the strategy effectively and efficiently. I have found her a pleasure to work with and hope she is recognised for her efforts – she is always available and works diligently to meet deadlines. She offers good value for money but executed to a very high standard. I feel in very safe hands.’
- Successfully representing 27 claimants, in a gig economy case, who were dismissed from the National Gallery. This claim related principally to employment, worker, self-employed status and also to a new point on whether S.188 collective consultation should extend to workers.
Boutique employment firm Rahman Lowe Solicitors has a notable contentious practice, with strengths handling complex discrimination, whistleblowing and unfair dismissal claims. Its senior executives practice often serves individuals in major financial services firms, in addition to clients from the professional services, telecoms and education sectors. Jahad Rahman heads up the team.
‘Very good service. Excellent legal knowledge. Calm and assured. Objectives achieved satisfactorily.’
‘They are very helpful and understanding of your needs and will provide realistic expectations of what can be done.’
‘Zillur Rahman is great to work with, he helped me through a very tough issue with my former employer and helped guide me to get the best result for me.’
‘Small yet professional practice which means that you get a more personal service with the standards of a City firm.’
‘Jahad Rahman provides robust advice and quickly identifies key issues to form a strong case.’
‘Jahad Rahman displayed the highest levels of ethics and professionalism in my dealing with him and he handling my case.’
‘I found Rahman Lowe Solicitors as a professional and friendly law firm – they are clearly well experienced with senior execs employment matters.’
‘I worked with Zillur Rahman and his advice was critical – Zillur spent time to explain me the rationale behind legal wording and made extremely easy to decide the course of action. I found Zillur also very professional, personable and approachable.’
‘Rahman Lowe are unique in that their core team members/partners are genuine and longstanding specialist employment and discrimination lawyers. They have expertise in a wide range of employment areas and handle cases sensitively and carefully. They are very effective at negotiation and have the expertise to get the best deals possible for their clients both at the senior executive end and across the whole gambit of employment claims.’
‘Jahad Rahman and Zillur Rahman have significant experience and expertise in all areas of employment and discrimination law. They understand how the employment relationship works at a senior level. They handle cases carefully and with discretion and have assisted some high profile clients.’
- Advising Dr Chris Day on his high-profile NHS whistleblowing claim.
The employment department at Wallace LLP receives much of work via referrals from leading headhunters, as well as other employment practices at law firms that do not have expertise in matters concerning senior executives. Team head Daniel Isaac - described as 'a strategic genius, responsive, engaging, charming and witty' - has strong experience of working with clients in the financial services and private equity sectors. He is also highly active acting for senior executives, particularly in discrimination and whistleblowing claims. The team also works with major commercial property clients and provides employment support on M&A transactions.
‘The team were slick and professional and incredibly knowledgeable. They were friendly and proactive and absolutely knew their stuff.
‘Daniel Issac was incredibly helpful and went above and beyond to help my case; without his input I suspect we wouldn’t have got the result we did.’
‘The mix of professional expertise, genuine interest in you as a person and a sense of ‘we are in this together’ meant you felt you were in the right place to get you through this difficult period of your life.’
‘Daniel Isaac was excellent. At a time of stress, being greeted by someone who is friendly, warm and calm is an instant win.’
‘Daniel Isaac is excellent. Highly responsive, calm and clear thinking. His strategic and tactical advice was outstanding and very successful. He communicates his advice very clearly.’
‘You don’t need the huge infrastructure of a flashy massive firm, you’ll end up paying for it in your fees anyway. You just need direct advice from the expert in their field. That’s what you get with Wallace.’
‘Daniel Isaac is a strategic genius, responsive, engaging, charming, witty. There is no one better. Seems to know how things will play out, before the other side makes a move, and so plots his strategy accordingly. Always seems a few steps ahead of the other side. Daniel has made litigation, if not fun, quite enjoyable and far less stressful than it could have been with another solicitor. A spectacular tactical brain. His profile should be way higher across the industry, but perhaps it is a sign of the firm’s discretion and letting their expertise speak for itself that it isn’t.’
‘Daniel Isaac is a man who never gives up on a client – fighting their corner even when the chips are down. He is one of the cleverest of employment partners but ears his learning lightly. He can appear meek at first but has a core of steel.’
‘Daniel Isaac is by far the best I’ve come across in employment law. He is exceptional compared to his competitors. He and his team are extremely knowledgeable, efficient and effective. Daniel is my first point of contact always. Despite me being a relatively small client for him, he never treats me a such. Always the consummate professional. He is always available. He responses are always delivered at incredible pace, extremely well thought through and argued impeccably. He’s always transparent about fees, and bills exactly the amount he quoted.
‘Daniel Isaac is a great lawyer with a fabulous client manner. He is calm, measured and provides excellent advice. I would have no hesitation in recommending him to other clients.’
The employment department at Wedlake Bell LLP, led by Richard Isham, provides both contentious and advisory support to domestic and international clients, with a particular focus on the financial services sector. Following the departure of Blair Adams to Winckworth Sherwood LLP in June 2019, the team welcomed the arrival of William Granger from Charles Russell Speechlys LLP in September that year.
‘Warm, caring people who really stood behind me. Great team.’
‘The outstanding personal care and attention given to each client really makes this practice unique. This, combined with the experience, knowledge and attention to detail displayed by each person working on the case, makes the senior executives practice in this firm a sector leader.’
‘Each person who has worked on my case has been fully up to speed on even the most complex aspects. Clear leadership is shown by the partner in charge, but each member of the team contributes brilliantly and thus they work efficiently and effectively as a team. The working relationships between the partner, associates and trainee solicitors are impressive.’
‘William Granger is an outstanding lawyer. Not only does he have a superb grasp of the law and the most recent cases, but he is also a brilliant tactician and a genius at finding workable solutions for clients. I am always glad he is acting for me and not against me in any case. His approach to client care is particularly impressive. William also has the amazing ability to recall all the facts even in the most complex of scenarios.’
‘William Granger and his team never fail to impress me. He is in a class of his own. Simply outstanding.’
‘Laura Conway was excellent. She is both knowledgeable and very commercial on points of negotiation. Her advice is clear and concise.’
‘Laura Conway quickly grasped the sensitivity of my situation and the need for a pragmatic approach rather than a strictly litigious one. Laura was also good at bringing in other partners or members of the firm to advise on specific specialist advice, and the interaction from others was also positive.’
- Advising on a high value discrimination claim against three Ince partners, Ince, Ince Gordon Dadds and two other individuals, which relates to the administration of Ince, which was acquired by Gordon Dadds out of administration.
- Advising the outgoing CEO of Kier Group plc.
- Handling sensitive negotiations in respect of the departure of Professor Gavin Henderson CBE as Principal of the Central School of Speech and Drama.