Firms To Watch: Senior executives

Emilie Cole and Shazia Khan, who formed Cole Khan Solicitors LLP in mid 2021 are acknowledged as ‘superb operators‘ for executive work. With decades of experience and pedigree, they have a long history of defending senior employees in the gamut of discrimination cases and negotiating exits.

Senior executives in London

Brahams Dutt Badrick French LLP

Clients cannot speak highly enough of the team at Brahams Dutt Badrick French LLP; ‘top flight’ and  ‘an absolute powerhouse’ are some of the comments on its services for senior employees. For the whole range of discrimination issues, high-profile sensitive exits, and whistleblowing claims, ‘formidable litigator and negotiatorGareth Brahams and the team steer clients through the tactics and strategies that will produce the best outcome, including taking account of reputational issues. It has deep experience of the financial services sector and other highly regulated industries. The strong team has been further boosted with the arrival of the ‘go-to’ Claire Dawson, who joined in April 2021 and Paula Chan, who joined in late 2020 from Slater and Gordon, and who is noted for her expertise in dealing with partnerships. The ‘outstandingPolly Rodway has a noted focus on sex/maternity discrimination and equal pay disputes and Nick Wilcox, who frequently acts with Dutt, is noted for always providing ‘cogent and wise advice‘. The senior associates also attract praise; Samantha Prosser is reported to be ‘exceptional’ in her handling of Employment Tribunal claims for unfair dismissal, disability discrimination, worker status and whistleblowing detriment.

Practice head(s):

Gareth Brahams

Other key lawyers:

Claire Dawson; Polly Rodway; Paula Chan; Nick Wilcox; Samantha Prosser; Clare Brereton

Testimonials

‘BDBF offers a full and inventive range of services to senior individuals. They have extensive knowledge of employment law and the skill and ability to identify and pursue powerful claims. Sometimes this means coming up with new and different ways of formulating a claim. Anyone who goes there can feel confident of receiving first class advice.’

‘Nick Wilcox is a very safe paid of hands: the sort of lawyer you go to for sound, sensible and calm advice. He is unflappable and always provides cogent and wise advice to his clients.’

‘This is the specialist employment litigation firm you want to have on your side if you find yourself in need of litigation services. The associates looking after my case were all outstanding and were proactive in going the extra mile. The service was empathetically provided with a strong focus on getting the right outcome and taking into account costs. This firm should be more widely known.’

‘Samantha Prosser is an exceptional associate. She grasped the nuances of my case very quickly and applied an incisive strategy to progressing it, with extremely satisfactory results. She came across as personally invested in my case. Her assimilation of facts and dispute resolution strategy made her incredibly effective.’ 

‘Paula Chan. Simply the best employment solicitor I have ever worked with. She has everything, calm and poised, a brilliant legal brain, a ferocious hard worker but also very people orientated.’

‘An absolute powerhouse in the employment law field, particularly their representation of Senior Executives in the banking and finance sphere. Real strength in depth and an absolute pleasure to deal with. I would thoroughly recommend BDBF to any Senior Executive wishing to pursue a claim, whether in the Employment Tribunal or the High Court.’

‘Gareth Brahams is a true superstar of the employment law world. A formidable litigator and negotiator with a vast knowledge of the legal principles combined with formidable tactical nous. Gareth should be the first port of call for Senior Executives with an employment issue. Gareth is also one of the few senior employment law solicitors with the knowledge and understanding of personal injury law to enable him to litigate bullying and stress at work cases in the High Court.’

‘Polly Rodway is an outstanding lawyer. Determined, thoughtful, excellent advice.’

Work highlights

  • Acted for a senior executive at Queensgate Investments LLP in a high-value whistleblowing and discrimination claim that made new law.

CM Murray LLP

According to a client, CM Murray LLP  stands out for the ‘diversity of the team, integrity, international view, high technical skills and business oriented approach.’ The team is led by the well-known co-heads Clare Murray, who is considered ‘a role model‘, and Merrill April, who has a wealth of experience advising at board member and company founder levels. Emma Bartlett, who joined from Charles Russell Speechlys LLP in January 2021 brings decades of experience; one client singled her out as ‘extremely honest, truly a warrior to bring justice and never deterred‘. Other highly rated team members ‘who tackle complex matters and make it look easy‘ include David Fisher (who has ‘significant experience working with senior executives, especially with exit and on-boarding strategies‘); Sarah Chilton (who is ‘calm under pressure, pragmatic yet not afraid of a fight’); Beth Hale and senior consultant Pia Sanchez, who collectively advise on the gamut of issues in sectors ranging from financial services and pharmaceuticals to entertainment. The team assists with complex negotiated exits, restrictive covenants and reputational damage considerations through to discrimination, misconduct and whistleblowing cases. The firm also played a key role in the launch of Innangard Executives – an international network set up for the benefit of international executives and founders around the world.

Practice head(s):

Clare Murray; Merrill April

Other key lawyers:

Sarah Chilton; Emma Bartlett; David Fisher; Beth Hale; Pia Sanchez; Louise O’Connor

Testimonials

‘Brilliant employment law team, led by Clare Murray. Incredibly talented knowledgeable and commercial in their very professional approach. Very able in international employment matters. Very friendly and reliable. They combine a clear look on issues and a good reading of human behaviour.’

‘Clare Murray is the leader. Very well known in employment circles. Somebody you can trust. She is always available, quick and pragmatic, business oriented, and a talented negotiator.’

‘Very experienced employment specialists. Combined with strong corporate law and partnership expertise. Strong sector expertise in PE and financial services.’

‘The only firm I know with this kind of specialised practice. Clare Murray, Sarah Chilton and Pia Sanchez are just a few of many outstanding labour law specialists at the firm.’

‘Exceptional in understanding the case details and bringing up the points that matter for winning. I had already been denied any chance of success during a painful and very stressful experience in facing a planned discriminatory dismissal. I was helpless, but I was very lucky to be introduced to Emma Bartlett. Her merit assessment was completely different from all others before, because she was very capable in exposing the true events beyond doubt amazingly from their own witnesses. Emma is extremely honest, truly a warrior to bring justice and never deterred. I admired her courage with her foresight of the sequence of events and forewarning in terms of time and cost.’

‘Strong expertise in both the subject matter and the process of dealing with executive compensation negotiations. You can see right away that this is a team that has long and established experience in this space. Both Merrill April and Louise O’Connor were available, reactive and supportive throughout the work. They were a good source of advice and direction throughout my negotiations.’

‘CM Murray LLP has excellent expertise in (international) employment issues regarding senior executives. Due to their international global employment law alliance, Innangard, they can respond very quickly and can give adequate advice on cross-border issues.’

‘A very driven, highly specialised boutique law firm. They seem to be always ahead of the competition. Clare Murray – entrepreneurial mind, immaculate understanding of complex employment disputes. Sarah Chilton – dedicated, smooth and strategic negotiator Beth Hale – absolutely skilled and intelligent.’

Work highlights

  • Advised a senior executive of a major global private equity house on their exit and transition to a new role at a competing firm.
  • Advising a managing director in a global investment bank in connection with their resignation and move to a competing business.
  • Advised a high-profile international senior executive on their negotiated exit from a major global media and entertainment company, following the executive having been the subject of an internal investigation into misconduct.

Doyle Clayton

Doyle Clayton is lauded as 'a really innovative team with exceptionally talented individuals'. Since its establishment, it has become one of the UK’s most successful specialist firms that is 'the best at what it does' and routinely handles referrals from City firms and barristers. It advises senior individuals and employers, with expertise spanning advisory, Employment Tribunal, High Court and appellate cases, regulatory regimes, pensions issues and immigration matters. It is also highlighted for its handling of team moves, often with multi-jurisdictional aspects, and complex exits/restrictive covenants, as well as discrimination and whistleblowing cases. The 'superb' Peter De Maria leads the group and is considered 'fearless when it is needed, calm and balanced at all times' and Dan Begbie-Clench's work includes discrimination and equal pay cases. Peter Daly joined from Slater and Gordon in 2021 and, based on his employment litigation work, is considered to be 'destined for the very top'. Helen Brooks is also a noted tribunal litigator, and Katie Mahoney is 'a definite rising star, being astute, hard working, and a pleasure to deal with'; she is noted for her expertise in employee competition work.

Practice head(s):

Peter De Maria

Other key lawyers:

Dan Begbie-Clench; Helen Brooks; Katie Mahoney; Naomi Jameson; James Morrison; Peter Daly

Testimonials

‘Great service from the team under very tight deadlines and with a significant international element. Nothing was a problem, for them. Very well structured and timely legal advice which was very practical and easy to digest and implement. Were also willing to re-look at the fees once the project got firmed up.’

‘Dan Begbie-Clench was straightforward, very responsive and caring.’

‘Naomi Jameson and James Morrison are stars and made sure the ongoing litigation and negotiations run smoothly despite having a very uneasy opponent on the other side! Very proactive approach made a huge difference.’

‘Katie Mahoney has a really high profile in the Employment world, in particular in relation to employee competition matters. She is extremely responsive, commercial and dedicated to her clients.’

‘Doyle Clayton is one of the leading niche employment practices in the country. It combines working for household names with a thriving individual practice, especially in the area of restrictive covenants.’

‘Peter de Maria is undoubtedly a leading individual in the areas. He’s a canny and experienced litigator who combines a steely and focused approach with sound commercial judgment, good humour and humility. Exceptional’.

‘Doyle Clayton is a boutique employment firm who are at the top of their game and the best at what they do because their primary focus is on employment matters.’

‘Peter De Maria and Katie Mahoney are the best in the business. They know exactly what they are doing, are sensible and commercial and understand what is important to their clients. I would not hesitate to recommend them to others.’

Farrer & Co

With 'a world of experience in handling senior employment matters', Farrer & Co has a long-established reputation acting for clients at FTSE companies, leading banks, and in a range of other industries including the aviation sector.  It advises on high-profile exits and appointments, often involving a senior team, severance packages, breaches of contracts and restrictive covenants. It also assists clients regarding regulatory investigations, reputational protection issues and discrimination and whistleblowing cases. The hugely experienced David Smellie, who leads the group, also advises employers and William Dawson is a well-known senior consultant. David Hunt's practice also includes senior executive work in addition to employer side matters, while Eleanor Rowswell garners much respect from peers and clients; 'she is adept at gaming out the scenarios and devising strategies for successful conclusion' and 'has a great bed-side manner'. Anna Birtwistle is considered 'a class act' when it comes to negotiating high-value exits, misconduct investigations in the financial services sector and discrimination and whistleblowing cases. Senior associates include the 'brilliant' Alice Cave, whose expertise ranges from negotiated exits to court proceedings.

Practice head(s):

David Smellie

Other key lawyers:

Eleanor Rowswell; Anna Birtwistle; Rachel Nolloth; Alice Cave; William Dawson; David Hunt

Testimonials

Eleanor Rowswell is just brilliant. Fast, pragmatic, tough in defending your interests and she has a great team around her to deal with matters quickly and efficiently. You really feel that they are best in class and have all the right capabilities. Very nice style. Down to earth, approachable, easy to deal with and no big egos.’

Eleanor Rowswell provides excellent client-focused advice, based on her deep experience and knowledge. She is adept at gaming out the scenarios and devising strategies for successful conclusion of the various projects on which she works. She has a great bed-side manner.

I worked with them on a contentious employment matter. They will tell you the things the things you need to know – not want you want to know. They are definitely the premier league team – they have a world of experience in handling senior employment matters and were able to guide me through a very difficult negotiation. Very strategic thinkers and equipped with all the legal knowledge and skill you need. But they also treated me as a person – not just a client to whom services are delivered. They always made sure I was feeling comfortable about the proceedings.

Eleanor Rowswell was the partner. Alice Cave was the Senior Associate. Eleanor brings the wealth of experience and Alice is a brilliant professional. Her work was of superb quality and her personable nature gave me complete trust in their handling of my case. I would recommend them to everyone.

Farrer has an employment team which is one of the best in the country. They act for both senior executives and companies, and indeed trade unions. David Smellie, David Hunt and William Dawson (now a consultant) are amongst the best employment lawyers in the business. They are excellent with clients, brilliant lawyers and great tacticians. Their team of associates are extremely hard working and responsive. I would particularly recommend Rachel Nolloth. I have recommended senior executives to them.

A very well-resourced team with expertise across many different sectors, equally comfortable undertaking tribunal and High Court work. They have high quality associates and are particularly good at ensuring that there is the appropriate resourcing for all of their matters.

Anna Birtwistle – a real star of the employment law world. It was a coup for Farrer to hire her a couple of years ago. She is highly dynamic, intelligent and proactive. Equally adept acting for employers and employees, with particular expertise in partnership matters.’

Anna Birtwistle is a class act. A joy to work with, tenacious and strategic. Adept at dealing with situations where employment and regulations combine.’

Work highlights

  • Continue 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.
  • Act for and represent the individual members (who are all professional airline pilots) of BALPA in all employment-related matters.
  • Advising public company directors on many prominent appointments, departures and disputes for board level executives at the largest public companies in the country.

Kingsley Napley LLP

At Kingsley Napley LLP (which ‘provides a service that is second to none‘), Corinne Aldridge heads up the group since Richard Fox stepped back from the role. Fox is endorsed as ‘a high-profile lawyer and one of the best‘; another client observed that he and senior associate Andy Norris ‘have done a stunning job‘. Nick Ralph and senior associate Moira Campbell are also highly rated, along with senior associate Natasha Forman (née Koshnitsky). Adrian Crawford is considered to have ‘almost unparalleled senior executive experience and a good knowledge of company and partnership law‘ and the ‘extraordinaryAndreas White combines his advice and guidance with ‘human compassion and clarity‘. In addition to areas including age and race discrimination, whistleblowing, and work-related stress and illness claims, the substantial team advises on cases with a criminal aspect, regulatory/directors’ duties issues, senior exits and equal pay matters.

Practice head(s):

Corinne Aldridge

Other key lawyers:

Richard Fox; Andy Norris; Nick Ralph; Moira Campbell; Natasha Forman (nee Koshnitsky); Adrian Crawford; Andreas White

Testimonials

‘Whilst I mainly dealt with one individual at the firm, and this is often still the case in the legal profession. There was always someone available should I have needed it . KN had good resources in place. Billing, client on boarding and dealing with counsel seemed seamless. All very efficient and effective. I was also kept informed through out my dealings with them.’

‘I mainly dealt with one individual Natasha Forman, extremely professional, efficient and considered. It was only some time after I had been dealing with Natasha that I became aware she was a senior associate – the quality and effectiveness of her advice and service including engaging with counsel meant I had thought she was a partner.’

‘They stand out for their sector expertise, pragmatic approach, exceptional client service. They aim to achieve the best result for the clients. Working with them was a relationship based on trust. They use a strictly individual approach and considered all personal unique characteristic of the matter and the client which I found impressive.’

‘I worked with Richard Fox (partner) and Andy Norris (Senior Associate). Richard Fox and Andy Norris have done a stunning job on my case. I felt confident and proud throughout the whole process because Richard and Andy were advising me. I trusted them since our first meeting and that they would act in my best interest. The quality of their work/advice, and the amount of personal care they handled my matters with were so high. It was way beyond my expectations.’

Nick Ralph and Moira Campbell. Both are exceptional lawyers. Nick was my first contact with the firm – very methodological, insightful, professional. He understood my case and was able to define it quickly; brought many unknown points to me that helped us win it.’

‘Kingsley Napley is quite an extraordinary legal practice that puts the client and the law above their own interests. They provide excellent counsel but also excellent client engagement. They provide a service that is second to none with full understanding of which barristers or chambers should be engaged for court representation.’

‘There is strength and depth to the KN team, notably Andreas White, Richard Fox and Adrian Crawford. Adrian Crawford, in particular, has almost unparalleled senior executive experience and a good knowledge of company and partnership law – I recommend him to any senior executive lay clients that come my way.’

Lewis Silkin

The lawyers at Lewis Silkin LLP are trusted advisers in a practice that has ‘strength across the board and a team to support in all areas of employment law‘. Nicholas Hadaway leads the senior executive team, which is part of the wider employment, immigration and reward division.  He is noted for combining expertise in discrimination and whistleblowing claims, post-termination restrictions and share plans, which is paired with ‘enormous generosity, consideration and thoughtfulness’. Richard Miskella acts for both employers and senior executives –  on the latter he is considered ‘an absolute star who is no pushover, and knows his stuff particularly in the senior exec market‘. ‘Absolutely amazing‘ managing associate Sarah McWhinney is highlighted for being ‘supportive, tenacious, and clear at every stage‘ on matters such as complex discrimination grievances and CEO exits, while senior associate Laetitia Cooke is a trusted adviser with ‘superb judgment‘. In addition to advising on all types of discrimination, exits and post-exit disputes, the group, which has a strong focus on the financial services industry, also specialises in FCA approved status and FCA remuneration code issues.

Practice head(s):

Nicholas Hadaway

Other key lawyers:

Richard Miskella; Sarah McWhinney; Laetitia Cooke

Testimonials

‘The team works as a seamless whole ensuring that the client is well advised and up to date at all times.’

‘Nicholas Hadaway is a true professional with a heart of gold. His enormous generosity, consideration and thoughtfulness make him the trusted adviser that he is. He always has his client’s best interests at heart. It is a privilege to have been his client.’

‘They are unique amongst top tier law firms in the breadth of the type of employment law service they are able to provide to senior executives. I can only think of 1/2 other firms that can provide a similar breadth – they are the ultimate one-stop shop for senior executives.’

‘Nicholas Hadaway’s ultimate focus is on what the client needs, 100% commercial and always has his eyes on the bigger picture.’

‘Laetitia Cooke is brilliant. She is incredibly thorough, organised and has the trust of clients.’

‘Pragmatic, measured, calm. Richard Miskella is the new breed of employment partner at Lewis Silkin. An absolute star.’

‘I was looked after by Richard Miskella. Richard gave advice that I felt was carefully considered and highly bespoke to me and my circumstances. He is brilliant, committed, vastly experienced and very wise. I would (and did to a large extent) trust him with my life.’

‘Laetitia Cooke – an excellent collaborative approach. Totally focused on client’s desired outcomes, able to give thoughtful, clear-sighted feedback and to provide constructive solutions.’

Mishcon de Reya LLP

As 'one of the best in the country' and home to 'talented litigators', Mishcon de Reya LLP assists CEOs, directors and other senior figures including partners at law firms with the negotiation of settlements and high-profile, litigation. Its work ranges from negotiating exits and reputation preservation to all forms of discrimination, whistleblowing and equal pay cases. The firm has a number of inclusion and diversity programmes including its black justice project in partnership with Queen Mary University, whereby it provides access to justice on a pro bono basis, including in respect of Windrush cases. Daniel Naftalin ('who knows how to run a battle') leads a substantial team that includes the hugely experienced Joanna Blackburn and Jennifer Millins, who is in demand for her handling of complex discrimination, gender pay and whistleblowing claims in the Employment Tribunal through to High Court injunctions and appeals. The 'exceptional' Sharon Tan is known for providing 'strategic nous' when assisting clients with high stakes cases, and Susannah Kintish and Greg Campbell are also skilled partners. Campbell has a specialism in advising on major disciplinary investigations involving allegations of  misconduct by employers. The 'fantastic'  junior members of the team are also well rated by clients; key names include Matthew Wood and Emma Sydenham.

Practice head(s):

Daniel Naftalin

Other key lawyers:

Jennifer Millins; Joanna Blackburn; Sharon Tan; Susannah Kintish; Greg Campbell; Rhiannon Bail; Matthew Wood; Emma Sydenham

Testimonials

I have worked closely with Daniel Naftalin and Emma Sydenham over the past year. I feel that I have a best-in-class legal team assembled. Mishcon have a phenomenal reputation in the industry, which is so important to have when you are an individual squaring up to a large corporate opponent.’

‘Huge experience, talented litigators.’

‘Jennifer Millins is creative, intelligent, charismatic, loved by clients.’

‘The Mishcons employment team is one of the best in the country. I can give no higher recommendation than this: if I had an employment issue I would go to them. I have recommended countless friends who are senior executives to them, and they had all been delighted with the professional service received.’

‘Daniel Naftalin is not only an impressive legal expert but also knows how to run a battle if necessary. He also tried to understand what the other side is trying to achieve in order to fight better. I do not trust any employment lawyer more than him.’

Daniel Naftalin: seen it all, buckets of experience, clever, realistic.’

‘Sharon Tan is exceptional. One of the brightest lawyers I have ever had the pleasure of working with, she has technical excellence, strategic nous, and all the other skills needed for a top litigator in spades. She is also brilliant at supporting her clients and has built an impressive profile in the marketplace. Jennifer Millins maintains an impressive practice and continues to be involved in cutting edge cases. Daniel Naftalin leads the department with aplomb. Rhiannon Bail is definitely an associate to watch, showing dedication and ability in equal measure.’

‘Mishcon de Reya are rightly market leaders. I have worked closely with Matthew Wood in a complex matter with simultaneous proceedings in both the employment and civil courts and was extremely impressed by his tactical acumen.’

Withers LLP

Meriel Schindler is the head and 'driving force' of the team at Withers LLP where 'the associates are very high quality and take on significant responsibility early in their careers'. At partner level, the well-known Elaine Aarons is considered a 'master tactician'; both her and Schindler attract clients with high-profile careers at stake. The team has experience in many industries from publishing to financial services and has regulatory specialists on hand as necessary. The group also advises employers, and can provide assistance on cases that have international aspects. Senior associate Lisa Lewinsohn has considerable experience both in litigation and negotiating settlements, and associate James Hockin is also rated by clients as 'very direct when talking to the opposite side, but very supportive and patient with the client'. He worked with Schindler on the case for the former global head of currencies and commodities, in his claim in the Employment Tribunal against HSBC. Special counsel Melissa Paz acts for both employers and employees 'with hard to find tenacity, intelligence and negotiation skills'.

Practice head(s):

Meriel Schindler

Other key lawyers:

Elaine Aarons; Melissa Paz; Lisa Lewinsohn; James Hockin; Hugh More

Testimonials

‘Whilst Withers is a well known large firm, they made it like a little boutique, very close to their client with a lot of various legal support within the firm with different specialities as well as external support such as training for cross- examination, PR for journalists engagement as well as other communication channels. This helped to feel completely supported and benefitting from their experience. This was essential when going through some very up and down times over the period of the case.’

‘Meriel Schindler and James Hockin were the two main individual with whom I dealt. Meriel is very direct and very driven with a lot of experience. When discussing a problem, she is very quick to tell you the potential options and outcome and then share with you the explanation and case examples that support her reasoning. James, whilst also very driven and very direct when talking to the opposite side, he is very supportive, patient with you as a client. He has a lot of empathy. He takes the time to explain the strategy that is put in place. The combination has been excellent. Whilst Meriel is the driving force with years of experience, James makes sure that all your uncertainties are answered.’

‘This practice hugely expanded the options available to me in ways I had not previously considered and then, working highly collaboratively and supportively with me, then executed my wishes with a high degree of expertise, experience and success. I worked exclusively with James Hockin who was excellent and had just the right balance between listening and proactively giving advice for a case which was highly personal and very stressful. He was also very responsive and able to step in and out to give advice on a complicated situation at a moment’s notice.’

‘The firm’s expertise in advising senior executives in the city is peerless. Key strength is a real understanding of the regulatory environment in financial services.  Elaine Aarons is a master tactician and a very good technical lawyer. She never puts a foot wrong. Meriel Schindler provides a holistic service and particular expertise on team moves. Hugh More is unflappable. The associates are very high quality and take on significant responsibility early in their careers.’

‘What makes all the difference is the individuals and the depth and breadth of offering. Melissa Paz is the primary lawyer I have dealt with from Withers. The first time we worked together, was for a very personal, complicated and sensitive situation. Excellent in her role with hard to find tenacity, intelligence and negotiation skills. Melissa is driven and commercial and importantly someone pleasant, caring, and trustworthy.  Best proof of how much I value Melissa is that post our first collaboration I have asked her to help me on two more cases, each reconfirming her character, talent and dedication. I had no hesitations about working with Melissa again or recommending her to others.’

Work highlights

  • Representing HSBC’s former global head of currencies and commodities in his claim in the Employment Tribunal against HSBC and a number of its current and former senior staff.
  • Representing a former CEO and Chairman of IBM in Asia on her exit from the role.
  • Defending an award winning BBC editor of the News South East against alleged bullying claims.

Bird & Bird LLP

The 'confidence inspiring' team at Bird & Bird LLP, headed up by Ian Hunter, is home to two highly rated partners; the 'unflappable' Tim Spillane and the 'pragmatic and determined' Elizabeth Lang. Other well-rated practitioners include director Penny Hunt whose work includes senior executive terminations and disputes, large-scale redundancies and disciplinary and grievance matters. Lang's expertise lies in advising on discrimination, whistleblowing and breach of contract cases, while Spillane specialises in assisting executives and partners in the financial and professional services industries on appointments and departures. The team is also adept in dealing with international complications for clients who are facing relocations.

Practice head(s):

Ian Hunter

Other key lawyers:

Tim Spillane; Penny Hunt; Elizabeth Lang; Emily Clark

Testimonials

‘What I found particularly attractive is a very practical, matter-of-fact approach combined with care and attention to the client. The team worked seamlessly, with zero gaps or inconsistency regardless of who was handling the situation on the day. The individual strikes just the right balance between efficiency, competence, diligence and consideration for emotional and human elements of each situation. Advice was given clearly without a push but well-augmented and firm, which made it easy to decide on the cause of action.’

B&B have a very solid employment team and good lawyers from top to bottom: Tim Spillane is the stand out lawyer in the team, very clever and equally sensible and good to deal with. He is unflappable and results driven.

‘Elizabeth Lang is supported with a team which is dedicated and committed to high service standards. If at any point Ms Lang was unavailable members of her team where always on hand attentive and responsive to any queries in a timely manner. Elizabeth’s strengths are best summarised as: Pragmatic, no-nonsense and determined.’

‘The team at Bird and Bird were balanced, thorough, confidence inspiring and efficient. They were knowledgeable, experienced and quick and were always available to me. I worked with Tim Spillane and Emily Clark. Both were excellent – calm, methodical, confidence inspiring and I felt completely confident in their advice and support. I would recommend them both without hesitation.’

‘I received outstanding advice from Penny Hunt – and in fact from right through her team. Trust is the most important requirement in any relationship like this – especially when there are jobs and relatively large sums of money at stake. I trusted in this team from the first meeting.’

‘The main individual really was Penny Hunt. The team were great, but from the outset, Penny set out my case told it like it is. She detailed the limitations of what we could expect, the strengths and weaknesses of my case, the consequences of various courses of action – and above all, made sure she understood what I wanted to get out of it. In very stressful circumstances for me, Penny created calm, gave advice which reflected my overall objectives.’

Fox Williams LLP

The team at Fox Williams LLP is appreciated by clients for its access to the partners, and has also developed a range of billing options including conditional fee arrangements and third party funding. Its 'excellent' and 'clear' advice covers all forms of discrimination and whistleblowing, especially in the financial, insurance and fintech sectors, in addition to negotiating appointments and departures of senior executives, CEOs and senior partners.  The team is also notable for dealing with partnership issues. The 'calm, measured, and confident' Joanna Chatterton heads up the team and, along with Jane Mann and David Murphy, also handles Employment Tribunal and High Courts cases, reputational issues and regulatory matters. Aron Pope's experience includes handling mandates where employment and regulatory issues intersect.

Practice head(s):

Joanna Chatterton

Other key lawyers:

Jane Mann; David Murphy; Aron Pope; Mark Watson

Testimonials

‘A very strong team, respect for each other, subject knowledge, always prepared, very clear explanation of case situation, quick to follow up, and humane.’

‘Jane Mann: confident, clearly explains the case situation, respect for colleagues, humane.’

The primary benefits of Fox Williams I most appreciated was an excellent standard of advice throughout and always being able to access the Partner, in this case Jo Chatterton, who at times of particular pressure was always calm and measured and confident.’

‘The Partner in question was always available and accessible, which is not always the case in the bigger firms who always tend to delegate downwards.’

‘Jo Chatterton was recommended to me as one of the best employment lawyers in the City. I could not have found a better lawyer to guide me throughout a period of employment negotiations. Jo provided exactly the advice I needed when I needed it and at all times made me feel completely supported. I highly recommend her.’

Harbottle & Lewis LLP

Home to 'an extraordinary group of experts', Harbottle & Lewis LLP stands out for the comprehensive range of expertise it offers to C-level individuals, and also its handling of discrimination and unfair dismissal matters that have arisen due to Covid. In addition to an array of discrimination and whistleblowing cases, Howard Hymanson is notable for his personal injury expertise, assisting clients who are dealing with mental health and 'long Covid' illnesses, while Yvonne Gallagher is considered a 'stand out' for litigation and negotiating settlements. Marian Derham has a strong practice in the creative, fashion and telecoms industries, and senior associates Poppy Lucas and Sarah Verrecchia both attract praise for the scope of their expertise.

Practice head(s):

Yvonne Gallagher; Howard Hymanson

Other key lawyers:

Marian Derham; Poppy Lucas; Sarah Verrecchia

Testimonials

An extraordinary group of experts who provide professional advice on a full range of employment law issues. Diverse expertise acting for executives level negotiating and advising on: – exit strategies – termination packages – contractual arrangements – PR communication. Exceptional client service.’

I had a pleasure to work with the extraordinary Marian Derham and Poppy Lucas.’

The lawyers are intelligent, astute, knowledgeable and supportive.’

H&L which came highly recommended and very quickly stood out. Howard Hymanson not only gave me valuable free advice at the end of the call but he showed me that he is really sympathetic and understanding towards my matter.

Howard and his associate team member thoroughly captured all the details of my case and offered sound advice throughout. Everything seemed transparent and they were always ensuring that I am comfortable with the strategy they laid out. Howard was always very generous with his time and patient with me. He spent more hours on my case than what he finally invoiced me.’

Howard Hymanson has incredible judgment.’

Yvonne Gallagher stood out, taking a very sensible but firm approach to litigation for her client, which enabled the matter to reach a sensible outcome for both parties at an early stage, without the need for protracted litigation.’

Sarah Verrecchia provided an outstanding service with impeccable response rates, supportive people skills in a difficult time, and thorough analysis of the unusual issues arising.’

Work highlights

  • Successfully negotiating a six-figure settlement for a client, a victim of workplace sexual assault.
  • Attained a very favourable exit terms for a client, who suffered chronic fatigue syndrome.
  • Advising on a high seven-figure claim against a US law firm following the client, an employee of that firm, suffering significant psychiatric injury.

Keystone Law

Keystone Law is home to one of the largest groups of senior employment lawyers in the country and is notable for its alternative business model. It provides expertise in the full range of employment issues for CEOs, directors, board members, senior lawyers and political figures and in areas ranging from the financial services industry to the football sector. Alistair French is highly rated for his handling of complex cases and also for being able to ‘manage expectations‘, while Clive Howard (who joined from Slater and Gordon in 2021) is known for undertaking high-profile cases. ‘Absolute proPaul Daniels‘ experience encompasses executive dismissals, discrimination and whistleblowing claims, contract disputes and sport issues, while Angharad Harris has ‘second to none‘ expertise; both also undertake employer side work. Other highly-rated practitioners include Nigel Forsyth, Michelle Last and ‘stand-out partnerJane Wheeler who ‘never fails to impress‘.

Other key lawyers:

Alistair French; Clive Howard; Paul Daniels; Angharad Harris; Nigel Forsyth; Michelle Last; Julie Morris; Jane Wheeler; Emma Clark; Alexandra Carn; Fraser Younson; Helen Sherborne

Testimonials

Keystone has built up a strong employment law offering over the past 5 years. Jane Wheeler is excellent.’

They are way more ‘joined up’ than many other practices. Extremely committed and go the extra mile under trying circumstances.’

Nigel Forsyth continues to be an outstanding practitioner in the art of employment law. Often needing to pivot to see all views, Nigel is just such a formidable competitor ( but in the most charming way possible) that he almost makes the moves for the opposition or certainly predicts it.

The whole business model makes Keystone unique as I understand it. You get a top expert without the all the usual baggage of a normal firm.

Alexandra Carn is exceptionally attuned to the needs of the client, particularly in difficult situations where there really aren’t many options- excellent client manner- she has a style of dealing with opposing firms that is assertive but low key and is very effective in practice.

I have always found Julie Morris knowledgeable, professional and supportive. Julie ensured she developed an understanding of our context and needs and has always provided pragmatic and effective guidance and advice. It is clear Julie values integrity, is ethical, focused on doing what is right and a real asset to the legal profession.

Fraser Younson’s former experience as a barrister was particularly useful as he was able to advise from various perspectives. From the outset, Fraser outlined the upsides & downsides of my case. The method of billing was transparent. I felt that Fraser adopted a “partnership” approach which helped to settle the case favourably. Given the sensitivities of employment law and my case, Fraser demonstrated professional empathy.’

I appreciate how Alistair French manages expectations and strives to reach a best case outcome. I have recommended Alistair and Keystone to colleagues on multiple occasions.’

Work highlights

  • Acting for the CEO of a global PR company on a termination dispute which lasted six months and was very acrimonious.
  • Acting for the former Permanent Secretary of the Home Office in a claim for whistleblowing against Priti Patel.

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP is a ‘great team with exceptional technical knowledge‘ and is sought after for high-profile, complex whistleblowing cases. It has a strong track record for being able to negotiate complex exits, and defending clients against injunctions. Its clients come from multi-national and listed companies and it has considerable expertise in the financial sector. Paul Mander leads the group (London and nation-wide) and assists clients at the CEO level in relation to exit packages and a range of discrimination matters. Andrew Haywood‘s practice includes acting for sports managers, while Tom Walker acts for board members and directors, especially in the finance industry; Walker and senior associate Sarah Mant are highlighted for their ‘exceptional technical knowledge particularly in whistleblowing cases‘. Nick Humphries, ‘who knows dispute management inside out‘ can advise on international employment issues and also advises senior sports professionals. As an ‘outstanding and talented professional’, senior associate Hester Jewitt‘s work includes defending against performance and misconduct allegations, and handling post-termination restrictions.

Practice head(s):

Paul Mander

Other key lawyers:

Andrew Haywood; Tom Walker; Nick Humphries; Sarah Mant; Hester Jewitt; Ruby Dinsmore

Testimonials

‘I had the pleasure of working with Paul Mander, who represented me. He was highly professional and managed to get the result I wished for in a timely manner. The human touch, empathy towards clients, excellent results, regular updates and very good advice. I will always recommend this firm.’

‘Have young members in the team who are helping to generate creatively  good technological ideas from system point of view. They use a personal approach, great communications skills and fast reactions.’

‘Penningtons and in particular, Paul Mander, was a recommendation from another law firm. My goodness, we were grateful to get this contact as Paul was EXACTLY what we needed. Paul Mander is a responsive, fast, knowledgeable and entertaining partner. His work for me was exemplary and fast and cost effective.’

‘I worked directly with Sarah Mant and her team. They were responsive, supportive and acted in both a timely manner with a proportional and appropriate outcome in mind. Sarah appreciated that I wanted my situation closed quickly with maximal benefit given the time. Sarah delivered on this.’

‘Primarily I worked with Hester Jewitt. She is an outstanding lawyer and a clearly talented professional who I believe will progress far and quickly. She is detail oriented, experienced and yet impressively efficient with time. She has a deep understanding of dealing with Employment matters in the alternative investment space, especially Hedge Funds.’

‘Andrew Haywood was the partner I dealt with and literally after one initial conversation with him, I felt the weight of the world lift off my shoulders. He gave me rock solid advice and over a matter of just a few weeks turned my situation around with a great package and with my dignity in tact and my mental health restored.’ 

‘I have worked principally with Nick Humphreys. Nick gives every case his all. You get his energy, his considerable experience, his deft business judgment and his good humour.’

‘High quality firm able to deal with all issues that may arise for senior execs, from injunctive proceedings, to ET proceedings, and everything in between. Good pragmatic advice which is solutions focused. Nick Humphreys – knows dispute management inside out. Highly responsive and pragmatic. Clients love him. He really gets results and clients come back time and again. Pleasure to work with.’

Winckworth Sherwood LLP

Winckworth Sherwood LLP is especially adept in advising on strategic, departures (and the employment/re-employment) of board, CEO and senior manager level executives. The work involves highly complex issues regarding severance packages, equity incentives and bonus issues. Corporate governance compliance, banking code restrictions/other regulatory regimes, restrictive covenants and reputational management issues are further areas of expertise. Jo Keddie, who leads the team, is entrusted with some of the most high-stakes, complex matters, often with additional, underlying gender and other discrimination elements. Bettina Bender has considerable experience acting for both employees and employers and Louise Lawrence advises on resignations, negotiated exits, conduct issues and redundancies.

Practice head(s):

Jo Keddie

Other key lawyers:

Bettina Bender; Louise Lawrence; Susan Kelly; Andrea London

Testimonials

‘The firm were discreet, welcoming and eased a very stressful situation for me.  Billing was easy and communicated at the same time each month, which allowed me to plan my outgoings.’

‘Winckwood Sherwood was recommended to me, in particular Susan Kelly. From the moment I contacted her, she made an extremely stressful situation manageable with appropriate advice and set realistic expectations. She provided options for me and supported me through the process of detachment from a National employer whilst ensuring that I was not disadvantaged by a situation that was not my fault. I would most certainly recommend Susan Kelly.’

‘A very professional and thorough team. No stone was left unturned. Andrea London has been exceptional in her approach and her delivery in handling my case. She has given me great support and confidence in her ability to get the job done.

‘They took my issue seriously, fought for the right level of compensation and made a real effort to charge me conservatively.’

Axiom DWFM

Axiom DWFM 'is a small team but with tremendous expertise and commitment to clients' in the view of one observer. Team head Elizabeth Johnson is considered 'truly exceptional, tremendously bright and an assuring presence' when handling cases for her clients in the Employment Tribunal, County and High Courts. 'Very impressive' senior associate Louise Rogers works closely with Johnson, especially on cases in the financial services and media sectors. The team's expertise spans discrimination claims of all kinds, reputational management issues and exit packages or redundancy/relocation contract negotiations. This multi-lingual team includes the 'strategic and exceptionally tenacious' Naylah Hamour , who handles the full range of advisory and contentious work, and the 'fantastic' Sharokh Koussari, who advises UK and overseas senior executives and entrepreneurs in addition to handling boardroom and shareholder disputes.

Practice head(s):

Elizabeth Johnson

Other key lawyers:

Naylah Hamour; Sharokh Koussari; Louise Rogers

Testimonials

‘Elizabeth Johnson is a very sharp and personable lawyer. She has a particular skill of listening and can quickly ascertain what is important to the client. Elizabeth manages expectations and provides pragmatic, clear and considered advice making murky situations immediately clearer.’

‘Elizabeth Johnson is truly exceptional, tremendously bright and an assuring presence. She is incredibly hard working and ensures that what needs to be done gets done, regardless of the time pressure.’

‘The team are all a delight to work with. Everyone I engaged with was friendly, engaging and sincere. They also provided an innovative billing solution for my needs, which involved the instruction of external counsel.’

‘Sharokh Koussari is a fantastic lawyer. He is both technical and commercial in his approach, and identified risks before they materialised. Sharokh sees the ‘bigger picture’ before others do, and went above and beyond to find the best outcome for me. His interaction with opposing counsel was also fantastic, as he found the right balance between protecting me as his client, but also being open and engaging so as to find a suitable outcome.’

‘Naylah Hamour effused calm and logic in what was a chaotic time and I cannot praise and endorse her highly enough. Naylah communicated process, potential outcomes and risks in such a clear and concise manner that I quickly had a full understanding of a topic that had (thankfully) been previously alien to me. Above all else Naylah was kind and personable at what was an extremely difficult time.’

‘The diverse team is knowledgeable, solutions oriented and demonstrates high levels of emotional intelligence and empathy, placing client care and well being at the centre of their offering. They are willing to provide flexible billing solutions which adapt to client circumstances, and are highly responsive to concerns identified by clients, whilst ensuring that desired outcomes are achieved.’

‘Naylah Hamour is an exceptional legal adviser, who is highly knowledgeable in the employment law sphere, both in terms of black letter law and from a strategy viewpoint. The care, empathy and emotional intelligence that she demonstrates in guiding clients through the journey in both dispute resolution and contractual scenarios is second to none.  I have recommended her on multiple occasions.’

‘They are a small team but with tremendous expertise and commitment to their clients. Naylah Hamour is an intelligent, strategic and exceptionally tenacious lawyer. I have seen first hand the remarkable results she gets for her clients.’

Work highlights

  • Representing a senior executive employee when the employer company went into administration, in bringing a claim arising from failure to transfer her employment to the new entity.
  • Negotiating a senior executive client’s employment, resignation of directorship, variation of shareholder agreement in respect of her post termination restrictions, share sale agreement and entrepreneur capital gain tax advice applicable to employees.
  • Represented a senior executive of a large banking institution who was unfairly dismissed, ostensibly for redundancy, as a result of mental ill health.

Bates Wells

Clients report that the Bates Wells team, led by Lucy Mclynn, inspires confidence with its 'clear and precise advice'.  In addition to the range of work it undertakes for senior executives, it also acts for employers, and has a reputation regarding running test cases and 'gig economy' challenges (it acted in the high-profile Uber case which went to the Supreme Court.) It is also known for its roster of third sector clients. William Garnett has a track record in acting on senior executive and boardroom disputes; working with senior associate Rachel Mathieson, they handle discrimination cases, senior exits and post-employment settlement packages. Paul Jennings acts for both senior executives and employers as does Paul Seath.

Practice head(s):

Lucy McLynn

Other key lawyers:

William Garnett; Paul Jennings; Rachel Mathieson; Shadia El Dardiry; Paul Seath; Robert Turner

Testimonials

‘I have to assume that the team behind the partner I dealt with is very good, as he was always well briefed. Available 24/7 and with a refreshing brevity if a simple enquiry, whilst a phenomenally detailed and quick response when required.’

‘I cannot find fault with any of the work carried out for me by the partner, William Garnett.’

What makes Bates Wells unique is their clear and precise advice, attention to detail and responsiveness. Compared to other firms I have used in the past I find that given the no nonsense approach you can be confident of the advice given and the billing to be accurate for the work provided.’

‘I have mainly worked with Lucy McLynn on employment matters – the advice given is clear and concise. Lucy will not sugar coat her advice and will clearly layout your options without bias or prejudice. I am confident in the attention to detail and accuracy in the interpretation of the law by Lucy.’

I would recommend Bates Wells particularly the individuals that helped me. It warrants the excellent reputation the firm has. The team were very hard working, diligent, incredibly adaptable and responsive to changing deadlines and work loads/time pressures. The case has been overseen by Paul Seath but the majority of the work has been done by Shadia El Dardiry. Both really were stand out in my case. Both provided expert guidance to me.  I would certainly use this company again and cannot recommend the individuals that helped me highly enough.’

I have worked with solicitors Rachel Mathieson, Paul Jennings and Robert Turner over the past 24 months on bringing a claim. Rachel and Paul Jennings are truly world-class professionals in employment law, but even more important than their knowledge and professionalism is their compassion and understanding when dealing with complex employment problems.’

Work highlights

  • Successfully represented the two test claimants taking on Uber in the landmark Supreme Court about whether Uber drivers were ‘workers’.
  • Acting for the former Chief Executive of the People’s Vote campaign in relation to his high-profile removal.
  • Representing a black cab driver in his appeal relating to his worker status claim against taxi app, MyTaxi.

Bellevue Law

Bellevue Law provides  'great advice and amazing service'. Principal lawyer Florence Brocklesby is lauded for providing 'astute' advice on the gamut of discrimination claims and negotiated exits. With twenty years of experience, Leigh Edgar advises both employers and employees on the full range of contentious and non-contentious matters. Clients recommend Victoria Misselbrook for her skilled handling of cases for senior executives in the financial services and other sectors. Rachel Clementson and Imogen Finnegan joined the team in 2020, both bringing specialist expertise from international law firms.

Practice head(s):

Florence Brocklesby

Other key lawyers:

Victoria Misselbrook; Rachel Clementson; Imogen Finnegan; Leigh Edgar

Testimonials

‘A small practice that gives a very personal service, very quick response times. Team is very competent, understanding and very good explaining the strategy, pro and cons and finding the best path forward.’

‘Bellevue Law was recommended to me as I had a very sensitive and delicate case to pursue. I 100% could not be happier with the sincerity, effort, due diligence, and expertise in which my case was handled. Florence had been such a calming, wonderful person to work with. She sincerely fought for my case and I had 100% trust in her, her team, and that I received the best possible results considering how difficult the nature of my case was.’

‘Great advice. Amazing service. Very empathetic team with great expertise! Florence’s service was impeccable! Advice was pragmatic and clear. Very happy with her would always recommend her.’

‘Victoria Misselbrook was my contact at the practice and she was incredibly generous, both with her time and positive energy. It was a very stressful period for me and Victoria made a difficult situation bearable and I trusted her implicitly.’

‘Amazing, efficient and totally knowledgeable. Florence Brocklesby is truly excellent, really knows her stuff.’

‘Florence Brocklesby is both charming and astute. She gave me confidence that with her advice I could handle a tricky situation well.’

‘This is a very slick organisation with incredibly high calibre personnel. It’s the collaborative approach that stands out, I felt truly partnered by Bellevue during the process I engaged them in. I worked with Florence Brocklesby who was exceptional. Discreet, calm, robust, diligent and frank where required.’

‘Felt like there was a high degree of attention and competency while coming in under budget. Victoria Misselbrook worked quickly and she was thorough. Really high level of service. I have referred her and the firm twice in six months since.’

Work highlights

  • Advising the Chief Executive of a global media company on his exit following the sale of the business.
  • Advising the Chief Executive of a national hotel chain on the termination of his employment in the context of the severe impact of Covid-19 on the business.
  • Advising the chief executive of a regulated financial services business on his exit, including protection of his reputation, and negotiation in respect of post-termination restrictions.

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP

The Charles Russell Speechlys LLP group is headed up by Trevor Bettany who has an established reputation in acting for senior executives, and LLP members, particularly those in the financial services sectors including hedge funds and PE houses. The team has a focus on negotiating entries or exits involving complex remuneration packages, often as a result of major reorganisations. Clients also come from the NHS and academia. The team's client services includes a bespoke early document review platform (Discovery on Demand).  Other noted practitioners include Nick Hurley (he handles both both contentious and non-contentious matters and has experience of Employment Tribunal and court cases concerning discrimination, and whistleblowing claims). Michael Powner advises on negotiating senior executive exits arising from restructurings.

Practice head(s):

Trevor Bettany

Other key lawyers:

Nick Hurley; Michael Powner

Dechert LLP

At Dechert LLP, Charles Wynn-Evans is a ‘stand-out individual‘ who can, according to one client, ‘see around corners‘. The team advises private equity houses and clients in a broad range of sectors ranging from the publishing and media sectors to the pharmaceuticals and energy industries. CEOs and directors make up the client roster that the team advises on negotiating exits, re-negotiating positions following major reorganisations and entries into new roles. Jason Butwick and associates Emma Byford and Jennifer McGrandle are other key team members.

Practice head(s):

Charles Wynn-Evans

Other key lawyers:

Jason Butwick; Emma Byford; Jennifer McGrandle

Testimonials

‘Charles Wynn Evans is a stand out individual. His knowledge of the law is exacting and comprehensive. As a strategist he is second to none effortlessly obtaining his clients’ objectives and literally seeing round corners.’  

‘The partner listened to the issue, considered the options, legal and other, and then provided advice as needed. Charles Wynn -Evans  – have known him for a number of years, and would always revert to him on personal employment matters. In short, I trust his advice.’

Edwin Coe LLP

At Edwin Coe LLP, team head Linky Trott 'never misses a beat' when navigating her clients through cases. The team has a focus on race, gender and disability discrimination claims, in addition to defending clients against allegations of gross misconduct and cases of equal pay. It also negotiates severance and redundancy packages. The team's clients come from a range of sectors; Ruth Hickling has experience of the pharmaceuticals, engineering and financial services sectors. Emma Sangeelee is in demand for 'her expertise and her brilliance'; she is especially known for her disability discrimination experience. Rachel Harrap is a consultant with the team.

Practice head(s):

Linky Trott

Other key lawyers:

Emma Sangeelee; Ruth Hickling; Rachel Harrap; Elliot Francis

Testimonials

‘I really appreciated that my experience was not at all corporate or cold, and instead felt personal and catered to my needs.  Emma Sangeelee was my lawyer, and I cannot recommend her services enough; by working with her I landed a better outcome than I could have possibly imagined.’

‘This firm is absolutely outstanding. I was really pleased by the way they organised themselves to analyse my case and give me the best advice. I believe the level of professionalism and tools they use/have is way above any other law firm. I would recommend them in a heart beat.’ 

Emma Sangeelee can always analyse difficult matters in a very sensible and wise way to get exactly the outcome she intends to get to. Emma is the best lawyer I know and I have already recommended her to many friends. I think she is a person I will always go to for her expertise and her brilliance.’

‘They have a thorough understanding of what is going on and are able to predict the actions of the opposition. Thus your next step takes this into account which gives you major benefits. Brilliant minds, able to communicate potential problems and prepare you for what is likely to occur.’

‘I have worked with Ruth Hickling who always makes herself available and finds practical solutions to problems. She is also a pleasure to work with.’

‘Led from the top by Linky Trott, the entire team forms a cohesive unit that suits all budgets. Linky provided the perfect balance of a concise summation of the task and continual oversight. Elliot Francis deserves special mention for his depth of understanding in the detail of the case and engagement on scenario discussions. His day to day availability, throughout the lockdown was incredible.’ 

‘Linky Trott: An unparalleled depth of knowledge and her capacity to surmise the outcome from the outset whether that is favourable to you or not gives you a sense of confidence to proceed with your case. She never misses a beat and has in my experience been many steps ahead of the opposition team.’

‘Edwin Coe rightly commands its position as a key firm, particularly in respect of its Employment team. The practice has excellent breadth and depth of experience and is unique in its well-balanced delivery of professional litigation work alongside a dedicated and empathetic approach to its clients.’

Fox & Partners

Praised as ‘commercial, tenacious and effective, Fox & Partners is home to a strong team that assists clients in senior positions across many sectors including the professional services, insurance and financial services industries. It provides comprehensive expertise, handling investigations, discrimination claims, bullying issues and whistleblowing work together with negotiating large team moves and other complex senior exits which frequently involve disputes over share retention. As ‘a master of his craft‘, Ivor Adair and Caroline Field head up the team while ‘extremely experienced and savvy adviser’ Catriona Watt is one of the recognised senior partners. Senior associates of note are Shoshana Bacall and Remziye Ozcan while associate Shiv Raja is also highlighted by clients as ‘technically gifted‘.

Practice head(s):

Ivor Adair; Caroline Field

Other key lawyers:

Catriona Watt; Shoshana Bacall; Remziye Ozcan; Shiv Raja

Testimonials

Commercial, tenacious and effective – they pursued my case doggedly over more than a year and got me the outcome I needed in the face of a difficult counterparty.’

The team are compassionate, hugely motivated and very knowledgeable. You feel listened to and supported. Remziye Ozcan was warm and considerate, whilst being incredibly professional and competent. She went the extra mile to support me through a very difficult matter. Caroline Field was always available and very flexible. The warmth they both showed stood out to me.’

Catriona Watt is outstanding. Understands people and situations perfectly. Escalates negotiations skilfully one notch of the ratchet at a time, mindful of where other side is.’

Ivor Adair – standout on interaction of employment law and transaction incentives.’

This firm has provided me with excellent service – responding promptly at a time of crisis and providing balanced and clear advice. Ivor Adair is engaged, committed, available when needed and he provides advice with clarity and empathy. He remembers detail, he can see the big picture and the detail at the same time and shows judgment. He advises on the array of options, the pros and cons of each and he shows an awareness of cost-consciousness that is appreciated. A master of his craft.’

Highly effective at litigation in employment law, with a reputation for robust negotiations. Ivor Adair is very good at succinctly explaining the level of risk with each potential course of action in an employment situation enabling the client to more easily weigh risks and make judgements.

They handle cutting-edge senior executive cases frequently involving very senior people facing career ruining or changing dismissals. The cases often raise novel legal issues and complexities. The practice collaborates well across the partners and associates to provide cost-effective and responsive client representation.’

Catriona Watt – extremely experienced and savvy adviser. Trusted by very senior clients to steer a steady course across tricky legal landscapes and rapidly evolving situations. Shiv Raja – technically gifted associate who is exceptionally good at drafting.’

Leigh Day

Leigh Day is recommended for its 'skill and robust representation, coupled with real empathy'. Nigel Mackay and Emma Satyamurti lead the group, which negotiates exit packages and restrictive covenants in addition to tackling a range of unfair dismissal cases involving age, race and gender discrimination, often reaching the Employment Appeals Tribunal or involving injunctions. Michael Newman is especially highlighted for his equal pay expertise, and at associate level 'real star' Annie Powell and the 'brilliant' Nick Webster are noted for their abilities across race discrimination claims, sexual harassment issues and senior exit arrangements. Associate Mike Cane (based in Manchester) also attracts praise.

Practice head(s):

Nigel Mackay; Emma Satyamurti

Other key lawyers:

Michael Newman; Annie Powell; Nick Webster; Mike Cane

Testimonials

Provide value for money without compromising quality. Their cases are well prepared, and work well with their barristers as a team to get the best results for clients. I regularly recommend them to clients looking for legal advice. Emma Satyamurti – combines fantastic legal knowledge with a practical approach to running cases in the best interest of clients. Nigel Mckay – one of the best solicitors I have worked with.

Leigh Day are fantastic at acting in claims for individuals against large, well-resourced businesses. They are in no way intimidated and are able to hold a firm line to secure the best outcome for their clients. Nigel Mackay is fantastic to work with.’

Leigh Day have secure controls on electronic communications, billing and confidentially. The lawyers have a wide network of expertise to draw on when necessary both within and outside the firm. They always kept me informed of the status of my case and covered my case when my prime lawyer, Nick Webster, was on leave. Throughout the pandemic the firm maintained a seamless professional service.’

Annie Powell was my rock throughout my entire case. I had complete confidence in her and she guided me in my decision making every step of the way without putting any pressure on me either way. She was always ready and prepared for next steps should things not have gone our way.’

Leigh Day have provided fantastic advice and support to me in a particularly difficult episode relating to a constructive dismissal and discrimination claim. They have amazing expertise in their specialist areas and I feel very fortunate to have found them.’

Nick Webster –  in addition to being a consummate professional and expert in his field, he also operates with a heart and soul. He understands that some of his clients will find entering into litigation a daunting prospect and there have been times when Nick Webster’s calm reassurance has given me strength during episodes of anxiety. Nick never takes his eye off the pivotal arguments and keeps his clients on track by his emphasis on what is and isn’t crucial.’

I worked with Mike Cain (Senior Associate) who was honest, thorough and knew how to negotiate a good exit for me. He calmed my emotions with ease and clearly stepped me through the path to resolution. He explained options, translated jargon and re-charged my ‘fight’ when I felt a bit deflated by a tricky senior exit. He is very good when handling the other side and can stand strong when needed.’

‘Annie Powell is an absolute star. Completely dedicated, always on top of the detail and tactically astute. Knows which buttons to press to get the desired response from the other side.’

Work highlights

  • Conducting a claim for disability discrimination relating to ADHD for a senior executive in the financial sector resulting in a settlement.
  • Represented a head of energy, EMEA, in his successful Employment Tribunal claim for age discrimination against Citibank, resulting in a substantial award by the Employment Tribunal and changes in practice amongst City banks employing older executives.
  • Represented a client in his claims of disability discrimination, including direct disability discrimination and failure to make reasonable adjustments.

Payne Hicks Beach LLP

Payne Hicks Beach LLP attracts significant and complex cases involving discrimination claims, whistleblowing matters, unfair dismissals and issues of senior employee transfers and redundancies. It also acts for clients accused of wrong-doing such as breaches of confidentiality or sexual harassment where high-impact reputational damage is at stake. Peter McRoberts has an impressive roster of clients in the banking and finance, commodities and media sectors and is also well connected with the medical profession. As an experienced associate, Chris Weaver covers contentious and advisory matters and has experience of Employment Tribunal litigation. Fellow associate Kim Crangle joined the team in June 2020 and advises on issues spanning dismissals and workplace disputes, discrimination law, redundancy consultations and post-termination restrictions.

Practice head(s):

Peter McRoberts

Other key lawyers:

Chris Weaver; Kim Crangle

Testimonials

Peter McRoberts is very experienced in this field and acts with great passion for his clients and always tries to achieve good practical outcomes. He is always very well prepared and into the detail.’

Rahman Lowe Solicitors

The ‘powerfully adept and hugely talented’ Jahad Rahman heads up the specialist Rahman Lowe Solicitors practice, which is ‘not afraid to challenge and take on the most thorny issues’. The team’s clients include MDs, VPs of global investment banks, HR heads and senior medical professionals. It acted on one of the most high-profile whistleblowing cases involving the NHS and also acts for clients in the education sector.  Its expertise covers all types of discrimination, redundancy, breach of contract, and restrictive covenant issues in addition to defamation and reputation damage control work. Sarah Lowe‘s expertise includes a special focus on disability discrimination cases, stress at work issues and harassment claims. The ‘tenaciousZillur Rahman is also noted for his expertise in this area.

Practice head(s):

Jahad Rahman

Other key lawyers:

Sarah Lowe; Zillur Rahman

Testimonials

Jahad and Zillur Rahman are strong players in different areas. Jahad in whistleblowing, and Zillur in defamation. They are bold and effective lawyers.’

Rahman Lowe is a phenomenal suite of individual lawyers each of whom are extremely adept in the field of employment law. Senior executives and other clients are extremely well represented. They are constantly at the forefront of employment and discrimination law, creative innovators who are not afraid to challenge and take on the most thorny issues including appealing novel areas of law. They are leaders in their field and a cut above the rest. I highly recommend them!’

‘Zillur Rahman – An extremely bright, innovative and diligent lawyer. Tenacious and always goes the extra mile to get an excellent result. Jahad Rahman – is a powerfully adept and hugely talented lawyer. A leader in the field!’

‘I had a great experience with this company. Jahad is exceptional and understands policies both on the employee and employer side. In my opinion I had a difficult case but to have it done and completed in 6 weeks it was worth every penny I paid and felt both Jahad and the company worked for me in such a swift manner, will use again if needed and definitely recommend.’

Work highlights

  • Representing a doctor in relation to his high-profile complex claim for whistleblowing detriment against an NHS Trust and Health Education England (HEE).

Russell-Cooke LLP

The Russell-Cooke LLP team combines expertise in professional regulations, personal injury and crime as it intersects with employment law. It negotiates on behalf of senior executives and partners in relation to exit packages and also litigates in a range of discrimination cases including race, sex, and equal pay issues. It also acts on whistleblowing and the related harassment matters. Team head Anthony Sakrouge understands 'the nuances of employment law and has a very pragmatic approach to dealing with complex situations'. Alex Bearman is also well rated, including on TUPE procedures in the charities, financial services and sports and leisure sectors. Edward Wanambwa heads up the immigration group and combines this expertise with employment cases.

Practice head(s):

Anthony Sakrouge

Other key lawyers:

Alex Bearman; Edward Wanambwa

Testimonials

‘I have worked with Alex Bearman on a difficult employment appeal. I have been very impressed by Alex. His judgment is excellent. In a difficult case he has been able to cut to the heart of the key points.’  

‘My overall experience of dealing with Russell Cooke has been very positive. The team is knowledgeable, responsive and has ensured completion of all activities in a timely manner.’

‘Anthony Sakrouge is my primary partner contact at Russell Cooke. My overall impression of Anthony is that he is a sensational business partner, applying a deep understanding of the law with practical application to ensure the best possible outcome for me.  Anthony could be direct and tough, but fair, however his calm demeanour and authoritative approach defused tension by bringing clarity and understanding. I have recommended Anthony to numerous individuals in my network.’

‘I have been working with Anthony Sakrouge.  He has a very good understanding of the nuances of employment law and has a very pragmatic approach to dealing with complex situations. Anthony is very focused on protecting his clients and the advice provided is such that ensures his clients are not exposed.’

RWK Goodman

RWK Goodman  advises C-level executives including CEOs, and board members in the financial, sports, healthcare, life sciences and hospitality industries. The team covers discrimination and harassment claims, whistleblowing disputes and allegations of misconduct, market manipulation and fraud. It also negotiates exits. Team head Richard Woodman has a litigation background, and advises on a range of contentious cases including post-termination disputes. Caroline Doran Millett is noted for 'skilfully de-escalating challenging situations and efficiently achieving great outcomes for her clients'; she advises clients in relation to sexual misconduct and harassment allegations, and discrimination issues including gender reassignment discrimination.

Practice head(s):

Richard Woodman

Other key lawyers:

Caroline Doran Millett; Gemma Ospedale

Testimonials

‘Caroline Doran Millett is an exceptional employment lawyer. She is able to skilfully de-escalate challenging situations and efficiently achieve great outcomes for her clients. She’s an expert in her field and has thorough knowledge of the various processes and procedures available to achieve her clients’ objectives. She is a clear communicator and her fees are transparent. I have no hesitation in recommending Caroline to anyone.’

‘My experience is with Gemma Ospedale who is very sensible, no-nonsense, friendly, lovely to deal with – someone who is robust when acting on the other side and takes all the right points for her client but who is also commercial and wants to get the deal done.’

‘They are a good value and reliable safe pair of hands with practical solutions to problems. Caroline Doran Millet is an excellent trouble shooter. She takes on the client’s problem and shows confidence and commercial awareness in solving it.’

‘The team is driven by the ultra responsive and tenacious Caroline Doran Millet. Caroline has acted on numerous high value senior executive terminations and resulting litigation. The team competes very favourably on price when compared to other players in the senior executive market.’

‘Caroline Doran Millet is the original iron fist in a velvet glove. Charming and reasonable to deal with, but a proper fighter for her clients.’

‘A top notch team with bags of experience acting for senior executives across a variety of sectors. Caroline Doran Millett is a force to be reckoned with. A powerful and fearless advocate for her client.’

Work highlights

  • Successfully represented a well-paid director at the Said Business School of the University of Oxford in an Employment Tribunal claim for automatic unfair dismissal and whistleblowing detriment.
  • Representing the CEO of a significant investment fund in his claims for unpaid bonus, unpaid notice pay and unfulfilled share options, alongside pursuing a professional negligence claim against his previous lawyers for value of the lost whistleblowing claims.

Stephenson Harwood

The 'collaborative' team at Stephenson Harwood is led by Paul Reeves, whose broad practice includes advising senior executives on exit strategies, discrimination cases and allegations of misconduct; he frequently works with associate Kate Higgins. The team's expertise includes advising on new appointments, stock option and bonus issues, and discrimination cases, including where clients are suffering from long Covid. Clients come from well-known corporates, law firms and the financial services sector. Anne Pritam's expertise encompasses advising on whistleblowing and discrimination cases and allegations of misconduct such as sexual harassment. She also advises on regulatory complications, especially in the financial services sectors. The highly experienced Kate Brearley acts for both employers and senior executives; she and senior associate Serena Foulkes are considered a 'fantastic team' by clients.

Practice head(s):

Paul Reeves

Other key lawyers:

Kate Brearley; Anne Pritam; Serena Foulkes; Kate Higgins

Testimonials

‘My engagement was with a partner Paul Reeves, and associate Kate Higgins. I had quite a complex contract and several different share schemes in operation so negotiating on my behalf was not straightforward but the outcome was excellent. The process for me as a client was excellent.’

‘Paul Reeves the partner went through my contractual position and spent good time understanding my objectives in the negotiation with my employer. He was always himself available at fairly short notice for a discussion on points that were arising during the process. On reflection I was very pleased that he helped me to make a fully-informed decision on all aspects of the case; he went a significant step further than that from a client engagement point of view.’

‘The key attributes of the team are their friendly, client focused approach and their attention to detail. Very collaborative and great to work with, they make you feel that you are important to them as an individual as well as a client.’

‘Kate Brearley and Serena Foulkes are a fantastic team – they feel more like trusted friends than simply legal advisers.’

Work highlights

  • Advising WeWork’s legal team as one of its preferred advisers for employees in respect of two collective redundancy consultations which took place in June 2020 and October 2020, respectively.
  • Advised the incoming CFO of a listed company on the negotiation of his new contract and his promotion from his previous role.
  • Advised a former managing director of a London Branch of a foreign bank about his employers’ failure to provide adequate support during a time of severe illness and regulatory challenges.

BDB Pitmans

The 'honest, upfront and conscientious' team at BDB Pitmans is led by Jesper Christensen. The team's clients come from the corporate and charity sectors, with a strong focus on the latter. In conjunction with the Association of Chief Executives in the Voluntary Sector (ACEVO), the group also advises charity CEOs on issues arising with trustees and boards; Caroline Yarrow has a focus on this sector. The team handles high-value negotiated exits, redundancies and re-negotiated contracts together with post-termination restrictions. Legal director Tim Hayes handles employment work in conjunction with his immigration expertise.

Practice head(s):

Jesper Christensen

Other key lawyers:

Caroline Yarrow; Tim Hayes; Brian Gegg

Testimonials

My main contact at BDB Pitmans is Jesper Christensen, I have never been so impressed with any lawyer.’

‘My engagement was solely with Jesper Christensen, who I would have no hesitation recommending to anyone needing the type of advice he gave me. He was efficient, knowledgeable and pragmatic. He was quickly able to identify the key risk issues that we might be able to do something about, what the mitigation might be and provided the necessary drafting changes. We got the job done swiftly and efficiently. Jesper was also accessible, easy to communicate with and personable.’

‘Very personal service, felt valued as a customer. Willing to cross reference advice across their departments. Very satisfactory result  and quality of the advice was very good and highlighting pros and cons.’

‘The team is very honest, upfront and conscientious about the work they do. They provide a solid strategy on the best way forward, in what was a stressful situation. They work well together as a team and it was clear to me what everyone in the team brought to the table and who to reach out to and when.’

‘Brian Gegg is and exemplary Partner in the BDB team. Straight speaking with an acute view of deploying the right strategy at the right time in order to get the job done. He portrays confidence and credibility and someone you can trust.’

Key clients

ACEVO

didlaw

didlaw has an acclaimed reputation for the depth of its expertise in disability discrimination claims. This is in addition to its broader abilities in other areas including maternity, and pregnancy discrimination, sexual harassment and stress-related personal injury claims and whistleblowing issues. Karen Jackson 'has the extensive depth of knowledge expected of a top specialist lawyer'; she took the first section 15 Equality Act employment case to the Supreme Court. With a litigation background, Anita Vadgama, who is dual qualified (Massachusetts Bar), is equally specialised. Clients range from managing directors to senior lawyers and leading medical professionals.

Practice head(s):

Karen Jackson; Anita Vadgama

Testimonials

Didlaw is an incredible law firm which goes over and above to support their clients. Didlaw is particularly good re sexual harassment and discriminatory cases. They are technically brilliant with a number of very impressive senior female solicitors who really understood my needs and were compassionate as well as incredibly pragmatic.’

Karen Jackson runs a tight ship and from the moment I met her I knew this was the right firm! She is a master communicator and really passionate about her job. I immediately felt that I (and my case) was in the safest hands.’

Anita Vadgama is an exceptional lawyer both in terms of technical ability and tactical negotiation. Anita was very responsive and gives her clients 110% support. She has the perfect manner when handling delicate/sensitive issues in highly emotive circumstances.’

Didlaw’s excellent knowledge of employment law contributed to the second highest disability discrimination award ever.  Didlaw worked tirelessly with my barrister to deliver effective conduct throughout the demanding Tribunal process. Anita Vadgama has been diligent and responsive throughout a very lengthy and challenging process.  I have particularly valued her willingness to work jointly with me as claimant to identify the optimum way of conducting my case.’

Karen Jackson a great leader in the field and Anita Vadgama is very responsive and pragmatic.’

Exceptional communication skills, client care, knowledge of the employment field, pragmatic and realistic advice, good negotiation skills and knowing when to push and when not to – always gets a good result.’

Didlaw’s practice is undoubtedly unique because of the particular client-orientated approach it takes. It is a relatively small firm, but highly specialised towards those employees who face discrimination because of long term disability and the mental health issues which derive from, or are exacerbated by, this discrimination. My experience with Didlaw over almost a year completely supports this description.’

The availability of Didlaw staff and the level of commitment and genuine interest in the client’s needs is extremely high, far exceeding others I have experienced. A key strength, unique in my experience, is their ability to immerse themselves in the client’s problem and then react as if it was their own problem, so that it is truly a problem shared.’

Excello Law

Excello Law assists CEOs and other senior management clients with exit settlements and disputes, which often arise from a range of discriminations. The group also acts in High Court claims, injunctions and tribunal cases, and assists returning clients with contractual advice on subsequent employment. David Greenhalgh, who joined the team in May 2020, works in tandem with Hina Belitz. Both are highly regarded for providing clients with a clear plan of action, and the firm is praised as a ‘unique practice that provides clients with practical advice in a collaborative manner‘.

Other key lawyers:

David Greenhalgh; Hina Belitz; Sarah King

Testimonials

Excello Law is a unique practice that provides clients with practical advice in a collaborative manner. David Greenhalgh is an exceptional lawyer who explicitly understands the assignment. David has detailed knowledge of Employment law matters and corporate culture that impact Senior Executives. Would not hesitate in recommending David.’

2020 was a very challenging period for me personally, which resulted in me personally having health issues, which was a direct result from how my previous employer behaved towards me.  Excello Law is unique as they were able to empathise with my situation, provide clear guidance and recommendations, and partnered with me on a case that lasted over 6 months. Their people/soft/collaboration skills stand out from the competition, I truly felt valued at a time I most needed to be.’

Personable. Approachable, understanding, flexible, measured, caring and great ability to listen, Hina Belitz is wonderful, she was a great support and comfort when I needed advice and my settlement ended with a good resolution. She was always composed,  compassionate, calm and considered.  She really did make a very difficult upsetting time a lot more bearable, her ability to listen and understand my situation and talk things through really helped my mental well-being and kept me sane in my hour of need.’

I worked with David Greenhalgh and he really is a fantastic lawyer.  He had detailed knowledge of the subject and took the time to help me when I needed it.  As I was worried about the potential fees, he ensured that he clarified the potential cost on the various steps before embarking on anything. I would most certainly reach out to him again if needed.

David Greenhalgh is a recent addition to Excello Law. David is a great guy to have fighting your corner. Practical clear advice. Always at the end of the phone and very responsive. I think particularly when looking for an employment lawyer I really want someone personable and straight talking that listens to you and tells you these are your options and how best to find a solution. Sometimes no action is even the right thing to do. I think David puts the interests of his clients first.

David Greenhalgh helped formulate a plan of how we were going to deal with the situation. He reviewed all relevant work policies quickly and we formulated a grievance. The process was long and drawn out but David checked in on me regularly and the outcome was that my grievance was upheld. It was a tough journey and having David on my side made a significant difference not only from the legal and HR perspectives but also from the perspective of someone who was able to talk me through the likely perspective of others.’

‘Sarah King is an exceptional employment law expert who has a unique ability to understand complex exec and commission renumeration frameworks upon first explanation, and is then able to unpick contracts to extract the maximum separation value for you.’

Work highlights

  • Acting for a senior BAME executive against a high street bank following threat to dismiss based on groundless capability allegations where there has been historical race discrimination.
  • Acting for number of senior TV executives (including an employee representative) on group redundancy consultation and TUPE issues and enhanced exit packages negotiations post sale to competitor.
  • Negotiating substantial value exit package including high value options and bonus for an HR director at a well-known insurance company.

Farore Law

The 'small but mighty' Farore Law is a relatively new specialist firm set up by the well-known Suzanne McKie QC, who is 'not fazed by anything that the other side attempts'. Its core focus is on discrimination claims, but also handles harassment, misconduct, equal pay and whistleblowing matters. It combines advisory and strategic planning expertise with in-house advocacy skills. Additionally, the firm has a dedicated pro bono unit (with the purpose of allowing senior executives to contribute to assisting more junior staff). Specialists Jon Ludford-Thomas and Lee Newell are two key members of the team.

Practice head(s):

Suzanne McKie QC

Other key lawyers:

Jon Ludford-Thomas; Lee Newell

Testimonials

‘The people and attention make this practice unique. They are always helpful and always available. Suzanne McKie is a brilliant solicitor and can quickly ingest and comment on a lot of information. Working with her made me feel like she really understood the problem and had my best interests at heart.’

‘Brilliant firm and the best in their field. These are the kind of lawyers you want on your side as a client. Absolute dedication to putting your interests first and at the same time, considerate and patient. Meticulous attention to detail by senior individuals and junior assistants.’

‘Suzanne McKie. An absolutely brilliant lawyer. She has a thorough and detailed knowledge of this area of law and the likely approach of the courts/tribunals. She swiftly assimilates the facts of your case, its strengths and weaknesses, she relentlessly dedicates herself to your best interest and fighting for your cause. At the same time, she is sympathetic and listens. Suzanne and her team give you, as a client, the confidence and reassurance you most need in the difficult and stressful circumstances of potential litigation.’

‘Very responsive team, all team members keep you updated. Additional extras such as calls with those who have experienced sexual harassment in the workplace and the litigation that comes with pursuing a claim. Suzanne is not fazed by anything that the other side attempts and makes the client feel that they are in safe hands.’

‘Suzanne McKie and her team are simply fantastic!!! I cannot overstate the levels of competency, skill, experience and all round professionalism I witnessed in my dealings with this firm. These folks are personable people who expertly helped me in my hour of need to an outcome beyond expectations. If you find yourself dealing with a difficult situation and wondering who to trust then look no further than this firm.’

‘No time was wasted, no meetings were padded and Suzanne guided me through a tricky situation in such a calm and assured manner that it helped me in ways that went way beyond just legal counsel.’

‘The Farore Law team are just that – a great team who support their clients from start to finish – nothing is beyond their capabilities. Nothing phases this outstanding team and they are not afraid to take on the most powerful of establishments.’

Work highlights

  • Acted for a former senior parliamentary adviser in a high profile sexual harassment, disability discrimination and victimisation claim against Mr Hill, who was an MP until March 2021 when this claim forced his resignation.
  • Acting for a former senior FX trader in a long-running and public whistleblowing claim against the Royal Bank of Canada.
  • Acting as advocates for six senior executives accused of sexual harassment, discrimination and victimisation, in the ET and appeal courts.

Ince

Laura Livingstone, who heads up the practice at Ince, largely focuses on non-contentious matters for both senior individuals and employers. Her expertise includes issues arising from recruitment, terminations and TUPE, and she regularly handles negotiated settlements and contract negotiations, especially in the media, retail and banking sectors. Martin Pratt handles both contentious and non-contentious work for senior individuals including hedge fund and private equity managers, directors of public companies and technology entrepreneurs. His expertise covers performance and conduct dismissals, regulatory investigations, discrimination claims and negotiated exits.

Practice head(s):

Laura Livingstone

Other key lawyers:

Martin Pratt

Testimonials

‘The solicitors who have handled our employment related issues  are of the highest quality in terms of their specialist area of expertise, their professionalism and their approach to us as clients and as people. Special mention has to be made of Laura Livingstone. Laura became a key member of our team and felt more like a colleague than an external adviser – a colleague you could rely upon. Laura’s attention to detail, professionalism and responsiveness was second to none. Laura has come to know and understand us as individuals and this has enabled her to personalise her advice and even sometimes to preempt our future requirements. We have a very special and extremely valuable relationship with her and the firm.’

Work highlights

  • Managed litigation arising from an unlawful suspension from work in May 2019 and subsequent dismissal on whistleblowing grounds, breach of contract and unfair dismissal in July 2020.
  • Advised a client on his appointment as founder Chief Executive of DeepTech Labs, an Accelerator and Venture Capital fund based in Cambridge.
  • Represented a client in successfully dealing with his exit from his role as Senior Graphic Designer for Universal Music in order to set up his own graphic design consultancy.

Irwin Mitchell

The employment and professional discipline group at Irwin Mitchell, led by Shah Qureshi, assists employees and senior executives with the gamut of discrimination cases, harassment claims and parental rights and has a focus on senior healthcare professionals in addition to its broader roster of clients. It combines this expertise with regulatory knowledge. Shazia Khan and Emilie Cole left the firm to set up Cole Kahn Solicitors, and Danielle Parsons and Deborah Casale joined from Slater and Gordon in April 2021, bringing valuable expertise in senior executive work, especially in the creative industries.

Practice head(s):

Shah Qureshi

Other key lawyers:

Danielle Parsons; Deborah Casale

Testimonials

‘Irwin Mitchell has a superior suite of individual lawyers each of whom are excellent in the field of employment law. For senior executives they are a good move. They are innovative in employment and discrimination law and not afraid to challenge and take on thorny issues including appealing novel areas of law.’

Work highlights

  • Successfully represented a former female Managing Director of a multi-billion pound company in a £1.8m whistleblowing and sex discrimination claim after she was marginalised and summarily dismissed by the Board of Directors after concerns about potential illegal practices and breaches of health and safety.
  • Represented a judge in her successful appeal to the Supreme Court. The landmark case established that public office holders including judges are entitled to whistleblowing protection under Article 10 (Freedom of Expression) and Article 14 (freedom from discrimination in the exercise of convention rights) under the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR).
  • Representing the Former Chairman of JLT re North America Division in a High Court breach of contract claim worth over £500,000 after his role was given to another without his knowledge or consultation following a merger with the Marsh McLennan group, the world’s largest insurance broker.

Kervin & Barnes

Kervin & Barnes has a strong track record in representing senior executives and board members in the financial services and hedge fund sectors together with handling the relevant regulatory rules. Group head Gareth Kervin together with senior associate Lucy Truscott are experienced in all aspects of discrimination claims from sexual orientation to disability, age and race issues. It also handles cases where protected disclosures are an element of the case, as well as post-employment restrictions, bonuses and share agreements.

Practice head(s):

Gareth Kervin

Other key lawyers:

Lucy Truscott

Work highlights

  • Advised a Board level client on lengthy litigation against financial services firm involving sex discrimination, sexual orientation discrimination, breach of contract and unfair dismissal.
  • Advising a CEO client on litigation against former employer involving constructive dismissal and sex discrimination claims.
  • Advised a senior lawyer on a protracted contentious matter following exit after 21 years’ service linked to Covid-19.

Simkins LLP

At Simkins LLP, Victoria Willson and Susan Thompson provide 'pragmatic sensible advice at all times' to senior individuals such as CEOs and finance directors, and employers. The practice handles high-value exits, unfair dismissals, race, sex and other discrimination claims, equal pay issues and whistleblowing cases.

Practice head(s):

Victoria Willson; Susan Thompson

Testimonials

Pragmatic sensible advice at all times. Susan Thompson is excellent in her response rate, pragmatic advice, and keen to pass on knowledge.’

Stewarts Law LLP

Stewarts Law LLP has significant expertise in partnership and LLP disputes acting for senior partners negotiating entries, exits and redundancies. It also acts for individuals and teams in disputes with employers in sectors including the banking industry. Team head Joseph Lappin specialises in leading on Employment Tribunal cases concerning unfair dismissal, sex, race and disability discrimination claims, and restrictive covenants. Charlie Thompson, who joined from Harbottle & Lewis LLP in mid-2020, handles work ranging from remuneration disputes, to bullying, whistleblowing and discrimination claims including cases involving serious psychiatric issues.

Practice head(s):

Joseph Lappin

Other key lawyers:

Charlie Thompson

Testimonials

Impressive devotion to clients and great flexibility whilst retaining objectivity and judgment.’

‘Joe Lappin is one of the most devoted, hardworking solicitors around. He leaves no stone unturned for the client, is supportive to others in the team and alive to all potential legal angles. In one difficult matter he was very nimble when negotiating a favourable settlement and in another he was very adept in securing a valuable stay of proceedings.’

‘I found them understanding and accommodating, taking time to explain the processes and to respond to my needs and queries. I dealt mainly with Joseph Lappin, who dealt with the specifics of my case with great aplomb and understanding.’

‘I am delighted with the service I have received from Stewarts, mainly from Charlie and would recommend them both in a heartbeat.’

The standout feature of the service I have had working with Stewarts is Charlie Thompson’s ability to empathise with me and understanding the human nature of the grievance I am going through. He has been willing to listen and work together to plan my strategy. Charlie has been someone I find to be honest, communicating good and/or bad news as quickly as possible, and with sensitivity. This makes him a trusted adviser.’

Wedlake Bell LLP

Wedlake Bell LLP has an established track record in advising senior individuals in the private equity space. Team head Richard Isham has niche expertise in relation to private equity houses, advising individuals on exiting and joining companies including remunerations, share options, bonus schemes and restrictive covenants. The team also advises on rights and entitlements under LLP agreements. Adam Grant has a background in the hospitality sector, while William Granger's broad expertise spans a range of financial and corporate sectors where he assists senior executives, interest groups, boards and shareholders.

Practice head(s):

Richard Isham

Other key lawyers:

Adam Grant; William Granger

Testimonials

‘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 is 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 amazingly ability to recall facts in even the most complex of scenarios. In short, William Granger and his team never fail to impress to me. He is in a class of his own. Simply outstanding.’

‘The practice has a personal approach to clients. Every member of the team is full briefed on your case, responds quickly to queries and works well with supervising partners. There is an impressive team approach. Updates and changes to the law are quickly and succinctly communicated. The firm also appear to have an excellent training and development programme for trainees, as evidenced by the subsequent quality of their work.’

Work highlights

  • Handling sensitive negotiations in respect of the departure of a professor as Principal of the Central School of Speech and Drama.
  • Acting for the outgoing CEO of Kier Group plc, who was ousted amidst a storm of shareholder activism over the share price collapse following the insolvency of construction rival Carillion and market sentiment showing no confidence in the sector.

Worden Richmond

Worden Richmond was formed in 2020 by Alexandra Worden, and Catherine Richmond, both highly rated, ex-Magic Circle firm partners. One client enthused: 'they provide Magic Circle quality advice and service with a personal touch at a value for money price point'. The firm acts for employers and employees; for the latter, the work spans advisory issues and a considerable case load at the Employment Tribunals (Richmond is also a barrister). The client roster is made up of senior academics, lawyers and other C-suite individuals, with work spanning all categories of discrimination claims, equal pay disputes and negotiated exits.

Practice head(s):

Alexandra Worden; Catherine Richmond

Testimonials

‘They are trusted and revered across their sector. They are in huge demand.’ 

‘They may be small,  but frankly why would you go anywhere else. Alex Worden and Catherine Richmond are outstanding lawyers, providing exceptional expertise. In their field and sector, the best of the best. I’d say they were in the top 0.5% of solicitors. You won’t find better.’

‘The benefit of individuals working for you who have been partners at top City firms with all of the technical, strategic and client handling excellence that goes with that, but without the huge bills that one gets from a City firm.         Alex Worden is outstanding. Through, technically excellent, strategically sound and a delight to work with. Her practice and the cases she gets would make any firm jealous.’

‘Extremely experienced and high calibre solicitors, but at a lower cost to their larger law firm rivals. Catherine Richmond is an extremely knowledgeable employment solicitor, able to approach very technical issues in a client friendly manner.’

‘This is a tiny team which allows very personalised support of clients. Catherine Richmond is hard working and tenacious in her approach to cases.’

‘Catherine Richmond gave me excellent legal advice recently on a personal employment matter. Her fees were reasonable, her approach measured and pragmatic. What I particularly liked about her manner, both in person and on email, was its strong roots in empathy and strategic advice rather than indulging in an over-adversarial fashion. She brings City-standard counsel at a judicious level of cost. I would not hesitate to recommend her to anyone on an employment matter.’

‘Worden Richmond provide Magic Circle quality advice and service with a personal touch at a value for money price point.  One of a growing number of specialist boutiques offering clients the support of senior ex-City lawyers cost effectively.  Alex Worden is knowledgeable, incisive and no nonsense.’