Firms To Watch: Senior executives

Pre-eminent in the media and entertainment space, Lee & Thompson LLP‘s growing senior executives practice also represents former senior government ministers, HR directors, business critical engineers and private equity and law firm partners in a range of disputes and move negotiations. James Baker is spearheading the firm’s expansion in this area.
Naylah Hamour - 'an outstanding lawyer for senior individuals, with a rare tenacity and creativity' - joined the growing Spencer West LLP team from Axiom DWFM in 2023, bringing with her experience in litigation up to High Court level and strengths that include discrimination law, whistleblowing claims and the enforcement of restrictive covenants. Founding partner Simeon Spencer is practice head.

Senior executives in London

Brahams Dutt Badrick French LLP

Known as a ‘specialist employment boutique with real depth in its offering’, Brahams Dutt Badrick French LLP is ‘very good with senior executives, understanding the regulatory issues as much as the employment issues’. The practice is recommended as ‘a leader in discrimination cases’, as well as providing expertise in whistleblowing and a range of non-financial misconduct matters, including race and sex discrimination and sexual misconduct matters. Core specialisms for the firm are menopause-related cases and employee competition issues, as well as financial services and legal sector matters. Managing partner Gareth Brahams spearheads the group and ‘is top of his game, a tenacious and highly experienced negotiator’. His team includes the ‘highly experienced and professionalClaire Dawson; Polly Rodway, who has a particular focus advising female executives; financial services and insurance sector specialist Nick Wilcox; and key senior associates Samantha Prosser and Clare Brereton.

Practice head(s):

Gareth Brahams

Other key lawyers:

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

Testimonials

‘Highly experienced employment lawyers who specialise in representing the senior employees in the Financial Services sector. What sets BDBF apart is their tenacity and ability to represent their clients from a position of strength. BDBF are also leaders in discrimination cases.’

‘Gareth Brahams is top of his game, a tenacious and highly experienced negotiator, he has your corner at all times and will drive home the best outcome without losing sight of the bigger picture.’

‘Claire Dawson is highly experienced and professional with a deep and thoughtful understanding of all employment related law. Claire is very efficient in her work and can turn around high quality responses quickly and concisely.’

‘BDBF have an outstanding practice for individuals. Their partners are extremely experienced, ambitious and adopt novel legal approaches to further their clients interests. A real presence in the employee space, who all senior executives should consider for their employment matters.’

‘Nick Wilcox is a commercially minded, sensible, compassionate but hard-nosed litigator. He takes the ebbs and flows of litigation in his stride, and retains a strategic focus. Clare Brereton is an excellent Senior Associate with outstanding client management skills, and serious litigation nous.’

‘BDBF has a strong boutique employment team, dealing with wide-ranging disputes. An impressive feature of their offering is the expertise in statutory tribunal disputes as well as High Court disputes including bonus and shares claims.’

‘The team is able to draw on this diverse expertise to offer a 360 degree service and is a particular reason why they are strong for high value claimant work and work with a City focus. I consistently recommend them to friends and contacts.’

‘Gareth Brahams is a leading figure in employment law practice and well deserves his top ranking. He brings a depth of experience and legal understanding to his cases as well as strong strategic vision. Gareth leads an excellent team with no weak links.’

Work highlights

  • Achieved a novel and acclaimed victory for a cash equities trader at JP Morgan who was dismissed for gross misconduct for alleged ‘spoofing’ (unlawful market manipulation).
  • Acted for an individual who brought a claim against Queensgate Investments LLP for automatic unfair dismissal for having made protected disclosures (whistleblowing), establishing new law in the process.
  • Represented a client in his disability discrimination claim in the EAT and the Court of Appeal.

CM Murray LLP

Specialising in multi-jurisdictional work for senior executives, CM Murray LLP is particularly active in the financial services, biomedical and pharmaceutical, technology, and media and entertainment sectors, among others. The firm has particular expertise in unlawful age discrimination and whistleblower detriment matters, as well as executive and shareholder restrictive covenants. An area of increasing activity is executive burnout and bullying cases. Merrill April co-leads the team with Clare Murray, who is ‘not only the founder but the glue who brings her extraordinary team of experts together and clearly empowers them to be best in class’. Other key names include Emma Bartlett, who is ‘highly recommended for supporting partners and senior executives in disputed exits’, and Sarah Chilton.

Practice head(s):

Clare Murray; Merrill April

Other key lawyers:

Emma Bartlett; Sarah Chilton

Testimonials

‘CM Murray is unique, even among employment law boutiques, in their strength and depth of experts and expertise. They simply cannot be beaten. They are formidable advocates for their clients.’

‘Clare Murray is not only the founder but the glue who brings her extraordinary team of experts together and clearly empowers them to be best in class. She is supremely knowledgeable, gets quickly to the nub of the legal issues and is a forceful and tenacious advocate while being warm and supportive to her clients. Emma Bartlett is also highly recommended for supporting partners and senior executives in disputed exits.’

‘Highly skilled and focused team specialising in advising senior individuals in employment and partnership law.’

‘Emma Bartlett is a solid and well respected employment lawyer who will get things done when under pressure.’

‘A team of sympathetic and professional lawyers. They listened to my problems, and quickly reassured me that they were interested in supporting me. They acted swiftly, predicted the outcome and made feel comfortable.’

‘I valued the team’s efficiency, competence and ability to understand my perspective towards my situation.’

‘Clare Murray and her team are experts in their field. They are both practical and resourceful. Clare’s attention to detail is extraordinary, but what sets her apart is her compassion to her clients.’

Work highlights

  • Advised a very senior executive on his move to a new role at a major multinational, that was due to acquire his existing employer in a $3.25bn deal to become one of the world’s largest firms in its sector.
  • Advised a senior executive in the technology industry in relation to allegations by their previous employer of removal of confidential information and breach of restrictive covenants.
  • Advised a financial services executive at a large global bank in relation to an investigation into allegations of sexual harassment and related disciplinary proceedings.

Farrer & Co

Farrer & Co advises prominent individuals at FTSE companies, leading banks, financial companies, retailers, media companies and City partnerships on appointments, departures, investigations and disputes, including advice on regulatory investigations. On the contentious side, the firm handles Employment Tribunal, High Court and appeal court cases related to restrictive covenants, team moves, discrimination and whistleblowing. David Smellie focuses on senior executive and employment-related safeguarding matters. He leads the practice, which includes Anna Birtwistle, who is ‘first class on content and very tactical in its application’; Eleanor Rowswell, who is recommended for her ‘keen eye for detail, high commercial acumen and consistent focus on the endgame; and senior associate Alice Cave, whose forte is advising senior executives on employment contracts, exit packages and other employment-related issues.

Practice head(s):

David Smellie

Other key lawyers:

Eleanor Rowswell; Anna Birtwistle; Alice Cave

Testimonials

‘Eleanor Rowswell consistently proved to be a trusted partner throughout the entire assignment, which spanned nearly a year and multiple complex agreements. A strong listener, with a keen eye for detail, high commercial acumen and a consistent focus on the endgame.’

‘Simon Ward was instrumental in utilising his deep knowledge of employee incentive schemes to provide relevant and clear advice on a range of complex situations that arose during the assignment.’

‘The team were highly responsive – always there, and at short notice.’

‘Eleanor Rowswell demonstrates a rare balance of professional expertise and personal understanding.’

‘Highly knowledgeable and engaged team.’

‘Tenacious and attentive – very responsive and on the ball.’

‘Anna Birtwistle is first class on content and very tactical in its application. Extremely pro-active and helpful. Very supportive and kind whilst being very cool-headed in assessing the situation and driving forward on resolution.’

‘Dedication, commitment, legal skill and negotiation nous mean they are a go-to practice.’

Work highlights

  • Advised 85 new lateral partner hires on their recruitment to EY, which includes advising on complex contractual obligations, often with international elements.
  • Representing the individual members (who are professional airline pilots) of the British Airline Pilots’ Association (BALPA) in all employment-related matters affecting them, including in relation to contractual claims relating to their employment.
  • Advising public company directors, including on many prominent appointments, departures and disputes for board level executives at the country’s largest public companies.

Kingsley Napley LLP

Combining criminal and regulatory expertise, Kingsley Napley LLP is a go-to firm for whistleblowing and discrimination matters in the banking, financial services and insurance sectors. The firm has particular expertise in race and sex discrimination cases for senior executives, as well as providing experience across a range of reputation management issues. The team is recommended for putting ‘good expertise into practice well, and a very good client focused approach’. Corinne Aldridge spearheads the department and advises employers and senior executives, running the gamut of employment-related issues, notably discrimination cases. Key names in the team include Richard Fox, Nick Ralph, Andreas White and senior associates Moira Campbell, Andy Norris and Natasha Forman, whose ‘pragmatism is second to none’.

Practice head(s):

Corinne Aldridge

Other key lawyers:

Richard Fox; Nick Ralph; Andreas White; Moira Campbell; Natasha Forman; Andy Norris; Mark McWilliams

Testimonials

‘In the league in which Kingsley Napley compete, an expert team is a given. To my mind what makes them unique is their common sense and sense of humanity about litigation.’

‘Senior associate Natasha Forman is a superb asset in the Kingsley Napley employment team. Her pragmatism is second to none.’

‘My personal experience is that they have been very responsive, there has been senior input throughout the process and my interaction with the executives has been done on an open and frank basis.’

‘My interaction with the individuals was good with senior input at all times. Even though the issues at stake were serious, we had fun and saw the lighter side of things, which helped me through the long stressful process.’

‘Mark McWilliams was excellent.’

‘The individuals and team(s) at Kingsley Napley are some of the kindest, smartest, and most devoted professionals that I’ve had the pleasure of working with. Suffice it to say that my case was fairly “complex”, so the phenomenal cohesiveness and communication between several departments/solicitors at the firm was of huge benefit – not only because it was extremely effective, but it also saved me the cognitive and emotional burden of reiterating things to many different touch-points.’

‘I have used Kingsley Napley LLP for my personal employment matters when joining and leaving high profile PLC and Private Equity roles. I have been immensely impressed with their knowledge and service. At these sensitive times I have felt comforted and reassured that they have my best interests at heart. I deal with one partner who has a knowledgeable team around them, and can pull in specialist resources when needed. They have responded to my inevitably short deadlines without delay and have impressed my employers with their professionalism and knowledge.’

‘I have worked with Andreas White for over six years and I thoroughly trust his advice on my employment matters. I trust him emphatically and would recommend him unreservedly. It cannot be easy to manage client expectations in this particular space but he has always done so, and I feel he has always exceeded my expectations when the matter is concluded.’

Lewis Silkin

Acting on both sides of employment matters across sectors, Lewis Silkin handles a range of director and shareholder work related to whistleblowing and discrimination claims, with notable strength in sex, maternity and equal pay cases. The firm’s expertise includes restricted covenant matters, as well as private equity and financial services work, acting for CEOs of FTSE 100 companies. ‘Brilliant strategistNicholas Hadaway leads the team and is ‘exceptionally experienced’ and ‘gets superb results’. His team includes the experienced Richard Miskella, who advises on all aspects of employment law; managing associate Sarah McWhinney, who is recommended by clients as ‘one to watch’; and senior associate Laetitia Cooke, whose forte is advising senior individuals in the financial services sector.

Practice head(s):

Nicholas Hadaway

Other key lawyers:

Richard Miskella; Sarah McWhinney; Tarun Tawakley; Toni Lorenzo; Michael Burd; Laetitia Cooke

Testimonials

‘A top team for senior executives  and dominant in the market. Good availability top to bottom. Particular strengths in covenants but exceptional in other aspects too.’

‘Toni Lorenzo and Michael Burd are particularly good. Calm and reassuring in style but backed up with immense experience and great tactical nous.’

‘Sarah McWhinney was an outstanding associate with great attention to detail and strategic in approach to solving issues.’

‘I engaged Nicholas Hadaway and worked with him and Laetitia Cooke. I found them both to be very knowledgable, empathetic, and a pleasure to deal with, both professionally and on a more human level.’

‘Market leading department handling employment and related issues (eg partnership) with unrivalled strength in depth.’

‘Sarah McWhinney is one to watch. She has great empathy and patience with clients and her drafting skills are excellent.’

‘This practice has a deep knowledge and experience of employment issues in financial services. It is commercial in its outlook and understands the emotional challenges of employees that are going through difficult times with their employers.’

‘Tarun Tawakley is a charismatic and engaging partner at Lewis Silkin. He has tremendous knowledge and experience in employment issues and is well versed in how the other side thinks. He is firm in his advice and ensures that emotions are kept in check in order to deliver the best outcome for his client. He delivers his advice in a very clear and logical manner, he ensures that the client has understood the subtleties and nuances of the negotiations before explaining what particular path is the preferred one.’

Mishcon de Reya LLP

Known for advising on market sensitive appointments, exits, high-profile litigation and negotiating contracts and severance terms, Mishcon de Reya LLP represents prominent and high-profile business founders, senior executives, CEOs and board directors of PLCs, including FTSE 100 companies. The firm appears in the Employment Appeal Tribunal, Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court, specialisms being restrictive covenant issues, team moves and data theft cases. Practice head Daniel Naftalin acts for senior and high-net-worth individuals in complex disputes and remuneration arrangements, either on arrival or departure. Key names from the deep bench of expertise are Susannah Kintish, who assists in contentious and non-contentious employment matters; the ‘extremely impressive’ Sharon Tan; Jennifer Millins, who specialises in complex discrimination and whistleblowing claims, High Court injunctions, equal pay disputes, gender pay gap reporting and LLP disputes; and Joanna Blackburn, who is ‘the person one definitely wants on one’s side if engaging with the big battalions‘. Managing associate Matthew Wood is also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Daniel Naftalin

Other key lawyers:

Sharon Tan; Susannah Kintish; Elliot Moss; Greg Campbell; Matthew Wood; Jennifer Millins; Joanna Blackburn

Testimonials

‘Mishcon understand the complexities of the law and are able to advise the client on wide ranging issues. They are experts in coming up with prompt, pragmatic and practical advice. Mishcon has talented individuals and have experts in all aspects of corporate and commercial law.’

‘Greg Campbell has been a pleasure to work with. His attention to detail and his ability to come up with creative solutions to tackle complex issues is excellent. He is tenacious without losing the focus on the end goal. Greg’s advice has always been strategically focused, clear and concise.’

‘Very professional, thoughtful and willing to fight for the client.’

‘Their engagement with the client and their ability to communicate and present themselves and their skills to the wider world makes this firm unique.’

‘Elliot Moss is a life force. He stands out as an absolutely brilliant communicator. I would not want him to be on the other side from me in any media battle. His enthusiasm and engagement is unparalleled, and his articulation of the message always spot on.’

‘Joanna Blackburn is the person one definitely wants on one’s side if engaging with the big battalions. She is decisive and her judgment calls are excellent.’

‘The service is excellent. Focused on outcomes. Very quick to respond. Deals with matters swiftly, efficiently and effectively.’

‘Worked with Sharon Tan. Extremely impressive. Works hard to deliver best outcomes and advice given was spot on.’

Withers LLP

Combining expertise in employment, regulatory, white-collar crime, reputation management and immigration mandates, Withers LLP is able to advise top-tier executives, high-net worth individuals, partners and founders across the spectrum of employment issues. Key strengths include high-value contract negotiations, whistleblowing cases and discrimination matters. Meriel Schindler leads the team and ‘is professional, an expert in employment law and has experience of partnership law’. Another key name in the practice is Elaine Aarons, who focuses on senior executive work and is ‘undoubtedly one of the best lawyers within her field’. Senior associate James Hockin and consultant Lisa Lewinsohn are also active in the area.

Practice head(s):

Meriel Schindler

Other key lawyers:

Katie Williamson; Elaine Aarons; James Hockin; Melissa Paz; Lisa Lewinsohn

Testimonials

‘The team I had on my case included the Head of Employment Law and the head of Reputation Management supported by other lawyers and associates. What was fantastic for me was I had their full attention and time. Their key strengths – a very good combination of employment law, partnership law, media and reputation management law; deep expertise; use of some great technology which enabled speed in responding.’

‘My primary lawyer was Meriel Schindler. Hands down she is the best lawyer I know of – she is professional, an expert in employment law and has experience of partnership law which was important in my case.’

‘Outstanding people who worked together as a great team. Head and shoulders above other teams that I have dealt with in this area of practice.’

‘Katie Williamson and Meriel Schindler are each excellent in their own right and, together, are a formidable team. They combine first class professional expertise with a clear, intuitive understanding of the business context and the commercial skills to get the deal done.’

‘Direct contact with whoever is doing the work, no multiple layers of senior individuals trying to justify their pay. You get what you ask for, ie an efficient team working hard for you in a very transparent manner. Collaboration is also very good with every specialist of the firm without any wasted time, bureaucracy, straight to the point.’

‘Very good at understanding the issues of the matter, very efficient and clear in establishing the strategy without forgetting the emotional impact on the client. Partner and Associate with very technical knowledge, large experience but excellent compassion and empathy.’

‘I’ve worked with the senior leaders in this practice for more than 20 years. They are highly professional, clear and hugely knowledgeable. Senior executives I know using their services have achieved record settlements and exceedingly favourable terms. The legal advice is superb – with the solicitors anticipating potential issues and using their experience to strategise intelligently and execute flawlessly.’

‘Elaine Aarons and Meriel Schindler are exceptional Employment Solicitors. They are both sharply insightful and straightforward in their guidance. Their decades of experience are put to excellent use, as they advise comprehensively, always focused on the best practical outcomes for their clients.’

Work highlights

  • Acted for the CEO of G4S plc in respect of the negotiation of a complex and multi-jurisdictional high value new contract following takeover of G4S by Allied Universal.
  • Acted for the CEO of RSA Insurance on his exit from RSA.
  • Acted for the incoming CEO of The Arch Company.

Bird & Bird LLP

Bird & Bird LLP provides an ‘excellent team which covers all levels of senior executives’, particular strengths being acting for senior partners negotiating entry or exit from hedge funds, partnerships and LLPs, as well as advising on a range of complex remuneration structures. Contentious work includes discrimination and whistleblowing claims in the Employment Tribunal and High Court cases involving team moves, fiduciary duties, bonus and breach of contract claims. Ian Hunter has experience of C-suite level cases and spearheads the practice. Key names in the team are Tim Spillane, who specialises in advising executives and partners in the financial and professional services industries on high-value and sensitive cases; and legal director Penny Hunt, whose expertise covers senior executive terminations and disputes, large-scale redundancies and complex disciplinary matters.

Practice head(s):

Ian Hunter

Other key lawyers:

Tim Spillane; Elizabeth Lang; Penny Hunt; Jon Goldsworthy

Testimonials

‘Tim Spillane is a top choice for senior executive work. He is incredibly calm in a crisis and approaches matters constructively, keeping a resolute eye on his client’s interests. He is very skilled at walking the fine line between advocating his client’s position robustly while not antagonising chances for resolution.’

‘An excellent team which covers all levels of senior executives. The team recognises the wider tactical issues which apply in executive cases including shareholder agreements, confidentiality deeds, unfair prejudice petitions and ET proceedings.’

‘The team is headed by Liz Lang who builds extremely strong personal relationships with her clients. She takes the time to understand their goals and then manages expectations as to the likelihood of success. Once a strategy is set then Liz will not rest until the client’s realistic goals are achieved. She is tenacious but also measured and pleasant in dealings with her opponents. She is ably supported by Penny Hunt and Jon Goldsworthy who mirror her strong client relationships and attention to detail.’

‘I worked with Elizabeth Lang and found her very supportive and extremely knowledgeable about employment law.’

‘Excellent employment law knowledge. Calm pragmatic advice – reassuring when needed, but not afraid to be candid to focus my mind. Always had a clear strategy and plan, our legal position always felt ‘tight’ – whilst the other side kept making mistakes. Moved quickly and decisively when needed, or when the opportunity arose to gain an advantage.’

‘Liz Lang – was perfect for the situation. She showed great emotional intelligence and empathy when I was stressed or worried, but also gave clear, simple, unambiguous guidance when the situation warranted it – she was a lot of fun too.’

‘Elizabeth Lang was very responsive, gave excellent advice, not just on legal matters but also employed smart contract negotiation techniques achieving great results while always staying respectful, professional, diplomatic.’

Doyle Clayton

As ‘experts in their field’, the practitioners at Doyle Clayton are recommended as ‘employment focused and aware of all aspects from both employer and employee side’. With particular expertise in the insurance and accountancy markets, the firm acts for senior executives in a range of discrimination cases, including age discrimination matters. Peter De Maria leads the practice and is ‘undoubtedly a leading light in business protection as well as being the firm’s senior partner’. Discrimination law specialist Peter Daly; legal director Katie Mahoney, whose forte is employee competition work; and Simon Henthorn, who ‘provides excellent advice and support’, are additional key names.

Practice head(s):

Peter De Maria

Other key lawyers:

Peter Daly; Katie Mahoney; Simon Henthorn

Testimonials

‘Experts in their field. Employment focused and aware of all aspects from both employer and employee side.’

‘The practice is professional and knows the sector very well. They are able to provide excellent advice and support. They are caring and make sure they know your case and circumstances well.’

‘Simon Henthorn is excellent. He is compassionate and provides excellent advice and support. I felt safe knowing Simon is dealing with my case. He provides reassurance but is always open and honest.’

‘First class service provided in what can be stressful situations for the client. The communication and response time for any questions were second to none.’

‘Peter De Maria is undoubtedly a leading light in business protection as well as being the firm’s senior partner. He is focused, commercial, doesn’t get flustered and is at the top of his game. Katie Mahoney is a joy to work with. Her grasp of the detail of a case is second to none. She and Peter make a formidable team.’

‘Doyle Clayton is one of, if not THE leading, niche employment law firms in the country. It acts for employers and employees and has an extremely strong presence in the business protection field.’

‘Peter De Maria – full spectrum of skills – technically strong, highly emotionally intelligent – can adapt his style depending on his client and the audience.’

‘I have worked with the High Court team of Peter De Maria and Katie Mahoney. Both are top quality operators, good to work with, reliable, strategic and commercial.’

Work highlights

  • Acted for an individual in establishing Gender Critical Beliefs as protected under the Equality Act 2010.
  • Acted for a client on his move from Guy Carpenter to join Howden Insurance Brokers and the resulting litigation.
  • Acting for a client bringing claims of discrimination against her chambers and the charity Stonewall.

Fox Williams LLP

The ‘technically strong, commercial and client focusedFox Williams LLP has particular experience representing senior executives and partners in litigation in the Employment Tribunal and the High Court, notably involving sex or disability discrimination claims. The firm also has expertise in financial services regulatory law, professional regulation by the SRA and the other regulators, as well as knowledge of tax, incentive schemes, partnership law and corporate law. Joanna Chatterton spearheads the practice and is known for matters involving employment, discrimination and regulatory law.

Practice head(s):

Joanna Chatterton

Other key lawyers:

Jane Mann; Imogen Jain; Aron Pope; Ed Livingstone

Testimonials

‘Fox Williams have been extraordinarily responsive, providing great clarity to what they can do, how they can add value and what alternative approaches could look like. The senior team members are directly involved, and they bring in expert colleagues where necessary, bearing in mind costing and the overall objective.’

‘The two partners I worked with both demonstrated expert knowledge but, as importantly, a client focused pragmatic approach to solving problems. Strategising about possible avenues how to deal with the case has been among the most valuable elements. They stood out by being open, approachable and having the client’s case as well as cost implications firmly in mind when providing advice. Communication was easy, efficient at all times and they also worked well together.’

‘The firm is full of innovative thinkers who quickly grasp a situation and propose a pragmatic and sensible solution. They are always several steps ahead.’

‘I work with Aron Pope and Ed Livingstone. I’ve worked with them both personally and professionally. Aron has a unique ability to empathise and make a difficult situation feel manageable. He is strategic and smart and comes up with solutions beyond the norm. Ed is really pragmatic and sensible. He sees through issues and gives really clear and strong advice.’

‘Responsive, grasped concepts quickly and delivered on time.’

‘Joanna Chattreton was outstanding – had contracts to review and rewrite and deliver on in a short time frame and one was complex and I am very pleased with the outcome, I am reaping the benefits today as well.’

‘Jane Mann and Imogen Jain made a strong team supporting me through a complex and emotional dispute, during which I always felt in good hands. The advice I received was technically strong, commercial and robust, all delivered with empathy and cost awareness. While I hope never to be in the same situation again, I would highly recommend Jane and team.’

Work highlights

  • Acted for a commodities broker in career loss, sex discrimination, sexual harassment, victimisation and personal injury claims.
  • Advised a COO and equity partner of investment fund on disciplinary process and expulsion from the LLP and subsequent whistleblowing claim involving employment partnership and FC regulatory advice.
  • Advised a senior equity partner of a leading US law firm on an age discrimination claim valued at $20m.

Harbottle & Lewis LLP

Recommended for its ‘solid, very current and thorough understanding of all aspects, and nuances, of employment law’, Harbottle & Lewis LLP advises senior executives across a range of sectors, particularly the arts, entertainment and sports industries. Core work ranges from representing senior executives in relation to the negotiation of contracts and exits, to complex, high value psychiatric injury cases arising from workplace bullying and stress. Yvonne Gallagher advises individuals exiting their roles and taking up new positions, as well as providing advice on the enforceability of restrictive covenants. She co-leads the team with the ‘simply outstandingHoward Hymanson, whose forte is litigation combining employment and personal injury law.

Practice head(s):

Yvonne Gallagher; Howard Hymanson

Other key lawyers:

Sarah Verrecchia

Testimonials

‘Solid, very current and thorough understanding of all aspects, and nuances, of employment law. Also, when needed, very knowledgeable in selecting the best Counsel and working well and seamlessly with them. Internally, quick and ready access to (non-employment) expertise within the firm.’

‘Howard Hymanson: Simply outstanding. I could not have asked for or imagined a more responsive service. In a difficult situation, was calm under fire and came up with a creative and original approach – which was successful! At all times determined to attain the best outcome.’

‘I found the solicitor I was working with really helpful and supportive throughout the whole procedure. This was very important to me in dealing with the issues I had to deal with since it is very stressful to go through any sort of legal disputes.’

‘Professional and user friendly. Nothing is too much trouble.’

‘The end to end communication and support from my lawyer was exceptional. I felt I was receiving the highest standard of sector knowledge and a plan of action was established and implemented swiftly. The process felt efficient but also held a good balance to still feel like a highly valued client with my needs and situation being handled in a compassionate way.’

‘The associate handling my case was Sarah Verrecchia. From start to end, Sarah provided me with not only a fully digestible range of options, but a genuine and sincere care for my case. Sarah led me through the process extremely professionally, communicated well and handled my case with astonishing tenacity. She gave me confidence and assurance; I was able to fully rely on her capabilities and most importantly, trusted her completely. She is an exceptional lawyer and her support, knowledge and guidance was invaluable.’

Work highlights

  • Represented an individual in her significant High Court claim against an international law firm. The claim was occupational stress and psychiatric injury.
  • Representing an individual in his High Court claim against Safestore PLC. His claims are of a very high value and are for career losses as a result of occupational stress.
  • Advised the former Head Coach of Surrey Cricket club on taking up a new role in the Indian Premier League.

Keystone Law

Keystone Law ‘acts for both employers and employees so is able to give a balanced and pragmatic view on disputes and focus on what matters most to clients’. Core strengths are regulation issues and negotiating exit and joining packages, which it combines with a range of sector specialisms spanning the financial services, private equity and media industries. Notable names from the deep bench of experts are Helen Sherborne, who advises CEOs, board members and senior executives across all industries; Angharad Harris, who specialises in international employment advice; Clive Howard, whose particular focus is on contentious exits and whistleblowing and discrimination claims; and Jane Wheeler, who assists businesses and senior executives from the fitness, advertising and charity industries, among others.

Other key lawyers:

Helen Sherborne; Angharad Harris; Clive Howard; Jane Wheeler; Alexandra Carn; Alistair French; Julie Morris; Paul Daniels; Nigel Forsyth

Testimonials

‘The team acts for both employers and employees so is able to give a balanced and pragmatic view on disputes and focus on what matters most to clients.’

‘Truly personal service. That this was done remotely, connected through simple and clear technology, made the personal service all the more impressive.’

‘Alistair French is excellent – he is very responsive, proactively manages expectations and aims to deliver the best outcomes for his clients. I would highly recommend Alistair, who has truly been extraordinary.’

‘Keystone Law’s team has many experienced lawyers with diversity. The ethos of Keystone is to put clients first and to help clients in the best way that they can do, tailored to clients’ needs. Lawyers from Keystone are experienced, passionate and have expertise in delivering the best service they can.’

‘Julie Morris has been absolutely amazing in the support she has provided me with my sexual harassment, victimisation and discrimination claim. Given the nature of my claim the impacts this has on my everyday life is substantial, I do believe I would not have been able to carry on without her. Julie is very knowledgeable on the area of law but what makes her stand out is her empathy and manner in which she conducts herself.’

‘The whole process of engaging the firm to provide support on my legal case was simple, quick and efficient. The team continued to communicate throughout my case and it was always to get hold of the person I needed to talk to.’

‘Angharad Harris listened so well to the challenges I had and the support I needed. I was kept well informed of the status of my legal issue and given clear guidance and options on how to proceed with my case. During a very traumatic time, I felt comfortable in the advice I was given and really welcomed the calm and confident approach.’

‘Anghared Harris was able to quickly assess my individual case and provide practical, pragmatic advice on the solutions that may be appropriate to my case. At all times I felt supported, fully advised and all options were explained very clearly and precisely to me.’

Work highlights

  • Advised a solicitor client in respect of (1) investigation by the SRA (2) position as a company director and (3) rights as an employee, particularly in respect of race discrimination.
  • Acted for a claimant in an employment tribunal claim, who was the successful Claimant in her claim for sex discrimination, harassment and victimisation against VolkerRail Limited.

Winckworth Sherwood LLP

Highlighted as ‘very knowledgeable and experienced advisers to individuals with regard to employment matters in a corporate environment’, Winckworth Sherwood LLP has particular expertise in advising on strategic departures. The firm provides advice on corporate governance compliance, restrictive covenants, bonus and equity incentives, protected disclosures and regulatory obligations, which it combines with contentious expertise in the High Court and the Employment Tribunal; disputes range from unfair dismissals, to discrimination and whistleblowing claims. Practice head Jo Keddie specialises in contentious and non-contentious employment and partnership law. Another key name in the area is Louise Lawrence, whose focus is on advising senior executives in the professional services, financial services and creative sectors.

Practice head(s):

Jo Keddie

Other key lawyers:

Andrew Yule; Danielle Crawford; Bettina Bender; Louise Lawrence

Testimonials

‘They are very knowledgeable and experienced advisers to individuals with regard to employment matters in a corporate environment. The advice is nuanced and commercial whilst taking into account the personal impact of the matter on the client.’

‘Bettina Bender is a knowledgeable and impressive lawyer. She has an excellent awareness of employment matters in a financial services context. Bettina is empathetic and commercial and she makes a very difficult situation easier to handle.’

‘The communication was just exceptional and all of my questions were answered so quickly. It felt like nobody could do too much and no question was silly. Everything was explained to me so well.’

‘This was my first experience needing support with a legal issue and it has been such an illuminating experience. Louise Lawrence not only made me feel comfortable, open and completely reassured, she educated me on the topic, tapped into my feelings around the ethics of my issue and so succinctly translated what I was trying to say. She was very personable and I felt like I was in such secure hands and trusted her judgement. I can’t thank Louise enough.’

‘I cannot recommend Andy Yule highly enough. He was professional, personable and efficient. Andy clearly understood my drivers and objectives from the outset and managed my expectations throughout what was a very stressful period of my life. He was always transparent about timescales and billing of all documents and never tried to overstate the complexity of the case.’

‘I believe it was Andy Yule’s personable nature and top class communication skills that make him stand out from others. He was extremely helpful and helped put me at ease throughout the entire process.  I would personally recommended Andy Yule to any company and individual known to me who require his specialist employment law knowledge and experience.’

‘I worked with Andrew Yule who was always highly helpful, professional and prompt in his responses. He had a lovely bedside manner during a very tricky time!’

‘Excellent expertise, commercialism and cross border coordination on complex employment matters.’

Bates Wells

Bates Wells handles a range of disputes in the online retail and news, private healthcare and financial services sectors, with a particular focus on test cases about the status of workers within the gig economy. Lucy Mclynn leads the ‘fully committed, incredibly helpful, and extremely well-informed’ group, which includes William Garnett, who specialises in acting for senior figures in a range of sectors. Senior associate Rachel Mathieson is also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Lucy McLynn

Other key lawyers:

William Garnett; Paul Jennings; Rachel Mathieson

Testimonials

‘Lucy McLynn is first rate for those who have to confront discrimination at work. She understands the employment and partnership worlds from both sides and is both pragmatic and empathetic.’

‘Lucy McLynn was fantastic in my case. Measured, calm, pragmatic but fiercely on my side and empathetic. A real winner.’

‘Pertinent, responsive and sensible legal advice.’

‘Smart advice; Dedication to supporting and protecting the rights of clients.’

‘William Garnett went to great lengths to ensure our interests and rights were protected. He is a good strategist and provided clear timely advice.’

‘William Garnett is a very focused individual, caring about his clients and very involved with his cases. He managed to help me out with my employer, my private insurance and the insurance authority defending my interests. He was the one who transformed a difficult case into an unequivocal victory, beyond my expectations.’

‘William Garnett was exemplary. A very good listener and very user friendly. I suspect he is one of the best in the business. He was a pleasure to deal with in what was an unpleasant situation. William is a tough negotiator but not cavalier. I felt very comfortable in his hands. I can only say that I was glad to have him on my side, rather than him acting for my former employer!’

‘Bates Wells supported myself and a number of former colleagues in preparing for an Employment Tribunal. The cases were complex, the process difficult and under the glare of the national media spotlight. From the moment we engaged with Bates Wells, they were fully committed, incredibly helpful, and extremely well-informed. I cannot speak highly enough of Bates Wells and would have absolutely no hesitation in recommending them to anyone, especially those in need of employment law advice.’

Work highlights

  • Successfully defending claimants in the landmark Uber litigation on worker status.
  • Acted for Bloomberg employees who had UK-based contracts, but historically had been permitted to spend the bulk of the week in their territory of origin.
  • Represented a client in his worker status claim against MyTaxi (now Transopco) in the Employment Appeal Tribunal.

Bellevue Law

A boutique focused on employment, litigation and private clients, Bellevue Law is particularly active in the financial and professional services sectors. The firm is trusted to advise fellow lawyers, especially senior female lawyers, as well as representing CFOs, CEOs and other C-Suite executives and founders. A notable strength is sex discrimination claims and the practice is experienced in advising and representing senior female professionals from a range of industries on discrimination and equal pay issues. Florence Brocklesby spearheads the team and is ‘efficient, hard-working and approachable and she takes a realistic, useful and solid approach to dispute work’.

Practice head(s):

Florence Brocklesby

Other key lawyers:

Victoria Misselbrook; Leigh Edgar

Testimonials

‘The team are really approachable, empathetic and understanding. They are experts in their field and you feel safe and reassured when they handle a dispute for you.’

‘Florence Brocklesby is efficient, hard-working and approachable and she takes a realistic, useful and solid approach to dispute work. She is a pleasure to work with.’

‘Diligent and interested in my case. Good personal touch rather than a large practice approach.’

‘Leigh Edgar – responsive adviser who brings keen intellect and vast experience to her assignments. I appreciated Leigh’s ability to distil complex legal issues down for clear understanding of the implications of decisions.’

‘Imogen Finnegan was my own lawyer when I had a dispute with a former employer. Imogen helped me reach a settlement without needing to issue proceedings, for which I am grateful. Imogen gave clear and sensible advice and pushed those issues which required pushing. I felt she went above and beyond for me and I would not hesitate to recommend her.’

‘They have a client friendly billing structure which takes some pressure off at the beginning when there is less clarity. They are also very straight and honest and develop a good rapport. They make you feel as an individual whose case will be judged on its merits and nuances. They listen carefully.’

‘In my experience Bellevue Law is a fresh, modern practice. The lawyers are pragmatic, flexible, friendly, professional and very good at what they do. Working with them was an entirely positive experience for me during what was otherwise quite a stressful period for me.’

‘I worked with Imogen Finnegan on an employment matter; she listened carefully, really knew her stuff, oozed confidence without any arrogance and achieved a great result for me. She talked me through the process clearly and took the day-to-day worry off my shoulders, which I really appreciated. I’d recommend her to others without hesitation.’

Work highlights

  • Advising the CEO of a division of a major media company on his exit from the company under a settlement agreement following the successful completion of the integration of two businesses, and his ongoing provision of services to his former employer via a consulting agreement.
  • Advising and representing a senior lawyer (and her new employer) in a dispute with her former employer about the enforceability of post-termination restrictions and allegations of breach of duties before her move and misuse of confidential information.
  • Advising the client, whose role was made redundant during her maternity leave while her maternity cover was retained in a new role, despite her employer’s brand centring on female empowerment.

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP provides ‘real expertise particularly in matters involving senior executives and partners’. Key strengths are the banking and finance sectors, and the firm brings its financial services regulatory and tax expertise to advice in these areas. Trevor Bettany leads the team and his broad experience includes executive severance, defending disciplinary processes, pursuing grievances, whistleblowing and discrimination claims, contract negotiations and bonus disputes.

Practice head(s):

Trevor Bettany

Other key lawyers:

Nick Hawkins; Nick Hurley; Georgina O’Sullivan; Francesca Charlton

Testimonials

‘Partner led, knowledgeable but open to discussion. Real world understanding.’

‘The firm replied speedily to all communications, billing was clear and transparent and I was confident that my matter would be competently dealt with from the beginning.’

‘Nick Hawkins was kind, compassionate, knowledgeable and supportive from the outset. Not only did he achieve a most satisfactory outcome for me, he kept me well informed throughout. I had complete confidence in him. He made a very difficult situation far more bearable.’

‘Charles Russell Speechlys have real expertise particularly in matters involving senior executives and partners. They have the capability to work across departments in demanding disputes with both employment and company law dimensions.’

‘Nick Hawkins is excellent: he has a thorough legal knowledge and excellent judgment, paired with a real sensitivity to how points would land with a court. He is also a real pleasure to work with; it is always a pleasure to speak to him as he handles even the trickiest matters with real grace and good humour, and with regard for the other demands on the time of those who work with him. I would recommend Nick very highly.’

‘CRS is a highly proficient company with immensely skilled partners and associates. Their calm considered views on the situation in which I found myself gave me confidence that I would win the case for wrongful employment treatment. The team was highly competent, but empathetic towards me and I was reassured from the outset which supported my frame of mind at the time. They were extremely knowledgeable and this clearly showed when compared to the opposing law firm.’

‘Nick Hurley, partner at CRS, was first class and so competent in what he did for me. I am indebted to him for all of his support and suggestions in relation to my case. Nick was so calm, supportive and empathetic towards me and his legal understanding of my case was exceptional. I highly recommend him to anyone.’

‘Georgina O’Sullivan and Francesca Charlton were very good and supported Nick Hurley. They both were very reactive to answering my questions and emails.’

Edwin Coe LLP

The ‘very dynamic professional team’ at Edwin Coe LLP is particularly active for senior executives in sex discrimination and whistleblowing claims before the Employment Tribunal. The firm’s sector expertise includes the financial services, aerospace, engineering, energy, recruitment, hospitality, technology and pharmaceuticals industries. Practice head Linky Trott is ‘an exceptionally talented partner’ and handles complex senior exits in the financial services market and the arts. Another key name in the team is Emma Sangeelee, whose forte is discrimination cases, notably disability discrimination issues.

Practice head(s):

Linky Trott

Other key lawyers:

Emma Sangeelee; Ruth Hickling

Testimonials

‘The practice is diverse in its culture as it employs individuals from different backgrounds. The partners are very supportive and understanding.’

‘Linky Trott is an exceptionally talented partner and she has provided the best advice throughout my grievance process. Linky has been very supportive, kind and accommodating about my personal circumstances. She is truly amazing and supportive with every issue and matter relating to my case. I am very fortunate to have met her and recommend her wholeheartedly.’

‘My experience with Edwin Coe was notable for the flexibility, empathy and resourcefulness of the senior staff.’

‘I worked with Emma Sangeelee. She was particularly empathetic and patient with the amount of stress I was under. She was also innovative and resourceful with what she was given – she was very competent at constructing a meaningful and actionable narrative for my circumstances. She was also a very effective guide through our negotiation process with my company.’

‘It is really a very dynamic professional team of people extremely serious and dedicated.’

‘They have been able to deliver good advice and manage our case in a more efficient professional manner.’

‘Edwin Coe LLP is a very friendly and informative firm who have helped me during difficult periods over many years. I highly recommend them.’

‘Ruth Hickling is a wonderful resource of information and provides a great service to her customers.’

Work highlights

  • Acting for an individual in his claims against his ex-employer, P2CG. Obtained successful Judgment for direct disability discrimination in relation to the Claimant’s dismissal which was upheld on appeal.
  • Acting for an individual who was formerly Deputy Headmaster of a state school in the London Borough of Brent over his dismissal in 2010 on the grounds of gross misconduct.

Excello Law

Acting for CEOs, CFOs, CTOs and a range of top level senior management, Excello Law handles non-contentious and contentious employment issues; for the latter, whistleblowing cases and maternity leave issues are notable specialisms. Key names in the team include misconduct and discrimination expert David Greenhalgh, who is known for a ‘balance of professional and human approach, timely and quality service’; the ‘engaged, thoughtful and knowledgeableHina Belitz, whose experience includes termination and settlement agreements and restrictive covenant matters; and part-time Employment Tribunal judge Sarah King, who is ‘highly experienced in her field and provides practical and strategic advice’.

Practice head(s):

David Greenhalgh; Hina Belitz

Other key lawyers:

Sarah King

Testimonials

‘I’ve worked with David Greenhalgh on two occasions. I’m grateful and continue to be impressed by his balance of professional and human approach, timely and quality service. I would absolutely work with him again and have referred others to him.’

‘In my opinion Excello Law provides excellent customer service. The firm prioritizes an inclusive environment for all clients. I am a person with a disability and I have found the platform easy to access for people with medical conditions. The solicitors are very professional, they explain things in plain English. It is an extremely client focused law firm offering in-depth legal expertise and experience. The service was always personal and tailored to my needs. The team made me feel valued and listened.’

‘Sarah King is very client focused. She is a person that is highly experienced in her field and she provides practical and strategic advice in relation to any employment issue a client is likely to face using her over 13 years experience. She gives the best advice and a competitive rate which is great value. She was always available when I needed her help. Sarah is also an Employment Judge which makes her a very unique individual.’

‘There were numerous aspects to the service which I benefited from. These areas being: An in depth knowledge of the areas being discussed. Whilst this in itself should be given when engaging the services of a professional, Excello Law were able to communicate information effectively and in a way which not only put me at ease, but made the subject matter understandable. I felt like they really cared about my position and nothing was ever too much trouble. Having the ability to empathise with a clients situation whilst translating this into a legal case made Excello Law stand out from the crowd.’

‘I engaged the services of Sarah King. From our initial discussions through to the completion of the case, nothing was too much trouble. Sarah ensured that she understood in great detail every aspect of the case, ensuring that I was kept well informed throughout. Sarah provided reassurance and communicated effectively all aspects of my case to ensure full and complete understanding. Sarah is extremely professional and is a standout individual with regards to all aspects of her work.’

‘Hina Belitz’s extensive experience and expertise makes her an exceptional solicitor and I would be happy to recommend her to anyone who requires a legal service.’

‘Hina Belitz was recommended to me by my agent. I found her engaged, thoughtful and knowledgeable from the start. She provided excellent counsel from our first conversation. Working with her I was able to conclude the matter I had instructed her on in speedy fashion and to my satisfaction.’

Work highlights

  • Acting for a founder being pushed out in ‘earn out’ post sale period based on unsubstantiated allegations of sexual misconduct. Negotiating for client to exit retaining high value shares which would otherwise have been lost.
  • Acting for banking sector global head of risk blamed for massive loss event ($2bn). Securing substantial value settlement package.
  • Acting for producer of a leading television show and negotiating their exit from the production company. Secured a favourable settlement package enabling the producer to exit on their own terms.

Fox & Partners

The ‘subject matter experts’ at Fox & Partners ‘come up with pragmatic, smart recommendations’, with a particular focus on the professional, insurance and financial services sectors. Alongside an experienced contentious practice, the firm advises on post-termination covenants and the implications for executive moves. Caroline Field is experienced at litigating in the Employment Tribunal, courts and other dispute resolution forums. She co-leads the team with Ivor Adair, who is ‘a brilliant technical lawyer and very strategic’. Also active in the area is Catriona Watt , whose expertise includes contentious departures and arrivals and negotiating terms of exit.

Practice head(s):

Caroline Field; Ivor Adair

Other key lawyers:

Catriona Watt; Eleanor Diamond; Dean Fuller

Testimonials

‘They are subject matter experts and come up with pragmatic, smart recommendations. Always available and prompt on their responses regardless of the documentation they have to go through. Provided diligent feedback.’

‘Very pragmatic and out of the box thinking in recommendations. Explored different options and design the strategy and roadmap accordingly. Solution oriented with can do mentality.’

‘Fox & Partners are a well-run, professional outfit. From the work I’ve done with them, I can see their clear desire to get the best outcome for their client, with good commercial nous. They work hard for the client’s interests – at whatever time of day, and get results accordingly.’

‘Ivor Adair is a brilliant technical lawyer and very strategic. An experienced litigator, he knows how to get the best results for his client.’

‘Ivor Adair is a dynamic litigator whose intellectual prowess is buttressed with commercial astuteness and versatility. Ivor’s experience shines through in heavyweight commercial disputes. He is formidable.’

‘The team provides a first class service in the most complex senior executive disputes. The partners at Fox are experts in their fields and they quickly assemble a team to provide practical solutions to difficult legal problems.’

‘Ivor Adair is superb. He takes an innovative approach to legal problem-solving, providing creative solutions to tricky situations. He is extremely experienced and his technical knowledge base is stand out. Catriona Watt routinely handles some of the most high value senior executive exits in the country. She combines very experienced intuition with rock solid judgment to negotiate the very best positions for her clients.’

‘They are a young practice, dynamic, hard working and user friendly, especially strong for partnership work.’

Leigh Day

Leigh Day handles a range of disputes for senior executives, from discrimination cases to claims brought under the Equality Act 2010. A key area of work is acting on behalf of senior female employees, ensuring pay parity for employees across a range of sectors from media to finance clients, government authorities and commercial enterprises. Nigel Mackay advises on restrictive covenants, team moves and high-value breach of contract claims before the High Court. He co-leads the practice with Emma Satyamurti, who focuses on equal pay litigation. Associate Nick Webster is also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Nigel Mackay; Emma Satyamurti

Other key lawyers:

Nick Webster; Gabriel Morrison; Aman Thaker; Michael Newman

Testimonials

‘A formidable firm, and hands-down among the best claimant solicitors in the country. They have strength at every level of seniority and know the law back to front. They are also fearless lawyers and very creative thinkers. They are a pleasure to work with.’

‘There are too many starred individuals to name, but I will try. Nick Webster – A fantastic lawyer with incredible judgment. Michael Newman – The leading solicitor in the country for equal pay claims, Gabriel Morrison – A rising star. Aman Thaker – A rising star.’

‘Fantastic team, committed to their clients, work brilliantly with counsel teams and bring energy and drive to all parts of the litigation.’

‘Nigel Mackay is a joy to work with, committed to his client and engaged with often complex legal and practical detail to ensure the very best results.’

‘My statement, as well as other documents submitted, covered almost everything that it could have possibly covered and my solicitor understood what I was trying to convey, something that not many people could begin to comprehend.’

‘The way in which my solicitor and barrister worked together filled me with confidence that I had the best representation. A case which was initially viewed as too complex was fought with such tenacity, integrity and poise, making it look almost effortless at the Hearing. This resulted in a good outcome for me. We also had the upper hand when dealing with the Respondent’s representatives, which meant the conversations were as amicable as they could have possibly been.’

‘This team stands out in its attention to detail. They are known for the comprehensive nature of their pleadings.’

Work highlights

  • Advised on a remitted case to the Employment Tribunal on liability, whistleblowing, dismissal but also in relation to unpaid pension. The claim value is over £500K.
  • Advised a senior banker on a successful age discrimination claim who was awarded £2.7m.
  • Advised on breach of contract claim for a “gratuity payment” due on termination of employment. The claim value is around £84k.

Payne Hicks Beach LLP

The senior executive practice of Payne Hicks Beach LLP is best known for discrimination, whistleblowing, wrongful and unfair dismissal claims. The firm is also experienced in privacy and data issues, as well as transfers of undertakings. Peter McRoberts leads the team and specialises in the banking and financial services sectors. He acts for individuals in a range of matters related to reputation, financial risk and health. Another key name in the area is recently promoted partner Chris Weaver.

Practice head(s):

Peter McRoberts

Other key lawyers:

Chris Weaver; Kim Crangle

Testimonials

‘They offer very good value for money relative to their competitors in the City.’

‘I have had the pleasure of working with Chris Weaver and Kim Crangle on a discrimination, harassment and unfair dismissal case in the financial services sector. Chris and Kim are both exceptional litigators. Chris is commercial, whilst being technically very strong on the law. He is always a pleasure to work with and gives his all to his cases. Kim is very bright and has a great grasp of discrimination law. She puts her all in to fighting her client’s corner and defending their best.’

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP

Combining ‘candid, practical advice with a client-focused attitude and good ethos’, Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP covers contentious matters as well as advice on complex remuneration packages and negotiations with employers. The firm advises top-tier senior executives, representing chairpersons, managing directors, finance directors, founders, CEOs and premier league football coaches and managers. Paul Mander leads the team which includes senior associates Sarah Mant, who handles all matters arising prior to, during and beyond the end of the employment relationship; and Hester Jewitt, who is ‘truly a stand out professional’.

Practice head(s):

Paul Mander

Other key lawyers:

Sarah Mant; Hester Jewitt; Andrew Haywood

Testimonials

‘Candid, practical advice with a client focused attitude and good ethos. Appreciated the pragmatism and diligence to the matters I collaborated with them on personally. Full trust in my Counsel.’

‘Recommended to me. Very knowledgeable, very experienced, and easy to talk with and made it easy to understand legal terms.’

‘The practice is well staffed and is able to turn around large projects quickly. They are transparent and honest to deal with as well as very willing to collaborate with other teams whenever it is beneficial to the client, while also not drawing on others where it would cause unnecessary costs to the client. They strike a wonderful balance in quality of service and cost and always aim to make the client’s life easier.’

‘Hester Jewitt is truly a stand out professional, however as are many of the team at Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP. Hester has connected me with multiple talented colleagues from other teams who have also provided fantastic service and delivered up to the high standards she set.’

‘Andrew Haywood is phenomenal. I trust him fully, his expertise and all round down to earth and pragmatic nature. I really appreciated working with Andrew.’

‘In a stressful time for me I was treated with respect and was allowed to tell my story without judgment and given quick, sensible and clear advice which was suited to my needs and my hopes for the eventual outcome.’

‘Andrew Haywood. Showed empathy and understanding. Swift response to email and phone calls. Clear and tailored advice to get me where I wanted to be.’

‘Understanding and personalised approach with honest and reasonable advice.’

Russell-Cooke LLP

Russell-Cooke LLP has expertise in advising on shares, bonuses, commissions, restrictive covenants, breaches of contract and discrimination and whistleblowing matters. The practice combines this with additional strength in the key related areas of immigration, personal injury, commercial property, criminal and education law. Anthony Sakrouge spearheads the team and specialises in contentious work and negotiations relating to complex starting and leaving packages.

Practice head(s):

Anthony Sakrouge

Other key lawyers:

Alex Bearman; Stephen Clarke; Jannine Gennaris

Testimonials

‘Excellent client focus and professional services with the team members.’

‘A local practice and team members were really helpful offering a personal confidential service. Timely on responses and great interaction.’

‘Russell-Cooke provide top level service at a local level . It is a winning formula.’

‘Excellent knowledge of Commercial and Leasehold Residential Property and Employment law. The partners and team have been in place a long time and continuity of client contact is particularly strong.’

‘I worked with Alex Bearman. He was approachable, just the right balance of formality and friendliness and completely put me at ease.’

‘Reason for them and the team being highly recommended are their availability and client care; they are happy to discuss matters and think of commercial solutions.’

RWK Goodman

Advising a range of senior executives, RWK Goodman’s clientele is made up of CEO’s and board members at FTSE 250 companies in the financial, legal, healthcare, educational, sports, charity and hospitality industries. Key strengths for the firm span discrimination and harassment claims, contractual disputes and high-profile exits, with particular experience dealing with whistleblowing disputes. Richard Woodman is ‘of the highest quality with a broad knowledge of employment law’ and leads the team, which includes Caroline Doran Millett, who is ‘a very reliable lawyer who thinks strategically and produces good creative solutions’.

Practice head(s):

Richard Woodman

Other key lawyers:

Caroline Doran Millett

Testimonials

‘The attention to detail and the time they take explaining everything in detail to assist each client. They have empathy and wealth of experience.’

‘Richard Woodman is of the highest quality with a broad knowledge of employment law within the banking sector. He takes time to understand each problem and uses his unique experience to solve each problem with ease.’

‘Caroline Doran Millett leads the Employment Team and has a great reputation for seeing the big picture.’

‘A good all round team.’

‘Caroline Doran Millett is a very reliable lawyer who thinks strategically and produces good creative solutions.’

‘The firm is a first class choice for senior executives, both for negotiated and enforced exits.’

‘Caroline Doran Millett is a tenacious lawyer who steadfastly represents her clients. She has an excellent strategic brain and sees the bigger picture. She’s calm and thoughtful and is quick to identify regulatory or other risks that clients need to consider. A great lawyer to work with.’

Work highlights

  • Advised a client on her unfair dismissal and whistleblowing claim against her employer, the Saïd Business School of the University of Oxford, securing one of the highest ever awards of whistleblowing compensation.

Stephenson Harwood

Paul Reeves advises on litigation and terms of employment and spearheads the Stephenson Harwood senior executives team. The practice combines strength in investigations and regulatory law with experience in the financial services, professional services, life sciences and rail sectors. An area of particular activity is advising senior executives on exits and moves, including settlements and post-termination restrictions.

Practice head(s):

Paul Reeves

Testimonials

‘Paul Reeves provided pragmatic, cost effective advice to deliver a good outcome in a contentious situation.’

‘Paul Reeves responded very promptly and dealt with my enquiry very quickly.’

‘Team is productive, quick turnaround, efficient and charges are very reasonable.’

‘Paul Reeves can be got hold of most of the time and if not within couple of hours he calls back or one of his team gets in touch. He finds solutions and is cost effective with great advice.’

‘Very engaged team, streamlined process and clear advice.’

Work highlights

  • Advising the management team of RiverStone Europe on the employment aspects of its acquisition by funds managed by CVC Capital Partners.

BDB Pitmans

Advising a mix of corporate and charity sector clients, BDB Pitmans handles a range of Employment Tribunal work, including whistleblowing and discrimination cases, as well as providing experience in dealing with post-termination restriction issues and covenants generally. Brian Gegg is practice head and focuses on advising senior individuals and board level executives on service agreement terms, incentive arrangements and exit deals.

Practice head(s):

Brian Gegg

Other key lawyers:

Jesper Christensen; Ian Wasserman

Testimonials

‘The quality of the partners and the way they share their collective knowledge is impressive. There is a tangible feel of support and co-operation between colleagues.’

‘Ian Wasserman did an outstanding job in advising me during a complex Employment dispute. Ian’s empathetic approach and calm manner were reassuring, enabling me to fully focus on the in-depth explanations of my legal position. Absolute clarity of vision and I was able to work effectively with him to reach the right decisions swiftly.’

‘Jesper Christensen is a consummate professional and a great credit to his org and profession – no ask is too much, and he responds at pace. He is highly articulate, managing to explain complex issues with simplicity. when talking to him you get no sense of rush- he makes you feel important.’

Cripps

The ‘detailed, thorough and clearMelanie Stancliffe is head of the Cripps senior executives practice and handles a range of disputes and negotiations in the area. The firm counts senior employees, C-suite executives and professionals among its clientele and provides them with expertise in contract renegotiations, joining and leaving issues, and discrimination and whistleblowing matters.

Practice head(s):

Melanie Stancliffe

Testimonials

‘Excellent team, using all resources within to ensure clear, timely and effective support to clients. Knowledge, focus on the main issues of concern, producing specific advice to address.’

‘Melanie Stancliffe is detailed, thorough and clear in what can and can’t be challenged, taking a very holistic approach to deal with the issues in question.’

‘They have gone above and beyond to help me during a very difficult process.’

Work highlights

  • Acted for an owner manager of a technology company in relation to Tribunal claims for Constructive Unfair Dismissal and breach of contract and in conjunction with his shareholder dispute.
  • Advised a senior employee in the education sector on claims of Constructive Unfair Dismissal, Age Discrimination, Harassment and Victimisation, obtaining a good settlement, just prior to the Tribunal hearing in September 2021.
  • Acted for 12 employees made redundant by retailer Joseph, regarding their respective rights regarding redundancy and TUPE on the transfer of their work from Joseph’s London Distribution Centre to an external third party based in the North of England.

didlaw

The didlaw team is co-led by Karen Jackson, who is ‘simply one of the best employment and discrimination lawyers in the business’; the ‘professional and diligentAnita Vadgama; and Elizabeth McGlone, who is ‘an outstandingly knowledgeable innovative and dedicated lawyer’. The firm specialises in discrimination cases including handling disability, sexual harassment, maternity and sex discrimination claims.

Practice head(s):

Karen Jackson; Anita Vadgama; Elizabeth McGlone

Testimonials

‘The personal attention given to your case and the compassion shown and drive to secure the best outcome for the client stands out.’

‘Anita Vadgama is outstanding, caring, knowledgeable and spent the time to explain the different scenarios and potential outcomes in a very caring, professional and diligent way.’

‘You can tell it’s personal for this team. Their exceptional knowledge combined with their compassion is what makes them so unique. There’s no one I’d rather have in my corner if I have an issue.’

‘Karen Jackson makes you feel completely held, safe and confident in the middle of a process that could really floor your. She is totally clear and honest and you have the sense she only cares about what’s best for her client. She eats, sleeps and breathes your case.’

‘An array of stars in a uniquely impressive firm of outstandingly innovative and cutting edge employment and discrimination lawyers.’

‘Elizabeth McGlone an outstandingly knowledgeable innovative and dedicated lawyer. Karen Jackson, simply one of the best employment and discrimination lawyers in the business. You want her on your side.’

‘Client care skills, knowledge of the law, attention to detail.’

‘Karen Jackson, superb negotiating skills, client care, knowledge.’

Work highlights

  • Advised a client in achieving the second largest ever award in the Employment Tribunals for disability discrimination in excess of £2m.
  • Advised a client in a claim for automatic unfair dismissal pursuant to section 103A Employment Rights Act 1996 was dismissed.

Farore Law

Boutique Farore Law focuses on discrimination, equal pay, sexual harassment, misconduct and whistleblowing cases, as well as associated partnership law issues and senior executive contracts. The firm provides comprehensive legal advice, representation and court advocacy. Founding partner Suzanne McKie is a dual-qualified barrister and solicitor and specialises in discrimination, equality, whistleblowing and employment law cases.

Practice head(s):

Suzanne McKie

Testimonials

‘Phenomenal, smart and responsive team.’

‘Effective, on point and flexible. Clear, concise and consistent. They always get back to me in time, explain fees and upcoming schedule and are clear and direct if I don’t understand something.’

‘Suzanne McKie KC is a very impressive advocate and yet she has the necessary empathy and sensitivity to handle delicate and personally stressful matters. Suzanne and her team at Farore Law are a force to be reckoned with.  A client will feel enormous relief to have them on side.’

‘The best in their field of law, without a shadow of doubt. In my experience they are not just highly professional, dedicated experts, but they will go that extra mile to protect the client’s interest and put forward their best case, however difficult the facts.’

‘Quick, efficient and reliable communication. They are the ones you can rely on for help in the face of terrible injustice. (Sexual harassment & misconduct, workplace bullying and gender discrimination).’

‘Suzanne is an expert in her field and offers advice that will put you in the best position legally. She is an amazing lawyer’

Work highlights

  • Acted in a long-running sex discrimination, sexual harassment and victimisation claims in the EAT and Court of Appeal.
  • Acting for the former CEO and President of Amur Minerals plc in an ongoing multi-million-pound whistleblowing case.
  • Acted for a Senior Equities Trader in his long-running whistleblowing claim against RBC.

Ince

The ‘extremely knowledgeable and experienced team’ at Ince specialise in advising senior executives from the IT, luxury retail, pharmaceuticals, logistics, shipping, media and entertainment sectors, with particular strength in cases that combine disciplinary and regulatory issues. Practice head Laura Livingstone focuses on the non-contentious aspects of employment work for senior executives and employers.

Practice head(s):

Laura Livingstone

Other key lawyers:

Marie Van der Zyl; Julia Whyte

Testimonials

‘Laura Livingstone has given me the most brilliant advice on two separate occasions and negotiated extremely good deals. She believed in fighting my case even when I was losing faith, she stood by me, put her head above the parapet and – amazingly – we won! I have recommended her to friends and family many times. She also answered my queries rapidly and efficiently.’

‘An extremely knowledgeable and experienced team that is always responsive and commercial.’

‘Julia Whyte – technically excellent, highly responsive, hands on, delivers high quality work in a timely manner at great value.’

‘The team are efficient, professional, commercial but fun to work with which sets them aside from the more ‘corporate, stuffy’ approach.’

‘Marie Van der Zyl is excellent & always tries to think outside the box with a commercial solution my entrepreneurial Board appreciates. Her communication skills are first class & even if she is not available that instance she will make time to suit us.’

Work highlights

  • Advised the former Chief Executive of South Ribble Borough Council on her whistleblowing unfair dismissal claim arising out of her suspension from the authority in May 2019 and her dismissal in July 2020.

Irwin Mitchell

Focusing on acting for employees, senior executives and professionals, Irwin Mitchell’s strengths encompass the key areas of discrimination, harassment, whistleblowing and pay disputes, unfair dismissals and restrictive covenants, as well as advising on a range of regulatory matters. Shah Qureshi spearheads the practice.

Practice head(s):

Shah Qureshi

Other key lawyers:

Deborah Casale

Testimonials

‘Irwin Mitchell have expanded their team in recent years and built up their expertise and knowledge in the sector.’

‘Shah Qureshi leads the team delivering expertise in a fantastically calm and unflappable manner. Clients want him on their side and appreciate his support and brilliant judgement in delivering cost / benefit legal solutions.’

‘Deborah Casale is a senior executives lawyer par excellence. She supports executives in their most difficult moments and looks to exit them or negotiate deals at the highest level. She is a very tough negotiator and achieves excellent results for her clients. Where necessary she is not scared to litigate and will do so both tactically and strategically for the best outcome.’

Work highlights

  • Act for the former North America of Chairman JLT Re in his High Court breach of contract proceedings against the world’s largest insurance company.
  • Act for the head of human capital and communications/HR at Bank of Africa UK Plc, a multi-national investment bank.
  • Successful in representing an FCA regulated employee against his employer, a global Financial Services Company, in respect of a disability discrimination claim.

Kervin & Barnes

Experienced litigator Gareth Kervin leads the Kervin & Barnes practice, which is known for its expertise in sector-specific financial services advice, including regulatory issues, remuneration structures, post-termination restraints and equal pay and discrimination matters, notably cases related to maternity, disability, age, sex, race and sexual orientation discrimination. The firm is also active in advisory work, such as contract reviews and negotiations, restrictive covenant advice and negotiated exits.

Practice head(s):

Gareth Kervin

Work highlights

  • Advising a claimant in the financial services sector on a claim valued at £46m (including shares and options).
  • Advised a financial services senior executive client on a complex matter involving disability discrimination, unfair dismissal and Permanent Health Insurance entitlement claims.
  • Advising a former CEO on his extrication from the financial services company he founded and issues surrounding his majority shareholding, investment agreement and restrictive covenants.

Memery Crystal (part of RBG Legal Services)

Known for its expertise in negotiating complex exit arrangements, Memery Crystal (see also Rosenblatt) also handles employment disputes, including discrimination matters. Advisory and transactional work is the firm’s bread and butter, representing clients from a range of sectors, notably in the financial services and private equity spaces. The ‘experienced, strategic and cleverStephen Ravenscroft leads the team which was boosted in 2021 by the arrival of Michelle Chance, who handles employers and senior executives work.

Practice head(s):

Stephen Ravenscroft

Other key lawyers:

Michelle Chance

Testimonials

‘Committed, focus on a good outcome for their clients, realistic.’

‘Stephen Ravenscroft: huge experienced, strategic, clever, great with clients.’

Rahman Lowe Solicitors

Specialist employment firm Rahman Lowe Solicitors represents senior executives in complex discrimination, whistleblowing, unfair dismissal, redundancy, breach of contract, restrictive covenant and bonus dispute claims. The firm’s experience also covers the impact of corporate transactions, TUPE transfers and employment status issues. Eponymous partner Jahad Rahman spearheads the practice and ‘has excellent judgement and is good at spotting the strengths and weaknesses in his clients’ cases’. Sarah Lowe departed in 2021.

Practice head(s):

Jahad Rahman

Other key lawyers:

Zillur Rahman

Testimonials

‘I work with Zillur Rahman, who provides an excellent service and is responsive and helpful.’

‘Dedicated to the case. Unafraid to challenge the status quo.’

‘Jahad Rahman has excellent judgment and is good at spotting the strengths and weaknesses in his clients’ cases.’

Work highlights

  • Representing an individual in complex High Court and Court of Appeal proceedings against the Complaints Commissioner.
  • Advising one of the most senior BAME officers within Unison, the union, in connection with her claims of race discrimination and victimisation. She claims that she was overlooked for promotion to the position of General Secretary.
  • Advised a client on his high-profile NHS whistleblowing claim following the death of patients at a London ICU and detriments that he suffered as a result of his public interest disclosures about poor care and patient safety issues.

Stewarts Law LLP

Advising senior executives, senior employees and partners, Stewarts Law LLP provides expertise in negotiating entry and exit agreements, advising on incentive and remuneration structures, and acting in a range of disputes. Core strengths for the practice include unfair dismissal, discrimination and whistleblowing disputes in the Employment Tribunal and the Employment Appeal Tribunal. Joseph Lappin spearheads the team.

Practice head(s):

Joseph Lappin

Other key lawyers:

Charlie Thompson; Ian Gatt KC

Testimonials

‘Joe Lappin and his team of employment professionals at Stewart’s are stellar. They bring a precise understanding of your objectives, the professional context that you’re facing, and the relevant case law and regulations relevant to you.’

‘Joseph Lappin is a real rising star. He combines extreme smarts, detailed diligent review, and pragmatic HR working experience to give you the full range of options and professional outcomes.’

‘Specialist litigators offering high quality litigation teams.’

‘I have worked with Ian Gatt KC and Charlie Thompson. Both are excellent – clever, knowledgeable and responsive.’

‘I have worked with Charlie Thompson – he is very impressive and I would recommend him strongly.’

‘Charlie Thompson is a great addition. He has both a strong grasp for the technical, legal side of the work, but is also someone who is pragmatic and focused on getting the best outcome for the client.’

Wedlake Bell LLP

Recommended for its ‘outstanding personal care and attention given to each client’, Wedlake Bell LLP represents executives, board teams, committees, investor nominees and proxies from a range of sectors in employment matters. Key advice includes exit arrangements, whistleblowing matters and incentive schemes. ‘Sector leader and genuine starWilliam Granger leads the team.

Practice head(s):

William Granger

Other key lawyers:

Emily Daly; Jemma Pugh

Testimonials

‘Jemma Pugh is an excellent lawyer. She always has the right strategy worked out. Provided good advice but also listened to my needs.’

‘The outstanding personal care and attention given to each client really makes this practice unique. This, combined with the experience, knowledge and attention to detail displayed by each person working on the case, makes the Senior Executives Practice in this firm a sector leader.’

‘Each person who has worked on my case has been fully up to speed on even the most complex aspects. Clear leadership is shown by the partner in charge, but each member of the team contributes brilliantly and thus they work efficiently and effectively as a team. The working relationships between the partner, associates and trainee solicitors are impressive.’

‘William Granger never fails to impress. He is clearly a sector leader and a genuine star. Not only does he grasp complex facts quickly, but he is also an amazing strategist, finding workable solutions for clients. What is particularly impressive is his genuine passion for justice, especially for clients who have experienced discrimination and hardship as a result of wrongful behaviour. He really cares about his clients.’

‘Emily Daly is definitely one to watch. Her attention to detail is remarkable and her written work of the highest quality. It is hard to believe she only qualified in 2020! She always performs at the highest level and is brilliant with clients.’

Work highlights

  • Advised the board and UHNW owners of a renowned celebrity design hotel on a complex cross border legal and reputation dispute with rogue hotel manager taking customer information, cars, land and IP.
  • Advised the founder and CEO of a sport data company on the float of his business whilst maintaining the balance between autonomy for the business to grow and share protection for new investors.
  • Advised the CEO of a large energy business owned by two of the world’s biggest PE houses and a sovereign wealth fund. CEO challenged the founding chairman over unlawful behaviour that could jeopardise the exit plans and ESG profile of the investors and was removed as a result.

Worden Richmond

Specialist niche firmWorden Richmond ‘provides Magic Circle quality advice to senior executive clients at boutique firm rates’. The practice is focused on disputes, representing senior individuals in the energy, higher education, leisure, professional services, life sciences, banking and financial services sectors. The team is co-led by Catherine Richmond and Alexandra Worden, who ‘both provide an unusually strong combination of technical expertise and client service’.

Practice head(s):

Catherine Richmond; Alexandra Worden

Testimonials

‘In working my case Alexandra Worden was fully committed. Her careful attention to detail was a huge asset to our efforts. She is also a fierce advocate and isn’t afraid of taking on larger and more well funded legal teams. She is a champion for the underdog and takes personal satisfaction in holding companies to account.’

‘A small firm of highly skilled and focused individuals. I am a repeat customer of theirs, and have not been disappointed with their approach and enthusiastic engagement on any occasion. They work hard for their clients.’

‘They are a very nice firm to deal with, and to me, that counts for a lot and speaks volumes.’

‘Worden Richmond have managed to build an exceptional practice, working for top executives (not only in Oxford and Cambridge, but also those based in London), bringing their skills as former employment partners at top City firms to cases and true dedication to their clients in a most impressive manner.’

‘Alex Worden is stand out – her commitment, legal skills, empathy with her client and overall excellence were second to none.’

‘Alexandra Worden has an eye for detail which is second to none. She is absolutely committed to getting the best for her clients and is a pleasure to work with. When asked for a recommendation, I immediately think of her.’

‘This specialist niche firm provides Magic Circle quality advice to senior executive clients at boutique firm rates.’

‘Alex Worden and Catherine Richmond both provide an unusually strong combination of technical expertise and client service.’

Work highlights

  • Represented a Crude Oil trader formerly employed by BP Plc in four extremely complicated and high-value whistleblowing and detriment claims in the Employment Tribunal against BP and four of its senior managers.
  • Supported the Dean of Christ Church, Oxford (both the University of Oxford college and the Church of England cathedral of Oxford) in governance procedures and disputes within Christ Church, Oxford.
  • Represented the ex-Chief Executive of a world-renowned sporting institution in their unfair dismissal and race discrimination claim.