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  1. Employment: employees/unions
  2. Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

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Next generation lawyers

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Who Represents Who

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'Unquestionably a leader in the field', Leigh Day 'combines robustness and empathy in a way most firms could only dream of'. Key areas of expertise include equal pay issues, working time rights, trade union rights, discrimination claims and National Minimum Wage work. The group has also been highly active in the employment status space; recent highlights include representing 68 Uber drivers in a tribunal claim relating to gig economy issues, acting for three drivers in a self-employment challenge against Addison Lee, and representing 50 Deliveroo riders in an employment status claim. Other mandates included representing 230 judges in direct age discrimination claims relating to judicial pensions and acting for multiple Asda shop workers in an equal pay claim. The 'outstanding' Chris Benson leads the group, which includes Kiran Daurka, Michael Newman, newly promoted partner Nigel Mackay and the 'unbelievably knowledgeable' Emma Satyamurti. Elizabeth George joined Pattinson & Brewer.

Slater and Gordon's 'great depth of knowledge and experience' makes it 'a pre-eminent firm on the claimant side', where it advises employees and trade unions including FDA, PCS and NASUWT. Key names include 'highly experienced' department head Edward Cooper, partnership team head Clive Howard and the 'incredibly intelligent' Emma Hawksworth; Cooper recently acted for an individual in a case arising from the high-profile Trojan Horse affair alleging the Islamification of schools in Birmingham, and Hawksworth represented a Muslim prison chaplain in an indirect discrimination claim relating to pay disparity between Muslim and Christian chaplains. Other work for Hawksworth includes acting for a claimant in a disability discrimination claim relating to her dismissal from her police officer role and representing HMRC employees in equal pay claims. Paul Daniels joined Keystone Law in 2018.

The employment team at Hodge Jones & Allen LLP (formerly led by Rhian Radia) represents employees in a wide variety of complex litigation including discrimination and equal pay claims and criminal allegations. It also regularly advises senior executives on employment documentation and the negotiation of severance packages. Newly promoted partner Homa Wilson is also a name to note; she is recommended for discrimination claims. A recent addition to the team is partner Joseph Nicholls.

Pattinson & Brewer's 'very committed and hardworking' practice is led by 'outstanding lawyer' Elizabeth George, who joined from Leigh Day in 2017 and is 'one of the leading claimant lawyers in London'. The team handles contentious and non-contentious mandates for all major trade unions including the Communication Workers Union, Prospect and Equity. Recent highlights include acting in discrimination proceedings and representing workers in a group equal pay claim against Next Retail and Next. Newly promoted partner Elizabeth Stephenson is also recommended for her 'highly practical advice'.

Simpson Millar LLP's 'excellent' department stands out for its trade union client base, which includes the British Airline Pilots' Association, GMB and new client, the Cleaners and Allied Independent Workers Union. In a recent highlight, team leader Joy Drummond advised the Aircrew Officers Association Europe on the proposed closure of Cathay Pacific Airways' Manchester base and the proposed redundancy of its pilots; she also represented it and a member in the Employment Tribunal and Employment Appeals Tribunal in proceedings relating to the unlawful deduction of wages for sick pay, assisted RSPB Staff Association with the rights of its members regarding substantial pay cuts, and acted for FDA in settling multiple claims relating to holiday pay. Aneil Balgobin is also recommended.

'A key name in the market for trade unions', Thompsons Solicitors LLP 'stands out for its strength and depth' and 'consistently impresses with its knowledge, experience and professionalism'. Unison and Unite the Union are key clients; the team recently represented a Unite member in a religious discrimination claim and acted for the union against Argos in its attempts to obtain an injunction to avoid industrial action. Key practitioners include team head Rakesh Patel, Richard Arthur, who is 'fully committed to his clients'; Gerard Airey, who is 'highly tenacious'; Roger Ellis, who is 'very well organised and professional'; and Rachel Halliday.

Rashmi Chopra leads the practice at Bindmans LLP following her recruitment from an in-house position; she handles discrimination and equal pay claims, employee status issues, whistleblowing issues and wage deduction work. Clients also single out associate Peter Daly, who 'has a growing reputation in the field' and is 'legally on-the-ball, committed to his clients and always goes above and beyond'. Shah Qureshi, Shazia Khan and Emilie Cole joined Irwin Mitchell in 2018.

Paul Mander leads the team at Penningtons Manches LLP, which was bolstered by the recruitment of Binder Bansel and Anthea Christie from Pattinson & Brewer in 2017. Bansel is praised as 'extremely knowledgeable' and 'an exceptional discrimination lawyer'; he also handles class actions, collective labour issues and trade union law. Recent mandates for Bansel include acting for four members of the Police Federation in a claim for damages against the Metropolitan Police Service relating to its duty of care following the arrest of a terrorist subject and a subsequent civil claim against the officers, representing members of the Civil Nuclear Police Federation in a challenge to its decision to raise its retirement age, and acting for Communications Workers Union members in a test case relating to the worker status of postmasters. Christie, who is 'a force to be reckoned with', handled a judicial review application for a Police Federation representative and is acting for three Police Federation members in claims for unpaid overtime.

Niche employment and discrimination firm Rahman Lowe Solicitors acts for employees and senior executives in a wide range of issues including whistleblowing claims, equal pay and discrimination matters, redundancy issues, unfair dismissals and breach of contract claims. Jahad Rahman and Sarah Lowe jointly lead the team; Lowe has particular experience in discrimination cases, stress at work matters and harassment claims in the High Court.

Belinda Eriksson leads the practice at SW19Lawyers LLP, which is 'an excellent small firm with a personal touch' and provides 'an outstanding service and sound commercial advice'. Eriksson is considered by clients to be 'tremendously experienced' and 'mixes legal knowledge with market expertise and a good dose of common sense'; her recent work includes unfair dismissal and sex discrimination claims, maternity and pregnancy discrimination issues and work-related stress mandates. Clients also praise consultant Mitchell Bell, who is 'a considerate lawyer who considers every angle of a matter'.

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