Employment: employers in London
Allen & Overy LLP’s employment department is a leader in market-defining disputes in both the High Court and Employment Tribunals, while also specialising in high-profile strategic advisory work, as well as interdisciplinary regulatory, data privacy and transactional matters. The practice is particularly well known for its expertise in the financial services sector. Other sector specialities include TMT, life sciences, industrials and oil and gas. Recent highlights include advising the Commonwealth Bank of Australia on a Brexit project which requires setting up a new entity in the Netherlands and the closure of the bank’s entity in Malta. Sarah Henchoz heads the practice. Karen Seward, Mark Mansell and Robbie Sinclair (who was made partner in May 2019) are also recommended.
‘The department has good insights into other banks’ market practice‘.
‘Pragmatic, robust and value-added advice‘.
‘Very good strength-in-depth knowledge of employment law and its practical application to industry sectors. For our business, they also have strong knowledge of the relevant regulation particular to us and can draw on specialist and multidisciplinary teams with associated knowledge of aligned industry concerns‘.
‘Mark Mansell is a bit of a heavyweight. He can be trusted to make judgement calls‘.
‘Mark Mansell is pragmatic and has experience at the forefront of employment law developments. Robbie Sinclair has knowledge of industry regulation and is always available to make the client’s concerns his focus‘.
Commonwealth Bank of Australia
- Advised advertising giant WPP on a range of strategic and board level matters, including the high-profile exit of founder and CEO, Sir Martin Sorrell, after 33 years with the company.
- Advised the Commonwealth Bank Of Australia on a range of matters/projects throughout the year.
- Advising Tradeweb, an international fintech company, on a range of matters including a global restructuring of their workforce spanning APAC and European regions including any fallout from Brexit.
- Acted for Caxton Associates, a global trading and investment firm, in an Employment Tribunal claim brought against it by one of its former employees.
Baker McKenzie has a strong reputation for highly strategic and complex employment matters, including global workforce restructuring and cross-border deals, large transactions, global compliance and risk management, equal pay and data privacy matters. The practice, which also has expertise in innovative staffing models, model slavery issues, is well versed in complex disputes and investigations, financial services and regulatory advice and industrial relations work. Recent highlights include advising the BBC on equal pay issues. John Evason heads the practice. Monica Kurnatowska, Christine O’Brien, the 'exceptionally professional' Carl Richards and of counsel Lily Collyer are also recommended. Senior associate Annabel Mackay joined from Addleshaw Goddard in April 2019.
Other key lawyers:
‘Good network across the globe, generally very responsive, understanding our company’s culture and needs, being proactive and pragmatic. Good collaboration model through central point of contact (London office) that is collecting input from various country offices or partner firms. Very good client relationship management, very friendly attitude‘.
‘Great partners, very responsive, providing practical advice, following through and bringing things to pragmatic conclusions. Perfect cultural fit in terms of attitude and friendliness‘.
‘Bake McKenzie’s team is exceptionally professional, providing high quality and timely advice. They anticipate any potential issues/risks and make sure they are dealt with in time. They are very good in explaining the subject also to non-lawyers‘.
‘Carl Richards is an exceptionally professional lawyer, very reliable and very nice to work with. He is always ready to help, extremely good in anticipating any potential issues, communicating them to the team and making sure he proposes potential solutions. He is very friendly and creates an atmosphere of trustworthy business relationship‘.
Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE)
IAG/ British Airways
Lloyds of London
Tapestry Inc (formerly known as Coach Inc)
Alliance Boots PLC
Rio Tinto PLC
Guardian Media Group
- Advising the BBC on equal pay issues.
- Advising Addison Lee, which was faced with claims from a number of its private hire drivers and couriers who all alleged that they had been incorrectly classified as self-employed.
- Advising Emerson on strategic global matters, including senior executive issues and the global HR aspects of its acquisitions and divestitures.
- Advising GSK on employment aspects of the integration of the GSK and Pfizer consumer healthcare businesses, realisation of cost synergies and preparations for a future listing of the combined JV business.
- Provided employment law advice on the employment, pensions, employee benefits and immigration elements of the carveout of GE’s global water business and its acquisition by Suez, covering more than 50 jurisdictions.
Clifford Chance LLP's practice works with a premium roster of clients on the full range of 'bet the company' employment issues, advising banks, insurers, private equity houses and asset managers on the implications of Brexit, the employment aspects of GDPR and the revision of policies and procedures in response to the #MeToo movement. The team also regularly works in tandem with the magic circle firm's top-tier corporate practice, handling the employment aspects of multibillion-pound M&A deals, including Coca-Cola's £3.9bn acquisition of Costa. The practice has been led since 2003 by Chris Goodwill, who also represents high-profile individuals. He is supported by the 'calm, clear-thinking and commercial' Alistair Woodland, the 'resourceful, creative and collegiate' Mike Crossan and Chinwe Odimba-Chapman, who was made up in 2018 and is the firm's partner champion for its London BAME network.
‘The best in the business without a doubt.’
‘Alistair Woodland is calm, clear-thinking and commercial.’
‘Chinwe Odimba-Chapman has great client skills; she is determined and impressive.’
‘Senior associate Alastair Windass is commercial, engaged and bright.’
‘Mike Crossan is resourceful, creative and collegiate.’
‘Senior associate Francesca Baker is enthusiastic, hard-working and responsive.’
Legal & General
- Advising a major international bank on unfair dismissal and disability discrimination claims brought in the Employment Tribunal and Employment Appeal Tribunal.
- Acted for a bank in High Court litigation concerning the misappropriation of a large quantity of confidential data by a departing employee.
- Advised Coca-Cola on the employment aspects of its £3.9bn acquisition of Costa.
- Advised CYBG on the employment aspects of its £1.7bn acquisition of Virgin Money.
- Advised Italian bank MPS on the closure of its operations in London, New York and Hong Kong, covering the decision to recognise and negotiate with Unite, the consultation process and the negotiation of settlements with affected employees and all related issues.
Herbert Smith Freehills LLP’s employment team assists clients with complex litigation and regulatory investigations, multi-jurisdictional matters, major transactions, crisis management and boardroom matters. The practice is at the forefront of hot employment topics, including trade unions and works councils, equal pay and diversity, Brexit, the gig economy, data protection and GDPR and whistleblowing. Recent highlights include advising Tesco on the defence of equal pay claims brought on behalf of store colleagues. Andrew Taggart - described by one client as 'the stand-out practitioner in the entire market' - heads the practice. Peter Frost, Christine Young, Tim Leaver and senior associate Jennifer Andrews are other key contacts.
‘Outstanding team. Very strong on litigation and financial services‘.
‘Strong litigation experience‘.
‘The Herbert Smith Freehills employment practice is superb. They are clearly experts in all aspects of UK employment law, and they are incredibly responsive and strategic in their approach. They are simply the best in the employment law field in the UK‘.
‘A ‘client is king’ approach. Nothing is too much trouble‘.
‘An exceptional partner-led team (unlike many), with some of the most experienced and well-regarded partners in London. Clients can be assured of an excellent service, from real specialists. HSF are big beasts of the employment market‘.
‘Peter Frost is experienced, a fighter.’
‘Andrew Taggart is thoughtful, creative and engaging.’
Christine Young is bright and conscientious‘.
‘Andrew Taggart is hugely experienced, commercially savvy and a pleasure to work with‘.
‘Christine Young is an exceptional employment lawyer‘.
‘Andrew Taggart combines commercial insight with legal precision‘.
‘Christine Young is a hugely able star within a very strong team. Respected by clients for her commercial no-nonsense approach‘.
‘Andrew Taggart is the stand-out practitioner in the entire market, so far as I am concerned. He is a superb litigator; commercial, strategic, and a first class lawyer. He is also charming, funny, and a delight to work with‘.
Horserace Betting Levy Board
Pensions Insurance Corporation
Syneos Health Inc
The Ministry of Defence
- Advising Tesco on the defence of equal pay claims brought on behalf of store colleagues.
- Advising global fund manager IFM Investors (UK) on defence of high profile sexual harassment claims in the Employment Tribunal.
- Appointed by Ted Baker to conduct an independent external investigation to examine the claims of inappropriate behaviour against its founder and chief executive Ray Kelvin.
- Working with Syneos Health to manage the Employment and corporate aspects of their post-merger integration and benefits harmonisation project across over 25 EMEA and 10 Asia-Pacific jurisdictions.
- Advised Hotelbeds on the sale of its Destination Management business worth EUR 100 million, which includes the Destination Services, Intercruises Shoreside and Port Services, and Pacific World brands.
The market-leading team at Lewis Silkin LLP has strong expertise in all aspects of employment law, advising on the spectrum of issues from the gig economy to gender pay gap reporting, while also playing prominent roles in high-profile High Court disputes. The practice is particularly well-regarded for its development of innovative services to meet client needs, including its low cost fixed-fee HR support offering, rockhopper. Recent highlights include advising Deliveroo on the categorisation of their delivery staff as non-workers. Joint managing partner Richard Miskella heads the practice, which also has a strong track record of advising senior executives, and is home to a line-up of well-regarded partners including 'all-time great' Michael Burd, James Davies, 'master tactician' Toni Lorenzo, senior executives practice head Nicholas Hadaway and Colin Leckey.
Richard Miskella; Michael Burd
The team is highly responsive, knowledgeable but importantly practical when assessing technical risk vs practical reality.’
‘Toni Lorenzo and team provide a very high-quality and pragmatic service to us. Lewis Silkin’s strength and depth in employment law is longstanding.’
‘They are succinct and pragmatic and find solutions rather than just cover all their risks.’
‘Toni Lorenzo and Mike Anderson are supremely experienced, commercial, and excel at cases involving urgent applications for injunctive relief, or employee competition litigation.;
‘Excellent technical knowledge and judgement, highly efficient and well-resourced, very relaxed and pleasant in personal dealings, reflecting strong relationships with clients.’
‘Bench strength, breadth and depth of experience, well-grounded, universally good to deal with.’
‘Approachable, warm and friendly – real people! They understand a creative industry and the constant struggle not to appear overly corporate to employees but the need to find a way through that fits with the business and avoids risk. They’re not tickboxy and bureaucratic. We love the ‘Sounding Board’ – it’s so useful, great idea.’
‘The team at Lewis Silkin is always pragmatic and will discuss the best solution for the business and give an honest appraisal of risk. They are always open and communicative and will go out of their way to make the job of an HR professional or manager easier. Many other legal firms will sit on the fence and won’t approach a case with the degree of transparency and integrity that Lewis Silkin do.’
‘Lewis Silkin is a great employment house, and the senior executive team is very well managed by Nick Hadaway. He knows his world and is an expert in obtaining good outcomes.’
‘Superb litigators with near unparalleled experience in big-ticket litigation. Strength in depth.’
‘Toni Lorenzo is exceptionally proactive and energetic, fearless, gets great results for clients.’
‘Michael Burd is among the most senior and highly respected employment lawyers in the country, with outstanding qualities of judgement and the ability to get deals done, stays calm in even the most challenging situations. One of the all-time greats.’
‘Nicholas Hadaway is an expert in this field who aggressively represents his clients and knows how to get the best outcomes.’
‘Richard Miskella – a class act. Unflappable. Commercial and cerebral.’
‘Toni Lorenzo – A master tactician. Has seen it and done it all before.’
‘Mike Anderson – A great strategist. Dynamic. Really fights for his clients.’
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer
Sir Martin Sorrell
- Advised Deliveroo to defend their categorisation of their delivery staff as non-workers for the purposes of employment legislation.
- Advising Sainsbury’s in relation to board level and strategic employment issues.
- Acted as key advisor to Viacom in relation to its data protection audit across EMEA, focusing on workplace data protection issues.
- Advised The Ardonagh Group, Price Forbes and Partners and Bishopsgage Insurance Brokers on high-profile litigation over claims made by Arthur J Gallagher and its subsidiary Alesco Risk Management alleging an unlawful team move.
- Appointed by global Buddhist organisation RIGPA to conduct an investigation into allegations of abuse by Tibetan Buddhist lama Sogyal Rinpoche.
Linklaters LLP’s employment and incentives practice handles the full range of top-level employment law matters, including big-ticket litigation, strategic employment advisory work, remuneration and investigations in the financial services sector, equality and discrimination issues and Brexit-related matters. The team has been developing specialist expertise in advising start-ups and tech businesses. Nicola Rabson, who has 'incredible instincts for the right course of action', heads the practice, while counsel Simon Kerr-Davis is another name to note.
Other key lawyers:
Alex Beidas; Simon Kerr-Davis
‘Linklaters has extensive crisis management experience on high-profile public issues. The remuneration side of the practice (Alex Beidas) is unmatched.’
‘The team are very human and pragmatic with a wide range of expertise and they will throw everything at a matter when needed.’
Standout individuals are Nicola Rabson for litigation and crisis management – her instincts for the right course of action are incredible. Simon Kerr-Davis has a breadth of knowledge and is hugely intelligent. Clients, both internal and external, love him for his human approach and sensible, articulate advice. Judith Sutton is an up and coming managing associate – she works like a Trojan and is able to see the bigger picture.’
- Advised Astrea Asset Management on defence against four high value claims involving unfair dismissal, breach of contract, disability discrimination and TUPE.
- Created bespoke training programme for the London workforce of Mizuho International as part of a diversity initiative at the Japanese bank.
- Drafted bespoke contracts for IK Investment Partners’ top-tier employees in numerous jurisdictions.
The sizeable team at Mishcon de Reya LLP has a strong reputation for its work on complex, high-level 'special situations' matters, with regular appearances in the Employment Tribunal, Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court. The practice specialises in matters at the forefront of employment law, including the gig economy and the gender pay gap, and acts for prominent senior executives, CEOs and board directors, as well as senior partners of law firms and PE houses. Recent highlights include taking a lead role on the headline-making Pimlico Plumbers Supreme Court case on the employment status of gig economy workers, while the firm has also been representing senior female BBC journalists and broadcasters in their equal pay and discrimination dispute with the broadcaster. Daniel Naftalin heads up the team, supported by 'force of nature' Joanna Blackburn, the 'exceptional' Jennifer Millins, Sharon Tan, Greg Campbell and Susannah Kintish.
Other key lawyers:
‘This is a huge team with real strength and depth. The Mishcon de Reya lawyers are involved in so many of the leading cases.’
‘Mishcon de Reya is efficient, dynamic, and has excellent communication skills.’
‘The standout partner is Joanna Blackburn, who is a force of nature. She is a brilliant lawyer but an even better strategist. She knows exactly what points to press and when.’
‘Jennifer Millins is the best and brightest of the up-and-coming new partners. Dan Naftalin also deserves mention; he is very experienced and clients love and him.’
‘Jennifer Millins is exceptional. She is talented, warm, supportive and humane but also tough as nails, exceptionally bright and incisive.’
Kering (formerly known as Gucci Group)
Kirkland and Ellis LLP
Warner Music Group
The Co-operative Bank PLC
Pimlico Plumbers PLC
Christian Louboutin UK Ltd
Nissan Motor Co Ltd
Cancer Research UK
Robert Walters PLC
- Advising Pimlico Plumbers on a complex case on the highly topical issue of worker status, spanning seven years and culminating in a two-day hearing in the Supreme Court in February 2018.
- Advising The Co-Operative Bank on the exits of three of its most senior executives, and the new appointments to these roles.
- Acting for Munnelly Group Plc in connection with allegations of whistleblowing and unfair dismissal in the Employment Tribunal, and related fraud and breach of confidence claims in the High Court.
- Advised longstanding client Tradition in a substantial commercial litigation claim in the High Court.
Simmons & Simmons’ employment practice is highly regarded for its work on complex and reputationally sensitive matters, including #MeToo investigations, whistleblowing issues and senior misconduct, and recently led on a high-profile investigation for Baker McKenzie into the firm's handling of sexual assault allegations against a senior partner. The practice also stands out for its expertise in big-ticket litigation, particularly for financial services sector clients, and in multijurisdictional work which requires a deep understanding of domestic, European and international regulations. Several professionals in the team have significant in-house experience. Another recent highlight saw the firm act in the Supreme Court for headhunter Mary Caroline Tillman on a closely watched restrictive covenant dispute. Julian Taylor heads the practice, while Mark Hewland is another name to note.
Other key lawyers:
Monzo Bank Limited
- Acting for Mary Caroline Tillman, a former figure skater turned investment banker turned executive headhunter, who was injuncted by her previous employer, global search firm Egon Zehnder, to restrain her move to rival firm Russell Reynolds in New York. The case reached the Supreme Court in early 2019.
- Appointed by Baker McKenzie to investigate the handling of sexual assault allegations against a senior partner.
- Advising Moody’s on employment, pensions and incentives law elements of its acquisition of Bureau van Dijk.
- Acting for global asset manager AXA IM in relation to the defence of a complex Employment Tribunal claim.
- Represented Capco in a $145m fraud claim in which the business and technology consultancy alleged that its clients, resources and business opportunities were fraudulently diverted to new start-up companies secretly owned and controlled by Capco’s former employees.
Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP
The transatlantic merger which created Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP in 2018 has handed the firm's London employment team a newly expanded global platform to advise major clients on 'bet the company' reputational matters and high-stakes employment litigation, with contentious work making up 80% of the practice's work. Sector strengths include real estate, finance and retail. The City team is headed up by deputy global practice leader Rebecca Harding-Hill, who is relationship partner for a number of the firm's most prestigious clients. Other key team members include global co-chair Lisa Mayhew, who has a longstanding track record on market-leading employment matters, the hugely experienced Robert Eldridge, and well-regarded senior associate Bradley Houlston.
‘The team are incredibly client-focused. Having used another firm recently in this area, it really stands out how responsive BCLP are and how much you feel as if they have invested time to anticipate how we will want to address an issue. They are empathetic in difficult situations.’
‘Rebecca Harding-Hill, Bradley Houlston and Jackie Thomas are all excellent.’
P&O Ferries Limited
The UK employment team at CMS is co-led out of London by Melanie Lane, in tandem with her counterpart Alison Woods in Aberdeen. The team is spread across six locations across England and Scotland, and draws on the support of the firm's cost-effective legal services unit in Glasgow, while also benefiting from the wider firm's extensive European network. The London practice's client roster includes household names in the firm's key sectors, including retail, energy, financial services, real estate and technology, media and telecoms, among others. Growing areas of work for the team include data subject access requests, often with connected grievances and employment tribunal litigation. Other key members of the team include contentious expert Catherine Taylor and the experienced Richard Brown, while newly promoted partner Anna Cope is also well-regarded. The team was also boosted in March 2019 by the lateral hire of Steven Cochrane, who joined after four years as a partner at Pinsent Masons LLP.
Big Yellow PLC
Hewlett Packard plc
Marks & Spencer
National Maritime Museum
Royal Mail Group Limited
Value Retail plc
- Advised Aviva on the employment aspects of its £46m investment into County Broadband to support the rollout of its ultrafast fibre broadband network across the East of England, as well as its £75m investment in Truespeed Communications for the rollout of its broadband network across South West England.
- Advised the partners of Cavendish Corporate Finance on the employment implications of its merger with City stockbroker finnCap to become finnCap Group, which subsequently floated on AIM.
- Advised Legal & General Capital on employment aspects of its 50:50 joint venture with Bruntwood to operate a property platform dedicated to driving science and technology growth in regional cities.
- Advised Marks & Spencer on employment aspects of a major outsourcing transaction.
- Advised Standard Life Aberdeen on employment aspects of the £3.2bn sale of its life insurance business to Phoenix Group.
DAC Beachcroft LLP's London employment group has enjoyed consistent growth in recent years, on the back of high-profile work for a client roster comprising international banks, major insurers and bluechip healthcare organisations. The team has recently been handling an increasing amount of work related to the Senior Managers & Certification Regime (SMCR), while it also has a growing High Court practice, with contentious matters making up approximately 60% of the team's work. The practice is led by 'star individual' Khurram Shamsee, who is also on the firm's group board, alongside health and social care practice head Udara Ranasinghe. Other key team members include employee relations unit head Nick Chronias, David Sims, who leads the firm's cross-practice SMCR team, the 'excellent' Georgina Rowley and 'unflappable' contentious specialist Richard Loxley.
‘Professional, responsive, client focused.’
‘Friendly, practical and pragmatic. The firm’s advice is always sensible and mindful of the organisation in which you work. They are very good at getting a speedy understanding of your business.’
‘This employment team is as good as any of the magic circle teams in terms of its breadth and depth of employment law expertise. They are extremely pragmatic and strategic in their approach and focused on achieving the best outcomes for their clients.’
‘Georgina Rowley is excellent. She makes herself accessible and readily available. She is an absolute subject matter expert, but relays her knowledge and will discuss her approach in a manner that is personable and digestible for the layperson. She is considerate with billing and won’t undertake a task herself that can be completed by a more cost effective resource. She demonstrates commercialism and pragmatism in all advice provided; she makes a point to really get to know the culture and business of her clients.’
‘We work most closely with Udara Ranasinghe and Geetika Bansai and cannot praise them highly enough. They have a very nice manner which works across all levels of our business.’
‘David Sims is a thoughtful, highly competent lawyer, sensitive to the soft factors driving such matters as much as the contracts and the law. I would turn to him whenever I would need to seek again advice on matters of UK employment law.’
‘Khurram Shamsee is a star individual who combines excellent technical knowledge with a sharp strategic brain and is extremely pragmatic. He has excellent client handling skills and used his extensive employment law experience to achieve excellent outcomes for his clients. Khurram is also one of the market experts on data protection in an employment context.’
‘Richard Loxley is pragmatic and unflappable under pressure. He has very good client handling skills and combines deep knowledge with a pragmatic common sense approach.’
Arthur J. Gallagher
South African Airways
Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children
Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust
Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Foundation Trust
UCL Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
- Completed major investigation on behalf of a world-renowned organisation which centred on multiple complaints against a senior employee and the organisation’s response to them.
- Instructed by HSBC Life to advise its board of directors on the implementation of the Senior Managers and Certification Regime.
- Advised McDonald’s on nationwide implementation of GDPR into their UK business from the restaurants to head office.
- Advised Whittington Health NHS Trust on a whistleblowing claim brought by a senior consultant against the trust, its medical director and its chief executive.
- Advised the Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust on an injunction application and breach of contract claim brought against the trust.
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
The people and reward practice at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP - formerly know as the employment, pensions and benefits team - handles the full range of employment matters, including disputes, disciplinary and grievance processes, redundancies, investigations and the employment aspects of major M&A deals. Key practitioners include commercial litigator Caroline Stroud, Nicholas Squire and Kathleen Healy.
The London practice at Hogan Lovells International LLP regularly leads multi-jurisdictional teams advising on the employment aspects of corporate deals, while also handling global projects and high-stakes litigation. Other areas of specialism include restructurings and investigations. The practice, which has a particular focus on the financial services and life sciences sectors, also works closely with the firm's highly rated pensions team. Practice head Stefan Martin focuses on multinational projects and advice to senior executives, working alongside the well-regarded Ed Bowyer. The practice also benefits from the firm's relationship with legal services business Elevate, which provides a flexible pool of lawyers for client to draw on when required.
Other key lawyers:
‘A high quality City firm; ideal for large financial institutions and for high value disputes where the depth of the team and the sector knowledge can make a big difference. The team is not huge but high quality – particularly associate Emily Skinner.’
‘Stefan Martin is brilliant with banks and finance houses; in-depth involvement and hands-on with cases. Someone you want on your team.’
- Serving as primary adviser to software as a service company Diligent Corporation on all aspects of employment law in the UK.
The employment and benefits group at Mayer Brown International LLP, which is led by Nicholas Robertson, is regularly turned to for high-profile matters involving international clients such as FTSE 100 and Fortune 500 businesses. Disputes work is a core focus of practice, which handles litigation management and avoidance, as well as major cross-border matters relating to organisational change and data protection. Robertson, who regularly represents clients in the High Court and Court of Appeal, works in tandem with Christopher Fisher, who is relationship manager for some of the firm's key clients and advises on both contentious and non-contentious matters. Senior associate Miriam Bruce is also a key member of the team.
Tradition Financial Services
- Represented The Hartford Financial Services Group on employment matters relating to its $2.1bn acquisition of The Navigators Group.
- Representing Union Bank of Nigeria on the derecognition of its trade union.
- Advising Tradition Financial Services, an interdealer broking arm of Compagnie Financière Tradition, in connection to breach of contract claims.
- Advised Tradition on the enforcement of post-termination restrictive covenants that prevent non-solicitation of clients, colleagues and non-competition.
As an independent firm, Travers Smith LLP's employment practice prides itself on its ability to provide a more focused UK service, advising premium clients across a range of sectors including financial services, insurance, leisure, travel, sport, retail, tech and pharma. For matters with a cross-border component, the firm has well-established relationships with a number of overseas firms, allowing it to select the most suitable lawyers to work with when foreign advice is required. The practice has been led since the beginning of 2018 by Ed Mills, who handles the full range of contentious, non-contentious and transactional employment law matters. He draws on strong support from Sian Keall, former practice head Tim Gilbert and newly qualified partner Adam Wyman.
Environmental Resources Management
The Football Association
Marathon Asset Management
- Representing The Association of Independent Professionals and the Self Employed and one of its members in a landmark Employment Tribunal claim for worker status and holiday pay against HM Revenue & Customs.
- Acting for software company Access UK on all of their employment law needs, including employment aspects of a number of acquisitions.
- Advised a household name, listed FTSE 250 company in relation to significant whistleblowing complaint and investigation.
- Provided employment advice to ETF Securities on the $611m sale of its European exchange-traded commodity, currency and short-and-leveraged business to US financial services business WisdomTree Investments.
- Advised Teva UK on a large-scale collective restructuring programme.
Addleshaw Goddard's employment, incentives and immigration group, which is described as 'one of the best employment teams in London' has a strong reputation for its work in the Employment Tribunal and High Court, while also advising on the employment aspects of transactions and regulatory investigations. The practice is led by 'safe pair of hands' Michael Leftley; he works with a team which includes the 'hard-hitting' Richard Yeomans, experienced boardroom consultant Alasdair Simpson and 'star quality new partner' Sarah Harrop.
‘Commercial; responsive; technically solid; nice to work with.’
‘Addleshaw Goddard has one of the best employment teams in London – but works closely with large and highly experienced regional offices in Manchester and elsewhere. It offers excellent client care and know-how in a broad range of areas for employers including the tricky subject of industrial relations.’
‘Michael Leftley is a very reassuring and safe pair of hands to handle any complex employment dispute.’
‘Sarah Harrop – a star quality new partner with great airline and industrial relations knowledge.’
‘Richard Yeomans is extremely approachable and clever, but shows he can be hard-hitting when necessary for a multinational in a difficult dispute.’
Bird & Bird LLP's London employment team, which is led Ian Hunter, provides a full-service offering for multinational businesses, with a particular focus on the technology, life sciences, aviation and retail sectors. The team also has advises senior executives, including partners from other law firms. Recent areas in which the firm has seen an uptick in work include injunctions and High Court claims, data protection and employment tribunal cases relating to holiday pay for outsourcing clients. Hunter works with the 'outstanding' Elizabeth Lang, 'knowledgeable and straightforward' legal director Penny Hunt and 'consummate professional' senior associate Jonathan Goldsworthy, who also has expertise in business immigration. The team secured a major boost in summer 2019 with the hire of Stewarts Law LLP employment head Tim Spillane, who is highly regarded for his work with senior executives.
Ian Hunter; Philip Hartman; Pattie Walsh
‘Bird & Bird’s employment team are proactive, responsive and their advice is practical and to the point.’
‘In-depth knowledge of our business and of the industry.’
‘Elizabeth Lang is an outstanding lawyer. We have worked with Liz for many years and her core asset is her aptitude for reading people and typical situations that arise in employment matters which we believe is key for providing the best advice and solving issues in the HR space.
‘Associate Sam Rayner is an exceptionally bright and highly talented lawyer.
‘Legal director Penny Hunt is very knowledgeable and straightforward with her advice. She advises us in a practical and meaningful way and we have built a good relationship during our time working together. She is a great support and I know I can talk open and honestly with her.’
‘Senior associate Jon Goldsworthy is a trusted adviser – he is a consummate professional and I value his pragmatic and direct approach.’
Jet2.com / Jet2 Holidays
A recycling and recovery company
A dating focussed social network
- Advising fleet management software company Samsara on the full gamut of employment advice, in particular its recent European expansion efforts.
- Advising an American telecommunications conglomerate on the full suite of employment work.
- Serving as sole employment counsel to Jet2, advising on the full range of employment work including pay gap reporting, data protection and litigation.
- Advising WD40 on HR issues such as management of grievances, long-term sickness absences, employment contracts and policies, recruitment and terminations.
- Handling employment issues for fast growth US technology company Elastic Search.
Charles Russell Speechlys LLP's practice is spearheaded by Nick Hurley, who handles both contentious and advisory employment law issues. Also notable are project management expert Trevor Bettany, corporate employment lawyer Michael Powner, charity and not-for-profit sector specialist David Green and Emma Bartlett. In recent highlights, the group provided TUPE and related collective bargaining advice to an international retailer to avoid UK-wide industrial action, and also helped a surgeon to secure his reappointment following his dismissal from one of the UK’s largest NHS trusts.
Dechert LLP's London labour and employment practice, which boasts a strong reputation among its market peers, handles the full range of non-contentious and contentious employment matters, with an impressive client roster including global banking and asset management corporations, insurance firms, hospitality companies and other law firms. Practice head Charles Wynn-Evans is also a part-time employment judge and a deputy chair of the UK government's Central Arbitration Committee; he works alongside former London managing partner Jason Butwick and experienced senior associate Jennifer McGrandle, who leads the team’s work on GDPR.
‘They work together seamlessly in a non-hierarchical fashion.’
‘Flexible, imaginative and clear thinking. Willing to give advice on shaping that outcome, able to listen to the client on what matters to them and work to deliver that.’
‘Hard working, quick responses, unambiguous in their advice.’
‘Charles Wynn-Evans is a great example of a lawyer with real skills to handle clients, understand their role as adviser to senior people and support the client to get a good outcome. He is always able to move quickly and the very best at solving unusual problems with imagination.’
Asta Management Services
The Folio Society
Wyndham Worldwide Corporation
- Advised Northill Capital on employment aspects of the acquisition of the US, UK and Singapore businesses of Hastings Management from Westpac Banking Corporation.
- Advised Wyndham Worldwide Corporation, one of the largest global hospitality companies, on employment aspects of the $1.3bn sale of its European vacation rental business to private equity house Platinum Equity.
DLA Piper's London employment team benefits from the wider firm's huge global footprint, providing advice on a global scale to big-name clients. The practice's work ranges from High Court litigation to restructurings, outsourcing, data protection and the employment aspects of M&A deals, with key sectors including tech, financial services, life sciences, retail, leisure and media. UK employment head Adam Hartley - who also leads the group's UK and international technology stream - works in tandem with global practice co-chair Tim Marshall, business and human rights expert Jonathan Exten-Wright and legal director Jonathan Hearn.
London Stock Exchange
Crabtree & Evelyn
- Supporting Spotify on ad hoc employment queries and global projects.
Farrer & Co handles work for leaders of the most high-profile companies, including advising on ownership transitions, initial public offerings and both voluntary and involuntary departures. Turning to potentially contentious work, the firm advises on matters such as restrictive covenant disputes. Partnership businesses are an area of expertise - just one area in which practice head David Smellie is active. William Dawson also advises City executives under regulatory fire.
Other key lawyers:
William Dawson; Rachel Lewis; David Hunt; Jonathan Eley; Eleanor Rowswell
Imperial College, University of London
British Airline Pilots Association (BALPA)
London Business School
C Hoare & Co
The Natural History Museum
- Advising Imperial College on all aspects of employment law, including day-to-day HR issues and highly complex employment matters.
- Serving as sole employment law advisers to The Natural History Museum.
- Act for the British Airline Pilots’ Association on all employment related matters, including Employment Tribunal claims, industrial action issues, group actions and High Court litigation.
- Advising an investment bank on the employment law aspects on the suspension of employees in the context of regulatory investigations involving the Financial Conduct Authority and the Department of Justice.
- Advised Natura Cosmeticos on the re-negotiation of senior level contracts.
Pinsent Masons LLP's London employment and reward practice, which has a particular focus on the financial services, infrastructure and TMT sectors, has enjoyed strong growth over the past year. The team has aimed to distinguish itself from other competitors by leveraging new technology to provide a more cost-effective service, and has developed a client portal to more efficiently manage multiple claims for large clients. The practice is also continuing to build on its acquisition of diversity and inclusion firm Brook Graham in 2017, a deal which added a new string to the firm's bow. The team is led by Ed Goodwyn, who works with a raft of top infrastructure clients, while Fleur Benns , who has expertise in share schemes and incentives, joined as a legal director from Bird & Bird LLP in later 2018.
Other key lawyers:
‘Ed Goodwyn and his team are highly professional; they provide first class but pragmatic advice. They understand our business and culture well.’
Allianz Insurance plc
Balfour Beatty Group
Barratt Developments plc
McDermott International, Inc.
Houlihan Lokey EMEA LLP
Joh. Berenberg, Gossler & Co. KG(Berenberg Bank)
Kier Group plc
Laing O’Rourke plc
Royal BAM Group
SEI Investments (Europe) Limited
RPC's employment, pensions and incentives team is continuing to grow in prominence on the back of key roles on high-profile court disputes, including the landmark Tillman v Egon Zehnder Supreme Court case concerning restraint of trade. The practice is led by Patrick Brodie, who has a strong track record of big-ticket litigation and led the team acting for executive search firm Egon Zehnder on the aforementioned case. He works alongside 'passionate' and 'approachable' legal director Kelly Thomson, advising an impressive list of household name clients across sectors including insurance, utilities, services and retail.
Other key lawyers:
‘Exceptionally innovative and cerebral in their approach, whilst remaining pragmatic and realistic.’
‘I’ve always enjoyed working with the RPC employment team and am also impressed by the progressive nature of the firm in general. The team are also happy to discuss more than just the legal implications of a situation and offer a very well rounded service.’
‘RPC are a really good firm – they offer the quality of magic circle lawyer at a much more reasonable price; they are collegiate and are very easy to augment into a bigger team.’
‘Technical excellence and passion for the law combined with an extremely pragmatic and practical approach.’
‘Patrick Brodie is very strong and gives good and pragmatic advice.’
‘Kelly Thomson has always been good about communicating deadline expectations and is very personable as well as approachable.’
‘Kelly Thomson is outstanding – approachable and easy to work with and the advice she gives is always pragmatic.’
‘Patrick Brodie and Kelly Thomson were both involved with our gender pay project and I valued their expertise – they were clearly well read on the subject and passionate about the underlying opportunities to bring about fundamental change. It has always been a pleasure to work with them.’
‘Patrick Brodie at RPC is hands down the best employment lawyer I have worked with in London. He is very user-friendly, responsive to client needs, and quick to get to grips with complex problems such as cross-border issues.’
‘Kelly Thompson always gives very thoughtful and practical advice and has a passion for getting to know your business and to give advice with full context.’
‘Patrick Brodie has a great knack for navigating TUPE and actually manages to make it enjoyable.’
The Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia
Royal and Sun Alliance
Coca Cola European Partners
- Acting for global executive search firm Egon Zehnder in its injunctive action against Mary-Caroline Tillman, a landmark restraint of trade case which came before the Supreme Court in January 2019.
- Represented Triumph Actuation Systems in successfully resisting Unite the Union’s application before the Central Arbitration Committee for compulsory trade union recognition.
- Advising various organisations on their gender pay gap reporting data and narrative, strategies to address the gender pay gap and related gender diversity matters.
- Restructuring the workforce of several thousand employees, including senior executive team, following an acquisition.
At Slaughter and May, 'real class act' Charles Cameron recently took over as head of the pensions and employment team, following the retirement of long-serving former practice chief Jonathan Fenn, who now serves as a senior consultant to the firm. The magic circle firm advises on the full range of board-level employment matters, from appointments to terminations, remuneration and disputes, with a particular focus on incentives-related work. The practice has recently seen an uptick in work relating to industrial relations as well as suspected employee misconduct, which it handles in tandem with the firm's global investigations group. Key names in the team include former corporate specialist Padraig Cronin, who joined the employment team in 2017, Philip Linnard, who was promoted to the partnership the same year, and 'hugely experienced and knowledgeable' senior counsel Lizzie Twigger .
‘A great blend of different knowledge, skills and experiences which the team know who to deploy at the right time. Very client-focused; they understand the client business and unique circumstances.’
‘The general standard of Slaughter and May’s employment and pensions team is fantastic. All excellent lawyers and all carefully attuned to the client’s needs and objectives. They leave no stone unturned and are particularly good at looking at matters in the round.’
‘Total dedication, high intelligence, calm and reliable advice. Deep knowledge of executive employment issues, and the ability to bring resources to bear in different specialities.’
‘This is a very high quality team. Very clever lawyers and extremely thoughtful and strategic. Highly responsive to clients needs.’
‘Responsive, with particular strength in relation to senior management and management incentive schemes.’
‘Focused and up to speed with what is happening, also connect internally and externally to help us through our transactions.’
‘Senior counsel Lizzie Twigger is very easy to work with. Hugely experienced and knowledgeable and very good at tactics.’
‘Padraig Cronin is an outstanding employment adviser. He worked day and night and weekends with total availability and dedication to bring to a successful conclusion a phenomenally complex set of employment contracts. He remained calm and thoughtful under pressure and demonstrated high intellect on extremely complex issues. I felt I could rely on him completely (and did).’
‘Charles Cameron is a real class act. Always available, extremely clever and highly stragetic. Always understands what the client needs.
‘Lizzie Twigger is hugely experienced and wise. Excellent at tactics and strategy.’
‘Associate David Rintoul is very hardworking and extremely able. Thoughtful and very clever.’
INEOS Holdings Limited
Morgan Advanced Materials plc
Premier Foods plc
Restaurant Group PLC
Royal Mail plc
Grant Thornton LLP (administrators of Wonga)
- Advised Aviva in relation to the exit of former CEO Mark Wilson.
- Advised Whitbread on employment aspects of its sale of Costa to The Coca-Cola Company, including a service provision change TUPE transfer that took place between signing and completion.
- Advised energy company Kosmos on the drafting of a new employee handbook for its London branch.
- Assisting Grant Thornton, as administrator of Wonga’s UK business, on employment law issues relating to the collapse of the payday lender.
- Advised The Restaurant Group on employment law aspects of its acquisition of The Wagamama Group, including equity-based incentivisation arrangements for a significant number of UK employees.
The London practice at Squire Patton Boggs, which is led by global practice co-chair Caroline Noblet, has enjoyed double-digit revenue increases over each of the past three years, driven by its work on a mix of UK and cross-border matters across a wide range of industries, including retail, life sciences, media and entertainment, manufacturing and financial services. The hugely experienced Noblett works alongside fellow partners David Whincup, Janette Lucas, Miriam Lampert and Natalie Bellwood, who together advise on matters ranging from equal pay to the gig economy and the application of the national minimum wage.
‘Squire Patton Boggs has experience in advancing demanding and often unusual cases for their clients. They are very strong and thinking through cases in order to come up with powerful ideas for their clients. They have a great breadth of knowledge, beyond the traditional statutory employment law. That width of learning enables them to achieve best outcomes for their clients.’
‘The team has the ability to be able to provide legal advice, options and solutions in terms which our senior management can feel comfortable in making decisions on relevant actions pertaining to employment issues.’
‘Caroline Noblett and Natalie Bellwood are strong lawyers and have an ability to ‘think outside the box’ and come up with less obvious ideas.’
‘David Whincup and Supinder Sian have a mixture of expert legal knowledge, experience based know-how and sense of humour, which means the advice they provide and the way in which it is provided make them stand out.’
Fortnum & Mason
Boston Consulting Group
Daily Mail & General Trust
Taylor Wessing LLP's employment practice has a particular focus on the tech and life sciences sectors, and generates much work as a result of its efforts to build connections with US and Canadian-headquartered clients of the companies the firm advises across Europe. Other areas of specialism include providing tech-focused solutions for clients looking to address issues relating to governance, compliance and data protection. The team is led by Paul Callaghan, whose practice focuses on US and Canadian companies in the tech, life sciences and retail sectors. Fellow partner Sean Nesbitt has an increasing focus on governance and risk management work, while senior counsel Anna McCaffrey is also well-regarded.
Afren plc/Alix Partners
Blue Vision Labs UK Limited
PluralSight Europe Limited
Away Travel Limited
Professional Datasolutions, Inc. (PDI)
Access Industries, Inc (Access Entertainment)
Charles River Associates
MacMillan Publishers International Limited
Gulf Keystone Petroleum
Decision Resources International, Inc
Independent Clinical Services
Move Guides Ltd
Callidus Software Inc
News Corporation UK & Ireland Limited
Casual Dining Group
EasyJet Airline Company Limited
Enterprise Rent-a-car UK Limited
- Advised Afren Plc on the termination of its COO and CEO in relation to conduct ultimately leading to their convictions in 2018 for fraud and money laundering charges over Nigerian oil deals worth $300m.
- Advised Blue Vision Labs UK Limited on employment aspects of its sale to Lyft.
- Advised luxury luggage brand, Away, on employment aspects of the opening of its London store.
- Advising Onfido – a provider of background checks to gig economy platforms – in respect of general employment matters and litigation lodged against it by a potential driver.
- Advising Lime, a Silicon Valley-based provider of rental electric scooters, e-assist bikes and pedal bikes – on the rollout of its services across Europe in 24 jurisdictions.
Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP's has a particular focus on three areas - City financial service firms and major plcs; international work; and industrial relations. With regards to City/financial services work, the team handles much work relating to the Senior Managers and Certification Regime, while its international practice is continuing to thrive on the back of the firm's transatlantic merger in 2017 and other recent global expansion. Manchester partner Diane Gilhooley heads up the firm's global HR practice; in London, the team is led by Paul Fontes, who handles both non-contentious and contentious matters, including Employment Tribunal and High Court disputes, with a particular focus on the financial services sector. Other key London partners include labour relations head Martin Warren, industrial relations head Marc Meryon and Sophie White, who joined from Abbiss Cadre LLP in April 2018.
Diane Gilhooley; Paul Fontes
British Broadcasting Corporation
John Lewis Partnership
Lloyds Banking Group
Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)
London City Airport
Jardine Lloyd Thompson Group plc (JLT)
- Successfully acted for FTSE 250 insurance broker, JLT Specialty Limited, in the Court of Appeal against a former senior executive for repayment of a £500,000 bonus.
- Advising a US TMT client on the interaction between employment laws and GDPR/the Data Protection Act 2018 in respect of the employment of a data protection officer.
- Continued to advise Expedia on a global project to better understand the feasibility and potential implementation of a global standard minimum benefit for maternity, adoption and paternity leave in each of the jurisdictions in which it has employees (excluding the US).
- Continued to provide the BBC with significant strategic advice in respect of the management of and response to complaints made by on-air and off-air staff.
- Continued to advise on labour relations implications of the integration of the Fed Ex and TNT UK (who share a common recognised union – Unite).
Fox Williams LLP is adept at handling FCA and regulatory issues including board disputes, remuneration code matters and advice relating to the senior manager and certification regime (SMCR). Other areas of expertise include senior exits, agile workforce management, discrimination and strategic HR guidance. Client sectors include financial services, fintech, insurance and professional services. Jane Mann, who co-heads the team, is recommended for her expertise in boardroom issues and in January 2019 gave evidence to the Women and Equalities select committee inquiry into the use of non-disclosure agreements in discrimination cases. David Murphy was recently promoted to partner.
Jane Mann; Joanna Chatterton; Mark Watson
Other key lawyers:
UK Payments Administration
Crest Nicholson plc
Global Risk Partners
- Acted for investment firm Maxis Investments in its defence of tribunal proceedings brought by the company’s former CEO.
- Defending a national law firm from a tribunal claim of sex and disability discrimination brought by a former partner.
- Advised US technology company Winshuttle UK in its defence of a sex, maternity and equal pay claim.
- Successfully defended MS Amlin in an unfair dismissal and age discrimination claim.
- Defended Capgemini UK from a complex sexual discrimination and harassment claim.
GQ | LITTLER has continued to benefit from its inclusion in the Littler network, following GQ Employment Law's tie-up with international employment giant Littler Mendelson in 2017. On the back of that deal, international clients and cross-border mandates have become increasingly prevalent for the team. The practice handles the full range of employment work and partnership matters; practice head Paul Quain and Sophie Vanhegan are the key names for employment disputes; Darren Isaacs focuses on TUPE issues and regularly acts for US headquartered businesses; managing partner Jon Gilligan handles senior level hires and dismissals; and Richard Harvey specialises in the insurance, life sciences and retail sectors. Litigator Philip Cameron recently joined the firm from Debevoise & Plimpton LLP.
‘Expert advice, sound strategic guidance and strong inter-personal skills. They are a pleasure to work with.’
‘In-depth knowledge of our industry sector. In dispute situations they have a great ability to extract the rational, commercial outcome.Their advice always feels well tailored to our business, concise and well-delivered.;
‘They tailor their advice and guidance. They take time to understand our business and they have build strong relationships with our business leaders. They are not afraid to challenge us and provide us with practical guidance. They are proactive alerting us to forthcoming legal changes or rulings which may impact our employee framework. They are responsive and deliver a high quality output.’
‘The team at GQ Littler are very friendly and professional – their knowledge of our needs as a client is excellent and they are extremely efficient in communicating with us. This is a small firm which manages to maintain a flexible response.’
‘We have forged a fantastic relationship with GQ. They are not like other firms, what I love about them is their down-to-earth, realistic approach. I have worked with lawyers in the past who have a more corporate and formal approach and that just doesn’t work for us, but the GQ approach definitely does.’
‘The events and seminars they hold are fantastic and again are different to other events that I have experienced with other firms. They always choose trendy locations and their approach and delivery is informal, fun but yet always educational. You can tell as a team they really respect one another.’
‘The fact that the team also have access to lawyers internationally is also helpful and again the quality of advice and service remains excellent. When we do work with the lawyers outside of London, the guys from London still always know what is going on.’
‘Really close knit team – they work harmoniously and collegiately, in contrast to other teams I have dealt with who at times appear to compete.’
‘Jon Gilligan is an exceptional employment lawyer – he gives great advice on how to practically manage difficult situations rather than just saying telling you what the law says.’
‘Hannah Mahon and Paul Quain are highly dedicated and pay tremendous attention to detail. They both know employment law inside out.’
‘Dan Pollard is approachable and very accessible. Dan has really gone the extra mile to provide valuable support to us. Great appreciation of our business and our risk appetite. Has built a strong relationship with senior managers who appreciate straightforward, practical support.’
‘Jon Gilligan and Sophie Vanhegan are widely respected by our senior executives. Their practice has grown but they have maintained their close relationship with us. They are always contactable and turn around queries quickly and with the level of detail required.’
‘Philip Cameron is an extremely professional and knowledgeable lawyer and is an asset to both GQ Littler and ourselves. He provides us with a first class service which is second to none.’
‘Philip Cameron’s advocacy experience helps him to be an expert in employment litigation and the provision of strategic advice.’
‘Richard Harvey – always involves his team in all matters and ensures he gets their perspective and input so you can tell he is an inclusive manager who wants to develop and upskill his team. He is experienced and provides expert advice.’
‘Caroline Baker is always open and honest and gets to the crux of a situation quickly. She is quick thinking and super intelligent and provides you with solutions efficiently. Her knowledge on all matters is exceptional.’
‘Deborah Margolis is organised and communicative. She is always aware of what is going on within our company.’
Paul Quain is very approachable and highly balanced. He has excellent judgement.
‘Hannah Mahon is direct, personable, highly effective and super efficient.’
Airsys Communications Technology
GC Rieber Shipping: Shearwater GeoServices (Shearwater)
Med-I-Pant UK Ltd
Wilsons Solicitors LLP
- Defended Commerzbank in an Employment Tribunal claim brought by a current senior employee alleging whistleblowing, sex discrimination, pregnancy and maternity discrimination and victimisation.
- Acting for a global corporate and virtual payments solutions provider in seeking injunctive relief against a former employee relating to moving to a competitor in breach of a non-compete clause, the unlawful retention of confidential information and the enforcement of post-termination restrictions.
- Assisting the securities business of a FTSE-listed banking group with negotiating the exits of two directors involving complex deferred bonus and share scheme arrangements.
- Acting for Airsys in a High Court claim against two former senior executives involving issues of breach of fiduciary duty, confidential information and Wrotham Park damages.
- Representing Wilsons Solicitors in an appeal to the Supreme Court against a former partner involving issues of partnership law.
Macfarlanes LLP has a particular focus on the financial services sector, advising financial institutions, private equity firms and hedge funds on discrimination issues, terminations, disputes, redundancies, restrictive covenants and team moves. Key partners are former practice head Sean Lavin - who 'is always calm in a crisis' - and current practice head Hayley Robinson, both of who advise on the full spectrum of employment partners for premium City clients. Robinson also has expertise in advising LLPs and other partnership structures on matters that affect them.
Other key lawyers:
‘Very classy and consistent litigators, who also have a very strong advisory practice, particularly in the field of pensions, share options, and restrictive covenants’.
‘They are unflappable and can tailor their team to the resources available, right up to the most demanding disputes’.
‘Sean Lavin is always calm in a crisis, a very wise head who has done it all before and knows exactly how to get the best out of any situation now’.
‘They have very good knowledge of market practice in the hedge fund industry in the UK’.
Osborne Clarke LLP
Osborne Clarke LLP's practice handles a broad range of employment matters including employee data management and reputational risk management, as well as contentious work relating to bonuses, discrimination and whistleblowing. The team also has niche sector knowledge of the recruitment industry. Key client sectors include financial services, telecoms, technology, recruitment, and media and advertising. The team, which is praised for its 'truly exceptional client relationship management' is led by 'calm and pragmatic' London office head David Cubitt and Victoria Parry; Andrew Chamberlain and Anna Elliott both recently joined as partners from DWF and Minter Ellison respectively.
Victoria Parry; David Cubitt
‘The employment team at Osborne Clarke have truly exceptional client relationship management’.
‘David Cubitt is calm and pragmatic, with a good sense of humour’.
‘A consistently pragmatic and practical approach, focused on what can and should be done rather than on what can’t’.
‘David Cubitt and Victoria Parry are skilled at offering practical solutions. They provide a comprehensive service dealing with great skill and ability with each stage of the process, through drafting claims and responses, dealing with disclosure and statements and preparing for trial’.
‘Andrew Chamberlain is a professional and extremely skilled lawyer’.
Marks & Spencer
Standard Chartered Bank
Silicon Valley Bank
Institute of Directors
- Advising Nomura International on a wide range of ongoing employment matters including gender pay gap reporting and whistleblowing.
- Advising FIRST on the employment implications of a shareholder restructuring as well as the complex TUPE aspects of the onboarding of staff on an international basis.
- Acting for DocuSign on all of its European employment issues, including advising on the international implications of TUPE throughout Europe.
- Advising Five Wealth Limited shareholders and directors on their exit from their previous business, including successfully averting threatened litigation through favourable settlement at mediation.
- Continuing to advise Silicon Valley Bank on a number of key employment issues, including advising ahead of the new laws in connection with MIFID II.
PwC LLP's employment practice has a strong reputation in the market for its work on equal pay and workplace diversity issues, and the team has recently advised the BBC on high-profile gender pay gap reporting issues. Other areas of strength include cross-border transactions, compliance work, TUPE and outsourcing matters and senior executive departures, while it is also described as 'a real tour de force on the employment litigation scene'. Ed Stacey leads the team and is a key contact for discrimination issues, equal pay audits and contentious matters; Tom Ince focuses on sourcing transactions and is a TUPE expert; Tom Williams handles compliance and industrial relations work; and Chris Perkins leads the team's cross-border work.
‘This practice is unique in its holistic approach to its cases. No stone is left unturned in its approach to preparation, support for the client, and collaborative work with counsel. It is a joy to work with. The recent expansion of the team underlines it as a real tour de force on the employment litigation scene. The depth of experience is second to none.’
‘Tom Williams has excellent technical knowledge and in-depth experience of both High Court and Employment Tribunal litigation. He also has extensive practical experience in assisting and navigating employers through difficult national minimum wage investigations and industrial disputes. He is the go-to lawyer in these areas.’
‘Christina McGoldrick is fast rising up the ranks. Clients and counsel can rely on her to ensure that the case runs smoothly. She is meticulous in her approach to detail whilst also keeping an eye on the bigger picture.’
Bourne Leisure Limited
Brentford Football Club
British Airways Plc
British Telecommunications plc
Fidelity Investment Management Limited
Marks & Spencer
Microfocus International Plc
Shiseido Company Limited
Tata Consulting Services Limited
The British Horse Society
The Football Association
The Official Receiver
- Acting as sole employment counsel for The Pensions Regulator including handling redundancies, reorganisations and restructurings, terminations, and employment litigation.
- Advised a US-based pharmaceuticals company on the employment issues relating to the spin-off of part of its business to a newly established global network of companies.
- Advising over 50 household name clients on minimum wage compliance issues.
- Assisting numerous clients with gender pay reporting and workplace diversity issues.
- Handling a range of employment issues for the BBC including equal pay matters, TUPE transfers and Employment Tribunal litigation.
With notable expertise across the full spectrum of employment matters, Stephenson Harwood stands out for its sector strength in the financial services, regulatory, rail, leisure, luxury goods and life sciences industries; key clients include Arriva, Mercer and Mizuho Bank. The group is also handling an increased volume of cross-border mandates and works closely with its Asia and Middle Eastern offices, while also collaborating with US law firms without UK law capability. The team is also singled out for its knowledge of restrictive covenants and gender pay gap reporting issues. Mark Catchpole leads the practice, which also fields restrictive covenant expert Kate Brearley, litigators Anne Pritam and Purvis Ghani and financial services specialist Paul Reeves.
‘The team provides practical advice that is particularly useful to companies headquartered outside the UK, and is very responsive and excellent at navigating complex processes.‘
‘The group is very client focused and takes time to understand the needs and approach of the client as well as the client’s risk appetite. As a result it is able to provide advice that is not only technically excellent but also closely aligned with the client’s requirements. It is also extremely friendly and approachable.‘
‘The team’s professional advice is both commercial and practical.‘
‘Paul Reeves is a standout partner. He is always available, very knowledgeable and on top of the latest considerations in a fast-moving area that blends law and public relations.‘
‘Kate Brearley is not only technically second to none but also makes the client feel truly supported and understood; she feels like a friend as well as a trusted adviser. Serena Foulkes is an excellent associate who will always fight your corner to the best of her (considerable) abilities.‘
‘Paul Reeves and Richard Freedman provide practical and sound advice. They are very thorough and the legal letters which they draft are of exceptional quality and are very clearly thought out.‘
Bank of Montreal/BMO Financial Group
HSB Engineering Insurance (part of Munich Re)
Mandarin Oriental Hotels
Robert Walters Plc
- Acting for a pharmaceuticals company on the criminal and data protection issues related to proceedings brought against the company’s former human resources director following the removal of confidential information, in breach of their employment contract.
- Defending Thomson Reuters against a disability discrimination claim.
- Advising United Trust Bank on the movement of a senior employee from a rival finance company including restrictive covenant issues.
- Advising Hunton Andrews Kurth on the employment aspects of its merger with Hunton & Williams including TUPE transfer elements, role allocations and pensions issues.
- Representing 23 former senior employees of AIG in the High Court in a dispute relating to deferred discretionary bonus payments owed to bankers during and after the financial crisis.
Ashurst's employment team is singled out for its experience advising private equity and asset management clients, as well as subsidiaries of Japanese headquartered companies. The group primarily handles the employment aspects of corporate transactions, while also assisting with employee investigations, multijurisdictional workforce issues and the recategorisation of LLP members as employees. Crowley Woodford heads up the UK and European employment practice and focuses on investigations and board-level appointments and exits; Ruth Buchanan is also noted for her work for private equity clients.
Other key lawyers:
‘Ashurst is very approachable, responds quickly and appropriately and, in general, offers great support.‘
‘Crowley Woodford provides with excellent advice under some quite challenging situations. His knowledge is far reaching and he provides in-depth advice.‘
Manulife Asset Management (Europe) Limited
- Advised CareTech on the employment aspects of its merger with Cambian including handling the exit arrangements for several Cambian directors.
- Assisting Johnson press and its subsidiaries with the employment issues relating to its pre-packaged administration sale.
- Acting for Arla Foods on its acquisition of Yeo Valley Group including the risks and liabilities related to an employee reorganisation.
- Advising Manulife Asset Management on various strategic matters including its approach to managing employee exits, senior executive hires, data protection issues, secondments and redundancies.
- Assisting IHS Markit with a number of disciplinary and grievance investigations, restructuring issues and employee exits.
Bates Wells has recently taken on an increasing amount of work for its enviable roster of charity and not-for-profit clients, advising them on safeguarding and incident reporting in the context of the #MeToo movement and rising scrutiny on the conduct of charity staff. Led by Lucy McLynn, the London-based practice has also has significant expertise in the investigations space, the education sector and issues arising from data privacy and GDPR regulations, where it represents organisations and individuals alike. In recent highlights, a team led by Paul Jennings successfully argued that two Uber drivers were entitled to 'worker' status, in a high-profile case with major implications for the gig economy. William Garnett leads the senior executives practice and is the name to note for boardroom disputes. Jennings has strong experience in litigation and test cases and recently made equity partner.
‘The team has the ability to think both creatively and pragmatically around an issue and provides an excellent service, however large or small your organisation, and how large or small the matter.’
‘Excellent knowledge and advice, given in a pragmatic and helpful way. Quick understanding of the circumstances of a case. Very good at crafting an argument in a convincing way and thinking outside of the box.
‘The team takes time to get to know the client, to be able to provide tailored and commercially relevant advice.’
‘Personalised care and support from start to finish.’
‘Lucy McLynn is excellent; extremely knowledgeable and skilled, whilst also being pragmatic, supportive, and the ultimate professional.’
‘Paul Seath is excellent – he provides timely advice; always pragmatic and clear.’
‘William Garnett has an honest, no-nonsense approach, spelling out the impact clearly on the different options. He is truly passionate about your case.’
Financial Ombudsman Service
College of Policing
Science Museum Group
Royal College of Psychiatrists
British Red Cross
Sutherland Global Services
- Advising the Financial Ombudsman Service on an impending large-scale restructure in light of the forthcoming end to PPI claims.
- Acting for the Science Museum Group on its appeal concerning the implications of an employment judge falling asleep during the cross-examination of the claimant, meaning the client therefore did not receive a fair trial.
- Advised the Fremantle Trust on a dispute with employees regarding the payment of sleep-in shifts and residents’ holidays.
Clyde & Co LLP's employment team has a strong track record of advising on claims in the Employment Tribunal and High Court, both in its core insurance sector and in the financial services sphere. The practice is led by Robert Hill, who has experience in all types of tribunal disputes, as well as major High Court cases. Other key members of the team include Chris Holme, who has acted for law firms, accountancy firms and financial services institutions. Heidi Watson is also recommended as an 'invaluable' member of the team.
‘Highly trusted partners who work hard and fast to find the right solutions.’
‘Very knowledgeable and experienced legal professionals.’
‘Chris Holme and Anna Patashnik’s depth of experience and commercial problem solving skills are absolutely excellent.’
‘Chris Holme and Anna Patashnik are approachable, friendly and highly collaborative.’
‘Heidi Watson has been invaluable, providing practical advice.’
‘Chris Holme and Simon Tovey are a pleasure to work with, quick to respond and explain legal matters in a way non-legal professionals can understand.’
Hyundai Merchant Marine
University College London
- Advising UCL on a contractual disciplinary procedure in relation to a senior academic and related Employment Tribunal and High Court proceedings.
- Advising Hyundai Merchant Marine on its GDPR compliance in respect of employees in the UK and across Europe.
- Advised Tokio Marine HCC and Tokio Marine Kiln on its plans to open a new subsidiary in Luxembourg.
- Advise Estee Lauder Cosmetics on all of its UK employment law issues.
- Advising Amey on its GDPR compliance project on both HR and commercial aspects to ensure that it is compliant with legislation.
Specialist employment firm CM Murray LLP advises a range of multinational employers and senior executives on both domestic and cross-border matters. Sectors covered by the London firm include technology, manufacturing and financial services. Managing partner and firm founder Clare Murray leads the team - in 2018 she was appointed as an adviser to the House of Commons Women & Equalities Committee for its inquiry into sexual harassment in the workplace. Other key members of the practice include David Fisher, who has expertise with regards to High Court injunctions, and former Memery Crystal LLP employment head Merrill April, who joined the firm in May 2019.
‘CM Murray is now head and shoulders above its competitors as a niche employment and partnership firm.’
‘This firm is accurately described as the premier high value partnership/LLP and employment law boutique. It has one of the legal world’s strongest offerings in this area.’
‘Clare Murray is excellent – impeccable judgement, wonderful manner, very practical and easy to work with.’
‘Across the board, the partners and associates are of genuinely high quality with breadth and depth of knowledge and experience in specialist areas. In addition the firm has a well-deserved reputation for being excellent in its customer service and its commercial approach. The leadership of Clare Murray has created something very special.’
‘Fantastic depth of knowledge and experience.’
- Gave evidence before the House of Commons Women and Equalities Select Committee in its Inquiry into Sexual Harassment in the Workplace in January 2018.
- Advising an international family office setting up operations in London on its English employment law obligations.
- Advised the London office of a Chinese online retailer of luxury goods on issues relating to the protection of its confidential information.
- Providing regular and ongoing advice to a UK law firm client on highly sensitive internal employment matters.
- Advising the board of a major sporting events company in relation to allegations of bullying made against a senior member of staff.
Dentons' UK employment practice is led by Virginia Allen, who has a track record of work with clients in the technology, media and professional services sectors, with expertise in conducting investigations for clients. The London team benefits from the wider firm's huge global reach, handling cross-border matters for clients in conjunction with colleagues in offices as far afield as South Korea, the Philipines and Taiwan. Ryan Carthew, who 'fights hard and delivers excellent service for his clients', advises on both contentious and non-contentious matters, with a particular focus on litigation. Long-serving partner Michael Bronstein left at the end of 2018 to take up a new role in the Government Legal Department.
Other key lawyers:
‘The whole team at Dentons are ferociously bright and will leave no stone unturned in pursuit of their client’s best interests.’
‘The team offer practical advice that is easily understood.’
‘Good previous experience of difficult situations.’
‘Approachable and willing to explain the advice provided.’
‘Ryan Carthew’s greatest gift is his ability to achieve fantastic outcomes for his client.’
‘Ryan Carthew fights hard and delivers excellent service for his clients every time.’
‘The team have a wealth of experience and the ability to analyse complex situations.’
LGT Capital Partners
- Assisted Dyson with a global review of its international employee handbook.
- Advising Spotify on all of its UK employment law issues including matters relating to recruitment, employee exits and employee relations.
- Advised YourCash on a £4m claim by the company’s former CEO Jennifer Campbell in relation to allegations of unfair dismissal and sex discrimination.
- Advise MarkLogic on all matters requiring external employment law support in the UK.
- Assist LGT Capital Partners with all day to day HR support including contract drafting, employee exits and general queries.
Doyle Clayton's specialist practice provides advice to both employers and senior individuals, working with a variety of clients, including start-ups. The team is led by the 'shrewd' Darren Clayton who is 'skilled at negotiating terms for senior executives.' Clayton also specialises in restructuring, reorganisations and post-termination restrictions, while Peter De Maria is the 'go to adviser for senior executive departures and litigation'. Peter Doyle demonstrates 'immense experience' working on executive terminations, bonus related issues and business reorganisations.
‘The country’s leading specialist law firm in employment.’
‘Peter Doyle and Darren Clayton have built up the practice over many years and it has gone from strength to strength.’
‘Katie Mahoney is an up and coming senior associate with an incredible memory, strong work ethic and excellent client relationship skills.’
‘Responsive, pragmatic, accessible team.’
‘Helen Brooks is really good – she provides clear advice that is straight to the point.’
- Advising Cimpress/Vistaprint on the termination of a managing director for misconduct, various dismissals and settlements and on re-organisations and subsequent redundancies.
Kingsley Napley LLP's practice advises board directors, traders and fund managers as well as a raft of employers and other senior executives. High Court litigation and tribunal claims are key areas of focus for the team, which is led by Richard M Fox, who works with both corporates and professional partnerships on the employer side. On the senior executive side, Fox acts for individuals across the media, sport and banking sectors. The 'measured' and 'extremely approachable' Adrian Crawford specialises in financial and professional services, as well as TUPE matters. Other key members of the team include Adam Lambert and 'top-tier lawyer' Andreas White, while associate Francesca Lopez is also well-regarded.
‘Adrian Crawford is extremely approachable, supportive and helpful.’
‘Adrian Crawford is always measured – a calming influence and he has an extraordinary memory.’
‘Andreas White showed an excellent grasp of the law. He was patient and gave good advice.’
‘Adam Lambert is a top-tier lawyer. He is a master in the law.’
‘Very strong technical knowledge and practical application.’
‘The team has a strong reputation for employment knowledge and advice coupled with a fast, responsive and understanding service for clients.’
‘The firm has managed to retain the dedicated personal service ethos.’
‘Timely responses with excellent advice.’
Health and Care Professions Council
Chief Police Officers Staff Association
Whitehouse Post Productions
Core areas of experience for Latham & Watkins include governance and regulatory issues, employment aspects of major M&A transactions and business transfers and contentious work. Stephen M Brown, who co-chairs the firm's global benefits, compensation and employment practice from the London office, has expertise in TUPE matters, executive recruitment and severance and change management and downsizing projects.
Led by Matthew Howse, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius UK LLP 's London employment team has a strong focus on clients in the life sciences, retail and financial services sectors, which it advises on high-value discrimination claims, team moves and restrictive covenant issues. Howse is an 'all-round employment law expert' who advises on strategic planning across a spectrum of contentious and non-contentious employment, benefits, and immigration issues. Pulina Whitaker's practice focuses on data privacy and transactional matters; she also regularly acts on of behalf of corporations and multinationals in defending claims for unfair dismissal, discrimination and breach of contract claims. Louise Skinner and Lee Harding are of note for life sciences and cybersecurity matters in the financial services and technology industries.
‘The team is responsive and provides pragmatic advice.’
‘Available, responsive and nice to work with.’
‘Louise Skinner understands our business and this enables her to tailor her advice so it is a workable solution that acts as a gateway through a problem, rather than a barrier.’
Simon & Schuster
- Acted for Arthrex in a claim brought against it by an former senior employee who claimed that he was automatically unfairly dismissed for whistleblowing and was not provided with his full notice pay.
- Advised a leading financial services firm in connection with several regulatory compliance issues, including the application of the Remuneration Code and implementation of the Senior Managers & Certification Regime.
- Continuing to advise Plantronics on global employment law issues arising from its acquisition of Polycom in 2018.
- Representing ThreatMetrix and several of its former executives in the defence of a claim in the Employment Tribunal by a former senior executive in relation to whistleblowing and allegations of sex discrimination.
- Advising Bristol-Myers-Squibb in relation to a global policy review and implementation exercise.
Paul Griffin leads the London employment and labour department at Norton Rose Fulbright, which is adept at handling non-contentious and contentious employment mandates, including data protection and privacy law issues, TUPE, disputes and cross-border work. Griffin is very experienced in international employment matters, and is well known for handling instructions from the transport, financial services and technology sectors. Catrina Smith is noted for her experience in assisting clients from the life sciences, infrastructure and energy sectors, while of counsel Nick Howard is also recommended.
- Defended a leading technology company against a whistleblowing claim brought against the company by a senior employee who had been dismissed.
- Assisted a Canadian technology company with a sexual harassment and financial impropriety claim brought against its UK-based sales director.
- Advising a life sciences and healthcare company on the full range of TUPE issues.
- Assisted a leading global insurance company with the closure of one of its businesses, resulting in redundancy and employee transfers in the UK, as well as redundancies in South Africa and Mauritius.
- Assisted a global bank with a review of its entire HR operations relating to employee procedures.
Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP's team of 'highly professional and knowledgeable' lawyers advise employers, boards and senior executives on internal restructurings, redundancies, whistleblowing claims and senior management dismissals and disputes. Head of practice Paul Mander regularly advises well-known clients in the retail, technology and construction industries on all employment law related matters, while other key partner Tom Walker's practice largely focuses on working with directors on strategic HR issues, internal disputes and high-level dismissals. Andrew Haywood is the key partner for senior executive work, where he assists with exit strategies and the enforcement of post-termination restrictions with a focus on the misuse of confidential information, social media and competitive moves.
‘The team at Penningtons Manches Cooper is very knowledgeable, responsive and proactive in problem-solving’.
‘Excellent employment law practice. Real depth of expertise and committed individuals able to assist with all employment matters. Clients really value the personal service and attention to detail.’
‘Nick Humphreys is the person I would want to run my employment claim. He is utterly excellent. Highly responsive. Brings real value to a case. Fights the client’s corner hard and helps them navigate the tricky issues that crop up.’
Sapinda International Services BV
Cenkos Securities plc
RTC Europe Ltd
General Practitioners Defence Fund (GPDF)
Spicerhaart Group Limited
Williams Grand Prix Limited (t/a Williams F1)
Lanson International UK Ltd (Lanson Champagne)
Oxford Capital Partners LLP
- Acted for Spicerhaart Group, a national estate agency, in defeating threatened injunction litigation following a move of senior staff from a competitor.
- Represented the board of a national organisation in structural changes and transfers of staff.
Reed Smith LLP
Reed Smith LLP's 'engaging' team provides 'clear, pragmatic advice', and is well known for its experience in the entertainment, financial services, technology, life sciences and media sectors. Practice head Robin Jeffcott is 'detail-oriented' and 'extremely responsive', and is noted for handling, among other areas, internal investigations and discrimination claims. Graham Green is 'very accessible and approachable'. TUPE expert David Ashmore is also a name to note.
‘Really responsive and pragmatic – they mix the right levels of seniority to get the job done at a cost effective rate.’
‘An excellent quality of service.’
‘Engaging and down-to-earth partners with clear pragmatic advice, and committed associates with clear communication.’
‘Robin Jeffcott is extremely responsive and is a trusted expert.’
‘Graham Green is very approachable which makes it easy to have him work closely with the business as needed. Graham provides bills and bill breakdowns promptly and is very much service-focused n terms of wanting to help us deliver.
‘Robin Jeffcott is detail orientated and nice to work with.’
‘Graham Green is very accessible, down-to-earth and clear.’
‘Associate Carlene Nicol is a very safe pair of hands; we have confidence in placing her in front of senior individuals in the business to advise and report on legal issues.’
White & Case LLP 's employment, compensation and benefits practice is noted for its strength in advising clients from the technology, financial institutions and private equity sectors, as well as its significant cross-border capabilities. The team handles a wide range of matters, but has a particular focus on advising international clients on the employment aspects of corporate transactions such as M&A and IPOs. Nicholas Greenacre, who heads the firm's EMEA practice, specialises in executive compensation, benefits and pensions advice. Former London office head Oliver Brettle also has a long track record on both contentious and non-contentious matters.
Other key lawyers:
Lightsource BP Renewable Energy Investments Limited
HPS Investment Partners/Woodham Mortimer
- Represented high street fashion brand Coast Group on TUPE and collective redundancy aspects of its administration and subsequent pre-pack sale.
- Advised global cybersecurity provider Avast on employment aspects of its $816.6m IPO, the biggest ever software IPO on the London Stock Exchange.
- Advised solar development company Lightsource Renewable Energy Investments on the employment aspects of its sale of a 43.2% stake to BP for an investment of £150m.
- Advised guarantor loan company Amigo Holdings on new executive employment contracts and executive compensation arrangements in connection with its London IPO.
- Advised Nestlé Waters on the employment aspects of its acquisition of a majority stake in Princes Gate Spring Water.
Withers LLP boasts an impressive client roster of bank executives, partners, business owners and leaders and employers, and continues to act on novel issues of law both in an advisory and litigious capacity. Recent work highlights range from advising on day-to-day operations to large-scale, high-profile litigation across a wide array of industry sectors including sports, luxury, financial services and charities. Under the leadership of Meriel Schindler the team has continued to assist those dealing with Brexit-related uncertainty, and dedicated regulatory partner Harvey Knight has recently assisted clients with issues arising from regulatory changes within the financial services sector. Elaine Aarons is also a key name within the practice; she often intervenes in cross-border matters and has an outstanding record representing bank chief executives. Claire Christy and Hugh More jointly lead the employer-side practice.
‘The Withers employment team is very commercial and easy to deal with. It is well-known in the City and that seems to make negotiations easier to progress.’
‘Withers fields a really strong team; one of the market leaders in employment law, especially when it comes to complex and high-value disputes in the financial services sector.’
‘The team has a world-class depth of technical knowledge of employment law, and consists of personable and highly ethical senior leaders. They are able to help a client think around corners and gauge the subtleties of a legal situation to come to the right decision about challenging and sensitive people issues.’
‘Meriel Schindler is very personable, practical and commercial. She quickly gets to the root of the issue, assesses the legal options and clearly describes the available options.’
‘Elaine Aarons is a standout claimant lawyer. She achieves astounding settlements. Meriel Schindler leads the team and does a mixture of high-end claimant and respondent work. She is a great all-rounder, and a lawyer you want on your side. Melissa Paz is an extremely thorough and reliable associate.’
‘Elaine Aarons is ambitious for her clients, and she knows the field – and human nature – well enough to be able to read the politics of a situation and navigate tricky situations to create success for her clients. She is the consummate professional, sharply focused on managing cases efficiently, providing excellent and timely care to her clients while pinpointing the right legal moves, every step of the way.’
Racing Point Limited and Racing Point UK Limited
Neon Management Services Limited
Institute of Contemporary Arts/ICA
Edward James Foundation/West Dean
J Stern & Co
The Investment Association
Winton Capital Management
Morris Profumi SpA/Atkinson London 1799 Limited
The London School of Architecture
Square Global Markets
- Advised Racing Point on the employment aspects of the bidding process for the rescue of Force India or its assets and business and the process of preparing for, in parallel, both a share purchase and an asset purchase.
- Advising Edward James Foundation/West Dean on a range of employment issues, most recently, in relation to a major organisational restructure to deliver its 10-year strategic plan.
- Acting for J Stern & Co in a high-profile, complex dispute with a former employee. During the tribunal litigation, the claimant was a litigant in person at times and engaged in ‘data-dumping’ – sending vast numbers of emails in short spaces of time.
Arnold & Porter's 'hugely knowledgeable and commercial' team is 'personable, approachable and reliable' and provides 'timely, pragmatic and cost-conscious advice'; the group is also noted for its 'good cross-border capabilities'. The practice has been especially active in handling a range of employment law matters for clients in the life sciences sector. Group head Henry Clinton-Davis is regarded as an 'outstanding employment lawyer who always brings clarity to any situation.'
‘Henry Clinton-Davis is an outstanding employment lawyer; he is always on top of the issues, his advice is crisp and relevant, and he looks for solutions’.
‘A hugely knowledgeable and commercial employment law team. The actually give practical guidance, rather than just laying out options, and consider commercial needs of the business when developing strategies for clients.’
‘Arnold & Porter offer pragmatic, timely and cost conscious advice. Overall the partners and associates are easy to work with and have a good working knowledge of the industry.’
‘This group is extremely knowledgeable on employment laws in the EU, especially in the UK. The team is always well prepared and makes itself available at any time of day. In addition, they are quick with their responses and try to look for solutions to issues and are very business friendly.’
‘Thorough subject matter understanding complemented with client knowledge. Always personable, approachable and reliable and fair in their fee assignments.’
‘Very responsive and capable team – partners do much of the work rather than pushing it down. Good cross-border capabilities.’
‘Henry Clinton-Davis is by far the best employment lawyer I have ever worked with. Non-patronising, highly experienced and very practical in his application of employment law within a commercial environment. I have been working with him for over 20 years and he has never give us a bad steer.’
‘Henry Clinton-Davis is simply wonderful. He has a style which is very appropriate and yet commanding. We had an experience with a very difficult executive and Henry was able to win him over. Also, Henry is always on top of issues, his advice is crisp and relevant and, again, he looks for solutions. Henry also has a great command of employment law and GDPR.’
‘Henry Clinton-Davis is an outstanding employment lawyer who always brings clarity to any situation and provides legal advice with pragmatism and with an understanding of our business, specifically how that advice could be applied.’
‘Henry Clinton-Davis is phenomenal. We are based in the US and Henry is constantly available even with the time difference. I’ve had to ask Henry questions repeatedly and he is very kind and patient with his responses. I truly enjoy working with Henry and tremendously value the partnership we’ve developed with him.’
‘Henry Cinton-Davis brings leading edge knowledge and a pragmatic approach to real world problems.’
‘Henry Clinton-Davis is very accessible and provides sound employment law advice which takes into account the commercial realities of running a business. In my experience, any case that Henry has handled on our behalf has been approached with thoughtfulness and pragmatism – which has invariably helped to deliver the required outcome. I have also been impressed by the speed with which Henry has understood our business and culture and adapted his advice accordingly. This has made building a meaningful and trusted partnership with him a very smooth process.’
Roche Diabetes Care
- Advising Carestream Health on the pan-European employment elements of the sale of its healthcare information systems business to Philips.
- Assisting Telus with the pan-European employment and HR-related issues of its cross-border data privacy compliance programme.
- Assisted Sun Valley Rice with obtaining a work visa for its US-based CEO to come to the UK in order to expand the company’s European business.
BDB Pitmans has a strong offering for both employers and senior executives, and has solid expertise in acting for clients drawn from the charity sector. The team handles a broad range of employment law matters, including TUPE issues, contracts, service agreements, redundancies, constructive dismissals and discrimination claims. Jesper Christensen leads the practice. Caroline Yarrow, Brian Gegg and senior associate Ian Wasserman are also key contacts.
Smurfit Kappa UK
The Doctors’ Laboratory
St John Ambulance
The Health and Care Professions Council
London General Transport Services
- Assisting Smurfit Kappa UK with a broad spectrum of employment law issues, including restrictive covenants and trade union relations.
- Acted for SITA in its company reorganisation, including assisting with its redundancy consultation processes.
Jodie Sinclair leads the employment practice at Bevan Brittan LLP, which acts for an extensive list of healthcare employers in the private sector, third sector and NHS spheres. The team has recently advised on the employment aspects of complex mergers of healthcare bodies, the provision of medical consultants in private patient units, TUPE consultations and workforce reorganisations. Operational advice typically involves senior executive conduct and performance issues, workforce implications of CQC inspections, responding to whistleblower complaints and other highly sensitive internal investigations. The team often represents clients in the Employment Tribunal and upper courts on disputes involving unfair dismissal claims, discrimination claims and breach of contract disputes.
Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust
Hertfordshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust
East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust
Local Government Association
Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust
Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes Fire Authorities
The Huntercombe Group
Camden and Islington NHS Foundation Trust
The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman
Luton Borough Council
Ambition School Leadership Trust
Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospital NHS Trust
Isle of Wight NHS Trust
Financial Services Compensation Scheme
Professional Cricketers’ Association
West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust
Solent NHS Trust
Leonard Cheshire Disability
The Huntercombe Group
West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust
Medway NHS Foundation Trust
Surrey & Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust
NHS Herts Valley CCG
- Advising Colchester Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Ipswich Hospital on the employment aspects of its merger to form East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust.
- Advised Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust with the second generation TUPE transfer of support service staff back into the trust.
- Advised Symphony Healthcare on the employment aspects of its acquisition of a number of GP practices.
- Representing BMI Healthcare on a number of Employment Tribunal claims involving allegations of race and sex discrimination, harassment by association, disability discrimination and unfair dismissal.
- Advising Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust on the implementation and drafting of two innovative arrangements for engaging medical consultants to perform private patient work.
Brahams Dutt Badrick French LLP’s employment practice is well known for its expertise in regulated professions, with a strong focus on senior executives in the financial services and insurance industries, as well as senior doctors in leading hospitals, and partners and senior employees in law, accountancy, and management consultancy firms. The practice has also a niche specialism in discrimination, sexual harassment and whistleblowing cases. 'True heavyweight' Gareth Brahams heads the practice, while Arpita Dutt and Nick Wilcox are other key contacts.
‘Brahams Dutt Badrick French LLP’s team is very attentive and sympathetic to its clients and will strive to find the best possible solution for them‘.
‘The team is flexible, creative and extremely knowledgeable in all aspects of employment law‘.
‘The team is very friendly and adaptable‘.
‘Gareth Brahams is a true heavyweight in the field and a superb negotiator‘.
‘Arpita Dutt is exceptionally diligent‘.
‘Nick Wilcox is very knowledgeable, has a great manner with clients and possesses tremendous attention to detail‘.
DWF advises employers across a range of sectors including banking, insurance, education and professional services on issues ranging from large-scale redundancies, independent investigations and inquiries, multijurisdictional HR projects and executive recruitment and terminations. ‘Top-class’ practice head Helga Breen also has expertise in outsourcing arrangements, compliance audits and issues surrounding self-employed contractors.
British Medical Association
PepsiCo UK & Ireland
Sony Pictures Entertainment
Brown Shipley & Co
Cherry Pie Music
Guidepoint Global UK
World Gold Council
ADG Market Making
Chesterfield Insurance Brokers
Places for People Leisure
Punter Southall Group
- Advised a client in the F&B sector on the successful outsourcing of over 300 lorry drivers and associated employees to Eddie Stobart.
- Advising a German subcontractor working on the Chelsea Barracks redevelopment on a range of employment issues pertaining to the project.
- Advised on the appointment of a new global CEO for a multinational trade association.
- Advised a public sector employer on claims by a senior executive of whistleblower protection and sex and disability discrimination.
- Supported a client to manage a large-scale collective redundancy project across two international jurisdictions affecting circa 600 staff.
Fieldfisher’s employment practice has enjoyed a recent uptick in contentious instructions across an array of matters such as gig economy disputes, workplace misconduct allegations and unfair dismissal allegations; practice head Nicholas Thorpe recently successfully defended British Cycling against a high-profile discrimination claim brought by former Team GB Olympian Jess Varnish. The team is also regularly instructed on a range of advisory and transactional issues such as managerial restructurings, TUPE arrangements, international expansion exercises and redundancies. Key sectors of focus are tech, energy, finance, life sciences, media and retail.
Ranjit Dhindsa; Nicholas Thorpe
All Nippon Airways
Church of England
Cushman & Wakefield
Royal Academy of Dance
Royal College of Physicians
- Successfully represented the British Cycling Federation in the high-profile Employment Tribunal claim brought by former GB Olympian Jess Varnish.
- Represented the National Gallery in one of the first gig economy disputes in the public sector.
- Advised on the consequent management changes following Robinson Webster Holdings’ debt restructuring exercise.
- Advising on a range of multijurisdictional employment issues for cosmetics brand Charlotte Tillsbury.
- Advised Forbes Media on a TUPE transfer resulting from the acquisition of online publication The Memo.
Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher
Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher's London team cover a diverse range of labour and employment matters, spanning corporate governance, workforce restructurings, employment aspects of M&A deals, outsourcing arrangements as well as boardroom appointments and removals. James Cox leads the department, which regularly advises on cross-border employment issues, leveraging the elite US firm's global footprint. Clients predominantly located in the UK, US and the Middle East also seek the team's assistance with whistle-blowing and discrimination claims and general advisory matters.
Other key lawyers:
Thomas Weatherill; Georgia Derbyshire
Bank of America
The Berkeley Group
Bruin Sports Capital
Corporate Executive Board
Dollar Financial Group
Sony Pictures Entertainment, Inc.
Uber Technologies, Inc.
William Hill plc
- Defending Asda Stores Limited against over 19,000 claims pursued by current and former store workers claiming equal pay with distribution centre workers who they claim perform work of equal value.
- Advised The Stars Group on employment law matters arising out of its $4.72bn acquisition of Sky Betting and Gaming from CVC Capital Partners Limited and Sky Plc, which included advice in relation to employment contract variations and retention arrangements for senior management at SkyBet.
- Advising tech-enabled smart transportation solutions provider Verra Mobility Corporation on a variety of employment-related matters, including in regard to its acquisition of Euro Parking Collection.
- Advised Platinum Equity on employment matters arising out of the $630m acquisition of Lonza’s Water Care business, including advice in relation to information of consultation obligations with the Lonza Biologics Plc European Works Council and in relation to an anticipated TUPE transfer.
- Advised Bruin Sports Capital and its portfolio company, Deltatre Holdings Limited, on employment law matters arising out of the the cross-border acquisition of Massive Interactive.
Harbottle & Lewis LLP supports employers on all aspects of employment law, including routine HR advice, TUPE and business immigration. Typical instructions also encompass providing advice on team moves as well as handling internal grievance, disciplinary procedures and investigations. Under the joint leadership of Howard Hymanson and Yvonne Gallagher, the practice group has a strong track record in sector-related litigation, regularly acting for employers in discrimination and bullying claims before employment tribunals. Senior executives, especially from the creative and entertainment industries, seek the team's advice on appointments, exit strategies and restrictive covenants. The department further holds expertise in pursuing high value psychiatric illness claims in the High Court.
Howard Hymanson; Yvonne Gallagher
Other key lawyers:
‘Yvonne Gallagher and her team truly feel different to other firms. Their technical experience is a given but it is the emotional intelligence, pragmatism and actual advice (as against laying out the legal facts and then putting all the responsibility on the client) that sets them apart.’
‘Yvonne Gallagher is commercial, technically brilliant and has the magic ingredient of high EQ.’
Taj International Hotels
International Car Wash Group
Regents Park Open Air Theatre
GP & J Baker
ISAM Funds (UK) Limited
The Big Issue
- Instructed by new client Harrods Limited to defend three different Employment Tribunal claims, which include allegations of race and disability discrimination and unfair dismissals.
- Assisted Northbank Talent Management Limited in enforcing restrictive covenants against one of its employees joining a rival literary agent.
Howard Kennedy LLP handles a wide range of contentious and non-contentious employment matters, including director and shareholder disputes, sensitive governance issues, workforce reorganisations, collective bargaining as well as employment tribunal proceedings. The department is also adept at assisting clients with grievance and disciplinary matters, offering advice on discrimination prevention, as well as investigations into harassment and whistle-blowing allegations. Jane Amphlett heads up the practice.
Other key lawyers:
Irwin Mitchell assists an array of national and international businesses on all areas of employment law, pensions, tax and business immigration. Sybille Steiner - who regularly receives instructions from clients from German speaking countries on the full range of non-contentious and contentious employment matters - leads the team, which advises on matters including TUPE transfers, redundancies and restrictive covenants. Melanie Stancliffe is another key member of the team, advising senior executives and corporates on executive terminations, boardroom disputes and high value tribunal claims, including those involving whistleblowing and discrimination. Shah Qureshi joined from Bindmans LLP in June 2018, and now leads the employment and professional discipline team in London - she joined alongside the 'exceptional' Shazia Khan and fellow partner Emilie Cole.
Sybille Steiner; Shah Qureshi
‘The team acting for employers has a good range of skills and talents.’
‘The team at Irwin Mitchell works together very well. They have the insight to call in appropriate specialist assistance where indicated.’
‘Shazia Khan is exceptional. She is very knowledgeable, inspires confidence and above all, she is approachable. She gets straight to the salient points and does not beat about the bush..I am encouraged that she is on my side.’
Brookfield Global Relocation Services Limited
Association of Colleges
Market Securities LLP
Kyte Broking Limited
Nutmeg Savings and Investment
Kepler Cheuvreux S.A.
Beeline UK Accessories Limited
- Advised Nutmeg Savings and Investment on the fintech business’s workforce, including employment tax, immigration and pensions auto-enrollment matters.
- Assisted Kepler Cheuvreux with a complaint followed by complex litigation involving alleged protected disclosures and alleged discrimination.
- Supporting Epita and Eptica UK’s international HR director with cross-border employment issues, reorganisations, employment tax, high value hires and departures.
- Advising Beeline UK Accessories Limited on investigations, disciplinary and grievance matters, as well as health and safety implications, and the redrafting of contracts, policies and procedures.
The 'friendly, sensible, and reliable team' employment team at Joelson acts on behalf of senior executives at a range of well-known multinational organisations, as well as a roster of household name corporates. Practice head David Greenhalgh has a track record in advising bluechip clients and senior executives on restrictive covenants and defending injunctions; he also deals with high-value High Court claims. Other key players include 'superstar' Jennifer Maxwell-Harris, who 'has a fantastic manner with clients and a wise head on her shoulders', as well as the 'extremely competent and professional' senior associate Reema Jethwa.
‘A really friendly, sensible, and reliable team. Always a pleasure to work with.’
‘Jennifer Maxwell-Harris is a superstar. Her fantastic manner of dealing with clients, the wise head on her shoulders, and her tough but charming way of handling opponents more or less guarantees a good result every time.’
‘David Greenhalgh has a proven track record and is a very knowledgeable, straightforward and right-thinking lawyer who applies his commercial knowledge very effectively.’
‘Reema Jethwa is an excellent employment lawyer, experienced, extremely competent, professional, pragmatic and highly personable.’
‘Reema Jethwa is a responsive and commercially minded employment lawyer, providing a highly professional and personal service, with good communication – a rising star.’
Real Good Food
Addison Lee Limited
Clarion Events Limited
Le Pain Quotidien
Wentworth Resources Limited
Be At One Limited
Brewhouse & Kitchen Limited
Snowflake Gelato Group Limited
Oliver Maki Limited
Territory Studio Limited
Future Workshops Limited
CG Restaurant (Holdings) Limited
Miles & Partners
EOC Partners LLP
Larry King Limited
Saddlery Brands International UK
Engie Global LNG
May Capital LLP
KDS (part of AMEX)
- Provided management training, advice on GDPR compliance and updated employment documentation for Innocent Drinks.
- Advised Global LNG on a share swap and subsequent TUPE transfer to Total including negotiations with European Works Council.
- Advised ADB Safegate on employment aspects of its acquisition of Ultra Airport Systems including TUPE issues.
- Advised Wentworth PLC on the employment aspects of its redomicile and on the hiring of its UK management team.
- Advised Aristocrat on applicability of the Modern Slavery Act and related reporting obligations.
Kemp Little LLP's employment group advises both employers and senior executives - with a particular focus on the technology, digital media and financial services sectors - on gig economy matters, complex outsourcing arrangements, data protection issues, TUPE, as well as a wide ambit of contentious matters, including claims relating to race discrimination, unfair dismissals, sexual assault and whistleblowing. Practice head David Williams advises clients including financial institutions and digital media agencies on all aspects of business purchases, sales and mergers.
Royal Brompton & Harefield NHS Foundation Trust
With particular expertise in the transport and insurance sectors, Kennedys is frequently instructed by employers to handle tribunal proceedings in relation to claims of race discrimination, unfair dismissal, whistleblowing and sexual harassment. On the non-contentious side, the firm has expertise handling TUPE transfers and commercial agreements. 'Approachable and practical' practice head Matthew Leake advises clients, primarily in the transport sector, on issues such as business reorganisations and industrial relations.
Matthew Leake; Fiona Morgan
‘Kennedys is a firm with an excellent and well-deserved reputation for respondent employment law, with a robust but commercial approach to employment and discrimination law issues.’
‘Matthew Leake and Fiona Morgan lead the team. They are both characterised by a robust and thoughtful approach; they give clear advice to their clients; and they are excellent collaborators.’
‘The service offered by Matthew Leake is second to none. He has an excellent knowledge of the market backed up by pragmatic, practical advice.’
South Western Railway
Great Western Railway
Virgin Trains East Coast
Virgin Trains West Coast
East Midlands Trains
London North Eastern Railway
US Risk Group
The Growth Company
- Successfully acted for Great Western Railway in the defence of tribunal proceedings brought by a train driver for race discrimination, constructive unfair dismissal, automatic unfair dismissal on grounds of whistleblowing and unlawful deduction from wages.
- Instructed by Stagecoach Group’s bus division to advise on high-level employment and associated issues.
- Acted for Virgin Trains East Coast on the TUPE transfer and associated issues relating to the termination of the previous east coast franchise and the commencement of a new franchise to be operated by London North Eastern Railway.
- Acted for The Growth Company, a significant operator in the economic development market and associated industries, in various employment tribunal claims including complex discrimination and whistleblowing allegations.
- Advised train operator GWR on complex outsourcing arrangements regarding its onboard catering facilities including TUPE issues and employee-related commercial terms.
On the employer front, Keystone Law provides advisory, transactional and contentious support for a range of domestic and international clients. The employment team has been significantly boosted in recent months by a raft of new arrivals, including Nick Tsatsas and Angharad Harris, who joined from Fladgate LLP and Watson Farley & Williams LLP respectively, as well as other new additions from firms including Herbert Smith Freehills LLP and Baker McKenzie. The individuals who make up the team are drawn from a diverse range of backgrounds, providing a broad experience base, with sectors covered including financial services, retail, hospitality, marketing, sport, education, charity and transport.
King & Spalding LLP 's London practice was launched in 2016 with the hire of practice head Jules Quinn from Jones Day, where she also led the City employment team. Quinn, who works in tandem with counsel Kim Roberts, advises on a broad range of employment issues including recruitment, workforce downsizing and Brexit-related employment strategies, as well as internal investigations; she has advised MasterCard on all aspects of employment law for more than 20 years. The practice counts a range of multinational corporates among its clients and has particular experience advising companies in the technology and financial services sectors.
Other key lawyers:
AEW Europe LLP
Bank of East Asia
Capital & Regional plc
Sojitz Europe plc
SCSK Europe Ltd
Sumi Agro Europe Ltd
Bank and Clients PLC
Pioneer Investment Management Limited
Toronto Dominion Securities
Mark Newton- Jones
- Advising MasterCard UK Management Services on a range of employment matters including contractual terms such post-termination restrictions on entry and exit, senior level termination strategies and drafting and advising on internal handbooks and employment policies.
- Advised Life Company Consolidation Group on employment law aspects of its £1.8bn acquisition of Equitable Life and transfer of the business to its newly formed subsidiary, Reliance Life.
- Instructed to assist Gett Taxi with employment matters including recruitment or downsizing reflecting global economic trends, as well as disputes, data protection and TUPE issues.
- Assisting UK private bank Bank and Clients PLC with employment issues, including the regulatory aspects of its workforce.
The two-partner London employment practice at McDermott Will & Emery UK LLP advises on both transactions and litigation for the US firm's UK clients; growing areas of work this year have included deal-driven work and data privacy matters, as well as a spike in employment tribunal claims. The team, which works closely with the firm's employment lawyers across France, Germany, the US and China, is led by McDermott lifer Katie Clark, who handles all aspects of contentious and non-contentious employment matters, with a track record of complex employment disputes. She works alongside Paul McGrath, who made partner in 2017 and has a particular speciality in the employment aspects of privacy and data protection issues.
Other key lawyers:
Callaway Golf Company
D. E. Shaw & Co
Intersnack Group/KP Snacks
- Advised Praxair on employment aspects of the €5bn sale of the majority of its businesses in Europe to Japan’s Taiyo Nippon Sanso.
- Advised Krüger Group on the restructuring of its international distribution system in the UK and Republic of Ireland and other employment issues that arose following its acquisition of two nutrition brands from GlaxoSmithKline.
With a particularly strong focus on the financial services sector, Memery Crystal LLP’s employment practice distinguishes itself through its work advising clients on the employment aspects of AIM listings, as well as its expertise in litigation and restructuring matters, such as advising Karen Millen on the employment aspects of its acquisition of parts of the business of Coast out of pre-pack administration. In early 2018 Stephen Ravenscroft joined the team from White & Case LLP; he has since succeeded Merrill April as head of the practice following her departure to CM Murray LLP. The team also advises senior executives, senior employees and board members on a broad range of issues
Aramco Overseas Company
The Rethink Group
J O Hambro
Gottex Fund Management
LG & DE
Horatio Risk Consultancy
Opera Gallery Ltd
Kyma Capital Ltd
Real Estate Management (UK) Ltd
- Advising Karen Millen on the employment aspects of its acquisition of parts of the business of Coast in a pre-pack administration.
- Advising Hambro Perks on employment and commercial legal matters.
- Advising Saudi Aramco’s European businesses on a wide range of HR matters.
- Advising data centre business Digital Realty on a wide range of employment matters affecting its UK business.
- Advising CyberArk on a wide ranging of HR matters concerning its UK business.
Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe (Europe) LLP's London team handles both contentious and non-contentious employment matters, and has extensive experience in cross-border mandates. Clients include major corporations, especially from the technology, energy and financial services sectors. Practice head Nicola Whiteley has particular expertise in complex and executive-level disputes and restructuring matters, while newly promoted partner Mandy Perry specialises in employment litigation and has been active in sexual harassment and whistleblowing cases. The team also advises on matters relating to trade secrets, post-termination restrictions, and complex TUPE issues arising from cross-border M&A and outsourcing programmes.
Other key lawyers:
‘A highly responsive and vastly experienced employment team.‘
‘Nicola Whiteley has a huge amount of practical experience managing employment disputes. Having a feel for the way employment tribunals will approach issues is crucial when aiming for successful outcomes and Nicola’s instincts on numerous tricky issues have been proven right time and again.‘
Heritage of London Trust
- Advising Barking Dog Ventures Limited on all employment aspects of its acquisition by Rover.
- Advising Verisign Inc on the TUPE aspects of the sale of its security services business to Neustar.
- Advising Atomico on due diligence and employment warranties during the client’s involvement as lead investor in a Series A funding round for Streetbees.com.
- Advising Heritage of London Trust on recruitment strategy, contractual arrangements, onboarding new employees and two dismissals during an expansion process.
Proskauer Rose LLP handles a broad range of work on behalf of employers and employees alike, including employment matters relating to corporate transactions, contract interpretation issues and whistleblower claims, among others. 'Charismatic and clever' Daniel Ornstein - who leads the London practice and also co-heads the international group - advises on diversity and inclusion, social media use, employee investigations and the handling of disciplinary and grievance matters, and is 'loved' by clients. He works with associate Kelly McMullon to 'provide an exceptionally responsive service'.
Other key lawyers:
‘The team is very knowledgeable and able to deliver excellent advice and to coordinate complex global employment law matters.’
‘Dan Ornstein is an exceptional and very talented leader of the team in London. They have a lot of experience in the financial services industry; I like their pragmatic approach very much in relation to dealing with (potential) separation scenarios. They understand that a proper handling of the situation requires much more than understanding the legal status quo.’
‘Dan Ornstein is charismatic and clever. The service that we get from Proskauer is excellent. They are quick to respond, extremely helpful and very nice to deal with. They go above and beyond in order to ensure a proper resolution to a situation.’
‘Dan Ornstein is an extremely bright and articulate lawyer who is always able to find creative solutions. His advice is always spot-on, and he is great to work with.’
‘I like to work with Dan Ornstein very very much. He is outstanding. His vast experience in cross border matters, complex situation is always very helpful. He is a very smart and funny guy. Clients just love him.’
‘Dan Ornstein is very experienced and has good commercial insight. He is a straight shooter.’
‘Daniel Ornstein and Kelly McMullon provide an exceptionally responsive service and are always very pleasant to deal with. They take care to outline things and to ensure that a situation is properly understood.’
Teacher Stern LLP’s employment practice regularly advises on TUPE matters, complex outsourcing arrangements, restructuring programmes and the employment aspects of corporate deals. Recent contentious work has involved advising on breaches to restrictive covenants and non-compete clauses, Employment Tribunal discrimination claims, whistleblowing matters and unfair dismissal defence. The firm's sector expertise is broad, but the client roster has a particular emphasis on hotels and leisure, financial services, real estate, film and TV, TMT and insurance. The practice is led by James Baker - 'a superb player to have on your team'. Consultant David von Hagen is also well-regarded.
Other key lawyers:
‘Very strong and personable team – a reassuring and confident support for senior executives who always look for sensible solutions at an early stage.’
‘The team has considerable experience – they act for both employees and employers are able to fully appreciate the strategic issues that arise. They are well organised, very efficient and professional and provide a strong, attentive service to clients.’
‘David von Hagen is responsive, clever and expert.’
‘James Baker stands out because he manages pressurised situations extremely well. He knows when to settle and when to fight and the commercial realities of employment law. He always understands the business of the client very well.’
‘James Baker is very clever but very easy to work with and a superb player to have on your team.’
‘James Baker is very impressive. He is very familiar with this area of the law and a strong tactician. He is intelligent, hard working and far sighted. He also provides a calm and reassuring presence for clients and is adept an organising his team.’
Gaumont Television UK
RP Com UK Ltd
Burger & Lobster
Scuderia Toro Rosso
Tom’s Kitchen Restaurant Holdings
Bistro Deluxe Baker Street Limited
El Al Airlines
Element Pictures UK
Corona Corporate Solutions
Leasehold Property Management
Pinpoint Partners Worldwide
Josh Wood Colour
Stanford Capital Partners
RS Legal Strategy
United for Change
Franks Family Foundation
Spence Harris Hogan
International Coffee Organisation
Sports Invest UK
- Advised Champneys on the TUPE and share sale provisions of its acquisition of Mottram Hall Hotel and Spa in Cheshire, involving over 300 members of staff.
- Represented a restaurant client in a tronc pay dispute brought by two employees.
- Providing general employment and HR advice, as well as corporate M&A support, to Corona Corporate Solutions.
- Assisting on the employment issues related to the acquisition of Green Hippo by TV One as well as providing ongoing employment law assistance to both businesses.
- Represented a global investment management firm in relation to a nationwide staff reorganisation, a main board director departure and an Employment Tribunal claim.
In recent months, Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP's employment team has been instructed to advise on a number of internal investigations for employer clients, relating to allegations of bullying, harassment and maternity discrimination. London practice head Michelle Chance specialises in high value, sensitive employment disputes, advising both plc employers and senior executives across the professional practices, media and financial services sectors, drawing on her close ties with the wider firm's financial services regulatory team.
- Reviewed Qorvo’s hiring documentation for the UK, including its UK job application form, offer letter template, and employment contract and updated these documents to take account of new case law and legislation.
BLM has a particularly strong reputation for public sector employment work, where it counts a number of MPs among its clients, and in the employment practices liability insurance sector. Other clients include local authorities, educational institutions, SMEs, insurers and trade unions. The team regularly handles employment tribunal claims, while also advising on a broad range of non-contentious issues. The practice is led by Andrew McDonald, whose recent work includes advising on the TUPE aspects of service provision changes and handling discrimination claims. Vanessa Latham specialises in contentious matters.
Other key lawyers:
CNA Hardy Insurance Company Ltd
Jackson Lift Group
Drayton Manor High School
- Advising Jackson Lift Group on multiple issues, including TUPE and dismissals.
- Acting for European Oat Millers in an Employment Tribunal claim for constructive unfair dismissal and unauthorised deduction from wages following changes to the claimant’s pay structure.
Browne Jacobson LLP's impressive client roster includes both companies and senior executives in the retail, financial services, education and healthcare sectors, among them international fashion brands, multi-academy trusts and NHS bodies. The team represents clients in employment tribunal claims, as well as advising on immigration matters, day-to-day issues such as employment contracts, and internal procedures. Raymond Silverstein, who heads the London employment practice, also acts for public bodies and employers in the manufacturing and IT sectors, while senior associate Heather Mitchell specialises in advising educational institutions.
TJX Europe (t/a TK Maxx)
Fresh and Wild Limited (t/a Whole Foods Market)
The Eliot Foundation Academies Trust
Issey Miyake UK Limited
Lion Academies Trust
Mr Bruno Iksil
SMCP UK Limited (Sandro, Maje, Claudie Pierlot)
Hiscox Insurance Limited
University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust
- Acting for an insurance company in a sex discrimination claim brought by a law professor at a London university against her trade union.
- Defending a local authority in a multi-discrimination claim for disability, race, sex and maternity discrimination.
- Advising an international fashion brand on the removal of three senior executives.
- Acting for a London-maintained school in a tribunal claim for unfair dismissal and disability discrimination.
- Advising various education clients on employee grievances, restructures and other matters.
Capsticks LLP is noted for its strength in acting for large public sector employers, including clients in the healthcare, emergency services, social care, education, housing and charity fields. The team's expertise in healthcare particularly stands out; it acts for both private and NHS organisations in employment tribunal claims, as well as advising on issues such as conduct and capability concerns. Victoria Watson, who took over as practice head in October 2018, handles complex litigation involving senior executives and clinicians. Andrew Rowland and Martin Hamilton are also key contacts.
‘The quality and responsiveness across the whole team is consistently good. Responses are fast and agile.‘
‘Victoria Watson and Andrew Rowland are outstanding individuals. They are experts in their fields but it isn’t just the quality of their legal advice – they understand healthcare, and the risks and challenges involved. They don’t always reach for the safety first button, but help analyse risks and solutions.‘
Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust
Police and Crime Commissioner for Staffordshire
East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust (previously Ipswich Hospital NHS Trust)
Barts Health NHS Trust
Ramsay Health Care UK
The Methodist Church
Royal Holloway University
Royal Berkshire Healthcare NHS Trust
Chief Constable of Cambridgeshire Constabulary
- Acting for Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust in a high-profile whistle-blowing claim relating to the protection afforded to junior doctors on the national training programme.
- Advising the Police and Crime Commissioner for Staffordshire on a major restructure including the transfer of the entire fire service.
- Acting for East Suffolk and North Essex Foundation Trust in claims for whistle-blowing, automatic unfair dismissal, unlawful deductions from wages, and race and sex discrimination brought by a consultant surgeon.
- Acting for Barts Health NHS Trust in an injunction and breach of contract claim brought by a midwife in the High Court.
- Acting for Ramsay Health Care UK in a discrimination claim brought by a consultant surgeon with practising rights at one of the client’s private hospitals.
Under the leadership of the 'outstanding' Linky Trott, Edwin Coe LLP acts for UK and international corporates and a growing number of high-net-worth senior executives, particularly from the financial services and energy sectors. The team advises on the employment aspects of mergers, acquisitions and disposals, and is also active on contentious mandates, including race and sex discrimination, unfair dismissal and whistle-blowing claims. Alexandra Carn specialises in employment matters in the financial services sector; Ruth Hickling‘s expertise includes advising senior employees on grievances, disciplinary issues, dismissals and exit strategies; and consultant Rachel Harrap has particular experience in advising insolvent companies.
‘Edwin Coe’s practice has excellent breadth and depth of experience and is unique in its well-balanced delivery of professional litigation work alongside a dedicated and empathetic approach to its clients. Its team are highly regarded across the industry and are thought leaders.’
‘A truly wonderful firm and group of professionals.‘
‘Linky Trott and Emma Sangeelee, individually and as a team, are outstanding. They are smart, talented, hardworking and dedicated professionals who care for their clients. Both think laterally and comprehensively about solutions to issues and retain an excellent grasp of the detail and of technical issues, while also maintaining professional objectivity and a broad and solid understanding of prevailing market trends. Linky and Emma are two of the most talented individuals with whom I have had the pleasure of working.‘
‘The team are brilliant to work with, and have a deep and comprehensive understanding of how to address the issues at hand. They make themselves available to talk through the issues in a clear and understandable way with people who don’t have a good understanding of employment law.‘
‘Ruth Hickling is my absolute go-to in any tricky, sensitive or complicated situation. She gets it – she provides helpful and pragmatic advice, and works with passion and enthusiasm. It goes without saying, but Ruth knows her stuff inside and out. She helps me navigate through the noise to the best course of action, and also listens to what I want and need and tailors her advice accordingly.‘
‘Always available to give clear, concise advice on the full spectrum of issues we face, from partner exits to issues with the mental well-being of staff.‘
‘Linky Trott is the ideal resource when it comes to employment law. She gives absolutely clear advice but with a healthy dose of reality to allow you to make the best decision.‘
Chubb Fire & Security Ltd and Chubb (NI) Ltd
Duet Asset Management Limited
Tower Resources PLC
Kout Food Group (owners of Costa Coffee, Burger King & Little Chef franchises)
The Mango Tree
Kellogg Company Inc
- Advising Chubb Fire & Security and Chubb (NI) Limited on the full range of employment matters, including a TUPE change of service provider and employee liability information claim.
- Defending Biosure (UK) Limited against a claim for specific performance in relation to a share allocation.
- Defending Dion Global Solutions (London) Limited against a breach of contract claim in the High Court and a concomitant unfair dismissal claim in the Employment Tribunal.
Fladgate LLP handles a broad range of both contentious and non-contentious employment matters, representing clients in the High Court and Employment Tribunal and advising on issues such as reorganisations, outsourcing, and corporate acquisitions and disposals. The team's diverse client base includes companies from the IT, pharmaceutical, financial services, transport and retail sectors. Practice head Taj Rehal has experience advising on senior employee dismissals and exits, particularly where reputational risks are involved; Michael McCartney has expertise in restrictive covenant issues and cross-border litigation; 'standout' partner Mike Tremeer was made up in 2018.
‘What makes Fladgate’s practice unique is the very practical, commercial advice that’s given; the availability, sometimes at very short notice, of the lawyers; the friendliness of the team; and the feeling as a client that your lawyer is working as a true business partner with you in resolving your problem or issue.‘
‘Mike Tremeer is a standout partner. He takes the time to understand my situation and always offers practical, focused and timely advice. I know I can rely on him.‘
Fore Fitness Limited
Ipsen Biopharm Limited
Fly Victor Limited
Aeromet International Limited
- Advising Fore Fitness Limited on the employment aspects of its sale of 13 easyGym clubs to The Gym Group.
- Acting for Ipsen Biopharm Limited in an urgent injunction application to enforce the terms of garden leave and post-termination restrictive covenants of a scientist in its R&D division who intended to join a competitor.
- Acting for Fly Victor Limited in relation to the enforcement of its non-solicitation and non-dealing restrictions against a former employee.
- Advising Aeromet International Limited on the employment aspects of its bolt-on acquisition of Stone Foundries from Langham Industries.
- Advising Selecta AG on the employment aspects of its acquisition of the UK-based Express Vending Group Limited.
City firm Goodman Derrick LLP is known for its expertise in holiday pay issues and employment matters in the recruitment sector, and has been increasingly active in advising on outsourcing agreements. The team also assists with senior-level and board matters, restructures and reorganisations; the employment aspects of corporate transactions; business protection issues such as post-termination restrictions; and employment litigation. The 'experienced and commercially astute' Alexandra Bonner leads 'a happy and efficient team'; Alison Downie, who has extensive experience advising organisations on restructures, transfers, restrictive covenants, whistle-blowing and discrimination matters, and the 'excellent' Clare Gilroy-Scott are also key contacts.
‘The team is open, honest and pleasant to deal with. They always provide sound advice and spend time thinking through the problems both from a legal and commercial point of view.’
‘Katee Dias is an exceptionally professional and knowledgeable team member. She displayed a sensible, pragmatic approach and also delivered a great result for me.‘
‘The team is efficient, well-led and a pleasure to work with. They give advice that is commercial and practical but also well researched and legally savvy. The partners are fully engaged and hands-on and all members of the team (down to trainee level) contribute well.‘
‘Clare Gilroy-Scott is an excellent lawyer. She cares about her clients and maintains excellent relationships with them, whilst taking a careful and pragmatic approach to achieving realistic outcomes. She is a good lead partner and her trainees and associates work well with her.‘
‘Alexandra Bonner is a very experienced and commercially astute partner who is very good at making judgement calls during litigation. She is enjoyable to work with and excellent at dealing with the tactical issues that arise in employee competition cases. She runs a happy and efficient team.‘
The Restaurant Group plc
John Frieda Salons
Yale University Press London
International Psychoanalytical Association
Thrombosis Research Institute
Legg Mason & Co UK Limited
Biscuit Filmworks UK Limited
International Planned Parenthood Federation
The Borrow Foundation
- Advising John Frieda Salons on various employment issues.
- Advising Yale University Press London on employment issues such as GDPR and compliance.
- Advising Topbrief Limited (25 Bedford Row Chambers’ related service company) on various employment matters.
- Advising Forgerock Limited on various employment matters.
- Advising Thrombosis Research Institute on various employment matters.
The employment team at Ince, which merged with Gordon Dadds at the end of 2018, provides a full service offering from contract drafting to dispute resolution. The team regularly advises senior executives in the media, retail, travel, financial services and tech sectors, while on the employer side, the firm works with clients in areas such as shipping, energy, and commodities. Laura Livingstone heads the team, which following the merger can now offer clients a broader range of services, drawing on the newly enlarged firm's tax, private wealth and immigration capabilities. Other key members of the practice include Marie van der Zyl, who handles the full range of employment law issues for both employers and senior executives.
Other key lawyers:
AWH Legal Limited
A Group of 27 Artists from the Education Department at the National Gallery
Arsenal Football Club Ltd
Amadeus IT Services UK Ltd
The Gap Partnership
- Provided people management training to Arsenal Football Club, as well as ad hoc employee relations issues including grievance, disciplinary, contract terms, exit arrangements and new hires.
- Supporting ABTA with all employment related issues including performance and absence management, departmental re-organisations, flexible working requests and policy support.
- Representing a group of 27 artists and lecturers working in the education department at the National Gallery in a tribunal action in which they won their case to be given the rights of workers.
- Advised shipping management company V Ships in respect of TUPE issues connected with the change of service provider for rig maintenance.
- Advised on employment aspects of the merger of two UK Amadeus companies.
Immigration and employment boutique Magrath Sheldrick LLP is instructed by UK and international employers to advise on HR compliance, disciplinary procedures, contracts and settlement agreements as well as restructuring and contentious matters. Practice head Adele Martins has experience in a wide range of contentious and non-contentious matters.
Ogletree Deakins International LLP
Ogletree Deakins International LLP's London practice, which the US employment specialist firm launched in 2013, advises on a wide range of matters, including transactional issues, contracts, litigation, gender pay gap reporting as well as data privacy and data protection. The team works with clients across the professional services, healthcare, insurance, technology and telecoms sectors. Simon McMenemy heads up the practice and has particular expertise in the employment aspects of M&A, acquired rights, pensions and benefits, investigations and data protection, while Daniella McGuigan specialises in equal pay litigation and Roger James focuses on multi-jurisdictional matters.
‘As a specialist provider of employment law advice, the Ogletree Deakins team has significant knowledge and expertise, especially on matters involving international clients.’
‘Of counsel Justin Tarka is a diligent and thorough operator, providing excellent advice while also understanding the commercial environment we work in.‘
J2 Global, Inc
Cunningham Lindsey Group Limited
Shiva Hotels Limited
Royal Society of Chemistryus
Manufacturing Technology Centre
Humberside Fire and Rescue
- Advised clients across the aerospace and defence, technology, consumer product manufacturing, retail and healthcare sectors on gender pay gap reporting obligations.
- Advising Ivanti on a range of matters across Europe and Asia including individual employment relations issues, negotiations with works councils, post-acquisition harmonisation, as well as employment contracts and policies.
- Assisting Care UK with designing and producing a suite of bespoke tailored online training modules.
- Represented Care UK in employment tribunal litigation involving many different heads of claim.
- Advising Humberside Fire and Rescue Service on gender pay gap reporting work and high-level strategic advice.
Trowers & Hamlins LLP has a strong track record of advising local authorities and housing associations on matters including TUPE transfers and employment tribunal claims; the team also has particular expertise in advising on employment issues relating to individuals with learning disabilities. Emma Burrows heads the team and is very active in the housing and charity sector, with a particular focus on restructurings and investigations. Nicola Ihnatowicz is another key figure, focusing on TUPE matters, restructurings and equal pay.
Other key lawyers:
Anchor Trust & Hanover Housing Association
Cambridgeshire &Peterborough Combined Authority
East Midlands Housing Group
Metroplitan Thames Valley
London Borough of Southwark
Clarion Housing Group
- Advised on employment transfers resulting from the merger of Anchor Trust and Hanover Housing Association.
- Acted for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority on the negotiated exit of its chief executive.
- Represented Peabody and two named individuals in defending employment tribunal claims for unfair dismissal, sex and race direct discrimination, harassment and victimisation relating and whistle-blowing.
- Acted for the London Borough of Southwark and a named individual in defending employment tribunal claims for unfair dismissal and race and religious belief discrimination.
- Advising Dimensions UK on all general employment queries including a retainer, employment tribunals, ad hoc advice on national minimum wage, TUPE, dispute with unions and other issues.
The key employment partner in US firm Vedder Price's London office is Jonathan Maude, who has expertise in both contentious and non-contentious employment issues. His work involves advising clients on regulations and complex terminations and strategic HR matters, both on a domestic and international basis.
Astellas US LLC
Astellas Pharma Europe Limited
Value Retail Plc
Help for Heroes
Liverpool Victoria General Insurance Group
The 'effective and engaged' employment practice at London firm Wallace LLP works with a range of employer clients which include private equity firms and real estate and hospitality businesses, handling a range of strategic, commercial and contentious matters. Clients cite the team's particular expertise in 'whistleblowing and bonus disputes', while the group also assists senior executives in disputes. Practice head Daniel Isaac is described as a 'cool-headed tactician and master strategist.'
‘Dan Isaac leads an effective and engaged team who have particular skill in whistleblowing and bonus disputes. Having led on massive cases for very highly remunerated claimants, Daniel really understands how to make the most of any claim for a client.’
‘Daniel Isaac is extremely dynamic, very responsive, professional and efficient.’
‘Daniel Isaac has deep technical knowledge and lives and breathes the law, and uses that knowledge to push the boundaries in an innovative way without ever seeking to innovate for the sake of it.’
‘Daniel Isaac is very dynamic and committed. He has significant experience of senior executive work.’
‘Daniel Isaac is a very cool-headed tactician and master strategist. His dry wit and intelligence make him a pleasure to deal with.’
‘Senior associate Rebecca Butler is smart, pleasant, very easy to work with, highly professional and polished.’
Henry Schein UK Holdings Ltd
Cinven Partners LLP
Panolin UK Ltd
Seahorse Environmental Communications
Saffron Brand Consultants Ltd
The Estate Office Shoreditch
- Advised Henry Schein UK Holdings Ltd on several matters including the departure of several senior directors of group companies, working time and on-call time, pensions advice and TUPE transfers.
- Represented Excell Group PLC in disputes including relating to an alleged breach of post-termination restrictions relating to a new hire.
- Advised both the founders and the management team of OEE Consulting on the company’s merger with gobeyond.
- Acted for the founders and management team of Vedbaek Holdings on the inward investment by FPE Capital.
- Instructed by the senior management team of Panolin UK Ltd to advise on UK employment issues, including the appointment of a new managing director, associated contract preparation and advice regarding existing restrictive covenants.
Wedlake Bell LLP works for both multinational and domestic clients on disputes and corporate matters. Ravinder Mahal focuses on international employment work and is skilled in advising the employment aspects of cross-border M&A. Richard Isham has a similar focus on international employment with key strengths in data protection and whistleblowing issues. Adam Grant is particularly strong in the hospitality and outsourcing sectors.
Ravinder Mahal; Richard Isham; Adam Grant
Thycotic Software Inc
London School of Economics
Millennium Hotels Ltd
London Chamber of Commerce and Industry
Fuller, Smith & Turner
Sopra Steria Limited
Dominion Bond Rating Services
Royal Academy of Arts
OKI EuropeKuehne + Nagel
Cromwell European Management
MBNA Thames Clippers
UAE Exchange Nektan plc
Paloma Faith Limited
Thomas J Fudge
Key Travel Limited
CC Young & Co
Global Association of Risk Professionals (GARP)
Alan Baxter Limited
British Property Federation
Lambert Smith Hampton
NHS Shared Business Services Limited
Sopra Steria Recruitment
Shared Services Connected Limited
Gatemore Capital Management
Concentrix / Convergys
Netcracker (a Division of NEC)
Mindray Duff and Phelps
- Advised West Corporation on its global commission plan review, which includes 20 jurisdictions in EMEA and APAC.
- Advising Edwards Limited on EMEA employment aspects of its acquisition of the cryogenics business of Brooks Automation.
- Advised OKI Europe Limited on the management of its EMEA reorganisation across 19 jurisdictions.
- Advised companies within Livingbridge’s portfolio on changes at senior management level.
- Acted for Edwards Limited on four disputes and Employment Tribunal claims and the employment aspects of a cross-border acquisition.
Winckworth Sherwood LLP acts for business figures including CEOs, chairs and other C-suite leaders of well-known FTSE 350 and AIM-listed companies in sectors ranging from financial services through to transport, sport and technology. Its highlights include both onboarding, departures and work concerning company ownership transitions, and also handles disputes. Jo Keddie - 'the rare combination of a first class mind and really good instincts' - heads up the practice. Susan Kelly's cases workload has been included advising senior leaders of non-profits, and Andrew Yule has a track record of work involving the banking and private equity industries. Bettina Bender is a June 2018 recruit from CM Murray LLP. On the employer side, the team's client base which includes financial institutions, regulatory bodies, family offices, charities, religious institutions and professional services firms.
‘Highly professional, yet also very understanding on a personal level.’
‘The team has a unique level of expertise in church-related cases.’
‘Superb knowledge of the law combined with a real world savvy and robustness, a very good combination when dealing with clients who are often in sensitive and fraught situations.‘
‘Jo Keddie is analytical and pragmatic – I can absolutely recommend Jo and her team to any company who has difficult choices to make with regard to restructuring and HR options and strategies. Every CEO or senior manager welcomes clear and well thought advice and Jo provides that.’
‘Jo Keddie has a wealth of experience and knowledge and gives you as a client the confidence that is needed, as well the knowledge that Jo is working for you as an individual. She is pragmatic and flexible in her approach.’
‘Jo Keddie and her team are extremely easy to work with, pleasant, efficient and very commercial. Jo is a rare combination of a first class mind and really good instincts. I would always want her on my side.’
‘Susan Kelly is highly intelligent, utterly committed and tireless.‘
‘Anita Rai is a total professional – extremely calm, clear-thinking and robust when required, with an excellent instinct for negotiation underpinned by a real knowledge of the law.‘
BNP Paribas Real Estate
Mountview Estates P.L.C.
The Financial Conduct Authority
R Raphael & Sons plc
AS Equity Partners Limited
Island Health Trust