Employment: senior executives in London
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‘.
Dr Arjuna Weerasinghe
Dr Roxana Gunny
- Successfully represented Dr Arjuna Weerasinghe against the Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust in a whistleblowing and disability discrimination case.
- Successfully represented Dr Roxana Gunny, an NHS consultant neuroradiologist, against Great Ormond Street Hospital in a sex discrimination claim.
- Successfully represented Alexander Osipov against individual senior executives in landmark whistleblowing case in the Court of Appeal.
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.
‘A highly effective team, both in terms of legal knowledge and practical application of the law. They box way above their weight, providing excellent value to clients.’
‘Clare Murray – to quote Tina Turner, is simply the best. The perfect combination of superb technical expertise and the calmest, most supportive attitude.’
‘David Fisher is focused, aggressive but never uncommercial. Excellent at what he does.’
‘Sarah Chilton is comprehensively prepared, determined and with her clients all the way. A very skilled practitioner.’
‘Really expert at what they do – not just legal but tons and tons of practical experience.’
- Gave evidence before the House of Commons Women and Equalities Select Committee in its Inquiry into Sexual Harassment in the Workplace.
- Advised the CEO of an international oil company in relation to potential claims for unfair dismissal and whistleblowing regarding fraud and corrupt practices of the parent company.
- Represented a senior software sales executive in threatened litigation by his former employer following his move to a competitor and alleged breaches of confidentiality obligations and restrictive covenants.
- Assisted an ex-senior executive of a global manufacturing company in relation to interim injunction proceedings brought against him in the High Court to support arbitration proceedings.
- Acted for the senior executive of a business management consultancy, who was accused of breach of fiduciary and confidentiality duties.
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, while Anna Birtwistle, who joined the team from CM Murray in June 2019, has particular expertise with regards to high value negotiated exits, with a strong track record of work for clients in the financial services sector.
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.’
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.
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.’
Sir Martin Sorrell
Xavier Rolet KBE
- Advised Sir Martin Sorrell on the terms of his high profile departure from WPP and reputation management issues, including defamation and data protection.
- Acted as principal personal legal adviser to Xavier Rolet, the former CEO of the London Stock Exchange, on all of his partnership and directorship matters.
- Acted for David Pegler in respect of his exit as CEO of London ExCeL Centre.
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.
‘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.’
Various senior broadcasters and journalists at the BBC, including Carrie Gracie, ex China Editor.
Christopher Bailey (CEO and Chief Creative Officer of Burberry)
George Truett Tate, ex-Group Executive Director of Wholesale and International Banking against Lloyds Bank
Nawaf Hasan, former Middle East and North Africa Director, Arthur J Gallagher
Marjan Jahangiri, Cardiac Surgeon, St George’s NHS University Hospitals Foundation Trust
- Acting for a number of senior female journalists and broadcasters at the BBC in their equal pay and discrimination disputes with the BBC, including former China editor Carrie Gracie.
- Acting for the former group executive director of wholesale and international banking at Lloyds Bank in a High Court action for unpaid long term incentive awards where the bank sought, inter alia, to operate malus provisions to deny the client his entitlements.
- Acting for Gavin Patterson, the former CEO of British Telecom, regarding his exit from the company.
- Acted for Professor Marjan Jahangiri, a cardiac surgeon who was excluded from her role at St George’s NHS University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.
- Acting for Nawaf Hasan, former Middle East and North Africa director at Arthur J Gallagher, in a High Court dispute in which he was accused by his former employer of being part of an unlawful team move to a competitor.
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.‘
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.’
Isabelle De Wismes
- Advised Alex Baldock on his move from being CEO of Shop Direct to being CEO of Dixons Carphone.
- Advised Fred Jallot on his move to Jefferies from Nomura, where he was global head of emerging markets.
- Advised Isabelle de Wismes on her appointment as an independent director on the main board of UniCredit.
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.’
- Successfully represented an orthopaedic consultant in the employment tribunal and Employment Appeal Tribunal, achieving a substantial settlement. He faced claims for unfair dismissal, wrongful dismissal and race discrimination.
- Successfully argued that two Uber drivers were entitled to ‘worker’ status, most recently in the Court of Appeal, in a high-profile landmark case with wide-ranging implications for the gig economy.
- Advised Jagruti Rajput in the Employment Appeal Tribunal on her successful claims of sex discrimination, maternity discrimination and harassment against Commerzbank.
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.
- Assisting the Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations with advising chief executives of charities on a range of employment-related issues.
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.
The London labour and employment practice at Dechert LLP advises on the full range of non-contentious and contentious employment matters, displaying particular strength on matters with an international component, such as cross-border issues relating to covenant enforcement and the regulation of remuneration. Team head Charles Wynn-Evans is regarded as 'the very best at solving unusual problems with imagination'; he works alongside former London managing partner Jason Butwick , who has a focus on the financial services sector.
Charles Wynn-Evans; Jason Butwick
‘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.’
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.’
- Acted for banker Dmitri Rozanov in his Employment Tribunal whistleblowing claim against EFG Private Bank.
- Acted for Dr Jonathan Dronsfield, a former lecturer at Reading University, who was dismissed for misconduct.
- Acted for a senior board member of a global financial services business who was dismissed shortly after she blew the whistle about regulatory concerns with her former employer.
- Acted for a senior female equity partner on an exit deal from her law firm; issues involved included sex and age discrimination.
- Advising a finance director subject to bullying allegations from a male colleague.
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.‘
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:
- Advised a senior in-house lawyer in a high-profile case relating to legal privilege.
- Acting for Nathalie Abildgaard in her high-profile City harassment case against IFM Investors.
- Advised a financial services employee on successfully resolving a potentially career-ending situation.
- Acted for James Craven in his Court of Appeal bonus dispute against JLT.
- Advised a senior compliance professional at an international bank on how to handle a delicate regulatory and compliance matter so it did not prejudice their career.
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.’
- Representing an international foreign correspondent in relation to her £10m claim against CNN for race and disability disability discrimination.
- Acted for a senior executive on his appointment as CEO of a large shipping group.
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.’
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.’
- Advised on a complex case in which injunctive relief was sought to enforce the terms of restrictive covenants preventing an employee from competing with his former employer’s business.
- Advised the board of a major city firm on governance, regulation and the resolution of potential disputes.
- Ongoing advice to the board of a financial institution on employment law and regulation.
The 'strong and responsive' team at Russell-Cooke LLP regularly represents senior executives in discrimination and whistleblowing claims and in disputes relating to share schemes, bonuses, commission, restrictive covenants and team moves. Anthony Sakrouge, who advises on all aspects of employment law, with a special emphasis on contentious and advisory work, leads the team that includes the 'sharp and straightforward' Alex Bearman and 'savvy litigator' Edward Wanambwa.
‘In comparison to other firms the client relationship; the level of professionalism, timeliness, availability and clear communication has been far superior than that offered by others.’
‘Alex Bearman’s straightforwardness, clear communication, sharp and active listening skills, ability to pinpoint salient arguments helped to eliminate any concerns I had.’
‘The team was not only very responsive and available for conference calls/meetings at short notice, but they all complimented each well in terms of their strengths and areas of expertise, showing solid team work.’
‘Ed Wanambwa is a very savvy litigator who is charming with clients but relentless in the quest for successful outcomes for his clients in litigation.’
‘Sound advice dispensed in a timely and cost effective manner.’
- Acting for a client in a High Court claim for breach of contract against Staffline, whose staffing division is the largest recruiter in the UK.
- Represented a senior partner in a top 15 law firm who was dismissed for sexual harassment.
- Acted for a senior executive at a private equity firm who was threatened with dismissal after she reported that she had been sexually harassed by a colleague.
- Provided employment/discrimination advice to a founding partner who was also a shareholder in an associated company.
- Acting for a star fund manager who is being poached by a global investment management firm which is prepared to make good the substantial deferred compensation he will be losing by moving.
Slater and Gordon's practice handles all employment-related matters including high-level terminations, breach of contract, bonus disputes, contract advice and reviews, team moves and high-value discrimination claims. The team has recently acted on a number of whistleblower claims involving major banks and global companies, and is increasingly representing NHS and private hospital staff in internal disciplinary proceedings. Paula Chan has been acting as head of the national employment practice, which includes Clive Howard as head of the partnership team, and Deborah Casale as acting head of the London employment team.
Claire Dawson; Paula Chan; Deborah Casale
Other key lawyers:
- Advised on Court of Appeal case to determine a number of important questions concerning the territorial reach of the Employment Rights Act 1996 including in particular, the whistleblowing provisions for those who live and work overseas.
- Representing a managing director in unfair dismissal and wrongful dismissal claims against Tesco.
Stewarts Law LLP's employment team is known for being 'strong and forceful, and working extremely hard for its clients'. The firm regularly represents senior executives and partners in high-value cases with reputational sensitivity, and has particular expertise in partnership and LLP disputes, as well as complex renumeration structures, including with an international element. 'Highly capable' partner Richard Nicolle has over 20 years' experience in employment-related matters, and handles a substantial contentious caseload, including claims for unfair dismissal, discrimination and whistleblowing in the Employment Tribunal.
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.’
Mayfair employment boutique Kervin & Barnes was founded by managing partner Gareth Kervin in 2009. The firm, which has a particular focus on financial services, consumer good, recruitment, sport, engineering and retail clients, advises on regulatory issues, business protection litigation, reputation management and Employment Tribunal claims. As well as its expertise in the senior executives sphere, the team also advises international corporates on restructuring matters, and recently led on a pan-European project for Danone Dairies. Kervin's sector-specific financial services experience includes advising on remuneration structures and post termination business protection.
West Ham Football Club
Ransomes Jacobsen (and group companies)
Planet Payment UK
West Ham United Football Club
- Acting for a managing director-level senior executive at a global investment bank in her claim for unfair dismissal, age discrimination and a protective award.
- Acting for a senior money broker in his claim for age discrimination in relation to the terms of a permanent health insurance scheme provided by his employer.
- Advised on Employment Tribunal litigation against a large property development company.
- Advising a senior investment banker on allegations of disciplinary and regulatory breaches together with potential breaches of post termination restrictions and confidentiality.
- Acting for a long serving ex-senior executive following his alleged redundancy and his High Court claim for a contractual redundancy payment following a legacy TUPE transferred term.
The lawyers who make up Keystone Law's employment team have a strong track record of advising high-net-worth individuals and senior executives on high-profile employment issues, such as discrimination, whistleblowing and sexual harassment. Key clients include senior executives at major brands across a range of sectors including media and entertainment, financial services, sport, property and leisure. Paul Daniels now leads the team after joining from Slater and Gordon in early 2018; he is one of a raft of new recruits to have come on board in recent months, including Nick Tsatsas and Angharad Harris from Fladgate LLP and Watson Farley & Williams LLP respectively.
The team at Leigh Day frequently acts on behalf of executives and senior professional clients in relation to a variety of matters including equal pay, unfair dismissal, breach of contract, whistleblowing, and all aspects of discrimination. High-profile recent work has included advising more than 230 judges on their discrimination claims against the Government over changes to their pensions. The department is active in a wide range of sectors, advising large private sector commercial enterprises, banks, law firms and industrial corporations, to public and government authorities. The experienced Chris Benson leads the team and focuses on discrimination claims and high-value multi-party litigation relating to pay and pensions.
Jon Brown v Colt Technology Services
Over 230 full-time judges
About 120 part time judges
Chief Client Officer of Global Insurance firm
- Complex discrimination claim for a senior HR executive before the Employment Appeal Tribunal.
- Representing over 230 judges from varying jurisdictions in their discrimination claims against the Government concerning changes to their pensions.
- Representing about 120 current and former fee-paid, part-time judges in their claims against the Government for part-time worker discrimination concerning their lack of access to pensions and other benefits.
- Advised on high value age discrimination claim for senior insurance executive, involving career long loss.
- Represented a high ranking international civil servant and secured the largest compensatory award in the organisation’s history.
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’.
Payne Hicks Beach has a strong track record on 'a wide variety of interesting and challenging cases'. The employment team acts for senior executives in the banking, insurance, media, advertising and fashion industries, and also acts for high-net-worth individuals on matters relating to discrimination, defamation, ill health and pay. The team advises on complex contractual, whistleblowing and discrimination issues that are often high-value. The employment team is headed by Peter McRoberts, who acts for a range of employers and professional bodies and charities on employment-related disputes.
‘Payne Hicks Beach has a track record of securing a wide variety of interesting and challenging cases. They are particularly good at challenging their opponents with a view to getting the best outcome for clients. Added to that, they are inventive lawyers, coming up with analyses which challenge their opponents.’
‘Peter McRoberts has a rare ability to encourage and secure clients who bring a range of high profile and challenging cases.’
Fairfield Industries Inc.
TGS Geophysical Company (UK) Ltd
The management of the Club Company
The Institute of Biology
Professor Stephen Hawking’s family
- Acting for Rohan Ramchandani, one of the three members of a cartel charged by the US DOJ with market manipulation and acquitted in October 2018.
- Acting for the London office head of a US corporation dismissed for gross misconduct without disciplinary process.
- Acting for a private individual in his capacity as a minority shareholder, director and employee in a dispute with his partners in a joint venture advertising agency following attempted forced acquisition of his shares at a substantial undervalue upon the client requiring surgery following long term illness and absence from work.
- Acting for the management of the Club Company Limited on its sale to a private equity investor, specifically in relation to due diligence and disclosure, the rollover of options and equity moving forward.
- Acting for the trustees of a manufacturing company in resisting Employment Tribunal claims for age discrimination and wrongful and unfair dismissal brought by its former managing director.
The employment team at Royds Withy King is well-regarded for its contentious expertise, particularly in discrimination issues and unfair dismissal claims. The practice is led by commercial litigator Richard Woodman, alongside the internationally focused Caroline Doran Millett, David Israel and Gemma Ospedale.
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.
The 'small but perfectly formed' employment team at employment and litigation boutique Bellevue Law works across a variety of industries, with the most recent year seeing particular activity in the financial services, professional services and recruitment sectors. The team has specialist expertise of working on gender discrimination claims and is experienced in advising and representing senior female professionals from a range of industries. Founder and experienced commercial litigator Florence Brocklesby leads the team, which offers 'amazing service and a personal touch.'
‘Florence demonstrated a real sense of judgement in identifying issues and dealing with them pragmatically such that most of her focus was on the real deal killers. Superb articulation and summary to me of the risk factors.’
‘The team is small but perfectly formed, with a good array of different personalities to suit each individual taste.’
‘All lawyers are senior and highly experienced. They all have a stake in the success of the firm.’
‘High quality senior City lawyers.’
‘The team are highly experienced, commercially minded and understand the clients needs and requirements. The team offer amazing service and a personal touch.’
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.’
DWFM Beckman's employment team is led by Elizabeth Johnson, who is described as 'extremely responsive' and a 'pleasure to work with'. She specialises in both contentious and non-contentious for senior executives, working closely with senior associate Louise Rogers. The team, which includes Naylah Hamour and Sharokh Koussari, also advises on matters relating to bonuses, commission, contracts, service agreements, disciplinary proceedings all aspects of redundancy consultations.
‘Naylah Hamour is a thoughtful, conscientious lawyer with a very broad knowledge base; her technical legal abilities are excellent.’
‘Sharokh Koussari has a broad based practice and a commercial outlook; he is strong tactically.’
‘Liz Johnson’s advice is razor-sharp – her advice is always high impact. I have full faith that Liz will see me right in any employment contract conversation. She is very direct and to the point and doesn’t waste time.’
‘Liz Johnson has been extremely responsive when I’ve needed her advice and has always been a pleasure to work with. I highly recommend her for senior executive employment advice.’
‘DWFM Beckman have always provided me with a highly personalised and effective service. They are in my view in the premier division but retain a sense of humility and lack the arrogance of other larger firms they compete with.’
Fox & Partners' employment team is made up of 'highly skilled negotiators who have great attention to detail', advising on high-value, complex and sensitive disputes in the financial, professional and insurance sectors. Dean Fuller and Catriona Watt co-head the team, with clients ranging from high ranking senior executives and partners, to firms and employers.
Dean Fuller; Catriona Watt
‘True employment law specialists, with a focus on disputes, litigation, senior employees and executives.’
‘Highly skilled negotiators who have great attention to detail.’
‘Ivor Adair is a calm and experienced litigator, with very good judgement.’
‘Dean Fuller is responsive, informed and sensitive to human resources matters.’
‘Caroline Field is a great litigator with a no-nonsense approach to senior exit negotiations.’
Hodge Jones & Allen Solicitors' employment team advises senior executives on a broad range of matters, including employment tribunal litigation, disability discrimination, redundancies, bullying claims and severance packages.
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:
Russells Solicitors advises senior executives from a variety of industries including film, music production, sport and financial services. The firm's work covers a wide range of matters such as termination arrangements, team moves, restrictive covenants and executive contracts. The 'fully engaged, clever and empathetic' John Reid heads the team, and recently advised former England Women’s football team coach Mark Sampson on his employment tribunal claim against his former employers, which was settled on confidential terms.
‘John Reid is able to offer serious strategic understanding, backed up by assistants who are able to put the work in to make a success of any case in a very cost-effective manner.’
‘John Reid is a fully engaged, clever and empathetic lawyer who fights hard but in an intelligent and considered way.’
InterTalent Rights Group (previously ROAR Global)
Coda Agency Limited
UK Music / PRS Foundation (Trustee / HR Advisor)
- Representing Mark Sampson, former coach of the England Women’s football team, in bringing an employment tribunal case against his former employers.
- Representing a senior executive at Bank of America Merrill Lynch in a complex whistleblowing claim.
- Providing full time HR support to InterTalent Rights Group, a leading talent agency, including on all senior appointments.
The employment team at Simkins LLP advises employers and senior individuals on a wide range of employment related issues. Historically renowned for its work in the media and entertainment sector, the team, led by Susan Thompson and Victoria Willson, now has a client base spanning many industries, including construction, finance, banking, professional services, recruitment, marketing and charity. The team is currently defending a complex disability discrimination and sexual discrimination claim in the construction sector.
Susan Thompson; Victoria Willson
‘Simkins’ employment team demonstrate a unique understanding of media-focused clients’ employment needs. They demonstrate a real commitment to understanding client needs and supporting their ambitions and goals.
‘Both Neil Gill and Victoria Willson show a real understanding of their client’s needs and work wholeheartedly to get the best result.’
Morrisons Utility Services Limited
McLaren Construction UK Limited
Vinci Construction UK Limited
First Group Holdings Limited
Logic Financial Services Limited
PSR Distribution Limited
Innocent Drinks Limited
- Acting for Vinci Construction in defence of a claim brought by one of its peripatetic mobile repair technicians whose claim relates to being subjected to detriment for opting out of the 48-hour limit on his average working week.
- Defending a complex disability discrimination and sex discrimination claim brought by an employee of McLaren Construction UK Limited.
- Advising on a disability discrimination and harassment claim brought against Skywire Limited.
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 both the founders and the management team of OEE Consulting on its merger with gobeyond.
- Advised the founders and management team of Vedbaek Holdings – which trades as the NAV People (TNP) – on inward investment by FPE Capital.