Next Generation Partners

Employment: employee/union firms in North West

Leigh Day

Leigh Day provides an end-to-end service to individuals engaged in employment disputes. High-profile matters, including equal pay claims against ASDA and ongoing sex discrimination claims against Sainsbury’s, are significant both in terms of their magnitude but ademonstrating team heads Lauren Lougheed and Linda Wong‘s expertise in litigation and equal pay disputes. The firm also regularly represents senior executives in the private and public sphere, acting for unfair dismissal claims including discrimination, victimisation and mistreatment aspects. Co-head Mike Cain concentrates on these senior executive issues, with a nationwide practice focused on the financial and legal sector, including the South and London. Furthermore, Cain regularly engages with whistleblowing and disability cases, such as his case acting against the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office and his active case against GCHQ, both of which generated significant media coverage. Ryan Bradshaw continues to expand his portfolio of employment rights cases, engaging with work in the charities and law enforcement sectors alongside his education disputes.

Practice head(s):

Lauren Lougheed; Linda Wong; Mike Cain

Other key lawyers:

Ryan Bradshaw


‘Lauren Lougheed and Linda Wong are a fantastic team, driving their claims forward and completely focused on securing the best outcome for their clients.’

‘The firm has an excellent record of client care and service, as well as strong regulatory check mechanisms to ensure clients obtain the best service possible. Given the nature of their work, the commitment to being straightforward and simple in their advice whether it be to an individual or thousands of people is particularly helpful.’

‘They are the leading team for claimant employment work in the UK. The retail equal pay claims, driven from the Manchester office, have revolutionised the industry. Their ability to drive litigation forward is second to none.’

‘Mike Cain has a growing team made up fee earners working with insurance, union and high net worth clients. He has run cases of supranational importance to the ECJ and the UK Supreme Court. He engaged at a level well above most, both macro in strategy and planning, and micro in terms of getting the best result for the client. His candour when providing advice sets him apart.’

‘Ryan Bradshaw is increasingly sought out by unions for his willingness to give them the advice they need rather than the advice they want. Has developed a niche in the field of worker status in academic institutions and recentring industrial disputes into the Tribunals rather than other forms of industrial action where possible.’

‘The Manchester team is successfully building senior executive work nationwide which is a competitive offering with specialist advice particularly in discrimination issues to senior finance, legal medical and academia professionals.’

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

‘Two features of the firm stand out as being unique. First, their legal creativity. They are constantly pushing the boundaries with new and successful cases. Second, their breadth of ability. They are very cross-disciplinary and can offer a helpful mix of different expertise, such as in public and employment law.’

Key clients

Asda Group Equal Pay Claim

Sainsbury’s workers Group Equal Pay Litigation

Bamieh v FCDO

NNMC v Somerville


National Aids Trust

Queen Mary UCU

Goldsmiths UCU

Rebecca Abrams and Alice Jolly

S v Government Communications Headquarters/The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (GCHQ/FCDO)

Work highlights

  • Acting on equal pay claims brought on behalf of over 57,000 employees of major supermarkets, ASDA and Sainsbury’s. These innovative group claims are aimed at enabling women workers to achieve pay parity with male colleagues.
  • Representing a GCHQ employee in their claim under whistleblowing legislation, after they were sacked for calling for the resignation of the UK’s most senior civil servant during the final weeks of Boris Johnson’s government.
  • Advised a number of individuals and college unions about claims against major universities, including Queen Mary, Goldsmiths and Oxford, on issues such as worker status and the protections afforded by the European Convention on Human Rights on freedom of assembly and association.

Brabners LLP

Specialising in senior executive departures and compensation, Brabners LLP is active across a range of sectors including sport, retail, professional services, transport and logistics and health. The nature and profile of the team’s cases require sensitivity and confidentiality when negotiating settlements involving bonus and commission claims and share plans. Furthermore, the firm is intimately familiar with complex Employment Tribunal cases, regularly representing clients pursuing unfair dismissal, whistleblowing, and disability and sex discrimination claims. Group head Lydia Edgar focuses on sport-related employee matters, advising on both the appointment and exit negotiations of individuals, while the ‘strong and clear’ Nick Campbell competently handles senior executive exits through his role leading Brabners Personal, a subteam specialising in these niche and complex settlement cases. The ‘astute, dedicated and determined’ Siobhan Howard-Palmer is active on a wide range of firm matters, including discrimination, whistleblowing and employee status claims.

Practice head(s):

Lydia Edgar; Nick Campbell

Other key lawyers:

Siobhan Howard-Palmer


‘I immediately trusted Siobhan Howard-Palmer after our first contact because of the wealth of experience and knowledge she demonstrated to me. Siobhan did an excellent job at understanding the complexities of the case and explaining where legalities lay within it. Siobhan explained everything in a really clear and concise manner which made the whole situation less intimidating for me.

‘Siobhan ticked all of the boxes you’d expect such as providing the right support and guidance, in addition to responding in a timely matter etc. However, what made the experience better than just “great” was that Siobhan quickly built a strong rapport with and in turn this resulted in a more personal service being provided – I trusted every bit of guidance she gave me and the approach she took immediately.’

‘When we have used Brabners’ service, they have always given us the very best advice and guidance which makes us feel fully protected and taking the best possible path.’

Work highlights

Kuit Steinart Levy LLP

Senior executive exits form the cornerstone of the practice at Kuit Steinart Levy LLP, with the team possessing established strength negotiating settlements and responding to post-termination restrictive covenants. The group is also well versed in unfair dismissal, discrimination and whistleblowing cases, advising employees active in the professional services, sport, leisure and hospitality, and education sectors. Kevin McKenna fronts the team and has advised on large-scale settlement agreements for multiple employees involved in severance schemes and redundancy proceedings, as well as representing clients in complex tribunal claims. Sally Bird leverages both her corporate expertise and the experience of her corporate colleagues to act on employment matters relating to mergers and acquisitions, ensuring employees, most notably senior executives, are protected during management restructurings.

Practice head(s):

Kevin McKenna

Other key lawyers:

Sally Bird


‘I was introduced to the head of department at first and then my case was given over to his colleague, who was extremely professional. She was very approachable and comfortable to deal with. Her understanding of my complicated case was extraordinary, and she pushed in every direction to have my case carried out to an exceptional level. By the time she went on maternity, her colleague, who was just as good in my eyes, took over a case that was already on its way to being won.

‘I really felt that the team took time in assets my situation and it was dealt in a professional and friendly manner.’

‘Kevin McKenna were always there for me giving legal advice but also as moral support.’

Work highlights

People Legal

Founded by team head Chris McAvoy-Newns in 2019, specialist employment practice People Legal has quickly become a leading player in employee exit cases involving unfair dismissal, discrimination, and whistleblowing. The firm is formidable at entering mediation with employers and their counsels, routinely achieving positive outcomes. The team is well versed in pregnancy and maternity discrimination issues, with Jessica Daniel being highly active in such matters, while Helen Littlewood has a particular focus on contractual issues in the sports sector. Furthermore, McAvoy-Newns is an experienced litigator and has been involved in a wide range of complex Employment Tribunal claims and has established strength in advising employees on worker status issues, restructurings, and change management programmes.

Practice head(s):

Chris McAvoy-Newns

Other key lawyers:

Helen Littlewood; Jessica Daniels


‘They are a friendly and professional team who respond very fast to my requests.  They have taken the time to get to know me as a client and they know my primary concerns. They therefore react quickly and hone in on what concerns me the most. The new team members in the Practice this year have continued that ethos and approach. I always felt supported.’

‘Very clear and concise information. Extremely knowledgeable and explained anything not understood in very basic terms, ensuring, without exception, everything is understood. No hidden costs, and from the beginning of my transaction with them, trust was easily established. Chris McAvoy-Newns was truly a consummate professional. He was my direct point of contact and would, without any doubt, recommend him to others!’

‘People Legal really care about delivering the best outcome for your case and have always been very patient in answering my questions. They explain the whole, often complicated legal process very well to you. This allows you to make clear decisions on how best to proceed. They are genuinely a breath of fresh air.’

Work highlights

  • Represented a HR manager with her sexual harassment claims against four legal entities, involving complex vicarious liability related arguments.
  • Advised a music artist on a £80,000 costs application brought against him (as well as his former legal representative, who we did not act for) contributing to the dismissal of the application and the recovery of financial compensation from the former representative.
  • Representing a senior Sales Director with his claim for constructive unfair dismissal, due to be heard at a 7-day hearing, with interwoven High Courts proceedings concerning a director’s loan and shareholding.

Slater and Gordon

The ‘first-rate’ team at Slater and Gordon is split into two areas of focus: Organisations and Member Services (OMS) and private client. Sadiq Vohra heads the OMS team and enjoys a strong relationship with the Police Federation and various other organisations, representing claimants in Employment Tribunals regarding issues such as disability, race and sexual discrimination, as well as advising individuals and collective bodies on employment law. The firm is able to provide a full service to OMS clients due to its deep bench of solicitors, such as Greta Mallinson who has a particular focus on discrimination claims and police pensions, and the competent litigator Victoria Schofield.  The ‘excellent’ Karen Murray leads private client matters and is adept at directing clients’ whistleblowing, unfair dismissal and victimisation claims.

Practice head(s):

Sadiq Vohra

Other key lawyers:

Karen Murray; Greta Mallinson; Victoria Schofield


‘Everyone I have worked with at Slater Gordon has been friendly, practical and client-focussed. Karen Murray is an excellent lawyer.’

‘Expertise in police employment matters which has a unique set of circumstances in employment law. Vicky Schofield has a very thorough analysis of legal situation.’ 

‘They are a first-rate team who are very client focused. They have delivered a score of fantastic results for our members and also assisted us with points of law at the drop of a hat. They are very accessible and make our lives so much easier.’

‘Greta Mallinson is an actual genius, the command of the employment law and the specifics of how that works with police regulations and pension regulations is second to none and she is often asked for by name by members as there are a long line of people who she has assisted who are very happy with her.’

‘The firm is committed to representing Claimants. As a team, they endeavour to provide the best possible service to their clients. Greta Mallinson is one of the most thorough, diligent and committed Associates I have ever worked with. She works to ensure the very best result for her client.’

‘From the very beginning of taking my case on this firm continually kept me in the loop with the current position in a way that re-assured me and was easily understandable. My main point of contact throughout was Greta Mallinson and I found her to be readily approachable. Even when she was ‘out of office’ she quickly answered any queries I had. Her personal touch was magnificent.’

‘The firm has very good knowledge of matters arising from working with unions. The members of the team care about getting a good result for the client. Justin Quinton is dedicated to his work and friendly to work with.’

‘Great lawyers working hard for clients. Karen Murray is a very hard-working and client-focused associate.’

Key clients

Martyn Diamond Black

Lindsay Gordon

Work highlights

  • Successfully represented an individual in a number of claims including whistleblowing, constructive unfair dismissal, victimisation and wrongful dismissal.
  • Successfully represented an employee in relation to bullying allegations.
  • Successfully advised an individual on their claim for direct race discrimination, harassment related to race, victimisation and unfair dismissal.

Gorvins Solicitors

Gorvins Solicitors employee and trade union offering is overseen by David Rogers, who leverages over twenty years of sector experience to advise on collective redundancy arrangements, senior executive departures and post-termination restrictions, as well as competently representing clients in Employment Tribunal claims. A key point of differentiation for the group is its sector expertise in maternity and pregnancy discrimination matters, with the ‘excellent’ Amanda Isherwood actively involved in disciplinary processes and settlement negotiations. David is also well versed in issues emerging from complex TUPE arrangements, including negotiating with Trade Union representatives and handling tribunal claims.

Practice head(s):

David Rogers

Other key lawyers:

Amanda Isherwood


‘Gorvins is a well recognised firm in the North West and I personally selected them based on recommendation from friends. They are large in nature but provides a service that is very personalised to you. From the first enquiry right to the end of the service they provided all members of the Gorvins team I interacted with were very pleasant, approachable in nature and professional in their communication and efficient in their process.’

‘Solicitor David Rodgers was excellent all throughout the negotiation process of a settlement agreement he was dealing with on my behalf. He provided me with the right guidance and intel to make the correct decisions. The negotiations were challenging as my employers were based in Belgium but David dealt with the communications professionally in a concise and clear manner with solid evidence to back up the case.’

‘Very quick to respond to initial enquiry and honest interpretation of the situation. Excellent use of audio/video conferencing tools which helped progress things quickly.’

‘Level-headedness in advice given. Kept expectations real and understood the issues surrounding the employment issues.’

‘I find that Amanda Isherwood in particular is very caring and client oriented and will go the extra mile to help them.’

‘Amanda Isherwood stands out as a very competent and caring solicitor doing her utmost to assist her clients. She is an excellent employment lawyer.’

Work highlights

Pearson Solicitors and Financial Advisers Ltd

Pearson Solicitors and Financial Advisers Ltd recently bolstered its capacity for a full-service through several arrivals from Linder Myers in 2022, including team head Alan Lewis. The firm advises on mandates ranging from protective award claims, senior executive exits, and responding to restrictive covenant assertions. Lewis focuses on exit negotiations for individuals, working on cases across, but not limited to, the financial services, legal, real estate and telecommunications sectors; he also has experience in unfair dismissal and discrimination cases, as well as acting for collectives during redundancy disputes. Co-head Susan Mayall handles post-termination restrictions and TUPE transfer matters across a wide breadth of sectors, while Ben Williams, has a particular focus on unfair dismissal and discrimination matters, with experiencing litigating in Employment Tribunal claims.

Practice head(s):

Alan Lewis; Susan Mayall

Other key lawyers:

Ben Williams


‘Alan Lewis is a very professional, experienced and skilled solicitor who also understands the importance of being able to communicate effectively with his clients. He is a man of his word and instils confidence in you when you feel you have lost hope; he is extremely honest, honourable and is straightforward – an thoroughly decent human being and a highly competent solicitor.’

‘Alan Lewis understands what clients need and what they are going through – he knows his area of expertise inside and out and back to front.’

‘Alan Lewis is extremely approachable and affable. When I have had occasion to contact him with work difficulties, he always responds quickly, and demonstrates a swift grasp of the issues and explains things in a clear and straightforward way.’

Key clients

Sarah Williams and others v Metamorph Group Services Limited

Diane Belshaw and others v De Group/Testerworld Limited

Spencer Hill and others v Turbine Efficiency Limited

Stephanie Austin and others v Mid Group Services Limited

Kim Anderson and others v Roadbridge UK Limited

Work highlights

  • Acted for a director of a big 4 bank in claims for unfair dismissal and breach of contract, successfully achieving re-engagement with full back pay and payment of substantial legal costs.
  • Successfully achieving protective awards in the Employment Tribunal for substantial numbers of employees made redundant by multiple companies including Roadbridge UK Limited, Turbine Efficiency Limited and Bleikers Smokehouse.
  • Acting for substantial numbers of employees affected by the high-profile collapse of Metamorph Law and the subsequent SRA intervention for claims for protective awards.


Adding a Liverpool office in late 2022 to bolster its Cheshire and Manchester offerings, Primas is geared to act on the full range of contentious and non-contentious employment matters. The team has established strenght in senior executive departures in the financial, health, retail and transport sectors, including responding to breach of restrictive covenant claims. David Walton fronts the practice, and utilises his litigation experience to act on whistleblowing, discrimination, and unfair dismissal claims in Employment Tribunals. He is also knowledgeable of employee rights during periods of management and business restructuring. The ‘diligent’ Danielle Ayres is a leading player in the evolving pregnancy and maternity rights landscape, guiding clients through grievance processes and maternity discrimination claims. Ayres also has extensive experience in both reaching settlements in mediation and representing clients in the Employment Appeal Tribunal and Court of Appeal.

Practice head(s):

David Walton

Other key lawyers:

Danielle Ayres


‘The practice is extremely efficient and reliable. Danielle Ayres is diligent with caseloads, knowledgeable regarding discrimination laws and compassionate regarding sensitive issues.’

‘What makes this practice unique is their professional and brilliant employees. They are very clear in next steps, invoicing, and treating you with the upmost respect at all times. My solicitor is very knowledgeable in regard to the law and her communication skills are exceptional. I have found all employees to be friendly & they immediately make you feel at ease. It is very easy to pay invoices and to contact the Primas firm.’

My solicitor Danielle Ayres cannot be praised enough by me. From the moment I spoke with her, she was kind, compassionate, understanding, professional and immediately made me feel at ease. I can honestly say Danielle gave me the strength and courage to continue with my legal complaint. She is clearly very intelligent and knowledgeable within the law.’

Work highlights

  • Individual representation in senior/executive exit scenarios.
  • Individual representation in cases involving allegations of breach of restrictive covenants.
  • Group settlement agreement instructions in the context of employer voluntary redundancy exercises.

Thompsons Solicitors LLP

Thompsons Solicitors LLP acts for both trade unions and individuals referred to the firm by unions, representing clients on claims regarding unfair dismissal and discrimination. The group also demonstrate capability regarding estoppel and rectification issues. Team head Neil Guss has a particular focus on disability and trade union discrimination, as well as representing multiple clients in claims relating to redundancy processes.

Practice head(s):

Neil Guss


‘Experts in employment law on behalf of workers.’

‘Expertise and experience in employment law and in the procedure of employment tribunals.’

‘Large firm with capability to handle significant volume of cases. They are happy to push the boundaries creating new law and are unafraid to run marginal cases.’


Key clients












Work highlights