Employment in North West

Brabners LLP

Brabners LLP has longstanding relationships with many prominent companies and charities, providing comprehensive advice on a range of employment law matters. In 2020, the team aided clients in responding to issues raised by COVID, including accessing the furlough scheme, managing large-scale redundancies and restructurings, and the impact of restrictions on their businesses. Lydia Edgar is recognised for her work in the sports sector, advising governing bodies and Premier League football clubs on employment issues. Edgar co-leads the practice with Nick Campbell, who is valued by clients for his 'technical ability, market knowledge and ease of manner'. Kate Venables, Joe Shelston, and Simon Whitehead are the other key partners in the team, with Whitehead leading the practice's work in the recruitment sector.

Practice head(s):

Lydia Edgar; Nick Campbell

Other key lawyers:

Kate Venables; Joe Shelston; Simon Whitehead

Testimonials

‘They combine attention to detail, very high standards, and great expertise on the law with a real human touch. They fight their clients’ corner with real passion, and genuinely care for their clients. I would always recommend them to someone seeking high quality legal advice from lawyers who also care.’

‘As a client of the team I can say that it is the standout employment team in the North West. They have great lawyers and go the extra mile, are proactive and provide great added value. No job is too big or small. They are hugely supportive of clients. They run extremely informative sector forums. They have real strength in depth.’

‘The employment team at Brabners work collaboratively with us as a client, more than ever during the past year over the lockdown period; they want to get into the detail of what will most benefit our business while reinforcing the key legal points to note. Often the advice draws on more innnovative work they have been able to do with other clients and that we could consider. In the past year we have worked over issues from employee safety to redundancy consultation. The pace of response is above what we have experienced elsewhere and re-evaluating work is always done without fuss. Clear, pragmatic advice at pace to match our changing needs.’

‘The Employment Team at Brabners have a great understanding of our Company having worked with the business for a number of years. They provide a professional service across a broad range of employment topics and have expertise across them all. They collaborate well with each other and with all members of our HR Team. Their advice and legal support is accurate, timely, and always results in the best outcome for the business. No matter who you speak to in the employment team, they give a consistent outstanding service.’

‘The real stand out is Nick Campbell. Whether acting on behalf of institutional respondents, SMEs or Senior Executive Claimants, his technical ability, market knowledge and ease of manner, renders him more than able to deliver results. His undoubted technical competence is accompanied by a client focus which has proved time and again to be a winning combination. He makes it personal: equipping the client with a strategy at the earliest stage; thereafter ensuring that the strategy is delivered. The ‘go to’ lawyer for senior executives in a fix or employers looking for clear leadership.’

‘Brendan McAleese is our regular contact in Brabners, he is always available to us and has an outstanding array of knowledge across all areas of employment law. Brendan is very thorough in his advice supporting our business decisions and alerting us to levels of risk. Brendan has also provided excellent training for our management team and maintains an authoritarian and measured approach assessing all the options to any issue we raise. Nick Campbell is our senior contact, he has taken time to understand our business and is a great support when called upon, responding quickly and efficiently to any request. Both Brendan and Nick are very friendly and supportive to our business and our department, we wouldn’t be without them.’

‘Joseph Shelston and Kate Venables are really commercially aware, their experience in their field coupled with their understanding of business culture, values, management structures, internal policies and working practices means that their legal expertise is always exceptional no matter what the complexity of the situation. Joseph is well networked, has a clear and connecting communication style and is a trusted partner to our business. Kate is passionate about her role, collaborates well, is a role model for her associates, and is always available to her client providing a professional service tailored to our needs.’

‘Lydia Edgar is a consummate professional. She truly cares and goes more than the extra mile to get the job done. She ensures a positive outcome every time.’

Key clients

JD Wetherspoon plc

Liverpool Football Club & Athletic Grounds Ltd

The Very Group

Leicester City Football Club

Peel Ports Ltd

Riverside Group Limited (Housing Association)

Sunbelt Rentals Limited

The Employment Agents Movement

Chase de Vere IFA Group plc

Lawn Tennis Association

FCSA

Leyland Trucks Limited

Shaw Trust

Work highlights

  • Delivering support to its 2000+ clubs and coaches by way of a dedicated helpline. In the last 12 months our support was extended to provide vital COVID-19 related support as clubs and coaches suffered as a result of Government restrictions on their activities and lockdowns Also advised the LTA in its capacity as a National Governing Body, in the preparation of policies and supporting documentation for use by its clubs and coaches in these challenging times.
  • Advising J D Wetherspoon Plc (43,000 employees) on employment law matters as the Company faced into a year of unprecedented challenge arising from the impact of the pandemic and the implementation of national lockdowns / tier systems throughout the year on all of its pub and hotel operations.
  • Providing substantial support to Nexus and Assist (who provide flexible employment solutions to blue chip companies throughout the UK supplying over 10,000 workers, employees and contractors at peak) on a number of matters as the businesses continue to grow.

DAC Beachcroft LLP

DAC Beachcroft LLP's employment practice has an enviable client base, acting for multinationals and public companies in sectors including logistics, leisure, and telecommunications. In addition to providing advice on issues such as TUPE transfers, senior executive departures, and trade union disputes, the team is noted for its work on matters involving the gig economy. Philip Harman is particularly experienced in this area; elsewhere, Deborah Hely specialises in acting for logistics and healthcare clients. Associate Paul Corris is praised by clients for his 'direct and very helpful' advice.

Practice head(s):

Philip Harman; Deborah Hely

Other key lawyers:

Paul Corris

Testimonials

‘For me it isn’t just about the high level of advice that they offer but also the time that they invest in providing training to our organisation and the online portal that they have developed that provides guides and templates that we can use whenever we need to. ’

‘Paul Corris is my main point of contact and I feel that he really takes the time to understand the full details regarding the case being discussed. The advice that he provides is always clear and easy to understand. When giving advice, where possible, he provides a number of options and ensures that the risks and benefits of each of these options are clear so that we can make an informed decision. ’

‘The team is prepared to listen and help you with the uniqueness of your business and understand the way it operates and the unusual dimensions at play when trying to deal with complex situations.’

‘Paul Corris is professional in the way he approaches issues, seems to ask the right questions and gets to properly understand the situation and helps you to work your way through and conclusion. His advice is direct and very helpful and has clarity in the advice he is giving and he avoids ifs, buts and maybes which really helps when trying to explain complex situations with senior managers within your business who don’t have a depth of experience in legal frameworks.’

‘No matter when, the team is always available to help and if our contact isn’t available another member of the team will always do their very best to help us.’

‘Our contact has come to know our company and business needs really well alongside how we like to operate, and will always give the best advice which applies whilst helping us continue to operate in the best way possible. We can choose whether to contact them by phone or email or both. No matter how small or large our problem, or if we have asked for the advice before, they are always willing to help. They are always knowledgeable and friendly whilst maintaining their professionalism.’

Key clients

Bentley Motors Limited

British Telecom PLC

DHL

Chubb Insurance

Information Commissioner’s Office

McDonald’s

National Union of Students

Places for People Group Limited

The Royal British Legion

Unilever PLC

Williams Lea Limited

Tag Europe Limited

Virgin Care Group

Salford Van Hire

BUPA Dental

Norbord Europe

Bolton NBC

DHL Group

Work highlights

  • Providing McDonald’s Restaurants with day-to-day advice on employment and immigration matters and assist with the defence of employment tribunals. In particular, this year we have: Provided strategic advice on the implications of Covid-19 including the furloughing of employees.
  • Advised Williams Lea and Tag Europe on the legal and practical employment law issues connected to the Covid 19 pandemic across 15 jurisdictions.
  • Defended DHL in a complex claim of disability discrimination for a claimant based at a key automotive client site. This was a strategically important case as the tribunal were asked to consider the client’s use of Key Performance Indicators applied to significant numbers of employees and the client’s approach to managing attendance on site.

DLA Piper

DLA Piper stands out for the broad nature of its employment practice, handling TUPE transfers, tribunal disputes, reorganisations, and the employment aspects of corporate transactions. The team is adept at handling complex, sensitive issues, such as industrial relations, internal investigations, and ensuring that diversity and inclusion initiatives comply with employment law. The Manchester team frequently collaborates with the firm's offices around the globe to advise on cross-border matters such as reorganisations. Alan Chalmers leads the practice, and is frequently instructed on executive departures, whistleblowing and discrimination claims. Legal directors Helen Hall and Emma Mills and senior associate George Nicholson are also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Alan Chalmers

Other key lawyers:

Helen Hall; Emma Mills; George Nicholson

Testimonials

‘The DLA employment team is part of the wider team supporting our company. I am extremely impressed not only with the calibre of the advisors, but also with the knowledge and understanding of the specific requirements of our business. It is the combination of skills and drive to support the business in delivering its objectives that reinforces the strengths in the service.’

‘There are few employment law teams quite like DLA. They feel like old friends but in the most professional way. I’ve worked with other law firms who simply can’t translate law into practice but the DLA team understand the realities of the working world. They give practical advice, and most importantly they listen to what you need, rather than just tell you the law. They’ve adapted to remote working and in fact it’s even better ‘meeting’ over Teams given we aren’t local to DLA. The training they provide to our people managers is superb too.’

‘Emma Mills is a first class employment lawyer.’

‘Helen Hall is a brilliant lawyer. She manages clients fantastically. She is across the detail and is a pleasure to work with as part of a team.’

‘The personal touch is always there with DLA. They genuninely care about their clients and preparing them to reduce legal risk in their business. All solicitors in DLA are good, however special mentions go to Helen Hall and Jenna Clarke. Helen is exceptional at her role. She is incredibly responsive and has an incredible talent of providing practical advice. Recently Helen conducted an independent review of a complex disability and performance management case in our organisation, meeting employees that believed HR should have done more. This is not something I’ve ever done before, but it enabled our employees to understand from someone independent that the law placed high obligations on HR/the employer. Helen has many large clients, yet knows our business inside out so we always feel special. I cannot recommend Helen highly enough. Jenna Clarke is a great lawyer, with up to date case law that she uses to inform us on tribunal guidance. However, she has a talent in training people managers on basic employment law. Jenna’s delivery was highly rated by all of our people managers, yet her careful preparation, meant that she left them under no illusion of their responsibility and of the need for them to not put the business at risk.’

‘Emma Mills has demonstrated not only strong technical competence but a genuine desire to work with the in-house legal team to support it in the delivery of the mission.’

‘Helen Hall is an expert in HR law and it’s practice. She helps employers to think about the consequences of decisions longer term.’

‘They are always responsive and commercially focused to achieve the best possible outcome for their client.’

Key clients

ABB Limited

Akzo Nobel

Budweiser Brewing Group (AB InBev)

ATPI Group

Canon (UK & Europe)

Compass Minerals Group

Dixons Carphone plc

Elopak UK Limited

International Hotels Group plc (IHG)

Johnson Matthew plc

Kelly Group

Magnox Limited

Northumbrian Water Group

Reach plc

SDL Limited

Sealed Air Limited

Sodexo

Stericycle

The Co-operative Bank Limited

Verna Group International

Wave Utilities

Work highlights

  • Provided employment and data privacy legal and strategic advice on Adevinta Iberica SLU’s D&I project across 20 jurisdictions in Europe, America, Asia, Australia and Africa.
  • Acted for General Optical Council in the successful defence of wide ranging and extremely challenging discrimination, victimisation and harassment claims in the Employment Tribunal.

DWF

DWF is highly experienced in acting for household name clients in both contentious and non-contentious employment matters. The practice's employment tribunal work includes representing clinets union-backed claims and discrimination, and it also handles internal investigations into alleged employee wrongdoing. In 2020, the team was active in helping large multinationals respond to COVID-19, advising on the furlough scheme and the closure of stores. Joanne Frew leads the team from the Manchester office, where Kirsty Rogers is another key partner. Tim Scott in Liverpool is also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Joanne Frew

Other key lawyers:

Kirsty Rogers; Tim Scott; Sinead Donnelly

Testimonials

‘The Employment Law team have provided a proactive and pragmatic support service over the past 12 months. In a period where being responsive has been essential, the team have provided immediate insights, information, links to other key professionals, and where information does not exist, opportunity for discussion and creation of options from first principles. Employee Relations issues have been dealt with pragmatically and COVID 19 challenges from lock down, work from home, shielding, testing, vaccinations and return to work have all been fully supported by this uniquely blended and highly responsive team.’

‘Kirsty Rogers continues to provide exceptional client support for all employment related issues. Dominic Watkins has been a responsive source of information around COVID and has provided insights and discussion to guide our thinking on key areas. Simon Belfield also provided helpful advice around vulnerable individuals. Kirsty stands out as having invested time in understanding our business and thinking about the best other colleagues to provide appropriate support. She is never shy of looking for someone more experienced in the matter in hand if this is not her area of direct expertise and her judgement is highly valued.’

‘The team, in particular Tim Scott, are extremely responsive and willing to deal with both large employment issues and matters of clarification.’

‘I work with Tim Scott and have for many years. He is adept at tailoring advice to what is asked and pragmatic. Tim’s style is laid back and pouts you at ease and he makes himself readily available when needed.’

‘Tim Scott and his team are very knowledgeable in the area of employment law. They are very professional and always able to help regardless of how complex the case is. The DWF Team work alongside my HR team to manage any complex tribunals. We work in partnership with the team to achieve an outcome that is satisfactory to our businesss. ’

‘We work closely with Tim Scott and Jamie Campbell at DWF both are very friendly, knowledgeable, articulate and gives me confidence in the advice that I receive. ’

Key clients

Dixons Carphone Warehouse Plc

10X Technologies Services Ltd

Ocado Retail Limited

BT

Travelers Insurance

Munnelly Group plc

adidas

Watkin Jones Group plc

Finsbury Food Group plc

Newsquest Media Group

Lloyds of London

LJMU

Serco

Lifeways

Allvotec Limited

Impellam

Chemring Group PLC

SGS United Kingdom

Work highlights

  • Advising Munnelly Group of Companies in relation to compatibility of worker status under the Employment Rights Act 1996 and the status of contractors for employment law and tax law purposes under the Construction Industry Scheme (CIS).
  • Engaged by Society of Lloyds to roll out an education programme on Culture and Non Financial Behaviour including obligations and consequences of businesses following numerous damaging news articles, various whistleblowing and harassment complaints and scrutinisation by the regulators.
  • Providing Serco an innovative virtual secondment arrangement to cover an in-house employment counsel role, providing great cost efficiency and more senior level support for the client whilst enabling DWF to flex up or down the available resource as required.

e3 employment law LLP

Boutique employment firm e3 employment law LLP advises clients on complex and sensitive matters ranging from trade union disputes to whistleblowing claims. The practice is jointly led by Simon Ost, Dan Bickerstaffe, and Nick Jones, all of whom have many years of experience in employment law. Bickerstaffe is noted for his work on TUPE transactions, while Ost is frequently instructed on collective labour matters. Jones is praised as 'dedicated, conscientious, diligent and extremely knowledgeable' with a broad practice. Associate Jenny Walker is another name to note, with experience in employment tribunal litigation.

Practice head(s):

Simon Ost; Dan Bickerstaffe; Nick Jones

Other key lawyers:

Jenny Walker

Testimonials

‘I feel the no jargon approach really sets e3 apart from the rest. I feel like I am spoken to as a human being and not as a fellow legal person. This takes away a lot of stress from me. The advice is clear, concise and very well balanced. Often with lawyers it can be extremely impersonal but I feel e3 took the time to understand us as a business, how our people work, how our management work and I have never had this approach from elsewhere. They understand the needs and wants of us as a business and don’t just approach us with advice on matters that is bullish and unhelpful. I find the proactiveness of them with advice and awareness of government schemes has been fantastic, they make sure we are aware of incentives rather than waiting for us to ask about something that probably would never cross our desk normally.’

‘A strong and focused employment boutique handling some of the most complex and high value employment work in the region. Strong pedigree from the partners and high levels of partner engagement in case matters.’

‘A tremendous grasp of the subject matter and a very practical and commercial approach.’

‘The team combine outstanding legal knowledge, a sharp focus on the client’s goals and a really strong organisational insight which consistently provides timely and pragmatic legal advice.’

‘Simon Ost is a brilliant legal advisor. His deep knowledge, broad experience and thoughtful approach combined with his insight into human behaviour are a unique and powerful combination that means he consistently provides relevant and measured advice. I have no doubt that Simon will help me navigate any complex employee relations issues carefully and considerately to a successful conclusion.’

‘Dan Bickerstaffe has supported the business for many years. He completely understands the business and our people. He is always quick to respond to any query and provides advise that is straightforward, easy to understand and that fits with our organisational culture. The strong working relationships that have evolved as a result of the additional investment Dan puts in, are invaluable; not only with the team, but with key stakeholders throughout our business. Even during these unprecedented times, when demand must have been at an all time high, we always received an exceptional level of support. I couldn’t be more thankful.’

‘I work with Dan Bickerstaffe. His advice is pragmatic and commercial. He always gives me workable, carefully considered solutions together with risk analysis in terms that I can easily understand and convey to stakeholders in my business. He is extremely responsive and does not over-promise or under-deliver in his service. I know that I can give Dan a real deadline and he will always meet or exceed that deadline. In short, Dan is a trusted advisor.’

‘Nick Jones has been by my side for many years. He is dedicated, conscientious, diligent and extremely knowledgeable. I don’t need him every day or every week, but when I do he ensures I am given the time and attention my case requires. Beyond that he is also very clear on his advice ensuring I know the strengths of each matter as well as the risks and downsides.’

Key clients

BASF Plc

Elior UK Plc

Scapa Group Plc

On The Beach Group Plc

EnerSys Limited

Mitsubishi Chemical UK Limited

MAN Energy Solutions UK Limited

Great Bear Distribution

WEPA UK Limited

Leonard Curtis Business Solutions Group

Service for the Aged

Adaptive Mobile Security Limited

Work highlights

  • Providing the fullest possible range of advice and support to the HR, in-house legal and senior management team of an international engineering business in connection with restructuring proposals resulting in the decision to close an important and historic high profile regional facility and the implementation of that decision.
  • Providing advice and support to a global contract catering and support services business in connection with its urgent nationwide response following the national lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic, included rapidly interpreting details of the various support schemes introduced by the Government and, in particular, the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.
  • Advising Sage upon and assisting with all aspects of a high profile industrial relations dispute involving an application for statutory recognition and strike action which is (i) positioned by the union as a test case for the care sector, (ii) involves a variety of traditional and modern strategies, and, (iii) is supported by various, often prominent, labour politicians.

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP's Manchester office has a broad practice in employment law, covering contentious and non-contentious matters. The team is active in employment tribunal claims brought by individuals and groups of employees; it also stands out for its work on matters involving trade unions. The practice is frequently instructed by clients from the higher education sector. Diane Gilhooley is a key figure in the Manchester practice, and also serves as global head of the firm's HR and pensions team. Naeema Choudry is an experienced advocate in employment tribunals; Michael Thompson is also recommended. Michael Burns departed the practice in September 2020, joining Addleshaw Goddard.

Practice head(s):

Paul Cotton

Other key lawyers:

Diane Gilhooley; Naeema Choudry; Michael Thompson; Laura D’Arcy

Key clients

EDF Energy Limited

United Utilities Group Plc

RPS Group Plc

Equality and Human Rights Commission

International Nuclear Services and Pacific Nuclear Transport Limited

West Midlands Trains Limited

University of Bradford

Manchester Metropolitan University

Sheffield Hallam University

Harper Adams University

London South Bank University

Cardinal Newman College

Loughborough University

Middlesex University

Warburtons Limited

Sellafield Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised a chain of high street retail stores on threatened litigation by workforce following non-payment of annual discretionary bonus then successfully defended multiple-claimant Employment Tribunal claim for payment of the bonus.
  • Advised a retailer on calculation of holiday pay following European cases (Williams v British Airways) in particular not including bonus arising from team performance. Now defending Employment Tribunal action led by trade union on behalf of c. 1500 employees.
  • Advised Eutelsat SA (a listed company in Paris and one of the world’s leading providers of commercial satellite services) on the employment aspects of its acquisition of the European satellite broadband business –Bigblu Broadband PLC.

Hill Dickinson LLP

Hill Dickinson LLP stands out for its work in the healthcare space, particularly for NHS trusts, and also acts for a range of other public bodies and private companies. The firm’s matters include the employment aspects of transactions, restructurings and redundancies, and disputes including allegations of discrimination. The practice is also highly active in investigations, with Caroline Prosser leading on this work. Elsewhere, Michael Wright specialises in healthcare work, and Kerstie Skeaping and Jeff Middleton boast decades of experience in employment law. David Parry acts for a number of private sector clients on contentious and non-contentious matters, including advising on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

Practice head(s):

Jeff Middleton; David Parry; Kerstie Skeaping; James Williams; Michael Wright; Luke Green

Other key lawyers:

Caroline Prosser; Luke Green

Testimonials

‘The team are always available, any day or time. The team have developed a HR hub whereby we have access to workshops and training with others and are able to network.’

‘Luke Green understands our business and how we work with our people, leading to advice that is not only legally sound but also in line with our company values and culture.’

‘Always responsive and understand the most complex issues quickly and effectively.’

‘Hill Dickinson have a strong employment team in Manchester and are very receptive to providing advice quickly and in a commercial way readily understood.’

‘David Parry is very commercial and provides sound advice in sometimes highly sensitive negotiations. Jeff Middleton is also very robust and sure footed on disputed matters.’

Key clients

BBC

Co-op

Iceland Foods Limited

Stobart Rail Limited

Britvic Soft Drinks

Peel Group Management Limited

Redde Northgate plc

The Book Service (Penguin Random House)

The Charity Commission

Grant Thornton UK LLP

dnata Travel (part of Emirates Group)

Health Education England

NHS England

The Christie NHS Foundation Trust

Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust

Mid Cheshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust

Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust

Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

University Hospital of Derby and Burton

Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust

Cheshire & Wirral Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust

Trilanco Limited

Vynova

GEFCO UK

Arrow XL

Myriad Genetics

FRP Advisory LLP

Caldic (UK)

G2 Speech UK

Oldham Council

Geraud UK Ltd

City of Liverpool College

HE Simm

Partylite

Travel Republic

Odeon

Work highlights

  • Advised on the implementation of the Nightingale Hospital Yorkshire Humber and Nightingale Hospital North East, which had huge ramifications for the nation’s fight against Covid.
  • Advised St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust regarding serious allegations of sexual assault and harassment in the workplace (which ultimately resulted in the conviction of the individual concerned).
  • Advised Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, as part of their coronavirus response planning, regarding the employment issues arising from its ‘clean shaven’ policy (designed to ensure PPE fits correctly).

Squire Patton Boggs

Squire Patton Boggs is adept at advising prominent multinationals on employment matters of substantial reputational importance. These include conducting investigations into allegations of misconduct and institutional racism, as well as representing employers facing discrimination claims in tribunals. Other areas of work include TUPE, national minimum wage compliance, and executive departures. The practice also works alongside the firm's offices around the world to advise on global matters such as multijurisdictional restructurings. Practice head Alison Treliving is highly experienced in complex, cross-border work, while Bryn Doyle has a broad practice acting for prominent clients, particularly in the retail sector.

Practice head(s):

Alison Treliving

Other key lawyers:

Bryn Doyle; James Pike

Testimonials

‘The level and depth of expertise within Squire Patton Boggs is exceptional which is really helpful when you have a wide breadth of issues from IR35, Covid, restructuring, employment tribunals and NMW audits. I find that Squires have insightful proactive updates and advice for clients, and as well as specific issues you may work with them on, I value the level, depth and number of free webinars on topics that are really useful for HR and legal professionals.’

‘I think the biggest stand out factor for me is you don’t feel like you are working with an external partner, they feel like and act like an extension of your own organization which helps you feel secure in the knowledge they will always push and advise for the best commercial and legal outcome for you. They partner and act like an extension of your business. I also think the biggest stand out on all the individuals I have worked with at Squires is their level of expertise balanced perfectly with pragmatism. It’s not uncommon, or unfair to suggest often with lawyers they “sit on the fence” and you can come away frustrated not knowing best next steps, just the risks, and often a more pessimistic view. I find in my dealings with Squires that they are objective, factual, balanced and give you an honest and practical view of the issues and how to proceed.’

‘The team I partner with are very professional, do not push constantly for further projects but balance this and therefore I return each time for advice and support. It is the lawyers we partner with that make the difference at Squires.’

‘I have partnered with Squires for some years, the main point of contact is Bryn Doyle. I have found Bryn to be informative, supportive, balanced, and has been outstanding in his support to myself and the company.

‘The team is very responsive and provides pragmatic, well thought through advice at a reasonable cost. They are our go to for litigation and are adept at handling tribunal claims in a cost effective manner, balancing the need to properly defend a case with the need to take a sensible, cost conscious approach.’

‘The team has high quality associates/juniors who can be trusted to lead tribunal work with minimal supervision from seniors and in an efficient way. ’

‘The team are experienced, quick to respond and commercial in their approach as well as being personable and keen to learn about our business and how they can best work alongside us. They are not afraid to give frank advice or to take a robust line in litigation. They have developed an online portal to assist with litigation case as well as spend management which in a fast moving business information that is key for us to be able to easily access. SPB also provide us with a named contact for billing and invoicing.’

‘Bryn Doyle is always responsive, available and commercial in his advice. Bryn has a great deal of experience and is always on top of current Tribunal approaches and evolving issues in the employment law space which has been invaluable over the past year. Jane Saunders is a clear and considered lawyer who really listens and provides concise advice.’

Key clients

CBRE

Tesco Plc

Superdrug Stores Plc

Gazprom

Ineos

Molson Coors

Burberry Limited

McColl’s Retail Plc

Vodafone Group Plc

Pets at Home Plc

Roadchef

BDO Services Limited

Sweco

Wells Fargo Capital Finance (UK) Limited

The Perfume Shop

Savers Health and Beauty Limited

Belcan LLC

Cardtronics

TransUnion

ThinkMoney Group

Tom James International

Work highlights

  • Acted for UKFast in carrying out a high profile and delicate indepth investigation in relation to allegations of serious misconduct against the organisation’s CEO founder alongside a review of the organisation’s policies and procedures relating to whistleblowing and harassment.

TLT

In addition to advising on day-to-day employment issues, TLT acts for employers in tribunal claims, trade union issues, and reorganisations. In 2020, the practice was heavily active in issues related to COVID-19, aiding clients in accessing the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme as well as continuing their operations in a manner compliant with COVID regulations. The team’s client base includes high-profile companies, particularly in the retail sector. The practice is led by Liz Cotton, Paula Cole, and Ed Cotton, all of whom handle contentious and non-contentious employment matters. Liz Cotton has particular experience in advising boards on issues such as restructurings and trade union relations, while Ed Cotton is praised for the close relationships he develops with clients.

Practice head(s):

Paula Cole; Liz Cotton; Ed Cotton

Testimonials

‘A pro with TLT is to have direct contact with the solicitor. The solicitors are very accessible and I always get prompt replies.’

‘My main contact at TLT is Liz Cotton. She is a very keen solicitor who is eager to help me.’

‘We continue to use TLT as the people are brilliant. They are very commercial, they take the time to understand our business and our aims, so any advice is reflective of this. They are very direct, they do not convolute the advice, it is provided in terms we understand. They are trusted advisors, whose reputation across our business is excellent. ’

‘They are very direct, they do not convolute the advice, it is provided in terms we understand. Ed Cotton in particular stands out, he has a very good understanding of our business and has made the time to develop a relationship with each of our Directors. We consider Ed is genuinely trying to help our business, not increase his fees by drawing issues out, so we trust his views without question. Ed will always return a call regardless of the time of day or night. ’

‘Each time I email a query to my contact the response is within a few hours and if he is busy or on annual leave then a colleague will answer instead. Advice is always clear and very helpful. Billing is not each month – they make you feel like giving you advice is more important than billing you the hours. ’

‘Ed Cotton and his team make me feel like I am the priority. Questions are answered swiftly and clearly. I always know that they are there when I need them.’

‘Excellent knowledge of the sector, strong capable team, good use of technology with a client interface and on line portal’

‘Extremely responsive and knowledgeable partners and colleagues with excellent knowledge of the sector.’

Key clients

Boohoo.com UK Limited

TJ Morris Limited t/a Home Bargains

ShoeZone Limited

Well Pharmacy (formerly Co-operative Pharmacy)

Nichols plc

4Fashions Ltd

Servoca plc

University of Central Lancashire

Bombardier Transportation

Ultimate Products plc

Auden Group

Finning UK & Ireland Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised a national grocer in relation to defending an employment tribunal claim for disability discrimination and unfair dismissal.
  • Provided advice to 4 Fashions Limited in relation to complex contractual issues including lay offs/short time working, utilisation of the CJRS scheme, furlough/flexi furlough, treatment of holidays and carry over, and redundancy. We also advised in relation to consultation and wider health and safety obligations, including implementing safe ways of working during the pandemic.

Addleshaw Goddard

Following a period of turnover in the team, Addleshaw Goddard's employment practice is now led by the experienced Michael Burns, who joined in September 2020 from Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP. Under Burns, the Manchester office collaborates with the the firm's offices in Leeds and London to represent employers in tribunal claims, assist on restructurings and redundancies, and provide employment support for corporate transactions. Legal directors Kate McGough and Victoria Davies are other key contacts in the team, specialising in transaction-related employment matters and litigation respectively.

Practice head(s):

Michael Burns

Other key lawyers:

Kate McGough; Victoria Davies

Testimonials

‘Real depth of experience of handling complex, director level employment matters. Excellent on the detail but also able to provide ‘big picture’ message to senior stakeholders. Always accessible and very user friendly. ’

‘Victoria Davies stood out as being able to blend detailed case knowledge with sensitive stakeholder engagement. I always felt 100% comfortable putting her in front of senior leaders in the business; she handles her brief with exceptional professionalism.’

‘Michael Burns is an excellent technical lawyer, highly experienced in the field who can always be relied upon to provide sound, commercial advice. Andrew Moore is an experienced and robust advocate.’

‘The team at AG are very keen to learn more about our business and how we operate. They like to understand the bigger picture and advise accordingly. We are currently working very closely with them on a number of innovations to enable us to work even more efficiently and they are committed to supporting on this. ’

‘Excellent availability, reliable and solid operational support to counsels, so they can focus on advisory. ’

‘Highly professional, sound, reliable and a joy to work with.’

‘The employment team at Addleshaw Goddard provides very practical and commercial employment law advice which is easy to understand and follow for both in-house legal practitioners and HR professionals alike.’

‘Michael Burns is a commercial, transparent and no nonsense advocate that is always available to discuss any employment matter arising. He has exceptional industry knowledge and takes the time to also understand the mechanics of the company in which I work. I trust Michael completely to give me sound, honest and timely advice. Michael has great communication skills and a willingness to listen that gives the client the confidence and reassurance that their case matters. Michael works alongside an excellent associate Andrew Moore. The two make a highly competent team that are skilled in all employment matters.’

Key clients

Co-operative Group Limited

British Airways plc

BP plc

Michelin Tyre Plc

Primark Stores Limited

Merseytravel

THG Holdings plc

Network Rail Infrastructure Limited

J Murphy & Sons Limited

Turtle Wax Limited

Lancashire County Cricket Club

William Hare Group Limited

Morris Homes Limited

City Facilities Management Holdings (UK) Ltd

William Hill Organization Limited

Sharps Bedrooms Limited

Work highlights

  • Successfully defending Co-op in the Court of Appeal in a high profile senior executive equal pay claim which has been running for over four years.
  • Merseytravel is carrying out an appraisal of alternative bus delivery options for the Liverpool City Region to improve the delivery of bus services in the region and the team is working on the employment aspects of this matter, advising on the TUPE implications of different options
  • Acting for Joint Administrators (BDO) on the sale of D.W. Sports to the Frasers group (formally Sports Direct) advising on all employment and TUPE related matters in respect of a workforce where many employees had been furloughed under the Coronavirus Job Support Scheme.

Analysis Legal

Specialist employment practice Analysis Legal is valued by its clients for its 'commercially-focused and pragmatic advice'. Practice heads Anna Lees and Andrea Paxton have considerable experience in employment matters ranging from disciplinary and grievance processes to TUPE transfers. Consultant Karen Fletcher has a broad practice and longstanding relationships with several of her clients, handling all their employment law needs. Senior consultants Sheila Shaw and Catherine Parkinson are also praised by clients.

Practice head(s):

Anna Lees; Andrea Paxton

Other key lawyers:

Karen Fletcher; Sheila Shaw; Catherine Parkinson

Testimonials

‘I have worked with this legal practice for 3 years and throughout that time have been delighted with their service. Their strengths lie in their responsiveness, their personable team, the commercially-focused and pragmatic advice they provide and the cost effectiveness of the overall model. In addition to the on demand advice they successfully provide, our partnership with them has helped increase the overall skill of the HR team. During my career I have worked with a few other legal firms which have provided valuable services but the cost point of this particular practice does make them stand out.’

‘Analysis Legal is clearly a Partner-led practice and I was always able to communicate directly with Andrea Lees which made the whole process far more efficient and made me feel like a valued client. The level of knowledge and expertise was first class and in keeping with an organisation much larger than Analysis, yet delivered with a much higher degree of personal service.’

‘A really friendly and accessible employment boutique with extensive experience in employment across the team. Easily a match for any employment departments in the North West or indeed regionally and all of the Partners/Consultants have either trained or worked at top tier employment firms in the past. Great expertise at a lower cost than their competitors and very responsive.’

‘Having personally worked directly with Analysis Legal for just over 3 years now, I am constantly impressed by their flexibility, responsiveness and commitment to deliver as promised. They offer a personable and friendly service and particularly through the wide range of challenges faced by business last year were an invaluable resource. They demonstrated agility and professional interpretation of novel times and challenges. High levels of collaboration and customer care consistently demonstrated.’

‘Our stand out experiences have been with Catherine Parkinson and Sheila Shaw. Both individuals have spent time to build a solid understanding of our business and culture. In doing so, their advice is targeted to what will work in our organisation. They are truly considered an extension of our team and provide a service which we rely on. They are also open minded to challenges and talking through potential ways forward with a clear profile of the risk associated and are always clear in their recommendations versus sitting on the fence.’

‘Andrea Paxton was fantastic. Her level of engagement and availability was exceptional. Her advice was clear, commercial and straight to the point yet, when required, with compassion for the stressful situation. I was delighted with the outcome.’

‘Sheila Shaw understands the many intricacies of our business and has developed strong relationships with not just the HR team but many of the managers across the business where she has collaborated well and established high levels of credibility. Her knowledge of the business results in greater efficiencies in service – she understands the subject at hand and offers pragmatic advice for resolution. Particularly in reference to the last 12 months, Sheila has been incredibly flexible and versatile. Able to accommodate and support at short notice balancing our needs with those of her other clients. Clear communication of timescales and regular updates provided, ultimately a high quality service consistently provided.’

‘Andrea Paxton and Anna Lees are a credit to Analysis Legal LLP, both are equally approachable and extremely professional, giving detailed guidance, outlining options and any associated risks. It is always a pleasure working in partnership with them both.’

Key clients

British Canoeing

Peak 15 (formerly Ashcroft Care)

Co-operative Group Limited

Lancashire Eccles Cakes

Champion Insurance Group Limited

Credico

Ceramtec

Living Housing Limited

Stoke City Council

Young Learners UK

Paul Hartmann UK Ltd

Ferranti Technologies Limited

MEC3

Money Expert Ltd

Gee Group Ltd

Alpla UK Limited

Incommunities Group Limited

Waterfields (Leigh) Limited

Cruden Group Limited

Profile Security Services Limited

Tameside College

SpeechWise

Weaver Vale

Flock Development & Research

Merchant Rentals

Families for Children

Community Health Partnerships

Validity Risk Management

SMF Limited

Quintessentially (UK) Ltd

Lloyd Shoe Company

Evolution Aqua Ltd

Vendcare

Select Property

WS transportation

Flyde Executive

Dechra Pharmaceuticals

Azurelope Ltd Rebim

C & E Property Development

Gee Group

Envair Ltd

Jordan Lynch

Walker Lovell

Luna Investment Management

Livemore Equity

Connaught

MDS Global Ltd

Harry Peers Steelwor

Work highlights

  • Representing Eddie Stobart Limited in various tribunal matters.

Gateley Plc

Gateley Plc advises on a wide range of employment matters, including large-scale redundancies, collective consultations, and employment tribunal disputes. The employment practice also frequently works alongside the firm's corporate team to handle the employment aspects of corporate transactions, carrying out due diligence as well as drafting employment documents. Healthcare is an area of focus, as the team has a long-standing relationship with the British Medical Association. Chris Thompson leads the Manchester team as well as the national employment practice, with Stephen Hills also a key contact for both contentious and non-contentious work. Avril England and director Rizwana Ishaq are also names to note; England acts for household name clients, and Ishaq leads on investigations.

Practice head(s):

Chris Thompson

Other key lawyers:

Stephen Hills; Avril England; Rizwana Ishaq; Emma Butterworth

Testimonials

‘Key strength is the practical advice based on sound legal knowledge, balanced with commercial orientation and appreciation for balancing risk’

‘We value the speed of service, the practical nature of advice, and the extraction of implications of law in business contexts. The majority of my contact has been with Avril England, a valued advisor who’s views I trust and appreciated.

‘We have used Gateley for all our advice regarding Sponsorship, employees working abroad and visa information. The advice provided has always been excellent and efficient.’

‘Rizwana Ishaq has been exceptional. She has taken the time to explain complicated legislation and made it seem easy. It has been a challenging year and yet, through it all, Rizwana has always been available to answer our queries and questions. We count ourselves lucky to be working with Rizwana.’

Key clients

Asahi Europe

Big Table Group

Bilfinger Industrial Services (UK) Limited

British Medical Association

Europcar

Lancaster City Council

Manchester City Football Club

Medivet

Stanleybet

Timpsons

Wolverhampton Wanderers Football Club

Work highlights

  • Provided employment law support in relation to Inspired Energy Plc’s acquisition of 60% of Ignite Energy Limited.
  • Provided employment law support in relation to Jobandtalent’s 100% share acquisition of Unique Employment Services Limited.
  • Instructed in this matter to provide employment law support in relation to IWP’s acquisition of IFA (independent financial advisory) firm Hunter Hammond Daniel Associates

JMW Solicitors LLP

JMW Solicitors LLP is adept at assisting employers in responding to sensitive matters such as discrimination claims, executive departures and redundancies. In addition to acting for hospitality, care and manufacturing clients, practice head Paul Chamberlain has noteworthy experience in advising employers from the recruitment sector. The team continued to expand in 2020, with Marcus Difelice joining in September from Brabners LLP. Difelice specialises in employment tribunal disputes and is frequently instructed by clients from the hospitality sector. Ian Tranter and Simon Bloch are also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Paul Chamberlain

Other key lawyers:

Ian Tranter; Simon Bloch; Marcus Difelice

Testimonials

‘Paul Chamberlain has an unrivalled reputation in the recruitment business sector. Ian Tranter is an excellent all rounder with particular expertise in senior executive terminations.’

‘The practice has a good attitude to understanding our business and therefore our needs and requirements. This practice make a good effort to understanding the business and changes that may be affecting our environment and therefore getting to understand the needs and the priorities also as to how we try to manage our people, our culture and behaviours.’

‘The team at JMW work extremely collaboratively together which I find exceptional, we recently had a case that a number of the team dealt with and it felt like the same person was dealing with the case, it required assistance from various team members at JMW every team members was up to scratch with the case and what was going on, never once did I have to repeat myself. It certainly stood out from previous experiences I have had working with other firms having to continually repeat myself.’

‘Personable, engaging, friendly. Willing to collaborate with us on new legislation issues that might affect our industry sector for example, by co-hosting events. They are also agile enough to take a real-world view of cases and react accordingly.’

‘Paul Chamberlain offers an honest, very knowledgeable approach to all matters he has worked with us on and generally with great success, which is reassuring for us. He is also quite unique in how he engages with us as a client, because he has a personable, less stuffy approach and is not afraid to think outside the box to get the right result on a case.’

‘I’ve worked with Paul Chamberlain for 7 years. He is an extremely commercial lawyer, robust in his advice and has no hesitation in challenging my views. I trust him and his advice completely; which is tailored to the situation at the time and the organisation I work for (which Paul knows well).’

‘JMW are trusted partners to our business. Having worked with their partner for a number of years we have built a solid working relationship whereby they understand our business and industry better than anyone else I have come across. They are pragmatic, down to earth and human in approach. ’

‘Marcus Difelice is a partner and our main contact and relationship manager. Having worked with Marcus for a number of years I trust his advice and judgement on employment matters and always appreciates the way he goes out of his way to support whether this be late nights or over a weekend. He also knows the hospitality sector exceptionally well.’

Key clients

Travelodge Hotels

Nando’s

Wagamama

Harvey Nash Group

U&I Group

Challenge TRG

LWC Drinks Limited

Kin + Carta Limited

Green Thumb Limited

Proman

FCSA (Freelancer Contractor and Services Association)

APSCo (Association of Professional Staffing Companies)

Work highlights

  • Assisted client in ensuring that its workforce was eligible for payments under the CJRS (furlough) and obtaining a ruling as such.

Kuit Steinart Levy LLP

Kuit Steinart Levy LLP's varied employment law practice provides advice to clients on day-to-day employment issues and matters such as redundancies and TUPE. The team frequently advises company boards on issues involving senior executives and directors, such as the investigation of allegations and executive departures. While the practice is active across a range of sectors, sports and leisure are two areas of focus. Practice head Kevin McKenna has experience across employment law, while Sally Bird focuses on boardroom disputes. Mark McKeating is another name to note.

Practice head(s):

Kevin McKenna

Other key lawyers:

Sally Bird; Mark McKeating

Testimonials

‘The team have carved their own niche when it comes to supporting owner-managed businesses, and SMEs of all types. They have an innate, genuine understanding of the requirements of this quite unique sector. ’

‘Kevin McKenna – an excellent lawyer, consistently pushing the boundaries of his field – fantastic, business focused advice, and extremely knowledgeable. Mark McKeating – a real rising star, he is very approachable, calm, incisive with his advice and responsive. A safe pair of hands.’

‘Mark McKeating – Mark is the key contact. We have been working with Mark for a number of years now; he understands our business and commercial objectives and we have complete confidence in the advice he gives us. Mark clearly has a deep understanding of this area of law but he also has a wealth of practical experience – he’s “been there and done that” and this means that his advice is always practical as well as legally sound. All parts of our business enjoy working with him.’

‘Kuits as a whole is extremely down to earth and always feels part of your business rather than a separate entity. The practice is welcoming, understanding and highly professional. The difference Kuits had that sets them above any other practice I have worked with the the past is that they have absolute honesty and integrity. You know that what they say has been fully researched, every possible scenario explored and that the support they provide is endless. They work for your business in the truest manner and never feel like they are out to make a quick buck out of cases but offer realistic and honest advice that makes them an integral part of any business. They are also a company that you would aspire to be like. They are modern, diverse, repsectful, put their employees first, and are pushing boundaries where ever possible.’

‘The team we have dealt with at Kuits are commercially astute and provide practical legal guidance and advice and willing to take calculated risks. Quick turnaround on issues and feedback.’

‘We have worked closely with Mark McKeating and James Howarth. They have a practical common sense approach, and have a good understanding of our business. Have good availability for attending meetings at short notice.’

Key clients

Auto Trader

Crown Oil Limited

DW Sports

Handl Group

Harnbury Holdings Limited (trading as San Carlo restaurants)

Maersk Line UK

Mission Mars

Salford City Football Club

Salford Red Devils Rugby League Club

Law by Design Limited

Law by Design Limited stands out for its work acting for NHS trusts, defending them in employment tribunal claims, providing proactive advice on employment policies, and conducting investigations into employment-related issues. The team also acts for private sector employers and employees on contentious and non-contentious employment matters. Sue Morrison leads the practice, while Kirsty MacDonald and Saira Ali are also key contacts. Caroline Shafar left the firm in April 2020, joining Ward Hadaway.

Practice head(s):

Sue Morrison

Other key lawyers:

Kirsty MacDonald; Saira Ali

Testimonials

‘My principal contact (as a QC) has been with Sue Morrison, Managing Director. She struck me as a dynamic, progressive and go-ahead lawyer.’

‘Practical advice, real understanding of the NHS system and t&Cs which makes me confident in the advice given. Friendly team, advice given in clear language which is easy to understand. Accessible, responsive in a timely way.’

‘I have mainly worked with Saira Ali over the last 12 months. Saira is knowledgeable and clear in her advice. She is a trusted colleague and is always professional and practical. Nothing is too much trouble and I always feel like she is partnering with me to resolve issues. She is decisive and her ability to articulate complex risk issues is great.’

Key clients

ARAG Plc

Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust

Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Countess of Chester NHS Foundation Trust

Hydro Aluminium Deeside Limited

Liverpool Women’s NHS Foundation Trust

Dean Trust Academy schools

Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust (Northern Care Alliance)

Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust

LB Europe/Liquibox

Whitfield & Brown (Developments) Ltd.

Myerson Solicitors LLP

Myerson Solicitors LLP provides comprehensive advice across the full spectrum of employment matters, ranging from TUPE transfers and reorganisations to representing clients in employment tribunals. The team's client base includes prominent public companies, and it also has a significant practice providing advice to senior executives on departures. Joanne Evans leads the practice and alongside Joanne Henderson offers decades of experience in employment law. Senior associate Charlotte Gilbert is another name to note; her work in 2020 varied from advising on large-scale reorganisations and collective redundancies, to acting for senior employees in complex tribunal claims.

Practice head(s):

Joanne Evans

Other key lawyers:

Joanne Henderson; Charlotte Gilbert

Testimonials

‘The whole team at Myerson Solicitors LLP are great, really approachable and knowledgeable. We are very often working to tight deadlines and Myerson Solicitors LLP are always there to support and are available to provide support. They have great collaboration within the team, as it is an ease if someone is unavailable there is always someone else to step in and support us.’

‘I have been using Myerson for support with Employment Law for over 10 years now. The reason I think they are unique is they develop more of a partnership approach and really understand how their advice will fit or not with the culture of our company. I always find the advice to be pragmatic and they get the commercial constraints that I have to work within.’

‘Really responsive and client focused. Great value for money and back the client to the hilt. Easy to deal with, good fun and very professional.’

‘Jo Henderson is my main contact. Jo is very good at really listening to your issues and only advising once she has a full picture. She looks at things from angles that we wouldn’t have thought of and I don’t think that is just because of the legal expertise, I mean more in terms of the broader business objectives. She helps me to challenge the thinking in my organisation and often with her support I am able to effect positive decision making in the business. Jo also understands when it is not possible to implement advice and doesn’t overly pressurise if she thinks the business is taking a risk. She will just draw out the likely consequences. Jo is a very calm and measured person so this naturally has a mirror effect when I am dealing with particularly challenging issues. I really value having her support and advice.’

‘Charlotte Gilbert was our main contact and she provided an excellent service throughout the time that we needed legal advice. This included her excellent knowledge and advice. She explained things clearly, talked about options and she definitely understood the nuances of the situation and what different people required in the process e.g. the Chair and the HR Manager would have different questions. She listened very well and was always reassuring and non-judgmental in her communications and her approach. She always made time for us when needed, she understood our demands very well.’

‘Joanne Evans is extremely pragmatic and easy to work with. She takes time to understand a clients objectives and then works to achieve them.’

‘Jo Evans definitely stands out from the competitors. She gives commercial, straightforward advice that clients appreciate. She is highly respected by clients and professionals alike. ‘

Key clients

AQA

Associated Security Solutions

Eastern Airways

Joseph Holt Limited

Kverneland

Stax Trade Centres

TATA Chemicals

Pannone Corporate LLP

Pannone Corporate LLP provides advice to employers on matters ranging from employment tribunal claims to TUPE. Social housing, charities, and retail are sectors of focus for the team, which is also increasingly active in the care sector. The team's contentious work includes matters involving significant reputational risk for clients, such as those related to whistleblowing and allegations of discrimination. Jack Harrington leads the team and has a specialism in TUPE transactions, particularly those related to outsourcing and insourcing. Fiona Hamor leads on much of the practice's contentious work, as well as handling redundancies.

Practice head(s):

Jack Harrington

Other key lawyers:

Fiona Hamor; Stephen Mutch; Tim Hamilton; Katie Kennedy

Testimonials

‘Jack Harrington has been a consistent, flexible and reliable support in dealing with matters. We have developed an open and relaxed style of working as we have got to know each other and his knowledge of our business and our approach to things. This helps to ‘short cut’ a lot of the contextual discussion and we can get straight into the process, advice and options. It allows a direct and straight setting out of things when he knows we need to hear that. The firm has also been able to ink to corporate or GDPR specialists in their team when those skills have been relevant to a matter.’

‘The last 12 months have been challenging for everyone and the team at Pannone have worked creatively to adapt to the ‘new virtual world’. They have maintained ‘service as usual’ and moved updates, webinars and training online providing an essential support to businesses and helping navigate through unchartered Covid territory. ’

‘My primary contact is Jack Harrington – Jack is responsive, accessible and commercial practitioner and works with us, the client, to arrive at the right outcomes for the business. He always has time to talk things through and I never feel rushed or ‘against the clock’. Jack has accommodated ‘physical’ (socially distanced) training to the Exec Team and Board and has had a truly flexible approach throughout the Covid period, which has been greartly appreciated by all. ’

‘The employment team have the ability to make you feel as if you are as important as any other client or issue that you are challenging them with. Access to a partner is always available who will deal with the issue or delegate to a member of the team if needs be. The issue is always dealt with at the correct level of seniority and/or experience and knowledge. They are very friendly and are able to deliver in a very confident but relaxed manor. ’

‘My main point of contact has been Jack Harrington. The advice has always been exceptional and without delay. His team follow his attitude. Katie Kennedy has been especially thorough this year, with the challenges that Covid has brought to employers. If any other issues were needing attention that were not employment law related, then Jack was always available to call to delegate to the relevant people. Tim Hamilton was another Partner who went above and beyond in the advise received. ’

‘Pannone provide regular case law updates and in depth advice on these and other legislation changes may impact our business. They give good evaluation of risk and how to mitigate that risk with a pragmatic approach. In an emergency they have never let us down! ’

‘The team are excellent at communicating with clients, particularly in relation to holidays and cover arrangements. They have robust processes in place for signing off invoices and processing these. They have been particularly helpful in signposting to other areas of their business to provide advice and support with a complex pensions matter – the advice was excellent. Probably the most important part of the relationship we have built with Pannone is the trust and confidence we have in the advice and support and the speed with which they have responded to requests for advice.’

‘Individuals are professional in all their interactions with us and are clearly very experienced and knowledgeable. This enables them to quickly absorb information and provide advice that is thorough and considered. Fiona Hamor has been an excellent partner in some complex matters and is completely reliable and very thorough in her advice.’

Key clients

Rail Gourmet Limited

Select Service Partner UK Limited

SMG Europe Holdings Limited (operators of the Manchester Arena and the Bridgewater Hall)

The Big Life Group

Tradebe Environmental Services Limited

JT International Business Services Limited

Sunrise Senior Living and Gracewell Healthcare

Berwin Rubber Limited

Association of Electrical and Manufacturing Trades (AEMT)

The Right Fuel Card Company

Work highlights

  • Advised on the TUPE implications of the disposal of Talbot & Muir Limited to listed rival Curtis Banks Group Plc.
  • Advising the board of a Supplier to a food manufacturer in relation to the exit of two non-executive directors. The matter concerns complex whistleblowing allegations and disputes over the employment status of the directors.
  • Defending an employment tribunal claim for a large not for profit company in the pharma sector and one of its managers in constructive unfair dismissal, victimisation and sex discrimination.

Pinsent Masons LLP

Pinsent Masons LLP acts for a client base, including household names, in contentious and non-contentious employment matters. The team is particularly active in advising clients from the food and drink and automotive sectors, and also acts for sporting and media organisations, manufacturers, and logistics companies. Neil Black leads the practice and has considerable experience in handling employment tribunal disputes as well as restructurings, TUPE and executive departures. Senior associate Rob Childe is an experienced tribunal advocate and is praised by clients.

Practice head(s):

Neil Black

Other key lawyers:

Rob Childe; Leanne Francis; Jessica Davies

Testimonials

‘The team’s technological capabilities are great – we have a dedicated client portal with automated settlement agreement facility which is maintained by the team and they continue to develop this to help us with more sophisticated reporting on tribunal claims and settlement values. They have also embraced our use of Teams and most recently mastered access to our internal Teams to support with a major project. The team are extremely collaborative and always deliver with confidence and a positive attitude irrespective of seniority and type of work.’

‘Very knowledgeable and experienced team. They have continued to support us excellently and embraced remote working. ’

‘Rob Childe remains our contact when we need him. He provides excellent advice not just to us in the UK but our parent company in Germany and remains proactive with excellent attention to detail.’

‘The practice seems have a no nonsense approach. The way in which they deliver advise is done very much in layman’s manner which helps a business owner. It seems as though the practice has done a lot over the last few years to allow diversity to be the norm. They seem a forward thinking practice.’

‘We have use Rob Childe on a regular basis, he always seems extremely knowledgeable and competent in his field of employment law. He has represented our business in court and has done so with a passion and eye for detail.’

‘We have worked in partnership with Pinsent Masons for many years, as our go-to experts in employment law. I cannot comment on benchmarking against other law firms as I have not worked with any other firm. We benefit from established relationships and low churn, knowing our advisors well. This consistency means our culture, and values are understood and alignment is usually seamless. Pinsents offer pragmatic, relevant and current advice, highlighting potential risk versus direction of travel for the business. We are also offered online training and mock tribunal scenarios’.

‘Accessing their advice is straightforward, we call or email either a solicitor or one of the partners, and payment is via an annual retainer, with additional costing for time spent over the allocated time based on this contract. We receive risk analysis on big cases which we can easily disseminate to our senior stakeholders who ultimately call the decisions based on the analysis. I have never had an issue with contacting someone, and even if nobody immediately picks up, I always get a timely response back.’

‘Neil Black is our stand out partner. Neil just knows his stuff, with a great breadth of experience. He is very approachable, down to earth senior partner. People work with people and Neil is a really likable person. He tells it like it is, and doesn’t put perfection in the way of agility. He offers good, sound advice, with strategy. A very trusted partner. ’

Key clients

Wincanton plc

Jaguar Land Rover

Mondelez International (formerly Cadbury / Kraft)

Rolls Royce plc

Costain plc

Arqiva

Weetabix

Morgan Sindall plc

Adient Inc

Delphi Automotive

Work highlights

  • Acting for Wincanton and others (vs. Alfonso and others), one of four Respondents in a class action involving 74 Claimants relating to alleged infringements of the Swedish Derogation Model and other provisions of the Agency Workers Regulations notably an alleged failure to ensure parity between agency workers and employees under the AWR.
  • Providing employment law support to Arqiva in respect of the sale of its mobile mast network to Cellnex. This significant transaction involved approximately 7,400 of Arqiva’s cellular sites, including masts and towers as well as urban rooftop sites, and the right to market a further 900 sites across the UK.
  • Defending Costain against a serial litigant in proceedings that have lasted nearly four years and reached the Supreme Court. Costain successfully defended the claim in 2016; since then the Claimant has appealed the decision to the Employment Appeal Tribunal, the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court.

Weightmans LLP

In addition to acting for private corporations in employment law matters, Weightmans LLP stands out for its work for public sector clients, including police forces and NHS trusts. The team also frequently acts for education clients on employment tribunal disputes, as well as restructurings and the drafting of contracts. Steve Peacock is noted for his work in this sector, and also advises private sector clients on executive terminations and tribunal claims. Emlyn Williams leads the team's work in the healthcare sector, and principal associates Claire Hollins and Lee Rogers are also key names in the practice.

Practice head(s):

Ben Daniel; Lee Rogers; Nick Newman

Other key lawyers:

Emlyn Williams; Steve Peacock; Claire Hollins

Testimonials

‘Our main contact at Weightmans is Lee Rogers and my HR team has built up a good rapport with Lee. He understands our business and is able to conceptualise his advice based on that knowledge. In particular, we have had some recent complex issues in relation to TUPE and his advice has been very valuable. Lee has been very versatile, is very personable and has offered to provide additional training to our team and wider management team in some key employment areas. When Lee is not available, we also have a good relationship with Steve Peacock who is equally personable and very willing to assist. Steve also has good knowledge of our business.’

‘Responsive, knowledgeable of the sector an able to apply legal principles to unique circumstances related to employment terms and conditions. Efficient in conduct of business.’

‘The team runs practical and helpful update sessions and forums. They are well known in bringing excellence together and picking up learning from NHS Trusts to bring to the benefit of their clients, demonstrating collaboration at its best. The team has offered free Covid related HR advice from the start of the pandemic which is unmatched by any other team. A really excellent firm to work with.’

‘The team is proactive, regularly looking for ways in which to support NHS Trusts and offer their expert assistance. They are ready and willing to respond to urgent requests without quibble and are the ‘go to’ firm in terms of expertise and a ‘can-do’ attitude.’

‘Lee Rogers is a stand out legal adviser who can be relied upon to provide advice on all employment law matters – will always give an opinion and suggest solutions to problems.’

‘The advice we require is often time critical and, therefore, what I appreciate most about the team at Weightmans is that they have the resource and expertise to be able to assist with all matters, however urgent. The team are also extremely approachable and it is clear that they have a real passion for employment law. I also appreciate the transparency of the billing process, with all time spent on a matter set out clearly with each invoice.’

‘Weightmans are able to provide us with clear, timely advice and support to meet the needs of our organisation. Our retainer arrangements provides us with both peace of mind and value for money. We would recommend Weightmans Employment Law team in Liverpool to other organisations without hesitation. ’

‘We have worked closely with Lee Rogers for a number of years. We have always found Lee to be accessible, responsive and thorough. Lee takes an active interest in our organisation and provides us with comprehensive advice which considers both risk as well as our commercial interests. ’

Key clients

Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust

St Helens & Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust

Solent University (Southampton)

University of Greenwich

Halton Borough Council

Chief Constable of Merseyside Police

Certas Energy (UK) Ltd

Swissport GB Ltd

Colas Ltd

Peel Ports Group Ltd

Work highlights

  • Represented Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust to successful conclusion in case of Edwin Jesudason from Employment Tribunal through to Court of Appeal.
  • Advised Swissport GB Ltd, world leading aviation ground handling company on collective consultation resulting in over 3,200 redundancies but mitigating circa 1,200 potential further redundancies.
  • Advised University of Greenwich on amendment of high-value Facilities Management Contract and TUPE implications triggered by impact of COVID-19 pandemic.

Aaron & Partners LLP

Charities, manufacturers, and companies in the automotive industry are amongst the clients that Aaron & Partners LLP advises on employment matters. In 2020, the practice handled matters related to COVID-19 such as furlough, compliance with health regulations, and collective redundancies; it also continued to act for employers and employees in contentious matters. Helen Watson leads the team, with Claire Brook active in employment tribunal matters. The team expanded in late 2020, with Ikram Malik and Adam Haines joining.

Practice head(s):

Helen Watson

Other key lawyers:

Claire Brook; Ikram Malik; Adam Haines; Deborah Coyne

Testimonials

‘They cover a variety of sectors very professionally. I have worked with them in technology and automotive and their service has been outstanding.’

‘It’s great that the most important factor is the client and resolving their issue – not billing fees or creating a problem where none exists. They look at matters with a strong business perspective Refreshing and supportive.’

‘The service is absolutely outstanding. Every interaction is pleasant and you feel appreciated as an individual. ’

‘Claire Brook is absolutely outstanding. She is efficient, clear and extremely personable. This makes such a difference to the client experience, compared to other firms I have used. I have recommended the firm to several contacts as a result of the fantastic service delivered by Claire.’

‘The team are extremely approachable. Nothing is too much trouble for them. They listen to your concerns and work with you to find the best solutions for everyone. They also keep the technical aspects of employment law easy to understand with all communication written and verbal delivered in a concise way. It is a brilliant team who share the same values as us. ’

‘They are down to earth and treat the team as equals. They will allow us to as much as we can drafting documents and communications reviewing. It’s a true partnership. Other competitiors I have worked with have made issues extremely complicated and prefer to work more in isolation. ’

‘Always responsive, willing to understand the business need, accurate, ’

‘Pleasant and helpful- always interested ’

Key clients

North of England Zoological Society (Chester Zoo)

Mostyn Estates

Lynne Lock

Belfield Group

Evans Textile

OrderYOYO Limited

Eden Collection

Wirral Chamber of Commerce

Knights of Old Limited

Ysgol Bryn Elian

Work highlights

  • Provided a large charitable organisation with employment law advice arising from lockdown, furlough, site closures/re-opening, strategic planning/support and advice through collective consultation and negotiating voluntary redundancy exercise.
  • Provided a national holiday resort company with a national programme of in-house training for managers, COVID-19 compliance advice and strategic advice regarding a variation of terms and conditions.
  • Supported Mostyn Estates with strategic advice regarding restructuring and redundancies.

Bramhalls Solicitors

Wirral-based boutique Bramhalls Solicitors provides specialist employment advice on a range of employment matters to medium and large-sized businesses across the North. The team is active in representing employers in employment tribunals as well as in non-contentious matters, such as acquisitions and restructurings. The practice's client base spans sectors including manufacturing, retail and logistics, and it has long-term relationships with many clients. Practice head Phil Bramhall has decades of experience in employment law; Rehan Pasha and John Hassells have also worked on employment law for their entire careers.

Practice head(s):

Phil Bramhall

Other key lawyers:

Rehan Pasha; John Hassells

Testimonials

‘Faultless and timely support from a firm that is small enough to provide exceptional personal (and friendly) support and advice, yet big enough to cover all bases. During the pandemic the whole team have provided a free weekly ‘surgery’ for all their clients which has been invaluable.’

‘Our main contact is Phil Bramhall. He is readily accessible and responsive and provides quick, pragmatic, common sense solutions to any problems. He knows the law, but applies it in a way to get things done. We have even used him to offer advice on matters which are not employment law related because of his approach. Phil gives strong guidance which I trust. My HR Team has done some work with Rehan Pasha who is also efficient and pragmatic and reflects the ethos of the firm.’

‘The team at Bramhalls are all excellent , but in particular Phil Bramhall is stand-out in his pragmatism , good humour and overall flexibility of approach. He meets the clients needs by joining in with their thinking and anticipating the risks and then offering sound legal counsel.’

‘The level and speed of response is excellent. Very thorough and helpful advice taking into account the commercial requirements of the business. I am delighted with the work undertaken to date.’

‘Bramhalls consistently provides top class support, personal service and clear advice on a wide range of employment matters. They are always responsive and their advice pragmatic – they tell it like it is and don’t sit on the fence, spelling out clearly any risks associated with a chosen course of action and helping my team reach the right decision for the business. I have no hesitation whatsoever in recommending Bramhalls as a top quality partner in all matters related to employment law, including the most complex and high value/high impact cases.’

‘Led by Phil Bramhall, the whole team exemplify his solid values of being approachable and accessible, offering first class value for money advice and holding the client’s interest as a clear priority, providing good, pragmatic and well thought out support in all cases. My main involvements are with Phil himself and Rehan Pasha, both of whom demonstrate core values that chime with those of my team and me, in putting quality and value for money service front and centre of their raison d etre. Each of the partners and associates we deal with have very high level of expertise on employment relations and trades union matters, where we consider them as the ‘go to’ party when we need such inputs and engagements. ’

‘John Hassells is an exceptionally pragmatic lawyer – can break through the detail quickly to get to the heart of the matter and gives real world, practical advice rather than ‘black letter law’. Friendly and approachable – never feel like you are ‘on the clock’ and goes the extra mile to make sure he responds quickly and is on hand when needed. ’

‘Rehan Pasha moved to Bramhalls from Squire Patton Boggs and we moved with him. This was in the main due to his innate understanding of our busines, garnered over the years, together with his professional and patient approach when providing us with invaluable advice and guidance.’

Key clients

Atlantic Container Line

Autism Together

CSM Bakery Solutions

Edward Billington Group

Newhall Publishing

Nynas UK

PD Ports Group

Portmeirion

Poundstretcher

RSK Group

Work highlights

  • Acted for three high-profile female BBC presenters who have sought to re-negotiate their pay with the BBC in light of the equal pay scandal.

Browne Jacobson LLP

Browne Jacobson LLP acts for both public and private sector clients in employment matters, including IR35 audits, employee exit agreements, TUPE transfers, and employment tribunal claims. The practice experienced changes in 2020 as former practice head Kerren Daly  transferred to the firm's Nottingham office, with Ian Deakin taking over as head of the Manchester office. Deakin, who was promoted to partner in September, is noted for his experience in employment tribunal matters, including discrimination claims.

Practice head(s):

Ian Deakin

Other key lawyers:

Kerren Daly

Testimonials

‘The quality of work and thoroughness is exceptional. Their knowledge is fantastic and they always advise in a direct, straightforward manner that is easy to understand. They give me options where they exist and explain the benefits and downsides to both, in short they give me everything I need and expect’.

‘In my dealings with both Caroline Green and Ian Deakin I have found that they have taken time to understand our business, the direction of travel and what we are trying to achieve as a business. This means we get advice that is relevant to our business and not generic legalese. We have great, open and honest, two way communication which means we can both be direct with each other to ensure we have all the facts to get the best outcome’.

Key clients

Hiscox

Sports Information Services

Dock 10

Various Multi Academy Trust

Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust

EM Lawshare

Work highlights

  • Successfully defending an NHS Trust from a claim of disability discrimination.

Fieldfisher

Fieldfisher's Manchester-based employment team works closely with the firm's practices around the country to advise clients on employment matters, including representing clients before employment tribunals. David Carmichael and director Alex Watson are the key figures in Manchester, with Watson focusing on contentious matters and Carmichael's practice spanning the full range of employment matters.

Practice head(s):

Ranjit Dhindsa; Alex Watson; Jeremy Harris; David Carmichael

Testimonials

‘Alex Watson has a real nous for creating, building and cementing client relationships. Clients trust him and value his strategic analysis of his cases. He is pragmatic and commercially minded and so clients respect his decisions, knowing that his advice leads to the most desirable outcome for them. He has a “no-nonsense” approach when dealing with Counsel which is refreshing. He is an impressive and efficient solicitor who understands the need to adapt to cases during their lifetime.

‘A young, dynamic and commercially astute team. They consistently demonstrate impressive technical knowledge and are able to distil this into decisive and reliable advice. On contentious matters, they provide a level of commitment and support, which is sometimes lacking from comparable litigation teams. ’

‘Alex Watson is sharp, pragmatic and highly attuned to his clients’ needs.’

‘The professionalism of the Fieldfisher Employment team is second to none. They use existing and emerging technology to deliver a very polished service for clients. The team is always prepared and on top of key issues. The team’s client care skills are exceptional – always acting as a bridge between Counsel or the Tribunal and clients in a way that puts clients at their ease; always understanding where they are in the process.’

‘Alex Watson is very professional and yet down to earth and personable. Alex has a strong passion for, and understanding of, employment law principle. He is exceptionally good with clients being able to explain the most complex matters in ways that clients understand.’

‘I have worked with David Carmichael on a number of employment law related situations, on behalf of my clients. He has always been very responsive, providing clear and speedy support when I have needed it. He is pragmatic and realistic and is able to balance the pure legal viewpoint with the pragmatic, commercially-focused response.’

Key clients

Wolseley UK

The British Cycling Federation

Brothers Drinks Co. Limited

Human Tissue Authority

Getir UK

Wilkin & Sons (t/a Tiptree Jams)

Stonegate Pub Company

Royal College of Physicians

Dods Group PLC

Workr Group

Brother International Europe Ltd

Simply Blue Energy Ltd

Zebra Projects Ltd

Work highlights

  • Assisted with the acquisition of the entire issued share capital of Business Data Partners Holdings Limited. The team advised on the implications of TUPE, negotiation of the purchase agreement and new service agreements and employment contracts to be entered into by all of the company’s c.400 employees.
  • Advises Stonegate Pub Company on strategic employment issues and the firm is the exclusive provider of employment tribunal litigation services to Stonegate.
  • Provide ongoing employment support to Wilkin & Sons across all elements of the business and as exclusive provider.

Forbes Solicitors

Forbes Solicitors is known for its work for public sector and education clients, and has recently taken on a number of commercial clients including retailers and manufacturers. The practice's work spans the full range of employment law matters, including redundancies and tribunal claims, and it also handles the employment aspects of corporate transactions. Jonathan Holden has extensive experience in the education sector, where he counts colleges, independent schools, and multi-academy trusts amongst his clients. Ruth Rule-Mullen is particularly active in advising public sector clients, while Emma Swan has been the driving force behind the team's expansion into the commercial sector. Senior associate Amy Stokes is also praised by clients. Jennifer Smith joined the team from JMW Solicitors LLP in July 2021.

Practice head(s):

Jonathan Holden; Emma Swan; Ruth Rule-Mullen

Other key lawyers:

Amy Stokes; Jennifer Smith

Testimonials

‘A friendly, approachable and accessible team with a strong background in advising on local government employment relations issues including legislation, national terms and conditions, pension arrangements and trade union relations.’

‘The team at Forbes are not only extremely professional and expert in their field, they are agile to understand our business, our culture and flex to meet our needs. I don’t feel I get a “one size fits all” service, it feels personal and great fit for our business.’

‘I have worked with a number legal advisers during my time as a HR Manager but none has been as professional and helpful as Forbes. Their HR complete service is second to none. All of the professionals at Forbes have a understanding of our work place and ensure we achieve the required results professionally and legally.’

‘Forbes always go above and beyond to support us with our Employment & HR needs and to protect and help our business. They provide us with straightforward, easy to understand, timely advice and always provide cost clarity so we are aware of exactly what we are paying for to be able to allocate budget to legal services. They invite us to free training, webinars and events, providing us with added-value, along with sending us legal updates and any other useful information which may be of interest to our firm. They stand out from other firms as not only being great advisors, but becoming part of our team and providing us with numerous other benefits mentioned above.’

‘My main point of contact is Emma Swan, she always provides us with an outstanding service, has great knowledge and is available to support us whenever we need her, along with the support of the wider Employment team. She is particular adept at looking at Tribunal cases strategically and always having our business’ objectives at the forefront of her advice.’

‘There are three key individuals: Jonathan Holden, whose ease of manner belies the depth of his expertise and his ability to steer any client through the most difficulty of workplace issues; Ruth Rule-Mullen, the ‘representative of choice’ for local authority clients; well able to provide effective legal and strategic advice in a practical and accessible way which maximises client participation; and Amy Stokes, exceptionally technically able, and whilst still an associate, Amy handles cases of considerable technically complexity including taxation status issues for those involved in international contractual arrangements.’

‘Two members of the team stand out for us – Emma Swan and senior associate Amy Stokes. On many occasions we have had to contact them for immediate assistance. They are always available even out of normal business hours. Their understanding of our business model and the way we operate has meant a speedy & cost effective service is provided to us. They do not use complex jargon and relay all advice in an easy, concise manner. Their knowledge and guidance is invaluable to us.’

‘I work mainly with Amy Stokes and have done so for more than 7 years now due to the quality of the advice I receive and the relationship we have. Amy’s advice is always 100% reliable and through a thorough understanding of our business, she is well placed to advise me on both a day to day and more strategic level. Amy makes herself available whenever I need to speak to her, which is essential especially when you need advice in the moment.’

Key clients

Telford & Wrekin Council

Bemis Limited

Kay’s Traffic Management Systems Limited

Sous Chef

University of Central Lancashire

Hill Biscuits

South Yorkshire Housing Association

Onward Housing Association

Broadgreen International School

Accrol Papers Ltd

Preston City Council

BBF Ltd

Leyland Trucks

J & J Ormerod Plc

Alexander Dennis Ltd

Ribby Hall

Billerudkorsnas

Soul Coffee

Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council

Blackburn College

Information Commissioner’s Office

South Lakeland District Council

Edapt

Kepak Group

Wigan Council

Work highlights

  • Advised Alexander Dennis Limited on large-scale redundancy and restructuring involving recognised trade unions and ultimately resulting in 500+ voluntary and compulsory redundancies.
  • Providing strategic employment advice to Great Places Housing Association on the merger of Equity Housing and Great Places; including restructure of the senior leadership team.
  • Providing Ribby Hall Village with strategic advice on response to the COVID-19 pandemic including whole organisation restructure and rationalisation.

Kennedys

Kennedys sits on the panels of many major insurers, acting for their Employment Practices Liability policyholders in disputes such as unfair dismissal, discrimination and whistleblowing claims. The practice also acts for corporates and not-for-profits in contentious and non-contentious employment matters, ranging from contract drafting to redundancies. Practice head Amanda Beaumont was promoted to partner in May 2020; she has a particular focus on discrimination claims, especially those involving neurodiversity, as well as employment-related data protection issues. Alison Loveday is another key partner, with a broad practice in this area.

Practice head(s):

Amanda Beaumont

Other key lawyers:

Alison Loveday

Testimonials

‘It is the personal approach and excellent communication that really differentiates this practice. The advice I received was excellent. I feel looked after throughout the whole process. Focus is on looking after the client.’

‘Alison Loveday has been exceptional. I really can’t thank her enough. She understood my case from the start and helped me make sense of a difficult situation. Her professionalism is matched by her care for the client. I felt in excellent hands and her handling of my case was faultless. I have worked with solicitors before but none as knowledgeable, supportive and efficient as Alison.’

‘Kennedys bring their ability to understand fully the cultural aspects of the organization, the objective and purpose for which the services have been requested, collaborating with the client team and arriving at solutions. ’

‘I would like to specifically mention Amanda Beaumont. She is very thorough and a competent professional. Has the ability to build great working relationships with client teams. Demonstrates strong domain knowledge and is able to leverage on her internal network of resources across the globe. One of the key qualities is her response time and her flexibility to be available on critical times and issues.’

‘I worked directly with Alison Loveday who was fabulous in every way. Alison provided clear guidance and support through some very challenging times and I don’t think I could have got through it without her. Alison made herself always available and provided an individual service at a reasonable price.’

‘Alison Loveday was calm, considered and supportive, more so than any other lawyers I have worked with throughout my career. I have valued her patience and guidance through many difficult challenges, above and beyond my expectations and my previous experience of working with others in the industry.’

‘Amanda Beaumont is very knowledgeable in her profession and conveys complex employment legislation into workable solutions. Amanda outlines risk and exposure in a pragmatic way, understanding and balancing the commercial risks. Throughout the pandemic, Amanda has kept in contact regularly and forwarded information that she has felt we may find useful particularly throughout the difficulties in interpreting government advice on furlough and risk assessments, showing exceptional customer service. ’

‘Amanda Beaumont is dynamic, succinct and accessible. Her advice is always highly commercial and flexed to the needs of our business. I have great confidence in her advice. ’

Key clients

Cogent Skills Services

dmg :: events

RSA

Travelers

AIG

Newly Weds Foods

Essar

Arena Racing Company

Vitaflo International

Carluccio’s

Inspiring Travel Collection Group

TRC Specialty Commodities

The Growth Company

Work highlights

  • Advising Essar on senior level hires, drafting employment contracts and advising on the terms and implementation of a new LTIP scheme.
  • Advising the Growth Company on day-to-day employment issues, strategic advice including in relation to harmonising terms, workforce issues and Covid-related change management and representing them in employment tribunal claims.
  • Acting for major insurers AIG, RSA and Travelers in the defence of Employment Practices Liability claims brought against various employers covered by insurance.

Mills & Reeve LLP

Mills & Reeve LLP is known for its strength in advising clients from the education sector on employment matters, and is increasingly active in other sectors such as manufacturing, life sciences and retail. Sara Barrett leads the Manchester-based team; in 2020, she provided advice to clients on COVID-related issues as well as restructurings and contentious employment matters.

Practice head(s):

David Mills

Other key lawyers:

Sara Barrett; Pili Fernandez-Mahoney; Miriam Guilding

Testimonials

‘Pragmatic and innovative approaches to managing emerging employment matters in the complex public sector environment. Risk assessment is at the forefront of thinking.’

‘Qualified and knowledgeable people with a personality that enables them to communicate easily with clients like myself.’

‘Pili Fernandez-Mahoney is an excellent colleague who works in such a way that we feel that Pili is one of our own team. Very client focused and takes time to understand issues in the most exacting detail. Consequently, when solutions are offered they are tailored, appropriate and effective.’

‘Sara Barrett and Miriam Guilding have a human approach that instantly puts non-legal people at ease. In addition to this very important people skill, they are extremely good at their job.’

 

Key clients

Lancaster University

Befesa Salt Slags Limited

LTE GroupNoIDEO LP

Royal Northern College of Music

Bako North Western (Group) Limited

Bolton College

Turley Associates

IDEO LP

Phoenix Group (including L. Rowland & company (Retail) Limited)

Work highlights

  • Assisted Befesa Salt Slags Limited in planning and executing the employee aspects of a site closure.

SAS Daniels LLP

SAS Daniels LLP experienced changes at the top in 2020, with Karen Barker departing in June 2020 and Katie Hodson taking over as practice head. The team continues to defend employers in tribunal claims, including handling disputes involving alleged discrimination, unfair dismissal, refusal to make reasonable adjustments, and issues surrounding the furlough scheme. Hodson was promoted to partner in November 2020.

Practice head(s):

Katie Hodson

Other key lawyers:

Charlie Wood

Testimonials

‘For me the most important things they provide are solutions to problems and issues as they arrive that are easily translatable in to action and delivered in a way that we all understand what we need to do and why. Over the last 2 years we have gone through a lot of change and they have been with us every step of the way.’

‘The 2 people I have the most interaction with are Katie Hodson and Charlie Wood. Both provide great knowledge and advice to our business.’

‘Always knowledgeable and give sound advice.’

‘Always available, knowledgeable, no-nonsense advice and they make it clear what the risks are if any in advice they provide.’

Chambers O'Neill

Specialist employment firm Chambers O'Neill advises employers on contentious and non-contentious employment matters. In addition to handling employment aspects of transactions, the team represents employers and employees in unfair dismissal and discrimination claims. The team's work in 2020 included considerable activity advising clients in sectors such as aviation on redundancies and accessing the furlough scheme. Andrew O'Neill leads the team, with Jim Chambers retiring in December 2020.

Practice head(s):

Andrew O’Neill

Other key lawyers:

Naomi Dinnes

Testimonials

‘Chambers O’Neill have an unparalleled understanding of our business allowing them to provide uniquely tailored advice to suit our own views on risk management. Chambers O’Neill also have an unfaltering desire to invest time and effort in developing our employees allowing efficient delivery and more importantly effective roll out of advice. We really value the partnership we have with Chambers O’Neill and look forward to working with them for years to come.’

‘Andrew O’Neill has a sharp wit backed up with a fountain of knowledge and technical expertise. He has a unique ability to quickly uncover the key issues whether that be internal development or external forces and can always deliver proactive options to move the business forward. Andrew is not frightened to highlight our own underperformance which leads to an effective partnership continually driving forward the company’s ability to mitigate risk.’

‘They have the expertise of a large firm but in a small organisation. ’

‘Andrew O’Neill is the person I and my firm work with. He has exceptional knowledge of the law and combines this with practicality when advising us. He is easy to work with and very accessible meaning we can get full advice when it’s needed. ’

‘The atmosphere of the practice is friendly and approachable, which helps to put you at ease. Explanations are provided in easily understandable and concise terms. The billing is open and transparent, with no hidden fees. The practice makes each individual feel valued and as if they are the only case being dealt with at that present time.’

‘Although not a partner, Naomi Dinnes’ work ethic and attention to detail, as well as her knowledge base is impressive. It allows you as the client, to feel that she has your best interests at heart at all times and she will always go the extra step to ensure that she gets the best outcome. Her whole demeaner, especially in court situations, makes you feel secure that you have made the right choice by having her as your solicitor. Given the pandemic and the associated unusual circumstances, she went out of her way to ensure that I felt fully briefed around what to expect and the full court process. ’

‘Very direct and honest advice, whatever the issue. We channel all of our employment and staffing issues through Chambers O’Neill, and the very nature of these issues can be unsettling for us as a business. Chambers O’Neill provide very clear and detailed advice throughout out processes which is very reassuring for us a small business.’

‘We get clear and prompt advice very quickly from Andrew O’Neill throughout the process of our employment issues. In an area which is not our specialist skillset, this is reassuring and no queries, however large or small, are too much trouble. These are dealt with via video conferencing, which is a very helpful and invaluable way of guiding us through our issues!’

Key clients

ABM Aviation UK Limited

ABM Facility Services UK Limited

ABM Technical Services Limited

NES Global Talent

Fircroft Engineering Services Limited

IDG Holdings Limited

Uniloads Limited

Urban Splash

Heathfield Care & Residential Homes Ltd

A&M Energy Solutions Limited

ADP Architecture Limited

As with previous submissions these are a sample only

Work highlights

  • Advised the Aviation division of ABM on substantial work arising from the pandemic, including initial layoffs at Gatwick Airport followed by significant furloughing of staff nationally (Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted, Manchester, Liverpool, Edinburgh) and ultimately both redundancies and outsourcing/insourcing of contracts at various airports restructured due to the pandemic.
  • Provided restructuring advice following the merger of NES Global Talent and Fircroft Engineering Services Ltd, following the merger of the two businesses and the consequential restructuring which followed.
  • Conducting a complex employment tribunal against ABM by an employee alleging disability discrimination which included three preliminary hearings at which a number of the claims were successfully struck out. Ultimately, having succeeded in defending the claim, the claimant was ordered to pay £7,500 pounds in costs.

gunnercooke LLP

gunnercooke LLP's partner-led model allows it to offer direct service from partners to its clients base, providing advice on employment matters ranging from the furlough scheme to employment tribunal disputes. Jo Tindall advises senior executives and employers on exit agreements as well as handling restructurings and TUPE transfers; elsewhere, Angela Brumpton is experienced in employment litigation, such as discrimination claims. Simon Horsfield departed the practice in March 2021.

Other key lawyers:

Jo Tindall; Angela Brumpton; Paul Ryman

Testimonials

‘Gunnercooke are an industry known legal heavyweight and Paul Ryman is one of the very best.

‘Paul Ryman is a standout partner. Paul dealt with a tricky high profile case on my behalf and was nothing short of brilliant from the first conversation to the last. Paul was very understanding of my situation but also very clear in his interpretation of my chances and the best method to move forwards. Paul’s advise and guidance were second to none and without Paul I would have 100% been on the wrong end of some corporate foul play which would have had huge impact on my professional future and my reputation. I found Paul to be an excellent and compassionate communicator. His professional knowledge and guidance were first class. I can’t speak highly enough and thank Paul enough for the advise and work he did on my behalf. I would strongly recommend Gunnercooke llp and Paul Ryman.’

‘I have referred a number of matters to Jo Tindall. She has been extremely responsive and constructive to deal with. I have also received positive feedback as to the quality of her advice and her sensible commercial approach.’

‘Sarah Armstrong is fantastic. She has been my only contact at this firm but undoubtedly she is supported by a good team. ’

‘Sarah is efficient, competent and empathetic. This contrasted massively with my experience of other law firms that offered Employment advice. It was refreshing to find someone who was professional, honest and above all caring.’

‘Jo Tindall acted for me as my representative in my Unfair Dismissal case and Grievance which was in conjunction to an Unfair Prejudice case. Jo was extremely professional, totally approachable and most of all in full knowledge of the history of my case. She was always in control of the various stages which was leading to a trial in the courts. Jo was a huge forward thinker and planned steps ahead of the defendant and her planning and execution was outstanding. Jo was always there if I needed her and acted extremely promptly and I never had to wait around for answers. Having won my case through mediation in the end, without Jo I would not have been successful in my very high 6 figure sum reward.’

‘Angela Brumpton – excellent legal knowledge and gives practical, business-friendly advice’

‘Their response times are second to none. We like regular billing. Their ability to bring in other specialisms at very short notice is exemplary. They comes up with solutions not problems. It is important that the solicitors working with us understand us and the way we work. We have worked with ‘big name’ firms before but I would recommend Gunnercooke every time.’

Key clients

Kostal UK Ltd

Halton Housing

Sheffield Forgemasters Limited

St. Gemma’s Hospice

Investors In People

Customade Group

Hologic Limited

The Yorkshire County Cricket Club

Homes for Students

Good Box

Work highlights

  • Acting for Kostal UK Ltd against an appeal made by the union.
  • Advising charity Good Box on data privacy issues in their terms and conditions.

HM Legal

Under the leadership of Justine Watkinson , HM Legal handles advisory and contentious employment matters. The practice has long-term relationships with many of its SME clients, providing them with on-going support on matters including redundancies and employee transfers. Lindsey Kidd is another key contact in the team.

Practice head(s):

Justine Watkinson

Other key lawyers:

Lindsey Kidd; Angharad Williams

Testimonials

‘Justine Watkinson is an outstanding employment law specialist and has gone beyond her remit to offer free advice to businesses in need during the pandemic.

‘It is clear from all my dealings with HM Legal that the culture, passion and skill is driven right from the very top of the organisation. They are a firm that doesn’t settle for second best. No matter who you speak to or deal with, you are assured exceptional service and the best possible advice.’

‘There is no one I would rather have on my team than Lindsey Kidd and Angharad Williams. This year they have gone above and beyond for me. There technical skill set and knowledge is of course second to none but what really stood out to me was their passionate support, I was left in no doubt that they were on my side and determined to make sure we were protected. They have amazing personal as well as professional skills. I really wouldn’t trust my business with anyone else.’

‘I was in a senior management position in a large UK firm. I needed advice over my employment situation. HM Legal offered the expertise to advise on a complex situation. They were able to provide advice appropriate for my seniority in my firm. Advice took into account both legal opinion but also respected how I might receive and react to the advice given the circumstances about which I had sought legal advice.’

‘Justine Watkinson handled my case in a manner that made me feel I was receiving personal attention and the advice was direct and realistic. Her assistant spent detailed time ensuring the responses to the other side was directed to give maximum impact. Justine discussed the growth of the bill at each stage and ensured it was inline with expectations.’

‘Lindsey Kidd is an exceptionally astute and commercially focused solicitor. Very down to earth, accessible and approachable. Angharad Williams is extremely helpful and kept me very well informed of the progress of my matter.’

‘HM, and in particular Justine Watkinson, came highly recommended. They have a clear depth and expertise in employment matters, and the experience of working for both employers and employees allows them to give rounded advice and to help you consider where “the other side” may be coming from in their approach. They are not put off by a challenge. Their collaboration was clearly apparent given the circumstances of my case, and from a client’s perspective, I always felt the number 1 priority – which is very good when clearly there are multiple clients! I cannot recommend them highly enough.’

‘Justine Watkinson came recommended to me and I can see why. Her knowledge is exceptional but more importantly I valued the practical and strategic thinking applied to my case. Justine was able to quickly work through the complexities of my case to focus the approach on the key issues and forgetting the noise – something I did not find elsewhere. Justine sought input from her colleagues where necessary, and at all times kept me fully advised. I valued the partner led engagement and I appreciated that Justine respected my position and where I was coming from in bringing the case. Justine was always available and responsive and I trusted that I would get the right outcome in my case.’

Shoosmiths LLP

In addition to providing clients with ongoing employment advice, Shoosmiths LLP is adept at handling contentious issues, representing clients in employment tribunals. In 2020, practice head Emma Morgan advised clients on collective redundancies, the exits of senior employees, and the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. Morgan also leads the immigration team in Manchester and provides advice to clients on employment issues related to this area.

Practice head(s):

Emma Morgan

Other key lawyers:

Amy Anderson

Testimonials

‘For me, any advisor has to offer a broad range of relevant services which I can access quickly. Perhaps most importantly, even when I don’t necessarily know the best person to be talking to, I expect to be referred to the most appropriate person by any of my contacts. This happens very efficiently at Shoosmiths. With respect to the Employment Team in particular, they clearly work extremely hard at keeping their internal communications channels open and ensuring that someone is always available to deal with queries or someone will get back to you the same day.’

‘Responsiveness and practical/commercial solutions. I assume that all proper law firms know their Employment Law onions, but what I need is for someone to interpret and explain the law and then offer practical and sensible solutions based on an understanding of the commercial considerations that I have as an employer. Emma Morgan typifies this approach. Senior associate Amy Anderson is developing in the same mould and is a very capable member of the team in her own right.’

‘Over the past 12 months our organisation has faced some extremely testing people/employment matters. We simply wouldn’t have been able to deal with them without the support of the Shoosmiths Employment team. They understand our approach to risk and provided pragmatic advice based on a thorough understanding of both the law and our organisation. Our team regularly attend employment law update webinars in order to keep up to date, these are always relevant and interesting – we look forward to making theses face to face.’

‘Senior associate Amy Anderson has been our dedicated contact for around 2 years. We see her as an additional trusted member of our own team. Amy understands our business and will always provide suitable advice for our approach. Her understanding of the law and how she explains the practical application of this is just right for us, we are then able to go back to the business and they know what we will be taking the right approach. Amy is a fantastic support for us whenever we need her (which is a lot). We don’t know what we would do without her. There isn’t a week that goes by where we don’t get asked to “run it by Amy” even from our in house legal team! We couldn’t thank her enough for the support she provides.’

‘I’ve worked with the Shoosmiths Employment Law team (and some of their colleagues) for a few years now and have always found it a pleasurable experience. They manage to blend perfectly their professional credibility with a personable demeanour which strikes the right balance.’

‘Emma Morgan stands out as she is not just knowledgeable in her field but she can relate her specialism to any situation and apply it so that it offers relevance to any specific audience. Emma also does what she says she’s going to do. Always keen to attempt new ways of working Emma is an asset to Shoosmiths. Amy Anderson is a great colleague of Emma and upholds the personable approach I’ve always had from Shoosmiths. Amy offers expert advice, is hugely positive and is a pleasure to deal with.’

Key clients

Vauxhall Motors Ltd

Costco Wholesale UK Ltd

Cityfibre Holdings Ltd

Fulcrum Group Holdings Ltd

Vodat Communications Group Ltd

Renaker Build Ltd

BGL Ltd

South Staffordshire College

WeWork International Ltd

Mawdsley Group Investments Ltd

Work highlights

  • Acting as legal advisors to an international logistics provider on employment law issues, including matters arising from the COVID-19 crisis and are on their panel for employment tribunal claims.
  • Successfully achieved the withdrawal of two employment tribunal claims arising from a reorganisation within Vauxhall Motors.
  • The team successfully defended CityFibre at Tribunal in a complex discrimination claim brought by one of its former employees.

Slater Heelis

Slater Heelis specialises in defending clients against claims of unfair dismissal, discrimination and lack of reasonable adjustments, acting for companies in sectors such as manufacturing, finance and technology. The team additionally advises on non-contentious matters such as TUPE transfers. Tracey Guest and Sarah Calderwood are the key partners in the team; both have considerable experience in advising healthcare clients, with Calderwood also having sector experience in education.

Practice head(s):

Tracey Guest

Other key lawyers:

Sarah Calderwood

Testimonials

‘An extremely competent team in the Employment Law area.’

‘Tracey Guest is very knowledgeable but also very practical.’

Key clients

Blueberry Therapeutics Limited

Matrix Telematics Limited

The Seashell Trust

Eastwood and Creswell Dental Surgeries Limited

Greenhalgh’s Craft Bakery Limited

Medicine Discovery Catapult Limited

Elle R Leisure Limited (t/a Albert’s Shed restaurants)

Airborne Environmental Consultants Limited

Scapa Group Plc

Bruntwood Limited

Novo Property Solutions Limited

Baines Wilson LLP

Lancaster-based Baines Wilson LLP fields an employment team of 3 partners, advising clients including manufacturers and professional services companies on day-to-day employment issues as well as tribunal claims. Practice head Joanne Holborn specialises in contentious matters, including handling discrimination claims, and also has a focus on counseling clients in relation to managing extended absences. Caroline Rayner also handles contentious work, as well as matters that overlap commercial and employment law, such as breaches of restrictive covenants. Tom Scaife focuses on non-contentious work, much of which is done for clients who have a retainer with the firm.

Practice head(s):

Joanne Holborn

Other key lawyers:

Caroline Rayner; Tom Scaife

Testimonials

‘The team offers practical advice, rather than just legal/straightforward. We discuss the effects of the advice on our business and the commerciality of our decisions and they understand this, because they run their own business.’

‘Jo Holborn adopts a very hands on pragmatic approach to every situation. She knows our systems and policies and is able to comment on when updates are needed to fit in/adapt to our situations. Tom Scaife also offers this, and is very thoughtful and detailed in his replies. He has a very logical brain which always considers the outcome required. ’

‘Tom Scaife is always accessible and gives a no nonsense logical response to queries Joanne Holborn is accessible and gives a detailed response to issues ’

‘We value the knowledge, advice and the quick response that we receive when faced with a problem.’

‘Our main contacts are Joanne Holborn and Tom Scaife, as before, nothing is too much trouble and we know we will receive pragmatic advice, support and back up.’

‘In 35 years as as HR professional I have never come across such an on the ball lawyer as Tom Scaife. He is proactive and incredibly knowledgeable, literally whatever I throw at him he knows or comes back with good well thought out and reasoned answers. I trust his judgement and advice and I often wonder who is the HR professional when he professionally guides me to the answer I know I should be giving.’

Bexley Beaumont

Founded in January 2020, Bexley Beaumont provides employers with advice related to the furlough scheme, TUPE, and redundancies, as well as representing them in contentious disputes. In employment tribunals the practice handles claims involving allegations of unfair dismissal and discrimination as well as disputes around employment status. Karen Bexley, Louise Carr, Rebecca Peck, and Mark Emery are the key partners in the practice. Peck and Emery both serve as employment judges.

Other key lawyers:

Karen Bexley; Louise Carr; Rebecca Peck; Mark Emery

Testimonials

‘I rate Bexley Beaumont’s Employment Legal Services highly.’

‘Mark Emery is the best of the best.’

‘Louise Carr is adept at building a positive rapport and identifying and explaining often complex legal issues in a way which clients understand. She is personable and responsive, a compelling and experienced advocate and adviser. She is meticulous, dependable and commercial in approach.’

Key clients

VUR Village Trading No 1 Limited (t/a Village Hotels)

Missguided Limited

Paragon Finance plc (part of the Paragon Banking Group plc)

British Pregnancy Advisory Service

Somerville College, Oxford University

Tameside MBC

Sovereign Trust

Work highlights

  • Supported a hospitality client with employee relations and practical/legal steps to be taken in respect of over 4,000 employees throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Including advice on the various closures of premises, activities, furlough schemes etc.
  • Advising a large finance sector client on negotiation of contractual TUPE terms at tender stage to secure significant contract with a public sector organisation, including advising on and negotiating indemnity protections. Providing continued advice (following successful tender) on obligations to inform and consult under TUPE, employee retention issues and subsequent place of work redundancies.
  • Providing advice to a senior executive working in the financial services sector following his acceptance of a new role in senior position of a City bank. Advising as to the terms of a draft service agreement and negotiating revised terms; in particular, negotiating the terms of restrictive covenants and bonus. The client’s appointment has received significant press coverage.

Clarke Willmott LLP

Under the leadership of Emma Hamnett, Clarke Willmott LLP acts for SMEs in employment law matters, with a particular focus in representing clients in employment tribunal claims. Hamnett, a specialist in litigation, defends clients facing allegations of unfair dismissal and discrimination, as well as claims involving whistleblowing. On the non-contentious side, the practice has been active in advising on COVID-19 relief schemes and regulations, as well as redundancies and TUPE transfers.

Practice head(s):

Emma Hamnett

Other key lawyers:

Alice Finlow

Testimonials

‘I dealt directly with Emma Hamnett during the whole of my case, and Alice Finlow as her trainee. I have nothing but positive comments. A joy to have representing me during challenging times.’

‘Emma Hamnett is excellent, after a short period I felt as if I had known her forever.’

‘They are a small but expert team. Absolutely first rate both in High Court and Tribunal litigation.’

‘Emma Hamnett – quick-witted, conscientious, commercial and an excellent negotiator.’

‘Emma Hamnett is hard working, client friendly and a delight to deal with. She really knows her stuff when it comes to employment law.’

Key clients

Bauer Radio Limited

Panmure Gordon & Co

NVC Lighting Limited

Integral Medical Holdings Limited

Ruskin Properties Limited

Abt Associates Ltd

Talent International UK Limited

Work highlights

  • Assisted Bauer Radio Limited with a large-scale redundancy process, including advising on collective consultation obligations and advising management across multiple sites on dealing with the process.
  • Advised Panmure Gordon & Co on various matters in the past year, including a redundancy consultation and procedure, TUPE transfer and an Employment Tribunal claim.
  • Continuing to act for Integral Medical Holdings, the national network of primary care sites in relation to Employment Tribunal claims involving unfair dismissal and whistleblowing.

Freeths LLP

Freeths LLP is experienced in advising on contentious and non-contentious employment law matters, with a particular focus on the retail, hospitality, and consumer goods sectors. The practice provides ongoing support to many of its clients, working with their HR teams on issues such as internal investigations, the drafting of employee contracts and policies, and responding to tribunal claims. Charlotte Rees-John leads the practice, while director Laura Tracey joined in January 2021 from Squire Patton Boggs. Tracey has broad experience in this area of law, with a particular specialism in the employment aspects of transactions.

Practice head(s):

Charlotte Rees-John

Other key lawyers:

Laura Tracey; Tahera Khan; Matt Fraser

Key clients

Aldi Stores Limited

Costa Limited

Pure Gym Limited

Colosseum Dental UK Limited

Zertus UK Holdings Limited

McArthurGlen UK Limited

LMC (The Consortium of Local Medical Committees of Lancashire and Cumbria)

DBS Clothing Limited

Hough Green Garage Limited

Nottinghamshire YMCA

Star Brands Limited

Work highlights

  • Assisting Costa on all employee relations advice from advising on day to day employment matters , together with supporting on complex project work relating to their significant portfolio of UK stores
  • Provided McArthurGlen UK Limited with invaluable support in respect of the COVID 19 pandemic; assisting them through the temporary closure of their outlets, furloughing staff, consultation processes and providing critical operational support.
  • Providing 24/7 helpline support for the Pure Gym Limited HR team on any employee relations matters as well as supporting on strategic projects which arise.

Gorvins Solicitors

Redundancies, disciplinary proceedings, tribunal claims, and TUPE undertakings are amongst the areas of employment law handled by Gorvins Solicitors. David Walton leads the team from its Stockport office; he is experienced in the contentious and non-contentious sides of employment law, and conducts his own advocacy before tribunals.

Practice head(s):

David Walton

Testimonials

‘An extremely professional practice offering practical and reliable employment advice in a way that is prompt and concise. Their breadth of knowledge in the area of employment law is outstanding. Their team are quick to grasp employment issues that we need to discuss with them and they offer instant advice. The service we receive is invaluable to our organisation and we have no doubt that their advice has stopped some of our employment issues from escalating further.’

‘David Walton is our specialist employment lawyer, he stands out for many reasons, but his professionalism, integrity and his friendly straight forward approach is worthy of special note. David meets deadlines promptly and consistently exceeds our expectation with the work he carries out for us.’

‘I cannot praise Gorvins enough. Having dealt with a number of employment solicitor firms, the service we have received from them has been second to none. The professionalism displayed consistently from this firm has been seamless during this pandemic. ’

‘The support from David Walton at Gorvins on employee relations issues has been exceptional. His dedicated, no-nonsense, solution finding approach is refreshing, he has consistently put the best interests of my Company at the forefront of any issues, large or small. Highly professional, knowledgeable and approachable, David has gone above and beyond to find practical solutions to difficult and testing ER issues and is an asset to Gorvins.’

‘The staff there are all very friendly and approachable, and we have built up a close working relationship with many of their staff over the twenty or so years we have been dealing with them. Always on hand should we have any urgent legal matters that need addressing. ’

‘The team is lead by David Walton who manages the team in a way that ensures they are responsive to the client’s need. They listen and understand. The advice and guidance given is legally sound, takes careful account of the business setting and is pragmatic.’ 

‘David Walton stands out from other lawyers we have used historically in that he combines his expert knowledge of employment law and practice and policies with sound business acumen and an ability to relate to the employers perspective. He has never lost a case for us, including taking a high value claim to the Employment Appeal Tribunal and winning it. The cost of losing this case would have cost the Company over £300,000 and put the business in jeopardy. The advice he gave me originally proved to be correct through two Tribunals and ultimately was the same as Counsel advanced at the EAT. He provided great reassurance to us at this time with his calm reassuring manner and advice. He is highly recommended.’

‘David Walton is so easy to work with and offers sound, practical advice in a clear way. It comes across that he has customer service at the forefront of his mind, coupled with providing sound, business focussed advice which is delivered in a clear and friendly manner.’

KBL Solicitors LLP

Bolton-based KBL Solicitors LLP provides contentious and non-contentious employment law advice to clients from sectors including heavy industry, hospitality and consumer goods. The team is led by Sarah Collier, who was promoted to partner in April 2020. The practice's non-contentious work included advising clients on accessing the furlough scheme, while in tribunal it represented employers facing claims of race, disability and gender discrimination, as well as unfair dismissal.

Practice head(s):

Sarah Collier

Testimonials

‘I feel working alongside Sarah Collier for a number of years, we seem to share the same values. This then helps us to align with what is the right thing to do, with of course the legal background ensuring compliance at all times. I like the fact that Sarah is very open minded. She listens and understands what we are trying to achieve. Sarah is very knowledgable in her area of expertise and I have the utmost trust in her to guide my role and the business in a safe and legally compliant way.’

‘Always prepared to listen and work with you as individuals rather than just another client. Very caring approach and always goes over and above. Truly professional approach where things are dealt with in a timely manner, never have to wait or chase for answers.’

‘Sarah Collier is great on practical advice and solutions to seemingly intractable problems.’

‘Sarah Collier has been brilliant, doesn’t burden you in legal jargon, and explains things in common sense, easy to understand ways.’

‘Sarah Collier’s knowledge is amazing, Sarah always listens to the issue and then researches the issues and comes back within a couple of hours with various options.’

‘The Employment team at KBL have produced some outstanding work for us. Bespoke advice in an unprecedented pandemic has allowed us to continue to provide our services.’

‘Sarah Collier has a no-nonsense, direct approach. Sarah is confident, capable and provides an outstanding service. I have come to rely on Sarah for a wide range of niche issues. ’

‘The whole team have been a fantastic support throughout the whole process where we have required their help. Their personal approach has been incredibly reassuring meaning everything was clear and easily understandable from the very outset. ’

Linder Myers

Linder Myers acts for SMEs from sectors including retail, care and professional services in employment matters. Practice head Alan Lewis is experienced in defending employers in tribunal proceedings; his recent work includes responding to allegations of unfair dismissal and discrimination. The team also provides non-contentious ongoing assistance to clients through its retained advice scheme, Employ-line, advising on the drafting of contracts, redundancies and immigration-related matters.

Practice head(s):

Alan Lewis

Testimonials

‘Despite the wealth of experience this team has, they are still prepared to go back to the law books and examine matters afresh to ensure their advice is up to date and accurate. Unlike so many market leading firms, they are able to turn their hands to both sides of the coin to understand and appreciate where the other side are coming from. This is a considerable advantage they have over their competitors.’

‘Alan Lewis is very knowledgeable and a tough negotiator. ’

‘Very personable team. Always happy to help and support. Have one key contact within the business which is great for consistency. Excellent advice and support always given on any queries. Reliable, approachable and friendly firm. Excellent knowledge of employment law.’

‘My main contact at the firm is Alan Lewis. He has taken the time to understand our business and how we operate. He is easily contactable and always on hand should the company need him for expert advice or support. He has assisted me and the company through a number of different matters and has provided excellent guidance for each. He clearly explains his advice and reasoning and offers further literature making sure we have a thorough understanding. Always very supportive and approachable. Would highly recommend. ’

‘I have used Mr Lewis via Linder Myers Employline insurance scheme for Employers for many years now. When I contact him with an enquiry, he is swift to reply and always uses himself as my point of contact, rather than sending it out to a junior Associate. This continuity with regard to client contact care I particularly appreciate. Additionally, Mr Lewis is always able to quickly grasp the crux of a problem. I was particularly impressed recently when I contacted him with a problematic TUPE enquiry and he was immediately up-to-date on case law, being able to name a supporting authority for my problem which had only been released by the Employment Appeals Tribunal the week before. Also, I appreciate how easily Mr Lewis is able to spell out his legal advice very clearly without clouding the issue with a lot of legal jargon.’

Key clients

I Saw it First

Rayburn Trading Limited

RMS International Limited

Family Care Associates Limited

Jack Ross Chartered Accountants

RJ Gill Solicitors

Parfen Limited

Owlfolk Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising RMS International Limited on numerous employment issues throughout the year including disciplinary, capability and grievance matters.
  • Advising Rayburn Trading Limiting on numerous employment issues throughout the year including disciplinary and grievance matters.
  • Advising I Saw It First on numerous employment issues throughout the year including disciplinary, capability and grievance matters.

Martin & Co

Martin & Co stands out for its work advising clients in the education sector on contentious and non-contentious employment issues, including restructurings, redundancies and employment tribunal disputes. The practice also counts charities and manufacturers amongst its clients. John Martin leads the team and handles most of his own advocacy in tribunals himself, rather than through external barristers. Matthew Ainscough departed the practice in May 2019 to join Bell & Buxton.

Practice head(s):

John Martin

Other key lawyers:

Ciaran Montague

Testimonials

‘John Martin leads his practice with great personal commitment and pride. The customer service and relationship is exceptional. He takes a personal interest in our organisation and works in partnership with us to ensure that his advice and guidance is legally sound whilst also showing an appreciation of our ethos and values. ’

‘John Martin is an experienced and expert employment lawyer. John has a very personable style; he has an eye for detail and the ability to quickly identify the key issues and assess risk. His advice is always clear, concise and balanced which generates great confidence in others. His calmness and professionalism are very reassuring.’

‘Our contact John Martin is completely in tune with our business needs at all times and tailors his services accordingly. He always makes us feel like his only client with his personal approach to us.’

‘John Martin understands the sector extremely well and also has an excellent understanding of the College and is a trusted adviser to both the HR team and senior managers. John fully explores the issue with you so that he can give the most appropriate advice, making sure he has covered all the relevant angles. John offers sensible and pragmatic advice on how to solve problems and advises on any potential risks associated with a planned course of action enabling us to make sensible and well-considered decisions. ’

‘The team are friendly, reliable, and open. I have visited the office many times and it’s been a great experience each time.’

‘John Martin’s attention to detail is second to none. His advice is careful and considered.’

‘A small firm that is approachable and accessible. Very responsive in an area that sometimes requires immediate feedback.’

‘John Martin is an excellent solicitor. In the office he is pragmatic and helpful for the everyday needs of a legal practice, simplifying issues and clarifying potential risks. As an advocate he had excellent control of voluminous material and in written submissions was technically excellent whilst being succinct and not verbose.’

Key clients

St Bede’s College

Keolis Amey Metrolink

David Lewis Centre

Oldham College

Acuma

Freestart Plc

Heyrod Construction

Manchester Health Academy

Novosco

Eurowrap

Opus 4

Work highlights

  • Defended the David Lewis Centre in two multi-day discrimination claims in the Employment Tribunal.
  • Advised Opus 4 Limited on the restructure of their workforce with changes to terms of employment.
  • Defended Oldham College in a claim for discrimination in the Employment Tribunal.

MLP Law LLP

Under the leadership of Gareth Matthews, MLP Law LLP handles contentious and non-contentious employment matters, including restructurings, TUPE transfers and unfair dismissal tribunal claims. Matthews has experience acting for clients in the hospitality, retail and manufacturing sectors. The team has in-house advocacy capabilities, with Julie Ballas representing both employers and employees at tribunal.

Practice head(s):

Gareth Matthews

Other key lawyers:

Julie Ballas

Testimonials

‘Gareth Matthews is our account manager and and is always our first point of contact for all queries. He is always approachable and efficient when referring to our queries. In addition to providing excellent service and advice we are keep up to date with current legislation with the monthly newsletters and also invite to seminars with Q&A sessions.’

‘Gareth Matthews is our Account Manager and has been for several years. We have an international business and Gareth is not only on hand for our UK team but also for our teams in the US to offer advice and to provide an excellent service. He is always approachable and gets the help and service we need quickly. It is because of this level of service and trust we have in Gareth that our business has remained with MLP for so long.’

‘The firm has a cosiness due to it’s size that makes us feel a very valued client. The owner is very down to earth and very approachable on any matter. The introduction of regular Q&A webinars for their Flex Model customers has been a fantastic addition over the past 12-18 months. We’ve had a few quite sizeable HR issues to deal with in 2020 but MLP has guided us superbly through the processes to help us reach very satisfactory conclusions in all of them.’

‘Employment partner Gareth Matthews is our main contact at MLP. He has a good understanding of our business and is able to give clear and concise guidance that we can send straight on to other employees in our Company. He is always quick and thorough replying to queries. When we have more major issues though, the level of detail is never lacking and it always comes in easy to read English.’

‘They have launched regular webinars to address the fast pace of issues that have occurred over the past year. ’

‘Gareth Matthews is our key contact and has an excellent understanding of our business in order to help address our requirements. ’

‘They are always ready to assist and the info they give is clear’

‘They take the time to understand the issue and offer support as well as advice.’

Key clients

TB Resorts Operations Limited t/a The Belfry

Calgaz Limited

Osborne Delta (Lightning Conductors) Limited

The Manchester Crematorium Limited

Pulsar Communications Limited

GKR Karate Admin Services LLP

Rota Engineering Limited

Delta Steeplejacks Limited

PwC LLP

Laura Nadel and Jo Payne are the names to note at PwC LLP, which advises clients on a range of employment law matters. Retail and hospitality are two areas of focus for the team.

Other key lawyers:

Laura Nadel; Jo Payne

Backhouse Jones

Backhouse Jones stands out for its expertise in the transport sector, where it advises many of the most prominent bus and coach companies, road haulage operators and trade associations. In addition to advising on TUPE transfers, contentious employment matters, and the drafting of employment contracts and policies, the team has recently been highly active in advising on the impact of Brexit on employment in this space. The Clitheroe-based team is led by Steven Meyerhoff.

Practice head(s):

Steven Meyerhoff

Other key lawyers:

James Lomax; Laura Smith

Testimonials

‘Specialists in Transport – excellent and practical employment advice. All team members are knowledgeable and commercially astute. The call support function is very helpful for our managers to ensure we avoid pitfalls. ’

‘Steven Meyerhoff and Laura Smith are head and shoulders ahead of other employment advisors. Very experienced and savvy. Both commercially astute. They listen to their client needs and always find the best solutions.’

‘Their knowledge of the passenger transport and transport sectors has been invaluable in all areas of law and compliance, not just employment law, particularly when dealing with the pandemic. They have a team that can pick up all areas of expertise where employment law falls in to other areas such as H&S/regulatory compliance/contract law – it literally had all the legal expertise we required easily at hand. This has been the most responsive and receptive employment law team I have worked with, they always listen to what we are trying to achieve and understand our culture and approach and give pertinent and relevant advice in that context. They are a trusted partner. Weekly/Fortnightly Covid webinars were invaluable covering all areas.’

‘James Lomax has been a stand out member of the team for us. He is prepared to take on challenges which most solicitors would roll over on and support us in tackling employment legislation, where there is an opportunity for interpretation. Equally he has an ability to guide us into alternative roadmaps to tackle issues which he does with a particular focus on the end goal. His responsiveness is exceptional and timeliness in producing work is first rate. James has an ability to recognize and work with the diverse challenges within our business and adapts his responses accordingly. I find him polite, considered, very quick thinking, personable with good humor and a real pleasure to work with.’

Key clients

Road Haulage Association Limited

Rotala plc

Abellio UK

British Association of Removers Limited

Warrington Borough TransportLimited

Stagecoach Group plc

McCarthy Haulage Limited

Work highlights

  • Delivered a series of roadshows, webinars and a helpline to the RHA on the impact of a potential no-deal Brexit on employment in the haulage industry.
  • Providing the “RHA’s legal services” subscription scheme which allows RHA members exclusively to take full control of their legal budget. Members pay a fixed annual amount based on vehicle fleet size to secure “on-tap” advice on all matters to do with Regulatory Compliance and Human Resources.
  • Providing advice to a large number of clients in the transport industry on COVID-19 issues.

DTM Legal LLP

Under the leadership of senior associate Tom Evans, DTM Legal LLP handles the employment aspects of restructurings, including those involving trade unions, and also acts for employers in defence of unfair dismissal, whistleblowing and discrimination claims. The team experienced some turnover in 2020, with Duncan McAllister departing in September, joining Taylor Brown, and senior associate Elizabeth Judson joining in May from Jolliffe & Co LLP, where she was head of employment. Since joining the team, Judson has advised on a number of restructurings and unfair dismissal claims. Non-contentious employment specialist Alison Brennan is another key figure in the practice.

Practice head(s):

Tom Evans

Other key lawyers:

Alison Brennan; Elizabeth Judson

Testimonials

‘Alison Brennan and Tom Evans are both readily available and communicative; they deliver with a humanity and understanding of the issues and know their stuff very well!’

‘They feel like an extension to our business. They fully understand our business inside out and are very responsive and provide a huge level of support.’

‘We’ve been working with Tom Evans and his team for many years and they are all an extension of our own teams. Passionate about what they do, warm, friendly, approachable, direct, decisive – part of our working family.’

‘Tom Evans is approachable and open to frank discussions. There is also a level of practical advice – Tom provides the legal interpretation but also gives real life/practical examples of how areas of the legislation are applied. This is really helpful as a small business owner. ’

‘Tom Evans is helpful and diligent and provides a professional, yet friendly, manner. He’s very good at putting people at ease and there is no pretention, which is what I want from a legal advisor. ’

‘Tom Evans was excellent. He explained the technical issues in language that was easy to understand. He guided us through the whole TUPE process and dealt with the contractual requirements with assistance from his colleagues.’

‘Unique service and attention to detail, have dealt with very complex employment law issues. Have a diverse and complex team that compliment each other.’

‘I have primarily worked with Tom Evans and found him to be excellent. His personable manner allows for a great relationship wherein I am comfortable to discuss and explore all matters relating to the case in hand. His integrity in providing sound, defensible legal position is also without question. Great service at all times. ’

Key clients

Moneypenny

Typhoo Tea Limited

Village Bakery

CSA Group Testing UK Limited

Proximo Holdings Limited

Atlas Copco IAS UK Limited

Calder Industrial Materials Limited/ Calder Group Holdings Limited

Rotex Europe Limited

Thornton Hall Hotel Limited

Esterform Packaging Limited

Evoke Creative Limited

Andrew Collinge Holdings Limited

SocialSignin Ltd t/a Orlo

Smylies Ltd

Work highlights

  • Advised Typhoo Tea Ltd on a restructure of its Moreton site affecting circa 200 production and office roles involving changes in terms and conditions and redundancies triggering collective consultation obligations with relevant unions.
  • Advised Moneypenny on day-to-day HR advice including numerous TUPE service provision change projects relating to successful tenders for large scale outsourcing of telephone answering services on behalf of various PLC, international and blue-chip companies.
  • Advising a senior executive on Employment Tribunal and Civil claims of whistleblowing, unfair and wrongful dismissal and breach of contract worth circa £1 million.

Glaisyers LLP

Glaisyers LLP acts for SMEs and other clients across sectors including education, manufacturing, care and professional services in emplyoment-related matters. In 2020, the team provided advice to clients on the furlough scheme and collective redundancies; practice head Russell Brown also represented clients in employment tribunals, defending employers against unfair dismissal and discrimination claims. Brown is praised as 'exceptionally approachable, knowledgeable and straightforward', and also handles the employment aspects of corporate transactions.

Practice head(s):

Russell Brown

Testimonials

‘The whole team at Glaisyers are always on hand to support and advise. They are extremely knowledgeable and approachable and if an area arises which has multiple avenues to go down, they will provide all the info required to make an informed approach.’

‘Russell Brown has been a great help during the pandemic, as we have all been learning on the job with the furlough scheme so if there was ever a grey area Russell and the Team would do extensive research into answering the questions.’

‘We have engaged the team at Glaisyers for nearly 16 years now, which I think speaks for itself, we always receive timely, relevant updates and the availability and responsiveness is always exceptionally high. I find the advice is always pragmatic, considered and most importantly of all commercial, bearing in mind our desired outcomes and they guide us step by step through the necessary process.’

‘Russell Brown is simply an exceptional employment lawyer. He’s always current, available and delivers advice in a calm and measured way. We view Russell as a critical extension of our HR team, and I know his input and advice is always appreciated by the team.’

‘Russell Brown is a significant player in the NW employment market. Russell is methodical, tenacious and excellent in his attention to detail. He works tirelessly to secure the best outcome for his clients.’

‘I have worked with or referred cases to Glaisyers for many years now and contacts or colleagues who have use their services have always been very positive about the experience. They provide a client centred commercial approach at a good price and can compete far above their size with the bigger employment teams in Manchester.’

‘The team are pragmatic, tenacious and solution focused in their approach, they very much have sought to understand the intricacies of our business which has helped considerably with how we handle our matters.’

‘Russell Brown is exceptionally approachable, knowledgeable and straightforward. I would not hesitate to recommend him in any circumstances.’

Work highlights

  • Advised the client in connection with a collective redundancy exercise of about 100 staff arising from the Covid-19 pandemic. This was prior to the announcement of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, but we were able to advise them of the expected scheme, leading to a very different outcome for the client.
  • Advising the client on two matters – one involving a former employee who stole sensitive information, the other representing the client in connection with Employment Tribunal proceedings.
  • Acting for the client in relation to an Employment Tribunal claim following the dismissal involving allegations of warranty and fraudulent misrepresentation against the former director.

Trowers & Hamlins LLP

Trowers & Hamlins LLP‘s employment team is now led by Danielle Ingham, who joined the firm in April 2020 from Shoosmiths LLP. Ingham counsels a client base including employers from the real estate, charities and retail sectors on employment matters, ranging from day-to-day issues to tribunal disputes. The team’s contentious work includes cases involving whistleblowing and alleged discrimination.

Practice head(s):

Danielle Ingham

Other key lawyers:

Vikki Cunliffe

Testimonials

‘I dealt with Danielle Ingham, she was very approachable, empathetic, efficient. She was very good at clearly explaining things to me in a way that was very easy to understand.’

‘Fantastic customer service. They really get to know our business and sector and advise us accordingly. With previous firms, you have to try and make the advice fit your specific circumstances, but with Trowers, they really do take the time to get to know your operational circumstances and advise accordingly. They always seem to provide that ‘something extra’; thinking about things you have not considered, offering training for the team, provide regular updates on employment law changes, linking you in with best practice, sharing things they think we might find useful, and so much more.’

‘Vikki Cunliffe is amazing – really quick to respond, very clear with her advise, exceedingly professional and so warm and friendly to deal with. She explains things well and gives you the confidence to act appropriately. Again, Vikki goes above and beyond and really thinks outside the query you have asked about. Excellent case management skills – Vikki was all over everything and absolutely ‘on it’ when we needed her to be.’

Key clients

Costco Wholesale UK Limited

Peabody Trust

Dimensions (UK) Limited

Community Gateway Association

Stroma Group Limited

Together Trust

Granite Turner Limited

Armstrong Projects Limited

Counterpoint HR

OTE Holdings Limited

Work highlights

  • Acting for Costco in relation to a seven day constructive dismissal, disability and race discrimination claim from a former employee with over 20 years service.
  • Providing strategic advice to Dimensions on a potential move to permanent agile working following the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • Conducting a full scale review and update of AP’s employment contracts, policies and procedures, to ensure compliance and best practice against industry standards.