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The Legal 500 Hall of Fame Icon The Legal 500 Hall of Fame highlights individuals who have received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence. The Hall of Fame highlights, to clients, the law firm partners who are at the pinnacle of the profession. In the United Kingdon, the criteria for entry is to have been recognised by The Legal 500 as one of the elite leading lawyers for eight years. These partners are highlighted below and throughout the editorial.
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United Kingdom > North West > Human resources > Employment > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings



Index of tables

  1. Employment
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Next generation lawyers

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Value Reimagined: part of the Legal Reimagined Series

Our Manchester Legal Reimagined event will focus on the value proposition for the in-house function, but with a greater focus on reimagining how teams manage both the strategic risk challenge and effective outsourcing solutions.

Legal Reimagined goes beyond the ‘talk shop’, focussing on outcome-based and solution-orientated discussion. Conversation will be led by our Advisory Group of North West based general counsel and supported by insights from KPMG partners Nick Roome, Ed Bartlett and Paul Kelly. We welcome guest contributors on risk (Annabel Reoch) and value in the supply chain (Nicola Brooks).

Be part of it: peer-to-peer experience, knowledge-sharing and insights to transform ideas into solutions and action.

12 September 2019 | One St Peters Square, Manchester

Addleshaw Goddard 's ‘excellent and responsive’ team provides ‘high-quality advice' to FTSE100 and FTSE250 businesses and key regional employers. It has significant experience in the retail, transport, financial services and industrial sectors. Active clients include British Airways, JD Sports, Wolseley UK, BP International, Primark Stores and Lidl. In an important High Court matter the team successfully defended XRail in a complex claim for conspiracy and breach of confidence. In another highlight the team advised its client on a major investigation that arose as a result of a number of complaints by a whistle blower.  Malcolm Pike  is ‘one of the best employment lawyers in the North West’. The ‘very experienced’ Jamie Hamnett  has extensive employment tribunal experience and is well regarded for his business protection work such as the protection of confidential information and the enforcement of post-termination restraint of trade clauses. Hamnett is ‘balanced and informed in his approach and can judge what is fair and reasonable’.

Brabners LLP's group acts predominantly for employers but also acts for a significant number of employees, directors and senior executives, with particular expertise in discrimination and whistleblowing claims. In addition, the group is skilled at advising on complex employment tribunal litigation, frequently advises senior executives on contractual terms, remuneration and benefits, and is noted for its sector expertise in the areas of recruitment, immigration, housing and regeneration. Clients include JD Wetherspoon as well as premier league football clubs, owner managed businesses, charities, schools and senior executives. Nick Campbell  leads the team in Liverpool and is described as a ‘leader in the market and great for board level exits’. The head of the team in Manchester is Paul Chamberlain . Other key figures include Andrew Cross, who has a ‘very incisive mind’; the ‘very experienced’ Joseph Shelston, who is noted for his ‘great commercial perspective and expertise in discrimination and TUPE’ the ‘excellent’ Paul Ryman  and the ‘top drawer’ Kate Venables both of whom are senior associates, are also recommended, as is associate Emma James,  who is praised for her ‘attention to detail’.

DAC Beachcroft LLP  fields a ‘knowledgeable, commercially aware and practical’ team that is ‘exceptional in all areas of employment'. The department ‘takes a genuine interest in its clients’ and acts in the most high-profile matters for FTSE-listed companies, global employers in addition to the largest employers in the region. Active clients include Balfour Beatty Utilities, Bentley Motors, McDonald’s and Chubb Insurance of Europe. Deborah Hely  and her team are ‘outstanding’. Philip Harman  is a ‘very experienced and technically able lawyer who thinks outside the box and gives very clear and unambiguous advice'. At associate level Kim Freeman-Smith  is ‘considered, very responsive and straightforward’. Michelle Jenkins  and Nicola Sherry are both ‘very approachable, pragmatic and experienced’.

DLA Piper UK LLP  ’s team is ‘willing to go that extra mile’ and attracts praise for providing ‘fully thought-through advice from all angles’. Head of department Alan Chalmers  is ‘really great for giving practical advice that is useful and actionable’. The ‘bright, astute and pragmatic’ Helen Hall  ‘provides thorough and considered advice’. Emma Mills  is ‘able to quickly understand complex issues and articulate advice in an easy to understand way’. The team advises leading global, national and regional business such as Akzo Nobel, Trinity Mirror Group plc, International Hotels Group plc and the Co-Operative Bank. The team is currently defending a complex and potentially high-value employment tribunal claim concerning race discrimination, harassment, victimisation and whistleblowing that is being brought by a high profile former employee.

DWF's  team is 'able to cover sensitive and technical areas of employment law really well’. Andrew Chamberlain  is ‘extremely attentive, responsive and supportive throughout complex and often stressful situations’. Kirsty Rogers  is praised for her ‘proper and consistent supervision of the work that is undertaken by the team and she is very engaging to deal with’. Joanne Frew  is also ‘excellent ‘and oversees the insured employment team acting for some major insurers. The ‘technically able’ Jon Keeble  is a ‘fantastic advocate’. The ‘strong, responsive and thorough’ team acts for clients such as Ladbrokes Coral, Lookers, Capita and Kier Group. Highlights included successfully settling a case for its client following a claim by an ex-employee for automatic unfair dismissal in respect of making alleged ‘protected disclosures’.

e3 employment law LLP  is a ‘strong boutique practice' whose team ‘combines strong technical advice with a pragmatic approach’ and is also praised for its ‘rapid response times’. Dan Bickerstaffe is a ‘superb communicator, able to explain the risks associated with each step very well’. The ‘outstanding and unflappable’ Nick Jones  is ‘attuned to the needs of his clients and is tactically very savvy’. Simon Ost  provides ‘consistently relevant and pragmatic advice and really understands his clients’ business’. It has considerable expertise in complex employee change programmes in addition to sensitive and high-value litigation, employee relations issues and industrial disputes. The ‘commercial’ team is also skilled at advising on board level disputes, international employment issues and on restrictive covenant issues. Active clients include longstanding clients such as BASF, Thomas Cook and Mexichem in addition to new clients such as Lumenpulse Group and Perspex Distribution.

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP ’s ‘highly accessible’ team ‘provides an outstanding service and has comprehensive industry knowledge’. Head of department Michael Thompson  ‘cuts to the chase to get matters resolved’ and ‘manages large international projects well’. Michael Burns  ‘develops a very good rapport with his clients and provides pragmatic and commercial advice on the most complex issues’. Legal director Jane Cotton  is praised for her ‘deep technical knowledge’. The team advised Warburton on negotiating new terms and conditions for its bakery staff to provide for more flexible contracts. Other key clients include Sellafield, United Utilities and the University of Bradford.

The ‘seasoned and unflappable’ Michael Ball heads the team Gateley Plc . He is someone who ‘gets the job done without fuss without trying to drag things out and score unnecessary legal points’. Ball often advises on the TUPE aspects of business sales and service provision changes together with large-scale restructuring and harmonisation programmes. Chris Thompson regularly advises on the employment aspects of corporate and commercial transactions and is a skilled tribunal advocate. Stephen Hills  is recommended for his work on trade union matters with an emphasis on contentious work such as unfair dismissal, redundancies, executive severance and other issues such as discrimination. The team has particular strength in the retail and leisure sectors. Clients include the British Medical Association, Halfords Autocentres and Mothercare and Early Learning Centre.

Hill Dickinson LLP   has a large team of seasoned practitioners. Philip Farrar  has a wealth of experience in NHS matters; Jeff Middleton  regularly advises on senior executives’ appointments and terminations and Luke Green has considerable expertise in the schools sector. Kerstie Skeaping is recommended for her broad range of employment experience and is an accomplished tribunal advocate. Senior associate Kate Shute  is ‘brilliant, pragmatic and technically excellent. She really has lots of public sector/NHS experience’. The department advises blue-chip clients such as Astra Zeneca UK, BBC and the University of Chester Academy Trust. Other active clients include Royal Liverpool & Broadgreen University Hospital NHS Trust, NHS England and The City of Liverpool College. It is representing Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust in a long-running dispute with three individuals who have brought multiple claims against the trust for victimisation relating to their redeployment in the aftermath of tribunal proceedings.

Squire Patton Boggs  is praised for its ‘five-star service’. ‘I feel totally comfortable asking the team any questions. The team provides consistently excellent advice –I cannot rate the team highly enough for its friendly and professional approach’. Head of team Alison Treliving  is ‘passionate about what she does, she listens and then provides timely , clear and unambigious advice in a cost-effective way on a broad range of employment matters’. Senior associate James Pike  is ‘friendly, polite, pragmatic and business focused’. Bryn Doyle  is also recommended for his work on a broad range of issues such as discrimination, unfair and wrongful dismissal as well as TUPE and redundancy advice. The team has a particular focus on high-end strategic change projects and Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employees) work. It combines strength on the contentious and non-contentious side and frequently acts for global and regional corporates such as Mamas and Papas, Tesco, Pets at Home and Veolia. The group has a host of sector specialisms with a core strength in retail as well as considerable expertise in recruitment, manufacturing, engineering and higher education. The ‘helpful and polite team provides pragmatic and business-focused solutions'. Paula Cole is now at TLT  .

Weightmans LLP has a large team with a number of standout individuals, including Stuart Jones, who has particular expertise in TUPE, reorganisations and collective issues. Mark Hatfield  predominantly advises employers on all aspects of employment and discrimination law. Emlyn Williams  is a ‘strong advocate’ in both the Employment Tribunal and the Employment Appeals Tribunal. The team has considerable strength in the public and private sectors with particular expertise in social housing and the healthcare sectors. The department acts for a significant number of major registered providers in the North West and other clients include White Stuff, National Museums Liverpool, Swissport and The Ombudsman Services Limited. Steve Peacock is leading the advice to Royal Mail in the forthcoming high profile proceedings in the Supreme Court. In other major matter. Mark Leach  led the successful defence for The Bridgewater Community Healthcare NHS of 13 different claims for whistleblowing.

Aaron & Partners LLP's team has been advising Zip World on various employment matters. Other key clients include Sovini, Txtlocal and North of England Zoological Society as well as Stagwell Media (NRG) UK. Helen Watson heads the team and is praised for her ‘prompt responses and for her depth of knowledge’. Watson regularly advises clients in both the private and public sectors on contentious and non-contentious matters and has Higher Rights of Audience. Associate Adam Haines is ‘assertive and is particularly strong on contentious matters’ and is experienced at conducting employment tribunal claims. Haines has wide ranging sector expertise covering financial, retail, facilities management and hospitality.

Analysis Legal LLP  is ‘an excellent employment focused firm made up of knowledgeable and experienced employment lawyers with an excellent pedigree. It contains a deep bench of committed and commercially savvy lawyers who are able to provide a premium service at a lower cost’. Andrea Paxton  ‘takes away a lot of our worries and stresses. She is extremely professional yet puts us totally at ease’. Anna Lees  ‘inspires confidence with her candid, balanced and structured approach’. The ‘top-class’ Karen Fletcher  (a consultant) also receives a lot of praise for being ‘consistently excellent’ and consultant Joanne Alvey  is also ‘exceptionally impressive’. Senior consultant Chris McAvoy  is a ‘very client friendly practitioner who is an excellent tactician during the course of protracted litigation’. Lees continues to provide strategic training courses for employee representatives at Astra Zeneca in Cambridge.

JMW Solicitors LLP  fields a ‘very professional, proactive, responsive and knowledgeable team that is always willing to answer any questions’. Head of team is the ‘very approachable and professional' Liz Cotton  who is ‘adept at explaining the legal implications of each move’. The team added to its ranks at a senior level with the appointment of Simon Bloch  from Knights plc and Sarah Evans  from Slater and Gordon  . Evans ‘gets the job done and is tenacious and fearless in the pursuit of her clients’ claims’. Senior associate Jennifer Smith  is 'very thorough and totally committed to her clients’. The ‘very accessible’ team has a broad range of experience such as advising on large-scale redundancies and reorganisations, whistleblowing claims and multi-party actions. It has particular expertise in the recruitment sector and is currently advising a recruitment agency about terminating the employment of its operations director. In another significant matter it is acting for 50 former employees of Hewdens in two class action claims for protective awards following a failure of the now insolvent employer to consult with staff prior to redundancies.

Key figures at Kuit Steinart Levy LLP  include Kevin McKenna, who ‘not only dissects a client’s (and potential opponent’s) case and problems, he then provides solutions with equal alacrity and commercial realism and sensitivity’. Sally Bird  is also recommended. The team has a broad range of expertise including tribunal litigation for complex claims involving whistleblowing and discrimination, executive terminations and a growing practice in advising senior healthcare professionals. It also routinely acts for larger corporate organisations on restructuring and redundancy programmes and has recently advised on a number of High Court injunctions. Clients include Maersk Line UK, GG Hospitality (a venture that was founded by Gary Neville and Ryan Giggs) and Viridor Waste.

Myerson Solicitors LLP's ‘reliable and highly professional’ team is headed by the ‘extremely thorough and diligent Joanne Evans , whose 'great communication ensures that all parties are comfortable with the likely outcomes’. The 'excellent' Joanne Henderson  and ‘very knowledgeable’ senior solicitor Charlotte Gilbert  are also recommended, as are solicitor David Jones  and Helen Littlewood, who was promoted to senior solicitor. Clients include Eastern Airways, Humberside International Airport, TATA Chemicals and the Royal Exchange Theatre.

Pannone Corporate LLP's ‘superb' team 'provides advice that is equal to the quality provided by City of London firms but at highly competitive charge-out rates’. The ‘professional, friendly, pragmatic and approachable’ Jack Harrington ‘listens to his clients – he is excellent’. The ‘exceptional’ Fiona Hamor  has the ‘ability to assimilate information quickly, get to the crux of the problem and then offer viable solutions while always highlighting the pros and cons and the likely impact of any decision’. The department advises on the full range of employment issues to clients such as multinational corporations, large public sector organisations, SMEs and social landlords. The team has particular expertise in TUPE especially in the context of outsourcing and in-sourcing and routinely advises clients in the social housing sector on TUPE issues as they arise in the context of local authority procurement.

Forbes Solicitors   provides ‘swift, efficient and pragmatic advice to its clients’. Head of department Jonathan Holden  leads a team of ‘highly competent individuals’ covering the full range of employment matters, including Ruth Rule-Mullen, who ‘communicates in understandable language whilst wearing a commercial hat when advising’. The team, which has been boosted by the hire of Emma Swan in July 2017 from Knights Professional Services, has significant experience of dealing with public sector clients and has wide-ranging knowledge of the employment issues that surround the social housing sector. ‘Very practical’ associate Laura Cieplak  is also recommended. Active clients include Leyland Trucks, Blackburn Rovers FC and new client Bolton School.

Kennedys merged with Berg in 2017. Principal contact Alison Loveday advises on the full range of employment issues from restructuring businesses and introducing gender pay gap reporting provisions to dealing with discrimination and harassment claims in the workplace. Senior associate Michelle Gray  acts for SMEs and senior executives (with a particular focus on negotiating exits). Clients include JD Sports Fashion and ITC Luxury Travel. DBL Asset Management, Aerial Platforms and Packaging Automation are also clients.

The team at Law by Design Limited  is ‘extremely knowledgeable and adapts its working practices to suit its clients’ needs’. The boutique practice has a ‘good understanding of the NHS’ and a strong sector presence in schools, logistics and other areas such as construction and charities. Managing director Sue Morrison  is ‘well respected’. The ‘responsive’ James Upton  and Rob Coward both ‘go above and beyond to assist their clients’. The ‘practical’ Caroline Shafar  ‘does not sit on the fence’ and senior associate Saira Ali  is ‘consistently excellent’. The firm has been attracting work from a number of significant sized commercial organisations. It also has a strong sector presence in other areas such as insurance, friendly socieities and charities.

The ‘very experienced’ team at Mills & Reeve LLP  provides ‘practical advice’. Sara Barrett ‘uses her wealth of experience and knowledge to get to the heart of the matter and then provides good support to help clients achieve their goals’. Principal associate Deborah Coyne  ‘quickly gets to grips with the key issues and is very solution orientated’. Associate Miriam Guilding is a ‘great source of advice, knowledge and support when  dealing with complex issues’. Clients include Lancaster University, Royal Northern College of Music, Bolton College and Turley Associates. Victrex Manufacturing and Sefton Council for Voluntary Service are also key clients.

Neil Black  heads an ‘excellent team’ at Pinsent Masons LLP  that provides ‘very commercial advice’. Legal director Kate Dodd  ‘is very knowledgeable and has a great understanding of her clients’ businesses’. Black specialises in  manufacturing and infrastructure and is a leading employment adviser to the food and drinks sector. Highlights for the team included advising Cargill plc on the creation of a joint venture with Faccenda, which required UK Competition and Markets Authority clearance in addition to European Commission approval under EU Merger Regulations. Other key clients include Odeon Cinemas and Weetabix along with Muller Dairy (UK) and Mondelez International (formerly Kraft / Cadbury).

SAS Daniels LLP's  ‘knowledgeable’ team has a particular strength in the education sector and ‘gives superb advice’. The ‘sensible and very professional’ Jonathan Whittaker is praised for his ‘no-nonsense and down-to-earth advice’ - he also acts part time as an employment tribunal judge. Senior associate Katie Hodson  advises on a variety of employment issues such as re-organisations and TUPE, in addition to disciplinary and grievance issues.  Karen Barker  and Stephen Foster  are also recommended.

The ‘very commercial’ Ed Cotton at TLT  ‘gets to the key issues quickly and is very commercial in his approach and style’. Cotton regularly advises on complex strategic and organisational issues as well as on the employment aspects of disposals, mergers and acqusitions. The team was further strengthened by the recruitment of the ‘top-class’ Paula Cole from Squire Patton Boggs. At associate level Jessica Foster and David Birchett are both ‘excellent and very commercial’. The ‘exceptional’ team advises on a broad range of complex matters such as TUPE, large scale reorganisations, whistleblowing, restrictive covenants as well as trade union and industrial relations issues – often where there is a significant reputational issue at stake. Clients include Search Consultancy and Preston North End Football Club. Classic Lodges is another major client.

Bramhalls Solicitors fields a ‘responsive team that gives no-nonsense and commercial advice’. Phil Bramhall  heads the team and is ‘very experienced and gives very clear advice’. Rehan Pasha  is a ‘great negotiator who acts for his clients with absolute determination to resolve the difficulty at hand quickly'. John Hassells  is also praised for his ‘tremendous customer service and his attention to detail’. The team is skilled at advising on high-value employment law issues and on industrial relations matters. It has particular sector expertise in acting for food and drink producers, aerospace and defence as well as in education.

Kerren Daly  at Browne Jacobson LLP  regularly advises on executive terminations, on restructures and on mergers and acquisitions as well as on collective issues. Clients consider her to be ‘unrivalled for her detailed knowledge of employoment law and her depth of experience'. Associate Ian Deakin gives ‘sound and commercial advice’. Key clients include Kerry Logistics (UK), Cohens Chemists and Bovis Homes. Burton and South Derbyshire College, Dock 10 and Entu plc are other major clients. The firm fields a ‘strong and approachable team that offers straightforward advice’.

Chambers O'Neill is an excellent niche employment practice that continues to act predominantly for employers but also acts for a substantial number of individuals at a senior or board level. Andrew O'Neill routinely supports clients on issues arising out of multi-site reorganisations and TUPE as well as on contentious matters and Jim Chambers is an effective tribunal advocate. Its corporate clientele includes large and small businesses in sectors such as manufacturing, retail, property development and healthcare. Active clients include IDG Holdings and DT Automotives. Highlights included advising an individual on a complex claim for unfair dismissal and disability discrimination against a large supplier.

The ‘technically excellent’ Joanne Tindall at gunnercooke LLP is praised for her ‘calm and measured approach’. Tindall has a diverse range of sector experience in areas such as manufacturing and retail, and has considerable expertise in working with public sector and education providers as well as with charitable organisations. Simon Horsfield has expertise in contentious and non-contentious employment law with a particular emphasis on TUPE, business change and high-profile litigation. Ian Deakin is also recommended.

The ‘very approachable’ Justine Watkinson  heads the department at  Hillyer McKeown LLP; she is rated for her ability to ‘determine the main issues quickly’. Other key members of the team include Lindsey Kidd  and Ian Millington . Clients include local and national businesses across a wide range of sectors. The group continues to support its client Job Vacancy Portal (which is a recruitment business with a strong presence in North Wales and the Chester area). The department also has strong links with local educational establishments such as the University of Law (Chester).

The team at HRC Law LLP  adopts a ‘practical and intelligent approach that is focused on achieving its clients’ business objectives’. Simon Whitehead  has a ‘particularly calm and balanced approach and provides clear advice’. Whitehead has significant recruitment sector expertise and advises more than 100 regular recruitment clients on employment and regulatory issues. Among its many and varied work highlights it was instructed by Transline to deal with numerous issues relating to its supply of 2,500 temporary workers to Sports Direct.

The service Martin & Co  provides is ‘seamless - it is almost as if the services were provided in-house’. John Martin has an ‘eye for detail and an ability to quickly identify the key issues and assess the risk’. Associate Matthew Aiscough is ‘knowledgeable, attentive and customer focused’. The team has considerable experience in the education sector acting for clients such as Oldham College and is well known for its executive termination work and for dealing with complex discrimination matters. It also has a significant number of clients in the IT sector and the team does a lot of its own advocacy at the employment tribunal. Other key clients include the David Lewis Centre.

At Clarke Willmott LLP  Emma Hamnett advises on a myriad of issues such as applications for springboard relief, claims for breach of confidence. She also has considerable experience in restructuring and redundancy exercises. The team predominantly acts for medium-sized employers and has a strong reputation for its work with senior executives and for senior executive terminations. The department has a particular strength in restrictive covenants, injunction work and employment litigation in the High Court. It is also known for its restraint of trade work.

Clients of David Walton  at Gorvins Solicitors  say that they would have ‘no hesitation in recommending him whether to an employer or for an employee seeking advice on unfair dismissal, and redundancy discrimination cases’. Walton ‘gets to the heart of any problem very quickly and is determined to get the best for his clients’. He is an experienced litigator and advocate in the Employment Tribunal and acts for both claimant and respondent clients. He also advises employer clients on complex employment issues such as whistleblowing, TUPE transfers and restrictive covenants as well as disputes involving shareholder directors and employees. The practice has a particular strength in maternity discrimination. Senior associate Danielle Ayres has developed a particular specialisation in advising on family friendly rights and managing complex pregnancy and related sex discrimination issues.

KBL Solicitors LLP  provides ‘legally sound and commercially astute advice. In terms of its overall level of service, the team is always available for either over the phone advice or more detailed face to face meetings’ under the leadership of Christine Hart  Hart represents employers and employees on a broad range of contentious and non-contentious matters from unfair discrimination and whistle blowing claims to drafting director/executive service agreements. The majority of her time is spent assisting senior employees and directors.

Alan Lewis heads the team at Linder Myers and has considerable experience of representing employers and senior employees on a wide range of employment tribunal and High Court disputes. Solicitor Jen Challis  is ‘very knowledgeable’. The team routinely acts for SMEs especially in the medical and legal sectors.

The ‘commercially savvy’ team at MLP Law LLP’s ‘service levels are second to none’. Head of department Daniel Walker is ‘exceptionally knowledgeable and reliable’. The department has an impressive roster of clients such as Malmaison and Hotel Du Vin Holdings, TB Resorts Operations t/a The Belfry, Oasis Fashions and Village Hotels.

Senior associate Danielle Ingham  heads the department at Shoosmiths LLP . Ingham has particular expertise in advising clients in the financial services, retail and leisure sectors and is also an experienced litigator regularly handling complex and high value unfair dismissal, discrimination and other claims in the employment tribunal and at the Employment Appeals Tribunal. The team advises Costco on all of its UK employment issues, including employment tribunal claims and on business immigration matters. The team recently advised Costco on a claim for unfair dismissal where the claimant was sectioned under the Mental Health Act. Other key clients include Renaker Build, Placefirst and Acadian Asset Management (UK).

Slater Heelis LLP  has a ‘very responsive team that always provides timely and very clear advice’. Sarah Caulderwood is ‘sound in her advice and is able to simplify the key issues and the associated risks. She has a direct style which we find really helpful as we know where we stand’. Tracey Guest  specialises in advising on TUPE issues and collective redundancy procedures. Guest has a keen interest in the health sector regularly advising doctors and dentists. The team has extensive experience in the education sector dealing with schools, universities and teachers in addition to its skill in the healthcare sector. Clients include Kids Allowed, Eastwood and Creswell Dental Surgeries as well as Blueberry Therapeutics.

Backhouse Jones  is well regarded for its expertise in the transport industry. Steven Meyerhoff  heads the employment team that has a particular skill in advising on a broad range of complex employment issues in the transport sector.

Baines Wilson LLP   has a ‘dedicated and professional team of effective communicators’. Joanne Holborn  is rated for her ‘trustworthiness and judgement when it comes to particularly complex issues’. Both Holborn and Tom Scaife  are rated as ‘experienced and knowledgeable’. The department acts exclusively for employers from household names to small family-owned companies, sole traders and entrepreneurs across a range of sectors including manufacturing, construction, nuclear, renewables, agribusiness, the health sector and professional services.

Key figures at Bermans  include the ‘very active and excellent’ Nicky Benson, who heads the practice, and  Adrian Fryer, who has particular specialisms in TUPE, collective redundancies and trade union recognition. The team primarily acts for SMEs as well as a number of large household names. It also has a significant presence in the not-for-profit sector and particular strengths in various sectors such as retail, education and social housing. Active clients include Alternative Futures Group, Birkenhead School and Fusion 21 as well as Chester Zoo Staff Association and Key Recruitment.

The team at DTM Legal LLP  provides ‘realistic advice’. Alison Brennan  and Duncan McAllister  (who is recommended for his work on breach of covenants and wrongful dismissal) are recommended along with associate Tom Evans  Evans who is well-regarded for his work on complex tribunal litigation is ‘down to earth, friendly and supportive. He communicates well which really helps us to make informed choices’. It regularly assists its corporate clients on a wide range of contentious and non-contentious employment matters.

The ‘very innovative and entrepreneurial’ Charlotte Rees-John at Freeths LLP  provides ‘very commercial and pragmatic advice and explains things in simple, non-legal language so that people don’t feel intimidated’. The team advises a range of clients from the leisure, retail and care sectors on a broad range of matters such as TUPE transactional advice, training and policy review and tribunal claims. Active clients include JM Fitness, Roadchef, Southern Dental and Puregyms.

The team at Hibberts LLP  acts for both employers and employees and does claimant and respondent work in the employment tribunal and EAT. Highlights included advising a manufacturing business on its collective redundancy consultation and processes as well as on the closure of a UK site and its relocation abroad. The ‘extremely professional’ Camille Renaudon  provides ‘very clear advice, has a high knowledge of employment law and is excellent at managing clients’ expectations’.

Head of department at Nexus Solicitors Limited  is the ‘accessible and down to earth’ Louise Carr  who gives ‘clear and concise advice. She knows her area of law and is very commercial. All this is done in an exceptionally personable way’. The ‘very knowledgeable and approachable’ Craig McCracken  (a director) gives ‘sound advice’. Clients include Sovereign Trust and Tameside MBC. It represents clients from a number of sectors such as retail, TMT and manufacturing and routinely represents respondents and claimants in the employment tribunal.

Laura Nadel  heads the department PwC LLP . The team regularly advises the executive board and HR team of Moto Hospitality on the full range of employment matters including on the employment aspects of transactions, defending employment tribunal litigation and on various compliance issues.

The key contacts at Stripes Solicitors  are Andrew Stripe  and David Gallagher . The team advises on the full range of employment matters from employment tribunal litigation to TUPE advice, advice on discrimination as well as on other areas such as executive terminations.

Taylors LLP  ’ team ‘answers emails quickly, is very knowledgeable and its business acumen is fantastic. It produces work of the highest standard that is tailored to the client’s individual circumstances’. Head of team is the ‘personable and knowledgeable’ Peter Byrne  who is a ‘good communicator’. It is a niche commercial firms that works primarily with SMEs, owner-managed businesses and senior management on the full array of employment issues.

Helen Cookson  at Trowers & Hamlins LLP  is a ‘brilliant public sector lawyer’. Cookson’s work focuses on TUPE, changes to the terms and conditions, restructuring and managing difficult employees. She mainly acts for employers in the housing and social care fields. Cookson has provided specialist data protection support to Origin Housing Association to help it prepare for the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation. Other key clients include Dimensions, Imagine Act and Succeed as well as Funding Affordable Homes Housing Association.

Value Reimagined: part of the Legal Reimagined Series

12 September | 6pm | Manchester

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Legal Developments in North West for Employment

  • Companies should plan now to minimise their pension protection levy

    The amount that pension schemes have to pay to the Pension Protection Fund (PPF) for the year 2006/07 may have increased by as much as five times the previous year's levy. Employers who ultimately bear the cost of many pension schemes will need to make plans now to ensure the levy payable for the year 2008/09 is kept to a minimum.
    - Stephenson Harwood

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