Employment in North

Collingwood Legal

Employment specialistsCollingwood Legal, based in Newcastle, are known for taking on the full remit of instructions, from acting for individual claimants and defending companies in employment tribunal claims, namely unfair dismissal and discrimination claims. The employment team is led by Paul McGowan, who is a go-to for complex areas of TUPE and whistleblowing cases. Paul Johnstone is the team’s equality and discrimination law specialist, while a further name to note is Jane Sinnamon who made partner in February 2023. Senior associate Charlotte McBride advises claimants on unfair dismissal and associative disability claims, and also supports McGowan in assisting employers with contentious matters involving the theft of business information. Helen Scott is a notable member of the team at senior associate level.

Practice head(s):

Paul McGowan

Other key lawyers:

Paul Johnstone; Jane Sinnamon; Charlotte McBride; Helen Scott


‘Superb knowledge of employment law, an understanding of the nuances of our business and exceptional customer service.’

‘Helen Scott, Paul McGowan and Charlotte McBride are flawless in their advice, commercial understanding, knowledge of employment law and approachable services.’

‘Charlotte McBride has helped us a lot during the last 12 months. We have had some highly challenging cases including domestic violence where she has demonstrated great sensitivity and fairness to protecting our reputation as a sympathetic & supportive employer.’

‘Collingwood Legal focus entirely on employment law. This enables them to be right up to date with any changes in the law ensuring we can obtain the very best advice.’

‘Employment specialists. Experts in their field. Pragmatic, business focused advice.’

‘The team members all complement each other with their knowledge and expertise. You feel that if your main contact is not available, there is always someone else who knows your business and your problems well enough to step in and advise accordingly.’

‘We instructed Paul McGowan who is highly experienced and knowledgeable in an employment matter. Paul was ably supported by Charlotte McBride. The matter was relatively fast moving and we received timely and pragmatic advice which allowed us to achieve the outcome we desired.’

‘Collingwood Legal is a specialist employment practice which provides sound legal advice in the area of employment law.’

Key clients

Blackpool & The Fylde College

Parkdean Resorts UK Ltd

Purmo Group UK Ltd

Bradley Hall Limited


Tell Us North

Consultiv Utilities Limited



Emmanuel Schools Foundation

Orbis Support

Parmley Graham

National Golf Club Advisory Association


Eothen Homes

Ramarketing Ltd

Findhorn Foundation


Smithers Oasis

Simpson Print Ltd


Wilton Engineering

Work highlights

  • Achieving a six-figure award at Tribunal for dismissal and discrimination in complex proceedings spanning four years with all advisory and advocacy work undertaken internally.
  • Acting for a large facilities management business involved in a complex multi-party claim involving eight claimants relating to alleged breach of collective consultation obligations under both TULRCA 1992 and TUPE Regulations 2006.
  • Sdcured the dismissal of a Tribunal claim brought against Teesside University by a job applicant, on the basis of discrimination relating to a philosophical belief. The claim was dismissed at final hearing.

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP’s Newcastle-based employment team defends high profile employers, such as supermarket retailers, education institutions, national manufacturers and global investment banks in equality pay, unfair dismissal and discrimination claims. The team also take on non-contentious work, focusing on employment matters following the closure of facilities and offices, as well as HR assistance to national and international commercial clients. The experienced Shirley Hall leads the local office and is supported by newly promoted partner Suzanne Caveney, who likewise focuses on employment tribunal cases. Principal associates David Williams and Corrine Bentham are key contacts, with the former specialising in supporting financial services companies on employment rules and the latter an expert on business immigration.

Practice head(s):

Shirley Hall

Other key lawyers:

Suzanne Caveney; David Williams; Corrine Bentham


‘Eversheds Sutherland LLP has a strong employment law presence, with expertise across a range of areas. I have been particularly impressed with their handling of contentious and complex employment tribunal disputes.’

‘David Williams is an outstanding lawyer. I have worked with him on several employment tribunal disputes and have consistently been impressed by the depth of his knowledge, his strategic and practical judgement, and his client management skills.’

‘The team is an excellent provider of employment law advice. Its excellent service makes it unique. The quality of instructions I receive are second to none.’

‘Suzanne Caveney is always spot-on. She is incisive, confident and commercial in her approach to tribunal proceedings. I love working with her and it is evident that clients really appreciate her friendly and knowledgeable approach.’

‘Shirley Hall is exceptionally experienced in equal pay matters. She provides clear advice at all times. She is very responsive, good at managing a variety of stakeholders and excellent to deal with at all times.’

‘The Newcastle team has exceptional experience in advising on the full range of equal pay issues.’

‘The team at Eversheds Sutherland are outstanding. They are immediately receptive and very knowledgeable in their field.’

‘David Williams is an exceptional individual who delivers first class client care and sound legal reasoning. David’s ability to provide innovative, but pragmatic resolutions to complex legal matters is excellent.’

Key clients

British Broadcasting Corporation

Avery Dennison Plc

British Polythene Limited

Tata Consumer Products

Nestle UK Limited

University of Newcastle upon Tyne

Peter Vardy Limited

Wm Morrison Supermarkets Limited

Nissan Motor Manufacturing (UK) Limited

TDR Training

Work highlights

Muckle LLP

Muckle LLP’s employment law team advises a range of employers, including international clients, listed companies, large groups and owner managed businesses, across a number of sectors such as education, sport and leisure, on the full remit of instructions. Leading the Newcastle team, Chris Maddock focuses on executive severance, TUPE, reorganization projects, enforcement of post-termination restrictions and confidential information obligations, while Tony McPhillips specialises on employment related litigation in the sports and education spaces. Lisa Kelly is an expert on discrimination and equal pay issues, acting for employers in employment tribunal claims, with Jill Donabie serving as a key contact schools, colleagues and universities for day-to-day employment instructions. Amy Sergison is likewise integral to the team which also supports clients on business immigration and data protection within an employment law context.

Practice head(s):

Chris Maddock

Other key lawyers:

Tony McPhillips; Jill Donabie; Lisa Kelly; Amy Sergison


‘The team demonstrate a good understanding of our business and how HR matters impact the organisation.’

‘Chris Maddock is excellent, knowledgeable and he cares. He ensures that any legal jargon is simplified and makes any process understandable.’

‘Lisa Kelly is friendly, knowledgeable and gives business-focused advice.’

‘The people we deal with are very responsive, practical, informed and down to earth. Chris Maddock is excellent in terms of his technical knowledge and his approach to us as clients. I couldn’t praise him enough.’

‘Constantly good availability, followed up by strong, pragmatic advice.’

‘The employment team at Muckle are approachable, pragmatic and commercially minded.’

‘I value the firm’s directness and ability to provide practical advice.’

‘Engaging, friendly and very professional. The lawyers make the process of working with them enjoyable. Very good at building relationships too. Every single employee of Muckle LLP that I have met or engaged with have been memorable and great to work with and meet.’

Work highlights

  • Appointed by Home Group and instructed by them to undertake all employment law-related support.
  • Appointed to the Tees Valley Combined Authority panel for the provision of employment advice.
  • Advised on the acquisition by Vertu Motors PLC of Helston Garages Group Limited, including employment law aspects.

Ward Hadaway LLP

Ward Hadaway LLP’s Newcastle-based employment team provides clients across a range of sectors, including education, healthcare, sports and manufacturing, with both contentious and non-contentious advice. Team head Jamie Gamble is an expert on TUPE matters, employment tribunal claims, senior executive contracts, dismissals and employment aspects of corporate transactions. Paul Scope is a key contact for sports team seeking advice on various terminations, disciplinary issues and restructurings; he also represents clients on mass litigations concerning equal pay claims in the public sector. Gillian Chinhengo supports businesses in large scale changes and dealing with trade unions, while Roisin Patton is the firm’s expert on business immigration mandates, often working on post-Brexit recruitment issues and complex global mobility issues. Stuart Craig and Graham Vials are names to note, with the former focused on healthcare matters and the latter specialising in education matters within the employment law field.

Practice head(s):

Jamie Gamble

Other key lawyers:

Paul Scope; Stuart Craig; Graham Vials; Roisin Patton; Gillian Chinhengo


‘The team takes the time to get to know our business, structure, values and then works alongside us to deliver these. It feels very much like a partnership.’

‘Gillian Chinhengo is our main contact and she is excellent with her knowledge and advice. Gillian is very outcome focused and she will work with us to resolve whatever issue we are facing. She has also been an incredible support to me particularity this last year when I have had some exceptionally challenging people to deal with.’

‘HR Protect is a really good website which is ideal for companies of our size – where you can access templates, FAQs and get more affordable support.’

‘Roisin Patton is the key person I work with and she is excellent at ensuring we get the best advice by taking into account our business context.’

‘I am yet to meet an employee of Ward Hadaway that hasn’t delivered great advice consistently for our business. They are also very competent and competitive on price and quality service making you feel like you are always their priority, a business that delivers with a friendly and professional approach. It has been a pleasure to work with the whole team.’

‘An overall strong team in all aspects of legal advise. Ward Hadaway has excelled in their service delivery and supported us for over 7 years and providing practical solutions and guidance for all our employment and commercial needs for large scale projects.’

‘Paul Scope is my primary contact. He is clearly very knowledgeable in his field and gives you upmost confidence in the advice being provided. He gives you sufficient time and listens to the area of support you require and provides sound legal and commercial advice. I think what makes Paul stand out is his personal approach. He is engaging and down to earth.’

‘Graham Vials is pragmatic, responsive and able to really understand and assist with finding solutions to various employment law issues.’

Key clients

Newcastle United Football Company Ltd

Inn Collection Group

Newcastle Rugby Limited (Newcastle Falcons)

Story Homes Ltd and Story Contracting Ltd

Ashworth and Parker limited.

Piramal Healthcare UK Limited

North East Ambulance Service

Tees Esk & Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust

North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust

Connect Health Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising Newcastle Rugby Limited (Newcastle Falcons) on the process and investigation of Luther Burrell’s allegations of widespread racism in rugby union.
  • Advising Newcastle United Football Company on a wide range of employment matters, including senior contracts and restructurings following new hires and departures.
  • Advising Ashworth and Parker Limited (t/a END.) on large scale restructuring and a complex disability discriminatory claim.

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP’s employment team, based in Newcastle, advises an array of clients across the North East and nationally on a range of contentious and non-contentious matters, including employer defences against equal pay, employment tribunal and discrimination claims, as well as large scale restructurings of clients’ business. Hilary Du Randt heads up the team, assisting both public and private sector clients on the full remit of instructions. Lorraine Heard is the go-to for equal pay tribunal claims, while managing associate Alan Kennedy is a name to note for large scale redundancies, reorganisations and senior executive disputes.

Practice head(s):

Hilary Du Randt

Other key lawyers:

Lorraine Heard; Alan Kennedy

Key clients


Sky Betting & Gaming

Parkdean Resorts UK Ltd

NHS Digital


Dnata Limited

Northumbria University

VLS Limited

Sunderland City Council

Education Partnership North East

Work highlights

  • Supported investor Enact on the employment aspects of its acquisition of port services and maritime haulage business SEA Transport Limited.

Sintons LLP

Clients across the healthcare, education, charities, offshore, renewables and construction industries call upon Sintons LLP’s employment team for advice on employment contracts and restructurings. The team, led by Keith Land, and supported by senior associate Ailsa Hobson and associate Angela Carver, also defend companies against discrimination and unfair dismissal claims. Max Winthrop, who arrived from Short Richardson & Forth in October 2022, is a name to note at partner level.

Practice head(s):

Keith Land

Other key lawyers:

Ailsa Hobson; Angela Carver; Max Winthrop


‘The employment team at Sintons is exemplary in their approach when working with Clients like myself. They explain any processes and issues with absolute clarity and keep me up to date at all times. No telephone call or email goes unanswered and no challenge goes unheard. I could not run my business effectively without the support of the employment team.’

‘Keith Land is quite frankly brilliant, kind and realistic.’

‘Max Winthrop is fairly new to the Company and someone we have used previously for his excellent service within Employment Law. We would thoroughly recommend Max.’

Key clients

Thomas Swan & Co. Limited

Cramlington House Limited

John Cotterill

Motel One (UK) Limited

Atom Bank PLC

Waste Managed Limited

Percy Hedley Foundation

Security Systems and Alarms Inspection Board

Svanehøj Group A/S

The Abbeyfield Newcastle upon Tyne Society Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Thomas Swan & Co on a prospective trade dispute between Thomas Swan & Co and the recognised trade union, the GMB, in relation to the final year of a 3 year pay deal.
  • Advised Cramlington House Limited in relation to two claims arising out of the rules imposed by the Health and Social Care Act 2008 and amended coronavirus regulations which made vaccinations mandatory for all those working in a care home.
  • Advised John Cotterill in relation to a claim against Sodexo following various allegations of both theft and fraud which were all defeated and which resulted in significant compensation being paid to the client.


Noted for having a ‘strong and capable’ employment team, Weightmans assists both employers and former employees with unlawful termination of employment contracts. The Newcastle-based team also takes on unfair dismissal and unlawful discrimination cases. Regional office head and lead partner in the employment team Christopher Graham advises clients on TUPE transfer requirements and represents clients in employment tribunal claims. Likewise, legal director Kerry Waters is a key support and specialises in taking on employment matters of commercial and contractual disputes concerning employee confidential information and the enforcement of post-termination restrictive covenants.

Practice head(s):

Christopher Graham

Other key lawyers:

Kerry Waters


‘The employment team at Weightmans are very strong, capable and they fully understand the needs of clients.’

‘The service we received from Kerry Waters during an employment dispute was excellent, friendly and helpful. Kerry explained emotive and complicated issues very well and helped us to achieve an acceptable outcome.’

‘Client centric approach with good balance between addressing legal risk and operational as well as economical relevance. Very good value for money.’

‘I have worked with Christopher Graham from Weightmans on several occasions. He has many years of experience, and his down-to-earth and robust approach demonstrates his understanding of clients and their needs. I have always been glad to have him in my corner!’

‘Christopher Graham is very experienced and knowledgeable. He takes a strategic approach to the issue. He is available and flexible. Excellent supporting team of professionals.’ 

Key clients

Federal Signal Inc

Building Design Partnership Limited

Victor Products Limited

AIG UK Limited

J & B Recycling Limited

Mr Peter Welsh and Mr Graham Welsh

Sheffield City Council

Gwynedd Council

The Ombudsman Service Limited

HR Business Plus and Mrs Sheila Watson

Work highlights

  • Defended HR Business Plus and Mrs Sheila Watson against a discrimination claim.
  • Advised Sheffield City Council and Sir Mark Lowcock on an inquiry into the Sheffield Street Trees dispute.
  • Advised the shareholders and management team of Strategic North Limited on its sale to Prescient Healthcare Group, including employment matters.

Endeavour Partnership LLP

The Stockton-based employment team at Endeavour Partnership LLP assists clients on a range of employment law matters, including employee due diligences following corporate acquisitions, defences of complex employment tribunal claims involving whistleblowing, gross misconduct and unfair dismissal issues. Team head Stephen Elliott advises clients on employee data protection policies, as well as disability discrimination claims. Theresa Carling is the key contact for advice concerning high profile exits involving senior executives and collective redundancy processes. Recent promotion to senior associate Laura Wilson works on intersecting employment and immigration matters involving sponsorship licenses, while associate Jessica Thompson specialises in data protection and compliance mandates.

Practice head(s):

Stephen Eliott

Other key lawyers:

Theresa Carling; Jessica Thompson; Laura Wilson

Work highlights

Swinburne Maddison LLP

Durham-based Swinburne Maddison LLP is noted for representing employees in whistleblowing cases, unfair dismissals and disability discrimination claims as well as equal pay issues. The team also provides employment law support to the corporate team in the context of M&A transactions. Head of the dispute resolution and employment law teams, Jonathan Moreland, advises both businesses, such as national public companies to charities and academic institutions, and individuals in resolving employment disputes; he also takes on non-contentious instructions, such as drafting complex employment contracts, settlement agreements and employment restructurings. Managing associate Sharney Randhawa works on high-profile cases within employment tribunals, in addition to High Court proceedings.

Practice head(s):

Jonathan Moreland

Other key lawyers:

Sharney Randhawa


‘Sharney Randhawa was recommended by another firm of solicitors. From the very first consultation where Sharney listened to my case and provided initial feedback I found Sharney very easy to deal with. I would recommend Sharney to anyone in a similar position to myself without hesitation.’

‘Jonathan Moreland is our main contact at Swinburne Maddison and has always been a great source of support. He remains calm and professional at all times and shows a level of understanding of our business which has surpassed that of others we have worked with.’

‘The team at Swinburne Maddison are very approachable , combining in-depth knowledge of their area of specialism with a down to earth manner which makes the client feel at ease when dealing with them. Their professionalism shines through in all aspects of their work.’

‘Jonathan Moreland has provided outstanding care and attention. His attention to detail and personal approach have given me great confidence that I made the right choice of legal firm. Correspondence has been prompt, options have been presented clearly and advice given candidly and thoughtfully when requested.’

‘Jonathan Moreland typifies the highly professional yet personable approach we have experienced from Swinburn Maddison. Not only is his advice consistently timely, considered and precise, but his unflappable demeanour and good sense of humour are both reassuring and confidence inspiring.’

‘Jonathan Moreland is a very well regarded lawyer with a vast amount of employment law knowledge and commercial acuity. ‘

‘Swinburne Maddison has always provided myself & my business with exceptional customer service and excellent advice.’

‘The practice supports me in employment matters and I find their advice always practical and valuable. I respect the partners I work with.’

Key clients

Durham Cathedral

Ramside Estates Limited

The Esh Group

Hargreaves Services plc

St Chad’s College, Durham University

St John’s College, Durham University

The Enquire Learning Trust Limited

Building Design (Northern) Limited

Richard and Julie Bennett

Durham City Rugby Club

Clever Clogs Day Nurseries Limited

Berger Closures Limited

GT Cleaning Machines Limited

Derwentside Trust for Sport and the Arts

AKV Cladding Limited

Singletrack Systems Limited

Teescraft Engineering Limited

Land Technologies Limited

Fusion for Business Limited

St Cuthbert’s Hospice

Merit Estates (Yorkshire) Ltd

Broadacres Housing Association

Premier Community Care Limited

Glenwood Paint Supplies Limited

Interlink Scaffolding Ltd

Yakkr Limited

Moving On (Durham) Limited

Foljambe Estates

Silverdale Family Practice

Beyond Housing Limited

Chainbridge Steel

Blacketts Medical Practice

F&I Management Limited

Work highlights

  • Supporting on all Employment elements arising out of the investment made by Argenbright Holdings LLC into Amberstone Security Group and the subsequent acquisition by Amberstone of the entire issued share capital of The Protector Group Limited.
  • Representing a client in a high-profile whistleblowing case involving a care home which was the subject of an exposé on national television.
  • Acting on behalf of a global search firm based in New York on all of their employment needs, including the preparation of senior employment contacts, consultancy agreements, a high value bonus scheme and commission agreements.


David Gibson heads Burnetts' employment practice, and is supported by senior associates Anna Lovett and Sarah Devennie, the latter of whom was promoted to senior associate in October 2022. The trio advice companies, namely SMEs on employment implications of company movements, expansions and changes. Aside from providing clients with TUPE advice, the team also defends employers in employment tribunal claims concerning unfair dismissals and discrimination cases. All named lawyers are based in Carlisle.

Practice head(s):

David Gibson


Other key lawyers:

Anna Lovett; Sarah Devennie


‘David Gibson has extensive experience in advising on employment law. He offers options and discusses potential scenarios and associated level of risk with honesty, integrity and great foresight. We feel safe and confident in his advice and guidance.’

Key clients

Cumberland Building Society

Innovia Films Limited

Carlisle Brass Limited

Witherslack Group Limited

Cumbria Waste Group

Orian Solutions Ltd

Thomas Graham & Sons Limited

H&H Group Plc

People First Independent Advocacy

ECM (Vehicle Delivery Service) Ltd

FX Leisure Limited

Otaq Group Ltd

Howgill Family Centre

St John’s Hospice

Bury College

Lakes College West Cumbria

Border Group Ltd

Gretna Green Limited

Lloyd Limited

Go North East Limited

Gateshead Council

HQN Limited

Lake District National Park Authority

Distinctive Group Limited

Work highlights

Hay & Kilner

Sarah Hall and Sarah Furness co-lead Hay & Kilner’s Newcastle-based employment team. Hall assists HR managers and directors of various companies on day-to-day employment matters, such as disciplinaries and grievances, also taking on contentious matters, such as whistleblowing, discrimination and breaches of restrictive covenants. Furness is the key contact for support on corporate transactions. Tom Clarke supports at associate level.

Practice head(s):

Sarah Hall; Sarah Furness

Other key lawyers:

Tom Clarke


‘The people we deal with at H&K are knowledgeable and honest with us which is reassuring.’

Hay & Kilner just understand our business and the needs we have. The lawyers are always easily accessible. The engagement throughout any project is always exemplary from the whole team.’

‘Tom Clarke is such a joy to deal with. He always goes above and beyond and will keep in good and constant communication throughout the project. No situation is outside his ability and he makes any case or issue accessible and easy to understand. Tom is a true asset of the firm.’

Key clients

Great North Air Ambulance

Careline Lifestyles Limited

Sabic UK Petrochemicals Limited

St Martin’s Care Group

Robson Laidler Accountants Limited

Beamish Museum

NECS UK Limited

Wingrove Motor Company Limited

Pyrocel Limited

Advanced Adhesives Limited

Airport Retail UK Limited

Work highlights

  • Represented SABIC in relation to a Tribunal claim from former employers (supported by the recognised Trade Union) alleging that the tapering provisions in the company’s long-standing enhanced redundancy scheme were discriminatory.
  • Advised Central Employment Agency (North East) Limited on grievances and drafted scripts and a detailed decision letter which included 18 appendices of evidence.
  • Supported St Martin’s Care Group with the defence of two constructive unfair dismissal claims.

Mincoffs Solicitors LLP

Mincoffs Solicitors LLP focuses on compliance, re-organiations, disciplinary and grievance procedures, as well as TUPE and employment tribunal claims. Nick Smith leads the team based in Newcastle on contentious and non-contentious matters for employers.

Practice head(s):

Nick Smith

Other key lawyers:

Laura Liddle


‘Nick Smith goes above and beyond his remit in dealing with his clients in a very personable way. We have found this approach and the quality of advice absolutely invaluable in what is a very complicated area and would have no hesitation in recommending the firm and Nick in particular to another firm or individual.’

‘In all aspects whereby, I have used Mincoffs Solicitors, I have found them to be highly professional and excellent communicators. Deadlines are incredibly important and I am yet to find myself in a situation where these have not been met.’

‘I always contact Nick Smith when I require legal assistance . I find him to be honest & transparent with an excellent work ethic. He responds in a timely manner and is incredibly professional.’

Key clients

Barter Books Limited

Document Risk Solutions Limited

Historic Property Restoration Limited

Ascot Care Group

Serios Group Limited

Sadler Brown

Northern Bear Plc

Danieli Group

L.B. Foster Rail Technologies (UK) Limited

Thompson Opticians Limited

Tustain Motors Limited

Work highlights

  • Acted as external employment law counsel for Northern Bear Plc.
  • Advising L.B. Foster Rail Technologies (UK) Limited on UK employment law matters.
  • Advising Barter Books on a plethora of matters involving employment and HR law including, assisting with contractual and policy queries and dealing with complex issues arising in relation to Equality Law.