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Employment: Essex in South East

Birkett Long LLP

Birkett Long LLP provides an excellent service to commercial clients in the employment arena, with its team advising on a wide ambit of non-contentious HR and other legal issues. It is also able to undertake advocacy in-house; Reggie Lloyd is a trained barrister, who focuses on litigation in the employment tribunal and civil courts. Julie Temple's recent work included matters involving issues such as redundancy, discrimination, whistleblowing and constructive dismissal.

Practice head(s):

Julie Temple

Other key lawyers:

Reggie Lloyd; Martin Hopkins; Charlotte Holman

Testimonials

‘Julie Temple offers excellent advice that has so far always resolved issues to our satisfaction. They have updated all our policies and advise our current legislation and trends which helps us when planning for the future.’

‘Birkett Long provide a service tailored to the needs of your business. The employment team are knowledgeable and responsive and if there is anything outside of their remit there are other legal specialists able to assist. There are webinars, and HR forum and on-line materials. They have been particularly responsive to the pandemic emergency with lots of helpful advice available.’

‘I work mainly with Julie Temple whose knowledge and experience of employment law is first class. She has worked with me on very complex long standing cases which have resulted in excellent outcomes. She is very supportive and responsive to urgent matters and her advice is always helpful and pragmatic.’

‘Everyone is so easily accessible, always professional and take the time to really build a relationship with us as a client. Always have other colleagues on hand to refer us for other specialist advice where necessary. Provides us we a fantastic internal network to meet any need.’

‘Reggie Lloyd is extremely responsive and flexible. He made you feel like you were his only client, the advice was clear and easy to understand. The support on offer is always second to none.’

‘Birkett Long provide an HR service which is invaluable to me. They offer one-to-one assistance and guidance. The team are hard working and approachable and the service provided has not been impacted in any way by the restrictions of the past year.’

‘Julie Temple is the lead solicitor for our account and she is always professional and very knowledgeable and approachable.’

Key clients

Colchester Institute

Birketts LLP

Birketts LLP's practice is now led by Clare Barlow, with former head Kevin Palmer now serving as a consultant. Senior associate Jonathan Insley (who joined from Tees Law in January 2021) and associate Nicholas West are other names to note in the team, which excels in covering the gamut of contentious and non-contentious issues for clients. In addition to providing non-contentious employment advice on a standalone basis (including on TUPE and redundancy), the group plays a key role in corporate transactions. In 2020, highlights included assisting ECM Selection Limited with the employment aspects of an MBO of a high tech recruitment expert firm based in Cambridge. Elsewhere, the group has a strong track record representing clients in Employment Tribunal litigation; areas of expertise in this space include cases involving whistleblowing, discrimination, and unfair and wrongful dismissal.

Practice head(s):

Clare Barlow

Other key lawyers:

Jonathan Insley; Nicholas West; Kevin Palmer

Testimonials

‘Birketts are a trustworthy and well respected firm, we have been working with them now for 10 years, across many different departments and their service and advice is second to none! ’

‘I work with Clare Barlow and have been for around 8 years, Clare is always at the end of the phone whenever i need her, she knows our business inside and out and always provide us with the best advice. We trust her judgement. And look forward to working with her for many more years!’

‘In my experience, Birketts’ response has always been very clear and timely. Communication is good and my expectations have been managed around timings. Written advice has been followed up with helpful telephone discussions. I have always felt comfortable in asking any question, no matter how trivial. Charging has taken into account the fact that we are a charity and discounts given where possible. The team have been offered and attended numerous informative free workshops as well as value for money seminars.’

‘I have worked with Clare Barlow for a number of years and always found her to be very helpful, professional, well informed and responsive. Support staff have been polite and efficient, as have those standing in for Clare when she has been on leave.’

‘The Birketts employment team are pragmatic, responsive and great to deal with. Their advice is always well reasoned and practical. ’

‘Clare Barlow is extremely knowledgeable and practical.’

Key clients

Absolute Post

Alstons (Cabinets) Ltd

Anderson Group

Aspire Media Group Limited

Aston Barclay Limited

Autoprotect (MBI) Ltd

Beresford Group Limited

Briddge Legal and Finance

Brady Technologies Limited

Broxbourne Borough Council

Chelmer Housing Partnership

Chelmsford City Council

CNH Industrial N.V.

Colchester United Football Club

CoInvestor Limited

Colorminium (London) Ltd

Commodity Centre Limited

Custom Security

Databricks UK Limited

Dietex International Limited

Direct Commercial Limited

Eatron Technologies Limited

ECM Selection

Elemental Microanalysis Ltd

EPG Energy Limited

Excess Baggage (Airports) Limited

Foresight Group

Go Homes Limited

Granarolo (UK) Limited

Grant Barnett and Company

Hanover Investors Management LLP

Harris Holdings (Grays) Limited

HBB Communications Limited

Insight Strategic Associates Limited

Iveco Retail Limited

JJ Sweeney Limited

J Reddington Limited

Jablite Limited

Jiangsu Guotai Huasheng Industrial Company (UK) Limited

Kalibrate Technologies Plc

Kent, Surrey & Sussex Community Rehabilitation Company

Lemon Groundwork Solutions

Milsom Hotels Ltd

OEA Laboratories Limited

Paris Partnership

Planet 14 Landscapes Limited

Marr Procurement Limited

Readie Construction Ltd

P2P Mailing Ltd

S A Meacock

Scobie & McIntosh Limited

Seetec Business Technology Centre Ltd

Servowatch Systems Limited

Springfield Dental Practice

Swift Scaffolding

Tevva Motors Ltd

Tex Holdings Plc

Total Protection (Management Services) Limited

Trials Equipment (UK) Ltd

Ventrica Limited

VVB Engineering (UK) Limited

W.P.T. Support Services Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising the purchasers on TUPE and other employment aspects of a multi-site national insulation manufacturer in administration and subsequent reorganisation and redundancy programme.
  • Preparing and negotiating high-level director service agreements for existing managers and incoming directors for Foresight, private equity investors, purchasing Plantexpand.
  • Successfully defending Springfield Dental Practice against a Tribunal claim for constructive unfair dismissal, wrongful dismissal, whistleblowing, breach of contract and unauthorised deduction of wages and holiday pay, entailing various applications concerning the claimant’s non-compliance with orders.

Thompson Smith and Puxon

Thompson Smith and Puxon provides an excellent end-to-end user service to corporate clients on all types of business-critical issues that shape their operations on a day-to-day and long-term basis. Its first-rate practice is led by Jolyon Berry, who is equally adept in contentious and non-contentious employment matters, and is ably supported by Sam Welham and Lisa Dixon. Recent work included assisting clients with policy reviews, whistleblowing claims and discrimination cases.

Practice head(s):

Jolyon Berry

Other key lawyers:

Sam Welham; Lisa Dixon

Testimonials

‘Available in a timely fashion and offers full updates on current situation. ’

‘We have been supported by TSP for a number of years now and they have always provided us with sound and balanced advice. Some of our employment issues can be complex but TSP can always be relied upon to ensure that our business remains protected and we place our full trust in them. ’

‘What makes TSP stand out is how well they understand their clients – they obviously take time to get to know them and it means they give them really sensible and practical advice, as well as being able to provide detailed and accurate instructions to barristers.’

‘I particularly value Jolyon Berry’s commitment to his clients – he really gets to know them and understands their particular needs and concerns. ’

‘I would happily and highly recommend Jolyon Berry to any business needing advice on an employment issue. Jolyon is very professional and demonstrates a welcome understanding of the commercial and operational implications to the business. He confidently explores and explains the options available, without using too much legal jargon, whilst advising on any potential risks.’

‘They really dig into what our priorities are for each situation and are able to react differently to each scenario. they don’t have a one size fits all answer to everything.’

‘Personality, people and communication are the highlights for me. Of course technical knowledge has to exist, but these are a given. During the recent pandemic, online discussions have been easily accessed and performed. Our relationship with TSP has been over many years, with varying levels of support needed. Regardless, we always feel valued as a client.’

‘Honest down to earth advice and opinion of our situation and no faff or legal jargon. Nothing I hate more than someone sitting on the fence. We need to know what is our best option and what to do next efficiently, which is what we get with TSP.’

Pinney Talfourd LLP

Pinney Talfourd LLP's team is seen by clients as a go-to for standalone employment advice in its own right, and it also works closely with the company and commercial group on corporate transactions. With the practice being well-established in the Essex and Greater London area, it generates a strong flow of work from employees and employers from a wide range of industries, such as healthcare, charities and financial services, among others. In 2020, Alexander Pearce's contentious work included employment cases involving issues such as unlawful wage deductions, harassment, discrimination and unfair dismissal. He is also recommended for advice on non-contentious issues.

Practice head(s):

Alexander Pearce

Testimonials

‘Alex Pearce is the person who dealt with my needs and I found him to be extremely helpful. He provided me with the best possible advice at all times. With regard to the paper work, he produced all necessary documents in a professional and timely manner. He was approachable and always open, honest and clear when asserting his judgement. In controversial matters he took an objective view, but always listen to both side of the arguments.’

‘The practice has a team of professional staff who encompass a full spectrum of specialist services. The people are always courteous and have always dealt with referrals in a competent manner.’

‘Professional individuals who are able to adapt their approach to the needs of the client. ’

‘Pinney Talfourd always manage to find you a solution and go that extra mile to ensure client satisfaction.’

‘Response time is first class and there is always a desire to find a solution.’

‘Pinney Talfourd have a big presence across Essex and excel in a number of areas. The Employment Team is very strong and lead by Alex Pearce. He is very diligent and quick to reply to queries with straightforward advice.’

‘Alex Pearce is very affable and makes you feel that he is part of your team. His advice is straightforward and he is very quick to respond.’

‘Alex Pearce was really helpful and made the whole process seamless.’

Key clients

Millennium Minis Limited

Cycling Score Limited

E-PAC Fulfilment Limited

Brokers Incorporated Limited

Neon Healthcare Ltd

NTS Premier Services Limited

Purified Air Limited

Alex Fraser and Son Limited

Flexible Storage Solutions Limited

Geotom Limited

Trinity Chambers

S P Location Rental Limited

PIP Electrics

Fairclough Property Professionals

Vision Personnel Ltd

WPN Properties

Contrakt Ltd

A. Whalebone Building Supplies Limited

The Electrical and Plumbing Company Limited

Howe Chartered Surveyors

Work highlights

  • Successfully obtaining an interim freezing order following a successful discrimination and harassment claim in the Employment Tribunal against an individually named respondent reported in the Times Newspaper, the Jewish Chronicle, and other newspapers online and in print.
  • Acting for a nursery in defending claims for disability discrimination, harassment and victimisation listed for a 7-day liability hearing.
  • Acting for a private client in obtaining a judgment at a preliminary hearing regarding the extent of without prejudice correspondence.

Tees Law

Tees Law's practice is led by Robert Whitaker, who attracts mandates from national and international clients, and is particularly noted for his expertise in agricultural worker issues. In addition, employment matters connected with the banking, finance and telecoms industries are other areas of strength for Whitaker and his team. Associate Katherine Jameson and Sarah Stanyer are among other names to note in the group, whose experience includes matters concerning restrictive covenants, disciplinary/grievance investigations, contract reviews and exit strategies. Jonathan Insley joined Birketts LLP.

Practice head(s):

Robert Whitaker

Other key lawyers:

Katherine Jameson; Sarah Stanyer; Gerard Gibbs

Testimonials

The true core strength of Tees’ work is their ability to combine the breadth of expertise and legal knowledge that you would expect from a City firm with the type of close client relationship that you would ordinarily associate with a boutique firm.’

Robert Whitaker is the principal individual that I work with. He has dazzling forensic judgement. His great talent is ability to identify quickly the legal nuances on which a case may turn.’

Robert Whitaker leads the Employment Team at Tees Law and he is exceptional at what he does. He is all about building strong relationships which mirrors how we run our business. His team is also excellent and I have no hesitation referring them to our clients as we do fairly regularly.’

The individuals I have worked with have always been very accommodating in making sure that we understand the legal implications of our situation. They will go out their way to explain to us all aspects of the case that we have asked them to looked into. They are always ready to accommodate request of meeting with the head of our company to present and make our legal positions clear. There were never any instances when we felt we have not been supported all throughout the process.’

Strangely we feel part of the company and we buy into their ethos. They are part of the local community supporting such things as health in the community and sports and diversity. Business-wise, one can be absolutely confident in that Tees advice is well thought out and takes into account the bigger picture. The emphasis is on the client not the company. I have used other companies but not for around ten years since we found Tees. They are experts and totally trustworthy in their billing and fees.’

We work mainly with the senior partner Robert Whitaker. He is extremely approachable and contactable. His interpersonal skills and his expert knowledge of employment law are outstanding. Robert and his team are a credit to the legal profession.’

Sarah Stanyer has really helped me over the year as I had to make four people redundant. She was helpful, professional and very efficient.’

Robert Whitaker and Katherine Jameson have very good attention to detail and remember the small points in the case whilst also focusing on the bigger picture. Papers are in excellent order and you feel like you have a safe pair of hands to work with. Very responsive and reliable.’

Work highlights

  • Advising a transport and logistics company on a disciplinary procedure and associated matters originally valued in the region of £1 million involving a director and allegations of breach of fiduciary duty by the director, among other things.
  • Advising a leading multinational accountancy firm on various factually and legally complex issues arising and requiring an holistic practical approach to resolve the matter.
  • Advising a leading construction business with re-organisation, managing sickness absence and Coronavirus and furlough related advice.

Fisher Jones Greenwood LLP

Fisher Jones Greenwood LLP's practice, which is jointly led by Bushra Elzubeir and Tony Fisher, has a notable profile among employer clients from industries such as healthcare, sports and nutrition, retail, industrial manufacturing and not-for-profit. Work from local authorities is also a driver of activity. The firm draws upon the strengths of its commercial and dispute resolution departments to provide a full spectrum of services to clients. Areas of expertise include the drafting of employment contracts, as well as handling issues such as disciplinary procedures, redundancies and work relocations. Solicitors Billy Smith and Joe Sandercock joined from John Fowlers LLP and Leonard Gray respectively in late 2020. Associate Rhian Lowe is also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Bushra Elzubeir; Tony Fisher

Other key lawyers:

Rhian Lowe; Billy Smith; Joe Sandercock

Testimonials

‘FJG have always been concise and thorough with the work they’ve undertaken for us. The varied skillset and expertise has ensured the wide variety of issues could be dealt with under one roof.’

‘Bushra Elzubeir has been exceptional in managing a complex range of issues we needed addressing. He rallied the relevant people and applied the businesses varied resource to tackle our issues on multiple fronts. Beyond this, I have always found Bushra to be extremely considered in his response to our dealings and easily approachable.’

‘A young and enthusiastic team with great potential. Eager, independent thinkers who pick their fights well.’

‘Good communication and advice at all times’

‘First time using employment advice. Very pleased with the whole process. Everything done remotely. Fast and professional responses. Would recommend the team.’

‘The partner, Bushra Elzubeir, provided some very sound advice, over and above what I expected. I was very pleased with the whole process and would go back to Bushra if I needed employment advice again.’

‘I was very impressed with the personal touch and the ability of the members of staff to listen to my case and communicate promptly on reply.’

‘Very helpful and approachable team. The solicitor explained the law well so that we could understand the situation and the options available to us.’

Key clients

Braintree Dental Studio

Work highlights

  • Ongoing advice to Braintree Dental Studio on the full gamut of non-contentious employment law services, including the drafting of contracts of employment, conducting and advising on variations to terms of employment for employees, advising on health and safety at work matters, as well as providing seminars to the client in respect of general regulatory affairs touching on medico/dental issues, including on bespoke acquisitions and mergers. The firm also handles the drafting of employee contracts and has advised on matters pertaining to post-termination restrictions and relevant regulatory relationships between the client’s employees and the General Dental Council.

Palmers

In 2020, a key development at Palmers saw Samantha Randall being promoted to associate solicitor.The employment practice was also recently bolstered by the arrival of Ola McGhee from Citation Limited. Noted for its work for employees and employers, the team brings and defends Employment Tribunal claims, as well as advising clients on HR packages, employee health and safety, individual exits, redundancy procedures and post-termination restrictions, among other matters. The group's core specialism in employment law issues is complemented by the firm's strengths in company/commercial and commercial litigation.

Practice head(s):

Luke Morgan

Other key lawyers:

Samantha Randall; Ola McGhee

Testimonials

‘Samantha Randall is knowledgeable and professional. Her quick and personal response to our questions is what makes it feel as of she is part of our team.’

‘They are a very personable team of people – very approachable and friendly. The most notable value is their ability to go the extra mile. Moreover, their “trusted” advisers are reliable and timely. ’

‘The team at Palmers are brilliant. They always deliver what they say they are going to do. If I have a query they always help me and answer in a way that is not all “legal speak”, they keep the language professional but friendly and easy to understand.’

‘I work consistently with Samantha Randall, she is an associate solicitor in the Employment section. She is very supportive and gives me a friendly but professional contact at Palmers. Samantha is always there for me and I know if I have a quick question she will be there to help, I just pick up the phone. She is never dismissive and gives straightforward advice.’

Key clients

Barleylands Glasswork Limited

Cavendish Laboratories Limited

Link-Law Associates

Sandra Connington

Work highlights

  • Assisted Barleylands Glasswork Limited t/a Ashes into Glass with reaching a settlement via ACAS concerning a tribunal claim brought by a former employee in respect of unfair dismissal.
  • Advised Cavendish Laboratories Ltd on a post-employment grievance brought by an employee for unfair dismissal and sex discrimination. This included a full assessment as to the strengths and weaknesses of the employee’s claims concerning the risk of a claim being brought.
  • Assisted Link-Law Associates Limited with responding to a grievance/resignation by an employee who was in consultation for redundancy before then committing a data breach leading to a disciplinary matter in which a written warning was issued.

Paul Robinson Solicitors LLP

Fiona Colwell, who is the main contact at Paul Robinson Solicitors LLP, generates mandates from employers and employees. On the non-contentious side, she has expertise in drafting staff contracts and handbooks, as well as negotiating settlement agreements and exit packages, and advising on redundancy processes and TUPE transfers, among other matters. Clients of the firm come from sectors such as healthcare, recruitment, insurance and publishing.

Practice head(s):

Fiona Colwell

Testimonials

‘The practice were friendly, approachable and very helpful and helped us to feel less anxious. They were also great in setting up online meetings due to the current circumstances we had to work under. ’

‘Fiona Colwell and her team looked after us and helped us to feel less anxious about the situation we found ourselves to be in.’

Work highlights

  • Handled a claim at the Employment Tribunal by an employee with regard to restrictive covenants in their contract and purported unfair dismissal claims.
  • Advised client on termination of employment of senior employee for gross misconduct.
  • Advised client on employment status and consultancy arrangements.