Employment: Essex in South East

Birkett Long LLP

Birkett Long LLP advises employees, commercial clients and HR consultancies on the whole spectrum of contentious and non-contentious employment matters, with clients describing the team’s work as ‘combining unrivalled legal knowledge with a commercial outlook’. Praised as ‘fantastic to work with’, head of the team Julie Temple in Colchester has a proven track record in successfully representing commercial clients in complex tribunal cases. Helena Oxley and Rianna Billington are also recommended, and involved in the firm’s recent efforts to further strengthen its offering in the education sector. Reggie Lloyd retired in June 2022.

Practice head(s):

Julie Temple

Other key lawyers:

Helena Oxley; Rianna Billington; Charlotte Holman


‘Julie Temple is very helpful. She manages not only our HR side but also helps put us in touch with the right people for any other legal matters.’

‘Friendly and professional team. Outstanding service with excellent levels of communication maintained.’

‘Approachable, understands the needs of our business. Willing to go the extra mile to provide appropriate advice.’

Birketts LLP

Birketts LLP‘s employment department is well regarded for expert advice on contentious, non-contentious, advisory, and corporate transactional employment work, and is known for its ‘high-level client care.‘ Clare Barlow leads the team in Chelmsford, and is sought out by national and international clients from a range of sectors, including financial services, insurance, private equity and technology industries. Jonathan Insley is experienced in handling complex disputes, and is very active in the transport and hospitality industries. Nicholas West is an expert in the employment aspects of corporate transactional work, while Abigail Hubert‘s recent work includes a number of complex employee ownership trust matters.

Practice head(s):

Clare Barlow

Other key lawyers:

Abigail Hubert; Jonathan Insley; Nicholas West


‘Our firm has been working with Birketts employment department for several years now. Our clients are in times in need of UK employment advice, and they have stood out as being a very reliable partner. They are always very responsive to any request we have had for the UK. Always willing to assist and providing excellent advice in the agreed upon timeline.’

‘We can always count on the team (more specifically Clare Barlow who is our first point of contact, Abigail Hubert and Nicholas West). They are very responsive, and keep their promises on when they will be able to deliver the work.’

‘They get to understand the organisation well so they can offer the right level of support and advice. They genuinely care about what happens and make the time for you as a client to support and reassure the business.’

‘Practical, commercial advice. Pragmatic and simple to understand.’

‘Abigail Hubert is a very trusted adviser, who is always willing to go above and beyond in providing exceptional customer service. She always provides prompt advice which is sensible and very pragmatic.’

‘Personal attention together with down to earth advice.’

‘They are exceptional. All the solicitors that I work with are very organised, the cases are very well prepared, and they give excellent legal advice to their clients. Each of the team members that I work with provide very high-level client care. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend any of them.’

‘Nicholas West is a brilliant lawyer. He has a very calm and reassuring manner. He offers his clients a brilliant service. He is meticulously well prepared, and stays calm even in highly pressurised situations.’

Key clients

Atalian Servest Limited

Anderson Group

Beresford Group Limited

Brady Technologies Limited

Chelmer Housing Partnership Limited

CNH Industrial N.V.

Colchester United Football Club Limited

Databricks UK Limited

FedEx Cross Border (UK) Limited

Hanover Investors Management LLP

Havens Hospices

Jablite Limited

Kalibrate Technologies Plc

Manchester Underwriting Owners

Midland Chilled Foods Limited

Milsom Hotels Limited

Readie Construction Limited

Redpath Deilmann GmbH

Total Protection (Management Services) Limited

VVB Engineering (UK) Limited

Absolute Post Limited

Aspire Media Group Limited

Aston Barclay Limited

Autoprotect (MBI) Ltd

Autotest Limited

Briddge Legal and Finance, The Netherlands

Brentwood Borough Council

Commodity Centre Limited

Custom Security Solutions Ltd

DD Products and Services Ltd

Direct Commercial Limited

ECM Selection (Holdings) Limited

Elemental Microanalysis Ltd

Flagstone Financial Management Ltd

Fullers (Builders) Limited

Frederick J French (Contracts) Limited

Granarolo SpA

Granarolo (UK) Limited

Harris Holdings (Grays) Limited

HBB Communications Limited

Iveco Retail Limited

JJ Sweeney Limited

J Reddington Ltd

Lemon Groundwork Solutions Ltd

Matterlab Ltd

Metas Group

M.W. Beer & Co. Limited

Paris Partnership

Seetec Business Technology Centre Limited

Strengths Unleashed Limited

Swift Scaffolding Limited

Woodlands Schools Limited

W.P.T. Support Services Limited

YFM Private Equity Limited

Thompson Smith and Puxon

Focusing on a commercial offering, Thompson Smith and Puxon’s employment department is equipped to handle the full array of employment matters, and works closely with the firm's corporate department on the employment aspects of transactional work. Colchester-based Jolyon Berry leads the team, and is described by clients as ‘someone you want to have on your side’; he is assisted by Grace Smyth. With High Court experience, Sam Welham‘s areas of work include issues arising from psychiatric injuries caused by work-related stress, disability discrimination claims and whistleblowing mandates.

Practice head(s):

Jolyon Berry

Other key lawyers:

Grace Smyth; Sam Welham


‘The team is approachable, responsive and provides clear, succinct advice whenever required.’

‘Jolyon Berry offers straightforward, commercial advice and reassurance – someone you want to have on your side.’

Pinney Talfourd LLP

With offices in Essex and Canary Wharf, Pinney Talfourd LLP has a strong presence in the South East, and the ability to collaborate with the firm's different teams, especially the commercial litigation unit, strengthens the employment department’s offering to both employer and employee clients. Group head and employment litigation expert Alexander Pearce in Hornchurch is known for his ‘extensive knowledge’, and has a track record in handling complex workplace disputes; his wide practice also includes matters related to unfair dismissal, equal pay, discrimination and unlawful deductions of wages.

Practice head(s):

Alexander Pearce


‘Pinney Talfourd regularly represents employees and employers in big-ticket employment litigation, and isn’t afraid to fight the cases that need fighting.’

‘Alex Pearce brings a relaxed, assured, and commercially focused approach to all of his cases. He is incredibly easy to work with, and inspires confidence in his clients.’

‘Very efficient, respond to queries quickly, keep you updated on progress.’

‘The people are a pleasure to work with. There’s an extensive depth of knowledge and they are both personal but clear in the delivery of practical solutions.’

‘Professionalism, pragmatism and clarity.’

‘I’ve dealt with Pinney Talfourd for years, my main point of contact has always been Alex Pearce, who specialises in employment law. His knowledge is extensive and he is always able to offer solutions to whatever problem he is presented with.’

‘Alex Pearce – this gentleman is outstanding, an asset to the company and his colleagues. His knowledge is excellent, and his approach and solutions are professional and ensures as his client we understand every step of any process and are without doubt supported throughout. I cannot recommend him enough.’

‘They have the ability to get to grips with the case quickly and provide straightforward and practical advice.’

Key clients

Millennium Minis Limited

Cycling Score Limited

NTS Premier Services Limited

Vision Personnel Ltd

A. Whalebone Building Supplies Limited

Howe Chartered Surveyors

Newton Equipment Limited

Active Travel Partners Ltd

EBM Managed Services Limited

Active Products Limited

Havering Signing for the Brain 2020

Quality Care Resourcing

Concept Interiors Limited

Work highlights

  • Defending a client against complaints for constructive dismissal, unlawful deduction of wages and breach of contract.
  • Obtaining a highly favourable deposit orders for a respondent client in long-running employment dispute.

Tees Law

Tees Law’s employment department in Bishop’s Stortford and Chelmsford has a particularly strong presence in the logistics and transport sector, with its work in the aviation industry a standout feature of the team. Practice head Robert Whitaker‘s recognised capabilities include advising on data protection, TUPE and agricultural work and the employment elements of restructuring. The ‘excellent and determinedKatherine Jameson is equipped to handle the full array of employment matters, and is especially recommended for restrictive covenants issues, exit strategies, and settlement terms.

Practice head(s):

Robert Whitaker

Other key lawyers:

Katherine Jameson


‘Personal service. Feels like a boutique firm, with brilliant personal service to clients.’

‘Rob Whitaker is a brilliant partner, dedicated to getting the best possible result for his clients.’

‘Katherine Jameson – excellent and determined. Very hard-working.’

‘Knowledge of law and procedures is top class.’

‘Personality, empathy, knowledge and experience.’

Key clients

English Heritage

Containerlift Services Limited

Kidney Cancer UK

Work highlights

  • Challenging a national association’s decision to provisionally suspend an examiner’s certification following alleged reporting of disputed irregularities.
  • Advising an employer on an Employment Tribunal claim for unfair dismissal and alleged whistleblowing.
  • Advised a client in relation to the breach of two agreements, an equity agreement and a contract of employment, raising claims for breach of contract and estoppel with a potential value in excess of £3m.


Led by litigation expert Luke Morgan, Palmers' employment department in Basildon advises employee and employer clients on a panoply of employment and HR mandates. The team works closely with the firm’s commercial litigation department, and its areas of expertise include handling shareholder disputes and settlement negotiations. Samantha Randall advises on contentious and non-contentious matters, such as tribunal litigation, workplace disputes and termination of employment issues.

Practice head(s):

Luke Morgan

Other key lawyers:

Samantha Randall


‘They were responsive and helpful, their advice was good.’

‘Samantha Randall is responsive and helpful.’

‘The Team at Palmers are amazing, they are always very helpful and professional, give great straight forward advice without the faff and the legal words that no one understands. They always meet my expectations of delivery and professionalism. Palmers makes it easy to work with them.’

Key clients

Bow School

Cartamundi (UK) Limited

Barleylands Glasswork Ltd t/a Ashes Into Glass

Spectrum Vehicle Repairers LLP


Bishop School

Berkeley Square Associates

IAA Vehicle Services Ltd

Challenger Solutions Ltd

AVL Powertrain UK Limited

Evolution Demolition Service Limited

Institute of Tourist Guiding

R T Rate Limited

Rawley Plant Limited

Adkin Bookkeeping

Paul Robinson Solicitors LLP

Sought out by clients in the education, automotive, logistics and retail sectors, Paul Robinson Solicitors LLP‘s employment team's work covers the entire South West region from its base in Westcliff. Group head and commercial expert Fiona Colwell has expertise in settlement agreements, and is also well versed in TUPE matters, as well as drafting documentation, such as staff handbooks, contracts for consultants and ancillary documentation.

Practice head(s):

Fiona Colwell