Employment: Essex in South East

Birkett Long LLP

Birkett Long LLP‘s team comprises specialist employment practitioners including ‘well-informed and hands-on litigatorJulie Temple, whose recent work includes discrimination, statutory redundancy payment and unfair dismissal claims. Another key name to note is employment dispute expert and barrister Reggie Lloyd. On the non-contentious side, the team assists commercial clients with HR and other legal issues. Clients of the group vary widely in size, from local businesses to international corporates.

Practice head(s):

Julie Temple

Other key lawyers:

Reggie Lloyd; Charlotte Holman


‘The team are very hands on with cases right from the outset and build a good rapport with clients which is helpful when advising on high-value litigation.’

‘Julie Temple is a well-informed and hands-on litigator who is a reassuring presence with clients.’

‘The team at Birkett Long is quick to find a solution and is experienced enough to understand the complexities.’

‘I have the pleasure of work with Julie Temple who is sharp, experienced and able to navigate difficult and complex files with ease and a clarity of process. I find her to be able to present both sides of the issue to help mitigate risk.’

‘The team provides excellent and professional advice on employment law and have guided us to manage complex issues with confidence.’

‘I have used Birkett Long for a long time now – from the outset, the commercial nature of their advice fostered instant trust and a feeling of partnership, which has built over the years, as they have developed a strong understanding of our business environment.’

‘The team keep an eye on how much support has been requested and adjust contracts on this basis which I have found to be helpfully proactive.’

‘We have a relationship with Julie Temple who has proved to be very supportive, very thorough and really gets where we are coming from. Reggie Lloyd has also been very helpful.’

Key clients

Colchester Institute

Pinnacle Housing Limited

Birketts LLP

Areas of expertise for the ‘responsive and practical‘ practitioners at Birketts LLP include complex TUPE and restrictive covenant advice. On the transactional side, Jonathan Insley is a senior associate known for his work in the corporate transactional sphere, as is ‘pragmatic and helpful‘ associate Nicholas West. More widely, the group has also seen an increase in work from local authorities as it continues to strengthen its public sector offering. With over 20 years specialising in employment law, Clare Barlow leads the team from its Chelmsford office.

Practice head(s):

Clare Barlow

Other key lawyers:

Nicholas West; Jonathan Insley


‘Pragmatic clear advice. Very responsive and practical.’

‘What makes this team really stand out is the number of high quality diligent lawyers they have in the employment team. They don’t just have one or two really excellent partners and solicitors – their quality of work across the board is really impressive.’

‘The team are extremely knowledgeable, which was delivered in the manner in which one would like to receive such advice. Really helpful and great people to work with.’

‘We had the pleasure of working with Clare Barlow and Nicholas West, both of whom delivered the project in a pragmatic and helpful manner.’

Key clients

Absolute Post Limited

Alstons (Cabinets) Limited

Anderson Group

Aspire Media Group Limited

Aston Barclay Limited

Autoprotect (MBI) Ltd

Beresford Group Limited

Blue Sky IP

Briddge Legal and Finance

Brady Technologies Limited

Brentwood Borough Council

Chelmer Housing Partnership Limited

CNH Industrial N.V.

Colchester United Football Club Limited

Colorminium (London) Ltd

Commodity Centre Limited

DD Products and Services Ltd

Databricks UK Limited

Granarolo SpA

Manchester Underwriting Owners

Work highlights

  • Advising the sellers and EMI option holders of a high value insurance company, Manchester Underwriting Management, on its sale to AJ Gallagher, a large insurer.
  • Acting for Brentwood Borough Council in defending a complex and sensitive alleged direct race discrimination claim.
  • Advising Granarolo SpA on the acquisition of the minority shareholding of its UK subsidiary, Granarolo UK, increasing its stake in Granarolo UK from 51% to 100%.

Thompson Smith and Puxon

Based in Colchester, Thompson Smith and Puxon provides solution-based corporate advice, which enables the team to ‘understand the commercial and operational implications‘ of client’s legal issues. This is exemplified by practice head Jolyon Berry who ‘explores options available, whilst advising on any potential risks.’ Berry continues to ensure that the team delivers a full range of employment advice to corporate clients and is well supported by experienced litigator Sam Welham. Standout areas of expertise for Welham include work-related stress claims and disability discrimination proceedings.

Practice head(s):

Jolyon Berry

Other key lawyers:

Sam Welham


‘I appreciate the care taken by the team to prepare cases and communicate with their clients; they take a thoughtful yet deeply practical approach which really meets their clients’ needs.’

‘I have always been impressed by the commitment Jolyon Berry and Sam Welham show to their clients, whether acting for employers or for employees. They listen to what their clients say and pursue the best outcome for them with great determination.’

‘They understand the commercial and operational implications to the business in advising in relation to an employment issue.’

‘Jolyon Berry explores the options available, whilst advising on any potential risks.’

Pinney Talfourd LLP

Located in Essex and benefiting from its strong presence in Greater London, the team at Pinney Talfourd LLP has built upon its existing commercial client base in 2021, adding clients ranging from a large freight management company to a bespoke joinery manufacturer. As well as working with the firm’s company and commercial team on corporate transactions, in 2021 alone the team, led by senior associate Alexander Pearce, has represented clients in claims of unfair dismissal, equal pay, discrimination, harassment and victimisation.

Practice head(s):

Alexander Pearce


‘Alex Pearce has very good commercial and legal judgment, with a sense of what a tribunal is likely to consider, and where the strengths and weaknesses lie.’

‘Pinney Talfourd provides strong, client-focused representation to their clients. They are strategic and concentrate relentlessly on outcomes.’

‘Alex Pearce in particular is a stand-out individual. He is calm, considered, and exceptionally hard-working. He is a good person to have behind you in a difficult situation.’

‘Small team but highly responsive team who work hard for their clients.’

‘Alex Pearce is without question one of the most knowledgeable solicitors I have met. He ensures I have all the information to hand in order to make the correct decisions. I have every faith in him and would not look to find support or advice elsewhere.’

Key clients

Millennium Minis Limited

Cycling Score Limited

Neon Healthcare Ltd

NTS Premier Services Limited

Trinity Chambers

Vision Personnel Ltd

Contrakt Ltd

A. Whalebone Building Supplies Limited

Howe Chartered Surveyors

Active Products Limited

DSJ Interiors Limited

Gemini Fright Management Limited

Grape & Fig Limited

J McKinnon Transport Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising on the employment and commercial aspects of a departing employee in the financial services sector with detailed restrictive covenants and confidentiality obligations.
  • Defending a complex disability discrimination claim listed for a seven-day liability hearing and thereafter pursuing an Appeal at the Employment Appeals Tribunal.
  • Defending claims for unfair dismissal, unlawful deduction of wages, notice, and breach of contract in which it is asserted that the claim is out of time/abuse of process and vexatious.

Tees Law

Headed up by Robert Whitaker in Bishop’s Stortford, the employment practice at Tees Law offers ‘clear, pragmatic advice‘ to both domestic and international clients, and Whitaker is well-regarded for his expertise in employment law, data protection issues, TUPE work, agriculture matters, and restructurings. Representing senior business leaders in personal employment matters is another area of strength for the team. Associate Katherine Jameson has expertise in the full range of employment issues and is known for her tribunal work.

Practice head(s):

Robert Whitaker

Other key lawyers:

Katherine Jameson


‘Robert Whitaker is an extremely able and competent lawyer who has a good way with clients, providing clear, pragmatic legal advice.’

‘Excellent group and the whole experience is very professional in so many ways. Advice, IT, service and organisation etc.’

‘Robert Whittaker’s advice is timely and supportive.’

‘Very hands-on and quick in responding. Careful attention to detail.’

Key clients

English Heritage

Fisher Jones Greenwood LLP

Assisting longstanding domestic and international clients in the media and entertainment, industrial and e-commerce sectors, as well as individuals, the group at Fisher Jones Greenwood LLP in Colchester is skilled at advising on both contentious and non-contentious employment matters, as well as immigration related employment matters. Tony Fisher leads the team, which has seen growth further with the appointment of litigator Aaron Pottle, who joined the group in April 2021.

Practice head(s):

Tony Fisher

Other key lawyers:

Aaron Pottle


Palmers‘ South Essex employment practice, which has a slight focus on employer clients, leverages the firm’s wider commercial litigation team to assist clients in shareholder or director disputes. Ola McGhee, who clients praise for her astuteness, joined the team at the start of 2021 and continues to further develop the department’s HR work and employment litigation expertise. Luke Morgan leads the team, which also includes associate Samantha Randall.

Practice head(s):

Luke Morgan

Other key lawyers:

Ola McGhee; Samantha Randall


‘I was impressed with Ola McGhee’s astuteness and ability to hone in to my situation very quickly.’

‘Ola McGhee has a very diplomatic, non-aggressive but to the point approach. She has picked up on issues with the employer which have been contradictory, inaccurate and discriminating.’

Key clients

Cavendish Laboratories Limited

Barleylands Glasswork Limited

Choice Model Management

SpoorTech Limited

Paul Robinson Solicitors LLP

The group at Paul Robinson Solicitors LLP, based in Westcliff, regularly deals with commercial transactions, specifically relating to TUPE transfers. Practice head Fiona Colwell has continued to be instructed on a significant number of settlement agreements, and utilises her commercial expertise to draft non-contentious documentation for employer clients. The group receives mandates from clients in the insurance, charity and recruitment sectors.

Practice head(s):

Fiona Colwell