Employment: Hampshire in South East

Blake Morgan LLP

Sitting within the firm’s larger employment, benefit, immigration and pensions team, led from Cardiff by Ron Burgess, Blake Morgan LLP‘s Southampton-based employment team handles both contentious and non-contentious work for a wide range of clients. Team lead Tim Forer is especially adept at handling cases for clients in the charity and education sectors, as well as the marine and defence industries, where he draws on his unique experience as a former officer in the Royal Navy. Senior associate Vicky Schollar manages the firm’s HR employment law support service, and advises clients on matters ranging from handling sick leave to more complex issues such as restrictive covenants and collective redundancies. Holly Cudbill has expertise in GDPR issues and wider data protection law, as well as defending claims relating to unfair dismissals and discrimination.

Practice head(s):

Ron Burgess; Tim Forer

Other key lawyers:

Holly Cudbill; Vicky Schollar

Testimonials

‘The employment team at Blake Morgan have always taken the time to understand our business drivers, they seek to understand the holistic view rather than the narrow. They are professional at all times, courteous and knowledgeable. Their uniqueness comes from their staff and how they interact with our business. We know we’ll have a good discussion and agree the way forward together.’

‘Friendly, pragmatic and approachable.’

‘We have found Blake Morgan in Southampton a very strong legal firm who have strong assets in both the law and HR consultancy areas who have been available to help guide us through this extremely litigious area of business.’

‘Consistently high standard of advice.’

‘Tim Forer – outstanding support. Remainder of team all efficient and helpful. We primarily deal with Tim Forer who handles our employment issues but often deputises specific work streams to team members. In all cases the team are efficient and helpful, with the minimum of fuss. Responsive to emails/calls, just really ‘on it’.’

‘We have found Vicky Schollar a very strong lawyer who has guided us extremely conscientiously through the minefield of employment law and procedure. She has a very calm and efficient manner which provides you with confidence that you are being led in the right direction.’

‘Holly Cudbill has been superb. Measured considered advice, all suitably practical and achievable.’

‘I value their honesty and broad thinking approach to the issues that we face.’

Key clients

Insurance

Utilita Energy Limited

Corporate support

The Pilgrims Friend Society

Royal Naval Association

MuirCroft Housing Company Limited

Royal Naval Benevolent Trust (RNBT)

Oldercare

Matrix IT Limited

Portsmouth Naval Base Property Trust (PNBPT)

Gosport Ferry Limited

Villiers High School

Hockley Golf Club

Work highlights

  • Provided general employment advice to RNBT, including on the dismissal of a senior employee. Ongoing updates and advice in relation to caregivers.

DC Employment Solicitors

As a boutique firm, DC Employment Solicitors is well placed to provide the full spectrum of employment support to its broad base of clients. Daryl Cowan, Laurence Dunn and Darren Tibble jointly lead the team, and together have a wealth of experience on matters ranging from business reorganisations and collective redundancies to TUPE advice, union recognition, and complex tribunal work. Senior solicitor Claire Helling is recommended for her expertise in complex tribunal cases and senior management and director exits, and has in recent years performed significant work for charity and care sector clients. Louis Howlett acts on business immigration matters, as well as complex disputes.

Practice head(s):

Darren Tibble; Daryl Cowan; Laurence Dunn

Other key lawyers:

Claire Helling; Louis Howlett

Testimonials

‘Clear leaders in their field. Friendly, approachable and sensible advice.’

‘I had a large challenge and the team responded immediately and supported me beyond expectations. Their communication and reassurance helped me through one of the most difficult times of my life as a business owner. I cannot thank them enough.’

‘The team are seamless. They work in a joined up way and if I can’t get hold of someone, I will be told the position and offered an alternative.’

‘Laurence Dunn was exceptional throughout our employment issue and went beyond his remit to help us in a very difficult case.’

‘Daryl Cowan has been an amazing support to our company for many years and his professionalism and guidance has helped us in many ways. As a company we value and respect his judgement on all topics.’

‘Claire Helling is exceptional, she explained the most complex procedures clearly to me, and took her time to ensure I was well informed, reassured and clear on the process. She won our case, and never swayed in her presence, communication or focus on our case.’

‘Louis Howlett has been exceedingly helpful. Very professional, knowledgeable and happy to investigate/follow up on any unusual or less obvious issues. His advice is always professional but also practical so that it can be implemented realistically within the workplace. Louis has been happy to provide advice, draft responses or check over drafts which I have sent. All this is always carried out with the minimum of fuss and in a proactive and responsive way. He is very approachable, and I have trust in being able to contact him at any time on any employment issue. Nothing is too small, or on larger issues his advice is invaluable. Very appreciative of the support.’

‘DC offer firm wide employment law expertise, with a range of seniority to allot the appropriate experience to each case. Darren Tibble’s knowledge and tactical strategy is phenomenal. Daryl Cowan is unflappable, is able to put his clients at ease and is skilled at injunctive relief. Laurence Dunn brings a wealth of experience and insight to his team and confidently manages multiple highly complex files at any one time. Claire Helling is able to efficiently and skilfully manage document heavy bundles, identifying the detail needed to secure her client’s result. Louis Howlett has a focused mind. He identifies the likely remedy early on, allowing him to maintain both a skilful and commercial approach to his practice.’

Key clients

APEM Components Limited

Vitality Health

Acclaim Logistics

Alpha Laboratories Limited

Winchester City Council

The YOU Trust

Eastleigh CAB

Paris Smith LLP

Paris Smith LLP’s employment department acts for a range of clients across the region, with expertise in restrictive covenant actions and senior-level exits. Practice head Clive Dobbin has a wealth of experience in complex tribunal cases, including matters relating to whistleblowing and discrimination; he is also adept at advising on TUPE transfers. David Roath is recommended for his skill in defending protective awards relating to collective redundancies; recently, he has also extended his expertise into complex whistleblowing cases. Claire Merritt leads the team’s work in the education sector, where she represents a significant proportion of Hampshire’s sixth form colleges, as well as several independent schools. She is also recommended for her growing expertise in GDPR issues.

Practice head(s):

Clive Dobbin

Other key lawyers:

David Roath; Clare Merritt

Testimonials

‘Very professional and common sense approach to queries and issues.’

‘I deal with David Roath mostly, sometimes Clive Dobbin and other members of the employment team. They have a good understanding of the sensitivities of our business and the advice we receive is measured and sensible. We feel very supported and not just another client.’

‘Very helpful with great knowledge and offer good advice.’

‘Clive Dobbin is our point of contact and he is always wise in his advice and accommodating of his time.’

Key clients

Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

AFC Bournemouth Limited

Hampshire Cricket (Ageas Bowl PLC)

Randstad CPE Limited

Barfoots of Botley Limited

Stannah Stairlifts Limited

Churches Fire & Security Ltd

Millbrook Industries Limited

Keltbray Limited

Draper Tools Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised an NHS consultant on a claim for whistleblowing and unfair dismissal.
  • Advised a maintenance company on a breach of restrictive covenants by a former employee.
  • Advised on a number of complex tribunal claims, including claims for whistleblowing and discrimination, many of which were listed for multi-day hearings in tribunal.

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP‘s employment team provides the full range of support to a broad range of household names and high-value businesses, with particular experience acting for clients in the retail, education and financial sectors. Practice co-lead Christina Tolvas-Vincent is especially experienced in discrimination issues, reorganisations, and change management, and has a strong track record in advising clients in the retail sector. Fellow team head Jon Hales, meanwhile, is strong in complex transactional work, where legal director Charlotte Bloomfield is also prominent. Daniel Fawcett was promoted to legal director in July 2021, and has expertise in corporate work and litigation, with a developing focus on equality law. Managing associate Ben Duxbury is also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Christina Tolvas-Vincent; Jon Hales

Other key lawyers:

Charlotte Bloomfield; Daniel Fawcett; Ben Duxbury

Testimonials

‘The team is well resourced and placed to manage large clients, particularly in the retail sector – it has long experience with national companies with workforces measured in tens of thousands.’

‘The WBD Employment team in Hampshire provide an excellent, very timely and highly knowledgeable service.’

‘My main point of contact is Christina Tolvas-Vincent who is highly skilled, very personable, extremely efficient and responsive, but with the appropriate level of gravitas for the level she works at. Christina’s attention to detail is second to none, as is the level of interest she takes in our organisation. She is highly reliable and effective and her knowledge of employment law is exceptional.’

‘Dan Fawcett provided unique support insight – evidential and legal – during a long worker status case just successfully concluded in which he was a leading member of the instructing team.’

‘Christina Tolvas-Vincent is a calming and reassuring influence in particularly challenging or emotionally charged cases. Ben Duxbury has risen from his associate position to a deserved role as managing associate. Dan Fawcett has an encyclopaedic knowledge of all areas of statute and practice.’

‘Dan Fawcett, associate, would provide thoughtful, knowledgeable and deeply researched contributions on evidential and legal issues on demand at all hours. He showed extraordinary industry and excellent judgment (tactically and in every way) and worked superbly well with everyone in the team.’

‘Christina Tolvas-Vincent is able to offer expert advice and solutions for us and to hold our hands through the sometimes difficult process involved in dealing with employee issues.’

‘Charlotte Bloomfield is an excellent and very talented lawyer with impressive knowledge of trade union law.’

Key clients

B&Q Plc

Post Office Ltd

Signet Trading Ltd (H. Samuel and Ernest Jones)

Ordnance Survey Ltd

Associated British Ports

Colgate-Palmolive Group

Quilter Plc

Faststream Recruitment Ltd

Arts University Bournemouth

NICE Systems UK Ltd

LV=

Sunseeker International Ltd

Southampton City College

Transdev Plc

National Farmers Union

The Royal College of Pathologists

Immediate Media

Work highlights

  • Advising Colgate’s in-house legal and human resources teams on a variety of people projects, including new ways of working during the coronavirus pandemic, updates to employment contracts and policies, restructurings, consultancy arrangements, employee relations issues, data protection work and contractual matters.
  • Advised LV= on all internal HR processes relating to the proposed sale of the business to Bain Capital Credit, including advising on communications to employees, the TUPE information and consultation process for the transfer of around 1,400 staff, service agreements for senior hires deemed important to the future success of the business and interim recruitment arrangements.
  • Worked as a trusted adviser to the Head of HR of the NFU and her team on all matters requiring employment legal support.

Clarke Willmott LLP

Under the leadership of qualified barrister and experienced tribunal advocate Marc Long, Clarke Willmott LLP‘s employment and HR team is well equipped to act for a range of clients on contentious matters including unfair dimissals, discrimination claims and harassment issues. Long is supported by recently promoted senior associate Nicole Adams, who is known for her attention to detail. The team is also strong in non-contentious work, where Adams delivers training and undertakes complex investigations for clients, and Long is especially well known for his TUPE work. The firm’s offering was further strengthened by the 2021 hire of Gina McCadden.

Practice head(s):

Marc Long

Other key lawyers:

Nicole Adams; Gina McCadden

Testimonials

‘The employment team at Clarke Willmott are excellent! Their combined technical ability is second to none and their customer care is outstanding. There is no other legal team that I would want to have by my side at an employment tribunal.’

‘Responses have been quick and they have been available at short notice when needed.’

‘Time keeping and doing what is required.’

‘The team are very knowledgeable and I always receive thorough advice citing the appropriate law and relevant cases.’

‘They have good understanding of our sector and can apply relevant examples to help decision making.’

‘Customer Care – They make you feel important and valued. They listen.’

‘Nicole Adams, senior associate, responds almost immediately to any query and provides excellent detailed advice that is clear and easy to follow.’

Key clients

Abri Group Limited

Marina Developments Limited

Xpediator Plc

Greene King Limited

Chichester City Club

PEI Genesis UK Limited

The Chartered Institute of Public Finance & Accountancy

Trinity Lifetime Partners Ltd

Andrews & Wykeham Limited

Thoburns Communications Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised a private members’ club on the termination and exit of two difficult employees who were subject to a service occupancy agreement.
  • Represented an international financial institution in tribunal proceedings for unfair dismissal and disability discrimination.
  • Advised a multi-national car seat manufacturer on a large-scale redundancy scheme.

Shoosmiths LLP

The Southampton-based employment team at Shoosmiths LLP draws on its strong connections to the firm’s corporate practice to offer a range of employment support across contentious and non-contentious matters for a client base of blue-chip corporates throughout a variety of sectors. This includes both general advice and work on complex matters such as dismissal claims relating to the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdowns. Practice head Stuart Lawrenson has particular interest in the retail sector, and handles issues including unfair dismissal and discrimination claims, collective redundancies, and TUPE transfers. He is supported by associate Sian Hoare, who has significant tribunal experience as well as a growing business immigration practice.

Practice head(s):

Stuart Lawrenson

Other key lawyers:

Sian Hoare

Testimonials

‘The legal advisers at Shoosmiths give the company that difference as they are extremely knowledgeable and professional whilst maintaining a practical and business focused approach.’

‘Stuart Lawrence and Sian Hoare are a pleasure to work with and balance their knowledge and expertise extremely well, alongside the needs of the business.’

‘For me, it’s how pragmatic the advice received is that puts Shoosmiths above other legal practices I’ve worked with.’

‘I’ve worked primarily with Stuart Lawrenson who has a truly excellent knowledge of employment law. Where advice required needs to stray beyond Stuart’s strengths, he has quickly arranged collaborations with colleagues who I’ve found to be of a similarly high standard.’

‘The team get personally involved and their support has been exceptional.’

‘Stuart Lawrenson was exceptional over a two year period. He was always available both on a personal level and in providing legal support.’

‘The team are all very approachable.’

‘Our contact is very approachable and always responds quickly to calls and emails. She always gives good clear and helpful advice. It is always helpful to talk particular employment matters through with her.’

Key clients

Travelodge Hotels Limited

BAE Systems Plc

Krispy Kreme UK Limited

The Fashion Group which includes Phase Eight (Fashion & Design) Limited, Hobbs Fashion Retail Limited and Whistles Limited

Hafele UK Limited

Allegro MicroSystems Europe Limited

Superior Seals Limited

Coopervision Limited

Churchill Retirement Plc

Colten Care Limited

Tricuro Limited

Cartus Limited

Dukes Education Limited

Combined Independent Holdings

Kaz Minerals

DAS Services Limited

Wartsila

Semtech Limited

Big Yellow Self Storage

Benefex Limited

F Bender Limited

Heart of England Training Limited

CLC Group

Market Harborough Building Society

Work highlights

  • Advising Coopervision, including on general matters, settlement agreements and international matters, and complex restructuring and settlement agreements.
  • Advising Phase Eight on all employment needs.
  • Advising Krispy Kreme on all employment needs, including support on multiple tribunal claims.

Trethowans LLP

Trethowans LLP‘s employment team offers advice and support to its growing client base of regional and national businesses, which stem from a range of sectors. Team head Kathryn Evans is experienced in TUPE issues, national minimum wage mandates and working time regulation compliance, with a particular focus on strategic planning. Andrew Crudge is especially adept at corporate support work, including helping manage the employment implications of mergers and acquisitions. The team’s close connections to the firm’s immigration and pensions departments further strengthen its ability to provide comprehensive employment advice. The team also handles contentious matters such as discrimination claims and shareholder disputes.

Practice head(s):

Kathryn Evans

Other key lawyers:

Andrew Crudge

Testimonials

‘Trethowans is a very reputable firm of highly professional solicitors who act as a team to support the business and create great working relationships.’

‘Kathryn Evans is a highly professional and commercially focused adviser to our business. She takes the time to get to know the firm and the people and is available and responsive to our needs.’

‘Always supportive and on hand to discuss any topic on which you need employment law advice.’

‘Kathryn Evans – extremely collaborative & insightful approach that helps you consider the possible options before advising on the implications of the path chosen. All of this is delivered with an engaging & commercial attitude regardless of the topic itself potentially being a complex minefield to the uninitiated.’

‘Key team strengths are responsiveness, proactivity, simplification, situation knowledge and expertise. Each member of the team provides all of the above. It truly feels as if you are working in partnership with them. They have a non-judgemental approach to each issue and provide the highest quality advice that is practical to our situation, size and type of business.’

‘Kathryn Evans (partner) – common sense, practical advice based on extensive experience. Has provided great continuity following a team change a couple of years ago. The transition was seamless. Understands our business extremely well and seeks to continue her learning of what we do.’

‘Trethowans is a large practice but still retains a personal service. We only used the employment law side initially. However, we have been so impressed with the level of service, that we have used them for our commercial side of the business too.’

‘I deal with Kathryn Evans at Trethowans with regards to Employment Law. Kathryn has advised me for many years and she explains the process in a clear and understanding manner. Kathryn is light hearted but focused at the same time. I would strongly recommend Kathryn and her team!’

Key clients

Bacardi-Martini

Bacardi Limited

Glen Dimplex UK Limited

Farrow & Ball Limited

Flyct B.V.

Just Develop IT Limited

Remix Dry Mortar Limited

Storck UK Limited

Skinnydip Limited

Thatcham Research

White & Co Plc

BDB Pitmans

BDB Pitmans‘ employment team is experienced in contentious and non-contentious work, from dismissals and discrimination cases to HR advice and support. The team has increased its work in the corporate sector, with experience including due diligence issues and TUPE work. The practice is led at the national level by Brian Gegg in London and Caroline Yarrow, who splits her time between London and Southampton. Legal director Claire Wagstaff leads in the south, where she is well regarded across contentious and non-contentious matters. Chris Greep, who was recently promoted to associate, is also a key contact, especially for corporate-related work.

Practice head(s):

Brian Gegg

Other key lawyers:

Claire Wagstaff; Chris Greep; Caroline Yarrow

Testimonials

‘The team is very practically minded, and has a very positive, collaborative atmosphere. During the twists and turns of litigation, the partners and associates communicate easily and quickly with counsel and each other. The approach taken to litigation is very practical, and the client’s priorities are definitely at the forefront of the team’s mind. In short, they are a pleasure to work with, and are good at what they do.’

‘BDB Pitmans always has the services and capabilities which are required by a business such as ours. Services are provided professionally, in line with expectations and at a fair price.’

‘The team are always attentive, quick to respond and they strategise in an intelligent way.’

‘Special commendation for Brian Gegg and Claire Wagstaff who provide an expert and speedy service, exuding a personal interest in the subject matters for which advice is sought.’

‘Caroline Yarrow, partner, works quickly and efficiently to progress cases. Chris Greep, associate, is very friendly, and easy to work with.’

Chris Greep is a hardworking junior who prepares cases thoroughly. His understanding of cases and common-sense approach to litigation strategy makes him a standout solicitor.’

‘The practice provides a personal, professional and efficient service.’

‘Many of our members are in a difficult situation and therefore they need someone who can support them through a process that many have no idea how to navigate. Finding someone who is compassionate and can explain technical language in an accessible way is essential. We have this with BDB Pitmans, and in particular Chris Greep.’

Moore Barlow

Moore Barlow‘s employment team works across multiple offices, led by Katherine Maxwell, who splits her time between Richmond and Southampton. Maxwell acts for businesses ranging from SMEs to global companies in a range of sectors, with particular experience in high-value and large scale matters, including reorganisations, redundancies and TUPE transfers. Emma Edis is adept at handling the employment aspects of significant business changes such as mergers, acquisitions, and restructures. Associate Stephanie Clarke is noted for her work in employee relations, which ranges from advising on handbooks to disciplinary and grievance procedures.

Practice head(s):

Katherine Maxwell

Other key lawyers:

Emma Edis; Stephanie Clarke

Testimonials

‘Excellent technical knowledge combined with an empathy and understanding of their client’s business and objectives.’

‘Responsiveness, gravitas but all combined with a personal relationship.’

Key clients

BD Network Limited

Bytes Technology Group UK

Camm & Hooper Limited

Casper & Cole

Churchill Retirement Plc

Cowdray Estate

Darwin & Wallace Plc

EQ Investors Holdings Ltd

Explore Learning Limited

Firefly Capital Limited

Foreman Homes

Gill Instruments Limited

Gravity Media

Hann Tucker Associates Limited

Holland & Holland Limited

Hozah Parking Limited

Hythe Marine Services Limited

Integrity Communications UK Limited

Jaltek Systems Limited

Monitor Audio Limited

Moorfields Eye Hospital

PAE Business Limited

Pitch Software GmbH

PK Group Limited

Raithwaite Trading Company Limited

Sir Richard Sutton Limited

SKS Business Services Ltd

Southern Communications Limited

Symetrica Limited

Talley Group Limited

Taylor Made Computer Solutions Limited

Total Merchandise Limited

Transparity Solutions Limited

Wey Education Plc

World Sailing (UK) Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising Firefly Capital Ltd on a variety of employment law matters.
  • Acted for the shareholders of Smartlogic on its sale to $1.2bn Silicon Valley tech giant Marklogic, involving a complex cross-border structure.
  • Advising Casper & Cole Limited on employment issues arising throughout its chain of restaurants in London.

Phillips Solicitors

Basingstoke-based Phillips Solicitors acts on a range of matters for clients including employees and owner-managed and larger businesses. The team continues to grow after its recent addition of legal director Jacqueline Kendal, with business immigration, GDPR, and data protection advice all seen as key areas of expansion. Kendal co-heads the team with Gill Brown, who has broad experience across agricultural, corporate and commercial matters. Firm director Jack Gardener is also recommended, with particular expertise in TUPE mandates and outsourcings.

Practice head(s):

Gill Brown; Jacqueline Kendal

Other key lawyers:

Jack Gardener

Testimonials

‘Gill Brown who is my appointed solicitor is fantastic. Very thorough and gives very good advice. In my case it is a very complicated employment tribunal where she has amassed considerable experience of large corporate tactics. Overall a rating from me of 10 out of 10 for Gill and her team.’

‘Jacqueline Kendal was incredible. Where I believe many solicitors would have said that I had no case due to the short length of service, she was determined to ensure that I felt supported and went through the appropriate channels to raise a grievance. Throughout the period she was responsive, thorough and at all times professional in her communications both with myself and the respondents. At what felt like a very distressing time, Jacqueline was an absolute rock and I was incredibly grateful when she secured a successful outcome to my case as well.’

‘Gill Brown stands out for me. She manages to maintain the human touch and her sense of humour when discussing such cases. She is also the most direct and straight talking solicitor I have had the pleasure of dealing with.’

‘Jack Gardener is exceptionally good. He approaches problems from a commercial perspective and provides practical advice. City quality advice at regional prices.’

‘Gillian Brown – outstanding.’

‘We were very impressed by their ability to reassure us out of hours.’

‘The essence of the excellent service given by Gill Brown is encapsulated in 6 characteristics – speed of response, direct and complete relevance to the issues requested, highly practical in taking us from where we are to where we wish to be, total avoidance of one-upmanship, reasonable and realistic pricing and high availability for sound practical advice.’

‘They have compassion but authority – a rare balance.’

Work highlights

  • Advising a large television channel corporate with over 700 employees on all employment and worker issues including restructurings, two redundancy processes, negotiating the exit of high-level executives, fighting and settling tribunal claims including discrimination, three separate TUPE processes, successful strike out application and day to day HR advice.
  • Advised and represented a high-level executive in respect of an application for interim relief, ET1 and claim for unfair dismissal and protected/disclosure whistleblowing following dismissal.
  • Advised on cross-border employment matters including recruitment in South America, US, Hong Kong and Europe; drafting contracts and other documentation; also guided through the dismissal process when terminating employees’ contracts.