Employment: Hampshire in South East

Blake Morgan LLP

Jointly led by Ron Burgess and Tim Forer from the firm’s Cardiff and Southampton offices respectively, Blake Morgan LLP’s employment team is well regarded for its capabilities in the marine, retail, charity, and education sectors. In addition to the steady new flow of Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS)-related enquires, the team regularly deals with TUPE instructions, post-acquisition support, and general advisory work in collaboration with its clients’ HR departments. On the contentious side, Employment Tribunal disputes including unfair dismissal claims and staff grievances are key work streams.  Vicky Schollar handles a range of education sector matters, and is also responsible for Vigil, the firm’s HR employment law support service. Holly Cudbill is recommended for her knowledge of GDPR and experience in unfair dismissal and discrimination claims, acting for the defence. All named lawyers are based in Southampton.

Practice head(s):

Ron Burgess (overall EPBI department head); Tim Forer (head of employment in the South)

Other key lawyers:

Vicky Schollar; Holly Cudbill


‘We have found Blake Morgan very approachable and willing to understand our concerns. They have been very responsive to events as they change and have provided quick and legally solid advice.’

‘Excellent, knowledgeable and prompt advice and support tailored to our needs. As a small charity we do not have an in-house HR or legal department yet still have to navigate tricky employment issues.’

‘Tim Forer has a unique understanding of life in the Royal Navy, both as a serving person and now as a trustee of another Naval Charity. He is therefore extremely well placed to give informed guidance and support to our needs. ’

‘Tim Forer is our go-to employment partner. He has extensive knowledge, a highly approachable style, leads clients by careful methods, gets the results we need and is 100% accessible. I have no hesitation in recommending him wholeheartedly.’

Key clients

University of Reading

DEKRA UK Limited


Gosport Ferry Limited

Insurance providers: providers: ARAG, DAS and Markel

Utilita Energy Limited

HJS Human Resources Limited

Kofax UK Limited

Magdalen College Oxford

The Festiniog Railway Company

Portsmouth Naval Base Property Trust

Royal Navy & Royal Marines Children’s Fund (Naval Children’s Charity)

HQ Theatres and Hospitality Limited

Rivers Engineering Company (Winchester) Limited

Portsmouth Grammar School


Pilgrims’ Friend Society

Carte Blanche Greetings Limited

Twyford HR

Hockley Golf Club

Esotec Limited

Kern Limited

Service Solutions Limited

Asian Art in London

Royal Naval Benevolent Trust

EE Glass

Portsmouth Roman Catholic Diocesan Trustees Registered

Vail Williams LLP

PETA Limited

Randall Parker Foods

Bramley Health Support Services Limited

Horse Health Wessex Limited

L & S Waste Management Limited

Gregg School Trust

Work highlights

  • Assisted Utilita Energy Limited with the employment aspects of several acquisitions, including advice in relation to TUPE and collective consultations. Responsible for all ongoing advisory work, including in relation to complex reorganisations and contentious grievance and disciplinary matters.
  • Assisted Oldercare, (secure mental health hospitals and a care home), in a particularly difficult year due to COVID-19. Advised on complex senior staff exits regarding misconduct without litigation. Advised on contractual and policy amendments, immigration, maternity and ill-health retirement.
  • Advised University of Reading on various dismissal proceedings.

DC Employment Solicitors

DC Employment Solicitors’ experienced leadership and boutique focus makes it a strong choice for a number of regional SMEs, public sector and quasi-public sector bodies, as well as individuals seeking assistance on employment matters. In recent months, the Southampton firm has acted for manufacturers, logistics groups, charities, and local authorities on a range of Employment Tribunal claims, restrictive covenant breaches, redundancies and restructurings. The team is jointly led by partners Daryl Cowan, Laurence Dunn, and Darren Tibble. "Highly impressive" senior solicitor Claire Helling is also recommended for her experience in complex discrimination and senior management exit cases.

Practice head(s):

Darren Tibble; Daryl Cowan; Laurence Dunn

Other key lawyers:

Claire Helling; Louis Howlett


‘DC have a well deserved reputation. Their solicitors have a wealth of knowledge and ensure each case receives detailed attention it requires.’

‘Daryl Cowan is a pleasure to work with – sensible, knowledgeable and good humoured. Highly recommended. He completely knows our business so he can relate to any problems I call with.’

‘Laurence Dunn was an exceptional solicitor, nothing was too much trouble and he always went out of his way to help us in an extremely difficult case.’

‘Darren Tibble has an amazing mind. Though modest, he quickly grapples with the issues in a case, guiding the client as to risk from an early stage, often allowing him to settle matters, avoiding unnecessary spending and stress.’

‘Louis Howlett is diligent, hardworking and passionate about his clients. He has a good grip on his cases with a wealth of knowledge which far surpasses his PQE.’

‘Claire Helling was impressive. She has a very calm and knowledgable approach, without making anyone in the process feel ignorant or exposed. She is the model of a modern lawyer – not at all old school. She has an accessible style and impressive legal knowledge.’

‘We have used DC Employment solicitors for almost 10 years because they always provide us with what we require. We have presented them with some unusual cases and situations, all of which they have handled exceptionally well and always remained professional.’

‘Daryl Cowan was outstanding. His professionalism mixed with a down-to-earth, no-nonsense approach gave us confidence from the start. Any time we would find ourselves worried about a process or an outcome, Daryl was on-hand to calm our worries and outline our options to proceed. First class.’

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 practice is regularly instructed by a range of clients in the Hampshire region. The team is particularly adept at handing restrictive covenant actions and senior level exits, most notably on behalf of local authorities, transportation companies, and sixth form colleges and private schools. Practice head Clive Dobbin is a seasoned Employment Tribunal advocate, who has experience of complex discrimination and whistleblowing cases,  and TUPE matters. Claire Merritt is the lead for the firm’s education-sector offering, and has recently been engaged on various Covid-19 response mandates. David Roath is recommended for his experience with protective awards regarding collective redundancies, and shareholder exits. All named lawyers are based in Southampton.

Practice head(s):

Clive Dobbin

Other key lawyers:

Claire Merritt; David Roath


‘Very professional, easy to contact, responsive, always provides advice in a timely manner.’

‘Knowledgeable, adaptable to business needs, professional, transparent, responsive, willing to help, take accountability. ’

‘This is a strong team with a good breadth of experience and expertise. They have a strong focus on client care and have been quick to embrace the new technologies that the pandemic has required us to face. They are really good at working as part of a team and also have a good breadth of expertise more widely in the firm to deal with niche issues.’

‘David Roath is a very commercially astute lawyer, with a keen analytical mind. He has the ability to inspire confidence in clients and those that he works with.’

‘Claire Merritt has a real eye for detail, she also has excellent client care skills.’

‘Clive Dobbin is a shrewd tactician with an uncanny ability to home in on the core of an issue. He also has strong analytical skills.’

‘Paris Smith are excellent employment solicitors. They provide advice that is accurate, helpful and easy to understand. They respond quickly to requests and have access to specialist advisers when needed. ’


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

  • Representing local authority on claim of whistleblowing and discrimination.
  • Advising an NHS consultant dismissed after raising concerns about a medical practice they considered dangerous.
  • Represented a local transport and logistics employer on a two-day employment tribunal .

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP is engaged by a broad roster of blue-chip corporate clients, education institutions and financial services providers on a range of employment law matters. The business ramifications of the Covid-19 pandemic have seen the firm acting for domestic and multinational companies on collective contract revisions, restructurings and furlough implementation support. On the contentious side, the team acts as the defence on Employment Tribunal litigations, often with business-critical implications at stake. The team is jointly led by Jon Hales, who focuses on TUPE matters, and Christina Tolvas-Vincent, who heads up the retail employment sub-division. All named lawyers are based in Southampton.

Practice head(s):

Jon Hales; Christina Tolvas-Vincent

Other key lawyers:

Dan Fawcett


‘Great judgement, excellent collaborators.’

‘The team, led by Christina Tolvas-Vincent, is second to none for its employment expertise in the South of England. ’

‘Christina Tolvas-Vincent and Dan Fawcett are both formidable litigators who are always alive to the client’s commercial needs and know how best tactically to achieve them. ’

‘I regularly go to Christina Tolvas-Vincent for employment law advice. She always listens carefully and gives a considered response.’

Key clients

B&Q Plc

Post Office Ltd

Signet Trading Ltd (H Samuel and Ernest Jones)

Carnival Plc

Ordnance Survey Ltd

Associated British Ports

Colgate-Palmolive Group


Arts University Bournemouth

NICE Systems UK Ltd


Sunseeker International Ltd

Southampton City College

Transdev plc

National Farmers Union

Clarke Willmott LLP

Headed up by experienced Tribunal advocate and TUPE specialist Marc Long, Clarke Willmott LLP’s employment practice handles a range of contentious and non-contentious work for clients in manufacturing, construction, logistics, and telecoms. Nicole Adams is a key contact for contentious work, and has worked on multiple tribunal cases for a diverse range of clients. Gina McCadden, who has experience providing employer-side advice on disciplinary and grievance procuedures, joined the team from Warner Goodman LLP.

Practice head(s):

Marc Long

Other key lawyers:

Nicole Adams; Gina McCadden; Anna Youngs


‘The employment team are outstanding in not only their technical abilities but also their professionalism. Their advice is concise, easy to follow and consistently suited to the commercial decision as well as the technical legal point.’ 

‘Anna Youngs, Nicole Adams, and Marc Long were all outstanding.’

‘Great service for firm size, much more reasonable rates than the City. Very up to speed on COVID related issues, government assistance programs etc.’

‘Marc Long has provided very timely service during the pandemic – important to us as we are managing from a different continent and time zones can often delay response time.’

Key clients

Onecom Group Limited

Marina Developments Limited

The Chartered Institute of Public Finance & Accountancy

Bandai UK Limited

Ogury Limited

PEI Genesis UK Limited

Royal British Legion Club (Ferndown) Limited

Xpediator Plc

The Royal Institute of British Architects

Work highlights

  • Advised on a collective redundancy scheme affecting 100 staff of a multinational electronics manufacturer.
  • Advised on multiple, simultaneous TUPE transfers arising from the post-acquisition merger of three companies.
  • Successfully defended an unfair dismissal claim arising from overtime fraud by dismissed staff.

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP handles a comprehensive range of contentious and non-contentious employment law matters, ranging from contracts and consultancy agreements to TUPE transfers, boardroom disputes, and discrimination claims. Former practice head David Bickford has now retired.

Shoosmiths LLP

Stuart Lawrenson’s team at Shoosmiths LLP acts for blue-chip national corporates both in an advisory capacity and at tribunals. In addition to the obvious growth in generalised CJRS and Covid-19 related response work, technical advice concerning business as usual  (BAU) and IR35 is a key practice strength. Close cooperation with colleagues in the corporate and litigation departments see it acting increasingly on the employment aspects of major transactions and restrictive covenant disputes. Lawrenson handles a comprehensive range of advisory and contentious instructions, and also provides bespoke client training services. Sian Hoare is a successful advocate at Tribunal and a day-to-day point of contact for many of the team’s clients, and is especially knowledgable in the field of business immigration. All named lawyers are Southampton-based.

Practice head(s):

Stuart Lawrenson

Other key lawyers:

Sian Hoare


‘The team at Shoosmiths really understand our business and provide us with realistic and practical advice. They react quickly to our requests and there is always someone available, often at short notice to support us. The level of knowledge is excellent and if necessary they are able to refer us to other departments for further guidance as appropriate.’

‘Stuart Lawrence has been a great support to us over a number of years now and we really value his realistic and down to earth approach. Stuart often steps in to assist us and provide support to his own team and nothing is too much trouble. 

‘Sian Hoare is very supportive and we very much value her knowledge and advice on day to day employment related matters.’

‘The Employment Team are professional and approachable.’

‘Stuart is someone who can assess a situation quickly and provide sound, solid guidance that gets to the heart of the matter. He is professional at all times, yet personable and can be contacted whenever you need to reach him. Stuart communicates clearly, and provides legal advice in a way that in translatable at any knowledge level.’

Key clients

Travelodge Hotels Limited

Krispy Kreme UK Limited

The Fashion Group (“TFG”) 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

GAME Retail Limited

Dukes Education Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising Travelodge Hotels on a matters ranging from GDPR to whistleblowing to TUPE.
  • Providing Coopervision with all day to day advice, and advising on a number of settlement agreements and Tribunal claims.
  • Advising Phase Eight since 2010 in relation to all of its employment needs

Trethowans LLP

The employment team at Trethowans LLP is well-placed to advise and act for a range of leading regional clients and well-known corporates with both national and international interests. Department head Kathryn Evans handles employment law and immigration matters, including discrimination claims, shareholder disputes and TUPE matters. Experienced associate Andrew Crudge, who previously led the employment practice at Irwin Mitchell’s Southampton site, concentrates on reorganisations and the employment aspects of corporate transactions. Simon Rhodes recently left the firm to establish his own business consultancy.

Practice head(s):

Kathryn Evans

Other key lawyers:

Andrew Crudge

Key clients

Winchester Garden Machinery Limited

Martinspeed Limited

This is Motif Limited

Impact Call Centre Limited

Glen Dimplex UK Limited

Gilmond Consulting Limited

Wallenius Wilhelmsen Ocean UK

Farrow and Ball Limited

Riskstop Group Limited

Thatcham Research

BDB Pitmans

BDB Pitmans’ experience in contentious matters – including discrimination, constructive dismissals, and group actions – makes it a firm choice for both claimants and respondents in Employment Tribunal matters. On the advisory side, the team regularly assists clients with a range of recruitment matters, restructuring implications, and day-to-day HR support. Southampton-based  Claire Wagstaff is the lead for the employment group in the south.

Practice head(s):

Jesper Christensen; Claire Wagstaff

Other key lawyers:

Brian Gegg


‘A dedicated, professional team with a keen interest in providing expert advice to its clients. They adopt a personal albeit objective approach in dispensing their counsel and knowledge.’

‘Their dedicated team of Brian Gegg and Claire Wagstaff provide a service that is second to none.’

‘Very knowledgable, helpful and professional.’

Work highlights

    Moore Barlow

    Moore Barlow’s sizeable practice is noted for its broad experience in contentious and non-contentious employment law matters. The team is engaged by a diverse regional client base on a range of general advisory mandates, pandemic response advice, and post-transactional employment concerns. On the contentious side, the practice is active in discrimination and unfair dismissal tribunal claims, acting mostly for the respondent. Practice head Katherine Maxwell, who divides her time between Southampton and Richmond, is noted for her experience in TUPE transfers, high-value severance packages, reorganisations and redundancies. Emma Edis focuses chiefly on the employment aspects of corporate transactions, group restructurings, and insolvency procedures. Associate Stephanie Clarke is also recommended. All named lawyers are based in Southampton unless indicated otherwise.

    Practice head(s):

    Katherine Maxwell

    Other key lawyers:

    Emma Edis; Stephanie Clarke


    ‘A strong, responsive and empathetic team who have quickly understood our business and objectives, and have tailored their advice to suit these needs.’

    ‘The team are all individually strong and competent.’

    ‘Katherine Maxwell and her team are a great example of a professional team of employment lawyers. We have complete confidence in the knowledge and capability of whoever we speak to in the team. It has always been a pleasure to speak to Katherine or anyone in her team.’

    ‘Having worked with many employment lawyers for nearly 25 years, I have found Katherine Maxwell and her team to have a true partnership approach and also a great understanding of our business.’

    ‘Katherine Maxwell is just excellent and very knowledgable.’

    ‘The team is partner led and has a record for coming up with creative solutions to complex matters. ’

    Key clients

    BD Network Limited

    Bytes Software Services Limited

    Camm & Hooper Limited

    Darwin & Wallace Limited

    Explore Learning Limited

    Gravity Media UK Limited

    Hozah Parking Limited

    Hythe Marine Services Limited (new to department)

    Jaltek Systems Limited

    Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

    PAE Business Limited (new to department)

    Pitch Software GmbH (Ecovis referral)

    PK Group Limited

    SKS Business Solutions Limited

    Southern Communications Limited

    Talley Group Limited

    Taylor Made Computer Solutions Limited

    Total Merchandise Ltd

    Transparity Solutions Limited

    World Sailing UK Limited

    Work highlights

    • In addition to providing general employment law support to Total Merchandise Ltd’s HR and senior management, the firm has advised  on its response to the pandemic.
    • Providing business critical employment law advice to Camm & Hooper Limited enabling this company running restaurants to respond to the pandemic.
    • Providing general employment law support to HR and senior management at Transparity Solutions on the employment aspects of its recent investment transaction.

    Phillips Solicitors

    The employment team at Phillips Solicitors is regularly instructed by claimants and respondents to act on contentious redundancies and dismissals – a work stream which has grown dramatically over the past year in light of the challenges posed by the pandemic. The team is jointly led by seasoned local practitioner Gill Brown and recent recruit Jacqueline Kendal, who arrived from Rosling King LLP. Brown advises a range of clients on the employment aspects of agricultural, corporate, and commercial matters, and is equally fluent handling litigious and advisory mandates. Kendal, a barrister with experience in the City and at the Bar, has significant litigation experience involving restrictive covenants, TUPE, and multiparty employment claims.  Jack Gardener handles the employment aspects of corporate transactions and outsourcing issues. All named lawyers are based in Basingstoke.

    Practice head(s):

    Gill Brown; Jacqueline Kendal

    Other key lawyers:

    Jack Gardener


    ‘Gillian Brown continues to excel as one of the finest employment law solicitors in Hampshire. The go-to person for contentious employment law matters.’

    ‘Following the merger [with Brain Chase Coles], the firm as a whole has gone from strength to strength. Gillian Brown’s attention to detail, meticulous instructions and client care abilities are second to none.’

    ‘The service we have received to date is excellent. Responsive, knowledgeable, and helped our business through difficult employment issues.’

    ‘Jack Gardener is super helpful and always available to take our calls and respond to emails promptly. We really value his insight and knowledge in relation to employment issues in our business.’

    ‘Gill Brown is an exceptional and outstanding lawyer. She has been always supportive and guided us in a smart and quick way through the case resolution. She has always explained and shared with us clearly all the steps in the process.’

    ‘Efficient, City-quality lawyers in Basingstoke.’

    ‘Jack Gardener is an excellent lawyer with a highly commercial and efficient approach.’