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The Legal 500 Hall of Fame Icon The Legal 500 Hall of Fame highlights individuals who have received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence. The Hall of Fame highlights, to clients, the law firm partners who are at the pinnacle of the profession. In the United Kingdon, the criteria for entry is to have been recognised by The Legal 500 as one of the elite leading lawyers for eight years. These partners are highlighted below and throughout the editorial.
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United Kingdom > South East > Human resources > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings



Employment: Thames Valley, Berks, Oxon, M4/M40

Index of tables

  1. Employment: Thames Valley, Berks, Oxon, M4/M40
  2. Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Employment: Thames Valley, Berks, Oxon, M4/M40 clients in South East using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact


Blake Morgan LLP marked an uptick in employment litigation in the High Court and employment tribunal. It also added a number of new clients to the roster, such as The Turney Group, Simon Hegele Logistics and Service, Lewisham Homes, Inmarsat and Slough Children’s Services Trust; the latter has retained recently promoted partner Rajiv Joshi in a significant whistleblowing and race discrimination tribunal claim against a current employee. Rebecca Ireland focuses on the technology and education sectors and is defending the University of Reading in a high-profile unfair dismissal and sex discrimination dispute with a former lecturer. Practice head William Downing has been assisting Cobham plc with a range of matters, including disability discrimination disputes, replacing a bonus structure and cross-border work concerning employee dismissals and transfers. Associate Rhiannon Jenkins is a rising star. Mike Wilson was promoted to managing partner and James Simpson departed to Blaser Mills.

β€˜Regional leader’ Boyes Turner is a β€˜safe pair of hands’ for a range of work, including tribunal litigation, TUPE transfers and matters arising out of corporate transactions. Helen Goss, who leads the leisure and hospitality sector team, advised a global medical technology company on transferring hundreds of employees to a new location as part of centralising several of its offices, which involved collective redundancies, a remote working policy and outsourcing teams to subsidiaries in Switzerland and third parties. Practice head Barry Stanton defended Gartner UK in an employment tribunal and employment appeal tribunal (EAT) case against an employee claiming that the company breached its contract and discriminated against age by stopping permanent health insurance payments. Tesla, LEO Pharma and Beaver-Visitec International are additional clients of the practice. Michael Farrier is β€˜a real legal innovator’; senior associate Andrew Whiteaker is β€˜prepared to go the extra mile to make sure the correct result is achieved’; and Darren Smith, who was promoted to senior associate, is β€˜professional, very easy to work with and dedicated’. Senior associate and training group head Emma O'Connor is also highly regarded, as is recently promoted director Laurie Anstis, who leads the business immigration team with senior associate Claire Taylor-Evans.

CMS acts for multinational companies such as Liberty Global and Biogen on a range of matters, including data protection issues and domestic and international reorganisations. The firm also services clients through CMS Law Now, a resource that enables employers to stay up to date with changes in employment law. Gary Henderson leads the team and has been handling HR training, exit arrangements and pensions advice as well as tribunal claims and senior-level hires for energy, entertainment and technology sector companies. Also recommended are senior associates Rachel Zani, Jenny Grogan, Edward Arnold and Anita Wisby; the latter is also a part-time employment judge.

At Clarkslegal LLP, firm chairman and practice head Michael Sippitt is an expert in industrial relations and represented Carillion in challenging GMB’s Central Arbitration Committee (CAC) application to be recognised by the company regarding collective bargaining for cleaning staff. HR departments are supported through the firm’s consultancy business Forbury People. β€˜Solutions-orientated’ managing partner Monica Atwal β€˜has a deep understanding of the tribunal system’ and is representing Wincanton in appealing the EAT’s decision stating that contractual claims brought by a group of employees is in the public interest for protected disclosure; the dispute is with a former employee who alleged that they were unfairly dismissed for making claims about the allocation of overtime. Currie & Brown was a recent client gain and has instructed the firm to handle its takeover of Sweett Group, which has seen Helen Beech handle dismissals, TUPE transfers and a restructuring, among other matters. Naureen Hussain now works in-house at Huawei Technologies (UK).

Doyle Clayton β€˜inspires confidence and takes time to understand the client’s strategy and aims’. Practice head Tina Wisener β€˜brings a wealth of skill to her work’ and, together with recently promoted senior associate Victoria Burnip, is appealing an EAT ruling on behalf of Chestertons, which outlined public interest in the context of making protected disclosures; the claim was filed by former senior manager, who alleges that they were unfairly dismissed for whistleblowing. Recent mandates for James Anderson included collective redundancies, discrimination claims and wage deductions. Financial services and insurance sector work is another core strength of the practice; Sukhpal Matharoo, who divides his time between London and Reading, is acting for a bank in a trade union dispute concerning salary changes. Associate Verity Saxon β€˜is a great listener, who asks good probing questions and makes clients think about all areas of risk’, and Piers Leigh-Pollitt β€˜goes above and beyond’ for clients in the data protection and the employment aspects of corporate transactions, among other matters.

Lewis Silkin LLP has β€˜superb strength in depth’ and routinely advises multinational clients on cross-border matters relating to global contracts and M&A transactions, where collective redundancies, restructurings and various other matters arise. Notable clients include Invesco, Jaguar Land Rover and Viacom and its subsidiaries MTV, Channel 5 and Paramount Pictures; practice head Russell Brimelow assisted the latter subsidiary with a restructuring following the outsourcing of its global distribution business to Universal Pictures. In addition to receiving referral work, Carolyn Soakell’s law firms team advises other legal practices on an array of matters, including structuring partner benefits, partnership exits and age discrimination cases. Holiday pay, discrimination and equal pay claims also feature on the recent workload. Head of the TUPE group Jonathan Carr β€˜quickly understands a situation and provides very clear and helpful advice’. Also recommended are recently promoted partner James Storke and media and entertainment sector expert Hannah Price. At managing associate level, Ailsa Morris β€˜provides sound, pragmatic advice’ and Alison Clements, who leads the non-permanent workforce group, receives praise for β€˜understanding the viewpoint of employers and the need to find practical solutions’.

Penningtons Manches LLP is experienced in the education, life sciences and technology sectors, counting Merton College, Oxford Nanopore Technologies and IVI UK as clients. Under the leadership of Daff Richardson and the β€˜particularly good’ Eugene Wojciechowski, the team has also been advising companies from the social housing sector on TUPE transfers, discrimination and trade union matters related to equal pay. Richardson also jointly heads the education team and has been retained by senior executives for restrictive covenants and severance advice. Other recent work has included advising on restructurings, senior-level redundancies and unfair dismissals. At senior associate level, Duncan Bain has the β€˜ability to see the wider picture’ and the recently promoted Bill Smith is well versed in corporate-related work, especially transactions involving university spin-out companies. Sally Nesbitt is now with Moorcrofts LLP.

At Shoosmiths LLP, β€˜advice is always given with the wider commercial context in mind’. The team is experienced in a range of employment work as well as business immigration matters. Jonathan Naylor leads the Reading practice and recently acted for Regus Group Services and Regus Management (UK) during large-scale restructurings, senior level exits, and disputes relating to TUPE transfers and breach of bonus schemes. With national department head Kevin McCavish, β€˜the key considerations are always explained clearly’ and, together with Naylor, he represents Hewlett Packard Enterprise in tribunal claims, including defending Hewlett Packard Enterprise Services UK in a whistleblowing dispute with a senior manager. Paula Rome is highly regarded for CAC hearings, high-profile exits, non-contentious trade union work and employment work related to corporate deals. Clients also include Guide Dogs for the Blind, Tech Data and Old Mutual Global Investors.

At Field Seymour Parkes LLP, practice head Ian Machray β€˜identifies the risks and evaluates the best course of action’ in TUPE and restrictive covenants matters. The firm is advising VMware UK on the integration and TUPE transfer of AirWatch (now trading as VMware AirWatch)’s workforce, which forms part of VM’s $1.54bn acquisition of the company. Another recent mandate saw the practice assist the executive directors of red24 with service agreements, resignations and terms of departure following the company’s acquisition by iJET International. The firm also defended John Madejski Academy against 180 claimants in an equal pay claim relating to a TUPE transfer, and advised Reading FC on hiring Jaap Stam following its work on terminating the employment contracts of Steve Clarke and Brian McDermott. TP Group, Bewley Homes and Daniel Owen are other clients. At associate level, Louise Smyth β€˜balances business interests with sound legal advice’, Katie Burley was recently promoted and Jackie Denham joined from BG Group.

Osborne Clarke has a strong following among US companies, where the firm handles multi-jurisdictional employment matters. β€˜Very knowledgeable and attentive’ practice head Danielle Kingdon advised RichRelevance on restructuring the company’s EMEA operations; assisted Actavis UK with commercial agreements, TUPE provisions and pensions advice during its Β£603m divestment by Teva Pharmaceutical Industries to Intas Pharmaceuticals’ subsidiary Accord Healthcare; and represented a leading professional services company in two tribunal claims against an employee, who was allegedly subjected to sex discrimination, harassment and victimisation. Fitbit, Tech Mahindra and Nominet UK are also clients. Senior associate Emma Ladley transferred to the firm’s Silicon Valley office and Anna Chamberlain now works as in-house counsel at Expeditors.

At Pitmans LLP, department head Mark Symons successfully represented an expatriate employee before the EAT in a case regarding unfair dismissal, whistleblowing and discrimination claims filed against the British Council (BC); the matter set a precedent for expatriate employees by allowing claims against BC to be heard by employment tribunals, something that has been challenged by the respondent. Other key figures include Angela Shields and senior associate Jenny Littlewood. Entrepreneurs, starts-ups and large employers such as Westcoast, Panalux and Advanced also feature on the client roster.

Blandy & Blandy LLP is β€˜excellent’ in discrimination claims and was active in filing disability and race claims against employers on behalf of employees. On the defence side, the practice is representing a financial services company in a tribunal case, where unfair dismissal, sex discrimination, wage deduction and several other claims have been brought by a former school worker. Other employer clients include technology, construction and education sector companies. Tim Clark is β€˜efficient and diligent’ in reorganisation, restructuring, redundancy and TUPE matters, while β€˜very professional’ practice head Sue Dowling provides β€˜considered and sensible advice’ during litigation prevention, restructurings, senior-level departures and disability discrimination matters.

Specialist firm Cater Leydon Millard has a β€˜particularly strong track record’ in representing NHS and education sector clients in litigation relating to discrimination, protected disclosure and other claims. Nathan Millard is defending Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust in numerous cases concerning institutional racism against a group that represents black and minority ethnic staff. Wendy Leydon is β€˜immensely experienced’ in employment tribunal disputes and recently acted for Serco Group in an EAT claim, which outlined that case management orders are not subject to variation or revocation by a judge of equal level to one that made the order, unless it is in the interests of justice and there has been a substantial change to circumstances; the claim arose from an unfair dismissal allegation brought by a former employee. Chiltern Way Academy, Arysta LifeScience and Secomak are other clients. Lisa Harris and the β€˜very efficient and dynamic’ Stephen Conlan are also names to note.

Clifton Ingram LLP Solicitors excels in the technology, pharmaceutical and biotechnology sectors. Recent work includes advising a software company on various matters, including senior executive exits, disciplinary actions and preventing litigation concerning pregnancy and sex discrimination claims. The β€˜very personable’ Alison Gair leads the practice and represented the Reading Hebrew Congregation in a dispute with a Rabbi and Rebbetzin, who filed unfair dismissal, breach of contract, holiday pay and a series of other claims against the charity. Senior associate Robert Cherry is also recommended and recently advised an automotive sector company on flexitime, staff absences and terminating employment contracts. Knight Strip Metals, Longacres Garden Centre and Uninterruptible Power Supplies are other clients.

Boutique firm Crossland Employment Solicitors β€˜gives the very best practical advice’ during discrimination issues, breach of contract claims, large-scale reorganisations, senior executive exits and other matters. Consulting barrister Kevin Charles represented a UK-based plc in a sex discrimination, harassment and unfair dismissal dispute with a senior employee, who brought claims against other colleagues, and the β€˜fantastic’ Beverley Sunderland acted for a senior executive in an unfair dismissal and whistleblowing dispute. Director Barry Ross is another key contact. The firm’s clients include M&C Saatchi, asra Housing Group and Intertek Group.

Draper Lang LLP is β€˜a cracking niche firm’ that β€˜feels like an extension of clients’ HR functions’. The β€˜sharp, practical and engaging’ Nicholas Snowden is advising a data storage company on making a number of redundancies, while London and Henley-on-Thames-based David Blomfield represented a senior executive in bringing a claim against their employer, which allegedly failed to implement an Enterprise Management Incentive scheme. Law firms, BMS and Crew Clothing are also clients. The firm recently hired Stephen Cates from Laytons, who divides his time between London and Henley-on-Thames. Senior consultant Melanie Slocombe is also highly recommended. Senior associate Katrine Clay is now with Herrington Carmichael LLP.

Herrington Carmichael LLP is β€˜fantastic value for money’ and has brought a high-profile claim against the defunct firm King & Wood Mallesons on behalf of over 200 employees, who allege that the firm failed to enter into a consultation process before making redundancies. Other work highlights included advising a laundry company on reorganising its business, assisting with redundancies and relocating employees. Practice head Alistair McArthur impresses with his β€˜knowledge and articulation of complex legal issues’ in restrictive covenant matters, TUPE issues, tribunals claims and other matters. Senior solicitor Katie Harris is β€˜responsive’ and associate Katrine Clay recently joined from Draper Lang LLP. Clients also include Forest Care, Adtech Global and BSG Financial Solutions.

At Employment Law Plus, Jill Kelly’s β€˜knowledge and expertise are impressive’, and she routinely advises businesses and individuals on everything from disciplinary actions to negotiating employment contracts. The firm’s recent workload included negotiating a Β£1m exit package for an expatriate manager from a building materials company and advising on calculating holiday pay. Boswells Coffee, Browning International, ADM Group are clients.

Gardner Leader LLP’s growing client list includes Gillespie Lavelle Morrison and a number of high-net-worth individuals. Senior associate and practice head Michelle Morgan was a key hire from Freeths LLP. Senior associate Julie Taylor previously led the practice and was particularly active in representing employees; a recent highlight saw Taylor bring a race discrimination claim against the employer of a high-net-worth individual regarding their dismissal and participation in a high-value equity scheme.

Boutique firm mpm legal solutions Limited adopts β€˜a deal-making attitude’ and acts for well-known employers such as Graze, Honda and Space NK. Business immigration expert Adrienne Brown is the name to note along with Mark Minns, who excels in advising on workplace changes such as restructurings, redundancies and outsourcing. Peter Beisty advised a global company on pan-European restructuring across 11 jurisdictions and defended a financial services company against whistleblowing, discrimination and unfair dismissal claims that were brought against the employer and senior executives. Legal director Sarah Wilder is also recommended and recently joined from an in-house position at Coca-Cola European Partners.

The team at Royds Withy King is β€˜always attentive, knowledgeable and proactive’, and has been handling a varied workload including tribunal claims, redundancy matters, partnership disputes and disciplinary actions. Mark Emery β€˜provides advice that alleviates future problems’ and is representing the former CEO of CXR Biosciences, who alleges that he was unfairly dismissed after the company was sold to Concept Life Sciences. β€˜Confident, positive and supportive’ senior associate Kate Benefer joined from Knights Professional Services Limited and is acting for an individual in appealing a case regarding a race discrimination and whistleblowing claim against the NHS; the employment tribunal claim was handled at Benefer’s previous firm.

Food sector expert Carol Shaw heads the practice at Spratt Endicott, which acts for employers and employees in an array of disputes, covering everything from unfair dismissal to enforcing restrictive covenants. Philomena Price β€˜understands the needs and culture of her clients’ businesses’, and handles large-scale redundancy exercises, tribunal claims, training and senior executive severances. Data subject access requests, holiday pay and sex discrimination claims were also among the firm’s recent mandates. Novus Leisure, Fine Lady Bakeries and Involvement Packaging (trading as INVOPAK) are key clients.

Employment: Kent, Surrey and Sussex

Index of tables

  1. Employment: Kent, Surrey and Sussex
  2. Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Employment: Kent, Surrey and Sussex clients in South East using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact


Charles Russell Speechlys LLP excels in handling the full range of employment matters, including large-scale company restructurings, pensions issues, shareholder and director exit strategies, and immigration matters. The team advised Ericsson on outsourcing agreements and successfully represented the client in an employment tribunal case concerning whether TUPE applied to an employee away on long-term sick leave. It also assisted Photo-Me International with the employment law aspects of its acquisition of Asda’s photo shop arm, including assisting with TUPE transfers, share purchase agreement negotiations and new contract documentation. Sports Direct, International Financial Data Services, Lord Wandsworth College and Zenium Technology Partners are also clients. Department head Nick Hurley β€˜is very commercial and cost-effective’ and β€˜an exceptional negotiator and tactician’. Ben Smith, who was promoted to partner in May 2016, β€˜is very hardworking, dedicated to the client’s cause and commercial’. Also recommended are Andy Williams, who β€˜fights tooth and claw for his clients, is highly practical and very approachable’, and associate Emily Chalkley, who β€˜is incredibly thorough and conscientious’.

Cripps LLP’s β€˜overall level of service is excellent’ according to clients. Internal restructuring, mass redundancy issues and cross-border employee outsourcing matters are all key areas for the practice, which is also regularly called on to handle the employment aspects of corporate takeovers and disposals. In 2016 the team advised Halbronn on employment law issues arising from its acquisition of 2D CNC Machinery and assisted a former managing director on their exit from a company, including negotiating a remuneration package and new shareholder agreement. Other highlights included acting for We Are Social on pension scheme structuring, employee disciplinary issues and TUPE transfer clauses, and acting for a client in the insurance industry in a potential High Court injunction concerning a breach of contract dispute. Other contentious expertise includes whistleblowing mandates and employment tribunal litigation. Concordia International Rx UK, Munroe K, Burrswood and TYO UK are also clients. Department leader Erica Dennett, who was promoted to partner in May 2016, β€˜gives high-quality advice with minimal fuss’; she is ably supported by HR expert Gavin Tyler, senior associate Camilla Beamish, who β€˜provides clear, uncomplicated advice’, and managing associate Rhona Darbyshire.

According to clients, DMH Stallard LLP is β€˜excellent on all counts’. The full-service employment practice handles a range of non-contentious and contentious matters, including TUPE transfer issues, employment termination mandates and director and shareholder exit strategies. In a recent highlight, the team advised ProSight Specialty Insurance on implementing new senior insurance managers regime following changes to FCA regulation guidelines, and advised on new whistleblowing policies arising from the new regime. It also assisted Zotefoams with its restructuring, involving redundancy agreements and litigation arising from a dispute with a former employee. Other areas of expertise include handling immigration issues such as right-to-work documentation reviews and cross-border employment outsourcing matters, as well as pension scheme restructuring. Other clients include Brewers Decorator Centres, Crawley Borough Council and Shoreham Port. Simon Bellm β€˜always provides advice which is balanced and easily understood’ and Gregory Burgess β€˜gives great advice and really supports clients with practical and pragmatic solutions’. Adam Williams, who was promoted to partner in June 2016, focuses on director and shareholder exits as well as employment tribunal advocacy. Senior associate Phillip Vallon is another contact. In 2017, the firm merged with Rawlison Butler LLP, bringing on board Tony Hyams-Parish.

Mundays LLP’s β€˜overall level of service and knowledge is excellent’. Employment tribunal litigation, mass redundancy issues and complex employment termination mandates are all areas of expertise for the practice, which is also well-versed in pensions and immigration matters as well as handling FCA compliance matters. Its client base includes international and national clients from the healthcare, logistics, construction and technology sectors, as well as high-net-worth individuals. Practice head Andrew Knorpel β€˜is always very clear and concise’ and β€˜does not sit on the fence with his opinion’; he advises aviation clients on a range of employment matters including restructurings and outsourcing issues. Fiona McAllister, who handles restrictive covenant and strategic exit issues, is also recommended. Sofia Syed joined Keystone Law.

Penningtons Manches LLP attracts praise for its β€˜breadth of experience and knowledge of employment law and strategy’. The firm is regularly called on to assist clients with employment tribunal and high court cases, as well as handling TUPE transfers, issues relating to long-term sickness leave and claims of employee misconduct. It advised a client on multiple employment matters in 2016, including employee disciplinary procedures, alleged discrimination matters and restrictive covenant issues. The team is also well-versed in pension matters and immigration issues relating to employment, as well as having expertise in cross-border outsourcing mandates. Clients include Make-A-Wish Foundation, Titleworth Healthcare, Intrinsic Technology and Alemba UK. Practice leader Michael Cole β€˜particularly impresses with his ability to devise and deploy litigation strategy to great effect’. He is assisted by associate Elizabeth Cardy, who is β€˜intelligent, hardworking and never afraid to fight her client’s corner’.

The β€˜friendly and accessible’ team at Stevens & Bolton LLP advises on TUPE transfers, cross-border employee outsourcing agreements and senior executive exit strategies, among other employment matters. In 2016 the firm acted for Linde Group on multiple unfair dismissal cases, discrimination issues and health and safety mandates as well as corporate restructuring across several areas of the company. Other highlights included advising Bunzl on employment matters relating to multiple acquisitions, and assisting Nintendo with redundancy procedures, internal restructuring matters and secondment arrangements. The firm also has strong pensions, immigration and tax teams. Other clients include Wincor Nixdorf, RBB Economics, Kia Motors and Veeam Software. Stephanie Dale leads the team and is experienced in handling company restructurings, redundancy issues and employment tribunal cases; she is ably supported by data privacy expert Lloyd Davey, Paul Lambdin, who has a focus on trade union law, and immigration specialist Kerry Garcia whose β€˜advice is particularly clear’.

Clients of asb law LLP rate the team for β€˜consistently providing the best advice’. In 2016 it acted in multiple contentious employment matters including employment tribunal litigation, disability discrimination claims and minimum wage disputes. Its non-contentious expertise extends to high-level management, shareholder and director exit strategies, severance pay agreements and TUPE issues. It also has extensive expertise in handling pension scheme and immigration matters, having advised on international employment matters in 2016. Clients include TUI Travel, Mid Sussex District Counsel, Arsenal Football Club and the Heritage Lottery Fund. Jonathan Stevens joined as head of dispute resolution in June 2016 from an in-house counsel position, offsetting the departure of Rebecca Thornley-Gibson to Ince & Co in October 2016. Associate Rebecca Jorgensen heads the employment team and is noted for her expertise in disciplinary procedures.

Barlow Robbins LLP has a solid reputation for employment termination matters, boardroom disputes and employment tribunal litigation. Highlights in 2016 included assisting SABMiller with a mass redundancy scheme by negotiating 145 separate settlement agreements, as well as advising ABUS Crane Systems on a dismissal case. The team also assisted Endologix with TUPE transfer issues arising from its acquisition of TriVascular. Other clients include Wey Education, Spaceships UK and IAF Capital, as well as high-net-worth individuals and senior executives. David Ludlow heads the practice and is noted for his expertise in employment tribunal litigation. Also in the team are Joanna Lada-Walicki, who specialises in acting for schools and charities, and senior associate Michelle Tudor, who is a business immigration law expert.

Brachers β€˜goes the extra mile wherever possible’. The team is well-versed in handling contentious employment work, including trade union disputes and immigration matters. The team represented Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust in an employment tribunal case concerning race and sexual orientation discrimination claims brought by a former employee. It also defended the same client in a claim against a former employee for unlawful wage deduction. The practice’s non-contentious expertise spans TUPE transfers, company restructurings and employee outsourcings. Burgess Marine, South East Water and Vector Aerospace are also clients. The practice is headed by the β€˜talented’ Catherine Daw, whose β€˜dedication to the client is genuine’. She leads a team that includes Colin Smith who β€˜provides first-class advice balanced with a genuine understanding of commercial pressures’, and associates Rachael Russell and Louise Brenlund.

Furley Page Solicitors provides an β€˜excellent, personalised service’. Recent contentious work includes representing the Duke of York’s Royal Military School (DOYRMS) in an employment tribunal case where a former employee claimed unfair dismissal after whistleblowing. Non-contentious work highlights included advising George Hammond on the employment aspects of the divestment of its port services division to Dover Harbour Board, which involved TUPE transfers, trade union negotiations and individual employee settlements. Other clients include the University of Kent, Grupo Antolin and Brett Group. Department head Andrew Masters β€˜is very attentive to clients and has excellent attention to detail’; he specialises in advising education sector clients on HR issues and employment disputes and is assisted by senior associate Amanda Okill, who is an expert in Equality Act breaches.

Sherrards Employment Law Solicitors is β€˜extremely professional and always provides excellent advice’. Restructurings, discrimination allegations and redundancy procedures are key areas of expertise for the team, which handles several cross-border employment outsourcing matters in 2016, including advising Lufthansa Technik on the transfer of Virgin Atlantic’s third-party engineering contract, which involved assisting with TUPE transfer issues. Other highlights included acting for the chief executive officer of a logistics company ina strategic exit from the business and representing a whistleblower client in a dispute with a pharmaceuticals conglomerate, eventually settling the claim for Β£350,000. Other clients include Emirates, Singapore Airlines and Retirement Advantage. Firm director Harry Sherrard and Dan Soanes β€˜always explain the legal terms without complexity’; they are recommended for aviation employment disputes. Solicitor Victoria Bevis is well regarded for her β€˜clarity of explanation, patience, tenacity and professional manner’.

Thomas Mansfield LLP acted for Scheidt & Bachmann in a damages claim against a former employee to recover former assets belonging to the client; other areas of litigation expertise include restrictive covenant issues and employment tribunal disputes. Its non-contentious expertise extends to advising clients on TUPE transfer issues, restructuring matters and mass redundancy procedures. The team also has strength in tax, pensions and immigration law and frequently assists with matters involving trade unions. South London Business, London Business Conferences Group and Arcadia Products are all clients. Neill Thomas and Jonathan Mansfield head the team, which includes healthcare and charity sector specialist David Gray-Jones, employment tribunal expert Meredith Hurst, and TUPE specialist Angie Crush.

Thomson Snell & Passmore is well-known for handling contentious employment matters, working closely with the firm’s dispute resolution team on restrictive covenant disputes and discrimination claims, among others. The team acted for Avante Care & Support in a dispute with several former employees claiming unfair dismissal caused by a reduction in pay by the client, successfully dismissing the claims at the employment tribunal stage. It also represented North Kent College in a constructive dismissal and sex discrimination claim brought by a former lecturer at the college, with all claims dismissed at the Employment Tribunal. Other clients include Frank Hirth, Compagnie Fruitiere UK and Mid Kent College. The highly regarded Nick Hobden heads the department and focuses on assisting clients in the education and charity sectors with employment disputes. He is ably supported by Susanna Rynehart, an employment tribunal expert, and senior associate Ben Stepney, who specialises in the social care sector.

Boddy Matthews Limited fields a β€˜professional and thorough’ practice in Reigate that provides β€˜excellent client service’. The firm handles the full range of employment matters including business transfers, strategic exits and restructurings. The team advised PJ Valves on multiple employment matters in 2016, including reviewing current employment structures and agreements and assisting with termination agreements. It also successfully represented Prater in an unfair dismissal and age discrimination claim brought by a former employee. Shillington College and Caremark are also clients. Key figures include Helen Boddy, who β€˜is precise and practical in her advice’, and Kate Matthews, who is recommended for employment franchising matters.

According to one client, Clarkson Wright & Jakes is β€˜a first-rate firm with a strong team’. Non-contentious highlights included advising on FCA compliance matters, company reorganisations and employee outsourcing matters, including TUPE transfers. The team’s contentious experience extends to employment tribunal disputes and discrimination claims. Its clients span education, leisure and hospitality, among other sectors. Head of department Judith Curran β€˜goes the extra mile for the client’ and litigator Jill Lawton β€˜works hard for her clients and is very effective in articulating her client’s case’.

The β€˜excellent’ team at Downs Solicitors LLP regularly advises on redundancy matters, director and shareholder exit strategies, and drafting employment contracts, as well as handling pensions and tax matters. On the contentious front the team is adept at representing clients in employment termination disputes, issues arising from breaches of restrictive covenants, and discrimination claims. Its client base includes companies in the logistics, construction and pharmaceuticals industries among others. Matthew Kilgannon heads the practice and is ably assisted by the β€˜very helpful’ David Seals, associate Nicola O’Dwyer, consultant Keith Potter and associate Emily Kidd.

GBH Law Limited handles the full spectrum of employment matters including disability discrimination, redundancy procedures and large-scale restructurings. The team’s litigation expertise extends to high court injunctions, restricted covenant cases and employment tribunal matters. Immigration and pensions advice are other areas of expertise. Its client base includes owner-managed businesses, charities, schools and senior executives. Hamish Cameron Blackie, Andrea Tishler, Christine Goodyear and Ashley Holden are all key names in the practice.

Gullands Solicitors focuses on providing employment law advice to charities, including handling pensions and immigration issues. Clients from the logistics, transport and construction sectors also feature on the roster. Amanda Finn heads the team; she specialises in advising on social media employee disputes. Associate and health and safety specialist and Andrew Clarke is another key name in the team.

The team at Martin Searle Solicitors β€˜is client-focused, friendly and professional’. In 2016 the team assisted clients with restructurings, high-level manager, director and shareholder exit negotiations, and employment litigation. The firm advised a food industry client on an unfair dismissal claim for stealing a Β£1 cake and is currently representing a former consultant surgeon at the High Court in an unfair dismissal and race discrimination case. Firm director Fiona Martin is the department head; she is ably supported by associate Laura Middleton.

Morrisons Solicitors LLP is adept at undertaking a full range of employment issues such as cross-border outsourcing agreement advice, redundancy matters and strategic exits. The firm also has expertise in handling discrimination claims involving social media, restrictive covenant disputes and unfair dismissal cases. Clients include Jellyfish Group, Hampshire Trust Bank, Premier Tax Free and Secom. Joanne Kavanagh heads the practice and is β€˜extremely professional and knowledgeable’. Also recommended are senior associate Michael-Jon Andrews, who β€˜is a very clever lawyer who takes a particularly firm, yet commercial approach’, and associate Reena Sharma.

Rix & Kay Solicitors LLP β€˜is excellent on all counts’ according to clients. In 2016 the team advised on restructurings, TUPE transfers and restrictive covenant matters, and handles unfair dismissal claims, employment termination disputes and discrimination issues. The practice also works closely with the corporate team to advise on the employment aspects of acquisitions and divestments. Green Insurance Group, Guess and Northampton Football Club are also clients. Miranda Martin leads the department, which includes Bruce Hayter and solicitor Amy White, who is β€˜extremely competent and professional’. Mark James left to join Coffin Mew LLP.

Clients of TWM Solicitors LLP rate the team for its β€˜expert knowledge’. Its expertise extends to restrictive covenant disputes, data protection matters and exit negotiations among others. Highlights included assisting restaurant chain Kokoro with preparing employment contracts and policies for multiple branches in the South East, and advising Image Skincare on employment law arising from the establishment of its UK subsidiary. Chelsea Technologies, Flying by Foy and Stenball Group are also clients. Head of practice Patrick Stewart β€˜never fails to help with any problem’ and is experienced in employment tribunal litigation.

β€˜The level of service is excellent’ at Thackray Williams LLP, which is known for its contentious employment expertise. The Bromley-based practice is representing a former employee in an unfair dismissal and discrimination claim, and acted for clients in whistleblowing litigation and restricted covenant matters. Other areas of expertise include disciplinary hearing advice, drafting agreements and TUPE transfers. The practice acts for individuals and employers, with a particular specialism in advising schools on employment matters. Key figures include Emma Thompson, whose β€˜confidence, legal expertise and professionalism is reassuring’, and solicitor Sarah Ludlam.

Employment: Beds, Bucks, Herts, Middx

Index of tables

  1. Employment: Beds, Bucks, Herts, Middx
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Employment: Beds, Bucks, Herts, Middx clients in South East using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact


The β€˜commercial and pragmatic’ group at B P Collins LLP β€˜handles an impressive range of work’ for a mix of corporates and high net-worth individuals, and has been notably active in the retail, leisure, manufacturing and pharmaceutical industries, among others. The team specialises in enforcing and resisting restrictive covenants, and also advises on business immigration matters, and internal HR issues. β€˜Commercial, approachable and technically competent’ practice head Jo Davis stands out for her β€˜attention to detail’, and frequently handles complex TUPE transactions, senior partner exits and post-termination restrictions. Other key figures include senior associates Kathryn Fielder and Chris Brazier; Fielder has extensive experience dealing with the full range of contentious and non-contentious employment issues, most notably injunctive actions, family friendly rights and internal compliance matters, and Brazier has β€˜a great depth of knowledge in work permit and immigration issues’. Clients include waste management specialist Biffa, IT retailer Misco UK and medical supplier CliniMed.

The β€˜outstanding’ team at Dentons β€˜deals with all requests in a timely manner’, and β€˜always articulates the risks and benefits of each option in a clear, accessible way’. The firm receives substantial mandates retail, transport, financial institution and telecoms sector clients, and is also noted for its strong education expertise, acting for clients such as St Paul’s School, Stephenson Academy and Cognita Schools. Recent work included advising Waitrose on the employment aspects of several convenience store acquisitions, handling the due diligence processes, TUPE transfers and employee integration into the Waitrose brand. The firm is also acting for Royal Mail in the termination of a mailroom services contract, providing TUPE and redundancy advice, and is currently providing TUPE advice to London Overground Rail Operations in respect of a Β£1.5bn asset transfer to Arriva and Bombardier. The practice is led by Sarah Beeby, who β€˜understands the pressures placed upon employers’ and β€˜has an excellent grasp of the law and its application’. Senior associate Verity Buckingham handles employment disputes, defending claims at tribunal related to unfair dismissal, discrimination and whistleblowing, and Michelle Lamb advises on non-contentious issues including outsourcings, redundancies and trade union negotiations. Other notable clients include the Virgin Group, John Lewis and Network Rail.

EMW Law LLP is β€˜a strong firm’ and β€˜acts for high-profile clients in good quality cases’. The team provides β€˜strategic advice’ in high-value employee disputes, and also handles the full range of non-contentious issues for a cross-sector client list. The team is especially noted for its strength in the banking sector, key clients including Santander and the Banking Standards Board, and it also receives strong mandates from the retail, food and recruitment industries. Recent highlights include advising a retail sector client on the employment status of a group of atypical workers following a challenge from HMRC, a matter involving holiday pay and national minimum wage issues, and acting for National Parcel Courier in negotiations between the senior management team and a leading trade union, a matter totalling Β£30m in value. Practice head Jon Taylor is β€˜a good lawyer with sound judgement and an ability to inspire confidence in clients’. The β€˜sound and sensible’ Louise Holder focuses on complex discrimination matters, and Peter Thompson has strong experience acting for major employers in high-profile disputes.

IBB (Iliffes Booth Bennett)’s team advises on the employment aspects of managing projects, frequently handling redundancies and TUPE situations, and also deals with personal employment issues for high-net worth individuals. The group has a broad range of sector specialisms, regularly handling work for clients in the charity, construction, technology and pharmaceutical industries, and often draws on its cross-disciplinary strengths in the corporate and commercial, family and dispute resolution spheres when resolving issues. Key figure Richard Devall specialises in business immigration, inbound investment and employment issues arising out of outsourcings and M&A activity; Devall, along with solicitors Ed Marchant and Harry Abrams recently acted for the management team of Sabio in a management buyout totalling Β£50m, advising on leaver provisions, restrictive covenants and service agreements. Team head Justin Govier is recommended for matters involving restructuring, global expansion programmes and international and pan-European HR. The firm also has a strong contentious employment practice, handling claims related to whistleblowing, unfair dismissal and discrimination. Hertz, Robsons Estate Agents and Glenmark Pharmaceuticals are among key current clients.

Shoosmiths LLP’s national practice works closely with its tax, commercial, pensions and regulatory departments to provide full-service employment advice to its extensive client base, which includes names such as StubHub, Cranfield University, The White Company and Ann Summers. The firm frequently handles matters in the Employment Tribunal, and has particular expertise in handling sensitive senior executive exits and enforcement of post-termination obligations concerning former employees. Team head Gwynneth Tan advises businesses and individuals across the public and private sectors, and is especially noted for her experience in the retail and higher education sectors. Other key individuals include senior associates Simon Fennell and Sarah Lovell; Fennell has a strong interest in high court litigation and is a member of the business immigration sub-unit, and Lovell deals with the full range of contentious and non-contentious work, having recently handled a complex multi-party discrimination claim. Lovell also acts as the interim head of the business immigration team, advising on the implications of the Brexit vote on EU citizens, and successfully assisting various clients with immigration issues.

Blaser Mills’ team provides β€˜service of the highest quality throughout each matter’, and β€˜responds quickly to messages, making the client feel valued at all times’. The firm’s employment department acts for both nationwide and overseas clients, advising across the full gamut of contentious and non-contentious issues including TUPE issues, restrictive covenants and discrimination and whistleblowing claims. The group is particularly noted for its expertise in the freight and logistics, recruitment, software and waste management sectors, among others, and has recently picked up a number of new clients in the IT and pharmaceutical industries. Highlights included acting for PSV Glass in harmonising staff contracts, policies and procedures across its domestic and international offices, and advising Qubix International on an employee share scheme. β€˜Tenacious’ associate Jasmin Dhillon provides β€˜faultless strategy from start to finish in a friendly and professional manner’. Colin Smith leads the department.

Debenhams Ottaway has β€˜excellent industry knowledge supported by strong business acumen’, and β€˜the strength within the firm’s practice results in very good value for money’. The team acts for owner-managed and family businesses, SME’s and individuals, advising on the full range of issues including redundancy, restructurings, settlement agreements and disciplinary matters. Practice head Louise Attrup is β€˜highly knowledgeable, reassuring and able to explain complex matters in a clear and concise manner’. Attrup specialises in restrictive covenants and data theft, and has a strong focus on the recruitment sector; she is currently representing leading recruitment agency Brook Street in a claim brought by a temporary worker regarding race discrimination, whistleblowing and unfair dismissal. Associate solicitor Michael Kerrigan advises individual and commercial clients, and is recommended for social media issues and the protection of confidential information post-dismissal. Other clients include Life Opportunities Trust, St Martha’s School and Swift Technical Group.

Longmores Solicitors LLP’s team provides β€˜an excellent service in terms of the best course of action, responsiveness and overall personal interaction’. The practice is noted for its strength in the recruitment and education sectors, and regularly acts for major recruitment companies and independent schools on the full gamut of employment issues, including competition and restrictive covenant matters and injunction remedies, where the firm has particular expertise. Senior partner Richard Gvero heads the practice and regularly assists businesses with reorganisation and redundancy, staffing issues, TUPE matters and the employment aspects of commercial contracts, along with all types of employment disputes. Office head Catrin Mills has significant experience representing media and education sector clients in contentious matters, and represents high-profile companies, along with senior and board level employees, in the Employment Tribunal. Mills provides β€˜clear, sound advice’ and β€˜explains all available options’. The firm is currently representing Harrington Properties, a groundworks construction and property development company, in a Β£450,000 claim brought by a former management consultant.

Machins Solicitors LLP’s client base spans the public and private sectors, and the firm maintains strong links with businesses in the transport industry, where it advises SMEs, HR teams and business owners and directors based nationally and abroad. The practice is developing a niche specialism in senior executive and shareholder disputes, and is also strong in business advisory and transactional employment matters. On the business advisory side, the team advises a growing client base on the full range of issues, including employee appointment and dismissal, TUPE issues, collective redundancies and senior executive hires. The department is led by Jackie Cuneen, β€˜an all-round good lawyer with excellent client skills’, who β€˜demonstrates great understanding and sensitivity towards clients’ situations’, and whose β€˜expert knowledge and expertise of discrimination law is of the highest standard’. Robert Bedford specialises in dispute resolution and has substantial experience representing all types of clients at tribunal; he is a trustee of the Luton Citizen’s Advice Bureau, which he advises on the full range of employment issues. Solicitor John Carter advises employer clients on injunctive relief, damages related to breach of confidentiality, intellectual property theft and restrictive covenants. The team handled a high volume of settlement agreements following continued rounds of redundancies by some of the principal employers in the South East region.

SA Law LLP provides β€˜a service which is excellent in every detail’, with β€˜great response times, sound industry knowledge and advice appropriate to the sector where the client operates’. The team has notable specialisms in the employment agency and education sectors, and regularly advises on immigration and employer protection. In a recent highlight, the group achieved a successful settlement with an employee on long-term sick leave who alleged unlawful deduction of wages and holiday pay, along with race and disability discrimination. The firm is also advising a well-known higher education establishment, which was the subject of a Home Office inspection where several non-compliances were observed, primarily related to non-EEA students working over maximum permitted hours; the team successfully secured permission for the client to retain its sponsorship license. Practice head Chris Cook is currently acting for a cosmetics and pharmaceuticals manufacturer in connection with a company-wide reorganisation, a matter involving several tribunal and potential High Court claims for unfair dismissal, gender and disability discrimination and breach of contract. Senior associate Keely Rushmore manages relationships with several longstanding clients, including St Paul’s Cathedral.

The β€˜invariably helpful’ team at Sherrards Solicitors LLP is β€˜very knowledgeable, calm, approachable and punctual’, and β€˜is able to effectively reassure the client during times of pressure’. The practice has particular expertise in the retail, recruitment and franchising sectors, where it provides support on the employment aspects of business mergers and acquisitions. The group also works closely with the litigation department, representing employers at tribunal and the High Court in domestic and international matters, where it is able to draw on the strength of the firm’s French and Chinese desks. Practice head Mark Fellows and key partner Joanne Perry are β€˜extremely practical employment lawyers who always go the extra mile’, Geraldine Fabre is dual-qualified in England and France, acts for a mix of SMEs, investors, multinational companies and plc’s, and has notable expertise in cross-border transactions. Recent highlights include acting for the founder shareholders of Foreign Currency Exchange in the sale of share capital to Global Reach Partners, a transaction backed by Inflexion Private Equity, and advising Winkworth Franchising on the employment aspects of various corporate and commercial activity, including a number of acquisitions and disposals. Other key clients include Berry Recruitment, Topgolf and Air Business.

The team at Tees Law provides β€˜outstanding levels of service’, β€˜brilliant value for money’, and β€˜advice which is spot on – they don’t make any mistakes, even if the client has different ideas’. The firm has specialisms in the education, agricultural and professional services sectors, handling the full gamut of employment matters along with niche issues within the practice area, civil aviation suspensions and fitness to practise cases being among these. Practice head Robert Whitaker divides his time between Chelmsford, Cambridge and Bishop’s Stortford, and is β€˜very flexible and responsive, going above and beyond for each client’. Associate Katherine Jameson has significant expertise in restrictive covenants, settlement agreements and disciplinary and grievance investigations. The group recently handled a disability discrimination claim on behalf of a partially-sighted client, successfully obtaining damages for injury to feelings at tribunal. On the employer side, the group assists Public Fundraising Regulatory Association with various mergers and TUPE issues.

Turbervilles is β€˜a well-rounded firm that can provide a full service’ and β€˜commands respect among practitioners, opponents and clients’. The group acts for claimant and respondent clients in claims and appeals, and advises businesses and individuals on the full range of employment issues, including redundancy and restructuring. Contentious employment is a key area of strength, and the firm has significant experience handling boardroom disputes, executive terminations, employment tribunals and settlement agreements, most notably in the education, real estate, retail and engineering sectors. Practice head Marc Jones is β€˜at the top of his game – bright, responsive, commercial and cares passionately about delivering value to his clients’. Robert Dixon is β€˜a thoughtful, reliable practitioner who explains issues in a way that is simple to understand’. Recent work included representing Viviana Santos Gomes in an appeal against a refusal to award damages for injury to feelings.

The β€˜amenable and professional’ group at VWV (Veale Wasbrough Vizards) provides β€˜practical advice, and an impeccable level of communication and support’. The department has strengthened its client relationships in the healthcare and pharmaceutical sectors, and also acts for longstanding clients including European Healthcare and Galderma. Other areas of activity include energy, recruitment, telecoms and higher education, and the department has picked up a number of university clients over the past year. Highlights including representing Westminster Homecare in proceedings concerning an employee’s right to transfer their employment despite being removed from the client’s contract, a complex case argued before the Watford Employment Tribunal. The team also represents Megaman UK in an ongoing dispute with its former managing director, who claims unfair dismissal. Key figures include Michael Delaney, whose areas of expertise includes TUPE, restrictive covenant enforcement and boardroom disputes; Michael Halsey, who handles outsourcing and discrimination claims; and Bettina Rigg, who is β€˜extremely efficient, accurate and practical, all of which gives the client great confidence’.

Freeths LLP’ β€˜excellent’ practice is known for its expertise in food and drinks, education and the public sector, where it advises on the full extensity of employment matters, ranging from TUPE issues, exiting directors and training management to complex tribunal claims. β€˜Highly supportive’ practice head Christopher Sing is β€˜always able to answer queries and give a good overall view of the situation’. In a recent highlight, Sing represented Sports and Leisure Management in tribunal claim for unfair dismissal and whistleblowing, an ongoing matter with significant implications for the client’s business. The practice is also providing strategic advice to 2 Sisters Food Group in pay negotiations with 900 staff and a trade union, and is representing the same client in a number of unfair dismissal claims in the Employment Tribunal. Other notable longstanding clients include Luton Airport, Royal Shakespeare Company and Oxford Brookes University.

Howes Percival LLP’s team has β€˜an absolute understanding of the clients’ business requirements’ and is β€˜often able to respond within minutes of a question being raised’. The practice gained several new client wins in the automotive, and food and drink sectors in the last year, and has particular expertise in TUPE issues, complex tribunal claims and employment issues arising out of high-value transactions. In a recent highlight, the team advised Clare James Automotive on the employment aspects of its sale of 11 dealer sites to Sytner Group, a matter involving TUPE consultation. Paula Bailey heads the department, and Simon deMaid is the other key figure.

The β€˜business-focused’ team at Moorcrofts LLP has strong experience in niche and general areas of employment law, and provides β€˜excellent response times along with clear, concise and practical advice’. The firm handles organisational restructurings, dismissals, alternative dispute resolution and employment tribunals for clients nationwide, and works collaboratively with the corporate and IT departments to provide a full-service offering. The team was strengthened by the arrival of Matt Jenkin, who heads the practice and is β€˜extremely pragmatic’ and β€˜gets straight to the points that matter in a cost-effective and efficient way’. Other key figures include Sally Nesbitt, who advises on business restructuring and discrimination matters, and Nicola Whelan, who focuses on restrictive covenants, TUPE issues and the employment aspects of social media.

Nockolds Solicitors advises a wide range of clients, including start-up businesses and major plc’s, and frequently acts for high net-worth individuals in the financial sector. The team works closely with the firm’s corporate practice, handling the TUPE aspects of major sales and acquisitions, and also assists the property and litigation departments in shareholder and director disputes. Practice head Darren Hayward has notable expertise in acting for high net-worth individuals in contentious matters. Gary Smith handles all forms of employment litigation in the public and private sectors with a particular focus on discrimination claims.

Shakespeare Martineau LLP’s β€˜excellent’ practice provides β€˜helpful, insightful and timely support’ and β€˜advice which is pragmatically commercial’. The team is noted for its strength in major reorganisations, restructurings and large-scale TUPE transfers, and acts primarily on the employer side. Aye Limbin Glassey advises privately owned family businesses and large plc’s on all aspects of contentious and non-contentious employment matters. The β€˜responsive and commercially astute’ Jon Heuvel stands out for his ability to β€˜apply principles to real-life situations in the industry’. Highlights included assisting Focus Hotels Management with the employment aspects of several hotel sales, advising on employee transfer and due diligence.

Woodfines LLP’s group provides β€˜an excellent service for difficult matters’. The firm has a strong contentious claims settlement practice and also advises on drafting contracts and staff handbooks, document preparation, settlement agreements and changes to employment law. Andrew Buckley frequently represents trade unions and employees in a range of claims, including unfair dismissal and discrimination, while also handling disciplinary and grievance issues. Senior associate Maria Gallucci is the name to note in Milton Keynes, and her areas of expertise include TUPE transfers, redundancy issues, settlement agreements and High Court employment matters.

Employment: Hampshire

Index of tables

  1. Employment: Hampshire
  2. Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Employment: Hampshire clients in South East using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact


Clients of Blake Morgan LLP rate its willingness to β€˜work with them to find solutions that achieve the best outcome’. The team acts for a range of clients (including those in the leisure, education and retail sectors) on company restructuring, senior management exits and mass redundancy procedures. It advised HQ Theatres and Hospitality on TUPE advice concerning its acquisition of a new theatre and acted for a secondary school in a case concerning allegations of discrimination against a disabled pupil. It also advised an aerospace company on general employment restructuring within the business as well as high-level exit strategies. The team also has immigration expertise, having assisted with modern slavery statements in 2016 in addition to having a strong pensions advice offering. Other clients include the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC), Apollo Fire Detectors and Costa Coffee. Max Craft heads the practice and is noted for his expertise in handling contentious strategic exits. Also recommended are the β€˜extremely courteous, patient and professional’ Sarah Peacock, senior solicitor Natalie Painter, who β€˜takes the time to understand the client’s business’, and Tim Forer, who is an experienced employment tribunal litigator.

The team at Bond Dickinson LLP β€˜is responsive, efficient and provides professional and reliable legal advice to its clients’. Highlights included assisting Trimline with its HR infrastructure changes, including drafting new employment policies, and advising LV= on severance pay for 6,000 members of staff. The team also assisted Carnival with closing and replacing its employee benefits scheme and on the closure of the Merchant Navy Officers’ Pension Fund (MNOPF). Post Office, Colgate-Palmolive Group, Sunseeker International and Old Mutual Wealth Management are also clients. The team is jointly headed by Christina Tolvas-Vincent (β€˜very personable and takes a commercial approach’) and Jon Hales, who has expertise in transactional employment advice. Also recommended are managing associate Daniel Fawcett, who β€˜is very bright, with a solid grasp of technical legal issues’; and β€˜responsive and commercial’ senior associtate Charlotte Bloomfield.

Paris Smith LLP β€˜delivers accurate, suitable and expedient advice’ and β€˜provides a fantastic level of support and service’. The practice is known for its track record in disputes, having represented clients in the communications, logistics and motoring sectors in employment tribunal cases, discrimination claims and minimum wage disputes. Recent work includes acting for a contracting company in the public sector in an employment tribunal trial concerning whether TUPE was applicable to a transferred Ministry of Defence contract, and defending a transport company’s administrator against a protective award claim brought by an employee union, securing a reduction in the claim for the client. It also represented Coletta in a case concerning non-payment of national minimum wage, where the claimant’s argument was whether they were entitled to pay for hours on call or not. Other clients include Draper Tools, AFC Bournemouth, Focal Point Fires and Millbrook Industries, as well as several schools. Department head Clive Dobbin β€˜has great integrity and always provides an honest response to queries’; he leads a team that includes β€˜supportive and considerate’ managing partner Peter Taylor, restrictive covenant expert David Roath, and associate Claire Merritt.

Clarke Willmott LLP has an β€˜exceptionally professional team’ with notable experience in handling contentious employment matters. The team recently acted for a client in a dispute with a former employee concerning a claim for unfair dismissal. Other areas of expertise include discrimination cases and employee termination disputes. Its non-contentious work extends to TUPE transfers, restructuring issues and mass redundancy mandates. Highlights included advising OneCom Group on updating its employment policies as well as its commission and bonus structures following the client’s acquisition of a company. The team also advises clients in the maritime, construction and IT sectors. Marc Long is β€˜hugely knowledgeable, vastly experienced and manages difficult cases with ease and confidence’; he is adept at advocating at employment tribunals, outsourcing issues and employment mandates arising from insolvency proceedings. Clients also single out education sector expert Nicole Adams, who β€˜is a trusted and respected adviser’.

Coffin Mew LLP handles the full spectrum of contentious and non-contentious employment matters, including management and board restructuring issues, trade union litigation, employee discrimination issues and disciplinary matters. It regularly advises Pets Corner on employment advice relating to acquisitions and disposals, TUPE transfers and redundancy processes, and acted for Raystede Centre for Animal Welfare on a review of its employment contracts and staff handbook, as well as advising a charity that was running an independent school on employee redundancy settlements and employment tribunal claims following its administration. Other clients include companies in the transport, food and leisure sectors. Dorlee Monschau is particularly adept at handling employment matters for education and charity sector clients. Also recommended are associates Amy Richardson, an employment tribunal expert, and Holly Cudbill, who advises clients on redundancy policies.

DC Employment Solicitors covers the full range of contentious and non-contentious employment matters for its clients, which rate its β€˜commercial focus’. In 2016 the team advised on employee termination disputes, discrimination allegations, mass redundancy issues and TUPE transfers. Other areas of expertise include high-level directors and shareholders exit strategies and constructive dismissal claims. Guildford Borough Council, Vitality Health, Acclaim Logistics and Lakesmere Group are all clients. Key figures include the β€˜pragmatic and straightforward’ Darren Tibble and Daryl Cowan, whose β€˜advice is always highly valued presented in a clear and understandable way’. Laurence Dunn and senior solicitor Kirsty Alleyne are also highly regarded.

Penningtons Manches LLP β€˜is a brilliant regional firm with a very strong employment team’. The practice handles transactional employment matters, internal company restructurings and employment tribunal litigation work related to unfair dismissal, among other claims. The team advised a facilities company on TUPE transfer issues arising from the transferor’s inaccurate information and is assisting a media company with several sex discrimination claims against high-ranking members of the business. Clients include Wellington College, the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), Bouygues UK and Redhall Group. David Bickford heads the team from the Basingstoke office; he is assisted by Gemma Woodhouse, who β€˜has a professional approach as well as providing commercial and pragmatic advice’; associate Katie Glendinning, who β€˜has an excellent eye for detail and very strong drafting skills’; and TUPE expert Chris Syder.

Shoosmiths LLP is praised for its β€˜excellent service and sound knowledge’. With experience in employment tribunals, pensions and data protection advice, the firm provides a complete range of employment expertise for clients. Clients include Phase Eight, which the team advised on multiple flexible working employee needs and internal restructuring issues. Other highlights included assisting Gourmet Burger Kitchen (GBK) with employment policy reviews, settlement agreements and immigration support for documentation checks; and advising Martin & Co on the employment aspects of its Β£15m acquisition of EweMove. Krispy Kreme, Gattaca, Brightside Group and Big Yellow Storage Company are also clients. Stuart Lawrenson heads the practice in Southampton and specialises in advising retail clients on employment matters. Clients also single out associate Pamela Tatlock, who β€˜has an excellent day-to-day knowledge of employment legislation’.

The β€˜excellent’ Irwin Mitchell advises on the full range of employment matters, including employment tribunal claims, restricted covenant disputes and TUPE transfer matters. The firm advised Paula Rosa Manhattan on its internal restructuring following the Brexit vote, as well as assisting a motor research company with streamlining its pension scheme. It also advised Hendy Group with the employment law aspects of its acquisition of a car dealership. Other clients include Micheldever Tyres, Accord Healthcare and Transun Travel. Clients single out Simon Fenton, who β€˜has a commercial view on employment law and offers good advice’; and associate Andrew Crudge, who β€˜excellent on all fronts’.

Moore Blatch LLP β€˜has very good industry knowledge and responds quickly to a crisis’. The practice works closely with the firm’s corporate and commercial team for matters, such as assisting Drake & Morgan with the employment law aspects of its share purchase agreement following its acquisition of Corney & Barrow Bars. Other areas of expertise include employment termination matters, restricted covenant disputes and discrimination mandates. Department head Katherine Maxwell β€˜is technically strong and able to apply commercial understanding to projects’; she is ably supported by media and advertising employment matters specialist Naomi Greenwood. Paul Whitaker retired in May 2016.

Pitmans LLP handles the full range of contentious and non-contentious employment work, including discrimination cases, restrictive covenant issues and internal restructuring mandates. Highlights included assisting the founder and shareholders of World of Books on new service agreements and settlement agreements, and advising Westfield Medical on multiple employee service agreements and pension scheme issues. Ideal Leisure, the Wilton Carpet Factory and The Concorde Club and Hotel are also clients. The highly regarded Jonathan Gray leads the team, which includes senior associate Claire Anderson; they are adept at handling TUPE transfers, HR support matters and employment tribunal litigation.

Phillips Solicitors assisted Markwins International with multiple employment matters in 2016, including disciplinary issues, employment termination matters and advice on updating its policy agreements. Other clients include Savona Provisions, Optalis and Metso. The Basingstoke-based team is headed by director Gillian Brown, who is adept at handling employment cases that intersect with corporate and commercial work. β€˜Excellent’ senior associate and experience litigator Karen Bristow is also recommended.

Trethowans LLP advised a market research company on an alleged discrimination case arising from an employee interview as well as a potential data protection breach; it is also acting for X Limited in a dispute with two senior management members concerning allegations of fraud and abuse. Other clients include Radio Taxis and the Royal Association for Deaf People. Simon Rhodes heads the practice and regularly advises corporate and commercial clients on TUPE issues. Other key figures include Kathryn Casey-Evans, who β€˜is an exceptional solicitor’ and an expert in shareholder and director disputes; and senior solicitor James Humphery, who specialises in immigration law.

Employment: Essex

Index of tables

  1. Employment: Essex
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Employment: Essex clients in South East using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact


Birkett Long LLP’s employment practice has special expertise in advising senior employees on settlement agreements as well as entitlement to bonuses, share options and directorships, with an emphasis on tribunal proceedings. The team has a growing reputation in the education sector, where it represents schools and other institutions. Martin Hopkins in Basildon and Tim Ogle in Chelmsford are the key partners, with Hopkins defending a former employee of Pinnacle Housing against unfair dismissal and discrimination. They are supported by associate solicitor Reggie Lloyd, who also leads on discrimination cases. Hopkins is the main adviser for long-term client e2v Technologies. Other clients include Hills Prospect, TLC Inns and Trade Gateway. The Basildon office hired solicitor Jo McKenna in September 2016.

Birketts LLP fields a team of β€˜relationship-oriented’ employment lawyers that attracts praise for its β€˜excellent advice’ and β€˜extremely good response times’. The β€˜highly experienced and commercially savvy’ Kevin Palmer, who also serves as a tribunal judge, handles TUPE, restructurings, director and senior executive exits and High Court proceedings across a variety of industries. The team was strengthened with the arrival of senior associate Beth Baird from Fisher Jones Greenwood LLP in September 2016. Laura Jackson is also recommended. Palmer and Basra defended Kesgrave Hall against a discrimination claim by a former employee who had been dismissed for gross misconduct. Together with associate Clare Barlow, Palmer advised W E Deane on TUPE and redundancy issues stemming from Marks & Spencer’s change of supply structure. Other clients include The Guardian correspondent Mike Selvy as well as Essex Auto Group, Aspire Media, Poundfield Products and Milsom Hotels.

Thompson Smith and Puxon’s β€˜excellent’ employment practice advises both businesses and private clients on contractual, procedural and organisational matters as well as acting in disputes arising from TUPE, employee rights, whistleblowing, employers’ liability, unfair dismissal, redundancy and discrimination. Colchester-based Richard Porter β€˜grasps the details of a situation very quickly and provides prompt guidance’. He is supported by solicitor Sam Welham, who handles tribunals and litigation related to accidents and stress at work as well as employment issues arising from business transfers.

Pinney Talfourd LLP fields a β€˜very practical, forward-thinking, responsive and reliable’ employment practice that is noted for its β€˜professionalism in all areas’. Stephen Eccles’s team, based in Upminster, Hornchurch and Brentwood, is active in the professional, financial, healthcare and charity sectors and regularly handles litigation regarding unfair dismissal, discrimination, breach of restrictive covenants and TUPE matters. The lawyers are also experienced in handling team moves and other strategic matters. Senior associate Bushra Elzubeir handles breaches of contract and franchise-related employment matters, respectively. β€˜Efficient, knowledgeable and communicative’ associate Alexander Pearce represented a residential care home against a notice of underpayment concerning the national minimum wage. Pearce also handled a disciplinary investigation for a media equipment hiring company whose employee diverted assignments away to competitors and arranged discounts without authority. Eccles supervised on both matters. Abbey Developments, Brook Street Food Service, Motorvations Projects and Purified Air are also clients. Amy Leite joined Aquabridge Law.

Palmers β€˜is a solid and reliable provider of employment law advice’ and provides β€˜an excellent level of service’. Associate solicitor Lara Murray in Basildon β€˜is very committed to her clients; hardworking and calm under pressure’. She represents both private and business clients regarding discrimination and unfair dismissal claims (for example in tribunals), and is experienced in handling TUPE issues and redundancies. Other areas of expertise includes handling annual employment reviews. Recent highlights include acting for the claimant in disability discrimination and unfair dismissal claims against a hotel business and assisting an international manufacturing company with the review of its UK business, collective redundancies and the election of employee representatives. Murray also handled whistleblowing and unfair dismissal claims for a haulage company and represented a claimant in an unfair dismissal claim arising from a TUPE transfer and pregnancy discrimination.

The employment practice at Paul Robinson Solicitors LLP in Southend-on-Sea is led by Polly Plant, who provides end-to-end employment advice, handles TUPE transactions as well as appeals against dismissal and tribunals. Associate solicitor Hayley Dear joined in July 2016 from Blake Morgan LLP and has experience in negotiating and drafting employment agreements and termination packages, as well as advising on disciplinary and grievance procedures. Recent matters include the representation of a claimant in a constructive dismissal claim arising from disability discrimination due to the client’s leukaemia. The team also provides day-to-day consultation and documentation to a local healthcare instruments company, as well as advising several residential care homes on TUPE and Care Quality Commission matters.

Tees Law’s employment team impresses by its β€˜knowledgeable, realistic and pragmatic approach’. It has a particularly strong reputation in the agricultural, educational and professional sectors, where it acts for healthcare practices and accountancy firms. Further niche experience includes handling fitness-to-practice matters and civil aviation suspension cases. The β€˜meticulous, robust and practical’ Robert Whitaker advises on TUPE matters and restructurings; in a recent highlight, Whitaker advised on employment issues arising from the merger of his client, the Public Fundraising Regulatory Association, with the Institute of Fundraising. Associate Katherine Jameson, who β€˜fights very hard in her client’s best interests’ and β€˜dispenses advice in a down-to-earth way’, advised three dentists on restrictive covenants contained in their previous employment contracts and breach of data protection claims from the previous employer. β€˜Patient and good-humoured’ associate Jonathan Insley focuses on litigation and whistleblowing disputes, having defended a company against constructive unfair dismissal and breach of contract claims worth Β£450,000 from a former employee in a tribunal.

The employment practice at Wortley Byers LLP in Brentwood primarily advises on disciplinary, grievance and redundancy procedures. Partner Wendy Beach and associate Sarah Stanyer have additional experience in obtaining injunctive relief and defending claims regarding breaches of post-termination restrictions and data misuse. The practice also handles issues stemming from the Working Time Regulations and Agency Worker Regulations. Together with managing partner and contract lawyer Lucy Folley, Stanyer advised the CIO of Brentwood School on contentious performance and sickness management issues as well as pre-termination negotiations and settlement agreements. Clients include Chigwell London, Athona, Surrey Downs Gold Club, Shadworth Pharmaceutical and Moody Homes.

Health and safety

Who Represents Who

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Shoosmiths LLP has β€˜star quality from partner level all the way down to the associates’, and the team β€˜genuinely understands health and safety law and its application’, providing β€˜a seamless legal service designed specifically to meet the needs of the client’. The firm’s broad sector expertise covers the petrochemical, retail automotive and healthcare sectors, among others, and the group handled a number of significant corporate manslaughter cases over the last year. The practice saw a number of partner arrivals in 2016, including the β€˜highly knowledgeable’ Charles Arrand, who is, according to clients, β€˜one of the best solicitors working in health and safety – he is an unflappable adviser who gives great attention to every single one of his cases’. Roy Tozer heads the nationwide practice, and Philip Ryan is a key figure in Reading; Ryan is β€˜a first-class litigator with excellent judgement’, who β€˜is able to drill down the details of a case and expose prosecution weaknesses’. In a recent highlight, the group represented West Coast Railways following a near-collision of two trains, a matter with a potential value of up to Β£2m. Other key clients include Molson Coors, Ikea and Mercedes-Benz.

β€˜Top-drawer firm’ Taylor Haldane Barlex Solicitors LLP has β€˜a strong specialist reputation for health and safety work’ and β€˜a wide range of knowledge vested in a number of strong lawyers’. The firm provides advice and representation to the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) across the South East, and provides β€˜high quality’ advice on appeals, prosecutions and inquests. β€˜Polished lawyer’ Matthew Taylor heads the practice and β€˜is a force to be reckoned with, robustly prosecuting cases while also being sensitive to meritorious defence arguments’; Briony Clarke has β€˜excellent instincts for the merits of a case’ and is β€˜first choice for factually complicated matters’; and Abigail Bainbridge has β€˜great experience and excellent judgement, setting realistic expectations and achieving them consistently’. Highlights included representing the HSE in an appeal against ConoccoPhillips following the prosecution of the oil and gas company two years previously. The firm also advised the HSE on its prosecution of Foodles Production, the UK arm of Disney, in relation to an injury sustained by Harrison Ford on the set of Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

BLM provides β€˜an excellent regulatory service’ to clients in the public and private sectors, and has a strong background in criminal matters including corporate manslaughter and gross negligence. The practice is also strong in construction and complex engineering cases, and has substantial experience handling manufacturing incidents and vehicle accidents, where it advises on mitigating loss, minimising business disruption and protection of reputation. The firm counts a number of insurers, underwriters and corporate policyholders as key clients, providing local representation and advising on regulatory proceedings. David Tye-Reeve has particular expertise in motor, health and safety and regulatory offences, representing clients at both civil and criminal courts.

Blake Morgan LLP advises a wide range of businesses, from multi-site UK and European companies to small, owner-managed entities, along with a number of legal expenses insurers, on the full gamut of health and safety issues. The firm undertakes a significant amount of non-contentious work alongside its substantial workload of civil and criminal litigation, and also provides transactional support concerning future liability for occupational illnesses, such as asbestos-related diseases. Recent highlights include acting for a window installer company in a case regarding an injury sustained by a fitter as a result of a faulty risk assessment, where the HSE eventually decided not to prosecute. Claire Rawle leads the health, safety and environmental team, handling primarily contentious matters across the public and private sectors. John Mitchell is the other name to note.

Gardner Leader LLP provides β€˜a very thorough, partner-led service, doggedly supporting clients in often difficult circumstances’. Key specialisms include risk management, compliance and health and safety litigation, and the team handles complex instructions concerning investigations and prosecutions by the HSE. Notable clients include Natures Way Foods and Race Interiors; the team is advising the latter on its health and safety policies following its prosecution and sentencing. The β€˜thorough, pragmatic and practical’ Michelle Di Gioia, who heads the practice, is β€˜a safe pair of hands who will fight to the nth degree for the best results’. Senior associate Julie Taylor advises a range of individuals and small to mid-sized businesses.

Brachers is noted for its expertise in the healthcare sector and retains a significant number of NHS trusts as longstanding clients, advising on the full range of health and safety matters including risk management, regulatory issues and contentious claims. Highlights included representing Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership Trust in a prosecution following the death of a patient as a result of a fall, successfully achieving the significant mitigation of costs. Healthcare specialist John Sheath regularly represents respondents in cases concerning clinical negligence and corporate manslaughter, and also handles risk management, governance issues and inquests.

Cripps LLP is β€˜an outstanding firm which delivers the highest standards of client care’ and its team provides β€˜prompt and practical advice specifically geared towards the nature of the client’s business’. The group handles the full range of issues arising out of health and safety-related incidents, including police investigations, negotiations with the HSE and Traffic Commissioner hearings, and also has significant expertise in construction and transport-related incidents. Recent work included representing Horder Healthcare in an inquest that considered issues of causation and liability, among others. β€˜Astute tactician’ Philip Youdan β€˜swiftly grasps the practical concerns involved in each case’ and has β€˜a prompt and friendly approach which inspires confidence’. Myles McIntosh has β€˜a calm and pragmatic approach’.

Gullands Solicitors acts for a range of businesses and individuals on health and safety prosecutions, and also handles compliance issues, contracts, formal notices and the health and safety aspects of commercial transactions. Criminal practitioner John Roberts, who heads the department, advises on litigation and regulatory criminal offences, and Andrew Clarke is the other key figure. Highlights including representing a food business prosecuted by a local council under food hygiene legislation, and acting for a client during a HSE investigation following a fatal fall at a construction site.


Index of tables

  1. Immigration
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Immigration clients in South East using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact


Aston Bond handles the full gamut of immigration matters, including work permits, marriage and business applications, asylum and settlement in the UK, and also undertakes a range of humanitarian and human rights-related issues. The group recently assisted a client in a matter where a spouse was denied entry into the UK, and also advised an individual on an asylum application where the client was the subject of numerous human rights violations, successfully winning an asylum appeal and an entry clearance for the client’s child, despite a previous shoplifting conviction. Key individuals include barrister Ravinder Kaur, a well-regarded figure who deals with asylum, entry clearance, appeals before the tribunal and High Court and business immigration for a range of individual and corporate clients. Notable clients include Domino’s Pizza and Shipleys Food Service.

The β€˜first-class’ team at Birketts LLP is β€˜practical and knowledgeable’, providing β€˜fast, efficient advice which helps greatly with many immigration matters, including sponsorship and work permit issues’. The group supports employers seeking to recruit workers from outside the EU, advises on sponsor license and visa applications, acts for high net-worth individuals and entrepreneurs, and also advises on various individual matters including spouse and ancestry visas, naturalisation applications and permanent residence. Recent highlights include advising EFP-ME UK on a sponsor license application alongside several personal immigration matters, and assisting Paloform World with the establishment of a branch office in the UK, making appropriate visa applications for the sole representative. Practice head Janice Leggett provides β€˜top-notch’ advice on the full range of immigration matters, with a particular specialism in UK commercial film production, and senior associate Clare Hedges has significant experience handling sponsor revocations, Tier 2 applications and the prevention of illegal working. Other active clients include Blancco UK, Midgard and the Gelber Group.

Clarkslegal LLP’s β€˜responsive, knowledgeable, helpful and personable’ team is β€˜always prepared to go the extra mile to verify information on behalf of the client’, and is β€˜excellent on all international matters’. The firm acts for major corporate clients and employer sponsors, advising on all aspects of business immigration including UK visas, sponsorship licenses and enforcement notices, and also acts for Tier 1 investors entering the UK market on international recruitment and the transfer of senior employees. Practice head Monica Atwal specialises in advising businesses on the global transfer of staff, most notably at director level, along with their families. Afeefah Shabbir, who is β€˜a subject matter expert and is exceptional in her role’, advises multinational corporates and private sector clients across a range of sectors on investor visas, European Economic Area (EEA) residence cards and various other immigration issues. Highlights included advising Carillion on responses to civil penalty notices, the employment termination of a Tier 2 sponsored migrant, and several Tier 2 visa applications. The group also advised Jardine Motors Group on bringing a foreign national over to the UK, and on the individual’s eligibility for business visitor visas.

The β€˜pragmatic and responsive’ group at Penningtons Manches LLP provides β€˜a comprehensive level of expertise, a consistent quality of support’ and β€˜prompt and thorough responses with just the right level of detail’. Recent work includes advising Oxford Nanopore Technologies on several immigration issues, including enquiries for a Tier 2 sponsor, the recruitment of a remote worker in France, and the drafting of an invitation letter for a business visitor, and assisting Ocado with several right to work queries related to EEA family rights. β€˜Scrupulous and professional’ senior associate Duncan Bain has β€˜a great wealth of knowledge’, is β€˜completely approachable’ and β€˜always demonstrates tremendous empathy, breaking down complex matters into simple language and allowing the client to make an informed decision’. The group also has significant expertise acting for individuals on permanent residence, spousal visas and asylum applications, and increasingly advises on the Brexit risks facing EEA migrants.

Stevens & Bolton LLP β€˜s team provides β€˜a commercially-focused service which is excellent on all levels’ and the team β€˜is good a working to tight deadlines’ and β€˜is always quick to respond’. The practice has strong expertise in business immigration, most notably in Tier 2 matters, and also advises on investor, spouse and EEA family permits, permanent residence, indefinite leave to remain and naturalisation applications. Practice head Kerry Garcia advises a mix of employer and individual clients on the full range of business immigration issues, and senior associate Adam Landy is β€˜a great support – highly personable, and easy to have a good working relationship with’. Hghlights included acting for Asahi UK, formerly part of Miller Brands, in a sponsor license application following its acquisition by Japanese brewing company Asahi, liaising with the Home Office and successfully obtaining the licence under a tight timeframe. Other key clients include Kia Motors, WhiteHat Security, CipherCloud and Nosce Education Consultancy.

B P Collins LLP assists a number of businesses with obtaining sponsor licenses and hiring migrant employees under the points-based system, and also advises EU nationals on their position following the EU referendum. Senior associate Chris Brazier heads the practice, advising on various immigration rules impacting UK businesses, and also handles matters related to permanent residence and British citizenship. Employment expert Kathryn Fielder is the other key figure; she has significant experience dealing with business immigration matters, having recently assisted with securing the status of a domestic worker employed by a royal family. In another highlight, the team handled an application for a UK ancestry visa for an Australian national, successfully enabling the client to move to the UK with their partner. New client wins include Metdist Enterprises, Bic UK and White Light, and Bestway and Hawkins\Brown are among the firm’s longstanding clients.

Barnes Harrild & Dyer is β€˜a firm of dedicated and reliable solicitors, whose determination and confidence is exemplary’. The team regularly represents asylum applicants and victims of trafficking, and has a strong track record in handling cases before the Immigration Tribunal, through to the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court. Other areas of expertise include unlawful detention claims, Children’s Act and care proceedings and business immigration matters. The β€˜friendly and trustworthy’ Paul Turner is the key practitioner, and is praised by clients for his β€˜honest advice, proactive encouragement and drive to succeed’.

The β€˜strong team of consultants’ at Dentons provides β€˜a very professional level of service, delivering appropriate advice on time and with sound industry knowledge’. The department handles all sponsor license and visa applications under Tiers 1, 2 and 5, and assists with sole representative of overseas business visas, settlement applications, citizenship and permanent residence matters. Highlights included advising a key client on the immigration aspects of its expansion of UK operations, obtaining sponsor licenses and work visas for Tier 2 general migrants; assisting Dataminr with securing Tier 2 intra-company transfer visas; and advising HiFX Europe on a possible ancestry visa route. Key practitioners include London-based Michael Bronstein, who heads the firm’s nationwide immigration practice and advises on the ongoing requirements imposed by UK visas; the β€˜professional’ Verity Buckingham, who β€˜responds quickly and has a great knowledge of all relevant issues’; and associate Anjali Raval, whose recent work includes handling applications for the right to remain in the UK on the basis of marriage, along with applications for naturalisation and the registration of a child as a UK citizen. Other clients include Nebula Systems, Ambassadors Theatre Group and FirstPort.

Doyle Clayton is β€˜excellent in all areas’, and β€˜does a wonderful job supporting clients with employment law, immigration processes and law updates’. The team advises companies on sponsor licenses and Tier 2 applications, and also handles all issues regarding permanent residence, EEA applications, TUPE transfers and compliance and illegal working. Senior associate Victoria Burnip assists businesses in the technology, retail, fast food and textiles sectors with all aspects of business immigration, including strategic recruitment planning, sponsor license and naturalisation applications. Recent highlights include advising VAT and tax recovery company VATit UK on various immigration issues, most notably the recruitment of specialists who speak Afrikaans; advising a leading technology retailer on compliance issues, right to work, sponsor license applications and TUPE transfers; and acting for a financial planning and investment provider on the expansion of Tier 2 visas and sponsor licenses. Other key clients include Newton Europe, Celtra and RSi Retail Solutions. London-based Anita de Atouguia heads the firm-wide immigration practice, assisting a mix of multinational corporates, SMEs, start-ups and high net-worth individuals with the full spectrum of immigration matters.

Duncan Lewis Solicitors is known for its expertise in all aspects of personal immigration, frequently advising on publically funded immigration services for asylum, immigration detention, deportation appeals and EC law issues. The team also represents high net-worth individuals on points-based system applications and appeals, including entrepreneur and investor visas. The firm has a niche specialism in legal aid, and represents vulnerable clients in detained asylum cases, and in matters involving unaccompanied asylum-seeking children. In a recent highlight, the team represented several individuals in a multi-claimant judicial review that challenged the processing of the claimants’ asylum claim, a matter resulting in an Equality Act assessment being brought in by the Home Office. The firm also acted for an individual in a challenge to the refusal of an asylum claim on third country grounds, successfully obtaining permission from the Court of Appeal to stay all related cases pending the outcome. Practice head Bahar Ata has substantial experience representing clients at the High Court in judicial review cases.

Fisher Jones Greenwood LLP’s team has β€˜a deep level of knowledge’ and β€˜fully understands the moving parts concerning legal jurisprudence, government policy and international affairs’. The group has a strong reputation in legal aid for asylum and human rights matters, and frequently advises and represents victims of trafficking, receiving referrals from the Red Cross, along with other community groups and charities. The team also assists entrepreneurs with visa applications under the points-based system, advises businesses on sponsor license applications and assists individuals with spousal, unmarried partner and civil partner visa applications. Recent highlights include successfully advising an applicant on obtaining entry clearance for his wife, a Filipino national, following the refusal of a previous application. Associate Ashlee Campbell, who heads the practice, has β€˜a huge breadth of experience and the ability to manage a whole range of cases, including asylum appeals from different parts of the world’.

IBB (Iliffes Booth Bennett) advises clients on Tier 2 sponsor licenses, sponsor management system compliance, audits and Schengen visas, among other matters. The group also assists with Tier 1 investor and entrepreneur visas, British Citizenship applications and residency documents for European citizens, and successfully acted for several clients in adverse immigration history matters and visa refusals. The team has a strong client base in the technology, pharmaceutical, retail and automotive sectors, and regularly works alongside its corporate, commercial and family teams to provide a full-service offering to its corporate and individual clients. Newly-recruited partner Richard Devall, who joined from Pitmans LLP, heads the practice, and is supported by associate Aleksandra Yuskina, who has strong expertise in all aspects of business immigration practices. The group recently advised Avata on several Tier 2 visa applications. Other key clients include Glenmark Pharmaceuticals, Goodman Real Estate Adviser and Hytera.

At Pitmans LLP, key specialisms include obtaining visas for travel in the Schengen Area, sponsor license applications under Tier 2 and Tier 5, compliance and preparation for Home Office audits, and applications for indefinite leave to remain for business migrants wishing to settle permanently in the UK. Jonathan Gray heads the department following the departure of Richard Devall to IBB (Iliffes Booth Bennett). Gray advises major corporates and SMEs on immigration strategies, complying with sponsorship duties, right to work checks and applications under Tier 2 of the points-based system, and has notable expertise acting for technology, oil and gas and entertainment sector clients. The firm also advises on EU immigration issues in the hospitality sector arising from Brexit.


Index of tables

  1. Pensions
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Pensions clients in South East using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact


Blake Morgan LLP’s practice is led by John Hamilton, who β€˜distils complex technical matters into clear and practical advice’; he assisted the trustees of C Brewer & Sons retirement benefits scheme with implementing a flexible retirement policy. At legal director level, Adrian Lamb has β€˜detailed knowledge’ and revised Welplan’s trust deed and master trust documentation rules following the establishment of a separate trustee company, and Rupert Graham-Evans, who provides β€˜professional and timely advice’, assisted Epicor Software UK with matters relating to its UK defined benefit scheme and a cross-border corporate transaction. The client roster also includes the trustees of Mizuho International retirement benefits scheme and Knowles (UK) (formerly Syfer Technology). Litigator Richard Portlock is another key contact and heads the pensions disputes practice.

Pitmans LLP has notable strength in drafting master trusts for group life and defined contribution schemes, an area that senior associate Symon Rowley is experienced in along with benefit restructurings and pension scheme documentation covering Self-Invested Personal Pension (SIPPs) and Small Self-Administered Schemes (SSASs); he assisted Liberty SIPP with establishing new rules following legislative changes to pension flexibility. Highlights for David Hosford included assisting Wilsons Feeds Pension Scheme with obtaining Pension Protection Fund compensation by splitting the scheme into two sections and arranging for employers to participate in these. He also advised an independent trustee of Avalon Leisure Pension Scheme on debts, winding up the scheme and a benefits buyout for members.

Praise abounds partners at Shoosmiths LLP: national practice head David Thompson is β€˜outstanding and has the technical skills of a QC’, Heather Chandler is β€˜first class’, and Tracey Hemingway and Suzanne Burrell are also highly respected. Hemingway assisted Cargill with the Β£700m merger between Cargill Pension Plan (CPP) and Sun Valley Pension Scheme, and is advising the trustee of CPP on drafting new rules for the scheme. Burrell has extensive experience in the charity and cooperative sectors and provides day-to-day advice to the trustees of the RNIB retirement benefit scheme, handling death benefits, regulatory work, data protection and other matters. JDM Technology Group, the trustees of the United States Air Force and Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce are also key clients of the β€˜strong team’.

At Penningtons Manches LLP, the β€˜friendly, incisive and dependable’ Maria Riccio is particularly recommended for defined benefit plan matters and acts for trustees, employers and intermediaries, β€˜demonstrating a deftness of touch when dealing with clients’. The firm advised Rayner’s Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust on participating in the NHS Pensions Scheme and also handled the review of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP’s UK pensions arrangements, which involved advice on implementation and auto-enrolment; the firm also assisted the company with making a bonus sacrifice. The β€˜very experienced’ practice is prized for its β€˜practical and commercial approach’ and counts Imerys Minerals, Bespoke Corporate Pensions and Sun Life Financial of Canada as clients. Associate Verity Cruse is also well regarded.

Stevens & Bolton LLP experienced an uptick in work for excepted group life policies and reviewed FW Kerridge’s trust deed and rules for an excepted group life policy that the client was establishing. Recently promoted partner Gabrielle Holgate heads the practice and β€˜always provides excellent legal, technical and commercial advice in a highly responsive and pragmatic manner’ to employers and the trustees of defined benefit and defined contribution schemes. The trustees of Kaye Enterprises 1996 Pension Scheme instruct the firm on day-to-day matters relating to liability management and reducing risk. The practice also provides ongoing advice to Greenclose Hotels and thus far, has handled an enhanced transfer exercise and funding arrangements for the company’s pension scheme, which saw the firm restructure the company’s contributions to the scheme and assist with security documentation. Wincor Nixdorf International and CBRE are also clients.

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