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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 > Employment: Essex > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings



Index of tables

  1. Employment: Essex
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Rising stars

The Colchester employment practice at Birkett Long LLP is led by the 'exceptional' Martin Hopkins and skilfully handles a wide range of employment matters including representing employers in significant employment tribunal cases - a particular area of focus for Hopkins. Julie Temple rejoined the team at the beginning of this year from niche employment firm Quantrills Solicitors. Her expertise includes advising higher education institutions and large companies on matters including GDPR compliance and gender-pay reporting. Reggie Lloyd handles employment related litigation and represents both claimants and respondents.

Practice head(s):Martin Hopkins; Julie Temple

Other key lawyers:Reggie Lloyd


'The team at Birkett Long has a calmness in their approach. Their advice is concise, to the point and takes account of any risk. You know you're in good hands.'

'Very honest, very capable - I can't rate them highly enough.'

Key Clients

Pinnacle Housing

Imperial London Hotels

Hills Prospect

Ixion Holdings

Runwood Homes

IT Solutions Services

Wilkin & Sons

Birketts LLP's Chelmsford-based team of seasoned employment lawyers covers the full scope of work for a large corporate and often high-profile client base. Work includes representation at employment tribunal, extensive advisory work and discrimination claims. Practice head Kevin Palmer  leads many of the team's high-value matters and has acted in a discrimination case for the creative director of Google UK. Clare Barlow is proficient in dismissal litigation claims and has acted against the BBC. Former partner Jolyon Berry left for  Thompson Smith and Puxon.

Practice head(s):Kevin Palmer

Other key lawyers:Clare Barlow;

Key Clients

Aspire Media Group Limited

Colchester United Football Club

Fisher Michael Chartered Accountants

Milsom Hotels

Venture Construction Solutions

Thompson Smith and Puxon has a wide breadth of expertise in employment law matters and covers all aspects of work including contracts, litigation, severance issues and tribunal proceedings. The 'outstanding' Richard Porter is particularly noted for his prowess on business re-organisations and termination of contracts. Clients from the agricultural and rural sector make up a sizeable portion of the firm's roster, in addition to some international clients. The team has been strengthened by the addition of heavyweight lawyer Jolyon Berry who joined from Birketts LLP.

Practice head(s):Richard Porter

Other key lawyers:Jolyon Berry


'Pleasant to work with and the consistency and quality of advice has always been to the highest level.'

'Richard Porter stands out as an individual who goes beyond the normal client/consultant relationship. He provides advice in a clear way without jargon, and ensures all options are fully understood.'


The 'dedicated and highly engaged' employment team at Pinney Talfourd LLP  in Hornchurch cover the full scope of contentious and non-contentious matters, including discrimination, unfair dismissal, and TUPE. Disputes head Stephen Eccles  manages the practice, while senior associate Alexander Pearce , who clients describe as 'outstanding in his field', handles many of the firm's mandates and is proficient in advising clients on high-value unlawful harassment claims relating to areas including sex and religion.

Practice head(s):Stephen Eccles

Other key lawyers:Alexander Pearce


'The team thinks outside the box and comes up with innovative ideas. We receive excellent support from the Employment Team'

'Alex Pearce provides very clear and sage guidance to both ourselves and our clients and we hold him in very high regard.'

Key Clients

Brook Street Food Service

Classic Fresh Foods

Fairclough Property Professionals

Knight International

St. Joseph Catholic Club

The employment team at Tees Law has been enhanced through its merger with Wortley Byers. It handles a broad scope of matters including restructurings, disciplinary and redundancy proceedings. Sarah Stanyer is the lead on many matters and represents clients in tribunal hearings, as well as carrying out advisory work related to disciplinary proceedings and harassment claims. Chelmsford based practice head Robert Whitaker is praised by clients for 'giving them confidence that their case is in capable hands.'

Practice head(s):Robert Whitaker

Other key lawyers:Sarah Stanyer; Sue Dowman


'Rob Whitaker is meticulous, thorough and leaves no stone unturned in his work for clients.'

'Rob Whitaker is the leading light of the team.  He has unfailing diligence, unflagging enthusiasm and precise judgement.'

'The employment team bring their particular strengths together to form a formidable resource. They are knowledgeable, robust and practical.'

'Commercially minded with the final outcome clearly in mind. Strengths are on compliance as well as resolution. Their compliance skills are really great. Drafting and provision of documentation is a great strength of theirs.'

I continue to be impressed with the high levels of customer service provided. The team always approach any issues we may have, no matter how big or small, with the same level of professionalism and gravitas. As we do not have an in-house HR function, it is invaluable to us to know that we have this additional resource to help us resolve staffing issues and plug the gaps we have in employment legislation.'

'Without exception, Sarah Stanyer always responds to our requests for help in a timely and detailed manner. I am unable to find any fault in the support she gives us.'

Key Clients

Brentwood School

International Petroleum Products

Chigwell London

Wood International

Fullstop Fire and Security Systems

The employment practice at Fisher Jones Greenwood LLP spans five offices and is able to leverage expertise from the firm’s commercial and dispute resolution groups, offering clients a blend of contentious and non-contentious services. Team head Bushra Elzubeir often takes the lead on matters including high-value unfair dismissal claims while Leah Groves has experience in health-care related transactions and acquisitions.

Practice head(s):Bushra Elzubeir

Other key lawyers:Leah Groves


'Welcoming, professional and personal.'

'Bushra Elzubeir always gives very sound legal and personal advice.'

Palmers' employment practice group is led by Luke Morgan and handles a full range of employment law matters, including HR packages for employers and policy review. Samantha Randall is the name to note and handles most of the team's contentious work. She has expertise in representing clients in sexual harassment claims. New joiner Samantha Cass has experience in advisory work to employers as well as tribunal litigation matters.

Practice head(s):Luke Morgan

Other key lawyers:Samantha Randall; Samantha Cass

The employment department at Paul Robinson Solicitors LLP handles a wide range of matters, often working alongside the commercial team to provide corporate clients and individuals with advice on TUPE, merger-related employment issues and dismissal claims. Polly Plant is the key name to note and also heads the contentious probate team. Ana James-Pittau advises on contentious employment matters.

Practice head(s):Polly Plant

Other key lawyers:Ana James-Pittau

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