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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: Kent, Surrey and Sussex > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings



Index of tables

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

Leading individuals

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Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

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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 Hurleyis very commercial and cost-effective’ and ‘an exceptional negotiator and tactician’. Ben Smith, who was promoted to partner in May 2016, ‘is very hardworking, dedicated to the client’s cause and commercial’. Also recommended are Andy Williams, who ‘fights tooth and claw for his clients, is highly practical and very approachable’, and associate Emily Chalkley, who ‘is incredibly thorough and conscientious’.

Cripps LLP’s ‘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, ‘gives high-quality advice with minimal fuss’; she is ably supported by HR expert Gavin Tyler, senior associate Camilla Beamish, who ‘provides clear, uncomplicated advice’, and managing associate Rhona Darbyshire.

According to clients, DMH Stallard LLP is ‘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 Bellmalways provides advice which is balanced and easily understood’ and Gregory Burgess ‘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 ‘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 ‘is always very clear and concise’ and ‘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 ‘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 Coleparticularly impresses with his ability to devise and deploy litigation strategy to great effect’. He is assisted by associate Elizabeth Cardy, who is ‘intelligent, hardworking and never afraid to fight her client’s corner’.

The ‘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 ‘advice is particularly clear’.

Clients of asb law LLP rate the team for ‘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.

Brachersgoes 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 ‘talentedCatherine Daw, whose ‘dedication to the client is genuine’. She leads a team that includes Colin Smith who ‘provides first-class advice balanced with a genuine understanding of commercial pressures’, and associates Rachael Russell and Louise Brenlund.

Furley Page Solicitors provides an ‘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 Mastersis 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 ‘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 £350,000. Other clients include Emirates, Singapore Airlines and Retirement Advantage. Firm director Harry Sherrard and Dan Soanes ‘always explain the legal terms without complexity’; they are recommended for aviation employment disputes. Solicitor Victoria Bevis is well regarded for her ‘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 ‘professional and thorough’ practice in Reigate that provides ‘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 ‘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 ‘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 ‘goes the extra mile for the client’ and litigator Jill Lawton ‘works hard for her clients and is very effective in articulating her client’s case’.

The ‘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 ‘very helpfulDavid 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 Solicitorsis 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 £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 ‘extremely professional and knowledgeable’. Also recommended are senior associate Michael-Jon Andrews, who ‘is a very clever lawyer who takes a particularly firm, yet commercial approach’, and associate Reena Sharma.

Rix & Kay Solicitors LLPis 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 ‘extremely competent and professional’. Mark James left to join Coffin Mew LLP.

Clients of TWM Solicitors LLP rate the team for its ‘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 ‘never fails to help with any problem’ and is experienced in employment tribunal litigation.

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 ‘confidence, legal expertise and professionalism is reassuring’, and solicitor Sarah Ludlam.

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Legal Developments in South East for Employment: Kent, Surrey and Sussex

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