Employment: Thames Valley, Berks, Oxon, M4/M40 in South East
Boyes Turner has a strong track record advising technology, telecoms, hospitality and leisure and automotive clients on the full range of employment law issues. Barry Stanton heads the practice and is experienced in handling whistleblowing claims, directors’ misfeasance and in relation to employees’ misuse of confidential information and breaches of restrictive covenants. Also of note are key partners Helen Goss and Michael Farrier for all aspects of contentious and non-contentious matters. Director Laurie Anstis is a specialist of business immigration, equal pay, TUPE and employment status matters. Associates Andrew Whiteaker, Claire Taylor-Evans and Darren Smith are all recommended.
Other key lawyers:
‘Boyes Turner is valued for its pragmatism, responsiveness and good value for money.’
‘Barry Stanton and Helen Goss always provided very well thought-out, practical and robust advice.‘
‘Andrew Whiteaker is always very approachable and prompt in providing pragmatic advice. He is expert in his field and understands the commercial operating environment.’
‘Helen Goss is extremely experienced which she demonstrates by giving practical, candid advice and proposing workable solutions, she is also friendly and down-to-earth.’
- Successfully resisted employment tribunal claims of race and sex discrimination by a former employee of the company.
- Representing the client in complex litigation in relation claims brought by an employee relating to constructive unfair dismissal and direct disability discrimination.
- Ongoing employment law advice across various jurisdictions following the £5.9bn acquisition of Brocade by Broadcom, including restructuring exercises across Brocade’s EMEA region and settling of outstanding litigation.
- Representing client regarding TUPE-related claims.
Spread out across the Oxford and Reading offices, Blake Morgan LLP's employment practice continues to retain a strong roster of corporate clients including those in the pharmaceutical and technology sectors. It has also recently won several new instructions from small and medium-sized enterprises. The firm advises public sector institutions such as Thames Valley police, schools and universities and social housing providers. Practice head William Downing divides his time between both offices and has significant experience handling Employment Tribunal and Court claims and advising on large-scale outsourcing projects. Rajiv Joshi has expertise in complex discrimination and TUPE matters and advising in the niche areas of police and health sector workforce issues. Rebecca Ireland left for gunnercooke LLP in June 2018, Sara Thompson left for an in-house position at the University of Oxford in November 2018. Senior associate Paul Hayward joined from Royds Withy King in January 2019.
‘Blake Morgan always provides excellent advise with great customer service. They have also supported with training and the feedback from these sessions has also been excellent. ‘
‘William Downing is highly rated; he has helped my business with extremely complicated and difficult matters when issues needed escalating. He is very personable and can translate difficult areas of law into operational practice with skill.‘
Grafton Merchanting GB
Vale of Aylesbury Housing Trust
Thames Valley Police
- Successfully defended five Employment Tribunal claims and are currently instructed on two further claims. The team also provides continued employment support and training to managers.
- Advised a health sector client on various employment issues, including clawback provisions on training costs, discrimination issues, TUPE, collective agreements and back pay for doctors. Also advised on a major restructuring project involving redundancies of senior members of staff and dealt with an employment tribunal claim for disability discrimination.
- Successfully assisted to dispose of a complicated grievance relating to an employee made redundant and who threatened a high value claim for unfair dismissal.
- Represented the police authority in three employment tribunal claims relating to allegations of disability, race and sex discrimination from police officers. Ongoing employment law advise to the in-house legal team on ad-hoc queries regarding TUPE.
Clarkslegal LLP employment law expertise spans restructures and TUPE transfers, GDPR and employee data protection issues and contentious matters including advising on senior employee discrimination and whistleblowing claims. Michael Sippitt, Helen Beech and Monica Atwal are the lead partners and associates Caroline Lendrum, Alison Flett and Louise Merrell are also recommended.
‘The team are always available to discuss any matter, they are reliable and first rate with their responses. ‘
‘Approachability, professionalism and at a reasonable cost.’
‘Michael Sippitt and Alison Flett are very knowledgeable, unflappable and very accessible. I trust their judgement and they’re always a step or two ahead of the game.‘
Reading Transport Limited
CenturyLink Communications UK
Hyundai Motor UK
University of Reading
- Extensive advice and training in relation to conducting negotiations with trades unions and union strategy, as well as assisting with key supply chain management issues in the context of global industrial relations and regulatory developments.
- Assisting with GDPR compliance and advising the board and other management level staff on equal opportunity issues.
Doyle Clayton has notable expertise advising both employers and employees on the full spectrum of employment law issues. The practice provides assistance in relation to discrimination claims, whistleblowing cases and High Court litigation, as well as advising on the current HR matters such as the 'Me Too' movement and employment issues surrounding temporary working arrangements/the gig economy. Tina Wisener, Piers Leigh-Pollitt, James Anderson, Sukhpal matharoo ,Verity Saxon and Victoria Burnip are the key figures.
Other key lawyers:
‘The practice works hard to understand our business. The are extremely responsive and work quickly to give advice and assist us in resolving our employment issues.’
‘Piers Leigh- Pollitt, is pragmatic, commercial, approachable and swift to act on our behalf.‘
‘Victoria Burnip excels at immigration advice.’
UK Express Limited
BNP Paribas Leasing Solutions Limited
Brit Group Service
DPGS Limited t/a Domino’s Pizza
- Successfully defended the employer against disability and racial discrimination claims brought by an employee.
- Acted for the employer in respect of five Employment Tribunal claims on the worker status of employees. Advised the employer on the potential financial liability and negotiated a settlement to all of the claims.
- Advised employer in respect of a claim for unfair dismissal following alleged sexual misconduct with several team members.
- Advised Hitachi Capital regarding a potential TUPE transfer following the share acquisition of Franchise Finance Limited.
Lewis Silkin LLP is best known for its expertise handling specific employment issues within the media, pharmaceutical and technology industries. Key areas of activity include workplace data protection, restructuring, TUPE, contentious work and advising clients on collective and union issues, such as European Works Council arrangements. Russell Brimelow ,Jonathan Carr, Carolyn Soakell, Hannah Price and James Storke comprise the key partners at this 'outstanding' practice.
Other key lawyers:
‘The team is very focused on giving practical and pragmatic advice and really build a partnership approach to working together. They understand our business and we trust their advice and guidance is aligned to our aims.’
‘The team at Lewis Silkin are exceptional lawyers, who go above and beyond for a client and always make themselves available. They completely understand the nature of the client’s work and give appropriate tailored advice, taking on board the preferred outcomes and commercial solution to employment issues.’
Oxford University Press
British Standards Institution
- Assisted in the launching of a global employment law help desk for the British Standards Institution across 31 jurisdictions. Also advised on compliance with requirements set by the European Commission for all EU standards testing staff.
- Advised on restructuring and redundancies following the acquisition of a business. Assisted with an investigation into personal share dealing by a senior investment professional and subsequent termination.
- Advised a global company on the EMEA employment aspects of the global sale of a significant part of its business.
- Advised Infosys alongside its UK Employment in-house counsel on the on the global outsourcing of Verizon’s IT staff to Infosys.
Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP's Oxford and Reading offices demonstrate 'first-class expertise' in employment law, particularly in relation to data protection/GDPR, advocacy in Employment Tribunals and senior executive disputes, among other HR issues. Daff Richardson and Eugene Wojciechowski are the lead partners in Oxford and Reading respectively.
Daff Richardson; Eugene Wojciechowski
‘The most commercial and business orientated employment law team I have come across. Daff and Eugene work with you, understanding the business challenges faced, to arrive at relevant and valued recommendations.‘
‘Eugene Wojciechowski has a natural business instinct and works hard to understand the context we work in. He provides confidence to our managers and gives a balanced view. He and his team provide exceptional customer service, and are contactable at any time.’
The City & Guilds of London Institute
M20 Property Group
Unicarriers UK Limited
One Housing Group
Charter Court Financial Services Group
- Represented the employer in respect of a race discrimination Employment Tribunal claim raised by a manager.
- Advised City & Guilds on a significant restructure of part of its business including providing training for managers.
- Advising a national not-for profit organisation on TUPE risks following the take over of services provided by a previous panel contractor member which had gone into liquidation.
- Advised a leading national charity in relation to repeated data subject access requests made by a former employee.
Shoosmiths LLP continues to be active in contentious matters and has a strong track record in acting on behalf of employers in Employment Tribunals and the Employment Appeal Tribunals. Other areas of expertise include corporate support and TUPE matters, trade union issues and specialist knowledge in business immigration. The practice has an impressive client roster of multinational technology corporations, higher education institutions, financial services organisations and national charities. Kevin McCavish, Jonathan Naylor and Paula Rome are the lead partners.
Kevin McCavish; Paula Rome
Other key lawyers:
‘They give commercial, no fuss advice, explain the risks and offer alternative solutions if appropriate. Always available and very reliable. Deliver quickly and always meet any deadlines.’
‘Kevin McCavish is approachable and easy to talk to. He grasps situations quickly and has really got to know our business and its culture over the years which means he can offer appropriate commercial advice in accordance not only with our risk appetite, but also knowing what we are likely to get approval for. He explains the legal reasons for his advice as well as the possible risks of taking any course of action.’
Hewlett Packard Enterprise
Calor Gas Limited
Goldsmiths, University of London
The National Trust
- Handling the entire UK Employment Tribunal caseload including successful defences of discrimination and whistleblowing claims brought against the Company, including winning costs awards against certain Claimants.
- Successfully defending the employer, the National Trust in a number of employment tribunal claims including for alleged disability and sex discrimination.
- Ongoing advise to a global IT services company on a range of employment issues including potential breach of contract claims relating to alleged TUPE-transferred benefits held by employees that transferred into the employment of the company from public sector bodies, complex breach of contract claims, and a high-value dispute regarding alleged sales commission entitlements.
Blandy & Blandy LLP has an 'excellent reputation' in the Thames Valley area, particularly in the areas of unlawful discrimination and TUPE and handling tribunal claims, for both respondents and claimants. Sue Dowling provides assistance on day-to-day HR issues, restructuring, the departure of senior executives, tax aspects of exit arrangements and business immigration. Key partner Tim Clark focuses on internal re-organisations, restructurings, redundancy and TUPE issues.
Other key lawyers:
‘The firm has a personal feel to it. It gets effective results.’
‘Andrea Corr is personable and has good knowledge.’
‘Tim Clark is extremely knowledgeable and helpful.’
‘Tim Clark is approachable, pragmatic and knowledgeable.’
‘Tim Clark is often able to come up with practical solutions that enable us to achieve what we need to achieve with minimum disruption.’
‘The firm works well as a team which means that good cover is always available if the person you are dealing with is not.’
‘Sue Dowling has an extroadinary knowledge of her subject area, she is genuinely interested in how our organisaton operates and nothing fazes her.’
‘Blandy & Blandy have a team of absolute professionals who offer a responsive and pragmatic service.’
- Advising a client in respect of the employment aspects of its purchase of a business including assessing matters related to employees’ and former employees’ potential health and disciplinary issues.
- Advised a charity client regarding the decision to commence the direct employment of staff both by recruiting directly and taking on employees previously working as staff on the basis of the application of TUPE.
- Advised an employer on the withdrawal from membership of a pension scheme under which it provided final salary pension arrangements and the proposal of a Defined Contributions Scheme as an alternative.
Specialist employment law firm Cater Leydon Millard has a strong offering in contentious employment work, frequently acting for respondent employers, including large public sector organisations, publicly listed companies, independent schools and privately owned businesses in the manufacturing, health and education sectors. The firm also provides mediation services, training programmes for management, investigations and support to the NHS across all areas of employment law. Name partners Wendy Leydon and Nathan Millard are highly regarded as is Stephen Conlan in the areas of discrimination, whistleblowing, TUPE safeguarding, organisational changes and MHPS.
Wendy Leydon, Nathan Millard
Other key lawyers:
NHS North of England Commercial Procurement Collaborative Legal Framework
Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust
- Represented the employer, an NHS Trust in successfully defending a application by a former employed consultant in a complex application for reinstatement by an NHS Trust.
- Advised the employer on the termination of two senior UK board level employees, one involving sex discrimination allegations.
- Represented the claimant in an Employment Tribunal case against a major public authority, involving claims of disability discrimination.
- Acted for a private healthcare employer in successfully stopping a former employed GP from poaching clients in the process of him setting up a competing practice.
CMS handles non-contentious and contentious employment matters on behalf of leading multinational corporate clients such as Coca-Cola, Ernst & Young and Samsung. The practice, which is led by Gary Henderson has a strong focus on acting for employers in Employment Tribunal and High Court litigation. Henderson's practice spans employment contracts, employment aspects of acquisitions and disposals, reorganisations and outsourcing arrangements, contentious cases, pensions and benefit arrangements. Also of note are senior associates Edward Arnold and Rachel Zani.
- Acted for an employer in Employment Tribunal claims and ongoing advice in relation to internal restructuring, senior level departures and HR training.
- Advised on disciplinary and grievance matters, restrictive covenants, data protection and provided HR team training.
- Assisted a multinational employer with internal restructuring matters, collective redundancy advice, exit arrangements and the handling of grievances.
Field Seymour Parkes LLP advises on the complete range of employment law- related matters. Key partner Ian Machray specialises in complex TUPE matters and tribunal cases. Associate Louise Smyth has particular expertise in the education sector and also advises on executive exits and all aspects of litigation. Associates Jackie Denham and Katie Burley are particularly recommended for corporate restructuring and defending employers in litigation.
‘Good tactical appreciation of employment law. Always ready to support and look at challenges to suggest the most efficient way forward.‘
‘Very accessible and ready to help. Ian Machray has excellent knowledge and provides this in a useful and efficient manner.’
- Representing a multinational in a multi-jurisdictional contract dispute worth in excess of £1m.
- Advised on all employment law matters relating to its acquisition of privately held Parcelhub Limited and Mailwork Shop Limited as it expands further into the e-fulfilment market.
- Advised the shareholders of Stewarts Coach Group on all employment law aspects of the sale of the entire issued share capital of the company to the Kings Ferry Group, a subsidiary of the National Express Group.
Osborne Clarke's Reading office has strong capabilities in the technology and digital business sector, complimented by an impressive track record in employment litigation, restructuring and TUPE work. Practice head Danielle Kingdon is experienced in discrimination, maternity, TUPE and contractual-related issues, and is supported by associates Emma Ladley and Kath Sadler-Smith in advising on contentious and non-contentious HR matters.
‘As well as the undoubted technical expertise and quality of legal advice, what marks Osborne Clarke out is their practical viewpoint and their ability to assess our needs on the basis of the themes they have identified in the work that we have sent them. They have been proactive in assessing and delivering solutions for the capability needs of our business.‘
‘They are practical coaches who work on understanding the company culture we operate within. This gives them additional value over and above the subject matter.’
Huntswood CTC Limited
Virgin Experience Days
VTech Electronics Europe
Natural Motion Limited
- Managing international employment advice for a globalised chain in respect of their franchise world headquarters’ employees across a wide number of jurisdictions.
- Advising a renowned global media company on TUPE aspects of outsourcing.
- Advising a US-headquartered tech company on a wide range of employment issues, including the implementation of GDPR in respect of employees.
Areas of expertise for BDB Pitmans include supporting employers in the employment and HR aspects of business structuring and transactions, diversity, employment disputes and avoidance, equal opportunities, industrial relations, workplace contracts, policies and benefits. Angela Shields is the key figure for non-contentious matters, including on issues related to worker status, disciplinary matters and terminations, as well as representing claimants and defending employers in Employment Tribunal claims.
Clifton Ingram LLP Solicitors has been active in representing employers as respondents to unfair dismissal, disability discrimination, bullying in the workplace, sex and pregnancy discrimination claims. The firm has specialist sector expertise within the technology and pharmaceutical industries. Robert Cherry, who was promoted to partner in May 2018 and senior associate Alison Gair are the main contacts.
‘Robert Cherry has a robust knowledge of Employment Law.’
‘Robert Cherry will always try to provide a few different options for problem solving and disclose the extent of any associated risks. He is very conscientious and will always return phone calls and emails in an exceptionally timely manner.’
- Representing the employer in ongoing Employment Tribunal proceedings following allegations and claims of sex discrimination and harassment made against a director.
- Advised the employer on outsourcing of its customer services function subject to TUPE and/or redundancies. The team also advised on exit arrangements for senior employees.
- Advised on the proposed acquisition of two garden centres including advising on all the employment documentation relating to TUPE and the commercial implications of the various employment issues uncovered including a pending tribunal claim.
Specialist employment practice, Crossland Employment Solicitors continues to be highly active on contentious work, regularly acting on behalf of respondents in complex and technical Employment Tribunal cases. Managing partner Beverley Sunderland has 'very good judgement and a wealth of experience' in enforcing restrictive covenants, reorganisations, TUPE, investigations and complex discrimination and whistleblowing matters. She also has specialist knowledge of employment issues in the insurance broker industry. Kevin Charles and Barry Ross comprise the other key advisors.
‘Crossland Employment Solicitors are knowledgeable, approachable and are able to make complex issues simple to understand. They always give us the information we need straight which allows us to make informed decisions.’
‘The team have a very thorough and extensive knowledge of employment law. In addition they offer very practical and pragmatic advice in a business context.‘
‘Beverley Sunderland is the stand-out lawyer. She is simply fantastic. Beverley works all hours and provides great advice as evident by her track record with us. She is always approachable and never flustered. I couldn’t recommend her highly enough.’
De La Rue Plc
Institute of Practitioners in Advertising
Lorica Insurance Brokers
- Successfully defended a high-profile client in a complex whistleblowing case.
- Acted for the employer in successfully defending claims of constructive dismissal/race and sex discrimination and harassment.
- Advising the trade association and its members on contractors and the impact of GDPR on employment and consultancy relationships.
- Assisted with the TUPE transfer of an IT team to an outsourcing organisation.
Herrington Carmichael LLP advises on all areas of employment law and is particularly experienced in handling internal restructurings, tribunal claims and matters related to data protection and GDPR. Alistair McArthur is 'brilliant' in advising on enforcement of post-termination obligations and TUPE. On the contentious side, Katie Harris and Katrine Clay are recommended for the defence of complex Employment Tribunal claims. Robert Frampton is of note for TUPE and reorganisations.
Bovis Homes Group
Cygnet Health Care
Tech 21 (UK)
- Advised on employment law issues in connection with the relocation of various offices across the UK.
- Assisted with the internal group reorganisation and the associated movement of employees.
- Advising the employer in respect of potential tribunal claims and defending the client against three employment tribunal claims for alleged religious belief discrimination.
Areas of expertise for Brethertons LLP include day-to-day HR support on compliance, employee management, TUPE, disciplinary and grievance procedures, employment-related issues of commercial transactions, in addition to a strong track-record in Employment Tribunal representation. Practice head Amy Edwards was promoted to partner in April 2019, and handles all employment law matters alongside Kerry Hudson and senior associate Emma Fyson.
- Represented the employer as the claimant in an Employment Tribunal in defending against alleged sex discrimination by a GP.
- Advised on a settlement agreement between a managing director and the employer following a disagreement with the shareholders over the client’s working patterns and request to reduce his hours.
- Advised on the business transfer of a law firm from an LLP to a limited company. Employment aspects include collective consultation in respect of the TUPE transfer, and negotiation and drafting of new directors’ service contracts.
Draper Lang LLP
Henley-on-Thames employment specialist Draper Lang LLP regularly takes on advocacy in defending employers in tribunal claims, with particular expertise in the area of injunctions. Managing partner David Blomfield has expertise in TUPE, reorganisations, restrictive covenants and executive and financial sector terminations. Other recommended lawyers include Emma Griffiths, who made partner in April 2018, Stephen Cates and Nicholas Snowden.
Dun & Bradstreet Limited
Double Negative Limited
- Defended the employer in a complex Employment Tribunal litigation brought by a senior former director regarding constructive unfair dismissal, sex discrimination, unlawful deduction of wages and whistleblowing.
- Advising on the dismissal of a business founder following the acquisition by a private equity owner.
- Advised an individual representing a branch of a trade union by launching proceedings with the trade union Certification Officer regarding dispute within the union. The matter was resolved through a settlement and a proposal to change the collective agreement which had been the subject matter of the dispute.
Employment Law Plus
Employment Law Plus' practice covers a wide range of employment issues, including data protection compliance with GDPR, TUPE, employment contracts, support with redundancies, disciplinary and grievance cases. It also handles tribuna cases on the side of claimants and as defence counsel for employers. Jill Kelly is the lead advisor.
Freeths LLP has notable expertise in the education and food and drink sectors. The practice also advises on TUPE, business immigration and advocacy in tribunal litigation. Mark Emery is the key practitioner.
Integrity Print Limited
Zooplus Services Limited
Aricent International (UK) Ltd
- Acting for the claimant, a former managing director in an Employment Tribunal claim for sex discrimination and unfair dismissal.
- Acted on a claim on behalf of a scientist working for the Science and Technologies Facilities Council for sex and disability discrimination and unfair dismissal.
Gardner Leader LLP offers cross-departmental expertise and support in all areas of employment. The group has a strong focus on contentious matters, acting on behalf of senior executives and employers in negotiating settlement agreements and Tribunal representation. The practice is lead by senior associates Julie Taylor and Michelle Morgan.
Julie Taylor, Michelle Morgan
‘Visible and supportive presence in the local community. Excellent customer service, friendly, expert and approachable team.’
‘Julie Taylor consistently provides expert, pragmatic advice and an excellent, responsive service.‘
- Acting on behalf of the claimant, a senior company employee, on bringing a claim of disability discrimination against a large company.
- Represented a senior executive on a complex settlement agreement, which included advising on disability discrimination issues, extensive bonus and share payments.
Julian Taylors Solicitors
Niche employment practice, Julian Taylors Solicitors advises corporate clients across a range of sectors including retail, technology, financial services and infrastructure. Led by name partner Julian Taylor and Nicola Wallbank, who was promoted to partner in May 2018, the practice assists employers with data protection compliance, TUPE transfers and restructuring. On the contentious side, it assists with disciplinary, grievance, discrimination and whistleblowing matters as well as day-to-day HR support.
Julian Taylor, Nicola Wallbank
‘Good, reliable, prompt and pragmatic advice. They understand the issues and have the right experience.’
‘Julian Taylor is personable, always available and highly knowledgeable.’
‘Nicola Wallbank is a GDPR guru, personable, polite, professional.’
‘Incredible value for money. Partner level advice with the work actually done by partners. Easy to contact and quick responses.’
Blackwell UK Ltd
The Chancellors Group of Estate Agents Ltd
Cogent Communications UK Ltd
- Advised on the employment implications of an acquisition, including on TUPE information and consultation obligations, and on inherited terms and conditions (both relating to employment terms and benefits).
- Assisted with the negotiation and drafting of terms with recruitment providers, advising on consultancy arrangements with contractors, and staffing issues.
- Acting on behalf of a claimant in bringing employment tribunal proceedings against both a transferor and transferee in a TUPE situation in which he was unfairly dismissed.
mpm legal solutions Limited
mpm legal solutions Limited primarily assists employers in respect of employee management issues, such as in grievances, disciplinary and dismissal procedures, collective redundancy consultations, business restructures, Employment Tribunal litigation and TUPE transfers. Mark Minns, Adrienne Hardy, Peter Beisty and Sarah Wilder make up the team based in Henley-on-Thames.
Mark Minns, Adrienne Hardy, Peter Beisty, Sarah Wilder
The team at Royds Withy King assists employers in all aspects of HR-related issues, whilst also providing training programs to in-house HR team and advocacy in Employment Tribunals. Other key areas of expertise are business immigration, contract negotiations and advice on the management of employees. Kate Benefer and Charlotte Fisher are the main figures.
Other key lawyers:
Spratt Endicott has significant experience in advising on redundancies, employment contracts, TUPE, discrimination and harassment claims and disciplinary procedures. Key figures Caroline Shaw and Philomena Price 'have extensive knowledge and respond to all employment issues in a practical, commercial manner'.
Other key lawyers:
‘The team are always very responsive and their communication is very good. They are all very knowledgeable in the field but very good at explaining in a way that is understandable to someone without the legal background.‘
‘Carol Shaw and Philomena Price are very approachable and give straightforward, pragmatic advice. Always extremely knowledgeable and always happy to talk through all options for a scenario, advising us on best practice. ‘
Karcher (UK) Ltd
Securitas UK Ltd
- Provided training for several corporate client in connection with their obligations under GDPR.
- Representing the employer as the respondent against claims made against it regarding whistleblowing and unfair constructive dismissal.
- Advice regarding TUPE in relation to the obligation to provide employee liability information as well as advice regarding the obligation to inform and consult with representatives of affected employees.