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Employment: Dorset, Devon and Cornwall in South West

Ashfords LLP

Ashfords LLP provides employment law support to clients in the public sector, as well as areas such as health, energy and retail. On the contentious side, the team regularly defends clients against complex employment tribunal claims and High Court litigation. Equally important is the department’s advisory work, which spans restrictive covenants, TUPE, immigration, collective redundancies and senior executive exits. Practice head Stephen Moore, who is based in Bristol, has expertise in all areas of employment law, while Exeter employment head Charles Pallot focuses on areas including TUPE, senior executive matters and collective redunancies.

Other key lawyers:

Su Apps; Kirsty Cooke


The team are very approachable, distil the circumstances well to provide timely, targeted, apposite advice on each occasion, be it (in the past year) a complete overhaul of our staff contracts, terms and conditions with a grading structure or the TUPE etc implications of acquiring fee base from another firm, along with various of their staff members.

Ashfords are responsive, knowledgeable and have always dealt with numerous issues in the most professional and supportive manner, at all times.

All those I dealt with at Ashfords were excellent.

I have worked with Charles Pallot for some 25+ years and his colleague Su Apps has also been involved for HR issues. They respond to queries, whether by phone, or email very proactively seeking to give cost-effective responses that address the specific situations as well as setting out a step-by-step action plan detailing how to deal with them. That is a skill that is very much valued from a tried and trusted team.

Key clients

CDS (Superstores International) Limited, trading as The Range

Francis Clark

Mr and Mrs Rampersad t/a Clifton Residential Care

Wates Group of Companies

Holly Rise Consultants T/A Bluebird Care

Private Medical Consulting Facility

Shane Kirby

St Mungo Community Housing Association

Ultimate Finance Limited

Nagel Langdons Limited

Work highlights

  • Defending Clifton Residential Care against a payment claim brought by an employee, and later advising on response to the application to appeal to the Supreme Court and initial preparation for this.
  • Representing CDS (Superstores International) in a number of employment tribunal claims, including disability discrimination, sexual harassment, sex discrimination and unfair dismissal and providing HR advice and support.
  • Advised the Wates Group of Companies as to the Group’s exposure to risk from the Local Government Pension Scheme resulting from all the services contracts which Group companies had entered into with local authorities and assisted the Group with making appropriate financial provision for this risk exposure.

Foot Anstey

The Exeter-based employment team at Foot Anstey acts for some of the biggest employers in the South West, as well as nationally recognisable names, such as Screwfix and the RSC. The group has a significant focus on the retail, media and technology sectors. In addition, it has seen a significant uptick in work connected with the financial services sector, owing to the work of Claire Holland, who made partner in 2019. Karen Bates, who heads up the team, often advises boards on strategic business issues, as well as representing major commercial clients in employment tribunal proceedings.

Practice head(s):

Karen Bates

Other key lawyers:

Patrick Howarth; Claire Holland


Helpful, always on hand to help. They understand our business and give commercial pragmatic advice.

James in particular is a standout for me, he’s very commercial, understands our business and I trust his advice. It feels like a partnership, which is so important with the nature of what we do. I like the human element he brings rather than legal speak.

They are exceptionally customer focussed and have spent the time truly understanding the nuances of our business and industry.

Again, an understanding of our business and industry and the, at times, unique challenges we face. We have a challenging work environment with significant cultural/legacy issues that we are addressing. The individuals we work with understand this and adapt their advice and input to help us best resolve issues.

Key clients


Flybe Ltd

Ensono Limited (backed by Charlesbank Capital Partners)

Reed & Mackay Travel Limited (backed by Epiris Private Equity)

Princess Yachts

Maybank Kim Eng Securities (London) Limited

Holroyd Howe

W C Rowe (Falmouth) Limited

City Electrical Factors

Royal Shakespeare Company

Work highlights

  • Providing Screwfix with all external employment law advice.
  • Advising Ensono legal team in the US and its HR team in the UK on day-to-day employment needs and implementation of its global strategy.
  • Acting for Reed & Mackay on all matters of employment law related to the transfer and integration of employees from recently acquired businesses and on regular and strategically important HR projects.

Lester Aldridge LLP

Lester Aldridge LLP has a strong profile in Dorset for its employment law work, and is well known for delivering specialist advice to clients in the care sector. Other areas of expertise include the employment aspects of large corporate transactions, TUPE transfers, insolvency and business immigration. Catharine Geddes' experience spans the full spectrum of employment work, which includes representing clients in employment tribunals and subsequent appeals. Geddes jointly leads the team with Kevin Barnett, whose clients are largely drawn from the corporate sector.

Practice head(s):

Catharine Geddes; Kevin Barnett


The employment law team at Lester Aldridge stands out for me as being one of the best that I have ever worked with. I attribute a lot of that to the way that the team interacts – they all clearly value and support each other, and work excellently alongside each other. They understand each other’s strengths. In delivering workshops and events, they bounce off each other very well, making it an enjoyable and informative experience for everyone.

Catharine Geddes always has time to talk things through, provides advice and guidance in a clear manner that is practical and pragmatic, yet clearly meeting our needs. Catharine worked with our Chair of Trustees recently, who reported to me how very impressed they were with her work and her helpful nature.

Key clients

Curtiss Wright Corporation

Ceuta Holdings Limited

Data Installations and Networking Services Limited T/a Data Techniques

Osprey Europe Limited

FRP Advisory LLP

Lush Limited

Dorset Wildlife Trust

Durable (UK) Limited

Care South

Work highlights

  • Handling a disability discrimination claim in an employment tribunal for a manufacturing and retail company.
  • Advising a manufacturing company on disciplinary issues involving a senior executive/statutory director, capturing a disciplinary process and related issues involving alleged disabilities.
  • Assisting the UK arm of a large international company with approximately 8000 employees nationally on day-to-day matters, as well as various disciplinaries, grievances, restructures and settlement agreements.

Michelmores LLP

Michelmores LLP has an excellent reputation among clients active in a wide range of industries, including education, health, retail and charities. Its employment department also serves public sector clients throughout the South West. Team head Andrew Tobey has deep expertise in all areas of contentious and non-contentious employment law, with notable strengths in advising NHS regional trusts (including those outside the South West), handling disciplinary proceedings and complex TUPE transfers. James Baker has a strong track record acting for clients in high-profile discrimination and whistleblowing cases.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Tobey


The team is very approachable and works hard to share knowledge of us as a client. This means that, if our normal point of contact is not available, someone will easily pick up the case without us having to spend a lot of time bringing them up-to-date. Information is provided in a very practical way, meaning we can easily implement the advice.

Andrew Tobey gave us an honest account of our case so we could learn lessons for the future. This also meant we could assess a sensible settlement package if we wished to go down this route. At all times he gave us practical support, setting out options so we could make a sound decision on the best way forward. At no time did he tell us the best outcome, but rather supported us to make a decision. We did not feel pressured into making a decision at any point of the process and equally we did not feel the process was being dragged out to increase our legal costs. A fair balance was achieved, which made us feel confident in our decisions.

Always accessible and sector awareness makes their comprehension of case scenarios advantageous.

Customer-centric; keen to ensure needs are met if not exceeded with invaluable additional guidance. Tom Stenner-Evans is worth particular mention in this.

The practice is unique because you have dedicated points of contact and this means that the thread of any advice is not lost. The team’s advice (whether verbal or written) is always clear and concise and does not shy away when recommending tough courses of action. The team is very knowledgeable about all aspects of employment law and is able to provide advice and guidance on a large range of issues/topics, some of which can be obscure. I think the speed of response sets this firm apart, as well as the availability of face to face discussions.

James Baker is the partner who I deal with. He goes above and beyond to ensure he is always available. He has a unique ability to make you feel like you are his only client. He is tenacious and always meets the deadlines he gives you. Quite simply, he gets things done.

They have great knowledge and a deep understanding of the education sector.

‘Kate Gardner is always friendly and approachable, gives sensible, pragmatic and commercial advice which she is willing to follow through to a conclusion.‘

‘Kate Gardner presents case law in a humorous manner, making it easy to digest and retain. Her depth of law and ability to get to the issue and understand it is fantastic. I always feel confident I will get the best advice in a clear commercial way and will recommend her to others without hesitation. She is quite simply the first person I think of when an employment issue arises.‘

‘Kate Gardner is a very experienced solicitor who has got to know the business to ensure we get tailored advice appropriate to our business.‘

‘Kate Gardner is outstanding. She is very knowledgeable about employment law but also a wide variety of industry sectors. She has a terrific bedside manner with clients. She is empathetic but also authoritative in expressing innovative solutions to tricky situations.‘

Key clients


Haynes Publishing Group plc

Steinhoff Manufacturing Group

Mint Velvet

Mole Valley Farms

Devon Doctors Group

Greenland Group

Kew Green Hotels Group

North Devon Council


Gro Group

Landmark Information Group

Metropolitan Police

Torbay & South Devon NHS Foundation Trust

Northern Devon Healthcare Trust

Devon Clinical Commissioning Group

The Met Office

Dorset Council

Thatchers Cider Company Limited

Cornerstone Housing Limited

British Limousin Cattle Society Limited

South West Ambulance NHS Trust

St Austell Brewery

Succession Group

CDS (Superstores International) Limited

Tokyo Electron Europe Limited

Saba UK Limited

Work highlights

  • Defending Saba Park Services UK against multiple complex employment tribunal claims of racial discrimination, harassment and bullying.
  • Advising UK Radio Group on all employment aspects of its sale to Bauer.
  • Advising Barking and Havering NHS Trust in relation to TUPE staff information claims arising from the termination of their existing principal facilities management contract with their current supplier and the re-tendering of that contract to Interserve.

Stephens Scown LLP

Stephens Scown LLP fields the deepest bench of partners entirely dedicated to employment law in the region, and it is particularly noted for its team-wide expertise in employment tribunal litigation. Elsewhere, the department's advisory work includes assistance with the employment aspects of high-value corporate transactions. In addition, it also offers a dedicated HR support service to SME employer clients. Exeter-based practice head Terry Falcão regularly represents clients in complex and high-value discrimination and whistleblowing cases. Verity Slater in Truro has expertise in the education and marine sectors, while Ellie Hibberd combines expertise in HR with a strong employee-focused practice.

Practice head(s):

Terry Falcão


The service provided by the team that we have dealt with has always been courteous, prompt and efficient. The advice given has been very good and we have been able to act on it.

We have worked with Ellie Hibberd. She has always dealt with our instructions promptly and been available to speak to when matters have needed to be discussed. Her advice has been clear. Responses have been timely. We have been very pleased with the level of service that we have received from her.

They take time to understand the ethos of the organisation. This has made subsequent advice much more relevant to the situation.

Prompt and very knowledgeable in the employment law field. Provided excellent advice in complex HR matters.

Ellie Hibberd is an employment law specialist with experience of the charity sector and the part of the industry in which the client has specialised. The clarity of thought and speed of response have been greatly appreciated. Ms Hibberd has always gone the extra mile to ensure the client is supported, including ‘out of hours’ responses which have enabled momentum to be maintained.

Key clients

Age UK


Exeter City Football Club


Trago Mills

BPA Quality

The Delivery Group

Cornwall College

Seasalt Ltd

St Austell Brewery Co Ltd

Work highlights

  • Successfully defending a whistle-blowing claim for Age UK Calderdale and Kirklees following the dismissal of an employee through a redundancy process.
  • Successfully representing an individual in a disability harassment and age discrimination claim against Henry Cole Ltd and its director Nigel Bone.
  • Advising the shareholders of Professional Reseller Group on employment aspects of the sale of Stormfront companies to Compu B.

Knights plc

Knights plc acquired Exeter firm OTB Eveling in December 2020. The employment law team supports commercial employers, including medium to large-size businesses, and in addition to non-contentious advisory work also handles employment tribunal cases. Other areas of expertise include senior board-level exits, restructurings and advising on high-value strategic projects.


Matthew Huddleson – excellent technical and practical advice. Very good sounding board. Easy to speak with and discuss things with. Ability to make complex issues seem straightforward. Solution-orientated.

In my opinion, Matt Huddleson is probably the best employment lawyer in Devon – he has years of experience, is very approachable and professional, but he also makes me laugh. Kath Kidd is on the ball with her employment law knowledge and has a HR background like myself and totally gets the frustrations I can get sometimes.

Matthew Huddleson was especially helpful. The advice provided was never condescending. He is easy to deal with and gives the impression he cares about the particular problem in hand. The outcome was also successful for the business.’

Ellis Jones Solicitors LLP

Ellis Jones Solicitors LLP serves primarily SME employers or senior individuals exiting businesses, but has also recently been retained for employment law and HR advice for an international retailer. Although the department acts for a range of industries, it has specialisms in the education and charity sectors, as well as for LGBT clients in discrimination cases. Kate Brooks heads up the team from Bournemouth, which also often works alongside the firm's corporate team,  providing advice on warranties and indemnity, and TUPE transfers.

Practice head(s):

Kate Brooks

Key clients

Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra

The Swanage Railway Trust

Performance management and appraisal training

Work highlights

  • Advising an international retailer on employment law and providing HR services.
  • Providing specialist HR advice for an academy school.
  • Providing TUPE advice for an incoming contractor.

Kitsons LLP

Kitsons LLP has a strong track record advising clients on the employment aspects of corporate transactions. Practice head Jayme Nicholson, who is based in Exeter, specialises in employment status issues and is particularly known for her work in the security, construction and sales sectors. Other strengths of the team include the enforcement of confidentiality and post-termination restrictions, and handing TUPE transfers. In addition, employment tribunal cases are also on the increase at the firm. In Plymouth, managing partner Rhodri Davey is active in a broad cross-section of employment law matters. Associate Rory Wakeling has built up a varied client base.

Practice head(s):

Jayme Nicholson

Other key lawyers:

Rhodri Davey; Rory Wakeling

Key clients

On Course South West CIC

Coastal Care Homes

Trucksmith Limited

The Guild of Construction Workers

Paramount 21 Limited

Work highlights

  • Acting for an adult education provider on employment aspects of the transfer of the service back in house to a local authority.
  • Advising Coastal Care Homes on the employment aspects of the sale of three care homes.
  • Providing ongoing strategic HR assistance to Trucksmith Limited.

Nash & Co

Plymouth-based law firm Nash & Co is well-known for advising commercial clients on employment law matters. It has a varied and wide-ranging client base, which extends far beyond Cornwall. The employment team, which is led by Ian Grimshaw, provides business-oriented strategic advice and also offers expertise in defending employment tribunal cases. The firm's corporate clients also benefit from the practice's strengths in dealing with large-scale restructurings and redundancies,  as well as TUPE and disciplinary proceedings. Other key team members are Jon Loney, who has expertise in the media and manufacturing industries, and Karen Bussell, who has experience in the care, education and sea-faring sectors.

Practice head(s):

Ian Grimshaw

Other key lawyers:

Jon Loney; Karen Bussell


Karen Bussell is perhaps the outstanding employment solicitor in Devon and Cornwall. She knows her law extremely well but most importantly, she has a tremendous work ethic and shows total dedication to achieving the best possible outcome for her client, in every case. She is tenacious in her approach to her work and a master-negotiator. Significantly, she is often able to achieve with charm, outcomes which would not be possible for those with an unduly adversarial approach. She has exceptional client retention rates, which is a testimony to her superb relationship management skills.

The team are very personable and professional. They have a very calm and relaxed approach to their cases, yet their attention to detail is excellent and their case preparation is always very thorough.

Ian Grimshaw and Rachel Collins are excellent solicitors who have a very good understanding of the law and are forward-thinking in their strategic approach to cases.’

Key clients

The HR Dept Limited

Premiere Coffee Limited


Jurassic Coast Coffee Limited

MThree Consulting Limited

The Westbury Hotel Limited

Mars Wrigley Confectionary UK Limited

WH Bond & Sons Limited

ICON plc

Holiday Inn London – Kensington High Street

Porter Dodson LLP

Porter Dodson LLP focuses its employment law offering on GPs, the care and manufacturing sectors. Well known in Dorset and Somerset for its expertise in primary care, the employment team is now expanding its specialism into residential and domiciliary care. The firm's commercial and property departments also provide a source of employment work, which often involves redundancy processes and TUPE transfers. Adrian Poole, who heads up the team from the firm's Yeovil office, is noted for his experience of both advisory and contentious employment matters.

Practice head(s):

Adrian Poole

Other key lawyers:

Sarah Young; Laura Roper


The cross-sectoral expertise in both employment and medical/equality law, particularly regarding mental health in the workplace, was extremely helpful for my case. The team worked well together in picking up the case at different times of need and were able to play to their unique strengths well in finding a resolution. I would highly recommend them to anyone seeking employment law advice.

Adrian Poole was calm, understanding, and maintained excellent perspective. He managed the case over several months as a master conductor, allowing time to play out where needed and responding quickly when required. He was sensitive to the particular demands and challenges of the situation and was incredibly empathic, supportive and helpful on a personal level. His knowledge and understanding of mental health and discrimination law in relation to my case was particularly valuable and ensured a successful outcome. He always worked to keep costs to a minimum and was quick to advise on the options available when I had to make decisions. It was a pleasure to instruct Adrian on this case and I would highly recommend him.

Adrian Poole is a strong technical lawyer, who is willing to innovate to achieve results. He is passionate about his clients.

The team, led by the outstanding Adrian Poole, is a true team in every sense of the word. Great at supporting each other, bouncing ideas around, discussing difficult points – always with the aim of achieving the best possible client outcome. The team has exceptional technical knowledge and a client care approach which is unsurpassed in the region. The interests of the client are at the front and centre of everything they do. They are able to generate high quality work of the type much bigger city firms would be happy to take on, and client satisfaction rates are extremely high.

Adrian Poole is an outstanding employment lawyer who is also a master of tactics. He generates high-quality work, which he is able to retain because of his exceptional client care skills. He will always go the extra mile for his client and is never afraid to take on ‘the big boys’ – usually successfully. He thrives in this field and never fails to give 100%. It is a testament to Mr Poole`s dedication to the firm and its clients, that he is still there, leading the team, when he would clearly be an obvious target for many of the bigger firms in the South West and beyond.

Approachable and pragmatic. Common sense application of law and communication based on sound principles and explanation of risk factors.

Sarah Young was incredibly helpful, personable and took temporary charge of the case at a critical moment. She carefully thought out a solution to the issues at hand and deployed this with skill and expertise despite the delicacy of the situation, helping ensure an optimal outcome. I was delighted to work with Sarah and she displayed great empathy and understanding, both during the case and afterwards. I would highly recommend Sarah.

Laura Roper is good at achieving commercially sensible result, a strong technical lawyer who does not lose sight of the wood for the trees.

Key clients

Group Silverline / Toolstream

Aviation Requirements

Koller Engineering


Talon Engineering

Taunton Fabrications

Westbury Packaging

3AB Care Group

Fusion Fostering

Somerset Local Medical Committee

North Petherton Surgery

Altogether Care

Wyvern Health Partnership

Everycare (Wessex)

A J Wakely & Sons Funeral Directors

Roberts Foodservice

Crystal Classics

A Senior Design Engineer for a manufacturer

A Consultant Gynaecologist

A Consultant Ophthalmologist

The Managing Director of a utilities company

A Bournemouth care provider

Sheppy’s Cider Ltd

Allen (Hanford) Limited

Inro Drinks

Minimal Risk Consultancy Ltd

Keyte Ltd

Glastonbury Health Centre

Ilminster Wellbeing LLP

Noisy Little Monkey Ltd

Vivalis Beauty Ltd

Work highlights

  • Advising a multinational manufacturer on a restructuring of key departments and a site closure involving appoximately 30 redundancies following a TUPE transfer.
  • Managing for a care organisation the TUPE of  workers from numerous individual providers following a regulatory determination dictating a change in operational structure.
  • Assisting an independent school with a complicated whistle-blowing situation including potential grievance and regulatory referrals as well as third party complaints.

Steele Raymond LLP

Bournemouth-based law firm Steele Raymond LLP is particularly strong in contentious work involving commercial clients. Practice head Peter Rolph often represents both claimants and respondents in  complex and high-value discrimination cases at the Employment Tribunal. On the non-contentious side, the team's work includes corporate restructurings, senior executive exit packages and the enforcement of post-termination restrictions. A niche specialism of the department relates to long-term sick leave for employees receiving the benefit of an income protection policy. Amy Cousineau Massey joined Woodstock Property Law in 2019.

Practice head(s):

Peter Rolph


I’ve never before worked with such astute, proactive and helpful lawyers and legal advisers; inside or outside of London. I’ve spent many hours with Steele Raymond, and the value and ROI from the financial investment I have made has been superb.

The way they draw on their significant experience to effectively cut to the core of a situation, opportunity or challenge makes my life so much easier, and from my experience, leads to exceptional results.

Pragmatic advice and support.

Peter Rolph offers pragmatic, commercially focused advice that takes into the specific needs and concerns of his client.

Blanchards Bailey LLP

From its base in greater Dorset, Blanchards Bailey LLP acts for family-run and owner-managed businesses across the South West. Practice head Paul Dunlop, who is based in the Blandford Forum office, has deep experience of litigation, which includes employment-related matters. The firm also offers HR support to its smaller clients, which benefit from Jane Eldridge's specialist knowledge in this area. The team's key areas of strength include the education, religious and healthcare sectors.

Practice head(s):

Paul Dunlop

Other key lawyers:

Edward O’Brien; Jane Eldridge


My contact has primarily been with the HR Department and the advice and service that we as a company have received has been excellent, both in writing and during conversations. The company always responds very quickly to any requests and we have found it has been essential to be able to discuss any HR problems with a firm who have extremely qualified and capable personnel who are able to advise us on some very complicated issues.

My main contact has been Mrs Jane Eldridge, who has proved to be an excellent communicator and able to get to the heart of any issue very swiftly and provide the necessary and relevant advice. She has helped to redraft our Staff Handbook and Statement of Terms and Conditions of employment very efficiently and effectively and with her advice we have covered items that we would not have thought of. She has also provided timely assistance with updating these documents as required by current legislation. I have felt very privileged to have been able to deal with Jane over the past few years and know that I can always call on her to assist with any HR issues we have.

Jane Eldridge is the standout professional for us, providing robust, reliable, up to date advice and guidance of the highest quality.

Key clients

Chafyn Grove School

Corfe Mullen Baptist Church

Inkspace Limited

Matrod Frampton Limited

Simon John Christopher Limited

The Property Ombudsman

Prime Design Projects Limited

Damien Lewis

Work highlights

  • Providing HR consultancy services to The Property Ombudsman.
  • Advising Prime Design Projects on a restructuring of senior staff, and resolving subsequent litigation.
  • Providing litigation advice and HR consultancy to Chafyn Grove School.

Browne Jacobson LLP

Browne Jacobson LLP delivers specialist advice to clients in the education sector; clients in this space notably include a number of multi-academy trusts. In a major development, healthcare sector expert Bridget Prosser joined from Capsticks LLP in September 2019 to head up the Exeter-based employment team. The group demonstrates strong capabilities in complex transactions and advisory work, as well as employment tribunal cases.

Practice head(s):

Bridget Prosser

Other key lawyers:

Rachel Billen

Key clients

Castle Partnership Trust

Taher Limited t/a Ocean Healthcare

Cornerstone Academy Trust

The Thinking Schools Academy Trust

Hiscox: Insured matters

Learning Academy Partnership (South West)

The Wave Multi Academy Trust

Work highlights

  • Handling an employment tribunal claim for a partnership trust relating to the educational-specific national terms of employment to satisfactory settlement for the client including termination of the employment of the claimant.
  • Advising an Academy Trust on due diligence, TUPE and legal issues arising from re-brokerage of five struggling schools into the Trust, followed by the remodelling of the staffing model across the incoming schools.
  • Advising an academy trust on TUPE, due diligence and redundancy issues arising in relation to the transfer of a local maintained school into a multi academy trust. Dealing with TUPE related redundancy post transfer.

Frettens LLP

Frettens LLP regularly advises employers and SMEs on employment and HR matters. It is particularly active in the care and education sectors, for which it is well-known in the Dorset area. Associate and team head Paul Burton regularly works with the firm's commercial department, providing employment-related advice on significant transactions. The department is also capable of handling employment tribunal cases.

Practice head(s):

Paul Burton

Other key lawyers:

Kate Fretten

Key clients

Jewish Care

Affinity Care

AL Younger

Sandown Mercedes-Benz

Peeks The Event Makers


Work highlights

  • Providing day-to-day HR advice to Jewish Care, as well as guidance on special projects and on dealing with employment tribunals when required.
  • Providing Affinity Care with day-to-day HR advice.
  • Providing day-to-day HR advice to Bond Williams Professional Recruitment.

GA Solicitors

Plymouth-based firm GA Solicitors has a notable Cornwall and Devon client base which includes commercial entities, as well as professional organisations, such as GP surgeries. Led by Robert Zacal, the employment team provides both strategic, business-oriented advice and representation in contentious matters. The team has recently defended clients in a number of employment tribunal cases.

Practice head(s):

Robert Zacal

Key clients

Brittany Ferries (BAI(UK)) Limited

The Angel Foundation (God TV)

Newton Abbott Races

Cornish Concrete Products Limited

Morris Engineering Limited

Peninsula Finance PLC

The Wolseley Community Economic Development Trust

Thomas Westcott Chartered Accountants

Tozers Solicitors LLP

Tozers Solicitors LLP is known for almost exclusively focusing on respondent-side employment mandates, and acts for commercial entities in sectors such as housing, holiday and residential caravan parks, and hotels. It also generates work from public sector organisations and charities. The firm's employment team has a strong track record in contentious work. On the non-contentious side, the workload includes assistance with day-to-day employment issues, proposed mergers, redundancies and director exits. Team head Stephen Jennings is strong in TUPE-related issues and advises senior decision-makers on corporate strategies.

Practice head(s):

Stephen Jennings

Other key lawyers:

Jill Headford


In addition to being very professional, every answer is very clear. They will re-explain things when needed. They will ask different questions to get the whole picture, and then make sure they don’t miss anything out. They are patient and no question seems a ‘bother’ or too much trouble.

It feels exceptional. You feel that you are the only company that they work for. It’s a really personal service.

Tozers are an exceptional company that is always there when we need them. We regularly call on them for employment law advice sometimes at very short notice and they always make themselves available to us. Unlike with other firms, I know that I can call on Tozers for expert professional advice over the telephone with a solicitor that is professional, personable and understands our business. They explain the law to me in a way that I can understand it and apply it to our business effectively. I have been in HR for over 30 years and experienced different law firms, Tozers are by far the best. They are dedicated to their clients and provide free face to face group training and employment law updates to ensure that companies in the South West understand the law and are operating within it.

Stephen is the most outstanding solicitor I have ever come across, his knowledge of employment law is impressive and he always explains full details of the case law from all perspectives with associated risks carefully and in a way that I can understand. He is a great ambassador for law in the workplace and has regularly put us on the right track to ensure that we are applying the law correctly. It is clear that he is highly intelligent but he uses his personal effectiveness and communication skills to ensure that you feel at ease when talking to him and that his messages are clear. I can’t speak highly enough of his knowledge and professional skills, and am very grateful that he is our solicitor.

Stephen Jennings is particularly helpful, and I love the way I can phone him, he will capture my query and give me the response for me in seconds. That quickness of understanding and alacrity in response is invaluable.

Whoever advises you does so with professionalism and understanding. There is a genuine understanding of our business and indeed interest in it. Should different members of the team be dealing with you on a specific topic they are all up to speed on it.

Trowers & Hamlins LLP

Working closely with members of the firm's London office, Trowers & Hamlins LLP's Exeter-based employment team demonstrates a particular strength advising clients in the social and affordable housing sectors. Charity sector work is another key source of mandates. John Turnbull leads the group in Exeter, which is prominent in TUPE and post-transfer restructurings, as well as GDPR and DPA compliance in relation to employee data.

Practice head(s):

Emma Burrows; John Turnbull

Other key lawyers:

Tom Stephenson


Always happy to give advice on small matters; sometimes a steer is all we need and they are happy to do this – they don’t make a mountain out of a molehill!

The firm provide personable, pragmatic guidance that is always business focused. They know “what we know” and provide response at a level tailored to our knowledge.

Key clients

Smiths (Gloucester)

Otter Nurseries

Dimensions UK

Ninian Solutions

London & Devonshire Trust

LiveWest Homes

Avid LLP

Richmond Housing Partnership

Ampacet (UK)

CCS Media

Work highlights

  • Acting for Dimensions UK in a claim brought by UNISON against Somerset CC and Dimensions UK’s subsidiary, Discovery, resulting from the award by the Council of a 5-year contract for support to people with disabilities in 2017.
  • Carrying out investigations for Action on Hearing Loss, National Autistic Society, Livability, Financial Services Compensation Scheme,, Green Square Group, MTVH.
  • Assisting Clarion Housing Group, L&Q Group, GreenSquare Group, MTVH, Trinity Housing Association with their senior staff exits.