Next Generation Partners

Employment: Gloucestershire, Somerset and Wiltshire in South West

BPE Solicitors LLP

BPE Solicitors LLP handles both contentious and non-contentious matters; the team is well-regarded for its work on Employment Tribunal claims as well as those in the High Court. Its non-contentious expertise includes the drafting of both policies and procedures. The team is led by Nick Rowe. He is well known for the handling of senior exits alongside contractual disputes pertaining to bonuses and restrictive covenant breaches. Chris Aldridge was promoted to partner in October 2021.

Practice head(s):

Nick Rowe

Other key lawyers:

Heyma Holmes; Sarah Lee; Chris Aldridge; Steve Conlay


‘Outstanding service, very knowledgeable, and good depth so there are experts in all areas.’

‘BPE are adept at being engaged, knowledgeable and professional business partners. They make it their business to ensure that they understand your business and how they can add value to achieving your objectives.’

‘Sarah Lee is able to readily navigate very complex issues.’

‘BPE lawyers fully understand how our business is run, and which wider social, political and economic issues may affect us.’

‘Heyma Holmes is an absolute joy to work with, she is hugely practical, possessing knowledge of current developments in local, national and world business.’

‘Good understanding of our business. Good relationship with key contacts.’

‘The team has extensive knowledge of employment law issues. The advice can be technical or commercial depending on the scenario.’

‘Everyone I have spoken to at BPE has always been approachable. They take the time to explain things simply and will always check your understanding.’

Key clients

Parity Plc

AccXel Limited

Rail Delivery Group

Gloucester Rugby Limited

Insite Energy Ltd

Totally Plc

Bamboo Technology Group Ltd

Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS)

Satellite Applications Catapult Limited

Tradebyte Software Limited

Royal Academy of Engineering

Roots Human Resources Community Interest Company

Dael Group

Scotts Limited

Lilian Faithfull Care

Haydon Mechanical and Electrical Limited

Aspire Sports & Cultural Trust

Work highlights

  • Advised Rail Delivery Group on its implementation of the recent White Paper, namely the Williams-Shapps Plan for Rail.
  • Advised Totally Plc, alongside BPE’s Corporate Team, on the share purchase of Energy Fitness Professionals Limited.
  • Advised DAEL Ventures on the sale of the company to Mitie Group plc and the employment implications of the acquisition.

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP

The practice at Charles Russell Speechlys LLP utilises its global reach when advising on cross-border matters, overseeing work concerning global mobility, business protection and severance negotiations. The team has broadened its expertise in the healthcare sector with Sara Wilson and Syma Spanjers handling claims for NHS consultants. Wilson heads the practice; which was bolstered by the arrival of associate Izzie Beddard in September 2021.

Practice head(s):

Sara Wilson

Other key lawyers:

Syma Spanjers; Kelly Evans


‘Sara Wilson is absolutely amazing. She not only talks to you in ‘layman’s terms’ but her knowledge and negotiation skills are beyond reproach.’

‘Sara Wilson is totally unique, I cannot speak highly enough of her. ‘

‘The overall service was very professional. The advice I received was of the highest standard and I felt that we worked as a team addressing issues directly and effectively.’

‘They always deal with my issues in a responsive manner. They are reactive and  offer solid, reliable advice.’

‘Sara Wilson is superb. She grasped my issues very quickly and responds with a number of angles that cover off what I require. She is always available.’

‘They took the time to understand our business and also understand our culture.  Good real world advice.’

‘Sense of humour, responsive and great service’

‘This practice goes above and beyond to provide legal advice in a timely, supportive manner. They are thorough and bring a confidence and calmness to stressful scenarios.’

Key clients


Neal’s Yard Remedies

Trifast Plc

Reynolds Catering Supplies Limited

The Garland Company Limited

Executive Jet Charter Limited

B&M Babbage & Co Limited

SourceBreaker Limited

Dunkerton Properties LLP

Plymouth Citizens Advice

Royal Air Force Charitable Trust Enterprises

African Private Equity & Venture Capital Association

Immedia Group Plc/Immedia Broadcast Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising Sotheby’s, a premier international art auction house, on all UK employment matters.
  • Advised Neal’s Yard Remedies, a UK-based retail and multi-level marketing company, on all UK employment matters.
  • Represented a surgeon in the employment tribunal concerning a claim for constructive dismissal and age discrimination.

Clarke Willmott LLP

The team at Clarke Willmott LLP includes an  in-house HR consultancy unit; this assists clients seeking advice on matters involving TUPE, redundancies, disciplinaries and grievances. The team has vast knowledge across an array of sectors such as agriculture, education, retail, manufacturing and sport. Paula Squire  heads the Taunton employment and HR team; her expertise includes advice on the formation of academies and TUPE transfers. The firm's overall employment practice is headed by Marc Long.

Practice head(s):

Paula Squire; Marc Long

Other key lawyers:

Ruth Le Page


‘The main reason we value the team is for their broad expertise in all employment areas; whether it be for our own in house employees or the recruitment contract market.’

‘Paula Squire is just fantastic. I have valued her time, expertise and counsel. She is human, approachable and a great listener. She put me at ease and within no time at all I felt comfortable talking about the problems we needed her help with.. I would recommend Paula to everyone and trust she would look after them to the best of her ability.’

‘Hugely knowledgeable; very approachable; very responsive to our requirements.’

‘They are a diverse team that can deal with any issue; useful as a one stop shop.’

‘They are knowledgeable, quick to respond and detailed in their advice.’

Key clients

Bridgwater and Taunton College Trust

Acheson Construction Ltd

BMR Solutions Ltd

BioCare Limited

Powersystems UK Ltd

Focus Design Partnership Ltd

Sunlife Ltd

Leweston Farm LLP

Cardstream Services Ltd

Roland DG (UK) Limited

East Devon District Council

South Somerset District Council

Hestercombe Gardens Trust Limited

Amica Care Trust

Summerfield Developments SW Ltd

Chelston Park Nursing and Residential Home Ltd

Rainbow Club Ltd

Brean Down Caravan Park

Abbey Manor Group Ltd

Branston Ltd

Plus One (South West) Ltd

Milsted Langdon LLP

Refresco Beverages UK Ltd

St Margaret’s Hospice Somerset Ltd

Wyke Farms Ltd

Severn Delta Ltd

Chatham Clothing Ltd

Sunlife Insurance

Greenslade Taylor Hunt

Warren Farms Holiday Centre Ltd

Northam Farms Ltd

National Farmers Union

J & K Aquatics Ltd

Ocean Estate Agents Ltd

Management Consultancies Association Ltd

Chick Master UK Ltd

Precise Management Services Ltd

Homes in Sedgemoor Ltd

Powersystems UK Ltd

Extra MSA Property (UK) Ltd

Bridgwater College Trust

Cardstream Ltd

R.J. Heathman (Contractors) Ltd t/a Country Contractors

Thames Card Technology Ltd


Plantforce Rentals Ltd

BMR Solutions Ltd

YMCA Somerset Coast

University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust

Cooper Associates Group Ltd

Tweenhills Farm & Stud Ltd

Cardiff and Vale College

Teddy Mountains (UK) ltd

J Gale & Sons

Stay Original Company Ltd

Taunton and Pickeridge Golf Club Ltd

JSS (Taunton) Ltd

Work highlights

  • Advised Bridgwater & Taunton College Trust  with specialist employment advice including negotiations with Trade Unions, setting up a Charity, Covid issues, health concerns and the impact on the education sector.
  • Advised Wyke Farms Limited on employment law issues related to their large workforce, including modern slavery legal obligations, gender pay gap, various covid-19 related issues and change to terms and conditions.
  • Advised BMR Solutions Limited on issues including status issues, end user client demands and robust advice.

Harrison Clark Rickerbys

Harrison Clark Rickerbys has a full-service practice, advising clients on both contentious and non-contentious matters. The team has particular expertise in issues concerning the mix of employment and insolvency, advising on TUPE and redundancies. The team also represents clients in a range of complex cases before the Employment Tribunal. Michael Stokes heads the employment team whilst Rachel Roberts leads the overall South West based team. Rowena Kay was promoted to senior associate in late 2021.

Practice head(s):

Michael Stokes; Rachel Roberts

Other key lawyers:

Rowena Kay; Catherine Mitchell

Work highlights

    Willans LLP

    Willans LLP advises key technology and engineering clients, placing particular focus on the implementation of non-compete restrictions and the protection of confidential business information. Its expertise extends to business immigration issues; in addition, the team is well equipped to oversee termination disputes. Personnel changes includes the arrival of former Burges Salmon LLP solicitor Hayley Ainsworth and the promotion of Jenny Hawrot to partner. The practice is headed by Matthew Clayton.

    Practice head(s):

    Matthew Clayton

    Other key lawyers:

    Jenny Hawrot; Hayley Ainsworth


    ‘Over the course of the pandemic we’ve had to deal with redundancies, reduced working hours, furlough, and changes in working practice from office-based to hybrid, all of which needed legal input. Willans have understood the changing regulations rapidly and been able to advise and implement the necessary changes for us throughout, and have done so in a timely and comprehensive fashion.’

    ‘Jenny Hawrot has been our employment law contact at Willans for several years now. Right from the beginning she made a real effort to understand our business, and how we as an employer wanted to behave towards our staff. So the advice we get from her is always tailored with that in mind. It’s the fact that we feel like we’re getting bespoke legal advice rather than something boilerplate that we really value in Jenny.’

    ‘Really appreciate working with Matthew Clayton, who provides clear helpful advice in a calm, confidence inspiring manner.’

    ‘Small enough to provide personal partner led service big enough to deliver high quality advice. Exceptional knowledge, clearly explained. Very practical. Very commercial. Filter the noise out to cut to the pith of the issue and advice. Couldn’t be simpler to get the right advice so you can instruct and move on. Good outcomes whatever the complexity’

    ‘It’s the high quality and accessibility. Confidence and commerciality can’t be beaten.’

    Key clients

    ICSA: The Chartered Governance Institute

    Gloucestershire Constabulary

    Higher Education Statistics Agency

    The Commercial Group

    The Dean Close Foundation

    IRESS FS Limited

    Cobalt Health

    Hobbs House Bakery Limited

    Viper Innovations Limited

    Astreya Limited

    Delphix Software Limited

    Tubular Labs (UK) Limited

    Vidlearn Limited

    The British Humanist Association

    GMP Software Limited

    Password Services Air Conditioning Ltd

    Dee & Griffin Solicitors

    Work highlights

    • Advised Commercial Group, including Commercial IT Services Limited and Commercial Limited, on general employment law advice such as TUPE, restructures, redundancy, whistleblowing claims, discrimination claims and unlawful deduction from wages claims.
    • Advised Vidlearn Limited on the outsourcing of various aspects of its business and associated contractual arrangements with senior staff.
    • Acted for Terminix UK Limited in successfully defending claims of unfair dismissal and disability discrimination by a former employee.

    Porter Dodson LLP

    The practice at Porter Dodson LLP not only offers day-to-day advice, but has particular expertise in claims pertaining to whistleblowing and discrimination. The practice is led by Adrian Poole who is well-known for his work within the primary care sector. The practice recently saw the arrival of two new associates - Nadine Maher from DAC Beachcroft LLP and Sarah Cook from the British Dental Association.

    Practice head(s):

    Adrian Poole

    Other key lawyers:

    Sarah Young; Laura Roper


    ‘Laura Roper is extremely approachable and very thorough in her work. She will make sure you fully understand all the possibilities and suggest the most appropriate options for your personal/business needs.’

    ‘Laura Roper has been fantastic from start to finish. Her knowledge and expertise in employment law has been extremely valuable with clear communication throughout.’

    ‘Porter Dodson is an excellent law firm. They are empathetic to their clients needs and very professional.’

    ‘Adrian Poole is very well-versed with the law and excellent at finding key legal facts that support his client’s case.’

    ‘A very responsive team that provides well thought out legal advice.’

    ‘Adrian Poole – sound advice, great to deal with. Understands the whole picture. Sarah Young – really lovely and great communications. Clear and straightforward advice.’

    ‘Top quality regional firm of specialist advisers and representatives covering all main areas of employment and discrimination work. Creative solutions for clients. Courageous when representing clients.’

    ‘Adrian Poole: very experienced employment specialist, representing clients with wisdom and pragmatism. Laura Roper: excellent specialist employment solicitor, very accomplished in dealing with complex matters and issues. Sarah Young: specialist employment solicitor dealing with all manner of employment issues. Nadine Maher: specialist employment advice and representation, dealing with complex matters and issues.’

    Key clients

    Toolstream Limited

    Fusion Fostering

    Garador Limited

    W&T Limited

    Penn Hill Surgery

    Commercial Hot Water Solutions Limited

    Maiden Newton Service Station

    CC Moore

    Perrys Recycling

    Applebees Fitness Limited

    Oakfield Academy

    Xpedite Group

    Forward Dental

    Westbury Packaging

    Somerset Local Medical Committee

    Keyte Limited

    Axbridge & Wedmore Medical Centre

    Lyngford Park Surgery

    3AB Group

    Taunton Racecourse

    Dorset Dairy Limited

    T I Miller & Co Limited

    Topsham Brewery Limited

    The OCD Treatment Clinic

    Work highlights

      Stone King LLP

      In addition to its sizeable team, Stone King LLP has a HR consultancy service that extends across its five offices. Its expertise encompasses business, charity, educational and private client related matters. The team is led by Peter Woodhouse; he has vast experience advocating before the Employment Tribunal. T 

      Practice head(s):

      Peter Woodhouse

      Other key lawyers:

      Jean Boyle; Amy Berry; James Barratt


      ‘There is a vast amount of specialist skills and these are drawn from the wider team as and when you need them.’

      ‘They are quick to respond and have provided excellent support.’

      ‘James Barratt is quick to respond, pragmatic and spot on.’

      ‘The team meet the needs of the individual in a flexible and understanding manner – always pragmatic and supportive of the need of the business.’

      ‘They are supportive and helpful at all times.’

      ‘Peter Woodhouse stands out for leading the team. He very quickly gets to grips with the issue at hand and provides direction and solutions very quickly. His knowledge in HR and transport is excellent.’

      ‘Excellent communication, incredibly professional service.’

      ‘Peter Woodhouse goes above and beyond in responding to queries and providing advice to achieve the outcome we were looking for. ‘

      ‘James Barret took time to understand the perculiarities of our organisation and offered useful tips for dealing with the situation. His ability to predict the outcome was quite reassuring.’

      Work highlights