Leading Individuals

Employment: Gloucestershire, Somerset and Wiltshire in South West

BPE Solicitors LLP

BPE Solicitors LLP handles a wide range of contentious and non-contentious employment matters. The Cheltenham-based firm's client roster includes national clients as well as key local names. The team handles issues including unfair dismissal, discrimination, whistleblowing, TUPE, breach of contract, employment status, business restructuring and redundancy. Practice head Chris Aldridge has specific expertise in bringing and defending high-value tribunal claims.

Practice head(s):

Chris Aldridge

Other key lawyers:

Sarah Lee; Steve Conlay


‘BPE combines strong technical knowledge with a deeply practical, pragmatic, and hands-on approach to resolve issues and find a solution.’

Key clients

Totally Plc

Spectrum Medical Group Limited

AccXel Limited

The Rail Delivery Group

Gloucester Rugby Limited

Parity Group Plc

Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS)

Satellite Applications Catapult Limited

Tradebyte Software Limited

Royal Academy of Engineering

Roots Human Resources Community Interest Company

Lilian Faithfull Care

The Smallpiece Trust

The Helping Hand Company (Ledbury) Limited

Aspire Sports & Cultural Trust

Gloucestershire Counselling Service

Work highlights

  • Represented Greenbrook Healthcare (Hounslow), a subsidiary company of Totally, in a race discrimination claim brought by one of its senior clinical doctors.
  • Advised Spectrum Medical Group on empolyment issues relating to its partnership agreement with CVC Fund VIII, worth £1bn.
  • Advised David Christopher Jewellers on the avoidance of staff redundancies in the declining retail market by reducing store opening times through consultation with staff.

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP fields a reputable employment team which is singled out by one client for its ‘wide range of skills and experience’. The firm’s global reach allows the team to provide employment law advice on a range of cross-border matters. The team advises its client roster, consisting of large commercial organisations and high-net-worth-individuals, on the full spectrum of employment issues. Legal director Sara Wilson leads the team and specialises in advising clients in the healthcare sector. Senior associate Syma Spanjers is noted for her expertise in dealing with complex tribunal claims.

Practice head(s):

Sara Wilson

Other key lawyers:

Syma Spanjers; Kelly Evans


‘They are exceptional in their service and their ability to swiftly understand the key areas, and then make intelligent, swift and commercial decisions.’

‘Sara Wilson is excellent. Sara inspires total confidence and has an ability to be totally professional whilst also maintaining a friendly touch. Whilst they are a multinational company, when dealing with Sara, she maintains the feel of a local/family company in terms of relationship building and injecting some humour here and there.’

‘You are provided with bespoke advice and direction with an understandable strategy to meet your end goal. Sara Wilson provided support through a difficult time, as well as giving the right advice.’

‘The diverse team has a wide range of skills and experience, and collaborate well to provide effective and pragmatic support whatever the problem.’

‘I have worked with Sara Wilson on a number of occasions involving complex negotiations when changing employers. She is knowledgeable, pragmatic and worked hard to bring potentially confrontational situations to a measured conclusion. Sara was always available at critical moments and provided wise counsel.’

‘The team is diverse and very client focused.’

‘Sara Wilson stands out. She is always available at short notice, provides good advice and is very clear in her written opinions. Sara is an asset to the firm.’

‘The support we receive was second to none. I have absolute confidence in the team and in particular the quality of the advice and timeliness is very good.’

Key clients

Plymouth Citizens Advice

Executive Jet Charter Limited

Royal Air Force Charitable Trust Enterprises

B&M Babbage & Co Limited


Neal’s Yard Remedies

Goodwin Proctor LLP

Just Group plc

Work highlights

Clarke Willmott LLP

Clarke Willmott LLP primarily acts for employer clients in the education, agriculture, retail, sport and manufacturing sectors. The ‘first class’ team is well placed to advise clients on an array of employment matters. The practice fields its own in-house HR consultancy unit, which provides clients with grievance, redundancy, disciplinary and TUPE advice. Paula Squire and Marc Long jointly head up the team; the former oversees the Taunton-based group, and is noted for his expertise in issues at the intersection of data protection and employment law, while the latter leads the firm’s overall employment practice from the Southampton office.

Practice head(s):

Paula Squire; Marc Long

Other key lawyers:

Katy Ponsford


‘I have found Clarke Willmott to provide honest and easily understandable advice. Billing and time spent are transparent and itemised.’

‘The people we have worked with at Clarke Willmott are approachable and easy to engage with. If we do not understand something, this has been explained to us in an easily understandable way. The team are also super friendly and helpful.’

‘Absolutely first class. The advice that they have given has been honest and practical. We trust them completely and they have been thoroughly professional at every instance.’

‘When having to deal with the trauma of a tribunal, we have been fully briefed and they have done everything in their power to assist and bring the matter to a satisfactory conclusion.’

‘Paula Squire and Katy Ponsford both work tirelessly to ensure that no stone is unturned, no matter what we ask of them. The reassurance that they have provided has been absolutely outstanding and we could not have got to where we are now without their help and support.’

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

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

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

Powersystems UK Ltd

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

Thames Card Technology Ltd


Plantforce Rentals 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

Albert Goodman LLP

Freedom Dairy Systems Ltd

Goonvean Holdings Ltd

Geckoella Ltd

Veja Faire Trade Sarl

White Lake Cheeses Limited

Pennard Hill Farm Ltd

Prestige Profiles Ltd

Laines Consultancy Ltd

Gundenham Dairy Limited

Briarwood Products Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising Bridgwater & Taunton College Trust on an ongoing basis, including assisting with negotiations with trade unions, outsourcing and charity issues, and policy provision.
  • Advising Wyke Farms on various employment law issues relating to its large workforce, including modern slavery legal obligations, gender pay gap issues, various Covid-related issues, in-house training, and changes to terms and conditions.
  • Advising BMR Solutions on issues relating to worker status and end user client demands.

Harrison Clark Rickerbys

The practice at Harrison Clark Rickerbys spans the entire spectrum of contentious and non-contentious employment law matters. The team regularly advises SMEs, international businesses and household names. Its expertise lies in providing clients with corporate support, handling trade union disputes and dealing with complex cases before the employment tribunal. The team is led by Rachel Roberts, who has expertise in complex tribunal litigation, TUPE issues, and employment-related M&A. Legal director Rowena Kay is noted for her experience in handling matters at the intersection of corporate and employment law. Catherine Mitchell, who joined the firm in November 2022 as a result of the acquisition of Mitchell Law, completes the roster of recommended practitioners.

Practice head(s):

Rachel Roberts

Other key lawyers:

Catherine Mitchell; Rowena Kay; Ellis Jessica Walby


‘In my experience, the team provides exactly what a client requires in terms of expertise, breadth, pragmatism, speed of action and results.’

‘Our key contact is Catherine Mitchell who quite simply exemplifies every quality a client could want in their legal representation.’

‘Catherine Mitchell is brilliant, engaging, customer-focussed, goal-oriented and looks to achieve practical solutions.’

Key clients


Workshop Group Limited (trading as Hub8)

Ruroc Limited

Pertemps Recruitment

Direct Wines Limited, trading as Laithwaites, Averys & Sunday Times Wine Club

SPTS Technologies Limited

Severn Waste

Weston College

South Gloucestershire & Stroud College

Safran UK limited

Work highlights

  • Advising Pertemps, a UK-based provider of permanent, contract and temporary staffing solutions, on an array of employment law matters.
  • Advised Hub8 on the employment aspects of a recent sale of a majority stake in the company to Plexal.
  • Advising Direct Wines and its global subsidiaries on the full range of employment law and HR issues on an ongoing basis.

Willans LLP

Willans LLP primarily represents technology and high-end engineering companies, specialising in issues concerning the implementation of non-compete restrictions and protection of confidential business information. The team’s expertise also extends to employment disputes and business immigration matters, as well as redundancy and restructuring mandates. Practice head Matthew Clayton regularly handles complex and high-value employment law matters concerning TUPE and non-compete restrictions. Jenny Hawrot has extensive experience working for SMEs and defending complex tribunal proceedings.

Practice head(s):

Matthew Clayton

Other key lawyers:

Jenny Hawrot; Hayley Ainsworth


‘The team is headed up by a very experienced, established and locally trusted lawyer which should instil confidence. He has also slowly built the team up over years and there has been little churn. The team appears to be quite diverse in its style and personalities. I find them all very approachable and easy to relate to.’

‘I have known Matthew Clayton for over 12 years – he is very knowledgeable, calm, and considered – I would say quite traditional yet pragmatic, approachable and down to earth. I appreciate this balance of qualities.’

‘The advice and support we receive from everyone at Willans is always excellent. They are all extremely knowledgeable and I know I can trust their advice implicitly. The events they run for the local HR community are invaluable and insightful.’

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

Vidlearn Limited

The British Humanist Association

GMP Software Limited

Password Services Air Conditioning Ltd

Dee & Griffin Solicitors

Work highlights

  • Defended Terminix UK against unfair dismissal and discrimination claims brought by a redundant employee.
  • Defended IRESS FS against an equal pay claim under section 65(l)(a).
  • Defended Bugcrowd UK against an employment tribunal claim of discrimination on the grounds of disability.

Porter Dodson LLP

The team at Porter Dodson LLP offers ‘fast and efficient’ advice on a range of employment law matters, including TUPE issues, as well as handling a broad spectrum of contentious matters, including whistleblowing and discrimination claims. Sarah Young and Laura Roper were both promoted to partner in October 2022 and jontly lead the practice; the former specialises in TUPE advice, while the latter has extensive experience acting in complex employment litigation.

Practice head(s):

Sarah Young; Laura Roper

Other key lawyers:

Kate Shawcross


‘Fast and efficient service, very sensitive with difficult situations, and advice that protected our business exactly as we would have wished.’

‘The staff at Porter Dodson are all professional, friendly and helpful. Solicitors can be contacted on direct telephone lines and email addresses – no jumping through hoops to try and get to speak to them which saves a considerable amount of time. I have worked with Porter Dodson for over 12 years and built a great relationship with staff over this time.’

‘Laura Roper is experienced, professional and always happy to support – no matter the situation. She understands the issues within the educational sector and always talks things through clearly and with the ability to make something complicated seem more simple and straightforward.’

‘Personable. Through appropriate questioning, they quickly get to the heart of the issue and also establish what the business would ideally wish the outcome to be.’

‘Laura Roper has a logical mind and is clear in her communication and guidance.’

Key clients

Barton Law

Eurolink Technologies Limited

Oakfield Academy

Perrys Recycling Limited

Gloden Limited

Toolstream Limited

Xpedite Group of Companies Limited

3AB Care Group

Minehead Surgery

Bridgwater Bay PCN

Mortgage Select Limited

CC Moore Limited

Cullompton Community Centre

The Ranch Café

Southfork Caravan Park

The Dorset Dairy

Crispin Academy

Somerset LMC


Church View Surgery

Redgate Medical Centre

Axbridge & Wedmore Medical Practice

100 Fold CIC Limited

Encompass Care

Musgrove Willows Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised the partners of Minehead Medical Centre on the transfer of staff to an employee ownership trust.
  • Advising 3AB Care Group on a variety of employment law issues, including disciplinary, grievance and performance matters.
  • Advising Toolstream on a variety of employment law issues, including restructuring, redundancy situations, and performance and disciplinary matters.

Stone King LLP

Stone King LLP fields a highly regarded employment team, which is well placed to advise clients from a range of industry sectors, as well as assisting private clients. Jean Boyle heads up the team, with a primary focus on the education and not-for-profit sectors. Peter Woodhouse is the firm’s key contact for clients from the charity sector.

Practice head(s):

Jean Boyle

Other key lawyers:

Peter Woodhouse; James Barratt; Amy Berry


‘They continually demonstrate a high level of detailed knowledge of the charity sector and specialist knowledge of issues relating to the Church of England.’

‘James Barratt – has guided us successfully over the last 12 months on a very complex legal matter. His availability, support and speed of response have been consistently excellent. He makes us feel like we are his only client, although we know that we are not. He is quick to grasp the core issues and explain to us the position and our optionsm and the risks associated with the various options, in a simple and clear manner.’

‘All the staff at Stone King listen very carefully to the needs of the business so they get a clear understanding of what the client outcomes and expectations are. The invoicing is clear and has all of the detail on it that you would expect.’

‘My main contact is Peter Woodhouse – he is very approachable and picks up very quickly what it is that is needed.’

‘The team takes the time to understand the business in order to provide tailored support.’

‘James Barrett provides the legal knowledge and the personal reassurance which is so often greatly needed.’

‘Intense focus on the client’s needs, excellent teamwork, awareness of how to work cost effectively, the right advice for each task. Helpful cross-department collaboration.’

‘The employment law team has excellent and detailed knowledge.’