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The Legal 500 Hall of Fame Icon The Legal 500 Hall of Fame highlights individuals who have received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence. The Hall of Fame highlights, to clients, the law firm partners who are at the pinnacle of the profession. In the United Kingdon, the criteria for entry is to have been recognised by The Legal 500 as one of the elite leading lawyers for eight years. These partners are highlighted below and throughout the editorial.
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United Kingdom > South West > Human resources > Employment: Bristol > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings



Index of tables

  1. Employment: Bristol
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

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Next generation lawyers

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Who Represents Who

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Bevan Brittan LLP's employment practice is ‘outstanding in every respect’. It advises public sector organisations, in particular local governments, housing associations and the health sector, in addition to acting for clients in the private sector, including Canada Life, Cross Manufacturing, ISG, the Professional Cricketers Association, Driver Group plc, United Health and Guinness World Records. It provides healthcare organisations with advice on performance and conduct issues involving senior executives; workforce issues; litigation; and patient confidentiality issues. The team is headed by Jodie Sinclair and includes Sarah Lamont, who is ‘a first-class lawyer, immensely conscientious and hardworking, and has extremely sound judgement’. She recently led the successful defence of 52 Fire and Rescue Authorities in England and Wales against claims brought by over 5,000 firefighters alleging that reforms to their pension scheme were discriminatory. Julian Hoskins, who is ‘knowledgeable, commercial, practical, and very responsive and supportive’, recently acted for the Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust in high-value whistleblowing and unfair dismissal employment tribunal claims. Jane Wallenstein, who combines ‘expert knowledge coupled with relationship management’, is also recommended.

Burges Salmon LLP  advises employers across the UK and internationally on the full range of employment law matters, including sensitive and high-profile disputes and complex, cross-border matters. The practice handles matters across the defence, transport, financial services, education, retail and public sectors. Key clients include The Crown Estate, FirstGroup, Ofgem, University of Bristol and Bank of Ireland. The practice acts for the John Lewis Partnership on employment tribunal claims, including unfair dismissal, sex discrimination, disability discrimination, race discrimination, breach of contract, harassment and wrongful dismissal. Other highlights included advising Thomson Reuters on whistleblowing and discrimination claims. Partner Adrian Martin led for BAE systems on a major restructuring involving 2,000 potential redundancies. Luke Bowery who is ‘incisive and understanding’ and ‘easy to work with’, acts for Babcock International Group, on complex employment tribunal claims, restructurings and gender pay gap reporting. The team is led by Roger Bull and Chris Seaton and is praised for its ‘invaluable insight’.

DAC Beachcroft LLP  provides employment law advice across the insurance, health, and public sectors. Clients include FTSE 100 companies, NHS trusts and local authorities. The practice recently acted for South Western Ambulance NHS Foundation Trust in terminating its contract to provide an NHS 111 service in Devon, which resulted in TUPE claims of over £1m brought by 59 claimants. Head of department Alex Lock is advising Dixons Carphone on the integration and harmonisation of terms and conditions of employment following the merger between Dixons Retail and Carphone Warehouse, in addition to handling restructuring and redundancy programmes following the merger. Joanne Owers, who has a ‘very straightforward style’, advised a leading software provider on gender pay gap reporting, holiday pay in relation to bonus/commission arrangements, and terms and conditions for the workforce following several acquisitions. Key clients include Zurich Insurance, BT, EE, OFWAT, University of Oxford, Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust, Dorset Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust and Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust. The team is ‘very responsive’ and has ‘strong industry knowledge, with no areas for improvement’.

Osborne Clarke  handles national and cross-border matters, including those with complex jurisdictional issues. It has a particular focus on the digital business, energy and natural resources, real estate and infrastructure, retail, finance, defence, bioscience and recruitment sectors, and assists clients with employment tribunal, discrimination and whistleblowing claims. It also advises on business restructuring and TUPE matters, as well as team moves, redundancy and contract appointments. Partner Julian Hemming recently advised on employment, TUPE, remuneration, FCA regulatory and governance issues concerning the transfer of 10 local government pension schemes to Brunel Pension Partnership. Other clients include Vodafone, for which it handles all UK employment litigation; this matter is led by Paul Killen. Tech Mahindra, Deckers Brands, Allegis, Air Canada, The Medical Defence Union, Axway, Grifols and Motorola are also clients.

TLT's  sector strengths include financial services, retail, social housing, leisure, energy and renewable, and technology. The employment practice (which is ‘excellent in all areas’ and ‘looks for pragmatic ways to assist in complex matters’) advises on whistleblowing, equal pay, outsourcing, business-critical employment issues, benefit change processes, industrial action and board-level exits. Stuart Bride heads the team and is acting for a high street bank on general employment advisory matters, regulatory issues, and TUPE matters. Recently promoted partner Siobhan Fitzgerald provides ‘pragmatic advice’ and is ‘responsive and understanding of strategic objectives’. She is advising a social housing association on a merger, which involves restructuring, general employment issues, pension scheme liability, TUPE implications, contractual changes and departure of senior staff. Esther Smith is advising a large insurance company on day-to-day HR matters, as well as representing it in tribunal litigation. Key clients include Imperial Brands, J Sainsbury, Savills, Ageas Group, Southern Water, Biffa, Westfield, Homebase/Bunnings, WH Smith, Good Energy Group and the National Crime Agency.

Wilsons provides advice on due diligence, TUPE, drafting employee provisions, settlement agreements, staff contracts, senior appointments and terminations, restructuring, safeguarding, contracting-out and severance agreements. Recent highlights include advising Krysalis Consultancy on the employment status of neuro-rehabilitation assistants and occupational health consultants, which involved advising on holidays, working practice, redrafting documentation and transferring workers from employees to self-employed status. Anthony Edwards heads the team and advises on contentious and non-contentious issues, including senior board management issues and TUPE-related matters. Partner Stephen Oxley focuses on the education and charities sectors and is adept at restructures, senior level exit strategies and strategic talent management at board level.

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP's large employment team specialises in the retail, financial services, insurance, energy and fast moving consumer goods sectors, advising on litigation, TUPE, general insurance issues, strategic advice, dispute and exit-strategies, industrial action, industrial relations and collective bargaining. Key clients include Post Office, B&Q, H Samuel/Ernest Jones, Historic England, Devon Partnership NHS Trust, Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board, and Hydro Plc. The firm is on AIG's employment panel and is one of a number of firms providing advice and support for insured businesses under AIG’s PrivateEdge policy. It also acts for TSB as the sole adviser on employment and employment litigation matters. Partner Tim Woodward joined from Allen & Overy LLP and leads the department with Joanne Boyle. The team has ‘good depth’ and offers ‘innovative and sensible solutions’.

Ashfords LLP  has a national and international client base, working for commercial clients such as ARAG, Bluebird Care, Connect44, Teleglobal Consulting, PGA, Greenleaf Corporation (Greenleaf Europe BV) and New Directions Holdings. It is experienced in dealing with complex Employment Tribunal claims and High Court litigation and is regarded for its experience in the private healthcare and retail sectors. It also has a track record enforcing and defending restrictive covenant claims and assisting clients with drafting employment contracts, staff handbooks and policy documents. Practice head Stephen Moore provides ongoing advice to a number of McDonald’s franchises on Employment Tribunal claims, disciplinary procedures, union activity, and immigration matters . He also advises Post Office on TUPE, employment matters and negotiating settlement agreements. Associate Kim Wright deals with discrimination claims, breach of contract, TUPE, restrictive covenant claims, holiday pay and business sales and acquisitions.

Clarke Willmott LLP's ‘excellent, practical and very responsive’ team handles restructuring, director exits, redundancy, TUPE, company acquisitions and corporate insolvency issues. Kevin Jones jointly heads the practice and recently acted for new client Gates and Fences in relation to restructuring and redundancy matters, the introduction of new terms and conditions of employment, the relocation of the factory, and trade union and individual consultations. He also regularly advises clients in the sports sector including  a number of professional sports organisations, agents and leading sports men and women. Sharon Latham heads the practice alongside Jones and ‘gets to the key issues with no lost time’; she recently advised a global manufacturer on TUPE, TULRA and redundancy issues. Senior associate Tim Copplestone  represents a number of leading international sportsmen, and also advises a US-based sports agency. Other key clients include Marland Yarde, Bandai UK Limited, Marshfield Farm Ice Cream Limited, CityWest Homes Limited and M+W Group.

Foot Anstey  provides strategic and operational employment advice to local and national clients from its new Bristol office. Areas of expertise include general employment matters, contentious and non-contentious employment law issues, TUPE, redundancies, restructures, exitinig of senior staff, and drafting and enforcing restrictive covenants. Karen Bates heads the team and specialises in discrimination matters, equal pay litigation, advisory and strategic work. Partner Patrick Howarth led the advice to new client Lucozade on disciplinary, grievance matters and HR projects. The practice also acts for Screwfix on day to day employment issues, disciplinary action, poor performance, sickness and absence issues, senior exits, and ammendments to policies and procedures. Richard Neary advises on general employment matters, workforce issues, TUPE, and corporate and commercial matters. Other clients include Odeon/UCI Cinemas, Halfords, Midas, Livewell South West, TNT, Cornwall Council, Met Office and City Electrical Factors. Kathryn Evens joined from Mills & Reeve LLP and Charlotte Mortlock joined from Penningtons Manches LLP. Matthew Huddleson joined OTB Eveling.

At Menzies Law, practice head and director Luke Menzies is a dual-qualified barrister and solicitor with experience in handling tribunal and court claims. He also deals with senior executive exits, strategic issues, restructuring, pay and reward, trade unions and industrial action. Recently promoted partner Anne-Marie Boyle specialises in TUPE issues, equal pay, litigation, and collective and industrial relations issues. She recently acted for Spandex against an unfair dismissal claim that related to pregnancy and maternity leave. Partner Simon Martin is experienced in advising executives and senior employees and also advises on day-to-day employment issues for large businesses. The firm recently launched a gender pay gap audit and advice service. Clients include Babcock International Group, Bristol City Football Club, Bristol Rugby, Bristol Water, MAN Truck and Bus UK, Miele Company, SAS International and City & Islington College. Barrister Joanne Sefton has left the firm.

Thrings LLP provides a ‘superb service with prompt response times’ and ‘excellent, reliable advice’. It advises on site closures, TUPE, board-level exits, restructuring, employee relations issues and employment tribunal claims. The practice recently settled a tribunal claim of unfair dismissal and disability and sexual orientation discrimination, all claims were dismissed at a preliminary hearing. Kerrie Hunt heads the team and is rated for providing advice that is ‘clear, concise and easy to understand’. The manufacturing, engineering, charities, agriculture, food, telecoms, IT, technology, creative industries and FMCG are all sector strengths. Key clients include Centurycomm, Denhay Farms, Lydney Settled Estate and CFH Docmail.

VWV works extensively with local authorities and has a particular focus on the education sector. It also advises commercial clients and charities on employment tribunal claims, sex discrimination, unfair dismissal, and disciplinary procedures. Gareth Edwards heads the team and advises on contentious and non-contentious employment law issues, including labour relations, TUPE, executive exits, outsourcing and business reorganisation. Partner Simon Bevan focuses on the education sector; he recently acted for the Harpur Trust in a number of test cases concerning the Working Time Regulations. Partner Alice Reeve acts for independent schools and academies on a full range of employment law issues including restructuring, redundancy, grievance and capability processes. Naseem Nabi has particular expertise in acquisitions, mergers and TUPE issues in the education sector. Allison Cook acts for local authorities, emergency services, third sector and commercial clients on day-to-day HR advice, complex employment disputes, internal dispute resolution and public sector pension schemes. Clients include Airbus, ATG Media, Bristol Grammar School, Cheltenham College, Museum of London Archaeology and South Wales Fire and Rescue Service.

Humphreys & Co. specialises in unfair dismissal, unlawful discrimination, harassment and breach of contract claims. It also deals with post-termination restrictions, disciplinary procedures, redundancies, TUPE, termination agreements and directors’ duties. The firm has a strong bias towards acting for claimants but also acts for respondents in Employment Tribunal, High Court, County Court and Employment Appeal Tribunal cases. Stephen Burbridge heads the department and has a ‘no-nonsense approach’ and ‘good knowledge of employment law and tribunal procedure’. Katherine Hodge acts for trade union members.

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