Employment: Dorset and South Wiltshire in South West

Ellis Jones Solicitors LLP

Ellis Jones Solicitors LLP's employment and HR department primarily serves SME employers and individuals in senior positions. The practice acts for businesses across a number of industries, but is particularly strong in the education and charities sectors. On the employee side, the firm specialises in acting for LGBT clients; recent work included several gender reassignment discrimination cases against high-profile employers. Recently promoted partner Kate Brooks heads up the department.

Practice head(s):

Kate Brooks


The team at Ellis Jones has a fantastic knowledge of their subject and a real empathy for clients, I would always recommend them

They are fast to respond, and demonstrate their have your interests at heart. They are direct, honest and effective, and always easy to talk to

We would especially recommend Kate Brooks


Key clients

Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra

The Swanage Railway Trust

Work highlights

  • Ongoing employment law and HR related advice to Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra on restructures, interface with Musicians Agreement and union, threatened claims and settlement agreements.
  • Specialist TUPE advice to a client on a complicated transaction with several service provision changes.
  • Assisted a client with updating all staff documents following transition to an Academy, advised and assisted with consultation via the trade union.
  • Advised a client on TUPE and employee clauses of share purchase agreement. The client was purchasing a business with over 500 employees.
  • Negotiated a settlement deal for client, who had brought a case of alleged gender reassignment discrimination.

Lester Aldridge LLP

Lester Aldridge LLP retains strong links with clients in the Dorset area. It provides ongoing employment advice to employers, senior executives, directors and shareholders, and high net worth individuals. The firm also has an expanding client base outside of Dorset, with it generating work from instructing parties based in Hampshire, Wiltshire and London. Catharine Geddes and Kevin Barnett are the key names in the team, which is adept in contentious and non-contentious matters.

Practice head(s):

Catharine Geddes; Kevin Barnett


Great depth of experience in all areas of Law. This enables the employment law team to be able to respond to a very wide area of queries

The size of the employment law team means that I know them very well and they know me and my organisation

I consider this team to be by far the most credible and professional that I have worked with

Catharine Geddes is extremely professional, yet very easy to talk to and gain a clear understanding of what advice she is giving

Catharine takes time to really drill down to the situation and gives excellent support that is naturally aligned to the lower level of risk that our organisation prefers to work at

Key clients

Curtiss Wright Group

Ceuta Holdings Limited

Data Installations and Networking Services Limited T/a Data Techniques

Osprey Europe Limited

FRP Advisory LLP

Moorfields Advisory Limited

Dorset Wildlife Trust

Global Maritime Consultancy Limited

Work highlights

  • Represent the respondent in multiple race discrimination claims involving key personnel in the Employment Tribunal and Employment Appeal Tribunal.
  • Advising and assisting a business founder on his exit from the business.
  • Providing general employment advice and assistance to a client in relation to various matters including changes of terms and conditions, grievance and disciplinary matters.
  • Advising and assisting a luxury goods manufacturer and seller on the employment aspects of its UK operations.
  • Assisting a client with the implementation of changes to terms and conditions of employees and subsequent grievance procedures.

Blanchards Bailey LLP

The employment team at Blanchards Bailey LLP acts for owner-managed and family-owned businesses located in Dorset and the surrounding counties, as well as in London. Its work includes contentious unfair dismissals, disability discrimination claims and advice to employers on employment strategy and dismissal procedures. Paul Dunlop is experienced in tribunal cases.

Practice head(s):

Paul Dunlop

Other key lawyers:

Edward O’Brien

Key clients

Hall & Woodhouse Limited

Pitmans Removals and Storage Limited

Tara Ross

S & N Group Properties Limited

Simon John Christopher Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised a local accountant client on a review and restructure of staff contracts and handbooks.
  • Advised a client on the due diligence associated with a share purchase to acquire a controlling stake in the company that he was employed by, as well as a subsequent contentious unfair dismissal and disability discrimination claim.
  • Provided local charity with advice on dismissing a malicious employee, as well as regular HR consultancy services.
  • Provided client with employment advice on TUPE obligations relating to an acquisition.

Frettens LLP

Christchurch-based Frettens LLP principally advises SMEs and employers. Its specialist knowledge of the care sector is a key facet of the practice. The team handles both contentious and advisory matters, with recent work including employee settlement agreements, tribunal cases and reorganisations. Associate Paul Burton, who heads up the team, has experience of unfair dismissal claims, whistleblowing matters, disability discrimination cases, TUPE advice and contract work.

Practice head(s):

Paul Burton

Other key lawyers:

Kate Fretten

Key clients

Jewish Care

Affinity Care

AL Younger Limited

Sandown Mercedes-Benz


Bond-Williams Recruitment

Work highlights

  • Provide day to day HR and employment advice and tribunal representation when required. Recent examples include defending several unfair dismissal and discrimination claims.
  • Provide day to day HR and employment advice to the client, including tribunal representation.
  • Advised the client on reorganisation of the business and the resulting exit of a number of senior employees.

Steele Raymond LLP

Steele Raymond LLP's contentious work is a notable area of growth; the firm is increasingly active in discrimination cases, in particular. It also undertakes a a significant volume of whistleblowing matters. Elsewhere, the firm has a strong flow of non-contentious work, which includes assisting clients with service agreements and TUPE transfers. In addition, the team has expertise in long-term sick leave and income protection policies. Team head Amy Cousineau Massey works with Peter Rolph, who has experience of restructurings, share packages and post-termination restrictions.

Practice head(s):

Amy Cousineau Massey

Other key lawyers:

Peter Rolph


For me what makes Steele Raymond LLP unique is whoever I come into contact with at the practice, I find I am dealt with in a friendly, professional and approachable manner. 

The team can be relied upon to deliver what they say they are going to and I have no doubt at all that our working relationship will strengthen even more over time

I especially appreciate their clear communication, how they manage my expectations re: budget and expected duration of work, and their expert knowledge which has often proved greater than lawyers I have used in the past

An excellent team with a very practical and commercial outlook

The employment team builds strong relationships with their clients through understanding of their needs and commercial requirements. They are pragmatic and empathetic in their approach, and honest with their advice

They responded very quickly and guided us through a potentially tricky and very time consuming situation with ease. They came up with a practical solution to sensitive issue which solved the situation completely

I would specifically recommend Amy Cousineau-Massey

Amy Cousineau-Massey has high emotional intelligence, and is shrewd in her advice

Amy is approachable, engaging and an expert in her field. She offers effective legal solutions to complex employment cases by taking a pragmatic approach and fully understanding the commercial reality of any given situation. Amy is also keen to support and build working relationships within professional networks for the mutual benefit of all concerned. In short, Amy is a pleasure to work with and a credit to her profession

We worked with Amy Cousineau Massey and Peter Rolph during a recent restructuring exercise. The situation was fast moving and Amy and Peter gave swift and clear answers to issues that we encountered during the process. It made a difficult easier to deal with knowing that we had excellent legal advice available very quickly

The calmness of both Peter Rolph and Amy Cousineau Massey is a breath of fresh air within the legal arena. They are both strategic yet pragmatic in their approach to their work and their clients. Quite simply, they are a pleasure to work with and they accomplish outstanding results

Amy Cousineau Massey is a very approachable and resourceful. She is very accessible and has provided some very helpful and cost effective solutions to some tricky situations

Work highlights

  • Advised a female client on the senior leadership team of an international company in relation to her claim for equal pay.
  • Providing advice to a client on the handling of a dispute between two employees who were both key to the business, including aspects of whistleblowing.
  • Advising a company, which operates a factory, on its rights and obligations towards a disabled employee, including a significant analysis of reasonable adjustments.
  • Advising an employer on claims of automatic unfair dismissal and unlawful deduction from wages claims relating to the operation of a bonus scheme.
  • Advising an individual client on the purchase of a grade II listed hotel and the aspects of the TUPE transfer of all of the employees working there.


Wilsons provides the full range of services on contentious and non-contentious matters for employers and employees. Its clients are active across a broad cross-section of sectors, including commercial, charities, education and agriculture. Experienced litigator Anthony Edwards regularly represents clients at the Employment Tribunal, County and High Courts. Edwards jointly heads up the practice with Stephen Oxley. Associate Sophia Zand is a recent arrival from asb law LLP.

Practice head(s):

Anthony Edwards; Stephen Oxley

Other key lawyers:

Sophia Zand


Wilsons understood our needs more so than other firms, and we didn’t hesitate to go back to them when more legal issues arose

This team is well led by Stephen Oxley, who is a lawyer who understands commerce

Anthony Edwards has been outstanding during our current legal issues, and has been able to thoroughly explain and guide us through the process. He is always available to answer even the smallest of questions we may have

Stephen Oxley and associate Sophia Zand are quickly responsive and attentive. They are advising us in a tricky process and are navigating us skillfully through it

Key clients

Williams Shipping Holdings Limited

Sutcliffe Family

Shareholders of Copyrite Business Solutions (Holdings) Limited

Greensleeves Homes Trust

Work highlights

  • General employment advice to Williams Shipping Holdings Limited, including advice for the shipping division including in relation to TUPE when the client was awarded a major contract to transport wind turbines.
  • Corporate support employment advice to Sutcliffe family on sale of Great Fosters Hotel, a Grade 1 listed Elizabethan hotel near the M25 at Egham which was awarded the AA Hotel of the Year award for 2018-19.
  • Corporate support employment advice to shareholders of Copyrite Business Solutions (Holdings) Limited on the sale of the issued share capital of Business Solutions (Holdings) Limited, a leading document solutions provider, to trade buyer ITEC Connect Ltd.
  • Corporate support to Greensleeves Homes Trust on the acquisition of the entire issued share capital of Whitegates Investments Limited.