Employment: Recommended Firms in Wales

Blake Morgan LLP

'Well-attuned to the needs of the client', which includes a range of private, public and third sector clients, the 'responsive' three-partner team at Blake Morgan LLP provides a 'trusted and expert' service across a wide array of contentious and non-contentious matters. As well as her niche expertise within the care sector, 'solutions-driven and client-friendly' team head Joanne Davies  regularly works alongside the corporate team providing 'practical and proportionate solutions' to companies engaged in large-scale reorganisations and M&A transactions - work which regularly includes TUPE advice. The 'thoughtful and dedicated' Matthew Smith  ' ensures a commercial and pragmatic approach' is applied to both public and private sector clients (including those within the retail sector) across a myriad of contentious employment matters. The team is rounded out at a partner level by Paula Kathrens  who is recognised as 'a force to be reckoned with' advising on doctors disciplinary cases, in addition to a myriad employment issues facing entities in regulated sectors including finance, social housing and health.

Practice head(s):

Joanne Davies

Testimonials

The team is well-attuned to the needs of the client and adapts their approach accordingly.’

The employment team provide a trusted, expert and highly responsive service. They feel like an extension of my own HR team.’

With so many highly skilled and knowledgeable solicitors within the team, access to knowledge sharing, peer review and thorough supervision is readily available to those less experienced who are developing their practice.’

Matthew Smith is one of a kind – he is thoughtful, dedicated and an extension of our team – we would be lost without him and I would never consider taking my business anywhere else.’

Matthew Smith ensures a commercial and pragmatic approach which meets the business need of the client.’

Joanne Davies is efficient, solutions driven and client friendly.

Joanne Davies holds a well deserved reputation for combining her straight-forward, down-to-earth perspective with some of the most technical areas of employment law such as TUPE. She devises practical and proportionate solutions for clients and shows an innovative flare.’

Paula Kathrens is a force to be reckoned with. She is well known for her niche specialism of doctors’ disciplinary cases, but boasts an equally strong handle on the full spectrum of employment issues facing employers, particularly those in regulated sectors such as finance, social housing and health.’

 

Key clients

PHS Group Plc

Welsh Government

The NHS in Wales

Swansea University

University of South Wales

Gower College, Swansea

Principality Building Society

Russell & Bromley Limited

Trivallis Limited (formerly RCT Homes Limited)

Dolce & Gabbana UK Limited

Cardiff Metropolitan University

Charbonnel et Walker Limited

Wales Audit Office

Escatec

One Stop Recycling Limited

Work highlights

  • Continuing to advise numerous social housing clients on matters relating to the Financial Conduct Authority’s Senior Management and Certification Regime.
  • Provided employment law advice to Escatec Sweden pursuant to the acquisition of electronics manufacturer, JSS Manufacturing (via its holding company Alcaeus Holdings Limited).
  • Representing the Health Board in the case of Agarwal v (1) Cardiff University (2) Cardiff & Vale University Local Health Board. This case is one of the leading authorities about an Employment Tribunal’s jurisdiction to hear cases involving deductions from an employee’s wages, where there is a dispute about the contractual terms on which the employer considers it is entitled to make such deductions.  

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP

The 'superb' four-partner team at Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP is particularly well regarded for its aptitude at advising large private sector corporate clients (including within the financial services, life sciences and retail sectors) across a broad range of ongoing employment/HR issues, as well as in the context of employment-related corporate support work. Team head Anthony Rees  has a strong reputation advising on international restructurings and mandates with potentionally reputation damaging ramifications, where he is effective at providing advice which is mindful of risk management issues. Rees is also well regarded for his contentious expertise and regularly handles the advocacy himself in relation to employment tribunal matters. Much of  Thomas Player 's work has an international flavour, including advice on cross-border restructurings, as well as as in the context of collective employment law, work which regularly sees him acting in an advisory capacity for many companies operating European Works Councils. Tom Bray  regularly provides the employment law advice pursuant to international commercial and corporate transactions and is also noted for his work within the aviation sector, where he has been particularly active of late advising core client Heathrow Airport on a myriad employment issues exacerbated by the pandemic.

Practice head(s):

Anthony Rees

Testimonials

The team is superb.’

Key clients

RyanAir DAC

Heathrow Airport Limited

Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner

Wolverine Worldwide

Sony Europe BV

Gresham House PLC

International Medical Group Plc

Government Legal Department

British Business Bank

Dwr Cymru Welsh Water

Work highlights

    Lewis Silkin

    Benefiting from vast employment law understanding, from a contentious and non-contentious perspective, and imbued with an excellent understanding of its clients’ needs/business objectives, Lewis Silkin LLP is well-placed to provide ‘commercially focused’ advice to private sector employers, both on its own as well as in unison with other practitioners spread across the firm’s UK-wide network of offices. Team head Lucy Lewis  leads the firm’s IR35 task force and has also provided invaluable, on the spot advice to clients on novel issues brought about during the Covid-19 pandemic, including ‘very useful’ guidance on furlough. Drawing upon an ‘encyclopaedic knowledge of the law’, Richard Moore provides ‘very practical and pragmatic’ advice to UK-based and multinational companies, as well as a growing number of local businesses, across a wide array of employment matters, including on workforce restructuring, senior executive exits and on the employment law issues pursuant to corporate transactions and commercial outsourcing arrangements. At senior associate level, Charlotte Morgan, who provides ‘commercially-focused‘ advice to clients facing Tribunal litigation, as well as on TUPE matters, is also recommended.

    Practice head(s):

    Lucy Lewis

    Testimonials

    Lewis Silkin in Cardiff take client access to new levels with all levels of the team being available to clients. It is clear from working with them that they truly understand the client’s needs, business and outcome desires.’

    In terms of innovation, Lewis Silkin are particularly good with updates and know how – their furlough advice, which was updated almost instantly, was very useful.’

    The team provides first-class advice that is commercially focused and aligned to our requirements, our industry and company needs.’

    Lucy Lewis feels like an extension of our team. Her advice never needs amending or tweaking.’

    Richard Moore has an encyclopaedic knowledge of the law and his clients’ businesses and has cascaded his approach to client care to the entire team.’

    Richard Moore brought a very practical and pragmatic approach to the challenges faced on our project. He was highly responsive to email requests and the need to talk through some of the more challenging aspects of the project.’

    Charlotte Morgan is commercially focused and provides class advice and support. She has great attention to detail and is able to work to strict deadlines even when they are very tight.’

    Neil Dite is proactive and business focussed.’

    Key clients

    Rockwool

    M&S

    Omnicom Group

    Daily Mail & General Trust Plc

    Zara

    World Duty Free

    Havas

    Publicis

    Viacom

    Electrocomponents

    Work highlights

    • Advising a listed manufacturer on the implementation of hybrid/ home working as a new permanent working model across all their UK roles including strategic advice on handling union and collective issues.
    • Advising a high street retailer on a commercially sensitive claim for unfair dismissal, whistleblowing and numerous disability discrimination allegations.
    • Advising a household name media company on all employment aspects of three linked corporate transactions involving the disposal of a number of non-core businesses and subsidiaries.

    Acuity Law

    Under the guidance of 'exceptional leader' Claire KnowlesAcuity Law continues to gain market share for private sector clients from a range of industry sectors, including retail, many of which continue to utilise the firm's popular retainer service - Acuity Counsel. The 'brilliant' Knowles provides 'practical and sound advice' that is rooted in the commercial realities of the underlying business of the client, whether it be in a contentious setting or in a corporate support role. The team has also continued to grow, with well-known employment lawyer Juliette Franklin  being the latest addition, following her arrival from Slater and Gordon in February 2022.

    Practice head(s):

    Claire Knowles

     

    Testimonials

    The team is very knowledgeable and responsive.’

    ‘It provides a very high quality and personable service.’

    With Acuity Law they always help me do the right thing and always help me minimise the risk to the company. Over the past 12 months we have achieved significant change for the business with no negative repercussions.’

    The team has the mix of professional expertise, reliability, availability and outcome that means I go back to them repeatedly. They are completely service minded which makes being a client an armchair of an experience, but at no loss to the clarity or the honesty of their advice.’

    The exceptional Claire Knowles has that magical combination of a law library in her head, availability that suggests she has more hours in the day than other people, and a success rate to be envied.’

    Claire Knowles is very professional, swift to respond and provides practical and sound advice.’

    Adam McGlynn provides an excellent and responsive service. He is very knowledgeable and will respond quickly. His advice is trusted and very commercially oriented.’

    Key clients

    Astutis Ltd

    Caerdav Ltd

    Bright Network (UK) Limited

    Sinclair Garages Ltd

    Bluestone National Park Resort

    Monmouthshire County Council

    Portman Healthcare Ltd

    The Trade Centre Group

    Dulas Ltd

    Peter’s Food Service Limited

    Work highlights

    • Advised an international healthcare provider on its employment structure including self-employed contractor clinicians and IR35 risks. Drafting contractual terms and trained the operational part of the business on best practice to avoid employment status risks.
    • Advised a local authority on a complex, multiple claim employment tribunal dispute, involving allegations of unfair dismissal, whistleblowing detriment and sex discrimination against 11 named individuals.
    • Supporting the senior management team of Vista Retail Limited in a dual employment legal counsel and HR business partnering function, work which has included various inward and outward TUPEs.

    Capital Law Limited

    Drawing upon the expertise of 'empathetic and accessible' individuals within the five-partner team, Capital Law Limited provides 'timely and pragmatic advice' to a myriad private sector (including a growing number of technology and pharmaceutical clients) and public sector entities. David Lewis is 'incredibly knowledgeable about all employment law matters', including as it relates to discrimination and whistleblower litigation for employers - an area that he regularly undertakes the advocacy himself before the tribunal. Sarah Austin  has significant non-contentious experience, including as it pertains to collective consultation advice pursuant to redundancy procedures and corporate support work, including in relation to private equity-backed M&A. As well as his discrete fee-earning advice, which includes trade union and labour relations expertise, team head Richard Thomas  is popular among clients and non-clients alike for his training across a range of hot-button employment and data protection issues, including in the context of Brexit.

    Practice head(s):

    Richard Thomas

     

    Testimonials

    Always ready to provide legally and commercially sound advice even at very short notice.’

    Very friendly and capable of speaking in layman’s terms. The team has an excellent understanding of our business and provide timely and pragmatic advice.’

    The individuals within the team are very empathetic and accesible, always giving their best and managing all the situations very professionally and, at the same time, very closely to their clients.’

    They are an incredible and amazing team. They always help us with all the legal matters we have in a very efficient and exceptional way, giving fast and complete replies to our queries.’

    David Lewis is incredibly knowledgeable about all employment law matters but in particular, he has a real talent for being able to envisage the challenges that our in-house HR department face in respect of some of the culture issues that exist within the organisation.’ 

    Alex Christen and David Sheppard are both extremely knowledgeable, personable and quick to respond to queries. They provide sensible advice and options within a short time frame, are happy to debate an issue and go over and above to ensure we have full legal support.’

    Alex Christen – comprehensive and easy to follow advice, goes the extra mile by thinking of other alternatives that we may not have been aware of or thought of.’

    Key clients

    British Medical Association

    SEGA Europe Ltd

    University of South Wales

    The Royal Mint

    Verisure Services (UK) Ltd

    Intellectual Property Office

    Welsh Government

    WestBridge Capital LLP

    Newport City Homes

    The Hendre Group

    Cardiff City Football Club

    Limejump

    Eden Grove Properties Limited

    Bellavista

    Howard Tenens

    Bridgend Schools

    Cartrefi Conwy Housing Association

    Tindle Newspapers Limited

    Marshmallow Financial Services

    Natural Resources Wales

    Infineon Technologies (UK) Limited

    Mango

    Work highlights

    • Supporting Howard Tenens in a dual employment legal Counsel and HR business partnering function and advising on operational aspects of TUPE transfers.
    • Supporting Verisure Services (UK) Limited on a full range of complex contentious and non-contentious employment law and HR issues and Employment Tribunal litigation.
    • Advising Marshmallow Financial Services Limited on operational HR and employment law issues and working with them to steer their HR strategy.

    Geldards LLP

    Now headed by the 'highly knowledgeable' Lowri Phillips following the recent retirement of Kim Howells, Geldards LLP provides 'responsive, pragmatic and solutions-oriented' advice to private, public and third sector clients across a myriad contentious and non-contentious employment matters. 'Combining pragmatism and precision', Phillips is 'able to advise across a range of topics and provide insight into current thinking', including to a growing number of financial services clients which she advises on issues including the Senior Manager Regime. Recognised as a 'master tactician', Joga Singh is also well regarded by private sector clients, including in the context of tribunal work, and a growing amount of instructions relating to business immigration matters. The 'exceptional' Helen Snow was recently made up to partner in January 2022 alongside Singh, a reflection of her expertise at handling complex public sector-related employment matters, including a niche specialism advising on agricultural worker employment issues in Wales.

    Practice head(s):

    Lowri Phillips

    Other key lawyers:

    Joga Singh; Helen Snow

    Testimonials

    The team is brilliant with its advice! They are always pragmatic and understand the business challenges and the legal compliance issues.’ 

    Excellent legal knowledge combined with commercial outlook and understanding of the wider picture re issues that we have raised.’

    The employment team is a collection of legal minds of the highest calibre that work in synergy to provide a Rolls Royce service to the client.’

    All of the team are not only well versed in the law but have a strong client focus and business acumen, which has enabled them to provide full support to our senior leaders and HR team.’

    Lowri Phillips is highly knowledgeable and able to advise across a range of topics and provide insight into current thinking.’

    Combining pragmatism and precision, Lowri Phillips takes the time to understand the context and the client, probing and questioning to make sure that the advice she gives and the solution she suggests are appropriate and workable.

    Joga Singh is approachable, friendly and always takes his time to explain everything in layman’s terms. He is respectful and committed to helping with any employment law queries or issues we send his way.’

    ‘A master tactician, Joga Singh has an unrivalled ability to inspire confidence in clients; he remains clam and unruffled even when navigating a case through stormy waters.’

    Helen Snow really stands out as an exceptional solicitor. The speed and agility in production of clear advice and supporting documentation has been truly outstanding.’ 

     

    Key clients

    Admiral Insurance

    Fiera Capital Corporation

    Fiera Capital UK

    Archimedes Partners Ltd

    Sofa Brands International

    Spectrum Internet

    Toast

    Target Group Limited

    A F Blakemore & Son Limited

    Novomatic Group

    Hexion UK Limited

    Ludlow Street Healthcare Group

    Simbec-Orion

    Tower Colliery

    Celsa Manufacturing UK Limited

    Lewis Homes

    Watts Aviation

    Luxury Leisure

    Sub2Technologies

    Welsh Government

    The Senedd Commission

    The Senedd Commission (Member Support)

    Wales Millennium Centre

    Vale of Glamorgan Council

    Flintshire Council

    Derbyshire County Council

    Derby City Council

    Carlisle City Council

    Staffordshire County Council

    The Agricultural Advisory Panel for Wales

    The National Museum of Wales

    The Arts Council of Wales

    Sport Wales

    Pembrokeshire College

    Colleges Wales/Collegau Cymru

    United Welsh Housing Association

    Wales Air Ambulance

    Hybu Cig Cymru

    Work highlights

    • Advised Fiera Capital Corporation on the employment law matters associated with the engagement of a Global Equities team.
    • Advised the Agricultural Advisory Panel for Wales on matters relating to agricultural workers terms and conditions and the drafting of the Agricultural Wages Order 2021.
    • Advised the Vale of Glamorgan Council on issues relating to the restructure of its senior leadership team.

    Hugh James

    Led by the 'extremely knowledgeable' Louise Price , Hugh James's nine-strong team provides 'incredibly high calibre' advice to a varied mix of public and private sector clients across the panoply of employment matters, including on day-to-day advisory matters, corporate support and litigation. The social housing sector continues to spawn a variety of employment law instructions for the team and both Price and Rhiannon Dale are pivotal to this work. Dale, who was promoted to partner in May 2021, is also well-versed at handling large-scale restructuring and redundancy exercises, as well as being the key point of contact for Celtic Manor on its day-to-day employment law issues.

    Practice head(s):

    Louise Price

    Testimonials

    The knowledge of the team and their attention to detail is very good and their client care is excellent in keeping us informed and delivering advice and documentation within the timescales promised.’

    The professional team provides an incredibly high calibre of advice.’

    I value their pragmatic approach, which is realistic in our world, rather than being completely risk averse.’

    Louise Price is extremely knowledgeable and always provides prompt responses which are clear and not full of legal jargon.’

    Christine Bradbury’s depth of knowledge, attention to detail and accessibility were very important in supporting us through what could otherwise have been a very difficult matter.’

    We have been impressed with the service and credibility of advice provided by Rhiannon Dale and Eleanor Bamber, and also their understanding and empathy.’

    Key clients

    Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council

    Natural Resources Wales

    Brace’s Bakery

    REHAU Limited

    PF Concept International B. V

    City and County of Swansea

    Coastal Housing Group

    CSA Catapult Limited

    Denbighshire Council

    Linc Cymru

    The London Mint

    Tai Tarian

    Social Care Wales

    The Celtic Manor Resort Limited

    Transport for Wales Rail Limited

    Welsh National Opera

    The Walters Group

    Welsh Government

    Work highlights

    • Providing employment law advice, including on whether or not TUPE was applicable, to Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council on the acquisition of St Tydfils Shopping Centre.
    • Sole providers of employment law advice to Celtic Manor Resort – the world renowned 5* luxury resort and related companies. Work has included urgent, practical, commercial support to steer the client through a very difficult period, as it responds to the ever-changing challenges presented to the hospitality sector in Wales as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
    • Successfully defended City and County of Swansea in two separate highly complex claims (one which was in the Employment Tribunal and another which was currently in the Employment Appeal Tribunal).

    Berry Smith

    Led by the 'proactive and easy to deal with' Sarah Alford, the 'very approachable' team at Berry Smith provides 'practical and calming solutions ' to an eclectic mix of private, public and third sector clients, primarily on non-contentious matters. The scope of this work is broad, running the gamut from day-to-day HR advisory work, corporate support and also including a growing volume of work for senior executives on the negotiation of their severance packages.

    Practice head(s):

    Sarah Alford

     

    Other key lawyers:

    Michael Shutt; Selena Baker

    Testimonials

    Very approachable team which responds to requests quickly and in a practical manner.’

    Respectful and patient, the team provides very practical and calming solutions to enquiries.’

    A very engaging team which takes an interest in the business and looks to provide proactive solutions.’

    Sarah Alford has helped me massively grow within my role, since working with Sarah I have expanded my knowledge in the process. She has given me the confidence to push back in the company and ensure that we follow a process with any employment issues we might have.’

    Sarah Alford is proactive and easy to deal with.’

    Michael Shutt has been outstanding in his support for not just myself but the team in all aspects of the case we found ourselves in; he has kept us informed all the way through this difficult period for us all.’

    Key clients

    South Wales Fire & Rescue Service

    EKF Diagnostics Holdings PLC

    Yourgene Health PLC

    Welsh Government – National Procurement Service

    BBI Group Holdings Limited

    Arcis Biotechnology Limited

    Active Quote Limited

    Spectrum Technologies PLC

    Brightwells Limited

    CP Hire (GB) Limited

    Elite Supported Employment Agency

    CDSM Interactive Solutions Limited

    One Vision Digital Limited

    Work highlights

    • Advising the management team of the BBI Group on the employment elements of the £36m sale of the South Wales-based BBI Healthcare to Venture Life Group.
    • Advised the sellers on the employment elements on their sale of Bridgend-based Customised Sheet Metal Limited to the management team.

    Darwin Gray LLP

    Appreciated by a mix of employers and employees for its 'relaxed, informal yet slick offering', Darwin Gray LLP provides 'commercial and no nonsense' advice across a wide range of contentious and non-contentious matters. 'Empathetic, hardworking and considerate' team head Fflur Jones embodies the varied strengths of the team, with corporate support and advisory mandates sitting alongside a strong litigation offering, which includes employee representations (including niche expertise representing teachers). Jones is also a fluent Welsh speaker and consequently has an advantage over some of the other firms, particularly on behalf of third and public sector clients, where Welsh language speaking requirements can be an advantage. The 'outstanding' Owen John  can also litigate and advise through the medium of Welsh, and is appreciated by both employers and employees for his ability to 'explain everything without resorting to complex legal jargon'. The 'extremely personable' Damian Philips has 'amazing soft skills' which he deploys to good effect for a range of corporates and individuals, including a niche advising professional rugby players.

    Practice head(s):

    Fflur Jones

    Testimonials

    I have found members of the employment team to be very approachable and very easy to deal with which has not always been my experience of some other firms. They have been excellent at explaining employment law practice in an easy to understand way both to myself and colleagues.’

    It is a great team of lawyers dealing with complex high-profile litigation.’

    They provide a commercially tailored solution that simply fits our needs and the way that we work.’

    Darwin Gray do things differently. They are not a “corporate” firm but offer a relaxed, informal yet slick offering. Their advice is commercial and no nonsense with a healthy dose of realism. The team is always responsive and accessible whenever a new matter arises.’

    Fflur Jones was my solicitor and I have to say that I have never dealt with a more empathetic, considerate and hard working individual.’

    Damian Phillips is second to none. He has amazing soft skills with clients and a real accessibility that is unusual for partner level.’

    Damian Phillips is extremely personable and he is always there when we need his support – even when he is on holiday!’

    The outstanding Owen John explains everything without complex legal jargon and if he uses legal wording during conversations he explains it so a layman can totally understand.’

    Rachel Ford-Evans provides excellent advice whether it be on the phone, over Teams or by email. She has made time for me at short notice on occasion and always meets deadlines.’

    Key clients

    Aberystwyth University UCU

    Adra Housing Association

    Barcud Cyf

    Bro Myrddin Housing Association

    Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol (the National College of Wales)

    Cotswold Raw Limited

    DICE FM

    Fair Trade Wales

    Esportif International (UK) Limited

    Farmers’ Union of Wales

    Glenside Commercials

    Guarding UK

    Home-Start Cymru

    Menter a Busnes

    Mudiad Meithrin

    National Library of Wales

    North Wales Housing Association

    Plaid Cymru

    Rauch Furniture UK GmbH

    Rybrook Motor Group

    Stepping Stones Care Services

    Swansea University UCU

    Traveline Cymru

    UCAC (Undeb Cenedlaethol Athrawon Cymru/National Union of Teachers

    Wales)

    Vizolution Ltd

    Wales Co-Operative Centre

    Welsh Language Commissioner

    Y Ganolfan Dysgu Cymraeg Cenedlaethol (the National Centre for Learning

    Welsh)

    Welsh Government (National Procurement Framework)

    Wiltshire Creative

    Work highlights

    • Acted for the claimant, Steven Jones, in a successful disability discrimination claim against British Airways which gained national media attention.
    • Advised the National Library of Wales in respect of significant changes to its redundancy policies and procedure and proposed changes to its pension scheme.
    • Acted for Rybrook Motoring Group, one of the UK’s largest automotive groups, on several complex cases, including in respect of a spurious whistleblowing allegation that nevertheless required delicate handling and a constructive unfair dismissal claim.

    Slater and Gordon

    Slater and Gordon‘s employee-side practice is particuarly noted for its work for union members as respondents in litigation brought against their employers, including in relation to visible and hidden disibility discrimination actions. Although this side of the practice was weakened at senior level by the departure of Juliette Franklin  to Acuity Law, it does have at its disposal a number of well trained associates who are able to effectively take up the baton in her absence, including senior associate Sian Clarke, who can ‘handle difficult cases, difficult clients and difficult opponents with ease and confidence’. Senior associate Rubel Bashir heads up the firm’s growing private client offering and has significant experience advising senior executives negotiate high-value exit packages, as well as across an array of tribunal claims.

    Practice head(s):

    Rubel Bashir

     

    Other key lawyers:

    Sian Clarke; Sally Weare

    Testimonials

    The team is involved in complex litigation, often with multiple claimants in one claim on an industrial level.’

    Sian Clarke can handle difficult cases, difficult clients and difficult opponents with ease and confidence.’

    Work highlights

    • Represented a trade union member against a union client and against a law firm who were instructed to advise them on their settlement agreement.
    • Represented a claimant at an employment tribunal and were successful in claims for Unfair Dismissal, Victimisation and Sexual Harassment.
    • Represented an employee of an automotive company and succeeded in his claim for a failure by the company in their duty to make reasonable adjustments, discrimination arising from disability, indirect disability discrimination and unfair dismissal.

    Douglas-Jones Mercer

    At Douglas-Jones Mercer, 'proactive and responsive' team head Paul Shuttleworth has a strong reputation in South Wales for local and national companies (including those with international offices) across a range of standalone projects and ongoing HR matters. Shuttleworth also has niche expertise advising sports professionals and coaches on contractual issues and contentious matters.

    Practice head(s):

    Paul Shuttleworth

    Testimonials

    I believe that the responsiveness and knowledge of the employment law specialists are unequivocally the reasons why we continue to work with Douglas-Jones Mercer. This is enhanced by the level of cross-discipline support.’

    Paul Shuttleworth is proactive and reponsive.’

    Key clients

    Energist Limited

    Community Lives Consortium

    Mirus Wales

    Edyffi Ltd

    Bad Wolf Ltd

    Skelton Thomas Engineering Ltd

    Hornbill Engineering Ltd

    Work highlights

      Harding Evans LLP

      Newport-based firm Harding Evans LLP has a strong reputation for local employers, including those within the retail, manufacturing and leisure sector, on behalf of a range of employment issues including in the context of adapting to new hybrid working arrangements in the aftermath of Covid. Team head Daniel Wilde takes the lead on the most significant employer mandates including as it relates to data protection, industrial action and complex discrimination cases, in addition to his regular work for senior executives negotiating settlement agreements.

      Practice head(s):

      Daniel Wilde

      Key clients

      Golley Slater Group Limited

      MSS Group Limited

      GAVO

      Bruton Knowles

      NAAFI

      Newport Mind

      Yearntree Limited

      Newport Transport

      Glamorgan White Lining

      FW Morgan

      Work highlights

      • Advised longstanding client NAAFI on the TUPE and outsourcing implications arising from its award of the Royal Navy Laundry Contract involving the transfer of circa 35 employees.
      • Acting for longstanding client Golley Slater Group Limited in relation to a dispute with senior former employee in relation to non solicitation of staff.
      • Acted for multiple employees on settlement agreements arising from a voluntary redundancy programme following the close of Newport office

      Howells Solicitors

      Although it is a very small team, Howells Solicitors punches above its weight, by virtue of its ability to provide a ‘skilled and knowledgeable’ service to claimants, as well as a growing number of respondents in employment litigation. The success of the practice can largely by attributed to ‘empathetic and efficient’ team head Gemma Bailey, who ‘successfully manages the needs of clients whilst delivering a personalised service’. 

      Practice head(s):

      Gemma Bailey

      Other key lawyers:

      James Watkins

      Testimonials

      Howells has carved a niche as a strong claimant focused practice within South Wales.’

      Howells’ communication, knowledge and expertise is second-to-none.’

      They are approachable, down to earth and able to adapt to the individual needs of their diverse range of clients. A skilled and knowledgeable employment team.’

      I have used Gemma Bailey personally as my solicitor and find her one of the most genuine, thoughtful humans I have come across. I have passed Gemma onto many potential clients (whistleblowers), and she has been the first point of contact for their employment issues, all of whom have stated how they have felt Gemma to be sincere in their discussions and not just there to charge them the earth.’

      Gemma Bailey is a fabulous and experienced employment specialist. She successfully manages the needs of clients whilst delivering a personalised service. She adapts to ensure that the indiviaul needs of her clients are met whilst ensuring the provision of exceptional quality advice.’

      Gemma Bailey is empathetic, efficient and reasonable to deal with.’

      Work highlights

        Morgan Denton Jones

        Specialist employment boutique Morgan Denton Jones provides a 'very professional, responsive and collaborative' service to private and public sector employers and employees across a range of contentious and non-contentious work. Mark Morgan provides 'exceptional advice' and co-heads the team alongside Jenny Jones, who is particuarly strong at handling corporate support work.

        Practice head(s):

        Mark Morgan; Jenny Jones

        Other key lawyers:

        Rhiannon John

        Testimonials

        I have always found the Morgan Denton Jones team to be very professional, responsive and collaborative at all times.’

        I have mostly dealt with Mark Morgan and find him very easy to work with. Mark has always provided exceptional advice.’

        Work highlights

          Morgan LaRoche

          Morgan LaRoche has a strong following in the market on discrete standalone employment matters, as well as through its very popular retainer service - the "Employer Support Service" -which stands out from other equivalent packages by virtue of its ability to provide 'professional and personalised support' and to offer a 'personal touch' to businesses across the gamut of their ongoing HR/employment needs. Carmarthen-based team head Hannah Belton 'literally oozes professionalism' and her varied workload has seen her increasingly busy for respondents in employment tribunal matters. Drawing upon significant in-house expertise both in an HR and legal capacity, Swansea-based associate Sophie Ray brings an excellent perspective to clients navigating an array of day-to-day employment issues, as well as in the context of corporate support.

          Practice head(s):

          Hannah Belton

          Other key lawyers:

          Sophie Ray

          Testimonials

          ‘I found the firm to be easy to deal with. They had effective processes and were polite and professional.’

          The whole team is just perfect. It’s as if they have been hand picked to offer that personal touch.’

          ‘They provide superb support to our business and ensure our team stays ahead of the game in all HR and employment law issues.’

          We appreciate Hannah Belton’s personalised, bespoke approach to our business needs.’

          Hannah Belton literally oozes profesionalism and has gained an excellent reputation in the area.’

          Sophie Ray made the process extremely easy, she was prompt with responses, took time to understand and listen, made what was a not particularly pleasant situation quite painless.’

          Key clients

          Protherics UK Limited

          The National Botanic Garden of Wales

          Princes Gate Water Limited

          Benson Viscometers Limited

          Retreats Group Limited

          Stephen Pearce

          Urban Foundry Limited

          Window to the Womb t/a Woodhaze Limited

          Valley to Coast

          Hafan Cymru

          Work highlights

          • Exclusive employment law advisers to The National Botanic Gardens of Wales, work which has involved advising on day-to- day HR issues as well as reviewing contracts, policies and procedures including the provision of documents in Welsh.
          • Providing employment advice regarding employee exits on behalf of Princes Gate Water Limited.
          • Represented Protherics UK Limited  on a variety of matters, often including advice to HR in Australia, France and the US.

          AltraLaw

          Comprised of 'particularly compassionate and highly motivated' individuals, in part due to the firm's unique status as a not-for-profit organisation with the focus on giving profits to charities nominated by their clients, AltraLaw has made rapid strides in the local market since its formation at the beginning of 2020. Led by Nathan Vidini, who displays 'instinctive empathy and street-wise tactical nous', the firm excels in handling litigation for claimants, including vulnerable individuals who have, for example, experienced mental health issues due to workplace stress. Although the 'genuine, open and honest' Vidini remains at the forefront of the firm's workload, the team has grown considerably over the past 12 months to include key practitioners including associate Rhydian Reeves, who joined from Slater and Gordon in November 2021, and is already impressing clients by dint of his 'his unruffled and calm manner and detailed knowledge of employment law'.

          Practice head(s):

          Nathan Vidini

          Testimonials

          This collective of employment law specialist offers compassionate support to all clients from inception to conclusion of each claim.’

          The team go over and above client care, everything they do is centred around excellent client care.’

          Nathan Vidini goes over and above to ensure that each client feels supported and that the desired outcome is always acheived. Nathan makes himself available beyond standard working hours, offers empathetic support and accurate legal advice.’

          Nathan Vidini’s instinctive empathy and understanding was a crucial attribute for me but equally important was his street-wise tactical nous and evident ability, shown ultimately by taking my claim all the way to successful conclusion.’

          Rhydian Reeves shows an unruffled and calm manner and detailed knowledge of employment law.’

          Rhydian Reeves is excellent. He takes on complex cases but gets excellent results for his clients.’

          Work highlights

          • Successfully resolved a very long-running and high-profile dispute between Caerphilly County Borough Council and its former chief executive.
          • Continuing to negotiate severance packages for numerous Equity and Salaried Partners (and other lawyers) who have departed large law firms across the UK.
          • Continuing to represent a high-profile member in the UK education sector in a complex dispute relating to allegations of unpaid stipend, incentives and bonuses.

          REFRESHING LAW

          Appreciated for its 'transparent costs and fee structures', Cardiff-based sole practitioner boutique REFRESHING LAW provides 'pragmatic, practical and business-focused advice' to employers and employees across a range HR and employment law matters. Anna Denton Jones 'has seen it all before' during her long career in private practice and as well as her discrete fee-earning work, is also well-regarded by companies for her training sessions on a range of issues including restrictive covenants and TUPE.

          Practice head(s):

          Anna Denton-Jones

           

          Testimonials

          ‘Provide transparent costs and fee structures’.

          The firm provides pragmatic, practical and business-focused advice.’

          We use Refreshing Law as they are always available and spend time discussing and understanding the issue. More importantly they are upfront and give straight forward balanced advice.’

          Anna Denton-Jones is pragmatic and understands the balance required between care for an individual employee and risk management for the business.’

          Anna Denton-Jones has seen it all before and her advice is always well balanced.’

          Work highlights

            Slate Legal

            Effectively utilising cloud-based technologies and state of the art AI, Newport-based employment boutique Slate Legal has a 'good working knowledge of employment law' which it deploys to good effect for a varied mix of employers and employees. As a virtual law firm, the firm is able to provide a very cost effective service to clients unencumbered by expensive overheads. Founder and manging partner James Moss provides 'responsive and professional' advice, including on behalf of senior executives and employees, negotiating exit packages or embroiled in litigation.

            Practice head(s):

            James Moss

            Testimonials

            The firm has a good working knowledge of employment law.’

            The very professional James Moss has a good knowledge of his field and always responds promptly.’

            Key clients

            Copart UK Ltd

            Patent Seekers Ltd

            Euro Foods Group Limited

            Cambria Consulting Ltd

            Meddygfa Glan Cynon Surgery

            Archer & Co (Chepstow) Ltd

            CEASE UK

            Work highlights

            • Representing leading UK vehicle remarketing company, Copart UK Ltd, on several Employment Tribunal matters, as well as advising across its 16 UK sites on data protection, redundancies, whistleblowing, absence management, grievances and disciplinaries.
            • Advising international IP company, Patent Seekers Ltd, on contractual issues including the enforcement of post-termination restrictive covenants, complex disciplinaries and drafting settlement agreements.
            • Providing TUPE advice to a major food manufacturer in relation to a key UK acquisition.

            Thompson Darwin Limited

            Instructed directly by clients, as well as in a referral capacity from other law firms, Thompson Darwin Limited provides 'sensible and practical advice' to Wales and England-based SMEs, start-ups and larger corporates across a range of their ongoing HR and employment concerns. In addition, team head Bethan Darwin who 'has an incredible range of knowledge within her field', also regularly advises senior executives on settlement agreements, as well as in litigation (including as it relates to potential breaches of restrictive covenants).

            Practice head(s):

            Bethan Darwin

            Testimonials

            The firm provides sensible, practical advice explained with a minimum of fuss.’

            The knowledge base that they share and are able to call upon is nothing short of exceptional.’

            The invoicing is always clear and concise and the value for money is excellent.’

            The advice and guidance is always practical and direct which is helpful in complex matters of employment law.’

            As an individual Bethan Darwin has an incredible range of knowledge within her field, it should be remembered at this point that the employment law field is huge! To be able to quickly answer questions and reference information from such a wide range of knowledge that is contained within her own mind truly sets her apart.’

            We have a very good relationship with Bethan Darwin, who provides us with immediate advice and a level of direction that provides us with great confidence.’

            Key clients

            G Tech (Grey Technology Limited)

            Propertyserve Group

            Seasons Holidays

            Scarlets Rugby

            Magnet & Steel Limited

            Chamberlains Security

            Seaham Hotel

            Inspiretec Group

            Biomonde UK

            Penderyn (The Welsh Whisky Company Limited)

            Abergavenny Fine Foods Limited

            Net Consulting Limited

            Eco 2

            J W Bowkett Electrical Services Limited

            Red Recruitment Partnership Limited

            Specsavers Hearcare Cardiff

            Work highlights

            • Advising pet products company Magnet & Steel Limited – with various pieces of employment law advice, including as it relates to contracts of employment, exit of senior staff disciplinaries and updating contractual documentation.
            • Advising Grey Technology Limited on a range of employment matters, including on redundancies, grievances and disciplinaries.
            • Advising Scarlets Rugby on employment law matters including on player contracts, office based employment contracts and policies and procedures, disciplinaries and grievances, maternity leave and pay, redundancies, furlough and changes in working arrangements due to Covid 19.

            GHP Legal

            Although it also handles a range of advisory work, GHP Legal‘s Wrexham-based team which is headed by Robert Williams is perhaps best-known for its contentious offering for employers and employees. Recent tribunal work has included successful representation of former employees in relation to unfair and constructive dismissal claims.

            Practice head(s):

            Robert Williams

             

            Work highlights

            •    

            Harrison Clark Rickerbys

            Although it is still relatively new in the market, having only opened its Cardiff office in February 2020, Harrison Clark Rickerbys has quickly made an impact in the market as a result of some astute hires. Two of those were from Hugh James, including contentious expert Chris Mayers and public sector-focused partner Andrea Thomas. The firm also secured an appointment to the National Procurement Service legal services framework, ensuring that it is picking a considerable amount of public sector work, alongside a solid roster of private sector clients that include IT and fintech entities.

            Practice head(s):

            Chris Mayers ; Andrea Thomas 

            Testimonials

            Extremely obliging, very quick to answer all communications and above all brilliant at their work.’

            Key clients

            Circle Group

            exeGesIS Spatial Data Management

            Work highlights

              Harrisons Solicitors LLP

              The ‘very knowledgeable and professional’ team at Welshpool-based firm Harrisons Solicitors LLP is appreciated for the very personal service it provides to regional businesses and employees throughout Mid Wales across a myriad employment work, ranging from the negotiation of settlement agreements and drafting employment contracts, through to employment tribunal matters. Team head Charlotte Powell-Jones and managing partner Anne Smith are  ‘both incredibly helpful and responsive’. 

              Practice head(s):

              Charlotte Powell-Jones

               

              Other key lawyers:

              Anne Smith

              Testimonials

              Very helpful and easy to converse with – don’t confuse you with loads of legal jargon.’

              Exceptionally nice to deal with, and very knowledgeable and professional.’

              They treat clients as people not as customers.’

              They have taken the time to understand the company culture and their advice is usually succinct.’

              Anne Smith and Charlotte Powell-Jones are both incredibly helpful and responsive.’

              Key clients

              Wynnstay Group Plc

              Charlies Stores Limited

              Rees Astley Holdings Limited

              Hafren Veterinary Group

              Shoothill Limited

              SWG Construction (Build and Renovate) Ltd

              JTILC Limited

              Work highlights

              • Advised a retainer client on the return from furlough of staff who were classed as vulnerable, and advised on a restructure, resulting in redundancies, handling in such a way that no claims were brought.
              • Advised in respect of a prospective unfair constructive dismissal case. Issues included interpretation of implied terms of employment arising from conduct regarding duties and hours, breakdown of mutual trust and confidence, fairness of disciplinary investigation and subsequent grievance procedures.
              • Handling the employment advice in respect of a share sale.

              Watkins & Gunn Limited

              Watkins & Gunn Limited is probably best-known for its work for union clients, spanning advice on industrial relations, industrial action and representation of individual members bringing employment claims. Pontypool-based team head Lisa Guscott  handles much of this work, as well as advice to coporate clients and for employees bringing claims for disability discrimination.

              Practice head(s):

              Lisa Guscott

              Other key lawyers:

              Clive Thomas

              Key clients

              Bakers Food & Allied Workers Union

              Community Union

              R & M Williams

              GMB Union

              Work highlights

              • Ongoing dispute with a local bakery regarding lack of consultation leading to redundancies following its closure with a loss of almost 200 jobs.
              • Advising on a longstanding dispute with the employer (a local bakery) surrounding holiday pay for members on flexible working contracts.
              • Representing a client in a complex TUPE issue following a successful tender bid. This led to numerous claims against the client and the unsuccessful candidate from the tender.