Employment: Recommended Firms in Wales

Blake Morgan LLP

Blake Morgan LLP's 'friendly and knowledgeable' three-partner team provides wide-ranging contentious and non-contentious advice to a balanced mix of private and public sector clients in a standalone context, as well as a corporate support function. In addition to her TUPE-related expertise, team head Joanne Davies has a particularly strong track record advising clients in highly regulated industries, including financial services and health and social care, work which often involves significant interaction with the relevant regulators. Although the 'pragmatic and responsivePaula Kathrens also has a substantial following among clients within the social housing and education sectors, she is perhaps best-known for her representation of health boards in doctor disciplinary cases. The 'commercial and creative' Matthew Smith is the main contact for complex employment disputes involving private and public sector clients (including on doctor disciplinary work), while on the non-contentious front he continues to regularly advise retail clients, including on Covid-related employment considerations.

Practice head(s):

Joanne Davies

Other key lawyers:

Matthew Smith; Paula Kathrens; Ian Jones

Testimonials

‘The team provides a unique level of continuity, with personal contact available at all times, with sound advice and in depth understanding of very complex issues.’

‘The team offers a depth of knowledge and experience relevant to our sector. I use them for advice on complex subject matter and find their advice to be of a high quality.’

‘The team is friendly, knowledgeable and realistic in everything that we bring to them. They not only advise but coach us for future situations and explain their advice in a manageable and realistic manner.’

‘They offer a quality of service you would expect from London-based firms but with a useful distance from the issues involved and at a better value for money.’

‘Blake Morgan’s employment team is exceptional in understanding our business scenario; our preferred outcome; and any other key factors such as time and resource restrictions before applying their insight and experience to give us the art of the possible.’

‘My work with Matthew Smith combined both high confidence in the technical consideration of the legal issues we were discussing but also impartial advice based on experience. The combination of the two was particularly powerful in navigating the situations I presented the firm with.’

‘Matthew Smith sets the standard when it come to commercial understanding; relationship management; and creative approaches that gives the client control and perspective.’

‘Paula Kathrens is pragmatic and responsive and always balances legal risk with reality of business needs.’

‘Joanne Davies provides specific advice about complex TUPE-related matters.’

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

The Thinking Traveller Limited

Capital Green Recycling Limited

Work highlights

  • Continue to assist clients in the social housing sector in relation to the Financial Conduct Authority’s Senior Management and Certification Regime (SMCR).
  • Provided employment advice to the Thinking Traveller pursuant to a £7m investment from Piper.
  • 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

With four partners located in Cardiff and also able to leverage the firm's broader UK and international resources, Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP has the strength-in-depth to handle a significant volume and range of contentious and non-contentious work for major corporates, many of which are multinational and based outside of Wales. As well as continuing to advise clients on conventional employment matters, including as it relates to reorganisations, collective employment and board level investigations, the team has been extremely active advising employers on Covid-related issues. This has manifested itself particularly visibly within the aviation sector and the firm's strong ties with RyanAir and Heathrow Airport have subsequently led to a significant influx work, including Thomas Player's work for the former in applying the furlough scheme across the entire workforce of cabin crew and pilots. Team head Anthony Rees has an excellent pedigree representing employers, in both tribunal cases as well as in litigation before the High Court, where he himself is able to provide advocacy should the need arise.

Practice head(s):

Anthony Rees

Other key lawyers:

Thomas Player; Huw Jones; Tom Bray; Emma Allchurch; Sally Isaacs

Testimonials

‘The employment practice has a wealth of practical knowledge, understands the constraints under which we operate and always tries to assist us in finding the most appropriate course of action.’

‘Anthony Rees is able to mix a high level of professionalism with personal humour and engagement.’

‘The support, guidance and advice I received from Anthony Rees on a particularly challenging case was excellent – and ultimately it led us to the best possible outcome for that case. From the start, I felt fully supported and confident that Anthony’s advice was leading us in the right direction.’

Key clients

RyanAir DAC

Heathrow Airport

DNATA Catering

University of the West of England

Selfridges Retail Ltd

International Medical Group Plc

C&C Group plc

Nerak Wise (UK) Limited

WestRock Inc

Dana GmBH

Idexx Inc

Brush Electrical Machines Ltd

Work highlights

  • Advice to RyanAir in relation to applying the Furlough scheme across the entire workforce of Cabin Crew and pilots, and thereafter advising on the revision of collective agreements with BALPA and Unite to take into account the impact to the aviation sector as a result of the pandemic.
  • Advising Heathrow Airport across a range of employment matters, including as it relates to application of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme to its entire workforce
  • Successfully representing Selfridges against multiple sex and race discrimination claims.

Geldards LLP

Led by 'brilliant tactician' Kim HowellGeldards LLP's 'able and likeable' five-strong team can 'draw from a wide range of experience', garnered from many years' advising private, public and third sector clients across a myriad contentious and non-contentious employment matters. Howell has gained particular market recognition for her work on behalf of local authorities and central government across the waterfront of strategic employment issues, including on high level disciplinary issues and equal pay. The 'pragmatic and supportiveLowri Phillips also regularly acts for the firm's public sector clients, although she balances this work with a vibrant offering for private sector employers, which she advises on equal pay, whistle blowing and data protection, among other matters. 'Extremely well-informed and helpful' senior associate Joga Singh continues to enhance his reputation on the contentious front as a result of some impressive work for clients before the Employment Tribunal.

Practice head(s):

Kim Howell

Other key lawyers:

Lowri Phillips; Joga Singh; Helen Snow

Testimonials

They are professional, responsive and take the time to understand our business culture and objectives before providing their professional advice.’

The contacts combine personable with professional and also legal advice with commercial reality – this is something we value highly as a client.’

A very able and likeable employment team based in Cardiff. Great spread of work across private, public and third sectors gives them a wide range of experience on which to draw.’

Lowri Phillips has provided consistently excellent advice on some very complex and contentious matters. We feel we can rely on Lowri’s excellent judgement and her ability to work diligently to produce only the highest quality of advice.’

Lowri Phillips is really knowledgeable on the law and an accomplished tactician. She is meticulous and is able to focus on the important matters without getting sidetracked by peripheral noise.’

Kim Howell is a brilliant tactician and is very highly regarded, particularly in the public sector, where she has a large client following.’

Joga Singh has been extremely well-informed, helpful and above all highly professional.’

Helen Snow responds in a timely fashion and in depth on the issues that we require advice on. She is also proactive in brining issues to our attention that we were previously unaware of, with appropriate advice on how to deal with them. Her written advice is well structured, thorough and easy to assimilate.’

Key clients

Admiral Insurance

Sofa Brands International

The Senedd Commission

Fiera Capital Corporation

Wales Millennium Centre

Hexion UK Ltd

The Welsh Ministers (i.e. Welsh Government)

Estyn (Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Education and Training in Wales)

Novomatic Group

Target Group Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Derbyshire County Council on the transfer of staff under the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006 to a new Joint Venture Company.
  • Advised a biotech company on an investigation and disciplinary process following a whistleblowing complaint alleging fraudulent use of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.
  • Representing a national care home provider in relation to the defence of multiple employment tribunal claims relating to allegations of constructive unfair dismissal, sex discrimination, pregnancy discrimination and unlawful deduction of wages.

Lewis Silkin LLP

Forming an integral part of the firm's UK-wide employment offering, as well as regularly advising regional, UK-based and international employers on a standalone basis, Lewis Silkin LLP's 'responsive and knowledgeable' 12-strong Cardiff team continues to thrive in the market under the guidance of the 'exceptionalLucy LewisRichard Moore has been pivotal to the growth of the firm's local client base, as well as regularly providing integral employment-related advice pursuant to large-scale M&A and restructuring matters handled by the firm's broader corporate offering. Moore also has expertise advising on large-scale redundancy procedures, which have been particularly commonplace in light of Covid-related lockdown procedures. At an associate level, Tom Ford has a niche advising employers on workplace privacy and data protection matters, while the 'pragmatic and commercialCharlotte Morgan is noted for her TUPE advice and her contentious expertise, including on cases involving sex discrimination and gross misconduct.

Practice head(s):

Lucy Lewis

Other key lawyers:

Richard Moore; Charlotte Morgan; Tom Ford; Neil Dite

Testimonials

‘The team has very capable lawyers that understand the business requirements and provide practical, balanced solutions and ideas.’

A responsive and knowledgeable team.’

‘The advice is always very practical and commercial and technically excellent.’

‘Lucy Lewis is exceptional. She provides first-class advice, is incredibly responsive, clear, to the point and a real pleasure to deal with.’

‘Lucy Lewis is our go-to lawyer for all employment-related matters. She is both technically excellent but also very solution-focussed and pragmatic.’

‘Richard Moore: rapid riser in the firm with a real zeal and enthusiasm shines through in his work. Contactable and approachable.’

Neil Dite really understands his clients’ businesses and their aims (both commercial and legal), I know when I get papers from him they will address the issues in the case and those that are bubbling just under the surface.’

‘Charlotte Morgan is very pragmatic and commercial in her advice.  She gets to the heart of issues very quickly and provides excellent advice and service.’

Key clients

Dyfed Powys Police

Rockwool Limited

Daily Mail & General Trust Plc

Havas Group

ViacomCBS Group

Marks & Spencer Plc

Omnicom Group (inc adamandeveDDB, Abbott Mead Vickers, Ketchum and TBWA)

Interpublic Group (including FCB Inferno, MullenLowe Group)

Zara UK Limited

Publicis Groupe

Work highlights

  • Advising ViacomCBS on the employment aspects of the sale of CBS Interactive.
  • Advising a tech platform on changes to terms and conditions and headcount reductions across ten jurisdictions.
  • Advising Pacadar on their application for a sponsor licence ahead of the new immigration system coming into force.

Capital Law Limited

Headed by the 'brilliant' Richard Thomas, Capital Law Limited is best known for its employment litigation credentials, and regularly represents respondent employers, as well as a small but growing number of claimant executives, in disputes relating to, inter alia, unfair dismissals, discrimination and whistle blowing. Thomas himself has particular acclaim in the market for his trade union and labour relations expertise; he continues to oversee the firm's litigation for the BMA and its members as claimants in a high-profile age discrimination class action regarding the NHS Pension Scheme 2015. Although he is primarily focused on contentious work, the 'highly responsiveDavid Lewis  also has a niche advising rugby players/coaches on contract/exit negotiations, as well as being adept at drafting restrictive covenants for businesses to ensure that they are effectively protected against data theft or the poaching of clients by former employees. Sarah Austin handles much of the work on the non-contentious front, including a significant amount of employment support work for private equity and corporate clients of the firm pursuant to their M&A activity.

Practice head(s):

Richard Thomas

Other key lawyers:

Sarah Austin; David Lewis; Mary Goldsbrough; David Sheppard; Alex Christen; Alison Flett; Claire Tait

Testimonials

‘The employment team benefits from working closely with their commercial partners, so clients get all-round sensible advice from specialists. Most practitioners in the employment team also practice immigration so there are often useful synergies there too. ’

‘The team seeks to understand the issues that we are dealing with before providing the technical advice, which ensures that the solutions meet the organisation’s needs.’

‘Well established team with a wide breadth of experience. Excellent provision of reactive advice and plenty of proactive support by way of seminars, newsletters, e-mails and blogs. Excellent support through the pandemic and a seamless transition to virtual rather than face to face meetings.’

‘The team are down to earth and provide solid, practical advice.’

The brilliant Richard Thomas is particularly superb in his industrial relations and TULRCA knowledge.’

‘Alex Christen is an excellent employment lawyer. She is calm in a crisis and has a personable approach and impressive knowledge.’

‘Mary Goldsborough has impressive employment law knowledge, particularly in disability discrimination.’

‘David Sheppard, Alex Christen and Richard Thomas are highly responsive to queries and have an excellent understanding of our business.’

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

Work highlights

  • Providing the requisite employment law advice to Bellavista pursuant to its acquisition of The Waverley Care Centre in Penarth, South Wales, one of the leading care homes in Wales.
  • Supporting the board and senior management team of Howard Tenens in a dual employment legal counsel and HR business partnering function, work which has included various inward and outward TUPEs.
  • Continuing to represent the British Medical Association and a number of its members in a class action brought against the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care in age discrimination claims relating to the NHS Pension Scheme 2015.

Hugh James

Acting on a standalone basis, as well as deriving a significant volume of instructions from institutional corporate clients of the firm, Hugh James' one-partner team handles a broad array of corporate support mandates, discrete advisory work/HR advice, and respondent-side contentious matters for both private and public sector clients. Team head Louise Price's own workload reflects the eclectic nature of mandates handled by the group, and she is as comfortable handling large-scale TUPE transfers of employees, as she is advising the firm's impressive roster of social housing clients on their bespoke employment-related requirements. Senior associate Rhiannon Dale has a strong and growing reputation in the market, including in relation to business immigration advice, and frequently works alongside Price across a range of contentious and non-contentious matters, including on large scale restructuring and redundancy exercises.

Practice head(s):

Louise Price 

Other key lawyers:

Rhiannon Dale; Eleanor Bamber; Kate Walsh; Sali Owens; Christine Bradbury; Emily Thomas

Testimonials

‘The team is very skilled, quick and easy to access, which I value very much.’

‘I appreciate Rhiannon Dale’s knowledge – she has the ability to understand our employment issues quickly, and give solid, fast and clear advice. She has a kind personality and is great to work with.’

‘Very high level of professionalism and customer care.’

Key clients

Cardiff International Airport

Natural Resources Wales

Bridgend County Borough Council

Brace’s Bakery

REHAU Limited

PF Concept International B. V

City and County of Swansea

Coastal Housing Group

CSA Catapult Limited

Innovative Repair Group

Linc Cymru

The London Mint

Tai Tarian

Social Care Wales

The Celtic Manor Resort Limited

Keolis Amey (trading as Transport for Wales Rail Services)

Work highlights

  • Provided corporate support, including advice on TUPE implications, for Mid-Wales Housing Association on its voluntary merger with Tai Ceredigion.
  • Successfully represented social housing landlord, Tai Tarian Limited, in a high-profile tribunal appeal relating to an unfair dismissal claim brought by a former employee, who was fired for allegedly making homophobic remarks to a tenant.
  • Successfully defended City and County of Swansea in a  complex Employment Tribunal (resulting in a five-day hearing), regarding allegations of unfair dismissal, disability discrimination and whistleblowing.

Slater and Gordon

The nine-strong team at Slater and Gordon is a ‘very safe pair of hands‘ for an employee-focused client base and is noted for its ‘excellent work at tribunals‘ across a range of claims. Overseen by the ‘superb’ Juliette Franklin, the bulk of this work is on behalf of union clients, including for members of the Police Federation of England & Wales.

Practice head(s):

Juliette Franklin

Other key lawyers:

Sian Clarke; Rhydian Reeves; Rubel Bashir; Sarah Hexter; Sophie George; Myles Thomas; Kowshiny Varatharajan

Testimonials

The team is a very safe pair of hands and provides excellent work at tribunals.’

Juliette Franklin is superb.’

Key clients

Police Federation of England & Wales

GMB

FDA

UCU

NASUWT

USDAW

Nautilus International

Accord

Unite the Union

BALPA

Unionline

Acuity Law

Under the leadership of the 'exceptional' Claire KnowlesAcuity Law's three-strong team is best-known for its ability to provide strategic advisory work for private sector clients, either in a corporate support function or in a standalone capacity. A significant proportion of the work handled by the team, particularly on ongoing HR support matters, is handled through the firm's unique Acuity Counsel Service, which provides a cost-effective retainer service to clients, many of which lack any credible in-house function.

Practice head(s):

Claire Knowles

Other key lawyers:

Daniel Evans; Adam McGlynn

Testimonials

‘The team has spent time to understand our business and build strong relationships. I am as comfortable contacting the employment team at Acuity as I would be contacting a department within my business.’

‘When I work with the Acuity employment team it feels like I am working with any other section of my in house legal team. They integrate seamlessly, orient to the issue and present solutions on behalf of the organisation, rather than just a lawyer advising a client.’

‘Claire Knowles is a true business partner to our company. She has provided quality advice in a timely and friendly, but professional manner.’

‘Claire Knowles is an excellent employment lawyer. She has a keen eye for detail and leaves no stone unturned. ’

Adam McGlynn is very capable and a pleasure to work with.’

Key clients

Rituals Cosmetics UK Limited

Your World Recruitment Limited

Aqualisa Group Ltd

Alamo Group Europe Limited

Work highlights

  • Providing ongoing employment and HR support to Aqualisa through the Acuity Counsel Service. Recent work has included advice relating to the restructuring of its management structure, streamlining reporting lines and improving efficiency.
  • Helping Rituals navigate through all its employment- related matters, ranging from the creation of new employment contracts and policies, redundancies, Employment Tribunal disputes, and general people management issues.
  • Continuing to provide ongoing HR and employment advice to Alamo Group through the firm’s Acuity Counsel Service.

Berry Smith

Leveraging the firm's strong and loyal owner-managed and SME client base and also increasingly well-placed to advise public sector clients, by dint of of its recent appointment to the NPS panel, Berry Smith's three-strong team provides 'practical and commercially-minded' advice across the panoply of employment issues. The 'personable and technically strongSarah Alford  was promoted to partner in April 2021 in recognition of her sterling efforts leading the team following the departure in 2019 of the experienced Fabio Grech. As well as advising on regular fee-earning work, the team has also established a well-received fixed fee retainer service to advise on any employment and HR queries arising from the fall out of the pandemic.

Practice head(s):

Sarah Alford

Other key lawyers:

Michael Shutt

Testimonials

‘The team is consistent, practical, commercially minded and reliable.’

‘One of the unique strengths of this practice is their accessibility and reassurance to ourselves as clients, always providing a speedy and knowledgeable response to our enquiries.’

‘They are extremely personable and accessible, provide information and advice in simple English rather than jargon, and always identify what best suits our organisation’

‘Sarah Alford is very personable, technically strong but has huge amounts of common sense and commercial acumen. She always considers the impact on your organisation of any proposed approach rather than just ploughing on regardless.’

Sarah Alford has a very engaging personality and is always prepared to the extra mile to ensure a successful outcome. Her customer focus is always evident and our dealings have been professional and of a high standard.’

‘Sarah Alford and Mike Shutt give us great confidence that following their advice will always result in the best solution to our employment problems.’

Key clients

South Wales Fire & Rescue Service

EKF Diagnostics Holdings PLC

Yourgene Health PLC

Concepta PLC

Welsh Government – National Procurement Service

BBI Group Holdings Limited

Arcis Biotechnology Limited

Active Quote Limited

Spectrum Technologies PLC

Brightwells Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised large international auctioneer, Brightwells, on the employment aspects of its sale of shares in Hereford Market Auctioneers Limited and subsequent sale of their livestock market sale business, to Sunderlands 1862 LLP.
  • Representing an individual in an appeal to the Employment Appeal Tribunal on an area of law that has been undecided by the higher courts.

Douglas-Jones Mercer

Swansea-based firm Douglas-Jones Mercer advises many regional private sector employers and not-for-profit organisations across a range of contentious and non-contentious employment matters, including on TUPE transfers, day-to-day HR support and as respondents in litigation involving, inter alia, unfair dismissal claims. As well as his steady flow of fee-earning work, team head Paul Shuttleworth has strong community ties and handles pro bono work for local clients.

Practice head(s):

Paul Shuttleworth

Key clients

Energist Limited

Community Lives Consortium

Mirus Wales

CDA Care ltd

Bad Wolf Ltd

Office Care Services Ltd

Skelton Thomas Engineering Ltd

Hornbill Engineering Ltd

Welsh Bushi Kai Karate Association

Fforest Timber Engineering Ltd

Port Talbot Boat and Harbour Services

Work highlights

  • Advised an engineering company on a TUPE transfer matter.
  • Advised a Cardiff-based company with a Los Angeles- based arm on employment/HR matters.  
  • Defending a regional assisted living provider in a claim for underpayment following a TUPE transfer.

Harding Evans LLP

Newport-based firm Harding Evans LLP provides 'balanced and informed' advice to a primarily employer-focused client base, including companies within the leisure, manufacturing, retail and transport sectors. 'Commercially-focused' team head Daniel Wilde has an excellent reputation in the market and has been extremely active of late advising on Covid-related employment issues, including advice to employers on furlough payments, as well as to individuals on negotiating settlement agreements, precipitated by the pandemic.

Practice head(s):

Daniel Wilde

Testimonials

‘The team is professional and very helpful.’

The advice is balanced and informed.’

‘The team in this practice are incredibly knowledgeable. We are a unique organisation and they are understand all of the nuances within our employment arena.’

‘Daniel Wilde is very commercially focused, yet is able to delicately balance the needs of the business with the needs of our employees. He will present all options, considering both sides of the situation, identifying relevant risks and providing a balanced view.’

‘Daniel Wilde is knowledgeable, informed, insightful and pragmatic.’

Key clients

NAAFI

Golley Slater

Bruton Knowles

Glamorgan White Lining

Multi-color Group

Henry Ling Limited

MSS Group

Newport Mind

F W Morgan

Newport Transport

Work highlights

  • Continued to advise NAAFI on HR issues arising from the Ministry of Defence’s withdrawal from Germany and the impact on employee numbers culminating in significant redundancies from 2019 through to 2020.
  • Advised Golley Slater on restructuring arising from the impact of Covid-19.
  • Advised Bruton Knowles on a variety of issues relating to furlough, restructuring and variation in terms and conditions of employment arising out of Covid-19.

Howells Solicitors

Under the guidance of the 'extremely empathetic and knowledgeable' Gemma Bailey Howells Solicitors maintains a strong reputation as a claimant employment firm in south Wales, in large part due to Bailey's 'outstanding employment law knowledge', coupled with her 'herculean efforts to achieving the best possible outcomes for her clients.’ Bethan Southcombe  heads up the non-contentious part of the practice that continues to grow, in part due to the popularity of the firm's HR retainer packages for local employers.

Practice head(s):

Gemma Bailey; Bethan Southcombe

Other key lawyers:

Nayo Kirkpatrick

Testimonials

‘The team provides a full employment service to clients in Wales. It is particularly well placed to understand the needs of its clients and provides down to earth and straightforward representation to clients.’

‘Gemma Bailey and Bethan Southcombe are both greatly experienced employment lawyers. Gemma largely acts for and represents employees and Bethan largely acts for and represents employers. They are therefore well placed to provide legal advice to both sides of the market.’

‘Gemma Bailey has put me at ease even when I was not sure whether to give up on the case, Gemma is very upfront and honest and advises you the best way to do things. Gemma is friendly and will contact you when you request some guidance as soon as she can and because she is so approachable you feel at ease asking questions when you think they are no relevant.’

‘Gemma Bailey is a fantastic solicitor. She would never fail to return an email or call without delay even when she had other commitments. If Gemma was ever unable to speak to you she would always ask one of the team to call you. Her knowledge on employment law is outstanding and she has an excellent ability to explain confusing concepts to you as the client. I would recommend Gemma to everyone. She is extremely empathetic and puts you at ease.’

‘Gemma Bailey deploys herculean efforts to achieving the best possible outcome for her clients time after time without fail.’

‘Gemma Bailey is a very competent lawyer- she has a strong technical grasp of the law combined with the ability to present this to clients in a way which they understand.’

‘Gemma Bailey is an extremely able lawyer. She has an extensive knowledge and understanding of the law and regulatory framework and is thorough while also being pragmatic and commercial in her approach, striving to achieve the best outcomes for her clients.

‘Gemma Bailey is an excellent and astute employment litigator with a shrewd tactical sense, a keen eye for the vulnerabilities in an opponent’s case, and a thorough approach that leaves no stone unturned in pursuing her client’s best interests. She is responsive, excellent to work with and appreciative of the needs of both clients and counsel. She adds real value to any litigation team.’

Morgan LaRoche

Now headed from the firm's Carmarthen office by Hannah Belton, following the retirement of Timothy Jones  in January 2021, Morgan LaRoche provides 'pragmatic and robust advice' to companies throughout south and west Wales across a range of employment matters, including on GDPR compliance, as respondents in tribunal cases, and in the context of corporate support. The team has also been very proactive in terms of helping to guide clients through the myriad challenges and employment concerns arising as a result of the pandemic and also continues to grow the number of clients that have signed up the firm's increasingly popular retainer service. The health and social care sectors are particularly fertile sources of work, while the arrival in July 2020 of Sophie Ray enhances the team's credentials within the social housing space.

Practice head(s):

Hannah Belton

Other key lawyers:

Sophie Ray

Testimonials

Responsive, committed, takes the time to listen and understand their customers and their needs, goals and objectives.’

Morgan LaRoche provides exemplary service that suits our business needs.’

The team always has a pragmatic and robust approach to any situation.’

Hannah Belton will give a fair summary of a situation and manage expectations along the way. She is friendly, approachable and gives clients confidence in their decision-making. She is so knowledgeable about her subject area and manages to convey the main points of the law in a way that clients can easily understand.’

Hannah Belton provides exemplary HR legal advice and a professional service that stands out in our area as being synonymous with excellence.’

Key clients

Valleys to Coast Housing

The Grove Narberth Limited

The National Botanic Garden of Wales

Protherics UK Limited

Janet Witt

Solo Service Group Limited

Hafan Cymru

Swansea Industrial Components Limited

Montage Jeunesse

Cyfle Building Skills Limited

Work highlights

  • Providing ad-hoc employment advice to National Botanic Garden of Wales, including on redundancy, settlement agreements and furlough-related issues.  
  • Representing Solo Service Group on several contentious matters issues, as well as on the provision of complex TUPE insourcing and outsourcing advice.
  • Providing internal training to the senior management team of Protherics UK Limited.

AltraLaw

Founded in February 2020 by high-profile claimant-side employment litigator Nathan VidiniAltraLaw is unlike most other firms in the market. As well as being one of only a handful with a primary focus on servicing the needs of employees, it is also unique as a not-for-profit law firm, donating all profits from the firm to charity. This altruistic ethos also extends to the client base with which Vidini represents, including as it does, many vulnerable clients which have, for example, experienced mental health issues due to workplace stress. Despite being relatively new to the market, Vidini's reputation has ensured that the firm has hit the ground running directly on behalf of clients, as well as through referral instructions.

Practice head(s):

Nathan Vidini

Other key lawyers:

Victoria Hall; Gwenno Hughes-Marshall

Work highlights

  • Successfully resolved a very long-running and high-profile dispute between Caerphilly County Borough Council and its former chief executive.
  • Representing a senior member of the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, who blew the Whistle on unlawful activities of the College. The case involved over a dozen female students who alleged sexual harassment but whose allegations were ignored.

REFRESHING LAW

At Cardiff-based boutique REFRESHING LAW, sole practitioner Anna Denton Jones has 'deep employment law knowledge' and provides an 'efficient and reassuring' service to employers and employees, including a considerable amount of recent work for SMEs seeking reassurance on Covid-related matters, including on the implementation of furlough, contract alterations and downsizing. Denton-Jones is also well-versed in advising senior executives on the negotiation of settlement agreements and has gained a strong reputation for her 'excellent communication skills', which she implements to good effect in the regular training sessions she runs for clients on hot-button employment issues.

Practice head(s):

Anna Denton-Jones

Testimonials

Refreshing Law’s offering is pitched as accessible, personable and good value for money without reducing the quality of service for both corporate and individual clients.’

Very commercial and pragmatic in their approach.’

Anna Denton-Jones provides an efficient and reassuring service and has excellent communication skills. ‘

Anna Denton-Jones is a great resource to have as our external HR person. She is highly experienced and readily available to provide timely and pragmatic advice. We will be calling on her more and more as we scale up our business. I would readily recommend her.’

Anna Denton-Jones’ deep employment law knowledge and reality-driven, no nonsense advice helps her clients see their situation from a number of perspectives in order to assist them in determining how they personally wish to proceed.’

Key clients

LawNet Limited

Roxburgh Milkins Limited

Dwr Cymru Welsh Water

Work highlights

  • Provided a number of training sessions for the HR department of Welsh Water, including as it relates to issues to consider when managing those working from home.
  • Assisting senior executives on the negotiation of settlement agreements and advising them on the terms of their departures.
  • Provision of training to employment lawyers from all over the UK. Most recently this was on whistleblowing claims and disability discrimination claims.

Slate Legal

Effectively utilising cloud-based technologies and state of the art AI, Newport-based employment boutique Slate Legal provides 'commercially nimble' advice to employers and employees across the waterfront of their non-contentious and contentious employment needs. Founder and managing partner James Moss  is 'always accessible, deeply knowledgeable and inherently commercial. ’

Practice head(s):

James Moss

Testimonials

‘This is a niche firm that revolves around James Moss. As such it’s commercially nimble and able to dovetail in very nicely with our legal requirements. ’

‘James Moss is always accessible, deeply knowledgeable and inherently commercial.’

Key clients

Copart UK Ltd

Patent Seekers Ltd

Unitmovements Ltd

Cambria Consulting Ltd

Commercial Motors (Wales) Ltd

Alchemy Expo Limited

IMCR Ltd

Celtic Recycling Ltd

Parkhouse 20 Ltd

Meddygfa Glan Cynon Surgery

Newport Golf Club

Work highlights

  • Advised a leading UK vehicle remarketing company on a variety of complex employment-related matters across its 16 UK sites.

Thompson Darwin Limited

Cardiff-based boutique Thompson Darwin Limited punches above its weight and under the leadership of the 'incredibly knowledgeable' Bethan Darwin regularly acts for Wales and England-based SMEs, start-ups and larger corporates across a range of their ongoing HR and employment concerns, including as it relates to employment handbook drafting, disciplinary/grievance matters and redundancy procedures. David Thompson also regularly handles employment advice as part of his broad-ranging commercial law advice to core client Scarlets Rugby.

Practice head(s):

Bethan Darwin

Other key lawyers:

David Thompson

Testimonials

‘The practice consists of a small family-run team – what they lack in numbers they more than make up for in dedication, professionalism and absolute client commitment.’

‘Bethan Darwin is our primary contact within the firm and as an individual she epitomises professionalism in every way.

When people state that an individual goes above and beyond they are often just quoting a phrase. In Bethan Darwin’s case, however, this is a true statement of fact. I have lost count of the times that I have for example been concerned about a situation and have sent a late-night email, I would not normally expect a response outside of working hours from a company, but I have always heard back from Bethan almost instantly.’

Bethan Darwin’s ability to speak and relate to people from all walks of life is an excellent trait. Being able to deal with the wide variety of people that you come across within our industry and the courtroom is a skill that should not be underrated.’

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.’

‘Bethan Darwin is an excellent employment lawyer. She has worked with me for over 20 years and has been a source of clear advice, directly but kindly given, and you feel that you have her in your corner at potentially very challenging times.’

Key clients

G Tech (Grey Technology Limited)

Propertyserve Group

Seasons Holidays

Scarlets Rugby

Magnet & Steel Limited

Health & Her Limited

Chamberlains Security

G.Network Limited

Seaham Hotel

Renoir Consulting

Short Bros

Biomonde UK

Yubico

Jeff White Motors

Work highlights

  • Advising G Tech on all employment related matters that have arisen in recent months, including redundancies, grievances and disciplinaries.
  • Advising a global consulting company on employment related matters, including on complex issues relating to jurisdiction, commission disputes and post termination restrictions.
  • Providing all employment law advice required by elite professional sports club, Scarlets Rugby, including as it relates to 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

At GHP Legal, Wrexham-based partner Robert Williams is particularly adept at representing employees in employment disputes, including as it relates to constructive and unfair dismissal claims.

Practice head(s):

Robert Williams

Harrisons Solicitors LLP

Led out of the firm's Welshpool office by Charlotte Powell-Jones and also aided by 'knowledgeable and pragmatic' managing partner Anne Smith, the 'friendly and efficient' team at Harrisons Solicitors LLP handles a varied mix of work for mid Wales-based companies and employees, including in relation to the negotiation of settlement agreements, restrictive covenants and on general HR advisory work. Employment tribunal work remains a driver of the practice on both the respondent and claimant side, while the firm has also been particularly active of late providing guidance to employers on Covid-related issues (including furlough payments), much of which is provided through the firm's popular retainer service.

Practice head(s):

Charlotte Powell-Jones

Other key lawyers:

Anne Smith

Testimonials

‘Always pleasant, approachable, helpful and quick to respond.’

‘Friendly and efficient.’

‘Anne Smith is not only a consummate professional, she is also outstanding in her negotiation ability. Anne holds a pragmatic and yet caring approach when dealing with emotionally difficult situations. I would recommend Anne with any employment litigation matter without any hesitation.’

‘We have worked with Anne Smith on a number of matters and have found her to have an excellent knowledge of this area of law, but combined with a pragmatic approach. ’

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 start-up company extensively on IR35 compliance when consulting in the International Logistics industry.
  • Advised a litigant in person who had previously succeeded at tribunal in an unfair dismissal claim on appeal papers including procedure and extensions of time to take the matter through to a successful defence to the appeal by the client.
  • Advising on substantial settlement agreements which included substantive advice on share options, pensions and collaboration with accountants on taxation.

Watkins & Gunn Limited

Headed by Lisa GuscottWatkins & Gunn Limited is particularly well-versed in relation to handling trade union-related employment matters, including as it relates to industrial action.

Practice head(s):

Lisa Guscott