Employment in Wales
Blake Morgan LLP provides 'balanced and effective advice' to education, retail and health sector entities across the gamut of employment matters, including discrimination and whistleblower matters, and industrial relations issues. With clients including the Welsh government, NHS Wales and numerous Welsh universities, the firm is perhaps best-known for its prowess in the public sector, where the 'professional and personable' Paula Kathrens is noted for her expertise at handling internal disciplinary proceedings involving doctors in NHS Wales. Team head Joanne Davies has particular expertise on TUPE issues, including as it relates to outsourcing in the public sector. The 'unflappable and experienced' Matthew Smith specialises in contentious work, recently handling a high-profile Supreme Court matter which clarified the law relating to "unfavourable treatment" under the Equality Act 2010.
‘Professional and personable.’
‘An incredibly strong team which demonstrates great professionalism and an impressive grasp of employment law.’
‘The team interprets and applies legislation as it applies to your situation keeping you in control of making informed decisions.’
‘Matthew Smith always makes himself available and provides clear informative advice which sets out the risks, possible solutions and conclusions.’
‘Matthew Smith provides, pragmatic and considered advice.’
‘Paula Kathren’s straight-talking is matched with a warm and personable style.’
PHS Group Plc
The NHS in Wales
Cardiff International Airport
Gower College, Swansea
Principality Building Society
Russell & Bromley
Trivallis Limited (formerly RCT Homes Limited)
Dolce & Gabbana UK
Cardiff Metropolitan University
Charbonnel et Walker Limited
Wales Audit Office
- Representing the health board in Agarwal v (1) Cardiff University (2) Cardiff & Vale University Local Health Board, the leading authority 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.
- Advised a number of housing associations in Wales in relation to the provision, interpretation and applicability of Schedule 1 of the Housing Act 1996 and Welsh Government guidance RSL005/10, which prohibits certain payments to employees/officers and sets out a number of rules in relation to appointment of staff and grants of benefits.
- Successfully defended Cardiff & Vale University Health Board from unfair dismissal and discrimination proceedings brought by one its former executive directors.
- Successfully defended the client in a recent case which has become the leading authority on the meaning of “unfavourable treatment” in disability discrimination, culminating in the decision of the Supreme Court in December 2018.
Led by the 'outstanding' Anthony Rees, Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP's four-partner team has the strength-in-depth to cover the waterfront of contentious and non-contentious matters for an impressive roster of domestic and international private and public sector clients. Thomas Player has extensive knowledge of international labour matters, including European Works Councils and cross-border restructuring. Other key partners include Huw Jones, who is the lead on public sector employment matters, and Tom Bray, who as well as his expertise on contentious matters, also regularly handles human resources support work.
‘Highly professional and timely, with positive and proactive advice that gets things done. Acts as a partner with our business.’
‘The team in Cardiff have particular strengths that support our needs in terms of the education sector, labour relations and they have key team members who are able to deliver their services through the medium of Welsh.’
‘A pleasure to deal with. Always assured and confident in the advice given and work done.’
‘The individuals that stand out include Anthony Rees, Thomas Player, Sally Isaacs and Huw Jones. They all share the same qualities from my perspective which is the ability to offer sound pragmatic advice that is tailored to the organisational context. They are also exceptionally responsive from a client service perspective.’
C&C Group Limited
Toyoda Gosei Limited
Dwr Cymru Welsh Water
UK Research & Innovation
Wolverine Worldwide No
Kubota Group Plc
- Assisting Sony Europe on all of its UK and European HR legal needs, including on restructuring, discrimination issues, TUPE, share incentives and executive issues.
- Reappointed for a further three years, after a recent retender exercise, to continue to advise Heathrow Airport on all of their HR, employment tribunals and industrial relations needs.
- Advise Michigan-headquartered Wolverine Worldwide on all of its employment law needs in the EU, spanning ten jurisdictions.
- Advising Alpha LSG Limited on all aspects of employment law in relation to restructuring issues, collective and individual consultation obligations, holiday pay issues, employment tax, TUPE/outsourcing issues, changing terms and conditions, numerous employment tribunal claims and negotiating new collective agreements and effecting strategic executive severances.
- Represented the Reading Borough Council in reviewing the advice that it had received to-date in defending equal pay litigation.
As well as its longstanding excellence within the public and third sector, Geldards LLP 's four-partner team is also noted for its 'commercially-minded service' for corporate clients on day-to-day matters, as well as TUPE procedures, reorganisations and employment litigation. 'Very responsive' team head Stephen Jenkins provides 'thorough and considered' advice to clients engaged in tribunal hearings, in addition to handling TUPE matters. Praised for her 'direct and honest advice', Rhian Brace is recommended for her employment tribunal work and is a key member of the team that also includes public sector employment expert Kim Howell and Lowri Phillips, who provides 'clear and responsive advice' on equal pay and data protection matters.
‘A very practical and approachable team.’
‘Very experienced and knowledgeable but able to explain the legal ramifications to us in layman’s terms so we are able to understand.’
‘Stephen Jenkins’ experience is particularly useful because he is able to offer alternative perspectives to a case (as a solicitor and Judge).’
‘Kim Howell is excellent at public sector-related matters.’
‘Lowri Phillips is an excellent communicator and always responds in a timely manner with constructive, realistic and accurate advice.’
‘Joga Singh is easy to work with and provides very practical advice.’
Sofa Brands International
Emso Asset Management
National Assembly of Wales Commission
The Welsh Ministers
Target Group Limited
Wales Millennium Centre
Estyn (Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Education and Training in Wales)
Caerphilly County Borough Council
A F Blakemore & Son
National Museums Wales
Monmouthshire County Council
Bristol City Council
Hexion UK Limited
Torfaen County Borough Council
Box UK Limited
- Successfully represented Michelle Brown, a Member of the Welsh Assembly, in an unfair dismissal and detriment claim brought by a former senior adviser, following a three-day tribunal hearing.
- Defended the client against allegations of racial harassment which were withdrawn by the claimant before the case got to a hearing.
- Successfully represented NMC at an EAT hearing at which the claimant’s appeal against the dismissal of his unfair dismissal claim was upheld.
- Defended a charity client against claims involving 90 allegations of sex, race and disability discrimination, the case being settled just prior to the start of a four-week hearing.
- Undertook a complex investigation to establish and review the adequacy of governance arrangements relating to secondment arrangements with subsidiary companies for a local authority.
Capital Law Limited maintains a significant presence in the employment field, particularly in relation to contentious work - where it is noted for its 'strategic and tactical advice' for both employers and employees across issues ranging from disability discrimination to unfair dismissal, despite the departure towards the end of 2018 of former team head Nia Cooper and Iestyn Morris for in-house roles. On the non-contentious front, in addition to handling ongoing day-to-day employment support for corporate clients of the firm, it also regularly handles major strategic matters, including TUPE issues associated with business reorganisations. Team head Richard Thomas excels at trade union and labour relations law.
Other key lawyers:
Sarah Austin; Mary Goldsbrough; Jennifer Pinder; David Lewis
British Medical Association
Sega Europe Limited
University of South Wales
Dow Silicones UK Limited
Smart Solutions (Recruitment) Limited
Panasonic Manufacturing Limited
WestBridge Capital LLP
Newport City Homes
- Advising the Welsh Government on the drafting of its NHS Wales Bill 2018.
- Advising Westbridge Capital on the employment aspects of the management buyout of A J Mobility.
- Representing Newport City Homes on a major contractual change programme it was implementing for all staff.
- Defence of a claim brought against Smart Solutions (Recruitment) Limited by a former recruitment consultant for constructive unfair dismissal.
- Advising Remploy Limited on the application of TUPE in relation to the cessation/winding down of the Work Choice and Work Programme schemes and the introduction of the Work and Health Programme.
Headed by Emma Burns , Hugh James' three-partner team provides a 'prompt and thorough service' to domestic private and public sector clients on ongoing HR training and advisory work, including acting on larger projects, such as TUPE and redundancy considerations in relation to business reorganisations/closures. Additionally, the firm handles a significant amount of work in grievances, disciplinary issues and exit strategies. Andrea Thomas has a thriving contentious practice and regularly represents clients across the spectrum of Employment Tribunal claims, including unfair dismissal, discrimination and whistleblowing.
Other key lawyers:
Andrea Thomas; Rhiannon Dale
‘Emma Burns is very personable and capable.’
Cardiff International Airport
Keolis Amey trading as Transport for Wales Rail Services
S.A Brain Limited
Natural Resources Wales
Celtic Manor Resort
Motonovo Finance (a division of FirstRand Bank Limited (London Branch)
Chepstow Plant International
PF Concept International
Opus International Consultants (UK)
Wales Co-operative Training and Development Centre (the Wales Co-op)
City and County of Swansea
Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board
Meritor HVBS Limited and Meritor Aftermarket Switzerland
- Advised on the employment aspects of the sale of Ffos Las racecourse and the sales of a Land Rover dealership, both owned by Walters Group.
- Advising PF Concept International on various employment matters including advice on employment status and employment contracts.
- The firm continues to be the sole provider of employment advice to Natural Resources Wales, the largest Welsh Government sponsored body.
- The provision of day to day HR advice to The Celtic Manor Resort.
- The provision of day to day advice on HR matters for Alun Griffiths (Contractors) Limited, including a TUPE transfer.
The strategic focus of the Cardiff office, Lewis Silkin LLP's 11-strong team provides a 'practical and commercial service' to national, international and domestic corporates (particularly within the media, retail, leisure and manufacturing sectors) across the spectrum of employment matters, including strategic redundancies, restructuring, outsourcing and TUPE. Team head Lucy Lewis excels at providing 'strategic and effective advice' to advertising and marketing clients on issues surrounding redundancies and restructurings. The 'excellent' Richard Moore is able to 'explain and justify his advice in plain English' and excels at handling the employment issues associated with M&A and outsourcing transactions.
Other key lawyers:
Richard Moore; Tom Ford
‘Richard Moore is very technical.’
Cardiff International Airport
- Advised a leading facilities management company in relation to a HMRC-directed review of its pay and practices.
- Support a range of multinationals on Tier 2 permit applications for their inbound employees from overseas.
- Advice across all of Cardiff International Airport’s employment law matters, including in relation to employee relations.
- Advised on the employment aspects of Sopra Steria’s acquisition of Sword Apak.
- Advised a rage of companies in relation to workplace GDPR preparations (including various leading multinational advertising agencies and media companies).
Slater and Gordon's 11-strong team provides an 'impressively knowledgeable service' to an exclusively claimant-side client base, which includes senior executives, private clients, trade unions and the Police Federation. 'Excellent' senior associate Juliette Franklin is now one of the most experienced members of the team following Rachel Harfield's recent move to the Cardiff and District Law Society, and is particularly noted for her skill in representing clients in discrimination claims. Senior solicitor Mohini Bharani is 'very compassionate' when representing clients in race and disability discrimination cases.
Other key lawyers:
James Watkins; Claire Tait; Rhydian Reeves; Mohini Bharani
‘The sensible and commercial Juliette Franklin has an excellent reputation.’
Police Federation of England and Wales
Unite the Union
- Successfully represented Angus Bowler in a long-running racial discrimination and victimisation case brought against Kent Police.
- We are acting for a transgender police officer in a claim for sexual orientation discrimination.
With an impressive roster of corporate clients as well as an increasing number of instructions on a standalone basis, Acuity Law offers 'professional and business focused advice' to employers and senior executives across the waterfront of employment matters, ranging from employee relations, workforce planning and TUPE transfers. Team head Claire Knowles is appreciated by clients for her 'sound and appropriate advice' on standalone matters and in the context of risk management for corporates through the provision of very effective training sessions. The team also handles a substantial amount of ongoing employment work under the firm’s Acuity Counsel service.
‘The team makes an effort to understand their client’s organisations and operations, thus making the advice they provide practical.’
‘Claire Knowles is personable, friendly, relaxed and engaged.’
Harris Pye Fabrication Limited
Newport Wafer Fab Limited
Graig Shipping Plc
Rituals UK Limited
Alamo Group Europe Limited
Ice Arena (Wales) Limited
Very well plugged into the south Wales business ecosystem, Berry Smith provides a 'commercial and pragmatic' service to start-ups, SMEs, individuals and public sector entities across the spectrum of non-contentious and contentious employment matters. 'Outstanding' team head Fabio Grech has particular expertise on strategic employment issues related to business restructurings, outsourcings and M&A activity.
Other key lawyers:
‘The team looks at the business realities first and then tailors the solution.’
‘Always willing and able to respond as quickly as is required.’
‘Fabio Grech understands our commercial realities and the problems we have encountered at all levels within the business.’
‘Sarah Alford provides a calm and un-flustered approach, no matter what the issue is.’
South Wales Fire & Rescue Service
Welsh Government – National Procurement Service
BBI Group Holdings
EKF Diagnostics Holdings
St David’s Hospice Care
Guardian Global Technologies
Biological Preparations Limited
Spectrum Technologies Limited
Minton, Treharne & Davies Limited
Carmarthenshire County Council
LCB Construction Limited
- Advising on collective consultation over harmonisation of employment terms for Guardian Global Technologies Limited and Core Laboratories.
- Full HR and employment law support to St David’s Hospice Care.
Darwin Gray LLP
Darwin Gray LLP represents domestic clients across the gamut of employment issues, from day-to-day HR advice through to complex restructuring exercises and contentious work. Team head Fflur Jones has an excellent reputation in the market for discrimination matters, as well as providing ongoing HR advice and training to local corporates (where she is able to utilise her Welsh language skills should the need arise).
Other key lawyers:
Morgan Denton Jones
Benefiting from a 'personal touch' that befits the small size of the firm, two-partner Cardiff-based employment boutique Morgan Denton Jones provides the full spectrum of contentious and non-contentious work for corporates and public sector entities, as well as for employees (including executives). Jenny Jones handles broad-ranging employment work on behalf of corporates but has also developed a thriving practice for London-based senior executives on the negotiation of exit terms.
Mark Morgan; Jenny Jones
Other key lawyers:
Elizabeth Evans; Rhiannon John
The arrival in September 2017 of JCP Solicitors' former team head Paul Shuttleworth has galvanised Douglas-Jones Mercer's employment offering, not only in terms of the significant client base he was able to transfer across but also in the employment support work he is increasingly undertaking for existing corporate clients of the firm. Shuttleworth's expertise runs the gamut of both contentious and non-contentious matters for both local businesses and individuals, with recent work including an unfair dismissal and whistleblower case, as well as advice to a group of individuals on their respective settlement agreements.
‘The very commercial and pragmatic Paul Shuttleworth is superb.’
Bad Wolf Ltd
Community Lives Consortium
Redhill High School
- Advised Community Lives Consortium on the impact of the HMRC Social Care Compliance Scheme.
- Advised a private individual on his unfair dismissal/whistleblowing claim against a former employer.
- Represented GRS Care Ltd on the defence of claims of unfair dismissal, failure to inform and consult under TUPE regulation and underpayment of holiday pay.
Harding Evans LLP
Headed out of Newport by Daniel Wilde, Harding Evans LLP's three-strong team handles a significant volume and variety of contentious and non-contentious employment work for local employers and individuals. Wilde has particular expertise at advising employers on senior management issues, and also regularly provides employment advice to local sporting personalities and teams.
Golley Slater Group
Northwood & Wepa Limited
General Communications Limited
- Negotiated a six figure settlement after a large telecoms company failed to follow historic practice in making enhanced redundancy payment.
- Advised Northwood & Wepa on achieving GDPR compliance.
- Advised long standing client Golley Slater on restructuring of its senior management team in its Leeds office.
- Successfully represented GD Environmental Services in relation to unfair dismissal claims alleging discrimination on grounds of part-time status.
- Advised Aposave Ltd, a European company headquartered in Denmark, on employment issues relating to its UK start-up including draft service agreements and bonus schemes for its new UK managing director.
JCP Solicitors provides an 'attentive service' to public and private sector clients spread across south east and south west Wales. The team is led on the contentious front by 'diligent and hardworking' associate Shan Evans from the firm's Cardiff office, and strengthened out of the firm's Swansea headquarters for general HR advisory and non-contentious work by the arrival in March 2018 of Sophie Ray from technology company Rockfield.
Shan Evans (Cardiff) Sophie Ray (Swansea)
‘Shan Evans is immensely diligent, hardworking and always imparts sound and sensible advice in a timely manner.’
Led out of Swansea by Timothy Jones, and also increasingly active out of the firm's Carmarthen office, Morgan LaRoche's 'approachable and professional' three-strong team handles a range of standalone employment matters (including advice delivered via the team's HR service), as well as corporate support work including TUPE matters associated with M&A instructions handled by the firm. The 'diligent, organised and resourceful' Hannah Dahill is 'full of great advice on the how, what and why of HR issues'.
Other key lawyers:
‘Although local they have the depth and knowledge of City law firms.’
‘Experienced, straight-talking and patient.’
‘Hannah Dahill is very pragmatic and practical.’
Castell Howells Food
Owens (Road Services) Limited
John Weaver (Contractors) Ltd
Dyfed Steels Limited
LBS Builders Merchants Limited
Allspares (Auto) Limited
Jistcourt Construction (South Wales) Limited
Swansea Industrial Components
- Delivered and produced employment law training for the Welsh Government.
- Delivered in-house GDPR training to over 50 managers at Castell Howell Foods.
- Advised Owens (Road Services) Limited on the need to restructure its group companies in respect of recent gig economy cases.
- Preparing LBS Builders Merchants’ gender pay gap report.
- Produced up-to-date employment and HR documents, contracts, policies and procedures, as well as the organisation’s gender pay gap report.
Led by the 'experienced and well-respected' Robert Williams from the firm's Wrexham office, GHP Legal has a strong reputation in the region, in particular when handling employee claimant litigation, where recent work has included employment tribunal hearings relating to constructive dismissal, gross misconduct, disability discrimination and whistleblower claims. On the non-contentious front, the team regularly advises individuals on settlement agreements.
Appreciated for its 'customer service and attention to detail', Howells Solicitors remains best-known for its very effective service on behalf of claimants across a range of contentious matters in the south Wales region. The departure in August 2018 of former team head David Lewis to Capital Law Limited was somewhat of a setback for the firm, however, this was offset to a large degree by the arrival in July 2018 of Bethan Southcombe from NewLaw Solicitors, who has effectively developed the firm's growing respondent practice through the reintroduction of a monthly retainer service aimed at local SME businesses.
Bethan Southcombe (non-contentious); Gemma Bailey (contentious)
‘The very empathetic and skilled Gemma Bailey is excellent at claimant contentious work.’
- Successfully represented the client in a case brought against her former employer for constructive unfair dismissal.
Red Kite Law LLP
Now headed on a day-to-day basis by associate Carys Lodwick, following Joanne James' move in-house to Valero Energy Corporation, Red Kite Law LLP 's five-strong team maintains a strong reputation among West Wales-based SMEs and owner-managed businesses, in particular. As well as providing discrete, ad-hoc advice across the full range of employment matters, the team also provides a popular monthly subscription-based service which is tailored to an individual organisations’ needs. Although the team is sector agnostic, it has developed a particular strength in relation to the employment needs of energy sector clients.
Other key lawyers:
Puma Energy UK
Castell Howell Foods
Port of Milford Haven
Nation Broadcasting Ltd
Davies Crane Hire
Stephens and George Limited
Puffin Produce Limited
Elliots Hill Care Limited
Pontrilas Sawmills Limited
M & D Care Limited
Sunset West Limited
Frenni Transport Limited
Consort Equipment Products Limited
Bull Products Limited
- Ongoing support to the Port of Milford Haven across a wide range of employment law and HR-related issues.
- Advised Puma Energy across a range of employment and HR matters, particularly in relation to TUPE and data protection.
- Advised Nation Broadcasting Limited on the employment implications of a number of acquisitions undertaken and any resulting reorganisations and restructures in 2019.
- Ongoing strategic and practice advice and support to Castell Howell Foods relating to any employment and HR-related queries, including complex disciplinary processes, data protection inquiries and support through reorganisations within the business.
- Ongoing strategic and practical advice to Puffin Produce, including conducting reviews of existing procedures and assisting with new policies and procedures in place to comply with changing obligations such as those relating to data protection.
Led by the 'technically very strong' Anna Denton Jones, sole practitioner employment boutique REFRESHING LAW provides 'pragmatic and commercial advice' to local and English clients, either directly or as a result of law firm referrals. By virtue of having smaller overheads and a flexible perspective on billing, the firm is able to provide a strong service for corporates on employment work pursuant to M&A transactions, as well as for senior executives on the negotiation of settlement agreements.
‘Anna Denton Jones is technically very competent, responsive and so easy to work with.’
‘What really stands out is the way that Anna manages to get to the crux of an issue thus removing ambiguity and legal jargon.’
Various senior executives
Roxburgh Milkins Limited
- Provided training materials to GoCompare.com so they could roll out to all their employees on the impact of GDPR.
- Assisting individuals with the negotiation of settlement agreement and advising them on the terms of their departures.
- Provision of GDPR training both for the business itself but also for all its members so that they knew how to prepare for the GDPR.
- Effectively sub-contract to them as regards being their employment department on all corporate and commercial work they do for their clients.
Harrisons Solicitors LLP
Based out of the firm's Welshpool office, Harrisons Solicitors LLP provides a 'responsive and professional service' to corporates and individuals spread throughout mid-Wales across a range of contentious and non-contentious matters, including advice on settlement agreements, restrictive covenants, TUPE, and discrimination cases.
Other key lawyers:
‘Charlotte Powell-Jones was very reassuring and clearly explained everything.’
Wynnstay Group Plc
Charlies Stores Limited
Rees Astley Limited
Gary John Roberts
Able to provide a flexible and commercial service by virtue of its use of cloud-based technologies and artificial intelligence, Newport-based sole practitioner employment boutique Slate Legal has rapidly developed a strong reputation in the local market on behalf of corporates and executives since its formation at the beginning of 2016. 'Engaging and attentive' managing partner James Moss has experience across a range of contentious and non-contentious matters, including advice on the employment issues associated with corporate reorganisations and outsourcings, as well as for senior executives on restrictive covenants and severance packages.
Vans Direct Ltd
Copart UK Ltd
Parkhouse 20 Ltd
Cynon Vale Medical Practice
Cuddy Demolition Ltd
Cambrian Consulting Ltd
Newport Golf Club
Commercial Motors (Wales) Ltd
Patent Seekers Ltd
C2J Design Ltd
Safe Haven Lodges
- Advising the board of Vans Direct Ltd on a range of contentious and non-contentious employment-related matters.
- Defended Cuddy Demolition Ltd and the managing director on an interim relief application and related automatic unfair dismissal claim (whistleblowing).
- Advised Commercial Motors (Wales) Ltd on a TUPE transfer.