Employment in West Midlands

DLA Piper

DLA Piper continues to be involved in major multi-jurisdictional projects such as significant restructurings, reorganisations as well as outsourcing and insourcing transactions. Other strengths lie in high-profile and complex employment tribunal and High Court litigation. Under the leadership of Sandra Wallace the team has developed considerable niche expertise in diverse areas such as the gig economy and IR35 matters as well as #MeToo, holiday pay and national minimum wage issues for a number of its clients in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors. It also has considerable sector expertise in other areas including the manufacturing, technology and energy sectors. Emma Phillips is another name to note for her extensive transactional, litigation and cross-border project expertise.

Practice head(s):

Sandra Wallace

Other key lawyers:

Emma Phillips; Robert Forsyth

Testimonials

‘The ability to obtain consolidated advice in related areas (e.g. tax, corporate and litigation) is a huge benefit and has helped meet our business’ objectives on several time sensitive matters and projects’.

Robert Forsyth and Sandra Wallace have always taken a commercial and pragmatic approach to resolving complex legal issues to achieve the desired result for our business. They have demonstrated an understanding of our business’ needs and Robert has gone above and beyond in terms of his responsiveness‘.

Key clients

Dyson

Hilton International Hotels (UK) Limited

National Grid plc

Clarks

Genting Casinos

Collins Aerospace

Sodexo

Wesleyan

Newell Brands

Work highlights

  • Partnered with Dyson to outsource its global IT and finance functions.
  • Representing Clarks in respect of the exit of its former chief executive officer in the High Court, having recently defended all whistleblowing claims in the Employment Tribunal.
  • Recently instructed by a global technology company, manufacturer and retailer to collate a high level report on material employment issues and risks that might impact on its European retail expansion plans.
  • Partnering with its client to create a standardised contract of employment, with the same look, feel and brand-driven approach globally, whilst utilising the firm’s local expertise, market knowledge and best-practice approach to global projects to meet its client’s objectives.
  • Reappointed to the National Grid legal panel for a further 3-5 years, following an extensive re-tender process.

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP is one of the pre-eminent firms in the West Midlands that handles complex employment matters for a variety of high-profile clients including a number of FTSE 100 companies and a variety of public sector organisations. It does a lot of day-to-day tribunal work for a host of listed companies and also continues to provide employment advice for its strong US client base. David Beswick has extensive experience of acting for employers in employment tribunal litigation and Nick Jew also has considerable experience of employment tribunal matters as well as High Court litigation. Audrey Elliott leads the Birmingham office employment team and has a particular specialism in acting for companies across the energy and utilities sectors. Hannah Wilkins aids clients in the IT sector with international and cross-border issues.

Testimonials

Wie-Men Ho is excellent with clients having a reassuring but friendly manner with clients‘.

Key clients

Ideal Standard UK Limited

MAHLE Group

CDC Group Plc

Next

ABF Plc

Cadent Gas Ltd

National Grid Ventures

Severn Trent Water Limited

Allied Bakeries

Work highlights

  • Advising Ideal Standard on the closure of the historic bath manufacturing site in Hull with the loss of nearly 100 jobs together with a TUPE transfer of a small part of the production to a local supplier.
  • Regularly instructed to defend various complex Employment Tribunal claims on behalf of Next to protect its reputation and minimise any financial and litigation risk.
  • Frequently provides employment and immigration support to the whole of the ABF group – the group includes Allied Bakeries, Twinings, Jordans Ryvita and Speedibake.
  • Advised MAHLE Group on the strategy and implementation of its proposal to close its Telford Filter Systems plant in 2021.
  • Advised Allied Bakeries, a subsidiary of ABF Plc, on the closure of its long-standing bakery production operation at its Cardiff site, whilst still retaining its transport function.

Gowling WLG

Gowling WLG provides UK and international private and public sector clients with the full array of employment, labour and equalities advice. The first-rate team has specialisms in areas as diverse as manufacturing, real estate and life sciences through to police work, social housing and healthcare. Its contentious expertise covers High Court business protection litigation through to complex discrimination and whistleblowing tribunal claims. The team under the leadership of Jane Fielding also regularly advises on industrial relations issues as well as workplace investigations. Recently the group has also been busy working with clients on the new employment aspects of data protection law and has been providing support on corporate and real estate transactions. Martin Chitty is also well-regarded. Chitty acts for some of the UK’s largest housing associations and leading manufacturers in addition to private equity investors. Jonathan Chamberlain’s specialist areas include financial services, technology, life sciences and advanced manufacturing.

Practice head(s):

Jane Fielding

Testimonials

Martin Chitty deservedly has an excellent reputation‘.

Martin Chitty stands out for his expertise on restrictive covenants‘.

Gowling really knows our business and makes sure it delivers its advice according to our needs‘.

The team takes a collaborative approach. The responses are legally spot on and the approach practical. There is no sense of a distant ivory tower which is very important to me’.

Key clients

Jacobs

Cathay Pacific

London Borough of Croydon

RLB

Mercedes AMG High Performance Powertrains Ltd

Iglo Foods (now Nomad)

The Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis

Sanctuary Group

Work highlights

  • Advised NVM Private Equity (NVM) on its £7m investment into Chemigraphic, a leading provider of Electronic Manufacturing Services (EMS) to the fast-growth medical technology, defence and power systems sectors.
  • Advised H&T Group plc, a leading pawnbroker in the UK, on its proposed acquisition of 65 trading stores and a further 29 pledge books from The Money Shop, the trading name for Instant Cash Loans Limited and TM Sutton Limited.
  • Advised Co-op Energy and Flow Energy on a deal to create a new strategic partnership with Octopus Energy.

Pinsent Masons LLP

Pinsent Masons LLP fields a large team that acts for household name companies on the full range of employment matters from complex tribunal work to business-critical projects. The skilled team has been advising on a broad spectrum of matters from pay gap reporting, cross-jurisdictional projects through to industrial action and Brexit advice. Head of the Birmingham team Jonathan Coley specialises in advising clients on the defence of strategic claims that have a high value or may have a major reputational impact. Coley has particular expertise in the enforcement of restrictive covenants. Linda Jones heads the employment team nationally and Helen Corden is known for her work with clients in the education and TMT sectors particularly.

Practice head(s):

Linda Jones; Jonathan Coley

Other key lawyers:

Helen Corden; Matt McDonald

Testimonials

The team is aware of our business needs, provides clear and easy to understand advice and clearly flags risks and options. The lawyers are solution focused and add value with excellent response times‘.

Jonathan Coley runs a very good team, he is a stand-out individual who deservedly has a very good reputation‘.

Jonathan Coley – one of the best employment lawyers around‘.

Linda Jones is calm, knowledgeable and clear headed‘.

Helen Corden goes above and beyond what is required and has a calm, level and professional approach with high intelligence‘.

Matt McDonald understands our business and the challenges we face so works with us to find solutions rather than just stating the employment law behind the issue‘.

Key clients

Serco Limited

Fujitsu Limited

St Modwen PLC

Centrica PLC

Homeserve Membership Limited

MITIE Group PLC

E.on UK PLC

University College London

RAC

University of the Arts London

Work highlights

  • Helped to advise Birmingham City Council (in conjunction with  Devereux Chambers) on its strategic response to and eventual resolution of an ongoing dispute in its waste collection service.
  • Advised Barratt Developments plc on its successful appeal to the Employment Appeal Tribunal against a finding of race discrimination in favour of an ex-employee.

Averta Employment Lawyers LLP

Averta Employment Lawyers LLP is a specialist employment firm that focuses on the employment needs of directors, managers, senior executives and other professionals. It is increasingly acting for corporate clients. The excellent team advises on the full range of matters, from discrimination, harassment and the non-payment of bonuses through to exit packages and settlement agreements for clients in both the public and private sectors. It is also known for its work on advising groups of executives in conflict with a company or thinking of leaving a business to work for a competitor. Other areas of expertise include representing individuals facing serious disciplinary investigations as well as advising on TUPE transfers and contractual and bonus claims. Alan Jones and David Sykes are highly respected practitioners. Rachel Broughton is now a full-time employment judge.

Practice head(s):

Alan Jones; David Sykes

Testimonials

The team is really sensible and pragmatic. That is what makes it stand out from other claimant lawyers. The lawyers are always out to get the best for their clients, but negotiate in a reasonable way that often gets a better result‘.

A heavyweight team that brings expertise to acting for individual employees. Pragmatic and highly skilled. Stand-out experts who can be fully relied on to deliver outstanding advice‘.

The team adopts a good commercial but still firm approach to negotiating deals for its clients‘.

Efficient, courteous and prompt, Alan Jones listened, acted and communicated with the other party in the tone and manner I wanted. This made the whole process stress free‘.

Alan Jones is always available to speak to clients when we need him to. He is very responsive. Alan comes across as very knowledgeable and professional. Alan is a very strong negotiator and it is very clear from the start of a conversation that he really knows his stuff‘.

Small niche practice but with the same quality of employment advice as the national firms. David Sykes has extensive experience and applies this in a realistic way‘.

David Sykes is very commercial and the firm overall gets the right result for the client and all team members are responsive‘.

It is a successful practice. Alan Jones and David Sykes are both very experienced and pragmatic‘.

Work highlights

  • Acted for 120 employees on Coca Cola’s site in Milton Keynes who were involved in a redundancy/TUPE process when the bottling plant was sold by Coca Cola to Refresco.
  • Acting for a trustee/director of one of the UK’s largest pension funds in a whistleblowing claim.
  • Acting for a senior executive facing termination – issues involve contractual entitlement, interpretation of bonus scheme rules, and entitlement to long-term incentive benefits on termination.
  • Acted for a director/shareholder in a private company owned, in large part, by a US entity when various allegations had been made against him.
  • Acted for a senior executive, alongside another firm acting for his employer, dealing with threatened High Court proceedings seeking an injunction and proceedings for breach of contract.

Browne Jacobson LLP

Browne Jacobson LLP’s employment team does work for both public and private sector clients. It has a collection of specialisms across the commercial, education and insurance sectors. It also boasts considerable expertise in the healthcare sector through three employment partners locally who are well placed to advise not only provider hospital trusts but also CCGs, ICSs and the independent healthcare market. James Tait heads the employment team in Birmingham while Jacqui Atkinson heads the national employment healthcare team. Helen Badger mostly acts for public sector clients including the NHS and clients in the education sector. Bridget Prosser joined the team at the end of September 2019 from Capsticks LLP - she has considerable experience of advising key NHS and third sector clients and various crime agencies on complex employment matters.

Practice head(s):

Jacqui Atkinson; James Tait

Other key lawyers:

Helen Badger; Bridget Prosser

Testimonials

The team engages with clients in an easy to understand format‘.

The group is very approachable and responsive‘.

James Tait is a highly trusted individual, very flexible and easy to engage with. He demystifies many areas of employment law for the team, and provides us with reassurance and confidence‘.

Jacqui Atkinson has in-depth knowledge of the healthcare sector. She provides pragmatic advice to clients and advises very well on tricky doctor issues‘.

Key clients

Hiscox

Oclaro Technology Limited

Bureau Veritas UK Limited

Various academies

Wolverhampton City Council

TT Electronics Plc

Transalliance

Birmingham & Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust

Dudley Group of Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

NHS Birmingham & Solihull CCG

The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust

Work highlights

  • Supporting the trust chairman of an NHS trust with a legal review following a high-profile and sensitive investigation into a senior member of an executive board.
  • Providing education HR services to hundreds of schools and academies throughout the country.
  • Delivering a significant and dedicated outsourced claims handling service to Hiscox Underwriting Services Limited.
  • Advised a professional football club on the removal of a manager.
  • Continuing to advise Performances Birmingham Limited in relation to all of its employee relations matters.

Gateley Plc

Gateley Plc advises on the full spectrum of employment matters from employment tribunal work through to litigation in the High Court and the appellate courts. It is particularly strong on confidentiality and post-termination restrictions. It has been busy advising on a variety of high-value and complex matters, from advising on multi-claimant and multi-respondent claims relating to national wage compliance in the social care sector through to advising on complicated restructuring projects for an automotive supplier. It also has long-standing client relationships with companies in particular sectors including in retail, healthcare, recruitment and the charitable/not for profit sector. Head of team Benedict Gorner acts for both corporates and senior executives on a wide range of contentious and non-contentious work. Merran Sewell acts for a predominantly employer client base providing a full range of employment law advice.

Practice head(s):

Benedict Gorner

Other key lawyers:

Merran Sewell

Testimonials

It is a dedicated team that provides fully responsive, personal, professional expert advice which is commercially based. Total understanding of our business structures, demographics and complexities‘.

Benedict Gorner was great to work with. A calm voice in a difficult situation. His guidance was invaluable in delivering a successful outcome on the matter we were working on‘.

Benedict Gorner is sensible, smart, level-headed‘.

Benedict Gorner and his team were outstanding. I cannot praise them highly enough. He was faultless. Excellent at his job and eased any fears that I had and fought my case brilliantly. He was always available for meetings/calls/emails and gave first-class advice‘.

‘Gateley provides advice and legal support that’s completely practical and relevant to our organisation. The team spent the time getting to know us and the types of challenges we face‘.

Merran Sewell was not only extremely professional but also very approachable and always very helpful and supportive. She always takes the time to ensure that the advice given is understood and acted upon in the correct way‘.

We trust Merran Sewell completely and always find her advice to be exactly what we need to be able to deal with any situation that comes up‘.

Merran Sewell is not afraid to steer very senior client representatives to consider other options, and gained their trust very quickly through demonstrating a thorough knowledge of employment law and drawing on her experience‘.

Key clients

AGA Rangemaster

Arts Council England

BNP Paribas Personal Finance

Busy Bees Nurseries

CALA Group

Crisil Irevna UK Limited

Dune Group

Gymshark Limited

Leadec Limited

Sanlam Investment and Wealth Management

Science Engineering and Manufacturing Technology Alliance

Sevacare (UK) Limited

Svenska Handelsbanken

Whistles

Work highlights

  • Acted for two clients in an automotive supply chain who are restructuring.
  • Acted for a major manufacturer in respect of a high-value dispute with a former director.
  • Acted for a client in respect of a major outsourcing and TUPE project.
  • Acted for a team of individuals in relation to their defence of a claim for breach of restrictive covenants by their former employer.
  • Acted for a senior executive in respect of a high-value TUPE claim.

Mills & Reeve LLP

Mills & Reeve LLP acts for a large number of high-profile clients in both the private and public sectors and has acted on a number of significant employment cases recently in addition to providing employment support on many corporate deals and projects. Jog Hundle has a strong reputation for her work in the health and care sectors. Hundle routinely advises on reorganisations, the employment aspects of mergers and disputes with medical staff/very senior managers as well as on complex discrimination and whistleblowing claims. Nick Abbott has considerable experience in the education sector. Richard Santy has a focus in the commercial and sports sectors and conducts his own advocacy in the employment tribunal.

Practice head(s):

David Mills

Testimonials

Mills & Reeve has some really great lawyers‘.

Jog Hundle has a very loyal client following and is very experienced and well-known in the healthcare sector’.

Jog Hundle – her name is well-known in the healthcare sector‘.

Nick Abbott is very experienced in the university space – he is commercial and personable‘.

Richard Santy continues to do very well‘.

Richard Santy is well known in the market. He has a very commercial approach, clients like him and he speaks their language‘.

Key clients

Jaguar Land Rover (JLR)

Volkswagen Financial Services (VWFS)

Interserve Group Limited

Arcadia Group (Top Shop Top Man Limited)

Carlsberg

University of Birmingham

Manchester University Foundation NHS Trust

Birmingham City University

University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust

Odeon Cinemas Group

West Midlands Ambulance Service University NHS Foundation Trust

Wye Valley NHS Trust

Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust

Horizon Care & Education

South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust

Coventry & Warwickshire Partnership NHS Trust

Black Country Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust

Work highlights

  • Representing a further education college in two complex employment tribunal cases.
  • Represented the University of London in judicial review proceedings that were brought by the IWGB trade union seeking to challenge UK legislation relating to trade union recognition.
  • As part of an internal restructure which saw a reduction in internal HR/employment support for Jaguar Land Rover (JLR), the practice was instructed to support JLR on an ongoing basis with a significant number of matters, including general employment advice and employment tribunal claims.
  • Siân Jackson completed a secondment at a Russell Group university to undertake the role of general counsel for the client for one day a week to cover for the general counsel’s non-working day.
  • Continuing to advise Volkswagen Financial Services for a number of years on an exclusive basis in relation to a variety of HR and employment law related matters.

Shoosmiths LLP

Shoosmiths LLP continues to handle significant employment tribunal caseloads for major multinational clients and has particular expertise in handling sensitive senior executive exits in the regulated sectors such as financial services and healthcare. It forms part of a national employment team and the group is well-placed to advise a broad range of clients in the private, public and ‘third’ sectors, with particular strength in higher education, retail, technology and charities. Charlie Rae receives a lot of accolades and is well-regarded for his work on high-profile senior executive terminations, client reorganisations, business transfers and contentions matters. Adele Hayfield advises a range of commercial clients and individuals on both contentious and non-contentious matters. Antonia Blackwell is another name to note.

Practice head(s):

Charlie Rae

Testimonials

Charlie Rae has really grown in stature in the local market, very experienced in TUPE matters. He provides very commercial and astute advice‘.

Charlie Rae works tirelessly – he is trusted and admired in the local community‘.

Partner-led advice, always commercially focused and understanding the needs of our business and its position as an employer. Very accessible, happy to be contacted at short notice for an informal view on a matter. Approachable, accessible, exceptional knowledge of the law and its application in a commercial environment‘.

Antonia Blackwell and Charlie Rae – we have worked with them both for a number of years and they have always been approachable, quick to respond, provide advice that is user friendly and easy to understand whilst understanding our business and risk appetite etc.’

Extremely responsive, high-quality and pragmatic advice in the context of my business. Charlie Rae and Antonia Blackwell are exceptional. Very responsive and they have taken considerable time to build strong relationships with me and my team to truly add value in the advice they provide‘.

‘The quality of advice has always been comprehensive, explained in simple terms and given in the context of the situation. There are two individuals who come to mind immediately whose expertise and customer service is outstanding – Antonia Blackwell and Charlie Rae. I found their advice to be accurate, relevant and up-to-date‘.

Antonia Blackwell is very pragmatic‘.

‘Nick Vernon’s approach is always pragmatic whilst making sure we have a clear understanding of the legal technicalities and the risks associated with all options. We almost feel like he is an extension to our team‘.

Key clients

Debenhams Retail plc

The Law Society

Kuehne+Nagel

PSA Group

The National Exhibition Centre

PRS for Music Limited

ARAMARK Limited

Boots

Idverde Limited

Octopus Investments

British Association of Social Workers

Work highlights

  • Advised a global logistics business on a fast-paced senior executive reorganisation project of significant business importance to the client.
  • Secured favourable terms of resolution for a sector-leading financial services client in connection with threatened court proceedings by a competitor, concerning an employee alleged to be in breach of restrictive covenants.
  • Advised a leading green services business on several cases involving contested TUPE transfer or TUPE assignment matters and successfully defended litigation.
  • Acted for Paul Mitchell, who was head of recruitment and development at Bundesliga club RB Leipzig and is regarded as one of the best talent-spotters in European football, regarding his contract negotiations concerning his move to the role of technical director of Red Bull’s Global Soccer division.
  • Advised a leading business supplying support services to the motor industry in relation to its plan to materially alter the shift patterns of nearly 80 employees located across the UK.

Squire Patton Boggs

Squire Patton Boggs regularly handles complex employment matters for high-profile clients such as organisations in the sports, technology, healthcare and construction sectors. Other sector strengths lie in the hospitality, retail and financial sectors. The team is adept at advising on complex restructurings, TUPE, outsourcing and redundancy consultations as well as senior executive terminations. It has also been involved in a myriad of multi-jurisdictional projects spanning the UK, US and Europe. The group is also regularly instructed, under the leadership of Charlie Frost, on a considerable number of high-value and complex whistleblowing and discrimination claims and has acted for a number of clients in the High Court on injunction matters. Ramez Moussa is another key figure in the market.

Practice head(s):

Charlie Frost

Other key lawyers:

Ramez Moussa

Testimonials

The team is really commercial, and I am able to discuss employment matters with the team in an open way and get clear and practical advice which I am able to put into practice really easily‘.

Charlie Frost is excellent‘.

The team overall is knowledgeable about our business and is responsive. Ramez Moussa is exceptional. He is very articulate and puts his points across in a concise and clear way‘.

The team provides a hands-on approach to issues that arise and is quick to respond to our needs. The team is professional and provides legal advice which is clear and jargon free‘.

Key clients

Amaris Hospitality Ltd

Jurys Inn and Leonardo Hotels UK & Ireland

Renault F1

Dalata Group

Babylon Partners

Next plc

Bayer plc

Coventry Building Society

Aggregate Industries Ltd

National Australia Bank

Carl Zeiss

Jewson

Saint-Gobain

Aston Villa Football Club

BDO LLP

Zara

Roper Technologies Inc

Veolia plc

West Bromwich Albion Football Club

Citron Hygiene

Work highlights

  • Advised Jurys Inn and Leonardo Hotels UK & Ireland on the  employment issues arising from its high-profile and complex acquisition of the long-term lease of four luxury hotels in London.
  • Advised the administrators of Accessible Transport Group Ltd; Accessible Transport Group Contract Services Ltd; Ring & Ride West Midlands Ltd (the Group) in assisting to ensure that the service continued uninterrupted whilst a prospective buyer for the business was found and advised on the TUPE transfer of employees in the eventual sale of the Group to National Express.
  • Advised Renault F1 on all aspects of UK employment matters, including in relation to data privacy, image rights, employment contracts, senior executive matters, staff handbook and consultancy arrangements and UK immigration matters.
  • Advised Nick Hammond (head of football operations at Celtic Football Club) on his contract negotiations with Celtic, including on the drafting of key provisions in his service agreement.
  • Advised National Australia Bank on a number of disciplinary matters involving senior post holders, including advice in relation to employment law and regulatory issues.

Anthony Collins Solicitors LLP

Anthony Collins Solicitors LLP has a national client base with a core focus on health and social care as well as housing, education and charities. It also advises several local authorities on complex and sensitive issues which span governance rules, regulatory obligations and employment law. In addition the excellent team continues to advise a solid base of faith-based clients on a broad range of matters. Names to note include the head of the employment and pensions team Matthew Gregson as well as Matthew Wort who heads up the firm’s work in the health and social care sector. Anna Dabek and Douglas Mullen are also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Matthew Gregson

Testimonials

Matthew Gregson is highly rated and experienced‘.

Matthew Gregson is very personable‘.

Anna Dabek and Matthew Wort – both are excellent in the social care and third sector – real thought leaders in this field‘.

The team’s understanding of issues in the social care sector and their close involvement in key sector-relevant cases puts them ahead of competitors in their field. Anna Dabek and Matt Wort [are recommended], but honestly all the employment team are consistently reliable and responsive‘.

Key clients

Care England

United Kingdom Homecare Association

Achieve Together

City and County Healthcare Group

Brandon Trust

National Care Group

Greenpeace

Midland Heart

Methodist Homes

Thirteen Housing Group

Work highlights

  • Advising the government on behalf of the professional association of home care providers on the impact of the Harpur decision on this sector, and the financial ramifications if amendments are not made to the Working Time Regulations to prevent zero hours workers accruing the same holiday entitlement as full-year, full-time workers.
  • Advising Birmingham Hippodrome on a casting decision which threw the theatre into the midst of the current debate regarding the conflict between the right not to be discriminated against on the grounds of belief, and the right not to be discriminated against or subjected to harassment because of sexual orientation.
  • Advising Michael and Pamela Horton on all the employment and pensions aspects of the £40m sale of their Cotswolds Inns and Hotels group, including the demerger of one of the hotels from the group.
  • Acted for 40 social care providers who had registered with the Social Care Compliance Scheme to manage reviews of their national minimum wage compliance and submit declarations to HMRC regarding their compliance with the National Minimum Wage Regulations.
  • Asked by an education charity to provide a definitive answer on its status for the purposes of the IR35 tax legislation reforms and based on that status to advise what its obligations under the legislation are.

Higgs & Sons

Higgs & Sons continues to be best known for its work with SMEs, owner-managed businesses and their families primarily in the West Midlands. It also has considerable expertise in the food, drink, transport, manufacturing and care sectors. Its employment tribunal practice is well established and members of the team conduct their own advocacy. The versatile team also advises senior executives on executive terminations and under the direction of Tim Jones it has also seen increased instructions in the recruitment arena. Another growth area for the team is advising employers on business immigration matters. Damian Kelly has particular experience in employment tribunal advocacy as well as other areas such as restraint of trade and advising on business reorganisations.

Practice head(s):

Tim Jones

Other key lawyers:

Damian Kelly

Testimonials

The team’s capability is second to none. Extremely knowledgeable and reliable and we trust the team members entirely with our business’ legal requirements‘.

‘Feels as though the team is an extension of our senior management team rather than employed at another organisation in how the lawyers engage and communicate with us‘.

Tim Jones has a calming and commercial manner‘.

Tim Jones is very capable‘.

Damian Kelly is an outstanding partner. He responds to our needs immediately, with confidence and appropriate levels of consideration. Damian’s ability to understand our employment law needs through appropriate questioning, presentation of options and by gaining insights into our business culture is what makes him a “go-to” professional‘.

Key clients

D S Smith plc European Works Council

Jonathan Lee Recruitment Ltd

Clarkson Wayman Ball Ltd

Ashley Manor Upholstery Ltd

Elta Group Ltd

Grespania (UK) Ltd

Key Land Capital LLP

Deepdale Engineering Co Ltd

Elcock Reisin

Work highlights

  • Advised Elcock Reisen Ltd in the removal of the managing director and in a claim that was brought by the transport manager.
  • Advised Jonathan Lee Recruitment on making a costs application against the claimant who had sued for disability discrimination and subsequently withdrawn his claim – the application was successful and a costs award was  made.
  • Advised Ashley Manor Upholstery Ltd on all aspects of their employment and HR needs.
  • Continuing to be retained as legal adviser to the European Works Council of a FTSE 100 plc.
  • Advised Deepdale Engineering Co Ltd on all employment and HR issues facing the company in light of Brexit and a volatile marketplace.

Irwin Mitchell

Irwin Mitchell operates across a wide range of sectors with new and longstanding client relationships in retail, financial services, education, healthcare and manufacturing. With Fergal Dowling at the helm the practice is especially rated for its depth of experience in acting for both employers and senior employees in executive severance situations. Recently it has successfully negotiated several complex and high-value severances. In addition the team is known for its strength in confidentiality and restrictive covenants. Elaine Huttley was recently promoted to the partnership.

Practice head(s):

Fergal Dowling

Other key lawyers:

Elaine Huttley

Key clients

Xoserve

Association of Colleges

Babcock International Group

Jaywing

Restore plc

Reconomy UK Ltd

RGIS plc

Fedex

ThyssenKrupp

Hadley Industries plc

Work highlights

  • Acted for Acorn Growth Companies LLC on its successful and high-profile investment to acquire a majority interest in Aerospares 2000 Ltd.
  • Advising Dawn Davidson in relation to her whistleblowing claim against IBM – the claim is factually and legally complex, high in value (over £100,000) and listed in the employment tribunal for 17 days.
  • Represented David Higham Associates Ltd in the defence of a claim by a former employee, who was seeking to argue that section 15 of the Equality Act 2010 should be extended to include perceived disabilities.
  • Working with managing agents Arc Legal Assistance for over ten years on various matters.
  • Represented Dr Justin Chatterjee in his whistleblowing claim against Newcastle Upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

Shakespeare Martineau LLP

Shakespeare Martineau LLP has particular strength in the education sector. Over the last year the team has continued to advise on diverse matters such as international collaborations between UK universities and partners overseas as well as on large restructuring exercises and on senior management departures at major universities. David Browne is the lead employment partner for the majority of the firm’s education clients and has an excellent reputation in this sector as has Tom Long. The team is also known for its expertise across other sectors such as logistics, manufacturing and insurance. Michael Hibbs is another name to note. In addition the practice has a flourishing ‘third sector’ client base and is also known for its successful handling of employment tribunal litigation.

Other key lawyers:

Michael Hibbs; Tom Long; Emma Oliver

Testimonials

The team can be relied upon to provide timely, accurate and common sense advice across the full range of HR challenges. Advice provided is clear, supported by documented evidence and is particularly people friendly. The stand-out qualities are reliability and approachability‘.

The practice is outstanding in terms of both speed and agility of response. The quality of advice and its appropriateness are of the highest order. Geography (Birmingham/London) has posed no barriers to swift arrangements for meetings in person where they have been required‘.

David Browne and Tom Long are at the top of their game and both translate highly complex legal situations into a dialogue that is understandable by those of us not legally qualified. They instill confidence and have demonstrated time and again that their advice and counsel are sound‘.

Tom Long provides excellent individual support but ensures his team matches his exacting standards‘.

Tom Long – always responsive, calm, competent and approachable. Clear and pragmatic advice and good with non-legal colleagues. Same comments re David Browne‘.

Michael Hibbs – quickly understands the issue. Understands our business. Humanistic in approach. Explains even the most complex issue in simple and understandable terms and thoroughly explains the options‘.

Emma Oliver and Michael Hibbs – they are pragmatic but diligent and explain the why as well as the what. They listen, and understand not only our culture, but also people generally and the range of characters that make up an average workforce so their advice equips me with absolute confidence to move forward with whatever issue I am dealing with‘.

Key clients

The University of Warwick

The University of Cambridge

The Royal College of Art

The University of Birmingham

Acorns Children’s Hospice Trust

Staffordshire University

Liverpool John Moores

Optalis

Work highlights

  • Assisted a major university in defending and settling a complex discrimination claim where the claimant was seeking in excess of £1m.
  • Assisted General Dynamics Information Technology in successfully defending a complex discrimination and unfair dismissal claim.
  • Advised a university in a highly sensitive disciplinary matter involving a senior academic staff member who falsified a ‘hate crime’ – the case is now being litigated in the employment tribunal.
  • Represented the individual named appellants in the much-reported Court of Appeal case of FCO v Bamieh which held that the employment tribunal did not have territorial jurisdiction over whistleblowing claims brought by an FCO employee working at EULEX against individual co- workers.
  • Advised a highly prestigious university in respect of its dismissal of an academic member of staff for not meeting the required research standards in order to pass his probation period.

VWV

The Birmingham team at VWV focuses on four key sectors. It advises the education sector as a whole and in conjunction with colleagues throughout its other offices it also advises numerous charities. In addition the group is skilled at advising public sector clients on investigations and strategic reviews as well as having a strong commercial client base. Kathy Halliday is noted for her expertise on change management project, TUPE, executive and board-level advice as well as for her work on severances and high-value litigation. Jane Byford heads the higher education group and specialises in advising universities on strategic projects and complex employment litigation. Byford’s clients also include further education colleges, charities and professional services organisations as well as commercial clients.

Practice head(s):

Kathy Halliday; Jane Byford

Other key lawyers:

Lorna Scully

Testimonials

The team is an extension of our business and understands the legacy matters we are trying to address and the culture. They are always available to take a call. Kathy Halliday – professionalism, knowledgeable but at the same time empathetic‘.

Lorna Scully – professionalism, knowledgeable, practical and empathetic‘.

Key clients

Birmingham Royal Ballet

Birmingham Airport Ltd

St Philip’s Chambers

Tulip Ltd

Aston University

The Schools of King Edward VI Foundation

Signature Private Finance Ltd

Moy Park Ltd

De Montfort University

Loughborough Endowed Schools

Work highlights

  • Advised a school on the employment issues arising out of its merger with another school.
  • Advised Birmingham Airport in relation to a multi-party tribunal claim and appeal to the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) arising out of changes to rostering arrangements.
  • Advised Tulip Ltd on the employment issues arising out of the closure of its Boston site.
  • Acted for a university in its defence of an employment tribunal claim that was brought by an existing employee alleging disability discrimination, a failure to make reasonable adjustments and injury to health as a result of discriminatory treatment arising out of her anxiety disorder and a phobia of terrorist attacks.
  • Advised a Midlands-based charity on the handling of a grievance and whistleblowing complaint raised by its HR director against its chief executive and the chair of its board.

Weightmans LLP

Weightmans LLP has an excellent and growing client base in the hospitality and leisure sectors. It also has a dedicated equal pay team that is led by Jawaid Rehman, who is skilled at defending a large number of equal pay claims against public sector organisations. Other strengths include its strong reputation in local government and police work. It is also known for its involvement in cross-border work for its major clients and Rehman is highly regarded for his work on cases involving embassies. The team is well-regarded additionally for its advice on sensitive cases for high-profile employers where there are issues of reputation or there is a risk of adverse publicity.

Practice head(s):

Jawaid Rehman

Key clients

Nuffield Health

Whitbread plc

Pizza Hut

TGI Fridays

Costa

Casual Dining Group Ltd t/a Las Iguanas

Bills Restaurants

Pizza Express

Wasabi

Adelie Foods

Work highlights

  • Continues to operate a HR helpline for managers of TGI Fridays 24/7 365 days a year and has done so for the past nine years.
  • Having represented Casual Dining Group Ltd t/a Las Iguanas in successfully defending a complex employment tribunal claim that was brought by an ex-employee who claimed constructive unfair dismissal and discrimination (direct, indirect, harassment and victimisation) on the grounds of race, gender and marital status, the firm pursued a costs award and was successful in achieving an award of £10,000 on the grounds that the claim had no reasonable prospects of success from the outset.
  • Appearing as an advocate for Nuffield Health in  the successful defence of an appeal before the President of the EAT in Edinburgh in a case where an employee was dismissed having been charged with a historic sex offence.
  • Acting for Adelie Foods in employment tribunal proceedings and represented it as an advocate in a matter that was listed for a 15-day final hearing dealing with a range of allegations.
  • Acting for Northampton Borough Council where an employee was found to have been engaging in secondary work without having sought permission and was dismissed.

Bevan Brittan LLP

The Birmingham-based employment team at Bevan Brittan LLP has particular strength in the healthcare and local government sectors. Ashley Norman is a key member of the team and is experienced in advising on complex discrimination cases. The practice continues to deal with some complex contentious matters and routinely handles challenging employment tribunal claims for NHS trusts where there are elements of race, sex, disability or whistleblowing issues at stake. It also represents clients in the private, education and international arena. The group has niche expertise in the higher education sector and now acts for several well-known institutions. James Gutteridge is another name to note and has a particular focus on healthcare clients.

Practice head(s):

Jodie Sinclair

Other key lawyers:

Ashley Norman; James Gutteridge

Key clients

Oadby & Wigston Borough Council

Birmingham City Council

Planet Organic Limited

David Koma Fashion Limited

Hauck Heat Treatment

Aspirations Care Ltd

Rehability UK Ltd

Hereford & Worcester Fire Authority

University of Wolverhampton

De Montfort University

University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust

Great Western Hospitals NHS Trust

Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust

Gloucestershire Health and Care NHS Foundation Trust

Royal United Hospital Bath NHS Trust

NHS Somerset CCG

Work highlights

  • Defended Oadby and Wigston Borough Council against various claims that were brought by a former in-house solicitor including unfair and wrongful dismissal; race discrimination; victimisation; whistleblowing detriment and dismissal; and breach of contract.
  • The HR director and managing director of part of the business at Fred Olsen Ltd asked the firm to undertake training on the implications of the forthcoming rule change of IR35 and in particular how the organisation might mitigate the risk of these consultants being deemed to be caught by IR35.
  • Advising a social care provider on  various employment law matters.
  • Advised Worcestershire County Council on the employment issues related to the transfer of council employees into a wholly owned subsidiary (Worcestershire Children First (WCF)).
  • Advised the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (GBS LEP)  on its move  towards an independent structure outside of the existing arrangements under which they had been supported by Birmingham City Council.

Capsticks LLP

Capsticks LLP provides employment advice to various sectors including public and private healthcare, medical technology, emergency services and housing. Other sectoral expertise includes charities and social care as well as receiving a steady flow of instructions from some regulatory bodies. It is the sole employment law provider for a number of the largest healthcare trusts in the Midlands and also acts for other healthcare organisations including clinical commissioning groups and commissioning support groups. Allied with this it has a strong non-contentious employment practice that has been advising clients on the full range of matters from TUPE transfers to procurement processes. Bridget Prosser left the team and is now at Browne Jacobson LLP. London-based Victoria Watson heads the department. Chloe Edwards specialises in advising on complex employment tribunal matters and internal employee relations processes.

Practice head(s):

Victoria Watson (London)

Other key lawyers:

Chloe Edwards

Key clients

Kettering General Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Birmingham Women’s and Children’s NHS Foundation Trust

Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust

Midlands Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

East London NHS Foundation Trust

Bromford Housing Group

Work highlights

  • Represented an NHS foundation trust in respect of a complex multi-day whistleblowing claim which was subsequently withdrawn by the claimant.
  • Represented an NHS foundation trust in a County Court breach of contract claim, which was successfully settled at approximately £500,000 less than the amount initially claimed.
  • Represented an NHS foundation trust in a complex race, religion and disability discrimination claim, resulting in an early settlement with substantial cost savings for the client.
  • Instructed by an NHS commissioning support unit to advise on a highly sensitive matter involving multiple disciplinary processes arising from bullying allegations.
  • Represented an NHS trust in respect of the transfer of staff and due diligence arising from the collapse of Carillion.

Fieldfisher LLP

Fieldfisher LLP has considerable strength in major multi-jurisdictional work and is also sought after for its advice on collective redundancies. Other areas of expertise include advising on equal pay, discrimination and TUPE. Ranjit Dhindsa is a well-known name for her work in helping employers resolve disputes through mediation.

Other key lawyers:

Ranjit Dhindsa

Testimonials

Ranjit Dhindsa is visible and active in the market‘.

Freeths LLP

Freeths LLP acts for a large number of private and public sector clients as well as clients in the educational sector. It has witnessed a significant increase in the volume of employment tribunal claims recently and the team regularly conducts its own advocacy at the employment tribunals. At a national level the team is increasingly acting in complex matters and also has specialist knowledge on the enforcement of restrictive covenants and on obtaining injunctive relief. Other key areas include routinely advising on restructuring, TUPE and issues surrounding the ‘gig’ economy. Rebecca Sawbridge heads the Birmingham offering and Peter Gavin leads the team in Stoke-on-Trent.

Other key lawyers:

Lynne Ingram

Testimonials

Lynne Ingram and Peter Gavin speak in a language that guides action in the most appropriate way, at the same time as being clear on the mitigation of potential risks. They have supported us on employment matters, trade union, and some highly sensitive issues. They are open and tenacious in ensuring the right result is achieved‘.

Peter Gavin makes the complex sound simple, and does just enough hand holding to give one the confidence to follow his advice‘.

Key clients

ALDI Stores Ltd

DPD Group UK Ltd

Sofidel Group

Staffline Recruitment Ltd & Staffline Group plc

National Express Ltd

Center Parcs

Paul Smith Ltd

ERIKS Industrial Services Ltd

The Reflex Group Ltd

Goodridge Ltd

Preston Innovations Ltd

Birmingham Metropolitan College

EH Smith (Builders Merchants) Ltd

The British Horse Society

AP Racing Ltd

West Midlands Growth Company

JS Wright

The Alumasc Group plc

Envisage Group Ltd

LEE Filters

NCH UK Ltd

Pattonair Ltd

Work highlights

  • Continuing to advise AP Racing on all aspects of employment law, including day-to-day HR issues as well as contentious matters including dismissals and grievances.
  • Continuing to advise West Midlands Growth Company on all HR matters, and most recently on the departure of a key board member.
  • Rebecca Sawbridge is the sole employment law adviser to Paul Smith Ltd, advising on day-to-day HR matters and employment litigation as well as providing training to the HR team and line managers.
  • Instructed to advise JS Wright in relation to a disagreement which had arisen with an apprentice concerning whether his travel time to and from his place of work should count as working time and whether he had been paid the national minimum wage.
  • Provided complex employment advice to Birmingham Metropolitan College in relation to the disposal of Stourbridge College, affecting 200 lecturers and support staff and 900 students.

Lanyon Bowdler

The employment department at Lanyon Bowdler is led by John Merry who has a strong reputation for his specialisms in TUPE, the employment aspects of business and board reorganisations (including share sales) and advising employers in the agricultural arena. The team is adept at aiding senior executives with settlement agreements and has particular expertise in advising schools. It regularly assists colleges in relation to academy conversions. William Morse is also recommended.

Practice head(s):

John Merry

Other key lawyers:

William Morse

Testimonials

It is an accessible and empathetic team‘.

It is a responsive, professional and kind team. Will Morse – professional, supportive and relevant. Strengths – responsive, clear, doesn’t waste time, efficient and therefore cost efficient too. Value for money‘.

John Merry is an excellent solicitor‘.

‘Mr John Merry was exceptionally knowledgeable but also understood the importance of explaining things clearly and in a format that I could understand. He was appreciative of the documents I took along to the meeting and receptive to my opinions and feelings‘.

Key clients

British Gymnastics

Plastic Omnium Automotive Ltd

Dodd Group

Grange Fencing Ltd

Hoshizaki Europe BV

Maxell Europe Ltd

Freyssinet UK

Agro Merchants (Whitchurch) Ltd

Severn Bridges Multi-Academy Trust

Restmore Ltd

Work highlights

  • Advised Shropdoc on a service provision change to Simple Shared Healthcare.
  • Advised Plastic Omnium in relation to data protection compliance towards employees in connection with the use of CCTV.
  • Advised one global electronics brand in connection with the purchase of a division of another, including in relation to data transfer, due diligence, the employment provisions of the purchase agreement and TUPE, where there was a cross-border element.
  • Undertook an extensive review of British Gymnastics’ employment documentation.

Trowers & Hamlins LLP

Trowers & Hamlins LLP has a well-established team. It advises a substantial number of social and affordable housing clients on diverse matters from mergers and corporate restructurings through to the termination of employment of senior employees. It is best known for its TUPE work and post-transfer restructuring advice to public, private and third sector clients. The team has also been busy advising on employment tribunal matters such as complex discrimination and whistleblowing claims. Rebecca McGuirk leads the employment team in the Birmingham office and advises clients from a range of sectors including local authorities, registered providers and social providers. It also has a large private sector client base.

Practice head(s):

Emma Burrows (London)

Other key lawyers:

Rebecca McGuirk

Testimonials

Rebecca McGuirk always makes herself available, often outside of normal working hours, to provide meaningful support and advice based around the need of the client. Takes a direct, pragmatic and commercial approach in dealing with issues and offers reassurance in moments of concern‘.

Key clients

The Accord Group

believe housing (formerly County Durham Housing Group)

Black Country Housing Group

Bournville Village Trust

Community Gateway Association

Core Education Trust

Longhurst Group Ltd

Midland Heart Ltd

Swimming Teachers’ Association

Work highlights

  • Continues to provide day-to-day HR/employment advice to the Swimming Teachers’ Association including continued advice on the statutory investigation following the departures of Roger and Theo Millward.
  • Advising CORE Education Trust on a variety of matters including the exit of a number of underperforming colleagues.
  • Advising the Longhurst Group on a number of issues such as providing strategic advice on the remodelling of its business, including changing its terms and conditions of employment.
  • Acting for Midland Heart for a number of years and continuing to advise it on various matters including numerous pieces of complex employment tribunal litigation.
  • Advising the Bournville Village Trust on various matters including a complicated disciplinary and grievance investigation.

Wright Hassall LLP

Both Suki Harrar and Tina Chander at Wright Hassall LLP specialise in the TUPE aspects of corporate transactions. Other areas of expertise include advising employers and employees at tribunals as well as advising on executive departures. The team has an established track record of successfully handling discrimination cases such as sex, race, disability and age claims on their clients’ behalf.  Other strengths include advising on whistleblowing and on constructive unfair dismissal cases.

Practice head(s):

Tina Chander

Other key lawyers:

Suki Harrar; Joanne Duck

Testimonials

‘Professional team that applies the law in a practical manner. On a par with top City law firms‘.

Joanne Duck – highly professional individual. Clear, concise, practical advice that enabled the matter to be brought to a quick conclusion. Joanne ensured that we were aware of the various courses of action and the relative merits of each. Joanne is a very approachable individual, capable of building rapport and confidence‘.

Tina Chander – provided overall guidance as and when required after establishing initial confidence in the team as a whole‘.

Key clients

Keller Ltd

SPI Global Play Ltd

Sodick Europe Ltd

Aaron & Partners LLP

Aaron & Partners LLP is a Shropshire-based team that advises leading employers locally as well as some national and international clients on a broad range of issues. It is also skilled at providing employment support to its corporate colleagues. The department through Ben Mason has been instructed by the Professional Footballers Association to guide footballers through their playing contracts and the termination of any such contracts. The practice advises a Welsh Premier League club too on various matters and advises several local football associations. Department head Helen Watson is an experienced tribunal advocate with Higher Rights of Audience and is particularly skilled in discrimination cases.

Testimonials

Small knowledgeable team that is personable and available. Ben Mason gives straightforward and practical advice‘.

The team consists of dedicated and knowledgeable people‘.

The team makes itself available to help whenever, even out of hours when needed. As soon as you have a requirement the team will set up calls to discuss the issue and what actions need to be taken/what help can be provided‘.

‘Ben Mason was very straightforward and clear – that is very important when you have little idea of the area and he always explained things carefully without ever being patronising‘.

It is a proactive team that delivered excellent value for money‘.

Key clients

Field Studies Council

Tudor Griffiths Ltd

The Severn Partnership Ltd

Circuit Coatings Ltd

Invertek Drives Ltd

Connah’s Quay Nomads FC Ltd

Carey Glass Chester Ltd

AXYZ Automation (UK) Ltd

Apollo Buckingham Health Sciences Campus Ltd

AP Wireless (UK) Ltd

Work highlights

  • Advised on the employment law aspects of the sale of Invertek Drives Ltd to a Japanese company for £100m including advising the directors on service agreements.
  • Advised Apollo Buckingham Health Sciences Campus Ltd on the purchase of the Crewe campus of Manchester Met University and on all the TUPE implications of this purchase.
  • Advised Field Studies Council on various matters including on the termination of employee contracts, TUPE advice and pension advice.
  • Advising Connah’s Quay Nomads FC Ltd on all employment and sports law issues.
  • Drafting a suite of new contractual documentation for all those in the business of a nationwide developer of intelligent ventilation solutions for critically ill patients.

Brethertons LLP

Brethertons LLP is best known for advising on TUPE issues when they arise on complex transactions and for its work on intergroup restructuring. It is also recommended for its work on multi-day tribunal proceedings especially those that involve whistleblowing and discrimination claims. The department acts for a variety of regional and national clients including plcs, SMEs, partnerships and senior individuals. Other core strengths include advising on pay and bonus disputes as well as employee terminations, breach of contract cases and  issues relating to permanent health insurance. Amy Edwards and Shaun Jardine are the names to note.

Practice head(s):

Amy Edwards; Shaun Jardine

Testimonials

The whole team is always very personable and friendly to deal with as well as being knowledgeable. In particular we value the team’s pragmatic advice – balancing the risks to ensure that we are safe from any action but not spend unreasonable amounts of time or money when there is a more sensible solution available‘.

DWF

Kate Meadowcroft is a key member of the team at DWF. The group has a strong retail client base and has continued to develop its expertise in healthcare work. It acts for an extensive range of healthcare providers and social care providers. Meadowcroft predominately advises on non-contentious matters and has particular expertise in large-scale change management projects and collective consultation programmes.

Practice head(s):

Kate Meadowcroft

George Green LLP

George Green LLP is recognised for its work with owner-managed businesses and for providing support to the firm’s corporate department. It also has solid expertise in TUPE matters in addition to restrictive covenants/confidentiality litigation. Tim Lang leads the team while also acting as a fee-paid employment judge sitting in the South East. Lang is a qualified data protection practitioner too and is adept at offering data protection advice in relation to the workplace. Beverley Smith is well-regarded for her advice to employers and has experience in business immigration matters.

Practice head(s):

Tim Lang

Other key lawyers:

Beverley Smith

Key clients

Thomas Dudley Group

AGCO Ltd

Sims Group UK Ltd

Hadley Group

Inenco Group Ltd

Saltus Partners LLP

Handicare Ltd

Work highlights

  • Instructed by Thomas Dudley Foundry Ltd to bring proceedings in the High Court in relation to an ex-employee who had been competing with the client whilst still employed and had set up a competing company.
  • Acted for Inenco Group in relation to a claim brought by a self-employed sales consultant who sought holiday pay on the basis that he alleged that he was in fact a worker.
  • Acted for a former managing director in relation to a claim against his insolvent employer and succeeded in obtaining a substantial award at the employment tribunal.
  • The team acted on behalf of an employer that is based in the South West who was subject to a claim for unfair dismissal and sex discrimination.
  • Advised Inenco Group Ltd on holiday pay issues in relation to its sales teams.

Harrison Clark Rickerbys

Harrison Clark Rickerbys advises on the full array of employment matters and is particularly known for its skill at advising on complex employment tribunal cases. It is experienced at handling discipline issues as well as grievances, dismissals and other areas of employment law such as equal pay and holiday pay claims. Another core focus of the practice is advising on post-termination restrictions as well as issues arising during the course of reorganisations and redundancies. It is also adept at advising on collective employment law issues and TUPE matters. Head of team Jennifer Okafor-Jones acts for some large employers.

Practice head(s):

Jennifer Okafor-Jones

Other key lawyers:

Michael Stokes; Rebecca Kirk

Testimonials

This is an excellent team that is excellent on the law and strategy, with good strategic judgement and a great commitment to, and deep knowledge of its corporate clients. The team also resources cases efficiently to provide a top standard service but without using unnecessarily large teams which would bump up costs by duplicating work‘.

Michael Stokes handles his case well and has excellent strategic judgment as well as being a pleasure to work with as an individual‘.

Rebecca Kirk has also particularly struck me as an authoritative and meticulous solicitor who proactively considers options and implications for the client when directing the case, and achieves great outcomes efficiently as a result‘.

Key clients

British Airways

Work highlights

  • Advising British Airways in a high-profile employment tribunal claim for victimisation.
  • Represented a leading visual communications company in relation to a suspected team move and/or poaching issue involving numerous employees handing in their notice within the space of just a few days.
  • Represented a leading regional heating company in relation to the disciplinary process and exit of a managing director for gross misconduct.
  • Represented a large public sector employer on a complex matter spanning several years, involving claims for whistleblowing, discrimination and unlawful deduction of wages.

Hatchers Solicitors LLP

Hatchers Solicitors LLP has Nigel Harrison  at the helm. The team advises individuals and businesses (both large and small) and has a strong client base of local, national and international firms, ranging from those with a multimillion-pound turnover to smaller companies, partnerships and individual traders. The practice also specialises in advising charities and the not-for-profit sector. Jack Latham advises on disciplinary and grievance procedures as well as settlement agreements and employment tribunal claims.

Practice head(s):

Nigel Harrison

Other key lawyers:

Jack Latham

Testimonials

The team is extremely knowledgeable and provides information in a way that is understandable. The lawyers discuss the different options available to deal with situations. They are always available by phone and never rush. Nigel Harrison is the person who I deal with the most – he is professional, fun and confident‘.

Nigel Harrison and Jack Latham have delivered training in a way that staff understand‘.

Work highlights

  • Advises a leisure/visitor attraction on all the employment aspects regarding its permanent and casual staff.
  • Continues to provide legal advice on employment matters to a not-for-profit organisation providing education and day services for learners with severe, profound and multiple learning difficulties.
  • Provided a local food production company with advice on, among other things, a workplace pension scheme, agency regulations and GDPR.
  • Advised an amateur radio organisation on equality issues relating to examination style and strategies to minimise the risk of membership suffering online harassment and discrimination.

Pickerings Solicitors

The large employment team at Pickerings Solicitors is led by Jonathon Forrester who is a solicitor advocate. Forrester has advised on diverse matters from claims of unfair dismissal through to redundancy,  whistleblowing and discrimination cases. He is also adept at advising on issues surrounding the deduction of wages and failure to consult under the TUPE regulations. Sue Hatton is a human resource consultant who has extensive experience in all aspects of the employment process, from recruitment and selection through to dealing with dismissals. Hatton is also skilled at advising on large-scale TUPE issues, organisational change and redundancy processes.

Practice head(s):

Jonathon Forrester

Other key lawyers:

Sue Hatton

Testimonials

Very accessible and fast responses to HR issues. Always willing to visit a business and handle any staff issues directly. Sue Hatton and Jonathon Forrester provide excellent support and advice in a timely and efficient manner‘.

‘Jonathon Forrester is astute and diligent. He leaves nothing to chance and his preparation is meticulous‘.

Pickerings has a great team of people – all professional, knowledgeable and dependable. Jonathon Forrester is always there for us to give us advice and keep us on the right track. We have also had dealings with  Sue Hatton over the years and she is great‘.

Both Jonathan Forrester and Sue Hatton have a great understanding of our business and are able to provide their advice and support with this knowledge. Both are available whenever we need whether in person or on the phone‘.

Key clients

Allison Baby

Drayton Manor Park Ltd

Kenect Recruitment Ltd

Lichfield Cathedral School

Mitsubishi Hardmetal UK Ltd

Linden Care Homes

Reference Technology Ltd

Glenlake International

Electric Technics Ltd

CS Comms & Pure Cloud solutions

Multi Glazing Systems Ltd

Techemet Ltd

Automatic Door Suppliers Association

County Building Supplies Ltd

Apex Systems Ltd

Work highlights

  • Acting for a global sales and marketing manager against companies based in Far Eastern territories in a claim for unfair dismissal and unlawful deduction from wages.
  • Acting for a large supplier of housing for vulnerable people in claims  that have been brought by three separate employees.
  • Acting for an employee of a national house builder who was subjected to racial discrimination while at work by a subcontractor on site.
  • Acted for an individual against a large international company who had blown the whistle about unsafe working practices and the risk that patients could be put to in numerous sites operated by the company.
  • Acted for a director of a company who was sent pornographic photographs and text messages by her employer and a non-executive chairman.

Sydney Mitchell LLP

Sydney Mitchell LLP works for employers and employees. It has represented some key international companies and has also represented individual clients on a range of matters from whistleblowing and disability discrimination cases through to issues of sexual harassment and discrimination. In addition to these contentious matters the group has also been busy advising on a number of employment issues that have arisen on some complex TUPE transfers. Emma-Louise Hewitt, a senior associate, heads the team and advises on all aspects of employment law, acting for individuals and businesses of all sizes including a global automotive company and fashion designer/retailer. Dean Parnell predominantly advises companies and very senior employees.

Practice head(s):

Emma-Louise Hewitt

Other key lawyers:

Dean Parnell

Testimonials

Provides a first-class service to its clients. Dean Parnell is someone who you want on your side in a contested matter, rather than against you. He is a master craftsman at negotiation and always gets the best deal he can for his client‘.

The team provided sensible and practical advice. The team listened to my concerns and fought my corner strongly. Emma-Louise Hewitt handled my case and she was excellent‘.

Emma-Louise Hewitt is responsive and communicates in a transparent way‘.

Work highlights

  • Acting for and advising a company in the automotive sector on numerous employment matters including a redundancy process involving 70 positions.
  • Representing a global automotive company on a number of employment matters including successfully defending a claim of unfair dismissal following a two-day hearing.
  • Representing a director of a company in the finance sector on a complicated employment dispute involving allegations of breach of contract and fiduciary duties and negotiating a deal (by way of a settlement agreement) for him in excess of £250,000.

Thursfields Solicitors

Thursfields Solicitors has been recently assisting on some multimillion-pound corporate deals and has also increasingly been advising multinational employers on their UK employment obligations. Other areas of expertise lie in the third sector as the team has been active in working with various educational establishments and charities. The group has also been busy working with clients in the media and entertainment industry under the leadership of Michelle O’Hara. James Monk is noted for his work in the charity sector and Jade Linton is another name to note.

Practice head(s):

Michelle O’Hara

Other key lawyers:

James Monk; Jade Linton

Testimonials

‘The lawyers were highly knowledgeable and efficient, our matters were always worked on with exceptional expertise and empathy‘.

Jade Linton works tirelessly on her cases‘.

James Monk is always pleasant and very helpful. He listens to each enquiry and gives sound advice which is easy to understand‘.

The lawyers are friendly and approachable – and are pragmatic with regards to the advice they give. They don’t make the law mysterious and try to translate it into laymen’s terms for clients so that they understand the advice being given‘.

Key clients

Music Tribe Brands UK Ltd

H & R Chempharm (UK) Ltd

Oaklands International Ltd

Ansons

Ansons operates across four offices in Cannock, Lichfield, Halesowen and Sutton Coldfield. Key areas of focus include preparing employment documentation and advising on disciplinary matters and grievances, as well as providing redundancy and TUPE advice. On the contentious side the team is well-regarded for its work in defending claims before the employment tribunal as well as protecting clients’ business interests in claims before the courts by way of injunctive relief applications and damages. With Jason Alcock and Martin de Ridder at the helm, the team frequently works with its corporate and commercial department to advise a diverse range of clients such as housebuilders, property developers and healthcare providers.

Practice head(s):

Jason Alcock; Martin de Ridder

Testimonials

Always a professional team on hand with a great wealth of experience and knowledge. We have relied upon them to ensure that we are always up to date with current procedures‘.

Key clients

Seconique Ltd

Walton Homes Ltd

Askews Legal LLP

Askews Legal LLP has a dedicated team that acts predominantly for employers on contentious and non-contentious matters and also does some work for employees. The geographical footprint of the practice mainly covers Coventry and Warwickshire. Senior associate Lianne Payne heads the department and is skilled at advising clients in employment tribunal proceedings as well as advising on injunctions.

Practice head(s):

Lianne Payne

Band Hatton Button LLP

Band Hatton Button LLP is recognised locally as having a strong employment department which is continuing to grow its commercial client base. The firm deals with a varied case load of contentious and non-contentious employment matters and acts for a range of businesses as well as employees. Clients are predominantly based in Coventry, Warwickshire and the wider Midlands region and are mostly commercial clients and high-net-worth individuals. The department is also known for its work with schools under the leadership of Mark Ridley. Ridley specialises in unfair dismissal, redundancy, as well as breach of contract and discrimination claims.

Practice head(s):

Mark Ridley

Heminsley Law

Heminsley Law is a relatively new partnership that was established in June 2018 by Trevor Gibson and Jemma O’Reilly. It focuses on advising companies on a wide range of people risks from employment law to bribery and corruption. In addition to providing general employment and litigation advice the firm advises on a myriad of complex matters, from whistleblowing and discrimination cases to IR35 and the enforcement of restrictive covenants. Recently the team has been busy advising on various investigations into a range of complicated employee issues for a number of businesses.

Practice head(s):

Trevor Gibson

Other key lawyers:

Jemma O’Reilly

Testimonials

Strong, very commercially aware team. Trevor Gibson makes himself available for urgent matters at the drop of a hat. Delivers what he says he will on time‘.

Heminsley is a fantastic boutique firm. The team is always available, very proactive, client focused and knowledgeable. Jemma O’Reilly is an absolute star. She is very focused on getting the right outcome for the client, with a very sound commercial and common-sense approach to employment litigation‘.

‘The real strength of the team is its expertise and its ability to give practical, straightforward but well-informed advice. The team is responsive and informed. Trevor Gibson – clearly vastly experienced in contentious employment matters and a mine of practical advice‘.

The service offered by Heminsley is very friendly and effective as it is partner led. Jemma O’Reilly demonstrates a high level of integrity. Trevor Gibson has continued to guide us through our situation and has always been available for advice and direction‘.

The team demonstrated an excellent understanding of the underlying law as well as the commercial pressures‘.

Jemma O’Reilly – unflappable and calm in a crisis‘.

‘It has a personal touch. Jemma partners with us, providing technical and commercially astute advice – balancing business needs alongside risk. Jemma is responsive and turns around work incredibly quickly and always to a very high standard‘.

Trevor Gibson has particular experience on investigations and disciplinaries – a canny negotiator. Jemma O’Reilly – very experienced litigator well used to dealing with major clients, their systems and needs. Combative when she needs to be‘.

Key clients

The Automobile Association

ASHS (t/a Anya Hindmarch) Ltd

Automated Packaging Ltd

British Standards Institute

Erwin Inc

Gatwick Airport Ltd

Lakeland Ltd

Mastek (UK) Ltd

NMCN plc

Slater and Gordon Group

Toyota Motor Manufacturing Ltd

Work highlights

  • Acting for Toyota Motor Manufacturing Ltd on a sensitive investigation.
  • Acting for The AA on high-value employment tribunal litigation.
  • Advising NMCN plc on a series of complex employee relations matters.
  • Providing legal advice and support to the HR director and head of HR of Gatwick Airport Ltd in respect of a significant change project involving industrial relations, employment policy, HR practices and employee relations issues.
  • Advising Lakeland Ltd on various strategic, contractual and employee relations issues including board-level departures.

MFG Solicitors LLP

From its offices in Worcestershire, Shropshire and Birmingham MFG Solicitors LLP's experienced employment team is able to handle all aspects of employment litigation and corporate related matters. Sally Morris leads the team that advises on the full array of matters, from service agreements and IR35 on/off payroll changes to restructurings. It also advises claimants and respondents on complex discrimination and unfair dismissal cases. Christopher Piggott is another key member of the team who has been retained by various educational establishments to advise on a myriad of employment matters.

Practice head(s):

Sally Morris

Other key lawyers:

Christopher Piggott

Testimonials

Sally Morris provides a personal service and is very astute – she’s a problem solver who’s actually quite fun to work with, very driven‘.

Christopher Piggott is honest, reliable, prompt in his responses and communicates very clearly‘.

Christopher Piggott dealt with me very professionally and won my case with very little stress and a good outcome for myself and my partner‘.

Key clients

MG Motor UK Ltd

SP Services Ltd

West Midlands Safari Park Ltd

Work highlights

  • Advised MG Motor UK Ltd on the employment status of a claimant, who contended that he was an employee.
  • Supported the corporate department on the sale of the entire issued share capital of SP Services Ltd to Williams Medical Supplies Ltd (a subsidiary of DCC plc).
  • Instructed to advise on a collective redundancy consultation process which affected circa 80 employees employed by West Midlands Safari Park Ltd, after acquisition by new owners.

Pillinger & Associates

Amanda Pillinger is the key individual at Pillinger & Associates. Pillinger represents both employers and employees in litigation where there are allegations of unfair dismissal, discrimination, whistleblowing or breaches of contract. She is experienced at assisting employers on ways to avoid disputes and as a sole practitioner the vast majority of her work comes from client referrals. The firm also receives a steady flow of instructions from other law firms, accountants and HR consultants.

Practice head(s):

Amanda Pillinger

Testimonials

We value working with Pillinger and Associates due to the personable nature of Amanda and the time she takes to truly understand the goals of the company and to give direct, pragmatic advice. As a client, I am made to feel valued and looked after, and never like I am wasting her time or like my query is too trivial or small for her to deal with‘.

The personal service and being available most times of day by Amanda Pillinger was second to none‘.

Key clients

Stanfield Nursing Home

Wythall Animal Rescue

Wendy House Day Nursery

Meridian (Speciality Packaging) Ltd

Headway Traffic Management Group Ltd

Blue Skies Services Ltd

Recruit 12

Quanta Dialysis Technologies Ltd

Work highlights

  • Successfully defended a claim of constructive dismissal and disability discrimination that had been made against a care home client.
  • Supported a senior executive in negotiating a favourable exit strategy.
  • Assisted a recruitment consultant company in relation to the enforcement of post-termination restrictions.

The Wilkes Partnership

At The Wilkes Partnership James Leo heads the team and Pam Sidhu is another key member of the department. It mainly acts for employers as well as senior executives on all aspects of employment law. The team covers the full range of contentious and non-contentious employment matters relating to TUPE, discrimination, business immigration and restrictive covenants. It also provides employment advice to the firm’s corporate clients on business sales and acquisitions as well as clients of the firm’s insolvency and private client teams.

Practice head(s):

James Leo

Other key lawyers:

Pam Sidhu

Testimonials

The practice has an approachable and friendly feel. James Leo personifies the above statement and is a calm and highly competent lawyer’.

The Wilkes Partnership provides a very friendly and personal service, respecting the needs of small businesses. James Leo has gone beyond the call of duty in helping our business‘.

The firm is a size that the team can talk on most matters, without being so large that it feels like a legal factory. It has always felt like a very personalised service’.

James Leo has provided advice on nuanced issues that has resulted in great outcomes. His calm and assured manner has provided great comfort during some very stressful periods‘.

The approachability and knowledge of the staff at The Wilkes Partnership is simply unrivalled‘.

Key clients

National Association of Funeral Directors

Eneco UK Ltd

THK GmbH

McCann Erickson Central Ltd

Ramfoam Ltd

Fountains Forestry Ltd

Rodl & Partner Ltd

DMN Logistics Ltd

Kestrel Aluminium Systems Ltd

BTC Activewear Ltd

Work highlights

  • Acting as sole employment law adviser on all employment law issues to Eneco UK Ltd.
  • Have been advising senior officers of the National Association of Funeral Directors on various complex and sensitive employment matters.
  • Advising THK GmbH on various day-to-day employment matters.
  • Acting as sole employment law adviser to BTC Activewear Ltd on all employment matters, including day-to-day advice and representation in employment tribunal claims.
  • Providing McCann Erickson Central Ltd with employment law advice on all UK HR matters from routine day-to-day advice to complex TUPE and redundancy/reorganisation issues.