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The Legal 500 Hall of Fame Icon The Legal 500 Hall of Fame highlights individuals who have received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence. The Hall of Fame highlights, to clients, the law firm partners who are at the pinnacle of the profession. In the United Kingdon, the criteria for entry is to have been recognised by The Legal 500 as one of the elite leading lawyers for eight years. These partners are highlighted below and throughout the editorial.
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United Kingdom > West Midlands > Human resources > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

Editorial

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Employment

Index of tables

  1. Employment
  2. Leading individuals: Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next Generation Partners
  5. Rising stars

Rising stars

  1. 1

DLA Piper UK LLP is well-equipped to handle major multi-jurisdictional projects, as well as complex employment tribunal and High Court litigation. The superb team advises on the full spectrum of employment matters, ranging from wrongful/unfair dismissal claims to complex whistleblowing and discrimination matters. It has strong industry expertise in manufacturing, hospitality and leisure, technology, retail and energy. Sandra Wallace is the practice head.

Practice head(s):Sandra Wallace

Other key lawyers:Emma Phillips

Testimonials

'The team is active in the market'.

'It has a combination of technical excellence, pragmatism and a genuine commercial approach'.

'It is a great team of individuals that give advice and support at a moment's notice and make you feel that you are their only client in that moment of assistance. The personalized service and engagement we have is truly valued and appreciated'.

'There is a broad range of knowledge / experience in the team which means they appropriately allocate work to the right person / level of experience to meet your needs'.

'The outstanding Sandra Wallace is very hardworking and capable'.

'Emma Phillips  is very methodical, constructive and user friendly, as well as being practical'.

'Emma Phillips delivers an outstanding service'.

'Emma Phillips is very robust, commercial and solutions focused. She is very clear and pragmatic'.

'Emma Phillips is a real star'.

'Emma Phillips was able to explain matters well and has very good business acumen. She is always available'.

Key Clients

Dyson

Hilton International Hotels (UK)

Sodexo

Wesleyan

Clinigen

Stepstone Group

Work highlights

  • Provided all the commercial and employment support to a global technology company and manufacturer in relation to the outsourcing of its international IT and finance functions, in conjunction with the restructuring and reorganisation of its retained business services.
  • Advised an international hotel chain on a grievance, appeal and subsequent employment tribunal claim brought by a senior employee. This involved detailed and numerous allegations of age and race discrimination, victimisation as well as constructive unfair dismissal.
  • Instructed by a global manufacturer and retailer to implement a European restructure.
  • Acted for Hilton International Hotels (UK) Ltd on a project that spanned 25 jurisdictions. The firm conducted a review of the outsourcing arrangements for Hilton third party suppliers.
  • Advising a pharmaceutical company on the whistleblowing claim raised by the former COO.

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP advises a number of FTSE 100 companies, and other global and Fortune 500 companies, on the full spectrum of employment matters. It also acts for public sector organisations, as well as educational institutions (including those in the further and higher education sectors, and schools and academies). David Beswick leads the team, which includes Nick Jew, who specialises in high profile litigation and senior executive issues. Hannah Wilkins is particularly active in the IT sector.

Practice head(s):David Beswick

Other key lawyers:Audrey Elliott; Nick Jew; Hannah Wilkins;

Testimonials

'The firm has a first-rate team'.

'David Beswick is very sensible and easy to deal with'.

Key Clients

Ophir Energy plc

Severn Trent plc

Wipro

Heathrow Airport

Unipart

Avon Cosmetics

Ibstock plc

Associated British Foods

Work highlights

  • Advising Ophir Energy plc on the various employment issues surrounding the Board's decision in September 2018 to relocate this FTSE 350 listed company’s head office from London to South East Asia.
  • Advised Severn Trent Green Power Limited on the employment aspects of its acquisition of Agrivert Group’s UK operational assets and associated support functions for £120m.
  • Advising LHR Airport Limited (Heathrow Airport) on a full support model for the airport in its efforts to communicate with and help EU nationals employed by the airport with the immigration implications of Brexit.
  • Acting as the sole employment lawyers for Unipart providing support on all aspect of its HR needs including strategic projects and restructuring, pension scheme changes, Brexit support and  global mobility matters.
  • Acting as the sole employment lawyers for Ibstock plc, the largest brick manufacturer by volume in the UK, providing support on all aspect of its HR needs across its brick and concrete divisions including strategic projects and restructuring, policy and procedure and employment tribunals.

Gowling WLG advises UK and international private and public sector clients on the full range of employment, labour and equality issues. Its areas of sector expertise include life sciences, technology, retail and healthcare, among many others. Practice head Jane Fielding has a strong reputation in the automotive and advanced manufacturing sectors, and has notable experience of equal pay litigation. Martin Chitty acts for some of the UK’s largest housing associations and retailers. Another key figure is Jonathan Chamberlain, who demonstrates strong capabilities advising clients on business protection issues.

Practice head(s):Jane Fielding

Other key lawyers:Martin Chitty; Jonathan Chamberlain; Louise Clifford; Hannah Swindle; Anna Fletcher

Testimonials

'It has a  first-rate reputation for its  employment work'.

'The team has exceptional lawyers, who are also able to be practical and pragmatic when looking for solutions'.

'Gowling WLG takes a pragmatic, considered and sensible approach to employment issues. It takes the time to listen, to understand the issues and give a range of options for consideration'.

'Jane Fielding runs a great team, she is technically excellent and is very detail- orientated'.

'Martin Chitty is knowledgeable, practical, commercial and a seasoned player who is fantastic with clients'.

'The very responsive Louise Clifford is diligent and pays very close attention to detail'.

'Louise Clifford is an excellent negotiator: charming, assertive, with all the knowledge and solutions at her fingertips'.

'It is always reassuring to take advice from Jane Fielding and Louise Clifford. They will always provide clear and knowledgeable advice and steer you to the best solution to the problem'.

'Hannah Swindle is always positive, responsive and intuitive'.

'Anna Fletcher is a commercially astute practitioner who understands and interprets employment law in a reasoned, and pragmatic way. She is confident to challenge, but empathetic in recommending practical solutions' .

 

Key Clients

Cathay Pacific

London Borough of Croydon

Civilised Investments

Rider Levett Bucknall

Morgan Motor Company

Mercedes AMG High Performance Powertrains

Iglo Foods (now Nomad)

The Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis

Sanctuary Group

Work highlights

  • Advising on the employment issues relating to  an important strategic UK share acquisition.  
  • Assisted a prominent body in the area of energy innovation, in successfully resolving an Employment Tribunal claim brought by a job applicant who had been rejected for a role, following an online recruitment assessment.
  • Advised a public sector body on a large recruitment exercise.
  • Advised on the exit of the CEO of a Plc.
  • Advised a large client in the automotive sector on the TUPE risk of taking on and relocating specialist pre-delivery modifications in place of an external service provider, as well as reorganisation of their vehicle logistics provisions.

Pinsent Masons LLP fields a large team, whose expertise spans the energy, infrastructure, advanced manufacturing and university sectors, among others. Birmingham team head Jonathan Coley is recommended for his knowledge of the enforcement of restrictive covenants. The national head of the employment and reward team is Linda Jones. Another name to note is Helen Corden, who is active in the education and TMT sectors. Senior associate Rebecca Stephen is recommended for her work with clients in the higher education and financial sectors.

Practice head(s):Jonathan Coley (head of the Birmingham team); Linda Jones (head of the employment and reward team)

Other key lawyers:Linda Jones; Helen Corden; Rebecca Stephen

Testimonials

'The lawyers are not sitting in a legal ivory tower. They take time to listen and understand our organisation and what we want to achieve. The advice is clear, relevant and pragmatic. It is provided in a timely way and in line with the cost quote'.

'It is a very easy team to work with. The team truly understands the complexities of operating in all the business sectors'.

'It is a very responsive and practical team, knowledgeable and commercial -  a rare breed!'.

'Jonathan Coley is knowledgeable, practical, commercial and a seasoned player who is fantastic with clients'.

'Linda Jones is top notch - just  brilliant'.

'Linda Jones is charming, straight talking and bright'.

'Helen Corden is hardworking, capable and personable'.

'Clients really rate Rebecca Stephen '.

'There are some excellent junior lawyers coming up its ranks'.

Key Clients

MITIE Group PLC

RAC

University of the Arts

The Binding Site

Work highlights

  • Advised E-surv (which is a part of LSL Property Services PLC) on a major outsourcing with Lloyds Bank of its valuation service

Averta Employment Lawyers LLP has an excellent niche three-partner employment practice. The group concentrates on acting for senior executives in the course of negotiating exit packages, settlement agreements, discrimination claims and other employment related issues. It also increasingly advises individuals on their rights in the context of group situations, such as large-scale redundancies and restructuring exercises. Names to note are the heads of department David Sykes and Alan Jones. Rachel Broughton is another notable practitioner.

Practice head(s):David Sykes; Alan Jones

Other key lawyers:Rachel Broughton

Testimonials

'The team is very good all round – all team members are highly rated'.

'The team knows how to handle senior individuals in organisations and has seen most situations before'.

'The group is sensible, pragmatic and commercial. It gets the deal done'.

'It has a personal touch and provides a first-class service'.

'David Sykes is brilliant. He is practical, down to earth and knows his stuff. He has empathy for his clients and likes to get things done quickly'.

'Alan Jones is vastly experienced'.

'Alan Jones is approachable, experienced and takes a resolution focused approach. Rachel Broughton is experienced and takes a robust approach on behalf of her clients'.

'Alan Jones - if there's a deal to be done, Alan is going to get you across the line.Rachael Broughton has excellent legal knowledge and is  a details person and someone to rely on'.

'Rachel Broughton is pragmatic, solutions driven, technically excellent and astute'.

'Rachel Broughton is tenacious, fights her clients' corner well, is knowledgeable and is a very good litigator'.

 

Work highlights

  • Acted for a director in an alleged breach of contract claim.
  • Represented a senior female manager who had suffered verbal and physical sexual harassment from a director.
  • Advised a multi-academy trust  about the proposed appointment of a head teacher who was believed to have made a false, if not fraudulent, application for the post.
  • Advised a mid-sized firm of accountants about restrictive covenants involving four departing fee-earners.
  • Instructed by a senior partner of a national law firm regarding his departure in according with the terms of the LLP agreement and the move to a competing business.

Browne Jacobson LLP generates work from a mix of public and private sector clients, and its team has key expertise in the commercial, educational, public, health and insurance sectors. Equally adept in both contentious and non-contentious matters, the group in Birmingham is led by James Tait, who acts for the firm’s technology, retail and manufacturing industry clients. Jacqui Atkinson, who joined from Capsticks LLP in 2018, is the head of the national employment healthcare team. Atkinson has considerable experience of advising trust boards and senior NHS managers on employment issues in the health and care sectors.

Practice head(s):James Tait (heads the employment team in Birmingham); Peter Jones (the national head of the employment team)

Other key lawyers:Jacqui Atkinson; Helen Badger

Testimonials

'The team is focused on the client's needs throughout the process and is easy to deal with. It has a very high level of knowledge with an ability to impart this to the client'.

Key Clients

Hiscox

Oclaro Technology

Bureau Veritas UK

Freshtime UK

Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust

Wolverhampton City Council

East Midlands Ambulance NHS Trust

TT Electronics Plc

EM Lawshare

Transalliance

Work highlights

  • Advised various merging NHS Trusts on the employment issues arising from these proposed mergers.
  • Advised an NHS Trust on the successful defence of a sensitive and complex disability discrimination and unfair dismissal claim that was brought by a paramedic.

Gateley Plc is highly rated for employment tribunal work, and it also has a strong track record in the High Court and appellate courts, particularly in relation to confidentiality and post-termination restrictions. The team generates a steady flow of instructions from both employers and senior employees in executive severance situations. Practice head Benedict Gorner is an experienced advocate.

Practice head(s):Benedict Gorner

Other key lawyers:Merran Sewell

Testimonials

'Merran Sewell is technically excellent, commercial and very responsive and aware of her clients’ needs'.

Key Clients

AGA Rangemaster

Arts Council England

BNP Paribas Personal Finance

Crisil Irevna UK

Gymshark

Sanlam Investment and Wealth Management

Sevacare (UK)

Svenska Handelsbanken

Tyrrells Potato Crisps

Whistles

Work highlights

  • Representing Sevacare (UK) ( as  the lead respondent which is being pursued by UNISON) in a claim involving multiple (43) claimants and 8 respondents.
  • Advised a client on an application by the union Unite to be formally recognised by the client and, in turn, undertake collective bargaining on behalf of staff in respect of pay, holidays and hours of work.
  • Acted for International Wealth Management Company on the enforcement of restrictive covenants against one of its former employees.
  • Advised a public sector body on a complex tribunal claim involving allegations of discrimination of whistleblowing.
  • Acted on behalf of a chief executive officer and the chief financial officer in respect of the sale of one of the UK’s leading logistics and distribution businesses.

Mills & Reeve LLP handles all aspects of employment matters for clients across the public and private sector. The group is also adept at providing corporate support on transactions that frequently have an international dimension. Richard Santy is the sports and gaming lead on employment matters and has represented a number of high profile athletes and organisations over the past 12 months. Jog Hundle leads the 16-strong health and care sector employment team.

Practice head(s):David Mills

Other key lawyers:Richard Santy;Jog Hundle; Nick Abbott;David Faulkner; Richard Barker; Fiona Longden

Testimonials

'Jog Hundle is a real specialist on the employment aspects of all things in the health care sector'.

'Jog Hundle has particular expertise in the NHS sector – there is nothing that she does know about this area, she really knows what she is talking about'.

'Richard Santy is very strong'.

'Richard Santy is very commercial and practical'.

Key Clients

Jaguar Land Rover

Arcadia Group

Carlsberg

University of Birmingham

Birmingham City University

University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust

England Golf

Work highlights

  • Advise England Golf on all legal matters including various confidential HR matters as well as producing guidance notes on equality and GDPR.
  • Continuing to provide a helpline service to the Jaguar Land Rover Employee Relations Case Management team.
  • Provide general HR advice and support to Arcadia Group Limited's Employee Relations team in defending a number of Employment Tribunal claims involving a range of issues including unfair dismissal and disability discrimination.
  • Defended Carlsberg UK against a claim of unfair dismissal from a former member of staff, including performing the advocacy at the final hearing.
  • Successfully defended South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust against a claim of unfair dismissal made by a former employee.

Led by Charlie Rae, Shoosmiths LLP's team handles various high-profile and business-critical outsourcings, complex grievances, and disciplinary and collective claims, as well as senior exits. Clients include household names and large employer clients. Other core areas of expertise include advising on TUPE and employee transfers. The group has an impressive roster of clients in the retail sector.

Practice head(s):Charlie Rae

Other key lawyers:Adele Hayfield; Antonia Blackwell; Nick Vernon

Testimonials

'What has really impressed me is the speed of response and the concise nature of the advice'.

'It is a well run and efficient practice that takes pride in its service to clients . They are great ambassadors for the Shoosmiths LLP brand'.

'Charlie Rae is technically excellent'.

'Charlie Rae is well known for his high profile injunction work'.

'Charlie Rae is very impressive'.

'Charlie Rae is very good at finding solutions to a problem and also has some good juniors coming up through his team'.

'Antonia Blackwell is commercially focused around getting the deal done'.

'Antonia Blackwell is astute, very level headed and professional'.

'Antonia Blackwell and Charlie Rae are extremely professional, extremely approachable and easy to communicate with. Their calm and measured style is both reassuring and measured. Advice is always provided in a timely fashion and at the right level of detail, giving enough information to make decisions'.

'Nick Vernon has good communication skills, delivers what he has committed to, answers the question asked and follows up to check what he has sent has been received & understood'.

Key Clients

PSA Peugeot Citroen

The National Exhibition Centre

ARAMARK

Boots

Idverde

Octopus Investments

East End Foods

British Association of Social Workers

Work highlights

  • Defended an international engineering business against a multi-million pound employment claim that was  brought by a senior director.
  • Advised Karen Millen on the employment and TUPE aspects of  its acquisition of the business and assets of the in-store concessions of Coast from PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, its administrators.
  • Advised Valpak Holdings on the employment aspects of the sale of the business.
  • Defending a major manufacturing and distribution company and its employee against a contentious breach of restrictive covenant claim by a former employer.
  • Defending a retailer against a high value and contentious whistleblowing claim .

Squire Patton Boggs has vast experience of advising on high value strategic projects, which is allied to its considerable strength on the contentious side. The team is well-placed to advise on complex cross-border matters and is increasingly sought out to handle substantial employment law matters for clients in the hotels and leisure industry. Practice head Charles Frost acts for some of the country’s best-known football clubs.

Practice head(s):Charles Frost

Other key lawyers:Ramez Moussa; Helena Morrissey; Joanna Galbraith

Key Clients

Renault F1

Dalata Group

Babylon Health

Bayer Plc

National Australia Bank

Carl Zeiss

Saint-Gobain

Logicalis

Steris Plc

Roper Technologies

Work highlights

  • Working with the legal teams of Renault F1 in France and in the UK to advise on UK statutory developments and UK employment contract provisions.
  • Advised Dalata Group on the employment law issues arising from an agreement to acquire the lease of a 212-bedroom hotel under development in Aldgate, London, for a total price of £91 million.
  • Advising Babylon Partners on its wide-ranging, global employment contract review across various jurisdictions.
  • Advised London & Regional Properties on the closure of its Hilton London Green Park Hotel for refurbishment.

Anthony Collins Solicitors LLP handles the gamut of employment issues for not-for profit, charitable and commercial organisations. Its team has particular sector expertise in the health and social care space, social housing and in matters with a nexus to faith communities. One of its other core strengths involves acting for local government clients. Its work for clients in the education sector is on the increase, and it is now acting for a growing number of academies. Team head Matthew Gregson is a seasoned advocate at the Employment Tribunal.

Practice head(s):Matthew Gregson

Other key lawyers:Matthew Wort; Anna Dabek; Douglas Mullen; Faye Rush;

Testimonials

'The team has a particularly intimate understanding of the health and social care sector and associated legal issues and this is what sets it apart from other firms'.

'Anna Dabek is very commercial'.

'Anna Dabek and Matthew Wort continue to stand out as both responsive and highly skilled'.

'Douglas Mullen is highly regarded and he is very experienced on TUPE issues'.

Key Clients

United Kingdom Homecare Association

CareTech

Care England

Greenpeace UK

Midland Heart

Care Management Group

Methodist Homes

Thirteen Housing

Walsall Housing Group

Work highlights

  • Advising on the implementation of changes to the terms and conditions of just under 100 employees.
  • Advising on the calculation of the national minimum wage during “sleep-ins” that is time spent by workers during sleep in shifts, essentially in the care sector.
  • Advising on the defence of a complex set of claims that were bought by an ex-employee for unfair dismissal and discrimination.
  • Instructed by over 40 different care providers, including at least five of the top Learning Disability providers, to assist in managing the risks of the Social Care Compliance Scheme.

Fieldfisher LLP's team has particular experience of acting in significant multi-jurisdictional work, and it is also sought out to advise on all aspects of employment disputes. In addition, it routinely helps employers deal with a myriad of complex issues such as equal pay, discrimination, TUPE and collective redundancies. Team head Ranjit Dhindsa is skilled at advising employers on resolving disputes at mediation.

Practice head(s):Ranjit Dhindsa

Testimonials

'The firm has a strong employment practice with experienced lawyers who take a commercial approach in the advice they provide'.

'It is friendly, knowledgeable and business savvy'.

'Ranjit Dhindsa is very proficient and is well-liked by clients'.

'Ranjit Dhindsa works hard to get good results for her clients in a commercial and pragmatic way'.

'Ranjit Dhindsa is very accessible and solution focused'.

'Ranjit Dhindsa is a top class lawyer. A rare individual who approaches corporate problems with a holistic approach - seeing all the facets not just the legal issues'.

Higgs & Sons is best known for its work with SMEs, owner managed businesses and their families in the West Midlands. The team has extensive experience in the transport, manufacturing, technical, retail and food/drink sectors. In addition, the group regularly works with its corporate team on key matters such as business restructurings and reorganisations. Its employment tribunal practice is well established. Tim Jones heads up the department.

Practice head(s):Tim Jones

Other key lawyers:Debra Cottam; Joanne Walker; Simon Bond; Amy Brokenshire

Testimonials

'It has a culture of excellence which is apparent in its service, recruitment and retention of staff'.

'Excellent team that tackles matters with a pragmatic "can do" approach. The advice is always of the highest standard, and we are in safe hands'.

'It has a keen customer focus and an understanding of deadlines and time critical situations'.

'Tim Jones is very sensible as well as being technically very good'.

'Tim Jones is exceptionally knowledgeable and delivers excellent advice'.

'Tim Jones  has a relaxed and confident manner and has the ability to exercise both professional charm and gravitas in equal measure to get results'.

'Tim Jones kept the focus on the main issues in hand only and steered the case to a successful outcome'.

Debra Cottam , Joanne Walker  and Simon Bond  always excel in meetings and exceed client expectations'.

'Simon Bond provides very strong support and quick responses'.

'Amy Brokenshire is very, very bright'.

Work highlights

  • Advised Deepdale Engineering on a major review of its employment contract and handbook.
  • Handling a variety of employment issues for Clarkson Wayman Ball, including advising on negotiations that led to settlement agreements on a number of matters and more recently, advising on a  breach of restrictive covenant issue.
  • Advising Aquapak Polymers on the exit of a senior executive/director of the company.
  • Advised Synergy Biologics on Tribunal proceedings in which the claimant claimed unfair dismissal and race discrimination.
  • Acted for the former CEO of Compton Fundraising Ltd in a claim of unfair dismissal.

Irwin Mitchell fields a large team, which advises on the full scope of employment matters. It is particularly well known for its work in executive severance and dispute situations, where it acts for both employers and senior employees. The group is also highly regarded for its expertise in confidentiality and restrictive covenants. Department head Fergal Dowling has a wealth of experience of tribunal litigation.

Practice head(s):Fergal Dowling

Other key lawyers:Elaine Huttley;Helen Dyke;Hannah Clifford

Testimonials

'The team is very approachable and user friendly'.

'It delivers practical, business-oriented advice in an extremely timely manner'.

'It provides practical advice and is accessible'.

'Elaine Huttley 's knowledge of the law and more importantly her pragmatic approach to how we could best apply it within the commercial context was very refreshing and particularly valuable during a highly pressurised process'.

'Elaine Huttley is very experienced and combines sound legal knowledge with real common sense and practical nous'.

''We  got a great service from Helen Dyke who provided business-oriented solutions with a keen understanding of how to balance the legal requirements with our business needs'.

'Fergal Dowling and Hannah Clifford provide high quality advice'.

Key Clients

National Accident Repair Services

RGIS

GMS Group of Companies

Hadley Industries Plc

Whitworth

Canal & River Trust

Work highlights

  • Instructed by Arc Legal Assistance in over 1300 Tribunal claims and/or contentious disputes.
  • Advice to Inspired Thinking Group on an Employment Tribunal claim brought by a former employee, who was dismissed on the grounds of capability due to ill-health.
  • Provided employment advice to Hadley Group in connection with the acquisition of Hadley Steel Framing Limited.
  • Advising Wing Yip on all day to day HR advice, including on  a huge change programme involving 350 employees across multiple sites.
  • Representing a major company on a complex and long running whistleblowing & constructive dismissal claim following four years of litigation in the High Court.

Through its offices in Birmingham and Stratford-upon Avon,¬†Shakespeare Martineau LLP¬†has a substantial offering in the West Midlands; this is a core part of a larger, national practice. The firm has a particularly standout reputation in the education sector; recent work in this space has included cross-border collaborations and restructurings. Elsewhere, the firm is increasingly recognised for its experience of other sectors, such as logistics, food and drink, manufacturing and pharmaceuticals. It also has a flourishing ‚Äėthird sector‚Äô client base.¬†Michael Hibbs¬†heads up the group, whose expertise in advisory matters is complemented by a strong reputation in employment tribunal litigation.

Practice head(s):Micheal Hibbs

Other key lawyers:David Browne; Tom Long; Helen Hughes; Abigail Halcarz;Emma Oliver;

Key Clients

Assicurazioni Generali Spa

Aberystwyth University

Optalis

The Open University

Ansell UK

Laborie

Acorns Children’s Hospice Trust

Work highlights

  • Successfully acted for a major university in respect of a large and sensitive constructive unfair dismissal and harassment on the grounds of sex claim.
  • Advised Ansell UK on the defence of a claim that was brought by a previous employee for the unauthorised deduction of wages and a breach of contract.
  • Advised General Dynamics Information Technology on the defence of a complex constructive dismissal claim that was brought by an employee who resigned when faced with a disciplinary investigation.
  • Represented a Russell Group University and 14 named respondents in complex discrimination, whistleblowing and constructive dismissal proceedings that were brought by a former employee.
  • Has provided high-level advice to four universities in relation to issues pertaining to their Vice-Chancellors.

VWV has considerable strength in the education sector. It also advises numerous charities and various public sector clients on diverse issues, including investigations, employment tribunal claims and on the management of senior exits. In addition, the firm has a strong commercial client base. Jane Byford and Kathy Halliday are the key members of the team.

Practice head(s):Jane Byford; Kathy Halliday

Other key lawyers:Lorna Scully

Testimonials

'The team has an outstanding track record of excellence in the HE sector so is the "go to" firm for complex claims particularly involving academic staff'.

'It has the ability to explain complex areas of employment law in a way that is easily understandable'.

'Kathy Halliday  is well-known and respected for her TUPE work'.

Kathy Halliday is very pragmatic and does a good job!'.

'Jane Byford is technically outstanding and provides excellent customer service'.

'Jane Byford is always able to respond quickly and a constant form of support'.

'Lorna Scully provided stand-out support to our business'.

Key Clients

Aston University

Birmingham MIND

Birmingham Repertory Theatre

Birmingham Royal Ballet

Blue Coat School Birmingham

Bromsgrove School

Complete Business Solutions

Cheltenham Ladies College

Coventry University

Creative Education Trust

Dudley College

Evolve Academy Trust

Gunnebo

King Edward VI Academy Trust Birmingham

London Metropolitan University

Loughborough Endowed Schools

National Star College

Norland College

Queen Alexandra College

RMO International

Royal Academy of Music

Solihull School

St Philip's Chambers

The Schools of King Edward VI Foundation

Tulip

United Reformed Church Synods

University of Bath

University of Exeter

University of Law

Windsor Academy Trust

Work highlights

  • Advised the board of trustees of a Midlands-based charity on the termination of the employment of its Chief Executive on the grounds of a breakdown in the relationship of trust and confidence.
  • Advised a university on its buy out of a weekend working supplement of a group of 350 accommodation and hospitality staff.
  • Advised a university on the defence of a number of complicated inter-related employment tribunal claims led by a PhD student (a litigant in person) who had undertaken casual and voluntary work.
  • Assisted a private higher education provider with the provision of a suite of template contracts, an employee handbook and tailored in-house training.
  • Advising a large multi-site food producer on the defence of a complex and high value multi-party claim for race discrimination brought by a group of Eastern European butchers.

Weightmans LLP has an excellent reputation in the hospitality and leisure sectors, and it also generates a significant amount of work from owner-managed businesses. A dedicated equal pay team, which is led by Jawaid Rehman, is known for its defence of a large number of equal pay claims against public sector organisations. The team is also well-regarded for its work for local government and the police.

Practice head(s):Jawaid Rehman

Other key lawyers:Claire Hollins; Bhavesh Prajapati;

Key Clients

Whitbread Group

Costa

Pizza Hut

Pizza Express

The Together trust

Bolsover District Council

Malvern Panalytical

Al-Mubarakia

Nuffield Hospitals

Prezzo

OCS Group

Bills Restaurants

Rainforest Café

Instinctif Partners

London Executive Offices

Sertec Group Holdings

Aquila Truck Centres

Corning

Work highlights

  • Instructed by Whitbread Group plc to advise on the HR and employment law aspects of the intended sale of Costa Coffee to Coca Cola
  • Instructed by Whitbread Group plc to advise and assist the HR team with the preparations of the implementation of GDPR.
  • Acted for Prezzo on the employee collective redundancy consultation process to effect the closure of  approximately 100 restaurants across approximately 300 restaurant estates, and advised on the re-organisation of the area management team.
  • Advising Bolsover District Council on approximately 120 equal pay claims, which have been ongoing for over seven years.
  • Instructed by Nuffield Health to defend a tribunal claim that was brought by someone who had been employed for only for a matter of months.

In the healthcare sector, Bevan Brittan LLP regularly acts for NHS trusts in challenging employment tribunal claims. The local government arena is another notable area of activity, with the firm being sought out to advise on the exit arrangements for very senior officers. The higher education sector is another strong suit of the practice. Also notable is that the firm has recently won key new clients in other areas, such as travel and leisure. Ashley Norman is a name to note.

Practice head(s):Jodie Sinclair (London based)

Other key lawyers:Ashley Norman; James Gutteridge; Jaspal Basra

Key Clients

Aspirations Care

Birmingham City Council

Bodycote plc

Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Guinness World Records

North Bristol NHS Trust

London School of Economics

Fred Olsen

HousingandCare21

Rehability UK

Work highlights

  • Acting for a large national social care company in the defence of employment tribunal proceedings that have been brought by its former health & safety manager.
  • Advising a care home group on a number of employment law and HR issues flowing from a TUPE transfer several years ago.
  • Successfully defended Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust against an employment tribunal claim that had been brought by a consultant in which allegations of race discrimination and whistleblowing  had been made.
  • Acted for Birmingham City Council on the setting up of a children's trust – a separate legal entity into which the council's substantial children's services are placed.
  • Acted for Oadby and Wigston Borough Council in a very substantial and complex Employment Tribunal claim.

Capsticks LLP is the sole employment law provider for a number of the largest healthcare trusts in the Midlands, and it also acts for many private healthcare clients. Recent non-contentious work has involved assisting various clients with important strategic collaborative arrangements between NHS organisations throughout the country.

Testimonials

'Advice provided is business focused, concise, delivered in a timely manner with different strategies and risks clearly thought through'.

 

Key Clients

West Midlands Police

Midlands Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

Kettering General Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

International SOS Assistance (UK)

BMI Healthcare

Bromford Housing Group

Cornwall Partnership NHS Trust

2Gether NHS Foundation Trust

Sandwell & West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust

Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust

Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust

The Robert Jones and Agnus Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Work highlights

  • Instructed by a leading West Midlands healthcare organisation to conduct an independent investigation into the actions of two employees against the backdrop of a wider investigation that had been ordered by the Secretary of State for Health and very significant and ongoing press coverage.
  • Acted for Midland Partnership NHS Foundation Trust in a large scale merger between two NHS Trusts, which involves around 8,500 employees.
  • Advising Kettering General Hospital NHS Foundation Trust on a case related to a senior medical professional.
  • Instructed by International SOS Assistance (UK) Ltd to advise on matters which arose following a settlement agreement had been entered into between the parties.
  • Advised a leading West Midlands healthcare organisation on the TUPE and employee issues relating to the transfer of Early Years Health and Wellbeing Services.

Kate Meadowcroft is the new head of the team at DWF, following the departure of former head Hannah Robbins for an in-house position at HSBC. In addition to having a strong retail client base, the firm has continued to develop its expertise in healthcare work, and acts for an extensive range of healthcare providers and social care providers. Meadowcroft predominantly advises on non-contentious matters, and has particular expertise in large-scale change management projects and collective consultation programmes.

Practice head(s):Kate Meadowcroft

Key Clients

Synseal Extrusions

West Midlands Combined Authority

Cook Medical Group

Healthcare at Home

PJ Chaffin

Freeths LLP ’s regional employment practice is serviced by its Birmingham and Stoke-on-Trent offices, but the firm also benefits from a strong national profile. It receives a steady flow of work from a diverse client base, such as well-known listed companies and a large number of public and education sector clients. Rebecca Sawbridge and Peter Gavin are the main contacts in the team, which is well-equipped to handle complex Employment Tribunal claims.

Practice head(s):Rebecca Sawbridge; Peter Gavin

Key Clients

ALDI Stores

DPD Group UK

Tarmac Group

Sofidel  Group

Staffline Recruitment

National Express

Center Parcs

Paul Smith

ERIKS Industrial Services

The Reflex Group

Aperam Alloys IMPHY

Preston Innovations

Stone Group

AP Racing

EH Smith

The British Horse Society

Envisage Group

Daelmans Pastries

Hydrock Consultants

Medinet Clinical Services

Inchcape Retail

Voltalia UK

Sopra Steria Recruitment

International Glazing Services

Pattonair

Work highlights

  • Provides AP Racing with regular HR assistance on everyday operational matters as well as strategic advice.
  • Recently advised Stone Group on the departure of several key Board members and senior managers, as well as the enforcement of restrictive covenants in relation to the poaching and loss of staff.
  • Acting as sole employment law advisor to Paul Smith, advising on day-to-day HR matters and employment litigation as well as providing training to the HR team and line managers
  • Defending a client against a claim for unfair dismissal, wrongful dismissal/breach of contract and whistleblowing by the former CEO.
  • Defending a client against a claim of unfair dismissal brought by a lecturer following a collective redundancy exercise.

Lanyon Bowdler specialises in TUPE and on the employment aspects of business reorganisations. Other areas of expertise include advising schools and colleges on academy conversions and it is also adept at advising senior executives on employment matters. Key contact John Merry advises both employers and employees on employment policy issues and is an experienced advocate in employment tribunal proceedings.

Practice head(s):John Merry (Telford); William Morse (Hereford)

Testimonials

'At every point of being in contact with any team member they demonstrate an excellent professional manner and are helpful'.

'Attention to detail - clients are always put first'.

'John Merry is an extremely knowledgeable individual who is able to communicate on an appropriate level to ensure my understanding and clarity on my position'.

'William Morse is incredibly responsive, supportive, and knowledgeable'.

Key Clients

WMC Retail Partners

Dodd Group

Pure Communications Limited t/a Pure Telecom

Golden Bear Products

Central Shropshire Multi Academy Trust

Bespoke Construction Services

Prince Personnel

Severn Bridges Academy Trust

The Shropshire Doctors’ Co-operative  (“Shropdoc”)

Work highlights

  • Advised The Shropshire Doctors’ Co-operative Limited (“Shropdoc”) on the transfer of call handling services to Care UK and the Welsh Ambulance Service.
  • Advised The Shropshire Doctors’ Co-operative Limited (“Shropdoc”) on an extensive staff reorganisation.
  • Advised on the formation of Central Shropshire Multi Academy Trust upon the Academy conversion of three secondary schools

Trowers & Hamlins LLP is best known for TUPE work, with its team advising on all aspects of TUPE and post-transfer restructuring. Its recent work has included corporate restructurings and mergers, and there has also been a notable increase in employment tribunal litigation. It remains a first port of call for a number of social housing clients. Rebecca McGuirk is the name to note.

Practice head(s):Emma Burrows (based in London)

Other key lawyers:Rebecca McGuirk

Testimonials

'Rebecca McGuirk always makes you feel that your query/case is her number one priority, even when she no doubt sometimes has more pressing and urgent issues'.

Key Clients

The Accord Group

Benussi & Co

Bethphage

Black Country Housing Group

Bournville Village Trust

Colmore Tang Construction

County Durham Housing Group

Core Education Trust

Cross Keys Homes

Longhurst Group

Mere Golf and Country Club

Nitenite Hotel

Paddy Power Betfair

Platform Housing Group

Rema Church London (through appointment by the Charity Commission)

Spring Housing Association

Swimming Teachers' Association

Trident Housing Association

Wolverhampton Homes

Work highlights

  • Provided HR/employment advice to The Swimming Teachers' Association Limited, including advice on an  employment tribunal claim by its former CEO.
  • Advised RDS Distribution t/a Itihass on a number of claims that were brought by disgruntled former employees who alleged that they were the subject of employee exploitation.
  • Advised CORE Education Trust on a number of matters, including on the outsourcing of its catering.
  • Acted for Andrew Ward and Harry Griffiths, who were formerly employed by Talent International (UK) Limited, in a claim arising from their departure from the company.
  • Advising Benussi & Co on various HR and employment issues.

Wright Hassall LLP handles TUPE and other employment aspects of transactions that are undertaken by its corporate, commercial and social housing teams. The firm advises both purchasers and vendors on these transactions. The team, which is led by Tina Chander, also represents  employers and employees at tribunals. It has a particularly strong track record of successfully handling discrimination claims.

Practice head(s):Tina Chander

Other key lawyers:Suki Harrar

Testimonials

'Suki Harrar has a  superb manner, is always well prepared, distils information and is concise when providing advice and information in easily understood terms'.

Key Clients

Keller

SPI Global Play

Work highlights

  • Retained by SPI Global Play for the past 10 years to advise on a range of HR and employment law issues including performance management, disciplinary matters, grievances and dealing with sickness absence.
  • Regularly instructed by Keller Limited on various matters.

The Shropshire-based team at Aaron & Partners LLP advises leading employers locally and nationally. Through part-time coach and FA-registered intermediary Ben Mason, the group is also regularly instructed by the Professional Footballers’ Association to advise footballers on their playing contracts and the termination of these contracts. Paul Bennett recently departed to set up his own practice.

Practice head(s):Helen Watson (based in Chester)

Other key lawyers:Ben Mason

Testimonials

'Ben Mason is always helpful and responsive'.

 

Key Clients

Field Studies Council

Tudor Griffiths

The Severn Partnership

Circuit Coatings

Carey Glass Chester

GRH Food Company

Penney Financial Partners

AXYZ Automation (UK)

Birford Cable and Harness

Work highlights

  • Recent work for The Severn Partnership includes advising on the implementation of a new Employee Handbook, GDPR documentation, contracts of employment and apprenticeship agreements.
  • The firm acts for Tudor Griffiths. Providing general employment law advice and  employment law training to the group’s HR Managers.
  • Advising a client on employment matters on an ongoing retainer basis .
  • Recent work for Carey Glass (Chester) includes advising on the termination of the employment of a number of individuals for performance issues and capability issues.
  • Advising Field Studies Council on two complex restructuring matters and assisting the executive team and trustees in the management of  the restructurings.

Although Askews Legal LLP's dedicated team primarily acts for employers on contentious and non-contentious matters, it also generates some work from employees. The geographical footprint of its practice mainly spans the Coventry and Warwickshire areas. Under the leadership of Lianne Payne, the department is active in the advice to clients on employment tribunal proceedings, as well as other matters, such as injunctions.

Practice head(s):Lianne Payne

Testimonials

'Particularly impressive attention to detail especially in the early stages of a dispute. This ensures for clients that the right attacking (or defensive) strategy is adopted, such that all the later steps flow properly to the desired outcome'.

'Lianne Payne is frighteningly focussed on achieving her clients' outcome, whatever time of day help is required. She works widely in a range of employment sectors and disputes, which is of assistance to companies with a wide range of employment issues'.

Work highlights

  • Advised a company on a most unusual non-poaching employee covenant that was found in the commercial lease of serviced offices together with a penalty clause in both the lease and the prospective employee’s employment contract.
  • Defended an organisation in employment tribunal proceedings that were brought by an employee immediately after a TUPE transfer.
  • Advised a corporate client and its prospective new business development manager on the post termination restrictions contained in his contract of employment, both prior to the commencement of his employment and following legal action that was initiated by his former employer.
  • Defended a broker in employment tribunal proceedings that were brought by an ex-employee.
  • Advised a company director following the administration of the company and its subsequent buy out and TUPE transfer.

Brethertons LLP is best known for its work on TUPE and inter-group restructures, and on the contentious side, demonstrates strong capabilities in complex multi-day tribunal proceedings. Key areas of focus include advising on whistleblowing and discrimination claims. The group routinely collaborates with the firm’s corporate department on employment issues as they arise in sales, acquisitions and mergers. Newly-promoted partner Amy Edwards is a key contact.

Practice head(s):Amy Edwards

Other key lawyers:Emma Fyson; Roy Magara

George Green LLP's team is led by Tim Lang, who also acts as a fee paid employment judge. The group has a particular interest in restrictive covenant and confidentiality litigation, as well as TUPE issues. It also assists employers and senior employees with diverse issues, such as unfair dismissal, discrimination, transfers of undertakings and breach of contract.

Practice head(s):Tim Lang

Other key lawyers:Beverley Smith

Key Clients

AGCO

Hadley Group

Sims Group UK

Work highlights

  • Successfully defended Centre for Alternative Technology against a whistleblowing and unfair dismissal claim in the Employment Tribunal in Aberystwyth.
  • Providing various clients with GDPR advice including drafting privacy notices, drafting data protection policies and providing advice regarding subject access requests made by employees.

Harrison Clark Rickerbys’ large team, which is led by Jennifer Okafor-Jones, covers all aspects of contentious and non-contentious employment law for clients. The varied nature of its work means that it handles complex Employment Tribunal matters, as well as providing strategic advice on reorganisations and redundancies. It is also well-placed to handle a large volume of equal pay claims and the enforcement of post-termination restrictions. Notable areas of strength include matters with a nexus to the education and defence sectors.

Practice head(s):Jennifer Okafor-Jones

Other key lawyers:Michael Stokes; Kristine Scott

Testimonials

'The team is very accessible'.

'Michael Stokes has a unique insight and detailed pragmatic knowledge of matters pertaining to industrial relations. He has lived the war and can now tell the tale'.

Key Clients

British Airways

Work highlights

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

Hatchers Solicitors LLP generates mandates from a client roster including individuals, and small and large businesses. Also notable is that it has a strong capability acting for clients in the charities and not-for-profit sector. Its team is knowledgeable about a wide range of employment matters, such as staff recruitment, redundancies, the transfer of businesses and compromise agreements. It also assists with defending or bringing employment tribunal actions. Nigel Harrison  heads up the practice.

Practice head(s):Nigel Harrison

Testimonials

'The team is extremely knowledgeable and approachable. It offers practical advice and communicates in a way that a non legal mind can understand. Nigel Harrison is exceptional'.

Work highlights

  • Advised a not-for profit organisation on the Court of Appeal decision in the ‘Mencap’ National Minimum Wage “sleep-in” case.
  • Advised a company on construction sector related employment law issues.
  • Advised a leisure/visitor attraction on all employment aspects regarding its permanent and casual staff.
  • Advised a substantial Shropshire and Mid Wales car dealership on several HR matters, including handling disciplinary matters, contractual issues and the employment aspects of GDPR.
  • Advised a client in the land and estate management arena on various employment matters, such as flexible working, long-term disability related absence and senior level restructuring.

Pickerings Solicitors fields three solicitors and an HR consultant in its team, and is well-placed to handle the full spectrum of employment matters. The scope of its work includes advice on business reorganisations, restrictive covenants/confidentiality issues, absence management and unfair/wrongful dismissals. Practice head Jonathon Forrester is an experienced solicitor advocate, who has acted for numerous employers and employees.

Practice head(s):Jonathon Forrester

Other key lawyers:Simon King; Sue Hatton; Tori Shepherd

Testimonials

'It is a truly great team'.

'Things get  sorted out with efficiency and with the minimal of fuss'.

'We have great confidence in the advice they give'.

Key Clients

Allison Baby

Drayton Manor Park

Kenect Recruitment

Lichfield Cathedral School

Mitsubishi Hardmetal UK

Linden Care Homes

Reference Technology

Glenlake International

Electric Technics

CSComms & Pure Cloud solutions

Multi glazing Systems

Techemet

Work highlights

  • Acting for an employee who had wages of more than £250,000 withheld by his employer (a global electronics company).
  • Acted for a large international company in a commercial agent’s claim which was resolved at mediation on terms very favourable to the client.
  • Represented a director of a large Midlands-based manufacturing company and successfully negotiated an exit package in excess of £300,000 as opposed to the £60,000 that  the client had originally been offered.
  • Acted for a nationally known leisure client in defending a claim for disability discrimination and unfair dismissal and managed to get the claim struck out as having no prospects of success.
  • Successfully defended a client against a £50,000 claim for disability, discrimination, unfair dismissal and a failure to make a reasonable adjustment, settling it for £500.

Senior associate Emma-Louise Hewitt joined Sydney Mitchell LLP in September 2018 from Standley & Co Solicitors to become the new department head. Hewitt's team handles a mix of claimant and respondent matters, with recent work including whistleblowing cases, unfair dismissal claims, and matters involving disability discrimination and sexual harassment. Dean Parnell is another key member of the group, which acts for companies and senior employees.

Practice head(s):Emma-Louise Hewitt

Other key lawyers:Dean Parnell

Testimonials

'Responses were immediate and professional'.

'The firm gives practical no nonsense advice. It is not so big that its clients are just another number'.

'Dean Parnell is very knowledgeable, commercially minded and quick off the mark. He is a really tough negotiator and always gets the best deal for his clients'.

'Dean Parnell is a brilliant lawyer who naturally commands respect. He is analytical, a master tactician and a very bright individual. He has excellent attention to detail and is a very effective negotiator'.

'Emma-Louise Hewitt was very quick at putting my mind at ease on a very complex case'.

'Emma-Louise Hewitt is an outstanding employment lawyer. Emma is not only a great technical lawyer but one who has great empathy and compassion for her clients and I feel that she always go the 'extra mile' for them'.

'Emma-Louise Hewitt is conscientious, diligent and always keen to get the best result for her clients'.

'Emma-Louise Hewitt gives me practical advice that I can understand'.

'Emma-Louise Hewitt was brilliant in helping me achieve what I wanted out of my case'.

Work highlights

  • Represented a client in a claim for race/religious discrimination, harassment and victimisation against one of the biggest insurance companies and obtained a large settlement.
  • Represented a client in a claim for unpaid commission and obtained a favourable settlement.
  • Succesfully assisted a client who was alleged to have committed a serious sexual assault on a fellow colleague - all allegations have been dropped and the client has returned to work following a police investigation and 4 months on suspension.
  • Represented a client in a collective redundancy exercise.
  • Represented a company in redundancy process.

Thursfields Solicitors' employment practice has a particular focus on the retail and leisure, charity and communities, and healthcare sectors. Its team is increasingly active in the provision of advice on corporate transactions, corporate restructurings and share option schemes. Michelle O’Hara regularly advises on the employee-side aspects of corporate restructurings, TUPE and EMI schemes.

Practice head(s):Michelle O'Hara

Other key lawyers:Lisa Kemp

Testimonials

'Very practical advice, very accessible team and very realistic'.

'Lisa Kemp does the right thing for her clients, she fights her clients' corner well but knows when to reach a deal/settlement'.

'Lisa Kemp has extensive knowledge and a willingness to approach problems with non-textbook solutions. She provides clients with a personal level of service and detailed quality advice'.

Key Clients

DK Schweizer (UK)

Oakland International

John Raymond Transport

Blue Peg

Work highlights

  • Collaborating with the corporate team to advise the shareholders of Smartbox Assistive Technology Limited and Sensory Software International Limited to Tobii AB.
  • Assisting a client with a detailed analysis of its workforce to ascertain worker status, and devising a strategy to mitigate any challenges to status and any potential resultant claim.
  • Successfully represented the respondent in two complex employment status matters in the Employment Tribunal.
  • Providing TUPE advice related to the disposal of a business in the care sector to a national group for £3.25m.
  • Defending a client against a TUPE-related automatic unfair dismissal claim.

Ansons acts for clients across a wide range of business sectors, such as manufacturing, healthcare and recruitment. Its contentious work involves representing both employees and employers in bringing all forms of employment claims from unfair dismissal to claims under the Equality Act. Martin de Ridder has considerable experience of TUPE, reorganisations and the enforcement of restrictive covenants.

Practice head(s):Martin de-Ridder (Cannock); Jason Alcock (Lichfield)

Other key lawyers:Adam Pike

Band Hatton Button LLP undertakes a variety of contentious and non-contentious employment matters for commercial clients and individuals, who are based predominantly in the Coventry, Warwickshire and wider Midlands area. Its team has particular expertise in advising schools on a diverse range of issues, such as those involving unfair dismissal, redundancy and discrimination. Mark Ridley is the name to note.

Practice head(s):Mark Ridley

Testimonials

'Mark Ridley is extremely knowledgeable regarding h. His customer care skills are first class and he brings a pragmatic yet commercial edge to his dealings with us. A first class diligent lawyer'.

'Mark Ridley is responsive and pragmatic and manages to clearly explain situations'.

'Mark Ridley is very capable'.

Work highlights

  • Advised a global company on a religion and belief discrimination claim.
  • Advising the seller on the employment aspects of an asset purchase agreement.
  • Advising a senior employee in an unfair disability and discrimination claim.
  • Advising a company on the status of workers, and as to whether self-employed contractors should be re-classified as employees.
  • Advising a client on a claim arising from an inaccurate reference, including negotiating the terms of a compromise.

Beswicks Legal acts for large corporate organisations, owner-managed businesses and SMEs. Although the practice is mainly sector-agnostic, the firm's excellent reputation in the sports industry ensures that it generates related employment matters. The group acts predominantly for employers, but also acts for several private clients. Under the guidance of managing partner Nick Phillips, the team regularly supports its corporate, commercial and disputes teams on diverse issues such as TUPE, holiday pay disputes and settlement agreements.

Practice head(s):Nick Phillips; Laura Franklin

Testimonials

'The individuals in the team get to know your business, make time to assess the business needs and take care to ensure that the service level is adequate and support is prioritised according to the need of your business'.

Work highlights

  • Represented a client in the successful conclusion of an unfair dismissal claim.
  • Supported a client through the TUPE transfer of employees where the application of TUPE was disputed on the basis of fragmentation.
  • Represented a client in the defence of an unfair dismissal and disability discrimination claim.
  • Represented multiple respondents to a claim of unfair dismissal and sexual harassment.
  • Defended a client against a disability discrimination claim, which was lodged by an employee of one of its customers.

The skilled team at MFG Solicitors LLP is spread across offices in Birmingham, Worcestershre and Shropshire. It regularly advises on the full array of employment matters connected with M&A, as well as outsourcings. It also focuses on discrimination claims, dismissals, redundancies and compliance issues. Sally Morris, who heads up the division, advises on various contentious and non-contentious employment matters. Chris Piggott frequently acts for educational establishments.

Practice head(s):Sally Morris

Other key lawyers:Chris Piggott; Darryll Thomas; Kate Jones; Christopher Amys

At Pillinger & Associates, Amanda Pillinger represents both employers and employee clients in litigation involving allegations such as unfair dismissal, discrimination, whistleblowing and breaches of contract. Pillinger is also adept at assisting employers with avoiding disputes with employees by establishing clear and fair policies and procedures.

Practice head(s):Amanda Pillinger

Testimonials

'Amanda Pillinger's advice on questions of employment law is always realistic and concise. Amanda is very approachable and answers questions reliably within short timeframes'.

'Amanda Pillinger was in total control of my interests at all times and always responded to my telephone calls within a very short time'.

'Amanda Pillinger has a great 'can-do' attitude and offers practical, real life advice. She is approachable and provides an exceptional client-centric service'.

Key Clients

The Wendy House Day Nursery

Ragley Hall Estate

Strong Feet Dance Studio

Budget Shipping Containers

Work highlights

  • Advising an employee on a claim of unfair dismissal and sex discrimination.
  • Defended the respondent in against an unfair dismissal claim made against it.
  • Negotiated an exit package for a senior employee.
  • Supported a client in negotiating the terms of a settlement agreement.
  • Advised an employer on threats of tribunal proceedings made by an employee, and assisted with securing an agreed exit package.

Slater and Gordon acts exclusively for individuals/claimants, which includes private clients and trade union members. It has a particularly considerable strength in major discrimination and whistleblowing claims, but is also experienced in all other aspects of Employment Tribunal and High Court litigation. Another key area of focus involves defending members of professional bodies in fitness to practice proceedings before various disciplinary panels. David Hodge is the name to note.

Practice head(s):David Hodge

Other key lawyers:David McBride

Thomas Guise Solicitors' Geoffrey Ellis conducts employment tribunal claims for both employers and employees relating to unfair dismissal, contract claims, discrimination and whistleblowing. On the non-contentious side, the team advises on TUPE issues, and also assists with drafting employment contracts.

Practice head(s):Geoffrey Ellis

Testimonials

'The practice is very approachable, putting clients at ease quickly'.

'Geoffrey Ellis is clearly highly experienced and offers realistic advice  options, ensuring that all aspects are covered off'.

Work highlights

  • Representing a senior executive on the terms of a settlement agreement with six-figure compensation.


Health and safety

Index of tables

  1. Health and safety
  2. Leading individuals: Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next Generation Partners
  5. Rising stars

Next Generation Partners

  1. 1

Rising stars

  1. 1

DAC Beachcroft LLP advises clients from a broad cross-section of industries, with a particular strength in construction, manufacturing and care. Recent work included representing clients in a number of fatal accident investigations and complex inquest proceedings, and also acting for various companies and individuals in criminal cases under the Health and Safety Sentencing guidelines. The skilled team also advises on all aspects of compliance work. Andrew Roach is the practice head in Birmingham.

Practice head(s):Andrew Roach

Other key lawyers:Steven Harrison

Testimonials

'Steven Harrison  has a calm demeanour and detailed knowledge which reassures clients and impresses his peers'.

Key Clients

Bodyshop

Leadec

The Range

Alina Homecare

Work highlights

  • Assisted Winchmore Brickwork with securing an acquittal, following a prosecution which involved an allegation of the client breaching s.3 of the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974.
  • Represented Michael W White Associates in inquest proceedings that arose from the deaths of five men at a metal recycling plant in Birmingham in July 2016.
  • Represented Tonic Construction in a fatal accident investigation that arose from an accident in May 2016, which involved an overturned dumper truck on a site in Cirencester.
  • Acting for M&S Water Services (Utilities) in a fatal accident investigation following a  member of the public falling into an open excavation during street works in Luton.
  • Represented Rapid Care in inquest proceedings that arose from the death of a service user residing at supported accommodation.

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP represents large global and UK-based clients in all aspects of high profile prosecutions and investigations. In addition, its team is increasingly sought out to provide consultancy advice to clients on the development of policies, and to also assist with behavioural reviews. It also conducts general compliance appraisals. National team head Kevin Elliott acts for some of the world’s largest organisations.

Practice head(s):Kevin Elliott

Other key lawyers:David Young; Philip Crosbie

Testimonials

'David Young is immensely experienced and knows what he is talking about'.

'David Young remains a force for all that is excellent in health and safety representation'.

'Kevin Elliott is technically very strong and a very good advocate'.

'David Young and Kevin Elliott  are both excellent and very highly regarded by clients'.

Key Clients

CPM Group

VPS UK

Kingspan

Leeds University

Frutarom

Kier / Turriff Contractors

Sir Robert McAlpine

Interserve plc

National Grid Electricity Transmission

Dairy Crest

Work highlights

  • Successfully  acted for Sir Robert McAlpine during a HSE prosecution relating to a fatal fall at Glasgow School of Art
  • Advised CPM (a subsidiary of Marshalls PLC) on a fatal accident when a maintenance fitter became trapped in a conveyor.
  • Acted on behalf of the world’s largest producer of food flavourings, in respect of two separate health and safety incidents.
  • Acted for Turriff Contractors following a serious gas explosion.
  • Acted for Interserve in a prosecution brought by the HSE.

Gowling WLG's specialist team is immersed in the key sectors of construction, building materials quarrying, aerospace and defence. It is also extremely active in areas such as food, local government, health and social care. The first-rate practice stands out in reputationally-sensitive regulatory investigations, inquests, criminal prosecutions and civil litigation. Practice head Andrew Litchfield is well-regarded.

Practice head(s):Andrew Litchfield

Other key lawyers:Michael Hafen; Natalie Barton-Howes

Testimonials

'No matter how large or small my legal query, they respond promptly and in 'layman's' language', so I can understand'.

'Has a calm and confident approach, coupled with exceptional business acumen and strategic thinking'.

'Andrew Litchfield's stunning all-round performance drives and inspires this team to the commanding heights it occupies. This team has no weaknesses and its access to the firm's other resources makes it formidable in all respects'.

'Andrew Litchfield is very calm and reassuring , very experienced'.

'The health and safety team has a myriad of experience in regulatory matters across the board and a real depth of knowledge and experience. It is extremely client focused, personable and easy to work with, giving its corporate clients practical and commercial advice'.

'Andrew Litchfield is entirely dedicated to the client's case, and goes over and above in helping, advising and generally being on call at all hours to try and assist. Clients like his affable and engaging manner, and impeccable professionalism, even under pressure'.

'Michael Hafen works tirelessly in assisting clients to achieve the best possible outcome to the case'.

Key Clients

Bakkavor Foods

CEMEX UK Operations

GKN Autostructures

Midland Heart

Work highlights

  • Represented a client at an inquest and subsequent prosecution, following a fatal accident at one of its distribution depots.
  • Acting for a core participant at the public inquiry in relation to the Grenfell Tower fire.
  • Regularly instructed to represent a client in various healthcare inquests, police and CQC investigations, with a view to preventing coronial neglect findings, prevention of death reports, criminal prosecutions and adverse publicity.
  • Representing a client following a fatality at one of its sites.
  • Assisted a client with an HSE investigation and inquest following the death of one of its service users in circumstances where there was a risk of legionella in the water system at one of its premises.

Pinsent Masons LLP's Birmingham team, which is part of a wider UK group, acts for many leading industry players in high hazard areas, such as construction, waste, manufacturing and energy. A key feature of the practice is that the team often undertakes its own advocacy, rather than instructing external counsel. Practice head Sean Elson, who has specialised in health and safety for nearly 15 years, has a wealth of experience representing clients in coroners’ inquests and investigations by the HSE. Another cornerstone of the firm's offering involves advising clients on health and safety preventative measures, compliance-related issues and stress tests.

Practice head(s):Sean Elson

Other key lawyers:Louise Mansfield

Testimonials

'Sean Elson is very measured, sensible to deal with and unflappable'.

'Sean Elson  is technically excellent and brilliant at litigation. He is particularly well regarded for his work on matters in the construction/energy sectors'.

'Sean Elson is very experienced with a strong track record. His manner is reassuring and detailed'.

'Louise Mansfield is knowledgeable, sensible and commercial.'

'Louise Mansfield is also deeply committed to this field. Her work is detailed and analytical'.

'The team provides very practical advice and has a very good understanding of our business'.

'A strong player with several high quality corporate clients'.

Key Clients

ATE Truck and Trailer Sale

Work highlights

  • Acted for ATE Truck and Trailer Sales, which was prosecuted by the HSE, following the death of a specialist self-employed contractor on one of its sites.
  • Representing an engineering company in two separate HSE investigations and a prosecution relating to the management of vibration risk.
  • Acting for a foundry being prosecuted by the HSE in relation to an injury received by an employee struck by a fork lift truck.
  • Representing a leading construction company in a landmark HSE prosecution relating to historical allegations about the management of hand arm vibration.
  • Advising on construction product issues concerning natural construction products that may contain asbestos.

Shoosmiths LLP generates a large majority of its work through direct instructions from corporate clients. Its outstanding team has vast experience of all sectors of the UK industry, with particular expertise in the petrochemical, retail, automotive, manufacturing, food and health-care industries. The construction and housing sectors are also core areas of strength. Team head Roy Tozer is experienced in representing and defending major companies against investigations and prosecutions by regulatory authorities.

Practice head(s):Roy Tozer

Other key lawyers:Hayley Saunders

Testimonials

'Roy Tozer and Hayley Saunders are very proactive in negotiations, have really good experience and get to the heart of the matter quickly. It is a really strong team'.

'Roy Tozer is an exceptionally experienced, determined and strategic litigator, who enjoys excellent relationships with his clients and always 'goes the extra mile''.

'Roy Tozer is very experienced'.

'Roy Tozer has handled the weighty and high profile cases well in the past so has seen it all and is immensely experienced. He handles pressure very well'.

'Hayley Saunders is very personable,  is completely immersed in this area of law and really knows her stuff'.

'Hayley Saunders adopts a sensible and pragmatic approach to problems'.

'Hayley Saunders is solid, reliable , knows what she is doing, is very active in the bigger cases and clients are well looked after by her'.

'It provides expert advice in a specialist field, offered with pragmatism and experience and with a personal touch'.

Key Clients

Calor Gas

Work highlights

  • Advising a client on the public inquiry in relation to the deaths of 72 people as a result of the fire at Grenfell Tower.
  • Advising a client on a fatal accident at an explosives factory  resulting in a fatality and life changing injuries to two employees.
  • Advising a client at an inquest into the death of a teenager, who died from a fatal asthma attack.
  • Advising a client on an investigation following a crushing accident to a rough sleeper resulting in life changing injuries.
  • Advising a client on investigations by the HSE arising from “runaway” lorries at two different sites resulting in a fatality and serious life changing injuries.

Bevan Brittan LLP, which is particularly recognised for its public sector expertise, excels in advising clients on investigations by the police and other regulatory authorities (such as the Care Quality Commission and the Health and Safety Executive). It also represents clients in inquests. It receives a steady flow of work from NHS Trusts and ambulance trusts, local authorities and some of the country’s largest housing associations and charities. It is also increasingly working for private sector clients. Adam Kendall is the name to note.

Practice head(s):Adam Kendall; Stuart Marchant; Hannah Taylor

Other key lawyers:Melissa Stanford; Samantha Minchin

Key Clients

Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust

Newcastle City Council

Your Homes Newcastle

Work highlights

  • Represented Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust in the first ever CQC prosecution of an NHS Trust under the HSCA 2008 (Reg Activities) Regs 2014.
  • Represented Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust as the defendant in the Health and Safety Executive prosecution arising from the death of Connor Sparrowhawk.
  • Represented Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust as the defendant in the Health and Safety Executive prosecution arising from the death of Teresa Colvin.
  • Represented a defendant trust during criminal proceedings that were brought by the HSE in relation to the death of a service user from Legionnaires’ Disease.

BLM is best known for its work in complex fatal accident investigations and high-profile inquests. It is strong in HSE and regulatory cases with a criminal background. The team has particular expertise in the manufacturing, construction, public and care sectors and offers a cross-sector regulatory service to private and public sector clients. It routinely acts in the most serious cases involving corporate manslaughter and gross negligence manslaughter. Robert Davies in Birmingham is well-regarded.

Practice head(s):Robert Davies; Helen Devery (national head based in Manchester)

Testimonials

'Robert Davies is immensely experienced and knows what he is talking about'.

Key Clients

Allianz Insurance

QBE Insurance

Work highlights

  • Acted for Great Bear Distribution from day one of a fatal workplace accident at its Desborough warehouse, when an employee fell to his death from a height in excess of nine metres, as a consequence of a collision between two very narrow aisle trucks.
  • Acting for the operating company in the Four Seasons Health Care group of companies since the outset of a health and safety investigation undertaken by Ashfield District Council.
  • Advised N.C.B. Motors Ltd on the  management of the defence of an HSE investigation following a fatal workplace accident involving a long standing employee and in dealing with the coronial investigation and the inquest.
  • Advised M V Kelly Limited since the early stages on an HSE investigation arising out of an accident on a haul road on a construction site at which it was principal contractor, as a consequence of which an employee sustained a life changing injury.
  • Advised B & W Waste Management Services since a few days after an explosion and fire at its hazardous waste storage and processing building, which resulted in two employees being badly burned, with one ending up in an induced coma and life support for 10 days.

Browne Jacobson LLP advises many private sector organisations and their employees on all aspects of health and safety accidents and incidents, including fatal accidents. As a general regulatory practice, the team also advises on health and safety issues arising from food safety, environmental, the care sector and road traffic work. It also represents a significant number of public sector clients under the leadership of Nottingham-based practice head Andrew Hopkin .

Practice head(s):Andrew Hopkin

Other key lawyers:Rachel Lyne

Testimonials

'The team is exceptional in terms of legal knowledge, hard work, clarity of thought and expression, and soundness of judgement and is also incredibly well supported by the paralegals and personal assistants'.

'There are two things which make this practice unique - 1. The superlative leadership, drive and strategic thinking of Andrew Hopkin  and 2. The diversity and excellent quality of his fellow partners and associates'.

'Rachel Lyne is just fantastic'.

 

Key Clients

Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue

Derbyshire Fire and Rescue

Work highlights

  • Representing a key contractor involved in the refurbishment of the Grenfell Tower prior to the fire which resulted in the loss of 71 lives in June 2017.
  • Representing a major car parts manufacturer following a large scale legionnaires outbreak at their facility in the North East in May 2015.

Gateley Plc offers a one-stop fatal accident and major incident service nationally to its clients. Its track record in the health and safety arena ensure that it generates work from clients in various sectors. Led by practice head Ruth Armstrong, the team acts for 19 of the top 20 housebuilders in the UK. It also has sector expertise in manufacturing, waste management and retail, among others. The group has significant experience of handling trading standards investigations, product and safety issues as well as environmental, anti-bribery and corruption matters.

Practice head(s):Ruth Armstrong

Other key lawyers:Kate Oliver; Chris Grainger

Testimonials

'A very commercially astute team covering a large and varied practice area'.

'The team  really gets to knows its clients to ensure that it understands exactly what the client needs, often without the client having to say anything'

'Ruth Armstrong is a leader in her field. Always accessible, extremely astute commercially with huge experience and a broad range of technical strengths. Very good and easy to deal with. Works well and with fine judgement in critical situations'.

'Ruth Armstrong is pragmatic, friendly, hardworking and highly intelligent'.

'Kate Oliver has a real understanding of the criminal process and what will be best for her clients'.

Key Clients

Drayton Manor Park

Bovis

Brachot Hermant

Work highlights

  • Represented Drayton Manor Park in the high profile police and HSE investigations following a fatal accident to a member of the public (a child on a school trip).
  • Represented Camtrex Limited following a fatal accident at its premises.
  • Represented Nylacast in the inquest and subsequent prosecution following a fatal accident at its premises involving an employee.
  • Representing a private members golf club when a member of staff was injured in a fire at the grounds.
  • Acting for a specialist groundworks contractor following two live cable strikes in quick succession on a construction site.

Kennedys' team advises defendants facing HSE and local authority prosecutions, and it is also known for conducting its own advocacy at inquests. It receives a steady flow of instructions in the aftermath of serious accidents (including those involving fatalities), under the leadership of practice head James Shrimpton. Another area of strength involves advising clients and their insurers on any associated civil claims for damages in the aftermath of accidents.

Practice head(s):James Shrimpton

Other key lawyers:Naomi North

Testimonials

'The team in Birmingham is part of the Kennedys national power house health and safety team and attracts major clients and cases '.

'James Shrimpton is a mini magnet for the best cases'.

'James Shrimpton is a very good strategist, manages cases well and is good at  moving the case in the right direction'.

Work highlights

  • The team advised an insurance company when a professional driver struck and killed a 7-year-old girl crossing the road in front of his skip lorry during the course of his employment.

Weightmans LLP advises a broad range of clients active in the public, commercial, charity, sports and insurance sectors. Andrew Brammer joined from Cartwright King, succeeding the outgoing Chris Green as practice head (Green moved to Keoghs LLP). The team represents businesses and key personnel in investigations and prosecutions that are brought by the HSE and other bodies, including the Environment Agency and the Trading Standards.

Practice head(s):David Lewis (Leeds); Dewi Ap Thomas(Liverpool); Crispin Kenyon (London); Andrew Brammer

Testimonials

'Has an excellent team'.

Work highlights

  • Advised  a national organisation following an accident involving an electricity discharge.
  • Provided discreet advice to a client in relation to the impact of several prosecutions in the English courts of the UK arm of its international parent business.
  • Advising a company that specialises in providing transitional supported care and welfare services for young and vulnerable adults often with substance misuse and psychiatric and psychological issues.
  • Assisted a company that was  involved in the supply chain of some of the cladding used on Grenfell Tower before the fire.
  • Advised the site manager of a building site following a fatal wall collapse in June 2015 on a development of new builds built into a steep hillside.

DWF generates a steady flow of work from insurers and large corporates in relation to prosecutions involving corporate manslaughter and safety offences. The team has a notable specialism in contentious health and safety work, but it also provides non-contentious advice to clients, which includes assisting with the restructuring of internal compliance systems following an incident. David Egan heads up the team in Birmingham.

Practice head(s):David Egan

Other key lawyers:Caroline Depledge; Simon Naylor

Testimonials

' The size, experience and flexibility of the team means that it can service projects of any size and complexity'.

'David Egan is a very good strategist. He gets a good overview of the case quickly and drives it forward in the right direction'.

'David Egan is super'.

Key Clients

MAC Skip Hire

QBE

Chubb

Zurich

Covea

Allianz

RSA

NFU Mutual

Maxi Haulage

Work highlights

  • The team acted for ChristalClearProperties Limited and its sole director following a serious incident at a building site on which they worked.
  • Acted for MAC Skip Hire following a fatality of one of their workers at a newly purchased site.
  • Advising a food company during a HSE investigation following a serious safety incident at one of its sites.

Harrison Clark Rickerbys has a broad practice, which is equally strong on contentious regulatory matters and regulatory transactional support. It advises clients from a wide range of industries, including construction, manufacturing, waste, food, retail and education. Heath Thomas heads up the team, which was bolstered by the arrival of Kamal Chauhan from Finch Consilting Limited. Chauhan advises on all aspects of breaches to health and safety legislation.

Practice head(s):Heath Thomas

Other key lawyers:Kamal Chauhan; Aled Owen; Laura Shirley

The team at Mills & Reeve LLP, which is led by Cambridge-based Duncan Astill and Jamie Wheatley, acts for a wide range of institutional and corporate clients. It has particular expertise in the firm’s two largest sectors, namely health and education; in relation to the latter area, the group has been particularly active in advising university estates on asbestos-related incidents. The group overall is adept at advising on corporate manslaughter and health and safety prosecutions. It also advises on other matters, such as Care Quality Commission enforcements and inquests.

Practice head(s):Jamie Wheatley (Cambridge); Duncan Astill (Cambridge)

Key Clients

AIG

Work highlights

  • Represented Adamson Construction when it was prosecuted by the HSE in respect of an accident during building works on a domestic premises.
  • Representing Elysium Healthcare (Farndon) in an HSE investigation into the death of a secure mental patient after she jumped from a moving vehicle

Plexus Law has extensive expertise in advising organisations and individuals on all aspects of health and safety legislation. Its team is particularly experienced in defending clients against HSE/local authority prosecutions, as well as handling inquests and serious case reviews. Its client base includes insurance companies, corporates, self-insured and local authorities. Damon Burt and Anthony Bushell are well regarded.

Practice head(s):Damon Burt; Anthony Bushell

Testimonials

'It has an outstanding health and safety team that provides excellent customer service and achieves exceptional outcomes for its clients'.

'Anthony Bushell is outstanding. He combines an encyclopaedic knowledge of the law, with a robust common sense approach and exceptional judgment'.

Key Clients

Tata Steel

A D Bly

Worcester County Council

Priory Group

Work highlights

  • Advising on a HSE prosecution and a potentially fatal injury that was sustained on a construction site by a reversing telehandler (JCB type Fork Lift Truck) when it collided with a groundworker.
  • Advised when the insured was prosecuted for  a breach of section 2 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work 1974.
  • Advised on the HSE Prosecution of an insured for contravention of section 3 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

Shakespeare Martineau LLP regularly represents businesses and individuals in investigations and prosecutions that are brought by the HSE and other regulatory bodies. It has a wide-ranging practice; the scope of the work includes advice to companies on directors’ responsibilities and corporate manslaughter, and representing clients at inquests. Team head Julia Messervy-Whiting divides her time between Stratford-upon-Avon and Birmingham.

Practice head(s):Julia Messervy-Whiting

Other key lawyers:Craig Wallace; David Ollivere

Testimonials

'Julia Messervy-Whiting undertakes an extremely thorough job and is meticulous in her detail'.

'I have been impressed with Julia-Messervy-Whiting's attention to detail, her determination to get the best possible outcome for us, whilst at the same time managing our expectations clearly regarding possible outcomes'.

'Julia Messervy-Whiting's attention to detail is second to none - she leaves no stone unturned. Nothing is too much trouble and she is always available'.

'The team takes the time to listen and to understand the issues raised so that it can give the correct advice'.

Key Clients

Community Union

Nottingham University

Nottingham Trent University

University of Warwick

The NEC Group

Morrison Utility Services

The Church of England

Whitworth Brothers

XPO Transport UK

Work highlights

  • Represented a manufacturing business in the defence of a second HSE prosecution within two years and a HSE investigation on unrelated breaches.
  • Assisted client with pursuing leave to appeal at Court of Appeal in respect of a £730,000 sentence for breach of Workplace Regulations.
  • Represented a lay client at an inquest into multiple deaths arising from a farm fire.
  • Provided advice to an university in relation to risks consequent upon student travel.
  • Represented a client in relation to alleged breaches of Housing Act 2004 Management Regulations.

Squire Patton Boggs, whose practice has a national reach, is best known for defending large corporate organisations and directors in particularly serious health and safety matters, such as those under the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007, among others. It has particular expertise in the entertainment, food and drink, retail, construction, chemicals, waste and manufacturing sectors. Other areas of expertise include the energy, charity and sports sectors. David Gordon in Birmingham combines private practice experience with knowledge about chemicals regulatory and health issues. Manchester-based Rob Elvin is the overall head of the team.

Practice head(s):Rob Elvin

Other key lawyers:David Gordon; Rob Biddlecombe; Gary Lewis

Testimonials

'The team has a comprehensive range of knowledge and experience, but the real selling point is its customer focus, attention to detail, and its collaborative and accessible approach. The team is equally at home in an operational engineering workshop as in the boardroom seamlessly adapting its approach to meet the needs of the audience and deliver excellent support '.

Key Clients

Live Nation

Showsec International

Suez Plc (and subsidiary)

Bayer Crop Science

Mamas & Papas

Homebase

International Tennis Federation

Staples

Work highlights

  • Advised an energy company in relation to a prosecution following work at height accident.
  • Advised Mamas and Papas on its prosecution by the HSE for breaches of health and safety regulation involving one of its products.
  • Represented Homebase in its appeal against a prohibition notice imposed as a result of work practices.
  • Represented a client in an investigation by the Health and Safety Executive following a fatal accident involving an employee.
  • Represented a client in a prosecution following several accidents involving employees at one of its sites.


Immigration

Index of tables

  1. Immigration
  2. Next Generation Partners

Next Generation Partners

  1. 1

VWV has a national immigration practice, which is led in Birmingham by Tom Brett-Young. Although the specialist team has expertise in immigration issues across a wide range of sectors, the practice has a particular emphasis on the pharma, life sciences and technology industries. Another cornerstone of the practice is work for clients in the education sector;  the firm is increasingly sought out to advise clients in the independent school and higher education space on issues such as Tier four compliance, among others.

Practice head(s):Tom Brett-Young

Testimonials

'Tom Brett-Young stands out for his encyclopaedic knowledge, pragmatism and genuine desire to get the best possible outcome for clients. Tom has gone the extra mile by helping upskill our team and has achieved some fantastic outcomes for our clients'.

'Tom Brett-Young is the most helpful and proactive solicitor I have ever worked with - no question is too big or small, and he is able to break down legal jargon and extensive and confusing home office guidance into simple terms'.

'Tom Brett-Young covers the entire range of matters from corporate to personal immigration and is an experienced practitioner'.

Work highlights

  • Advised a charitable organisation that was threatened with the revocation of its Tier 5 Charity Worker sponsor licence.
  • Secured a visa for a Californian technology business's EMEA sales rep.
  • Provided Tier 2 sponsorship and visa application support for a rapidly growing online and mobile gaming company.
  • Advised a pharmaceutical company on a Tier 2 sponsor licence application.
  • Secured a visa for the UK representative of a New Zealand trade association which requires a representative in the UK to represent the interests of its members as the UK prepares to leave the EU.

Wright Hassall LLP has a notable base of household-name clients, which spans sectors such as retail, advertising, food and professional services. In addition, in the legal industry, it advises leading law firms on their internal immigration issues, and also provides business immigration advice to their clients. Team head Matthew Davies is a fully admitted member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association and has strong ties to US immigration law practices.

Practice head(s):Matthew Davies

Other key lawyers:Tracie Udall; Kelly Tomkinson

Bevan Brittan LLP is renowned for its public and third sector focus. Its specialist business immigration team works closely with clients such as universities, local authorities and NHS trusts. The practice is also diversifying into other areas, and is increasingly generating work from housing associations, international corporations, SMEs and charities. Ashley Norman, who is the main partner in Birmingham, has recently been active in a significant number of Brexit-related queries.

Practice head(s):Jodie Sinclair (London based)

Other key lawyers:Ashley Norman; Bhavika Badola; Jaspal Basra

Key Clients

London School of Economics & Political Science

Royal Free Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Kent County Council

Swansea University

North Bristol NHS Trust

Camden and Islington NHS trust

Work highlights

  • On behalf of London School of Economics & Political Science, the firm developed and presented a bespoke series of briefings to EU and EEA national employees of the institution on the legal implications and options arising from the Brexit vote.
  • Advised and supported a university in respect of ensuring compliance with its Tier 2 & 5 Sponsor Licence obligations.
  • The firm advised an NHS foundation trust on its plans to recruit overseas nurses from the Philippines in order to meet its resourcing requirements moving forwards due to the existing nursing shortages within the UK labour market.
  • Advised a university on right to work issues that needed to be considered in relation to engaging postgraduate students during vacation periods once oral viva submissions had been made but no result was yet confirmed.
  • Advised an NHS trust on a complex case of an overseas migrant worker who had been engaged by the trust under a Tier 2 work visa as a nurse but whose right to work was in question following updated guidance issued by the UK Visa and Immigration in respect of overseas nurses.

Duncan Lewis Solicitors fields a large team nationally. In Birmingham, it is known for acting for claimants in significant immigration (including related judicial reviews) and asylum matters. Niche specialisms include representing vulnerable clients/victims of torture or trafficking in asylum and human rights matters, as well as immigration cases involving detentions. Ahmed Aydeed  and Sangita Shah are the names to note.

Practice head(s):Sangita Shah; Ahmed Aydeed

Testimonials

'It is one of the 'go-to' firms for immigration. The number and diversity of its cases means that it is able to pick up on systems challenges and wider challenges to policies and law in the UK'.

'DL has some excellent individuals who are prepared to go the extra mile for clients and provide a truly excellent service'.

'Ahmed Aydeed is a fantastic lawyer with in-depth knowledge of the area of immigration and trafficking law. He has a great sense of strategic litigation and is a very clear legal mind and thinker'.

'Ahmed Aydeed is very tenacious, committed and keen. He will absolutely go to the limit for his clients and is not afraid to tackle novel legal points'.

'Ahmed Aydeed is very experienced in immigration and trafficking law and is a very clear thinker'.

'The team led by Ahmed Aydeed is excellent. Good team and excellent paralegal support. Knowledgeable and thorough'.

Work highlights

  • Represented a gay man who was set to be removed to Bangladesh.
  • Acted for the claimant in an unlawful detention claim, challenging the failure of the defendant to provide him with a Rule 34 compliant assessment, as required by the Detention Centre Rules.
  • Acted in a matter that involved dealing with a complex trafficking and unlawful detention case through judicial review.
  • Represented a Vietnamese national who was trafficked to the UK.

Shakespeare Martineau LLP acts for businesses across a wide range of sectors, but is particularly noted for its expertise in the education sector. The team has been successful recently in challenging numerous substantial civil penalties notices issued to businesses, as well as decisions to suspend or revoke sponsor licenses. It has extensive knowledge of British nationality law and permanent residency applications for European nationals. Legal director Tijen Ahmet, who is the head of the practice, divides her time between Birmingham and London.

Practice head(s):Tijen Ahmet

Testimonials

'The firm has a knowledgeable and accessible team, which possesses a personal touch. It keeps you informed of progress when an issue is taking a while to resolve'.


Pensions

Index of tables

  1. Pensions
  2. Leading individuals: Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Rising stars

Leading individuals: Hall of Fame

  1. 1

Led by Emma King, Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP's large team covers the full range of pensions matters and works on a myriad of high-value projects. It regularly generates mandates from the trustees of many of the Midlands’ most prominent pension schemes, as well as many local employers. In addition, the group also advises a number of Midlands LGPS pension funds. Sarah Franklin is a key figure in the group. Liz Fallon has retired as a partner but remains a consultant at the firm.

Practice head(s):Emma King

Other key lawyers:Gary Delderfield; Sarah Franklin; Georgina Rankin;Gavin Paul;Alec Bennett;James Ellis;Amanda Smith;Daniel Murphy; Mandy Kaur-Sadler;Fiona Goodman

Testimonials

'Emma King and Sarah Franklin are both excellent, straight talking and pragmatic'.

'Emma King is immensely experienced'.

'Sarah Franklin really knows her stuff, is pragmatic and is very sensible to deal with. If there is a deal to be done she will get it done'.

Key Clients

The Trustees of the BHS2 Pension Scheme

TRW Automotive

Clara Pension Trustees

Box Clever Trustees

Borders to Coast Pensions Partnership

West Midlands Pension Fund in the LGPS

Wales & West Utilities Pension Scheme Trustee

Work highlights

  • Advised the trustee of the Box Clever Group Pension Scheme (participating as an interested party) on a high-profile appeal that was brought by ITV against a decision of the Pensions Regulator to issue financial support directions against ITV in relation to the Box Clever Group Pension Scheme.
  • In July 2018,the firm advised the trustee of the BHS2 Pension Scheme on its £800m “all-risks” buy-out of all the scheme’s liabilities for its 9000 members with Pension Insurance Corporation.
  • The team was appointed as lead legal advisor on all aspects of the establishment of the £40bn LGPS Central investment pool.
  • Advising on a number of complex NHS outsourcing contracts where it has been necessary to move employees from their final salary pension scheme with Nottingham Rehabilitation Services back into the NHS Pension Scheme following a retender of the contract.
  • Instructed by the Trustees of the new Clara Pension Trust, a new consolidator vehicle which aims to provide a route to buy-out.

Gowling WLG has over 50 pensions lawyers and a notable client list, which includes numerous household names and pension schemes with billions of pounds worth of assets. It continues to attract significant new clients and its recent work has involved advising on issues such as closure to accruals, benefit changes and risk transfers, as well as liability management exercises. Its pensions disputes practice is another area of strength. Glyn Ryland is highly recommended.

Practice head(s):Glyn Ryland

Other key lawyers:Richard Black; Paul Carberry; Richard Lee; Elizabeth Gane; Christopher Stiles;Joanne Tibbott; Jennifer Lewis;

Testimonials

'An all-round excellent team'.

'A well-resourced team with real strength in depth'.

'Glyn Ryland is technically excellent, promotes a great service culture and provides clear, definitive and practical advice'.

'Richard Black provides excellent, intelligible and pragmatic advice, explaining issues clearly and concisely'.

'Richard Black  is very supportive, dedicated, pragmatic and a great communicator. He is extremely knowledgeable and experienced'.

'Paul Carberry and Christopher Stiles  are both comfortable explaining complex legal issues to lay trustees in a manner that makes them readily understandable'.

'Paul Carberry is personable and user friendly'.

'There is nothing that Richard Lee does not know about pensions, and he is fun to work with'.

'Joanne Tibbott gives clear and straightforward advice and is very unflappable'.

Key Clients

Universities Superannuation Scheme

Thales UK Pension Scheme

Rothesay Life

PGL Pension Scheme

Pirelli UK Pension Funds

Weetabix pension schemes

Fujitsu UK Services pension schemes

Mitchells & Butlers Pension Plans

Volvo Car UK

Work highlights

  • Provides  legal advice to the Weetabix Schemes.

Pinsent Masons LLP has a full‚Äďservice offering, which covers a diverse range of matters, such as master trusts and occupational pension schemes. The firm is highly active in corporate advisory and public sector work, with the firm advising both employers and trustees (from a variety of industries), as well as national and international insurers. It also has a solid base of occupational scheme work, as well as a significant pension provider practice, and a top-notch pensions litigation practice. Nick Stones¬†and Simon Laight are key figures.

Practice head(s):Nick Stones; Simon Laight

Other key lawyers:Daniel Shelley; Helen Berry; Helen Murphy

Testimonials

'Good all round team that provides practical and commercial advice on how to address relatively complex technical issues'.

'Nick Stones – very personable and technically sound'.

'Daniel Shelley is very capable, strong technically and unflappable'.

Key Clients

Aviva

AXA

L&G

Cadbury Pension Fund

GKN Group Pension Scheme

Michelin Pension and Life Assurance Scheme

National Express Group

Serco

Covea Insurance

Inmarsat

Mitie Group

Fujitsu

Keepmoat

St Modwen

HMRC

Northern Ireland Local Government Officers Superannuation Committee

BUPA

Work highlights

  • Advising Serco on the complexities of various deals arising from the Carillion insolvency.
  • Advising Zurich on the sale of its workplace savings business to Lloyd’s Banking Group (Scottish Widows) involving the transfer of £15bn of assets under management and over 500,000 customers.
  • Advising Aegon on the pensions aspects of the migration of customers from the existing Cofunds investment platform to Aegon’s investment platform.
  • Advising Just on a project to help it reinvent the market in individual annuities.
  • Drafted Scottish Widows' individual annuity policy terms and conditions.

Squire Patton Boggs has a strong market presence in public sector pensions, and its team is particularly knowledgeable about local government pension scheme issues. It has a notable profile among not-for-profit clients, but is also sought out by clients in other industry sectors, such as manufacturing, engineering, education and automotives. The utilities sector is another area of strength. Matthew Giles is highly respected.

Practice head(s):Matthew Giles

Other key lawyers:Philip Sutton

Testimonials

'The team is strong and has great depth at all levels (both within the West Midlands practice and across the pensions team as a whole). They are all commercial, pragmatic and (as required) robust - as well as being friendly and approachable'.

'Matthew Giles is very sensible and pragmatic, has a good reputation and is a nice person to deal with'.

'Philip Sutton and Matthew Giles  are  very strong technically'.

'Philip Sutton is very thorough and professional'.

Key Clients

XPO Pension Trustees

Trustees of the Aston Martin Lagonda Limited Pension Scheme

Trustees of the British Home Pension Scheme

Trustee of the IMI Plc Pension Funds

Coats Group plc

Smiths Group plc

Trustee of the TKM Group Pension Scheme (principal employer: Inchcape International)

Southern Water Pension Scheme

Volvo Cars

FKI Group

Work highlights

  • Developed a General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) compliance programme for UK pension plans, garnering more than 100 separate new instructions.
  • Acting as sole legal adviser to XPO Pension Trustees Limited since its appointment via tender in 2017.
  • Acting as sole legal adviser to the trustees of the Aston Martin Lagonda Limited Pension Scheme.
  • Acts as sole legal adviser to the trustees of the British Home Pension Scheme, which is sponsored by a historic healthcare charity.
  • Following the demerger of the £1bn defined benefit fund, the team has been advising the trustee of the IMI Plc Pension Funds on the winding-up of the legacy arrangement and on ongoing liability management strategies in relation to the successor arrangements.

Gateley Plc acts for a wide spectrum of local, national and international clients in sectors such as industrial engineering, pharmaceuticals and financial services among others. Its team advises on defined benefit schemes with assets ranging from £500,000 to £330m, and also other schemes, such as occupational schemes, SSASs and SIPPS. It also has expertise in various pension issues connected with corporate transactions, as well as on data protection/GDPR and scheme funding issues. Michael Collins heads up the practice.

Practice head(s):Michael Collins

Other key lawyers:Kate Lloyd; Jill Walters; Paul Wild

Testimonials

'Provides a high standard of customer service with regular contact on the progress of work. The team is always very helpful and helps to make things understandable'.

'Michael Collins is very hands-on, proactive and pragmatic. He is a safe and steady pair of hands and always responds quickly and makes himself available for ad-hoc meetings or conference calls'.

'Michael Collins is pragmatic and provides very concise and readable advice'.

'Jill Walters  is very calm, very knowledgeable and does a good job for her clients'.

'Kate Lloyd  is outstanding in her advice and her manner. She makes a complicated subject more understandable and is always very helpful'.

'Kate Lloyd provides very fast response times, much faster than any other legal advisors I have experienced. The quality of advice is very good, and Kate is prepared to be definitive'.

 

Key Clients

Phoenix Medical Supplies Pension Scheme

Getinge/Arjo Huntleigh

Nufarm UK

ZF Services

Charles River Pension Plan

Sumitomo Electric Wiring Systems (Europe) Pension Scheme

Manganese Bronze Group Pension Trustees

Macmillan Publishers’ Pension Schemes

A.S. Watson (Health & Beauty UK) Pension Plan

Hill & Smith 2016 Pension Scheme

Britax Childcare

Police Mutual Assurance Society Staff Pension Fund

Dosco Overseas Engineering (1973) Pension and Assurance Scheme

NCL Investments Limited Pension Scheme (Smith & Williamson)

Work highlights

  • Advising Granwood Holdings Limited on the buyout of three of the employer group's defined benefit pension schemes.
  • Advised the trustees of The ZF Great Britain Limited Retirement Benefits Scheme on the merger of the scheme with the TRW pension plan.

Anthony Collins Solicitors LLP, which focuses on advising employers, has an excellent reputation in public sector pension schemes (including local government, firefighters, teachers and national health service pension schemes). Social housing pension schemes are another area of strength. The group is also adept at advising charities and social businesses. Senior associate Douglas Mullen leads on the pensions work.

Practice head(s):Matthew Gregson

Other key lawyers:Douglas Mullen

Testimonials

'Douglas Mullen is practical and insightful and provides cost-effective advice'.

'I have 100 percent confidence in Douglas Mullen's legal opinion and would recommend him any day'.

Key Clients

Warwickshire Care Services

Cornwall Care

Nottingham Community Housing Association

Trent & Dove Housing

Work highlights

  • Advising on the reduction of unaffordable pension contributions.
  • Assisting WCS in reaching an agreement with staff to leave the Warwickshire Pension Fund.
  • Advising Scope on the transfer of liabilities between pension funds.
  • Advising CTE on offering membership of the Baptist Pension Scheme to a new general secretary.
  • Assisted in devising solutions to avoid claims against NAS’ pensions for non-teachers.

Mills & Reeve LLP demonstrates strong credentials in pensions matters connected with the automotive, agribusiness, charities/not-for-profit and education sectors. Another area of focus is on public sector pension schemes; Clare Grice is skilled at advising on the management of LGPS liabilities. In addition, the team routinely advises trustees and employers on a wide range of issues relating to occupational pensions.

Practice head(s):Clare Grice

Testimonials

'Clare Grice is sensible and practical and knows her stuff'.

'Clare Grice  is brilliant with clients and cuts to the chase to sort things out'.

'Clare Grice  is doing exceptionally'.

Key Clients

RSPB

Trustees of the Wade Furniture Group Pension Scheme

Trustees of the Citroën UK Limited Pension and Life Assurance Scheme

Trustees of the Douglas MacMillan Pension Scheme

The Trustees of the Hotel and Catering Management Association 1977 Retirement and Death Benefits Scheme

Trustees of the Gifford Retirement Benefits Scheme

Trustees of the Drywite Retirement Benefits Plan

Trustees of the Brambles Enterprises (1996) Pension Scheme and the Brambles United Kingdom Pension Plan

Work highlights

  • Advised the Trustees of the Citroën UK Limited Pension and Life Assurance Scheme on the merger of the Peugeot Citroën group’s three UK DB pension schemes.
  • Advised the Trustees of the Brambles Enterprises (1996) Pension Scheme  on the requirements of GDPR and their obligations under it.
  • Advised the Trustees of the Wade Furniture Group Pension Schemeon of the impact on the scheme of the administration of Multiyork and Feather & Black companies within the group.
  • Advised the Trustees of the Hotel and Catering Management Association 1977 Retirement and Death Benefits Scheme on some complicated benefit issues to enable the scheme to be administered in accordance with its governing provisions and overriding legal requirements.
  • Advising a retail sector client on a significant corporate transaction acting for the seller participating in a defined benefit pension scheme.


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