Employment in West Midlands
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.
Other key lawyers:
Emma Phillips; Lisa Kemp
‘The team 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 personalised 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 is very robust, commercial and solutions focused. She is very clear and pragmatic‘.
‘Emma Phillips is a real star‘. She delivers an outstanding service.’
‘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‘.
Hilton International Hotels (UK)
- 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.
‘The firm has a first-rate team‘.
‘David Beswick is very sensible and easy to deal with‘.
Ophir Energy plc
Severn Trent plc
Associated British Foods
- 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.
Other key lawyers:
‘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‘.
‘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‘ .
London Borough of Croydon
Rider Levett Bucknall
Morgan Motor Company
Mercedes AMG High Performance Powertrains
Iglo Foods (now Nomad)
The Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis
- 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.
Jonathan Coley (head of the Birmingham team); Linda Jones (head of the employment and reward team)
‘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‘.
MITIE Group PLC
University of the Arts
The Binding Site
- 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.
David Sykes; Alan Jones
Other key lawyers:
‘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‘.
- 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.
James Tait (heads the employment team in Birmingham); Peter Jones (the national head of the employment team)
Other key lawyers:
Jacqui Atkinson; Helen Badger
‘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‘.
Bureau Veritas UK
Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust
Wolverhampton City Council
East Midlands Ambulance NHS Trust
TT Electronics Plc
- 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.
Other key lawyers:
‘Merran Sewell is technically excellent, commercial and very responsive and aware of her clients’ needs‘.
Arts Council England
BNP Paribas Personal Finance
Crisil Irevna UK
Sanlam Investment and Wealth Management
Tyrrells Potato Crisps
- 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.
Other key lawyers:
‘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‘.
Jaguar Land Rover
University of Birmingham
Birmingham City University
University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust
- 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.
Other key lawyers:
Adele Hayfield; Antonia Blackwell; Nick Vernon
‘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’.
PSA Peugeot Citroen
The National Exhibition Centre
East End Foods
British Association of Social Workers
- 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.
Other key lawyers:
Ramez Moussa; Helena Morrissey; Joanna Galbraith
National Australia Bank
- 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.
Other key lawyers:
Matthew Wort; Anna Dabek; Douglas Mullen; Faye Rush;
‘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‘.
‘Douglas Mullen is highly regarded and he is very experienced on TUPE issues‘.
United Kingdom Homecare Association
Care Management Group
Walsall Housing Group
- 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.
‘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.
Other key lawyers:
Debra Cottam; Joanne Walker; Simon Bond; Amy Brokenshire
‘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‘.
‘Simon Bond provides very strong support and quick responses‘.
‘Amy Brokenshire is very, very bright‘.
- 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.
Other key lawyers:
Elaine Huttley;Helen Dyke;Hannah Clifford
‘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‘.
National Accident Repair Services
GMS Group of Companies
Hadley Industries Plc
Canal & River Trust
- 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 ‘third sector’ client base. Michael Hibbs heads up the group, whose expertise in advisory matters is complemented by a strong reputation in employment tribunal litigation.
Other key lawyers:
David Browne; Tom Long; Helen Hughes; Abigail Halcarz;Emma Oliver;
Assicurazioni Generali Spa
The Open University
Acorns Children’s Hospice Trust
- 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.
Jane Byford; Kathy Halliday
Other key lawyers:
‘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‘.
Birmingham Repertory Theatre
Birmingham Royal Ballet
Blue Coat School Birmingham
Complete Business Solutions
Cheltenham Ladies College
Creative Education Trust
Evolve Academy Trust
King Edward VI Academy Trust Birmingham
London Metropolitan University
Loughborough Endowed Schools
National Star College
Queen Alexandra College
Royal Academy of Music
St Philip’s Chambers
The Schools of King Edward VI Foundation
United Reformed Church Synods
University of Bath
University of Exeter
University of Law
Windsor Academy Trust
- 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.
Other key lawyers:
Claire Hollins; Bhavesh Prajapati;
The Together trust
Bolsover District Council
London Executive Offices
Sertec Group Holdings
Aquila Truck Centres
- 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.
Jodie Sinclair (London based)
Other key lawyers:
Ashley Norman; James Gutteridge; Jaspal Basra
Birmingham City Council
Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Guinness World Records
North Bristol NHS Trust
London School of Economics
- 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.
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.
West Midlands Combined Authority
Cook Medical Group
Healthcare at Home
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.
Rebecca Sawbridge; Peter Gavin
DPD Group UK
ERIKS Industrial Services
The Reflex Group
Aperam Alloys IMPHY
The British Horse Society
Medinet Clinical Services
Sopra Steria Recruitment
International Glazing Services
- 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.
John Merry (Telford); William Morse (Hereford)
‘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‘.
WMC Retail Partners
Pure Communications Limited t/a Pure Telecom
Golden Bear Products
Central Shropshire Multi Academy Trust
Bespoke Construction Services
Severn Bridges Academy Trust
The Shropshire Doctors’ Co-operative (“Shropdoc”)
- 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.
Emma Burrows (based in London)
Other key lawyers:
‘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‘.
The Accord Group
Benussi & Co
Black Country Housing Group
Bournville Village Trust
Colmore Tang Construction
County Durham Housing Group
Core Education Trust
Cross Keys Homes
Mere Golf and Country Club
Paddy Power Betfair
Platform Housing Group
Rema Church London (through appointment by the Charity Commission)
Spring Housing Association
Swimming Teachers’ Association
Trident Housing Association
- 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
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.
Other key lawyers:
‘Suki Harrar has a superb manner, is always well prepared, distils information and is concise when providing advice and information in easily understood terms‘.
SPI Global Play
- 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.
Helen Watson (based in Chester)
Other key lawyers:
‘Ben Mason is always helpful and responsive‘.
Field Studies Council
The Severn Partnership
Carey Glass Chester
GRH Food Company
Penney Financial Partners
AXYZ Automation (UK)
Birford Cable and Harness
- 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.
Askews Legal LLP
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.
‘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’.
- 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.
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.
Other key lawyers:
Sims Group UK
- 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
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.
Other key lawyers:
Michael Stokes; Kristine Scott
‘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‘.
- 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
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.
‘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‘.
- 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.
Other key lawyers:
Simon King; Sue Hatton; Tori Shepherd
‘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‘.
‘Very attentive and always on hand to help in those stressful situations’.
‘Practical, proactive and pragmatic. Extremely knowledgeable and helpful. Friendly, approachable and easy to recommend‘.
‘It is a very committed team that provides an excellent service and clear and concise advice‘.
‘Jonathon Forrester is sensible and proactive- a great tactician‘.
‘Jonathon Forrester is assiduous in identifying the right issues and assessing a case’s strengths. His case preparation is meticulous, papers are sent in good time’.
‘Jonathon Forrester – willing to provide assistance evenings, weekends and holidays‘.
‘Sue Hatton understands our business and HR issues and provides good support with onsite disciplinary/grievance hearings‘.
Drayton Manor Park
Lichfield Cathedral School
Mitsubishi Hardmetal UK
Linden Care Homes
CSComms & Pure Cloud solutions
Multi glazing Systems
Automatic Door Suppliers Association
County Building Supplies
- 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.
Other key lawyers:
‘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‘.
- 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.
‘Very practical advice, very accessible team and very realistic‘.
DK Schweizer (UK)
John Raymond Transport
- 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.
Martin de-Ridder (Cannock); Jason Alcock (Lichfield)
Other key lawyers:
Band Hatton Button LLP
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.
‘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‘.
- 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.
Nick Phillips; Laura Franklin
‘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‘.
- 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.
Other key lawyers:
Chris Piggott; Darryll Thomas; Kate Jones; Christopher Amys
Pillinger & Associates
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.
‘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‘.
‘It works hard to deliver a first class, great value service to clients‘.
The Wendy House Day Nursery
Ragley Hall Estate
Strong Feet Dance Studio
Budget Shipping Containers
- 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.
Other key lawyers:
Thomas Guise Solicitors
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.
‘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‘.
- Representing a senior executive on the terms of a settlement agreement with six-figure compensation.