Firms To Watch: Employment: Leeds and West Yorkshire; North Yorkshire

Lewis Silkin is continuing to build out its national platform, following up its Manchester launch with an office in Leeds led by former Knights plc partner James Keogh.
gunnercooke LLP‘s Yorkshire employment team has experienced significant growth. Jo Tindall re-located to Yorkshire from the firm’s Manchester office while Simon Brian joined the group from Flint Bishop LLP in March 2022. Other key arrivals include Mini Setty from Langleys Solicitors LLP and Joan Pettingill from Wake Smith Solicitors Limited. The group acts for both employers and employees on a variety of matters, including whistleblowing, redundancies and issues of discrimination.
Matthew Yates  leads the employment team at Tyr; he has extensive experience advising a wide range of companies in various sectors, from PLCs to SMEs as well as senior individuals. He also has a particular interest in the transport and chemical sectors and conducts his own advocacy before the Employment Tribunal.

Employment: Leeds and West Yorkshire; North Yorkshire in Yorkshire And The Humber

Addleshaw Goddard

Addleshaw Goddard‘s ‘first class’ employment and immigration group is well-known for its retail and consumer expertise which has been bolstered by practice co-head Shakeel Dad‘s experience in this area. The group’s stellar client base includes major retailers like ASDA and has experienced further growth with the addition of further high-profile clients. Fellow practice head Rebecca Kitson is ‘technically gifted’ and focuses on the retail and energy sectors, advising clients on complex TUPE and restructuring projects. Gerri Elliott is also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Rebecca Kitson; Shakeel Dad

Other key lawyers:

Chris-Bailey Gibbs; Gerri Elliott; Leigh Jackson; Sarah Ashberry; Chris Ridley


‘First class, clear and pragmatic advice, which made a difficult set of redundancies run very smoothly.’

‘A very pragmatic and sensible team.’

The people I have worked with at Addleshaw Goddard ensure they understand our business and the challenges that we face. They form a great collaboration with key stakeholders and have a very engaging approach to what they do.’

‘The practice has strength in depth. There is unlikely to be anything that the team couldn’t handle, with excellent contentious and non-contentious lawyers in the team.’

‘They are very responsive and always return calls and/or deliver what they say they are going to do and when they are going to do it. They provide pragmatic realistic advice which is ‘real world’ relevant.’

‘Rebecca Kitson. Technically gifted. Always very personable. She’s been integral in growing what is now a very impressive team, comparable to any of the big 6 in Leeds.’

Key clients





















Work highlights

  • Advised Asda on the rapid insourcing of its chilled food logistics service at the point of its supplier, EVCL Chill, collapsing into administration.
  • Advised Network Rail on a project to restructure Network Rail’s capital delivery team in its Eastern Region, creating a more efficient, lean and agile client team for capital schemes (Project Ace).

DLA Piper

DLA Piper primarily act for employers on the full gamut of employment law issues. The team has particular expertise in handling sensitive whistleblowing and workplace harassment cases in addition to advising on the gig economy, with Uber as one of its key clients. Advising both private and public sector clients, practice head Jane Hannon is supported by legal director Chris Baker; the pair have extensive experience handling global restructuring projects.

Practice head(s):

Jane Hannon

Other key lawyers:

Chris Baker


‘The team are experts in their field and provide a comprehensive service.’

‘For businesses based in various jurisdictions, it is beneficial to have ease of access to DLA Pipers international experts in those jurisdictions such as Europe and the U.S.’

‘Jane Hannon is very approachable and has a positive attitude in providing advice both from a legal and practical stand point.’

Key clients


New Balance

Anglo American

Persimmon Homes


Howden Joinery Group

Stanley Black & Decker

Dentsu Aegis


LSL Property Services

Work highlights

  • Advised Uber in relation to implications of the UK Supreme Court decision in February 2021 that Uber drivers have workers’ rights.
  • Supported Dentsu Aegis on return to office issued on a global basis in relation to the Covid -19 pandemic.

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP houses a team of ‘first class’ lawyers who act for both large corporates and public organisations. The group leverages its international footprint to advise on global employment and immigration issues, including specialist advice on European Works Councils and global trade unions; practice head Paul Cotton is an expert in these areas as well as advising on boardroom exits and disputes. Tribunal advocate Simon Rice-Birchall  is ‘utterly outstanding’, specialising in complex discrimination cases. It also fields a dedicated higher education practice, with Christopher Mordue and Ben Wood advising several universities and sixth form colleges.

Practice head(s):

Paul Cotton

Other key lawyers:

Simon Rice-Birchall; Christopher Mordue; Ben Wood; Louise Lightfoot; Tanzeela Hussain


‘Eversheds Sutherland have a diverse client base and the team have a really good knowledge and understanding of many different industries and sectors, which is invaluable when it comes to navigating industry wide issues.’

‘Their lawyers are technically first class and their advice and guidance is always on point, they really stand out as leaders in their field.’

‘Paul Cotton has provided a lot of support on labour and employment issues. Paul really understands our business and has a wealth of experience in this area, which has been invaluable both on day to day matters and project.’

‘Simon Rice – Birchall is utterly outstanding. He is precise, supportive, works with you and enables HR teams to learn and develop in a generous way.’

‘They provide great support on smaller local issues and can also quickly assemble large teams with full project management support, which really helps to coordinate larger / cross-border projects.’

‘Eversheds Sutherland place a high priority on client satisfaction and retention, and their client relationship management is excellent.’

‘Chris Mordue is an absolute super star in employment education matters.’

‘Without exception they are down to earth, pragmatic and easy to deal with.’

Key clients

Virgin Atlantic

University of Birmingham

Yorkshire Water

Hallmark Cards

University of Nottingham

Network Rail

University of Reading

Rockwell Corporation

Pall Corporation

Work highlights

    Squire Patton Boggs

    The ‘excellent team’ at Squire Patton Boggs is regularly instructed on whistleblowing cases and investigations, with strengths in various industries including technology, healthcare and life sciences, and manufacturing. It is also particularly adept at handling issues in the retail sector; practice head Matthew Lewis often advises on industrial disputes, including strike actions, within this area. Andrew Stones and director Gemma Finlayson handle board level changes and senior executive issues while Louise Martin frequently appears before the Employment Appeal Tribunal. Senior associate David Harford-Jeffrey is also recommended.

    Practice head(s):

    Matthew Lewis

    Other key lawyers:

    Andrew Stones; Gemma Finlayson; Louise Martin; Fiona Sellers; David Harford-Jeffrey


    ‘Excellent team, very responsive, collaborative, straightforward and very little legal jargon.’

    ‘Level of relevant knowledge and ability to offer advice not simply based on ‘the law’ but on the situation and therefore makes them very practical.’

    ‘The team provide a robust defence to tribunals for us as an employer, and they have a number of individuals who specialise in litigation. ‘

    Key clients

    Smiths Group plc

    Compass Group plc


    Pets at Home plc

    Greggs plc

    Pret a Manger


    Gate Gourmet



    University of Law

    Zenith Vehicle Contracts

    NewDay Burton’s Biscuits

    Work highlights

    • Advised a FTSE 100 Healthcare and Life Sciences Company on a variety of matters including collective grievance, shift changes and new working patters and challenge from the unions and amending contracts and providing advice in advance of the intended requirement for people working directly with the NHS to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
    • Advised a global manufacturer in relation to an EMEA wide restructure/reduction in force as part of a major change programme.


    Clarion has a strong business immigration offering that includes obtaining and managing sponsor licenses, right to work checks and alternative business immigration routes; legal director Suzanne Treen and associate Anna-Elise Harvey are the key contacts. The group has extensive experience before the Employment Tribunal with particular experience in unfair dismissal and discrimination claims. Practice head Sarah Tahamtani is ‘very client focused‘ and primarily advises senior HR professionals, boards and business owners. Deborah Warren has specialist expertise in distressed purchases and downsizing. Chris Booth has transitioned into a consultant role.

    Practice head(s):

    Sarah Tahamtani

    Other key lawyers:

    Deborah Warren; Suzanne Treen; Victoria Jackson; Joanna Dodd; Anna-Elise Harvey; Chris Booth


    ‘As a relatively small private practice, Clarion absolutely value their customers. Being independent provides them with the opportunity to tailor their practice and legal solutions to customers – there is no “one size fits all” approach.’

    ‘Clarion have consistently attracted some great talent to their team and this shows through in the solutions that they provide clients.’

    ‘Stand-out people for me are: Sarah Tahamtini – very client focused and provides a great sense of individual engagement and support.’

    Work highlights

      DAC Beachcroft LLP

      DAC Beachcroft LLP is best known for its specialism within health employment law, frequently acting for independent health providers as well as various NHS Trusts. James Rhodes  leads the healthcare work while practice head Louise Bloomfield , who clients consider to a be ‘a leader in her field’, advises major corporates on all aspects of employment law. Areas of expertise include advising on restructures, complex litigation and industrial relations issues. The team also includes senior associate Suki Attwal, a ‘stand-out expert on complex equal pay matters’, Anjali Sharma and consultant Hilary Larter. The firm also has an Employment Practices Liability offering for insurers on their EPL tribunal claims.

      Practice head(s):

      Louise Bloomfield

      Other key lawyers:

      James Rhodes; Anjali Sharma; Suki Attwal; Hilary Larter; Tim Gooder


      ‘Amazing legal knowledge and expertise across a broad range of sectors.’

      ‘DAC Beachcroft stand apart from other employment providers due to their commerciality and excellent customer service. They take time to build relationships and understand their clients’ businesses.’

      ‘Louise Bloomfield is a leader in her field – pragmatic and straight talking.’

      Key clients

      BT plc

      McDonald’s Restaurants Limited


      Royal Mail

      Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust


      HSS Hire

      Zurich Insurance

      Dixons Carphone (now Currys)


      Work highlights

      • Advised independent health care providers, NHS Trusts, NHS Foundation Trusts and NHS England on employment related Covid-19 and mandatory vaccine related matters.
      • Defended a complex claim for worker status of a sports coach for a well-known leisure brand thereby establishing a precedent to defeat any other claims of a similar nature, and protecting the client’s workforce structure.
      • Advised a global hospitality brand on managing its workforce in light of Covid-19 and how to deal with complex data protection issues in respect of testing and vaccine information.

      Pinsent Masons LLP

      Pinsent Masons LLP‘s employment practice handles both contentious and non-contentious mandates. The group has experienced significant growth in the sports sector, with senior associate Joe McMorrow taking charge in this area, where he assists major football clubs. The team also has extensive expertise within the financial services and retail sectors, reflected by practice head Jon Fisher‘s experience handling financial services regulation as well as senior executive matters. He is also skilled at handling complex Employment Tribunal litigation and National Minimum Wage investigations.

      Practice head(s):

      Jon Fisher

      Other key lawyers:

      Joe McMorrow


      ‘Reliable, sound, pragmatic employment advice. I have never received anything less than excellent service.’

      ‘Jon Fisher is the utmost trusted advisor. He understands our business and our culture and ensures that his advice is totally suitable for us.’

      ‘The lawyers we work with have a wealth of experience, their knowledge of employment law is exceptional.’

      Key clients

      Centrica plc/British Gas

      RSA Insurance plc

      Royal London


      Liverpool FC

      Marshalls plc

      NHS Property Services

      International Personal Finance plc

      Leeds Beckett University

      University of Lincoln

      University of Sheffield

      Work highlights

      • Advised Tesco, the UK’s largest private sector employer, on all of their employment litigation.
      • Advised a talent agency on a high profile manager move in women’s football.
      • Advised a FTSE250 company on the exit of a high-profile Board member.

      Walker Morris LLP

      Walker Morris LLP has a diverse employment practice, acting for clients within the manufacturing, food and drink, finance and technology sectors. It also has a particularly strong sports employment focus, with a number of Premier League football clubs in its client roster. Practice co-head Andrew Rayment is a specialist in employment work for international transactions while fellow practice head David Smedley continues to develop the group’s immigration offering, advising on sponsor license applications, visas and post-Brexit right to work changes. Senior associate Charlotte Smith is ‘fantastic’. Laura McLellan left the firm to join Knights plc in February 2022.

      Practice head(s):

      David Smedley; Andrew Rayment

      Other key lawyers:

      Shabana Muneer; Charlotte Smith; Lucy Gordon


      ‘Their knowledge is excellent. Fast response times. Approachable and easy to understand. Understand business and gives practical advice as well as legal.’

      ‘The team genuinely take the time to understand the organisational context, what we are ultimately trying to do and how best to navigate through it. They are very accessible and focused on providing a first class service.’

      ‘Charlotte Smith is fantastic. She has delivered very good work on a multitude of matters at a very sensitive time for our business at the same time as getting to know me and my team. She has built trusted relationships very quickly both locally and internationally.’

      ‘Leading employment law firm in Yorkshire. Very experienced in acting for employers, employees, unions and in class actions.’

      ‘David Smedley – first class employment lawyer with years of practical experience.’

      ‘Andrew Rayment is an excellent forward-thinking employment lawyer.’

      ‘The team has a very accessible style which is valued by clients. Being able to pull together a product integrating input from other specialists within the firm is another appealing user-friendly feature of this team.’

      ‘The team at Walker Morris are extremely responsive and approachable. They take a commercial approach to matters and seek to deliver their services in a practical, cost-effective manner.’

      Key clients

      Suntory Beverage and Food Group (formerly Lucozade Ribena Suntory)

      Burnley Football Club

      Hallmark Cards


      AFC Bournemouth

      Menzies Distribution

      British Steel

      RWE Supply & Trading GmbH

      Renew Holdings


      Work highlights

      • Advised Hallmark Cards Plc on the TUPE transfer of 600+ people following a change of service provision. We act in respect of ongoing employment advice.
      • Advised Menzies Distribution on a number of issues, including employment tribunal claims (in all areas of the United Kingdom); managed advice in foreign jurisdictions; advised of sector critical issues such as employment status and national minimum wage; TUPE issues on key contracts; competition issues; and post transaction integration issues.
      • Assisted Burnley Football Club in negotiating Sean Dyche’s new contract and continue to provide advice to the Club in respect of all HR and employment matters.

      Capsticks LLP

      Specialising in the healthcare sector, Capsticks LLP works closely with NHS Trusts, GPs and independent providers across the north of England. It regularly acts in high profile employment tribunals as well as handling cross-jurisdictional cases with significant reputational risk. The group continues to grow, with a number of notable new hires, including Kirsty MacDonald from Law By Design in January 2022. Other areas of growth include its emergency services offering, assisting clients in the police and ambulance sectors. Alistair Kernohan jointly leads the group with Rachael Heenan, who clients consider the ‘go-to expert for NHS employment issues’.

      Practice head(s):

      Rachael Heenan; Alistair Kernohan

      Other key lawyers:

      Eleanor Rhodes; Lee Carroll; Kirsty MacDonald


      ‘Sound advice, professional and knowledgeable.’

      ‘The team continue to be the number one go to employment law team for me. Their advice and guidance has been invaluable as we have addressed some long standing complex issues whilst also supporting my work to build capacity and capability in the People function. They continue to be experts in their field, responsive and caring.’

      ‘Rachael Heenan continues to be the ‘go to’ expert for NHS employment issues and more. She is exceptionally well networked, works with a bigger picture lens and gets to the heart of the matter so quickly.’

      ‘They are very joined up between different parts of their specialist areas . The legal team are very easy to talk to- speak in plain terms and are efficient and quick in the way they operate. They are pragmatic and more balanced in their assessment and strategy in handling cases.’

      ‘The team are exceptionally knowledgable and can respond very quickly to requests for advice. They have specialists they can call on, if the key contacts are unable to provide support and advice.’

      ‘Capsticks, particularly Rachel Heenan, bring a personalised and no nonsense approach.’

      Key clients

      The Commissioner of the Police of the Metropolis

      East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust

      Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust

      Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust

      County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust

      Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust

      University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust

      Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust

      Leeds Community Healthcare NHS Trust

      Work highlights

      • Advised Leeds Community Healthcare NHS Trust and the local GP Confederation in developing an agreement that would enable the portability of staff across the Leeds Health and Care System and its partner organisations to facilitate the delivery of a more integrated health and social care system.
      • Advised Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust on complex employment and pensions issues relating to the TUPE transfer of over 600 employees arising out of the termination of a longstanding partnership agreement with Northumberland County Council, which involved unwinding delegated Adult Social Services and other health related local authority functions.
      • Advised and represented East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust in a nine day Employment Tribunal hearing, successfully defending a claim by a former paramedic who alleged automatic unfair dismissal, ordinary unfair dismissal, detriment for having made protected disclosures, failure to make reasonable adjustments and disability discrimination.

      Gateley Legal

      Gateley Legal is instructed by corporate clients based in the UK and overseas as well as board directors, CEOs and senior non-executive directors. The group provides strategic HR advice and handles executive severance negotiations. ‘Highly respected and top calibre employment lawyers’ Paul Ball and Gearalt Fahy jointly lead the team; the former has particular experience in discrimination cases and issues arising out of business transfers while the latter regularly defends claims at the employment tribunal.

      Practice head(s):

      Paul Ball; Gearalt Fahy


      ‘In terms of the team in Leeds, Gearalt Fahy and Paul Ball are highly respected and top calibre employment lawyers.’

      ‘They treat clients with respect and empathy and are becoming well known for their drive to increase the number of commercial clients in the Leeds practice.’

      ‘The team are pragmatic and give practical, logical advice. They clarify expectations and deliver on time.’

      ‘Timely and pragmatic advice on a full range of employment issues. Very helpful that the team acts for individuals as well as institutions. Top notch advice at not-London-prices.’

      ‘Paul Ball is excellent and has some strong associates around him, who also respond with humanity, speed and pragmatism.’

      ‘Legal outcomes can be subjective, but Gearalt and his team cover the ground and do the behind the scenes work to ensure that the advice that they offer is accurate and reliable.’

      Key clients

      Bridon International Limited

      Altrad Services UK

      Wabtec Rail Limited

      Dr Oetker

      Leeds Bradford Airport

      Chevron TM Limited

      Loram UK Limited


      Tetra Tech UK Limited

      Forensic Access Limited

      Work highlights

      • Represented Altrad Services in a whistleblowing ET claim.

      Irwin Mitchell

      Irwin Mitchell advises on the full spectrum of employment law issues. It has a strong track record in the education sector, acting for several large multi-academy trusts and further education colleges; Jenny Arrowsmith oversees client relationships in this area. Glenn Hayes heads up the Leeds, Sheffield and Manchester teams and specialises in the enforcement and defence of restrictive covenants as well as advising on senior level appointments and exits.

      Practice head(s):

      Glenn Hayes

      Other key lawyers:

      Jenny Arrowsmith


      ‘The team have provided support to our People Services team on a number of complex ER cases and projects in a very timely and professional manner.’

      ‘Having access to experts for different issues and projects is very beneficial.’

      ‘Jenny Arrowsmith is a trusted and competent employment partner who provides a solutions focused service. She has advised on some difficult cases that have been successfully resolved at minimum cost to the organisation.’

      Key clients

      Amino Communications plc

      Association Of Colleges

      Begbies Traynor Plc

      Boccia England

      Bradford College

      Capita PLC

      Cash Converters

      Da Vita International Inc

      ERS Medical

      Firesprite Gaming

      Headway Group (National Brain Injury Association)

      New College Durham

      Newson Health Limited

      Persimmon plc

      Premex Services Limited

      Work highlights

      • Advised Firesprite Limited on its acquisition by Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE).
      • Advised a housing developer on the acquisition of 15 care homes (housing over 1500 residents and 1100 staff) across the North of England.
      • Advising a healthcare provider in proceedings for a claim against a transferor following the failure to provide accurate TUPE Employee Liability Information.

      Lupton Fawcett

      The employment team at Lupton Fawcett has developed a profile in national minimum wage issues, working in tandem with the regulatory group to advise organisations in this space. Other areas of expertise include in the construction, logistics and ecclesiastical sectors; Angela Gorton is the name to note. It is also well-equipped to handle cases involving whistleblowing, TUPE and discrimination, with Tom Watkins and practice head Andrew Gilchrist  both key contacts.

      Practice head(s):

      Andrew Gilchrist

      Other key lawyers:

      Angela Gorton; Tom Watkins

      Work highlights

      • Advised Handpicked Hotels in relation to various employment issues, including changes to T&C’s, redundancies and staff retention measures.
      • Advised The Kings School, Canterbury in relation to numerous employment issues.
      • Advised Sweet Squared Limited in relation to employment litigation, and in particular, the successful defence of a claim for unlawful discrimination (which was withdrawn for nil payment).

      Shoosmiths LLP

      Shoosmiths LLP handles Employment Tribunal and Employment Appeal Tribunal cases for major national clients. It has particular experience in advising on senior executive exits within regulated sectors such as financial services and healthcare. Paul Stokey  and Phil Crowe  jointly lead the team; the former is an expert in collective equal pay claims while the latter is a specialist in the defence of worker status and gig economy claims. For discrimination claims and issues relating to mental health, senior associate Andy Graham is recommended.

      Practice head(s):

      Paul Stokey; Phil Crowe

      Other key lawyers:

      Andy Graham


      Probably the strongest Employment in the region. Commercially aware and willing to thinking of creative solutions.

      ‘Practical, down to earth, technically very solid, responsive and commercially very aware.’

      Phil Crowe is the Roll Royce of the team. Always responsive and proactive… I know people scramble to retain him. Simply the best of the best.

      Key clients

      Boots PLC

      Alliance Healthcare Management Services Limited

      Wm Morrison Supermarkets Plc

      The Constellation Automotive Group

      We Buy Any Car Limited

      Cinch Car Limited

      Linnaeus Veterinary Limited

      The IDH Group t/a My Dentist

      Vaultex UK Limited

      Pavers Limited

      A1 Comms Limited

      BAE Systems PLC

      Work highlights

        Ward Hadaway LLP

        Ward Hadaway LLP's national employment team is led by Harmajinder Hayre; he works with Edward Nuttman and immigration specialist Flora Mewies in Leeds. The team works with clients from a range of sectors, including transport, care, manufacturing, technology, and also advises a number of local authorities. The team in Leeds work closely with colleagues in Manchester and Newcastle. Typical work includes investigations, tribunal claims, senior executive moves and day-to-day advice for key clients.

        Practice head(s):

        Harmajinder Hayre

        Other key lawyers:

        Edward Nuttman; Flora Mewies

        Key clients




        Turner &Townsend LLP

        Weir Minerals PLC (FTSE 100)

        Maria Mallaband Care Group Ltd

        City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council

        HCT Group

        Grosvenor Integrated Services Ltd


        Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP

        Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP is regularly instructed by educational establishments as well as national and regional charities. The group handles a mixture of contentious and non-contentious mandates, including corporate transactional support work and employment tribunal litigation. Ed Duffield leads the team, which includes managing associate Alan Kennedy, who specialises in corporate immigration work, and associate Jayne Flint who has experience in IR35 and worker status issues.

        Practice head(s):

        Ed Duffield

        Other key lawyers:

        Alan Kennedy; Jayne Flint


        ‘Womble Bond Dickinson offer the full range of employment law services and have a real good client book.’

        ‘The HR advice we receive is excellent. Always providing an assessment of any risks involved and practical in gaining solutions.’

        ‘Responses are always prompt and availability of other team members is in place when our main contact is away. Advice is consistent and clear.’

        ‘Ed Duffield continues to provide outstanding advice and support. Ed is reliable, clear, and provides an assessment of any risks involved depending on the course of action being taken.’

        Key clients

        Dnata Limited

        Carpetright Limited

        Ordnance Survey Limited

        Cello Health Group plc

        Sanderson Weatherall LLP


        Ampleforth College

        Saint Catherine’s Hospice

        Work highlights

        • Advising Dnata Limited (part of Emirates Group) on significant adjustments to its business and operations as a result of the global pandemic including furlough arrangements, restructuring, TUPE and disputes.
        • Assisted Ordnance Survey Limited on a number of matters including advising on Directors’ Service Agreements, sales incentive plans, terms for essential users of business vehicles and advising on hybrid working structure (including implications for tax status).
        • Advised Ampleforth College on a wide range of employment issues including the negotiation and completion of settlement agreements, and advice on the intern programme.

        Blacks Solicitors LLP

        Blacks Solicitors LLP acts for both employers and employees on the full gamut of issues, including specialist offerings in claims against the Police and Ministry of Defence, and advising GP surgeries and dentists. It is also regularly instructed by educational institutions. Paul Kelly and Tom Moyes  jointly lead the team, that clients praise for having a ‘personal touch’. David Ward , Chris Allen and Euan Lawrence are also recommended.

        Practice head(s):

        Paul Kelly; Tom Moyes

        Other key lawyers:

        David Ward; Chris Allen; Euan Lawrence


        ‘A very good claimant and small business employment team. Good profile and punching well above their weight.’

        ‘Tom Moyes and David Ward are the two stand out individuals for me. David is tenacious when on the other side but very personable to work in collaboration with Tom is highly responsive and commercial to deal with. I am always confident he will do a good job.’

        ‘The team at Blacks Solicitors LLP were excellent. They supported us at every stage in our claim and provided us with exceptional value for money in what was a fairly complex and potentially high profile claim.’

        ‘Paul Kelly is excellent. He clearly knows his stuff and has a lot of experience. I particularly appreciated his very commercial and sensible approach. The advice he gave was very clear and he dealt with my matter promptly and efficiently. Very impressive!’

        ‘Euan Lawrence was brilliant to deal with. He displayed an appropriate amount of empathy, honesty and integrity. He was able to advise and educate on matters arising to my case without making me feel uncomfortable or silly.’

        ‘The personal touch is what makes Blacks unique.’

        ‘Treated as an individual and not as a statistic. Billing is very clear and when I ask, I am given an estimate beforehand. Clear communication within the organisation is evident.’

        ‘The team at Blacks are very professional and knowledgeable whilst also being approachable and they have an ability to explain things clearly and simply when needed. The service is always very prompt and you can always get hold of someone to help you when required.’

        Key clients

        Really Useful Products Limited

        EMS-FP&S Truck & Trailer Parts

        Augean PLC

        BigChange Limited

        Southern Wind Limited T/A Fazenda

        Work highlights

          Consilia Legal

          Consilia Legal specialises in whistleblowing and discrimination cases and have handled several claimant matters on behalf of NHS consultants. Spearheaded by the ‘amazing’ Marie Walsh, the team regularly assists with contentious exits of senior executives and settlement arrangement terms. Other key practitioners are associate Victoria Horner and Andrew Boyde .

          Practice head(s):

          Marie Walsh

          Other key lawyers:

          Victoria Horner; Andrew Boyde


          ‘They are experts in their areas and do not dabble. They are all personable and approachable and have excellent client care skills.’

          ‘They are truly a people business that listens to and understands our needs. They respond quickly and professionally, giving us great outcomes.’

          ‘Marie Walsh is amazing, down to earth and pragmatic. Great advice that has saved us time, money and headaches.’

          ‘Pro-active and responsive team with a genuine interest in their clients.’

          ‘Excellent quality, hands on and attentive, Truly available, very able and affable.’

          ‘A very rigorous dedication to getting the job done within set time scales, whilst making the process look effortless.’

          ‘It is a credit to the senior management team that every dealing I have had with them has been 100% positive in the extreme.’

          ‘Marie Walsh and Andy Boyde are both good with clients, knowledgeable and reactive to clients’ needs, picking up matters at short notice and putting clients at ease.’

          Work highlights

            Gordons LLP

            Gordons LLP has a strong track record in advising educational institutions as well as faith organisations. Mary Walker and Philip Paget jointly lead the group, specialising in corporate acquisitions and disposals. Other areas of expertise include TUPE transfers, large restructuring exercises, and collective consultation projects for redundancies.

            Practice head(s):

            Philip Paget; Mary Walker

            Other key lawyers:

            Oliver Allanach; Bryony Goldspink


            ‘The Gordons Employment Law Team give good quality employment law advice, and in particular, when dealing with contentious issues the advice is pragmatic and business-focused helping us as the customer understand the risks of any situation.’

            ‘The team I deal with are pragmatic, easy going and to the point with good or bad news and have a vast knowledge of employment law. They understand the business they work with and tailor their advice accordingly.’

            ‘The individuals I work with know when to see the risk aspect within a large company and commercial balance and when to think outside of the box on some challenging issues.’

            Key clients

            Wren Kitchens Ltd

            Moss Bros Group Ltd

            Oak Furnitureland Ltd

            Heron Foods Limited


            Pavers Ltd

            Severfield PLC


            Ebuyer Ltd

            ERM Europe Ltd

            Humberside Fire and Rescue Service

            Leeds Arts University

            Huddersfield New College

            Wakefield Grammar School Foundation

            Diocese of Coventry

            Diocese of Durham

            National Church Institutions of the Church of England

            The Representative Body of the Church in Wales

            Work highlights

              Mills & Reeve LLP

              Mills & Reeve LLP frequently acts for government bodies in employment tribunal litigation nationwide. It is also particularly strong in the health and care sector, advising both regional and national NHS bodies. Employment law specialist Stuart Craig heads the practice, handling complex disputes and discrimination claims. Andrew Uttley and Rebecca Pallot are also recommended; the latter leads on the firm’s charity employment work.

              Practice head(s):

              Stuart Craig

              Other key lawyers:

              Rebecca Pallot; Jenny Perry; Andrew Uttley; Kathryn Moorhouse


              ‘Mills & Reeve provide a more holistic service, raising the awareness of employment law issues. This includes an extremely helpful monthly digest on emerging employment law issues.’

              ‘Individuals in the team are practical and approachable, and take the time to fully understand the organisation and what it really needs before providing legal advice.’

              ‘I found this practice to be responsive to client needs and far more solution focused than other firms. They listen to what we want to achieve and then work on outlining the risks and using their HR and sector knowledge to help us to find solutions to the issue.’

              ‘They are technology focused especially when looking at easier ways of sharing and collaborating in complex paperwork.’

              ‘I find their junior staff knowledgeable and it is clear they are well trained and briefed by their partners.’

              ‘Stuart Craig leads a team of knowledgeable staff but Stuart is a real dynamo behind the practice. His work ethic is brilliant and regardless of the pressures he may be under he always meets deadlines and returns calls. ‘

              Key clients

              Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust

              South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

              Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust

              VetPartners Limited

              Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust

              University of Hull

              Leeds & York Partnerships NHS Foundation Trust

              The Prince’s Trust

              HM Land Registry

              Rema Tip-Top Automotive

              Work highlights


                Raworths focuses on supporting businesses, entrepreneurs, HNWI and families. Practice head Deborah Boylan regularly handles contentious matters involving allegations of victimisation and discrimination. Sally Togher, who was promoted to partner in April 2021, leads on corporate support work and is praised as ‘absolutely outstanding’. Simon Morris and associates Harjeet Nangla and Liz Pollock are also recommended.

                Practice head(s):

                Deborah Boylan

                Other key lawyers:

                Simon Morris; Sally Togher; Harjeet Nangla; Liz Pollock


                ‘The team at Raworths LLP are totally committed to ensuring all your individual needs are considered in detail and clearly understood.’

                ‘I have been totally blown away with their commitment and professionalism.’

                ‘Excellent communication – timely and good use of all forms of contact. Appointments available immediately.’

                ‘Very individual service with excellent client contact.’

                ‘Friendly, professional and solution orientated.’

                ‘Sally Togher. Empathetic- made a very difficult situation easier to cope with. Gave me confidence . Highly professional with huge knowledge base. Absolutely OUTSTANDING.’

                ‘Deborah Boylan is great at understanding our specific legal questions in the broader context of our business (e.g. the commercial implications) and balancing legal risk with benefits that offset this in other ways.’

                ‘Liz Pollock responsiveness, pragmatism and professionalism are excellent.’

                Key clients

                Lomond Capital/Linley & Simpson Limited

                Celli Asset Management (UK) Ltd & Celli Group (UK) Ltd

                Printeos Group Holdings SL

                Homes for Students Limited

                Work highlights

                • Advised Lomond Capital/Linley & Simpson on multiple acquisitions.
                • Advised Celli Group on a framework agreement, advising on complex TUPE issues and strategic advice.
                • Advised Printeos Group Holdings SL on a substantial acquisition of a Yorkshire based manufacturing business.

                Schofield Sweeney

                Schofield Sweeney‘s employment practice has a strong focus on the education sector, acting for a large number of schools and academies across the country. Practice head Simon Shepherd regularly appears before employment tribunals, handling cases involving discrimination, sexual harassment, whistleblowing and unfair dismissal, while associate Annie Gray has experience defending SEN and disability tribunal claims. Alex Clements left the firm in September 2021 to join Bexley Beaumont.

                Practice head(s):

                Simon Shepherd

                Other key lawyers:

                Annie Gray; John Robinson


                ‘Schofield Sweeney are a high-quality team who offer expert advice across a wide variety of areas. Their customer service and response times are always excellent, and charges very reasonable in relation to this.’

                ‘Simon Shepherd is extremely knowledgeable, commercial in outlook, and always responds to requests for advice in a timely manner. He also has a very approachable manner and good sense of humour which is very much appreciated.’

                ‘The solicitors are very supportive, knowledgeable and approachable.’

                Key clients

                GMI Construction Group Plc

                Wakefield & District Housing Limited

                DMC Mining Services (UK) Limited

                Wellspring Academy Trust

                Beckfoot Trust

                Greenhous Group Limited

                Alpek Polyester UK Ltd

                Eville & Jones (GB) Ltd

                Barca Leeds

                Torque Retail Services Ltd


                McCarthy’s Removals and Storage Ltd

                Minorfern Limited

                Techbuyer Limited

                Torque Law LLP

                The team at Torque Law LLP are ‘extremely friendly and approachable’, assisting organisations and executives through complex and sensitive employment issues. The all female team includes the ‘outstanding’ Tiggy Clifford and Emma Whiting who are experts on director remuneration arrangements and exit terms.

                Practice head(s):

                Tiggy Clifford; Emma Whiting


                ‘The team are extremely friendly and approachable. They really provide a genuine personal service taking the time to truly understand your needs.’

                ‘There are regionally based, but with a city mindset and professionalism. This makes them very affordable and attractive for individual clients, especially senior managers and above looking for high quality advice.’

                ‘All individuals are very proactive and go beyond what is required compared to other firms and are able to facilitate completing tasks with the minimum of fuss and work to tight deadlines where necessary.’

                Key clients

                Harrogate Town AFC

                North Star Coffee Roasters

                Wellsprings Together

                Anglo American – Crop Nutrients (formerly Sirius Minerals plc)

                Bawtry Carbon Limited

                Belmont Green Finance Limited

                Sofina Foods (formerly Karro and Youngs Seafood)

                Autohorn Fleet Services Limited

                Mereo BioPharma Group plc

                York Theatre Royal

                Ellis Patents

                Arjun Infrastructure Partners Limited

                David Pelter

                Stage One Creative Services Limited


                York College

                Johnsons of Whixley Limited

                SMRS Limited

                Lithos Consulting

                O&3 Limited

                Work highlights

                • Advising Yorwaste on sensitive and complex employee relations matters and Employment Tribunal proceedings.
                • Assisting Sofina Foods, sitting on its law firm panel and providing strategic advice on post-acquisition employment matters and numerous Employment Tribunal proceedings.


                Weightmans‘ employment, pensions and immigration group handle a mixture of litigation, projects and risk management work. It has particular expertise within the transport and logistics sector and is adept at handling industrial disputes and senior level organisational change management. Ben Daniel leads the team that includes the ‘outstanding‘ principal associate Nick Newman and data protection and immigration expert Ross Hutchison.

                Practice head(s):

                Ben Daniel

                Other key lawyers:

                Nick Newman; Ross Hutchison


                ‘Weightmans are extremely professional, helpful and supportive.’

                ‘The solicitors have taken the time to understand the industry that we work in, the culture, the unions and the employees. Very knowledgeable in giving advice and understand the details of cases very quickly.’

                ‘Being able to adapt professionally in terms of expertise and practice. Giving advice in layman’s language which is quick, concise and clear and very personable.’

                ‘Nick Newman is outstanding – professional, knowledgeable and a real appreciation of our organisation and the values we hold.’

                Key clients

                FirstGroup (multiple operating companies)

                National Express (Bus and Coach)

                Hoyer Group

                Turners of Soham


                West Yorkshire Combined Authority

                Leeds City Council

                Harrogate & District NHS Foundation Trust

                St Helens & Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust

                Mid-Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust

                Phoenix Futures

                Yorkshire Energy

                Contis Group

                Nucleus Group

                Independent Marketing & Promotions Limited

                Work highlights

                • Advised a large transport provider on Employment Tribunal litigation pursued against one of its subsidiary companies in which it was alleged that senior members of the Board had discriminated against the Claimant on the basis of their gender when appointing an alternative candidate to a newly formed position.
                • Assisted St Helens & Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust in the drafting of contracts (and arrangements) for applicable individuals working on the Covid-19 Vaccination Programme.
                • Advised a major haulage operator in respect of a Trade Dispute with the Recognised Trade Union across multiple UK locations arising from proposed variation to contract and flexible patterns of working following the first Lockdown.

                Wrigleys Solicitors LLP

                Wrigleys Solicitors LLP is particularly strong within the charities, landed estates and pensions sectors. The team handles a high volume of employment tribunal cases and handles the full spectrum of issues, ranging from unfair dismissal and TUPE disputes to National Minimum Wage and social media conduct. Sue King is the main contact for charities and independent schools work and is ably supported by Alacoque Marvin who has particular expertise in advising on equality issues within the workplace. Chris Billington heads the team.

                Practice head(s):

                Chris Billington

                Other key lawyers:

                Sue King; Alacoque Marvin; Michael Crowther


                ‘Very approachable staff – clearly knowledgeable – able to pass you onto one of their colleagues if a different specialty is required.’

                ‘Our impressions of Wrigleys is exemplary. With any project Wrigleys has met our expectations, provided the support and advice and ultimately aided us to achieve success in our projects overall.’

                ‘A particular interest for us to engage with Wrigleys was due to their overall knowledge of Charity Law.’

                ‘Strong local presence and knowledge. The ability to tailor advice to our particular sector and working environment rather than providing a more generic service.’

                ‘Demonstrates a genuine interest in our organisation and a desire to support our working culture to flourish and get stronger.’

                ‘Alacoque Marvin is our main contact and is phenomenal in her approach to working with us. She helps us to understand any impact we may not have considered.’

                ‘Excellent support in a difficult and complex employment law case. We were particularly impressed with the common sense approach (by no means a certainty with some firms!), the considered and speedy advice and the ability to think two or three moves ahead.’

                ‘Certainly availability and responsiveness very good – Sue King, Alacoque Marvin and Michael Crowther were particularly helpful.’

                Work highlights


                  Under the leadership of Mike Patterson, Berwins‘ employment team primarily acts for SMEs and owner-managed businesses. It handles a wide range of day-to-day employment law issues, including employment tribunal claims and advising on TUPE issues as part of corporate support work in transactions. For dispute resolution, Andrew Mawdsley  is the key contact.

                  Practice head(s):

                  Mike Patterson

                  Other key lawyers:

                  Andrew Mawdsley; Paul Berwin


                  ‘Personal service, not passed around lots of different people. Clear concise advise, speedily given. Billing easy to understand.’

                  ‘Berwins is a really people focused organisation. They have been paperless for years which meant they transitioned to at home working easily in the pandemic. Very forward thinking and friendly.’

                  ‘Mike Patterson really gets to know his clients and brings personality to the relationship. Mike works with rather than for clients, actively training people in how to avoid getting into situations that would require his help.’

                  Key clients

                  Black Sheep Brewery

                  Belzona Polymerics Limited

                  The Dextrous Web Limited (DXW)

                  Fineline VAR Limited

                  TRUE Foods Limited

                  Exponent International Limited

                  Vet UK Holdings Limited

                  Its Clean Limited

                  Gent Visick

                  The Association for Perioperative Practice

                  Work highlights

                    Bevan Brittan LLP

                    Bevan Brittan LLP‘s employment, pensions and immigrations team has a strong pensions offering; Nigel Bolton is noted for his extensive experience with both public and private sector schemes. The group is also instructed by a number of clients in the healthcare and social housing sectors as well as local government bodies. Jodie Sinclair leads the overall practice from London. Senior associate Tim Gooder left the firm in November 2021 for DAC Beachcroft LLP.

                    Practice head(s):

                    Jodie Sinclair

                    Other key lawyers:

                    Nigel Bolton; Philip Woolham


                    ‘They understand my business and are always happy to support without charging loads.’

                    ‘They also do not use legal jargon, they are straight to the point.’

                    Key clients

                    Barts Health NHS Trust

                    Local Government Association

                    Pioneer Housing Association

                    Work highlights

                    • Advising the Local Government Association on complex action relating to age discrimination and employment law.

                    LCF Law

                    LCF Law predominantly advises employers at SMEs and senior executive employees. The group has particular expertise in advising on restrictive covenants and team moves as well as employment related GDPR documentation. Senior associate James Austin is ‘fantastic’ and conducts his own advocacy in the employment tribunal, as does senior associate Gemma Sherbourne, who specialises in the manufacturing, education and not-for-profit sectors. Former practice head Liz Henry has moved into a consultant role.

                    Practice head(s):

                    Susan Clark

                    Other key lawyers:

                    James Austin; Gemma Sherbourne; Liz Henry


                    ‘James Austin was fantastic. He was very well informed, experienced and dealt with me with great empathy at a difficult and stressful time. His support and advice was invaluable.’

                    ‘Gemma Sherbourne mixes approachability with a an ability to “nail it” every time.’

                    ‘This form is unique as it is very client focused and provides an individualised service.’

                    Key clients

                    Conniston Care Limited

                    Lansinoh Laboratories Limited

                    Econ Engineering Limited

                    Haztec International Limited

                    Energy Shield Protection Ltd

                    Work highlights

                    • Advise a care home provider with multiple homes in relation to the new regulatory requirements for all care home staff to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19 as of 11 November 2021.
                    • Advising a US company on UK law and providing necessary documentation to ensure compliance with UK employment legislation following the successful opening of their first UK retail store.


                    Based in Harrogate, McCormicks is best known for its preeminent sports practice, with the Premier League and various football clubs making up its client roster. Practice co-head Peter McCormick is responsible for the recruitment and terms of employment for all senior executives of the Premier League and the FA. Iain Jenkins  jointly leads the practice and handles the full range of contentious and non-contentious employment issues, including TUPE, redundancies and cases at the Employment Tribunal, amongst others.

                    Practice head(s):

                    Peter McCormick; Iain Jenkins


                    ‘McCormicks make a point of ensuring that their team members know their clients and their businesses and as a result, you feel respected and receive a high level of service across the team.’

                    ‘In-depth knowledge of sport and complexities. Very reliable and discreet.’

                    ‘Fast analysis and detailed action. Friendly, honest, always in contact and responsive.’

                    ‘The care, attention to detail, communication and overall approach is outstanding in all departments.’

                    ‘Iain Jenkins is extremely responsive and pragmatic, with a calm, friendly, professional manner. His expert advice and mediation experience was invaluable as he guided us through a difficult matter with sensitivity and complete professionalism.’

                    ‘I wanted an experienced top lawyer and knew this firm would have it. I was right. I was supported, understood and that expertise was exemplary.’

                    ‘The diverse skill set the practice has and the way it is delivered. The clear sound advice given goes beyond what you would expect from others.’

                    Key clients

                    The Premier League (The Football Association Premier League Limited)

                    Professional Game Match Officials Limited

                    Leeds United Football Club Limited

                    Norwich City FC

                    Harrogate Town AFC Ltd

                    The Premier League Charitable Fund Ltd

                    Harrogate International Festivals Ltd

                    Walsall FC

                    Yorkshire Agricultural Society

                    Rudding Park

                    Redline Specialist Cars

                    Work highlights

                    • Advising Professional Game Match Officials on numerous matters arising from the pandemic and issues relating to officials, working practices and various capability issues, also advising on the impact of IR35 with various third party providers and terms and conditions, also advice in relation to officials and the Women’s Super League, including contracts and an overseas appointment.
                    • Advising Professional Game Match Officials in a Supreme Court case against HMRC concerning worker status and the issues around mutuality of obligation in the employment relationship.
                    • Advising Leeds United on an ongoing basis and following a new HR appointment.

                    Ramsdens Solicitors LLP

                    Ramsdens Solicitors LLP has seen an increase in matters relating to collective employee relations and trade unions, with a broad practice that includes work in the area of European Works Councils. Led by David Bradley , the group continues to develop its senior individuals and executive terminations offering, handling complex discrimination and whistleblowing cases. Gareth Dando and Paul Booth are also recommended.

                    Practice head(s):

                    David Bradley

                    Other key lawyers:

                    Gareth Dando; Nicole Natur; Paul Booth; Emily Walker


                    ‘The team are cohesive in their approach to clients matters. This makes for a more rounded and structured approach to complex issues requiring more than one area of expertise.’

                    ‘Individuals in Ramsdens are very approachable. Directly on the end of the telephone they will often engage in conversation at the first call. Their aim is to reassure the client as quickly as possible that action will promptly follow.’

                    ‘I have worked with Gareth Dando. He is available, clear and practical in his advise. He understands the sector and is personable and easy to work with.’

                    Work highlights


                      rradar‘s employment team focuses on litigation, handling cases from ACAS Early Conciliation to Employment Tribunal and the Appeal Courts. Led by Toni Haynes, the group has particular expertise in TUPE, whistleblowing and discrimination claims. Tom Bernard and ‘stand out associateJanine Lawton are also recommended, acting for a variety of clients, including charities, educational establishments and privately owned companies.

                      Practice head(s):

                      Toni Haynes

                      Other key lawyers:

                      Tom Bernard; Janine Lawton; Zain Zaman


                      ‘The team at rradar are first rate in terms of advice, professionalism and commitment to their clients.’

                      ‘We found that both the HR and legal teams at rradar gave quick and appropriate responses to the difficult issues we presented to them.’

                      ‘We greatly valued the teams’ calmness and willingness to explain their advice.’

                      ‘How they work together as a team is fantastic. They were supportive, reassuring and extremely knowledgeable.’

                      ‘Janine Lawton is a stand out associate. Janine’s knowledge and experience of employment law is first class.’

                      ‘Toni Haynes – goes the extra mile for her clients.’

                      ‘Tom Bernard – a class act.’

                      ‘Janine Lawton and Zain Zaman – superb, outstanding service and such lovely people to work with too. Extremely professional and knowledgeable.’

                      Work highlights

                        Stone King LLP

                        The employment team at Stone King LLP ‘will always go the extra mile ‘ for clients. It has a strong specialism in the education sector and has particular experience in advising trustees on CEO exits as well as cases involving sexual harassment, whistleblowing and TUPE. Polly O’Malley and head of HR consultancy services Craig Vincent are the key practitioners. 

                        Practice head(s):

                        Peter Woodhouse

                        Other key lawyers:

                        Polly O’Malley; Craig Vincent


                        ‘The team respond promptly and with a deep level of expertise.’

                        ‘Polly O’Malley is our key contact and she really takes time to develop our partnership. We feel we are treated as individuals.’

                        ‘The team provides a wide range technical support that is aimed at supporting us in delivering strategic objectives and operational priorities.’

                        ‘The team really understands us and will always go the extra mile to ensure we receive the required technical advice to the highest standard and within the prescribed timescales and delivering a value for money service.’

                        ‘We find their approach refreshingly open and direct and it is always very clear and concise.’

                        Work highlights