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

Addleshaw Goddard

At Addleshaw Goddard, the employment practice has an excellent track record in acting for domestic and international corporates on high-value restructuring matters, senior exits, and business immigration work. Jointly overseen by Rebecca Kitson and Shakeel Dad, who is 'pragmatic and sharp' according to clients, the group has extensive expertise advising on whistleblowing claims, and appearing before the Employment Tribunal in litigation. At the associate level, Chris-Bailey Gibbs, who joined from Weightmans, is a core part of the team as are Gerri Elliott and Laura Pilkington, who routinely handle TUPE transfers.

Practice head(s):

Rebecca Kitson; Shakeel Dad

Other key lawyers:

Chris-Bailey Gibbs; Laura Pilkington; Gerri Elliott; Leigh Jackson

Testimonials

‘I found them to be very professional and pragmatic. Their approach is personable.’

‘I would like to give a special mention to Rebecca Kitson and Leigh Jackson. Again, Rebecca being a partner in the team and Leigh being an associate, their standards of correspondence and professionalism were indistinguishable and both took a sensible and personable approach which was very much welcome. Ultimately, by working together with us, the matter was able to be resolved in all parties best interests.’

‘Good quality firm, which is also very approachable with some excellent solicitors working there.’

‘Shakeel Dad is always a pleasure to deal with. Pragmatic and sharp.’

‘Very good and able team, very pragmatic and commercial advice, very responsive and clear advice.’

‘Gerri Elliott – senior associate is excellent , as is Shakeel Dad.’

‘I work mainly with Shakeel Dad. What makes Shakeel different to other competitors is his ability to understand our commercial world and to give counsel that is clear, pragmatic and sensible no matter how challenging the situation. I value Shakeel’s forthrightness in giving his legal advice but also his personal values in our working relationship. Shakeel cares about the business that AG have with my company but he also cares about my welfare and takes time to provide perspective when things have been tough from time to time.’

Key clients

Asda

Primark

Kraft Heinz

Symington’s

Network Rail

Miller Homes

Vocalink (Mastercard)

British Airways

Travelodge

Haribo

Safestyle PLC

William Hill

Work highlights

  • Advised British Airways on its well publicised pandemic related restructuring exercise which involved more than 10,000 employees.
  • Advised the SimplyHealth Group on the TUPE implications arising out of the high profile sale of its Animal Healthcare business (AHCL) to Premier Vet Group PLC.
  • Advised Primark on the management of its 70,000 strong work-force through the Covid-19 pandemic, including in respect of the Government’s furlough scheme.

DAC Beachcroft LLP

DAC Beachcroft LLP’s employment practice receives a steady stream of mandates from global corporates including complex restructuring work, and has a specialism in health employment law issues, acting for both private and public sector clients. Practice head Louise Bloomfield has expertise in TUPE issues and James Rhodes is the name for healthcare and education sector clients. The group also fields experienced senior associate Anjali Sharma, who acts for insurer clients, and senior associate Suki Attwal, who advises on contentious and non- contentious employment law, particularly disciplinary proceedings and grievances. Hilary Larter is now a consultant with the firm but remains active in advising on complex NHS matters. The group also handles whistleblowing and discrimination cases before the Employment Tribunal and the High Court.

Practice head(s):

Louise Bloomfield

Other key lawyers:

James Rhodes; Anjali Sharma; Suki Attwal; Hilary Larter

Testimonials

‘The team have a commercial approach which is highly valued by our business. They understand our business and our culture and therefore it feels much more like a partnership in our dealings than simply a supplier/customer one.’

‘Louise Bloomfield is extremely responsive and always available to discuss, counsel, advise on any employment related matter. She has been extremely proactive in her communication during the COVID pandemic and has anticipated what information, issues we will be grappling with and offered her and her team’s support up front.’

‘I love working with this team – over time DAC Beachcroft have developed an insightful understanding of the sector I work in and my teams approach. As such when we come to them we are on the same page – the advice is pragmatic and commercial, succinct and focused. I haven’t used any other firm in a long time as there is simply no need.’

‘My closest relationship is with Louise Bloomfield, we have an honest and frank approach to the employment issues I face. Louise is incredibly responsive and ultimately helps me meet my organisational goals.’

‘The team at DAC Beachcroft provide a consistently excellent service. We always have access to experts in different territories/specialisms and regardless of which team member you are dealing with they always seem to strike the right balance between ensuring we are made aware of risks whilst thinking commercially. They are highly responsive at all levels within the team ensuring we meet sometimes very tight deadlines.’

‘Louise Bloomfield is a true business partner. She is knowledgeable, accessible and commercial. She instils these values in her wider team. The service we get from Louise and the entire DCA Beachcroft team is head and shoulders above and any other legal team I have dealt with over my long career in HR.’

‘I found the team down to earth and honest. They are brilliant at truly understanding your needs and position, and work within what you need them to do, but will go further if they need to for you. There is a quiet confidence of DACB, they are not afraid to say to you that they do not know something and go and find out or refer to a colleague without being territorial. This is a rare commodity and something I truly value – it makes me trust them more. That being said, the quality of their work is nothing short of exemplary, and delivered exactly on time to the quality I am expecting.’

‘DAC Beachcroft provide pragmatic and commercial advice on a prompt and timely basis. Their approach is very client focused and geared around meeting customer need. The team has a wide knowledge base with specialists available in any areas where we have needed support. The team is also very approachable and are able to explain complex matters is simple and understandable terms.’

Key clients

BT plc

McDonald’s Restaurants Limited

DHL

Royal Mail

Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Unilever

HSS Hire

Zurich Insurance

Dixons Carphone

Care UK

Work highlights

  • Defending Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust in a six day disability, age and sex discrimination claim for failing to appoint the claimant to two advertised roles.
  • Advising on employment related Covid-19 matters for NHS Trusts, NHS Foundation Trusts and NHS England, included running a dedicated 24/7 helpline for NHS Trusts.
  • Representing Royal Mail in multiple appeals in the ongoing and leading litigation on the Agency Worker Regulations.

DLA Piper

DLA Piper’s 'excellent' employment group has an impressive client list comprised of large corporates operating across the financial services, technology and public sectors. Led by Jane Hannon, the team handles a steady stream of complex restructuring mandates, corporate transactions and business immigration work. Legal director Chris Baker is also a core part of the group.

Practice head(s):

Jane Hannon

Other key lawyers:

Chris Baker

Testimonials

‘Excellent, practical advice from a very experienced team, without paying London fee rates.’

‘I work closely with Chris Baker in the employment team in Leeds. Chris is an excellent partner to my team and is a trusted adviser who can always be relied on to find innovative solutions to complex legal and business puzzles.’

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP's employment practice is noted for its 'commercial, pragmatic and timely advice', and fields a team of experts focusing on a mix of contentious and non-contentious matters. The group handles domestic and international employment matters for a large corporate client base including Russell Group universities and national gas providers. Practice head Paul Cotton is the key contact for TUPE issues and cross-border reorganisations. Other core members of the group include Simon Rice-Birchall, who specialises in national minimum wage compliance issues; Christopher Mordue, who has strength in the higher education sector; and Louise Lightfoot, who focuses on business immigration matters. At the associate level, Tanzeela Hussain is rated by clients.

Practice head(s):

Paul Cotton

Other key lawyers:

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

Testimonials

‘The Eversheds Sutherland Employment team at Leeds are a well established group, extremely knowledgeable and engaging in their approach. The team has great depth, are very well led and pride themselves on really understanding their clients, ensuring that the advice they provide is given in context.’

‘Simon Rice Birchall – His bold and confident approach gives great confidence to HR professionals like myself and his approach is very personable and engaging. He has a very natural way of putting you at ease and somehow simplifying the issues so that everything seems logical and makes sense. Simon is always willing to express a view and to look for pragmatic and commercial solutions to problem situations.’

‘I am constantly impressed by the employment team at Eversheds Sutherland. Their knowledge, commercial application and straight forward, clear advice is truly valued by me and my team.’

‘Their commercial approach, style and very clear understanding of my business make them standout. I have used a variety of law firms. Some good, some indifferent. Eversheds Sutherland is head and shoulders above them all. Simon Rice-Birchall is my go-to for clear, pragmatic and strategic law advice.’

‘Tanzeela Hussain is by far a rising star – have watched her grow from a trainee to an outstanding lawyer. I am always impressed by their diverse knowledge across all spectrums – and when giving advice is not just a dump of information, rather an informed and strategic conversation, with tangible outcomes.’

‘Chris Mordue is thorough, professional, pragmatic and realistic. Chris always does what he says he will do and to an excellent standard.’

Key clients

University of Reading

University of Nottingham

University of Birmingham

Lloyds Bank

Hallmark Cards

Yorkshire Water

Network Rail

Virgin Atlantic

Rockwell Corporation

Pall Corporation

Work highlights

  • Advising a Russell Group university on how it can use the positive action principles in the Equality Act to address under-representation of female and Black and minority ethnic staff in certain academic disciplines.
  • Successfully defended the University of Essex in a complex employment tribunal case which challenged the university’s approach to academic probation.
  • Advised Xylem on the removal of a red notice issued by Interpol against a senior employee following an unfair and unjust conviction in Qatar.

Squire Patton Boggs

Squire Patton Boggs’ employment team is instructed by leading domestic and global corporates on cross-border restructuring matters and major litigation work. The group has strength across the food and drinks sector with various supermarkets and food processing plants as key clients. Matthew Lewis oversees the practice, which comprises key contacts Andrew Stones and newly promoted director Gemma Finlayson, who are skilled in handling complex reorganisations and senior executive issues. Louise Martin advises on both contentious and non-contentious matters including appearing before the Employment Tribunal on issues pertaining to discrimination claims, grievances and complex litigation; she also advises on corporate transactions involving TUPE issues. James Keogh left the team for Knights plc.

Practice head(s):

Matthew Lewis

Other key lawyers:

Andrew Stones; Gemma Finlayson; Louise Martin; Fiona Sellers

Testimonials

‘Squires handle our HR disputes on a retainer basis; we use a small team there who are readily available and provide an efficient service. Squires have also advised on more senior colleague issues offering pragmatic and commercial solutions. During Covid, they have been very helpful in guiding us though the many iterations of guidance and legislation we needed to comply with.’

‘Knowledgeable, always available, responsive and friendly. Always provide pragmatic, commercial advice. Partners retain professionalism and a sense of humour, appropriately.’

‘They understand the business, listen to properly identify what the issue or challenge you are trying to resolve and work collaboratively providing practical solutions or options to help with decision making.’

‘They work directly with us, maintain consistency, don’t duplicate work and are flexible but also able to bring in other expertise when required. Providing simple to understand options and suggestions with legal backup.’

‘The team are supportive, build strong relationships and take a personal interest. Commercially focused and knowledgeable in terms of our sector. Great internal network across SPB so you can always access the advice you need on a number of different employment related matters.’

‘Andrew Stones – Personable, professional, expert, commercial, relationship orientated, a good partner who gets to know and understand our business from the inside. Trusted.’

‘They take time to understand both the business and the issues before providing advice and support which is always pragmatic with a number of options.’

‘Both Andrew Stones and Fiona Sellers are excellent – they are ultra responsive and excellent communicators. I always judge my support on how they react to problems and issues and these individuals go over and above to provide the support I need.’

Key clients

Morrisons

Smiths Group

Pret

Pets at Home plc

Whittard

University of Law

Zenith Vehicle Contracts

Greggs

Card Factory

2 Sisters Food Group

Pure Electric

KP Films/Linpac

Clarion

Clarion’s multidisciplinary employment team handles a steady stream of mandates for large domestic and global corporates, and is particularly active in representing clients across the healthcare, sports and higher education sectors. Practice head Sarah Tahamtani has over two decades of experience in commercial advisory work and is skilled in disciplinary procedures and internal investigations. The group also has an immigration law niche to its work, and recently expanded its offering with Suzanne Treen, who joined from Walker Morris LLP. Other core members include Chris Booth, who is the key name for corporate takeovers, and Deborah Warren, who focuses on restructuring and redundancy projects.

Practice head(s):

Sarah Tahamtani

Other key lawyers:

Chris Booth; Deborah Warren; Suzanne Treen

Testimonials

‘Highly professional and commercial team, who provide proactive support and practical help.’

‘Sarah Tahamtani goes out of her way to partner the business and understands the challenges.’

‘This practice is extremely respondent and provides a fantastic knowledge across a variety of services that we require. Clarion are consistently available and will always have a point of contact that can provide specialist advice to each area.’

Key clients

Nobia A. B. (including Magnet Limited, Rixonway Kitchen Limited, Gower Furniture Limited and Commodore Kitchens Limited)

Clipper Logistics plc

The Equiniti Group (including Equiniti Limited and MyCSP Limited)

The Shard

Redcentric plc

Leeds Beckett University

LNT Group

Harrison Spinks Beds Limited

Fenner group

Pinsent Masons LLP

Pinsent Masons LLP's practice has a strong track record in advising on high-profile employment mandates for clients operating across the financial services, technology, education and engineering sectors. Overseen by Jon Fisher, the group is regularly instructed on senior-level exits, business immigration matters and complex Employment Tribunal litigation. Senior associate Joe McMorrow is rated by clients and has been instrumental in expanding the firm's growth in the sports sector, and Sarah Ashberry is the key name for industrial relations matters. The team also advises on whistleblowing and misconduct claims, TUPE issues, and handles National Minimum Wage investigations.

Practice head(s):

Jon Fisher

Other key lawyers:

Sarah Ashberry; Joe McMorrow

Testimonials

‘Jon Fisher is our primary contact and considered our trusted advisor. The firm has complete trust and confidence in his advice. Jon is a pleasure to work with, he is professional, personable and easy to communicate with. His strengths are his pragmatic approach and his easy to understand explanation of how to handle what can be very difficult and complex issues. He is extremely adept at understanding the issues swiftly, including the commercial considerations.’

‘We were very happy with the service from Pinsent Masons. The risk assessments were an innovation that I had not come across before and were helpful in gathering the details and providing information on likelihood of success or otherwise in the claim that was made against us. This allowed us to make much more informed decisions.’

‘The individuals were very responsive and we had answers to our emails very swiftly. When a Company is facing a difficult situation with a number of senior managers involved receiving responses to queries quickly is very reassuring. Particular thanks go to Sarah Ashberry who was on hand to answer our questions and provided responses on her non-working days which, whilst not expected, was very welcome.’

‘The team are extremely collaborative and always deliver with confidence and a positive attitude irrespective of seniority and type of work.

‘Joe McMorrow (senior associate) – always looking to improve the team’s client offering and has been instrumental in coordinating and delivering innovative solutions for us in terms of reporting and matter management.’

‘The team are focused, practical and user-friendly and always take a down to earth approach.’

‘Sarah Ashberry is a stand out lawyer who always has her client’s interests at heart. She takes a tactical and strategic approach to achieving practical and effective solutions.’

Key clients

Centrica plc/British Gas

RSA Insurance plc

Royal London

Mitie plc

Liverpool FC

Marshalls plc

UK Sport

Johnson Matthey plc

Leeds Beckett University

University of Lincoln

Work highlights

  • Advised a number of large international clients concerning the appointment of representative agents in the Republic of Ireland in order to ‘relocate’ existing European Works Councils (“EWC”) in advance of changes to applicable UK law.
  • Advised a client on the exit of a Board member.
  • Advising Leeds Bradford Airport on staffing issues and challenges presented by furlough and redundancy exercises.

Walker Morris LLP

Walker Morris LLP’s employment practice is jointly led by David Smedley and Andrew Rayment, and has strength acting in the sports, retail and manufacturing sectors. The group is regularly instructed on both contentious and non-contentious matters and has skill in advising on large restructurings, international corporate transactions, acquisitions and HR governance issues. Director Laura McLellan has experience acting in large multi-party litigation, while senior associate Charlotte Smith has an extensive employment-sport practice. Shabana Muneer heads up the firm's business immigration group and has over a decade of expertise in corporate immigration work.

Practice head(s):

David Smedley; Andrew Rayment

Other key lawyers:

Laura McLellan; Shabana Muneer; Charlotte Smith

Testimonials

‘We have worked with Walker Morris for a number of years now, and they are key partners for us across a number of legal areas. They work well not only with members of the HR team but also other Senior Leaders within the business and our own in-house Legal team. We appreciate their commercial understanding and approach to our business, they are practical and responsive.’

‘ We work closely with Charlotte Smith, Senior Associate who is our key contact within the business, we appreciate the understanding she has built up of our business, she is very responsive, practical and easy to deal with, her advice balances our commercial and legal requirements. We very much appreciate her advice and guidance across a variety of different matters. She is highly proactive and has connected us with various other colleagues as required to support us in different areas.’

Key clients

Suntory Beverage and Food Group (formerly Lucozade Ribena Suntory)

Tottenham Hotspur Football Club

AFC Bournemouth

The Meatless Farm

Advent International

Menzies Distribution

Bright Horizons

RWE Supply & Trading GmbH

Fung Group

New Collaborative Learning Trust

Work highlights

  • Advised The Meatless Farm on all HR matters.
  • Advised Advent International on the very significant acquisition of the Hermes parcel-logistics business.
  • Advising Tottenham Hotspur Football Club on all HR matters and assisting Tottenham Hotspur FC Women on its sponsor licence application and visa applications for high-profile players.

Blacks Solicitors LLP

Blacks Solicitors LLP's employment group acts for owner-managed businesses and SME's and is jointly overseen by Paul Kelly and Tom Moyes. The group has a wide offering across the education sector, and a niche practice in claims against the police. Chris Allen advises on shareholder disputes, senior exits and redundancies, while David Ward is the key contact for Employment Tribunal litigation. Euan Lawrence is highly rated by clients and is the main name for workplace disputes.

Practice head(s):

Paul Kelly; Tom Moyes

Other key lawyers:

David Ward; Chris Allen; Euan Lawrence

Testimonials

‘I found them highly efficient and easy to deal with and their employment team met with me and within days of me calling them. All the staff that I met were friendly and easy going and that made it a lot easier for me to open up about my concerns and discuss them frankly and openly. The advice they gave was first class.’

‘My solicitor was David Ward who is a partner of the employment and commercial team of Blacks Solicitors. He took on board my case after an initial meeting with him in Leeds and his guidance and advice throughout the whole process was outstanding. His discussions with me were easy to understand and this in enabled me to progress my case with my employer. He communicated with myself and my employers and their solicitors in a timely and professional manner and was never phased by anything they threw back at him. David is an ambassador for his practice and his profession and is truly a person you can bond with and relate to from the outset.’

‘The team works together and advice is seamless at client facing stage. The team work together to understand the needs of the client meaning as a client I am not repeating myself.’

‘Euan Lawrence – advice and advocacy is excellent and highly valued. Advice is practical and issues are outlined in a clear manner for decision making. Real world understanding is built into the advice. The solicitors are always available and respond to ad hoc queries in a time manner.’

‘Euan Lawrence provided an exceptional service over a two-year period. From the off he was warm, approachable and attentive providing clear and practical support in a prompt and efficient manner. Euan clearly laid out and explained each stage to me, managing my expectations throughout and ensuring I felt fully informed when decisions had to be made. Throughout the engagement Euan remained focused on task and on point. He was conscientious, empathetic and understanding. An exceptional safe pair of hands with sound negotiating skills I felt I was represented with both integrity and professionalism.’

‘I found the people very connected with the company and addressed my needs thoroughly.’

‘David Ward was excellent and extremely knowledgeable and settled any doubts I had about going forward. I was thrilled with the outcome of my case.’

‘My experience has been extremely positive and thorough – an extremely knowledgeable and capable solicitor, who was available 24/7 on either telephone or email, was able to guide me through a complex situation which was resolved with a very satisfactory outcome.’

Key clients

Really Useful Products Limited

EMS-FP&S Truck & Trailer Parts

Augean PLC

BigChange Limited

Work highlights

  • Successful tribunal litigation of Stonebridge Homes Limited in defence of a multi-claimant employment status claim brought against a housebuilding client by self-employed bricklayers.
  • Successful tribunal litigation representing a claimant bringing claims of racial harassment and victimisation.

Capsticks LLP

At Capsticks LLP, the employment practice is described as 'exceptional' by clients, and has a strong offering in the healthcare and social care sectors. Headed up by Rachael Heenan, the group continues to advise NHS trusts, hospitals, and others clients in regulated industries on complex and high-level exits, HR governance issues and regulatory mandates. Alistair Kernohan appears before the Employment Tribunal  and advises on contentious and non-contentious employment law. At the associate level, Eleanor Rhodes advises on TUPE, redundancies and reorganisations.

Practice head(s):

Rachael Heenan

Other key lawyers:

Alistair Kernohan; Eleanor Rhodes; Lee Carroll

Testimonials

‘Flexible, pragmatic, good understanding of our culture as well as only the legal aspects. Support our networks and HR professional development. Particularly value input and support from Rachael Heenan.’

‘The team make themselves available to fit around their clients needs even if this is out of hours to fit in with clients diary commitments. Outstanding service.’

‘Rachael Heenan, has provided bespoke training for our HR team and senior managers and Alistair Kernohan and Lee Carroll have been particularly good in dealing with our ET cases and other issues during the Covid Pandemic situation.’

‘Capsticks continue to be a caring, responsive, values led firm. They are very customer focused and balance expert advice with a real sense of pragmatism and client understanding.’

‘Rachael Heenan continues to excel in her field both in terms of her senior partner role and the provision of expert employment advice. She is an inspirational role model, value driven and brings a real, unique sense of care and compassion to her work.’

‘The Capsticks team always have a specialist available to support whatever the case. They understand our requirements at every level and provide us with expert advice with pragmatic and achievable solutions. The speed of their response makes them exceptional partners and their input is truly valued.’

‘Rachael Heenan is readily accessible. She is solution focused and her advice comes from a wealth of experience and a solid understanding of the healthcare business. She is an invaluable partner in challenging times.’

‘The team have offered appointments for discussion with speed. They are open to discussions using technology. Waiting time for appointments are short. All advice is comprehensive and response times are much shorter than my experience with other firms.’

Key clients

South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

Leeds Community Healthcare NHS Trust

West Derby Medical Centre

iGPc Primary Care Network (PCN)

Fedbucks

Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust

Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust

University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust

Humber Teaching NHS Foundation Trust

Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust

Work highlights

  • Advised Leeds Community Healthcare NHS Trust on putting in place a workforce sharing agreement to enable the movement of Trust employees into the social care sector during the first wave of the Covid pandemic.
  • Advised West Derby Medical Centre/iGPc Primary Care Network (PCN) on the legal issues that needed to be considered when employing staff on behalf of the PCN pursuant to the Network Contract DES and provided advice and support in drafting an appropriate workforce/risk sharing agreement for the PCN.

Gateley Plc

Gateley Plc’s employment practice is jointly led by Paul Ball and Gearalt Fahy, and handles a steady stream of contentious and non-contentious matters spanning discrimination work, TUPE matters and HR issues. The group acts for mid-tier corporates, SMEs and plcs, and also has transactional strength backed by its corporate department.

Practice head(s):

Paul Ball; Gearalt Fahy

Irwin Mitchell

Irwin Mitchell's employment practice is 'tenacious in the pursuit of clients' interests', and has strength across the education sector. Overseen by Glenn Hayes in Leeds, who also manages the Sheffield and Manchester offices, the team advises local and national clients on senior-level exits, TUPE issues, and regularly appears before the Employment Tribunal. Jenny Arrowsmith is a key member of the group and advises on strategic HR and governance matters, with an emphasis on the education sector; she has experience in successfully defending disability discrimination claims. At the associate level, Padma Tadi remains the contact for corporate immigration issues and Brexit advisory work.

Practice head(s):

Glenn Hayes

Other key lawyers:

Jenny Arrowsmith; Padma Tadi

Testimonials

‘The Irwin’s team are very responsive and can pick up complex cases and issues extremely quickly and with limited briefing – they understand our business and are pragmatic in the advice given. Their approach is therefore much more dynamic than other firms.’

‘Glenn Hayes and Jenny Arrowsmith are outstanding. Both have supported on some really complex and long-running cases and the support they give to the HR team, and Managers in helping them navigate the legal processes is really valuable and valued. Their approach goes beyond advice to supporting and explaining to ensure people feel as comfortable as they can dealing with the issues at hand. They also take the time to think through and advise on case strategies and tactics, which to a busy HR team is really helpful.’

‘I have dealt with the employment team at Irwin Mitchell for approaching 15 years and I have always found them not only extremely supportive, but also available to take calls and/or meet to discuss issues at hand. Their advice is always clear, unambiguous and pragmatic, delivered in a way that is easy to understand and without any feeling that questions cannot be asked or clarification sought.’

‘Glenn Hayes and Padma Tadi. Always available and prepared to listen and offer advice in a clear, unambiguous and pragmatic manner. Their approach is very inclusive in that I never feel that I cannot provide my own opinion or solution.’

‘The IM employment lawyers are an extremely capable team. They are highly client-focused, constantly seeking to ensure that they have identified and are addressing the needs of the businesses they serve. Their feedback is rapid, well-informed and apt for practical application. They are tenacious in the pursuit of their clients’ interests.’

‘Glenn Hayes is especially notable for getting to the heart of any matter with precision and great speed. Time is not wasted on peripheral issues. The core is addressed, assessed and a course determined. Glenn’s analysis and tactical judgment is especially strong.’

‘Glenn Hayes – Employment partner – deserves special mention. He exudes a quiet determination and confidence in the details of all the cases he does.’

Key clients

Association of Colleges

Begbies Traynor plc

Brown Shipley

Capita PLC

DAS

Davita International Limited

Firesprite Limited

Headway Group (National Brain Injury Association)

Leeds City College/White Rose Academies Trust

Services 4 Schools

Persimmon PLC

Lupton Fawcett

Lupton Fawcett’s employment practice spans across Leeds and York and has expertise across the education, construction, manufacturing and leisure sectors. Practice head Andrew Gilchrist counts a number of household names as key clients and advises on the full range of corporate law, litigation and governance issues. Louise Connacher has a specialism in ecclesiastical law and is the key name for employment-related work and GDPR concerns. Also comprising the core group is Angela Gorton and Kathryn Moorhouse, who advise on discrimination and contractual matters respectively.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Gilchrist

Other key lawyers:

Kathryn Moorhouse; Louise Connacher; Angela Gorton; Tom Watkins

Testimonials

‘We have worked with the employment team for over 15 years. They have an excellent understanding of our employment issues and how our sector works.’

‘Partner Andy Gilchrist and Senior Solicitor Kathryn Moorhouse are very knowledgeable and very commercial. They understand our business and employment needs extremely well.’

Key clients

Specsavers (Leeds) Limited

Switch Mobility Ltd (formerly known as Optare )

Hand Picked Hotels Limited

PWS Distributors Limited

Truelove & Son Limited t/a The Three Acres Inn and Restaurant

Work highlights

  • Advising Specsavers (Leeds) Limited in relation to all its employment issues. Over the course of the past 12 months, this has included advice in respect of furlough, a potential collective redundancy exercise, and changing T&C’s.
  • Advising Switch Mobility Ltd (formerly known as Optare) on negotiations with the union regarding strike action, representing the client as interested third party against union’s judicial review of Government lockdown and tiering rules on the right to strike / picket, and North Yorkshire Police’s decision to enforce Government rules against groups of picketers.
  • Advising Hand Picked Hotels Limited  in relation to furlough, T&C’s and redundancies.

Shoosmiths LLP

Shoosmiths LLP’s employment practice has a strong track record in acting for large corporates and regional SMEs across the full range of issues. Jointly overseen by Phil Crowe, who is described as a ‘leader in the field‘ by clients, and national head of the employment group Paul Stokey, the team handles a significant amount of Employment Tribunal matters, acting for household name clients in multi-party discrimination claims, and assists with advisory work pertaining to large-scale restructuring work. The group also includes Andy Graham, who has experience in acting across the public, private and charitable sectors on both contentious and non-contentious work.

Practice head(s):

Paul Stokey; Phil Crowe

Other key lawyers:

Andy Graham

Testimonials

‘I have known several of the senior team members for nearly 20 years and trust them completely. They have always been our external employment law team. They give no nonsense practical advice. Legal expertise should be a given but we value their commercial mindset and thinking 5 steps ahead.’

‘Phil Crowe (partner – Leeds) is something else. A leader in the field and despite being in high demand he makes himself available at all hours of the day. Phil is a clever lawyer, with a sharp wit which charms clients and opponents alike. We value the trust that he provides. What he says, he means and to be able to rely on that as a professional can ring real changes for your clients.’

Key clients

Boots PLC

BCA Marketplace Limited

Wm Morrison Supermarkets Plc

Co-Operative Group

BAE Systems PLC

We Buy Any Car Limited

The Innovation Group

The IDH Group t/a MyDentist

Wienerberger Limited

Vaultex UK Limited

Pavers Limited

A1 Comms Limited

British Wool Marketing Board

Work highlights

  • Handled the successful defence of a 100+ claimant class action Scottish Employment Tribunal claim brought by GMB Scotland on behalf of its members.
  • Acting as the external employment law team for Boots PLC to act in all of its outsourced employment tribunal claims.
  • Providing high level in-house support to the BAE labour law team and provides a wide range of support to the various units, including Marine Services, Air and Applied Intelligence.

Ward Hadaway LLP

Ward Hadaway’s employment practice advises local and national clients operating across the healthcare, transport and public sectors. Overseen by national head of the group Harmajinder Hayre, the team is experienced in handling TUPE, restructurings and trade union negotiations, and advising on grievance policies. Edward Nuttman has a track record in successfully defending Employment Tribunal claims for leading transport sector clients, while Flora Mewies heads up the business immigration group.

Practice head(s):

Harmajinder Hayre

Other key lawyers:

Edward Nuttman; Flora Mewies;

Testimonials

‘We have developed an excellent working relationship with Ward Hadaway over the past 3 to 4 years. They understand how we operate as a company and the many challenges facing us. They are always available to give guidance advice and assistance even at very short notice. We have found the guidance given by Ward Hadaway to be sound, professional and focused on our needs.’

‘WH have dealt with a number of contentious employment matters for us in an efficient and responsive way.’

‘Harmajninder Hayre and his team are all responsive and accessible -they have dealt with a number of ET claims effectively.’

‘Always found the teams to be very helpful and there is always someone contactable within the team.’

‘Industry knowledge so there is a connection with the types of employment law issues we face (Edward Nuttman).’

Key clients

RATP London

FirstGroup

Photobox

Weir Mineral PLC (FTSE 250)

Turner & Townsend

StageCoach North East

Grosvenor Integrated Services Limited

Paccor UK

Harron Homes

Yorkshire Housing Limited

Gordons LLP

The 'superb' employment practice at Gordons LLP has sector strength across the retail and transport arenas and is jointly led by Mary Walker and Philip Paget, who splits his time between Leeds and Bradford. The group has expanded its client roster into the faith organisations space, with the Church of England as a key client. Oliver Allanach provides contentious and non-contentious advice, and the team also regularly appears before the Employment Tribunal.

Practice head(s):

Philip Paget; Mary Walker

Other key lawyers:

Oliver Allanach; Bryony Goldspink

Testimonials

‘What makes this team unique is the incredibly high levels of expert preparation, organisation and communication.’

‘The Employment Team are superb – they have adapted very well to working remotely. In short, I feel very prepared going into a case for Gordons because of the very high level of experience, expertise and dedication brought to each case by the team.’

‘Mary Walker and Oliver Allanach bring a whole new level of dedication to a case. They work tirelessly to get to the bottom of what a client’s objectives are and do not stop until all has been done to achieve that. They are pragmatic and really do adopt a team work and can do attitude. Their communication between themselves and clients is crucial. They are nothing short of brilliant and have superb analytical minds.’

‘Gordons have an exceptionally dedicated team who have great attention to detail and understand the needs of their clients from both a legal and commercial perspective. I have found that the advice which they give their clients is of a high quality and relevant. The team provides excellent service and are all friendly and approachable.’

‘Oliver Allanach prepares cases very well and has excellent legal knowledge. He responds quickly to queries and always knows the case and clients very well.’

‘Our Employment law specialist Mary Walker is extremely knowledgeable on all aspects of Employment law and always provides us with prompt, balanced and considered advice to any issues we present to her. I have a degree of understanding of Employment law but it is reassuring to know that Mary’s advice is only ever a phone call away.’

‘What makes Gordons LLP unique to me is their people and business centred approach. They really take the time to get to know you and your business to ensure the advice they are supporting you with is appropriate and relevant. To me it is not a legal team at the end of the phone, they are extended colleagues and this is what makes their service outstanding.’

Key clients

Wren Kitchens Limited

Oak Furnitureland Group Limited

Heron Foods Limited

Moss Bros Group Limited

Premier Modular Ltd

BW Industries

Humberside Fire and Rescue Service

JCT 600 Limited

GBA (Holdings) Limited

Pavers Limited

Advanced Supply Chain

Work highlights

  • Advising Moss Bros on a very wide range of employment-related issues. This includes advice on making collective redundancies and TUPE issues.
  • Assisted Wren Kitchens with day-to-day support through challenging trading conditions.
  • Providing day-to-day advice to Oak Furnitureland across a variety of matters including the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

Mills & Reeve LLP

Mills & Reeve LLP’s employment group retains its expertise in the healthcare sector and continues to grow under the leadership of Stuart Craig. The team handles complex litigation and represents employers in discrimination matters before the Employment Tribunal. Rebecca Pallot is noted for advising NHS bodies and is also recommended for charity-related employment work, while Jenny Perry, who joined from Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP, advises on TUPE issues and whistleblowing matters.

Practice head(s):

Stuart Craig

Other key lawyers:

Rebecca Pallot; Jenny Perry

Testimonials

‘Fabulous, growing team of down to earth employment law specialists with a particular focus on the healthcare sector – some great clients, challenging the more traditional firms in the region.’

‘Stuart Craig – Partner: hugely experienced, knowledgeable and respected employment law practitioner. Great list of senior, high profile clients across the healthcare sector. Great to work with.’

‘Rebecca Pallot – I have worked with her for years. She applies her level of intelligence and hard working approach to difficult cases on a regular basis. Brilliant support during the life of case leads to great results.’

Key clients

Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust

Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust

Airedale NHS Foundation Trust

Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust

Lancashire & South Cumbria NHS Foundation Trust

Leeds & York Partnerships NHS Foundation Trust

HM Land Registry

Rema Tip-Top Automotive

Prince’s Trust International

Work highlights

  • Acting for the East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust on the leading holiday pay/overtime case which has been brought against the NHS and which is currently before the Supreme Court.
  • Defending Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust against a claim by a community nurse for sex, race, age, sexual orientation and disability discrimination.
  • Assisting Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust in its defence of a claim for unfair dismissal, sex discrimination and race discrimination which involves a large number of extremely serious allegations of harassment.

Raworths

Raworths’ employment practice has a number of owner-managed businesses as key clients, and is led by Deborah Boylan in Harrogate. The team advises on contentious mandates including discrimination claims, HR governance issues and TUPE transfers. Senior associate Sally Togher, who leads the firm's employment training service, advises employers on corporate acquisitions, high-value exits and equal pay matters. Corporate contact expert Simon Morris is also a key member of the group.

Practice head(s):

Deborah Boylan

Other key lawyers:

Simon Morris; Sally Togher; Harjeet Nangla

Testimonials

‘The practice is operated in a professional way that isn’t stuffy. The members of staff, from reception through to partners have always been helpful but more importantly, approachable. The portal developed for the transfer of information is user friendly and very straight forward which made my job much easier and the whole process more efficient.’

‘Simon Morris has always offered sound advice sometimes in difficult circumstances, others may not have been so down to earth in their approach. Deborah Boylan has been exceptionally supportive, helping with issues relating to a sale of the business with support with the TUPE process, which, after the start of the pandemic, changed to become advice on consultations and ultimately a redundancy process. It would have been extremely difficult to work through the process without her continued guidance and support. I do not believe we would have received this level of input elsewhere.’

‘Excellent breadth and depth of knowledge; and all departments work together in complex situations.’

‘Deborah Boylan – Employment. Excellent technical knowledge and also very pragmatic and commercial. Gives excellent advice but also very sensitive to the situation. Nearly always available and quick to respond. Extremely professional.’

‘The team at Raworths are all very similar minded in their approach to customer focus. I deal across several departments and each unit deals with me in a consistent way which is friendly, professional and is focused on my best interests. Their brand & values are very strong and positive.’

‘We have had a particularly tough year as most have, and Sally Togher was very helpful guiding us through a challenging furlough and then redundancy process. Always available at short notice to help with the rollercoaster of an emotional situation which was hugely helpful for our piece of mind and making sure we were doing the right thing.’

‘As our company grows, even through the pandemic, Raworths has always been there to support our employment needs. Occasionally we have challenging issues and strong advice and strategies have supported our decision making.’

‘Deborah Boylan, Sally Togher and Harjeet Nangla are always available to support even the smallest request or employment question giving us great advice which helps us with our employment process and occasionally issues such a disciplinary matters. Everyone is approachable and accessible, even out of hours and we value their commitment and support.’

Key clients

Linley & Simpson Limited

Celli International Limited

Carter Towler Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised long-term client Linley & Simpson Limited on its continued growth strategy with our team involved in undertaking due diligence and advising on subsequent TUPE consultations and integration of staff.
  • Advised Celli Group (UK) Limited on both acquisitions and the restructuring of UK operations to ensure its growing presence in the hospitality sector.
  • Advising Carter Towler Limited on employment due diligence and the negotiation for retention of key people and service agreements.

Torque Law LLP

In York, employment boutique Torque Law LLP is highly rated by clients and handles an assortment of sensitive discrimination matters and is singled out for its expertise in complex director remuneration arrangements and exit terms. Jointly overseen by Emma Whiting and Tiggy Clifford, the practice handles unfair dismissal litigation, disciplinary proceedings and redundancy matters.

Practice head(s):

Tiggy Clifford; Emma Whiting

Testimonials

‘A really personal service with approachable partners and other associate staff. I think Torque are transforming the image of law.’

‘What made the team responsive and successful was the combination of expertise and humanity and the high quality of advice based on professional experience that helped my decision making.’

‘I experienced calm, supportive, pragmatic and focused advice at all times. I was encouraged to voice concerns in my own words and enabled to respond with extra clarity. I felt that advice offered was sensitively timed and borne out of a complete understanding of relevant HR practice.’

‘The advice given by Emma Whiting has always been full and well considered notwithstanding whether the advice was what I wanted to hear. I chose this practice because they appeared to be able to tailor their service to the needs of the individual and I have not been disappointed.’

‘The practice has a strong team ethic, inspired by its founders Emma and Tiggy, and is able to provide clients with a very personal and dedicated service.’

‘I dealt exclusively with Emma Whiting. She handled my redundancy discussion very professionally, offering me well considered but pragmatic and practical advice, pointing out areas of concern in the agreement. She was also good at listening, as redundancy after a long tenure with an organisation is always tricky, and she managed to strike the right balance between being a professional adviser and demonstrating empathy with my situation.’

‘I was particularly impressed with the service offered by Emma at Torque. This is the second time I have needed such support (redundancy / unfair dismissal) through my career and this experience was a vast improvement on my last encounter with another practice. Emma was clear with guidance and support, always available and approachable and advised with reason taken the emotion out of the situation which was very raw with me at such a time. It appeared that nothing was too much.’

‘I felt valued and not just another number. Emma removed the stress of me needing to engage with my in-house HR team and give real time updates.’

Key clients

Anglo American Woodsmith Project Limited (formerly Sirius Minerals plc)

Bawtry Carbon Limited

Belmont Green Finance Limited

Eight Fifty Food Group

Autohorn Fleet Services Limited

Arete Management Limited

Mereo BioPharma Group plc

York Theatre Royal

Lakeside Dining Limited

Ellis Patents

Arjun Infrastructure Partners Limited

Work highlights

  • Acting as sole employment law advisers to Eight Fifty Food Group’s in-house legal and HR teams.
  • Handling all employment law advice for Anglo American Woodsmith Limited (formerly Sirius Minerals plc) on TUPE, harmonisation projects, individual employee relations issues and bespoke data protection training for the growing HR team.
  • Acting for a former founding director and shareholder of Buro Four Services Limited in an age discrimination claim.

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP’s Leeds employment practice has strength in the charity and education sectors, acting for an array of national and regional clients on large restructurings and TUPE issues. Led by Ed Duffield, the group comprises Andrew Tingley, who has a wide corporate immigration practice, and Alan Kennedy, who advises public and private sector clients. Jayne Flint, who joined from Bevan Brittan LLP, has particular expertise in advising on the challenges of IR35, worker status issues, and workforce redesigns. Unfair dismissal, discrimination and whistleblowing claims also feature in the group's workload.

Practice head(s):

Ed Duffield

Other key lawyers:

Andrew Tingley; Alan Kennedy; Jayne Flint

Testimonials

‘WBD have delivered an excellent service for over 6 years. They provide clear advice on all HR matters, discussing risks and suggesting a variety of solutions and actions. We have built a strong working relationship with our main contact over this time. This working relationship is built on our trust of the advice and support we have received and includes a good amount of humour as well! We could not recommend WBD highly enough.’

‘Ed Duffield provides clear thoughtful and thought-through advice in a very accessible way. This is through a variety of communication channels and working with a number of our senior management. Ed has a great sense of humour and we have built a good working relationship with him and this has also led to us working with others in WBD in different departments. I would highly recommend Ed to others.’

Key clients

Dnata Limited

Carpetright Limited

Ordnance Survey

Cello Health Group plc

Sanderson Weatherall

Huntsman/Venator

Ampleforth College

Saint Catherine’s Hospice

Work highlights

  • Advising Ordnance Survey Limited on certain key employment and pensions aspects of the organisation’s overriding contract in place with the UK Government for delivery of services.
  • Advising Dnata Limited (part of Emirates Group) on furlough arrangements, restructurings, TUPE and disputes.
  • Advised Carpetright in respect of two large scale acquisitions including guidance on the TUPE process.

Wrigleys Solicitors LLP

At Wrigleys Solicitors LLP, the employment team is led by Chris Billington and handles an assortment of contentious and non-contentious work for clients operating in the charity sector. Sue King is the key name for clients in the charity and voluntary sector, and has developed a niche acting for student unions; she is supported by solicitor Alacoque Marvin. The team also handles Employment Tribunal claims, TUPE matters, and large restructurings.

Practice head(s):

Chris Billington

Other key lawyers:

Sue King; Alacoque Marvin

Testimonials

‘Good people who genuinely care about their clients. Sue King is really strong. She has a sensible approach to any issue.’

‘The Wrigley’s Employment Law Team have a number of key strengths which combine to produce a unique regional practice of the highest calibre.’

‘They have a clear client focus. They have applied time and resource into establishing the best legal solutions for our unique circumstances in a way that could only be achieved by a clear understanding of the client organisation. There is the real sense that Wrigley’s lawyers really do care about their clients rather than carrying out the work in a perfunctory way. They will go the extra mile to meet and exceed expectations.’

‘The work of the Employment Law Team is thorough and timely. I have confidence that the solutions offered have been carefully assessed and matched to an assessment of our needs. Over the period I have worked with Wrigleys, I have received a number of employment law policies and contracts. These have been received in a timely manner and I have found them to be highly bespoke and matched to our organisational needs.’

‘Sue King is a highly skilled and competent Employment Law Partner. She is an exemplar of the unique features of the firm. There is a real sense of thoroughness to the work she produces. Contracts are watertight because she has taken time to understand how the organisation operates and therefore what is needed in a contract. Time is taken to consider a range of options and the best solution is reached in a collaborative way with the client. Whilst work is produced in a timely manner. With any employment law matters she would be my solicitor of choice.’

‘Sue King in particular deserves a special mention – very experienced and knowledgeable.’

‘All of the team members are very approachable and willing to talk things through when we require help.’

‘Alacoque Martin is our key contact. She is always really prompt at replying and sets up meetings really quickly.’

Berwins

Berwins' employment team is led by Mike Patterson in Harrogate, and advises local SMEs and owner-managed businesses on restructuring matters, misconduct proceedings and TUPE issues. The group works in tandem with the firm's corporate practice and handles acquisitions for clients operating in the IT and tech sectors. Elsewhere, Andrew Mawdsley is the key contact for dispute resolution matters, and Paul Berwin is the main name for commercial contracts.

Practice head(s):

Mike Patterson

Other key lawyers:

Andrew Mawdsley; Paul Berwin

Testimonials

‘Friendly, personal, efficient service. Always available. Advice clear and easy to understand.’

‘Mike Patterson, always there, gives concise clear information.’

‘The team work in an extremely collaborative way and you feel part of their team/group as they all work closely together with your best interests at the heart of what they do.’

‘Mike Patterson – he is extremely approachable and gives great practical advice that you can understand. He does not use legalese and so a conversation is much easier to have and if you don’t understand he will ensure he finds a way to help you.’

‘Andrew Mawdsley – Andrew speaks in plain language, easy to understand and relate to, they put you at ease and make you feel comfortable talking with a solicitor, which is quite rare.’

‘Both Mike and Andrew are proactive and make sure you always know what they are doing and keep you fully informed and updated. It literally feels like you hand everything to them and they take away all the stress.’

‘I found the solicitor I dealt with to be accessible. The client care information and use of technology was impressive.’

‘The individual I dealt with managed expectations, gave sound legal advice. Always kept me up to date with my bills. Had the I formation at his fingertips when we spoke. I always felt in the loop with what was happening with my case.’

Key clients

Black Sheep Brewery PLC

Belzona Polymeric Limited

Black Dog Hydrotherapy

Wilkinson Limited (trading as Drakes Fish & Chips)

The Dextrous Web Limited (DXW)

BJ Bain Building Contractors Limited

Fineline VAR Limited

Intuitive Business Intelligence

Intelligence Brokerage Limited

TRUEFoods Limited

Work highlights

  • Reviewed and redrafted Intuitive Business Intelligence’s contracts of employment to ensure they were compliant with current employment legislation, including advice on changes to data protection, post termination restrictions and intellectual property.
  • Advising DXW on the acquisition of part of the business of Helpful Technology Limited.

Bevan Brittan LLP

Bevan Brittan LLP’s employment, pensions and immigration team has strengthened its pensions group in Leeds with the addition of Nigel Bolton, who joined the firm from Freeths LLP, and will oversee the group with Philip Woolham. Senior associate Tim Gooder acts for clients in the Employment Tribunal in discrimination litigation and whistleblowing claims. The team also handles large-scale and complex advisory work for clients in the public sector, including local authorities and NHS Trusts.

Other key lawyers:

Nigel Bolton; Philip Woolham; Tim Gooder

Key clients

Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust

Surrey & Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

Veezu Holdings Limited

Consilia Legal

Consilia Legal's employment group 'punches above its weight'  and is led by Marie Walsh, who acts for a range of SMEs and senior executives on large-scale restructurings and termination matters. The group is comprised of Andrew Boyde, who is the key name for litigation matters in the Employment Tribunal and specialises in rugby union disciplinary hearings before the RFU disciplinary panels; and Victoria Horner, who advises on disciplinary issues, grievances, redundancies and discrimination claims.

Practice head(s):

Marie Walsh

Other key lawyers:

Victoria Horner; Andrew Boyde

Testimonials

‘Very straight forward, open communication.’

‘A very friendly, pragmatic and knowledgeable group of lawyers, led from the front by Marie Walsh.’

‘Marie Walsh – excellent lawyer and inspirational leader.’

‘Marie Walsh – leadership; excellent knowledge and ability to explain technical requirements; relates really well to clients and positive can do attitude Andy Boyde – ambitious and proactive; great with clients; comes up with solutions.’

‘Marie Walsh – she is just lovely to deal with. Always professional but never takes matters too seriously, and has an excellent manner with her clients.’

‘The responsiveness of Consilia is second to none. They truly care about the individual and you can see that in their professionalism, drive and constant contact, providing excellent attention at all times.’

‘Marie Walsh epitomises what makes Consilia stand out. Clients are looked after in a way I have rarely experienced from other firms. She values the personal touch and is never more than a call away for reassurance or advice.’

LCF Law

LCF Law's employment practice spans across York and Harrogate and has a specialism in the healthcare sector, acting for a roster of clients including GPs, dentists and care homes. Led by Liz Henry, the group handles senior level exits, unfair dismissal claims, and advises on restrictive covenants. James Austin in Harrogate is described as 'absolutely first class' and represents clients before the Employment Tribunal, and Gemma Sherbourne, who joined from Schofield Sweeney, is the key name for exit agreement planning issues and restructuring mandates.

Practice head(s):

Liz Henry

Other key lawyers:

James Austin; Gemma Sherbourne

Testimonials

‘I worked with James on an employment issue related to maternity discrimination. James was really personable, knowledgeable but didn’t talk in legal jargon. He could succinctly talk about the process and recommendations in simple terms.’

‘James easily put me at ease, explaining legalities, but putting things in simple terms. He provided sound advice, counsel and followed this up with detailed explanations on email. James’ advice was also pragmatic, taking into consideration what I wanted long term from a career and reputational perspective, rather than simply a commercial or legal point of view which was reassuring.’

‘The strength of this practice is without question their ability to listen, ask open questions and not make assumptions. They get to the heart of the matter really quickly and give you an honest answer before you even get going as to hypothetically where this might go. They lean heavily on their experience.’

‘James Austin, what a fantastic listener, excellent communication skills, use of questions to obtain the heart of the matter was outstanding. A very calming influence when things got tense. so many lawyers don’t give advice, James gave advice and as I took his advice we won. Absolutely first class.’

‘Employment Law, straight and to the point. Understands the client.’

‘Liz Henry. Fully understands the needs of our business, works to help us reach the required result in a professional and friendly manner.’

Ramsdens Solicitors LLP

Based in Huddersfield, the employment practice at Ramsdens Solicitors LLP has extensive experience handling sensitive discrimination matters, whistleblowing cases and misconduct claims. Led by David Bradley, the team also advises on collective employee relation matters, trade union disputes and restructuring work. Gareth Dando, who is based in Edgerton, is the key contact for sports-related employment matters and regularly represents football and rugby clubs. Also in the group is Nicole Natur, who advises on terminations, settlement agreements and contracts.

Practice head(s):

David Bradley

Other key lawyers:

Gareth Dando; Nicole Natur; Paul Booth

Testimonials

‘The stand out for Ramsdens from my perspective is the personal touch. Throughout my dealings the partner listened carefully, offered support and guidance and seemed to genuinely care about my circumstances offering legal yet practical action.’

‘David Bradley supported me through employment issues, took frequent calls at short notice and guided me through to a successful outcome. He ensured the language and action was easy to understand and was extremely practical.’

‘Ramsden Solicitors LLP is exceptional and very friendly. They are very open and honest in their thoughts and all hold a high level of knowledge in Employment Law. I would definitely recommend this firm.’

‘I have been working with Ramsdens Solicitors LLP who have been exceptional. The individual I work with is Nicole Natur and her response rate is always accurate. Nicole has patience and listens to the problems and the company needs and advises the appropriate solutions. Her knowledge on Employment Law is truly outstanding. Nicole is very open and her personality allows us to feel comfortable reaching out to Nicole or her team.’

‘In Ramsdens, I have had the pleasure of dealing with Gareth and Nicole. I think what really makes the two unique is the openness and transparency they provide in giving us advice on employment law. I am able to contact both and have not been limited to having just one point of contact. This makes it particularly helpful if I need urgent advice.’

‘I have been liaising with Nicole Natur frequently and what really stands out about Nicole is her diligence on any points that are raised. She always provides her initial feedback, which even if it is adequate for the issue at hand, will be followed up with a thorough email of what has been discussed, her initial feedback and any more discussions she has had internally with her team.’

‘A client focused agile practice that has a wide portfolio of disciplines that are well balanced in terms of resources. There is a willingness within the practice for partners and associates to collaborate for the client, giving a stronger than expected representation. The size of the practice is a key aspect in that it is large enough to fulfil all of the client’s needs but small enough to still retain individuality and foster strong one-to-one relationships.’

‘Reliable straightforward advice is always available and provided. Realistic approach and very knowledgeable and understanding of business needs.’

Schofield Sweeney

Schofield Sweeney's employment practice has extensive experience in the education sector and acts for schools, academies and higher education institutions. Overseen by Simon Shepherd, who clients describe as 'excellent', the team regularly appears before the Employment Tribunal in discrimination, unfair dismissal and whistleblowing cases. Core members of the team include Alex Clements, who is recommended for defending tribunal claims and has wide public sector experience, and associate Annie Gray, who has a focus on SEN and disability claims.

Practice head(s):

Simon Shepherd

Other key lawyers:

Alex Clements; Annie Gray

Testimonials

‘Simon Shepherd is outstanding. His advice is exceptional always pragmatic and clear. He builds strong relationships with us and is willing to go above and beyond in dealing with any case we require help with.’

‘Always approachable, flexible in their approach and provide timely support and advice. They make it their business to understand our organisation and provide bespoke services to meet our needs. Great service and value.’

‘Two stand out individuals: Simon Shepherd and Annie Gray. Always on hand to provide reassurance, support and advice. Always use appropriate language so that information is clearly understood, balanced with case law to strengthen advice. Excellent service.’

‘Schofield Sweeney are a very capable and well-informed team. They are also very pleasant and helpful people to work with, who operate to high service standards. Calls and enquiries are always answered promptly within a 24-hour period, and the advice is always accurate and commercially focused. As such I see Schofield Sweeney as a key part of the Trust team.’

‘You always receive a prompt response to your query. There is never a daft question to be asked and the responses are understandable and not full of jargon. The service is friendly, and you actually feel they are in-house and not external. They give a break down of work completed and always ask if they can request an invoice. This is a personable service.’

‘Simon and Annie – both could be part of our in-house organisation. They deliver with a friendly personable service and with a warmth that you do not get from other external services.’

Key clients

JD Sports Fashion Plc

GMI Construction Group Plc

Wakefield & District Housing Limited

DMC Mining Services (UK) Limited

Wellspring Academy Trust

Kingston Unity Friendly Society Limited

Beckfoot Trust

Work highlights

  • Represented Wellspring Academy Trust with regard to several Employment Tribunal claims in 2020.

Stone King LLP

Stone King LLP's employment practice continues to have strength in the education and charity sectors, with key contact Polly O’Malley being singled out by clients. The group in Leeds handles a number of contentious and regulatory matters including industrial actions, senior-level exits and safeguarding issues. Craig Vincent was recently promoted to the partnership and heads up the firm's consultancy services; he advises on disciplinary proceedings, grievances and restructuring work.

Other key lawyers:

Polly O’Malley; Craig Vincent

Testimonials

‘Employment and education law specialists; their strengths are many but what stands out is the client relationships they work really hard to build and maintain. They can really relate to stakeholders and this is really key from a client perspective. Their skills, expertise and knowledge are above any other firms I have worked with.’

‘Polly O’Malley is amazing. Her breadth of knowledge of the sector and how she handles each case with depth, diligence and attention to detail and still manages to be a really lovely person to deal with never ceases to amaze me!’

Weightmans

At Weightmans, the employment and pensions practice group is led by Ben Daniel and handles a mix of litigation and non-contentious work for private and public sector clients. The group is experienced in appearing before the Employment Tribunal, advising on industrial relations issues, and handling risk-management projects. Nick Newman advises care providers, NHS Trusts and charitable organisations. The group also has transport and logistics sector expertise.

Practice head(s):

Ben Daniel

Other key lawyers:

Nick Newman; Ross Hutchison

Testimonials

‘I’ve experienced the team to be friendly, helpful, accommodating and focused on delivering for the client always.’

‘They’re practical; the solutions they propose are reasonable for businesses to adopt and they take a balanced approach with their counsel.’

‘The team are very approachable, understanding and down to earth. They will adapt to requests and the needs of the business.’

‘All individuals I have dealt with within Weightmans have been very professional, willing to help and respond quickly and in a way which is understandable whilst still giving the relevant legislation and case law.’

‘I have worked with Nick Newman more so than any other people within the team and have found his advice to be exceptional. No question is silly and he is willing to talk through the issue to ensure you have an understanding and are comfortable with the approach going forward.’

‘Collaborative working across team, having an understanding of what is happening across the different business areas, therefore fully understanding our challenges and being able to provide a commercial perspective.’

‘Weightmans have dealt with a significant number of ET claims for us over the course of the last few years. They have dealt with matters efficiently and effectively in a commercial and practical manner.’

‘Ben Daniel and Ross Hutchison – both very good lawyers who have provided an excellent service to us.’

Key clients

FirstGroup (multiple operating companies)

National Express (Bus and Coach)

Hoyer Group

Turners of Soham

Cafcass

West Yorkshire Combined Authority

Leeds City Council

Harrogate & District NHS Foundation Trust

York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Mid-Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust

Work highlights

  • Advised National Haulage Company on a complex TUPE process relating to a Service Provision Change.
  • Advised a client’s HR Director on a recurring basis to help inform the main Board strategy relating to the Covid pandemic, including the various incarnations of the Furlough Scheme, reconfiguration of services and restructuring associated with that.
  • Advised a client 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.