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



Employment: Hull and East Yorkshire

The 'pragmatic' employment team at Rollits LLP is instructed by clients throughout a range of sectors, and has seen significant growth within the education sphere over the last year. The team is led by Ed Jenneson who deals with all aspects of employment law, with a notable specialism in complex TUPE issues and the Equality Act. Other names to note include recently promoted partner Ed Heppel, who acts for some of the firm's major clients across a range of sectors.

Practice head(s):Ed Jenneson

Other key lawyers:Ed Heppel


'The Rollits employment team has a very personal, collaborative approach compared to other larger companies I have dealt with. You feel you are dealing with real people who take a close interest in understanding your culture and workforce, and thus providing pragmatic and appropriate advice and support.'

'Rollits has a brilliant team - Ed Jenneson, Ed Heppel and Ruth Everitt are very helpful and professional and respond in a timely manner to any issues we may have. We do not use any other firms as we are delighted with the exceptional service we receive from Rollits, which is value for money.'

'I have worked closely with Ed Jenneson and Ed Heppell, both of whom I count as friends as well as professional colleagues. Their personal approach and pragmatic solutions have always added value beyond the cost of the services they provide.'

'Ed Jenneson advises us on a wide range of employment law issues - he has given us sound practical advice for over ten years now. Ed is very approachable and is always available should we need to contact him. The work he does is 'outstanding' and he ensures he always goes above and beyond.'

Key Clients

Allamhouse Limited, including Hull City Tigers Limited/Superstadium Management Company and Allam Marine.

William Jackson Food Group Limited - Jackson’s Bakery, MyFresh Prepared Produce Limited, Abel and Cole, Belazu, Wellocks and the Food Doctor

Impact Fork Trucks Limited

Premier Technical Services PLC

SGS Packaging Europe Limited

Unique Industries Inc

Bishop Burton College

GB Agencies Limited

East Yorkshire Aluminium and Glass Limited

Sentamu Academy Learning Trust

Work highlights

  • Defended two claims in respect of unfair dismissal.

Andrew Jackson Solicitors LLP's employment team assists clients with a range of matters from employment tribunals to TUPE and transactional advice, as well as business immigration issues. The department, which is headed by the 'very approachable' Jonathan Dale, acts for a range of clients in sectors such as manufacturing, mining and food. Mary Walker's departure to Gordons LLP was offset in part by the arrival of Nick Wilson from Crooks Commercial Solicitors, who has particular experience of advising on TUPE transfers and industrial action.

Practice head(s):Jonathan Dale


'They are a local firm, and are keen to really understand our business so that the advice they provide is within context. The team are helpful, friendly and responsive.'

'We have worked with Jonathan Dale in particular on several matters.  He is very approachable and willing to help, often at short notice.'


Key Clients

Associated British Ports


Jotun Paints


Imerys Fused Minerals


Thai Leisure

Thompson Commercials

De Smet Rosedowns

Work highlights

  • Advised on TUPE issues related to a £60m University Quarter student accommodation project in Hull.
  • Advising and acting for C&D in relation to industrial action following a TUPE transfer from public to private sector. Represented C&D in relation to subsequent Employment Tribunal claims involving UNISON, its members and also local authority.

The team at Bridge McFarland acts for several of the region’s largest employers and has experience ranging from complex TUPE matters to trade union issues and industrial action. Practice head Lee Whiting offers advice which is 'always considered and pitched appropriately' while other names to note include the 'charming, pragmatic, balanced and sensible' Nicola Barrass . 

Practice head(s):Lee Whiting

Other key lawyers:Nicola Barrass


'This team really took the time to understand our business and our workforce. Not only do they advise on the law, but they provide legal advice tailored around the business need and appetite for risk, which is very welcome.'

'Lee Whiting really makes us feel important - he is very responsive and understands our business well. His advice is always considered and pitched appropriately.'

'Nicola Barrass is a charming, pragmatic, balanced, sensible and experienced employment lawyer.'

Key Clients

City Health Care Partnership CIC (2500 employees)

Kingstown Works Limited

Employment: Leeds and West Yorkshire; North Yorkshire

Index of tables

  1. Employment: Leeds and West Yorkshire; North Yorkshire
  2. Leading individuals: Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next Generation Partners
  5. Rising stars

Leading individuals: Hall of Fame

  1. 1

Rising stars

  1. 1

Addleshaw Goddard has a long-established reputation in Leeds, acting for household names on a broad range of contentious and non-contentious work. Employment litigator Sally Hulston leads the 'very pragmatic and sensible' team, which has more than doubled in size since 2017-18, expanding its remit to include new offerings such as business immigration advice. Gerri Elliott is also recognised for her work on complex issues relating to insolvency, trade union or equal pay issues.

Practice head(s):Sally Hulston

Other key lawyers:Gerri Elliot


'They are like the milk tray man... anytime, anywhere! On every occasion I've need support I've not had to wait and have always found the advice to be very pragmatic, sensible and appropriate to our needs.'

'I've worked with Sally Hulston, Andy Graham and Ben Dawson and have been really happy on each occasion. All really understand our business and strategic aims really well and can therefore offer suitably tailored advice in an expedient fashion. I really value the fact that all have been really helpful in my working through my decision making and risk analysis and that ultimately I trust their advice to reflect the needs of our relatively small but growing business. In this context therefore i think they offer value for money.'

'Sally Hulston has been helpful and approachable and has provided an excellent service for us.'

Key Clients

Tyne & Wear Metro (t/a Nexus)

Scotia Gas Networks

Dixons Carphone



Primark Stores

Vocalink (part of Mastercard)

Froneri ice-cream (part of Nestlé)

Howarth Timber


Work highlights

  • Advised on a claim by a group of workers at the Tyne & Wear Metro who claimed back pay following a union agreement over pay.
  • As sole employment law adviser, the firm handled a number of high value and complex employment matters including a large project in conjunction with the unions to refresh employee policies and changes to terms and conditions, as well as assisting with various TUPE outsourcing arrangements.
  • Providing strategic advice on issues such as salary sacrifice and the national minimum wage, as well as handling employment tribunal litigation.
  • Providing advice on disciplinary matters and national minimum wage compliance and handling an internal investigation related to whistleblowing detriment.
  • Advising on employment tribunal litigation work.

DLA Piper UK LLP's employment practice advises numerous international clients on multi-jurisdictional issues. The team focuses on complex work for large clients, specifically in the technology, financial services and retail sectors. Particular expertise includes advising clients on HM Revenue & Customs investigations into National Minimum Wage compliance as well as legal issues presented by the continued rise of the gig economy. Practice head Jane Hannon covers all employment issues from international outsourcings to senior executive disputes.

Practice head(s):Jane Hannon


'Chris Baker is exceptional - he is a pleasure to work with and always makes himself readily available for last-minute requests and early phone calls. Ryan Stringer's work is also great'. 

Key Clients

New Balance

Howden Joinery

Hermes Parcelnet

Shiseido Group

Stanley Black & Decker

Walker Greenbank

Wyndham Hotel Group

Dentsu Aegis

Work highlights

  • Advising Oath on an international GDPR compliance project including guidance on ensuring GDPR readiness across all EU employing entities, updating policies and procedures, and preparing employee privacy notices.
  • Advised Hermes Parcelnet in relation to a high-profile challenge brought by the GMB trade union to the employment status of some of the 12,000 self-employed couriers who carry out the final mile of deliveries for Hermes.
  • Advised client on difficult data subject access request under tight deadline, making use of new technology.
  • Advised a client operating in the care sector on various equality and diversity issues arising from the operation of its online platform matching carers to care recipients.
  • Advised media company in relation to allegations raised by a junior female employee that she had been harassed by a senior manager on a work trip abroad.

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP’s employment practice acts for a range of domestic and international clients, with a reach extending from global corporates to banks and universities. The team provides advice on European Works Councils and trade unions, particularly in the industrial and education sectors. Practice head Paul Cotton specialises in employment aspects of M&A, as well as trade union and industrial relationship issues. Simon Rice-Birchall is well regarded for employment tribunal litigation and complex discrimination cases, while the recent addition of Christopher Mordue from Pinsent Masons LLP has added higher education expertise.

Practice head(s):Paul Cotton

Other key lawyers:Simon Rice-Birchall; Christopher Mordue

Key Clients


Skipton Building Society

Lloyds Bank

Virgin Atlantic

University of Durham

University of York

Eggborough Power Limited


McCain Foods GB Limited

Hilton Hotels

Work highlights

  • Advising Xylem on removal of a red notice imposed by Interpol on a senior employee.
  • Devising and delivering cross-jurisdictional employment law training programme for Rockwell's international HR team.
  • Advised the trust on a significant dispute with a recognised union including on challenging a ballot outcome.
  • Represented University of York in a complex indirect sex discrimination case in which the claimant - a member of teaching staff - is challenging pay, promotion and career progression arrangements at the university.
  • Advised five universities in the last 12 months on the managed exit of their vice chancellor or other senior executives.

The team at Squire Patton Boggs covers all areas of employment law, with a particular focus on retail sector clients, as well as manufacturing and engineering. Matthew Lewis, who heads up the team, draws on his previous experience as a trade union lawyer for industrial matters, working alongside Andrew Stones, who is relationship partner for a number of the firm's key clients. Holiday pay is another area of expertise for the practice, while the team has recently created a new product which provides a fixed-fee solution for responding to data subject access requests.

Practice head(s):Matthew Lewis

Other key lawyers:Andrew Stones

The employment team in DAC Beachcroft LLP's Leeds office is one of the largest specialist employment team in the region. The team works with a range of independent health providers - a key area of expertise for the firm - as well as many other household name commercial clients, which it advises on matters including restructurings, complex litigation and industrial relations. Louise Bloomfield, who heads up the practice, advises major corporates including McDonald's, for which the firm acts as sole adviser for all of its employment and immigration issues in the UK. James Rhodes leads on the firm's healthcare sector work, advising on matters including TUPE, senior exits and complex litigation.

Practice head(s):Louise Bloomfield

Other key lawyers:James Rhodes


'The team has a good blend of skills and personalities- they are not pushy and I feel they are customer focused in a genuine way.

'The firm is at par with any other city firm including the ones I have dealt with before in my previous employment. They are professional and have a client-centric service focus.'

Key Clients

BT plc

McDonald's Restaurants Limited


Care UK

Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Arcadia Group Ltd

HSS Hire

Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Dixons Carphone

Royal Mail

Work highlights

  • Serving as sole advisers to McDonald's on all of its UK employment and immigration issues, and working on the revision of the company's handbook for its restaurant staff.
  • Advised a leading technology business on the exit of its HR director after allegations of fraud were brought to light against the individual during a period of absence from the business.
  • Advised Solvay's US-based legal team as to its rights and options following the resignation of its global research and development director to join a competitor.
  • Advised the Whittington Health Trust on the successful defence of a highly contentious Employment Tribunal claim brought by a dental nurse, which consisted of complaints arising from a large-scale TUPE transfer and internal reorganisation exercise.
  • Instructed by a Zurich insured in the defence of a contentious Employment Tribunal claim from an ex-employee who is alleging a prolonged course of discrimination in the workplace related to gender reassignment.

Pinsent Masons LLP's practice covers a broad range of employment work, with the Leeds team including the firm's national leads for sectors including financial services, retail and sport. The practice, which also boasts expertise in Employment Tribunal matters and industrial relations, has continued to build on the 2017 acquisition of diversity and inclusion consultancy Brook Graham, a deal which added a new string to the firm's bow. Leeds employment and reward head head Jon Fisher has overseen the practice's recent growth, while also serving as relationship partner for a number of key insurance and retail clients.

Practice head(s):Jon Fisher


'Ben Brown is an experienced and highly client focused senior associate'

'Jonathan Fisher has knowledge of all our tricky cases and personally intervenes if anything looks like it might be going off course or one of his team needs support. If we have any concerns, he is always available to discuss them at very short notice and he personally ensures they are resolved. His advice is always pragmatic and helpful. Compared to previous law firms I have used, Jon is the easiest to deal with, the most responsive and is a great fit with our organisation.'

'Joe McMorrow is innovative in terms of looking for new ways of capturing and reporting data, which helps us to manage our large volume of cases. Our team love him - he is always available to discuss difficult cases, provides pragmatic advice and is very personable.'

'Sarah Ashberry is a joy to work with. She always spots the good arguments and potential pitfalls in a case from an early stage. She builds trust and excellent working relationships with her clients and takes a collaborative approach to achieve the right outcomes.'

'Ben Brown is an excellent solicitor, on top of both of the law and the practicalities of litigation, as well as being approachable and easy to work with.'

'Louise Stratton and Amy Mills were both a pleasure to work with, completely reliable and on top of the details.'

'The team is very pragmatic, and built a rapport with us very easily. They are not afraid to give more decisive opinions and make time for us, even on short notice.'

Key Clients

Centrica plc/British Gas

RSA Insurance plc

Royal London

Wincanton plc

KCOM plc

Marshalls plc

UK Sport

The Royal Bank of Scotland plc

University of Sheffield

University of Lincoln

Work highlights

  • Successfully represented SIG plc in the Court of Appeal in an important reported case.
  • Successfully represented UK Sport in defending the landmark claim by former British Olympian Jess Varnish for discrimination and whistleblowing.
  • Ssuccessfully supported a major UK produce supplier with an investigation into National Minimum Wage compliance by HMRC.
  • Successfully defending Bupa against a disability discrimination and dismissal claim brought by a former employee.
  • Successfully represented Wilko Retail at the Employment Appeal Tribunal in relation to a high-profile unfair dismissal claim from their former trade union steward.

The Leeds employment team at Walker Morris LLP has recently secured a number of major client wins, with Premier League football teams joining an already impressive roster featuring international corporates. The team, which is led by David Smedley, handles both national and international work alongside its strong roots in Leeds, with food and drink - an area of specialism for Andrew Rayment - standing out as a key sector. Shakeel Dad was recently promoted to partner after playing a central role in many of the firm's recent client successes.

Practice head(s):David Smedley

Other key lawyers:Andrew Rayment; Shakeel Dad


'The firm displays a genuine desire to understand my business and its key stakeholders, and to use this understanding to give context to our challenges and thus the advice that is then provided. The quality and relevance of the advice is always good.'

'It can be difficult if you don't get continuity, and have to explain any scenario several times; this does not happen at Walker Morris - the team are small enough to keep each other informed, but experienced enough to deal with all scenarios.'

'Unlike some competitors, Shakeel Dad has always taken time to understand my business, my industry and the challenges that we face. He has a very practical approach that he always puts into a commercial context which is really important in business. I value Shakeel's professionalism, objectivity, commerciality, realism, directness, willingness to support and help, and ability to manage what must be a huge workload. I also admire the way that Shakeel is forward thinking.  I enjoy hearing about how he is managing and developing his own team, and how he is trying new initiatives for example to support better work/life balance whilst still providing the service to clients. Shakeel is also very passionate about developing future talent which is refreshing to hear and I think reflects how much he values the input to his own career.'

'Shakeel Dad understands the importance of culture to a business and works with his team to ensure that advice that is delivered is on point and in keeping with the relevant company culture. Pragmatic and not afraid to voice an opinion where needed.'

Key Clients

Kraft Heinz

Lucozade Ribena Suntory

Everton FC

Tottenham Hotspur

Moss Bros Group PLC


Caterpillar Financial


The Works PLC


Work highlights

  • Acting as sole employment law advisers for Lucozade Ribena Suntory.
  • Advised Steris on negotiations with unions and other commercial parties regarding possible TUPE of staff.
  • Advising Kraft Heinz on gender pay gap reporting obligations and working closely with the business to help implement a new programme of family friendly policies.
  • Advising Tottenham Hotspur Football Club on a range of matters including the club's move to the new stadium at White Hart Lane and their exit from Wembley Stadium.
  • Acted for Mick McCarthy on his appointment as manager of the Republic of Ireland's national football team.

The team at Capsticks LLP has an established reputation in Leeds as a go-to firm for public sector employment work, advising employers in the health, emergency services, social care, housing and charity sectors. The firm, which acts for more than 200 NHS organisations, handles high-profile and complex matters relating to holiday pay, TUPE and discrimination claims, as well as disputes involving doctors. Senior partner Rachael Heenan works both locally and nationally on employment matters in the healthcare sector, specialising in governance, whistleblowing litigation and advice to boards.

Practice head(s):Rachael Heenan

Key Clients

NHS England

NHS Shared Business Services Framework

NHS Arden and Greater East Midlands Commissioning Support Unit

Arden & GEM NHS Commercial Solutions Framework

Crown Commercial Service (CCS)

Work highlights

  • Advised University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust on the transfer of Community Health Services from Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.
  • Acted for County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust in respect of a trainee anaesthetist who developed a latex allergy, a disability under the Equality Act.
  • Advised a large emergency service organisation in relation to issues with its board and senior management team after one director was investigated over allegations of bullying and harassment.
  • Advised Arden & Greater East Midlands CSU regarding the proposed dissolution/merger of three Birmingham and Solihull Clinical Commissioning Groups and the creation of a single group.
  • Successfully defended an Employment Tribunal claim brought against North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust by 12 individuals for unfair dismissal arising out of a TUPE transfer of the Integrated Care Service.

Clarion's practice, which acts for a range of large employers across Yorkshire, works in tandem with the firm's family and private client teams to provide an employee support offering which aims to help clients improve staff retention. 'Passionate, driven and determined' team head Sarah Tahamtani advises on complex and high-value litigation, tribunal claims and change management procedures, while the addition of the 'highly skilled, professional and proactive' Chris Booth from Pinsent Masons LLP has provided a further boost to an already experienced team.

Practice head(s):Sarah Tahamtani


'Sarah Tahamtani is passionate, driven, determined and will never let you down. A skilled, knowledgeable adviser who ensures you get first class service'

'Joanna Dodd has a professional, friendly manner, but when required her approach is no nonsense.'

'Chris Booth and Hannah Newbery are both excellent to work with - highly skilled, professional and proactive, yet approachable and client-oriented.'

'Sarah Tahamtani is very bright, hardworking and astute. An excellent solicitor to have on your side.'

'Chris Booth is very experienced and knowledgeable.'

'Deborah Warren is very conscientious and excellent with clients.'

'Joanna Dodd is very organised and cuts straight to the chase.'

'Victoria Clark is one to watch - very bright, diligent, eager and motivated.'

'Zoe Roberts is one to watch; super impressive - an excellent solicitor.'

'Chris Booth is very helpful, pragmatic, strategic and commercial - he looks for the best overall solution for the client rather than the technical or expected one.'

'Joanna Dodd, Victoria Clarke and Sarah Tahamtani are excellent employment lawyers who without exception give 100% support.'

'Sarah Tahamtani is a true legal professional with high ethical values and sound commercial judgement who is an expert in the employment law field.  She advises on a range of complex matters for us and provides sound solutions in every instance.  She is my go-to legal partner.'

'Joanna Dodd is down to earth, real and pragmatic. She is extremely sharp and gets to the heart of the matter quickly. She provides my team with robust, workable solutions and has become very much part of the extended team within my organisation. One to watch for the future'

'Chris Booth is there to get involved as little or as much as you want. He looks at the big picture and helps take a strategic view.'

'Highly responsive and flexible to our needs - like having your own in-house team. The firm works really hard to understand the business challenges and make you feel important.'

'The team rovides thoughtful, clear, concise and no-nonsense advice in a professional manner.  The team is made up of many talented individuals, but they act as one.'

'Very strong ability to understand client needs and adapt approach and service accordingly.'

'Clarion boasts a user friendly, very hardworking team with real strength in depth from partner level down to newly qualified lawyers. They give practical, easy to understand advice and fight their client's corner robustly.'

'Clarion has a great employment team.  They are knowledgeable, provide good value pragmatic advice that helps me to achieve my goals.'

'A very focused team, highly tuned into client needs and very flexible. Never fails to deliver and the advice is excellent.'

'A discreet team of highly competent, pragmatic lawyers who always provide sound advice, when we need it. They are commercially astute and provide us with tangible, practical solutions.'

'The practice as a whole benefits from the brand culture of Clarion overall - a business full of clever people that are progressive in culture and have a strong growth mentality. The team takes a long term - they take decisions about our business that are based on retaining the relationship and not seeking immediate turnover.'

'Very hands on and pragmatic, very pleasant to deal with.'

'Clarion provides commercial, no nonsense and pragmatic advice. Service levels are of the highest order - we are a 24/7 operation and are never left wanting'

'Clarion offers much more than a legal service - they support the development of our organisation by providing great networking opportunities and introducing clients to support sharing business ideas and offering collaboration for mutual benefit.'

Key Clients

Clipper Logistics plc

Nobia AB (including Magnet Limited, Rixonway Kitchens Limited, Gower Furniture Ltd, Commodore Kitchens Limited and CIE plc)

The Equiniti group (including Equiniti Limited and MyCSP Limited)

Arla Foods Limited

The Shard

The Institute of Directors

Fenner plc

Redcentric plc

Cristal Pigment UK Limited t/a Cristal Global

LNT Group Limited (including Ginetta Cars Limited, Ideal Care Homes (Number One) Limited, LNT Construction Ltd, LNT Software Ltd and LNT Solutions Ltd)

Harrison Spinks Beds Limited

The employment team at Lupton Fawcett, under the leadership of Andrew Gilchrist, has grown year on year to become one of the strongest practices in Yorkshire. Gilchrist advises on all employment and HR related matters for clients across a number of sectors, including transport, construction, retail, property and manufacturing. Louise Connacher is also recommended, particularly for her expertise in data protection, National Minimum Wage investigations and work for education clients. Angela Gorton has recent experience of defending clients against union-backed claims on holiday pay.

Practice head(s):Andrew Gilchrist

Other key lawyers:Louise Connacher; Angela Gorton


'Very responsive and pragmatic. Their regular HR workshops and employment law updates are very useful.'

'I work closely with Angela Gorton who has taken the time to get to know our business, is always on the end of a phone and gives sound, practical advice. Angela is definitely my first 'go-to' for legal advice.'

Key Clients

TI Automotive Limited

Bradford Grammar School

The Grammar School at Leeds

Hand Picked Hotels

Northgate Plc

Hayes Davidson (London) Limited

SB Components (International) Limited

Chaucer Foods (UK) Limited

Den Hartogh Dry Bulk Logistics Limited

Ecofficiency Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised TI Automotive Limited in connection with an application for a European Works Council, including representing the client at the Central Arbitration Committee.
  • Provided general employment advice to Bradford Grammar School on a range of matters, including GDPR and a major reorganisation.
  • Advised the Grammar School at Leeds on a variety of general employment matters, including complicated matters relating to peripatetic teachers.
  • As sole employment adviser to Hand Picked Hotels, advising on a range of issues including equal pay, National Minimum Wage and GDPR.
  • Advised Northgate plc in relation to its employment issues, including the successful defence of a number of Tribunal claims

The employment team at Ward Hadaway has particular expertise in the healthcare and transport sectors, advising on issues including large-scale restructurings and redundancies, TUPE transfers, trade union issues and industrial action. The 'highly technically competent' Harmajinder Hayre heads the team, and is a longstanding adviser to an number of the firm's significant clients across a range of sectors. Highlights for the team over recent months have included assisting a number of large private sector clients on GDPR compliance. The 'very able and knowledgeable' Edward Nuttman is another name to note for his extensive knowledge of the transport sector, having advised household name bus, coach and haulage companies throughout the country.

Practice head(s):Harmajinder Hayre

Other key lawyers:Edward Nuttman


'Focused on getting the best outcome for the client, honest and straightforward.'

'Harmajinder Hayre is highly technically competent; always responds and deals with matters in a timely and efficient way; very friendly and easy to work with; does not shirk from dealing with difficult issues in an honest and straightforward way.'

'Edward Nuttman is very able and knowledgeable; takes an intelligent proactive approach to resolving the client's issues and is prepared to think outside the box to obtain the best outcome.'

Key Clients

RATP London



City of Bradford Metropolitan Council

Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust

StageCoach NorthEast

MMCG/Countrywide Care Homes

Keepmoat Limited

Unity Foster Care Limited

Grosvenor Integrated Services Limited

Crown Commercial Services

HealthTrust Europe

NHS Commercial Solutions



NHS Resolution


Work highlights

  • Advised a national house builder on an Employment Tribunal appeal against calculation of Construction Industry Training Board Annual Levy set at £1.4m.
  • Advising a UK based facilities management company on a HM Revenue & Customs enforcement investigation into deductions from pay in relation to uniforms, attachment of earnings orders and unpaid working time.
  • Advised a local authority on a complex Employment Tribunal claim brought by an employee alleging victimisation and harassment.
  • Provided TUPE and restructuring advice to a multinational electronics consumer goods manufacturer on the termination of a logistics and warehousing contract with a third party.
  • Advised a senior global executive in respect of an internal whistleblowing, equal pay and working time claim.

Blacks Solicitors LLP's employment team, led by the 'extremely approachable and knowledgeable' Paul Kelly, primarily acts for individual employees and SME employers, typically between 10 and 300 employees. The team, which enjoyed a near 10% increase in turnover during 2018, advises on executive settlement packages, restrictive covenants, employment claims against the NHS and issues relating to the gig economy. Tom Moyes, who has particular experience in negotiating exit strategies and settlement agreements, is another key member of the team.

Practice head(s):Paul Kelly

Other key lawyers:Tom Moyes


'Paul Kelly genuinely leads not manages his team. They are all encouraged to think for themselves but to do the right thing for the client.'

'Paul Kelly is exceptionally intellectual, personable, caring, acts with impeccable integrity, always provides 'to the point' advice, works tirelessly, supports and encourages clients beyond his paid work to develop them in their line of business.'

'Paul Kelly provides an incredibly professional service; he is responsive, pragmatic and commercially astute with a depth of experience to draw on.'

'Employment director Iain Jenkins is an expert with great attention to detail. He assisted in helping me to develop an area of my business that I could never have dreamed of achieving.'

'Black Solicitors' very reasonable approach to costs - without compromise on quality of service it provides - make it one of the top law firms to have it to fight for your corner.'

'Very practical and down to earth. Their key mission is to find you a solution to your problem without putting unnecessary barriers in the way. They have always been brilliant when I have referred them to my clients and contacts.'

'Iain Jenkins typifies the customer-centric approach that makes doing business with Blacks very easy.'

'Both Chris Allen and Paul Kelly are genuinely interested in their clients - too many firms are simply focused on money and billing and the whole Blacks attitude is refreshing in a highly competitive Leeds market.'

'Tom Moyes is nothing other than proficient and professional. Tom always takes the time to fully understand the issue within the context of our business understanding all aspects before providing informed and educated information.'

'Richard Parr is an all-round employment law guru who gives commercial, practical advice. I can't rate him highly enough. Iain Jenkins is also practical, helpful and informative.'

Key Clients

Augean PLC

ITH Pharma Limited

Status International (UK) Ltd

Joalpe International UK Ltd

Work highlights

  • Instructed to provide a detailed report setting out how Brexit and the UK’s long-term immigration policy would impact on members of the Association of Translation Companies. The firm's advice directly led to the association formulating a key lobbying position for 2019, around seeking visa exemptions for translators and interpreters.

Gordons LLP continues to attract new clients in diverse sectors such as retail, transport, logistics and education, while the firm also works with a number of businesses in the emerging sector of modular building. Experienced partner Mary Walker joined in mid-2018 from Andrew Jackson Solicitors LLP, adding additional expertise in areas such as corporate support, TUPE and severance packages. Team head Philip Paget also acts regularly for directors and senior employees in relation to contract negotiations and terminations.

Practice head(s):Philip Paget

Other key lawyers:Mary Walker

Key Clients

Christeyns UK Limited

Heron Foods Limited

Humberside Fire and Rescue Service

Pavers Limited

PDR Construction Limited

Premier Modular Ltd

Wren Kitchens Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised on the successful defence of numerous employment tribunal claims for Wren Kitchens Limited including claims of whistleblowing, unfair dismissal and discrimination.
  • Acted for the selling shareholders of Support Warehouse to Annuity Management.
  • Advised on the sale of the entire issued share capital of A H Leach & Company Limited to French-listed Group Chargeurs.
  • Advised Christeyns UK Limited on directors service agreements, termination/notice provisions and various settlement agreements.
  • Provided advice on a TUPE consultation and pre-transfer collective redundancy at Pavers Limited, as well as on service agreements and Working Time Regulations.

The employment team at Irwin Mitchell handles national work for a variety of FTSE listed companies and household names in Leeds. The firm attracted several new clients during 2018 as a result of its sector focus and effective use of innovative products and services. The 'sensible, no nonsense' Glenn Hayes, who heads up the employment teams across Leeds, Sheffield and Manchester, is an experienced employment tribunal advocate and has taken cases to the higher courts in England and Scotland . Recently promoted partner Jenny Arrowsmith works with clients across a range of sectors, including extensive experience of advising employers of all sizes.

Practice head(s):Glenn Hayes; Jenny Arrowsmith


'The practice has an excellent blend of good quality staff at all levels. When you ring for advice they can help you straight away. The qualified staff don\'t have to refer things upwards before they can advise.'

'Glenn Hayes is a sensible, no nonsense lawyer who offers practical and commercial advice. His staff follow in his footsteps.'

'Glenn Hayes is a standout partner in respect of the profile the employment team has gained under his leadership.  As an employment lawyer Glenn fights vigorously for his clients and is a tough opponent to come across, particularly in litigious matters.'

Key Clients

Capita Group Plc

Persimmon plc

Sky Betting and Gaming

Begbies Traynor

The Association of Colleges

Headway UK

Ligentia Group Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising Learners First School Partnership on matters such as managing absence issues, changing terms and conditions or implementing growth plans, managing performance disciplinary and grievance investigations.
  • Advising Capita on 149 holiday pay cases.
  • Advising Capita Plc in relation to a key case on sex discrimination which has attracted press interest and which is seen as a case of public policy importance.
  • Advised Begbies Traynor on TUPE issues relating to the administration of The Great Northern Envelope Company.
  • Advising Leeds Mind in relation to a complex TUPE transfer of certain staff to a third party provider, Touchstone Leeds, in relation to the provision of services to Leeds University.

The employment team at Shulmans LLP has achieved a number of notable recent successes in Employment Tribunal and Employment Appeal Tribunal cases. Led by practice head Ian Dawson alongside experienced partners Jim Wright and Tom Watkins, the team is taking on increased volumes of contentious employment work. Dawson is an experienced Employment Tribunal litigator and holds a particular interest in shareholder and director disputes, corporate governance and directors’ duties, working on high-value claims with transactions involving share valuations of several million pounds. Wright heads up the firm's international activity, successfully defending Ghana International Bank in an Appeal Tribunal against claims in excess of £6m. Tom Watkins is another name to note for his expertise in the independent and further education sector.

Practice head(s):Ian Dawson

Other key lawyers:Tom Watkins; Jim Wright

Key Clients

Ghana International Bank PLC

Specialist People Services PLC

Milford Limited

Act Response Limited

Drillco Europe Limited

Hensall Mechanical Services Limited

Work highlights

  • Successfully defended Appeal Tribunal proceedings brought by a senior banker in relation to his dismissal from Ghana International Bank.
  • Ongoing trusted adviser status to Specialist People Services, one of the largest and temporary labour suppliers in the recruitment sphere.
  • Successfully acted on behalf of Milford Limited in preventing former employees from bringing Employment Tribunals claims, as well as dealing with Subject Access Requests made by the former employees, in the context of the potential litigation.
  • Advising Act Response Limited on all of their employment/HR and regulatory matters.
  • Helped Drillco Europe Limited to establish its business in the UK, opening its operation in the Leeds City Region.

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP's Leeds practice advises major local and national employers, leveraging the firm's eight-office network across the UK, and is particularly well-known in the chemicals and manufacturing sectors. Recent months have seen the firm advise on a number of complex Employment Tribunal claims, including in relation to the application of TUPE and allegations of disability discrimination. Managing associate Ed Duffield leads the team with 'excellent knowledge and a good sense of humour.'

Practice head(s):Ed Duffield


'Excellent in providing a responsive service, offering options and identifying risks. Excellent knowledge and understanding of the sector - strong HR knowledge.'.

'Very responsive and knowledgeable. Able to portray complex information in a meaningful manner that can be interpreted and adopted by the business.'

'Ed Duffield has excellent knowledge, is a great trainer and has a good sense of humour. He has consistently delivered an excellent service over the last four years.'

Key Clients

Dnata Limited

Polyframe Group

Working Links (Employment) Limited

Cello Health Group plc

Stevenswood Group

OnX Enterprise Solutions

Sanderson Weatherall



Vertellus Specialties UK

LSL Property Services plc

Saint Catherine's Hospice

The Bristol, Gloucestershire, Wiltshire & Somerset Community Rehabilitation Company

The Dorset, Devon & Cornwall Community Rehabilitation Company

Work highlights

  • Representing Dnata Limited (part of the Emirates Group) in the defence of a number of complex employment tribunal claims.
  • Advising Vertellus Specialties UK Limited on a variety of employment issues concerning the UK workforce.
  • Providing employment support to Saint Catherine’s Hospice, including the provision of training for line managers on sickness absence management and performance management.
  • Provided employment advice to Working Links (Employment) Limited, including acting in an Employment Tribunal claim involving allegations of disability discrimination.
  • Advising The Bristol, Gloucestershire, Wiltshire & Somerset Community Rehabilitation Company in relation to an Employment Tribunal claim involving a number of allegations of disability discrimination.

Wrigleys Solicitors LLP's employment team advises on issues ranging from executive service agreements and equal pay to employment tribunals and disciplinary issues. The practice, which primarily serves clients in the education, landed estates and charities/not-for-profit sectors, is headed by Chris Billington, while the 'very approachable' Sue King leads on HR and education response services. Dr John McMullen left to join Stone King LLP in early 2019.

Practice head(s):Chris Billington

Other key lawyers:Sue King


'Sue King combines her knowledge of independent schools with employment law to give excellent results.'

'All of Malcolm Lynch, Sue King and Peter Parkinson have made the effort to understand the business of the charities concerned and to interpret their needs whilst taking account of constraints, such as cost. They are all extremely easy to work with.'

'I work closely with Sue King, she is very approachable and takes the time to understand the needs of the client. She is prepared to invest time in getting to understand the facts associated with an engagement, finding practical solutions.'

'Our main contact has been with Sue King, who has provided consistent, reliable, easy to understand advice. I would have no hesitation in recommending Sue, and Wrigleys to peers and colleagues.'

'Strong and practical knowledge of employment law, and ability to apply it in a series of scenarios.'

'A firm who have the same level of skills as some of their London peers but offering better value in terms of chargeout rates and fees.'

Berwins' employment team acts for SMEs, owner-managed businesses, senior employees and directors on a wide range of work, including tribunal claims, TUPE issues and settlement agreements across the IT, finance, retail and hospitality sectors. The practice also works closely with the firm's commercial and property departments on business sales and acquisitions. Practice head Mike Patterson has a strong reputation for his work advising directors and senior employees on restrictive covenants, shareholders’ agreements and employee share schemes.

Practice head(s):Mike Patterson

Key Clients

Black Sheep Brewery Plc

Belzona Polymerics Limited

Exponent International Limited

Chameleon Technology (UK) Limited

Gap Systems Limited

Berwin Holdings Limited (and also Berwin & Berwin Limited)

TRUEFoods Limited



Anthony Hodges Consulting Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Yorkshire-based packaging management specialist Gap Systems on employment aspects of its multimillion-dollar sale to global market leader Loftware inc.
  • Advised new client 9xb Limited, a digital agency based in Harrogate and Leeds, on a comprehensive review and update of its employment contracts and staff handbook.
  • Providing ongoing advice to Berwins Holding Limited (and also Berwin & Berwin Limited) on a wide range of employment issues, including disciplinary and grievance hearings, absence and performance management, and changes to terms and conditions.
  • Advised Exponent International Limited on drafting a career break contract for a long-serving employee, who the company wanted to retain and work again with in the future.
  • Advised Black Sheep Brewery on new director service agreements for its executive directors and updated contracts for its non-executive directors.

Employment law is one of the key areas of specialism at Consilia Legal, which has has forged a strong reputation for advising on discrimination and whistleblowing claims - in particular in the medical sector - since its founding in 2014. The firm's growing employment team, which receives a high volume of conflict recommendations from larger firms, has also developed particular expertise in advising on contentious exits of top executives. Practice head Marie Walsh is a qualified workplace mediator and a visiting lecturer at BPP and the University of Law.

Practice head(s):Marie Walsh

Gateley Plc works with a variety of major corporates throughout Yorkshire and the UK. The firm provides advice on the full gamut of employment matters to clients across a diverse range of sectors, from construction to engineering to leisure and manufacturing. The team is led by Paul Ball and Gearalt Fahy, who have established the practice in the Leeds office since joining from 3volution Limited in late 2017.

Practice head(s):Paul Ball; Gearalt Fahy


'Gateley offers a comprehensive service in terms of disciplines and are very approachable.'

'Gateley have excellent lawyers who form great relationships with their clients as a result of the good value, practical and sensible commercial advice they offer.'

'The team are truly dedicated to your cause, ensuring they are aware of every detail to provide the very best advice and potential outcome for their client.'

'Paul Ball is an amazing solicitor. He has real depth and breadth of knowledge and understands how to build long-term working relationships'

'Gearalt Fahy is hardworking and meticulous in his approach but his eye for detail is matched by an astute approach to resolving problems. Clients love him for his practical yet friendly, down to earth approach. He gives frank and practical advice in a variety of cases to a variety of clients.'

'Paul Ball, Rob Payne and Robert Rosenberg have all been truly outstanding. Their expertise and knowledge is second to none and contact at any time of the day is never a problem.'

Key Clients

Cape Industrial Services Ltd

Cleveland Potash Limited

Tech Search Associates Limited


Chevron TM Limited

Emovis Operations Leeds Limited

Stepnell Limited

Bridon International Limited

Altrad Group

Work highlights

  • Acted for both respondents in a constructive dismissal and race discrimination complaint against Cape Industrial Services Limited.
  • Advised Bridon International Limited on introducing a new annualised hours working arrangement.
  • Acted on various matters for VetPartners during their acquisition of a number of veterinary practices nationwide.
  • Acted for Logtek Limited on the negotiation of the Employee and TUPE schedule of a commercial contract between the client, a warehousing and logistics provider, and its principal customer, a national retailer.
  • Successfully acting on behalf of a publicly listed project management and technical consultancy in relation to claims of disability discrimination and constructive dismissal.

Langleys Solicitors LLP's York employment practice, which is led by Mini Setty, is renowned for 'delivering timely, commercial and pragmatic advice'. The 'practical and commercially savy' Setty has raised the team's profile since since joining from DWF in 2016, resulting in new instructions from large organisations in the region. Work handled by the team includes tribunal litigation, GDPR compliance and disciplinary proceedings. Other key names to note are Katherine Sinclair and Fiona Kingscott.

Practice head(s):Mini Setty

Other key lawyers:Katherine Sinclair; Fiona Kingscott.


'The team at Langleys is very approachable and easy to work with- friendly but professional.'

'Mini Setty offers advice without judgement of any predicament one may be in. She is happy to give detailed explanations to allow me to have the confidence to take matters forward myself.'

Key Clients

The Chapter of York (part of the York Minster group)

Work highlights

  • Advised The York Minster group comprising of the Chapter of York (the governing body of York Minster), the Friends of York Minster, York Minster Fund, York Minster Enterprises Ltd and the Trustees of St Williams College, on GDPR compliance.

The team at Ramsdens Solicitors LLP delivers both contentious and non-contentious and strategic project advice to employer and employee/worker clients. The Huddersfield-based employment team is led by David Bradley , who joined the firm in 2017 after a long career at DLA Piper UK LLP , where he led the global employment team. Bradley, a CEDR accredited mediator, has particular expertise in the field of trade union relations and change management.

Practice head(s):David Bradley


'Their uniqueness stems around a broad range of disciplines that have significant overlap; in that it is not always necessary to engage multiple partners or associates in complex cases. The practice has a family-run feel to it, putting the client at ease - their approach is highly professional yet reassuringly pragmatic with a depth of knowledge in a vast number of business sectors.'

'David Bradley is a very knowledgeable and approachable employment lawyer'.

'The expert knowledge and approachability of David Bradley is what makes him stand out'.

Harrogate firm Raworths , which has one of the largest employment teams in North Yorkshire, primarily advises privately owned and owner-managed businesses, handling employment aspects of M&A matters as well as more  traditional work. The firm prides itself on its longstanding relationships with an extremely well-established client base, while also continuing to attract first-time instructions from businesses across a diverse range of sectors. The 'pragmatic, direct and empathetic' Deborah Boylan heads the team.

Practice head(s):Deborah Boylan


'High quality legal advice combined with a friendly and very personal feel - interesting and nice people to work with.'

'Deborah Boylan is always pragmatic, direct and empathetic to the needs of the business'

Key Clients

Linley & Simpson Limited

Nicholas Chippindale (part of an acquisition of Chippindale Foods by Morrisons supermarkets)

Work highlights

  • Acted for Linley & Simpson on all recent acquisitions following financial investment from Lloyds Development Capital.
  • Advised managing director of Yorkshire-based egg packer Chippindale Foods on acquisition by Morrisons.

The employment team at Schofield Sweeney advises on a wide range of issues including acting for individuals and organisations in Employment Tribunal cases related to grievances, restructurings or redundancies. The firm has a particularly focus on the education sector, having defended schools and academies, and has experience of trade union negotiations, while also acting for clients in the healthcare sector. The team is headed up by the 'extremely knowledgeable' Simon Shepherd.

Practice head(s):Simon Shepherd


'Great at dealing with multiple issues - a team of specialists who really understand how to work with each other cross-functionally.'

'Schofield Sweeney provide excellent employment law advice and support. I feel we get a very personal service.'

'We can see from the culture enthused by the partners that the team is very passionate about their work - they go beyond the normal 'call of duty'. Unlike their peers, they aren't just interested in billing fees all the time - sometimes having a practical conversation and not charging for it is so refreshing.'

'John Robinson is commercially astute and understands what needs to be done to keep the business moving. Great knowledge on employment law.'

'The personal approach is very helpful. Simon Shepherd and Annie Gray in particular are very good at providing timely advice.'

'Adrian Ballam's ability to explain and provide practical guidance is where he stands out from the others.'

'A very well-informed team which always provide accurate guidance on legislation and practice, and also how to use this advice to optimise your organisational objectives.'

'Simon Shepherd is extremely knowledgeable and always offers excellent and prompt advice. '


Key Clients

Horton Housing Association

The Southfield Grange Trust

Carlton Bolling College

Wakefield and District Housing

Woodhouse Grove School

Greenhous Group

JD Sports Fashion Plc

Sanderson Group Plc

Work highlights

  • Represented client in retail industry, providing robust defence of allegations made by former employee, leading to successful dismissal of all claims against client.
  • Successful representation of school in gross misconduct hearing of a teacher.
  • Successfully represented grammar school following dismissal of staff due to alleged misconduct, resulting in dismissal of claims made by staff as well as recovery of costs.

The Leeds employment team at Weightmans primarily works with clients in the transport, logistics and health sectors, including NHS Foundation Trusts, advising on industrial disputes and senior-level organisational change management. The practice, which is led by Ben Daniel, also has a strong record of advising local councils and family authorities, often handling sensitive cases. Other work ranges from internal reorganisations and TUPE transfers to unfair dismissal claims.

Practice head(s):Ben Daniel

Key Clients

FirstGroup Plc (UK Bus and Rail)

National Express Group Plc (UK Bus and Coach)

Hoyer Group


Harrogate & District NHS Foundation Trust

York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

North Cumbria University Hospital & Cumbria NHS Foundation Trust

Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust

West Yorkshire Combined Authority

Leeds City Council

Kirklees Metropolitan Council

Turners (Soham)



Employment: Sheffield and South Yorkshire

Index of tables

  1. Employment: Sheffield and South Yorkshire
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Rising stars

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Rising stars

  1. 1

DLA Piper UK LLP is instructed on the full range of contentious and non-contentious matters, with particular expertise advising on public sector procurements, TUPE and outsourcing work, as well as handling issues relating to employment status, GDPR and national minimum wage compliance. The group benefits from being able to leverage its international network in cross-border matters and has notable expertise in the technology, manufacturing, financial services and retail sectors. Key names to note include practice head Clare Gregory and Gurpreet Duhra; Gregory has recently been particularly active in assisting clients with gender pay gap reporting, while Duhra is highlighted for his expertise in collective employment issues.

Practice head(s):Clare Gregory

Other key lawyers:Gurpreet Duhra

Key Clients

Merlin Entertainments Plc

DS Smith Plc

Mothercare plc

Wilko Retail

University of Sheffield

Dixons Carphone plc

Dreams Limited


Arnold Laver


Work highlights

  • Advised a global leader in consumer packaging products on an EU-wide GDPR compliance project.
  • Represented The Leadmill in high-profile High Court and Employment Tribunal litigation involving a former general manager.
  • Assisting a global data solutions and financial services software developer with a training programme relating to sexual harassment and workplace conduct.
  • Successfully defended  International Paint in a complex age discrimination claim.
  • Advised HCL Technologies on its acquisition of certain IBM software products and the related employment implications for employees in multiple EU jurisdictions.  

CMS' employment practice handles a range of non-contentious matters and disputes, and is particularly strong in the real estate, infrastructure, financial services, construction and retail sectors. It is frequently instructed to assist with the employment aspects of corporate transactions including TUPE matters, organisational changes, restructuring and insolvency work and redundancies. Practice head Tracey Marsden has an impressive breadth of expertise advising public and private sector clients on a full range of matters including trade union and industrial relations issues, major business transfers, redundancy and restructuring programmes and TUPE-related mandates, with other focuses including gender pay reporting and employee mental health. Associate Emma Sweetman is another name to note.

Practice head(s):Tracey Marsden

Other key lawyers:Emma Sweetman

Key Clients


Great Portland Estates

Intu Properties Group

St George Plc

Henry Boot

GRI Group

Burda Principal Investments

Immediate Media

Endeavor (and IMG Media)

NG Bailey

Low Carbon Contracts Company

LGC Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Immediate Media on the employment aspects of its acquisition of BBC Good Food.
  • Advised Endeavor on the employment aspects of a number of deals, including its acquisitions of NeuLion and Clifford French.
  • Acted for Dubai head-quartered client, AWR Rostamani, on its acquisition of a majority stake in Brayleys Cars.
  • Assisted NG Bailey Group with its acquisition of the Wakefield-based power engineering services contractor The Freedom Group.
  • Instructed by  City Taxis Group to advise on a number of sector acquisitions and disposals in Sheffield and the Midlands, and advised on the employment aspects of the management buy-out of the group.

The employment team at Irwin Mitchell is instructed by a high-profile client roster including national and international companies and household names, which it advises on a range of non-contentious matters and employment tribunal claims. The group has particular experience assisting clients in the healthcare, education and insurance sectors. Kirsty Ayre heads up the practice and has particular expertise in industrial relations and trade union law.

Practice head(s):Kirsty Ayre

Other key lawyers:Jennifer Walton

Key Clients

Capita Group Plc


Henry Boot plc

Skyscanner Limited

The Association of Colleges

Overgate Hospice

Westfield Health

South Yorkshire Housing Association

Work highlights

  • Acted for Skyscanner on the design and delivery of its diversity training.
  • Advising a regulated employer on the disputed exit of its chief executive.
  • Assisting a long standing chief executive with his exit and sale of shares.
  • Acted for a national building company in a test case on the employment status of sub-contractors in the construction sector.
  • Represented an airline in one of the first claims under the Civil Aviation Working Time Regulations.

Keebles' employment department is recognised for its representation of Yorkshire-based businesses, particularly in the engineering and manufacturing, transport and professional services sectors. Catherine Wilson, who has particular expertise in handling discrimination and whistleblowing claims, joined from Gordons LLP and leads the team, which includes former practice head Barry Warne, who is a name to note for TUPE advice, and senior associate Lauren Pickard, who handles a range of corporate support work.

Practice head(s):Catherine Wilson

Other key lawyers:Barry Warne; Lauren Pickard


'The employment team at Keebles provides practical and helpful advice to clients, who feel that they are able to chat about minor concerns to provide the reassurance that's needed.'

'Lauren Pickard provides pragmatic and succinct advice and helps clients to develop skills and knowledge and always considers the uniqueness of a client's business.'

'Catherine Wilson is well-regarded in the Sheffield market.'

Key Clients

Stauff UK Limited

Pressure Technologies plc and subsidiaries, including Chesterfield Special Cylinders Limited

Welbilt UK Limited

ELG Haniel Metals Limited

Cepac Ltd

Bletchley Park Trust Ltd

The Building Societies Association

The Miles Partnership

Pegler Yorkshire Limited

Senior Architectural Systems Limited

Rapid RTC

Work highlights

  • Advised The Miles Partnership on the restructuring and reorganisation of its director and client support teams, and on changes to its board structure.
  • Advised an engineering sector client on the leaving arrangements for its senior director including negotiating the severance agreement.
  • Advised a CEO of an AIM-listed company on his departure.
  • Instructed by a software house to advise on the restructuring of its UK operations in Berkshire.

Lupton Fawcett's practice is instructed by a variety of clients on commercial and contentious matters ranging from compliance advice to investigations and tribunal claims. It works closely with its Leeds and York-based offices and has an impressive client roster including household names. Leeds-based Andrew Gilchrist heads up the firm's Yorkshire-wide employment team, which includes Joan Pettingill in Sheffield, who has particular experience assisting clients in the steel, motor and manufacturing sectors.

Practice head(s):Andrew Gilchrist

Other key lawyers:Joan Pettingill


'The employment team at Lupton Fawcett offers an outstanding service, quality advice and real value. It has a genuinely friendly approach and makes time to chat through any questions.'

'Lupton Fawcett's communication is excellent and always in a format that can be easily understood by clients.'

Key Clients

HTC Wolffkran

Roche Healthcare

British Glass Manufacturers Federation

Arcelor Mittal

University of Wolverhampton

Airmaster Air Conditioning

Go Green Limited

W E Rawson Limited

Transvac Service Partnership

Trupart Limited

Work highlights

  • Instructed by Roche Healthcare to provide employment advice on several matters; it recently defended the client several tribunal claims relating to alleged discrimination issues.
  • Advised the Sheffield office of Arcelor Mittal on a complex redundancy exercise.
  • Assisted Airmaster Air Conditioning with its GDPR compliance.
  • Advised Go Green on business protection issues, restrictive covenants and employment contracts.
  • Assisted the University of Wolverhampton with GDPR compliance matters.

Wake Smith Solicitors Limited is known for its representation of small and medium enterprises in Yorkshire, which it assists with a range of employment issues. It is also instructed by high-net-worth employees to assist with settlement agreements. Practice head Mark Serby and Holly Dobson are 'two very highly regarded tacticians'; Serby has a particular focus on enforcement of post termination restrictions and confidentiality provisions, while Dobson has notable expertise assisting clients with employment disputes, GDPR compliance and TUPE advice.

Practice head(s):Mark Serby

Other key lawyers:Holly Dobson


'The employment team Wake Smith Solicitors Limited is extremely approachable, professional and knowledgeable and has a very human approach.'

'Mark Serby and Holly Dobson have an excellent local reputation for giving robust, commercial advice, are exceptionally skilled in employment law and stand out in Sheffield and the wider area as the 'go-to' employment lawyers.'

'Mark Serby and Holly Dobson are both equally tenacious at pursuing their clients objectives, they provide sensible, practical solutions to employment disputes.'

Key Clients

Sheffield Diocesan

Scroll LLP

London Associated Properties PLC

J F Finnegan

Walter Heselwood

Marketing and Management Services Limited

Westfield Contributory Health Scheme Limited

Schulke & Mayr UK Limited

Birkdale School

Swann Morton


Howells' employment team, which is led by Clare Fowler, is noted for its representation of employees in employment tribunal claims, with particular expertise in dismissal, discrimination and TUPE issues. It also has experience assisting small business clients with compliance and day-to-day advice.

Practice head(s):Clare Fowler

Health and safety

Index of tables

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

Leading individuals: Hall of Fame

  1. 1

Leading individuals

  1. 1
    • Lukas Rootman - CMS

Next Generation Partners

  1. 1

Rising stars

  1. 1

The health and safety team at CMS is instructed by its high-profile client roster on strategic advice, risk management work and compliance issues, as well as on all stages of investigations and prosecutions. The group has particular experience assisting clients in high-risk industries including the energy, waste and recycling, construction, transport and manufacturing sectors. Lukas Rootman heads up the practice and has a wealth of experience in a range of contentious and non-contentious health and safety matters.

Practice head(s):Lukas Rootman

Work highlights

  • Represented Veolia ES (UK) in a matter arising from the death of one of its employees. Following an inquest and trial where the client was found guilty by majority, the firm provided mitigating arguments to successfully minimise the sentencing to a £1m fine.

DAC Beachcroft LLP's safety health and environment practice is noted for its impressive client roster of top insurers; it also assists private corporates with a range of health and safety matters. The groups also acts in a range of investigations, and has substantial expertise in the construction, manufacturing, healthcare, retail, leisure, rail and transport sectors. Practice head Chris Baranowski focuses primarily on corporate manslaughter and health and safety investigations, Tracey Longfield is a key name for healthcare sector clients, and Matthew Breakell assists a range of companies from SMEs to large corporates.

Practice head(s):Chris Baranowski

Other key lawyers:Tracey Longfield; Matthew Breakell


'DAC Beachcroft LLP boasts an insurance-focused but particularly strong health and safety team based in Leeds.'

'The health and safety team at DAC Beachcroft LLP has strong depth of talent and resources, covers a wide geographical area and has good legal and market awareness.'

'DAC Beachcroft LLP's health and safety team provides clear and concise updates and deals with client's questions in a thoughtful, precise manner.'

'Practice head Chris Baranowski is very client focused, has an excellent unflappable manner and is very popular with clients.'

'Associate Matthew Breakell is a very shrewd operator with an excellent depth of knowledge of the law and very good client skills.'

'Associate Matthew Breakell impresses clients with the clear and sympathetic way that he guides them through the whole process, and invokes confidence that they are in good hands.'

Key Clients

Aviva Insurance

AXA Insurance

Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance

Allianz Insurance

Zurich Insurance

The Police Federation of England and Wales

Dimensions UK Ltd

Thermo Fisher Scientific

Henderson Insurance Brokers

Work highlights

  • Acting for a roofing contractor in a prosecution by the HSE following a fall from height by a sub-contractor during building works at a school.
  • Acting for a materials handling company in a prosecution by the HSE following a serious incident, in which an employee fell ten metres at a customer's premises.
  • Represented a Northern Ireland-based furniture manufacturer in a prosecution following an incident that left an employee paralysed.
  • Acted for a commercial printing company in HSE investigations arising out of an incident in which an employee sustained an amputation of his arm whilst cleaning a machine.

DLA Piper UK LLP's safety, health and environment group is instructed by an impressive client roster which includes several national and international corporates, which it assists with a range of matters spanning compliance advice, risk management and high-profile contentious matters. Teresa Hitchcock has a breadth of health and safety experience, particularly in the manufacturing, construction and industrial sectors alongside public sector expertise. Recently promoted partner Alastair Clough and associate Eddy Steele handle non-contentious and contentious matters respectively, while legal director Ailish Oxenforth assists with a broad range of instructions.

Practice head(s):Teresa Hitchcock

Other key lawyers:Alastair Clough; Eddy Steele; Ailish Oxenforth


'Associate Eddy Steele is very approachable, gives sensible, practical and solid advice.'

The environment, health and safety team at Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP combines contentious and non-contentious expertise to assist its impressive client roster, which includes a range of household names and highlights the firm's sector specialisms in the energy, manufacturing and education industries. The practice is jointly led by national practice head Kevin Elliott, who splits his time across several offices, and Leeds-based Paul Verrico, who has particular experience in the education sector. Senior associate Surekha Gollapudi is also singled out; she specialises in corporate criminal defence work and non-contentious compliance advice, and frequently handles inquests.

Practice head(s):Kevin Elliott; Paul Verrico

Other key lawyers:Surekha Gollapudi

Key Clients


CPM Group

Mitchells & Butlers plc




Leeds University

Marshalls plc



Kier / Turriff Contractors

Sir Robert McAlpine

Interserve plc

National Grid Electricity Transmission plc

Dairy Crest

Work highlights

  • Acted for Forterra in a prosecution brought by the HSE relating to an accident at the Manor Works, Claughton, which caused serious injuries.
  • Advised CPM on a fatal accident, in which a maintenance fitter became trapped in a conveyor.
  • Acted for DFDS in a criminal investigation brought by the HSE following the death of a security guard who was employed by a third party company.
  • Acted for VPS (UK) in prosecutions brought by the Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Authority relating to the failure to properly assess the risks of a building and inadequately sign posting fire exits at a property prior to licencing it to property guardians.
  • Advised Turriff Contractors on issues following a serious gas explosion.

The regulatory, compliance and investigations team at DWF acts for a combination of insurers and large corporates on a range of health and safety issues. The group has particular experience in the energy, retail, education, healthcare, construction, hotels and leisure, local authority and manufacturing sectors. Paul Matthews is instructed in high-profile investigations and prosecutions and heads up the team, which includes senior associates Mark Thompson, who has particular experience in criminal defence, and Sarah Smith, who recently joined the practice from Irwin Mitchell.

Practice head(s):Paul Matthews

Other key lawyers:Mark Thompson; Sarah Smith


'Paul Matthews is a good, solid health and safety lawyer.'

Key Clients

Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea

Electricity North West



Kerry Group PLC

Yorkshire Water

HDI Gerling

NFU Mutual


Work highlights

  • Represented Electricity North West in a prosecution following the death of a linesman, which resulted in an appeal to the Court of Appeal.
  • Acted for Yorkshire Water Services following the fatality of one of its workers at a water treatment site.
  • Acting for a charity in an ongoing corporate manslaughter investigation following the death of a volunteer.
  • Acting for the principal contractor in a health and safety investigation following the death of an employee on a construction site.
  • Representing a senior manager of Wood Treatment, who is under investigation for gross negligence manslaughter following the death of four people in the Bosley Mill explosion in July 2015.

The 'very professional and competent' team at Kennedys is recognised for its regulatory defence work and is frequently instructed by individuals and organisations under investigation. It has particular expertise across numerous sectors, including the construction, manufacturing, utilities, healthcare, waste, and leisure industries, and also acts for fire and rescue clients and public authorities. London-based Daniel McShee heads up the practice, which includes senior associate Anna Naylor in Sheffield; she defends a range of clients in proceedings brought by the HSE and local authorities.

Practice head(s):Daniel McShee

Other key lawyers:Anna Naylor


'Kennedys' Sheffield-based team has extensive experience in the health and safety field and covers a huge area in dealing with contentious and advisory safety and environmental work.'

'Kennedys completely understands the complexity of the unique specialist field of health and safety.'

'Senior associate Anna Naylor and solicitor Rebecca Connell are approachable and seem to completely understand the anxiety and confusion one experiences when faced with a health and safety crisis.'

'Anna Naylor has great experience and is tireless in her determination to achieve a result for her client.'

'Anna Naylor is very well prepared and gives the client full confidence in her ability to find a way forward; she is patient, industrious and very hardworking.'

'Rebecca Connell is incredibly good at the details of a case and is a big plus to Kennedys' team.'

Key Clients

Mitie Group (Care and Custody Health)


2 Sisters Food Group Limited

Champneys Springs Limited

NFU Mutual

JD Wetherspoons


Cleveland Potash Limited

NFUM Risk Management Services

Pinsent Masons LLP's health and safety and risk advisory practice specialises in advising large retail and food sector clients on a range of contentious and non-contentious matters. The Leeds-based team, which includes regulatory lawyer Simon Tingle, works with well-known national and international businesses on strategic advice and in prosecutions.

Other key lawyers:Simon Tingle

Key Clients

William Hill

AB In Bev


TJ Morris Limited, trading as Home Bargains


Aida Engineering

Esseco UK Ltd

John Cotton Group Ltd

Balfour Beatty

Temple Finance Limited, trading as Perfect Home

Work highlights

  • Successfully defended William Hill in a health and safety prosecution following a fatal accident.
  • Represented a discount retailer in a health and safety investigation into an incident involving a third party contractor, avoiding further prosecution.
  • Advised a major supermarket on food hygiene and pest control issues at a North London superstore.
  • Instructed to assist a leading brewer in new product launches into the UK and EU markets.
  • Advised a high street retailer on a pest infestation, successfully avoiding prosecution.

Walker Morris LLP is frequently instructed by well-known companies on a range of contentious and non-contentious health and safety matters, with clients spanning the food, manufacturing, healthcare, care homes, construction and demolition sectors. Jeanette Burgess, who has particular experience in handling corporate manslaughter prosecutions, heads up the team, which includes regulatory expert Andrew Northage, Stuart Ponting, who handles a range of contentious matters with a focus on the food, retail and construction sectors; and Robert Starr, who counts rail, food, retail and care among his sector specialisms.

Practice head(s):Jeanette Burgess

Other key lawyers:Andrew Northage; Stuart Ponting; Robert Starr; Claire Burrows


'The health and safety team at Walker Morris LLP is wise, sharp, sparky, full of commercial and creative solutions, has outstanding market knowledge, and is ready to roll its sleeves up and be on site late at night or at unsocial hours.'

'Walker Morris LLP's health and safety team is flexible in its approach, pragmatic and helpful.'

'Walker Morris LLP's team is technically on the ball and very approachable.'

'Stuart Ponting is 'rock star' quality; his depth of experience and market knowledge (plus knowledge of the regulators, prosecutors and judges) is second to none.'

'Stuart Ponting offers wise advice to minimise impact and protect the client.'

'Director Robert Starr is experienced and has a sound understanding of health and safety, and fire safety legislation.'

'Robert Starr is an excellent communicator and knows the area of law extensively.'

'Senior associate Claire Burrows is an outstanding lawyer, very skilled in carrying out and supporting investigations and in negotiating with the regulator.'

Key Clients

Anchor Trust

Arla Foods Limited


Galliford Try plc

Karro Food Limited

KONE plc

NHS Digital

Renew Holdings

Work highlights

  • Acting for one of the key individuals involved in the demolition of the Didcot Power Station.
  • Advised Arla Foods on a prosecution by the HSE following an alleged accident in December 2015 at its purpose built site in Aylesbury.
  • Acting for a food manufacturer in an HSE investigation following an accident, which resulted in a site operative having three of his fingers amputated in an industrial mixer.
  • Advising a professional football club on a fire safety investigation by a local council.
  • Acted for Renew Holdings on its acquisition of QTS Group, including providing a due diligence exercise and specialist health and safety advice relating to offences in Scotland.

Weightmans' regulatory team assists a client roster, which spans the public, commercial, charity, sports and insurance sectors, with a range of health and safety matters. Practice head David Lewis' experience encompasses corporate and gross negligence manslaughter investigations and sensitive jury inquests.

Practice head(s):David Lewis

Key Clients

Newcastle University

Contract Natural Gas

UPM (Kymmene) UK Ltd

Vantage Drilling

Work highlights

  • Acted for Newcastle University following the death of a student as a result of acute alcohol intoxication following his participation in a society initiation event.
  • Instructed by UPM-Kymmene UK following a fatality that occurred at one of its warehouses operated by Downton.
  • Defended Contract Natural Gas in a criminal prosecution brought by the CPS following a gas explosion at a retail premises in the Wirral.
  • Acting for Vantage Drilling in a hearing following the death of an employee caused by injuries suffered while part of the maintenance crew aboard a warm stacked vessel.

BLM handles a range of regulatory, civil and criminal health and safety issues with particular expertise advising on incidents arising in the construction, engineering, manufacturing sectors and care home-related cases. Henry Kirkup, who frequently assists clients in investigations and prosecutions by the police and HSE, heads up the team, which includes experienced inquest advocate Andrew Hetherington.

Practice head(s):Henry Kirkup

Other key lawyers:Andrew Hetherington

The regulatory team at Gateley Plc is highlighted for its ability to assist its clients, which range from family-run businesses to large corporates, with health and safety matters including crisis management issues following fatalities and major incidents. Pauline Munro heads up the practice from Leeds and has notable expertise in the manufacturing, retail, food and construction sectors.

Practice head(s):Pauline Munro

Key Clients

Drayton Manor Park Limited

Camtrex Limited

Nylacast Limited

Taylor Wimpey plc

Bovis Homes

Bellway plc

North West Fire Control

Sudlows Limited

Wm Morrison Supermarkets plc

Costcutter Supermarkets Group

Dr. Oetker (UK) Ltd

Malmaison & Hotel du Vin in Property Holdings Limited

Garvey Demolition Ltd

Work highlights

  • Advised Nylacast on its crisis management, investigation and inquest support following the death of an employee while at work.
  • Assisted Camtrex with crisis management issues, investigations and inquest support following the death of an employee while at work.
  • Instructed by Drayton Manor Park to handle matters following a fatal incident in May 2017, where a member of the public died.
  • Acted for Kingsgate Golf Club in investigations following the injury of an employee while at work.
  • Acting for a national branded retailer in investigations following an injury to an employee due to two separate incidents.

Plexus Law is frequently instructed by insurers on a range of health and safety investigations and prosecutions. The group also counts large corporates, public bodies and directors, managers and employees who are subject to enforcement from regulatory authorities as clients. Anthony Baker assists with a range of regulatory issues, and heads up the practice, which includes regulatory and insurance litigator Chris Foulkes, Richard Salvini, who frequently advises on a range of civil and regulatory matters, and Jonathan Tetley, who has particular experience in employers’ and public liability.

Practice head(s):Anthony Baker

Other key lawyers:Chris Foulkes; Richard Salvini; Jonathan Tetley


'Plexus Law is one of the market leaders in providing legal services to the insurance sector. The team is managed extremely well, provides a very efficient service and never loses sight of the lay client and its interests.'

'Plexus Law's key strengths are based on decades of experience within the team, and knowing how to respond to clients as well as enforcement agencies.'

'Plexus Law's health and safety team can be trusted, and has vast exposure to a wide variety of organisations and institutions.'

'The health and safety team at Plexus Law is capable of dealing with matters in the round, keeping costs, time and effort selflessly down to a minimum for the benefit of the client.'

'Plexus Law stays up to date and leave no stone left unturned.'

'The individuals at Plexus Law demonstrate high levels of empathy with the clients and are capable of understanding the wider commercial impact of regulatory prosecutions. To this end, it is able to strategically navigate its advice to achieve the best outcome for the client.'

'The team at Plexus Law is always extremely well prepared, and knows the detail and wider issues when providing advice in all aspects of the work undertaken.'

'Chris Foulkes, Anthony Baker and Richard Salvini all know the challenges, adapt to changes quickly and always gain the confidence of their clients in an instant.'

'Ciaran Garnett is conscientious, has good judgement, drafts well and is capable of handling the most complex cases.'

Key Clients






Swiss Re


WR Berkley


Whirlpool UK Appliances Ltd

XL Catlin

WR Berkley Offshore

Work highlights

  • Instructed by QBE Insurance (Europe) in a HSE investigation into a policyholder after they received 11 reports concerning hand-arm vibration syndrome suffered by the insured’s employees working in property maintenance.
  • Defended a leading white goods manufacturer in a claim to recover damages for psychiatric injury as property owners rather than primary or secondary victims.
  • Instructed by an insurer to act for its leisure sector client following the failure of a children’s theme park ride.
  • Advised an insured care home on a HSE investigation and prosecution.
  • Acted for an insured steel distributor in a police and HSE investigation and inquest  after one of its drivers suffered fatal crush injuries.

The health and safety team at rradar assists insured policyholders with a range of criminal and regulatory investigations and prosecutions. Criminal regulatory partner Matthew Coles heads up the practice, which includes Jeff Swales, who recently joined the team from Andrew Jackson Solicitors LLP and has particular transport expertise. The 'approachable' Andrew Cameron is also a key name to note.

Practice head(s):Matthew Coles

Other key lawyers:Jeff Swales; Andrew Cameron


'rradar provides front-end knowledge on how to deal with matters, accidents and incidents before they occur and back-end legal services when they d0.'

'rradar provides innovation, skills and legal knowledge.'

'With specialists across the practice, rradar gives clients confidence in its service and its ability to support customers, utilising risk base before more expensive legal cases.'

'rradar health and safety team fields outstanding individuals, who really understand the needs of clients.'

'The health and safety team at rradar is hardworking, approachable and transparent demonstrating the highest professional standards.'

'Andrew Cameron is extremely well known and highly regarded in the industry; he is an innovator, who commands confidence and has a vast knowledge.'

'Stephanie Thirlwell is outstanding at assimilating detail in complex cases, providing coherent, informative, and realistic advice. She has a comprehensive grasp.'


Key Clients


JS Wood & Son

Furniture Village

Flexi Foods


Work highlights

  • Acted for J S Wood & Son following an incident on its premises led to a HSE prosecution.
  • Advised Furniture Village after a serious accident resulted in an employee being injured, resulting in a HSE investigation and prosecution.
  • Acted for Flexi Foods in court proceedings relating to the sale and supply of mixed beef and horse meat to the meat industry for the manufacture of beef products, with the purpose of deceiving the end user.
  • Acted for Orona, a lift manufacturer, in HSE and police investigations and prosecutions following the death of a five year old who sustained fatal injuries after becoming trapped inside one of the lifts.
  • Instructed by a core participant in a major public inquiry of national interest.


Index of tables

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

Next Generation Partners

  1. 1

Rising stars

  1. 1

Addleshaw Goddard's pensions group advises on a broad variety of pensions matters ranging from pension products to pensions liberation and fraud, independent trustee work and pension buyin and buyout work; its client roster encompasses a combination of blue-chip corporates, regional businesses and trustee boards. The group is jointly led by national practice head Rachel Rawnsley, who has particular expertise in the utilities, energy, universities and building society sectors; Jade Murray, who advises on self-invested personal pensions and small self-administered schemes; and Rachel Uttley, who is a name to note for pension buyin and buyout transactions.

Practice head(s):Rachel Rawsnley; Jade Murray; Rachel Uttley


'Addleshaw Goddard's pensions practice provides advice that is consistently clear, pragmatic, of a high quality and provided promptly.'

'Addleshaw Goddard's pensions team has extensive experience across a range of clients, which contributes to the quality of advice.'

'The pensions team at Addleshaw Goddard is excellent at quickly getting to grips with a matter, developing a plan, and then most importantly, delivering in a highly professional manner.'

'Rachel Rawnsley provides advice tailored to clients' businesses.'

'Jade Murray has a national reputation for pensions work, she is very practical and commercial and very good on the technical elements.'

Key Clients

University of Sheffield trustees

Trustee of the Asda Group Pension Scheme and the Trustee of the Asda Pension Plan

Saga PLC

Michelin UK

Skanska Construction UK

Britvic plc

National Express pension trustees


Ibstock Brick pension trustees

De Beers Group

Work highlights

  • Instructed by the trustees of the Asda Group Pension Scheme and the trustees of the Asda Pension Plan on issues relating to Asda's £2.5bn final salary scheme, which included advising on the impact of the proposed sale of Asda by Walmart to J Sainsbury.
  • Acted for the Trustee of the National Express Group Pension Plan on resolving a range of complex issues enabling a buy-in of all the scheme's liabilities with Rothesay Life.
  • Advised Skanska UK and Innovia UK on the closure of their pension schemes, avoiding serious business disruption or member objection.
  • Advised William Jackson Food Group on the £210m sale of Aunt Bessie's to Nomad Foods Europe.
  • Advised WPP on the move from buy-in to buy-out of five of its DB schemes.

The pensions team at Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP has significant experience acting for a combination of trustees, employers and providers on a range of instructions. Richard Shelton advises on the full spectrum of pensions matters, and heads up the team which includes the well-regarded Anthea Whitton and principal associate Gemma Hanley; Hanley has particular expertise in advising employers and trustees in the energy, water and rail sectors.

Practice head(s):Richard Shelton

Other key lawyers:Anthea Whitton; Gemma Hanley

Key Clients

British Airways' Airways Pension Scheme


Greggs plc

Deloitte Pensions Master Plan

BT Hybrid Scheme

Formica Limited

Fletcher Building Limited

Communisis PLC

The Trustees of the Southern Electric Group of the Electricity Supply Pension Scheme

Anglian Water Group

The Trustees of the RFS Pension Scheme

Association of Colleges

Work highlights

  • Advised the trustees of British Airways'  Airways Pension Scheme on its £4.4bn buy-in with Legal & General.
  • Advised Aviva UK Life and Pensions on its application to the Pensions Regulator for master trust authorisation of the Aviva Defined Contribution Master Trust.
  • Instructed by Greggs and the trustees of its pension schemes to handle the updating of its defined benefit scheme’s trust deed and rules.
  • Advising the Deloitte Master Plan trustee on all aspects of the governance of the master plan, including transfers into the plan.
  • Advised Formica on the closure of its two defined benefit pension schemes, including how the company can effect the closure, how the closure needed to be structured and other employment issues.

Pinsent Masons LLP's pensions and long-term savings group handles contentious and non-contentious mandates for its client roster, which includes a range of large long-standing schemes, major trusts and financial services firms. Practice head Jacqui Timmins specialises in traditional pension law and defined benefits schemes, while the 'experienced, pragmatic and commercial' Tom Barton heads up the team's defined contribution practice. Andrew Masterson and Julian Sladdin are key names to note for pensions litigation.

Practice head(s):Jacqui Timmins;

Other key lawyers:Tom Barton; Andrew Masterson; Julian Sladdin


'The pensions team at Pinsent Masons LLP boasts good strength in depth.'

'With great industry knowledge and experience, Pinsent Masons LLP's team always makes sure to keep up to date with what is going on in the wider industry, in addition to advising on the legislation.'

'Pinsent Masons LLP's pensions team has an unparalleled breadth of expertise and can cover any pension law issue that clients encounter. This, combined with its ease of use and responsiveness, sets it apart from others in the field.'

'Tom Barton is a stand out DC legal practitioner in the UK; he provides the legal advice in a commercial wrapper and is always thinking ahead of the game.'

'Tom Barton possesses the rare combination of forensic pensions law knowledge and commercial outlook. He often anticipates the direction of travel and so the client's needs are met before we have arrived there.'

Key Clients

Trustee of the Croda Pension Scheme

Trustee of the Henry Boot SPLA Scheme

Arran Isle

Trustees of the Bitmac Pension Scheme

TPT Retirement Solutions

The Trustee of the Firth Rixson Retirement Benefit Plan

The Trustees of the Hickson Group Pension Scheme

The Trustees of the Vaillant Group Pension Scheme

Work highlights

  • Assisted Arran Isle with the negotiation of revised terms with its independent pension trustee board, and also advised on the sale of part of the group's international business.
  • Advised the trustees of the Bitmac Pension Scheme on the negotiations with the US parent company regarding the potential buy-out of the pension scheme, and provided strategic advice on GDPR compliance and GMP Equalisation.

Squire Patton Boggs acts for a range of private and public sector clients on the full spectrum of pensions instructions and counts the manufacturing, engineering, automotive, healthcare, financial services, infrastructure and education sectors as key areas of expertise. Elizabeth Graham advises a range of private, public and charity sector clients and heads up the team, which includes Catherine McKenna, who has significant experience in Pensions Regulator applications. Other names to note include director Jane Briggs, who frequently acts for retail pensions, insurance providers and master trusts; and senior associate Anna Tomlinson, who is particular experienced in advising on GDPR compliance.

Practice head(s):Elizabeth Graham

Other key lawyers:Catherine McKenna; Jane Briggs; Anna Tomlinson

Key Clients

Trustees of the Ashland UK Pension Fund


Trustees of the Pentair UK Defined Benefit Scheme

Trustee of Kelda Group Pension Plan

Trustee of the Northern Powergrid Group of the ESPS

Trustees of the Network Rail CARE and DC Pension Schemes

Trustees of the Fenner Pension Scheme

Trustees of the Lucite International Pension Fund

Trustees of the Redcats Schemes

Work highlights

  • Assisted Ashland UK Pension Fund with strategic investment support.
  • Provided governance and investment support to Hertfordshire County Council Pension Fund.
  • Advised the trustees of the Lucite International Pension Fund on a large number of benefit-related, covenant and funding issues, and an investment strategy review involving a transfer to delegated investment arrangements.
  • Advised the trustees of the Fenner Pension Scheme on all aspects of its arrangements, including funding and investment issues, governance and risk work, and data protection compliance.
  • Assisted the trustees of the Huntsman Pension Scheme with complex risk and compliance matters.

Walker Morris LLP advises its high-profile clients on a range of pensions matters with particular expertise in the privatised utilities sectors including water, electricity, coal, gas and nuclear clients; it also assists charities and not for profits including universities, and public sector clients. Practice head Jo Ratcliffe has specialist TUPE and Beckmann liabilities knowledge, and Gwendoline Davies is highlighted for pensions litigation. Other names to note include directors Craig Looker and Ruth Bamforth; Looker is 'an excellent, technical lawyer' and has particular expertise in employer debt and sex equalisation issues in defined benefit schemes, while Bamforth has experience handling a range of pensions matters, from reorganisations to the winding-up of schemes and regulator interventions.

Practice head(s):Jo Ratcliffe

Other key lawyers:Gwendoline Davies; Craig Looker; Ruth Bamforth


'Walker Morris LLP has a strong pensions team, which is well known in the local market, with a strong brand and reputation.'

'Walker Morris LLP has a significant Leeds based pensions team with a large number of senior practitioners, which provide a high-quality service.'

'The pensions team at Walker Morris LLP is pragmatic and sensitive to the culture and behaviours of clients.'

'Jo Ratcliffe is experienced, well known and respected and has strong leadership skills.'

'Director Craig Looker is very impressive in client situations, calm, measured and brings experience and good commercial skills.'

'Director Ruth Bamford has stand-out technical skills and is very much respected in the market.'

'Craig Looker has the ability to address the most complex of problems in a practical and supportive manner. He has a clear communication style and is personable and easy to engage with.'

'Craig Looker is highly approachable and takes personal ownership of finding solutions. He is an excellent team player, working smoothly alongside other advisers.'

Key Clients

Capita Group plc

Trustees of the Capita Pension and Life Assurance Scheme

Trustees of the Rockware Glass Pension Scheme

Trustees of the PACCAR UK Pension Plan

Trustee of the Banco de Brasil Pension Scheme

Trustees of the University of Manchester Superannuation Scheme

Trustees of the Toyota Material Handling UK's Two Pension Schemes

Trustees of the Water Associated Pension Scheme (a sectionalised scheme for non-associated employers)

Leeds University

Trustees of the York University Pension Fund

Work highlights

  • Acted for HIG Capital on its acquisition of Bucks Consultants from Conduent.
  • Provided advice to pension scheme trustee clients on compliance with GDPR.

Boutique pensions specialist firm ARC Pensions Law counts major defined benefit and defined contribution schemes, sponsoring employers and other law firms among its impressive client roster, which it acts for on a range of matters. Vikki Massarano and Kate Payne, who are both well-regarded in the market, jointly head the team and have particular experience advising on the pensions aspects of corporate activity and scheme governance respectively.

Practice head(s):Vikki Massarano; Kate Payne

Other key lawyers:Nigel Jones; Robert Walker; Max Ballad

Key Clients

Trustee of the Reliance Pension Scheme

Trustees of the Nottingham Building Society Pension Scheme

Real Good Food plc

Swann-Morton Limited

Trustees of the WABCO Pension Scheme

Trustees of the Nursing & Midwifery Council Pension Scheme

Trustees of the Marshalls plc Pension Scheme

Trustees of the Moores Furniture Group Pension Scheme

Marubeni Bank UK Pension Scheme Trustees

The pensions team at DLA Piper UK LLP advises its impressive client roster, which includes a full spectrum of pension schemes, on a range of contentious and non-contentious matters. Andrew McIlhinney, who advises on a range of scheme governance and transactional matters, heads up the practice alongside pensions litigator David Young. Legal director Simon Evans is another name to note for non-contentious pensions advice.

Practice head(s):Andrew McIlhinney; David Young

Other key lawyers:Simon Evans; Hannah Watson; Claire Goodby


'Andrew McIlhinney is always accessible, makes himself available at extremely short notice and most importantly is hugely experienced and knowledgeable.'

'DLA Piper UK LLP's pension team is unique in its professionalism coupled with pragmatism to support a balanced solution for clients.'

'Andrew McIlhinney is very balanced in his views and communicates excellently with clients.'

'Along with technical skills and knowledge, Andrew McIlhinney is a very nice man, which is a trait that is not prevalent much in business these days, but one which is hugely valuable.'

'Legal director Simon Evans is very pragmatic.'

Key Clients

Trustees of the Yorkshire Building Society Pension Scheme

Trustees of the Urenco UK Pension Scheme

Trustees of the Univar Company Pension Scheme (1978)

Trustees of the Clariant Pension Plan

Trustees of the Bibbyline Group Pension Scheme

Trustees of the Britvic (Northern Ireland) Pension Plan

Trustees of the North of England Zoological Society Superannuation Fund Scheme

Trustees of the Cerestar Pension Plan (Cargill Group)

Lloyds Banking Group (Self Invested Pensions Portfolio)

Leeds Building Society

Trustees of the Buccleuch Estates Pension Scheme

RR Donelley

Arconic Manufacturing (GB) Limited

Arch Chemicals Limited

Marriott Hotels

Trustees of the Heerema Retirement Benefits Scheme

Link Market Services Limited

Work highlights

  • Acted for a financial services client on the completion of the buy-in of a section of scheme liabilities with an insurance provider.
  • Acted for a manufacturing client on the closure of a defined benefit pension scheme by member consent.
  • Assisted a financial services client with the redrafting of the scheme's governing deeds and rules.
  • Advised the trustees of a Zoological Society scheme on the without-consent transfer of benefits into a master trust.
  • Advised on an investment by a private equity fund into a high street store, with historic defined benefit pension scheme obligations.

The pensions team at Wrigleys Solicitors LLP has a reputation for acting for trustees of defined benefit pension schemes on a range of governance and trust issues. It also acts for scheme employers, third sector organisations and education clients. The group is led by Leigh Holmes, who focuses on pension scheme wind ups, buyins and buyouts; and includes Kate Buckham, who counts GDPR compliance, amendment power restrictions and contingent assets among her areas of expertise. Consulting partner Raymond Ainscoe provides advice on benefit questions including equalisation issues.

Practice head(s):Leigh Holmes

Other key lawyers:Kate Buckham; Raymond Ainscoe


'Wrigleys Solicitors LLP's pensions team provides pragmatic and speedy advice.'

'The pensions team at Wrigleys Solicitors LLP focuses on clients' needs and, whilst the advice is always top notch, it is delivered in a much more 'human' way.'

'Wrigleys Solicitors LLP's pensions advice is second to none. It has a team of highly competent technically able individuals who are approachable and personable.'

'The pensions team at Wrigleys Solicitors LLP has the ability to resolve problems in a timely fashion with solutions not roadblocks.'

'Leigh Holmes is highly skilled, personable and accessible.'

'Kate Buckham is extremely bright, thorough and painstaking in her detail, but is also able to relay highly complicated matters relating to pensions drafting and interpretation in an understandable way to clients.'

'Solicitor Louise Edwards is pragmatic and provides careful and reasoned analysis in a practical way.'

'Kate Buckham and solicitor Vicki Acomb deliver straightforward advice, that is always timely and accurate.'

Work highlights

  • Advised the trustees of a mass media conglomerate's pension scheme on GDPR compliance and the review of a member's complaint regarding benefit entitlement.
  • Advised a UK  employer in the retail sector on the negotiation of a guarantee to support its obligations to fund the pension scheme.
  • Instructed on matters connected to a proposal to make a without consent bulk transfer of a scheme's defined contribution benefits into a new defined contribution section of the scheme.
  • Assisting the trustees of a pension scheme with a significant member benefit rectification exercise.
  • Acting for an employer on the wind-up of its pension schemes following a buy-in of all benefits in two schemes.

The financial market and pensions group at CMS acts for a range of public and private sector clients with particular expertise in the healthcare and infrastructure sectors and acting for all of the major statutory schemes. Practice head John Hanratty, who splits his time between the Manchester and Sheffield offices, has particular expertise advising on public service pension scheme law and pensions in the third sector.

Practice head(s):John Hanratty

Key Clients

TPT Retirement Solutions

NG Bailey Group Limited

Care UK Limited

Teesside Pension Fund

Donvale Holdings Limited

ARK Schools

Investec Wealth and Investment Trustees

University of Southampton

Schindler UK Pension Scheme Trustees

Bettys & Taylors of Harrogate

Lakeland Laboratories Trustees

Oasis Community Learning

Work highlights

  • Represented the directors and shareholders of Donvale Holdings in resolving pension administrative problems including equalisation and appropriate accrual structures.
  • Advised Teesside Pension Fund on the release of security over the assets of an admitted body following the guarantee offered by sponsoring authorities.
  • Advised Bettys and Taylors of Harrogate on an amendment to the governing documentation of its scheme and an interpretation of the pension increase rule.
  • Advised the trustees of the Investec Wealth & Investment Pension Scheme on the movement of the benefits and assets of the scheme to a master trust and winding up the scheme.
  • Representing an individual in a claim before the Pensions Ombudsman relating to their decision to buy added years under the NHS Pension Scheme when they were a hospital doctor and, as a consequence of a structural issue with the NHS Pension Scheme, this resulted in a reduced pension level.

Freeths LLP acts for a range of clients spanning family-owned businesses, SMEs, large corporates and public sector clients. The team was established following the arrival of practice head Nigel Bolton and Kim Jones in November 2017 from Irwin Mitchell. Bolton is frequently instructed on public sector outsourcings and advising trustees on scheme closures, mergers, data protection issues and scheme funding issues, while Jones has particular expertise assisting with scheme mergers and scheme wind-ups on a solvent and insolvent basis.

Practice head(s):Nigel Bolton

Other key lawyers:Kim Jones


'Freeths provide an excellent, pragmatic and practical pension legal service to middle-market businesses at a very competitive price.'

'Nigel Bolton is a very experienced pension lawyer with a strong commercial understanding of entrepreneurial and family businesses. His capability to devise practical solutions to pension legal problems is unsurpassed in the market.'

'Kim Jones has a great capability to communicate complex issues in a manner that is clearly understandable by trustees and senior management teams alike.'

'Nigel Bolton and Kim Jones provide an excellent service, responding quickly and sensibly to requests for advice.'

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