Employment: Leeds and West Yorkshire; North Yorkshire in Yorkshire And The Humber
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.
Other key lawyers:
‘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.’
Tyne & Wear Metro (t/a Nexus)
Scotia Gas Networks
Vocalink (part of Mastercard)
Froneri ice-cream (part of Nestlé)
- 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.
‘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’.
Stanley Black & Decker
Wyndham Hotel Group
- 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.
Skipton Building Society
University of Durham
University of York
Eggborough Power Limited
McCain Foods GB Limited
- 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.
Other key lawyers:
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.
Other key lawyers:
‘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.’
McDonald’s Restaurants Limited
Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Arcadia Group Ltd
Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
- 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.
‘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.’
Centrica plc/British Gas
RSA Insurance plc
The Royal Bank of Scotland plc
University of Sheffield
University of Lincoln
- 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.
‘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.’
Lucozade Ribena Suntory
Moss Bros Group PLC
The Works PLC
- 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.
NHS Shared Business Services Framework
NHS Arden and Greater East Midlands Commissioning Support Unit
Arden & GEM NHS Commercial Solutions Framework
Crown Commercial Service (CCS)
- 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.
‘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.’
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 Institute of Directors
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.
‘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.’
TI Automotive Limited
Bradford Grammar School
The Grammar School at Leeds
Hand Picked Hotels
Hayes Davidson (London) Limited
SB Components (International) Limited
Chaucer Foods (UK) Limited
Den Hartogh Dry Bulk Logistics Limited
- 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.
Other key lawyers:
‘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.’
City of Bradford Metropolitan Council
Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust
MMCG/Countrywide Care Homes
Unity Foster Care Limited
Grosvenor Integrated Services Limited
Crown Commercial Services
NHS Commercial Solutions
- 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.
Other key lawyers:
‘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.’
ITH Pharma Limited
Status International (UK) Ltd
Joalpe International UK Ltd
- 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.
Other key lawyers:
Christeyns UK Limited
Heron Foods Limited
Humberside Fire and Rescue Service
PDR Construction Limited
Premier Modular Ltd
Wren Kitchens Limited
- 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.
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.’
Capita Group Plc
Sky Betting and Gaming
The Association of Colleges
Ligentia Group Limited
- 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.
Other key lawyers:
Tom Watkins; Jim Wright
Ghana International Bank PLC
Specialist People Services PLC
Act Response Limited
Drillco Europe Limited
Hensall Mechanical Services Limited
- 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.'
‘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.’
Working Links (Employment) Limited
Cello Health Group plc
OnX Enterprise Solutions
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
- 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.
Other key lawyers:
‘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.
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)
Anthony Hodges Consulting Limited
- 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.
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.
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.’
Cape Industrial Services Ltd
Cleveland Potash Limited
Tech Search Associates Limited
Chevron TM Limited
Emovis Operations Leeds Limited
Bridon International Limited
- 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.
‘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.’
The Chapter of York (part of the York Minster group)
- 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.
Ramsdens Solicitors LLP
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.
‘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.
‘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‘
Linley & Simpson Limited
Nicholas Chippindale (part of an acquisition of Chippindale Foods by Morrisons supermarkets)
- 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.
‘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. ‘
Horton Housing Association
The Southfield Grange Trust
Carlton Bolling College
Wakefield and District Housing
Woodhouse Grove School
JD Sports Fashion Plc
Sanderson Group Plc
- 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.
FirstGroup Plc (UK Bus and Rail)
National Express Group Plc (UK Bus and Coach)
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