Averta Employment Lawyers LLP > Birmingham, England > Firm Profile

Averta Employment Lawyers LLP
1, The Courtyard, 707 Warwick Road
B91 3DA

Employment Tier 2

Exceptional partnersAlan Jones  and David Sykes, co-head the ‘highly skilled’ team at Averta Employment Lawyers LLP.  The 'responsive and collaborative' group focuses on the employment law needs of directors, managers, senior executives and other professionals. It thrives on negotiating exit packages, settlement agreements and discrimination claims. The group is active in the private and the public sectors and is also adept at advising on post-termination restrictions and TUPE transfers. Recently, it has seen an increase in corporate and SME work. Consultant, David Beswick, is another known name in the market. Izzy Canning is an able associate.

Practice head(s):

Alan Jones; David Sykes

Other key lawyers:


‘In my experience, the firm achieves a perfect balance between personal contact combined with a wider team of professionals when needed. It is highly specialised in employment law, and handling sensitive or conflict situations’.

The service at Averta was very person centred and both my legal needs and personal needs were always considered’.

Alan Jones helped me handle a very difficult employment situation. He grasped the facts quickly; gave clear, experienced and imaginative advice; and was always available when I needed him. His robust negotiation led to a swift exit for me, with a very good result’.

‘Alan Jones and David Sykes are very experienced employment advisers, and no issue is impenetrable. Their approach immediately takes the stress and anxiety away for senior individuals’.

‘Alan Jones is very commercial, recognises what his client’s objective is and works hard to find the best solution for his client. David Sykes is focussed, driven and easy to deal with. Izzy Canning is a rising star’.

Alan Dark has provided an exceptional level of service once again last year. Balancing a pragmatic approach and sound commercial acumen. Alan has always been very responsive and solutions focused’.

‘Personable lawyer. Alan Jones was excellent to work with. He was reassuring when I was unsure and clear about the consequences of decisions in the short and long term’.

David Sykes – technical but highly practical and always solution focussed. Always available and easy to talk to. Highly recommended’.

Work highlights

  • Representing three directors of a national firm of accountants in respect of their unfair dismissal following the sale of their shares in the business.
  • Acting for a European director of an American company based in Switzerland in respect of the termination of his secondment.
  • Acting for a director/shareholder of a construction business in relation to historic allegations of sexual harassment

Averta Employment Lawyers’ main office is in Solihull, near Birmingham International station and airport and a few minutes away from the M42, M6 and M40 links. This specialist employment law firm focuses on the employment law needs of directors, managers, senior executives and other professionals.

The firm: Averta Employment Lawyers  is in its 20th year as a niche employment law practice. Its originating partners, David Sykes and Alan Jones, were partners at a major commercial law firm (DLA Piper), acting primarily for companies and corporations.

They saw first-hand at DLA Piper, that the quality of representation available to senior executives in the course of negotiating exit packages, settlement agreements, discrimination claims or other employment-related issues was balanced very much in favour of the company. Averta Employment Lawyers LLP was therefore created to help redress this balance and give senior executives the chance to play on a ‘level field’. The partners/directors are well-regarded in the legal community, and have many years’ experience of negotiating and litigating in the employment law context. Averta brings a level of expertise that clients say matches that of the major commercial law practices.  Both partners remain actively engaged in client matters.

In March 2021 Averta became the Birmingham Law Society Law Firm of the Year (under four partners) for the second time. This is a testament to the reputation built up over the previous ten years, which adds to the credibility that Averta brings to a case when representing senior individuals.

The firm receives excellent support from its more junior members of staff, each of whom subscribes to the firm’s ethos of responsiveness, service and value.   Averta also have a number of senior consultants, David Beswick, Alan Dark, Helen Hughes and Charlotte Cooper.

Averta is unusual in focusing on senior individuals and as such has few ‘regular’ clients. However, such is the quality of service provided and the reputation acquired over the last ten years that the firm is able to rely on word of mouth from existing clients, referrals from the major commercial law practices, internet searches and conflict situations. The firm takes great pride in its independence, such that it only accepts referrals or conflicts on the express understanding that the client’s interests are paramount, and the relationship with the referrer is secondary.

Types of work undertaken: The firm provides solutions to clients facing problems before, during and after the employment relationship. Thus the firm advises on contracts and service agreements presented to its clients by a prospective employer; issues arising during employment such as discrimination, harassment, non-payment of bonuses, LTIPs, share options and other benefits. At the point of ending the employment relationship, the firm advises clients on exit packages and settlement agreements (formerly called compromise agreements), and will negotiate arrangements that seek to match, if not exceed, clients’ expectations.  In recent years Averta has handled large scale redundancy exercises, both online and in person, with many thousands of employees.

The firm acts in the public and private sector, having handled a number of senior and high-profile members of local government, NHS and other public bodies. It also advises groups of executives in conflict with a company, or considering leaving a business to work for a competitor. The firm advises on post-termination restrictions, and seeks to reach a practical solution in what is a complex and potentially expensive area of law. On a number of occasions, groups of employees have instructed Averta to advise them on issues, which lends itself to a collaborative approach with the company’s lawyers. Other cases involve claims for carried interest on the part of private equity executives, advising and representing individuals facing serious disciplinary investigations, advising on TUPE transfers, contractual and bonus claims.

The partners and staff at Averta go to great lengths to understand the needs and expectations of its senior executive clients.  When it is not convenient to meet face to face, Averta often has clients may be based abroad and across the UK, clients are supported by telephone, email and meetings can be very successful conducted online.  Averta has acted for executives as far afield as Hong Kong, Singapore and New Zealand, where the contracts are construed under English jurisdiction, and for clients in many European countries, often acting in conjunction with a local lawyer.

Averta also acts for a small number of corporate clients who seek commercially focused strategic advice and support at partner/director level.

Department Name Email Telephone
Senior partner Alan Jones
Managing partner David Sykes
Photo Name Position Profile
Alan Jones photo Alan Jones Alan is a partner in Averta Employment Lawyers, having joined in January…
David Sykes photo David Sykes David was formerly a partner with DLA Piper, advising such corporations as…
Number of UK partners : 2
Number of other UK fee-earners : 7

Our clients, often very senior executives and professionals, expect that we will maintain a high level of confidentiality regarding their matters. We are therefore unable to put any client testimonials into the public domain. However, we would want to make the point, that our Legal 500 rankings are based on researchers’ conversations and feedback from our clients and unattributable quotes are used in The Legal 500 editorial. It is also significant that as a small firm we have maintained a high ranking in our region in The Legal 500, which is testament to the quality of the client feedback received from Averta’s client base.