Averta Employment Lawyers LLP > Birmingham, England > Firm Profile

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

Employment Tier 2

Under the joint leadership of Alan Jones and David Sykes the 'highly effective' team at Averta Employment Lawyers LLP focuses on the employment law needs of directors, managers, senior executives and other professionals. The specialist employment law firm acts in the public and private sector and increasingly acts for corporate clients. The firm has also been busy advising groups of employees on employee share plans and other recent cases have included representing individuals facing serious disciplinary investigations, advising on TUPE transfers in addition to contractual and bonus claims. Alan Dark and Charlotte Cooper are among the other key senior members of the practice.

Practice head(s):

Alan Jones; David Sykes

Other key lawyers:

Alan Dark; Charlotte Cooper; Andrew Lester; Izzy Canning


‘The Averta team is practical and strong commercially as well as expert in the law. The approach is pragmatic and fresh . Strong, focssed and precise. Bringing practical and assertive sound advice and support. Alan Jones is particularly pragmatic and resourceful in his approach’.

‘A very professional outfit who know their stuff and also showed empathy with our concerns. The lawyers guided us through the whole process using straightforward language and a clear understanding of our options, with a well-defined cost forecast‘.

‘We hit it off with Charlie Cooper right from the start. She was very approachable and put us quickly at ease with the legal jargon, our options, the potential risks and chances of success. Charlie never really showed any weakness but her biggest strength is a down to earth approach where she soon put us at ease, quickly gained our trust and made us feel very comfortable. Legal matters can be quite formidable but she levelled the playing field and made us feel well informed, but also relaxed in that we understood exactly what was happening/being proposed etc. No matter was considered too trivial. It was a joy to work with her’.

‘Outstanding right through, attention to the client, attention to detail – Alan Jones is quite simply the best practitioner in his field, always our go to call to make’.

Given the founding partners’ experience of acting for employers at a major corporate firm, we know that they are able to deal with the different factors in play with a senior employee who is likely also a statutory director and possibly shareholder or entitled to share options. They are pragmatic about getting a deal done, while giving the best advice to their clients’.

‘We worked with Andrew Lester and Alan Jones on our thorny matter. Though many years set them apart, there was an ease and collaboration between them that was elegant and effective. They worked very hard on our behalf to deliver the best possible result. All along the way, Alan and Andrew correctly read the tea leaves – they earned and have our highest confidence in them’.

Work highlights

  • Acting for a senior director in the public sector.
  • Representing three directors of a national firm of accountants.
  • Acting for a solicitor facing allegations of bullying.

Averta Employment Lawyers 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. Averta also has expertise in handling immigration matters for individuals and has a London office offering similar expertise.

The firm: Averta Employment Lawyers was set up over ten years ago 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, compromise 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.

In March 2015, Averta became the Birmingham Law Society Law Firm of the Year (under four partners). 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 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.

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 employee share plans, 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, and usually meet at its Midland or London offices, both of which are readily accessible by road, rail or air. However, it is not always convenient to meet face to face, as clients may be based abroad or in other areas of the UK, so many clients are supported by the use of telephone, email and/or skype. 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.



Senior partner Alan Jones
Managing partner David Sykes
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.