Averta Employment Lawyers LLP > Birmingham, England > Firm Profile

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

Employment Tier 2

Averta Employment Lawyers LLP has a primary focus on representing senior executives in the course of negotiating exit packages, settlement agreements and advising on discrimination claims. It also advises small corporate businesses, SMEs and various professional practices. The practice is active in the public and private sectors and is also recommended for its advice on post-termination restrictions, TUPE transfers and other contractual claims. Under the joint leadership of Alan Jones and David Sykes the ‘very commercially aware team‘ is well-placed to advise groups of employees on employee share plans.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:


‘One gets the very clear impression when dealing with the team at Averta that this is a well trained team which provides professionalism and technical expertise at the highest level which is totally focused on the client’s objectives. The team is supportive and immediately responsive whilst the cost is very reasonable indeed. They will provide very sharp, honest and down to earth advice on the challenges ahead so that decisions on the way forward are fully informed. One certainly wants Averta on their side‘.

Averta Employment Lawyers provides a comprehensive service that is of superb quality. They represent excellent value and offer advice that is tailored and balancing all elements‘.

‘Efficient, professional service and communications maintained during the difficult Covid lockdown period. Always available however difficult the circumstances. Alan Jones and Andrew Lester have continued to provide strong emotional support through difficult times as well as maintaining their professionalism‘.

Top notch employment law firm. Alan Jones is an excellent professional, great to have on your side!’.

‘The team understands exactly how to work with people for whom their job is more than just a job, including the reputational and emotional aspects of employment disputes for senior professionals. From the beginning David Sykes was available whenever necessary to discuss the case and my options in detail. Izzy Canning was professional, supportive, and kind. She ensured a good, pragmatic, outcome, giving me invaluable advice that helped bring the negotiations to a timely conclusion‘.

‘David Sykes understands employment law – from both the employers’ and employees’ perspective – brilliantly and puts this understanding to great use in giving practical and timely counsel. He’s also great at thinking through how to approach the other party to get the best result‘.

‘Alan Dark has provided an exceptional level of service, especially during the challenges of the pandemic. His pragmatic advice, coupled with the ability to translate complex scenarios into a range of options is invaluable. Alan is responsive, insightful, and our business would not be the same without his services’.

‘Alan Jones and David Sykes are an effective double act – different but complimentary. They provide a full service on exits, restrictions, contract disputes etc rather than being too narrow in their approach or too broad ( by doing too much on the SME side)‘.

Work highlights

  • Acting for a senior director in a dispute with his employers, a major insurance company.
  • Representing three directors of a national firm of accountants.
  • Acting for a whistleblower in the education field, in respect of a pension issue of major significance.

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 JonesAlan is a partner in Averta Employment Lawyers, having joined in January…
David Sykes photo David SykesDavid 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.