Gemma Woodhouse > Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP > Reading, England > Lawyer Profile

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP

Work Department

Employment, education, technology


Partner specialising in employment law both contentious and non-contentious with a keen interest in all aspects of discrimination law. Since qualification, Gemma has been involved with a significant Court of Appeal decision and a number of Tribunal hearings and appeals to the Employment Appeal Tribunals. She also regularly provides corporate support in relation to  business transfers and reorganisations and day to day HR advisory support for commercial clients. Gemma has also provided guidance to clients on the implications of TUPE and the terms of commercial outsourcing arrangements.

Gemma advises a number of independent schools and academies in relation to their employment law issues and was key in starting the ‘Independent Schools HR Forums’ operated by the firm. She presents seminars internally and externally on a broad range of employment issues and also contributes articles to both external publications and the firm’s regular employment update.

She is described by clients as having “a good tactical approach to dealing with HR issues”, being “very swift with her advice” and an adviser who “ acts in the client’s best interests”.


Where trained: Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP

Year qualified: 2007

Year made partner in present firm: 2016


Memberships held: ELA


Main secondary school attended: Yateley Comprehensive

Universities and colleges attended: Bristol University

(degrees and qualifications with years attained): 2:1 (2003) LLB (Hons)

College of Law Guildford- LPC (distinction) 2004

Lawyer Rankings

London > Public sector > Education: schools

At Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP, the education group has a wide offering spanning areas such as employment, data privacy and data protection, immigration and corporate governance. The firm also has a specialist safeguarding sub-group that acts for schools and individuals in contentious student issues and historical abuse. The practice is jointly led by Hilary Aldred, Daff Richardson and Reading-based Gemma WoodhousePat Saini and Hazar El-Chamaa are also recommended.

South East > Employment > Employment: Thames Valley, Berks, Oxon, M4/M40

With offices in Oxford and Reading, Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP offers comprehensive employment advice to clients from sectors including social housing, education, technology and construction. Daff Richardson co-leads the education sector group and provides guidance on business protection issues, reorganisations, restructurings, and senior executive appointments and departures. Eugene Wojciechowski advises on employment tribunal hearings, including those relating to complex unlawful discrimination and whistleblowing claims. David Bickford, Chris Syder  and Gemma Woodhouse  all joined the team in 2019, having relocated from the Basingstoke office. Senior associate Victoria Spires is a name to note.