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Shoosmiths LLP

Work 03700 865000
Fax 03700 865001

Helen Burgess

Work 03700 865028
Shoosmiths LLP

Work Department



Helen is well-versed in the specialist area of employment/labour law, advising HR professionals, inhouse counsel, directors and managers on human resource and employment law issues. She has particular experience of TUPE and outsourcing; Tribunals; business-related immigration; collective and union issues; whistle blowing; disciplinary, grievance and dismissal issues; and drafting and negotiating senior executive termination agreements (on behalf of both employer clients and senior individuals). Having worked alongside several clients in-house Helen is acutely aware of the pressures businesses face and she works in partnership with her clients to deliver swift, commercial and pragmatic business solutions. Recent work handled by Helen includes advising: Staples on a UK-wide change programme affecting their retail store network which involved altering shift patterns and employees’ hours; LateRooms in respect of several senior exits; Cambridge University Press regarding the HR and employment law implications surrounding the outsourcing of warehousing and printing functions to different providers; Thomas Cook in respect of the merger (and TUPE transfers) of the retail arms of Thomas Cook, The Cooperative Group Limited and Midlands Coop Limited. Helen provided advice on numerous issues including advising on consultations with the various unions involved, establishments, TUPE consultation and redundancy processes; Dassault in relation to a complex and lengthy Tribunal claim brought on the basis of unfair dismissal and race discrimination; Thomas Cook Group on a Tribunal claim involving multiple claimants who each claimed unfair dismissal, failure to consult under TUPE, payment for unpaid amounts, amongst others. Helen regularly chairs and presents at seminars, briefings and training sessions for both HR practitioners and line managers. Helen has also provided one-to-one coaching sessions for several senior directors who previously had little experience of UK employment practices and legislation.


Qualified 2004; solicitor 2004-2008; associate 2008-2011; senior associate 2011-2013; partner 2013.


Employment Lawyers’ Association.


Whitburn Comprehensive School; St Joseph’s 6th Form; Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge (BA Law 2.1) 1998-2001; Nottingham Law School (LPC) 2001-2002.


Gym, running, cycling, swimming, family.

East Midlands: Human resources


Within: Employment

Shoosmiths LLP has particular strength in employment tribunal litigation and also excels in mandates regarding outsourcings, large-scale reorganisations and collective processes. Disciplinary and grievance procedures are another key specialism for the practice, which acts for a mix of private, public and third sector clients, and which has a strong focus on the retail, higher education, technology and charity sectors. Helen Burgess heads the practice, which includes firm chairman Peter Duff, senior associate Michael Briggs and associate Charlotte Staples. Highlights included advising a financial services client on a number of substantial grievances, and two early conciliation processes regarding maternity pay, bonus payments and specialist equipment for a disabled employee, and acting alongside the firm’s corporate department to advise Autologic Diagnostics on the employment aspects of the sale of the entire issued share capital to Opus Group, in particular on multiple senior exits. The client list also features ATS Euromaster, Techtronic Industries and Ibstock Brick.

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Within: Immigration

Shoosmiths LLP specialises in business immigration law, with particular strength in advising on sponsorship licences, applications for indefinite leave to remain and settlement as well as in assisting with visa applications under tiers 1, 2 and 5. Helen Burgess heads the practice. Associate Hayley Gilbert left the firm.

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