Tom Sharpe > Birketts LLP > Norwich, England > Lawyer Profile

Birketts LLP

Work Department

Employment, Health


Legal Director


Tom joined Birketts in October 2010. He is a Legal Director in our Employment Team.

Tom advises both public and private sector clients on all aspects of employment law. He undertakes the whole spectrum of contentious work, ranging from day to day advice on disciplinary and grievance issues to a wide array of claims before the Employment Tribunal, Employment Appeal Tribunal and High Court.

Recently he has advised on the successful defence of a whistle blowing claim against an educational establishment, together with the subsequent appeal (also successfully resisted). He also advises a number of NHS Trusts on the specialist subject of disciplinary action against NHS doctors and dentists. Tom regularly advises on restrictive covenant disputes and has successfully obtained injunctions against former employees who have attempted to unlawfully compete with their former employer.

In the non-contentious arena, Tom advises on redundancy exercises both small and large and in relation to TUPE in its various guises. He also regularly advises on the employment aspects of corporate and real estate transactions.

Tom enjoys steering clients through often complex scenarios in a practical and pragmatic manner, and is valued for presenting technical legal concepts in an easily comprehensible manner. Tom regularly presents training to both clients and the public on a wide variety of employment law subjects and also undertakes investigation work.

Lawyer Rankings

East Anglia > Public sector > Public sector

Birketts LLP  has a multi-disciplinary team that acts for a diverse range of clients in the health and education sectors. ‘The employment team is always available to support and give advice and are very knowledgeable‘, remarks one client. Head of public sector and local government Ruth Neave works across all five of the firm’s offices, calling upon the expertise of head of education Abigail Trencher in Cambridge and head of health Matthew Newnham in Norwich. Charities partner Liz Brownsell  in Ipswich takes the lead on matters concerning academies. Trencher and legal director Tom Sharpe in Norwich are ‘very helpful and their advice is always sound‘. Corporate partner Ed Savory, also based in Norwich, advised South Norfolk Council on a joint venture arrangement with five other local authorities in Norfolk and Anglian Water.

East Anglia > Employment > Employment

Birketts LLP has one of the largest employment practices in the region and it ‘always provides pragmatic and practical advice, explained in straightforward terms‘. The ‘simply outstandingJeanette Wheeler leads the cross-office employment practice from Norwich, where ‘legal genius‘ Matthew Newnham ‘provides exceptional service and is always commercially aware’. ‘Very thorough‘ senior associate Lucy Churchill is also a key practitioner. Catherine Johnson who is ‘calmness personified and has an incredible memory bank of legal knowledge‘ and the ‘approachable, empathetic‘ Sonya O’Reilly are the lead partners in Ipswich. Abigail Trencher is the standout partner in Cambridge, where legal director Olivia Toulson is recommended. Tom Sharpe in Norwich defended an unfair dismissal claim for The College of West Anglia.