Kervin & Barnes > London, England > Firm Profile

Kervin & Barnes
23 Berkeley Square

Employment > Senior executives Tier 4

Experienced litigator Gareth Kervin leads the Kervin & Barnes practice, which is known for its expertise in sector-specific financial services advice, including regulatory issues, remuneration structures, post-termination restraints and equal pay and discrimination matters, notably cases related to maternity, disability, age, sex, race and sexual orientation discrimination. The firm is also active in advisory work, such as contract reviews and negotiations, restrictive covenant advice and negotiated exits.

Practice head(s):

Gareth Kervin

Work highlights

  • Advising a claimant in the financial services sector on a claim valued at £46m (including shares and options).
  • Advised a financial services senior executive client on a complex matter involving disability discrimination, unfair dismissal and Permanent Health Insurance entitlement claims.
  • Advising a former CEO on his extrication from the financial services company he founded and issues surrounding his majority shareholding, investment agreement and restrictive covenants.

Kervin & Barnes is an established boutique practice based in Mayfair providing first-class employment law advice to senior executives and companies in a range of sectors. The firm provides City-trained/experienced lawyers who develop close trusted relationships with clients.

The firm: Kervin & Barnes was founded by Gareth Kervin in 2009. From that time it has enjoyed sustained growth and developed a strong reputation for its advisory and litigation work.  The firm is regularly instructed on major restructuring/redundancy exercises and high value litigation on issues such as bonuses, restrictive covenants, equal pay, discrimination and whistleblowing.

Its client base has expanded steadily, working with clients such as West Ham United Football Club; Danone Waters (Volvic/Evian); Danone Dairies (Activia/Actimel); Ransomes Jacobsen; Star Actuarial; Nutricia; YouGov plc; Textron; Huntress and Planet Payment UK and a number of financial services companies. The firm is also regularly instructed by high-net-worth individuals.

Kervin & Barnes’ lawyers have practised in the City and in-house at financial services institutions. They are highly regarded, known for punching above their weight and being practically and commercially minded.

Types of work undertaken: The firm covers the full range of employment-related work, including general advisory, Employment Tribunal and High Court litigation, regulatory compliance and discrimination. Recent instructions include implementing a large-scale reorganisation and redundancy process, litigating restrictive covenants for businesses and employees, negotiating significant settlement packages, advising on protected disclosures and advising on the employment aspects of corporate transactions. The firm also provides training to HR teams.

Financial services: Kervin & Barnes offers expert employment law advice to financial services employees and employers in Mayfair and the City. Its employment lawyers have considerable experience working in this complex and demanding field of law, and regularly advise on both the employment and regulatory issues particular to the sector.

Recruitment: the recruitment industry is another sector in which Kervin & Barnes offers sector specific advice. Its lawyers have extensive experience working with all sizes of recruiters, and regularly advise on recruitment industry issues such as the Agency Workers Regulations, Conduct Regulations and IR35 led issues.

Retail: the firm also provides employment law advice for the retail sector, from small boutiques to large international enterprises. Retailers frequently face legal challenges from their employees, and the team has successfully defended and resolved claims on behalf of its retail clients.

Employers: the firm advises employers on a range of issues, including absence management, bonus schemes, business protection, confidential information, contracts and handbooks, disciplinary and grievance procedures, discrimination, equal pay, FCA matters, High Court litigation, family rights, national minimum wage, partnership, performance management, redundancy procedures, settlement agreements (compromise agreements), TUPE, unfair dismissal and business protection issues.

Managing partner Gareth Kervin
Employment Gareth Kervin
Commercial Gareth Kervin
Gareth Kervin photo Gareth KervinManaging partner and client relationship manager for West Ham United, Danone, P&O…
Lucy Truscott photo Lucy TruscottSenior Associate
Number of UK partners : 1
Number of other UK fee-earners : 3
ELA (Employment Lawyers Association)

CLIENT: Star Actuarial (Louis Manson)
TESTIMONIAL: “Gareth poses the questions you don’t know you need to ask, along with the provision of no nonsense solutions.”

CLIENT: Huntress Search (Avtar Kang)
TESTIMONIAL: “Gareth managed to achieve a fantastic result for Huntress in a complex case.”

CLIENT: Danone
TESTIMONIAL: “Gareth is an extremely knowledgeable lawyer who always provides timely and professional advice.  Not only that, he has been a fantastic partner to our business and really understands what we as a company require.  He is always pleasant and fun to work with and we value his advice greatly.”

CLIENT: Maha Jadallah – General Counsel
TESTIMONIAL: “Kervin and Barnes offer direct and immediate access to a team of experienced lawyers that provide advice and guidance which is not only practical and commercial, but specifically tailored to the needs of our business.”

CLIENT: Hobark International UK
TESTIMONIAL: “The Kervin & Barnes Team are very prompt in their replies and knowledgeable on employment law issues. In particular, Lucy Truscott was very helpful in putting together our Staff Handbook and standard contract as well as tailoring specific contracts and further advising on pitfalls to watch out for. Kervin & Barnes are committed to protecting and promoting the interests of our company at the same time as carrying out work efficiently.”

CLIENT: A London Housing Association
TESTIMONIAL: “Lucy represented our organisation in a vexatious employment tribunal claim. The advice and services that she provided us with were of the highest standard and our organisation was saved consideration time and resource expense due to her expertise.”

CLIENT: Global tech executive
TESTIMONIAL: “Lucy supported me during a complex international job transition. Lucy was extremely thorough, always responded quickly & gave me the confidence to ultimately achieve a successful transition. Lucy has a high level of professionalism, business acumen & I’m confident all those who work with Lucy moving forward will find similar success!”

CLIENT: Senior executive in market analysis
TESTIMONIAL: “Lucy struck me as very accurate and knowledgeable; then when it came to dealing with the other side she literally took them apart with such a scientific precision, stringency and clarity that they ended up accepting all our amendments, to my complete satisfaction. At some point, under increasing time pressure for the approaching deadline, I said I’d give up on something that was, actually, important to me. But Lucy quickly put me back to my place: no way – that thing needed to be changed and, to my disbelief, she did pull it off.”

CLIENT: COO, Financial Services
TESTIMONIAL: “From my first call, and throughout each subsequent meeting and contact, Kervin and Barnes (Lucy Truscott) were highly professional and responsive. Their assessment and advice was thoughtful and pragmatic, and tailored with my views and situation. At all times I felt guided and supported, with my needs at the centre of their approach and consideration.”

CLIENT: Richard Makowski – Executive Chairman
TESTIMONIAL: “For a number of years I have turned to Gareth Kervin for the company’s employment law advice. He is strategic, commercial and I value his judgment.”

CLIENT: Elaine Taverner – Senior Global HR Director
TESTIMONIAL: “Gareth’s approach is always practical, timely and reliable as he has a genuine understanding and appreciation for both the legal and commercial priorities of a business. For me, his breadth of advice and experience has proven invaluable.”

CLIENT: Stephen Ross – Chairman
TESTIMONIAL: “We are delighted with the way Gareth conducted a complicated case on our behalf. He handled the case well at a strategic, technical and operational level and was committed to achieving a just result, putting the interests of Huntress ahead of his own.”

CLIENT: Saqibah Sheikh – Director of Human Resources
TESTIMONIAL: “Kervin & Barnes has always provided professional advice which is clear, accurate, and fast – a service which is second to none.”

CLIENT: Matthew Went – Group HR Manager
TESTIMONIAL: “P&O Ferrymasters have been using the services of Kervin & Barnes and in particular Gareth Kervin, for some considerable time. The added value comes from the insightful and pragmatic advice that has been given to the contentious matters that have arisen. The responsiveness and ability to offer practical solutions to mitigate risk and/or achieve organisational aims separates Kervin & Barnes from the competition.”

CLIENT: Senior executive in Banking sector
TESTIMONIAL: “Clear and cost effective advice delivered promptly at a stressful time.”

As an employment law firm serving employer clients and senior executive clients we advise on equality, diversity and inclusion matters on a daily basis. In our role as advisers we ensure that clients adhere to and are protected by the law – as it stands and evolves – but also encourage a working culture that guards against discrimination and fosters forward-thinking. Kervin & Barnes itself has always hired from a diverse range of backgrounds and has greatly benefitted from having a balance of different protected characteristics in our team.