Doyle Clayton > London, England > Firm Profile

Doyle Clayton
Level 9
One Canada Square
E14 5AA

Employment > Senior executives Tier 1

Doyle Clayton is lauded as ‘a really innovative team with exceptionally talented individuals‘. Since its establishment, it has become one of the UK’s most successful specialist firms that is ‘the best at what it does’ and routinely handles referrals from City firms and barristers. It advises senior individuals and employers, with expertise spanning advisory, Employment Tribunal, High Court and appellate cases, regulatory regimes, pensions issues and immigration matters. It is also highlighted for its handling of team moves, often with multi-jurisdictional aspects, and complex exits/restrictive covenants, as well as discrimination and whistleblowing cases. The ‘superbPeter De Maria leads the group and is considered ‘fearless when it is needed, calm and balanced at all times‘ and Dan Begbie-Clench‘s work includes discrimination and equal pay cases. Peter Daly joined from Slater and Gordon in 2021 and, based on his employment litigation work, is considered to be ‘destined for the very top‘. Helen Brooks is also a noted tribunal litigator, and Katie Mahoney is ‘a definite rising star, being astute, hard working, and a pleasure to deal with‘; she is noted for her expertise in employee competition work.

Practice head(s):

Peter De Maria

Other key lawyers:

Dan Begbie-Clench; Helen Brooks; Katie Mahoney; Naomi Jameson; James Morrison; Peter Daly


‘Great service from the team under very tight deadlines and with a significant international element. Nothing was a problem, for them. Very well structured and timely legal advice which was very practical and easy to digest and implement. Were also willing to re-look at the fees once the project got firmed up.’

‘Dan Begbie-Clench was straightforward, very responsive and caring.’

‘Naomi Jameson and James Morrison are stars and made sure the ongoing litigation and negotiations run smoothly despite having a very uneasy opponent on the other side! Very proactive approach made a huge difference.’

‘Katie Mahoney has a really high profile in the Employment world, in particular in relation to employee competition matters. She is extremely responsive, commercial and dedicated to her clients.’

‘Doyle Clayton is one of the leading niche employment practices in the country. It combines working for household names with a thriving individual practice, especially in the area of restrictive covenants.’

‘Peter de Maria is undoubtedly a leading individual in the areas. He’s a canny and experienced litigator who combines a steely and focused approach with sound commercial judgment, good humour and humility. Exceptional’.

‘Doyle Clayton is a boutique employment firm who are at the top of their game and the best at what they do because their primary focus is on employment matters.’

‘Peter De Maria and Katie Mahoney are the best in the business. They know exactly what they are doing, are sensible and commercial and understand what is important to their clients. I would not hesitate to recommend them to others.’

Public sector > Education: individuals Tier 1

Doyle Clayton acts for parents, students, professors and teachers, and is recommended for its 'absolutely superb' handling of employment cases against universities and professional bodies, in particular forced retirement cases. Practice head Simon Henthorn is well known for advising individual education professionals, and 'compassionate and focused' senior associate Amara Ahmad focuses on SEN and discrimination law issues, with extensive expertise in community care and mental capacity mandates.

Practice head(s):

Simon Henthorn

Other key lawyers:

Liz Timmins; Amara Ahmad


‘Absolutely superb ability to look into critical issues relating to employment matters in universities. Ready and professional ability to translate and explain succinctly matters of employment law to the specific case of employment in universities. Excellent case management throughout- even in the current circumstances.’

‘Very adept and skilled, with deep knowledge of the Education sector. Kept us updated for billing purposes and also was transparent throughout the process.’

‘Simon Henthorn has invaluable experience of working with both institutions and individuals which can be leveraged to his client’s advantage. Very strategic and commercial, while always offering a helpful ear.’

‘Reassuring and straight talking.’

‘I have worked professionally with Amara Ahmad. From my perspective, Ms Ahmad stands out, because of her listening skills, apt questioning, responsive /informed answers to queries, and generally positive manner.’

‘We were lucky to have chosen Amara Ahmad to represent us. She is a highly experienced, hard working, very diligent and straight forward professional. We won a case which seemed lost only due to her ability to persevere and find missing and incoherent detail. Her quiet and positive guidance strengthened our resolve to continue. Amara is a pleasure to work with; professional, compassionate, focused, with an excellent response time and a keen eye for detail.’

‘Doyle Clayton are highly professional in their response time. They are a very well connected practice which makes sure contact efforts or information submission gets passed on smoothly. We cherished their ability and willingness to work within a budget and set clear guidance as circumstances changed and the case became more complex.’

Work highlights

  • Advised an academic in a claim for career losses against the University of Reading.
  • Advising a teacher in TRA proceedings and claims in the Employment Tribunal against their school.
  • Advising five Oxford professors in claims against Oxford University following their enforced retirement.

Employment > Employment: Thames Valley, Berks, Oxon, M4/M40 Tier 1

Doyle Clayton handles the full spectrum of employment law and is particularly strong in employment litigation. The team has expertise in complex matters including discrimination and whistleblowing cases in addition to providing advice on benefit schemes, pensions and restrictive covenants. Tina Wisener is a 'stand out partner' and leads the practice, acting for multi-nationals, plcs and entrepreneurial businesses in the finance and insurance sectors. Advising employers and senior executives, James Anderson and senior associate Adam Murdoch are also recommended, while Victoria Burnip is the firm's key contact for business immigration matters, providing advice on complex immigration issues arising from TUPE transfers and restructurings.

Practice head(s):

Tina Wisener


‘I was very pleased with the holistic support I received surrounding my unfair dismissal case, even when my circumstances were quite peculiar. The team was able to identify when my tax circumstances changed due to moving between countries, strategize with me about which issues to pursue in which legal fora, and identify a barrister who was well-prepared to bring my case to the Tribunal.’

‘James Anderson is very easy to work with and communicates complicated situations in layman’s terms. He has advised me on multiple occasions, all of which had successful outcomes.’

‘Very personable and approachable and willing to help. Responds very promptly and also happy to recommend other firms outside of the UK when required. Tina Wisener is particularly helpful and a good partner to us.’

‘Our contact Kate Kapp has always been fantastic. The biggest benefit is that she is solution focused and has allowed us to handle sensitive HR issues in a fair manner that has allowed our business to move forward and not get stuck in never-ending HR issues.’

‘We have a long established relationship with Doyle Clayton. We find them very responsive to our needs and understand our business intrinsically and we see them as a key partner for us. They are very commercial and have a very good breadth of knowledge and experience.’

‘I have been dealing with a number of people within the firm, however one particular team member Adam Murdoch stands out above all others. His knowledge of employment law and advice supersedes any other I have seen. He will go into great detail and will ensure we understand the implications of an action or understand what our options are. Adam would often send us documentation / leaflets / invitations to webinars that would be useful for us as a company to ensure we are always kept up to date.’

‘Tina Wisener is an inspirational leader of the team. Her work ethic and integrity permeate the team. They are responsive, commercial, realistic, and make every effort to understand the client’s business. The Doyle Clayton team does not run up costs for the sake of it. In particular, they recognise the needs of SMEs and not-for-profit and tailor their offering accordingly. The team is responsive in a crisis and goes the extra mile to support the business owner/CEO.’

Key clients

Aspen Insurance Services Limited

Oakwood Worldwide

Bunzl UK Limited

Fremman Limited

Public sector > Education: schools Tier 3

The 'professional, experienced and dedicated' Simon Henthorn leads the education practice at Doyle Clayton. Clients include independent and maintained schools, colleges, multi-academy trusts and teaching unions. Key areas of expertise include parent complaints, safeguarding concerns and exclusions, as well as employment litigation, a specialism which has been boosted by the arrival of Peter Daly from Slater and Gordon.

Practice head(s):

Simon Henthorn

Other key lawyers:

Peter Daly; Liz Timmins


‘Simon Henthorn is professional, experienced and dedicated. Simon is a pleasure to work with and enables us to see through problems very clearly, at our level. Approachable, always there when you need him and providing confidence and clarity – first class.’

‘Doyle Clayton works to a consistently high standard and provides detailed and robust advice to us as employer; they deliver excellent training and provide in depth and detailed research.’

‘Our main contact is very knowledgeable, able to handle all of our requests and provides excellent value to our team. We believe they compare very favourably, particularly as they specialise in employment law. We have been very pleased with our relationship with Doyle Clayton and regard them as an expert extension of our team.’

Key clients

Portsmouth Grammar School

Work highlights

  • Advised a large independent day school in relation to securing an exit from the Teachers’ Pension Scheme.
  • Advised a large single academy trust in relation to the removal of an underperforming headteacher, enabling the school to replace its leadership.
  • Advised an independent school in relation to a highly contentious dispute between the bursar and the head, dealing with allegations of bullying and age discrimination.

Employment > Immigration Tier 3

Doyle Clayton‘s ‘exceptionally knowledgeable and reliable’ team handles various sponsor licence applications, Skilled Worker applications and Tier 5 applications. Former practice head Victoria Burnip left the firm to join Knights plc in June 2021.


‘Doyle Clayton is exceptionally reliable and knowledgeable. They have a great contact with their clients as well.’

Work highlights

  • Advised a client on the delivery of LearJets to the Government of an EU country from overseas, taking place in Scotland, which was affected by Covid-19 restrictions.
  • Assisted several senior employees of a global management consultancy with their visa processes during lockdown, including obtaining the right for one client to leave the country whilst his application was pending to say goodbye to a terminally ill relative.
  • Assisted a London-based management consultancy with the process of overturning its licence suspension, which involved negotiations with the Home Office.

Employment > Immigration

Doyle Clayton specialises in workplace issues, with immigration and employment a central focus. The immigration team is continuing to grow, with a series of new client wins and former Fragomen LLP senior associate Zahira Patel joining the firm in May 2021. The 'remarkable and hardworking' Anita de Atouguia heads the practice; she is dual qualified in South Africa and England & Wales and has notable experience in asylum and human rights cases, while also advising a range of corporate clients on business immigration matters. She works with legal director Malini Skandachanmugarasan, who leads the personal immigration practice, advising clients ranging from high net worth individuals to asylum seekers.

Practice head(s):

Anita de Atouguia

Other key lawyers:


‘Malini Skandachanmugarasan was a pleasure to work with on our immigration case. She took a personal interest and spent time to understand then appropriately advise on some unique matters related to our immigration situation. She set reasonable expectations with respect to visa application approval timeline which helped manage our expectations.

‘Anita de Atouguia and Elisabeth Kynaston have been simply exceptional. I have worked with them both on a range of immigration matters for my family over a number of years and they have been faultless in their approach and client service.’

‘Anita de Atouguia is very responsive, gives thorough and very clear advice, clearly has depth and breath of experience which instils confidence that we are getting the best possible legal advice on immigration matters. Anita always follows up the advice in an email and provides helpful links to documents or webinars that are related and would be helpful.’

‘We have the pleasure of dealing directly with Anita de Atouguia. A remarkable and hardworking individual who is both professional and friendly, making navigating the legal requirements much easier. This allows us to focus on our core business, whilst having the confidence we are complaint in this area. We would recommend Anita to anyone requiring this service.’

‘Anita de Atouguia went above and beyond her professional capacity to answer all my questions.  The advice I received from her really helped in the preparation of my application, which was approved in a matter of days. Her extensive knowledge on immigration was above par.  She was always available via email or telephone and was very easy to relate to. I felt very comfortable communicating with her and trusted her advice completely.’

‘Anita de Atouguia is beyond a pleasure to deal with. She is incredibly responsive, knowledgeable and easy to deal with. Her focus on client care is second to none and we have used her services for multiple processes as a business and will continue to do so.’

‘Elizabeth Kynaston is a highly credible associate with solid understanding of immigration and employment law.

‘My family have been Malini Skandachanmugarasan’s clients for many years. When Malini moved to Doyle Clayton, we decided to follow her there as we felt that Malini’s services over the years have been outstanding, and very successful! We always found Malini to be very knowledgeable, dedicated and approachable, and always willing to go the extra mile. Also, we always found it very comfortable to work with Malini on a personal level, which is especially important in immigration matters as they are very personal by nature.’

Employment > Employers Tier 5

Experienced in acting for both employers and employees‘, workplace law firm Doyle Clayton ‘punches above its weight in terms of the strength and breadth of its expertise’. Key areas of strength are High Court litigation and Employment Tribunal work, disciplinary issues, post-termination restrictions, redundancies, and restructurings. Leading the group, Peter De Maria is ‘widely renowned for his expertise in employee competition cases’. Other practitioners of note are financial services expert Dan Begbie-Clench and ‘definite rising starKatie Mahoney. De Maria and Mahoney, as a combination, earn praise as ‘a dream team’.

Practice head(s):

Peter De Maria

Other key lawyers:

Darren Clayton; Dan Begbie-Clench; Simon Henthorn; Helen Brooks; Katie Mahoney


While not a huge firm, Doyle Clayton punches above its weight in terms of the strength and breadth of its expertise. Proactive, responsive and with an especially friendly team.’

Doyle Clayton is a boutique employment firm who are at the top of their game and the best at what they do because their primary focus in on employment matters.’

The combination of Peter di Maria and Katie Mahoney can truly be described as a dream team. They are both incredibly thorough, wonderfully responsive and totally on top of their game.’

The team is uniquely experienced in acting for both employers and employees. Their strength lies in them being very commercial as well as knowing the law. Notably, their response to adapting to working virtually, implementing the best technology was swift and seamless. They had everything in place to ensure all needs were met.

Our experience working with Helen Brooks is consistently positive and I know that we can rely on Helen to provide excellent advice. She listens attentively to the issues we raise with her and is quick to grasp the nuances of a case. She combines her excellent legal knowledge with sound judgement and an appreciation of our business context.’

‘Peter De Maria and Katie Mahoney are the best in the business. They know exactly what they are doing, are sensible and commercial and understand what is important to their clients. I would not hesitate to recommend them to others.’

Katie Mahoney is dedicated, astute, hard-working and exceptionally pleasant to deal with. A definite rising star.’

Key clients


WH Ireland Group Plc

Salvation Army Housing Association

Novo Nordisk Limited

Dowgate Capital Limited

Loro Piana

Cimpress / Vistaprint

Torch Partners IB Ltd

WRB Underwriting

Paragon Insurance Brokers

Work highlights

  • Advised a global healthcare client on an Employment Tribunal claim for discrimination, whistleblowing, unfair dismissal and breach of contract from a former employee, who has appealed the decision to the Employment Appeal Tribunal.
  • Advised an investment management client on a number of issues, including the employment law aspects of the acquisition of a financial planning business, an internal restructure and a key senior employee’s performance issues.
  • Advised an insurance broker client on all of their UK employment law issues, including the exit of their HR director, a restructuring and integration (including collective consultation and TUPE) and unlawful team moves.

Employment > Employees/unions

Doyle Clayton is the UK’s largest and most successful specialist workplace law firm. It is a recognised market leaders for its work with both employers and individuals.

About the firm. Doyle Clayton was set up by Peter Doyle and Darren Clayton in 1997 as specialist employment law boutique. Over the years it has expanded its services to include immigration, pension, regulatory, data protection, employee benefits, share schemes and remuneration, health and safety, start-up support and employee ownership trust services. It also has one of the UK’s leading education teams providing services for the education sector, its employees as well as students/parents. This also includes a specialist team providing SEND (special educational needs) help and advice so that children and young adults get the help and support they need at the right school, college or university.

Today the firm operates from four offices (City, Mayfair, Canary Wharf and Reading) and employs over 50 specialist lawyers and advisors. It is also a founder member of ELLINT (, an international network of specialist employment law firms.

Types of work undertaken: Doyle Clayton advises on a wide range of workplace legal issues (both contentious and non-contentious).

Employment: specialist employment lawyers provide high-quality advice and support which covers the full range of employment law matters including: contracts, policies and procedures; employment disputes in the High Court and tribunals; TUPE; redundancy situations and termination of employment; settlement agreements; injunctions and team moves; and partnership and minority shareholder disputes.

Business immigration: this specialist team has a wealth of experience in all areas of business immigration law, including the points-based system (PBS), and keeps abreast of the latest developments so that it can guide both individual and employer clients through the immigration process. The firm has expertise in relation to applications under each tier of the PBS, including applications for investors and entrepreneurs under Tier 1 and Tier 5 (GAE) visas. It advises employer clients on applying for sponsor licences, related compliance issues, and issuing certificates of sponsorship (under Tier 2 of PBS, which includes the general skilled category and the intracompany transfer category). It has a 100% success rate for clients’ sponsor licence applications and knows how to expedite matters when required. The team is expanding its global immigration visa assistance capabilities, including advising on Schengen visas. In addition, the team advises on other non-PBS visas including sole representative applications, as well as assisting individuals to obtain settlement and British citizenship. The team also has particular expertise in EEA matters in relation to obtaining immigration documentation for EEA nationals and their dependant family members.

Employee benefits: the pensions team has experience of all forms of UK-based pension arrangements, advising employers, trustees and intermediaries. Doyle Clayton’s employee share incentives experts can help design and deliver the right share scheme solution for each business, guiding clients through the increasingly challenging tax, corporate governance, employment law and regulatory issues. It also advises on the operation and administration of share schemes, helping on the grant of new awards, processing vested awards, dealing with departing employees and advising on corporate transactions.

Other areas: data protection, regulatory, corporate/commercial, employee ownership trusts, notary public and health and safety.

Sectors: finance, insurance, professional services, manufacturing, media, education, retail, hospitality, leisure, transport and logistics, technology, pharmaceuticals and startups.

CEO Peter Doyle
Employment - Reading TIna Wisener
Employment - London Peter De Maria
Business Immigration Anita de Atouguia
Pensions Andrew Campbell
Regulatory Charlie Herbert
Corporate Liz Barton
Data Protection Piers Leigh-Pollitt
Employee Ownership Trusts Garry Karch
Education Simon Henthorn
Notary Public Sukhpal Matharoo
Number of UK partners : 16
Number of other UK fee-earners : 34
ELA (Employment Lawyers Association)
ILPA (Immigration Lawyers Practice Association)
Solicitors Regulation Authority