Doyle Clayton > London, England > Firm Profile

Doyle Clayton

Public sector > Education: individuals Tier 1

Doyle Clayton represents parents, students, teachers and professors in claims regarding discrimination, misconduct and bullying. Practice head Simon Henthorn is ‘professional, knowledgeable and kind – he can be robust when needed, but shows great compassion‘. Peter Daly, who joined from Slater and Gordon in early 2021, has represented clients in some high-profile cases regarding alleged harassment and intimidation over philosophical beliefs. Associate Amara Ahmad focuses on children’s law, specialising in advising on special educational needs and safeguarding.

Practice head(s):

Simon Henthorn

Other key lawyers:


‘Their knowledge of relevant legislation is excellent and they make you feel valued.’

‘The team makes you feel valued and have an interest in your case, as well as giving good advice – even when they could sugarcoat or be vague, they don’t.’

‘The team in general has been courteous, kind, and able to accommodate most requests for guidance and assistance, as and when needed. I feel comfortable with asking any question that comes to mind, as well as requesting an appointment to cover concerns.’

‘Above all, I value their honesty, compassion, and wisdom, for without their assistance, I suspect I could’ve never navigated the complex maze of a foreign judicial system at all, never mind so quickly and painlessly.’

‘Amara Ahmad – a pleasure to work with; a strong instinct for strategy and pragmatism paired with infinite patience and a wonderful instinct for client care’

‘Excellent partnership with a broad range of specialisms. They have a great deal of experience in both employment and education matters. He is approachable dependable and professional in his support for clients.’

‘Simon Henthorn is approachable dependable and professional in his support for clients. He has always been diligent and supportive of collaborative arrangements that we have.’

‘I worked with Simon Henthorn. He was particularly easy to talk to, he was knowledgeable and answered all questions clearly. He was readily available to address any issues or concerns so I wasn’t worrying about anything during the time he represented me. He dealt with my situation compassionately and professionally and I would recommend him to anyone else needing legal advice.’

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

Doyle Clayton is a specialist workplace law firm home to a ‘uniquely talented‘ practice, acting for organizations and individuals, multi-nationals and domestic companies, and is deeply embedded in financial services and insurance. Primarily, practice head Tina Wisener advises on large-scale restructurings, whistle-blowing, and discrimination cases. James Anderson is a high-profile litigator, who recently acted for EValue in a case of unfair dismissal and age discrimination brought by a senior employee. Further, the firm has complementary offerings, for example Piers Leigh-Pollitt is highly knowledgeable in the intersection of employment and data protection.

Practice head(s):

Tina Wisener

Other key lawyers:

Piers Leigh-Pollitt; James Anderson; Adam Murdoch; Kate Kapp; Mike Hibberd; Karen Holden; Russell Dann


‘This practice is uniquely talented in work practices and legal aspects. Everybody I have had the opportunity to deal with, from senior partner, associate, paralegal to administrative staff has been very professional and effective in supporting me. I think their fees are competitive and the quality of the work of very high standards.’

‘Adam Murdoch has been exceptional in getting into the finest details to understand and support me in my case. His availability has been outstanding. Tina Wisener is extremely experienced, balanced, and shows exceptional empathy. Her guidance has been very precious.’

‘Great team of Tina Wisener, Kate Kapp, and Piers Leigh-Pollitt. Deep experience, extremely responsive, always deliver on time, always thorough in their approach. Approachable and friendly. Interested in maintaining long-term relationships. Commercial, pragmatic, responsive, very competitive fees. Will always give good legal advice, but in the context of your business and the commercial challenges you face. Always try to understand your business and the market in which you operate so advice is in context.’

‘I have worked with the team now for several years and everyone that I come into contact with are fantastic. They will always help you and they always take the time to understand your questions/situation. The uniqueness is their desire and ability to get to you know your firm. They listen and spend the time to remember individuals, quirks of your organization and essentially become an extension of your company. This is very important and exceedingly helpful during cases.’

‘I have worked with James Anderson now since my first encounter with Doyle Clayton. He takes the time to get to know me, remembers all my stories and therefore we have built a strong relationship. He offers me great support, understands my weakness and although helps with my cases, also ensures I get some learning as well. I personally can’t recommend him high enough.’

‘Kate Kapp is a stand-out member of the team. Her commitment to her clients’ cases leaves no stone unturned and she protects the client from overzealous opponents during litigation. Under pressure Kate remains calm and provides clear guidance to the client without being distracted by the high stakes that are the subject of the litigation.’

‘Tina Wisener is exceptional in her range of knowledge and experience. She responds very quickly and always offers practical and sound advice and explains everything in plain English! Mike Hibberd is another of Doyle Clayton’s stars, really pleasant to deal with and provides great advice.’

‘They were extremely thorough and went above and beyond what was needed which was a refreshing sight. They truly valued the relationship and it was not just about billable hours – it was about ensuring we were compliant and turning around issues promptly where necessary whilst considering all aspects of the issue.’

Key clients

David Bucknall

Bunzl UK Limited



Remo Gettini

Ingenhaag LLP

Maitland Chambers

Work highlights

  • Advised David Bucknall on his departure from BP and his appointment as CEO of Ineos Energy.
  • Represented Bunzl defending a sexual harassment, victimisation, and unlawful deduction from wages in the Employment Tribunal.

Employment > Senior executives Tier 2

As ‘experts in their field’, the practitioners at Doyle Clayton are recommended as ‘employment focused and aware of all aspects from both employer and employee side’. With particular expertise in the insurance and accountancy markets, the firm acts for senior executives in a range of discrimination cases, including age discrimination matters. Peter De Maria leads the practice and is ‘undoubtedly a leading light in business protection as well as being the firm’s senior partner’. Discrimination law specialist Peter Daly; legal director Katie Mahoney, whose forte is employee competition work; and Simon Henthorn, who ‘provides excellent advice and support’, are additional key names.

Practice head(s):

Peter De Maria


‘Experts in their field. Employment focused and aware of all aspects from both employer and employee side.’

‘The practice is professional and knows the sector very well. They are able to provide excellent advice and support. They are caring and make sure they know your case and circumstances well.’

‘Simon Henthorn is excellent. He is compassionate and provides excellent advice and support. I felt safe knowing Simon is dealing with my case. He provides reassurance but is always open and honest.’

‘First class service provided in what can be stressful situations for the client. The communication and response time for any questions were second to none.’

‘Peter De Maria is undoubtedly a leading light in business protection as well as being the firm’s senior partner. He is focused, commercial, doesn’t get flustered and is at the top of his game. Katie Mahoney is a joy to work with. Her grasp of the detail of a case is second to none. She and Peter make a formidable team.’

‘Doyle Clayton is one of, if not THE leading, niche employment law firms in the country. It acts for employers and employees and has an extremely strong presence in the business protection field.’

‘Peter De Maria – full spectrum of skills – technically strong, highly emotionally intelligent – can adapt his style depending on his client and the audience.’

‘I have worked with the High Court team of Peter De Maria and Katie Mahoney. Both are top quality operators, good to work with, reliable, strategic and commercial.’

Work highlights

  • Acted for an individual in establishing Gender Critical Beliefs as protected under the Equality Act 2010.
  • Acted for a client on his move from Guy Carpenter to join Howden Insurance Brokers and the resulting litigation.
  • Acting for a client bringing claims of discrimination against her chambers and the charity Stonewall.

Employment > Immigration

The immigration team at Doyle Clayton is headed up by the ‘extremely knowledgeableAnita de Atouguia, and works closely with the firm’s employment practice on crossover matters such as those concerning TUPE and senior executive transfers, and with the corporate team to advise on the immigration aspects of M&A and restructuring transactions. Other key figures include Malini Skandachanmugarasan, who was promoted to partner in January 2022 and whose experience includes cases relating to the EU Settlement Scheme and the crises in Afghanistan and Ukraine, and senior associate Anna Blackden, who leads the firm’s offering to the education sector. Adam Cotterill joins from Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP .

Practice head(s):

Anita de Atouguia


‘Doyle Clayton are always a pleasure to work with. Their lawyers are always easy to deal with, transparent with their fee structure and always willing to help. We typically work with Doyle Clayton for immigration and they are real experts in their field here. They always provide clear, sound, timely legal advice, irrespective of how complex the situation.’

‘If you want a job done properly, use Doyle Clayton! First class service from beginning to end.’

‘The team we have been in contact with have been kind patient and sincere. They are currently dealing with a very personal and sensitive case and at all times they have made us feel safe and explained everything carefully.’

‘Anita de Atouguia is a wonderful person to work with. She is extremely knowledgeable of our firm and particular circumstances and always happy to help and guide. She also has deadlines diarised and we can rely on Anita to ensure we stay compliant in all things immigration.’

‘Exceptional attention to detail, follow-up, and above and beyond delivery of services. My case involved them handling things not initially discussed, which Malini Skandachanmugarasan at Doyle Clayton handled without hesitation and solved immediately.’

‘Working with Doyle Clayton, in particular, Anna Blackden and Anita de Atouguia, was a really refreshing experience. They always had time for me, and answered every email in a way that I would understand, gave me all the facts and information I could possibly need, were extremely thorough with all aspects of my case. I am extremely thankful to Anna, Anita and the whole Doyle Clayton team for their help as I honestly believe that I would not have been able to obtain citizenship without them.’

‘Everyone at Doyle Clayton is strictly professional but enormously friendly. Malini Skandachanmugarasan is absolutely wonderful at answering any questions, putting your mind at ease and always makes herself available.’

‘I had the pleasure of dealing with Anna Blackden. She delivered a service of the highest quality. Excellent – we were informed and guided every step of the way.’

Key clients

Abbott Mead Vickers (AMV BBDO)

Altum Capital Management

Apollo Partners LLP

Aspen Insurance Service Limited

Downunder GeoSolutions Limited


Plan International UK

Product Madness

Sandton Capital Partners



Work highlights

  • Advised a British/US couple with an application on the basis of their human rights and compassionate grounds so that the US national could remain in the UK to provide end of life care and support to his partner.
  • Advised a former politician and his family on obtaining permanent residence in the UK on a discretionary basis due to a change in the Immigration Rules, having to address politically motivated extradition proceedings and criminal charges brought against him.
  • Overturning a refusal by the Home Office for an adopted child to be granted indefinite leave to enter the UK following a misunderstanding of the nature of overseas adoption proceedings.

Public sector > Education: schools Tier 3

Doyle Clayton advises on a wide range of matters, from crowdfunding to organising and union mergers. The team is led by the ‘formidableSimon Henthorn, who has advised on removals of head teachers, potential industrial action and safeguarding matters. Peter Daly advises on disputes relating to employment and discrimination, and has recently been involved in a series of high-profile cases.

Practice head(s):

Simon Henthorn

Other key lawyers:


‘Simon Henthorn is formidable in this area.’

‘The employment team has good experience in working with schools and acted quickly and efficiently with the issue at hand.’

‘I was introduced to the team due to their strong experience in employment issues related to independent schools.’

‘I find Doyle Clayton to be highly responsive, knowledgeable and efficient.’

‘I mostly work with Simon Henthorn, who is extremely good to work with. He responds extremely promptly, accepts when he needs to look something up, and is available for conversations whenever I need him, often at very short notice.’

Key clients

Portsmouth Grammar School

Kensington Wade

Christ the King Sixth Form College

Hampton School

Employment > Employers Tier 4

Doyle Clayton‘s highly regarded specialist employer practice is noted for its ‘breadth of practice’ across the full gamut of HR advisory, transactional support and High Court litigation. It is also distinguished for its capabilities in internal investigations, business restructuring, board-level disputes and experience working with start-ups. Peter De Maria‘s ‘legal knowledge and feel for the strategic intricacies of this area are second to none’. He is assisted by Dan Begbie-Clench, Helen Brooks and ‘outstanding junior’, director Katie Mahoney.

Practice head(s):

Peter De Maria


‘The team are commercial, extraordinarily responsive, knowledgeable, easy to interact with whilst being very professional.’

‘Dan Begbie-Clench – commercial, extraordinarily responsive, knowledgeable, we work as a true partnership. ’

‘Katie Mahoney – well known and very well liked in the market. She is good humoured and pleasant to work with but at the same time fierce and passionate in pursuit of her clients’ interests. She has excellent commercial sense and is constantly in demand.’

‘Katie Mahoney is the lawyer you want to have in your corner – indomitable, extremely hard-working and a pleasure to work with.’

‘We received a hugely professional and cost effective service from the team at Doyle Clayton – and continue to do so. They understand Startups and the constraints we are under and adapt their approach to fit our needs which is extremely useful.’

‘The specialist employment practise of choice, whether you are an employer or employee.’

‘The team stands out for its breadth of practice across statutory employment and high court employment work. They put together excellent practitioner teams who are on the ball and easy to work with. They are noticeably proactive and quick in turning things around.’

‘Peter de Maria is a standout practitioner in the area of employee competition, his legal knowledge and feel for the strategic intricacies of this area are second to none.’

Work highlights

  • Advising a retailer on the departure of the Chief Financial Officer and Head of Wealth and the recruitment of their replacements.
  • Advising on the partnership law, employment law and TUPE law aspects of a large group restructure.
  • Advising a client on the harmonisation of senior executive contracts across several jurisdictions.

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
Amara Ahmad photo Amara AhmadSenior Associate
Liz Barton photo Liz BartonPartner & Head of Team Liz is a highly experienced lawyer advising…
Dan Begbie-Clench photoMr Dan Begbie-ClenchPartner, specialist in employment law. Dan advises companies and senior executives on…
Helen Brooks photoMrs Helen BrooksHelen is a partner in the City office, specialising in employment law.…
Andrew Campbell photoMr Andrew CampbellAndrew is a partner specialising in pensions law who advises corporates and trustees…
Darren Clayton photoMr Darren ClaytonSenior Partner
Adam Cotterill photo Adam CotterillSenior Associate
Peter Daly photo Peter DalyPeter Daly is a Partner within the employment team with a track record…
Peter De Maria photoMr Peter De MariaPeter is a partner specialising in all areas of employment law. He has…
Peter Doyle photoMr Peter DoyleManaging Partner – Advises both corporate and individual clients on matters including senior…
Simon Henthorn photoMr Simon HenthornSimon is a Partner and Head of Education at Doyle Clayton. His…
Charles Herbert photo Charles HerbertPartner & Head of Team Charlie leads the firm’s Regulatory and Financial…
Katie  Mahoney photo Katie MahoneyKatie supports clients across multiple business sectors including financial services, insurance (brokers…
Malini Skandachanmugarasan photo Malini SkandachanmugarasanPartner
Anita de Atouguia photoMs Anita de AtouguiaPartner and Head of Business Immigration
Number of UK partners : 16
Number of other UK fee-earners : 34
ELA (Employment Lawyers Association)
ILPA (Immigration Lawyers Practice Association)
Solicitors Regulation Authority