UK

London (Firms)

Employment


Overview

This year we have split the Employment: Employer: London section into three subtables. The Elite and Highly Regarded subtables are for firms that undertake the full range of employment mandates, with those at the top of the market included in the Elite table. The Employment: Mainly Transactional subtable ranks firms that predominantly handle the employment aspects of corporate transactions.


Due to the number of tables in this section, the editorial is in alphabetical order by firm name.

Employment - London (Firms)

 - 

Basic facts about the department

- 3 partners
- 8 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for An extensive network of domestic offices, delivering the ability to provide excellent representation in a value-for-money manner. Adept at handling both contentious and non-contentious matters.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Value for money: "They have the ability to deliver complex, strategic and sensible support from London, whilst retaining a degree of pricing flexibility from regional areas."

Visibility: "A good choice with regards to topical, high-end disputes."

Work highlights Assisted Britvic with the employment law implications of several internal restructurings and the relocation of its head office.

Acted for BA/bmi on multiple claims brought before the Employment Tribunal on the closure of bmibaby.

Notable practitioners  

Michael Leftley offers excellent knowledge and substantial experience of the financial services sector. Clients particularly value the "commerciality of his advice" and his level of responsiveness.

Identified as a "diligent, committed and analytical" practitioner, Alasdair Simpson is regularly instructed on a range of boardroom disputes.

Richard Yeomans garners plaudits from clients for his ability to "give advice in a non-complex way." He is further commended for the "reassuring presence" he brings to sensitive situations, and was called upon to advise Britvic on the abovementioned matter.

Significant clients Accenture, Barclays Bank, Diageo, Laing O'Rourke, Paramount Pictures.

Basic facts about the department

- 4 partners
- 20 other qualified lawyers 

What the team is known for Market leaders within the employment arena, providing clients with pragmatic solutions to a variety of complex situations and disputes. Particular strength in handling cases on behalf of major financial institutions.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Strategic planning: "They have an excellent command of strategic and tactical issues within the human resources field."

Efficiency: "They can really drill down through complexities in order to see what it is you want and then deliver it in a speedy manner."

Market standing: "They undoubtedly have a fantastic, standalone practice."

What's new? Sarah Henchoz has been promoted to partner. 

Work highlights Represented News International in the Court of Appeal against a highly publicised claim brought by former editor Andy Coulson.

Provided assistance on the employment aspects of a substantial divestiture made by Thomson Reuters.

Notable practitioners  

The "formidable" Karen Seward is perceived to "service the biggest and best clients" in the marketplace. Her commercial approach is lauded by several commentators, with one enthused source stating: "To have somebody as pragmatic as Karen is very healthy." She typically handles the most sensitive matters faced by large financial institutions.

Mark Mansell is "knowledgeable and bright, and noticeably commercial." He is further regarded as a "highly experienced litigator" and adopts a "measured and approachable" demeanour. He led the aforementioned matter on behalf of News International.

Significant clients Morgan Stanley, Barclays, BG Group, Lloyds Banking Group, Rabobank.

Basic facts about the department

- 5 partners
- 8 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for An established employment boutique with substantial traction amongst both individual and corporate clients. Particularly noted for its familiarity with the education and hospitality sectors.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "A reasonable and sensible firm to deal with."

Notable practitioners  

Nick Ralph specialises in acting for senior executives in the financial services industry. Fellow practitioners single out his "commercial and sensible" approach to the cases he undertakes.

Corinne Aldridge is considered to be "a very straightforward lawyer to deal with" and has significant experience in acting on behalf of both employers and senior employees.

Robert McCreath is frequently called upon to provide multinational corporations with representation in highly sensitive scenarios. Sources identify his level of preparation as one of his prime strengths.

Significant clients Prada UK, King's College London, The Dorchester, The Economist, Acer UK.

Basic facts about the department

- 2 partners
- 7 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Assisting both domestic and international corporate employers with the employment aspects of substantial transactions. Increased expertise in advising Japanese clients and a growing reputation in that marketplace.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
International capability: "They are highly responsive to urgent requests for technical legal advice and can co-ordinate well across multiple jurisdictions."

Technical quality: "Everyone we deal with at the firm is of the highest quality. They provide sound and practical advice in a timely and understandable manner."

Bench strength: "I think that they have a really strong employment practice, underpinned by several quality individuals."

Work highlights Advised Mizkan on the employment ramifications of its acquisition of several companies from Premier Foods.

Acted on behalf of Qantas as it sought to terminate an alliance with British Airways and create a new one with Emirates. 

Notable practitioners  

Caroline Carter enjoys a strong reputation, with peers noting that "she's incredibly discreet and somebody that we strongly recommend." She was involved in the Mizkan matter.

Significant clients Apax, Gala Coral, William Hill, Apollo, Mitsui.

Basic facts about the department

- 5 partners
- 26 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Unparalleled international reach, with the ability to handle complex multi-jurisdictional employment cases. Acts for a wide range of respondent clients, typically undertaking their most sensitive and high-profile matters.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "Their service was really valuable and well priced. They had the infrastructure to make it easy for us."

International capability: "Baker & McKenzie is a very big firm and I like the fact that they have coverage everywhere."

Work highlights Represented the BBC Trust in the highly publicised departure of the former BBC Director General.

Advised British Airways on a number of concerns, including defending multiparty age discrimination claims before the Supreme Court.

Notable practitioners  

John Evason is hailed for his ability to "step away from a purely UK perspective" and provide clients with global insight. One source remarked favourably upon his client-handling skills, whilst another labelled him as "one of the leading employment lawyers within the country." He was heavily involved in the BBC Trust matter.

Monica Kurnatowska assisted General Motors throughout the negotiation of a labour agreement with Unite the Union. One client said: "She speaks to me like I'm the most important person on the planet. She's very approachable, knowledgeable and extremely professional."

Daniel Ellis draws praise from multiple sources on account of his capacity to handle complex multi-jurisdictional matters. One client referred to him as "an expert on the transactional side," whilst others extol his ability to co-ordinate cases across the firm's international network.

Sarah Gregory leads the firm's discrimination practice and is frequently called upon to provide representation in such cases.

Department head Christine O'Brien is perceived to be "excellent at co-ordinating matters amongst her colleagues." She regularly provides advice to respondent clients on whistle-blowing allegations, boardroom terminations and discrimination claims. 

According to sources, talented associate Stephen Ratcliffe is able to strike a "good balance between understanding the technical issues and taking a practical approach." He is perceived as "very solutions-oriented" and as having a "good eye for detail."

Significant clients Celgene, Prudential, Accenture, Sony, Lloyd's of London.

Basic facts about the department

- 4 partners
- 7 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Operating a full-service, standalone practice capable of dispensing strong advice to clients on either side of the table. In-depth familiarity with the charities and education sectors.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Market standing: "They do a stellar job. I have no hesitation in recommending them."

Technical ability: "Their work was measured, clear, thoughtful and patient."

Work highlights Represented Alpha Trains as it closed its UK operations and relocated to different European cities. Advice related to both the redundancy process and TUPE implications of the decision.

Advised EOS Wealth Management on a sex discrimination and unfair dismissal claim brought by a former employee.

Notable practitioners  

William Garnett garners unanimous approval from interviewees and commendation for his knowledge of the charities sector. He is regularly engaged by both employers and senior executives, and recently handled the EOS Wealth Management case described above.

Lucy McLynn is highly regarded for the "extreme diligence" and empathy that she brings to assignments. She has a diverse practice and is lauded by sources for the vigour with which she approaches cases.

Martin Bunch is said to "combine empathy with an in-depth knowledge of the law." He advises employers on a variety of matters, with the aforementioned Alpha Trains UK engagement just one example.

Significant clients RNIB, The Elders, CAB, British Red Cross, Saga Healthcare.

Basic facts about the department

- 5 partners
- 27 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Renowned for its innovative approach to high-profile employment litigation. Capable of assisting its broad client base with matters that entail a cross-border element.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
International capability: "They have a very broad-based practice and can offer an international perspective."

Problem solving: "I've been impressed with their problem-solving ethic."

Market standing: "They were the firm that impressed us the most last year. They were neat, tidy and avoided the histrionics." 

Notable practitioners  

Heralded as a "strong strategic thinker," the "exceptional" Rebecca Harding-Hill impresses clients with her ability to provide advice that is both "commercial and practical." "She factors in the element of risk that a company must take in a real-life situation," observes one enthusiastic source.

Lisa Mayhew draws praise for her solutions-oriented approach to engagements. She is said to "grasp the commercial elements of cases very quickly" and to be "very constructive to work with." She has deep expertise in dealing with respondents from the financial services sector.

Rob Eldridge is a skilled and respected practitioner within the employment arena and counts LVMH and Panmure Gordon amongst his clients.

Marian Bloodworth is acclaimed for both her strong work ethic and commercial approach to engagements. Clients praise the ease with which she familiarises herself with the intricacies of their business, whilst others remark positively upon her pragmatism.

It was clear to one source that senior associate Catherine Turner provides clients with "fantastic advice."

Significant clients UBS, Thames Water, BAT, Deutsche Bank, SAICA Packaging.

Basic facts about the department

- 1 partner
- 3 other qualified lawyers 

What the team is known for Renowned for its focus on advising healthcare providers on employment disputes and operational queries. NHS bodies make up the bulk of its client base.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Industry knowledge: "Their specialism is in NHS matters and that certainly comes through."

Client base: "Their client base indicates to me that the firm is perfect for our needs."

Work highlights Advised The South West Pay Terms and Conditions Consortium, a group of 19 NHS trusts and foundation trusts, on its attempt to deviate from nationally dictated employment terms and conditions.

Notable practitioners  

The "exceptional" Jodie Sinclair specialises in advising healthcare providers and is perceived to do so in a "creative and imaginative" manner. She was heavily involved in advising on The South West Pay Terms and Conditions Consortium matter.

Senior associate Alastair Currie is recommended for representing public sector clients in employment disputes. "I have found him to be very accessible and very quick to respond," noted one client, adding: "He's always prepared to listen to my suggestions."

Significant clients Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust, Action for Children, Isle of Wight NHS Trust, East & North Hertfordshire NHS Trust, Kent Community Health NHS Trust. 

Basic facts about the department

- 3 partners
- 10 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Impressive standalone employment practice with a broad European footprint. Extensive familiarity with the needs and requirements of technology sector clients.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Technical ability: "The work that they have done has been very rigorous and is of a very high quality, demonstrating a good understanding of how matters will pan out legally."

Market standing: "I get the impression that the practice is on the ascendancy. The employment team is becoming a lot more prominent and it has far more visibility."

Work highlights Represented the National Union of Mineworkers in a High Court claim brought by Arthur Scargill over his claim that the union should reimburse him for certain living costs.

Acted on behalf of Medisafe on injunctions taken out against former employees.

Notable practitioners  

Ian Hunter is described by one client as being "a very good sounding board." He is further said to be "very practical" and to have a "good depth of knowledge across different industries." He has recently been assisting BAE Systems with a range of cases.

Warren Wayne "excels in cutting through what the other side presents" and, in the words of one client, he is "instrumental" in the successful resolution of matters. He assisted Medisafe in the abovementioned matter.

Elizabeth Lang is hailed for her "acute understanding of the law." She is further "able to assess whether or not a case will work." She acted for the National Union of Mineworkers on the aforementioned matter.

Significant clients Amey, Nuance, Lenovo, Yahoo, Infosys.

Basic facts about the department

- 4 partners
- 2 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Highly regarded for its representation of senior executives both within the financial services industry and across other professional services disciplines. Singled out for its strong levels of care and attention.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Efficiency: "The partners were immediately accessible, worked to a fast pace and were extremely efficient in gaining a satisfactory resolution within a very tight timeframe."

Technical ability: "Extremely proficient: they know exactly what they're doing."

Notable practitioners  

Department head Gareth Brahams "manages the strategic overview of cases very efficiently," said one source, whilst another claimed that "the advice received was precisely calibrated to my concerns." He has a strong track record in representing claimant clients from all industries.

Arpita Dutt earns praise for her strength in discrimination cases. Sources particularly value her problem-solving ethic, with one individual noting that "she is sensible and tries to arrive at solutions." She is also considered to be "tactically oriented, ready to stand up for each element of a case" in an effective manner.

Significant clients Dover Harbour Board, Havas Life Medicom, First Utility, Virgo Health, SFP Group.

Basic facts about the department

- 5 partners
- 22 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Core focus on providing healthcare bodies with employment law advice. In addition to acting for a substantial number of NHS bodies, the team also advises several charities and police forces. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Commercial awareness: "The work of the firm is always high quality, providing a blend of sound, comprehensive legal expertise and a practical approach."

Responsiveness: "They're very personable and very responsive; they've never gone longer than 24 hours without replying to an email."

Client service: "They're always very thorough and we are always happy with the work they put in."

Work highlights Advised on employment issues in the creation of Barts Health NHS Trust, formed from the merger of several independent NHS trusts in April 2012.

Acted for Cumbria PCT as it successfully defended claims of unfair dismissal and age discrimination brought by its former CEO.

Notable practitioners  

Department chair Martin Hamilton is renowned for his expertise in the NHS domain. He is considered to be "approachable and easy to work with," possessing an ability to forge "really strong client relationships" and to quickly get "right to the heart of a case." He was part of the team that advised Barts Health NHS Trust on the aforementioned merger.

Andrew Rowland regularly advises NHS trusts on strategic issues and tribunal claims. Sources believe that he is "fantastic to work with," citing his propensity to offer "intelligent and pragmatic advice" and his "thoughtful and proactive stance on legal issues."

Significant clients Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, East London NHS Trust, Croydon Health Services NHS Trust, Homerton University Hospital.

Basic facts about the department

- 5 partners
- 13 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Undertaking a variety of complicated assignments on behalf of employer clients. Noted expertise in the sports, financial services and telecommunications sectors.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Commercial awareness: "Charles Russell understands the business context of our organisation and this is invaluable in terms of receiving practical and pragmatic advice."

Bench strength: "I think they're doing a lot of interesting work at the moment. They've got a whole suite of very impressive solicitors."

Work highlights Advised Newcastle United Football Club on drafting and implementing new employment contracts across the entire non-playing workforce, including an eight-year deal for manager Alan Pardew.

Advised Sports Direct International on the vesting of bonuses to employees across its warehouses, head office and 470 stores.  

Notable practitioners  

Nick Hurley stands out for the breadth of his practice, including substantial expertise in advising both respondents and claimants. "He cared about the output, instead of just going through the motions," said one client.

According to one client, David Green "gives us clear, no-nonsense advice. He's legally sound but also possesses commercial common sense."

Michael Powner has a commendably diverse practice and is able to combine his "excellent legal knowledge" with strong commercial acumen. He led on the representation of Newcastle United Football Club.

Will Nash, commended for his ability to "summarise a situation and provide the key information as and when it's required," is identified as an impressive associate. He was involved in the Newcastle United matter, and advised Sports Direct International on the vesting of bonuses to employees.

Significant clients Arqiva, EDF Energy, Mercedes GP, Sony Playstation, wagamama. 

Basic facts about the department

- 4 partners
- 12 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for A dominant presence within the banking sector, where it assists major financial institutions in handling sensitive and complex employment matters. Expert in dealing with the employment aspects of corporate transactions.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Partner involvement: "The partners do not pass work down – they're prepared to work late and I find that very impressive."

Technical ability: "They're clearly well resourced and know what they're doing."

Work highlights Assisted McGraw Hill with the employment elements of the reorganisation and subsequent USD2.5 billion sale of its education division.

Advised Barclays on disciplinary proceedings relating to Libor rate-fixing investigations, both in the UK and in other jurisdictions. 

Notable practitioners  

Identified by a senior source as one of London's standout employment lawyers, Christopher Goodwill maintains a strong position in the marketplace. He was recently involved in the Libor rate-fixing investigations, advising Barclays bank on related disciplinary proceedings.

Alistair Woodland has, according to one client, "carved himself a niche in bank regulatory work. He's taken an area of law that is relatively new and become a leading name in it." He also advised Barclays on disciplinary proceedings relating to the Libor rate-fixing investigations.

Michael Crossan is acclaimed for his tenacity and knowledge base, and is perceived as strong at handling the employment aspects of transactions. He led on the McGraw Hill matter.

Significant clients Aviva, HSBC, Credit Suisse, Man Group, Morgan Stanley.

Basic facts about the department

- 9 partners
- 19 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for A large team capable of assisting employers throughout contentious proceedings. Expertise in discreetly handling internal employment disputes for other law firms.

Work highlights Advised Canopius Holdings on its £164 million acquisition of Omega Insurance, including the ensuing restructuring and managerial exits.

Provided counsel to CNA Financial on the employment aspects of its acquisition of Hardy Underwriting.

Notable practitioners  

Group head Robert Hill draws praise for both the quality of the advice he provides and for his capacity to identify risks.

Nick Dent is  frequently engaged by major corporates to provide advice over tribunal claims.

 Clients appreciate the lengths to which James Major will go in order to familiarise himself with nuances of their businesses.

Chris Holme's practice is focused upon providing multinational respondent clients with representation across the spectrum of employment law.

Significant clients Royal Bank of Canada, UPS, Financial Times, Estée Lauder, Allianz.

Basic facts about the department

- 2 partners
- 2 consultants
- 4 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for

Highly regarded for the quality of the work it undertakes on behalf of senior individuals, with a particular emphasis on team moves and discrimination cases. Also recognised for representing UK subsidiaries of foreign corporates.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Strategic planning: "I was impressed with their service and with their reasoning behind which points I should negotiate and which I should concede."

Client Service: "They know what they're doing, they focus on the essentials and provide a very strong service to clients."

Problem solving: "They are able to negotiate strong outcomes and they provide a very good service in litigation situations."

Notable practitioners  

The "exceptionally impressive" Clare Murray is a vastly experienced employment lawyer, with an almost unparalleled reputation within the claimant arena. Many peers find her to be "responsive, commercial and practical," whilst others value her strength in negotiation and litigation.

Native German speaker Bettina Bender is recognised for her ability "to negotiate fantastic outcomes for clients" and for the "pragmatism" and "commercialism" she brings to matters.

Basic facts about the department

- 2 partners
- 10 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Acting on behalf of a wide array of respondent clients across the entire employment spectrum. Particular aptitude for handling complex, protracted High Court hearings.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Commercial awareness: "CMS are both commercial and practical. They offer sound guidance and, where possible, multiple options together with an assessment of the risk of each approach."

Client service: "They were fantastic throughout the whole process. They were incredibly supportive, very thorough and very professional."

What's new? On 1st May 2014, Dundas & Wilson became part of CMS.

Work highlights Assisted Complete Electric Solutions and All Electric Solutions with their ultimately successful attempt to overturn an injunction taken out by CEF Holdings in relation to a team move.

Provided CH2M Hill with advice in connection with the employment aspects of a recent acquisition. 

Notable practitioners  

Anthony Fincham is a recognised leader within the employment field, his successes in the High Court cementing his status as one of the strongest lawyers in the industry. One market commentator describes his technical expertise as being "invaluable," whilst another cites the "clarity of his advice" as a prime differentiator.

The "commercially minded" Graham Paul is commended for his ability to "find sensible ground from where he can dispense logical advice." He recently represented SAP UK and SAP AG on discrimination and whistle-blowing claims.

Robert Davies boasts a thriving employment practice, one which has earned him the approval of peers and clients alike. "He's a top-notch practitioner as far as I'm concerned," notes one peer, whilst another said that "he's somebody that I'd certainly recommend." He is particularly skilled in handling employment disputes faced by public sector clients.

Significant clients Royal Mail Group, Allied English Banks, BAM Nuttall, Commerzbank AG, General Electric.

Basic facts about the department

- 7 partners
- 17 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for A sizeable practice offering strong financial services and health sector expertise. Acts primarily for respondents and is particularly renowned for its input on the defence of whistle-blowing claims.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "We like the way they engage with us and set out the pros and cons of each option."

Market standing: "I put them in the Premier League of firms I've worked with. They're highly proficient and very knowledgeable."

Strategic planning: "They leave no stone unturned in preparing their cases."

What's new? Khurram Shamsee has been appointed as departmental head.

Work highlights Provided advice to Guy’s & St. Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust on the national doctors' strike of 2012. Advised the trust upon how to limit disruption and on the subsequent industrial relations ramifications.

Assisted the Associated Press with respect to strike action taken by the National Union of Journalists.

Notable practitioners  

Sources value Rachel Dineley's "pragmatic and commercial" approach to matters within the employment domain. She has recently been engaged to advise upon a substantial age discrimination claim.

Nick Chronias is singled out as an industrial relations expert who is able to "get to the commercial nub of matters very quickly." He was tasked with advising Guy’s & St. Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust on the above matter.

Elizabeth Adams has a broad-based practice with experience across a range of industry sectors. She is widely-respected amongst her peers and is a noted presence within the employment market.

Zoe Wigan is labelled by one source as a "very good technician" and is further identified as being "a very enjoyable person to work with." She is often called upon to provide advice on the employment implications of commercial transactions.

The "commercially minded" Khurram Shamsee heads the firm's employment team and was recently engaged to deal with a sensitive discrimination claim. According to one source: "He doesn't waste clients' time; he gets quickly to the point with an excellent, workable solution."

Udara Ranasinghe is lauded as an "outstanding lawyer who provides practical solutions to the most complex of legal problems." He was also involved on the Guy’s & St. Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust matter.

Significant clients Royal Mail Group, Unilever, Balfour Beatty, Tate & Lyle, Logica.

Basic facts about the department

- 2 partners
- 6 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Excellent track record in handling complex matters, both contentious and non-contentious, for major UK employers. Strengths across the insurance, financial services and retail sectors.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Commercial awareness: "They're happy to challenge us, they give great advice and they put themselves in our shoes very well in order to provide us with commercial advice."

Client service: "The advice is practical and promptly delivered and the individuals involved are highly approachable."

What's new? Jason Butwick has been appointed managing partner of the London office.

Work highlights Assisted the Automobile Association with its successful defence against claims of disability discrimination and harassment brought at the Employment Tribunal.

Provided advice to Legg Mason with regards to the employment aspects of its purchase of Fauchier.

Notable practitioners  

Charles Wynn-Evans, described by sources as an "eminently professional, pragmatic and understanding" lawyer, serves as departmental head and has the capability to ably advise both large corporates and senior executives. He provided advice to the Automobile Association on the tribunal claim.

Jason Butwick specialises in acting on behalf of multinational corporates and is said to provide clients with "succinct and practical advice." He recently advised Legg Mason on the employment implications of its acquisition of Fauchier.

Emma Richardson is an associate in the firm's employment department and retains a core focus on advising respondent clients. She assists with many of the firm's more significant engagements.

Significant clients BNY Mellon, SAGA Group, JC Decaux, PIMCO Europe, Cheyne Capital Management.

Basic facts about the department

- 6 partners
- 12 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for An established team experienced in undertaking both contentious and non-contentious assignments. Draws upon an extensive global network in order to tackle large multi-jurisdictional projects on behalf of employers.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Bench strength: Sources commend the team for its sensible approach and strength in depth.  

What's new? The firm was created when SNR Denton merged with Salans and Fraser Milner Casgrain in early 2013.

Work highlights Acted for Como on the sale of several businesses to the Giorgio Armani Group, including on a redundancy programme and TUPE issues.

Advised Otkritie Securities with respect to a restructuring programme and the employment aspects of relocating staff to Russia.

Notable practitioners  

Known for his expertise in the High Court and on restrictive covenant matters, Michael Bronstein is considered to be a "very smart and amiable lawyer" who remains unflappable in the face of adversity.

Pauline McArdle is perceived to have a "strong commercial understanding" of the issues surrounding employment law and is admired by peers for her reluctance to take unnecessary points.

The "extremely impressive" Richard Nicolle is a widely respected employment practitioner. In addition to recognised strength in dealing with restrictive covenant issues, he is adept at handling the TUPE implications of corporate transactions. He advised Como on the sale to the Giorgio Armani Group.

Significant clients GFI Group, NeoPay, Clarkson, Al Jazeera, Bank of China.

Basic facts about the department

- 3 partners
- 5 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Unparalleled focus on advising social housing providers on the application of employment law to their operations. Combines experience in litigation, transactional support and general employment advice. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Technical ability: "The firm's work is of a very high standard. They are very professional and take time to understand the nub of an issue."

Industry knowledge: "They do a lot of work in social housing cases. They've got a unique level of knowledge of this market, which is excellent."

Work highlights Advised Single Homeless Project in defending claims of unfair dismissal and discrimination brought by a former employee.

Assisted Trafford Housing Trust in a landmark case that examined the effects of social media on employment law.

Notable practitioners  

The "very talented" Amanda Harvey is acknowledged as an expert in advising social housing providers on the nuances of employment law. She has the ability to "handle complex cases very well," typically ensuring that clients "achieve exactly the outcome they desire." In a recent work highlight, she assisted Single Homeless Project with the abovementioned case.

Nicola Philp is commended for her ability to adopt a "responsive, pragmatic and can-do" attitude. Additionally, she is considered to possess "very good sector-specific knowledge" of the social housing sphere.

Significant clients Radian Group, Genesis Housing Group, Southern Housing Group, Plus Dane Housing Group, Network Housing Group.

Basic facts about the department

- 6 partners
- 4 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Maintains integrated links with its other UK offices, enabling both litigation and corporate employment work to be undertaken at all stages. Excellent international links assist with undertaking large, cross-border employment projects.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
International capability: "They were very good at putting together a report in a very accessible and consistent format."

Commercial awareness: "There seems to be a very pragmatic culture permeating the firm."

Client service: "Their client service is absolutely excellent. I truly trust them implicitly and I recommend them all the time."

Notable practitioners  

Tim Marshall is a distinguished practitioner recommended for his ability to handle complex multi-jurisdictional matters. He is particularly proficient in tackling restrictive covenant disputes.

The "technically superb" Tom Kerr Williams is an expert in traditional labour law matters. "If I ever need to be represented, I'd want him," reports one impressed source, whilst another noted that "there's little about collective bargaining and trade union law that he doesn't know."

Significant clients AXA, Barclays, De Beers, HSBC, Ofsted.

Basic facts about the department

- 5 partners
- 13 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for A serious consideration for both respondent clients and individual employees seeking legal advice in employment law. Capable of overseeing complicated team moves and discrimination claims.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Commercial awareness: "Their pragmatic approach enabled us to make informed decisions based on the advice received."

Market standing: "If a friend came to me with an employment issue, I'd recommend them."

Bench strength: "Very good strength in depth and a variety of clients."

Work highlights Represented Fahim Imam-Sadeque, former head of sales at BlueBay Asset Management, in connection with a £1.7 million claim for alleged breach of a compromise agreement.

Assisted Graeme Neilly in the successful defence of a High Court restrictive covenant application.

Notable practitioners  

Senior partner Peter Doyle is an established member of London's employment law community, with experience of handling cases for both respondents and claimants. He has particular expertise in dealing with executive termination and restrictive covenant disputes.

Darren Clayton continues to boast a diverse and varied practice and is capable of adroitly representing both employers and employees.

Peter de Maria's willingness to undertake complex cases on behalf of claimants was evident through his recent representation of Fahim Imam-Sadeque. Interviewees have remarked favourably upon his discerning approach to cases, with one individual saying "his ability to advise me on which issues to pursue and which to let go was exceptional."

According to one client, Jessica Corsi has "a fantastic legal brain and understands business at a senior level. She can wade through complex details very well." She is recommended for representing employers in termination and discrimination disputes.

Leading associate Esther Langdon is commended by sources for her ability to "extract the right information and then present it in the right way." She was involved in the aforementioned claim against BlueBay Asset Management.

Significant clients Dixons, Travelex, Capco, London Clubs, BBC Worldwide.

Basic facts about the department

- 4 partners
- 2 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for A strong individual practice, with a specialism in handling contentious cases, including whistle-blowing and discrimination claims. Also handles some respondent work, with recognised strengths in the engineering, technology and aerospace sectors.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Problem solving: "They're good at resolving situations before they become real issues."

Bench strength: "The backup at the firm was great and didn't go into abeyance when my contact was away. It is a very efficient firm and I was pleased with the level of service." 

Work highlights Represented former Bank of Ireland employee Darren Bailey against allegations of breach of fiduciary duty and breach of contract.

Notable practitioners  

Linky Trott focuses her practice on representing both employers and senior executives, advising on the full spectrum of disputes faced by either party. She is commended for her client service skills, with one interviewee noting that she is "very flexible and very speedy to respond." She acted in an adversarial role to Bank of Ireland in the above matter.

Those surveyed consider Rachel Harrap to be a "pragmatic, dedicated and astute lawyer." "What I like about her is that she makes suggestions instead of just informing us about the law," said one client, whilst another remarked favourably upon her "supportive and realistic attitude." 

Clients particularly value Alexandra Carn's empathetic demeanour, citing it as a vital trait when handling the claimant cases for which she is best known. She is also perceived to have a strong grasp of relevant legislation and to present her advice in a clear and concise manner.

Significant clients Otis, Chubb Fire, Hobart Capital Markets, Plurimi Capital, McKay Securities.

Basic facts about the department

- 6 partners
- 7 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Substantial expertise in industrial relations with a track record of handling the most high-profile cases in this arena. Able to leverage the firm's extensive regional network to provide high-quality representation in a cost-effective manner.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "Our experiences with the individuals at the firm have been universally positive."

Timeliness: "Their level of responsiveness in situations that are critical is key to us."

What's new? Audrey Williams has relocated from Cardiff to the London office. 

Work highlights Represented Metroline Travel and 20 other London bus operators in successfully obtaining injunctions restricting a proposed strike of bus drivers called by Unite the Union.

Assisted Anglo American as it sought to extend a globally managed IT services contract with BT. Handled the employment aspects of the drafting process across multiple jurisdictions.

Notable practitioners  

Paul Fontes leads the firm's London employment practice and is renowned for his ability to "cut through to the heart of a matter quickly." He drove the firm's representation of Hermes Fund Managers in a recent whistle-blowing case.

The "hugely experienced" Martin Warren is acknowledged as an "excellent labour lawyer." To cite one impressed client: "His strength comes from the depth of his understanding of the industrial relations field. He has great creativity and is very willing to work with us in considering different options to pursue."

Marc Meryon heads the firm's industrial relations practice and, according to one peer, he is "top class in that field." He led on the aforementioned Metroline Travel matter.

Lauded by one source for delivering a consistent level of quality, Audrey Williams retains a strong reputation in representing respondents. One commentator remarked: "She's excellent in discrimination cases."

Fiona Bolton is commended for her provision of "strong, succinct advice" and is said to exhibit a "well thought-through and organised" approach to engagements. She is also praised for her responsiveness.

One senior source identifies Holly Short as an "excellent associate" for industrial relations matters. She is further identified as a "good team player."

Significant clients UniCredit, HSBC, Network Rail, Aon, West Coast Trains.

Basic facts about the department

- 8 partners
- 11 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Provides first-class employment advice to a wide range of senior executives, with particular expertise in representing individuals from the professional services and education sectors. Also conducts work on behalf of respondents operating in these two fields.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "They provide a very high quality of work and offer excellent advice."

Technical ability: "They're a complete class act. I often find them on the other side and they always give excellent advice. They know what points to take and what points to let slide."

Industry knowledge: "What I like about them is that they're very urbane and sophisticated. They understand the nuances and subtleties of employment law."

Notable practitioners  

William Dawson enjoys an enviable reputation for the quality of representation he provides to both respondent and individual clients. "He has a stellar reputation in working for financial services clients," reported one peer, whilst another said: "I regularly give his name out as the sort of person who will handle a sensitive matter delicately." 

Renowned for the pragmatic and creative advice he offers to senior executives, David Smellie retains his position as one of the premier lawyers operating in this space. Typified by his "measured representation of claimants", he is particularly well-thought of by peers encountered in adversarial settings.

Jonathan Eley is said to maintain "a calm presence on any case, no matter how heated the exchange may get." He is recommended for the quality of legal advice he dispenses to claimants.

The "outstanding" Rachel Lewis offers advice that is both "tactful and flexible," in addition to displaying an "excellent knowledge of the public sector." She represents a number of respondent clients in a range of sensitive issues.

"I would recommend David Hunt to a close friend without a moment's pause," remarks one source. He specialises in assisting respondent clients from the education sector.

Katie Lancaster boasts a broad base of clients and an impressive track record in employment law.

Significant clients Telegraph Media Group, Imperial College, London Business School, Handelsbanken, Eton College.

Basic facts about the department

- 2 partners
- 5 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Representing banking professionals and senior executives in high-profile disputes with their employers. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Industry knowledge: "In their primary niche of representing individuals against City institutions, no other firms can match their level of experience."

Notable practitioners  

Founding partner Charles Ferguson is considered to be a "guru on employment disputes" and "one of the few solicitors that City traders turn to." He often acts in an adversarial position to banks and hedge funds.

According to one senior market source, Fiona Macdonald is a "deeply insightful" employment lawyer, a "force to be reckoned with." Her practice consists primarily of advising senior employees from the financial services sector.

Basic facts about the department

- 4 partners
- 11 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Advising companies from the technology, media and telecoms sectors on both contentious and non-contentious employment concerns, particularly matters that require cross-border expertise. Further strengths lie in advising public sector clients on strategic issues.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "What makes them an excellent firm is that they always respond very promptly and the advice is very clear. They seem to be experts at putting complex legal issues in layman's terms."

Technical ability: "They've been very responsive and helpful on a very technical issue."

Efficiency: "They're one of the most efficient firms we've ever encountered."

Work highlights Advised Tata Consulting Services on the TUPE issues and contractual negotiations arising from its successful bid to run the Criminal Records Bureau on behalf of the Home Office.

Acted on behalf of VMware on the TUPE implications of several strategic acquisitions.

Notable practitioners  

Richard Kenyon is lauded for his "knack of being able to put things in simple terms" and for his willingness to "work unsocial hours in order to get things done swiftly." He led the firm's representation of Tata Consulting Services in the above matter.

Nicholas Thorpe is perceived to combine technical proficiency with commercial acumen in order to provide "first-class client service." He has a thorough knowledge of the retail industry and frequently assists clients from this sector with a broad range of employment disputes.

Significant clients DTZ Holdings, Jigsaw, Manpower UK, Pearson, The Royal College of Physicians.

Basic facts about the department

- 1 partner
- 6 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for A specialist employment and partnership boutique, focused on providing high-level City executives with representation in sensitive disputes.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Problem solving: "They steered away from telling me what couldn't be done and instead focused on what could be done under the circumstances."

Client service: "The nature of the firm and its employees is one of professionalism and care. They bring a thorough approach to their work, one which instils a level of confidence in clients."

Industry knowledge: "Tenacious, disciplined and strong in their field."

Notable practitioners  

Practice leader Ronnie Fox is said to be "technically excellent" and to "strike fear and respect in the opposition." "We really rate Ronnie," said one peer; "if we're ever looking to refer a client, we wouldn't look further than Ronnie." His area of expertise lies in advising senior executives.

Catriona Watt, known for her skill in representing senior employees in employment disputes, is praised for her "tough and uncompromising" approach, her "strong client skills and her "excellent grasp of the law."

Basic facts about the department

- 4 partners
- 9 associates

What the team is known for Representing individual clients from the financial and professional services industries, particularly in relation to complex litigation. A growing respondent-based practice constitutes another element of the team's appeal.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Industry knowledge: "They understand the subtleties of our industry and they're very discreet."

Client service: "They are very supportive and explain the complexities of legislation in a very simple manner. They really put themselves out for us."

Technical ability: "I think they're a terrific outfit - they're really high quality."

Work highlights Represented Raphael Geys, a former managing director at Société Générale, in a highly publicised contractual dispute.

Assisted Pamplona Capital Management as it successfully defended a claim for £4 million in unpaid bonuses brought by a former partner.

Notable practitioners  

Market commentators hold Jane Mann in high esteem on account of the "sensible and commercial view" she typically adopts. She is perceived to have a thorough understanding of the financial services sector and is a "major name within this arena." Her practice encompasses work for both respondent and claimant clients.

Joanna Chatterton is said to operate a "very client-focused" practice and is deemed a "thoroughly professional practitioner." She was involved in the Raphael Geys litigation.

Key partner Mark Watson is frequently engaged to advise on discrimination matters. He was recently instructed by Higher Nature to provide advice on an age discrimination claim.

Significant clients Domestic & General, Knight Capital, Amlin, Crest Nicholson, Elliot Thomas.

Basic facts about the department

- 7 partners
- 26 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Underpinned by a market-leading corporate department, and pre-eminent in its ability to advise on the employment implications of major transactions. Experienced in dealing with tribunal litigation.  

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Market standing: "They have some really high-quality work, particularly in acting for financial institutions and hedge funds."

International capability: "They're very effective at handling multi-jurisdictional matters. They're better than anybody else that I've come across in that space."

Work highlights Assisted The Rank Group with the employment aspects of its £205 million purchase of 26 casinos from Gala Coral.

Represented the Vita Group in litigation before the Employment Appeal Tribunal concerning an unfair dismissal claim.

Notable practitioners  

Nicholas Squire is perceived as a "standout" lawyer in this area, capable of drawing upon years of experience in order to ensure that clients receive a superlative level of advice. "He ensures that the commercial goals of a client are taken into consideration" and is comfortable acting on major corporate transactions.

Lauded for her empathetic approach, Caroline Stroud adopts a commercial style that is of immense benefit to her impressive stable of clients. She represented Vita Group in the Employment Appeal Tribunal concerning an unfair dismissal claim. 

Significant clients Deloitte, E.ON, General Dynamics, Rolls-Royce, Westfield Group.

What the team is known for Familiarity with the food manufacturing, retail and architecture sectors, assisting clients across the entire employment law spectrum. An impressive track record in undertaking ground-breaking or precedent-setting cases.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "My overall experience is brilliant. I am bombarded by marketing from other firms but I see no reason to change a winning partnership."

What's new? The firm has merged with Davenport Lyons.

Work highlights Acted for Stringfellows on a highly publicised unfair dismissal claim brought by a former lap dancer.

Advises John Laing on equal pay claims brought by 23 individual employees.

Marie van der Zyl was involved in the ground-breaking Stringfellows case, in which she was able to secure a very positive resolution for her client. "She's very keen and enthusiastic," reported one client, adding that she is also "very knowledgeable and provides good advice."

Significant clients Al Shaya, Mott MacDonald, Tyco Electronics, Ryman, Austin Reed.

Basic facts about the department

- 3 partners
- 3 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Boutique employment law firm with particular expertise in representing financial services clients. Experience in handling both contentious and non-contentious assignments.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Partner involvement: "I'm always able to work with the partners who give me the benefit of their expertise. I understood that I was an important client to them."

Client service: "They provide us with good value and they're very attuned to our needs."

Visibility: "They're up-and-coming certainly. I'd see them as rising stars of the industry."

Notable practitioners 

The "absolutely fantastic" Paul Quain is said to possess "very strong commercial insights into the dynamics of the workplace," enabling him to "provide clients with excellent service." He works closely with several well-established financial sector clients on both litigious and non-contentious matters.

Jon Gilligan is hailed for his ability to "help clients find the optimal solutions to potential problems." His "responsiveness and proactivity in anticipating possible developments in cases" draw further praise, as does his impressive roster of clients from the financial services industry.

Sophie Vanhegan is acknowledged as one of the leading associates in the employment law arena. "I think she has a really good sense of how to hold the hands of clients, and  combines that with a really impressive grasp of the more complex technical areas of employment law," opines one peer.

Significant clients CommerzbankAG, Monetise, Canning House, Foreign Currency Exchange, Ariadne Capital. 

Basic facts about the department

- 2 partners
- 3 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Advises clients in the TV, media and sports sectors at both employer and employee levels, delivering bespoke employment advice.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "I would refer them to everyone and anyone and I am personally using them once more. Once you've had an experience with them, you want to return to them."

Industry knowledge: "I don't know of any employment law specialists who would have the industry knowledge that Harbottle & Lewis do."

Notable practitioners  

The vastly experienced Howard Hymanson retains a core expertise in senior executive representation, typically acting for individuals from the media and entertainment sectors. His "incredibly calm and considered" attitude draws praise from market commentators, as does his "inventive and resourceful" approach to cases. 

Significant clients Tripadvisor, Comic Relief, Lastminute.com, World Courier UK, Basler UK.

Basic facts about the department

- 4 partners
- 17 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for A core option for large multinationals seeking an experienced team capable of handling multi-jurisdictional matters. Works closely with international banks on a variety of complex mandates.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "They're notably strong at dealing with sensitive matters. You always get a thoroughly thought-through approach from the firm."

Market standing: "I think they are the quintessential high-end employment practice. They have great partners."

What's new? The latest incarnation of the firm was created in October 2012 after the merger between Herbert Smith and Freehills.

Work highlights Provided advice to JJB Sports on the employment aspects of its administration and the subsequent sale of 40 outlets to a competitor, Sports Direct.

Advised on the application of TUPE legislation over Chinese energy conglomerate Sinopec's acquisition of 49% of Talisman Energy's North Sea enterprise.

Notable practitioners  

Peter Frost is seen as being "one of the best employment solicitors around for complex, high-value litigation." He undertakes potentially ground-breaking test cases, as was evinced in his representation of the Church Commissioners in a matter that determined the employment status of Church of England priests.

Newly-appointed head of department Andrew Taggart is singled out by peers on account of his strong grasp of FSA regulations. He is considered to be a "sensible and tough litigator" who displays an appropriate degree of tenacity as and when required. He was also lead partner in the firm's representation of JJB Sports.

According to one client, the quality of Tim Leaver's advice is "excellent. Not only is he a very good lawyer, his advice is always of a very commercial nature and has a healthy dose of reality attached. He recognises that we're running a businesses and tailors his advice accordingly."

Significant clients BG Group, The Church Commissioners, UBS, Marsh, Société Générale.

Basic facts about the department

- 3 partners
- 10 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for An impressive track record in providing large multinationals with bespoke employment advice on corporate transactions and litigation, especially when a cross-border element is involved.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Commercial awareness: "I've dealt with them in various jurisdictions and I feel they always provide sound commercial advice."

Work highlights Engaged by the Phoenix Group to provide advice on the employment implications of a cross-border joint outsourcing transaction.

Notable practitioners  

Sources say that Elizabeth Slattery is a "tenacious lawyer" who typically dispenses "commercial, solutions-orientated advice" and "always gets the job done." She works closely with the firm's corporate department in order to ensure that clients are provided with integrated advice.

Edward Bowyer is hailed as a "future star" by market sources, with his propensity to offer "practical, legally sound advice" earning him the approval of his peers. He was involved in the Phoenix Group transaction.

Significant clients eBay, Honeywell, ExxonMobil, AOL, Weightwatchers. 

Basic facts about the department

- 8 partners
- 7 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for A broad-based employment practice, housing lawyers proficient in advising clients from the financial services and printed media sectors on the application of employment law to their respective enterprises.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Commercial awareness: "Their work quality is first class; they are efficient and offer commercial and pragmatic advice."

Strategic planning: "They provided strategic thinking during the case."

What's new? The firm was created in February 2013 when Howard Kennedy and Finers Stephens Innocent merged. 

Notable practitioners  

Jane Amphlett works closely with clients from the printed media sector on a range of matters, both litigious and non-litigious. She has a strong grasp of technical minutiae and is recommended accordingly.

Significant clients Fox International Channels, Mills & Boon, Guardian Media Group, Foxtons, Starwood Capital.

Basic facts about the department

- 1 partner
- 4 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Providing employers with cross-border employment advice, typically of a non-contentious nature, across the financial services, technology and defence sectors.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Commercial awareness: "They're very commercial. Any employment lawyer can tell you what the law is. What I need is judgement and guidance based on experience and the realities of the commercial environment. The firm do that very well."

Client service: "They're personable and they offer a tailored approach, specific to us as a client." 

What's new? Jules Quinn has joined the team from Nabarro and now heads the firm's employment department.

Work highlights Advised TD Direct Investing on an unfair dismissal claim brought by a former employee.

Notable practitioners  

Lateral hire Jules Quinn earns approbation from sources for her "ability to see issues from a client's perspective." "She has commercial acumen and will balance out her advice in a pragmatic manner," say sources, many of whom praise her representation of employers in a diverse range of matters. She acted on behalf of TD Direct Investing in the above matter.

Mark Taylor wins tremendous praise for his expertise in the TUPE arena. Sources describe him as a "very thoughtful" lawyer, citing his adroitness in "coming up with a considered approach that is tailored to the client" as one of his core strengths.

Significant clients Mastercard, Cobham, SAS Institute, McArthur Glen, Olive Group.

Basic facts about the department

- 4 partners
- 5 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Regularly acts for both emerging and established companies in the technology industry. Capable of acting in an advisory capacity, acting on the employment aspects of corporate transactions or handling substantial pieces of employment litigation.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients) 
Commercial awareness: "They offer really sound and commercial employment law advice. They provide us with all the options and the risks, and are very proactive."

Client service: "They're modern and forward thinking; they feel more like colleagues than contractors."

Notable practitioners  

David Williams is identified by interviewees as "really responsive, working with clients to placate any fears they may have." His practice focuses primarily on advising clients from the technology sector in both contentious and non-contentious employment scenarios.

Christopher Middleton garners praise for his "fantastic stewardship" of instructions and for his capacity to "work in partnership with clients." He is further commended for his ability to adopt a "calm and considered" approach, and for the excellence of the advice he dispenses.

Significant clients Ancestry.co.uk, Deloitte, Expedia, Serco, Thomson Reuters.

Basic facts about the department

- 2 partners
- 4 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Representing rail industry clients in a broad array of contentious employment scenarios. Regularly instructed by clients with heavily unionised workforces in all manner of industrial relations issues.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Responsiveness: "They always provide me with the guidelines and are quick to respond if I contact them."

Technical ability: "The quality of the work is out of the top drawer. Kennedys is so very well prepared."

Work highlights Advised East Midlands Trains in successfully persuading a rail industry union to call off a proposed strike.

Notable practitioners  

The "astute and tactical" Matthew Leake is well versed in the nuances of industrial relations law and is able to apply these to his roster of rail sector clients. Sources value his approachability and the structured manner in which he tackles cases.

Significant clients Sheffield Supertram, Sheffield United FC, London Overground, South West Trains, Virgin Trains.

Basic facts about the department

- 3 partners
- 10 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for A diverse practice, with the requisite strength to provide respondent clients across a range of sectors with equally impressive representation across contentious and non-contentious employment matters.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "They don't create work for the sake of driving up the fees – the work they do is what is essential."

Work highlights Successfully advised ICE Futures on defending claims brought by a former employee alleging sex discrimination and constructive unfair dismissal.

Acted for Duke Street General Partner on the employment implications of its investment into the Parabis Group.

Notable practitioners  

Nicola Kerr, known for her skilful representation of large employers in contentious situations, leads the firm's employment practice. "Her main differentiator is that she thinks like a client," reported one source, whilst another remarked upon her capacity to "provide very sound commercial advice."

Hilary O'Connor led on the ICE Futures case. She is familiar with the manifold intricacies of employment law and has the level of competency required to deal with virtually any related dispute. "To me," opined one commentator, "she's the best lawyer in London."

Carl Richards specialises in providing clients with advice on transactional matters. He is hailed for his rigour and interpersonal approach to assignments, with one source noting his ability to "build a rapport very quickly" with clients.

Significant clients The British Land Company, EDF Energy, Hilton International, Ladbrokes, Lion Capital.

Basic facts about the department

- 4 partners
- 5 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Aiding senior figures from both the financial services sector and police force with regards to complex, sensitive employment disputes. Works closely with the firm's criminal practice to advise on the employment aspects of fraud and white-collar crime matters. Also advises on employment issues affecting other law firms.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Commercial awareness: "They were commercial, they were responsive and they were good to deal with. Sensible, good-humoured and intelligent too."

Visibility: "One comes across them very often indeed. They seem to have very clever lawyers."

Professional approach: "We find that when they're on the other side, they're sensible and approachable." 

Notable practitioners  

Departmental head Richard Fox is acknowledged as an "expert in his field," capable of giving clients "exactly the sort of professional advice that they need." He attains recognition for his prowess in both the respondent and claimant arenas and is considered to have a "very pragmatic and decisive" style of advocacy.

Those surveyed report that Adrian Crawford "instils a large degree of confidence in clients and is particularly astute at determining exactly where individual points are headed." Much of his work entails close collaboration with the firm's white-collar crime practice and he is a recognised expert in advising upon the employment aspects of such matters.

Significant clients Health Care Professions Council, Chief Police Officer's Staff Association, Baker Tilly.

Basic facts about the department

- 2 partners
- 4 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Close links with the firm's strong US employment offering. Capably assists corporates with the employment aspects of multi-jurisdictional transactions.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Technical ability: "The quality of their work is excellent. I have been thrilled with all aspects of their representation."

Responsiveness: "My e-mails are always replied to within a short space of time, I have always been able to speak to a lawyer within an hour of contacting them."

Market standing: "They're a particularly good example of a transactionally focussed employment practice."

Work highlights Advised Watson Pharmaceuticals on the employment aspects of its acquisition of Actavis.

Acted for Manchester United on its highly publicised IPO on the New York Stock Exchange, including executive service agreements and the structuring of incentive packages.

Notable practitioners  

Stephen Brown is acknowledged for adopting a "pragmatic approach" and providing clients with "realistic advice." He can count Zipcar and Manchester United amongst his impressive list of clients.

Sources value Catherine Drinnan's "proactive" and "commercial" approach to transactions, particularly her ability to "concede points she should concede and dig her heels in as appropriate." She was lead partner on the employment aspects of the Watson Pharmaceuticals transaction.

Significant clients Harrods, Mattel, Diageo, Textron, Zipcar.

Basic facts about the department

- 22 partners
- 64 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Handling both contentious and non-contentious cases with aplomb. Utilising its unparalleled bench strength to provide cutting-edge representation to both respondent and claimant clients.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "Their big strength is the additional element they offer. They provide quarterly forums and are very practicable, approachable and helpful."

Bench strength: "We think they're brilliant. They're very talented and innovative in their pricing structures and they've got such strength in depth."

Market standing: "I think that they're excellent and that they deserve their reputation within the marketplace."

Notable practitioners  

Departmental co-head Michael Burd is highly accomplished in the representation of both employers and senior executives. He has a "wealth of experience behind him," a "significant reputation" within the London market and a talent for successfully handling the most sensitive of cases.

James Davies serves as co-head of the firm's employment department and specialises in acting on behalf of respondent clients. He is widely regarded as having an "excellent practice," with one source even claiming that he is "all-knowing when it comes to employment law." 

Nicholas Hadaway attains recognition as a result of his burgeoning claimant practice. "He makes sure that he does what makes sense, as opposed to racking up gratuitous fees," reports one satisfied client.

Toni Lorenzo is a highly distinguished practitioner within the field of employment law. He has a strong record for representing Spanish multinationals and is acknowledged as having "an excellent reputation for High Court work."

The "unbelievably responsive" Ellen Temperton is frequently called upon by large corporates to offer technical advice on a diverse range of topics. Both her "pragmatic nature" and her ability to familiarise herself with a client company's culture are cited as key differentiators by clients.

Significant clients Credit Suisse, EDF Energy, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Nokia, MTV.

Basic facts about the department

- 2 partners
- 15 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Notably adept at advising large multinationals upon the employment issues that stem from transactions. Enviable base of financial services clients, comprising a number of the sector's most renowned institutions. Also acts on Employment Tribunal and High Court litigation.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Technical ability: "They're clear and concise but never simplistic. They're good at translating legal procedures into understandable terms."

Commercial awareness: "They are very knowledgeable and responsive, with pragmatic and commercial advice."

Technical ability: "The level of care that they put into preparing their cases is enormous."

Work highlights Provided legal representation to Britvic during its proposed takeover of AG Barr.

Represented the liquidators of Woolworths in relation to claims brought against the failed store by two trade unions.

Notable practitioners  

Sources credit Jean Lovett as an "extremely dedicated lawyer, one will do her utmost to deliver against tight deadlines." She brings instant credibility to matters and is further said to exhibit "strong judgement." She led on the Britvic engagement.

Nicola Rabson is commended for both contentious and non-contentious matters. One client highlights her ability to "express herself in a very clear and commercial manner," whilst others extolled her strategic and personable approach.

Significant clients Commerzbank, Deutsche Bank, Morgan Stanley, Royal Bank of Scotland, Bain.

Basic facts about the department

- 5 partners
- 11 other qualifies lawyers

What the team is known for Focuses on advising the private equity sector, with significant expertise in the employment aspects of transactions and divestitures made by these clients.  

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "Their strength is the ease in working with them. They make me feel like I am the only client that they have."

Commercial awareness: "They're commercial, pragmatic and they understand the issues from my point of view."

Technical ability: "They have a really high-level and skilled team. They adopt a problem-solving approach to serious problems."

Work highlights Advised OpCapita on the TUPE and employment aspects of its acquisitions of Comet and Game.

Assisted Caterham Cars on the employment implications of the relocation of its F1 and GP2 teams from Norfolk to Oxfordshire.

Notable practitioners  

Those surveyed identified Seán Lavin as a "business-minded individual who exudes confidence and poise." "When we have an issue or a problem, he comes up with an appropriate and intelligent solution," opined one source, whilst another claimed that "he'll be in the eye of the hurricane when things get rocky." He serves as departmental head and led on the OpCapita matter.

Described by one source as a "practical and rounded employment lawyer," Dan Lavender enjoys an excellent reputation in the field. He is considered to be a "good litigator with a strong sense of his client's goals" and is widely acknowledged for his strength in handling restrictive covenant matters.

Hayley Robinson is a key member of the team and active on a range of employment matters. "She just gets our structure," said one source; "she gets what we're asking her to do and she understands our perspective on things."

Significant clients WorldPay, IMG Media, Montagu Private Equity, Red Bull, KFC.

Basic facts about the department

- 3 partners
- 13 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Advising large, multinational corporations on strategic organisational changes. Preferred advisers amongst a number of financial institutions for sophisticated employment matters.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Technical ability: "Their work is outstanding; it is well researched, well executed, simple to understand and great value for money."

Commercial awareness: "They helped me understand the commercial reality of the situation. I really don't think that there is anything that they could have done better."

Market standing: "I've got a lot of time for the firm. They're not aggressive for the sake of being aggressive."

Work highlights Acted for Mittal Investments on the employment aspects of a £272 million acquisition of a portfolio of construction materials operations, spanning quarries, plants and other works.

Advised QBE Insurance in connection with a substantial team move case. Successful in obtaining a 12-month springboard injunction.

Notable practitioners  

Nicholas Robertson is a doyen of the employment world and, in the words of one peer, "a real heavyweight." "I think he's probably one of the best employment lawyers you will ever find," claimed one source, whilst others praised his commercial awareness and ability to work collaboratively. He recently handled a complex litigation matter on behalf of Southern Cross.

Christopher Fisher is perceived to have a "stunning ability to make very complicated matters seem simple" and to adopt a "sound and level-headed approach, one which is very much in the interests of his clients." A recent work highlight saw him represent QBE Insurance in a team move.

Stefan Martin recently assisted JPMorgan with its successful defence against a £2 million claim of negligent misrepresentation. He is described as being "user-friendly" and is well-regarded by a number of financial services clients.

Significant clients Southern Cross, QBE, M&G, EMI, The Football Association.

Basic facts about the department

- 2 partners
- 1 counsel
- 4 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for A compact team with a reputation for delivering strong, partner-led representation on both litigation and transactional matters. Noted expertise in handling whistle-blowing allegations for respondents.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Commercial awareness: "They always add value. They always tell me something I miss or take what I know to the next level. They come up with solutions that aren't always textbook."

Client service: "They're very practical and they grasped our business model very quickly."

Work highlights Acted for Mazda on TUPE issues that emerged following the transition of its car financing arrangements from Santander Bank to Lombard North Central.

Advised Intersnack with respect to the employment ramifications of its acquisition of KP Snacks.

Notable practitioners  

Katie Clark impresses clients with her ability to "talk to different individuals in a very easy-to-understand manner." This is echoed by her skill in "articulating what clients need" to other relevant parties.

Sharon Tan has a comprehensive grasp of the entire spectrum of employment law, attaining effusive recommendations from senior market sources. To cite one client: "She gets the relevant points very quickly and takes time to understand the culture of our business." She led on the Mazda matter.

Significant clients Barnes Group, Cardinal Health, ESCO Corporation, Macquarie Bank, JMH Group.

Basic facts about the department

- 2 partners
- 4 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Renowned for the quality of its litigious work, appearing regularly on behalf of clients at tribunal level. Acknowledged for the level of service it provides to SME clients.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "They don't just wait for us to call them. They proactively look after us as customers."

Industry knowledge: "They are ideally suited to the SME community."

Work highlights Advised JAC Computer Services on the dismissal of one of its founding directors.

Assisted Norcon throughout the restructuring of its boardroom. Advice pertained directly to the termination of the previous CEO and the appointment of new directors.

Notable practitioners  

Merrill April is hailed as a "very approachable lawyer, one who takes the time to understand situations fully." According to one client: "She has a lot of empathy for small businesses and is good at providing advice that helps to avoid unnecessary legal procedures.

Significant clients Allium Capital, Beds & Bars, Bloch UK, Electric Word, Spirited Wines.

Basic facts about the department

- 6 partners
- 1 legal director
- 15 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Vigorous representation of senior executives and professional services employees, typically in the most sensitive of cases with the greatest import from a legal perspective. Also boasts an impressive respondent-based practice, including notable clients from the financial services industry.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Industry knowledge: "They understand the elements that have to be considered in a very rounded way."

Market standing: "They are one of the top firms specialising in the representation of senior executives."

Bench strength: "They've got real strength in depth and some brilliant people."

Work highlights Represented former Clyde & Co partner Krista Bates van Winkelhof in a ground-breaking whistle-blowing case. This matter was the first to raise the question of whether a partner at an LLP could be treated as an employee for the purposes of whistle-blowing protection.

Acted on behalf of 21 Dresdner Kleinwort bankers in a high-profile dispute that related to unpaid retention bonuses.

Notable practitioners  

Daniel Naftalin was an integral part of the firm's representation of 21 Dresdner Kleinwort bankers claiming unpaid retention bonuses. The successful verdict returned by the judge in this high-profile dispute exemplifies what one client terms "his ability to grasp the totality of a claimant's interests."

Noted for her strength in representing both individuals and respondents, Joanna Blackburn is a "strong litigator" who understands how employment law links into the wider commercial picture. She led on the claim against Clyde & Co.

According to one prominent market source, Sarah Keeble is a "fantastic lawyer with great tactical nous. She has the ability to work out what a client wants and knows exactly how to get it." Furthermore, she is perceived as being "brilliant at dealing with high-end people in massive commercial organisations."

Significant clients Gordon Ramsay Holdings, Bank of Ireland, Cancer Research UK, Warner Music, Aviva.

Basic facts about the department

- 2 partners
- 9 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Able to draw upon the firm's extensive global footprint to provide large corporate clients with employment advice. Delivers guidance on the employment issues that arise from corporate transactions.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Technical ability: "The quality of their work is excellent. They combine a technical understanding with an ability to explain things clearly and then apply them to the matter at hand."

Responsiveness: "Their advice is timely and they're very accessible. They're really cost-minded and don't waste time on theoretical possibilities."

Work highlights Advised Royal Bank of Canada on the employment aspects of its multi-jurisdictional acquisition of Coutts's Latin American, Caribbean and African private banking divisions.

Notable practitioners  

According to one client, Paul Griffin has a laudable capacity to apply "his technical understanding to commercial matters." He is labelled a "fantastic transactional lawyer" and has the ability to "work constructively with the opposing side" in complex matters. 

Catrina Smith boasts a strong practice that is founded on a familiarity with clients working in the financial services and energy sectors. She led for Royal Bank of Canada on the Coutts matter. 

Significant clients Aeroturbine, ACE, Bank of Ireland, Petronas, PwC.  

Basic facts about the department

- 4 partners
- 14 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Assisting employers across the full spectrum of employment law, including advisory, contentious and transactional matters. Firm-wide focus on the media and technology sectors, from which many of the team's clients are sourced.

Work highlights Acted for Yattendon on the employment law aspects of the sale of Iliffe News & Media to Local World.

Advised Moneysavingexpert founder Martin Lewis in connection with the company's £87 million sale to Moneysupermarket.

Notable practitioners  

Daniel Aherne is valued by clients on account of the pragmatic and innovative advice he dispenses.

Catherine Taylor is praised by clients for her common sense approach to matters.

Melanie Lane is noted for her commercial awareness and client service skills.

Significant clients BBC Worldwide, Bloomberg, Channel 4 Television, Eurosport, Rightmove.

Basic facts about the department

- 4 partners
- 1 consultant
- 8 other qualified lawyers 

What the team is known for Impressive track record in advising large corporate clients on whistle-blowing protections and board-level terminations. Growing presence in the financial services and telecommunications sectors.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Efficiency: "They are quick to respond, concise in their presentation, and always offer good-quality advice."

Commercial awareness: "The culture of their firm is in providing down-to-earth, practical and commercial advice."

Work highlights Acted for Lazard on terminating the employment of several senior executives.

Advised GDF Suez with respect to a senior executive termination and defence of related discrimination allegations.

Notable practitioners  

Departmental head David Cubitt has a strong, varied practice and is noticeably "well tuned-in to the commercial needs of businesses." Clients value his willingness to "always provide a straight answer" and ability to "get to the heart of the matter quickly."

Victoria Parry boasts a strong track record in City discrimination cases and bonus disputes. She is appraised very positively by market sources, with one individual saying that "the tactics she deployed helped bring the parties together and promote a good settlement. She helped to dispel the myth that aggression is all that it is needed."

Significant clients Nomura International, Eurostar, Marks & Spencer, Standard Chartered Bank, Dell.

Basic facts about the department

- 2 partners
- 4 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Skilled in advising clients attempting to deal with boardroom disputes. Established presence in the retail, finance and property sectors.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Technical ability: "Their advice is really detailed and they provide us with a well-researched overview on each matter."

What's new? In 2013, Manches merged with Penningtons to form Penningtons Manches.

Notable practitioners  

Tom Walker is recommended for his ability to "handle difficult matters very well." He is heralded as a "very commercial and bright lawyer," whose "proactivity in following up matters" is appreciated by clients. He specialises in advising corporate clients requiring assistance with boardroom disputes.

Paul Mander is a talented practitioner whose "advice is always at the right level that clients need." "He'll always keep me updated as to what's coming up and point out any issues that might have an impact upon us in the future," noted one client.  

Jon Heuvel is said to adopt a "bold and pragmatic approach" to matters, typically "providing legal advice that is geared towards solving problems." Clients also claim that he is "also very interested in the wider perspective of running a business." 

Significant clients Healthcare Locums, Eurotunnel Services, British Medical Association, Heal & Son, Spicerhaart Group.

Basic facts about the department

- 5 partners
- 16 other qualified lawyers 

What the team is known for Admirable national strength, with the London office ably supported by an impressive regional network. Skilled in assisting clients from the infrastructure and retail sectors.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "Their newsletters keep me up to date on changes to UK legislation and I find that very helpful."

Bench strength: "They have a very broad practice and a number of smart, competitive and commercial lawyers."

Work highlights Provided counsel to Jack Wills on the employment aspects of closing one of its brands, including the redundancy process.

Notable practitioners  

Edward Goodwyn has "fantastic experience of the construction industry," according to one eminent peer. This view is ratified by other sources, who also highlight his impressive responsiveness and levels of client service.

Significant clients Alstom, Aon Corporation, John Lewis, Bombardier, LSE.

Basic facts about the department

- 4 partners
- 10 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Impressive in handling both contentious situations at tribunal level and in undertaking multi-jurisdictional projects. Expertise in handling the employment aspects of outsourcing projects.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Strategic planning: "The quality of tactical and strategic advice provided by Reed Smith is really excellent."

Technical ability: "They were very methodical and amassed all of the evidence in the right way. They understood the evidence and asked intelligent questions"

Notable practitioners  

Robin Jeffcott brings expertise spanning the entirety of employment-related matters. According to one source, his "tactical and strategic advice is sophisticated, and unrivalled in its appreciation of both the relevant commercial and legal issues."

Significant clients Heidrick & Struggles, Channel 4, PwC, Koch, RFIB.

Basic facts about the department

- 5 partners
- 11 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Renowned for advising mainstay clients of the insurance, utility and retail sectors involved in employment disputes. Growing expertise in handling the employment aspects of transactional matters.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "Their strength lies in their pragmatism. They are very inclusive and they make you, as a client, feel that they're owning your problem."

Work highlights Acted for SCA Hygiene Products AB on the employment implications of its EUR1.32 billion acquisition of Georgia-Pacific's European tissue operations.

Notable practitioners  

Departmental head Cath Thorpe has a broad practice, with substantial expertise in handling restrictive covenants and whistle-blowing disputes from a respondent perspective.

Significant clients Veolia Environmental Services, Chubb Insurance Company of Europe SE, HMV, Waterstones, Arch Insurance Company.

Basic facts about the department

- 6 partners
- 15 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Frequently engaged to act on behalf of major financial institutions, including a number of industry leading names. Particularly strong in undertaking work with a multi-disciplinary element that necessitates collaboration with other internal teams.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Commercial awareness: "The work is very commercially driven which is exactly what we are looking for."

Market standing: "The pre-eminent adviser for complex, high-risk claims."

Market standing: "A strong reputation and very well established within the financial services market."

Work highlights Handled the employment aspects of a £1.236 billion divestiture made by Veolia.

Acted on behalf of Portigon over an appeal to the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) and Court of Appeal over a procedural tribunal point.

Notable practitioners  

Mark Hewland provides clients with "good holistic overviews" that lead them to "think about points they had not originally considered." Clients also appreciate his ability to "strike a balance between being commercial and legally robust."

Julian Taylor's practice concentrates primarily upon the representation of financial institutions across a range of contentious and non-contentious matters. Clients label him a "true business partner," one who fully "understands how to provide commercial advice."

According to one commentator, departmental head Simon Watson "has unparalleled experience in representing respondents in high-value matters." Others highlight his experience and strength in "marshalling the facts and taking account of the wider issues."

Philip Bartlett is frequently called upon to advise respondent clients from the financial sector. He was involved in the Veolia transaction in a supervisory capacity.

Andrea Finn is commended by sources for her "incredible work ethic" and strength in contentious situations. She is hailed as a "sophisticated, experienced adviser" and is perceived to adopt a style that "engenders trust" in clients.

Known for the vigour with which she represents clients, the "approachable and commercial" Anna Rentoul is "very good at thinking about how people are likely to react and to feel" when facing employment disputes.  

Significant clients AllianceBernstein, AXA Group, Deutsche Bank, Invesco, Visa.

Basic facts about the department

- 13 partners
- 22 other qualified lawyers 

What the team is known for Providing representation to an array of senior executives from a broad spectrum of industry sectors. Particular strength in assisting senior whistle-blowers and employees of the regulated industries.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Strategic planning: "The firm provided very sound, practical and specific advice. I was given a range of options to pursue with the likely risks and rewards of each strategy spelt out."

Commercial awareness: "Their advice was excellent; pragmatic and highly practical, as well as being legally correct and imaginative."

Work highlights Advised Roy Hodgson on the contractual negotiations that arose from his appointment as manager of the England football team.

Acted on behalf of Brodie Clark, the former head of the UK Border Force, in a constructive dismissal case.

Notable practitioners  

Renowned for his adroit representation of a number of Premier League football managers, Paul Daniels is described by sources as being both a "fierce litigator" and a "tough negotiator." He was integral to the firm's representation of England manager Roy Hodgson.

Clive Howard is acclaimed by a variety of market commentators for his capacity to represent senior executives in contentious situations. He is lauded as an "amazing ambassador" for the firm and is said to bring an element of practicality to each engagement. He recently advised the former head of the UK Border Force on a highly publicised constructive dismissal case.

Julie Morris retains a laudable degree of common sense when conducting negotiations. "She was extremely efficient," enthused one client, adding that "she used all the information I supplied effectively and negotiated a settlement that was better than I expected."

John Marshall most frequently represents executives in the financial services sector, earning approbation from a range of market commentators.

Described as a "consummate professional" by one effusive client, Claire Dawson commands a growing reputation in high-value claimant work. "I believe that she is exceptional," remarks one source.

Basic facts about the department

- 3 partners
- 6 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Providing cutting-edge employment advice to the firm's enviable array of large corporate clients. Delivers advice to multinational corporations on handling the employment angles of transactions.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Commercial awareness: "They're superb; very pragmatic. The advice is considered against a technical background and delivered in a commercial fashion."

Problem solving: "They were exceptional and very professional. They came in and made things happen in the most painless way."

Work highlights Acted for Terra Firma on its acquisition of Four Seasons Health Care. 

Advised Premier Foods on the employment aspects of the divestiture of several of its businesses to The Hain Celestial Group. 

Notable practitioners  

Roland Doughty, lauded by commentators for his "commercially focused and client-friendly" approach, has the skills to deliver integrated advice across several different disciplines, including pensions and employee benefits concerns. He recently advised Cambridge Silicon Radio on the sale of one its handset divisions to Samsung.

Associate Elizabeth Twigger has the ability to "listen to clients and comes back with appropriate advice from both a legal and a practical perspective. She gives advice that helps clients feel safe and confident."

Significant clients Ashmore Group, BBA Aviation, Cambridge Silicon Radio, Ocado, Marks and Spencer.

What the team is known for Capable of providing both employer and employee clients with strong representation. Works closely with clients from the financial services industry.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Technical ability: "We think they're impressive and we enjoy using them."

Bench strength: "They have a large and very strong team." 

Notable practitioners  

An acknowledged expert in dealing with both respondent and claimant clients, Alan Julyan is considered to have an "encyclopaedic knowledge" of employment law. He is identified as a "strong and impressive lawyer," one familiar with the myriad idiosyncrasies of this field.

Trevor Bettany is a "sensible and commercial lawyer, one who takes the points that need to be taken." He is recommended for handling employment matters for corporate clients.

Basic facts about the department

- 5 partners
- 17 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Maintains an active presence within the employment law arena, with expertise in overseeing both contentious and non-contentious matters. Particular expertise in handling cases that involve either a discrimination or whistle-blowing element.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Technical ability: "I always receive very well thought-out advice, in a very timely matter. The quality of the work is exceptional."

Client service: "They are absolutely superb." 

Notable practitioners  

David Whincup is the leading light of the firm's employment practice and is considered by sources to be a "great practitioner," one who is capable of handling the most sophisticated and complex matters undertaken by the firm.

Caroline Noblet is the main point of contact for many of the firm's employment clients. She is said to always offer "stellar advice" and to be an "incredible negotiator."

Fraser Younson garners praise for both dispensing "very strong advice" and for his "supremely knowledgeable" approach. He is notably strong at dealing with cross-border employment matters. He joined the practice from Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP in 2014.

Significant clients Marriott, Investec Bank, Medical Research Council, E.On, Hospira.

Basic facts about the department

- 4 partners
- 15 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for A varied, broad-based employment team boasting substantial expertise in everything from the TUPE implications of large transactions to defending complex tribunal claims. Particularly noted for tackling multi-jurisdictional mandates.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Problem solving: "They'll give thought as to what we want to do and help advise us as to how to best achieve that goal."

Efficiency: "They're efficient, professional and their advice is always very accurate."

Work highlights Acted for Canaway Fleming Architects on a tribunal claim brought by a former employee. The claim entailed allegations of racial discrimination and unfair dismissal.

Advised Macquarie Bank on the employment aspects of its acquisition of Lloyds Banking Group's European rolling stock leasing business.

Notable practitioners  

The vastly experienced Kate Brearley is a luminary within the employment domain. "She is technically strong and knows her stuff inside out," remarked one source, whilst another claimed that "she's very much aware of things that are going on in the wider market." She is frequently called upon to advise on employment issues that arise from corporate transactions.

Sources praise Anne Pritam's "proactive" style, one which enables her to approach cases in a "sensible and pragmatic" manner. She is instructed in connection with boardroom disputes and TUPE matters, and led on the Canaway Fleming Architects matter.

Interviewees are keen to highlight the directness of advice provided by Paul Reeves. Much of his work is on behalf of large clients from the financial services industry, with an emphasis on tribunal representation.

Significant clients Bank of Montreal, Charlemagne Capital, KPMG, The Royal College of Art, Fine & Rare Wines.

Basic facts about the department

- 1 partner
- 3 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Acting for senior executives across a range of industries, with particular expertise in representing those from the financial services sector. Skilled in assisting individuals with the intricacies of whistle-blowing and discrimination claims.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Problem solving: "They have a very good reputation for resolving situations and producing the right outcome for clients."

What's new? Tim Spillane now heads the firm's employment team.

Notable practitioners  

According to one interviewee, Tim Spillane is a "calm and unflappable lawyer," one who "takes great care to understand precisely what the client wants and needs. He is well-respected amongst his peers in this market. 

The "extremely impressive" Richard Nicolle is a widely respected employment practitioner. In addition to recognised strength in dealing with restrictive covenant issues, he is adept at handling the TUPE implications of corporate transactions. He advised Como on the sale to the Giorgio Armani Group.

Significant clients Sammons Associates, KSP Real Estate Investment Management, New Quadrant Partners, Gravis Capital Partners.

Basic facts about the department

- 4 partners
- 14 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Established presence in representing venture capital clients, inward investors and technology companies on the nuances of employment law. Renowned as robust litigators, with an impressive track record in disputes brought before the High Court. 

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Commercial awareness: "The thing that I really like about the firm is that it's pragmatic. They take an interpretation of the law and then apply it in a business context."

Industry knowledge: "They are extremely knowledgeable about what we do and understand our business. The quality of their work is first class."

Strategic planning: "They take a very strategic approach and provide employment advice that is applicable to our particular business."

Work highlights Represented IFE Holdings in a High Court claim brought by a former managing director, as well as in counterclaims alleging the misuse of funds.

Acted on behalf of EasyJet in connection with holiday pay litigation brought by the BALPA pilots union.

Notable practitioners  

Sean Nesbitt is perceived by clients to possess "a great deal of experience" and to be "good at managing cultural differences." He is a seasoned High Court expert having successfully advised multiple clients in such proceedings. 

Paul Callaghan works closely with US inbound clients, advising upon the intricacies of UK employment law. He led on the High Court defence of IFE Holdings.

Key partner Andrew Granger is "an outstanding strategist," say sources. "His skills are exceptional and he works diligently to mitigate potential exposure of our business." He represented EasyJet in litigation brought by the BALPA pilots union on holiday pay.

Significant clients Macmillan Publishing, Enterprise Rent-A-Car UK, Instinet, Hyperion, RBC Dexia UK.

Basic facts about the department

- 4 partners
- 11 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Offering partner-led representation to employers across a range of industry sectors. Equally proficient in overseeing both contentious and non-contentious matters.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Commercial awareness: "They're really sound in terms of providing you with a balanced perspective. They don't just quote the law at you, they help you to apply it."

Bench strength: "They field an excellent employment team to manage complex disputes."

Work highlights Successfully assisted Raytheon Systems in connection with a substantial whistle-blowing claim brought by a senior employee.

Aided Quest Diagnostics in its successful defence of claims brought by a former employee relating to unfair dismissal and racial discrimination.

Notable practitioners  

Managing partner Andrew Lilley maintains an active presence within the marketplace. "Andrew has gravitas and people listen to him with good reason," notes one source who also praises his propensity to "take a constructive approach in order to help all parties reach an amicable resolution."

Siân Keall is often retained in an advisory capacity by leading corporate clients. Those surveyed cite her "tactical approach" and her commercial acumen as two of her major strengths.

Noted for his commercial approach to matters, Tim Gilbert is head of the employment department. He recently represented Quest Diagnostics in a complex tribunal claim brought by a former employee.

Ed Mills's practice spans the gamut of employment law and he is comfortable when acting for clients on either contentious situations or in an advisory capacity. He led on the Raytheon Systems matter.

Significant clients Virgin Active, BNP Paribas Real Estate, 3663, Deloitte, Rugby Football Union.

Basic facts about the department

- 3 partners
- 9 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Deftly advising clients from the housing sector as to their employment obligations and duties. Noted presence in guiding on TUPE litigation.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Pragmatic advice: "Their advice is clear, concise and sensible. They look to see what you're trying to achieve and try and find a way of getting there."

Industry knowledge: "They are aware of all the technical aspects of employment law." 

Work highlights Advised Merthyr Valley Homes in connection with unfair dismissal and whistle-blowing claims brought by a former employee.

Assisted Career Development Group, a welfare to work charity, in its successful defence of TUPE tribunal claims brought by a group of individuals.

Notable practitioners  

Departmental head Emma Burrows is, according to clients, a "first-class" lawyer who "knows when it's best to fight and when to cut her losses." She is acknowledged for her skill in providing housing trusts with advice across the employment spectrum.

Significant clients Metropolitan Housing Trust, The Brandon Trust, London Borough of Barnet, Family Mosiac, National Autistic Society.

Basic facts about the department

- 3 partners
- 5 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for A broad and varied practice with the ability to deal with a range of both contentious and non-contentious employment matters. Concerted focus on the maritime and renewable energy sectors.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Client service: "They are very quick in responding to any questions or queries, they're very supportive and they run excellent in-house seminars."

Work highlights Advised Matra Petroleum in relation to two senior departures at boardroom level and the appointment of a new CEO.

Notable practitioners  

The "thoroughly efficient" Elizabeth Buchan elicits praise for her commercial acuity and impresses clients with her "reliable, good-quality advice." She advised Matra Petroleum on the abovementioned matter.

Angharad Harris is recommended for her strong cross-border practice, especially in advising US corporates on UK employment law. She is perceived as "very client focused" and boasts strong financial services expertise.

Significant clients AXA Corporate Solutions UK, Gamesys, Push Technology, Sagicor Syndicate Services, Gearbulk UK.

Basic facts about the department

- 3 partners
- 4 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Expertise in handling both the employment aspects of large transactions and the intricacies of litigious scenarios. Strong understanding of the technology sector, from which a large proportion of its clients are sourced.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Commercial awareness: "Their advice is detailed, and they are very often able to think beyond just the immediate issue to explore further options that may come up."

Responsiveness: "They are exceptionally responsive and work hard to deal with tight deadlines imposed on them."

Work highlights Advised Convergys on all employment law implications arising from the sale of its IM Division to NEC Corporation/Netcracker.

Instructed by GameAccount Global to oversee the disposal of a software advice platform to Aristocrat, including the transfer of employees for an 18-month transition period.

Notable practitioners  

Practice group leader David Israel commands a strong market reputation. Clients value his "intuitive feel for the way the other side is going to react," whilst peers single out his client-handling skills. He represented GameAccount Global in the above matter.

Significant clients Right Management, Illumina, London Broncos, Jaeger, Royal Academy of Arts.

Basic facts about the department

- 4 partners
- 1 consultant
- 13 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Market-leading representation of senior individuals working across various sectors, particularly in financial services. A burgeoning respondent practice advising charities, mid-cap financial services companies and luxury brands.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Efficiency: "The team was remarkable. I didn't need to repeat anything to anyone. Everybody was up to speed and aware of all the detail at all times."

Technical ability: "Withers are fantastic at dealing with very high-value claims."

Client service: "They never leave a stone unturned." 

Work highlights Acted on behalf of Andrew Moss, former CEO of Aviva, on the intricacies of his resignation from that position.

Advised Robinson Webster with regards to the departure of its CEO and Finance Director.

Notable practitioners  

Recommended for her aptitude in handling cases on behalf of both claimants and respondents, Meriel Schindler is acknowledged as having a "great style and a strong client manner."

Elaine Aarons has established a successful claimant-oriented practice, founded on a base of "exceptional communication skills" and a talent for employment law. Those surveyed note that she "represents top clients and she does it very adroitly." She represented former Aviva CEO Andrew Moss in the above matter.

Daniel Isaac commands a strong reputation in the marketplace as a result of his burgeoning claimant-focused practice. He represented SSAFA Forces Help on healthcare and midwifery contracts awarded by the armed forces.

Significant clients Winton Capital, Shelterbox, Henkel, Tom Mockridge, Girls’ Day School Trust.  

Basic facts about the department

- 3 partners
- 6 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Advises a broad range of clients, with expertise in advising on independent investigations involving clients operating against a heavily regulated backdrop. Further noted for its aptitude in counselling on the TUPE implications of transactions.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
Efficiency: "They are very professional, fast to reply and very thorough."

What's new? On 1st May 2014, Wragge & Co and Lawrence Graham combined to become Wragge Lawrence Graham & Co.

Work highlights Instructed by the British Bankers' Association to conduct a time-sensitive investigation into the alleged manipulation and false reporting of Libor rates.

Advised the Irish Dairy Board as it conducted a compliance audit of its UK human resources practices.

Notable practitioners  

Yvonne Gallagher is a skilled and talented practitioner who focuses her practice on assisting respondent clients across the spectrum of employment matters. Peers value her impressive pragmatism, with one individual extolling her ability to push matters forward. She advised the Irish Dairy Board on the conduct of a compliance audit of its HR practices in the UK.

Significant clients Brewin Dolphin, NFU Mutual, World Gold Council, Schindler, Microfocus.

Other Ranked Lawyers 其他上榜律师

The "outstanding" Henry Clinton-Davis of Arnold & Porter (UK) LLP provides a "good balance of legal expertise and business nous." Sources particularly value his ability to "come up with practical solutions" to business questions.

Market commentators laud Ray Silverstein of Browne Jacobson LLP as a "pragmatic, honest and very engaging person" whose practice has an impressive commercial hue. According to one source, "his knowledge of employment law is exceptional and the speed and quality of his work is impeccable."

The "experienced and knowledgeable" Gary Freer of Bryan Cave LLP garners consistent praise from sources. His market acclaim is based upon his skill in dealing with restrictive covenant cases, for which he is widely commended. 

Nathan Donaldson of Collyer Bristow LLP earns market approval for his burgeoning employment practice which sees him represent a wide range of corporate clients. "He's spot on with regards to the law and he dispenses very sound advice," said one peer.

Christopher Walter of Covington & Burling LLP is, according to one client, "absolutely first rate;" a true "iron fist in a silk glove." He provides clients with a strong commercial perspective and is commended for his impressive response times.

The "polished and professional" Rustom Tata of DMH Stallard LLP works closely with a number of exceptionally high-profile clients and attains general commendation for his "adaptability and flexibility." He recently represented Chantrey Vellacott as it underwent a restructuring process. 

Robert Davies of Dundas & Wilson boasts a thriving employment practice, one which has earned him the approval of peers and clients alike. "He's a top-notch practitioner as far as I'm concerned," notes one peer, whilst another said that "he's somebody that I'd certainly recommend." He is particularly skilled in handling employment disputes faced by public sector clients.

The "commercially minded" Graham Paul is a key member of the Dundas & Wilson employment team, commended for his ability to "find sensible ground from where he can dispense logical advice." He recently represented SAP UK and SAP AG on discrimination and whistle-blowing claims.

"I would rate Helga Breen of DWF LLP as the best employment lawyer I have used in my career," remarked one enthusiastic client. "She has the ability to translate employment law into useable information, both verbally and written, and understands the pressures of keeping things legal whilst trying to run a business." She joined the team from Lawrence Graham where she acted for the British Bankers' Association on the Libor investigation.

Nicholas Tsatsas of Fladgate LLP boasts a diverse employment practice that spans the financial services, retail and technology sectors. Peers consider him to be a "very sensible opponent who doesn't waste the time or the money of his clients."

James Cox of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP specialises in advising clients on the employment implications of large transactions. "I think he's been absolutely brilliant," enthused one client; "I wouldn't hesitate to recommend him to anybody. He's commercial in a very positive way."

Alison Downie of Goodman Derrick LLP attains recognition on account of her thriving employer-focused practice. She is regularly engaged to assist respondent clients defend discrimination claims.

Naomi Feinstein of Greenberg Traurig Maher LLP is heralded as a "pragmatic and commercial" practitioner. She focuses on providing advice in relation to the employment aspects of corporate transactions.

Russell Lamb of Greenberg Traurig Maher LLP is said to offer clients "very straightforward explanations" and is able to "quickly get to the nub of any matter." He recently assisted TransRe with a potential discrimination case.

Jane Wheeler of Hine Legal is a talented employment lawyer, a true "up-and-comer" in the marketplace. "I can always rely on her to provide impeccable technical advice and guidance on both the straightforward issues and more complex matters," says one source. "She has a sound commercial approach that is most helpful and one that I value enormously."

Paul Callegari of K&L Gates is commended by clients for the breadth of his respondent-based practice. To cite one source, Callegari's advice is "typified by clear concision. He's always able to answer my questions and provide me with the information required very promptly."

One client singles out Gareth Kervin of Kervin & Barnes as "someone who can be trusted to arrive at advice that will solve the problem, not just comply with the law." Another client highlights his ability to "understand the company as an entity and advise from that perspective."

James Davies of Laytons is considered a "very thoughtful and straightforward" lawyer, whose strong reputation results in a steady flow of referrals. He specialises in representing senior executives in all manner of employment disputes.

Dan Peyton of McGuireWoods London LLP commands a practice with a large cross-border element. "He is incredibly knowledgeable and down-to-earth," said one source, whilst another is adamant in his praise of Peyton's dedication to client service.

To cite one source, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP employment head Matthew Howse "gives you comfort in his decision-making by talking through issues. He has a great ability to look at things from a commercial and pragmatic perspective, and to consider the human aspect too."

Nick Thomas of Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP is a "commercial, clear and responsive lawyer," one who understands that "clients want advice tailored to their needs." He is a recent lateral hire from Pinsent Masons.

Richard Brown of Nabarro LLP is highly experienced with a practice that focuses on the financial services, technology and recruitment industries. Clients appreciate his pragmatic approach and strong commercial acumen. He recently joined the firm from Osborne Clarke.

Simon McMenemy recently joined Ogletree Deakins International LLP from Signet Partners. He is perceived to provide clients with "practical and sensible advice." He is able to draw on his background in the employment benefits arena to offer an integrated service to clients.

Helen Parker of Parker & Co is recommended for representing claimants from the financial services sector. "She's clear-thinking and very rational about things," reported one client. "Anyone looking for representation as an individual would do very well to seek out Helen."

Daniel Ornstein of Proskauer Rose LLP is known as being "incredibly analytical" and works closely with a number of clients headquartered in the USA. According to one interviewee: "He is incredibly intelligent and an excellent sounding board. He displays both empathy and an assured knowledge of the best way to treat cases."

Sejal Raja of RadcliffesLeBrasseur enjoys a growing market reputation, with sources remarking favourably upon her "client-focused" approach. She assists a number of NHS trusts in dealing with employment disputes.

Anthony Sakrouge of Russell-Cooke LLP is described as a "standout solicitor" by one source and is recommended for his strength in acting for claimants. "I couldn't praise anyone higher," opined one source; "he's very committed to the client and is generally superb." 

"I consider Sam Whitaker to be a real problem solver and able to take on the most challenging of matters," reports one source. He is seen as "an accessible and knowledgeable" employment lawyer, with a noted expertise in handling multi-jurisdictional matters. He currently serves as head of the Shearman & Sterling LLP employment department.

Christopher Braganza of Sheridans attracts recommendations as a result of the high-quality advice he habitually provides to employers. According to one source he "epitomises excellence."

Danielle Spiers of Sheridans earns effusive praise from one senior source: "She was absolutely all over the case and knew every detail. I really was impressed by her, she's certainly one to watch."

Ray Wann of Sheridans is praised for his willingness to "offer up a solution and volunteer a decisive opinion." He counts Channel 4 Television amongst his most noteworthy clients.

Nicholas Lakeland of Silverman Sherliker provides clients with "pragmatic advice, sensitive to their needs as a business." He primarily represents employers and is reported to have an ability to "explain the issues succinctly and accurately."

Nic Hart of Steptoe & Johnson advises an eclectic mix of clients on both contentious scenarios and strategic concerns. He advised Briggs Equipment on the employment aspects of the acquisition of a competitor.

Senior associate Dominic Holmes of Taylor Vinters focuses on TUPE issues relating to outsourcings, business transfers and takeovers.

According to those surveyed, Mark McQuillan of TLT LLP is a "business-oriented and strategic" employer's lawyer. Clients note that he is "responsive, knowledgeable and a pleasure to work with."

David Greenhalgh of Twenty Twenty Law is recommended for his dedication to providing clients with "practical and common-sense advice." He is skilled in handling both contentious and non-contentious matters for employers from a range of industries.

According to sources, TUPE specialist Michael Ryley of Weightmans is "inspirational and trustworthy" in equal measure. He recently joined the team from Pinsent Masons and specialises in representing clients from the retail sector.

Ivor Gwilliams of Weil, Gotshal & Manges is commended for exhibiting "sound judgement" in highly sensitive situations. He is able to "succinctly explain problems and outline different approaches," and is a noted expert in transactional employment concerns. 

Specialist employment lawyer Oliver Brettle of White & Case LLP has a growing reputation in the market. Sources admit to having "tremendous respect for him" and praise his "pragmatic and commercial approach." He recently assisted Saudi Aramco with the employment aspects of a large corporate merger.

Jo Keddie is acknowledged by clients as a committed and responsive advocate, one who "sees both sides of a dispute." She is a partner in the employment department at Winckworth Sherwood and focuses her practice on advising senior executives.

Foreign Experts

Foreign Experts are individuals with expertise in a different jurisdiction to the one they are based in. These individuals are particularly highly regarded for international and cross-border work. Usually, they will be identified in the jurisdiction in which they are based and in their country of expertise.

Senior Statesman

A 'Senior Statesman' is a lawyer who no longer works hands-on with the same intensity but who, by virtue of close links with major clients, remains pivotal to the firm’s success.

Eminent Practitioners

'Eminent Practitioners' are highly influential lawyers in a particular practice area who, due to managerial or client relationship commitments, are less active in day-to-day work but remain key players in the team.

Other Noted Practitioners

Other Noted Practitioners are individuals who have not yet been ranked but are seen to be active and accomplished in this area of law.

Other Noted Firms

Other Noted Firms are firms that have not yet been ranked but are seen to be active and accomplished in this area of law.