Employment Disputes & Litigation
There is nothing quite like winning a case in court and employment tribunal claims still offer the prospect of very substantial awards in the right cases. But it is not always the best answer and cases can become protracted in length and legal complexity.
We start by assessing your position and putting the best case we can for resolution to the other side early, effectively and efficiently. It is not always possible to engage the other side in meaningful settlement negotiations, but adopting a clear position at the outset on what is sought is essential.
When presenting a claim to the tribunal becomes pressing, we provide a through approach both to advising you on the merits of your claim and the particulars of tyour case. We provide timely support, guidance and practcial expertise throughout the process, always with a focus on the merits of the claim and a realistic assessment of the likely outcome.
We balance the possible financial award or settlement in the claim with the associated legal costs. Whenever possible, we offer to pursue your claim on the basis of a fixed fee, providing you with clarity and peace of mind about the overall costs, so that you can focus on the claim without the worry of unexpected legal costs.
Employee Relations, Grievance & Disciplinary Hearings
We are frequently asked to advise in the area of employee relations, where matters can be fast moving and require responsive advice. We focus on advancing our clients' interests, whether it is formulating a robust answer to a disciplinary allegation or presenting a formal grievance.
We have extensive experience in advising HR, legal and the senior management team in a broad array of organisations, including the public sector, industry and charities and have the benefit of seeing matters from both sides. We are experienced in dealing with complex investigations, and provide timely guidance in advance of any grievance, disciplinary or appeal hearing to take some of the uncertainty out of the situation and put you on the best possible footing.
Recognising that workplace disputes are often accompanied by workplace stress, anxiety, and sometimes depression, we always aim to handle matters with sensitivity. We have many years of experience in tackling difficult and challenging circumstances, including those involving a mental or physical disability, and are particularly alive to the health issues that often arise.
We pride ourselves on our accessibility, making ourselves available to you and providing support by telephone and email whenever it is needed to help you proceed towards the best possible outcome.
Employment Contracts, Policies & Benefits
We are experienced in drafting, reviewing and amending contracts of employment and consultancy agreements, as well as internal policy documents and staff handbooks, dealing with issues including equal opportunities, discrimination, family-friendly policies and whistleblowing, and which keeps up to date with the latest statutory and common law developments in employment law.
We advise on the wording and legal effectiveness of restrictive covenants, typically non-compete, non-solicitation and non-poaching clauses, with a focus on a realsitic arrangement that makes commercial sense for both sides. We are asked to handle issues associated with confidentiality and data subject access requests, and provide practical guidance on data protection law and the GDPR as it applies in the employment context.
We advise on benefits and entitlments under pension schemes, partiularly as they relate to negotiations over termination payments. Our service includes advice on share option, share-save and other performance based reward schemes, including incentive plans, bonus and commission arrangements on termination of employment and when calculating the basis of a financial claim for compensation or settlement.
Senior Executive Terminations & Settlement Agreements
We routinely advise senior executives and others on the terms and effect of a settlement agreement. Our advice includes an assessment of the legal issues, wording of the agreement and any aspects of the terms which appear unduly onerous or unclear.
Clients typically come to us having agreed the settlement sum in principle, in which case we normally focus our advice on the terms and effect of the agreement, taking account of issues such as payment terms, restrictive covenants, and the wording of an agreed reference. In other cases, particularly where the individual has not had any prior discussion with their employer or been invited to consider a proposed offer of terms before it is made, we are asked to negotiate an increase or improvment in the overall severance package.
If your employer's contribution to your costs is less than our minimum charge we may seek your permission to engage with your employer to increase their contribution. If you ask us to negotiate an increase in the settlement sum or make substantial amendments to the terms, including the employer's contribution to your costs, we will provide you with an advanced costs estimate for the additional work.
In many cases we are able to offer to complete and finalise the settlement agreement for a fixed fee. Please visit our dedicated webpage for further information on our settlement agreement service
Restructuring, TUPE & Redundancy
We know that the prospect of change can be daunting for employees and executives facing uncertainty about the future of their jobs and careers.
We advise in cases where jobs are insecure againast a background of restructuring or reorganisation, and where there is a real threat of losing a job in small and large scale redundancy processes. We guide our clients through the redundancy process and provide sound, practical advice focused on the legal issues at times when unfairness has been identified in the information, consultation and selection process.
We are experienced in advising in the public and private sectors on outsourcing, secondment and on the consultation and information-sharing processes associated with the preservation of a contract of employment where a transfer to a new employer is contemplated under the sometimes complex provisions of TUPE (the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006).
In cases where unfairness has been identified, we explore the options including presenting a case for avoiding imminent redundancy or the threat of change to the employment contract. In many cases we advise on maximising the offer of a severance payment, as part of a settlement agreement, as a practical alternative.