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Employment and labour

Employment and labour is one of the core areas of this firm's practice, and it continues to earn its reputation as a top name for this area.’
Chambers Global, 2012

Our London employment and labour team is highly regarded for its work across all aspects of contentious and non-contentious employment law throughout the UK and around the world. We work alongside our employment lawyers in Europe, the United States, Canada, Latin America, Asia, Australia, Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia, all of whom have experience across a broad spectrum of work.

We have a diverse client base of in-house lawyers and HR managers, including senior executives, charities, world-wide financial institutions and large corporates from our key industry sectors: financial institutions; energy; infrastructure, mining and commodities; transport; technology and innovation; and life sciences and healthcare. We work for international businesses and coordinate advice throughout different jurisdictions. We aim to provide thoughtful legal advice and creative thinking to ensure productive workplaces for our clients.

We deliver

  • Substantial transactional and contentious experience; we have significant employment and labour litigation experience and have had regular exposure to matters ranging from sensitive severance issues and boardroom disputes through to issues of corporate governance and more standard disciplinary and grievance issues. Our transactional experience includes business transfers and cross-border mergers and acquisitions.
  • Representation of management in trade union disputes and negotiations including labour board and arbitration advocacy, judicial review applications to higher courts, collective bargaining negotiations and strategic advice pertaining to all of these.
  • Advocacy before the courts and various employment and human rights tribunals with respect to workplace disputes, dismissals, health and safety issues, pay equity and a variety of other workplace issues.
  • Practical commercial advice; by understanding our clients’ particular industry needs and strategy and culture we aim to assist them in achieving their commercial objectives.

Our areas of work include

  • recruitment issues
  • contracts of employment
  • employment policies (ranging from performance, sickness and misconduct procedures, maternity and parental leave schemes to internet and email policies)
  • boardroom disputes and severance claims (including team moves and post termination restrictions)
  • advice on non-solicitation and non competition agreements
  • advising on achieving diversity in the workplace and at board level
  • alternative dispute resolution including arbitration
  • corporate reorganisations and restructuring (including harmonisation of terms, redundancies and dismissals)
  • privacy laws and data protection
  • employment litigation (including all areas of discrimination and breach of contract claims in all courts and tribunals)
  • executive remuneration and corporate governance
  • general employment issues (including labour and employment standards and general contractual issues)
  • international mobility including dual contracts and international secondments
  • collective issues, trade union and other industrial and labour relations issues
  • health and safety in the workplace

Our recent work

  • Advising a leading pharmaceutical company on the employment aspects of a 12-to-18 month phased transfer of employees, pursuant to a transfer of undertakings. This project involved the co-ordination of advice across 12 jurisdictions including the UK, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Ireland, Belgium, Poland, Finland, Canada, Australia and Mexico.
  • Advising HSBC on projects to introduce standardised employment documentation for its 50 most senior global executives and its highly valued international managers. These projects involved the co-ordination of advice across over 25 jurisdictions including the UK, Hong Kong, Brazil, Canada and Australia.
  • Advising QIAGEN on a European redundancy exercise and reorganisation affecting employees in Germany, France, Italy, UK and Switzerland.
  • Advising entities such as Chaucer, HSBC Insurance Brokers and Enstar on restrictive covenant and team poaching issues in the UK.