A year in the provinces

Excellence in employment law stretches well beyond the capital: the regions
are a rich source of diverse expertise, as these extracts from the legal 500

East Anglia

Eversheds has an outstanding partner in each of its East Anglian offices:
Owen Warnock in Norwich, Dilys Lloyd in Ipswich and Ian Mather in Cambridge.
Warnock heads the team, which has a long-standing and impressive public and
private sector client list and attracted significant new instructions in 1999.

Greenwoods Solicitors partner Robert Dillarstone, in addition to his
technical skills, is known as an affable and responsive lawyer.

At Hewitson Becke & Shaw, partners Nick Sayer and Tim Tyndall are
building up expertise in trade secrets and restrictive covenants-related work,
handling some large cases. Both Tyndall and team head Sayer undertake advocacy.

Mills & Reeve acts for a wide range of local businesses, plcs, education
institutions, local authorities and NHS trusts. The firm successfully defended
a local authority in a deduction from wages claim made by more than 180

East Midlands

Hilary Campion heads the highly rated employment team at Eversheds. In 1999
the firm advised Vinshire Plumbing and Heating in a successful claim concerning
the definition of "relevant transfer" under Tupe. Other clients
include WH Smith News Division, The Post Office and the East Midlands
Development Agency.

Browne Jacobson’s four-partner employment team is led by Edward Benson, an
acknowledged expert in the field. Recently the firm successfully defended
Nottingham City Hospital NHS Trust in a claim by a doctor for dismissal and
redundancy pay and also Derby City Council against a complaint of race and sex
discrimination. Clients include Derbyshire Police and Nottingham Forest plc.

David Potter, who heads Freeth Cartwright’s employment services department,
has been retained on the employment law panel of PowerGen UK plc, and colleague
Richard Bullock recently acted on the mediation of a £1m claim by a dismissed
managing director. The firm also successfully represented an employee in an
unfair dismissal claim against Boots plc.

The North

In Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Dickinson Dees operates a broad-ranging employment
department headed by Glenn Calvert. It handles both contentious and
non-contentious matters and is supported by specialist practitioners in
pensions, tax and data protection. The firm’s major coup during the year was
attracting contentious specialist Robin Bloom from Jacksons. Clients include
Arriva, Northern Electric and Northumbrian Water.

Eversheds will feel the loss of the highly rated associate Seamus Sweeney,
who returned to the Bar during 1999. But at partner level Michael Ord, formerly
lead employment partner at Wilkinson Maughan before that firm’s merger with
Eversheds, has transferred back to Newcastle from the firm’s Teesside office.
Eversheds is especially active in collective industrial disputes, in which
respect it acted for more than 400 claimants in connection with TUPE
proceedings brought against ICI.

Short Richardson & Forth has a highly focused employment practice headed
by one of the best-known practitioners in the region, Michael Short. The
department has four fee-earners specialising in employment work for clients
such as Nissan, Newcastle Building Society and Durham County Council. Partner
Sharon Langridge, a member of the Maternity Alliance, is also highly regarded.

North West

Addleshaw Booth & Co has an excellent reputation throughout the region.
In Manchester, Malcolm Pike and Andrew Chamberlain lead a team of 10 full-time
lawyers. Clients include American Airlines, Punch Taverns and United Utilities.

Three of Hammond Suddards Edge’s employment partners are based in
Manchester, led by the well-thought-of national group head, Sue Nickson. Having
doubled in size and turnover in the past three years, the Manchester department
is now the largest in the region, boasting 18 fee-earners. Last year it was
appointed the sole UK employment law adviser to Motorola Ltd.

Employment law is the bedrock of the general practice of Mace & Jones,
which offers the services of renowned department head Martin Edwards in
Liverpool and partner Michael Malone in Manchester. Clients include Shell UK,
Mersey Docks & Harbour Company and the Merseyside Police Authority.

The vast majority of Cobbetts’ employment work is stand-alone. Among a
varied portfolio of clients are Sharp Electronics (UK), Royal Ordnance plc and
Cussons International. Experienced tribunal advocate Jeff Middleton and team
leader Judith Watson have strong reputations.

DLA has two leading individuals in Vincent Reston in Liverpool and Mary
Clarke in Manchester. In Liverpool the team continues to advise Cammell Laird
on issues arising from the acquisition of Northeast Shipyards. Adding another
dimension to the service, last year the firm launched its dedicated HR
consultancy service.

The South West

Bevan Ashford’s team of four partners (including David Widdowson and Sarah
Lamont) and eight assistants has been making significant inroads into the
Bristol employment market. The client base has widened from the NHS, and now
includes private and other public sector bodies. In the past year the firm
acted for Dr Kay Swinburne in her high-profile sex discrimination case against
Deutsche Bank.

The Human Resources Unit at Burges Salmon (Bristol) undertakes employment
matters and is widely respected. The unit recently advised General Electric on
TUPE issues arising from a computer outsourcing project. Other clients include
British Aerospace and First Great Western plc.

Until recently Osborne Clarke OWA (Bristol) treated employment matters as a
support service to corporate clients. It is now a designated national practice
area, and 70 per cent of the department’s work is free-standing. Under the
guidance of Nicholas Moore and Julian Hemming turnover has increased by a third
in the past year.

Bond Pearce in Plymouth has one of the largest employment practices in the
south, and acts for the Post Office, Virgin Group and English Heritage.

West Midlands

Employment is a highly competitive practice area in Birmingham, and the
quality of service distinguishes the Birmingham market from other regions where
the City-style "one-stop shop" employment practice has not been
developed to such a degree.

Eversheds has been awarded a place in the top tier for its superior client
list, gaining a wealth of high-profile new instructions in 1999 such as Cap
Gemini, IBM and McDonalds Restaurants. The firm recorded an impressive 25 per
cent increase in turnover in this area in 1999.

James Retallack is widely acknowledged as one of the most personable and
charismatic lawyers in Birmingham, and with the highly regarded department head
Veronica Dean is considered one of the driving forces behind the continuing
success of the Hammond Suddards Edge employment practice. Although it has a
relatively small team, the company has a superb reputation and a burgeoning
client list, including Delphi Automotive Systems and Compass Group plc.

Wragge & Co has the largest employment team in Birmingham. Its
department head Martin Chitty and associate Anna Fletcher are both highly
commended. Clients include AT&T, Lloyds TSB Group and PowerGen.


John McMullen, national head of employment at Pinsent Curtis in Leeds, is
the region’s most widely acknowledged employment specialist and a national
authority on Tupe. The three-partner, six-assistant Leeds-based employment team
is clear of the competition, receiving regular instructions from a range of
household names. Gains in 1999 include GNER and Marks & Spencer.

Hammond Suddards, also in Leeds, has built up its team to comprise 12
fee-earners. Mark Shrives is recommended for work on drafting and enforcing
covenants, Tupe advice and discrimination and harassment claims. Catherine
Prest has boosted the department’s profile since her arrival from Eversheds in
1999. The firm advised CGU on the introduction of collective and union
recognition agreements.

At Addleshaw Booth & Co, Colin Tweedie is a well-regarded figure
servicing a strong client base. The department advised CGU on the employment
aspects of its various acquisitions and disposals in relation to its estate
agency business.

DLA has a team of six solicitors headed by David Hill, which in 1999 added
Colin Ions, an experienced HR consultant, to the team to provide a one-stop
shop for clients with HR issues. Clients include Abbeycrest plc, Dixons Group
plc and Henlys Group plc.


Eversheds is the market leader. Partner Viv Du-Feu has a first-rate
reputation, and the practice is fuelled by excellent work and quality clients,
including US multinationals.

Last year Edwards Geldard, whose practice is jointly led by two partners,
Carys Lang and Stephen Jenkins, acted in several high-profile employment

Hugh James Ford Simey was the only firm other than Eversheds to be appointed
to the employment panel for the Welsh Development Agency in February 2000.

Morgan Cole’s experienced employment department has been involved in
significant matters, one involving hundreds of High Court claims.


Edinburgh’s Mackay Simon, Scotland’s only niche employment practice, remains
top of the league for employment law work. Founding partners Malcolm Mackay and
Shona Simon are well known as leading employment specialists.

Dundas & Wilson in Glasgow and Edinburgh possesses three respected
practitioners in Eilidh Cameron, Euan MacLeod and David Walker. They are part of
a team totalling 10 lawyers which is particularly strong on the employment
aspects of mergers and takeovers. In 1999 the team represented Kwikform UK on
130 Working Time-related employment tribunal claims.

Glasgow-based Harper Macleod’s employment practice notched up some
impressive achievements in 1999. Strong on contentious matters, the firm acted
for the appellants in an appeal to the House of Lords in the equal pay case,
Marshall & Ors v Glasgow City Council. Partners Rod McKenzie and Stephen Miller
are both accredited specialists and are highly recommended.

Comments are closed.