William Downing Partner

Photograph of William Downing

Contact Details

“Praised for his "exceptional client service and excellent practical legal advice," William Downing has a client base of large employers across a range of sectors, notably social housing and higher education.”

Chambers and Partners 2019
William is head of the Employment law team based in the Thames Valley. He provides immediate and commercially sensitive advice concerning all employment law issues. William is a supervisor of Employment Tribunal work amongst other matters.

Main areas of practice

In particular William guides clients through complex situations, providing draft letters, aide memoirs and key pointers for handling difficult exits and assisting in dealing with internal client investigations and processes. He also has a wide range of experience from advising on large-scale outsourcing projects to business protection for Hi-Tec businesses in the Thames Valley.

William has many years' experience handling Employment Tribunal and Court claims for his clients and is sensitive to the pressures and reputational issues for clients that can arise in claims.

Significant experience 

  • Cobham plc: Advising on all employment matters for a number of years, including sensitive employee engagement matter
  • Bio-Techne Corporation: Providing a huge amount of advice to various group companies and head office in US on acquisitions, restructurings, share options and confidential employee matters
  • Oxford PharmaGenesisTM: Advising this long-standing client in relation to various senior level matters and Employment tribunal claims
  • Bedfordshire Pilgrims Housing Association (bpha): Providing advice over a number of years to this large Bedford-based social housing provider on a whole range of employee relations issues, including advising bpha’s Board and the senior management team in relation to a number of sensitive and confidential matters and advising on a large-scale restructuring process.

“William’s huge experience means he will find solutions to complicated and sensitive HR issues. He provides, on a day to day basis, immediate and commercially sensitive advice concerning all employment law issues. In particular William is able to guide clients through complex situations, providing draft letters, aide memoirs and key pointers for handling difficult exits; and assisting in dealing with internal client investigations and processes.”

Legal 500 2018

“William Downing is noted for his ability to see things from an employer's point of view.”

Chambers UK 2018

Expertise

Articles by William

Oxford Mail

News

Employers urged to reward charity use of staff skills

No disability discrimination for redundancy following sickness absence

Article

In an interesting decision of the EAT in Charlesworth v Dransfields Engineering Services Ltd the EAT gave guidance on how to establish causation in claims of discrimination arising from disability. Read about the case and decision here.

Are you ready for the April 2017 Employment law changes?

News

This year, April brings more than its fair share of changes to Employment law. We take you through what you need to know.

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Speaking Engagements

Blake Morgan and Hays HR Forum
Southampton

We invite you to the first HR Forum of our Spring series of lunchtime HR Forums on Thursday 25 April in our Oxford office put on in conjunction with Hays.

Employment Club Seminar - March 13 - Event Full
Southampton

Come and join us at our Employment Club Seminar in Oxford on 13 March.

Employment Club Seminar - Dec 6 Oxford
Southampton

Come and join us at our Employment Club Seminar in Oxford on 6 December.

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Matthew Smith discusses a recent Supreme Court decision that confirmed a common-sense approach to the meaning of ‘unfavourable treatment’ under section 15 of the Equality Act 2010.

Suspending an employee from work

A recent Court of Appeal decision provides useful guidance for employers and held that there is no breach of the implied term of trust and confidence where there is reasonable and proper cause to suspend an employee from work pending investigations.

Guide: Our workplace mediation service

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Immigration Compliance Audit Service

Blake Morgan is one of the few larger law firms that offer an immigration compliance audit service. We are well placed to do so, drawing on our immigration and commercial expertise.