Employment

“The team will give advice and work with us to find a solution rather than say it can't be done.”

Chambers and Partners 2018

“Clients rate the willingness to work with them to find solutions that achieve the best outcome.”

Legal 500 2017
The Blake Morgan employment team, comprising over 40 specialist lawyers, provides a top ranked employment law service throughout the country supporting national and international clients in all aspects of employment law.

It is recognised for its long standing client relationships and pragmatic, strategic and effective advice in such areas as restructuring and reorganisations, redundancies, trade union issues, employment tribunal claims, employment contracts and service agreements, discrimination issues and claims, corporate acquisitions, outsourcing, transfer of undertakings (TUPE), whistleblowing, grievances and immigration. 

Our team is also complemented by its highly ranked Pensions team, HR Consultancy, bespoke training and Vigil, its highly regarded fixed fee day to day employment advice scheme.

Main areas of practice 

Our large team of employment lawyers, many of whom are recognised as leading practitioners within their field, have a wealth of experience in all areas of employment law, including:

  • Advocacy and representation in the Employment Tribunals 
  • Representation before the EAT, High Court and other courts up to the Supreme Court;
  • Employment contracts and service agreements - including policies and documentation, restrictive covenants, protection of confidential information, partnership, employment status issues and consultancy agreements
  • All day-to-day employment law and HR issues - such as discrimination, equal pay, disciplinary hearings, grievances, absence, performance management, working time, whistleblowing and family friendly rights
  • Dismissals and retirement - redundancy, retirement, voluntary early severance, senior executive terminations, boardroom disputes, settlement negotiations
  • Dispute resolution and workplace mediation
  • Collective bargaining and trade union issues - information and consultation and works councils
  • Restructuring and re-organisation - relocation,  mergers, acquisitions, procurement, outsourcing and TUPE

Such work is carried out across a number of industry sectors encompassing a wide range of clients in the public and private sectors - see Related Expertise for a full list.

The team benefits from working closely with its Pensions and benefitsImmigration, Real estate and corporate teams to provide the comprehensive and seamless service our clients require.

Clients

Our specialist employment lawyers act for a wide range of clients, from individuals to household names including some of the leading organisations in their respective fields.  Examples include:

PHS (Personnel Hygiene Services Limited) DAS  RNLI Universe Group PLC

Welsh Government

Principality Building Society Thames Valley Police  Wales Audit Office
NHS Wales Shared Services Partnership Colt Group Limited MacIntyre Care  
Swansea University Apollo Fire Detectors  Imtech Traffic and Infra  
Russell & Bromley Limited Oxford University Colleges  Square One Resource Ltd  
Dolce & Gabbana  Bedfordshire Pilgrims Housing Association  St John Cymru  
Wightlink  National Procurement Service for Wales  Nursing and Midwifery Council  

Significant experience 

Our Employment team has provided specialist advice in many complex and highly sensitive cases. Examples include acting for or providing advice to:

  • The senior management and HR team of a major international consultancy company on implementing substantial restructuring exercises resulting in several hundred redundancies.
  • A university on its high profile merger with another university to form a new university.  A complicated merger involving a large number of staff and negotiating with their unions, completed within a short timescale.
  • A range of high profile public and private sector clients in a number of cases involving alleged race, sex, disability and age discrimination, victimisation, public interest disclosure and unfair dismissal; including successfully defending the employer in the widely publicised EAT case of Edie/Braithwaite and others v HCL  which clarified that changing terms and conditions that were more generous to older employees was discriminatory on grounds of age, but could be justified (as they were here)
  • Social housing  organisations in relation to  TUPE transfers,  industrial relations and threat of industrial action, exit strategies and pensions.
  • A multi-national company in respect of over 100 acquisitions of  businesses and companies which included, amongst other matters, completing extensive due diligence investigations resolving  substantial integration issues.
  • A charity in a transaction involving a complex transfer of activities to another charity, working closely with other teams.  Work included TUPE transfers, pension liabilities, granting and assignment of leases of several properties, novation of contracts, transfer of moveable assets, negotiation of IP and IT equipment, rebranding,  and amending governing documents.
  • A leading UK security company in defending 36 claims for unlawful deduction of wages, breach of contract, unfair dismissal, working time regulations, whistleblowing and race, religion or belief, disability, sex and sexual orientation discrimination.  We successfully defended all claims that went to full hearing; the remainder were withdrawn, settled or struck out.
  • Acting for Swansea University and the Trustees of its Pensions and Assurance Scheme in a case which is the leading authority on the meaning of "unfavourable treatment" under section 15 of the Equality Act 2010. The case arises from the circumstances of an ill-health early retirement pension and the calculation of that pension by reference to part-time, rather than full time, salary
  • Advising a national company in dealing with an employee who submitted over 100 grievances in a working week and subsequent disciplinary procedures in respect of his conduct, then defeating the employment tribunal claim which followed (alleging unfair dismissal for whistleblowing and disability discrimination)

Related expertise

Main contacts

Related Knowledge & Resources

Why third-party service providers could be your biggest data risk

News

Associate Holly Cudbill comments in People Management on the potential risks of personal data breaches where an employer shares the personal data of its staff with third parties.

When can there be a deemed acceptance of changes to terms and conditions?

News

A recent case demonstrates the risks of an employer relying on employees' silence to indicate an acceptance of changes to terms and conditions.

Blake Morgan's Employment Newsletter

News

Blake Morgan's Summer newsletter keeps you informed of the latest developments in Employment Law.

Handling a summer of sport at work

The summer of sport continues with Wimbledon having started this week and the football World Cup in full swing. It could be exciting times for the public but employers may find themselves having to perform a balancing act.

Must employers consider bumping in a redundancy situation?

Carrying out redundancies fairly is crucial to avoid the risk of costly litigation. A recent EAT decision about "bumping" is a useful reminder to employers that, depending on the circumstances...

Director's Remuneration as Misfeasance?

Top 50 UK law firm Blake Morgan blogs about a case whereby The High Court has recently handed down judgment that required it to consider whether directors of a company, who did not have an employment contract, service contract,

What is a qualifying disclosure?

The Court of Appeal gives guidance on identifying the difference between "allegation" and "information" for the purposes of whistleblowing protection.

Unfair dismissal developments

Managing dismissals fairly is not always straightforward as can be seen from some recent EAT decisions that have considered the tricky issues of dismissal for gross misconduct and misconduct where there had been no previous disciplinary warnings.

The Government’s response to the Taylor Review – more certainty for all or just more red tape for businesses?

In July 2017, the "Good Work: the Taylor Review of Modern Working Practices” set out over 50 recommendations for improving workers’ rights.

Helen and Bob – workplace mediation case study

“Helen’s been bullying me for the past 2 years and and I want to raise a grievance”.

Charity for people with learning disabilities

We have provided in-depth assistance to a national provider of learning, support and care for children and adults with learning disabilities.

Welsh Government - Employment Law

We are the lead employment advisers to the Welsh Government and Welsh Ministers