Expertise

  • Employment Law
  • Employment and hr
  • employment advice
  • employment contracts
  • Employment disputes
  • employment handbooks
  • HR
  • HR & Legal advice
  • HR Advice
  • HR Advice & Guidance
  • HR Advice Line
  • HR and Employment Law
  • Settlement Negotiations
  • settlement agreement
  • settlement agreement solicitor
  • Settlement agreements
  • Tribunal prep & representation
  • tribunal preparation
  • tribunal representation
  • tribunals

Summary

How secure are you that your staff are meeting the needs of your business?  Are you taking on employees or are you exploring different ways of engaging staff?

 

Are you an employee with a potential claim?  Have you been offered a settlement agreement by your employer?

 

I can help you to answer these sorts of questions and to plan what you might want to do next.

 

I qualified as an Employment Law Solicitor in May 2016 and, since then, I have advised both employers and employees on a wealth of different scenarios, including (in brief):-

  • Drafting contracts of employment and staff handbooks;
  • Drafting self-employed contracts;
  • Advising on grievance, disciplinary, sickness absence and capability processes;
  • Advising on family-friendly rights; flexible working; working time and time off; 
  • Advising on restructures and redundancy processes;
  • Advising on the transfer of employees (or not, as the case might be) in business sale situations;
  • Advising on whistleblowing processes, associated detriment and the proper processes to be followed;
  • Drafting settlement agreements that meet the needs of the employer, whilst respecting the needs of the employee (ensuring that there is less chance of a successful negotiation from the employee or their representative, or even the need for one in the first place);
  • Advising employees on settlement agreements, including entering into negotiations in relation to the terms and/or effect of the same;
  • Engaging in Acas Early Conciliation (a process aimed at settling claims without the need to bring a tribunal claim) on behalf of employers and employees;
  • Assessing and valuing claims on behalf of employees and employers;
  • Advising and representing employers and employees in employment tribunal claims.

  

I have also worked as an HR Consultant, primarily in the education sector, but also assisting small-to-medium-sized commercial enterprises in various industries from care homes, hospitality, IT, manufacturing, engineering and finance.  This improved my knowledge and understanding of the day-to-day issues that employers and employees tackle.  It also boosted my creativity as an adviser as there are many steps that can be taken to achieve the result that you want, whilst still complying with the letter of the law.

 

I then returned to private practise as a solicitor, but with the added benefit of being able to advise on complex processes involving many competing interests.  In short, I took that valuable added string to my bow with me to add extra value to my clients, ensuring that they essentially get an employment law solicitor and HR consultant for the price of one of those serves.  It continues to save them significant management time and money.

 

For example, I recently inherited a complex disciplinary appeal from anational HR consultancy practice as the employer felt that its interests were not being served.  Upon reviewing the steps that had been taken in the initial disciplinary process, I could see that there were significant holes in the employer's case for dismissing the employee.  By sewing up these holes, I managed to secure not only a better chance of successfully defending a claim of unfair dismissal, but also a settlement agreement in which no compensation was paid to the employee (which is something of a rarity in employment law circles).

 

Additionally, I am equally active on the employee's side of things.  I am currently negotiating the terms of several settlement agreements with a national veterinary service provider in which key provisions vital to my employee clients' interests have been omitted.  Not only is the employer reviewing these terms, having agreed that the original draft settlement agreements are not fit for purpose, but it is also contributing additional monies towards my clients' contribution for legal fees.

 

If this information and these scenarios sound of interest to you, then please do not hesitate to contact me for a complimentary, no obligation conversation of up to 30 minutes.


Experience

  • Setfords Solicitors

    Consultant Employment Law Solicitor
    2021 - Current

    I am a self-employed solicitor working with Setfords Solicitors.

     

    This ensures that I can spend more time working with you, my client, rather than worrying about billing targets or management matters, which can only be of benefit to both of us.

     

    I work equally with employers and employees alike, bringing together my experience in advising on day-to-day Human Resources matters, bringing and defending Employment Tribunal claims, as well as advising on settlement offers so that I can help you to navigate the tricky and often disconcerting field of Employment Law.

     

    So, why Employment Law?

     

    This is because I am a people-focused person. Whether you are a business owner employing individuals to be your brand ambassadors or an employee or work yourself, Employment Law is a two-way street including not only rights and obligations but, importantly, often looking aside from the documents concerns to the people involved.

     

    In instructing me, you have the security of knowing that you will get my attention and my time without a clock ticking away in the background. Crucially, however, you will also have all of the backing of a traditional law firm to support us in your journey to a better future either for you individually or for your business.

  • TP Legal Solicitors

    Associate Solicitor
    6 - 20 Employees 2020 - 2021

    I set up an Employment Law Department at TP Legal Solicitors in September 2020.

     

    I provided the full range of Employment Law and Human Resources services, working with employees and businesses to assist them with finding practical solutions to their concerns.

     

    A key focus of my time was in working with numerous employer clients to achieve their outcomes whilst finding balance with their employee rights.

     

    For instance, whilst some companies might have "beefed up" an act of minor misconduct from a longstanding and loyal member of staff to make an example of them, I assisted a business in addressing an act of minor misconduct in a manner that was appropriate for the business, whilst ensuring that act could be referred to in the future if further training or disciplinary action was required.

     

    I also achieved a no compensation settlement agreement for another employer, which is something of a rarity in Employment Law circles.

     

    On the employee side of things, I assisted various employees to achieve settlement agreements on terms that met their needs, both in terms of the compensation that they felt that they were owed and also on terms that would assist them in their onward careers.

  • Judicium Consulting Ltd

    HR/Employment Law Consultant
    21 - 100 Employees 2019 - 2020

    In this role, I coupled my Employment Law Solicitor role with "on the ground", practical HR experience.

     

    On a day-to-day basis, I assisted business clients in the education sector and commercial enterprises with the whole range of Employment Law and HR advice and assistance.

     

    This often extended into project work, advising clients on very convoluted processes designed to achieve the outcomes that they required. In particular, I regularly attended clients' premises to advise them and those representing them on grievance and disciplinary procedures, often involving various stakeholders, including local authorities, the Department for Education and sometimes even the police.

     

    In addition to this, I also served as an investigation officer in relation to grievance and disciplinary procedures, as well as assisting investigation officers on their responsibilities and the steps to be taken in ensuring a fair and impartial process.

     

    My role also involved working alongside trade union representatives to manage their questions on these processes and to ensure that the employees' rights were met whilst also maintaining the structure of the procedure.

     

    I travelled far and wide across England and Wales in providing this service, including to Cleckheaton, Southend, Peterborough, various London Boroughs and Bristol.

  • Knight Polson Limited

    Employment Law Solicitor
    21 - 100 Employees 2017 - 2019

    I joined Knight Polson Limited (then QualitySolicitors Knight Polson) in its Dispute Resolution Department in June 2017, developing its existing sub-department in Employment Law.

     

    I assisted individual clients, as well as for small-to-medium-sized commercial bodies, including a business network and a firm of independent financial advisers in the southern Hampshire area.

     

    Having acted for different organisations in this role, I gained experience in assisting employers with various HR issues, ranging from advising on and drafting contracts of employment and staff handbooks, to grievance and disciplinary procedures and settlement agreements and exit procedures, including for senior employees and directors. This also involved advising on the effects of TUPE and GDPR.

     

    My aim in advising employees was to offer both legal and practical advice to support and guide them through times that were professionally and personally difficult for them. I recognised the concerns that many employees have in seeking legal advice, particularly from a financial point of view and aimed, as far as possible, to provide practical signposts and advice to employees as to how to fund legal advice for potential or existing claims. I also gained extensive experience in advising on settling claims where this was a practical alternative to litigation.

     

    I was a member of the Employment Lawyers' Association in this role and undertook significant training with them.

     

    I also covered the work of a Director of the firm who practised in general civil litigation during periods of annual leave and illness.

  • Coles Miller Solicitors LLP

    Commercial Litigation Solicitor
    21 - 100 Employees 2016 - 2017

    I was a Commercial Litigation Solicitor practising with this prominent law firm in Dorset between May 2016 and February 2017.

     

    My focus was on Employment Law, Dispute Resolution and General Civil Litigation.

     

    This role gave me a lot of practical experience in advising on settlement agreements, primarily assisting employees by setting out the terms of the agreement and the implication to them in more accessible language to assist their understanding of the importance and implications of receiving a settlement agreement from their employer.

     

    I also provided cover to one of the Partners of the firm during periods of annual leave, including running his caseload of contentious Employment Law cases.

     

    As part of my role, I advised on Assured Shorthold Tenancies (ASTs), specifically in relation to Section 21 procedures and processes in Landlord and Tenant law. I also developed my experience in drafting ASTs for clients.

     

    This role also allowed me to advise on NHS Continuing Healthcare and financial mis-selling claims, together with experience in contested probate matters.

  • Coles Miller Solicitors LLP

    Trainee Solicitor
    21 - 100 Employees 2016 - 2016

    I completed my legal training as a Trainee Solicitor with Coles Miller Solicitors LLP. I was based in their Commercial Litigation Department at their offices in Poole.

     

    I then qualified as a solicitor in this department in early May 2016.

     

    At that stage of my career, I was also involved in Landlord and Tenant work, retrospective claims regarding NHS Continuing Healthcare, and also Employment Law matters.

  • Battens Solicitors Ltd

    Trainee Solicitor
    21 - 100 Employees 2014 - 2016

    My first seat as a Trainee Solicitor was in Battens Solicitors' Residential Property Department, working in its offices in Weymouth, Yeovil, Dorchester and Sherborne, where I built upon my previous practical and academic experience. I operated two Case Management Systems to progress matters from the initial instruction period through to post-completion. I also ran my own transactions, under supervision, allowing me to deduce title and draft and review sector-specific documentation, such as Transfer Deeds and Contracts.

     

    My second seat was in Commercial Property in Yeovil. Here, I was involved in drafting, amending and interpreting lease clauses, whilst developing a business perspective on their use and mobility.

     

    I undertook my third seat in Battens' Employment and HR and Clinical and Medical Negligence Teams in Yeovil, which enabled me to extend my existing professional skills. I particularly enjoyed drafting employment contracts and assisting clients directly, whilst benefiting from HR-related training and increased marketing exposure. I was also involved in other matters involving charities and trusts, company law and Dispute Resolution.  This was where I discovered and developed my interest in Employment Law and Human Resources.

     

    My fourth and final seat was held in the firm's Dispite Resolution Department, operating from its former offices on the Granby Industrial Estate in Weymouth. This role exposed me to claims of various natures, including debt recovery matters, financial mis-selling and contested probate cases.

     

    Aside from my fee earning work, I was also involved in Battens' social media team and in general marketing opportunities. For instance, I represented the firm at various events held across the length and breadth of the firm's geographical area. I also regularly assisted at other, similar events both hosted and sponsored by the firm, including its BattensHR Employment Advice Team (EAT) events.

     

    Whilst training with the firm, I also sat my Professional Skills Course at the University of West England and BPP Law School.

  • Humphries Kirk Solicitors LLP

    Conveyancing Administrator
    100+ Employees 2014 - 2014

    Having completed my Legal Practice Course, I joined Humphries Kirk Solicitors at their offices in Parkstone, Poole as a Conveyancing Administrator.

     

    I was accountable to the Office Manager and Fee Earners in the office to undertake a variety of support tasks, mainly in Residential and Commercial Property Law.

     

    This involved:-

    • Operating a Case Management System to ensure that matters were opened, updated and closed when necessary;
    • Adhering to and promoting office and quality systems (i.e. in terms of Client Care, Anti-Money Laundering procedures and general administrative procedures);
    • Conducting conveyancing searches when requested; dealing with Land Registry requests and applications;
    • Liaising with clients, other solicitors and estate agents as and when required throughout the course of a transaction, and
    • Keeping up to date with training in these and various other matters.

     

    I also provided interim reception cover, which assisted me in seeing the different aspects of the work undertaken in the office in which I worked, namely Property Law and Private Client work.

     

    This and my usual tasks also involved me in money-handling responsibilities and producing the documentation necessary to pay monies into the firm's Client Account before making payments and transfers out of the same.

  • Crown Prosecution Service

    Casework Support Officer
    100+ Employees 2010 - 2011

    I undertook this role for my university work placement.

     

    I worked in the administration department, mainly assisting in the Pro-active Case Progression of cases in the Surrey magistrates' courts. Latterly, I performed a similar position in respect of indictable and either-way cases being sent to the Crown Court.

     

    My role involved daily use of the Crown Prosecution Service's Case Management System IT service, through which I performed a variety of tasks, including drafting committals for trial and cases being sent to the Crown Court under section 51 of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998. I was also involved in paginating committals for sentence and ensuring that these were filed with the Defence and the relevant court/s.

     

    I also drove and maintained the officer car for a time whilst the role remained unfilled, and this involved driving court files down to the local courts on a daily basis.

     

    Along with this, I was also involved in working on the reception desk, as well as with liaising with members of the Surrey Police Administration Team, to progress interdepartmental co-operation. I was also permitted to attend several training courses, including a Forensics Service awareness course and a victim and witness awareness day arranged by the Victim Support Service.

     

    Part of my time in employment with the Crown Prosecution Service was performed on a voluntary basis.


Qualifications

Solicitor of the Courts and Tribunals of England and Wales


Clubs and Associations

Member of ONLE Networking



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