I advise employers all across the country. My services include advice on:

  • contracts of employment
  • procedures
  • disciplinaries
  • dismissal
  • settlement agreements
  • grievance
  • performance management
  • recruitment advice
  • redundancy
  • absenteeism
  • avoiding tribunal claims
  • risk management
  • defending employment claims
  • training for business owners, managers and staff

I can provide employment advice for your business in several ways:

If you do not have a designated in-house HR expert, I can be your first port of call for all employment issues.

  • I am independent, so I am available to advise clients when it suits them, including early mornings, evenings and weekends.  I am not constrained by office hours and you will not be asked to pay a premium for contacting me whenever it suits you. This can be invaluable if your business operates a shift system, or if it is difficult to discuss confidential issues during working hours, or simply if you are too busy working in your business during the day.
  • I deal with all my clients personally and do not delegate my work. This means that I get to know my clients’ businesses well and  understand issues specific to each business. This continuity avoids the duplication of work that is almost inevitable if services are being provided by a team of lawyers.
  • My advice is commercial and realistic. Telling you what the law says about a particular issue is usually the easy bit. The real skill, which comes with experience and knowledge of the client’s business, lies in applying that law to the problem and helping the client to choose the most suitable solution.
  • My charges are very realistic and affordable, even for HR work such as drafting contracts and procedures.

If you have an in-house HR facility, or if you use external HR consultants.

  • The role of HR officer and employment lawyer are different, but complementary and there can be some overlap.
  • I am experienced in working alongside an employer’s existing HR facility, helping when specific legal advice is needed.
  • The HR officer will identify when a matter is likely to become “tricky” or contentious and can then call me to advise.
  • I have a track record of helping clients to “grow their own” in-house HR facility. I can help identify a suitable individual and then advise on their development and training. This has proven to be a very innovative and effective way of managing employment law risk for an employer and keeps down the cost of maintaining an HR facility.

As part of a provision of a “virtual in house legal team” 

As a business grows, a point will be reached where its legal requirements become increasingly complex and regular, but there is not room in the budget to recruit an in-house lawyer.

The advantage of having an in-house lawyer is that the salary can be less than the annual solicitor’s bill if you need to use a solicitor very regularly. The disadvantage is that, unless you can afford a whole team of solicitors, your in-house lawyer has to try to be a “Jack (or Jill!) of all trades”, advising on everything – employment, commercial, litigation, commercial property and many more. Also, whilst it can be useful to have a lawyer permanently to hand, there will inevitably be times when there is insufficient work to justify the lawyer’s salary.

In response to this problem, I am able to help as part of M&S Solicitors’ “virtual in house legal team” service. For a fixed fee, my colleagues and I are able to provide a helpline and on-site visits to clear up legal issues that arise within the business. Between us, we cover most areas of law that a business will encounter. The service is tailored to each business; please contact me if you would like more details.