Employment Law Services

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1 Employment Law Services At Square One Law we measure our success by the strength of our client relationships. The constant developments in employment law present our employer clients with more challenges now than ever before. We understand the difficulties facing business owners and HR departments when balancing the need for compliance against commercial objectives. Our experienced team advises on the full range of employment issues and provides services ranging from a helpline service for day to day issues, to assistance resolving disputes and strategic advice on the employment aspects of corporate transactions. We will work closely with your directors, HR teams and inhouse legal teams to grasp a thorough understanding of your business and the objectives and culture unique to you. Collaborative working allows us to provide the instant pragmatic advice that is so often necessary. We aim to keep our clients up to date via our regular training programme and e-bulletins. Our team will also design and deliver bespoke training packages where specific training needs are identified. Our hands-on approach will save you time and money, allowing you to get on with running your business.

2 The Team Jean-Pierre van Zyl Jean-Pierre is head of the employment team at Square One Law. Recognised by Chamber s Guide to the Legal Profession 2013 as a leading individual in employment law, Jean-Pierre is dual qualified in both the UK and in South Africa. Jean-Pierre s personal touch and tenacity has won him praise from a wide range of clients ranging from senior executives, owner managed businesses to global giants such as Piramal Healthcare, Piramal Life Sciences and Esso Petroleum Company Ltd. Jean-Pierre advises on both contentious and non-contentious matters and has particular experience in defending tribunal claims for unfair dismissal, breach of contract and executive disputes and terminations and complex discrimination claims. He has successfully prosecuted and defended appeals in the Employment Appeal Tribunal; prosecutions by the HSE (regarding multiple alleged breaches of the Working Time Regulations) and a significant status inquiry by HMRC. Jean-Pierre has particular expertise in advising on all aspects of TUPE including acquisitions of companies in administration. Jean-Pierre van Zyl - Partner Direct line: We have built up a special relationship with our key lawyer Jean-Pierre who has successfully defended us in a number of complex and potentially high profile cases. JP is responsive, understands our business, gives practical advice, his opinion is well respected by senior managers in our business, he is also fun to work with Kathryn Casson, Esso I have worked closely with Jean-Pierre van Zyl for the past 4 years and constantly draw from his professional expertise and common sense approach for many complex Employee Relation issues relating to both UK and European Employees. Myself and other members of the Morpeth Leadership Team have built up a strong working relationship with him and have come to value the support he provides to us as individuals and as a UK Business. Lesley Whittle, UK HR Director On behalf of Piramal Healthcare (UK) A class act Chambers, 2013

3 The Team Eleanor Wilkinson Eleanor is an associate in the employment team at Square One Law assisting Jean-Pierre van Zyl, with whom she had worked previously at Short Richardson & Forth. Eleanor has experience of dealing with a wide range of contentious matters. She regularly appears before Employment Tribunals across the country and before the Employment Appeal Tribunal. Eleanor also conducts judicial mediation on behalf of her clients. As well as handling cases involving unfair dismissal and breach of contract claims, she has led on complex cases involving issues such as TUPE transfers and multi-strand discrimination claims. Eleanor advises clients on day-to-day employment law and human resources issues such as conducting disciplinary hearings, carrying out company restructures and managing performance issues. She advises on small and large scale redundancies and has contributed to a practitioners textbook on redundancy practices. Eleanor advises on the employment aspects of corporate transactions and also deals with other non-contentious work including drafting contracts and policy documentation and negotiating executive severance packages. Eleanor Wilkinson - Associate Direct line: We have instructed Eleanor Wilkinson for several years and we have found Eleanor to be an invaluable help to our business given the exceptionally clear and concise advice that she has provided us with on a range of issues cutting through the potential minefield of employment law and saving us a huge amount of management time. Matt Smith, Director of Black Tomato Limited Eleanor promptly provided sound and accurate legal advice on a number of complex employment issues; and which enabled us to resolve and pre-empt some potentially difficult issues. Peter Stonell, Director of Northumberland Tourism Limited

4 The Team Roisin Patton As an associate in the employment team Roisin has a wealth of experience in advising clients on all aspects of employment law including complex matters such as industrial action, trade union recognition, final salary pension scheme restructures, closures and the application of TUPE. In addition to advising on a wide range of non-contentious issues, Roisin regularly appears before the Employment Tribunal and the Employment Appeal Tribunal. She has also brought claims before the High Court for a number of issues arising from employment, such as; infringement of intellectual property rights, delivering up of company property and interlocutory applications relating to business protection. Roisin provides day-to-day employment advice and understands that one size does not fit all when it comes to employment matters. Roisin supports decision makers in finding commercial solutions to problems that are unique to their particular businesses and industry. Roisin Patton - Associate Direct line: Roisin has been credited for her personal and direct approach to providing advice and developing client relationships.

5 The Team Lucy Bailey Lucy is a solicitor within the employment team at and has experience of providing general advice on both contentious and non-contentious matters issues such as managing disciplinary/capability proceedings, ill-health absences and dealing with policy reviews and rationalisation projects. Lucy was professional, efficient and personable throughout the process and I have been delighted with the outcome Emma Storey, Director of Bespoke Tuition Through the team s network of selected European partner firms we offer co-ordinated cross-border advice to companies setting up new operations in Europe, including advice on employment contracts, fringe benefits and social security matters. Lucy assists Jean-Pierre in these matters. Lucy has also worked alongside the Corporate Team advising clients on employment issues within large corporate transactions including share sales and asset sales both from vendor and buyer perspectives. She is familiar with drafting service agreements, consultancy agreements and settlement agreements for senior individuals, as well as providing independent legal advice to those entering into such agreements. Lucy Bailey - Solicitor Direct line: Lucy has particular experience of working with clients from the Oil and Gas and Energy sector.

6 Employment Services Our employment team provides advice across the following areas: Ad Hoc HR Support We provide instant commercial advice and support to HR specialists on everyday employment issues. Whether you require urgent support for an internal dispute, strategic input for a long term project, or simply require an objective view, we can help. Employment Contracts and Policies Employers are required to provide employees with certain key terms of their employment relationship. Ensuring you are compliant is invaluable in minimising disputes and risk to your business. We prepare tailored contracts and policies for our clients which are both clear and compliant. We can also assist with the following: Business Restructures and Redundancy We will guide you through the practical and legal challenges which a reorganisation exercise invevitably presents. This includes: Guidance on procedural requirements Strategies to manage employee relations Variations to terms and conditions Redundancy Structural and strategic considerations Corporate Transactions Our team has extensive experience advising on all employment aspects of corporate transactions with particular expertise in TUPE transactions. We work closely with our corporate and property teams to ensure that our clients receive an integrated seamless service throughout any transaction. This includes advice on: Review and cleanse of your existing documentation Draft bespoke contracts and policies either as standalone documents or to align with existing documents/policies Advice on practical strategies to implement contracts and variations to contracts Employment Litigation We recognise the upheaval to a business litigation causes, from the financial and resource implications to the impact upon morale and reputational issues. At Square One Law, we concentrate on gaining a thorough understanding of a client s business and its objectives. We will provide you with pragmatic strategic advice on the merits of a claim and the options available to you. We have extensive knowledge of negotiating and resolving disputes without the need for a hearing. Where settlement is not achievable, we provide peace of mind for clients by ensuring that the same lawyer manages the claim every step of the way including, where appropriate, representation at any hearings. Strategies to minimise risk and cost Drafting Indemnities and warranties Information and Consultation process Due diligence

7 Employment Services Settlement Agreements Our team will prepare and negotiate severance agreements for employers and employees including senior executives. Executive Appointments and Termination We regularly advise on the appointment of and termination of directors and senior personnel. Working with our experienced colleagues in our commercial/ corporate team, where necessary, we are able to provide an integrated approach. Typical areas where advice may be necessary include: Advice on severance packages Restrictive covenants, Confidentiality and Business Protection Settlement Agreements Exit Strategies Director issues Share Options/ Transfers Pension Issues Workplace Management Our experienced team can advise on all areas of workplace management from advising on investigations, disciplinaries and grievances, to providing strategic guidance on tackling absence in the workplace or advice on performance management. Examples would typically include: Training We focus on keeping our clients up to speed with recent developments in employment law through our regular e-bulletins and our quarterly publications and training seminars. As part of our service we identify problem areas for clients where training may be beneficial. We also design and present clients with bespoke training packages upon request. Restrictive Covenants/Confidentiality We recognise the importance to our clients of protecting their crown jewels, namely their business relationships, confidential information, skills, personnel and knowledge etc. We can help you protect your business as far as possible by: Establishing what is most precious to your business Reviewing existing restrictions Drafting new restrictions which afford as much protection as possible Preparing Confidentiality Agreements Assisting with Litigation arising including High Court Injunction applications Advice and guidance on employee retention Other services Data Protection, Agency Workers, Industrial Relations, Equal Pay, Share Schemes and Pensions. Advice on all aspects of disciplinaries and grievances Advice on sickness absence Training managers in effective performance management, capability management strategies

8 Employment Services Square One Law offers support to other law firms Fees transparency around costs Where there is a conflict of interest or it is simply not cost effective for larger firms to advise on compromise agreements, tribunal litigation or due diligence, Square One Law is available to act for them or their clients. This is particularly relevant to City or US based firms. As we are not competing in the same marketplace, law firms are able to confidently approach us and utilise our expertise and experience. Typical areas where advice might be required include: Our aim is to deliver great service combined with certainty on costs and outstanding value for money. We have many options to suit your business, ranging from the traditional model of charging based on the amount of time we spend dealing with your affairs, to fixed fees, fixed monthly retainers or an all inclusive insurance backed product that affords you complete peace of mind, or a combination of the above. We would be happy to discuss a tailored package which aims to suit your business needs. Employment Tribunal Litigation Corporate support and employment related due diligence Providing independent advice to conflicted senior executives Advice on individual and group settlement agreements

9 Our Recent Work Examples of recent work by members of the team include: Litigation Acting for a national retailer resisting multiple claims including unfair dismissal, wrongful dismissal and disability discrimination Acting for an employer resisting claims of race discrimination, victimisation, unfair dismissal, holiday pay, injury to feelings and aggravated damages in the Employment Tribunal. Subsequently resisting an application to review the Employment Tribunal s judgement and an appeal to the Employment Appeal Tribunal Acting for an employer resisting claims of whistle-blowing and unfair dismissal Successfully assisting a client defend a claim of disability discrimination in the Employment Tribunal and an appeal to the Employment Appeal Tribunal Advised the Law Society of England and Wales in its High Court proceedings against the Ministry of Justice and the Office of Legal Complaints as to the applicability of TUPE. (Reported Law Society v Secretary of State for Justice & Anor [2010] EWHC 352 (QB) Advised Shrewsbury and Telford Hospitals NHS Trust in an EAT reported case where a locum consultant brought a claim of unfair dismissal claim involving complex arguments on ultra vires [2010] ICR 66 Advising company directors in respect of a share dispute and a claim of unfair dismissal involving complex arguments on whistle-blowing and the interpretation of articles of association dealing with good/bad leavers TUPE Acting for the owner of a substantial multi-million pound business negotiating his severance terms following the acquisition of his business by a third party from an administrator Advising 10 members of a quasi public sector organisation deal with the effect of TUPE on a large number of staff employed in functions transferring from local authorities Assisting a client deal with the effect of TUPE on the staff of a business acquired from an administrator Representing a transferee company in its claim against transferor arising from their failure to provide accurate employee liability information under TUPE Strategic Strategic advice on exit strategy for four senior executives on grounds of capability; negotiating severance terms and subsequently successfully defending claims in the Employment Tribunal Assisting a client deal with an extensive status inquiry by HMRC, resisting claims for PAYE and NIC

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