Penningtons Manches LLP provides 'an excellent cradle-to-grave service with a particular emphasis on client care' and is 'very strategic and unflappable in even the most complex employment disputes'.
Paul Mander leads the team, which was bolstered by the recruitment of Binder Bansel and Anthea Christie in 2017. Bansel is praised as 'extremely knowledgeable' and 'an exceptional discrimination lawyer'; he also handles class actions, collective labour issues and trade union law. Christie, who is 'a force to be reckoned with', handled a judicial review application for a Police Federation representative and is acting for three Police Federation members in claims for unpaid overtime.
At Penningtons Manches LLP [in Basingstoke], 'the overall level of service is phenomenal, the advice given is tailored to the business and has a view to the commercial' issues at stake. David Bickford heads a department that acts largely for employer clients and handles cases concerning whistleblowing, liability for holiday pay, discrimination actions and senior employee exits. Chris Syder, whose expertise includes gender pay matters, is 'very responsive' and has a 'pragmatic' approach. Gemma Woodhouse and associate Katie Glendinning are 'knowledgeable and personable and meticulous with their case preparation'.
The [Cambridge] practice is ‘very quick to respond and keeps clients well informed'. 'I have been really impressed with the quality of both the legal knowledge and case preparation' remarks one barrister. Hilary Aldred, who regularly acts for clients in the education sector, is recommended for her 'excellent customer service ethic, her personal touch and her unrivalled, in-depth knowledge of the sector'. Sophie Whitbread is ‘very professional and explains things well, so non-legal people can understand the terminology‘. Counsel notes that 'her legal knowledge is excellent, she takes a very good analytical view of the case, she is incredibly thorough and she is a good tactical litigator.
The 'highly regarded' [Guildford] team is valued for its 'responsive and pragmatic' approach. Michael Cole is 'exceptionally talented on all fronts, with tactical nous and a willingness to test the frontiers of settled law'. He undertakes the resolution of all types of employment issues assisted by associate Elizabeth Cardy.
The Legal 500 - 2019 edition
Advises clients on a full range of employment matters, with particular expertise in disputes, trade industrial relations and post-termination restrictions. Represents a broad range of clients, including those in the life sciences, education and technology sectors.
Strengths: Sources state that ‘we receive an excellent level of service’ and that ‘Penningtons Manches go the extra mile to provide the best service they can.’
Clients appreciate that the team ‘provides excellent, pragmatic legal advice that fits the business culture.’
Another adds: ‘They provide sound advice, they have a friendly disposition and there is a sense of mutual trust. They are also always prepared to help at short notice.’
Hilary Aldred is renowned for her understanding of the education sector. Clients praise her ‘excellent experience’ and also the fact that she ‘is always calm, measured and realistic in her expectations.’
David Bickford leads the team based in Basingstoke and advises on both contentious and non-contentious employment issues, including terminations, Employment Tribunal claims and outsourcing matters.
Head of the Guildford team Mike Cole has experience across all aspects of employment work, with strengths in discrimination claims, TUPE and reorganisations. Clients report that he ‘can act decisively with lawyers on the other side to gain a good outcome for us quickly.’
Sources say Daff Richardson is a ‘very good lawyer’ who is ‘very authoritative in her advice’. She advises on the full range of employment law issues including boardroom disputes, executive appointments and terminations.
Chris Syder operates a wide employment law practice, with considerable experience in TUPE. His clients are spread across the construction and infrastructure, professional services, IT and technology sectors. A client states: ‘He always understands the issues and the culture, and he gives excellent commercial advice with exceptional technical knowledge.’
Tom Walker advises on reorganisations, internal disputes and high-level dismissals. Clients say he is ‘very service-oriented’, and appreciate his ‘understanding of the commercial factors affecting business decision-marking’.
Eugene Wojciechowski has experience of a broad array of contentious and non-contentious employment law issues for large corporates and senior employees.
Gemma Woodhouse is described by sources as someone who is ‘very efficient and knowledgeable’, with another noting: ‘She is very responsive, concise and straight to the point.’ She advises on both contentious and non-contentious employment issues, with a focus on discrimination issues.
Chambers UK - 2018 edition