Established team handling significant trade union issues and claims of discrimination and whistle-blowing. Noted for its specialism in police matters.
Strengths: Sources observe that the firm's 'client service is phenomenal; nothing is too much trouble.'
Others note that 'they have a unique knowledge of employment law and police regulations and have a wealth of experience.'
One client reports: 'I find them very practical. They understand what the law is and they give you sensible advice. They can explain things really clearly, they're great to work with and they're a great team.'
Hilary Aldred has a respected employment practice and is praised by sources for her work in the education sector, with one source noting: 'Her knowledge of academia and employment in the academic world is second to none. She is so knowledgeable and she really understands the sector, which is quite unique.'
Binder Bansel is regularly called upon to handle industrial relations and trade union issues. He is particularly known for his representation of police and postal clients. 'He is very knowledgeable on employment and trade union law, and very personable and good with clients.'
David Bickford is a knowledgeable employment practitioner whose practice encompasses unfair dismissal claims and TUPE-related issues. His experience extends to include assisting clients with discrimination and whistle-blowing litigation before the employment tribunal.
Anthea Christie is commended for her wide knowledge of employment law affecting police officers. She regularly advises on significant discrimination and whistle-blowing claims. 'She's highly organised, incredibly good at communicating and fights very hard to get the best for her clients.'
Mike Cole is experienced with TUPE matters and business restructurings as well as discriminations and employment tribunal cases. 'He's a very experienced solicitor who is easy to approach and flexible to our company's needs.'
Paul Mander is a highly regarded employment lawyer known for his expertise representing senior executives. He is experienced across contentious and non-contentious matters.
Daff Richardson has a broad practice that spans both contentious and non-contentious employment matters. She demonstrates notable expertise in restructuring and redundancy matters. She also guides her clients through allegations of discrimination and unfair dismissal including claims before the employment tribunal. 'She is very well respected, business-focused and has a commercial mind.'
Chris Syder is experienced in advising on TUPE transfer concerns including relocation and redundancy considerations. He also assists with a range of HR concerns such as complex grievances and settlement agreement negotiations. His practice further covers matters involving allegations of bullying and harassment in the workplace. 'He is very considerate and practical in his advice. He has a high level of emotional intelligence as well as a good grasp of the legal areas concerned.'
Sophie Whitbread is noted for her extensive experience in employment tribunal matters related to discrimination and contractual disputes. One interviewee says: 'Her attention to detail is fantastic,' adding: 'She really drills into what the client wants. She keeps them at the forefront of her mind at all times, which makes her a wonderful solicitor.'
Eugene Wojciechowski regularly handles TUPE-related concerns, including advising on the harmonisation of terms and conditions, relocation and redundancy questions. He frequently supports his clients through employment tribunal hearings involving whistle-blowing cases and human rights-related questions. 'His communication is very clear, he's always pragmatic and the advice is consistent. He responds very quickly to requests.'
Gemma Woodhouse is known for her expert guidance on settlement agreements for senior executives and a range of TUPE-related questions. She is experienced across a range of employment tribunal matters, notably allegations of discrimination or unfair dismissal and whistle-blowing litigation. 'She is a rare commodity in the legal world combining commercial awareness of the organisation she is working with and a legal brain.'
Chambers UK - 2021 edition
Paul Mander heads the employment team at Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP. The growing team has extensive experience in advising on industrial actions and trade union law and regularly acts on group claims and precedent setting claims, while the firm's defamation and privacy lawyers take action on behalf of member organisations and their members who are subject to defamatory allegations. The 'calm and supportive' Binder Bansel and 'tactically astute' Anthea Christie represent trade unions, staff associations and individual clients on issues covering trade union law, industrial disputes, collective bargaining, staff associations and member claims, with significant experience and expertise in industrial action claims, large group actions, discrimination and whistleblowing claims. The firm's recent merger with Thomas Cooper LLP saw industrial relations expert Nick Humphreys join the team.
Paul Mander is as astute as he is outcomes-driven.
Binder Bansel has great empathy and understanding. Never flustered. Always available and readily replies to enquires. A true professional who really cares for his clients.
Anthea Christie has an awesome ability to quickly master the detail of cases and to identify points of difficulty both in relation to the law and tactics.
The practice led by Michael Cole [in Guildford] advises clients on both contentious and non-contentious employment matters including representation in employment tribunals. Cole is highly experienced in TUPE work, as well as advising directors on termination agreements. In addition to Cole, senior associate Liz Cardy is another key contact and acts in all areas of employment law, as well as providing in-house training to clients.
The offices in Oxford and Reading offer comprehensive employment advice to clients from sectors including social housing, education, technology and construction. Daff Richardson co-leads the education sector group and Eugene Wojciechowski advises on employment tribunal hearings, including those relating to complex unlawful discrimination and whistleblowing claims. David Bickford, Chris Syder and Gemma Woodhouse all joined the team in 2019, having relocated from the Basingstoke office. Senior associate Victoria Spires is a name to note.
'The team stands out for its creativity in tackling legal problems, its organisation and its responsiveness,' says counsel of the practice in Cambridge, which advises both employers and employees in boardroom disputes, and counts multinational businesses among its clients. Practice head Hilary Aldred has more than 20 years' experience in contentious matters and advisory work. Senior associate Sophie Whitbread is also recommended.
Hilary Aldred is a brilliant lawyer, highly knowledgeable and someone you would want fighting your corner.
Sophie Whitbread is highly meticulous, a fantastic lawyer and a tenacious litigator. She goes the extra mile for her clients, and is a dream instructing solicitor.
The Legal 500 - 2021 edition
The 'class act team' at Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP is 'incredibly knowledgeable, professional and easy to work with'. The practice stands out for its extensive experience in industrial actions and trade union law, and is also developing a track record for representing groups of employees in precedent-setting cases. Niche specialist knowledge in discrimination cases involving police officers is another notable feature of the firm. Paul Mander and Binder Bansel lead the practice, while Anthea Christie is also recommended.
Tom Walker's practice largely focuses on working with directors on strategic HR issues, internal disputes and high-level dismissals. Andrew Haywood is the key partner for senior executive work, where he assists with exit strategies and the enforcement of post-termination restrictions.
Michael Cole, who is well respected in the market, offers clients a wealth of experience in discrimination cases, TUPE, business reorganisations and various workplace disputes. Working alongside senior associate Liz Cardy, he advises on unfair dismissal claims, settlement agreements, grievance and redundancy procedures.
The Cambridge office plays a vital role in the firm’s wider national employment practice and clients remark that 'the legal advice is sophisticated and spot-on'. Hilary Aldred, who frequently advises clients in the education sector, and senior associate Sophie Whitbread are the key contacts.
The Oxford and Reading offices demonstrate 'first-class expertise' in employment law, particularly in relation to data protection/GDPR, advocacy in Employment Tribunals and senior executive disputes, among other HR issues. Daff Richardson and Eugene Wojciechowski are lead partners. David Bickford has experience of defending complex employment tribunal claims, outsourcing (including all TUPE issues), and advising on employment policies and procedures. Gemma Woodhouse is also recommended.
The Legal 500 - 2020 edition
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