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Chambers UK

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Employment Law for Individuals

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What people say about us


The legal directories

Able to handle a wide-range of matters from single claimant cases to large-scale group claims. Noted for its ability to advise public sector clients, with a particular specialism in police matters.

Strengths: Clients appreciate the firm offers ‘a broad spectrum of expertise, so if a claim crosses the spectrum it can stay within the one firm’.

‘Fantastically efficient and a delight to work with’ is how another interviewee characterises the team.

Notable practitioners

Hilary Aldred: ‘She's thoroughly excellent - she's extremely hard-working and practical.’

Binder Bansel: ‘Binder combines that increasingly rare talent in a lawyer of being able to quickly identify the legal issues in a case with explaining difficult legal principles to non-lawyers in a manner in which those individuals can understand them.’

Liz Cardy: ‘Very responsive and always happy to jump on a quick phone call to resolve issues quickly.’

Anthea Christie: ‘She is studious in making sure that she understands the most minute detail and the most complex pieces of law. She is also very good at communicating with clients and explaining to them the difficult, big-picture matters.’

Mike Cole: ‘He is particularly good with complex group litigation, and his advice is always impeccable and spot on.’

Paul Mander leads the employment team at Penningtons Manches Cooper. He is ‘excellent and he works very well for his clients’.

Daff Richardson: ‘She is very helpful, knowledgeable, experienced and also proactive in chasing for answers and updates.’

Chris Syder: ‘He was fantastic - I can't praise him highly enough. He explained everything to me clearly and ensured that I was aware of the options at every step in the process.’

Sophie Whitbread: ‘Her organisational skills know no bounds.’ ‘In terms of strategy she's phenomenal.’

Eugene Wojciechowski: ‘An excellent lawyer who provides clear and concise advice.’

Gemma Woodhouse: ‘Gemma is extremely responsive, very commercial and pragmatic.’

Chambers UK – 2022 edition

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP is a ‘great team with exceptional technical knowledge’ and is sought after for high-profile, complex whistleblowing cases. It has a strong track record for being able to negotiate complex exits, and defending clients against injunctions. Its clients come from multi-national and listed companies and it has considerable expertise in the financial sector.

A strong pedigree for acting for trade unions, staff associations, employees and union members. It notably excels in cases concerning industrial actions and other collective labour law issues. It is also experienced in discrimination and whistleblowing claims. Reflective of the breadth of expertise at the firm, the group in London includes practitioners with specialist knowledge of police injury pensions, issues arising from ill health retirement and judicial reviews, as well as employment tribunal claims.

Hilary Aldred. Very experienced, very sensible and pragmatic, extremely hard working, excellent grasp of complex situations.’

Binder Bansel is an excellent communicator. Easy to discuss issues with him.’

‘For me senior associate Liz Cardy stands out. Always readily available for advice and support where needed.’

Anthea Christie. Great team player and very switched on.’

Mike Cole: ‘Reliable, knowledgeable and fully accommodating, he always delivers.’

Andrew Haywood was the partner I dealt with and literally after one initial conversation with him, I felt the weight of the world lift off my shoulders. He gave me rock solid advice…’

Nick Humphreys gives every case his all. You get his energy, his considerable experience, his deft business judgment and his good humour.’

‘Primarily I worked with Hester Jewitt. She is an outstanding lawyer and a clearly talented professional…She is detail oriented, experienced and yet impressively efficient with time.

Paul Mander is a responsive, fast, knowledgeable and entertaining partner. His work for me was exemplary and fast and cost effective.’

‘I worked directly with Sarah Mant and her team. They were responsive, supportive and acted in both a timely manner with a proportional and appropriate outcome in mind.’

Daff Richardson leads the team [in Oxford] and absolutely sets the tone for the team approach that we find so valuable.

Chris Syder was excellent throughout the process. Nothing was ever too much trouble for him and I felt fully appraised throughout the process.’

Charissa Upton is organised, efficient, and commercial, while also being strong on the technical legal issues in the case.’

Tom Walker: ‘He is user-friendly, keeps it simple, and gets solutions.’

Sophie Whitbread is a standout lawyer who managed the settlement agreement process admirably...She inspired confidence.’

Eugene Wojciechowski showed outstanding understanding.’

Gemma Woodhouse is reliable, knowledgeable, creative and knows her subject extremely well.’

The Legal 500 - 2022 edition

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.'

Notable practitioners
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.

Liz Cardy and Mike Cole provide excellent service.

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 BickfordChris 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

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Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP is a limited liability partnership registered in England and Wales with registered number OC311575 and is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP