Employment law, which has been my focus for the last 20 years, is central to many people’s lives because, after your family and friends, your employment relationship is the most important one in your life. I focus on getting my clients the best result for them, whether as an adviser, litigator or mediator.
The breadth of my experience means that I have expertise in several fields, including professional negligence and healthcare – not only have I worked for the Law Society to close down rogue solicitors’ practices but I have also acted for NHS organisations across Wales and have an abiding interest in NHS issues.
I am well-placed to understand the needs of a wide variety of clients, from SMEs to large public bodies. I handle all kinds of employment issues, including those where those involved still need to work together, so my accreditation as an employment and workplace mediator is invaluable. Discrimination and whistleblowing cases particularly interest me.
Outside work, I love sailing and photography – I am a Royal Yacht Association accredited skipper.
Be proactive. A problem rarely gets better by ignoring it. Seek our advice before the problem intensifies. Ensure that all your employment policies and procedures are in place and up-to-date. They may well be your salvation if a problem arises and you end up in an employment tribunal.
Be frank. Every employer or employee has issues which are of concern and which they are reluctant or embarrassed to mention. I’ve seen it all before and there is no predicament which we cannot help you to resolve.
What are you trying to achieve? Whether you are in litigation or an ongoing employment relationship has soured, consider mediation as a swift, confidential and less expensive alternative to litigation.
How do we resolve this?
I have been practising long enough that there is rarely a problem I have not previously encountered and hopefully resolved. It is essential to ascertain at the outset what it is that my client wants to achieve. They are often surprised when I ask that very question at an initial meeting. It is not my practice to provide you with dry extracts from legal textbooks but rather to provide the real world, pragmatic solutions.
Can we claim costs from our opponents if and when they lose?
The general principle in employment tribunal proceedings is that, win, lose or draw, each party is responsible for payment of their own costs. However I have achieved considerable success in obtaining orders for costs where it can be demonstrated that an opponent has behaved unreasonably, vexatiously or dishonestly.
How much will this claim cost?
It is extremely difficult to provide a very accurate estimate of costs in advance, but costs are regularly reviewed and a better estimate can be given as the claim progresses, depending on what issues remain in dispute.
Every claim I deal with is subject to a regular costs/benefit analysis. Legal fees are only part of the overall picture; if a matter is not handled efficiently, you will soon incur considerable management time, stress and effort.