James is a partner in our employment team. Although he has worked exclusively in the field of employment law for over 20 years, his background is in commercial litigation. This gives him a sound instinct for taking a practical approach in the advice he gives to clients, which focuses on achieving their commercial objectives rather than only black letter law.
James’ work includes Employment Tribunal representation in a wide range of cases including unfair dismissal and discrimination claims. He is accustomed to presenting cases for employers before the Tribunal, and believes that it is only possible to give informed advice on how a given course of action may be viewed later by an Employment Judge by having experience of appearing at full hearings before the Tribunal.
James’ work also includes advising on disciplinary and grievance matters; drafting and enforcing restrictive covenants; collective redundancies and restructuring; changing terms and conditions; advising on the tactical and legal aspects of dismissing under-performing executives; providing transactional support, especially in relation to TUPE; drafting and negotiating service agreements; and representing senior executives in negotiating termination packages.
James represents a wide range of clients including commercial entities of all sizes, manufacturers, public bodies, financial institutions, registered social landlords, NHS Trusts, education establishments and high net worth individuals.
He frequently provides training both for clients and also on public courses. Topics covered include industrial action, capability and performance management, employment law updates and the use of social media in the workplace. He also frequently chairs mock Employment Tribunal hearings.
Examples of experience include advising:
- A national motor retailer in a claim of race discrimination. James was able to show that the Claimant had lied in his evidence thereby securing an order for costs in his clients’ favour
- The UK subsidiary of a multinational manufacturing business in a claim of disability discrimination. The claim was valued by the Claimant’s representative at over £200,000 but was dismissed by the Tribunal
- A major utility company in the defence of claims of unfair dismissal and race discrimination by a former, senior employee who was dismissed after it was discovered that he had fabricated his CV by falsely claiming a University degree qualification. The case was withdrawn by the Claimant on the first day of the hearing
- A US-based telephony and product fulfilment business in claims of unfair dismissal by two former employees who had been dismissed for theft. The two claims were heard together and included a consideration of CCTV evidence. Both claims were dismissed
- A multinational manufacturer of central heating boilers in relation to threatened injunctive proceedings against a new recruit by his former employers. The employee in question had made electronic copies of a number of documents before leaving his old employers but James was able to avert the threatened litigation
- A multinational manufacturer of laminate and building products in the enforcement of restrictive covenants against a former sales director and two subordinates. James secured undertakings by all three former employees to abide by their restrictions, thereby enabling the clients to protect their customer connections and confidential business information.
"Remarkably solid and sage… he listens and interprets problems well. He is particularly good at understanding the employment nuances of our business."
"He has been described by a source as "one of the best employment lawyers I've ever had the pleasure of working with; he's very knowledgeable, calm, understanding and gives great advice."