HR & EMPLOYMENT. HEALTH & SAFETY.
Rachel specialises in all key areas of employment law from recruitment, workplace discrimination, dismissals, health and safety, to alcohol and drug testing – plus everything in between. She acts for individuals, SMEs, charities, universities and PLCs.
What do you love about employment law?
"Employment law is always changing. Just when you think it’s fixed, the Employment Appeal Tribunal or Court of Appeal throws everything into disarray. Evaluating these curveballs, and how they may or may not affect my clients, keeps me on my toes.
I act for employers and employees, so I can see both sides of the argument and anticipate what the other party’s likely to say. Every case is different and needs a different approach. For example, an SME won’t have the resources for dealing with an allegation of misconduct as a larger organisation with its own HR department. So I adapt my approach and advice to suit my clients’ needs. It really is all about what works best for them."
How do you make a difference for your clients?
I’m often helping people through a tricky patch in their lives. So it feels great when you negotiate a favourable exit package or defend a tribunal claim successfully.
Can you give us some examples of your career high-points?
It is hard to single these out, but here goes with a few examples!
Successfully defending a claim for unfair dismissal in what was considered a legal grey area. My advice proved crucial, and the judge complimented my client on their procedure, before dismissing the former employee’s claim entirely.
Advising a university on TUPE issues involved in a £20M project to outsource management of its 4,321 student bedrooms and accommodation. This was the largest single private sector residential investment in a UK university.
Working with a large corporate client on the employment issues of buying a competing business, while not falling foul of the Competition Commission’s requirements!
Advising a PLC on a criminal prosecution following a workplace death. I was involved from the moment the HSE invited my client to an interview, to the last day of a six-week trial when the judge discontinued the case against my client. I also recovered over 95% of my client’s costs.