David Hunt, Partner
I really enjoy the human interest aspect and the fact that it’s a good balance of contentious and non-contentious law.
David Hunt, Partner
From: Burnley, Lancashire
University: St John’s College, Cambridge
What’s involved in practising employment law?
The work probably breaks down as 50:50 contentious and non-contentious. On the contentious side, I advise on a wide range of disputes between employers and employees, whether in relation to dismissal, discrimination or some other contractual dispute. On the non-contentious side, I will do general advisory work, project work (such as large scale redundancies or TUPE transfers) and will also draft contracts and policies.
What specific skills do you need?
When dealing with employers, there’s a lot of client-facing time, a lot of meetings, plus a number of training sessions and seminars we give, so you have to be a people person. On the employee side, you have to manage potentially stressful situations. There’s a fair amount of emotion management, trying to keep matters calm, because going through a tribunal process is a stressful experience for the client.
What made you specialise in employment law?
I didn’t really consider employment law as a specialism until I became a trainee here at Farrers, when I did it as one of my training seats. When I did, I really enjoyed it. I really enjoy the human interest aspect and the fact that it’s a good balance of contentious and non-contentious law.
How would you describe the working culture at Farrers?
The culture here is a lot more comforting than some of the larger firms. There’s more of a collegiate atmosphere, so you know who everyone is and everyone’s pulling together. Also, the firm is of a size where everyone has to muck in and get involved in all the day-to-day running of cases. As a result, trainees get a lot more experience earlier on and a lot more responsibility.
What have been your highlights so far?
I’ve been involved in a number of big cases against some of the larger investment banks, and at the moment I’m involved in a large sex discrimination claim which has been brought against another law firm that’s going to go to trial soon. So there’s plenty to keep me busy.