We offer judgment-based practical solutions, adding value beyond pure employment law expertise.
We pride ourselves on the service we provide and the strength of the relationships we build. We are committed to giving you advice that is to the point, allows you to make decisions confidently, and is sensitive to your specific and wider needs. We act for both employers and individuals, which allows us to advise you with a broader perspective.
Our understanding of employers' businesses, culture, people and needs allows us to act as extensions of their own HR and senior management teams. Our work for employer clients includes
- Drafting of contracts and policies
- Advice on recruitment
- Day-to-day advice on employee relations issues, including disciplinaries, dismissals, grievances and whistleblowing
- Large-scale employee investigations
- Small, medium and large scale redundancies
- TUPE transfers and restructures
- Employment Tribunal and High Court claims for unfair dismissal, discrimination, whistleblowing and other employment disputes, and
- Restrictive covenant/team move related claims.
For senior executives, the same availability and understanding makes us part of your team and a strong legal support through potentially turbulent times. Our advice includes
- Negotiating contracts and benefits, share schemes, bonuses and equity on starting a new role
- Resolving disputes, such as grievances, discrimination and equal pay issues
- Advising on regulatory investigations
- Negotiating voluntary departures and forced exits on elegant terms
- Advising in relation to Employment Tribunal and High Court claims, and
- Defending disputes around restrictive covenant and team moves.
In addition to providing a quality, practical legal service, we also add value through regular bulletins, training updates and fully interactive seminars. Our weekly WorkLife blog aims to update, inform and generate discussion, and reflects team members’ individual thoughts and comments on topical legal and HR issues.
For more information on our pricing structure click here.
Managing, or participating in, a complex investigation can be a challenging experience, especially in the remote environment we currently find ourselves in as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. With our long history of providing expert advice to organisations and individuals in sensitive critical situations, Farrer & Co is able to provide strategic practical support to any organisation or individual involved in an investigation at any stage in the process. We offer a range of different services including the following:
1. conducting independent investigations - whether this is in person on a face-to-face basis, or in a virtual setting whilst many work remotely;
2. investigation advice - we provide legal advice during an investigation to those carrying out an investigation or who have instructed others to do so;
3. advice to senior executives who are the subjects of investigation; and
4. complainant advice.
Farrer & Co’s investigation specialists have extensive experience working on all four aspects of investigations in a variety of contexts and across sectors including: professional services; financial services; cultural and sports organisations; charities; education; retail.
For further information on our investigations services, please see our brochure. You can also find additional guidance on how to conduct virtual investigations on a remote basis in our blog post here.
In any organisation, strong employee relations are key to success. The area of employee relations can also give rise to complex and fast-moving issues, which require careful handling and quick solutions. We pride ourselves on our accessibility, making ourselves available to you whenever and wherever possible in order to provide all the support you need and to help you achieve a positive solution, whether in a grievance, disciplinary, whistleblowing or dismissal situation.
Key to many formal employee relations procedures is the investigation stage. We are experienced in dealing with complex investigations, particularly in a regulated environment such as financial services, education, professional practices, sports, religious organisations or safeguarding.
Working hand-in-hand with human resources, legal or the senior management team, we offer immediate advice on the best way to proceed. We provide ongoing support to ensure that the matter continues on the right track so that your aims are met. When advising on employee relations, we are also always alive to wider issues, such as reputation management and the importance of acting consistently with an organisation’s culture.
A significant number of our clients have recognised trade unions and we are therefore also used to advising on collective bargaining issues and trade disputes. We also have experience of liaising with trade union representatives when seeking to resolve specific employee relations issues.
Dispute resolution requires far more than legal skills. It requires an in-depth understanding of an organisation and the people involved, as well as the ability to see a practical solution to the issue in hand.
Where a dispute has arisen, we use our experience to explore alternative solutions to tribunal proceedings, such as mediation, but also appreciate the limitations of alternative dispute resolution and that it may not be possible to avoid tribunal litigation every time. We understand the pressures and sensitivities which come with tribunal proceedings, and our team have the knowledge and insight to make the process as smooth and stress-free as possible for you. While litigation is never a desired outcome, when it happens we are there to provide you with full support. Rather than extend the process beyond its natural length, we provide a practical approach, evaluating risks and opportunity, as well as publicity and costs, at the earliest possible stage.
We appreciate that not all cases can or indeed should be settled, for example, where the other side’s expectations are unrealistic or wider principles are at stake. Where cases do go to a full hearing, you gain confidence and support from our practical expertise, expert knowledge and our attention to detail.
Restructuring and reorganisation projects can be complex, with potential pitfalls which, if not managed correctly, can derail the process. Whether you are considering a large or small scale redundancy exercise, changing your employees’ contracts of employment or some other form of reorganisation, we have the experience to assist you to carefully plan the process around your needs, to guide you through that process and to avoid any such pitfalls.
With extensive experience of TUPE (the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006) we know the importance of combining sound practical business advice with relevant (often complex) legal advice. With our practical approach, industry expertise and attention to detail, we can help make the transfer process run smoothly.
We have significant experience in dealing with TUPE issues in relation to both asset sales and outsourcings in the public and private sector and work closely with both our Corporate and IP and Commercial teams on such matters. We can provide advice on the information, consultation and information-sharing processes required as well as drafting input in relation to the sale and purchase or agreements, however large or small the business being transferred. We also advise on the drafting of outsourcing agreements to ensure that you are properly protected at the beginning and end of the contract.
We offer practical, clear advice throughout the process but our role does not stop once the process has run its course. We continue to advise beyond the project’s end, ensuring any unforeseen hitches or problems are resolved with the minimum of fuss or delay.
This ranges from reviewing and tailoring individual contract clauses to drafting entire suites of contracts and staff handbooks.
We are proactive in keeping our clients up to date on changes in the law and any relevant amendments that might be needed to their contractual and policy documentation, for example, in areas such as equal opportunities, family rights and disciplinary and grievance procedures. We also carry out audits of clients’ contracts and staff handbooks to ensure that they comply with any relevant statutory changes.
The implementation of share option schemes or other incentive plans requires specific knowledge of employment as well as corporate and tax law, and our highly regarded corporate and tax lawyers work with us to help draft the required documents and implement the relevant schemes.
We advise a wide variety of employers in the corporate, voluntary and institutional sectors on their pension arrangements and obligations.
We understand that an individual addressing adverse issues or change at work can face an extremely emotional and anxious time. We identify your goals at the outset and guide you through the legal process with the minimum of stress, whilst striving for the best possible outcome. Whether the outcome is retaining your position at work after an investigation, a negotiated departure resulting in a settlement agreement, or court or tribunal proceedings, we advise you every step of the way.
We also have significant experience of advising individuals who are thinking of leaving their current employer or partnership, possibly as part of a “team move”. Where you are considering taking such a step, you should ensure that you take advice at the earliest opportunity so that you can be guided through the potential pitfalls.
We can also advise you when you are entering into a new contract of employment or partnership deed. Our lawyers are experienced in both advising on and negotiating contract terms and in particular, long-term incentive plans, bonus arrangements, restrictive covenants and specific issues relating to those employed in financial services or plc directors.