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Employment Litigation

Our Team

Fox Williams is a firm based in the heart of the City with a leading employment practice. We provide legal, commercial and strategic advice on a wide range of employment disputes. Our team has a particular focus on advising professional services firms and financial services clients. As you would expect given our client base, we have particular experience of dealing with the enforcement of covenants.

The employment team has six employment partners, Jane Mann, Mark Watson, Joanna Chatterton, Helen Farr, Audrey Williams and Aron Pope, all of whom are recognised in the directories. They are supported by a team of first rate lawyers. We work in partnership with our strong litigation team headed by Gavin Foggo and Tom Custance. Unlike many other firms, our commercial litigators have genuine and extensive expertise in employment disputes. We are not litigators who "dabble" in this area.

Our expertise in employment litigation was recognised in May 2013 when we were shortlisted for the Employment Team of the Year Award by the Lawyer. The team was shortlisted following our successful representation of ex-Société Générale banker Raphael Geys in the Supreme Court where we established his right to a termination payment of €12.5m, setting a precedent on repudiatory breaches of employment contracts.

Our approach to High Court litigation

Our focus in all High Court litigation is on providing results-driven solutions that minimise the risks and realistically assess the potential rewards.

We believe that in order to best represent a client in an employment dispute the most effective results are achieved from a partnership approach between the client, the employment lawyer and the litigator. The knowledge of our employment lawyers is essential to ensure that the client is given the best and most appropriate legal and commercial advice on the relevant employment law issues that form the subject of the dispute. This advice is supported by our litigation team who bring their expertise in determining the most appropriate litigation strategy.

Although our team predominantly acts for corporate clients, we believe that we are better able to advise corporates on disputes because of our experience of acting for senior individuals. We can anticipate the points that individuals' advisers are likely to take and avoid falling into any traps. This gives our team a marked advantage over many other firms who only act for corporates and means that we stay at the cutting edge of litigation strategy.

Our experience

We regularly act for clients in the financial services and professional practices sectors in cases involving restrictive covenants, protection of confidential information, team moves, and bonus disputes, as well as other employment related matters. We are also experts in the related areas of corporate governance, directors duties, regulatory issues and partnership law.

Recent high profile reported cases in which we have acted include:

  • Société Générale v Geys [2012] UKSC 63 in which Mr Geys (our client) was awarded a termination payment of approx €12.5m and established legal precedents on repudiatory breaches of employment contracts and "payment in lieu of notice" clauses;
  • Brandeaux Advisers (UK) Ltd & Others v Chadwick [2010] EWHC 2370 in which the Brandeaux group (our client) recovered confidential information retained by a former senior employee / director, and established legal precedent on whether there are any circumstances in which a former employee is entitled to retain his employer's confidential information;
  • UBS Wealth Management UK Ltd v Vestra Wealth LLP [2008] EWHC 1974, the largest ever reported team move case in which Vestra (our client) simultaneously recruited 75 members of UBS' wealth management division.

Recent news, articles and deals:

The impact of the Jackson Reforms on the insurance industrymore
Act now before the rules on After the Event Litigation Insurance change!more
It ain’t over ‘til it’s over: Geys v. Société Générale more
Societe Generale v Raphael Geys: PILON decision will affect employersmore
Geys v Société Générale: The expensive consequences of getting a termination wrongmore

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  • Top Ranked Chambers UK 2014 - Leading Firm
  • Ranked in Chambers Europe 2013 - Leading Individual
  • Ranked in Chambers Global 2014 - Leading Firm
  • Legal 500 - Leading Firm
  • The Lawyer UK 200 - Listed Firm
  • The Law Society Excellence Awards 2012 - Shortlisted
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