James is a Partner in the Employment and Investigations teams.

He has a broad range of employment/HR law expertise, with a particular focus on complex change projects (including large-scale collective consultations), sensitive investigations, trade union matters and TUPE issues.

James is adept at conducting and overseeing the most sensitive and complex investigations, often involving complaints brought about a company’s Board or HR team. He has a particular strength in building trust with all parties and delicately managing the human elements at play.

He is the go-to adviser for the HR and in-house legal teams of many well-known corporates, from high-end retailers to restaurant chains and manufacturing companies. The clients James acts for includes Fox’s Biscuits, Malmaison/Hotel du Vin and Well Pharmacy. He also advises several local market clients in Yorkshire.

Recent examples of how James has supported clients include:

  • carrying out a sensitive investigation into allegations of discrimination and bullying by a multi-national media company’s employee relations team;
  • overseeing a multi-faceted grievance investigation and disciplinary process against a Board Director and founder of an international fertility treatment business;
  • supporting a manufacturer with a programme to standardise its employment contracts across the whole of its c.3,000-strong workforce, including navigating threats of industrial action and adverse PR;
  • enabling a high-profile retailer to avoid an industrial and employee relations conflict by successfully navigating a HR project involving redundancies and pay cuts linked to the COVID-19 pandemic and involving the interpretation of complex aspects of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme:
  • enabling an AIM-listed business to avoid employment litigation, potential sabotage and a mass walkout following the closure of 24 sites, linked to a company voluntary arrangement; and
  • supporting a national food retailer by advising on a sensitive multi-site restructuring, including providing guidance on employee relocation issues, redundancies, job role changes and trade union representation matters.