Our people

930 professionals at Knights service 12,000 clients across the full spectrum of legal & professional services.

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Mike Cummins

Client Services Director
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Mike Cummins

Client Services Director

Mike is a Client Services Director.

Mike advises employers on UK employment law, with an emphasis on the defence of Employment Tribunal claims brought by trade unions and former employees. He assists with the enforcement of restrictive covenants following the departure of senior personnel, securing injunctions to prevent competitive activities or the use of commercially sensitive information and issuing High Court proceedings to recover damages.

Mike also advises on TUPE in the context of business mergers and acquisitions and on collective consultation issues arising as part of a planned redundancy programme or changes to employees’ terms and conditions.

Mike supports senior executives in the negotiation of business exit arrangements, including advising on the terms of severance packages and the relaxation of post-termination restrictions.

Mike clients include Dunelm, the Camping and Caravan Club, Wesleyan Assurance Society and Everards Brewery.

Recent examples of how Mike has helped clients include:

  • securing the mediated settlement of court proceedings on behalf of an employer accused of benefiting from confidential information supplied by a new employee in breach of a restrictive covenant with their former employer;
  • a restructuring programme of a business which involved collective consultation with staff;
  • successfully defending a school in employment tribunal proceedings brought against them by a teaching union following their decision to move employees to a performance related pay scheme; and
  • advising a senior executive in the retail sector on the terms of a multi-million pound severance package and negotiating post-termination covenants.
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Mark Whitehouse

HR Director
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Mark Whitehouse

HR Director

Mark is the HR Director at Knights.

An employment lawyer, Mark provides advice and guidance on a range of matters to ensure the smooth running of all personnel activities.  This includes ensuring the business is sufficiently resourced to meet client needs and to achieve strategic objectives, while meeting our own legal obligations as an employer.

Mark is also responsible for ensuring that employees understand and share Knights' team culture to be part of a business which delivers true value for money for our clients.

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Isabel Bishop

Partner
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Isabel Bishop

Partner

Isabel is a Partner in the Employment team.

Isabel acts mainly for employers but also for senior employees.  She drafts contracts of employment for both senior and junior employees, including agreements for atypical workers.  She advises on restrictive covenants, bringing or defending injunctive proceedings in the event of a breach of restrictions.  She takes a commercial approach to meeting a client's objectives in the most cost effective way.

As an experienced advocate, she provides representation before the Employment Tribunal in relation to claims for unfair dismissal, discrimination and whistle-blowing.  This means that, unlike many lawyers who routinely rely on barristers, Isabel ensures unrivalled continuity of care where this is agreed to be more appropriate for clients.

Isabel also advises on the full range of employment issues including contractual disputes, disciplinary and grievance issues, discrimination, business transfers (TUPE), equal pay, absence management, reorganisation and redundancies.

Recent examples of how Isabel has helped clients include:

  • putting evidence to a claimant which left him with no alternative but to confess to the Employment Tribunal that he had fabricated his claim of race discrimination;
  • persuading the Employment Tribunal to allow a client to defend TUPE proceedings from which they had previously been excluded and securing cover for the legal costs from their insurer; and
  • preventing a former employee from continuing to breach a restrictive covenant and forcing their new employer to account for profits made from the breaches.
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Ian Dawson

Partner
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Ian Dawson

Partner

Ian is a Partner in the Employment team.

Ian advises on the resolution of employment disputes and disputes between directors and shareholders which arise from problems in corporate governance or fiduciary duties as well as employment law.

Ian is experienced in dealing with restrictive covenants, protected disclosures and whistleblowing, collective redundancy and the application of TUPE.

Ian provides guidance on the handling of complex grievance and disciplinary matters and leads on the prosecution and defence of employment tribunal proceedings.

Ian acts for employers, directors and senior personnel.

Recent examples of how Ian has helped clients include:

  • successfully defending a breach of restrictive covenant claim for an employer following the recruitment of a senior sales manager from a competitor, and brokering a deal which led to both businesses working together on joint tender bids where commercial interests did not conflict;
  • persuading an underperforming director-employee to resign and forgo their contractual entitlement to a six figure severance package in a dispute where the director had been contemplating a prohibited move to a competitor, but the employer was at risk of being sued for alleged breaches of contract and data protection issues;
  • successfully rebutting a £1 million TUPE claim on behalf of a company that had secured a significant government contract and was being pursued by nine prior service providers who wanted to transfer staff they had employed to service the government work; and
  • enforcing the terms of a shareholder’s agreement for a director-employee-shareholder which enabled the director to remain involved in the business.
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Clive Day

Partner
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Clive Day

Partner

Clive is a Partner in the Employment team. He acts mainly for plc and private corporate employers and senior executives.

Clive specialises in the defence of complex employment tribunal claims, including multi-party claims. He often represents clients as an advocate in employment tribunal hearings.

Over recent years, he has brought or defended a number of high profile claims dealing with transfer of undertakings (“TUPE”) issues, whistleblowing, discrimination and the enforcement of the National Minimum Wage.

Clive is also very experienced in corporate re-organisations and restructurings. He specialises in the application and effect of TUPE and the Acquired Rights Directive. He advises on large-scale business restructuring and redundancy programmes, including those arising out of corporate insolvency.

In relation to senior employees, Clive deals with allegations of data theft, breaches of directors’ duties and non-compliance with contractual restraint of trade (or “restrictive covenant”) clauses.

Clive also regularly handles a range of core employment law matters, including worker status issues, performance management, long-term employee absenteeism, disciplinary and grievance procedures, employee compromise agreements and senior personnel severance packages.

He has specialist knowledge of the employment law considerations for franchised businesses, for those operating in the social care sector and for recruitment agencies.

Recent examples of how Clive has helped clients include:

  • supporting a national care agency in the defence of one of the largest and highest-profile national minimum wage claims in the UK (featured in the Guardian and Channel 4’s dispatches programme);
  • successfully defending 120 employment-based claims brought against the administrator of collapsed train refurbishment specialist;
  • successfully overseeing the transfer the national Caledonian sleeper service between England and Scotland, with the retention of all train-driver jobs;
  • settling a wide-ranging and complex whistleblowing claim brought against a financial institution following multiple allegations of product misselling and breach of financial standards.
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Adam Haines

Partner
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Adam Haines

Partner

Adam is a Partner in the Employment team.

He is an employment law specialist, providing advice on all aspects of employment law, with a particular focus on achieving client objectives and addressing issues before they escalate into problems. If a dispute arises, then Adam advises on settlement options and defends claims at the Employment Tribunal.

Adam handles high value and complex claims for employers and senior executives involving allegations of unfair dismissal, discrimination, breach of contract or violation of the rules on whistleblowing. Advising on restrictive covenants following the departure of senior personnel.

Adam deals with a full spectrum of employment issues for employers such as dealing with TUPE in the context of corporate reorganisations and acquisitions, drafting contracts of employment and service agreements (including post-termination restrictions) and assists with grievance and disciplinary proceedings. He advises on and negotiates severance packages for senior executives, settlement agreements, Tribunal claims and the enforcement of restrictive covenants.

Adam acts for domestic and international businesses across a range of sectors, including pharmaceutical / medical, hospitality, construction, media, financial services, sports and manufacturing.

Recent examples of how Adam has helped clients include:

  • negotiating a multi-million-pound payoff for the former managing director of an international construction company who had been unfairly ousted from his job after 30 years of service;
  • successfully defending an Australian international insurance company against claims of discrimination and constructive unfair dismissal brought by an aggrieved former employee;
  • compromising an employment tribunal claim on behalf of a plant hire business on terms which saw allegations of unfair dismissal withdrawn; and
  • securing a significant financial settlement for a former managing director who was unfairly dismissed from his post and locked in a battle about his rights under a shareholder agreement and restrictive covenants
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Sally Hulston

Partner
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Sally Hulston

Partner

Sally is a Partner in the Employment team.

Sally advises on the full spectrum of employment issues, with a particular focus on the more complex, high value and/or sensitive matters arising out of recruitment, performance management, employee absenteeism, equal pay, whistleblowing, TUPE transfers, business reorganisation, workforce unionisation, employee grievances, disciplinary proceedings, dismissals and the enforceability of post-termination restrictive covenants.

Sally’s work includes the management of extensive redundancy programmes, internal investigations into alleged employee wrongdoing and tribunal litigation (up to Supreme Court level).  She also helps to resolve disputes via negotiated settlements (for both organisations and senior executives) and has experience of ACAS arbitrations.

Her clients are based across the whole of the UK and operate across a range of sectors, including the transportation, manufacturing, and retail and consumer sectors.

Sally also provides bespoke in-house training to HR professionals, senior executives and line managers, is a regular speaker at events and contributes to the press.

Recent examples of how Sally has helped clients include:

  • managing a redundancy programme for an international manufacturing client, which saw 300 people dismissed over a two-year period, including the Human Resources Director and the General Manager who had to be incentivised to cooperate in the process;
  • successfully defending a claim worth over £6million for an airline company brought by a former male pilot for unfair dismissal and sex discrimination, and recovering a significant contribution towards their legal costs;
  • carrying out a sensitive and confidential investigation into employee expenses at a transport infrastructure business following a whistleblowing disclosure to the Chief executive which suggested financial impropriety within the firm’s internal audit team; and
  • managing a team of lawyers and paralegals who handled upwards of 100 tribunal claims a year for a well-known supermarket in an efficient and cost effective way with a success rate of 99%.
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James Keogh

Partner
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James Keogh

Partner

James is a Partner in the Employment team.

James advises on contentious and non-contentious employment matters, acting for a range of employers across numerous sectors, including: retail, food and drink, manufacturing and life sciences.

James advises on redundancies and employee restructuring as a result of workplace closures, relocation, and change projects. He provides hands-on support for employers with complex large-scale collective consultations, trade union recognition, collective bargaining matters and TUPE issues.

His experience includes employment tribunal litigation, defending businesses in claims for unfair dismissal, whistle-blowing allegations, discrimination, and breach of contract.

James advises on the employment aspects of company transactions, drafts directors’ service agreements and consultancy agreements, advises on board level disputes involving restrictive covenants and the misuse of confidential information.

Recent examples of how James has helped clients include:

  • 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;
  • 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; and
  • successfully coordinating the employer appeals in a high-profile holiday pay claim, a case of such importance that it involved the intervention of the UK Government. One of the outcomes in this case was that employees were prevented from bringing holiday pay claims going back several years, thereby having significant positive financial implications for the wider economy.
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Helen Kidd

Partner
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Helen Kidd

Partner

Helen is a Partner in the Employment team.

Helen has a particular expertise in TUPE and provides practical and strategic advice on the commercial and legal implications for business acquisitions or sales and the outsourcing of contracts.  She also provides training on employment law.

Acting for businesses and senior executives, Helen's clients come from a variety of sectors including pharmaceuticals, manufacturing and logistics, as well as public sector clients and housing associations.

Helen advises on all day-to-day employment and HR issues, such as policies and procedures, performance management, discipline, dismissal and grievance, long-term absence and disability, discrimination complaints, business reorganisation, redundancies and working time matters. She also helps companies to manage Employment Tribunal claims and staff and executive exits, including the preparation and negotiation of settlement agreements.

Recent examples of how Helen has helped clients include:

  • advising a client on the TUPE implications of an outsourcing arrangement to limit the number of employees transferring across;
  • securing nearly £1 million and extinguishing a restrictive covenant for a senior executive after his constructive dismissal from an automotive retailer; and
  • forcing an employee to withdraw a claim for automatic unfair dismissal and unlimited compensation by proving that he was not dismissed for a health and safety reason.
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Jameel Mann

Partner
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Jameel Mann

Partner

Jameel is a Partner in the Employment team.

Jameel provides high-level strategic and day-to-day support to employers, as well as working with senior executives when negotiating settlement agreements and other employment documentation. He advises upon Employment Tribunal claims such as Unfair Dismissal and Discrimination, including conducting advocacy at Tribunal hearings, involved disciplinary investigations, large scale redundancy exercises and restructuring projects, performance and absence management and TUPE.

Jameel works with a range of businesses and has considerable national experience in the education sector, particularly with Multi-Academy Trust projects.

Recent examples of how Jameel has helped clients include:

  • enabling a food manufacturer in financial difficulty to carry out large-scale restructuring involving over 100 staff with minimal disruption or claims;
  • helping multi-academy trusts move away from local authority policies, supporting senior leadership restructuring, addressing staff and budget constraints and building relations with Trade Unions; and
  • facilitating the conversion of multiple schools to academies by consulting with relevant stakeholders and advising upon associated implications and strategic issues for consideration.
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Fabienne McAllister

Partner
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Fabienne McAllister

Partner

Fabienne is a Partner in the Employment team.

Fabienne acts for employers of all sizes, including SMEs, OMBs and larger national and international businesses.  She advises them on Employment Tribunal claims (including unfair dismissal and discrimination), effecting dismissals and the negotiated departures of employees under settlement agreements.

Clients also come to Fabienne for advice on their day-to-day employment law queries relating to disciplinary matters, grievances and redundancies and she drafts contracts of employment and company policies and procedures.

In non-contentious matters, Fabienne supports the firm’s Corporate team, by providing strategic and practical advice to clients in relation to the employment aspects of company and group restructuring, including collective and individual redundancy consultation procedures, as well as on business transfers and TUPE.

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Stephanie Merritt

Partner
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Stephanie Merritt

Partner

Stephanie is a Partner in the Employment team.

Stephanie advises HR professionals and senior executives in a range of businesses and educational establishments, including independent schools, academies and colleges. Stephanie also delivers training to the Independent Schools' Bursars Association.

Stephanie deals with contentious employment matters that might end up before the Employment Tribunal; however, she also advises on non-contentious issues, such as the employment aspects of company restructuring, mergers and acquisitions, outsourcing arrangements and TUPE transfers.

Stephanie also provides strategic guidance and advice on restrictive covenants and breach of confidentiality actions, director and senior employee exits, complex and high value settlement agreements, managing underperforming staff or staff with capability issues, changing terms and conditions, disability discrimination and ill-health.

Recent examples of how Stephanie has helped clients include:

  • successfully defending an employer against a claim of £500,000 and allegations of unfair dismissal, victimisation, race discrimination and disability discrimination;
  • advising an owner-manager on their options for exiting a business and securing a significantly more valuable settlement package than originally proposed; and
  • ensuring no claims from employees affected by a business restructure which necessitated the renegotiation of employees' terms and conditions.