Our people

600 professionals at Knights service 10,000 clients across the full spectrum of legal & professional services.

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Mark Whitehouse

HR Director
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Mark Whitehouse

HR Director

HR Director, responsible for 500 professionals at Knights plc.

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

An employment partner with 25 years of experience.

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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Will Clayton

Partner
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Will Clayton

Partner

A partner and former barrister specialising in employment law.

Will has over 20 years of experience helping business owners and leadership teams throughout the UK and abroad.  He advises on all employment law matters, from the hiring and firing of employees, typical workers and senior executives, to business restructuring, TUPE transfers and the protection of confidential information and trade secrets.  As a lawyer who started off his career by qualifying as a barrister, Will has an enviable success rate before the Employment Tribunal.

Will acts mostly for employers in a wide range of sectors from manufacturing to professional practice, from logistics to retail, from financial services to charities.  His clients include PLCs and owner-managed businesses, not-for-profits, branches of overseas companies, company directors and senior executives.

Recent examples of how Will has helped clients include:

• devising a strategy that enabled a client to part company with a senior member of staff at a tenth of what it might have cost;

• successfully representing an employer client in a TUPE case before the Employment Tribunal and the Employment Appeal Tribunal, defending  approximately £800,000 of multiple unfair dismissal claims (Arch Initiatives v Greater Manchester West mental Health NHS Foundation Trust); and

• successfully establishing that an employee's right to private life (Article 8 of the Human Rights Act) did not protect him from dismissal for gross misconduct when sending inappropriate material of a discriminatory nature in a personal email to his personal contacts (which included an employee of his employer's customer) (Gosden v Lifeline Project Ltd).

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Mike Cummins

Partner
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Mike Cummins

Partner

Mike is a Partner in the Employment team and has significant experience of the whole range of employment issues including advising on large and small acquisitions as well as personally representing clients at several hundred tribunal hearings and at the Employment Appeal Tribunal.

Mike particularly enjoys providing training on all aspects of employment law. He is regularly asked to contribute articles for leading journals, legal publications and trade magazines and to present at public forum seminars.

Over the past 10 years Mike has become increasingly involved with school governance and leadership and along that journey he has developed an expertise in employment law in the education sector. Mike was a Chair of Governors at St Thomas More RC School in Leicester. Mike is now a Director of the St Thomas Aquinas Catholic Academy Trust which comprises 22 schools, 18 primary and 4 secondary. He was a Chair of one of the working parties which created this new trust. He is also a Director of the Diocesan Education Service for Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire and Lincolnshire Catholic Schools.

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Adam Haines

Partner
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Adam Haines

Partner

Adam is a Partner in the Employment team.

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Ceri Hughes

Partner
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Ceri Hughes

Partner

An employment lawyer with over 15 years of experience advising on contentious and non-contentious matters.

Ceri provides advice and support on a range of employment situations, including in relation to business reorganisations, restructuring and redundancies (individual and collective), disciplinary matters, hiring and contracts, dismissals, complex grievances and employment disputes, absence management, family friendly rights, discrimination, and tribunal proceedings.  She also advises on the employment and HR impact of corporate transactions and outsourcing, helping clients to achieve their business objectives within an acceptable level of risk. Ceri delivers training, seminars and workshops.

Ceri acts mainly for employers but also for senior employees; developing trusted advisor working relationships with key contacts.

Ceri also provides general counsel support to clients on a secondment basis; providing integral management and support on complex projects and related matters, working collaboratively with client stakeholders and employees, colleagues in other teams, external law firms and specialist advisors.

Recent examples of how Ceri has helped clients include:

• strategic advice and guidance to a manufacturing client on a sensitive disciplinary matter involving a long serving, senior level employee for potential gross misconduct offences relating to inappropriate use of the company's IT systems, with the risk of potential wider business disruption, liability and reputational implications.

• advising a client on the successful negotiation of contractual provisions and indemnities to address the practical and financial implications arising from various service provider changes, TUPE transfers and relocation situations necessitated by business requirements and expansion plans.

• successful completion of various milestone tasks during the course of project management secondments - enabling the clients to successfully achieve objectives, comply with obligations, and complete specific projects - with minimal impact on the day to day business operations, management and employees.

• advising and supporting a leisure and hospitality sector client on a complex employee dispute, involving grievances, disciplinary procedures and absence management achieving a negotiated exit on commercial terms favourable to our client.

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Helen Kidd

Partner
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Helen Kidd

Partner

A pragmatic and experienced employment lawyer.

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

An employment lawyer specialising in the education sector.

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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Rebecca Peck

Partner
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Rebecca Peck

Partner

An experienced employment lawyer.

Rebecca advises clients on the HR impact of corporate restructuring, outsourcing and redundancy, helping them to achieve their business objectives within an acceptable level of risk.

Rebecca also advises senior executives and individuals on service agreements, contractual disputes and settlement agreements.

As well as supporting employers and employees with claims which reach the Employment Tribunal, Rebecca is experienced at settling claims via mediation and ACAS conciliation. Rebecca helps employers with all aspects of employment law, from drafting contracts, employee handbooks, policies and procedures through to contentious issues such as TUPE transfers, complex disciplinary, grievance and discrimination issues.

Recent examples of how Rebecca has helped clients include:

• devising a mutually satisfactory exit strategy for a key executive with a progressive mental health condition;

• avoiding a high-risk disciplinary decision for a client in the health sector regarding allegations of sexual harassment; and

• project managing the delivery of independent advice to over 200 employees involved in a mass redundancy and settlement agreement process.

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Andrew Rowell

Partner
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Andrew Rowell

Partner

An employment law expert who focuses on the prevention of problems in the workplace.

Andrew advises on all aspects of employment law, with a particular emphasis on helping organisations to have good policies and procedure to avoid potential claims and disputes.  This includes advice on HR strategy especially in regard to restructuring; due diligence in company acquisitions and mergers; preparing employment policies and procedures; advising on how to handle problems such as poor performance, absenteeism, disciplinary and grievance matters, bullying and harassment; redundancies, exit arrangements and settlement agreements.  If a dispute should escalate, then Andrew advises on options for dispute resolution and defends claims through the Employment Tribunals.

The majority of Andrew’s clients are employers, from start-ups to large companies with thousands of employees and dedicated HR teams. He has advised clients in sectors as diverse as financial services, sport, manufacturing, food and construction.

Andrew also acts for senior executives and directors as employees, usually in regard to negotiating executive contracts or the terms of departure.

Recent examples of how Andrew has helped clients include:

  • successfully defending a company against a claim of unfair dismissal and pregnancy discrimination;
  • advising the board of a large company on dealing with the under-performance of a senior executive and then managing the executive’s departure;
  • supporting a company through the closure of one office by advising on the employment law implications and handling the necessary redundancies;
  • completing due diligence on the employment aspects of a company acquisition; and
  • providing bespoke training on new employment regulations to the UK subsidiary of a US company.
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Daniel Rubin

Partner
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Daniel Rubin

Partner

A pragmatic employment lawyer with expertise in strategic reputation management.

Daniel helps companies to manage strategic change and its impact on the workforce, from planning how a business should be restructured, through the consultation and implementation phases to maintain performance and quality control.  This includes advising boards on reorganisations, redundancies and outsourcing arrangements across the UK and internationally.  Reputation management and investor confidence are key in these big projects, and Daniel is often called upon to advise on other sensitive issues including boardroom disputes, the exit of senior directors, and accusations of sexual harassment.  With a number of regulated clients, Daniel also supports executives and their employers during regulatory investigations and disciplinary issues.  In the event of a departure from the senior team, Daniel advises both employers and individuals on the negotiation of their exit package in regard to bonuses, LTIPs, share options and announcements to the market.

Daniel acts mainly for large corporate clients, including well-known publicly listed and privately-owned companies, in sectors as diverse as telecoms, recruitment, retail, food and drink, manufacturing and logistics as well as business in highly regulated sectors such as financial services, professional services and pharmaceuticals.

Recent examples of how Daniel has helped clients include:

  • successfully obtained a springboard injunction for Dorma UK Ltd following a team move which prevented the departing employees dealing with customers – Dorma UK Ltd v Bateman, [2016] IRLR 616;
  • successfully defended Mr Ashton, director of a rail engineering contracting company, against injunctive relief and conspiracy proceedings – Bourne Rail Ltd & Anor v Ashton & Ors [2018] EWHC 73 (QB) - and also obtained compensation for wrongful dismissal on his behalf;
  • supported a US parent company in relation to the restructuring of its UK subsidiary;
  • advised a plc on a High Court claim in relation to its enhanced redundancy scheme; and
  • supported an international telecoms operator through a reciprocal outsourcing arrangement involving the transfer of employees across multiple European jurisdictions.
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Daniel Walker

Partner
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Daniel Walker

Partner

A strategic employment lawyer with a focus on the prevention and resolution of problems.

Dan advises on all aspects of employment law with a particular emphasis on high level strategic issues such as corporate restructuring; TUPE; contract renegotiations; changes in culture and working practices; harmonisation of employment practices following a merger; ensuring compliance in regulated businesses; protection of intellectual property in innovative companies; developing policies and procedures.  He supports employers in dealing with the full spectrum of problems in the workplace including negotiating the smooth exit of a senior director; handling a sex or race discrimination claim; dealing with bullying or harassment; issues arising from whistleblowing; determination of worker/employee status; ensuring the correct calculations in regard to national minimum wage rates, holiday pay, bonuses or share options.

Dan’s clients are mainly employers in companies with multiple business units in sectors such as retail, hospitality, healthcare and pharmaceuticals, although he also acts for directors and senior employees.  Dan acts for international companies, working closely with the in-house labour lawyer of a major US corporation in regard to their UK operations.

Recent examples of how Dan has helped clients include:

  • helping to harmonise the employment policies across four pharmaceutical companies for the US parent company;
  • dealing with numerous issues arising from the workforce of a leading high street fashion chain;
  • supporting employers with absenteeism, persistent lateness, theft of stock, and national minimum wage investigations from HMRC;
  • defending a national restaurant group in a high value employment tribunal claim; and
  • negotiating a settlement agreement for a company director whose remuneration package included a complex share option scheme.
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Kimbra Welch

Partner
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Kimbra Welch

Partner

An employment partner and judge in the Central London Employment Tribunal.

Kimbra is an employment law specialist, providing advice to employers and senior executives on a range of employment law matters including discrimination issues, grievances and disciplinary issues, employment tribunal claims, settlement agreements, including terms and conditions of employment, severance packages following an agreed or forced exit and the scope and enforceability of restrictive covenants.

Besides being heavily involved in tribunal litigation, Kimbra spends much of her time advising on large scale corporate restructures and redundancy programmes some of which require trade union and employee consultation.  She also delivers in-house training to keep employers abreast of recent and forthcoming employment law changes and to give guidance on best practice garnered from her handling of similar claims, both as a practitioner and while sitting as a judge.

Kimbra’s clients are based throughout the UK and operate in a range of sectors, including financial and professional services, education, retail and manufacturing.  They include construction and manufacturing company, Voestalpine Metsec plc, sustainable packaging specialist, the Rigid Containers Group, Leicester Football Club plc (the Tigers), Coventry Building Society, financial services provider Wesleyan, national retailer Deichman Shoes and adhesive products specialist Bostik Ltd.

Recent examples of how Kimbra has helped clients include:

  • successfully negotiating the withdrawal of a disability discrimination claim brought against a national cinema chain by an employee with mental health issues following their sustained harassment of another member of staff;
  • supporting a large employer to make wide-ranging changes to their employee benefits package, including managing the trade union and staff consultation process prior to the changes being incorporated into amended contracts of employment; and
  • guiding an employer through the process of derecognising a trade union they had previously acknowledged voluntarily and providing assurance that a claim for statutory recognition had no prospects of success due to low membership numbers.
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Jenny Colver

Senior Associate
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Jenny Colver

Senior Associate

A senior associate in the employment team.

Jenny provides advice to employers on all aspects of UK employment law, including terms and conditions of employment, arrangements for staff with a disability or mental health issue, the handling of grievances and disciplinary matters, compromise agreements and exit arrangements with departing employees, the defence of employment tribunal claims and the enforcement of restrictive covenants.

Jenny is particularly experienced in the management of large scale redundancy programmes, corporate restructures impacting staff, business mergers and acquisitions caught by TUPE and outsourcing arrangements.

Jenny also provides advice to senior executives, typically on service agreements, severance packages following an agreed or forced departure and the scope and enforceability of non-compete and other restrictive contractual provisions.

Jenny regularly designs and delivers in-house training packages for employers who want to keep managers and staff up to date with employment law changes or who need guidance on best practice.

Jenny’s clients are based throughout the UK, with many also having overseas operations which impact and influence the employer-employee relationship.  Her clients include well-known companies such as the national retailer Dunelm and the UK’s largest tools supplier, Cromwell.

Recent examples of how Jenny has helped clients include:

  • successfully defending a company and their CEO against sex discrimination claims and securing a contribution of £100,000 towards their costs from the employee accuser;
  • supporting a company in exit negotiations with their CEO which resulted in the office holder agreeing to resign, with immediate effect and no compensation, despite the company having no grounds to terminate their service agreement;
  • securing the dismissal of an employment tribunal claim on behalf of an employer accused of race discrimination and automatic unfair dismissal; and
  • managing a redundancy and restructuring programme affecting over 150 employees without exposing the employer to claims of unfair dismissal or discrimination.
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Johanne Cosgrove

Senior Associate
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Johanne Cosgrove

Senior Associate

Johanne is a senior associate in the Employment team.

Johanne advises on all aspects of employment law including redundancy/reorganisation processes, managing disciplinary and grievance issues, TUPE, discrimination complaints, immigration and contractual disputes.

Johanne acts for both employers and employees in bringing and defending Employment Tribunal claims and has experience managing the recruitment and termination of senior executives, including drafting and advising on service agreements and settlement agreements. She is also a regular speaker at seminars and provides training for HR professionals.

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Samantha Cotter

Senior Associate
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Samantha Cotter

Senior Associate

An employment specialist and former commercial disputes lawyer.

Samantha's clients are HR departments, trying to manage large and often unwieldy groups of personnel, in a broad range of sectors including manufacturing, engineering, education and healthcare.  She also acts for employees and senior executives and supports the corporate team, predominantly in the sale and purchase of dental practices

Samantha negotiates settlement agreements for employers and employees, advises on employment law disputes in the civil courts, and advises on TUPE implications in respect of corporate transactions and service provision changes.  She provides training on a variety of employment topics including TUPE, disciplinary and grievance procedures, equality and diversity.

Samantha also advises on a range of employment disputes including; unfair dismissal, discrimination and national minimum wage claims and is an effective advocate before the Employment Tribunal.

Recent examples of how Samantha has helped clients include:

• securing tens of thousands of pounds in compensation for an employee who had an offer of employment withdrawn when their previous employer gave an unfair reference;

• negotiating the smooth exit of a disgruntled company director and shareholder who was guilty of misconduct on behalf of the employer;

• assisting an employer client in dealing with a claim by HMRC that they were not paying staff the National Minimum Wage; and

• advising a former employee on setting up their own business without infringing the terms of a restrictive covenant.