Helen partners with her clients to deliver pragmatic solutions to often tricky employee issues. Her practice covers both contentious and non-contentious employment law. She advises on all areas of employment law but she has recently advised on the following: unfair dismissal, sex, race, age and disability discrimination; ever changing and technical advice on the job retention scheme; collective redundancy consultations; trade union issues, including statutory requests for recognition; TUPE transfers and corporate support; exiting senior executives in sensitive and high profile situations; and business/corporate immigration. She is also a founding member of the National Employment Team’s business immigration group.
Having worked alongside several clients in-house, Helen is acutely aware of the pressures businesses face and she works in partnership with her clients to deliver swift, commercial and pragmatic business solutions.
Work handled by Helen includes advising:
- A global insulation manufacturing company on a collective consultation process - managing the election and training of reps, briefing and training the senior management team, advising on the consultation process throughout, advising on grievances raised during the process, and drafting communications
- A rental vehicle company on the exit of the CEO, founder and a shareholder – including advising on the performance / disciplinary process, drafting and negotiating the settlement agreement, and advising on tactics throughout
- A technology company on a tribunal claim following a redundancy process – involving running the claim and defending the same at Tribunal
- A chemical manufacturing company in relation to a received request for trade union recognition – advising and running the process through the Central Arbitration Committee (CAC), strategising and advising on the internal communications with employees and the union, and negotiating the collective bargaining agreement
- A high street retailer on the exit of a senior employee who was absent on long term sick leave – this involved potential Equal Pay and personal injury claims, as well as claims of disability discrimination and unfair dismissal
Helen regularly writes articles and has appeared on TV giving legal opinion on various topical issues. For example, in 2020 Helen appeared on ITV News in all the regions to discuss facial tattoos in the workplace. She has also authored legal updates for the Employment Law Journal, written opinion pieces and provided comment to various publications. She regularly chairs and presents at seminars, briefings and training sessions for both HR practitioners and line managers. She has also recently co-chaired a roundtable event with the British Retail Consortium (BRC) sharing expertise around NMW compliance - https://brc.org.uk/news/hr/top-tips-for-nmw-audits-and-compliance/
She is a member of the Employment Lawyers Association and the Immigration Law Practitioners' Association.
Helen joined Shoosmiths in 2002 as a trainee, qualifying in 2004 and becoming partner in 2013.