We are consistently recognised by The Legal 500 as a ‘top-ranked’ team. 

We provide specialist, cost-effective advice on all aspects of employment law.  


In this section

Employees are at the heart of every organisation and we know that people management can be challenging.

As the first port of call when tricky issues arise, we excel at providing practical, commercial and strategic advice in all areas of employment, including pensions, immigration and data privacy.  Our clients appreciate our tailored, no-nonsense and solutions-driven approach.

We take pride in partnering with our clients to really understand them and their ways of working and to ensure their goals are achieved.  But more than this, we’re down-to-earth lawyers who you’ll enjoy working with, and who will take the time to get to know you and your organisation.

We act for a range of diverse organisations – from household name PLCs to SMEs and high net worth individuals  – across a variety of different sectors including technology, retail, construction, manufacturing and education.  Like our clients, we share the same ambitions of being dynamic and forward-thinking, and we strive to be agile in a fast-paced environment.

John Macaulay
Partner, Head of Employment

Tel: +44 (0)1733 887708
Email: jmacaulay@greenwoodsgrm.co.uk

What others say about us:

The Legal 500 rates us as a Top Tier Firm for our Employment advice, here are some of the comments our clients made to the Legal 500 researchers:

‘Greenwoods GRM is the best partner working with our function at the moment.  The team is very diverse in capabilities, background and gender.  We have different experts for each area of knowledge and practice, always available to support the team not only with a very strong competency and knowledge but also in an absolutely friendly and supportive way. They’ve been partnering with us for many years and I have no plans to change it for the next years.‘

‘Perfect client management, being always available, with a complete knowledge of legislation, case and team management. Having the history of our cases after years of partnership also allows a great outcome.  We have had very successful cases with Greenwoods GRM representing our company.  And in comparison to other competitors they offer an

‘We have worked on a range of complex employment law issues. Firstly, Greenwoods GRM came on board at short notice to support with a complicated issue involving an internal investigation, external investigation and a statutory regulator. They were swift in the analysis of the key issues, how to deal with them pragmatically and how to mitigate the associated risk. We have also worked on a range of other employment related scenarios and I have been very impressed with the breadth of their knowledge and their ability to help provide practical solutions to difficult internal issues.’outstanding service for a good price.‘

‘We appreciate their knowledge, pragmatism and availability.  They always make us feel special.‘

‘An amazing friendly team that is always very willing to help. Lockdown has not phased this team in the slightest, they just seamlessly picked up their laptops and started working from home with the same professionalism and ease of working with as if they were still in the office.’

‘The employment team at Greenwoods is exceptional – providing great events with up to the minute legal changes and guidance. The staff are very knowledgeable and always on hand to help. They are one of the easiest legal firms I have had to deal with and always one we can rely on to help us with a good result.’

We are specialist employment lawyers who advise on all workforce matters, ranging from pre-recruitment to post-termination and everything in between.

We have particular expertise in the following:

Litigation – advising on all types of Employment Tribunal and High Court claims, including high value and complex disputes, and on how to minimise litigation risk for your organisation

Equality & Diversity – assisting organisations with all forms of discrimination and harassment complaint and on any relevant gender pay gap reporting requirements

Operational Issues – advising on all aspects of HR operations – both day-to-day matters and more complex issues – including recruitment, employment status, sickness absence, disciplinary matters, grievances, family leave and terminations

Change Management – providing strategic and commercial advice in relation to business re-organisations, redundancies and restructuring, TUPE, and the employment aspects of corporate deals

Employment Contracts and Policies – drafting and advising on best practice in relation to employment contracts and policies so that your organisation can remain up to date, ensure compliance and minimise risk

Restraint of Trade and Confidentiality – providing strategic advice on the enforceability of restrictive covenants, the drafting of confidentiality agreements and the risks associated with team moves, as well as advising on injunctions

Senior Appointments and Terminations – advising high net-worth individuals in relation to appointments, exit strategies, restrictive covenants, team moves and use of confidential information

John Macaulay
Partner, Head of Employment

Tel: +44 (0)1733 887708
Email: jmacaulay@greenwoodsgrm.co.uk

Our pensions team advises on all aspects of occupational and personal pension schemes and is known for providing solutions-based, clear and pragmatic advice.

We have particular expertise in the following:

General Advisory – advising on the impact of new legislation, regulatory changes, scheme governance, internal disputes and complaints to the Pensions Ombudsman

Corporate Transactions – advising on pensions issues relating to company share and asset sales, undertaking due diligence for corporate investors, and advising shareholders and financial backers of companies who wish to extract value from companies

Regulatory and Statutory Compliance – including conflicts of interest, member-nominated trustees, tax simplification, age and sex discrimination and the powers of the Pensions Regulator

Scheme Restructuring – advising employers and trustees of pension schemes on strategies to reduce scheme liabilities, putting in place mechanisms to minimise or contain the debt under section 75 of the Pensions Act 1995, advising on the statutory funding regime and investment restructuring

Insolvency – advising employers and trustees in respect of the pension issues arising in solvent and insolvent voluntary redundancies, pre-pack insolvencies and company voluntary arrangements, project managing entry into the Pension Protection Fund

Documentation – drafting and advising on pension scheme documentation, including definitive deeds, deeds of adherence, substitution and trustee appointments


Pauline Anning

Tel: +44 (0)1733 887686
Email: panning@greenwoodsgrm.co.uk

All employment relationships require the collection and use of personal data and therefore compliance with data privacy law has become an everyday aspect of our clients’ working relationships.

We have particular expertise in the following:

Subject Access Requests:

  • individual requests (all aspects of the request process – receipt, extensions, grounds for non-compliance, document search, review and redact, application of exemptions, response)
  • preparation and guidance for multiple simultaneous requests (for example in response to organisational redundancies
  • in the context of grievances, disputes and tribunal litigation

Sensitive Personal Information: lawful use in an HR context (such as ill-health absence, occupational health issues, reasonable adjustments and equality of opportunity monitoring) and related regulatory requirements

Contracts: advising on data privacy law risks arising from contracts with individuals and organisations

Compliance Documentation: for example, staff privacy notices, organisational data protection policies and data retention guidelines

Surveillance: ranging from general (for example, advising on the lawful use of workplace CCTV) to more targeted or covert (for example, monitoring communications in cases of serious misconduct)

Vicarious Liability: assisting clients to take both preparatory and reactive actions to mitigate and defend risks/allegations of vicarious liability for the consequences of breaches of data privacy law caused by human error

Bespoke: data privacy law advice across the entire lifecycle of the employment relationship

Need to keep up to date?

We provide concise, practical and relevant legal updates straight to your inbox via our “Big Data” email service.




We’ve also given you access to our ‘Big Data Archive’ so you can check you’re up to date with key issues.





Our Employment team is recognised for its expert employment law training. We run seminars and webinars on important legal developments, annual “Employment Law Now” training events as well as sector-specific events.

We also provide bespoke training sessions tailored to our clients’ particular needs.

Sign up here to receive news of our future training events as they are scheduled.

Our upcoming training events include Employment Law Now – our annual update session, held in the first quarter of each year.

What others say about us:

Greenwoods GRM works hard at developing close relationships with the sector and provide really helpful training and networking events. The depth of their understanding of the nature of clients’ organisations increases the value of the advice they give.’

‘The employment team at Greenwoods GRM is exceptional – providing great events with up to the minute legal changes and guidance.’

Check our firmwide events listing for our current programme.

Employment law changes rapidly.  We know how important it is for your organisation to understand what those changes mean for your workforce.

We provide concise, practical and relevant legal updates straight to your inbox via our Employment Law Now email and vlog services.




Here’s access to our Employment Law Now archive so you can check you’re up to date with key issues.



You can also keep up to date with developments via Twitter.



In accordance with SRA Transparency Rules 2018, we have provided information on our approach to fees and service for bringing claims (individuals) or defending claims (small businesses) for unfair or wrongful dismissal below. For information about other areas of work not covered by the SRA Transparency Rules 2018 please get in touch.

Claims for wrongful or unfair dismissal

On average, our estimated costs for bringing and defending claims for unfair or wrongful dismissal are likely to be:

  • Simple case: £11,000 (plus VAT at a rate of 20% (as at 1 May 2021) and disbursements)
  • Medium complexity case: £25,000 (plus VAT at a rate of 20% (as at 1 May 2021) and disbursements)
  • High complexity case: £55,000 (plus VAT at a rate of 20% (as at 1 May 2021) and disbursements)

Factors that could make a case more complex and/or more expensive include:

  • A long employment history
  • If it is necessary to make or defend applications to amend claims or to provide further information about an existing claim
  • Defending claims that are brought by litigants in person
  • Making or defending a costs application
  • Complex preliminary issues such as whether the claimant is entitled to bring a claim
  • The number of witnesses and documents
  • Instructing an expert witness
  • If it is an automatic unfair dismissal claim e.g. if you are dismissed after blowing the whistle on your employer
  • Reputational risk and damage
  • Separate hearings for liability and remedy
  • The number of parties
  • Unreasonable conduct by an opposing party
  • Making or opposing any appeal

We will instruct a barrister to represent you at the main Tribunal Hearing.  We may also instruct a barrister to represent you at complex Preliminary Hearings.  Barrister’s fees are estimated to be between £750 to £3,000 per day plus VAT at a rate of 20% (as at 1 May 2021)depending on the barrister’s experience, for each day of preparing for and attending at a main Tribunal Hearing.

We will work with clients to determine whether a solicitor and a barrister both need to be present at the main Tribunal Hearing (or at a Preliminary Hearing), how long they may be needed to attend for and the seniority of the solicitor and barrister attending.

Assuming a solicitor needs to attend a main Tribunal Hearing or a Preliminary Hearing, there will be an additional charge of, on average (and depending on the seniority of the person attending), £2,000 per day plus VAT at a rate of 20% (as at 1 May 2021).

There will also be an additional charge for our time spent travelling, which will be dependent on the location of the Tribunal.

Generally, we would allow 1-10 days for the main Tribunal Hearing depending on the complexity of your case.

Hourly rates

Our fees are based on hourly rates, which vary depending on who is involved on the matter.  The range of our hourly rates (exclusive of VAT at a rate of 20% (as at 1 May 2021)) are as follows:

Partner £390 – £450
Senior Associates £340 – £380
Associates £260 – £280
Solicitors £200
Trainees £150 – £175
Paralegal £150 – £180

Likely disbursements

Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as barrister’s fees (see above), travel and hotel expenses, courier and photocopying charges. Travel costs are usually by rail (standard class open returns).

The rates charged for in-house photocopying/scanning (excluding VAT) are as follows:

A4 £0.10 £0.50 £0.10 £0.20
A3 £0.20 £1.00 £0.20 £0.30
A2 £3.00 £6.00 £3.00 £6.00
A1 £4.00 £8.00 £4.00 £8.00
A0 £5.00 £10.00 £5.00 £10.00

We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process.

Excluding barrister’s fees which are addressed separately above, disbursements are on average, likely to be in the region of £150 for a simple case, £400 for a medium complexity case and £800 for a high complexity case, in each case plus VAT at a rate of 20%.

Key stages

The fees set out above cover all the work in relation to the following key stages of a claim:

  • Taking your initial instructions, reviewing the papers and advising you on merits and likely compensation (this is likely to be revisited throughout the matter and is subject to change)
  • Entering into pre-claim conciliation to explore whether a settlement can be reached
  • Preparing a claim or a response
  • Reviewing and advising on a claim or response from another party
  • Exploring and negotiating settlement throughout the process
  • Preparing or considering a schedule of loss
  • Preparing for (and attending) a Preliminary Hearing
  • Preparing a list of documents, exchanging documents with the other party and agreeing a bundle of documents
  • Taking witness statements, drafting statements and agreeing their content with witnesses
  • Reviewing and advising on the other party’s witness statements
  • Agreeing a list of issues, a chronology and/or a cast list
  • Preparation and attendance at the main Tribunal Hearing, including instructions to the barrister

The stages set out above are an indication and if some of stages above are not required, the fee may be less.  Likewise, if any additional stages are required, the fee may be more.  You may wish to handle the claim yourself and only have our advice in relation to some of the stages.  This can also be arranged on your individual needs.

Likely timescales

The time that it takes from taking your initial instructions to the final resolution of your matter depends largely on the stage at which your case is resolved and the availability of the Tribunal.  If a settlement is reached during pre-claim conciliation, your case is likely to take 4-6 weeks.  If your claim proceeds to a main Tribunal Hearing, your case is likely to take 26-52 weeks.  This is just an estimate and we will of course be able to give you a more accurate timescale once we have more information and as the matter progresses. (Note that the Tribunal system is currently dealing with a backlog of cases which is resulting in delays in cases being listed for hearing in some areas of the country).

Experience and qualifications of those carrying out the work

Your matter will be handled by a member of the Employment team, all of whom are qualified solicitors. Our solicitors are occasionally supported by trainees and paralegals whose work is appropriately supervised by a qualified lawyer.

The experience and qualifications of those carrying out the work on any particular case will depend on matters such as complexity and value and also whether any specialist knowledge is required.  Links to our team members’ profiles are available here.


Information correct as of 1 May 2021


Get in touch with us

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