Labor & Employment

Global Employment Issues

Experienced lawyers who provide seamless cross-border services.

Meet the team

When choosing UK Employment law advisers, companies want people they can get on with, who understand their business and who will be impressive when engaging with the executive team. Employers want lawyers well informed on the latest legal developments and future trends so they can be well informed and effective in their own role. Businesses can rely on Locke Lord to deploy their experience and good judgment to make the right recommendations and help you navigate employee relations situations that are out of your comfort zone. We also frequently act as a portal for obtaining employment advice across Europe and internationally.

We have many years' experience advising clients across a range of sectors, notably the financial and professional services and media/publishing sectors, on a variety of employment issues, including high-value discrimination, whistleblowing and bonus claims. We handle the largest and most intensive matters, as demonstrated by our successful High Court claim in the reported case of Halm v Argus Media, enforcing on behalf of the employer a nine-month non-competition covenant against a departing employee.

We often advise companies with unionized workforces, for example, in manufacturing, publishing and higher education. In particular, we provide advice on efficient and effective collective consultation, both in the context of collective redundancies and outsourcing and other TUPE transfers.

We also are adept at collaborating internationally and across disciplines:

  • We have close relationships with some of the most experienced employment lawyers across the globe, so we are able to act as a portal for you and obtain the quick answer to an HR question in an unfamiliar jurisdiction without the need for you to engage with separate lawyers and often at minimal cost. Or if you have a global HR project or key personnel to relocate, we coordinate cross-border advice, acting like your in-house employment counsel
  • We also have a leading Labor & Employment Practice across the United States
  • We work with our corporate team on M&A transactions; with our commercial/data protection lawyers on employee data protection issues; and with fellow partners on financial regulatory matters, including partner hires and terminations within investment funds, SMCR and other matters
  • We can coordinate pensions, immigration, employee tax and payroll advice

In the financial sector, we have advised on the employment aspects of major investment banking mergers. We regularly advise on issues at the interface between employment law and financial regulation, including partner hires and terminations within investment funds, SMCR and disciplinary issues involving regulatory breaches, and we understand the importance of employee conduct risk and cultural change as a regulatory issue. Our capabilities include disputes relating to complex remuneration structures within the banking, asset management, hedge fund and private equity markets.

Our experience includes:

  • Advising Argus Media on its enforcement following injunctive application and speedy trial of a nine-month non-competition covenant, client covenants and confidentiality obligations
  • Coordinating for Engelhart Commodity Trading Partners on a global basis across 21 jurisdictions advice on its restructuring
  • Advising a professional services company to a resolution on a complex dispute over an 18-month period with an employee with likely undiagnosed mental health issues and interlocking performance and disciplinary issues, grievances and an Employment Tribunal claim
  • Advising a management consultancy on a race and religious discrimination claim brought in the UK and through an EEOC application in the United States, arising out of incidents which took place in the Middle East
  • Advising private equity firms on key employee relations issues arising in their investee companies and investee company management teams on their position on their entry to, and exit from, private equity ownership
  • Advising on the employment aspects of many M&A deals
  • Advising on numerous outsourcing transactions, including an investment bank on a significant outsourcing of IT activities across the United States and UK
  • Defense of a seven-figure contractual claim in the High Court, followed by the bankruptcy of the Claimant

Financial Services

  • Advising a global bank on the successful defense of a disability discrimination claim for career loss damages after 17 days in the Tribunal, including the strike-out of an associated claim against its chief executive
  • Advising financial institutions, hedge funds, and asset and wealth managers on many employee relations issues, from collective redundancies to numerous seven-figure claims for sex, race, disability discrimination and whistleblowing, team moves and other restrictive covenant disputes
  • Advising a banking executive on his participation in a regulatory investigation conducted by an investment bank at the behest of the SEC and FCA
  • Advising Banco Santander on the employment aspects of a series of acquisitions and the subsequent integration
  • Advising private equity firms, hedge funds and executives on complex remuneration structures, such as carried interest and co-investment schemes and their impact on terminations of employment
  • Advising a wealth management firm on its recruitment of 13 employees from a competitor, without any litigation ensuing
  • Defense of an eight-figure claim for race discrimination against a Japanese bank
  • Advising a Lloyd's underwriting firm on its defense of an application for an injunction following the recruitment of a team from a competitor, and on the subsequent regulatory investigation by Lloyd's