Employment at the double at Ward Hadaway | 19 October 07

The employment team at leading North law firm Ward Hadaway has doubled in size in just one year.

Sustained demand for its expert advice has seen the team expand from eight members in September 2006 to 16 this month.

Employment team new starters

[New starters (from left) Gillian Chinhengo, Theresa Carling-Wiggins, Rachael McCartney and Ben Williams]

An increased volume of instruction from existing clients, coupled with a series of new client wins in both the private and public sector, have led to the surge in work carried out by the dedicated unit.

Joe Thornhill, partner and joint head of employment at Ward Hadaway, said: “It is increasingly recognised that we are a market leader in employment and we have a reputation for providing high quality practical commercial advice in an area which is heavily regulated.

“It is very easy for employers to get bogged down and tied up with regulation. We would hope they see us as a breath of fresh air and a way of getting through the regulatory maze to find a pragmatic solution to their needs.”

As well as seeing a rise in demand for general employment advice in the face of increasing legislation in the field, the team’s expansion has also been fuelled by increased use of its specialist services, HR Assist and Praesidium employment law insurance.

HR Assist offers specialist human resources advice and expertise and has been particularly in demand from smaller firms who do not have their own HR departments.

Praesidium offers a range of insurance options to businesses aimed at cutting costs associated with potential employment tribunal claims.

Mr Thornhill said: “These kind of pro-active services have been a significant growth area for the firm as employers increasingly look to take a preventative approach to potential employment problems.”

The latest recruits to the employment team are Rachael McCartney, Theresa Carling-Wiggins, Gillian Chinhengo and Ben Williams.

Rachael joins from the Birmingham office of law firm Irwin Mitchell with Theresa coming from a firm in Blackburn, Lancashire. Both are joining the employment team as assistant solicitors.

Gillian has recently qualified as a solicitor following her two-year training period at Ward Hadaway while Ben joins as a trainee solicitor.

Mr Thornhill said: “We are delighted to welcome our new starters on board. As well as helping clients with their employment issues, it is nice for us to be creating jobs ourselves.”