Employment contracts

We are frequently asked by senior professionals to review their employment contracts.

This includes advising directors of FTSE 100 and FTSE 250 companies on everything from service agreements and benefits documents to corporate indemnification and post-termination restrictions. Whether you’re in banking, manufacturing, technology or advertising (to name a few), we have knowledge of your sector and can help you get the best deal.

Because we act for employers and employees we can see both sides when we are drafting documents and can anticipate points the other side will raise. This might be in relation to the hire of a key executive, such as the CEO of a globally recognized luxury brand. Or we can assist more broadly, for example advising a financial services client on contracts and benefits for employees in London, New York and Hong Kong.

As well as initial employment agreements we can advise on consultancy and secondment agreements, employment policies and staff handbooks. We also offer a ‘policy audit’ service to help employers comply with changes in the law.

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Track record

Renault Sport F1 Team

Since Renault Group's cross-border acquisition of Lotus F1 in December 2015, our employment team have provided continual support to the Renault Sport F1 Team. This work has included: advice in relation to a TUPE transfer of employees; drafting and negotiating employment contracts/consultancy agreements with senior employees and key contractors - many with cross-border elements; advising on the disciplining and/or exit of employees; and advising on arrangements with contractors and the termination of such arrangements.

Informa Plc

Informa is a highly successful multinational publishing and events company, based in London. When the company needed to enforce post-termination restrictions and wanted advice on the consequences of business sales, Withers' experienced team was on hand to successfully resolve any problems, including the potential enforcement of obligations in other jurisdictions (Germany, USA).

Harriet Green, CEO of Thomas Cook

When Harriet Green stood down as CEO of Thomas Cook in 2014, she turned to Withers' experienced team to help her develop and implement an exit strategy. The situation became more complicated in May 2015, while she was on garden leave, and had to deal with an onslaught of negative press coverage around her alleged handling of the death of two children in Corfu in 2006 (six years before she joined Thomas Cook). We developed a clear strategy and we closed the matter down to our client's satisfaction.

Senior executives at King.com

Candy Crush Saga has become one of the major global success stories of the free-to-play mobile device games, with more than 93 million players worldwide. Withers was proud to act for the founders of the company that owned it, King.com, in the high-profile sale of their business to Activision Blizzard for US$5.9 billion, achieving a very satisfactory outcome for our clients.

Winton Capital Management

Winton is a global investment management and data technology company that uses scientific methods to develop intelligent investment systems. The company contacted Withers for advice on internal restructures and mobility issues between its various locations. Our global reach and knowledge of multiple markets meant we were ideally placed to advise on issues in London and Oxford in the UK, and also in New York, Hong Kong and Tokyo.

Two US senior executives moving to Europe

As a firm, we are best known for helping globally successful individuals to protect their interests internationally - in this recent matter we helped secure water-tight contracts for two C-suite directors as they relocated from the United States to the United Kingdom, while our transatlantic team reviewed their changed tax circumstances.

SSAFA, the armed forces charity

Withers has had a long and very successful relationship with the armed forces charity SSAFA and we have acted for them on many issues over the years. We are immensely proud of our continued association with this worthwhile organization. Our team was on hand to advise when the charity went through a redundancy exercise and TUPE transfer in Germany. We successfully negotiated when two senior executive roles were terminated, alongside more junior members of staff, one of whom brought a disability discrimination claim. In another notable instance, we advised an Employment Tribunal in the UK over whether the charity could be held liable for an allegedly discriminatory decision taken by the MOD. We secured a ruling in our client's favour.

Co-op bank CEO, Barry Tootell

When director and CEO of the Co-op Bank Plc Barry Tootell stepped down in difficult and controversial circumstances, Withers's team demonstrated our in-depth knowledge of difficult situations to advise and negotiate his exit. Since 2013, our team has continued to act for him on arising issues and enquiries related to his time at the Co-op.

Ilkay Gündogan

We assisted the international renowned footballer, Ilkay Gündogan, on a number of aspects of his transfer from Borussia Dortmund to Manchester City FC. Of particular importance were drafting employment and image rights agreements.

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