Leaders and senior executives

Having acquired a senior position in your organization, you will be only too aware that it carries not only rewards and recognition but also numerous internal and external responsibilities.

As all forms of business become more heavily regulated, many enforcement bodies are looking at ways to pin responsibility for incidents directly on senior individuals within organizations. It is therefore more likely that you could find yourself in the spotlight regarding your own actions, as well as the actions of your organization, both at home and abroad.

Home and work concerns

We have a huge amount of experience of advising senior executives at FTSE 250 and S&P 100 businesses. We are there to advise you on all aspects of your business and personal life. This can include drafting and advising on employment contracts and advising directors and senior managers on corporate governance, regulatory and severance issues. We also advise executives on their rights and responsibilities as owners of partnerships, corporations and limited liability companies. We can help to financially protect your position if things don’t work out or you’re looking at a new appointment at home or abroad.

Outside work we can advise on writing that will you’ve been putting off, so as to ensure that your loved ones are taken care of, and don’t receive an unpleasant and avoidable tax bill. We can also advise on prenuptial agreements, divorce or the increasing issues surrounding dementia in older people. For example, helping you with elderly parents when they can’t make decisions on their own behalf.

Defending your good name

When problems arise we are on hand to defend your hard-earned reputation and, where necessary, use the law to redress unfair treatment from employers and/or regulators. We are also skilled at preparing senior individuals for the rigorous process of giving testimony at parliamentary or senate hearings, which can be disastrous for your good name if not handled properly.

With specialist advisors in the US, Asia and Europe, the bottom line is that we are in your corner in the good and the bad times.

For further help or information

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2020 Chambers UK, top ranked in employment: senior executives

Top ranked firm for senior executives


Thoughtful, insightful and when necessary bold… Fine judgement and counsel… I have no hesitation in recommending.

Harriet Green - former CEO, Thomas Cook

They listened to how I wanted to approach matters, and advised and guided me smoothly through the process, protecting my interests but without causing hiccups. They were a pleasure to deal with and I really appreciated their support and advice through the process, I would definitely recommend them to others.


The swift and amicable approach they facilitated enabled my wife and I to move on without bitterness. I can highly recommend them for providing creative ideas, achieving results, and also being pleasant people to work with. 

CEO of investment management firm

I believe I received the best legal advice I could have and on top of that I felt I was personally supported every step of the way.  I always felt I had someone who was looking after my best interests – legally, financially and emotionally.

American artist

Clear, strategic thinking has helped chambers deal effectively with some sensitive and confidential issues.

Anthony Metzer QC, Head of Chambers - Goldsmith Chambers

Exemplary expertise and dedication…whilst the back up service from the team at Withers was of the highest standard

Nick Bowyer, retired financial marketing director of Swinton Insurance

Withers are a formidable team of professionals, for sure! It’s a remarkable record – in fact in terms of goals met it’s a 100% hit rate. Expectations, high and rightly so, constantly well exceeded every time

Nick Luke, a Withers client

The team strongly defended our interests and gave us excellent commercial and practical advice

Robert Miller - King.com

Meet the team

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Track record

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.

MD of a leading recruitment firm

When our client, the MD of a leading recruitment firm, exited as director, employee and minority shareholder, we negotiated bespoke post termination restrictions and share purchase arrangements to ensure he separated on favourable terms.

The CEO and COO of a publicly held US retail brand

This well-known speciality brand has annual revenues in excess of $400 million. We advised its chief executive and chief operating officer in a complex transaction to structure the buy-out of their equity interests by a private equity firm and allowing them to rollover their remaining interests into a newly formed holding company. We have developed a particular reputation for our ability to protect successful individuals in negotiations with private equity houses.

A tobacco company CEO

Our senior executive team negotiated a favorable severance package for the outgoing CFO of this major global brand, ensuring that the payout was made tax efficiently and that other terms were met.

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.

Disposal of shareholding in ITE Electric Co Ltd

We acted for our client in relation to the disposal of his substantial shareholding in the listed company, ITE Electric Co Ltd. We worked on the negotiation and drafting of the share purchase agreement as well as preparing and reviewing the announcements and ancillary documentation.

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.

Simon Henry

Withers advised Simon Henry, the former CFO from Royal Dutch Shell PLC, on the English law aspects of his departure.

The CEO of a globally recognized jewelry brand

This well-known, publicly held brand has more than 1,200 retail outlets throughout the US. We negotiated a new package (valued in excess of $2 million annually) on behalf of the incoming chief executive.

The founder of a successful publishing company

Our client built their business up to their target size for exit and chose us to help them with their management buy-out. We made sure that their exit was as tax efficient as possible and reduced their exposure to any future disputes with the purchaser, while also structuring rewards for the key employees who had contributed to the success of the company.

Successful financial services senior executive

Withers was called on to act for a well-known managing partner of an international investment firm when his reputation was under threat. Our robust approach to reputation management prevented the filing of false statements in a form U-5 (Uniform Termination Notice for Securities Industry Registration) that would have had a detrimental effect on his future career and earnings.

£30m dispute for Ukranian businessman

A prominent Ukrainian businessman instructed us to represent him in a complex £30 million dispute involving breach of contract, misrepresentations and fraud allegations.

CEO of an international pharmaceutical company

We acted for the CEO of an international and award winning pharmaceutical company in relation to her acrimonious exit. As a co-founder of the business and a minority shareholder, we negotiated the terms of her multi-million pound settlement, working closing with one of the top four accountants on valuation issues.

Succession planning

Succession planning for leading hedge fund and private equity managers with assets in or connections with Italy, France, Switzerland and the US, among other jurisdictions.

Dame Natalie Massenet

We advised the founder of online retailer and disruptor brand Net-a-porter on all aspects of founder, Dame Natalie Massenet's ownership interest in the business from initial structuring to transformative value events and exit.

Senior executives

We have advised numerous senior individuals on their personal interests, both on joining and leaving PE backed businesses, as well as senior executives founding, joining and leaving private equity firms.

Founders of an insurance group

We represented the founders of an insurance group joining the Lloyds market in a transaction involving a substantial capital raise and multiple international private equity investors. This included detailed advice on post termination restrictions and equity interests.

Former global head of currencies and commodities at HSBC

We represented Frederic Boillereau, HSBC's former global head of currencies and commodities, in a multi-year hard fought unfair dismissal and whistleblowing claim in the Employment Tribunal against the bank and a number of its current and former senior staff.

Former global head of currencies and commodities at HSBC

We represented Frederic Boillereau, HSBC's former global head of currencies and commodities, in a multi-year hard fought unfair dismissal and whistleblowing claim in the Employment Tribunal against the bank and a number of its current and former senior staff.

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