Elaine Aarons


Elaine is a partner in the employment team.

With over 35 years’ experience in employment and partnership law, for the last 15 years acting mainly for senior executives, partners and entrepreneurs, Elaine is an acknowledged leader in her field.

Over 95% of her client base is senior individuals and includes: senior executives in FTSE 100 and 250 companies, largely main board directors and members of executive committees; senior bankers - she has acted for 19 Bank Chief Executives (some more than once as they have returned for further advice); principals and senior management in private equity houses, private equity backed firms, hedge funds and other financial services boutiques.

In addition to financial services, she has clients in senior management roles in all sectors of the economy – most recently in transport, energy, technology, publishing, retail betting, management consultancy and real estate. She also has a particular interest in advising senior academics, having acted for a significant number of Vice-Chancellors of universities.

Listed in the Legal 500 Hall of Fame which recognises individuals who have received constant praise from their clients for continued excellence, she has been described by the directories as ‘tenacious and intelligent’, an ‘absolute master strategist and tactician’, a ‘formidable opponent’, a ‘strong client advocate’ and ‘phenomenally good’. She is recommended for her ‘sense of strategy and imagination’ and has also recently been recognised in Spear’s ranking of the best employment lawyers for senior executives, wealth managers and family offices.

Elaine is always focused on delivering her client’s objectives. She advises on a wide range of issues, including termination of employment, resignation/removal from partnerships, negotiating service agreements and LLP agreements (including negotiating corporate indemnities), investigations and disciplinary proceedings (particularly in FCA/PRA regulated businesses), bonus, discrimination and whistleblowing claims, team moves and restrictive covenants (drafting and enforcement).

She is regularly instructed to lead multi-disciplinary teams and is therefore a natural choice where employment, regulatory and reputation management issues are paramount. She is also used as team leader on matters involving corporate, litigation and wealth planning advice.

Elaine is also involved in a number of organisations that support women in the workplace. She is a long standing member of the International Women’s Forum and part of their Ethical Leadership Committee. She is also the co-founder of One Loud Voice for Women, a not for profit that represent the voices of 300,00 women and whose goal is to achieve gender parity in the workplace for all women regardless of seniority.


Elaine was superb. Thorough and strategic, she skilfully used her depth of experience as well as her pragmatism to provide an outstanding level of service throughout. I would highly recommend her.

Leading Investment Management Professional

I have instructed Withers on a number of matters which concluded successfully. Elaine Aarons in particular has impressed me.  She immediately understands the issues at hand and is very astute and clear thinking. Her input on strategy and tactics has been particularly valued.

Jonathan Goldstein

Elaine, under tense and difficult circumstances in my unexpected career storm, you provided a safe haven of advice and strategy. Thank you.

Anonymous client

I highly recommend Elaine Aarons on employment matters. Elaine’s advice is sensible and realistic – she never just tells you what you want to hear! She  manages that delicate balance between being a tough negotiator and a proactive mediator and usually gets the very best results for her clients.

Julia Chain

I hold the Employment team at Withers in particularly high regard.  Elaine Aarons runs a strategic and pragmatic practice, which is results orientated.

Nick Ulycz, Group HR Director - Domestic & General

Elaine Aarons is an incredibly shrewd negotiator, fully versed in legal detail and procedures as well as strategic and tactical advice.  She is exceptionally determined, does not give up and strives to achieve the best possible outcome for her client. I highly recommend her.

Tea Colaianni

Elaine is regarded as being ‘amongst the best individual employment lawyers in the London market’.

Insider's Guide to Legal Services

Elaine Aarons is ambitious for her clients, and she knows the field – and human nature – well enough to be able to read the politics of a situation and navigate tricky situations to create success for her clients. She is the consummate professional, sharply focused on managing cases efficiently, providing excellent and timely care to her clients while pinpointing the right legal moves, every step of the way.

Legal 500 UK, 2020

She’s absolutely superb; she’s just brilliant at strategy. She is enjoyable to work with.

Chambers UK, 2021

Elaine Aarons is one of the most inspirational people I have met in a long time. I admired and appreciated her professional expertise. However that is as you would expect. I saw in Elaine a lot of what I look for in colleagues and indeed executives – strength, focus, ability to listen and hear and also the ability to adapt to the needs of her client. I was in a difficult place and she allowed me to go through the process in a way that I was comfortable with, whilst driving for the best outcome.

Legal 500 UK, 2021

Track record





Negotiated gold-plated indemnities to supplement Directors and Officers liability insurance so that employers provide her clients with much needed financial support when they are facing investigations, claims, adverse PR etc - something that is increasingly important as personal liability for office holders and senior managers becomes more of an issue.

Advised executives who are joining or exiting businesses backed by private equity. She is very concerned by the one-sided documentation that is prevalent in private equity deals. This can result in executives not realising the gains they hoped for and she is used to negotiating improvements and ensuring clients are aware of the risks and opportunities that private equity presents.

Acts for individuals having to respond to internal investigations and disciplinary proceedings where allegations and related regulatory notifications could potentially prevent them continuing with their current career, particularly where they are dependant on approval from the FCA and the PRA (and other regulators) in order to continue working. There can also be the risk of a FCA Enforcement investigation and regulatory proceedings to mitigate.

England and Wales, 1982

Elaine is General Editor of Tottel’s ‘Termination of Employment’.

The International Womens’ Forum UK, Company Secretary

The Center for Talent Innovation

City of London Law Society, Vice Chair Employment Law Sub-Committee

The Opportunity Now Awards in 2006 and 2009, Judge

Employment Lawyers Association, Founder Member

Appeared on TV and radio numerous times.

Lectured to business and professional audiences on almost all aspects of employment law.


In my career I have had two guiding principles - to do what I love doing and to stay ahead of the curve. Both of these have stood me in very good stead

My move to Withers ten years ago was driven by these principles. I had specialised in acting for employers for 26 years acting mainly for institutional clients. I had been one of the very first lawyers to specialise exclusively in employment law. I was a leading practitioner in my field and had a very strong practice. There was actually no reason to change.

However, my move to Withers was strategic - I thought there was a gap in the market for a ‘big hitter’ that focused almost entirely on senior executives. I thought I could leverage my brand as a blue chip City employment lawyer to create something unique. No one had done it on the scale that I planned to do it.

The move proved to be tremendous. 10 years later I can say I have acted for 14 Bank Chief Executives, I have conducted cases for captains of industry and leaders in their fields. I have acted against the biggest banks and hedge funds as well as FTSE 100/250’s in all sectors. I have been involved in headline grabbing stories (the longest running being front page news for 10 days). Some of the appointments and removals in which I have been instructed have involved such leading players that politicians at the highest levels of government have taken a personal interest.

I love every moment of it.

It should be said that I also work with clients who are emerging leaders, making their way up the corporate ladder, as well as those who are already at the height of their career. I feel I can offer the benefits of my experience combined with a genuine interest in helping people who have been highly successful and want to continue to be.



  • English





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