The team at Mishcon de Reya manages the full spectrum of contentious and non-contentious employment law for our recruitment clients, from quick questions and day to day HR advisory to large scale strategic reorganisations and redundancies, complex litigation, and business disposals and acquisitions (including TUPE). We have unique experience managing exceptional, complex, high profile and high stake situations, acting at the highest level for both organisations and senior executives within the recruitment sector. As a result we have a unique understanding of tactics deployed by both sides and a balanced understanding of the issues involved.
We know that the relationships between consultants, clients and candidates are central to the success of a recruitment agency. We work with our clients to protect these relationships using and enforcing restrictions - both during employment and post-termination - in contracts of employment. We have extensive experience of drafting and advising on effective and comprehensive contractual restrictions and policies that are tailored to both the sector and the business, and which focus on the prevalence of unfair competition issues amongst recruiters.
We are frequently instructed on complex, high profile and high value breach of covenant, breach of confidence and team move disputes in the recruitment sector. We are adept at deploying and defending specialist injunctive proceedings, including springboard injunctions, and regularly advise on both sides of team moves and poaching raids, including how to acquire teams without incurring liability or, conversely, how to protect a business against poaching and the significant disruption and costs caused by raids.
Examples of our experience include:
- Advising clients on the full spectrum of day to day employment issues, including HR strategy, family friendly issues, performance management, disciplinaries and grievances and dismissals.
- Drafting sector specific employment contracts, policies and procedures, including comprehensive policies regarding the use of LinkedIn and other social media and the protection of client and candidate databases to respond to the difficulties that recruitment companies face in policing and prosecuting unlawful competition online, and to preventing and policing the theft of valuable confidential information and databases.
- Working with employers on preventative measures to minimise the risk of employment claims, ensuring adequate training, policies and procedures are in place.
- Managing large scale and complex Employment Tribunal and High Court litigation for clients, with cases ranging from discrimination and whistleblowing to high-value bonus and commission disputes and applications for injunctive relief.
- Prosecuting and defending large scale team moves for recruitment companies in the High Court. Such cases often involve multiple and wide-ranging claims in respect of a number of individuals and businesses, including breach of confidence, breach of express, implied contractual duties, breach of fiduciary duties, inducement to breach, conspiracy and acting in concert.
- Advising on tax efficient share schemes and incentives, long term incentive plans, tax efficient termination payments, related taxation of partners in partnerships and cross border movement/secondment of employees within the EU as well as further afield.
- Acting for senior employees and directors in the recruitment sector, negotiating contracts of employment, complex remuneration provisions and termination packages, or in Employment Tribunal and High Court litigation.