Managing Partner - Stoke
"A well established player in the field."
(Chambers & Partners)
Peter has over 30 years’ experience, advising on the full spectrum of HR and employment law from the beginning to the end of the employment relationship. This includes the specialist areas of discrimination, enforcement of restrictive covenants and warranty claims and Trade Union recognition and de-recognition.
Peter conducts his own advocacy and has an impressive track record as a skilled negotiator. He has been involved in many sensitive and high value cases where protracted or high profile cases would not have been in the client’s best interests.
Peter’s particular expertise comes in providing strong and pragmatic advice to prevent employment disputes. He specialises in removing employees, senior managers and executives in a dignified manner, avoiding protracted and expensive claims for damages or compensation in situations where the employee has not necessarily done anything that would justify summary removal or a fair dismissal.
This includes attending meetings with the employee and undertaking direct negotiations to achieve a speedy and acceptable conclusion.
Peter is listed as a Recommended Lawyer in the Legal 500 (2020 edition).
Peter takes great delight in getting to know the client and its market place. Nowhere is this better demonstrated than in the area of manufacturing. Peter is keen to understand what makes the client tick, its values and ambitions, but he is also genuinely interested in what the client produces and how it gets to market. Peter believes that this helps him to fully contribute not only in terms of HR and employment law but also in the wider ambitions and success of the business.
- Following the acquisition of a business Peter acted for the purchaser who subsequently discovered that the seller, who had been retained as an employee and director of the business, had sold his company knowing that he had already lost the custom of its two principal clients. Peter advised on the removal of the seller as an employee and director of the business and then pursued the warranty claim in which his client recovered a substantial part of the original purchase price.
- Representing employers in various sectors where personal relationships between members of staff have potentially compromised the integrity of the management. Developing containment and reporting strategies and where necessary exit plans for the relevant parties whilst avoiding claims of unfair dismissal and/or discrimination.
- Successfully defended a claim of unfair dismissal by a senior employee who had viewed confidential information and tried to use that information to push for a higher pay rise. This was a complicated case involving personal relationships and forensic examination of the company’s IT systems and involved Peter’s expertise in avoiding a significant award of damages and long term reputational damage.
- Advising on cases involving bullying, harassment, discrimination and inappropriate use of IT and social media. He also advises on developing training programmes and introducing procedures for the monitoring and enforcement of policies, to promote an awareness and preventative environment to avoid conflict and/or claims.
- Advising a senior executive who was dismissed allegedly on the grounds of redundancy following whistle blowing allegations. The claim for unfair dismissal and breach of the Public Interest Disclosure Act was settled for a sum in excess of 3 years net pay.
- Advising and assisting a principal supplier on the “mothballing” of Tata’s Steel works at Teeside. This involved attending multi parties (and multi union) meetings and conducting the disclosure and consultation exercises for both TUPE and the redundancy programmes.
- Peter undertook the removal of an operations director who had done nothing wrong, but had reached a situation where he was over qualified and over paid for his current position. The director had a 9 month notice period. Settlement terms were negotiated and agreed within 10 working days and the parties parted on amicable terms.
- Peter undertook the removal of a sales and marketing director who had lost a certain amount of business but otherwise had done nothing which would have justified a fair dismissal. Settlement terms were negotiated and agreed within 5 working days.
- Instrumental in assisting a manufacturer to avoid taking on the potential liabilities of purchasing the business of a failing competitor and instead successfully waiting to buy the valuable intellectual property from the liquidator.
- Devising tactics to avoid a trade union’s attempt to obtain union recognition at one site of a multi site institution and successfully defending this decision at the Central Arbitration Committee.
- Successfully devising a plan and tactics to remove a number of employees who were habitually stealing product from the client, without the requirement of settlement agreements and avoiding any Employment Tribunal claims despite having little more than hearsay and suspicion.
- Implementing large scale redundancy programmes.
- Introduction of benefits and reward schemes.
- Advising on TUPE and acting for sellers and purchasers of businesses as well as incoming and outgoing service providers.
Transport & Logistics
Peter has used his HR and employment expertise to advise a variety of clients in the logistics sector. His strategic and direct approach has helped clients to avoid potential industrial action and manage allegations of discrimination.
- Following the acquisition of a business, Peter acted for the purchaser who subsequently discovered that the seller, who had been retained as an employee/manager, had acted negligently and/or incompetently in completion of a number of high profile projects causing the company significant loss and damage. Peter advised on the dismissal of the seller as an employee/manager and negotiated a substantial discount by way of non-payment of retention monies to offset against the original purchase price.
- Providing HR support to a logistics company including advising on negotiations with a recognised trade union, potential trade union de-recognition and dealing with allegations of sexual harassment and discrimination of agency workers.
- Advising a national transport and logistics company on TUPE and successfully avoiding strike action and monetary claims.
- Advising on day-to-day HR and employment issues and providing policy and strategic advice across different levels of the organisation.
Peter provides HR and employment advice to various food and drink suppliers and has been praised for his ability to understand the industry and the businesses of his clients.
- Advising a supplier of vegetarian food on a broad spectrum of employment and HR matters including discrimination, sickness absence management and responding to subject access requests under the Data Protection Act 1998.
- Advising the company on the removal of an employee who made unfounded allegations of breaches of health and safety and production protocols under the protection of whistleblowing legislation.
- Advising a leading food manufacturer on grievance and disciplinary procedures and exiting senior executives.
- Advising and managing a large scale reorganisation exercise.
- Advising a food manufacturer on dealing with an employee who had allegedly suffered a chemical burn at work but was suspected of self-harming and injuring himself out of work.
Peter has for many years been involved with the education sector and has advised colleges and schools as well as representing lecturers, teachers and support staff. Peter currently acts for City of Stoke on Trent Sixth Form College and Stoke on Trent College. Peter is also a director/trustee of the Potteries Educational Trust which is a multi-academy trust.
- Advising institutions regarding their governance and administrative framework and issues of accountability.
- Advising on the reduction of teaching staff and working with the institution and relevant trade unions to consult and implement a redundancy programme.
- Advising institutions regarding underperforming staff and taking the necessary steps and procedures to remove the member of staff and negotiate a settlement agreement to avoid any ongoing litigation.
- Advising institutions regarding issues of personal appearance of students including forms of dress, make up, hair style, tattoos and piercings.
- Advising institutions on potential safeguarding issues.
- Providing tailored workshops and advice on the TUPE implications of a service provision change.
- Advising a university lecturer regarding allegations of harassment.
Peter has for many years been involved with local authorities and provides employment and HR solutions built on outstanding knowledge and expertise.
- Peter was a key player in advising and driving forward the Strategic Alliance between two local authorities. Apart from the legal and governance issues for statutory officers etc. Peter also advised on the TUPE implications and re-organisational issues and the notification and consultation requirements with local and national trade union representatives.
- Advising on day-to-day HR and employment issues and providing policy and strategic advice based on governance and administrative frameworks.
- Advising on contentious employment and HR matters involving discrimination, bulling, harassment and unfair dismissal.
- Advising on the necessary steps and procedures to remove employees and in certain circumstances negotiate a settlement agreement to avoid any ongoing litigation.
Peter understands the challenges faced by many charities. He relies on his professional and strategic approach to help charities work through various issues involving redundancies, and handling grievance and disciplinary procedures.
- Advising and managing the closure of a charity and implementing a redundancy programme.
- Advising on day-to-day HR and employment issues and providing policy and strategic advice.
- Advising on and implementing the appointment of a joint general manager for two charities where the manager was employed by one charity and seconded for part of the working week to the second charity.
- Advising on contentious employment and HR matters involving allegations of discrimination, bullying, harassment and unfair dismissal.
“I am very impressed by Peter Gavin, (partner) who heads the employment law team. Peter is very experienced, an excellent negotiator and is to the point and business like. He is prepared to give an opinion and does not “sit on the fence.”(Samantha Pearce, HR Manager, Portmeirion Group Limited)
“Peter has a very direct and practical approach to HR issues and is always willing to help deal with employees direct. He provides strong and decisive guidance which has avoided costly and time consuming disputes. Peter understands the level of risk we set for decision making and strikes a good balance between the strict interpretation of law and the real needs of the business in making recommendations to us.”(Ann Moult, Procurement Director, Johnson Tiles a division of Norcros Group (Holdings) Limited)
“Peter Gavin is an experienced and extremely talented solicitor who is well respected. He is proactive, thoughtful and has outstanding depth of expertise.”(Richard Gruning, Managing Director, Furlong Mills Limited)
“…very supportive of clients.”(Chambers & Partners )
“…team led by the ‘confident’ Peter Gavin…”(The Legal 500)
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