Our employment law legal advice team
Kayi Lau is the corporate services unit manager at Markel Law, which includes the XpertHR team. She qualified as a solicitor in 2004 and worked for both a national firm in London and a niche practice in West Sussex before joining the firm in March 2006. She has experience in employment tribunal litigation, and in advising employers and employees on employment law and HR issues. She has also drafted a variety of documentation to assist employers, such as newsletters and guidance notes on recent changes in employment law.
Diccon Maude is a solicitor specialising in employment law and joined the firm in February 2009. He read law with European Legal Systems and worked for four years at an established city firm before working in the legal sector in commerce and industry, after qualifying as a solicitor in March 2002. At his previous firm, Diccon gained extensive experience in advising HR professionals to a high level on all aspects of employment law, including recruitment, contracts and policies, major restructuring and redundancy exercises and tribunal litigation. He has also spoken at regular seminars on a range of employment law and HR topics.
Monica Smikle works as a corporate services unit adviser and is a core member of the XpertHR team. She advised as a HR professional for several years during which time she also provided consultancy services on a specific resourcing project to a leading homeless charity. Her work with the charity led to the Investors in People award. Monica joined Markel Law in 2008 working in the employment support unit. Monica holds Chartered MCIPD membership status, has a Bachelor's of Art Honours Degree in Business Studies and a Master's Degree in Human Resource Management. She has also completed the Law Conversion Degree in 2005 and her Barristers training in 2007, although she is currently not a practising Barrister.
Sarah Browne works as a corporate services unit legal adviser, which includes being part of the XpertHR team. She qualified as a solicitor in 2006, having trained at a well-respected south-coast firm before moving to an employment team at a firm in Lewes. She joined the employment support unit at Markel Law in October 2007 and moved to the corporate services unit in August 2008. Sarah has experience in advising both employers and employees on various aspects of employment law and has a particular interest in maternity and family-friendly rights.
Tracey Collinson Smee is a solicitor and member of the corporate services unit. She has many years' experience in private practice dealing with litigious matters prior to joining the firm in 2004. Immediately before joining, she was practice manager at a niche firm and has been responsible, among other things, for training and managing lawyers and other staff. Tracey has several years' experience in advising HR professionals and business managers on a variety of employment law issues. She aims to assist clients in achieving their business objectives when it comes to HR issues whilst attempting to minimise risk.
Olivia Irvine is a legal adviser in the corporate services unit. Olivia qualified as a solicitor in 1991 and has worked as an in-house employment solicitor in industry and in London advising on all aspects of employment law. She has practical experience of employment tribunal litigation, advising on contracts, policies and staff handbooks and presenting seminars aimed at HR professionals and senior managers.
Meena Jindal is a solicitor specialising in employment law and a legal adviser in the corporate services unit. She obtained an honours degree in law and spent four years at an established City of London firm before joining the unit in January 2005. Meena has extensive experience in advising employers on a variety of employment law issues. She has presented at many employment law seminars aimed at HR professionals. Meena has practical experience in employment tribunal litigation and, on an academic level, has contributed to an edition of Tolley's.
Our employment law fee-pay team
Edward Pearce is manager of the employment consultancy team at Markel Law. He qualified as a solicitor in 1998 and joined the business in 1999. Since then he has continued to specialise in employment law. Before joining the team, he worked as a solicitor in private practice. His particular area of expertise is in non-contentious employment matters, including: drafting contracts of employment; negotiating compromise agreements; assisting with the implementation of disciplinary exercises and redundancy programmes; and delivering training and seminars on employment law to managers and HR professionals.
Andrew Bayjou is a litigation solicitor specialising in employment law and civil and commercial litigation. He qualified in 2005 and works closely with clients to understand their needs in order to achieve the best possible outcome. He has wide-ranging, comprehensive experience in pursuing and defending employment tribunal claims and regularly advises on a range of contentious and non-contentious issues. Andrew has a commercial and adaptive approach that meets the needs of his clients and conducts his own advocacy in the employment tribunals and in the courts.
Robert Dempsey is a member of the litigation unit. He qualified as a solicitor in 2001, having trained within the specialist employment law department of a well-regarded Wimbledon firm, and was a founder member of Markel Law's employment consultancy team. He has worked since 2004 as a specialist employment litigator in our litigation unit, conducting hundreds of employment tribunal cases from start to finish, with an extremely high success rate. Robert has personally conducted advocacy before the Employment Appeals Tribunal, and continues to act as an independent chairperson in complex internal disciplinary and grievance procedures on behalf of clients facing media scrutiny and attention.
Christine Garrett is a solicitor in the firm's litigation unit. Christine qualified in 2005, and joined the firm in 2006. Christine specialises in employment litigation, representing respondents from a wide range of sectors including retail, care, manufacturing, hospitality, charitable and education. Christine also has experience representing claimants. She conducts advocacy in the employment tribunal at both preliminary and full merits hearings. Christine has experience advising employers and employees on employment law and HR issues. Prior to qualifying as a solicitor, Christine completed an internship at the European Commission's, Directorate-General of Employment and Social Affairs, where she worked on the European Union enlargement negotiations.
Toby McArdle is a member of the litigation unit. He qualified as a solicitor in 2005 and specialises in employment litigation, both in the commercial and public sectors. He has conducted hundreds of employment tribunal cases from initial proceedings right through to representation at the hearing, and has an extremely high success rate. Toby has extensive experience in all aspects of employment law and litigation, including unfair dismissal, discrimination, TUPE and whistleblowing claims, and routinely conducts his own advocacy in the Employment Appeal Tribunal and the Court of Appeal. Toby also advises on a variety of non-contentious matters, including negotiating compromise agreements and implementing fair redundancy programmes.
Danielle Fox qualified in April 2017 after completing her training contract at Markel Law. During her training contract, Danielle completed a seat in the Employment Consultancy team gaining invaluable experience in Employment Law, before joining the Employment Litigation team. Since being in the Employment Litigation team Danielle has taken on her own caseload, advising employers on claims relating to unfair dismissal, discrimination, unpaid wages, national minimum wage and holiday play. Danielle enjoys dealing with a wide variety of employment issues and takes a pragmatic approach to assisting her clients.