James Simpson

James is a Partner and Head of the Employment team.

He has over 20 years of experience advising clients on employment and HR matters, including employment tribunal and litigation claims. His practice also covers non-contentious work including the drafting of employment related agreements, documents and policies, together with the employment aspects of restructurings and transactions, including cross-border work.

His clients are typically SMEs and entrepreneurs in the Thames Valley, where he can bring his experience to help them manage risk, grow, and expand their business interests. James also helps individuals with disputes at work and settlement agreements. Having practiced in Oxford, he also has particular expertise in the education sector, helping schools, FE Colleges and Universities with employment related matters including safeguarding, academisation projects and special educational needs obligations.

James is recognised as a leading practitioner by both Chambers UK and the Legal 500, and is a member of the Employment Lawyers Association. In addition, James is an active member of the IR Global network and regularly advises overseas clients on UK employment matters.

Key Experience:

  • Helping an international IT business with restructuring and redundancies in the UK and the EMEA region;
  • Defending a national transport company against claims of unfair dismissal and discrimination;
  • Advising an international pharmaceutical on a large outsourcing project involving the transfer of a sales force following an acquisition;
  • Securing injunctive protection for a national car hire company when its former employee sought to poach business and employees for the benefit of a newly created competitor;
  • Advising on the employment model in the setup of one of the first and leading employment “umbrella” companies and subsequent advice of IR35 and managed services regulations;
  • Guiding a Thames Valley 250 logistics company on the use of Agency Workers, including the use of the “Swedish derogation” and the drafting of relevant documentation;
  • Defending an independent school against a disability claim brought by an excluded pupil in the SEND Tribunal;
  • Assisting an Oxford College with its Data Protection and Freedom of Information requirements including to advise on how to deal with a respond to subject access requests;
  • Negotiating settlement agreements for departing employees including to deal with the compulsory transfer and sale of shares;
  • Advising businesses on immigration and posted worker requirements.

Career History:

  • 2017: Partner and Head of Employment, Blaser Mills
  • 2013: Partner, Blake Morgan LLP
  • 2006: Partner and Head of Employment, Henmans Freeth LLP
  • 1993: Qualified