Gearalt has been advising employers on complex and strategic legal work for almost 20 years. During that time, his focus has increasingly been on ‘prevention, rather than cure’, finding ways to address issues before they become problems, to tackle difficult conversations before they lead to claims and to protect an employer’s business interests before any reputational or commercial issues arise. He regularly works with Board Directors, HRDs and COOs, HR teams and line managers to deliver HR planning at a strategic level.
Some HR matters do ultimately become contentious and Gearalt is an experienced litigator, regularly defending employment tribunal claims on behalf of his clients. Claims can be costly for clients both in terms of time to prepare and defend as well as the potential outcome. Gearalt’s role is to defend those claims professionally and efficiently, and to project manage the claim from initial instruction through to successful defence.
Gearalt regularly works with corporate clients (PLCs, mid-tier corporates and SMEs), both locally in Yorkshire and nationally, ranging from FTSE-listed to owner-managed businesses across a range of sectors. He has a significant practice in the engineering, energy, construction, transport, recruitment, mining and manufacturing sectors.
How do you help clients?
I help clients:
- manage the risk of claims;
- focus on their business and what they do best positively affecting their bottom line;
- save management time by helping them resolve problems;
- by telling them whether they will win, how much it will cost and what I would do if I were in their position;
- to reduce the negative and stressful impact of dealing with employee issues.
- Successfully defending four successive claims arising out of a collective redundancy process, devising the case strategy and, in conjunction with the client, project managing all stages of the claim. The Employment Judge described the client’s consultation process as “impeccable.”
- Successfully defending a key client in claims for race discrimination and constructive dismissal over a 4 day hearing before the employment tribunal. Subsequent requests for reconsideration and leave to appeal were successfully resisted. The matter was important because of the nature of the allegations and the risk to our client’s reputation.
- Assisting our client on all of the HR/employment law aspects of a large scale integration project involving the merger of three UK businesses to achieve significant cost savings.
- Advising a commercial client on a very sensitive matter where a manager was arrested on suspicion of [a serious criminal offence OR child sex offences]. Successfully guiding our client through its investigation which was not without its difficulties due to the ongoing criminal proceedings. As a result of our advice, the matter was concluded with the termination of employment, minimal internal disruption, no adverse publicity and without claim.
- Successfully advising a client on a work place mediation arising from a grievance by a manager against his line manager (a member of the Board) with the matter being fully resolved.