Merran Sewell - People - Gateley

Merran Sewell

Partner

Gateley Legal

  • Birmingham
  • t: 0121 234 0252

Expertise

Merran is a specialist employment lawyer advising on all aspects of the employment relationship. She provides straightforward, practical advice with an emphasis on finding solutions. 

Merran supports a range of clients from internationally headquartered entities, financial institutions and household names to local charitable bodies and senior executives in their personal capacity. She is a trusted advisor, working as an extended part of clients’ in-house teams to deliver solutions in a commercially sensible fashion. She regularly supports clients with complex disciplinary and grievance issues and change management programmes. 

Merran manages the full range of employment tribunal claims and has extensive experience of multi-party litigation. She is instructed by the lead respondent in litigation described by The Guardian as “the largest ever legal claim over the national minimum wage" and regularly represents employers in a range of tribunal claims involving issues such as whistleblowing, constructive unfair dismissal, the adequacy of TUPE information and consultation exercises and unlawful discrimination/ harassment. This includes representation before the Employment Appeal Tribunal.

She also provides employment support on a variety of corporate transactions and insourcing/ outsourcing exercises which often involve the TUPE Regulations and advises clients in relation to the entry and exit of senior executives to include drafting and enforcing post-termination restrictions.

Merran is a member of the Employment Lawyers Association, a Trustee of Sport Birmingham and a former Chair of the Women in Business Association.

How do you help clients?

I enjoy working as an extended part of a client’s internal team to deliver HR-related solutions in a calm, sensible and timely fashion. I invest considerable time in getting to know a client’s people strategy and supporting its implementation to ensure that organisations get the best from their people.

I particularly enjoy delivering training to clients’ internal HR and management teams in order to prevent HR-related issues from arising in the first instance. I recognise that prevention is better than cure.

I support clients in managing the financial and reputational risk inherent in employment relationships which includes the sensible resolution of internal discipline/ grievance issues where feasible and representation in respect of Employment Tribunal (and appellate) litigation. I also help businesses to protect themselves against the commercial threat posed by departing employees to include drafting bespoke post-termination restrictions and taking appropriate steps to enforce those restrictions in the event of alleged breach. 

My focus is always on providing cost-effective, pragmatic support with clear recommendations.

Experience

  1. Acting for the lead respondent in multi-party litigation described by The Guardian as “the largest ever legal claim over the national minimum wage”.
  2. Representing a party in Employment Tribunal and Employment Appeal Tribunal proceedings concerning the alleged application of the TUPE Regulations in circumstances where the service provided by an incumbent contractor was redistributed to a number of new providers. The case is a leading authority on the issue of ‘fragmentation’ in the context of TUPE. 
  3. Advising an employer in the leisure industry in relation to a large restructuring exercise involving almost 100 redundancies, to include comprehensive support with the associated collective consultation exercise and the preparation of all associated documentation. No claims were issued as a result of this exercise.
  4. Providing employment support to a company registered in the USA in relation to its acquisition of UK and Hong Kong limited companies, including liaising with a global team of lawyers to coordinate the people aspects of the sale.
  5. Representing a national professional services advisory business in High Court proceedings to successfully secure an injunction restraining a departing director from further breaches of post-termination restrictions.
     
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