2023 has started well for the Corporate and Commercial Team at DFA Law. Following Kirsty Simmonds’ appointment in January, the team has further grown with the hire in April of Jasmine Howsham, who joins with 17 years’ experience working in the region.
“Since I joined DFA, the team’s workload has really taken off,” said Kirsty, “which has enabled us to grow and build a stronger presence in Northampton. I’m hopeful that our workload will further increase such that we’ll see the need for additional growth later this year.”
It’s been a busy time for the team, who have assisted clients with the following types of transactions, to name but a few:
- sale of a business in the optometry sector;
- acting for the management team in a management buy-out of a company operating in the manufacturing industry;
- acting for the selling shareholders of a company specialising in high-end home furnishings;
- disposal of a business in the food and beverage space;
- sale of majority shareholders’ shares in a creative agency;
- preparing corporate governance documents for a locally based financial services business; and
- advising on various types of contracts – from non-disclosure agreements to service level agreements; to terms and conditions – across a raft of industries as diverse as healthcare to construction.
- “The economic picture across Northamptonshire appears positive and that’s certainly something we’re seeing at DFA across our client base, and indeed our own business,” said Kirsty.
DFA’s year-end, March 31, saw the conclusion of its most successful year to date and in the last five years the firm has seen over 25% growth in revenue; no mean feat given during two of those years the world was gripped by the Covid-19 pandemic.
And there are no plans to slow down. Whilst recruitment has proven difficult across a number of industries, DFA have grown in personnel year on year and continue looking to grow in most areas of the business in the next 12 months, particularly within the Dispute Resolution, Commercial Property and Commercial teams.
Providing specialist employment law advice
In addition to corporate transactional work, DFA can also help you and your business with all things HR and employment related.
The Employment team are currently offering training sessions on the following topics:
- conducting a disciplinary investigation and hearing;
- managing employee grievances;
- dealing with underperforming employees;
- redundancy consultation and scoring exercises (less than 20 employees);
- conducting settlement negotiations; and
- dealing with absence management involving long term sickness absences or frequent short term absences.
These sessions would be ideal for HR team members and any managers and supervisors who have day-to-day responsibility for dealing with employment law issues.
The sessions will be carried out by an experienced solicitor specialising in employment law and are designed to provide the skills necessary to navigate the relevant topics confidently without falling foul of employment law and risking an employment tribunal claim.
The training can be conducted at trainees’ office, or at DFA Law’s office in Northampton and there is no limit on the number of attendees who can join (subject to room capacity).
Are your documents compliant?
In addition, DFA Law is offering a free employment contract ‘health check’ which will review clients’ standard employment contract template and highlight any deficiencies in the document.
Since April 6, 2020, employers have been required to provide employees and workers with a written statement of particulars of employment by section 1 of the Employment Rights Act 1996 (ERA 1996).
This statement of particulars of employment must be given to the worker or employee ‘not later than the beginning of the employment’.
The law stipulates that specific information must be contained in the particulars of employment and an employee or worker is entitled to make a complaint to an employment tribunal where an employer either:
- fails to provide the particulars required by section 1 of the ERA 1996; or
- provides an inaccurate or incomplete statement.
In addition to the risk of a claim, there are other contractual ramifications for having defective employment contracts. Employment contracts are the cornerstone of the relationship between employer and employee and set out all rights and obligations between the parties. It is vital that it is sufficiently comprehensive, and that its terms are valid and enforceable.
After the health check, if clients then wish to instruct DFA Law to amend the document to make it legally compliant, then a fixed-fee quote can be provided.
DFA also provides a health check service for staff handbooks and other employee policies and procedures aimed at ensuring they are fit for purpose, up-to-date and compliant with current legislation.
A widely unrecognised benefit of using a solicitor is that any discussions are legally privileged and therefore do not need to be disclosed, unlike many insurance-backed HR products.
Contact Kirsty Simmonds, Partner and Head of the Corporate and Commercial team at DFA Law on 01604 609560 or 07884 549372 or visit the website.