Averta in Times Top 200 for Third Year

Often described as the ‘Best niche firm for senior executives’, and now one of  The Times Best Law Firms in 2019, 2020 and 2021

Once again, Averta Employment Lawyers has made it into The Times Best Law Firms. The list is compiled by international research firm, Statista.

Statista ask solicitors throughout England and Wales to recommend the 200 best law firms in 26 categories covering business, public and private-client fields. The final 200 firms in the list got the most votes from 3,271 respondents to make it into The Times Best Law Firms 2020. Solihull based Averta made the first list in 2019 and has again been voted into the 2020 list. Alan Jones, director at Averta Employment Lawyers said: “This is testament to the quality of the whole team at Averta and reflects the experience of the major commercial law firms who deal with us. As well as providing first class legal advice, this shows how much confidence our referrers have in us which means we have a consistent stream of quality clients.” This follows excellent ranking in Legal 500 and Chambers this year as in previous years.

New team unveiled at Averta

Rachel Broughton moves on as Employment Judge

Averta Employment Lawyers is expanding its team and sadly, saying goodbye to director Rachel Broughton.

Rachel has been with the firm since 2007 and is leaving to take up an appointment as a full time Employment Judge.

Alan Jones, director at Averta said: “I have worked with Rachel for nearly 20 years, first at DLA Piper, and at Averta since 2007. She is an outstanding lawyer and will be much missed by me, her colleagues and clients. However, we are all very proud of her appointment to the position of Employment Judge, which reflects not only on her outstanding capability, but the perception of Averta in the legal community’’.

Andrew Lester adds depth, Andrew Spooner returns

Andrew Lester has joins Averta as an associate.  Andrew comes via ORJ in Stafford, having previously been a partner at Bowling & Co Solicitors in London where he headed up the employment law team, advising SMEs, partnerships and Individuals as well as representing clients at the Employment Tribunal.

Return of Andrew Spooner

Andrew Spooner returns to the firm as a litigation consultant, alongside his work as a part time District Judge.  He was formerly chairman of Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal and practises as a Mediator. He has been a consultant at Averta in its early days before moving to Wright Hassall for several years.


Izzy Canning to qualify in early 2020

Izzy Canning, who joined as a trainee paralegal in 2016, becoming a trainee solicitor in July 2018, will qualify as a solicitor in early 2020 and will continue to give excellent support to Averta’s clients thereafter.

Paralegal Melanie Denis

Melanie Denis has joined the firm as a paralegal. Melanie has a Law Degree from Aston University and is current studying for a Master of Law (LLM) at Birmingham City University and will graduate in 2020.  She is bilingual, being fluent in French.



David Sykes, director and one of the founders of Averta Employment Lawyers says:

“Whilst we are very sad to see Rachel move on, we are delighted to have Andrew Lester and Melanie onboard, as well as Andrew Spooner back.  Our reputation as the best niche firm for employment means we are able to attract the best talent around.”

Averta makes it into The Times Best Law Firms 2019

Averta Employment Lawyers has been named as one of The Times Best Law Firms 2019. The 200 firms on The Times Best Law firms are regarded as leaders in their areas of practice.

Research was conducted by Statistic for The Times, to find out from the UK’s lawyers which of the 10,000 plus law firms in England and Wales they would recommend.  Five hundred law firms were then recommended and the firms with the most votes made it to the top 200

According to The Times:

“Established in 2004 by a pair of former DLA Piper partners to provide practical and robust advice to directors, senior executives and professionals, as its name suggests, Averta Employment Lawyers has become recognised as a leader in the field of employment law. Since opening its doors 15 years ago, the firm has acted for more than 7,500 individuals and on many occasions has advised large groups of employees in reaching settlement agreements.”

The partners, David Sykes, Alan Jones, Rachel Broughton and Anne Mannix, have long been recognised as leaders in employment law.  Many of Averta’s clients are referred to them by major commercial legal firms, who do not specialise in representing individuals.

According to Averta director, David Sykes: “Since day one our success has been built on the premise that other lawyers can confidently recommend clients to us.  Being included in The Times Best 200 Law Firms demonstrates that the Averta team is maintaining the high standards in terms of service and delivery, we have aspired to from day one.”

The full list of 200 can be found at thetimes.co.uk/bestlawfirms


Averta's Rachel goes Bargain Hunting

Rachel Broughton alongside her Bargain Hunt team’s antique expert, John Cameron.

Some non-employment news here -  Averta Employment Lawyer’s director Rachel Broughton has filmed an episode of BBC One’s Bargain Hunt with her mother who is a keen antique collector.

In Bargain Hunt, two teams have £300 and one hour to buy antiques which they then sell at auction.  The team that makes the most money from their purchases is the winner. Each team is accompanied by an expert who helps guide them round what might be the best buys. Contestants don’t have to be antique experts, but the BBC are interested in people who do love antiques and collectables.  Enthusiasm is as important to being selected as knowledge, but a combination of both is perfect for the programme.

Following a day of filming a few weeks ago, Rachel and her mother will be returning to Malvern today (8th March 2018) to auction what they bought in filming.  The episode is due to air in the Summer; the exact date is still to be confirmed.

Rachel had great fun filming with their team’s expert John Cameron, Anita Manning and the rest of the wonderful BBC crew.  She refuses to tell us what she and her mother bought but she has been heard mumbling something in the office about a golden gavel!

Here’s a sneak preview of Rachel taking part alongside her team’s antique expert, John Cameron. John has worked as an expert on two other BBC antiques shows, ‘Cash in the Attic’ and ‘Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is.’  He has also worked at an auction house to become a chartered surveyor of antiques and fine art and is accomplished at putting contestants at their east and making sure they have fun.

Bargain Hunt is on BBC One at lunchtimes during the week; it airs at 12.15 and as we appreciate that it is not a good time for most of us at to watch the programme.  However, you can catch up on the BBC iplayer by following this link - http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b006nb9z

2017 Legal 500 says Averta ‘the best niche firm for senior executive issues’

Legal 500’s 2017 rankings identify Averta Employment Lawyers as the ‘best niche firm for senior executive issues’ for employment in the West Midlands.  Averta ranked in Tier 2 alongside some of the Midlands biggest law firms

All Averta’s partners are singled out as leading individuals for employment law in the West Midlands.

Averta’s David Sykes and Alan Jones are also listed in the elite “Leading lawyers” list, Legal 500 guide to outstanding lawyers nationwide.

'proactive, experienced and streets ahead of their competition'

Legal 500 says; “According to one client, Averta Employment Lawyers LLP is ‘without doubt the best niche firm for senior executive issues’, while another comments that the firm’s lawyers are ‘proactive, experienced and streets ahead of their competition’.”

“Key figures include the ‘vastly experienced and invaluably calm’ Alan Jones and the ‘totally brilliant’ and ‘hugely practical’ David Sykes.” (Legal 500 2017)

Alan Jones comments: “We founded the firm over 10 years ago now and our aim was to provide a specialist service at the same level, in terms of experience, as the larger firms, but for private clients.  It’s great to see the positive commentary in Legal 500 as it shows that we are doing something right.”

Winner of the Birmingham Law Society ‘Law Firm of the Year’ award for 2015 and shortlisted in 2017, Averta advises on all employment law matters, with a focus on the issues affecting senior executives, managers, consultants and professionals.

Averta Employment Lawyers operated from offices in Meriden, near Solihull in the Midlands, with satellite offices in Oxford and London.

Contact - Averta on 0300 303 3570

BBC reveals salaries

Alan Jones, Averta Employment Lawyers, comments on BBC revealing senior staff salaries and gender pay gap:
“Why the Government imposed an obligation on the BBC to reveal salaries of staff earning over £150K isn’t entirely clear. What is clear is that publishing senior staff salaries has however caused a good deal of embarrassment both to the Corporation and to the individuals whose pay has been revealed.
It is clear from the figures, that there is a disparity in income between male and female employees earning over £150,000 a year.
There will be winners and losers in this exercise. The winners may well be the female “stars” who are able to argue for more money and, possibly, claim for backdated loss of earnings going into many hundreds of thousands of pounds. It is somewhat unlikely, but in some cases, there will be losers too, possibly the male “stars” who could find their contracts re-negotiated downwards.
Equal pay claims come in a variety of different forms, and there are a variety of defences available to the employer, from ‘differences’ in the roles, to ‘market forces’, to previous experience, and many others. Some apparently different jobs may be rated ‘equivalent’, as in cases where dinner ladies have been held ‘equivalent’ to the work done by refuse collectors, or ‘like work’. But male employees whose salaries are under threat of reduction would have breach of contract claims, also running into thousands’
The biggest loser will be the licence payer as there is little doubt that this disclosure will put upward pressure on the total wage bill for the BBC, and that this will inevitably work through to the cost of the TV licence. The alternative of course is that the BBC lets go its expensive stars, who move to other channels at possibly even greater salaries. The loser in that case might be the viewer as there is no doubt that the quality of the BBC productions may well be damaged by the exits.
As in many situations like this, the only winners will be the lawyers working for those who have been wronged and the legal advisers to the BBC that have to put together imaginative defences to claims.
All companies with over 250 employees will need to disclose gender pay gap from April 2018, so it will be interested to see what the consequences are in this case. As of today, it seems as if female employees are already preparing to take legal action.
Whilst the BBC will have to deal with the fall out in terms of unhappy staff; it is likely the Government will regret its decision to force salary disclosure. The large amounts of money paid to BBC stars once again focuses the public eye on the disparity and inequality in society. A lady rang the radio yesterday to make the very valid point that a senior nurse, saving lives and making people better, can expect to earn £43,000, so how can anyone justify a salary of 5 or 10 times that amount?”

Birmingham employment solicitor appointed as social mobility ambassador for the Law Society

Averta's Rachel Broughton new social mobility ambassador for Law Society

Averta Employment Lawyers’ Rachel Broughton has been appointed as a social mobility ambassador for the Law Society of England and Wales. Broughton, who is a director at Averta, will in her capacity as an ambassador be helping the Law Society to inspire people from less privileged backgrounds to consider a career in the law.

The Law Society Solicitors for Social Mobility campaign aims to highlight how the solicitors' profession is made up of accomplished and talented individuals from all walks of life, and how many will have experienced and overcome socio-economic hurdles in pursuit of their career ambitions and professional success.

Broughton comments:

"I feel very humbled to have been appointed to my role as a social mobility ambassador with the Law Society.  I came from a close-knit mining community in South Yorkshire and although I had an extremely happy childhood there were no role models and little guidance on how to pursue a professional career, let alone a career in law.  This project is about making those role models more visible and making the path to a career in law more understandable and accessible.”

“I believe that improving social mobility is not just a moral cause but is also important for the legal profession, to make sure we get the most able people who represent society as a whole.  I want to help show young people from less privileged backgrounds that it is possible to have a good career in law, if you work hard and are determined. I will say however that the drive and fight to get to where I am today forced me to develop tenacity and nurtured an empathy which has served me and my clients’ well.”

Law Society president Robert Bourns said: "I am proud and delighted to introduce the 2016 Solicitors for Social Mobility: the Ambassadors.

"With the Ambassadors, we want to provide examples and support for people aspiring to a career in law, to inspire the next generation of solicitors from all backgrounds."

Broughton joined Averta Employment Lawyers in 2007 becoming a partner in 2008 and is now a director. She had previously worked as a senior associate for eight years at DLA Piper in Birmingham, alongside Averta’s other directors, David Sykes and Alan Jones.

Averta’s Alan Jones says: “Rachel not only has a sharp intellect she is a tenacious lawyer and fights hard for her clients while displaying an unusual degree of empathy which means she regularly receives plaudits from clients facing challenging situations. ”

This is the second year the Law Society has run the Social Mobility: the Ambassadors campaign, which was launched in October 2015 with 10 ambassadors and are further 10 are being appointment this year.  To be appointed to the role, solicitors must have attended a non-fee paying school, been part of the first generation in their immediate family to attend higher education, be passionate about social mobility and fair access to the profession, and want to inspire others to follow their career ambitions.


Averta expands team


Midlands based, specialist employment law firm, Averta Employment Lawyers has expanded its team.

Jonathan Lewis and Izzy Canning complete Averta team

New paralegal, Izzy Canning, joins the team having completed a graduate diploma in Law at BPP University, Birmingham with a commendation.  In addition, solicitor Jonathan Lewis is  a fully-fledged member of the team, having joined in 2012 as a paralegal and now completed his training.

Izzy Canning has 2:1 degree in Medieval English and History from the University of Birmingham in 2007, plus experience in academic publishing.  She has also volunteered with the Samaritans and the Personal Support Unit.

Jonathon Lewis graduated with a 2:1 law degree from Swansea University in 2009 following which he spent time travelling through South East Asia, Australia and New Zealand. He then returned to undertake the Legal Practice Course at the Birmingham College of Law, finishing the course in 2012.  He completed his training contract in the Autumn of 2015.

Alan Jones, director at Averta said:

“We’re a niche firm and our reputation is based on excellent legal advice and client service which we can only provide with the right people.  I’m delighted we’ve been able to attract young ambitious people like Jon and Izzy.”

“Jon’s been with us for a few years as a paralegal and we’re delighted that he’s chosen to stay on with us as a qualified lawyer. .  Izzy is also a great addition to the team, offering both commercial acumen and excellent customer service skills.”


Picture caption – from left to right, David Sykes, Izzy Canning, Alan Jones, Jonathan Lewis, Rachel Broughton


Suzanne Orsler, SOPR, t 07813 131350, e Suzanne@sopr.co

Alan Jones, Averta Employment Lawyers, t 07970 495733, jonesa@averta.com

Note to editors:

Averta Employment Lawyers is a leading employment law firm. Averta’s solicitors are specialists in matters affecting directors, senior executives, senior employees, managers, consultants and professionals.

Averta recommended employment law firm in Chambers and Partners 2013

Chambers & Partners UK directory for 2013, one of the most respected guided to law firms and published each autumn, has recommended Averta Employment Lawyers and one of its directors Alan Jones in the Birmingham employment category.

The guide says:

“This Solihull-based operation has geared its practice towards advising company directors, managers and senior executives.”

As in previous years Averta is ranked alongside much larger firms and for its work for directors and senior individuals. David Sykes, director at Averta comments:

“We are always pleased that although we are a small operation, our performance means that we are recognised alongside well known corporate firms in the region. It shows that individuals coming to us can be confident that we can more than hold our own when advising on settlement agreements, termination packages, bonuses or other employment issues.”

Chambers also singles out Alan Jones at Averta as a key individual, reporting:

“One client says: “I was confident in his tactics and his understanding of our legal position, its merits and the likely outcome.”

Averta Employment Lawyers was set up nearly 10 years ago to bring commercial experience to advise senior executives.  Both Jones and Sykes were partners at DLP Piper, with Jones heading up the DLA employment team for many years. In 2008, Rachel Broughton joined the team from DLA Piper and is now a director at Averta. Senior associate Kate Caudwell-Hunt , a trainee solicitor and a paralegal complete the team in the Midlands. The firm also opened an office in London this year, which is headed up by London director, Anne Mannix.

For more information on employment law for employers and senior executives please call us 0870 421 1952.