Employment law: Doyle Clayton

A decade ago workplace law was barely on a general counsel’s risk register. Today we see in-house lawyers specialising in it – with a GC expected to be knowledgeable enough to keep a company’s board briefed on any issues that could impact the value of its brand. Weinstein, historical sex abuse charges, the implication of failure to be prepared for GDPR and gender pay are among the issues to have helped thrust the subject firmly into the spotlight, and it’s not going away.

IHL and Doyle Clayton are partnering to keep readers informed on these ‘must know’ topics. Here we meet the team who’ll keep you briefed on workplace law.


Doyle Clayton – the workplace law firm

The firm’s history is an interesting one that starts back in 1997, when two ex-Dechert lawyers – Peter Doyle and Darren Clayton, met up and decided to set up Doyle Clayton with the idea of building a boutique employment law firm – which would be one of the UK’s first.

The aim was to provide specialist help and advice for both organisations and senior individuals cost effectively in what was and remains a rapidly evolving and complex area of the law. This was at a time when many law firms were expanding rapidly to become full service and in the process growing their share of corporate clients legal spend at the expense of advising individuals.

Doyle Clayton bucked this trend in the belief that a more balanced approach provided a unique insight into the broad people and connected issues that HR teams regularly encounter and would also enable the firm to advise individuals more effectively and strategically.

Four offices later, and corporate clients reading like a who’s who of UK business, the firm has grown to 15 partners and approaching 50 lawyers and staff. There are ambitious plans to add further lawyers from the best UK and international law firms as well as in-house lawyers with first-hand experience of the operational, political and cultural issues that HR and GCs face.

Services have also developed over this time and include pensions, businesses immigration, incentives and benefits, share schemes as well as health and safety. The result is that the firm now advises on all laws and regulations that directly relate to and impact upon the workplace and workforce, and in the process aptly describes itself as workplace lawyers and the workplace law firm.

Darren Clayton
Senior Partner – Head of Employment


Email: dclayton@doyleclayton.co.uk
Tel: +44 (0)20 3696 7171

Darren is a founder partner of Doyle Clayton, having previously been General Counsel to the Travelex Group and a solicitor in the City. He advises clients on all areas of employment law, with particular expertise in restrictive covenant disputes, team moves and business transfers, reorganisation issues including TUPE, and senior executive terminations and disputes.

Areas he specialises in include restructuring and reorganisation and post-termination restrictions. He also regularly deals with complex contractual arrangements, negotiations and disputes with a particular focus on shareholder disputes and complex employee reward arrangements. Darren also has significant experience of restrictive covenant disputes both within the unionised and non-unionised sectors and regularly represents clients at the Employment Tribunal and Employment Appeals Tribunal.

Peter De Maria
Partner – Employment


Email: pdemaria@doyleclayton.co.uk
Tel: +44 (0)20 7329 9090

Peter is an employment law specialist and advises both employers and employees most prominently from the financial services, professional services, recruitment and media sectors.

He is one the UK’s leading employment and partnership law experts and particularly well known for his High Court litigation where he regularly advises on high profile team moves and related restrictive covenant issues. He is also frequently involved in resolving sensitive and high-profile matters concerning whistleblowing, discrimination and regulatory issues.

Piers Leigh-Pollitt
Partner – Employment


Email: pleigh-pollitt@doyleclayton.co.uk
Tel: +44 (0)118 959 6839

Piers advises both corporates and individuals on a wide range of HR/employment law matters and data protection issues (mainly from an HR perspective). He also leads Doyle Clayton’s data privacy team and is one of the UK’s leading GDPR experts. Recent work includes:

  • Liaising with HMRC to resolve sensitive issue for logistics arm of a major retail client involving national living wage underpayment, avoiding threatened ‘naming and shaming’.
  • Advising a pharmaceutical client on a company-wide restructuring exercise.
  • Advising on numerous outsourcing and retendering of contracts, for clients in a variety of different sectors, acting variously for the incumbent suppliers, the successful bidders and the end-user clients.
  • Advising corporate clients on the handling of complex data subject access requests and dealing with the regulator, achieving satisfactory outcome for clients avoiding any adverse publicity.
Andrew Campbell
Partner – Head of Pensions


Email: acampbell@doyleclayton.co.uk Tel: +44 (0)20 7329 9090

Andrew is Doyle Clayton’s head of pensions. He advises on the full range of pensions issues from benefit redesign and risk reduction exercises, to matters involving the Pensions Regulator and PPF to employment related advice for high earners and auto-enrolment. His magic circle background and experience in dealing with some of the highest profile pensions matters in the market in recent years have made him one of the UK’s go-to pensions lawyers. A large part of his practice focuses on advising sponsors and Trustees of defined benefit (DB) pension arrangements on running their schemes, as well as contentious matters, some of which have been litigated as reported pensions cases in the High Court.

Recent work includes advising a major broadcast client on its programme of pensions reform, a major infrastructure defined benefit scheme on its proposal to close the scheme, an employer of a UK DB plan on its scheme funding process and assisting a US multinational on restructuring the pension arrangements of its UK subsidiaries following the entering into of insolvency of the UK pension employer.

Anita de Atouguia
Partner – Head of Business Immigration


Email: adeatouguia@doyleclayton.co.uk
Tel: +44 (0)20 7329 9090

Anita is Doyle Clayton’s UK head of immigration and head of the firm’s London business immigration team. She has approaching 20 years of immigration law experience advising a wide range of clients including multinationals, SMEs and start-ups as well as international law firms and high net worth individuals. Much of her work focusses on immigration options and strategy and she regularly advises employers on sponsorship issues.

Anita regularly works with co-counsel to facilitate the global movement of staff including arranging Schengen visas. She also deals with applications outside the points-based system, such as applications for indefinite leave to remain, British citizenship, ancestral visas and EEA matters. Anita has strong connections with the UK Home Office and also manages a number of the firm’s key inward investment agency relationships including London & Partners and also the relationship with the Department for International Trade (formerly UK Trade & Investment).

Victoria Burnip
Partner – Head of Business Immigration – Regions



Email: vburnip@doyleclayton.co.uk
Tel: +44 (0)118 959 6839

Victoria is a highly experienced business immigration lawyer and manages the firm’s regional immigration practice. She assists her clients with all of their business immigration requirements through to the point of indefinite leave to remain and naturalisation applications, regularly working with senior members of her clients’ teams, including CEOs.

Businesses she works with include well known multinationals, successful owner managed businesses and fast growing SMEs from sectors including technology, financial services, retail, hospitality and leisure, property, energy and natural resources and professional services. Her work regularly involves advising on the immigration implications of mergers, acquisitions, TUPE transfers and restructures. It also covers compliance and advising on rights to work checks as part of the prevention of illegal working legislation.

Victoria has a particularly active and well developed referral network of business contacts and referrers, including law firms in other jurisdictions as well as banks and accountants.