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Mark Ridley

Why did you choose the law?

Because as a child my parents told me I would be suited to it, as I was so argumentative.

Tell us a bit about how you got here…

I qualified as a solicitor with a firm in the London Borough of Bromley in 1992, becoming a partner of that firm in 1995. Following a relocation back to the Midlands I joined Band Hatton in 2008.

What does your day job look like?

I am an Employment Solicitor, Partner and Head of our Employment Department. I began undertaking employment work in 1992 and now specialise exclusively in this area of law, handling a broad range of contentious and non-contentious work. This includes the preparation of contracts of employment, company handbooks and policies and procedures. I also conduct Employment Tribunal litigation, including complex multi-day cases. In particular I specialise in advising both employers and employees in relation to unfair dismissal, redundancy, breach of contract and discrimination claims.

I also advise employers in relation to business transfers, providing practical and strategic solutions.  I can provide practical advice to both employers and employees in relation to the conduct of disciplinary and grievance procedures, including appeals. I am also able to advise both in relation to sickness procedures and performance improvement procedures.

I can advise companies as to how best to protect their customer contacts and intellectual property, including the use of confidentiality agreements and restrictive covenants (also known as restraint of trade clauses).  I’ve advised numerous employees in relation to Settlement Agreements (formally known as Compromise Agreements), and have regularly drafted such agreements for employers. I have also successfully represented clients in numerous employment tribunal claims, including multi-day cases involving complex employment issues.

I understand the benefits of dispute resolution. Accordingly, whilst a robust litigator when necessary, I will always seek to find cost effective ways of resolving employment disputes, if possible, without the need to litigate.

I act for a wide range of clients, including individuals, small businesses, and companies that employ several hundred employees.

My career highlight was advising a client in relation to litigation concerning a health and safety related dismissal, which, on appeal, became a reported case, setting a precedent for the lower Tribunals.

I am a member of the Employment Lawyers Association and the Industrial Law Society.

What do you like to do outside of work?

My interests include football and art. I have two grown up sons and am a FA Qualified Football Coach.