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Martin Chitty

Martin Chitty

A specialist employment lawyer whose areas of work are at the more contentious end of what we do - reorganisations, redundancies, executive severance and business protection.

Tel: +44 (0)870 733 0621

Services: Employment
Business sectors: Automotive

Best brains in ...

Employment is highly technical - with lots of new legislation and cases. It is easy to find a reason to say 'No' - harder to say 'Yes but...'. What I am good at is taking the legal framework and giving a pragmatic course that balances the risks of getting where you want to be with the need to manage the risk if you cannot exclude it. To do this well you need excellent technical understanding - so you know how serious the issue is - and a willingness to look at risk.

Highlight of your career so far?

The successful defence of a £25 million claim for travel benefits - where the key argument could not be won once you looked at and picked apart the law that lay behind it, no matter how sympathetic a claim it looked.

Most challenging job you've ever done?

Advising on a major public sector project where the law did the exact opposite of what the parties wanted to achieve. Using a model developed by a colleague we avoided the consequences no-one wanted, allowed our client (and the other side) to get to where they both wanted to be and made sure that the employee/staff side issues were addressed with a joined-up package of advice covering not only legal compliance but also the 'hearts and minds' aspects of cultural change.

What about outside the UK?

I have been involved in multi-jurisdictional work for a variety of clients - particularly US clients investing in Europe - and with running litigation here for US clients unfamiliar with our system and concepts.

What's your definition of going the extra mile... And when have you done it?

One is going to Illinois to take a witness statement from someone so important that I went there, saw him for an hour and then came back!

An example of your great client service?

Coming in on 27 December to make sure that we could copy a series of announcements for a client because their copier would have taken four days to do what we did in two hours.

Best example of a creative legal solution?

Back-to-back fixed-term contracts and compromise agreements which give certainty to employers.

When have you ever given a client a real competitive edge?

Getting an injunction to stop an ex-employee from taking away their business.

How do you get under the skin of a client's business?

Spending time in the business - on the shop floor - so you understand why issues are important to the client. It may be how the 'chilled goods' system works, to ensure that food does not go off, or why multi-tasking and co-operation between employees is vital. It is what makes the difference between telling someone the law and giving them advice.

What's your single greatest contribution to Wragge & Co's corporate responsibility?

Raising £10,000 for charity by running three marathons.

What's been written or said about you that you're most proud of?

" 'Passion for the subject area,' coupled with his 'down-to-earth demeanour,' has helped secure his place as a popular and respected employment lawyer among clients and fellow lawyers alike." (Chambers UK 2013)

Martin is listed as a leading individual in the Legal 500 2013.



Bribery and corruption: complacency is not an option

You might think that the introduction of the Bribery Act in 2011 addressed the issues first identified by the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) in its 2006 report into bribery and corruption in the construction industry. But has much changed?


What do you do when you haven't got time to consult?

Real life and legal obligations - not always a happy mixture. In real life things don't go to plan - customers change their minds and demand changes in your work plan. Suddenly you don't need as many people or for as long as you expected.


To move or not to move that is the question - is it better to change a location and make a reasonable adjustment than make no change in location at all?

A worker has a disability. There are various adjustments you could make, all of them "reasonable". It would be preferable, as the employer, in terms of cost and business impact to do all of this at another location.


Who employs the agency worker? Some relief for end-users

The courts continue to grapple with the question: who employs the agency worker? Are they employees of the agency, the end-user, or neither?


Employment legislation diary - 2008 and beyond

Employment law changes to look out for over the coming 12 months and beyond.


Offshoring and TUPE: the courts speak at last

In the case of Holis Metal Industries v GMB and Newell Ltd, the Employment Appeals Tribunal confirmed that TUPE does in principle have the potential to apply to the transfer of a service or business entity outside of the UK and the EU.


Protection from Harassment Act and claims against employers

A Court of Appeal decision in Conn v Sunderland City Council may reign back the flurry of claims brought under the Protection from Harassment Act 1997 (PHA).


Employment Law Update - September 2007

Latest update from Wragge & Co's employment team.


1 October 2006 employment legislative changes quick guide

On 1 October a number of important new employment laws come into force. Below is the Wragge & Co quick guide to the changes all employers need to know.


18 months of learning: The dispute resolution procedures

The Statutory Dispute Resolution Procedures were introduced by the Employment Act 2002 (Dispute Resolution) Regulations 2004 (the Regulations) on 1 October 2004.

Press releases


Wragge & Co boosted in Chambers UK 2014

Wragge & Co is a 'National Leader' in the new Chambers UK 2014. The firm's Construction, Employment, Intellectual Property, Planning and Real Estate teams are all listed in this new category, which showcases firms renowned for excellence throughout the UK.


Wragge & Co advises Sanctuary on its acquisition of Cosmopolitan Housing Group

Wragge & Co's corporate specialists have advised Sanctuary Housing Association on its acquisition of Cosmopolitan Housing Group (CHG). A team led by corporate partner Peter Smith advised on the deal, which brings an additional 13,500 homes under the Sanctuary Group umbrella.


Wragge & Co helps to secure the future of the iconic black cab

Wragge & Co's Corporate Recovery and Restructuring team has helped secure the future of the iconic black cab. Acting for administrators PwC, Wragge & Co assisted in all aspects of the Administration.


Wragge & Co advises on housing association merger

Wragge & Co LLP Corporate Group has advised Sanctuary Housing Group on its merger with Shaftesbury Housing Group. The deal strengthens Sanctuary Housing's position as one of the UK's leading social enterprises.

Published articles

There are currently no published articles for Martin Chitty.

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