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
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.