Meet the team

Virginia Allen

Virginia Allen
Head of People, Reward and Mobility UK
Phone: +44 20 7246 7659
Email: virginia.allen@dentons.com

Why is employment law so important?

Employees are often a company’s biggest asset, but they can also pose a major threat. It is a complex area of law which is constantly changing, and which impacts almost all businesses. This makes it a fascinating area in which to work.

What is your career highlight so far?

Acting for the successful appellant in the Court of Appeal hearing of CreditSights Limited v Dhunna, a landmark case concerning territorial jurisdiction

What are your main hobbies and interests outside the workplace?

Spending time with my family, including my three children, dogs and chickens, and horse riding. Travelling when I can!


Sarah Beeby

Sarah Beeby
Partner
Phone: +44 20 7320 4096
Email: sarah.beeby@dentons.com

What makes a good employment lawyer?

An ability to apply often complex legal principles to every day situations, to approach matters commercially, practically and with common sense. To be responsive, accessible and not to take yourself too seriously!

What activity is at the top of your ‘Bucket List’?

I would like to visit Japan in cherry blossom season.

What are your main hobbies and interests outside the workplace?

I am a keen road cyclist and regularly ride with my local cycling club. I have completed a number of well-known cycling events including La Marmotte and the Fred Whitton challenge.


Ryan Carthew

Ryan Carthew
Partner
Phone: +44 20 7320 6132
Email: ryan.carthew@dentons.com

Why is Employment Law so Important?

Employment law is one of the few areas of law which affects almost everybody. It is not just about understanding and applying legislation. By its very nature, there is a human element to what we do. You can only be a successful employment lawyer if you take into account the human impact of the advice you provide and the actions taken by your clients in accordance with that advice.

What is the most interesting matter you have been involved with?

As a trainee I was once required to serve injunction papers on a notoriously combative senior trade union official at lunchtime on Christmas day. I tracked him down to his mother’s house, where he was having Christmas lunch. I managed to serve the papers, but my reward was a liberal coating of leftover custard!

What is your favourite holiday destination?

My family’s main criteria for a holiday destination is sunshine and restricted access to WiFi…


Eleanor Hart

Eleanor Hart
Partner
Phone: +44 20 7246 7166
Email: eleanor.hart@dentons.com

What makes a good pensions lawyer?

Someone who gives practical and commercial advice in the context of knowing the client’s business, who solves issues rather than creates them and who successfully manages to make pensions simple!

What is your favourite holiday destination?

The place I keep going back to is New York. My husband proposed to me there (on the middle of the Brooklyn Bridge) so it has become a very special place for both of us.

What activity is at the top of your ‘Bucket List’?

To climb a mountain! I’m thinking more Kilimanjaro though than Everest…


Gilla Harris

Gilla Harris
Partner
Phone: +44 20 7320 6960
Email: gilla.harris@dentons.com

What makes a good employment lawyer?

The ability to ascertain at the outset what the achievable outcome of any particular problem is, agree that with the client and to get there as quickly as practicable.

What is your favourite holiday destination?

Anywhere in Italy (and nowhere else).

If you could invite any three people (dead or alive) to a dinner party, who would they be?

Michael Holding, A P McCoy and Gianfranco Zola.


Verity Buckingham

Verity Buckingham
Senior Associate
Phone: +44 20 7320 3963
Email: verity.buckingham@dentons.com

What do you think is the most significant upcoming development in employment law and how will it affect the workplace?

For companies with 250 + employees there will be an obligation to report on the organisation’s gender pay gap.

What makes a good employment lawyer?

Ability not to be shocked since we hear details of all kinds of conduct by employees! And we need to make sure we don’t lose sight of how the matter needs to be handled legally and practically.

What activity is at the top of your ‘Bucket List’?

Currently to do the great north swim.


Michelle Lamb

Michelle Lamb
Senior Associate
Phone: +44 20 7320 3954
Email: michelle.lamb@dentons.com

Why is team work so important for the success of a business?

We can give clients a better informed insight based on (an unmentionable number of!) years’ of experience, rather than our own insight. We develop friends who we work with and a network of support and flexibility. This means that we can balance our workloads between us and provide the best possible offering to the client.

What is your favourite holiday destination?

I have not long been to the Maldives on honeymoon, not one to forget in a hurry!

What are your main hobbies and interests outside the workplace?

You will usually find me in the gym, but I love to cook and socialise with friends too (it helps balance out the calories!)


Victoria Albon

Victoria Albon
Associate
Phone: +44 20 7320 3928
Email: victoria.albon@dentons.com

Why is employment law so important?

Because it will impact on almost everyone at some point in their lives. It’s important for employers to know what their obligations are so that they can ensure that they are a responsible employer, and also effectively manage their workforce against the needs of their business. For employees, its important to have the protections that employment law offers, to give them certainty and security. Employment law is changing on a weekly (if not daily) basis which keeps it interesting for us as employment la It’s hard to choose! I love the USA for its incredible diversity – the National Parks are just amazing. But my favourite place ever has got to be the Masai Mara in Kenya. The wildlife, the people and the memories I have from my visits there take some beating! wyers, and makes it particularly important that clients keep up to date themselves (and take legal advice!).

What is your favourite holiday destination?

It’s hard to choose! I love the USA for its incredible diversity – the National Parks are just amazing. But my favourite place ever has got to be the Masai Mara in Kenya. The wildlife, the people and the memories I have from my visits there take some beating!

What activity is at the top of your ‘Bucket List’?

Can I have two? Trekking Machu Pichu and sailing in the Galapagos. Although now that I have two small children I think I may have to wait a while!


Emma Naughton

Emma Carter
Associate
Phone: +44 20 7320 3923
Email: emma.carter@dentons.com

What do you think is the most significant upcoming development in employment law and how will it affect the workplace?

Equal pay and the gender pay gap are hardly a new concern but the new gender pay gap reporting requirements which require private and voluntary sector employers with at least 250 employees to publish information about their gender pay gap (including bonuses) has the potential to have a very real reputational, and possible financial impact, on both those employers who may not yet have achieved parity and those who have made great leaps in addressing the balance.

What is your favourite holiday destination?

All holiday destinations sound good to me (snow/sun/city – I am not fussy) but nothing beats the beauty of the Whitsunday Islands off the northeast coast of Australia.

What activity is at the top of your ‘Bucket List’?

I have just booked to do the highest bridge bungee jump in the world in South Africa in April. Having already done 2 sky dives and a marathon, I think the bucket list might be closed for some time after this and I might opt for the quiet life!


Helena Rozman

Helena Rozman
Associate
Phone: +44 20 7320 5482
E-mail: helena.rozman@dentons.com

Why is employment law so important?

It is something that will have an impact on almost everyone in some way during their career, and the impact that this has is ever evolving. Employment law is dynamic and exciting for us as employment lawyers. However, the constant changes demand translation into clear and practical advice for our clients on what is often a very complex area to assist them with their commercial needs.

What is your favourite holiday destination?

Slovenia – it is a great place to visit any time of the year as it has the perfect balance of cold winters with plenty of snow and heat waves over the summer. Teamed with the beautiful scenery of mountains, vineyards and lakes (not to mention the copious supply of local wine), this largely undiscovered part of the world has a lot to offer.

What are your main hobbies and interests outside the workplace?

I run with the Bedford Harriers and enjoy competing in long-distance events. I have run several marathons, however my greatest achievement to date is running a 100km ultra marathon in one day (13 hours to be precise) from the Chilterns in Oxfordshire, along the Ridgeway, to the Avebury Stones in Wiltshire. I love taking part in any active challenges, but I balance this out well with all the baking I do too.


Tom Fancett

Tom Fancett
Associate
Phone: +44 20 7320 6084
E-mail: tom.fancett@dentons.com

What makes a good employment lawyer?

Knowing and keeping up to date with the law is a given, but it is equally important to be able to relate it to a client’s situation to achieve the desired outcome. This takes experience and most of all being a good listener!

What activity is at the top of your ‘Bucket List’?

My dream is to go on a several month long cycle trip (think I might need a sabbatical for that one).

What is your favourite holiday destination?

Any holiday is mainly about the food for me, so would have to go with Italy!


Lisa Watson

Lisa Watson
Senior Associate
Phone: +44 20 7320 5507
E-mail: lisa.watson@dentons.com

Why is employment law so important?

It’s an area where good, practical and commercial advice can make a genuine difference.

What are your main hobbies and interests outside the workplace?

Lovely long walks with my dog.

If you could invite any three people (dead or alive) to a dinner party, who would they be?

Marilyn Monroe, Cleopatra and Thomas Cromwell.


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