Rachel HarfieldSenior Solicitor, & Team Leader, Employment
Rachel Harfield is the Team Leader for the Cardiff Employment Department and a Senior Solicitor. Rachel acts for senior executives, private and public sector employees across a wide spectrum of employment disputes and employment related issues.
The Chambers & Partners 2013 UK legal directory states that "UK-wide Slater & Gordon, formerly Russell Jones & Walker, is the firm of choice for employees, including union, insurance and federation-backed individuals, seeking legal representation for a range of litigious employment matters. The Cardiff-based team is no exception and has a stellar reputation for advising on a full range of complex contentious matters including unfair dismissal, discrimination and contractual disputes. The team represents the Police Federation, Nationwide Group Staff Union and Prospect. Sources say: "They are always professional and very helpful." Key Individual and "Head of the team Rachel Harfield advises in ground-breaking and complex Employment Tribunal matters and is considered to have an "expert knowledge of employment law." She has recently achieved significant remedy judgements for her client against Avon & Somerset Constabulary in a successful disability discrimination claim"
The Legal 500 2012 states "Rachel Harfield is making her mark as the leader of a popular team at Russell Jones & Walker, part of Slater & Gordon Lawyers. It is known for its strength in police officer cases, but has also developed a following among other senior executives, particularly those employed in the public sector"
She is recognised by the Legal 500 legal directory as being “cool under fire and a tough negotiator" and by Chambers UK as being a leader in her field.
Rachel undertakes all types of employment law work for her clients. In the employment tribunal she has particular expertise in complex discrimination claims including disability discrimination, maternity and flexible working disputes, and whistleblowing claims. Rachel also handles unfair dismissal claims, redundancy disputes and the negotiation of complex severance packages. Rachel combines her discrimination work with her public law and pension practice. She regularly advises in respect of public sector pension and regulatory issues conducting litigation (including judicial reviews) in the Administrative Court, High Court, County Court, the Employment Appeal Tribunal and Appellate Courts and before the Pensions Ombudsman and Information Commissioner.
She has achieved six figure settlements in complex discrimination and civil claims.
Notable successes include:
Dolan v Chief Constable of Avon & Somerset Constabulary - a hard fought case which established the need for employers to make adjustments to performance and attendance management procedures implemented against disabled employees.
Ashton v Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis - an important judicial review test case which substantially strengthened police officers’ rights, across the 43 forces nationwide, to ill health retirement, particularly those suffering from mental ill health.
Rachel is a member of the Employment Lawyers Association and a Council member of the Cardiff and District Law Society and sits upon their Regulatory issues sub-committee. She provides pro-bono advice at the Cardiff Law Centre and acts as a discrimination mentor for CAB officials. Rachel regularly delivers articles and seminars on employment issues for clients, other lawyers and the wider media including BBC Radio Wales.
Rachel is married with a young daughter. When she gets the chance she enjoys spending time with family and friends.
Rachel Harfield is ‘able to present a good argument on a difficult case but is also realistic about prospects of success’ (Legal 500 2011)
Rachel Harfield is “cool under fire and a tough negotiator” (Legal 500 2010)
The Cardiff Employment Team is “fully committed to achieving high levels of client service” (Chambers and Partners 2011).