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Harriet Bowtell Principal Lawyer, Employment

Experience Profile

Harriet is a Senior Employment Lawyer at Slater and Gordon Lawyers in central London.

Harriet has experience of advising on contentious and non-contentious employment law issues from contract disputes to discrimination claims with a focus on senior executive terminations and maternity discrimination. Harriet has also handled High Court matters, recently conducting a successful claim for breach of contract worth 6 figures. The Legal 500 states that "Harriet Bowtell is a ‘very sharp lawyer’".

She specialises in advising individuals from all industries and has experience of acting against a wide variety of organisations from large public and private organisations to small businesses. Harriet notably acted on behalf of Paul Smith, the former Chelsea FC Business Affairs director in his high profile claim for unfair dismissal and unlawful deduction from wages; see The Telegraph.

Harriet has written many articles and given presentations on a variety of employment law issues such as maternity discrimination, senior executive pay issues and bonuses and has appeared on the BBC’s Newsnight programme discussing employee status issues. Recently, Harriet was interviewed about the results of our survey about working mothers and the pressure to return early from maternity leave. She has also written a blog offering advice on workplace relationships.

Harriet is co-author of the book ‘Employment Law Practice: Strategies for Success’ published in September 2009. She is also a member of the Employment Lawyers Association (ELA) and has spoken at ELA conferences on managing sickness absence and is on ELA's Training Committee.

She completed her professional training at the College of law in Guildford, and trained at Stephenson Harwood Solicitors, qualifying in 2001. From 2005 Harriet carried out a professional support lawyer role at DLA Piper before joining Slater and Gordon Lawyers in 2006. She was made a Principal Lawyer in 2011.

Harriet is a regular commentator in the media, providing legal advice about employee rights at work. She was most recently interviewed on air by a range of respected UK broadcasters, including BBC Radio Four’s Today programme, BBC Radio 5 Live and LBC 97.8 where she answered questions about Slater and Gordon’s research project into sexual harassment in the workplace.

Mary Needham assists Harriet on her cases and their details can be found here.


Career history

  • Since 2012 Slater and Gordon Lawyers UK 
  • 2006-2012: Russell Jones & Walker
  • 2005-2006 Professional Support Lawyer at DLA Piper
  • 2001-2004 solicitor at Stephenson Harwood
  • 1999–2001 trainee solicitor at Stephenson Harwood


  • Studied at the College of Law, Guildford
  • French degree from University of Leeds

Professional memberships

  • Employment Lawyers Association - sits on the training committee
  • Industrial Law Society

Media appearances

Recent Testimonials for Harriet Bowtell

“Harriet recently supported me in reviewing a settlement agreement when I left my previous employer. I found Harriet to be clear, concise, and incredibly professional. She managed a very tricky situation for me with aplomb and consideration, not to mention a dry sense of humour too. I am incredibly grateful for her assistance.  I have now moved on and what seemed like a nightmare at the time has proved to be a navigable bump in the road, largely due to Harriet’s clear thinking.”

Mr S, London

“I cannot speak more highly about the service that was provided by Slater and Gordon. They put me at ease when I was uncertain about my change in employment. They offer a very efficient and knowledgeable  service. Harriet Bowtell is an outstanding employment lawyer and I highly recommend her. I will certainly return to Slater and Gordon for any legal issues in the future and specifically request Harriet Bowtell. Thank you for being such a fabulous legal firm.”

Ms A, London

“I sought Harriet’s advice on the recommendation of a friend following an unexpected redundancy. Harriet was genuinely interested in understanding the outcome I wanted to achieve and helping me build a road map to reach it. I felt in completely safe hands, ably aided in navigating a process I only understood from the other side and felt ill-equipped to handle alone. I returned to seek Harriet’s counsel a second time when I subsequently got a new role, to ask her advice on my new contract.  Again, I found her to be incredibly insightful and motivated to help me, and her guidance was invaluable.”

Ms H, London

Read All Slater & Gordon Testimonials