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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 Contracts 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.

Harriet 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.



Career history

  • Since 2006 Slater and Gordon (was RJW)
  • 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 - sit on the training committee
  • Industrial Law Society

Harriet's Media Appearances and Articles:

In The Lawyer - Don’t take mother in law lightly
In Employment Law Journal - Maternity Discrimination, Out of sight, out the door?
In Legal Week - With pregnancy discrimination cases rising, flexibility is key to retaining talented women
Radio 4 interview on pregnancy discrimination in the workplace.

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.

Recent Testimonials for Harriet Bowtell

“Harriet I can not thank you enough for how quickly you have resolved my situation and how much it means to me.”

Sharan, London

“Can I take this opportunity to say how grateful I am for your careful and sensitive counsel. I have greatly appreciated your diligence, attention to detail and thoughtfulness throughout these last few weeks. You came recommended from a friend, and I have to say you would be the first person that I recommend to anyone needing advice in the future.”

Robert,  Business Development Director, Marketing

“I would not hesitate to recommend Harriet Bowtell for her skills as an Executive Employment contract lawyer. She assisted me greatly in negotiating and reconstructing a complex Chief Executive Officer contract for a PLC. Harriet demonstrated a fantastic balance between advising on the technical aspects of the contract wording whilst also advising on the commercial terms. She demonstrated in depth knowledge of Executive contracts and yet was not afraid to research particular aspects when needed. Harriet also demonstrated great client service by working late in the evening, early morning and also over the weekend in order to meet the deadlines set - a first rate lawyer.”

Paul, Chief Executive of a PLC

Read All Slater & Gordon Testimonials