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Employment

Helena Smith

Associate solicitor

I provide advice and representation to employees experiencing difficulties within the workplace. My aim is to always provide clear, pragmatic, and individualised solutions, and enable my clients to obtain the best resolution to their individual situations.

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Get to know Helena

I qualified as a solicitor in 2011, and have practised employment law for the past ten years. Prior to specialising in employment law, I gained extensive experience in specialised civil litigation and public law legal teams, and have worked on a number of high-profile cases in the High Court, Court of Appeal, Supreme Court, and The European Court of Justice.

Over the past ten years, I've provided advice and representation on most aspects of employment law from maternity rights and disability discrimination, to whistleblowing and contract issues including matters relating to immigration status and right to work. I've acted for employers, employees, Government Departments, and members of the Judiciary in advisory and litigation capacities. My experiences have afforded me a broad understanding of employment issues in a variety of environments, and from a dual perspective; which has proved beneficial to my clients.

As a keen problem solver and strategic litigator, I particularly enjoy assisting clients with novel and unusual issues within the workplace. However, I fully understand the impact that workplace difficulties have on the individual, and am most rewarded in situations where an issue can be resolved, and my client is enabled to move on with their lives.

Career highlights

I've been fortunate to have a number of career highlights, from assisting in representing a client at a High Court jury trial, to representing senior judges in the employment tribunal, and being part of a team advising on cross-territorial redundancies.

One of my biggest career highlights has been assisting an employee who had a number of learning difficulties and had experienced severe bullying in the workplace. Years of mistreatment were concluded with them being made redundant unfairly, and without support being provided for their disabilities. The situation caused exceptional financial hardship and a deterioration of their mental health.

The matter concluded with a significant settlement, and more importantly, a direct apology with additional undertakings to secure the client’s future work prospects and financial security. The case concluding the way it did, allowed a very vulnerable client a number of options in moving forward; and the knowledge that something very wrong had been put right.

The extra mile

I have written articles on aspects of Employment Law which have been published in People Management Magazine, and am a former contributor to the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) legal information website.

I hold memberships with the Employment Lawyers Association (ELA) and the Black Solicitors Network (BSN).

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