Nicola Whiteley



Nicola is head of the London Employment Team and has more than 20 years of experience in all aspects of contentious and non-contentious employment law, with a particular focus on complex and/or cross border issues for multinational clients and on the Technology and Finance sectors.

Leading a "straightforward and solutions-focused" team in London, Nicola is listed and noted for her "business-oriented approach" in Who's Who Legal and recognised by Legal 500 as a "very responsive, thoughtful, and pragmatic consummate professional", with clients praising her "excellent judgment and knowledge." 

She is a member of the International Committee of the Employment Lawyer's Association.

  • Nicola specialises in all aspects of employment law, both contentious and non-contentious, including "surgery-style" counselling, tribunal, employment appeal tribunal and High Court cases and the employment aspects of corporate, outsourcing, restructuring and real estate transactions, including:

    • Drafting and advising on employment, secondment, settlement and consultancy documentation, policies and procedures, and staff handbooks.
    • Drafting, advising on, and enforcing confidentiality obligations and other restrictive covenants, including cross-border jurisdiction issues.
    • Advising on the prevention of and defending wrongful and unfair dismissal and breach of contract claims, bonus, bonus disputes and share options.
    • Advising on the application and implications of TUPE (The Transfer of Undertakings Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006 in relation to the acquisition or disposal of a business, part of a business, transfer of a lease, contract tenders and outsourcing exercises, including harmonisation of terms and conditions, relocation, redundancies and unfair dismissal claims arising from the TUPE transfer.
    • Advising on and executing executive and general recruitment, remuneration and termination.
    • Advising on whistle-blowing procedures and defending claims.
    • Advising on the prevention of and defending claims under discrimination and equal pay legislation and advising on maternity and other parental and family friendly rights.
    • Advising on European and National works councils and other consultation issues.
    • Advising on, coordinating and defending claims arising from local and transnational restructuring exercises and redundancies (collective and individual), plant closures and relocations.
    • Advising on data privacy and protection requirements and issues.
    • Advising on trade secrets and restrictive covenant protection and team moves.
    • Advising on disciplinary and grievance procedures and performance or absence management.
  • Some of Nicola's most notable recent engagements including the following:

    • Advised a European bank in relation to employee aspects of an asset management merger including implementing a complete harmonisation of terms and conditions by way of dismissal and re-engagement.
    • Advised a leading financial institution in relation to employee matters on two parent and local level mergers with other leaders in the field, including implementing a complete harmonisation of terms and conditions by way of dismissal and re-engagement of all the employees and ongoing advice on issues relating to a proposed takeover, a related management buy-out of part of the business and a number of high value bonus and deferred compensation cases.
    • Advised a leading global recycling and manufacturing company on a collective consultation exercise involving a large-scale redundancy, closure and voluntary benefits reduction exercise in two of its UK sites.
    • Advised a leading Scandinavian bank on a recent merger, relocation, harmonisation of terms and restructuring exercise.
    • Advised a multi-national energy company on a collective redundancy and reduction of benefits exercise for its entire UK workforce.
    • Advised and represented a leading European bank, in relation to the defence and favourable settlement of an unfair dismissal, age and sex discrimination claim.
    • Advised and represented a leading financial institution in relation to grievance and disciplinary proceedings involving whistleblowing, personal injury and discrimination allegations and successfully avoiding any resulting claim.
    • Advised leading American investment bank in relation to a stress claim brought by an employee.
    • Defended an international software company against a multi-strand discrimination, unfair dismissal and whistleblowing claim by a vexatious litigant.
    • Defending a high profile fund management firm against a sex and race discrimination, sexual harassment, victimisation and bonus claim by an existing employee, achieving a swift and very favourable settlement.
    • Advised and represented a leading European bank, in relation to the defence and favourable tribunal outcome of an unfair dismissal and race, age and sex discrimination claim.
    • Represented a leading global financial services institution in a concurrent UK High Court and US District Court action (including anti-suit injunction) arising from breach of restrictive covenants and consequent forfeiture of restricted stock by a senior international executive.
    • Represented a multinational energy company, in relation to a High Court breach of contract action from a former expatriate employee, involving jurisdictional issues.
    • Advised both Stripe and Goodwater Capital on a $93 million Series D financing round in Monzo.