- Discrimination issues
- Settlement agreements, including settlement agreements for senior executives often involving shareholder and restrictive covenant issues
- Employment tribunal claims, including complex discrimination claims
- The Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006
- Restrictive covenant and confidentiality issues.
Head of the employment team, Clive aims to work closely with clients, getting to know their businesses, so that he can provide commercially orientated practical advice, taking account of the particular needs and circumstances of the client. He is also an excellent strategist, ensuring that from the beginning of a matter or case he has agreed a clear way forward with the client.
Clive aims to be responsive to the needs of the client, ensuring a prompt response to queries. He is also flexible in his approach, including in relation to fees.
Clive has a particular expertise in the education sector. In this regard, he is vice chair of governors at Totton College, where he also chairs the HR Committee, and is a member of the Audit Committee, Policy and Performance Committee and the Remuneration Committee.
Clive is a member of the management committee of the Employment Lawyers Association. Clive is also the Employment Lawyers Association’s representative on the Law Society Council.
Clive is ranked in Band 1 of the legal directory Chambers & Partners whose 2018 write up says he stands out for his TUPE work in particular. Clients say “he is someone who is straightforward and pleasant to deal with”; “he is easy to talk with, thorough when giving advice and good at pointing out the risks involved”.
Work Highlights/Reported Decisions
Clive has represented clients in respect of a number of substantial tribunal cases, including discrimination cases (including cases resulting in a 12 day, and a 20 day, tribunal hearing) and TUPE cases (including one resulting in a 9 day case on whether TUPE applied).
He has also represented clients in numerous cases before the Employment Appeal Tribunal and the Court of Appeal.
- Can an employee be dismissed during long term ill health absence?
- Holiday Pay and Voluntary Overtime
- How well have businesses adjusted to an aging workforce?
- Amended TUPE Regulations which come into force on 31 January 2014
Notable cases include:
- Esso Petroleum Limited v Jarvis, EAT, 2002 – employment status of agency workers
- Vaughan v London Borough of Lewisham, EAT, 2013 – costs awards
From directors and senior employees
Industry – Finance : On deciding to retire from my employer after almost 33 years, my HR department produced a lengthy and complex 20 page document which I needed to review in detail and sign, but with the provision that it must be reviewed by a Solicitor. I was given a list of Solicitors chosen by the Company, but preferred to use my own, even though I have never had to use an employment Lawyer before in my career. It was very important to me that the Lawyer was both knowledgeable and independent, and would advise me of any catches that may exist in the complex document. Clive Dobbin was excellent in the extent to which he reviewed the document and made some very helpful suggestions and changes to prevent the Company potentially acting in a way that, even after having worked with them for almost 33 years, might perhaps have been significantly to my disadvantage. I would not hesitate to recommend him and indeed have already done so to a good acquaintance that may soon require some advice.
Industry – Regional Manager in Retail : My company decided to seek a settlement agreement with me after very long service and Clive was recommended to me through two colleagues who he had represented previously in similar circumstances. He responded very quickly and set up communications with my company’s legal representative. Clive established my contractual rights and advised me on the settlement deal that I should be aiming for, taking into account my thoughts and concerns. Clive was very aware of the stresses and pressure that this situation puts you under and allowed plenty of time for big decisions to be made. Clive was very clear when giving advice and ultimately a settlement was signed that I was very happy with. I would have no hesitation in recommending Clive to anyone who finds themselves in conflict with their employer and requires legal representation.
Industry – Education : I am disabled. Following significant problems securing the reasonable adjustments I needed at work, I had to file a disability discrimination Grievance against my employer. They carried out a flawed Grievance investigation and the conclusions reached were entirely unsatisfactory. I contacted Clive Dobbin. He was able to meet at short notice, was very supportive and sympathetic, and had a clear strategic focus. Clive helped me write a Grievance Appeal letter, and advised on strategy, resolution negotiations, ACAS notification and a potential employment tribunal claim. Ultimately the Grievance Appeal was decided in my favour and I was able to continue in my job with appropriate reasonable adjustments for my disability. I was delighted with the outcome and would certainly recommend Clive to anyone in a disability discrimination dispute with their employer.
I have known Clive through local channels for many years and knew he was highly respected. I decided to pass our next employment case to Clive. Clive kicked into gear quickly and efficiently. We won a very important case in regards of restrictive covenants and our costs got covered by the other side – very happy with that result. Clive is a no nonsense, practical, lawyer who gives us advice to be able make our decisions well and move our business forward.
- Lorna Hayes, Managing Director
Churches Fire Security Ltd
Paris Smith have been my ‘go to’ employment law providers for 21 years. Over the years the practice has also helped me with my GDPR, property, commercial and domestic legal needs. I have used Paris Smith all these years because they are knowledgeable, friendly, pragmatic and cost effective. It doesn’t matter which member of the team you are dealing with you get a consistent approach.
- Joy Craddock, Managing Director
JCV Consulting Ltd
We had the privilege of working with Clive Dobbin and his colleagues over recent months. Clive’s response to all of our requests was clear, quick and timely. He offered reassurance where necessary and clarity in sometimes confusing situations. His professionalism and support was outstanding and we cannot recommend him enough and will certainly be returning to Clive and Paris Smith for all our future legal requirements.
Excellent service and truly great people!……..Keith and Tess
Clive has provided advice to our company for many years now. His uncomplicated and pragmatic advice consistently provides us with clear direction on how to handle sensitive and potentially troublesome matters. His availability to take a call and talk through matters or turn-around documentation in short order is also invaluable
- John Donnelly, Cor Financial Group
Having never been in this kind of situation ever before, Clive was quick to reassure and advise me. He was very efficient in all of his dealings and tried to negotiate a fair deal for me. He removed the legal jargon for me, to enable me to understand every step of the process. Thank-you Clive
- Carole Rosier
Clive Dobbin leads the firm’s employment practice. He regularly advises on senior-level exits, contractual issues and TUPE matters. “He’s commercially aware and available at the drop of a hat.”
Chambers and Partners Legal Directory 2021
Seasoned practitioner Clive Dobbin leads the firm’s employment practice. He regularly advises on senior-level exits, contractual issues and TUPE matters. Clients highlight his “sensible and pragmatic approach,” with one interviewee describing him as an “exceptional, top-notch employment lawyer.”
Chambers and Partners 2020
Clients state: ‘Clive Dobbin, David Roath and Claire Merritt are extremely approachable and offer a practical solutions to our issues‘; ‘Clive Dobbin is a great support to our senior management team; he provides practical and considered feedback and proposes solutions to complex issues‘; ‘Clive Dobbin’s ability to give a client complex information whilst checking understanding and involving them in the process is outstanding; he provides a truly bespoke service.‘
Legal 500 2020
Clive Dobbin has a wide range of expertise, with in-depth knowledge of tribunal matters, director exits, and TUPE matters. He has particular experience in the education sector, with a history as a governor to two separate colleges. As one client describes: “I have found that he can, without any brief or notification, give sound, holistic, comprehensive and pragmatic advice. He is very knowledgeable, approachable, and accessible.”
Chambers & Partners Legal Directory 2019
He stands out for his TUPE work in particular. Clients say he is “easy to talk with, thorough when giving advice and good at pointing out the risks involved”.
Chambers & Partners Legal Directory
I cannot tell you how grateful I was to have you on the end of a phone throughout such a stressful experience. Your pragmatic and sensitive approach and ability to respond to my queries so quickly was enormously helpful.
If you want honest, clear and experienced employment law advice then Clive Dobbin everytime! He literally saved my career!!
I was very pleased with how Paris Smith helped me during my recent redundancy negotiations. Clive Dobbin was extremely professional, meticulous and approachable…he took the time and trouble to explain clearly and concisely any legal complexities as they arose, and gave me confidence that I understood the process from start to finish. Timely response to emails and was always happy to make time for a phone call if I needed to chat through any concerns.
I recently used Paris Smith to advice me on employment law following redundancy. I had clear and direct advice at each stage, which resulted in a successful settlement with my previous employer without going to tribunal. I would highly recommend the team at Paris Smith, who made a difficult and stressful situation so much more manageable.
- Sep 2020