Employment law and working relationships
- Director and senior employee exits (advising both employers and employees)
- Employment tribunal advocacy
- Restrictive covenant and breach of confidentiality actions
- Complex and high value settlement agreements
- Working issues relating to people who are not employees (self-employed, partners, consultants, LLP members)
David is ranked in Band 1 in the legal directory Chambers & Partners whose write ups have praised him for his “down-to-earth and practical” approach.
David is a highly experienced employment lawyer who acts for a variety of clients ranging from large companies through to family businesses.
David also advises individual employees and regularly advises directors and senior employees on employment issues including exit strategy and settlement agreements. David’s reputation on director exits means that he is instructed by directors from all over the UK and from a broad spectrum of industries.
David has a close interest in business protection and he and his team have secured injunctions in the High Court against former employees. David also acts for individuals accused of breaching confidentiality and/or restrictive covenants. David is often engaged by individuals as part of their exit planning and this allows a proactive approach to be taken where an exit is planned.
David is an experienced employment tribunal advocate and has appeared in most tribunals in the country. David will often conduct a tribunal case from start to finish.
David regularly speaks at conferences and provides training to clients on a wide range of topics. He has also appeared on television and radio providing commentary on legal issues. David is also an ADR qualified mediator.
(please follow this link to see all our employment related blogs)
- Bullying at work – Lessons from Boris and Priti
- Reacting to COVID-19 as an employer – it’s not just about the law
- Coronavirus : A time for a change or a time to be conservative?
- Keeping in touch with your employees on maternity leave: a short guide
- Why aren’t we mediating more employment disputes?
From directors and senior employees:
Industry – Life Sciences : I am UK Head of Legal at a market-leading global company. As such, I am used to receiving top quality legal advice from some of the best and most high profile law firms in the City. After an initial conversation with David Roath, however, I realised that he was the lawyer to help guide me through a difficult situation at work. As the matter progressed, I found that I had complete confidence and trust in David and the advice I was receiving. There was never a moment when I doubted David’s advice.
David is very calm, professional and reassuring. He is also very prompt in delivering advice. I obtained a very good outcome, at the end of the process – all thanks to David.
If you are searching for an exceptional legal adviser and one who is an absolute pleasure to work with, I have no hesitation in recommending David Roath
Industry – Finance : I retained the services of David following the unexpected notification of redundancy from my role as managing director of a fintech lending company that I had helped co-found.
Throughout the ensuing process, which lasted approximately five months, David provided pragmatic, reasoned and timely advice. This resulted in a professional exit from the company together with the appropriate level of compensation for myself. His experience of dealing with similar matters, in particular, negotiating the exit of director level individuals and settlement agreements, proved invaluable and reassuring. At each stage David provided clear and logical counsel and was particularly helpful in guiding me when communicating with the company.
I highly recommend David. He is clearly an expert in the field of employment law and exit negotiations.
Industry – Retail : Having been personally recommended to me, I would like to express my gratitude for the invaluable support I received from David. Against the backdrop of a complex international corporate situation, I faced an unexpected and unusual set of circumstances. In the first instance, David took time to fully understand the dynamics of the situation and, from this, rapidly presented a well though-out series of practical options. David’s experience was well-demonstrated in his clear analysis of the likely outcome of each option and the common pitfalls that should be avoided.
Having assisted me in preparing to negotiate with the company, David was always available to provide advice and support. Amongst other things, this covered the short-term continuation of employment, treatment of long and short-term incentives and the re-drafting of several key areas of the proposed agreement. Ultimately this has resulted in a well-managed exit, supported by a robust and highly satisfactory settlement agreement. In contrast to my initial expectations, this has also led to the maintenance of senior relationships which could easily have been lost in these challenging circumstances.
Industry – Plant & Machinery : I have always considered myself to be a hard-working loyal employee. When I was suddenly faced with an unbelievable situation concerning the future of my employment, I did not know what to do or where to turn. The support and guidance I received from David helped me through this extremely difficult time. His calm and professional, yet warm nature made everything seem far less daunting and far less frightening.
David advised from a professional point of view of how things stood. My emotions were riding high and I was not often able to think as clearly as I normally would so this helped me enormously. I really appreciated that David explained carefully my options without me feeling pressured to take a course of action and gave me time to think things through.
I was horrified at the injustice that had taken place and my confidence was shattered. It was a combination of all of David’s skills as an experienced Lawyer that enabled me to regain my confidence and stand up to a multi-million- pound International company, who I knew were represented by extremely reputable Solicitors. I felt that with David representing me I would be able to convey the true reality of the situation and not the one that was being portrayed by my Employers. I knew now that I could stay strong in my convictions that I had been treated extremely unfairly. Most importantly, I no longer felt alone.
It did not take me long to realise I was extremely fortunate to have David Roath representing me. This realisation was confirmed even more when David, after much negotiations came to a very satisfactory agreement. Nothing will ever compensate for the change of career that I have had to take and the injustice and stress that I suffered. What David Roath was able to do for me, was to give me an opportunity to have a fresh start with a promising future as a once again happy and confident person.
Industry – Formula 1 : I just wanted to drop you a note to say thank you for your work with me over the past year or so. Throughout you have given clear and professional advice based on your large amount of experience in the field. I have always felt comfortable following your recommendations and I am very happy with the outcome. I will recommend you to (ex-)colleagues but hope that I don’t have to use you professionally myself again!
Industry – Transportation/Shipping : David was recommended to us and we are very grateful for all the help, advice and support he gave us. He was open, honest, approachable and very human in his dealings with us, always ensuring we were kept aware of the situation, our options and progress. We would not have any hesitation in recommending him to others as we have found dealing with David the easiest aspect of our settlement. Thank you once again for everything you have done to ensure we have arrived at a suitable resolution in an as timely manner as was possible in the circumstances.
Industry – Education (Private Sector) : David provided advice and guidance about how best to approach an unfair dismissal case. David was able to help me select a strategy that I was comfortable with. He quickly assimilated
the key aspects and details of the case and was able to press home the argument very forcefully. David was then able to negotiate a very favourable settlement. I am pleased with the final resolution of what has been a very difficult episode. I would not hesitate to recommend him to people who find themselves in similar circumstances.
Industry – Leisure, Food and Drink : Just wanted to say a quick thank you for all your help with my case. Obviously I achieved the exact outcome I was looking for which would not have happened without you. You made what was a very stressful experience that bit more bearable and it was very reassuring to have you behind me.
Industry – Dental : I would like to take this opportunity to say thank you for all the support & guidance you have given since August 2017 when I first came to see you. You gave me the confidence & reassurance to see my case through to the end. I had complete faith & trust in you.
Liz Finney, General Manager, AFC Bournemouth: David has been my principal contact at Paris Smith during the 8 years the firm has provided HR support to the football club. I have found his advice to be straightforward and sensible with an appreciation of the vagaries of the business we work in. It is a comfort to have his valuable support available, whether it’s a quick “are we on the right track here” call or email, or his involvement in the occasional, more complex legal matter.
Anne Segall, Director HR, Development & Training, BMT Group Ltd: We have been working with David and his team for a number of years now. We are always grateful for his timely advice, experience and speed of response, no matter how complex or simple the query. In particular, myself and my HR colleagues are always impressed by his interest in our business. This has enabled us to form a close working relationship that has led to the successful conclusion of many difficult employment issues.
From directors and senior employees:
Industry – IT : I appreciate your wise consult on this, indeed, I’ve greatly appreciated your counsel and support throughout this whole process. Thank you, the result is very much attributable to your excellent work, which has made a huge different to how I will process what’s happened – Thank you.
Industry – MD in Civil Engineering : David is an immensely reassuring person to work with at a difficult time – knowledgeable, clear in his thinking and communication, and a pleasure to work with. I would have no hesitation in working with him again or in recommending him to others in a similar situation.
Industry – Formula 1 : David was most efficient, always objective and honest about my situation. A consummate professional and above all very approachable, with the ability to bring clarity for both parties, ensuring a swift and amicable resolution.
Industry – Public Sector : Thanks again for the professional and effective service you provided resulting in such an excellent outcome for me. I finally feel justice has been done. It was scary tackling such a huge organisation as an individual – I couldn’t have done it without you. David v Goliath for sure!
Industry – MD in Construction : Most importantly though thank you for all your support and hard work in obtaining a good settlement out of a difficult start. I am sure you are very used to these situations, however, to those of us where it happens rarely it is a bit over whelming at times. I found your advice gave me the confidence to keep going and eventually secure a good result which I can move on with my head held high and a bit of time to seriously consider my next move.
Industry – IT sales : I was introduced to David Roath through a colleague at a very difficult and challenging time, having just been informed that my employment had been terminated. David’s support, both on a professional and personal level, was invaluable.
David provided very detailed, practical and personal support through this process. I would not hesitate to recommend David to friends and associates who find themselves in similar circumstances.
Industry – Director in Housing Association : I was working as an executive director of a Housing Association when I sought David’s advice/services. The response was very swift and I felt that time was dedicated to my concerns almost immediately. The initial meeting was succinct and friendly and initial advice clear and subsequently proven to be accurate. Throughout, communication was all I could wish for and the service carried through to a satisfactory conclusion on my part.
Industry – Insurance : I engaged the services of David Roath as a result of a personal recommendation. The service I received was excellent, it was both prompt and personal. David was extremely knowledgeable and informative on how best to work through negotiations on the settlement agreement to ensure the best possible result for all parties. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend his services to others.
Industry – Insurance : For the purpose of feedback I can confirm that during my recent need for legal assistance the service provided by yourself was very much first class. At all times, from the advice offered at the initial consultation, I felt that there was a structure to the plan and that I was regularly informed of developments in a clear and concise manner. Importantly, it was very much apparent that the matter was always under close control which enabled a satisfactory conclusion. Additionally all communication was always provided very much in a timely and professional way. From this experience I’d certainly, without hesitation, use your services again and recommend you to family and friends.
Industry – Careers : David Roath supported me through my recent redundancy from an Executive Management role. His professionalism and firm approach gave me control over the process and allowed me to reach a beneficial but amicable settlement with my employer. I have already recommended David to a friend in a similar position. (May 2017).
Industry – Academic : When I found myself the target of significant academic jealousy and harrassment at work, a colleague recommended David’s services. Throughout the course of the dispute, which after several years of sporadic discussion reached a settlement earlier this year, David was simply excellent. This was not just at the legal elements as you might expect, but also with effective strategies to achieve my desired outcome, and an excellent understanding of the art of the possible. David’s client focus and listening skills were first rate throughout, and he was consistently very personable and professional, making him easy to work with. I have worked for several top global professional services firms so rest assured I know what I am talking about in this regard.
Industry – International Sports Federation : As a result of an impromptu meeting at work I clearly understood I needed urgent legal advice. David’s response was clear, swift and friendly and within 10 minutes of our first meeting I felt completely confident in his ability and knew I had chosen the right person. He has a keen knowledge of employment law, he will not tolerate any nonsense and if ever you needed to have expert help in this area I could not think of a better person to have in your corner. When correspondence came in from the other lawyers he would forward me the correspondence but also accompanied it with his thoughts on the way forward – you were never left feeling confused, angry or in despair. I have no hesitation in highly recommending his services.
David’s advice has always been excellent, but what has separated him from others I have used in the past is his understanding of the company culture and style. David instinctively knows the results that we are seeking and provides options, each with clearly communicated potential implications. David tackles situations with total professionalism and his characteristic calm giving us much needed reassurances in what is probably the most challenging and delicate area of law. He has become a highly trusted and valued adviser.
- Nick Lake, Finance Director
Barfoots of Botley 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
David Roath is an experienced employment lawyer and mediator, acting for corporate clients as well as individuals and senior executives. “He’s well respected and very responsive.”
Chambers and Partners Legal Directory 2021
David Roath is an experienced employment lawyer and mediator, acting for corporate clients as well as individuals and senior executives. A client praises him for his “technical knowledge, commercial awareness and professional service with prompt and appropriate information.”
Chambers and Partners 2020
Clients state: ‘Clive Dobbin, David Roath and Claire Merritt are extremely approachable and offer practical solutions to our issues’; ‘All members of staff that we have dealt with, at all levels, are technically competent and able to provide a top-class answer to our employment questions straight away’.
Legal 500 2020
David Roath specialises in business protection and restrictive covenant actions. He advises large corporate clients on partner exits and employment status issues. A source remarks: “The main thing with him is that he is very practical in terms of dealing with employment issues and does not make his advice too complicated for non-legal people.”
Chambers & Partners Legal Directory 2019
Clients say “David Roath is an excellent lawyer and legal tactician, with a strong work ethic. He is also really good at relating to clients“.
Legal 500 2020-2021