David Roath

Partner - Employment Team, Winchester

David Roath

Partner - Employment Team, Winchester

David Roath top ranked Chambers 2022 logo    Legal 500 2022 Recommended Lawyer    Legal 500 Top Tier 2022


I deal with all aspects of the employment and working relationship with a particular focus on:

  • director and senior employee exits (advising both employers and employees);
  • restrictive covenant and breach of confidentiality actions;
  • discrimination complaints;
  • whistleblowing complaints;
  • complex and high value settlement agreements;
  • Mediation;
  • employment tribunal claims and advocacy;
  • working issues relating to people who are not employees (self-employed, partners, consultants, LLP members); and
  • training on employment law issues.

As well as pure employment law issues I regularly get involved in:

  • confidentiality and restrictive covenant actions in the High Court, often in conjunction with our Dispute Resolution team;
  • shareholder/director disputes;
  • partnership disputes.

I am a qualified ADR Mediator and have been involved in numerous high value mediations.

I am known for coming up with creative solutions to legal issues and will often be engaged by clients to formulate exit strategies or where a second opinion is being sought.

I will provide practical and no-nonsense options for the resolution of issues in the working relationship.

As an advocate I have appeared in employment tribunals all over the country including in wales and Scotland.

I am a regular speaker at employment law conferences and have appeared on television and radio commenting on topical employment law issues.

Clive Dobbin, David Roath and Tabytha Cunningham | 9th September 2021

The Employment Tribunal: What happens on the day - Part 2


Clive Dobbin, David Roath and Tabytha Cunningham | 9th September 2021

The Employment Tribunal: What happens on the day - Part 2

Welcome to part two of our two-part series on Employment Tribunals. In this podcast Employment experts Clive Dobbin, David Roath and Tabytha Cunningham answer your key questions about what happens on the day of a Tribunal. They chat through everything from how to give a witness statement to what to wear.

For more information on how our team can help you: https://parissmith.co.uk/your-business/employment-law/tribunal-representation/

Show notes
What is the set up for a typical Employment hearing?
David talks about how processes been pushed forward by the pandemic and what are the options for a virtual hearing. Do you get a choice which option you can have?

What should you know before the hearing to prepare? Tabytha explains what technology you should test if you are remote and some tips for making this process seamless.
If you have an in-person hearing, what happens when you arrive and who will be there? Be prepared for lots of waiting around.

What preliminary matters will there be on the day? Tabytha talks through how this works and what is common.

Who decides the outcome of a case? This depends totally on the claim. Simple cases like unfair dismissal will be heard by one Judge In more complex cases like discrimination, there will be a panel of three people. Our experts explain how to they work together to decide and who has the final say.

Giving evidence - how is this done and how should you address the Judge?
Our experts also explain how are different people are addressed and the common terms you might hear such as ‘claimant’, what you should wear, what to bring with you, where to stand when giving evidence and what swearing an oath means in practice.

What happens at cross examination? This is when the other side will ask questions about your witness statement. Our experts give some tips about what to expect and how to answer.

Our Employment team give top tips for preparing to be a witness and discuss the importance of the witness statements.
The key is that you should remind yourself what is said in the statement before the hearing as they often written a long time before the hearing.

Submitting additional documents – what is the process when you want to submit extra information?

Cross examination can be nerve-wracking. Our team give tips for giving evidence and cross examination, and cover the importance of preparation and overcoming nerves

Coming to a decision – what is the process and how long does this take?

What happens if you are unhappy with the decision and what are the grounds for appeal?


Clients say "David Roath has a very calm and measured approach with appreciation for the client's industry and its complexities"; and "David is a calm, patient lawyer who explains things carefully and clearly."

Chambers and Partners Legal Directory 2022

David Roath is a very commercially astute lawyer, with a keen analytical mind. He has the ability to inspire confidence in clients and those that he works with.

Legal 500 - 2022 Edition

We use Paris Smith for a wide range of legal advice and support. Laura has played a key role in the decision making process of the company by providing us with the benefit of her knowledge and experience in the specialised areas of trademarks, patents and intellectual property. Her advice has always been relevant, swift and concise. Advising non-specialists is a skill in its own right and Laura is able to explain the implications and opportunities arising from the request rather than just delivering us the results.

Nick Lake, FD - Barfoots of Botley

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.

Liz Finney, General Manager - AFC Bournemouth
AFC Bournemouth

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.

Anne Segall, Director HR - BMT Group Ltd
BMT Group Ltd

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.

Senior Employee - Education (Private) Sector
Education (Private) Sector

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!

Senior Employee - Formula 1
Formula 1

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. David is very calm, professional and reassuring. He is also very prompt in delivering advice. 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.

Senior Employee - Life Sciences Industry
Life Sciences Industry

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. 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. David's skills as an experienced lawyer 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. 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.

Senior Employee - Plant & Machinery Sector

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 thought-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.

Senior Employee - Retail Sector
Retail Sector

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. 

Senior Employees - Transportation/Shipping