I am a partner in the firm’s Employment, Immigration and Reward department, based in our Oxford office.
I have a varied employment law practice, advising employers on Tribunal litigation, employee relations issues, contracts/policies and restructuring and outsourcing. I work with clients ranging from City law firms to toy manufacturers via the energy sector.
Although my practice covers all areas of employment law, I am particularly interested in discrimination and equal opportunities issues and regularly advise employers on matters such as their diversity policies, discrimination grievances, harassment complaints, and Employment Tribunal claims.
Examples of my recent work include:
- advising employers on preparing for gender pay gap reporting requirements
- representing an employer in a disability discrimination claim by a senior employee who was dismissed for poor performance
- advising on salary sacrifice schemes and maternity issues
- advising on a multi-jurisdiction age discrimination claim
A significant part of my practice involves advising law firms on their own internal HR issues. I lead the team’s Law Firms group and frequently deliver training tailored to clients in the legal sector. I advise firms on partnership law matters, particularly relating to discrimination issues. I also advise on matters such as partnership/employment status, the rights and obligations of partners under partnership and LLP agreements, the structuring of partner benefits, and partnership exits and disputes, including retirement and age discrimination.
Awards and reocgnition
- Who's Who Legal Global Leader - Labour & Employment (England) 2021
- Legal 500 2021 (Employment: Thames Valley, Berks, Oxon, M4/M40) - ‘Carolyn Soakell is the best external lawyer I have; I’ve worked with her for over ten years and she is faultless'
- Legal 500 2022 (Employment: Thames Valley, Berks, Oxon, M4/M40) - ‘Carolyn Soakell is technically excellent, super responsive, and gives clear commercial advice in a very client-friendly manner.’
- Recommended in Who’s Who Legal 2020 England