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Gemma Woodhead

Gemma WoodheadManaging Associate

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I am a Managing Associate in the Employment, Immigration and Reward team. I joined Lewis Silkin after having spent 12 years working in-house for Warner Bros. and, since being at Lewis Silkin, have undertaken a secondment with Epic Games.

I pride myself on forming strong relationships with my clients and working with them as a business partner. Having worked extensively in-house, I understand the importance of being able to balance legal risk with a business’ goals, and I work closely with my clients to provide clear and practical commercial and strategic advice. I’m a believer in dealing with issues at an early stage before they escalate and I’m always happy to talk through an issue with a client however small it may seem.

I advise on the full range of employment law issues and have considerable international experience. I have worked across various sectors but, particularly, have extensive experience in Games and Media. My expertise includes advising on large-scale, cross-border international projects such as restructures; navigating complex disciplinary and grievances issues; managing dismissals, including sensitive senior exits; and conducting and managing workplace investigations.

Some examples of my work include advising on:

  • the employment related issues arising on the acquisition of a Games company and later the sale of the company for $1.4 billion to another multi-national Games company.
  • a cross-border restructure project affecting around 900 employees in 17 territories, including carrying out collective consultations, TUPE consultations, dealing with Social Plans, and Collective Bargaining and Works Council issues.
  • a complex termination of an employee’s contract against the backdrop of them being prolific on social media, having various protected characteristics and a severe mental health condition, and having raised several grievances against various colleagues over an eighteen-month period.
  • an investigation into an allegation of sexual harassment made by a high-profile, public figure against a senior executive.
  • Contract, policy and benefits harmonisation projects across multiple international territories.
  • changes to policies and business processes following movements such as #metoo and #BlackLivesMatter.
  • DE&I initiatives and, particularly, in relation to gender representation and mental health wellbeing in the Games and Media industries.
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