Simon Stephen

Simon's approach to employment law issues is hands on and pragmatic. With 12 years' experience at Gowling WLG (returning in 2019), and four years' experience of working in the Employee Relations ("ER") team of a global financial institution he has a deep understanding of a client's viewpoint, including the need for practical guidance at an early stage in order to have control over risk, cost and commercial objectives.

Having worked on the lifecycle of an ER case from the very start of informal whisperings all the way through to the end of litigation and subsequent lesson learnt processes, Simon is perfectly placed to advise on not just the law and practical process, but also on the wider remit of consequence management and cultural change.

Simon works across the whole range of employment issues from advising on and drafting contracts and TUPE clauses, collective consultation and managing high-profile, complex whistleblowing investigations and litigation. He also specialises in complex discrimination cases, advises on and negotiates severance agreements and advises on employees' and directors' contractual terms.

As an ER Specialist he provided advice and training to internal HR and businesses across the whole ambit of employee relations issues from collective consultation to managing mental health in the workplace. He also ran his own diverse caseload of internal and complex ER cases, including grievances, disciplinary investigations, appeals and whistle-blowing cases. He also supported internal stakeholders (such as compliance, legal and anti-fraud teams) with investigations and other issues to ensure legal and regulatory requirements were met. Latterly he was responsible for ER internal governance and compliance, including global responsibility for tracking and reporting on ER MI (internally and for external regulators) and working with global reward teams to ensure obligations were met in relation to employee compensation. This gives him a unique insight into the wider internal context of employee relations issues, conduct risk frameworks and also dealing with regulators and external expectations.


  • Managing a redundancy appeal process with complex whistleblowing allegations against senior employees. When Employment Tribunal proceedings were issued the appeal process followed enabled a favourable settlement to be achieved.
  • Successfully defending a sensitive whistleblowing claim in the Employment Tribunal for a well-known automobile manufacturer. Simon's advice as to the tactical approach reduced the PR risk, and enabled the sole focus to be on the employee's own behaviour, resulting in a successful outcome.
  • Creating and running innovative training sessions dealing with managing mental health in the workplace and whistleblowing.
  • Advising on an international relocation of a business - including advising on TUPE consultation and drafting all required documentation and clauses.
  • Advising on the employment and TUPE aspects of an IT outsourcing project.
  • Working with internal stakeholders in relation to compliance with the FCA senior manager regime, including ensuring ER processes and reporting met senior manager requirements.