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Christina is our head of retail employment. She has extensive experience advising predominantly employers on the full range of employment law issues from recruitment to dismissal. Her expertise includes managing employee relations issues, change management, outsourcing, business transfers, discrimination issues, tribunal advocacy, restrictive covenant disputes and training. As a dual-qualified, multi-lingual Finnish-English lawyer, she has a particular interest in cross-border employment issues.

She is the client relationship manager for Signet and Colgate-Palmolive as well as a number of our education clients and is the lead employment lawyer for many of our retail clients.

Experience

Examples of experience include advising:
 
  • an FMCG client on its proposal to relocate from one UK site to another
  • a well-known brand on a substantial restructuring programme involving hundreds of redundancies
  • five ex-employees of City Electrical Factors, successfully defending them against an application to the High Court for a springboard injunction and an injunction to enforce restrictive covenants. This case (CEF v Brian Mundey and others) was reported and commented on in the national legal press and a number of legal updates
  • a business on its complete closure, including the implications for its workforce
  • Negotiating an exit package for a main board director with a £million+ bonus and sex discrimination claim.

Sector expertise

Retail and Consumer Goods

  • Advising a retailer on all employment issues arising from the integration of two businesses it had acquired into its current business
  • Supporting a retailer in designing a restructuring/redundancy process involving a reduction in the number of geographic regions across the UK. This involved a number of employment tribunal claims of unfairness and discrimination in the process, including conducting the advocacy in the successful defence of a claim brought by one of the displaced managers
  • Delivering a diversity awareness training programme to retail managers
  • Defending a union-backed group claim involving 430+ claimants following the compulsory introduction of a revised shift system
  • Defending a number of retailers against various employment tribunal claims, including appeals to the Employment Appeal Tribunal, for allegations of race, sex, sexual orientation, age and disability discrimination, unfair and constructive dismissal, part-time worker detriment, whistle-blowing, unlawful deductions and breach of contract


Financial Institutions

  • Supporting an institution with handling a complex disability discrimination claim from a current employee
  • Advising an institution on the legal and commercial implications of terminating a supplier relationship and appointing new providers, successfully avoiding a potential TUPE risk and multi-million pound compensation claim
  • Negotiating exit packages and settlement agreements on behalf of an institution
  • Supporting an institution on a potential cross-border restructuring exercise.


Education

  • Supporting an education institution in handling a number of sex discrimination complaints by a female employee, including defending a tribunal claim, supporting the grievance process, and handling the employee's return to work
  • Representing a higher education establishment in connection with sensitive race discrimination, victimisation and constructive dismissal claims brought by a senior staff member against both the institution and a number of named individuals, which involved not only handling the litigation, but also advising senior managers on case management and media relations and briefing various stakeholders
  • Advising an education establishment on the introduction of a new pay system following a job evaluation exercise
  • Working with a university dealing with industrial action, including issues around action short of a strike
  • Advising a further education college in connection with two consecutive management reorganisation and redundancy exercises from the initial advice stage through to defending claims in the employment tribunal, including advice on the relationship with the funding body and other external stakeholders.

Testimonials

"A very good ability to get to the heart of the matter, and work out what the client wants to achieve and how to achieve it."

Chambers UK 2015 (employment)

"She is described as a 'very sensible and calm individual, with an excellent reputation'. She is well regarded by the market for her employment law expertise."

Chambers UK 2015 (education)

"Attracts praise for her ability to ‘see through the fog of litigation and identify the critical issues'."

 Legal 500

"Christina understands the balance for employers between the law and commercial realities. Her experience with employment law is substantial and her work across a number of businesses makes her insightful about helping employers do the right thing for the business and the individual. I have worked with Christina on a number of occasions and would not hesitate to do so again I equally often recommend her to others."

"I was a client of Christina's for about 5 years. I found her to be both pragmatic and extremely knowledgeable. I always felt I could rely on her advice and assessment of risk. I always felt confident in the quality of her response and have built a lasting relationship."

 Client testimonials

Contact Christina Tolvas-Vincent

Please contact Christina Tolvas-Vincent for any enquiries you may have using the options below.