Phil Cookson

Phil Cookson

Partner

Phil’s specialist areas of law are employment and regulatory crime with the majority of his clients from within the agricultural and food sectors.

He advises a range of businesses on employee situations, often dealing with serious disciplinary issues, restructuring at a senior level (including “generational issues in a farming setting), TUPE, redundancy situations and contractual issues including restrictive covenants and notice periods. He also advises businesses and individuals on issues relating to the recruitment and management of senior level employees and directors.

He has extensive experience of handling Health and Safety, Environment Agency and other regulatory matters including prosecutions, investigations by authorities and incident management.

Phil is an engaging speaker and regularly delivers training sessions to employers within these and other industries either at open events, or in-house to HR and senior management teams.

Areas of specialism include:

  • Employment law
  • Employment issues following restructures, business sales and mergers
  • Management restructures
  • Regulatory crime including HSE, Environment Agency and Trading Standards prosecutions
  • Incident management after a workplace accident

Recent work includes:

  • Advising a farming business facing the need to change its management structure to allow for a more modern operational approach. This involved the removal of long-standing employees with upwards of 30 years’ service, tied accommodation and a desire by the employer to allow the employees in question to leave with “heads held high”. All achieved on budget and on time.
  • Advising in respect of a TUPE transfer on a service change involving in excess of 250 employees at multiple sites.
  • Advice on a potential Environment Agency prosecution of a high profile client with significant risks of adverse publicity. The process was managed to a conclusion without a prosecution being necessary. 
  • Advice on a Health & Safety prosecution relating to asbestos in the property portfolio of a landed estate.