Clarkslegal LLP - Solicitors in Reading and London

Our People

Monica Atwal
Managing Partner

I specialise in employment and immigration. My role as Managing Partner gives me an understanding of the business issues that face my clients and my ethos is to be an integral part of their businesses, providing strategic and practical advice.   My aim is not only to assist clients when problematic issues arise but to proactively help their organisations thrive.

As well as being recognised as a leading lawyer in legal directories, I am an experienced and successful advocate and regularly provide training to clients, who range from individuals to start ups, SMEs to large multinational organisations, working in a range of sectors from IT, utilities, pharmaceuticals, retail, logistics, motor and professional/service firms.

Chambers & Partners 2016

Managing partner Monica Atwal has a broad employment practice. Sources say her "industry experience is strong" and that "she's incredibly pragmatic, responsive and gives clear and concise advice."

I advise UK and international companies, obtaining visas for entrepreneurs, investors and overseas companies setting up in the UK. I act for a range of companies, assisting them with their sponsorship licence and employing overseas workers. For some clients we provide a complete immigration outsource function and are an extension of their HR team, ensuring the recruitment of talent and dealing with all aspects of the sponsor management system.

 

Change is a constant for clients and I advise on a significant number of projects including small to large scale redundancies, transfers of businesses both in and out of organisations and changes to terms and conditions, including to pension schemes. We work with clients to achieve smooth change management where the emphasis is on engagement and ensuring positive outcomes for the business and the employees.

I advise on all aspects of discrimination, equal pay and whistleblowing issues including how to avoid issues arising, resolving problems and successfully defending claims. I deal with family friendly and flexible working requests. Examples of my work include being involved in the first Court of Appeal case on disability discrimination and successfully acting for a manager who was awarded record damages in a depression case.

I have represented clients in high profile tribunal claims and won a significant whistle blowing claim for a financial director. However, the greatest challenges and successes of which I am most proud are the numerous claims that I have helped prevent, by helping clients deal with grievances, providing proper explanations for alleged acts of discrimination and providing practical solutions when legitimate issues do arise. My aim is to provide practical advice that works for businesses and employees, such as flexible working, reasonable adjustments, and assisting clients in talent retention and reputation management.

Our view is that we will be with the client from the beginning to the end of a dispute, including being able to successfully defend the client if need be, at tribunal. I have dealt with many hundreds of tribunal claims and have a high success rate. In particular I am very pleased with the number of claims that get withdrawn prior to clients incurring substantial costs.

The reality is that most clients do not wish to be in dispute with their employees and therefore I assist with preventative measures and support the client’s brand by running employee engagement programmes and training seminars. Client feedback has been very encouraging, describing my training as both enlightening and entertaining. By way of example, one PLC client, that has been undergoing a training programme for over five years, has seen an 80% reduction in claims even before the Tribunal changes came into force in 2013 and a 100% success rate at tribunal when claims do arise. Training varies from one to one director coaching to group workshops.

Most clients have good practices and procedures in place – they just want to work in partnership with us. They want to be kept up to date with the issues that matter for their organisation. The range of advice I offer varies from simple checks on a particular point to complex and strategic matters. By understanding my clients’ businesses well, I am able to look at the big picture and provide my clients with practical, robust and commercial advice that balances legal risk appropriately for their business.