Partner and Head of Employment


William founded the successful Employment and Discrimination department (which is ranked highly in both Legal 500 and Chambers directories). The team acts for employers and senior executives.

William is ranked as a leading individual in respect of employment law, by both national directories and his practice spans the widest range of clientele from professional partnerships to corporates, household name charities and senior individuals. His work encompasses negotiation of contractual terms, whistleblower claims, transfers, restrictive covenants, employment related shareholder/boardroom disputes, breach of contract, unfair dismissal and the widest range of discrimination disputes. William is always focused on the pragmatic resolution of disputes.

Examples of recent work

  • Advising the global chief executive of an international investment bank on the terms of his departure
  • Advising the director general of the BBC in respect of the terms of his resignation, to include all associated advice
  • Advising a significant number of FE colleges across the country on restructures, redundancies and other ways of achieving efficiencies
  • Successfully pursuing substantial whistle-blowing litigation on behalf of the claimant in respect of allegations over drug safety
  • Successfully defending charities in respect of claims of sex and race discrimination
  • Successfully defending a commercial employer in respect of claims of unfair dismissal, breach of contract and sex discrimination
  • Advising on boardroom disputes and associated shareholder issues arising from the removal of directors
  • Advising a professional firm on the enforcement of restrictive covenants, and the misuse of client information
  • Regularly advising individuals on post-termination restrictions and negotiating departures, arrivals and team moves
  • Advising members of an LLP on the terms of their agreement and negotiating their departure

Qualifications and career

  • BSc (Hons) Law, 1983
  • Admitted as a solicitor, 1986
  • Partner at Bates Wells Braithwaite, 1991
  • William is a frequent lecturer at national conferences on employment law
  • As well as being a regular contributor to a number of publications including Third Sector, and Charity Finance, William is also frequently quoted in the media on employment law matters, and has undertaken a number of television interviews both for the BBC and for Sky

Pro bono, memberships and appointments

  • Chair of the Grievance Committee, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development
  • Non-Executive Director, Centor Insurance & Risk Management Limited
  • Chair of UKSA (youth development sailing charity) and FareShare (food distribution) 
  • Royal Yacht Squadron, Royal Cruising Club, Seaview Yacht Club

Employment knowhow from William Garnett