Caroline specialises in dispute resolution and litigation. Caroline’s work often arises from a fall-out between (i) employers or professional firms (LLPs and traditional partnerships) on the one hand and (ii) employees, shareholders and directors or LLP members and partners on the other. Caroline has led significant claims in the Employment Tribunal, EAT, High Court and appeal courts, as well as through alternative dispute resolution processes (mediation, arbitration and expert determination).
Caroline frequently acts for professional firms in connection with the expulsion, compulsory retirement or de-equitisation of members or partners and for individuals responding to such processes. She regularly advises on the strategic handling of partner conduct, performance issues, discrimination and whistleblowing complaints. Much of her work is focused on the professional and financial services sectors. Caroline advises on complex investment management and private equity structures, often in connection with disputes concerning bonus, incentives (carried interest and other entitlements) and the effect of leaver provisions.
In the Employment Tribunal and EAT, Caroline has acted for a number of employees in the insurance and financial services sectors claiming automatic unfair dismissal for making protected disclosures about breaches of legal and regulatory obligations. Caroline has also spoken about whistleblowing on television.
Caroline regularly advises on business protection cases, providing strategic advice in relation to team moves, restrictive covenants and duties of confidentiality. She has significant experience defending and enforcing such provisions, including by obtaining and defending interim injunctions.
Caroline has dealt with a broad range of disputes, acting for corporate clients, professional firms, senior executives and partners. Her experience includes director and shareholder disputes, LLP and partnership disputes (including unfair prejudice actions), warranty claims, breaches of fiduciary duty claims, civil fraud claims, contract disputes and claims for misrepresentation, mistake and professional negligence (recently acting for a corporate client in claims involving specialist employment law work by a major law practice).
Caroline provides straightforward advice, which always takes account of the commercial goals of the client. With extensive experience of acting for both employers and partnerships and LLP members, partners and senior executives, Caroline understands the pressures on both sides. She puts the client at the heart of each recommendation and focuses on achieving the optimum outcome in a cost effective manner, while safeguarding reputation and managing financial exposure.
Caroline Field is well known for her contentious partnership expertise, particularly in cases where there is crossover with employment law and issues of professional negligence. “She is strategically astute and does not neglect any aspect of the case before her,” says a client, adding: “She is also very supportive and empathetic, making her an ideal legal adviser to navigate uniquely complex legal situations.” (Chambers 2021 – Partnership)
Caroline Field is recognised for her work representing employees in employment disputes before the Employment Tribunal and High Court. Restrictive covenants are a notable area of strength. “She provides amazing service and is a really excellent lawyer.” (Chambers 2021 – Senior Executive)
“Caroline Field and Catriona Watt are both great – efficient, super with clients and a delight to work with. Both are partners who really take the lead and go the extra mile for clients” (Legal 500 2021 – Partnership and Senior Executive)
“Caroline FIeld is delightful to work with; a shrewd litigator with a good background in commercial litigation.” (Legal 500 2020 – Partnership)
Caroline Field is increasingly recognised for her work representing employees in tmployment disputes before the Employment Tribunal and High Court. She offers particular experience handling litigation related to restrictive covenants, and is highlighted as “a very thorough negotiator with forensic attention to detail”. (Legal 500 2020 – Senior Executive)
Caroline Field is “a consummate professional and a joy to work with”, according to a client who also notes: “She has a very thorough approach and a great ability to understand and navigate complex matters.” She has considerable experience in contentious partnership issues, including disputes related to partner exits, bonuses and discrimination claims. (Legal 500 2020 – Partnership)
“very highly regarded”, “really knows the area” and “[her] attention to detail is outstanding.” (Chambers 2018 and 2019 – Partnership)
“astute”, “capable under pressure” and “draws on her commercial litigation background to advise on partnership disputes (Legal 500 2019 – Partnership)
“lauded for her recent work in private equity fund management and unfair dismissal cases.” Clients were “impressed by her intelligence, work ethic, knowledge and devotion to the case” and felt they were “being represented in the best way possible” (Chambers 2016 – “Associate to Watch” for Contentious Partnership”)
“identified by market observers as one of the firm’s leading lights. Field heads the litigation department and has experience of a broad range of partnership and shareholder disputes” (Chambers 2017 – “Associate to Watch”for Contentious Partnership).
Caroline is recommended as a Global Leader in Labour and Employment law in Who’s Who Legal for 2019, in recognition of Fox & Partners’ leading position in the profession for partnership and employment law. She was included in Management Today’s prestigious 35 women under 35 list in 2018.
Caroline has contributed to a recently published book: Special Report on Partner Retirement in Law Firms: Strategies for Partners, Law Firms and Other Professional Services. It is the first book of its kind, providing practical advice to retiring partners from a multi-disciplinary team.
Appointments, Associations and Memberships
Caroline is a committee member of the London Litigation Solicitors Association (representing over 2,000 members) having been Past President of the Junior LSLA. She is a member of the Employment Lawyers Association and Association of Partnership Practitioners (former Up and Coming Committee member). Caroline has taken an active role in working groups responding to consultations affecting access to justice. Most recently, she co-ordinated the LSLA’s response to the consultation launched in November 2017 in relation to proposals to radically reform the document disclosure process in the courts and participated in a series of panel discussions to promote and collect feedback on the proposals, together with senior members of the judiciary and profession.
Caroline moved to Fox & Partners to expand its dispute resolution capability in June 2011 from the dispute resolution team of a large commercial firm in Leeds. She became a partner in 2017. She has over 14 years’ experience in dispute resolution.
“Caroline provided me with invaluable legal advice and expertise in a long and highly contentious financial dispute. Caroline was unfailingly attentive and responsive. She is very hard working, and has an excellent understanding of complicated issues, a very thorough approach, and an undeterred, committed attitude that instilled in me confidence, even during the most difficult moments one inevitably experiences during a legal dispute. Caroline is not only a first class lawyer, but a truly empathic and supportive individual. It was a pleasure to work with her.”
“I would like to thank you for giving me the clear impression that my case is important to you… your genuine empathy along with professionalism and competence is heart warming”
“I wanted to thank you personally for being there for me from the very outset of this ordeal. You [Caroline] have been a fantastic lawyer. Not only were you able to digest huge amounts of information and make it understandable to me, but you have been very kind and honest in your assessments and recommendations along the way… you are a fantastic professional … you put the client at the heart of each recommendation. You have a unique gift of being able to couple fantastic legal expertise with kindness and empathy”.”