The leading independent guides to UK law firms, Chambers UK and The Legal 500, undertake extensive research to ensure that their rankings and editorial comments are fair and objective. Here is what the Autumn 2018 edition of Chambers UK and the 2020 edition of The Legal 500 say about the team at Fox & Partners
Chambers UK and The Legal 500
Chambers & Partners says:
Respected employment and partnership law boutique with a long history in the market. Advises both partnerships and individual partners, often on complex and highly contentious issues such as exits and partnership dissolutions. Regularly acts for traditional professional services partnerships and continues to develop its presence in the financial services sector, including in relation to private equity firms, hedge funds and venture capital funds. Additional areas of expertise include LLP formation and discrimination claims.
“Everyone at Fox & Partners is dedicated, responsive, very hard-working and friendly,” reports one satisfied client.
Another interviewee says of the team: “They are knowledgeable, empathetic and experienced, and not afraid to guide their clients calmly through a stressful and emotional process.”
Partners Caroline Field and Catriona Watt are listed as ‘ranked’ individuals, and founder Ronnie Fox is described as “one of the most renowned figures in the market” and named as a ‘Senior Statesman’ of the legal industry.
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.
Catriona Watt advises LLPs along with traditional partnerships, including those in the private equity, IP and legal sectors, on negotiations and disputes relating to partner and team moves. A source describes her as a “standout litigator who is very good with people, extremely capable and really knows her stuff.” Described by one source as “the grandee of the contentious partnership world,”
Ronnie Fox is one of the most renowned figures in the market. He is immensely experienced in partnership disputes as well as negotiations related to the exit of partners from professional and financial services firms.
The Legal 500 says:
Fox & Partners is a go-to firm for partnership expertise in the professional and financial services sectors, with a varied client roster of partners, partnerships and LLPs. The group has developed a niche in partnership disputes relating to partner exits and the enforceability of restrictive covenants and team move clauses. The department is jointly led by Catriona Watt (who focuses on partner moves) and commercial litigator and partnership disputes expert Caroline Field. The group also includes founding partner Ronnie Fox, who provides strategic advice to a variety of lawyer and firm clients. Senior associate Shoshana Bacall has experience in assisting departing individuals and firms on exit arrangements and negotiations to join other firms.
‘Catriona Watt is very proactive and clear in her advice. She does not shy away from steering a client in the right direction – even if that means a difficult conversation.’
‘Caroline Field is delightful to work with; a shrewd litigator with a good background in commercial litigation.’
‘The firm is one of the undisputed leaders in the field, especially so acting for the individual in obtaining excellent commercial outcomes.’
Chambers & Partners says:
Boutique employment law firm offering expert advice to senior executives, with noted work on restrictive covenants and boardroom disputes. Regularly instructed by high-profile individuals from the financial and professional services sectors. Also capable of advising employer clients on both contentious and non-contentious matters.
Interviewees praise the team’s “ultra-professional, bespoke service” and describe it as a “premium offering who are fitted to handle high-value and complex claims.”
Further sources describe the team as “professional, efficient and welcoming” and highlight its “balanced and pragmatic approach.”
“They’re a very hard-working team,” others note, continuing: “They’re very understanding of the human side of employment work.”
Caroline Field is increasingly recognised for her work representing employees in employment 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.”
Ronnie Fox maintains his long-standing reputation as an expert adviser to senior executives facing high-profile and reputationally sensitive employment disputes. He is particularly notable for his representation of clients from the professional services sector, and supplements his employment work with a sophisticated partnership practice.
The Legal 500 (Employers and Senior Executives) says:
Fox & Partners’ employment team is made up of ‘highly skilled negotiators who have great attention to detail’, advising on high-value, complex and sensitive disputes in the financial, professional and insurance sectors. Dean Fuller and Catriona Watt co-head the team, with clients ranging from high ranking senior executives and partners, to firms and employers.
‘True employment law specialists, with a focus on disputes, litigation, senior employees and executives.’
‘Highly skilled negotiators who have great attention to detail.’
‘Ivor Adair is a calm and experienced litigator, with very good judgement.’
‘Dean Fuller is responsive, informed and sensitive to human resources matters.’
‘Caroline Field is a great litigator with a no-nonsense approach to senior exit negotiations.’