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 most recent editions of Chambers UK and The Legal 500 say about the team at Fox & Partners
Chambers & Partners says:
Fox & Partners is a respected employment and partnership law boutique that is well known for its focus on contentious partnership matters. The team advises partnerships and individual partners, often on complex and highly sensitive issues such as allegations of sexual harassment, discrimination claims and expulsions. Fox & Partners represents traditional professional services partnerships as well as those in the financial services sector, including private equity firms.
A client says:
“Fox & Partners have excellent knowledge and understanding of the key issues.”
One client reports:
“Fox & Partners quickly identify areas of material risk and are able to offer advice as to best practice.”
Another client says:
“It is a complete joy to work with the team. They are very detailed, well organised and add a great deal of value.”
This year’s Guide sees the firm maintain its Band 1 ranking, with all four partners ranked individually, together with Shoshana Bacall also maintaining her ranking as an Associate to Watch.
Caroline Field is ranked in Band 1, and is well known for her contentious partnership expertise, particularly in cases where there is crossover with employment law and issues of professional negligence.
“Caroline is tactically very astute and manages to be very straight-speaking and yet also a great team player who is excellent with clients. She is someone to have on your side.”
“Caroline is academically very brilliant while also being sensitive and commercial with it.”
“I am very impressed with Caroline – she is reassuring yet very focused on the job.”
“She is very incisive and has a knack of seeing issues that cut right to heart of the dispute, as well as being sensitive to the subtle knock-on implications which can arise.”
Catriona Watt has also maintained her Band 1 ranking, and wins praise from sources:
“Catriona is highly intelligent and tactically astute. She is a great team player who provides a very polished service to her clients.”
“Catriona is impressive.”
“She is excellent – I highly recommend Catriona.”
She handles a broad range of highly sensitive and contentious partnership matters, including compulsory retirements, partner exits and sexual harassment allegations.
Dean Fuller remains in Band 3 this year. He primarily provides non-contentious partnership advice to clients including traditional partnerships and LLPs. He is noted for his work for firms in the financial services sector.
“Dean offers practical and pragmatic solutions to the areas of risk.”
“Dean’s steady, consistent advice has been a great source of comfort – he’s definitely someone you want on your side when you’re in a tight spot.”
Ivor Adair maintains his Band 4 this year. He has a strong reputation for handling contentious partnership matters such as partner exits and restrictive covenants. He has notable experience working with partners at international law firms.
“Ivor is amazing at what he does, combining a fascination with the law with pragmatism.”
“Ivor knows his stuff and is very strategic.”
“He is knowledgeable and thoughtful.”
Shoshana Bacall remains an Associate to Watch. Shoshana supports LLPs, professional partnerships and their individual members on a wide range of contentious matters. Her experience includes investigations into alleged harassment and disciplinary matters.
“Shoshana understood my needs and priorities well. She focused the work and advice accordingly, offering practical solutions in key areas.”
“Shoshana has great attention to detail and her advice is comprehensive.”
“She has encyclopaedic knowledge of partnership law and a knack for identifying and distilling the key issues of a case.”
The Legal 500 says:
Acting for both LLPs and partners, particularly across the professional and financial services sectors, the ‘highly focused boutique’ Fox & Partners has a ‘very commercial and practical’ partnership team. The unit is jointly headed up by the ‘exceptionally talented’ Catriona Watt, who advises on issues including contentious departures and arrivals, and Caroline Field, an ‘extremely competent and good strategist’ who has experience litigating in a broad range of dispute resolution forums. Founder of the Association of Partnership Practitioners Ronnie Fox is a ‘brilliant deal maker’ and is particularly known for negotiating departure arrangements. The ‘responsive and helpful’ Shoshana Bacall offers extensive experience in advising on partner departures, contentious exit arrangements, partner investigations and disciplinary matters, an area of growth for the team. Dean Fuller advises on regulatory and corporate aspects of partnership law, while Ivor Adair has recent experience of advising international law firms in relation to contentious exits. Other key lawyers include senior associate Shiv Raja, who acts for partners, LLPs and partnerships in the professional services sector.
The guide quotes clients as saying:
This is a highly focused boutique team representing senior executives and employers in high value cases.’
‘A very commercial and practical team with great client skills. Catriona Watt is strategically adept and commercially astute, with great client management skills. Shiv Raja is very approachable and practical.’
‘Fox and Partners have built the leading partnership practice in the country, with deep knowledge of the issues, huge dedication to their clients, and a profile to be envied.’
‘Caroline Field is a wonderful lawyer. Ronnie Fox is a giant in the area. He has significant experience and is a brilliant deal maker. Ivor Adair is extremely bright and intellectually on the button. Shiv Raja is a fantastic associate, so efficient and capable.’
‘I sought advice on a partnership agreement under considerable time pressure. Fox & Partners accommodated my needs in a flexible and thoughtful manner and provided sound advice in a digestible format. Shoshana Bacall was particularly responsive and helpful.’
‘Caroline Field leads the team with effortless elan. She is very tough and commercial and ensures that her clients do not fight cases without coming out on top at the end of it. Ivor Adair is an excellent litigator.’
‘The team of Catriona Watt and Shoshana Bacall were exceptionally good, both personable and professional and appeared to collaborate well. Shoshana delves deep into issues with great attention to detail. She is very impressive.’
‘Caroline Field and Shiv Raja are both superlative and exceptional lawyers. They are exceptional legal analysts with brilliant reputations.’
Chambers & Partners says:
Fox & Partners is a boutique employment law firm offering expert advice to senior executives. The firm has noted expertise in restrictive covenants and boardroom disputes. Its capabilities also extend to whistle-blowing and discrimination claims. The firm is regularly instructed by high-profile individuals from financial and professional services firms.
“Fox & Partners think outside of the box and are adept at responding to complex situations. The team are extremely knowledgeable and passionate about what they do.”
“They are technically strong, commercially astute and clear with communication. The team are friendly, calm and reassuring as well as being able to see around corners.”
“Fox & Partners is a small but perfectly formed boutique with an amazing range of knowledge.”
Catriona Watt is noted for her astute advice to senior executives. She regularly advises clients on cases involving discrimination, whistleblowing and restrictive covenants. She was promoted to Band 2 this year.
“Catriona is very strategic in her approach, listening carefully to understand my position and help me articulate my objectives.”
“She is clearly very experienced but is also confident knowing when to push boundaries and when to stop or change direction, which leads to very positive outcomes.”
“Catriona is just fantastic, giving clients such reassurances. She can take charge and make sense of very complicated situations.”
“She is a brilliant lawyer and an outstanding client service partner. Catriona is commercially astute, calm under pressure and can see around corners. She is a credit to her firm and profession.”
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, as are whistleblowing claims. She is ranked in Band 3.
“Caroline Field is an employee’s best friend and an employer’s nightmare. She gets the results employees can only dream about.”
“Caroline really considers all angles on legal issues and arguments. She is wonderfully bright and a pleasure to work with.”
“She is amazing with me as well as negotiating with opposing counsel with substantial skill. Her advice and engagement is invaluable.”
“Caroline is pragmatic, supportive and knowledgeable in all interactions. She makes herself available when needed and makes me feel understood and supported at all times.”
Ivor Adair maintained his Band 3 ranking this year. He is a partner at Fox & Partners and an experienced litigator who is comfortable before the Employment Tribunal and the High Court. He regularly assists clients with restrictive covenants, exit negotiations and bonus disputes.
“Ivor has strong client management skills, actively moving things forward and making sure everything and everybody is on board and in line.”
“He has a very calm and considered approach to analysing the situation and building a picture of the best solution.”
“Ivor has a phenomenal mind with regard to employment. He is great at sense-checking to ensure the best foot is being put forward.”
Shiv Raja continues to be listed as an Associate to Watch. He has notable experience negotiating exit agreements and other non-contentious matters. His practice also sees him handle employment disputes.
“Shiv is super capable and effective. He is very thoughtful and thinks everything through.”
“I find Shiv empathetic and very responsive in situations which are highly challenging.”
“Shiv not only lays everything out for me to understand but is available on multiple occasions. He provides excellent advice and is very considerate of my concerns.”
The Legal 500 (Employers and Senior Executives) says:
Fox & Partners broad client base spans CEOs and senior managing directors, particularly those operating in the financial industry. Team heads Caroline Field and Ivor Adair advise on arrivals and departures, exit negotiations, and restrictive covenants. The teams also handles discrimination claims under the 2010 Equality Act and related whistleblowing claims. Other key team members include Catriona Watt and Dean Fuller, who work on data protection, and statuary and contractual rights claims.
Jackie Thomas has been named as a Rising Star for her employer work.
The Guide quotes clients as saying:
‘The team is extremely personable and supportive but with clear, structured and thought through advice.’
‘Catriona Watt is very impressive. She is strategic and very strong technically, while being very accessible and empathetic.’
‘The team are very reactive, engaging and have a great approach.’
‘They were all engaging, willing to be challenged, and eager to adapt to the client’s needs.’
‘Strategic approach, commercial awareness, comprehensive knowledge of legislation/litigation, attention to details and ability to alter their advice to my needs in particular circumstances.’