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Laura Livingstone

Partner, Head of Employment London T +44 (0) 20 7759 1391

Department Employment Education (University) Bristol; University of West London; College of Law London Languages French

Laura Livingstone

You, Laura Livingstone
& Ince, in any case

Laura is Head of Employment and has over 24 years specialist experience in the field. She dedicates 100% of her time advising clients on all aspects of employment law, with particular expertise in the luxury retail, media, IT and logistical sectors. She uses a combination of her many years’ experience and sector knowledge to provide bespoke advice to her clients.

Laura deals with all aspects of employment law, with particular expertise in advising on TUPE issues relating to traditional business sales, complex outsourcing arrangements, insolvency and restructurings. She prides herself on simplifying complicated employment issues, particularly when dealing with international clients with little knowledge of the UK. Whilst Laura is a natural conciliator, she equally does not shy away from litigation and has dealt with a number of significant cases over the years.

She also acts as a sounding board for a number of corporates, helping them to sort out tricky day-to-day employment issues, by offering clear advice and practical solutions.

As Laura acts for both organisations and individuals, she is able to give her clients a balanced view, no matter what the issue. For individuals, their case is their life and she feels in order to act for them you need to be sympathetic to this.

Professional Associations & Memberships

  • Employment Lawyer’s Association

  • Mayfair and St James's Association

What you may not know about Laura

Laura is a great lover of live music and has attended many eclectic concerts (ranging from classical, jazz through to rock and heavy metal) with her family.  She is a passionate rugby supporter and is known to shout from Harlequins down the road from her house at the Stoop or for England in the Six Nations.  She has played lacrosse until recently but decided that on reaching the half century it was probably time to hang up her stick.  She has instead trained as a coach and supports her daughters who are both lacrosse goalies.

Legal 500

My matter highlights

  • Advising an international luxury retail group on all aspects of their employment requirements which has recently involved dealing with a complex race discrimination, harassment and victimisation claim.  In addition she regularly advises them on TUPE, redundancies/restructurings, performance and disciplinary issues and terminations.  She has acted for them for over 15 years.

  • Acting for a household name actor in his dispute with a television channel as a result of a grievance raised by someone who had been working for him for many years.  This was resolved satisfactorily and the grievance was not upheld.  As a result further celebrities has been referred to the firm from Laura’s media lawyer contact in LA.

  • Dealing with the TUPE issues arising on the closing down of a Michelin starred restaurant in Covent Garden and setting up a restaurant with a different concept in Mayfair.  Also drafting bespoke contracts for the executive chef, head chef and other members of the catering team

  • Advising the company owned by an internationally acclaimed director on the consultation process involved in shutting down its London office including the negotiation of settlement agreements and discussing the strategic direction of the company going forward.

  • Being requested by senior board members of a publishing company to address harassment and bullying issues involving the majority shareholder by holding coaching meetings with the individual and discussing what behaviour was acceptable or not.  Receiving positive feedback from the board that these sessions had made a significant difference not only to the way in which this individual dealt with senior management but also how he dealt with the grass roots.

  • Advising on the employment aspects of the sale out of administration of a shoe company.  Following that sale this lead into a massive restructuring where a large number of stores were closed and 800 redundancies took place.  Laura was intricately involved in the consultation process and although the HR manager left as part of the redundancy exercise, she then instructed Laura when she moved to her next post which was an interim position in Austin Reed.  Laura continued to act for the Austin Reed Group for several year after that HR manager had left until, regrettably, they went into administration.

  • Representing a nationwide logistics company in a TUPE case involving 8 respondents and 17 claimants including a union where there is a dispute as to whether TUPE applied on an outsourcing where the contract was split into 3 following the transfer.Carrying out a complete audit of the HR and related documentation and systems of both an architecture firm and a software company for the purposes of GDPR but also using the opportunity in both cases to examine their HR practices and processes and to update these where necessary.

  • Acting for a Features Editor of the Evening Standard when the Standard were undergoing a redundancy round.  She was a single mum and could not afford to stop working there so Laura fought for her position and saved her position.  She was the only one in that redundancy round who did not lose her position.  As a result of her strong recommendation, Laura has acted for a number of senior individuals within the Standard.  Not as a result of the recommendation but based on her reputation in this field she has also acted for senior editors in Vogue and the Mail on Sunday as well as a broadcaster and camerawoman for Sky.

  • Advising a pharmaceutical company about the taking on of five senior members of staff from their distributor when setting up in the UK for the first time.  All these members of staff had restrictive covenants and were fairly obviously effecting a team move.  Navigating this tricky aspect successfully and continuing to advise that company now it is operating successfully two years down the line.

My testimonials and accolades

Laura Livingstone

“Laura, acting for me in an employment-related matter, did not simply provide sterling - and successful - legal service, she also provided wise counsel, constructive advice and continual moral support beyond any expectation I could have had. I was able to hand over the day-to-day negotiations to her with complete confidence that she was giving them her best attention, fighting my corner and reporting back to me regularly and without delay. She was reachable and accessible to me at any time, regardless of the house and with endless patience (and good humour). To anyone seeking a superlative employment lawyer, I would recommend Laura without hesitation.”

- Super Lawyers UK

Laura Livingstone

“The day after I was told that I was going to be made redundant, Laura, on a friends recommendation, took on my case. The combination of her empathy, her toughness (concealed and only brought out when needed), her understanding of the finer details of employment law and her willingness to burn the midnight oil on my behalf meant that I could stop fretting, while she entered into negotiations with the company. They didn't know what had hit them once she got into her stride and the outcome for me has been more positive than I could ever have imagined. I heartily recommend her. Thank you Laura.”

- Super Lawyers UK

Laura Livingstone

“Leading the highly commercial team at Gordon Dadds”

- The Legal 500 UK

My recent publications

News / Q&A: Returning to work and looking to the future in fashion and luxury retail

12-06-2020 /

On 15 June 2020, all non-essential retail, which includes fashion and luxury retail, is permitted to open for business, provided that safety guidelines are followed.

Q&A: Returning to work and looking to the future in fashion and luxury retail

Insights / Working Safely During Covid-19: New Guidance for Employers

15-05-2020 /

The recently published government guidance provides a framework to encourage the UK to return to work and for workplaces to operate as safely as possible.

Working Safely During Covid-19: New Guidance for Employers

News / Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme 20/04/2020

20-04-2020 /

On the 26 March 2020, the government published further guidance for the roll out of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. This guidance was updated again on 4, 9, 15, 17 and 20 April 2020. A Direction to HMRC was also published by the Treasury on 15 April 2020.

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme 20/04/2020

Insights / IR35 and the Off Payroll Working Rules

31-03-2020 /

The IR35 rules were first introduced in 2000 in order to tackle a perceived tax avoidance scheme whereby individuals sought to save employee income tax and national insurance contributions by supplying their services through an intermediary and paying themselves in dividends.

IR35 and the Off Payroll Working Rules

News / Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

30-03-2020 /

On the 26 March 2020, the government published further guidance for the roll out of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. While the objective of the scheme is to support employers whose operations have been severely affected by coronavirus (COVID-19), the scheme is also being utilised as a means of ensuring individuals are supported through this difficult time.

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

News / COVID-19: Employment Q&A

23-03-2020 /

As of 11 March, 2020, Coronavirus (COVID-19) has been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organisation. It is clear that employers will face further practical and financial challenges. Where necessary legal advice should be sought due to the continually changing advice. Employers should keep track of the guidance for employers, sources of note include; Public Health England and BEIS: COVID-19: guidance for employees, employers and businesses, Acas: Coronavirus: advice for employers and employees and Public Health England: COVID-19: guidance on social distancing and for vulnerable people.

COVID-19: Employment Q&A

News / Covid-19: Retail Sector

23-03-2020 / Hospitality & Leisure

1) Can we use the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme in order to temporarily close some stores? Almost certainly yes.  The scheme is expressly stated to benefit employees “who would otherwise have been laid off”.  In employment law terms, a lay off is a temporary suspension of all work.  The scheme describes recipients of this benefit as ‘furloughed workers’.  Furlough is a word, hitherto largely fallen into disuse in the UK, but still commonly used in the United States, that means leave of absence.

Covid-19: Retail Sector

News / COVID-19 Job Retention Scheme

23-03-2020 /

On 20 March 2020 the UK Chancellor announced the launch of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. Under the scheme, all UK businesses regardless of size or sector will be able to access support to continue paying part of their employees’ salary for employees that would otherwise have been laid off during this crisis. The details of the scheme are still forthcoming and will be more apparent in the near future.

COVID-19 Job Retention Scheme

News / Coronavirus Advice: For Employees and Employers

05-03-2020 /

Should I enter the workspace? The government has advised individuals to stay indoors and avoid contact with other people immediately if they have travelled to the UK from certain countries in the last 14 days, sometimes even if they have no symptoms. The list of countries is updated every day at 2pm and can be found in the guidance. Individuals should then call 111 for advice on what to do next. This is an emergency NHS number.

Coronavirus Advice: For Employees and Employers

News / The use of NDAs – how far can you go following Government guidance?

08-10-2019 / Energy & Infrastructure

Following an inquiry launched by the Women and Equalities Select Committee (“WESC”) of the UK Parliament in 2018 into sexual harassment in the workplace and its subsequent report of 11 June 2019, the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (“BEIS”) launched a further consultation on 4 March 2019 in response to the recommendations set out by WESC. BEIS proposed a number of key measures to prevent the unethical use of non-disclosure agreements (“NDAs”) and confidentiality clauses to silence victims of workplace harassment or discrimination. On 22 July 2019 the Government issued a response to BEIS’ proposals, which confirms it will legislate to implement a number of key changes to the use of NDAs and confidentiality clauses.

The use of NDAs – how far can you go following Government guidance?

News / MoJ and HMCTS announce Employment Tribunal Fee Reimbursement Scheme

24-10-2017 /

In July of this year the Supreme Court ruled that the introduction of fees in the Employment Tribunal by the Government in 2013, was unlawful and inconsistent with the principle of access to justice

MoJ and HMCTS announce Employment Tribunal Fee Reimbursement Scheme

News / Employment opportunities for Muslim women in the UK: a summary of the Government Report

04-10-2016 /

In May 2016, Londoners voted in their first Muslim Mayor, Sadiq Khan. During his campaign, Khan accentuated his modest upbringing in a working class Pakistani family home in a council estate in South London. As such, Khan has continuously appreciated the opportunities London has given him to succeed and become the Mayor of London today. However, recent employment statistics suggest that Khan’s success is an exception to the common experience for British Muslims and that the reality is in fact very different.

Employment opportunities for Muslim women in the UK: a summary of the Government Report

News / Ince Gordon Dadds' Super Lawyers

22-09-2015 /

Once again, Ince Gordon Dadds Lawyers have been recognised as Super Lawyers and Rising Stars by Thomson Reuters in their 2015 London Super Lawyers List

Ince Gordon Dadds' Super Lawyers