Susan Bernstein

With over 20 year’s experience working as an employment lawyer, advising both employers and employees across a hugely diverse range of industries.  I have a particular interest in education, healthcare and the voluntary sector and also regularly advise legal firms on employment issues where those firms do not have their own employment department.

My clients range from small to medium-sized companies to senior or junior employees; law firms to individual lawyers; medical and dental practices to individual doctors and nurses; and schools to teachers.

I advise on all aspects of employment law and regularly deal with drafting employment contracts (including service agreements), disciplinary and grievance issues, redundancy, employment tribunal litigation, discrimination, restrictive covenants, and settlement agreements.  As well as providing solutions, I advise on how to prevent problems arising in the first place.

The close relationships I build with my clients are key to securing the most suitable solution for them and making the process as smooth as possible. Clients regularly comment on my practical, common sense approach and, when negotiating, my perseverance in delivering favourable results.

I have a genuine desire to provide the best solution for my clients’ needs and always take a hands-on approach, providing whatever support is required.

I am a regular speaker on employment issues and host a variety of informative seminars throughout the year.

Education/background

I qualified as a solicitor in 1979 and specialised in corporate law at a major City law firm.  When my children were small, I took a career break and worked as a volunteer at the Citizens Advice Bureau where I developed a successful employment law niche, acting on behalf of employees.

This diverse background has given me a unique understanding of both employers and employees and is the basis of my reputation for giving sound practical advice and being a good negotiator.

I joined Osmond Gaunt & Rose (now part of OGR Stock Denton) as an employment solicitor in 1999 and was made a Partner in 2005.

Client testimonials

"I just want to say a massive thank you once again for all your assistance in helping me win my case against FirstGroup. All your hard work has been greatly appreciated by myself. I have organised something in the post which should be with you by the end of the week as a token of my thanks."


“Your advice was sensible and without fault and I found you very easy to work with.”


“Thanks for all your help, advice and support …I had real confidence in you.”


“From the moment we spoke I felt calmer, understood and supported. I can’t over emphasise the importance of knowing you were in my corner and I didn’t have to face my employer alone.”


“Thank you for your help…I appreciate now much more than ever before the reason behind your persistence…If we had not followed your advice all along the outcome of this case would not have been as favourable.”


“I really appreciate the care you took in explaining everything and the support you gave me.”

Recent notable cases
  • Advising a senior employee in respect of the termination of his employment under a settlement agreement and obtaining, through negotiation, a compensation sum more than three times the amount originally offered by his employer.
  • Acting for a respondent medical practice in a claim against it by a former employee for constructive unfair dismissal and disability discrimination. The employee took her claim all the way to a full hearing but at the tribunal agreed to accept a nominal financial settlement.  My client’s legal expenses insurer was so pleased with the proposed settlement value that it agreed to pay it on the client’s behalf.
  • Acting for a respondent hotel in a claim by a former employee for unfair dismissal, wrongful dismissal, unauthorised deductions from wages arising from non-payment of the National Minimum Wage and breach of the Working Time Regulations. The employment Judge found in favour of my client on every count and the claimant’s case was dismissed.
  • Acting for a respondent children’s residential care home in a claim brought by the former house manager for constructive unfair dismissal, wrongful dismissal, automatic unfair dismissal by reason of a public interest disclosure and unauthorised deductions from wages. Following a Case Management Discussion at which the claimant was ordered, at my request, to provide additional information, the claimant withdrew his claim in its entirety.
  • Helping secure a six figure sum for a disabled employee claiming disability discrimination and constructive unfair dismissal.
  • Acting for an employer in a race discrimination claim, in which a £1,200 settlement was agreed.
Memberships

Employment Lawyers’ Association

Publications

I write the firm’s Employment newsletter and have had articles published in various in-house journals, including an online publication for GP practices.

Additional languages

Basic French

Leisure interests

Outside work, I enjoy spending time with my family and every now and then, holidaying in far-flung places. To keep fit, I love yoga and dance and walking on Hampstead Heath with our dog, Daisy.

Richard Denton

My areas of expertise include Wills, trusts, estate planning and the administration of estates.

I also regularly advise high-net-worth individuals on the options for asset protection through Wills, linking with any nuptial agreements that may be in place.

Many of my clients are entrepreneurs or have substantial wealth and I am able to link Will-writing services and the organisation of assets to tax planning, helping to advise on all the options available for limiting Inheritance Tax (IHT) liabilities. I take pride in being able to think “outside the box” when approaching such matters.

I have extensive experience of advising on international matters, including the laws relating to non-doms and cross border estate planning (both of which can be notoriously complicated.)

I also have a wealth of expertise advising more elderly clients.

Education/background

I graduated from UMIST with a degree in Management Sciences before taking the CPE and LPC at York College of Law.

Starting my legal career, I trained with the national firm Eversheds before working with Addleshaw Goddard for five years. I joined Stock Fraser Denton in August 2006 from the West End and became an equity Partner in November 2008.

Client testimonials

“Thank you so much for all of your time, advice, support and assistance over the past year – and for putting up with all of our non-stop communications. You’ve been amazing.”

Memberships

Solicitors for the Elderly

Additional languages

Swedish

Leisure interests

I am a keen cyclist (regularly riding to work) and also enjoy skiing.

Priti Shah

Business owners, property investors, overseas clients and high-net-worth individuals seeking to mitigate their Inheritance and Capital Gains Tax liabilities benefit from my 20 years’ experience as a Solicitor and Chartered Tax Adviser.

I am committed to providing the most suitable solutions, enabling clients to minimise their tax exposure whilst ensuring the protection of their assets. To this end I work very hard to understand the client’s objectives and ensure our advice is tailored to their individual needs.

I believe in a proactive approach and will explore possible tax planning opportunities with executors, trustees and beneficiaries through the use of deeds of variation, trusts and by making gifts to charities.

Non-resident clients also benefit from my extensive experience advising on the use of double tax treaties, forced heirship rules and the legislation affecting foreign domiciliaries.  I also hold the STEP Advanced Certificate in UK Tax for International Clients.

In addition I prepare and register Lasting Powers of Attorney covering both property and affairs and health and welfare issues and make applications to the Court of Protection for family members to be appointed as a deputy.

Education/background

Having previously worked at Deloitte I subsequently used my specialist tax experience to set up my own practice for a number of years. I later joined OGR Stock Denton’s Private Client department.

Client testimonials

“Pleasant, patient, intelligent, very helpful and quick to understand our needs.”

"I am writing to thank you for the excellent service you have shown me recently. Your work ethic is totally unselfish and it is always very clear that you only have your client's best interest in mind. Your knowledge of your industry is phenomenal which gives me great confidence in your product. I called on your services as i needed a Will. I thought that the one I had was sufficient for my needs but after giving it to you to look at, it was clear that it was totally useless. Your patience with me and my situation was second to none and you did everything to help me achieve the correct will which is very important to me. You explained to me in great detail all of my options and you always put my mind at rest. I would not hesitate to refer you to any of my friends and colleagues"

"Thank you for your conscientious, impartial and sensitive handling of our meeting with you...it was a pleasure to meet you both, for what was an informative and constructive discussion about the steps Michael, Helen and I need to take to ensure Roger's continued wellbeing - It would be a privilege if you were to use my words in a testimonial"

"Thanks for your help with everything over the last couple of weeks - he told me he was very happy with your clear explanations and the advice you were able to provide him and my mother-in-law."

Recent notable cases
  • Advising property owners on ways to divest themselves of the asset but retaining the rental income.
  • Advising business owners on the use of trusts for the benefit of the surviving spouse, children and other family members.
  • Advising overseas clients on the structure of their investments to reduce their potential tax liability.
  • Advising clients on the reduction of the rate payable by beneficiaries of the estate by making gifts to charity.
  • Advising high-net-worth individuals on the use of their surplus income to make gifts to family members in a tax efficient manner.
Memberships
  • STEP (Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners)
  • Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIOT)
  • The Law Society of England and Wales
Speaking engagements

I regularly present seminars at business breakfast meetings and stress the importance of Will and estate planning.

Publications
Additional Languages

Gujarati and Hindi

Leisure interests

I am married with two children and in my spare time I enjoy watching cricket, keeping fit and travelling.