Diane Sneddon

Principal Consultant

I am an experienced Employee Relations and HR specialist. I am known for being calm, fair and maintaining my perspective. Throughout my career I have been the go-to person for managers and leaders who need help to understand and solve a behavioural issue. That’s because I love sorting workplace issues out before they get out of hand, and even when a problem seems intractable I enjoy finding a way through. I worked for many years in leading international law firms: Freshfields in the UK and Allens in Australia. I have also worked in the public sector, in unionised environments and in financial services.

I spent over 10 years in generalist HR roles, culminating in an Asia-Pacific HR leadership role. I then made the natural switch into Employee Relations, where I have over a decade’s experience. As not all countries call it ‘employee relations’, I should say this is advising on tricky people issues, grievances, disciplinaries, exits and making business reorganisations happen. To do it well, you need emotional intelligence and to understand and care about people.

On the individual side, I have conducted countless investigations and advised on thousands of difficult situations. I am good at putting people at ease and getting to the real issues. I have tribunal experience and know how to avoid them! I have extensive real world experience at the sharp end of organisational change. I was the Employee Relations lead on a programme to relocate over 700 jobs from London to Manchester, managing a team of internal and external specialists. I’m used to developing sound redundancy proposals and giving organisational design advice to senior leaders who have never faced those challenges before. At the other end, I know how to be with individuals who are losing their job or are facing what seems like an overwhelming problem.

My values found a great match at byrne·dean: I have seen time and again how critical it is to treat people with respect, kindness and emotional intelligence. Outside of work, my passions include travel and animals.

2020 – current: Associate at byrne·dean

2008 – 2020: Senior Manager, Employee Relations and Change, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer

2008: HR Manager, Herbert Smith

2005 – 2007: Resourcing and Development Manager, Transport for London

2000 – 2004: Asia Pacific HR Manager, Allens (Australia)

1999: Recruitment Consultant, Ernst & Young (Australia)

1998 – 1999: Recruitment Specialist, Enron Capital and Trade (London)

1993 – 1997: Senior HR Consultant, Brisbane City Council

BCom (HR Management and Industrial Relations), Griffith University, Brisbane

MA (Employment Studies and HR Management), London Metropolitan University

Mental Health First Aider

Trained in D,E&I

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