I’ve been both an employment lawyer and an HR Director during my career and there are very few workplace issues I haven’t experienced first-hand, both as a manager of large teams and an advisor to others. Having had to both advise organisations on people matters and put this advice into practice (and live with the consequences of it) I know how costly short-term decision making can be when dealing with people matters in the workplace – both financially and culturally. I therefore always consider the long-term, cultural impact of individual people decisions rather than simply each issue in isolation.
I have experienced how quickly things can turn sour when an overly legalistic process is applied to a sensitive people situation and learnt that one of the best ways to avoid legal issues is to treat those involved with respect and kindness. I have also been involved in many situations when the intervention of lawyers turns a process unnecessarily adversarial, resulting in costly and drawn-out processes in which no-one “wins”.
Trust is key to any employment relationship and every successful culture. Carrying out investigations in a timely and objective way helps build that trust. I’m known for being fair but also direct and I am unafraid to challenge bad behaviour or provide a contrarian view. In my opinion, making organisations great places to work is key to commercial success and my approach to achieving this has always been aligned with Byrne Dean’s mission to create kinder, fairer and more productive workplaces.
2021 – current : Partner, Keystone Law
2020 – current : Founder, Stanton + Co
2016 – 2021 : Non-executive director, City HR Association
2019 – 2020 : Interim people director, Ark
2011 – 2019 : Global head of human resources, Investec Asset Management
2008 – 2011 : Head of human resources, Gartmore
2005 – 2008 : Managing director, Legal department (Employment Lawyer), Bear Stearns & Co
1999 – 2004: Solicitor - employment law, pensions and benefits, Macfarlanes