Bramhalls: Our Journey
Bramhalls, the specialist employment solicitor’s practice, began on 1st February 2005. This is the story of each person in the team…so far.
As the Bramhalls team has expanded the same values and ideals are shared by all of us. We are proud of the work we do and the client relationships we have formed over the years.
We started on the home computer and now have 7 of us working for a great bunch of clients in a beautiful village between Chester and the Wirral.
Phil: I had been dealing with employment law since I qualified in 1987 but specialised in it from 1990. I became an employment solicitor before that was even a thing!
Becoming a partner and head of the Liverpool employment team at DLA (now DLA Piper, I think) in 1998, I enjoyed good working relationships with the HR teams in a number of household names.
After 9 years at DLA, which gave me a lot of experience of managing a business, I decided that I wanted to focus on the relationship with the clients, rather than the politics and commerciality which comes with being part of a large firm. But how could I do that?
On 1st February 2005, I set up Bramhalls, with the active and moral support of Judith, following a day of intensive discussions in the study at our home. The vision was to choose clients who value expert employment law support and to establish close, and enjoyable, relationships which benefit both the clients and business.
PD Ports was and is one such client, our first official invoice and the relationship has gone from strength to strength ever since.
Judith: I started out as a civil litigation solicitor. After joining Cheshire West and Chester Council in 2005, I became a local government solicitor, managing a team and specialising in regulatory and licensing law.
I do not practise employment law; my focus at Bramhalls is general management, including bookkeeping, payroll, recruitment, and regulatory compliance. It is real pleasure working with a team of highly skilled professionals who are as dedicated and approachable as Phil. The enthusiasm of the team is unmissable. Together we have created a firm that thrives on quality; for our clients and for our team: a mutually supportive working environment, without the need for daily commutes
The work grew and we needed to get out of the house and recruit. There are lots of employment solicitors, but difficult to find people who share your values.
Rehan: When I was first introduced to Phil, we immediately clicked. We both had very similar views on client care, wanting to provide commercially sensible advice with the client’s interests always at the forefront of our minds.
Throughout my career I had enjoyed close relationships with clients to resolve their problems; working directly with HR and management. I qualified in 1997 and was fortunate to work in good quality law firms, carrying out high level and interesting employment law work for household name clients. Whilst I love that work, I became disillusioned with the corporate mentality of large commercial firms where the emphasis was on billing rather than client service, so I joined Bramhalls in 2014 and have never looked back.
John: I first spoke to Phil while he was out hiking – a good time to make a decision!
I have practiced employment law since qualifying in 2002. I worked in a national commercial law firm before I moved to be a Partner and Head of the Employment Team at KBL Solicitors. After doing that for over ten years, I was looking to move to a client-centred firm, specialising in employment law, which delivers high-quality solution-focussed support to clients. I joined Bramhalls in 2017, where I found what I was looking for.
Helen: I first met Phil following a chance meeting on a train. The rest, as they say, is history and I joined Bramhalls in December 2018 (a mere 10 years after the train journey).
Prior to joining Bramhalls, I had spent my career working for a national commercial law firm and was looking for a change; away from the corporate structure and politics that comes with a large commercial organisation. I met the team at Bramhalls for a coffee and immediately knew that I had found the right place (I think the feeling was mutual!).
Whilst I continue to grow my relationships with some of my existing clients, I have also enjoyed getting to know the long-standing clients of Bramhalls and developing new ones.
With growing clients and growing numbers, we need to bolster the team with some infrastructure.
Cerys: I joined Bramhalls in 2020, mid-pandemic, to provide help behind the scenes. Daily conversations with Phil about choice of lunch was an “interesting” beginning to my journey at Bramhalls, whilst the rest of the team navigated working at home. I was not put off. I enjoy the comfortable and friendly atmosphere at Bramhalls. Although at times it can be like herding cats, the close-knit team is always working towards the same goal – nurturing good relationships with both
clients and each other.
I work on all aspects of administration for Bramhalls. I have experience in HR and HSE support and I am branching into business and financial support under the tutelage of Phil and Judith. I supplement my role with Snowdon path planner and weekly riddle master.
Time to introduce some new talent to support the old heads.
Adam: As the name suggests, I have always been a Bramhall but it wasn’t until April 2022 that I joined Bramhalls on a permanent basis. In 2016, I spent 6 months with the team as a paralegal covering for the absence of their trainee. Phil, Judith and Rehan thought that brief period in 2016 was enough to scare me off for good. It turns out they were wrong; following 5 years in local government where I qualified as a solicitor, I returned to take up the vacant position at Bramhalls.
I loved my time in the local authority, working with a close-knit team and providing legal advice to an in-house client. I was looking for an employment law position to replicate the close relationship that one builds with an in-house client, but in the private sector and was, eventually, persuaded to apply for a vacancy at Bramhalls. I genuinely believe that Bramhalls is the perfect place to build on my employment law knowledge with an experienced and welcoming team in an environment that
thrives on collaboration.