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Editor’s letter – Employment Yearbook 2023

Welcome to the first-ever Employment Yearbook from The Legal 500 and Legal Business.

This annual publication aims to provide a one-stop shop of interviews, insights, legal developments and data, looking at everything on the agenda for employment advisers and their clients.

In a frank and insightful ‘Perspectives’ interview, Clare Murray, founder of top-tier employment and partnership boutique CM Murray, looks back on the 1990s as the ‘golden age of employment law’, and reflects on how the market has changed over the intervening years, with employment lawyers in the spotlight as much now as ever before.

The focus on ESG and transparency means investigations into senior executives and how corporations are run are on the rise, as evidenced by recent high-profile investigations in politics and the media. So too are workplace discrimination claims, with workers more confident about coming forward with allegations of sexual harassment and racial or other forms of discrimination.

Meanwhile, with today’s high-interest, high-inflation environment already giving rise to redundancies and workforce restructuring mandates for lawyers, the cost of living crisis has also triggered a resurgence in trade union and industrial relations work.

Once perhaps viewed as old fashioned, widespread strike action in sectors such as the NHS, education and rail means this union work is very much back en vogue. And it isn’t just public sector companies needing to call in industrial relations expertise, with pay negotiations a newer feature for private sector companies to be aware of.

The Legal 500’s employment correspondent Ben Gray talks to experts about all of these key trends in employment law, before taking a deeper dive into the issue of senior investigations.

Elsewhere, we highlight the firms doing the best job in the eyes of their clients in the L500 View, as well as showcasing the firms with the most employment rankings across the UK. You can also find out what’s happening in employment law around the world in the articles from our partner firms in locations from Italy to Singapore.

We hope you enjoy our first Employment Yearbook, and we’d love to hear from readers about the burning issues you think we should be covering in future. Please do get in touch if you’re keen to contribute.

Georgina Stanley
Head of global research and reporting