James Johnson

What I do

I head up the Employment team. I act for all sizes of employers from SMEs to large corporate enterprises, charities, educational establishments and public sector employers. My work involves assisting employers in navigating often complex areas of employment law to deliver commercial outcomes. My primary objective is to deliver the result desired by the client whilst reducing their risk.

I also act for senior employees in relation to advice on contracts, exits, settlement agreements and post-employment obligations.

I am a keen advocate and run cases through the employment tribunals to final hearing.

My recent cases of note have included a complex TUPE transfer of over 200 employees on a service provision change, representing a large public sector employer in relation to a discrimination claim listed for fifteen days and acting on behalf of a group of connected directors in relation to claims of unfair dismissal and age discrimination.

I’d like to think that I provide a ready supply of (relatively) funny anecdotes mainly relating to my constant struggle to keep up with my now nearly teenage daughters. After twenty years of practising employment law, I can also be relied upon to unearth experience of dealing with any given employment scenario in the past (if only I could remember the name of the case and the outcome!). 

Finally, without exception, I can be relied upon to spout in an overly evangelical way about the latest fitness fad I have started to follow, only to give it up about two weeks later...

I try my hand at all sports, but master none of them. As age catches up with me, my sporting pursuits are now more heavily focused on a fairly sedentary game of golf (with particular focus on the 19th hole), although I remain a keen and (relatively) enthusiastic runner and regular attendee at my local gym.

My social life is spent primarily ensuring that my daughters, Charlotte and Emily, can fulfil their social lives and I can therefore often be found supporting my daughters in their own sporting pursuits, or driving around my local area dropping them off and picking them up from various friends’ houses. When not doing this, I am walking through the local countryside with my beloved dog, Willow.

Thank you to James Johnson for the help and advice with my unexpected employment dispute. James was very professional, concise and prompt given the timescales we had to get this resolved. I was very happy with the outcome and would highly recommend James! 

- JM

Smith Partnership has an excellent employment team who are attentive and responsive to our business priorities and provide pragmatic advice.

- Jacqueline Hills, Legal Director UK and Ireland, Office Depot International (UK) Limited

I have used James Johnson’s services via the Smith Partnership for over five years and I am happy to comment as follows. James is my first point of contact for any legal employment matters.  He deals with each issue with complete professionalism, patience and knowledge.  He always goes the extra mile to ensure that we fully understand the reasons and implications of any advice he offers. I would not hesitate to recommend James to any other fellow HR professional or employer.

- Sharon Poulson MCIPD Group HR Manager – TTG Global Group Limited

James Johnson was incredibly supportive and gave some very sound advice. He was able to use his knowledge and his amiable approach to succeed in getting me the settlement that I needed when I found myself no longer in employment. I would totally recommend him to anyone who finds themselves in similar circumstances. He is professional and approachable and certainly gets results. I cannot thank him enough.

- MT

I would like to thank James Johnson at Smith Partnership Solicitors for his excellent service in dealing with my situation at very short notice.

I would not hesitate to contact him again if required & thoroughly recommend him for his efficiency & professionalism.

- SF, 2019

I engaged the services of Smith Partnership to help me with an exit from my employment which had been instigated by my employer whilst I was on maternity leave and trying to return on a flexible working basis. My case was handled by James Johnson who I found to be meticulous, articulate and thoroughly knowledgeable throughout. James dealt with my case with care and understanding, doing his best to minimise any costs for myself whilst being fully transparent regarding fees. I found James to be extremely reliable, honest and client focused. My case was dealt with very quickly and reached a satisfactory conclusion to what was a very stressful time. I would not hesitate to either use Smith Partnership again and I highly recommend them, as I cannot imagine any other practice dealing with my case as well as they did.

- V.O

I contacted James Johnson at Smith Partnership for help and advice regarding an employment law matter. It was refreshing to receive candid, open and realistic advice regarding the situation and what was achievable. James provided clear (jargon free!) explanations and guidance. The service was responsive and I felt supported at all times. We achieved a fair and reasonable outcome with James taking the stress out of the situation.

- E.Q