Meet the Team
- Sue MorrisonManaging DirectorSue MorrisonManaging Director
PA: Helen Abbott
Sue qualified as a solicitor in 1984 having graduated LLB (2.1) with honours from Sheffield University in 1980 and having successfully completed the Solicitors’ final examinations at Chester College of Law in 1981. Following a gap year spent in Sicily with the family of an Italian Lawyer (when she became fluent in Italian (much of which has since been forgotten!) Sue returned to the UK in September 1982 to complete her legal training.
Throughout her career, Sue has undertaken a broad range of legal work including, in her early career, matrimonial and criminal defence work. Sue has worked in house as what would now be referred to as “General Legal Counsel” advising on a broad range of public sector specific issues; has undertaken medico legal defence work and since 1992 has specialised in employment law for public and private sector organisations.
From 2001 (until she established Law by Design) Sue held equity partnerships in two well established, highly regarded law firms (including a top 50 law firm with an international presence). During that time and since Sue has been recognised as a leading lawyer for employment in Chambers and the Legal 500.
Sue has a passion (and proven track record) for building and developing teams, creating an environment in which its members can work together in synergy to give clients the best possible service.
Outside of work Sue’s interests include golf, walking, travel, family and friends.
“One of the best introductions I’ve ever had”
Sue Woodward OBE
“Sue Morrison always seems to be able to put her clients in a position of strength”
Legal 500 2016
“A fantastic lawyer and a person who would swiftly gasp the complicated nature of my business”
“A calm and professional manner at all times but always providing me with the reassuring feeling that she would fight my corner with a steely determination”
- Caroline ShafarDirectorCaroline ShafarDirector
PA: Helen Abbott
Caroline is an experienced employment lawyer whose pragmatic approach has resulted in long lasting and trusted relationships with her clients.
Caroline qualified as a solicitor in 2000 and spent the first three years after qualifying working as a general litigation lawyer. In 2003 she moved to Mace and Jones to specialise in employment law, obtaining a diploma in employment law at Manchester metropolitan University. She was promoted to Associate in 2006. Caroline joined Hill Dickinson LLP in 2007 before leaving to join Law By Design as a Director in May 2013.
Caroline’s key strengths are providing strategic advice to clients on managing difficult employees and in particular, complex and high value litigation matters. Caroline has a particular specialism and interest in discrimination and whistleblowing cases.
Caroline is a very experienced training provider, delivering practical and user-friendly training to all levels of staff.
Caroline’s clients vary from NHS Trusts to PLCs and she has a growing practice advising senior individuals on disputes and exit strategy.
Caroline has led on some notable and reported cases such as:
Fecitt v NHS Manchester – Court of Appeal – leading decision on vicarious liability and causation for claims brought by individuals who claim to have suffered detriments on the grounds that they have blown the whistle. Following this case the law has now been changed.
Bent v Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust – Employment Tribunal – case brought by a number of Unions challenging the validity of the Trust’s decision on limiting pay progression in certain circumstances and whether that was in accordance with the terms and conditions of Agenda for Change.
Outside of work Caroline’s interests mainly involve cake and wine and spending time with her family and friends.
Caroline Shafar has been our legal support for a number of years. She provides excellent support in relation to our employee relations cases and we could not ask for more in terms of professionalism, knowledge and customer service. I have always found her advice to combine expert knowledge with a pragmatic approach to finding solutions. She has developed strong relationships with any individuals within our business who have come into contact with her and whilst it isn’t possible for her to be constantly available to us there has never been an occasion when I have needed support that I have not been able to contact her. During times of leave her colleagues have clearly been briefed and have been able to cover our cases providing a seamless service. In short her advice is commercially focused, knowledgeable and incorporates knowledge of the limitations of our operating framework all delivered in a friendly inclusive manner that reduces the pressure on my team in working towards the right outcome for our organisation.
Lia Woodworth, HR Consultancy Manager, Arvato, Health
Arvato CRM Solutions, UK & Ireland
- Kirsty MacDonaldDirectorKirsty MacDonaldDirector
Kirsty gained a first class BA (Hons) Economics degree from the University of Northumbria at Newcastle in 2001. She qualified as a solicitor in 2006 following completion of the Postgraduate Diploma in Law and the Legal Practice Course at the College of Law, York and a training contract with Ward Hadaway in Newcastle. Kirsty moved to DAC Beachcroft’s Leeds office in June 2007 as a solicitor specialising in employment law before being promoted to Associate in 2011. She transferred to the Manchester office shortly after, to concentrate on the development of the North West NHS practice. Kirsty became a salaried partner in 2015 with the day to day management and leadership of the North West NHS practice and joint responsibility for the wider employment team across the three northern offices. Kirsty joined Law By Design as a Director in 2017.
Kirsty has significant experience of advising and representing NHS organisations and other public and private sector bodies in respect of a wide range of employment law services including discrimination, dismissals, grievances, terms and conditions, policies, TUPE and complex re-organisations. She also regularly provides legal and sector specific training.
Kirsty has developed a particular niche in advising NHS Trusts in connection with the employment of doctors including the appointment of consultants, disputes about job planning and revalidation. She has also advised a number of NHS Trusts who have had conduct or clinical concerns about doctors under the Department of Health framework, Maintaining High Professional Standards in the Modern NHS including the associated challenges faced by NHS employers with such processes.
Kirsty regularly defends employers in respect of claims in the Employment Tribunal, Employment Appeal Tribunal and High Court. Her successes include a precedent case under the Part Time Workers Regulations, a test case in the Court of Appeal for indirect sex discrimination and a number of successful defences in the High Court following actions brought by doctors for injunctions and judicial review.
Kirsty is recognised by both Legal 500 2016 and Chambers and Partners 2017 for her practice in the North West. She is praised by clients for her “enormous energy, organisational skill and tactical awareness."
Outside of work, Kirsty enjoys walking in the Lake District, spa breaks and spending time with friends and family.
- Saira AliDirectorSaira AliDirector
P.A: Lee Ginty
Saira qualified BA Economics (hons) in 1996 from Manchester University. She initially worked in the private sector as a recruitment consultant where she worked extensively with HR professionals and developed an interest in pursuing a career as an employment lawyer. Saira qualified as a solicitor in 2006 (after spending a year in the employment team during her training contract) and has specialised in employment law ever since. Saira joined Hill Dickinson LLP in 2006, before leaving to join Law By Design in 2013.
Saira provides operational and strategic employment law and HR advice to a broad range of clients in the public and private sector on the full spectrum of employment law issues, including general staff management issues, business restructuring and reorganisation, protecting clients’ businesses and negotiating executives’ exit packages. She provides practical solutions to employee relations issues and helps employers manage risk. Saira is an experienced litigator in both employment tribunals and the civil courts with an impressive track record. As well as litigation, Saira particularly enjoys grappling strategic issues her clients are facing and finding them practical, commercial solutions. Saira establishes strong relationships with her clients, as proven by the longstanding relationships she has with them and that she is their first port of call if an issue arises, even if it is not technically a legal matter.
Saira is an experienced case investigator and has wide-ranging experience in contentious cases in both the public and private sector. She has led on multi-faceted investigations on disciplinary and grievance matters and whistleblowing cases. When she is not leading on investigations, Saira supports Investigations by Design by quality assuring the investigation reports from a legal perspective and providing relevant guidance to the team.
Saira leads on our legal and practical training provision to HR and managers and consistently receives excellent feedback.
Saira is recognised in the Legal 500 for the North West, in which she is described as "consistently excellent" (2019).
Outside of work, Saira’s new favourite way to spend her time is spoiling her baby nieces. However, travelling, spending time with family and friends and walking weekends remain strong contenders.
Saira Ali has been providing me with legal advice and support on an on-going basis. I have found Saira Ali specifically, and Law by Design generally, always utilising a can-do approach to my challenges, whilst pro-actively highlighting legal risk where appropriate. I found her sense of urgency refreshing as I can take difficult decisions, being fully informed.
Hein Scheffer – Director of Workforce, Herts Valleys, Bedfordshire & Luton CCG’s
We have been a client of Saira’s for several years and have always found her to be capable and knowledgeable with a real understanding of our business needs. Her ability to grasp our issues and guide us through the legislation with practical and relevant advice has been invaluable.
Sue Bairstow – Managing Director, Hydro Aluminium
- Rob CowardConsultantRob CowardConsultant
PA: Lee Ginty
Rob studied law at Leicester University graduating in 1982 (LLB) and again in 1992 (Masters in Employment Law and Industrial Relations). He qualified in 1985, initially undertaking a broad range of work which Rob believes helps him to bring a broader overview to legal issues.
Rob began specialising in employment law during the early 90s and has fully specialised in Employment Law and Industrial Relations for in excess of 20 years.
Rob was, prior to joining Law By Design, a Salaried Partner in DWF and an Equity Partner in Bullivant Jones and Hill Dickinson.
Rob is ranked as “recommended” in the Legal 500 2016/17 as a lawyer who “inspires confidence”.
He joined Law By Design in November 2014.
Rob has a particular passion for TUPE and Industrial Relations but has vast experience in running and advocating hundreds of Employment Tribunal claims throughout the United Kingdom.
Case highlights include:
- Law Society -v- Ministry of Justice (High Court); whether the transfer of the Law Society’s regulatory function to an independent organisation was a relevant transfer under TUPE.
- Jackson Lloyd and Mears Group Limited -v- Smith (Employment Tribunal); the applicability of TUPE upon the transfer of shares and company integration.
- Aparau -v- Iceland Frozen Foods (Court of Appeal); the implication of terms into a contract of employment.
- Wincanton –v- Stone (EAT); use of previous warnings in dismissals.
- Kiwksave Stores –v- Greaves (Court of Appeal); employees exercise of the right to return to work after maternity leave.
Outside of work Rob loves sport having played Rugby to a high level and was also a National Judo Champion. He is also a Trustee of Hoby UK, a Charity that helps young people fulfil their potential, a Director of Liverpool FC Foundation College, and a part owner of a brewery and a race horse.
Meet the Team
- Anita WainwrightDirectorAnita WainwrightDirector
Anita is a highly experienced HR and OD professional with over 40 years’ experience in Human Resource management and Organisational Development.
Anita began her career in the Nuclear Industry working for British Nuclear Fuels who also sponsored through her degree in Sociology and Psychology at Liverpool University.
Anita has worked in both the private and public sectors and has experience in Financial Services, Gas and Oil, the Fire Service, the NHS and in a large NDPB. Most recently Anita was the HRD at the recently merged Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust which employs approximately 20,000 staff. Prior to that she worked within an NHS trust providing the Board of Directors with support to move out of Special Measures.
Anita has worked in large complex and highly unionised environments and has a wealth of experience across the full range of HR/OD services. Of note Anita has experience of Developing and delivering HR/OD Strategies, building strong customer focussed HR functions, developing strong relationships with Representative bodies, negotiation, Improving recruitment and selection approaches and change management.
Anita is also a Non-Executive Director in a local NHS Foundation Trust which brings a different and valuable perspective to her approach.
Anita was appointed in January 2018 as Director of HR Solutions by Design and in April this year she will also be heading up our Investigations by Design company.
Anita is a chartered member of the CIPD and is a trained Coach, qualified in Psychometric testing and a variety of 360-degree feedback tools.
Outside of work Anita enjoys walking, travelling, reading and spending time with her family and friends.
- Danielle OliverQuality and Performance ManagerDanielle OliverQuality and Performance Manager
Danielle joined the IBD team as a Quality Assurance Manager and Senior Investigator in July 2017 after making a sideways move from Law by Design following her maternity leave. Danielle wanted to come back to work part time to spend more time with her little boy and her extensive employment law experience was just what was needed in the investigations team.
Danielle is now a non-practising solicitor who quality assures the investigations process from start to finish. This enables the IBD team to ensure that the work undertaken would withstand Employment Tribunal scrutiny and that the investigations are legally sound. As a practising solicitor, Danielle was proud to have never lost a tribunal claim or defence and had extensive experience in advising employers in relation to a wide range of employment law issues, with a particular interest in discrimination matters.
Danielle is a keen baker and enjoys travelling and live music.
- James TaylorPrincipal InvestigatorJames TaylorPrincipal Investigator
PA: Colette Porteous
James graduated in 2001 with a law degree and then worked in the private sector with a brief stint in politics. He later completed the Legal Practice Course where he developed an interest in employment law. In 2016 James completed a Masters of Laws in employment law at the University of Leicester.
Prior to joining Investigations By Design James was employed for six years as a specialist employment law adviser/caseworker for Citizens Advice where he was responsible for delivering advice and representation in contentious employment law matters. James has also worked under the Legal Services Commission’s Legal Help Scheme where he gained extensive experience running complex tribunal cases, acting in settlement negotiations and representing claimants at tribunal hearings. James prides himself in his attention to detail and pragmatic approach to employment disputes.
James has also provided training on a wide range of employment areas to a number of local and national organisations. He has a particular interest in whistleblowing, social media dismissals and discrimination matters. James is a member of the Industrial Law Society and Discrimination Law Association.
Outside work James enjoys skiing, squash and running. James also likes to cook (with varying degrees of success), though his wife was not available for comment on his culinary skills.
- Nick GrimshawConsultantNick GrimshawConsultant
PA: Colette Porteous
Nick is a highly experienced HR and OD professional with nearly thirty years’ experience working in the field of people management.
After graduating in English and History, much of Nick’s career was spent working in the NHS where his work on staff engagement and partnership working in particular, attained national recognition. He is also a former winner of the prestigious NHS North West, HR Director of the year award.
In May 2014 Nick was appointed as Director of HR Services with our associated company, Law by Design where he helped to establish a successful employment law business. In April 2015, having left LBD, Nick was appointed as Director of both HRSBD and Investigations by Design (IBD). He now works across both companies, leading our teams and assisting our clients in all sectors of employment including the public, private and charitable sectors.
Nick’s recent work includes assisting businesses with the impact of organisational restructuring and, undertaking sensitive and/or complex case investigations.
Nick is a chartered member of the CIPD. He is a trained workplace mediator, Myers Briggs Type facilitator and NCAS trained case investigator. Nick is passionate about helping organisations achieve excellence in all their people management activities and in thus helping them to deliver great places to work for the benefit of everyone.
Outside of work, Nick enjoys running, walking, cycling, literature, history, gardening and all things railways.
We were greatly impressed by the skill with which Nick clarified all of the issues to be investigated and with the extremely thorough and complete manner in which each issue was then explored and set out in the resulting report, with clear findings and recommendations based on the evidence gleaned by Nick throughout the course of the investigation. We also received excellent feedback from staff on the way that Nick and his IBD colleagues had interfaced with all colleagues involved in the matter under investigation.
Nick produced a comprehensive, highly helpful report on time and his findings were accepted in their entirety by our case manager. I would not hesitate to use IBD’s services again or to recommend them to any colleague considering using the services of an independent case investigator.
- Mumina KhatunGraduate Trainee Case InvestigatorMumina KhatunGraduate Trainee Case Investigator
Mumina graduated in 2017 with a 2:1 in BSc Geography from the University of Manchester. Upon the completion of her degree, Mumina joined the Investigation team in September 2017 as a Graduate Trainee Case Investigator. At university, Mumina was awarded the Peter Baron Scholarship which was funded by Google Executive Peter Baron whom she was able to meet at the Google HQ offices in London. Mumina was also an upReach Associate which allowed her to have work experience in Morgan Stanley, Unilever, Deloitte, KPMG and Bank of America Merrill Lynch.
Prior to joining Investigations By Design, Mumina has worked in retail, customer services and tuition throughout university. Mumina remains to be a tutor with a tuition centre in South Manchester, tutoring children aged between 6-16 in Maths and English.
Mumina is new to the role and new to working life, and looks forward to pursuing a career in HR investigations. Outside of work Mumina enjoys outdoor activities, going to the gym and socialising with friends and family.
- Donna MamigonianPADonna MamigonianPA
Donna has over 16 years’ experience within the legal industry both as a PA and an Office Manager primarily within the areas of sports and commercial.
Prior to joining Law by Design Donna held an Office Manager role within a niche sports law firm which encompassed secretarial, personnel, accounts, health and safety compliance and facilities functions.
Within Law by Design Donna is a PA to fee earners and is also responsible for accounts assistance and secretarial / administration cover.
Donna is a keen Manchester United supporter and she really dislikes people who don’t indicate when turning. An interesting fact about Donna is that Simon le Bon once picked her up off the floor when she fell down the stairs.
- Helen AbbottPAHelen AbbottPA
Helen is an experienced legal secretary having worked for 10 years within insolvency and restructuring at a large multi-national law firm and over 5 years’ experience within employment at a national law firm before joining Law By Design.
Prior to working in the legal sector, Helen has held secretarial roles within sectors of management consultancy and of FMCG .
Within Law by Design Helen is a PA to the Managing Director and fee earners and is responsible for administration and secretarial cover.
Helen loves cream eggs and her annual trips to Turkey and she strongly dislikes being late.
- Lee GintyPALee GintyPA
Lee has worked as a legal secretary for over 10 years in a large international legal firm within Manchester City Centre, both in the Marine & Transit Industry and Employment Law Sector.
Lee previously worked for a large Insurance Company within the Marine & Transit Industry as a secretary/PA for over 8 years, dealing with all aspects of secretarial/administration work and liaising with clients and colleagues on a daily basis.
Within Law by Design, Lee is a PA to fee earners and is responsible for administration and secretarial cover.
Outside of work Lee enjoys 10 Pin Bowling and driving and, just like Helen, he hates being late!
- Colette PorteousPAColette PorteousPA
Originally from the North East, Colette has significant experience providing administrative and secretarial support in the legal industry.
Colette joined Investigations by Design as PA to the team in November 2016, having previously worked as a secretary/PA for 27 years for a law firm covering various aspects of law, but primarily working within the personal injury and employment liability departments. Colette's main love in her role is organisation and keeping the team in check!
Outside of work Colette enjoys holidays, seeing her family, visiting her parents who live in France, socialising as much as possible, eating out, red wine and going to the gym (occasionally!)
Colette dislikes – bad manners, bad drivers and bad everything.
- Kerry CoxonOrganisational Development and Change ProfessionalKerry CoxonOrganisational Development and Change Professional
As an Organisational Development and change professional, Kerry is dedicated to delivering sustainable transformation through the use of rigorous diagnostics and planning. She is passionate about the engagement of stakeholders in developing solutions and is driven by supporting people and organisations to realise their potential.
With a background in both the public and private sectors, Kerry has held senior level roles in Human Resources and Organisational Development and since 2014 has worked with multiple clients on an interim or consultancy basis. Recent clients include the Police Service, the NHS, Logistics companies, City Councils and an Offshore Renewable Energy organisation.
Her areas of expertise lie in Organisational Design, developing & delivering integrated people strategies, designing and integrating end to end people processes, leading change & transformation programmes, developing people capability, culture & behavioural change and senior level coaching.
Particular areas of strength include: strategic planning, programme management, internal consultancy, engaging & influencing individuals and teams, providing strong and inclusive leadership and delivering customer and commercially focused results.
Kerry has a Diploma in Coaching and Mentoring, is an NLP Master Practitioner and Certified Professional Behavioural Analyst.
- Sue Coyne PCCLeadership & Team CoachSue Coyne PCCLeadership & Team Coach
Sue began her career in sales and marketing with 3M. She moved into market research and was a Board Director of Business & Market Research for 20 years. When the business was sold in 2002, Sue embarked on her second career as an Executive and Team Coach.
On 1st September 2016 Sue published her book Stop Doing Start Leading, How to Shift From Doing The Work Yourself to Becoming a Great Leader bringing together her years of leadership experience, coaching leaders, the latest leadership thinking and neuroscience. She has also created an on-line leadership programme, The Effective Leadership Launcher.
Sue is passionate about supporting leaders to realise their potential and in so doing to unleash the potential of their people, creating sustainable high performance for their organisations.
Finding the solutions to your leadership challenges starts with identifying the outcomes you want and then agreeing on the most appropriate combination of services to meet your needs from: -
On-line courses and webinars, leadership coaching for individuals and teams, Mastermind Groups and group workshops
Client Roles: CEO, MD, President, VP, CFO. COO, Partners, Directors, Senior Managers, Senior Sales People, Senior Leadership Teams, Boards, Experts transitioning to leaders
Coaching Qualifications and Accreditations
- February 2005 Distinction in Diploma in Professional Coaching, Coaching Academy
- February 2008 Merit in Diploma in Advanced Executive Coaching with the AoEC
- Gestalt Coaching Certificate 2009
- Accredited in DISC, Emergenetics, CTT Values Assessments, BarOn EQi , Motivational Maps, 360 degree feedback
- 2011 Diploma in Systemic Team Coaching, AoEC
- 2013 Accredited by ICF as Professionally Certified Coach (PCC)
- Member of the ICF and adhere to their Code of Conduct
What My Clients Say
“Sue combines an understanding of the pressures involved in senior leadership with a style that is engaging, insightful and affirmative. Sue has excellent multi-level listening skills. She pushes you with her questions in an unobtrusive way. I am now more aware of my strengths and my impact on those around me and my organisation, I have a language and conceptual frameworks to support my own learning and I know how to consciously manage my energy levels so that they are sustainable.”
Janet Soo Chung, CEO, NHS Lancashire
“The Commercial benefits are many – better customer service to our internal customers, higher productivity and preparedness to move to more efficient ways of working. What’s more we are seen as a role model for the rest of the organisation and our Employee Engagement score has improved from 71% to 80% due in no small part to the team coaching.”
Group HR Director Airport Group.
“Trusted Adviser to individuals, leadership teams and organisations - Sue has played an instrumental part in the development of various individuals, the leadership team and the culture of the organisation. Sue’s style is based on trust and building self-awareness and is impactful and very real. She supported the leadership team in their journey to becoming a strong team, rather than a team of strong individuals.”
Eric Streets, VP Global HR, DSM Dyneema, Netherlands
- Claire BradshawCoaching, Consultancy and DevelopmentClaire BradshawCoaching, Consultancy and Development
Claire is passionate about making a lasting difference for individuals, communities and organisations and has almost 20 years’ experience as a manager, an organisational development specialist and executive coach. Claire has a natural, facilitative approach rooted in a drive to enable others to reach their potential. She particularly enjoys delivering team development workshops and training groups in resilience and change, communication and coaching skills and leadership development for new and developing leaders. Her recent clients include NHS organisations, North West universities, the Greater Manchester Council for Voluntary Organisations, The Frontline social work programme and a number of private sector clients including architects and solicitors.
Claire has an Advanced Certificate in Executive Coaching and Mentoring from the Bristol Business School at the University of Western England and an ILM Level 7 in Executive Coaching and Mentoring. She is an MBTI practitioner and a Belbin facilitator and has a teaching qualification from City and Guilds. Ethical practice is at the core of Claire’s work and she is a member of the European Coaching and Mentoring Council (EMCC).
Claire lives in the High Peak of Derbyshire and is a lover of the outdoors, singing and travelling in her campervan with her young family.