Meet the Team
- Sue MorrisonManaging DirectorSue MorrisonManaging Director
PA: Donna Mamigonian
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”
- 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 regularly recognised by independent directories, Legal 500 and Chambers and Partners for her practice in the North West.
Outside of work, Kirsty enjoys walking in the Lake District, spa breaks and spending time with her partner and two year old son.
- 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 is a Trustee at the Pankhurst Trust (incorporating Manchester Women's Aid).
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.
- Lauren BroderickSolicitorLauren BroderickSolicitor
Lauren graduated from Salford University in 2011 with LLB Honors. She then went on to complete the Legal Practice Course at BPP Manchester. Following successful completion of a training contract at Slater and Gordon Lawyers Lauren qualified as a solicitor in August 2018 specialising in Employment Law.
Lauren joined Law by Design in June 2020.
Lauren has experience in a variety of Employment Law areas including whistleblowing, discrimination, and unfair dismissal.
Lauren has regularly advised clients on both contentious and non-contentions matters including representing clients throughout the Tribunal process, grievance/disciplinary procedures and settlement agreements.
- Kathryn WilsonSolicitorKathryn WilsonSolicitor
Kathryn studied Law at Lancaster University and graduated in 2016 with LLB Honors. She then went on to complete the Legal Practice Course part-time at BPP University Manchester whilst working as a paralegal. Following successful completion of the LPC and a training contract at MLP Law, Kathryn qualified as a solicitor specialising in employment law in March 2020.
Kathryn joined Law by Design in September 2020.
Kathryn has experience advising public and private sector employers in a wide range of industries on both contentious and non-contentious employment law issues. This includes disciplinary and grievance matters; capability and conduct dismissals; long term ill health absences; redundancies; trade union disputes and company reorganisations. In addition, Kathryn also has experience advising clients throughout the Tribunal process and negotiating and drafting employment contracts, settlement agreements and HR policy documentation.
On a personal note, Kathryn adopts a pragmatic approach when dealing with clients and prides herself on providing excellent client care.
Outside of work Kathryn enjoys playing netball and is a passionate rugby league fan. Kathryn also enjoys spending time with family, cocktail nights with the girls and discovering new music.
- Emma HoughSolicitor
Emma graduated from Lancaster University in 2013 with LLB Honors and completed the Legal Practice Course in 2015 whilst working as a paralegal. After completing her training contract at Royds Withy King LLP, Emma qualified as a solicitor specialising in employment law in March 2020.
Emma joined Law by Design in November 2020.
Emma has experience in supporting clients with contentious and non-contentious matters including tribunal dismissal claims, settlement agreements, redundancy, ill health, conduct, grievance and disciplinary matters. Emma also has experience in drafting HR policies and employment contracts for a variety of SMEs.
Outside of work Emma enjoys cycling and spending time with her family and friends. She is passionate about wildlife conservation and after completing two international projects, she is looking forward to planning her next adventure.
- Ben GreeneSolicitor
Ben studied law at the University of York and graduated in 2015 with LLB honours. He then went on to complete an LLM LPC at the University of Law in London, graduating in 2016 with distinction.
Ben joined an international US-based law firm in June 2016 where he assisted on aviation finance, corporate and employment matters. Prior to starting his training contract in August 2019, Ben also volunteered for two legal aid charities where he assisted victims of trafficking with employment, compensation, housing and immigration issues, as well as advised prisoners on matters of prison law including release, home detention, curfew, adjudication, property claims, transfers and discrimination.
During his training contract at K&L Gates, Ben gained experience in a wide variety of practice areas, including banking, finance, employment, commercial, retail, litigation and arbitration matters. He also spent 6 months in-house with Amazon’s UK legal services team on secondment.
Ben joined Law By Design as a Solicitor in September 2021.
Ben has experience working on both contentious and non-contentious employment law matters. His contentious work has included advising on unfair dismissal, discrimination, settlement agreements and enforcement of restrictive covenants . His non-contentious experience includes advising on company mergers, TUPE, service agreements, worker status and health and safety issues (including advice on COVID-19 related issues and safe return to the workplace).
- Ian RadfordHead of ADR / MediationIan RadfordHead of ADR / Mediation
Ian’s origins are in the North West of England, but he has practised law at the highest levels in many different corners of the world. He has worked in private practice and as In-house Counsel, both prosecuting and defending high-value claims for over thirty years. He has spent many years living in, and operating from overseas jurisdictions, including Australia, Hong Kong, Oman, and Abu Dhabi.
After graduating in Law from Cambridge University, and acquiring some experience of the ‘real world’ in industry and in the hospitality business, Ian started his legal career at a prominent employment law and trades union practice in Gray’s Inn, London, where he worked on labour law aspects of some of the most politicised disputes of the day, including the banning of unions at GCHQ and the opening-up of the telecoms market through Mercury Communications.
He widened his skills base by joining a newly-formed niche litigation practice (which subsequently became part of the global law firm DLA), working primarily on music industry disputes involving household names such as Status Quo and Richard Branson, before moving to Australia as a mid-ranked associate. He worked there in commercial litigation and, later, construction law with the two largest and best-respected Queensland practices, who subsequently amalgamated with the national and international practices of Allens and Clayton Utz respectively.
On returning to the UK in the 1990s, Ian joined the leading UK construction law practice, Masons (subsequently Pinsent Masons), where he was made a partner at the age of 32. He worked in their Manchester, Hong Kong, and London offices over a period of 16 years. Among other roles he became the Managing Partner of their Hong Kong office (having been admitted as a solicitor there shortly after the 1997 handover), and was later appointed head of their London-based International and Energy Practice.
In search of new challenges, Ian then moved to Nabarro LLP (now part of CMS), and worked with them as a Partner for several years, primarily on PFI and PPP Projects, before going ‘in house’ to the American engineering behemoth Bechtel. He became their only Middle-East based Counsel, living in Abu Dhabi and travelling extensively throughout the region. He managed large-scale litigation with teams from world-recognised international arbitration practices, primarily addressing high-value disputes in the utilities, tourism, and transport infrastructure sectors.
In recent years Ian has worked on a consultancy basis, both as a sole practitioner and with specialist overseas legal practices, specialising in arbitration and alternative dispute resolution. He has become an accredited mediator, and continues to work in dispute resolution for some of the largest infrastructure companies in the world.
His outside interests include playing the piano (badly), nature conservation, gardening, and the great outdoors.
Meet the Team
- Anita WainwrightConsultantAnita WainwrightConsultant
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 GrimshawHeads of InvestigationsNick GrimshawHeads of Investigations
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.
- Laura QuigleyPrincipal Investigator
Laura joined the IBD team in October 2020 as a Lead Investigator. She previously worked as a solicitor specialising in employment law for nearly 10 years, advising on employee relations issues and dealing with Employment Tribunal claims. This experience has given her a thorough understanding of the legal framework for workplace investigations, and a skill set used to the forensic analysis of information and witness interviews needed to provide a comprehensive report. Laura primarily acted for organisations in the healthcare sector in her solicitor role, giving her great insight for investigations for NHS organisations for IBD.
Laura is also an Associate member of the CIPD and so brings a HR perspective to the team as well as her legal background.
Outside of work Laura’s time is mainly spent running around after her two young children, or running on the streets as exercise to have a break from them! She is also a proud ambassador for the charity Prevent Breast Cancer.
- Donna MamigonianOffice ManagerDonna MamigonianOffice Manager
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 the Office Manager and PA to fee earners. Donna 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.
- 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.
- Paul MamigonianAdministrator