Human Resources & Recruitment

The human resource and recruitment sectors have enjoyed rapid growth in recent years and, with business confidence having returned to the market, this growth seems set to continue in the short term at least. However, despite increasing growth, increased legislation and competition in the market place are putting greater pressure and demands on recruiters. This increased pressure has seen a rapid rise in corporate activity in the sector, with mergers, acquisitions, MBOs, and restructurings becoming more frequent.

Teacher Stern’s Human Resources & Recruitment team comprises of lawyers from a number of different practice areas who work together seamlessly to provide an integrated and full service to our recruitment clients. Our Corporate team advises HR and recruitment clients through the full life cycle of their business including incorporation, raising finance, restructuring, establishing share and other incentive schemes, making strategic acquisitions and selling agencies or businesses.

When it comes to intellectual property, data protection, privacy, agency agreements, introducer agreements, IT support, service agreements, confidentiality agreement and standard terms and conditions, Teacher Stern’s experienced Commercial team will be on hand to provide not just legal advice, but also commercial advice based on their knowledge of the human resources & recruitment sectors.

Like most businesses, HR and recruitment businesses also require tax and banking advice – whether in relation to restructurings, raising finance or the establishment of new business units or agencies. Our Banking & Finance and Tax teams will be able to guide you through these processes pointing out the advantages and disadvantages of the options available and formulating new options appropriate to your individual situation.

Our Employment team regularly advises recruitment businesses on a range of contentious and non-contentious employment issues.  The team has particular expertise advising on recruiting employees (and teams of employees) bound by restrictive covenants, as well as advising employees themselves.  We are also experienced in advising employers facing the departure of employees to competitors including issuing proceedings to seek rapid injunctive relief in the face of a sudden defection.  As well as recruitment strategy, we also regularly advise employers and employees negotiating employment contracts and bonus schemes.  The Employment team is supported by members of our Immigration team who advise HR and recruitment firms on securing foreign workers and employees.

Teacher Stern has a wealth of knowledge across the human resources and recruitment sectors. Whether you’re looking to set up, buy, grow or sell a recruitment business, our human resources and recruitment team can provide you with a cost effective and first class industry focussed solution.

Our clients include recruitment agencies of all types and sizes ranging from small independent agencies to large, niche firms.

Representative work

Examples of our human resources & recruitment work include:

  • Advised a leading financial recruiter in relation to a number of matters ranging from the establishment of corporate structures, internal restructurings and various commercial contracts.
  • Advised on the extraction of the founding partners from a leading executive search business (including the negotiation of a release from their restrictive covenants) and the establishment of a new recruitment business.
  • Advised high net worth clients of leading head hunters (on behalf on the head hunters) on leaving current positions and moving to new positions.
  • Advised on the sale of a specialist IT recruitment company to a plc.
  • Advised two leading companies (each a subsidiary of a listed plc) on their terms of engagement with executive search companies.

Key contacts:

Photo of James Baker

James Baker

Partner Employment
Home 37 – 41 Bedford Row London WC1R 4JH United Kingdom Tel: +44 (0) 20 7611 2349


James qualified as a solicitor in 1997 and is Head of Teacher Stern’s Employment practice. He regularly advises a wide variety of clients ranging from large multi-national companies to senior executives. James has, along with Teacher Stern’s employment practice, been listed in the Legal 500 Directory where he has been described as a “real star”.

Along with the other members of the employment team, James has spent many years developing close relationships with clients and regularly advises on all aspects of employment law. These range from “day-to-day” employment issues to more stand-alone matters such as collective consultation on redundancies and high value employment tribunal and high court cases.

James has expertise and experience in dealing with restrictive covenants, employee competition and the protection of confidential information, as well as the employment aspects of business sales and staff transfers (including the regulations governing transfers of undertakings in the UK). He has particular sector experience in the financial services arena, and regularly advises regulated businesses and senior individuals on employment law issues.

The firm’s employment team is well-known and respected for its work for senior individuals in relation to the negotiation and termination of employment contracts and restrictive covenant/”team move” issues. James has successfully negotiated for his clients with employers in many different business sectors including with some of the largest financial services institutions.

Representative Experience

James has:

  • Advised a global bank in relation to lengthy disciplinary issues and regulatory investigatory proceedings involving the alleged manipulation of the financial markets.
  • Advised a listed IT services company in relation to the acquisition of its business by a rival company and a subsequent business reorganisation involving collective consultation with trades unions and elected employee representatives.
  • Advised a logistics business in relation to matters including the negotiation of services contracts with customers involving the transfer under TUPE of employees, settlement agreements with senior individuals, disciplinary and grievance matters and data protection issues.
  • Advised a private wealth management business and family office in relation to an Employment Tribunal claim from a former employee including allegations of discrimination, whistleblowing and unfair dismissal.
  • Advised a senior board member of an international bank in relation to a bonus claim and disciplinary investigation into alleged regulatory breaches.
  • Advised an investment management firm in relation to the recruitment of a team of senior employees from a rival business who were subject to restrictive covenants.
  • Advised a recruitment business in relation to the departure of a team senior employees and the removal by them of confidential information and the establishment of a competing business.

Career History

Partner, Teacher Stern

Solicitor, Macfarlanes

Solicitor, Stringer Saul

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37 – 41 Bedford Row London WC1R 4JH United Kingdom