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Joseph Shelston


Joseph Shelston - Employment law

Joseph is a Partner in our employment, pensions and immigration team.

A highly experienced employment lawyer, Joseph specialises in discrimination, TUPE, industrial relations, HR, employment tribunals, business transfers, reorganisations, severance negotiations and settlement agreements and on behalf of companies and individuals.

Joseph supports his clients on all contentious and non-contentious issues arising in the workplace and was noted in The Legal 500 as demonstrating “notable expertise in TUPE, collective bargaining and advising clients on post-Covid working environments”.

Having practised for over 20 years, Joseph has negotiated directly with trade unions, advised on trade union recognition and disputes and collective consultation rights and obligations during workplace closures and reorganisations.

He supports national and global clients as well as senior executives with a particular focus on complex and high-value employment matters. Joseph is experienced across a range of industries, from maritime to leisure and hospitality. A member of our retail sector group, he served as an in-house employment law adviser for a leading national online retailer and has a sound understanding of commercial and wider issues faced by the sector. Joseph also provides international businesses with guidance on the specific implications of UK legislation on their people operations.

He assists some of the firm’s most dynamic clients with their strategic approach to people issues including Cammell Laird Shiprepairers and Shipbuilders, J. D. Wetherspoon Plc, and Very Group.

From people teams to the executive board, Joseph supports clients at all levels and regularly spends time at client premises working with legal and non-legal colleagues. He believes that experiencing a client’s working environment and culture is essential to effectively assess and advise on strategic employment issues.

Clients value Joseph’s down-to-earth and efficient approach along with the clarity of his legal advice, which he provides in layman's terms. He listens to his clients to understand their needs and builds strong relationships to draw upon their history. Joseph is classed as a ‘Recommended Lawyer’ by The Legal 500 which notes that he "always goes the extra mile for his clients". Chambers also notes that "he is very commercially focussed and tough in negotiations". 

Joseph appreciates that engaging with the issues that are critical to prospective employees and understanding their changing requirements is often key to talent retention. A member of our sustainability group, he actively develops green initiatives within the firm as well as in his spare time. Joseph also engages with clients on how to achieve their own sustainability goals. Joseph is a member of the Employment Lawyers Association (ELA) and regularly presents seminars and workshops on discrimination law, most recently focused on issues around neurodiversity. 

Joseph joined us in 2001 and is based in our Liverpool office.

The Very Group

The Very Group has undergone a complex transition from a catalogue business to the UK’s largest integrated pure play digital and financial services retailer. We have supported our client with the delivery of their ambitious change programme with innovation at its heart.