Employment & Sport
Charlotte is a Director in our Employment & Immigration Group. She also leads the Walker Morris Employment-Sport practice and works closely with several Premier League and English Football League clubs. Charlotte advises on all aspects of employment law and has close relationships with clients in the food, drink and manufacturing sectors.
Known for her clear and commercially focused advice, Charlotte describes herself as “passionate about people” and always strives to achieve the best possible results for her clients when it comes to their workforces. Charlotte typically works with clients to assist them in managing their workforce (such as advising in respect of disciplinaries, grievances and absence management), guide them through business changes (for example, redundancies, restructures, and changes to employment terms), capture new opportunities (including sponsoring overseas nationals and embracing new ways of working) and find solutions when things don’t go to plan (advising on complex employee exits and conducting employment tribunal litigation).
Alongside her work with football clubs, manufacturers and the food and drink industry, Charlotte has a particular interest in companies who are investing in smart technology and focusing on sustainability as a core value, including plant-based SMEs.
Charlotte enjoys getting to know her clients’ businesses (stadium and factory visits are always a highlight) and finds that the more she knows about her clients, the better she can tailor her advice to their values and approach to employee relations. She says, “I develop an in-depth understanding of the business and my client’s preferred approach to employee relations. This enables me to provide pragmatic, easy-to-use advice, which balances commercial and legal considerations and is aligned to the business’ strategies and values”.
Charlotte also has an interest in the developing world of work, including the increasing use of agile and flexible ways of working and the impact of smart technology on the workforce. “Employees are more concerned than ever before about working for a business that aligns with their values, which is why employee engagement through innovation and sustainability is now a key part of attracting and retaining talent”.
Charlotte is part of the Walker Morris’ manufacturing sector group, which has created a dedicated Factory of the Future microsite as a hub for businesses thinking about investing in new technology or smart facilities. She also participates in the Yorkshire Climate Action Coalition, sitting on its ‘Employee Engagement’ sub-group, which works with businesses to help them achieve their climate and sustainability goals.
Employers have had a huge amount to deal with in recent years, not least due to Brexit and the pandemic, but Charlotte believes that where there are challenges, there are also opportunities – and both employers and employees can benefit from a more innovative and flexible world of work. To navigate significant and novel challenges in the workforce like we have seen over recent years, clients know they can use Charlotte as a sounding board – “my clients know they can pick up the phone to me whenever they want someone to sense-check their thinking”.
This proactive, commercial and practical approach fits well with life at Walker Morris; as Charlotte points out, “as an independent law firm we can be flexible and find new ways to service our clients and we have a great network of cross-departmental sector groups who work together on a day-to-day basis”.
“I love my role and am really passionate about what I do. I love a challenge and will always find a solution that works for the client.”
“We work closely with Charlotte Smith, who is our key contact within the business, we appreciate the understanding she has built up of our business, she is very responsive, practical and easy to deal with, her advice balances our commercial and legal requirements. We very much appreciate her advice and guidance across a variety of different matters. She is highly proactive and has connected us with various other colleagues as required to support us in different areas.”