Just Employment

Meet the Team

P1100701Rachel O’Connell

Solicitor and Director

Rachel qualified as a solicitor in 1997 and has specialised in employment law since that time. Before moving to Surrey, Rachel spent several years in the employment department at one of the larger city firms.

Rachel has acted for employers of all shapes and sizes from those with over 50,000 employees to those with only 10. She regularly advises on redundancy, all forms of dismissal, TUPE, team moves and post termination restrictions. She has an enviable record in the Employment Tribunal in defending employers in a variety of claims. Rachel is also able to provide constructive training on a range of  employment issues, including equal opportunities, bullying at work, how to manage poor performance and absences due to ill health.

Rachel also acts for individuals and has a particular interest in cases involving issues of discrimination and whistleblowing. She has acted for several women based in the City in cases involving sex discrimination often resulting in significant settlements. She has also acted for senior management (including Managing Directors and CEO’s) as well as equity partners in complex discrimination claims. Rachel has negotiated settlement packages of more than £1 million for some of her clients.

For several years Rachel worked one evening per week as a volunteer for Islington law Centre. This led Rachel to being a finalist for the YSG Pro-bono Lawyer of the Year for two consecutive years.

Rachel also conducts her own advocacy at the Employment Tribunal and is a member of the Employment Lawyers Association.

Thank you for supporting me in one of the hardest experiences I’ve had to go through. I am so grateful for your hard edged advice on my best interests … and the great skill and aplomb with which you achieved a settlement on very good terms for me… Rachel, many times during this litigation, I relayed to friends and family my admiration of how you communicated. You’re a great listener. You encouraged me to remain strong and never to give up.. the experience of working with you has inspired me. it helped me feel I was not alone in standing up for deeply held principles” Ms M.

Rachel has a fantastic manner with clients, and is extremely calm when dealing with tricky matters. She has a great ability to rapidly spot the key issues in a case and manage the process of litigation smoothly and with very good results.” Ms Suzanne McKie QC.

Email: rachel.oconnell@justemployment.com

Helen Phillips

Solicitor and Director

Helen read Law and Economics at Leicester University before achieving a Commendation on the Legal Practice Course in Guildford. She trained with Just Employment and qualified as a solicitor in January 2011.  Helen has experience in dealing with a wide range of employment law issues including discrimination, unfair dismissal and restrictive covenants. Helen is also experienced in advising employers on conducting disciplinary procedures and on the steps that need to be taken when making redundancies.

Helen is a member of the Employment Lawyers Association.

“May I take this opportunity of thanking you for your diligent assistance in this matter, helping me through a potentially stressful situation in such a professional manner. I found Helen Phillips to be extremely helpful in defending the recent tribunal case. I found her very professional and also very reassuring in what could have been a very stressful situation.” Mr R.

“A huge thank you for everything. You have been really brilliant and so amazing to work with. Thanks for all your guidance and support. We have a fantastic outcome. I will definitely recommend you.” Ms B

Email: helen.phillips@justemployment.com

Clare Mcdairmant


Clare read Law at Glasgow University, going on to complete a Masters Degree in Employment Law at Leicester University. Clare has experience in a wide range of contentious and non-contentious employment law matters, including advising on Settlement Agreements, redundancy and advising on the termination of employment. Before joining Just Employment, Clare advised employers on both employment law and commercial litigation.

“…would also like to say a huge thank you for a great service. Never used a solicitor before and you and your law firm did an outstanding job and am very pleased and would recommend you without hesitation…Many thanks again.”  Mr R.

E-mail: clare.mcdairmant@justemployment.com

Adrienne Nicholas


Adrienne has 20 years’ experience in HR, spending the majority of that time as an HR Manager for a large food retailer.  This included working across multiple sites, completing new store openings, TUPE transfers and 2 stints working at Head Office on projects.  She has also worked for the National Trust providing HR support across the 18 properties that make up the South East region, and most recently as a consultant writing new contracts and a handbook for a small employer,  advising on disciplinary process  and a redundancy (whilst studying to help fund the next stage in her career).

In 2013 Adrienne decided to pursue her long held interest in the law and change careers.   She read law at the University of Law in Guildford and then going on to achieve a commendation on the Legal Practice Course, including completing an elective in Employment Law.

Email: paralegal@justemployment.com

 Helen Guy

Accounts Manager

Helen joined our accounts department in July 2010. Graduating with a Maths & Computing degree at University, Helen has been involved in legal financial software since 1999 both on the development & user side. Initially responsible for developing legal accounts & case management software, Helen has now retrained in book keeping and payroll providing financial services to Just Employment part-time, the remainder of her time being spent trying to keep up with her young daughter.

Email: accounts@justemployment.com

 Peter Wilford

Career Coach and Career Management Specialist

Peter has a background in Human Resources and Training of over 30 years. His wide experience includes financial services in the City (Charterhouse PLC, Noble Group), oil (Texaco), telecommunications (Cable and Wireless) and construction and engineering (Biwater, Trafalgar House/Kvaerner).

Peter moved from employment to set up his own business and retrained enhancing his skills and expertise. He ran a niche consultancy providing tailored HR/Training solutions to SME’s and mid cap organisations undergoing change and has managed a portfolio career. As a Career and outplacement consultant he delivers one to one coaching and group support to the corporate and private markets. He is BPS accredited for testing and assessment and is a Fellow of the CIPD.

Peter has worked with organisations across most business sectors, private and public and at all levels from graduates and others entering the job market for the first time to those with many years experience looking to make a career move, discover new options and avenues including self employment or identify, develop and utilise their broader transferable skills, mid career.

He works with professionals at all levels from shop floor to boardroom. His clients include lawyers, surveyors, engineers, architects, sales and finance specialists, teachers, marketing, advertising, PR and media executives and those from entertainment and broadcasting and in local government and charities. He has worked with and mentored many HR and Training specialists.

Email: info@justemployment.com

Just Employment Offices


St Mary’s Chambers,
59 Quarry Street,
Guildford, Surrey

Tel: 01483 303 636


Kemp House,
152 City Road,

Tel: 0203 326 5000


Werks Central
15-17 Middle Street
Brighton, East Sussex

Tel: 01273 020 796

Wokingham, Reading

2 The Courtyard,
Denmark Street,
Wokingham, Berkshire,
RG40 2AZ

Tel: 01189 639 328