Nina Robinson   blog QandA

We’re proud of our amazing team at ESPHR and wanted to share a behind-the-scenes look into each of our colleagues. Each month, we’ll ‘introduce’ you to one of them so you can find out more about their role, what they love most about it, and why ESPHR is making such a difference in the world of employee relations…

Tell us a little bit more about what you do at ESPHR

As part of my remit as Legal Services Director for ESP Law, I oversee operational compliance in line with our key regulatory responsibilities. I also advise and recommend key actions and decisions to our MD, Peter Byrne, as well as the wider ESPHR team.

In addition, I agree budgetary requirements and ensure key business metrics are in place and constantly analysed. This allows the team to make informed decisions relating to future recruitment and resourcing needs, management of workflows and drive process efficiencies.

However, the primary focus of my role is to support our fantastic customer base with their legal advice needs. I’m an experienced solicitor, with expertise in giving highly commercial, practical and technical employment law advice.

I spend most of my day talking to customers over the phone or via e-mail, and acting as anything from a troubleshooter to an ideas and initiatives sounding board, a counsellor to a sense-checker and technical legal advice provider.

Outline your background prior to joining the team

I wanted to be a solicitor since I was at school, and my path was traditional – a law degree followed by a legal practice course and two-year training contract, before qualifying as a solicitor in 2005.

I initially practiced as a corporate solicitor – which mainly involved mergers and acquisitions – at Addleshaw Goddard in Leeds. I then followed my dream to becoming an employment solicitor with a move to Beachcroft and then Ward Hadaway, before I was lucky enough to be offered an exciting role at ESPHR.

I was heavily involved in the initial regulatory journey of establishing ESP Law as an Alternative Business Structure (ABS) law firm and have grown the legal team to what it is today.

What’s your favourite part of the job?

I’d have to say bonding with a customer over a tricky situation. When the going gets tough and they really need legal advice to be watertight, pro-active, highly accessible and focused, there’s no better time to get to know their business and feel like a valued member of a customer’s team.

What do you think ESPHR offers, that no other business in the industry does?

We focus on relationships between legal advisors and customer contacts. This helps us to understand what our customers really want, and need. We see our role as being a partner rather than an outsourced legal advice provider – which may involve formal training or gradual day-to-day efforts to upskill individuals who take advice.

We don’t hold back or give customers partial advice to keep them coming back for more either. By providing a full and clear picture, we can equip them with the skills to do without us if they want to. This builds trust and strengthens the partnership model we favour.

What’s your ‘dream’ customer, and why?

Variety is key for me, so I don’t have a dream customer as such. I like working for a wide range of personalities and skill-levels, in many different industries and sectors, which makes the challenges new and exciting on a day-to-day basis.

Describe ESPHR in one word


What is the one thing that you’d want your customers to know you for?

Commerciality wrapped around technical expertise.

What would you like to achieve over the next 12 months – at ESPHR and individually?

I’d like our profile as a top employment law firm to be recognised more widely outside the amazing customer base we already service.

You’re in an industry that never stops. What’s in store for ER over the next 12 months?

Hopefully some progress on employment status uncertainty, and developments connected to Brexit.

Outside of work, what do you like doing?

I have an eight-year old daughter, a son who is six, and a Hungarian Vizsla, aged two. Between them, they do a great job of keeping me active!

I live for holidays – UK or abroad – exploring, relaxing and eating really good food. I’m one of those people who likes to get my next holiday booked as soon as I get back from the last so that I always have something to look forward to.


We are the HR and employment law experts from esphr.

It’s our mission to advise and develop the employment law capability of HR professionals wherever we can, helping HR teams make a real commercial difference to their organisations. That way, you spend less time solving operational issues and more time actioning projects that drive far-reaching change in your company.

Call 0333 006 2929 or email today to discover exactly how we can help you.


Author: Nina Robinson

Director, ESP Law Ltd

Nina is an accomplished employment solicitor with over 10 years’ post-qualified experience at leading UK law firms. Nina initially qualified as a corporate solicitor at Addleshaw Goddard and since 2006 practised employment law exclusively, providing advice to employer customers at both DAC Beachcroft and Ward Hadaway Solicitors. Nina has experience of advising a varied portfolio of employer customers, including retail and restaurant groups, financial services and media industry customers on all employment issues.