As far as we are concerned ESP are definitely our Employment Law Firm of the Year. Although we have not worked with ESP for that long, I feel that the quality of their advice and support and the model that they operate has significantly changed our relationship towards the legal profession.

Sometimes, involving a lawyer is regarded with apprehension, sometimes with unfriendliness and often with a sense being the port of last resort, but our experience is that ESP doesn’t fit that model and they have definitely become our first port of call.

We enjoy our interactions with them and appreciate the in-depth expertise they provide. The confidence that has developed as a result really adds value to the support that we can bring to problem resolution in the work place.

Hugh Stewart, Group Head of Human Resources, Hydrock Group Ltd

We were using some pretty expensive city lawyers before — but we wanted to get one consistent supplier, whilst being conscious of the cost. We chose ESP after careful consideration of all our options. There is a real in-house feel to the relationship, in that they know our business and the issues we face.

The wider HR team can avoid the cautious approach you can naturally adopt when costs are on the clock every time you pick up the phone to a lawyer which can, in turn, lead to the ER team not making certain calls solely down to cost implications. The ESP model means they can sense check cases daily and are less inclined to take a risk when specialist advice is readily accessible. I think the sense checking or sounding board part of the ESP model is very valuable.

Dominique Ogilvie, HRD, Corporate HR Operations, Ladbrokes Coral Group

The advice we used to receive was rarely commercial. Previously, we spent a lot of time, effort and budget on dealing with ER issues; now we don’t because we’re with ESP. They are able to give us super commercial advice which ensures positive results that are felt across the business.

It has transformed the HR function and this has made an impact on the business. We are able to capitalise on the time saved to do the projects we knew would make a difference. The wider business is already recognising this.

There is another happy by-product of our relationship with ESP. Speaking to our own dedicated employment lawyers is good exposure and experience for the HR team; it has been excellent for their professional training and development.

Yolanda Wijesinghe, HR Director UK & Ireland, PVH

We save considerable time by not having to create things from scratch anymore and ESP helps us to make the best use of the limited resources we do have. With a background in international HR, my time is now better spent putting my focus there than on managing day-to-day operational issues. 

What’s more, it’s great to have a quick sounding board. With ESP, we can think about something and put it into action very quickly. Recently, for example, we were able to pull a template from the ESP portal as soon as we had an issue, adapt it to what we needed and speak to a lawyer. ESP is our guide and operational ‘helping hand’; the process is really simple and straightforward and without any bureaucracy — whilst still being professional and legally-compliant, which fits with our organisation’s culture and values.

Lynda Brennan, HR Manager, Lumos Foundation

Other options we looked at simply didn’t offer the flexibility, and external legal advice at the end of the phone line, when we needed it. Having a dedicated legal advisory team who I can speak to on a regular basis allows them to build up knowledge about our organisation and understand what I’m looking for from their advice.

I have a good relationship with our dedicated lawyers who know and understand our business. Unlike some lawyers, they’re able to provide me with solutions rather than just telling me what the law is. Because the service and response from ESP is so prompt, if an employment-related situation arises, it is dealt with very quickly.

Wendy Rushton, HR Business Partner, PACEY

With other suppliers, the available documentation in many cases seemed like regurgitated letters and there wasn’t an option to be able to speak to a specialist employment lawyer who understood your business.

What I like about ESP is their combination of high quality documentation and policies made available to us through the website, alongside the instant access to specialist legal advice. Best of all is having our own dedicated lawyer we can speak to whenever we need. The advice they give is simple to understand and tailored to our business and its specific challenges.

Although we still use a traditional law firm on certain specialist employment law matters, working with ESP gives me peace of mind that we’re on top of employment law on day to day matters. I know ESP is up to date. Working with ESP has also proved a massive cost benefit for the business.

Barry Searle, Chief Operating Officer, Castle Trust

Initially, I did not believe they would be able to deliver everything they promised, but ESP have exceeded my expectations. 

When I was promoted to HR manager, with responsibility for all HR within the business, I really appreciated how ESP cared about me personally and understood the challenges and responsibilities I faced.

Key to the relationship has been Nina Robinson, my dedicated employment lawyer, with whom I’ve had day-to-day contact discussing employment law advice. I love how Nina ‘gets’ what I’m trying to do and gives appropriately tailored advice for our business. From such close contact, I now feel more empowered to deal with issues myself and take on the bigger projects that I know will have a major impact on the business.

Joanne Shaw, HR Manager, Antler Ltd

The level of service ESP provides is outstanding. Everyone I have dealt with has been friendly and helpful and I feel privileged to have had the opportunity of working with them. I have a great working relationship with our main contacts at ESP and have total confidence in the company and the service they provide.

Making the decision to use ESP has saved us a significant amount of trouble. If we had failed to implement policies and ensure compliance with the law as the company grew, sooner or later there would have been a misunderstanding or misinterpretation of an “unwritten rule”. This could have potentially caused upset and disruption to both individuals and the business.

I know that, at any given time, I can pick up the phone and ask for advice from a trusted source. The team at ESP has proven to be made up of highly competent and skilled professionals but, more than that, they are all genuinely nice people too.

It would have been impossible to progress as a company without the support and knowledge ESP provides. I would recommend ESP at the drop of a hat to anyone looking for employment law experts.

Chris Lake, Operations Director, Glendining Signs Ltd

It is working brilliantly for us. What I really like is how ESP have taken the time to build the relationship and really understand our business.

The great thing about ESP is that they are a “family” business, not just because it’s family-owned or run but because they want to become part of your team.

They have embraced our values and understood our need for commercial, practical advice. They will give you exactly what you need. On high level calls with our CEO and MDs, the ESP lawyers are on the same wavelength. In the past when I’ve brought in HR advisors, I’ve found we have had to make the final decision. When the lawyers are there with me on the call, the understanding of our need to make a commercial decision is fully understood and made.

Ben Dalgliesh, Resource and Estate Manager, Coversure Insurance Services Ltd

I would wholeheartedly say that ESP are crucial in helping us make the right decisions. We have had to make many difficult management decisions and ESP help take the stress out of doing this.

The business now has more people, has greater complexity and has gone through a couple of restructures and a few challenging employment tribunals issues. ESP help us manage all of that.

If we hadn’t chosen ESP as our partner, our options would have been to employ in-house or use one of the large legal firms. Hiring would have been more expensive and wouldn’t have given us the breadth of knowledge ESP delivers. With a large legal firm, you don’t have the peace of mind they are at the end of the phone when you most need their advice. Working with ESP, we have that level of service and responsiveness the business needs.

Chris Brooks, Managing Director, Symatrix Ltd

Oasis Graphic Co is a small business with a big heart, a staff count of under 30 very creative and passionate people, with only two or three individuals managing HR as an addition to their main roles. We have been working with ESP for over 8 years and they have provided tremendous support throughout.

During this time, ESP have supported and advised us through a range of different situations; from the day-to-day management of the employees, to a business wide contract roll out and staff consultation process, as well as some more delicate, complex and challenging issues. As a non HR professional I can be confident that ESP will provide solid and sensible advice, helping me to take a few steps back to move forward. 

In a small business everything counts, everyone is very close and as such there is nowhere to hide during challenging times. It has often been the case that ESP's guidance and support brings clarity to a situation, taking the emotion out and focusing us on reaching a resolution.

Recently I attended another Mock HR event and the team at ESP have done it again. A really well thought out and well presented seminar. Peter explained how he sees ESP as an extension of our own HR department and I could not agree more. That is exactly how I feel. At the event there were HR professionals at various levels and, from my perspective, I took a lot from the event and none of it went over my head. In all, for me, it was pitched perfectly. Thanks to all at ESP for this and your continued support.

Andy Delpech, Operations Director, Oasis Graphic Co.

ESP have been our ‘silent partner’ for some time now, supporting our Head Office staff, but a recent significant issue demonstrated the true value of the ESP service. We found ourselves well placed to deal with the issue, having adopted the standard policies and procedures provided by ESP in the past.

Arwen was brilliant, walking me through the legal and moral aspects of the case, providing pro-active and timely advice to bring the situation to a satisfactory, early conclusion and she was both personable and accessible throughout, which are difficult attributes to put into any sales brochure – would recommend this service to all.

Greg Markham, Trustee and Director, Institute of Healthcare Engineering and Estate Management

ESP offers very fast and effective legal advice, which is just the sort of responsiveness we need. Instead of just giving their opinion, the employment lawyers see the issue from your perspective and work with you to find a way of solving it.

ESP has allowed me to push forward important projects and perform at a higher level. In the time since ESP started working with us my role has changed drastically. I now have the time and headspace to think less about everyday issues and more about strategic HR planning.

Dannielle White, Human Resources Operational Director, Keepmoat

We are a relatively new customer of ESP and I would have to say it was the best decision we made. 

Having personal legal advisors who have more than 10 years’ experience means we are continually offered practical, professional advice, which highlights the options available and any associated costs and mitigations.

Whenever you use a new supplier you can be slightly cautious about the level of service you receive and if you have made the right decision, however we were not disappointed and continue to be pleased with the advice we receive.

Louise Nuttall, Head of HR, BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT

We have been supported by ESP for a number of years now and we have always received top notch service in a manner that is clear and easy to understand. This is especially important when we have to relay that information to our management teams.

I think the relationship we have is really good for my team and our learning but I also know, from a business point of view, you have our best interest as a customer at heart. That’s why I recommend you to others both through my professional and personal network!

Dawn Richards, Head of Human Resources, Andrews Property Group

The speed of response, quality of advice/support and personal touch provided by experienced lawyers at a fraction of the cost, is an incredibly valuable resource to HR professionals. 

Arwen Makin provides support, excellent advice, acts as a sounding board and has gone above and beyond what she is required to do – a good example was when Arwen was on holiday, and was aware of an urgent matter I was dealing with, she took the time out of her personal time to make contact.

I would have no hesitation in recommending the services/resources offered by ESP.

Emma Hanney, Head of Human Resources, FE Financial Express

ESP offer fantastic advice and support to our HR team. In the early stages of my HR career their expert advice has given me peace of mind that we are following correct procedure and protecting ourselves. They always offer up to date and professional advice and I would highly recommend them! 

Jenny Bannister, HR Advisor, Golf Breaks Ltd

I have worked with ESP for approximately 2 years now and consider them to be a key partner. From day-to-day employment advice to more complex legal matters, ESP have worked with me every step of the way and really spent the time to get to know our business.

I always know that help is a phone call away and the support and honest advice I receive is second to none. My personal legal team are a pleasure to work with — I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend ESP to anyone!

Kim Gale, HR Manager, The Orchard & Shipman Group

We have been using ESP since late last year and I find Lucy Gordon absolutely brilliant!

I love the WE partnership when providing us with guidance and Lucy's advice is never just an answer to the question, but an explanation from a legal perspective, so that I know the answer and also the reasons behind it.

I learn from each conversation and you are helping me develop in my role hugely.

Thank you so much Lucy and ESP for providing such a great service!

Raji Sandhar, Talent Adviser, QA Ltd

As a charity with an income of over £7m a year we are delighted with the expert advice and support we receive from ESP. This has proved to be an excellent investment for the charity and the ESP team ensure we know and understand changes in employment law and how the changes affect us.

Any weakness in HR practise could be costly and the reputational damage can be high, hence the huge importance and value of ESP’s service to us.

Robert Meadowcroft, Director of Policy & Operations & Deputy Chief Executive, Muscular Dystrophy UK

I need you! I couldn't keep up with our rate of growth without ESP online and my bosses are seriously impressed with the online site and as we grow, we'll need you even more! Our relationship and the service you offer is fab!

Joanne Shippey, HR Advisor, Age Partnership Ltd

Having used ESP's services since April 2012, I would highly recommend them to any business or HR Professional. They have exceeded our expectations; their website is easy to navigate and our dedicated employment law advisor is always available, making them feel like an extension of our own team. They give objective responses to find the most suitable solution for our business and offer great value for money for what is an exceptional service.

Kate Probert, Head of HR, Avanta Serviced Office Group

Even as a qualified HR professional I find the support and guidance provided by ESP second to none. Knowing that I can find all I need on up to date legislative information at the click of a button, or the end of a phone, is something you can’t put a big enough value on. My personal legal advisor Sarah and the rest of the employment team ensure I have a solid sounding board which is above all commercially sound. I couldn’t recommend them enough and will always see them as my ‘go to place’ for my HR support network.

Helen Taylor - Chartered MCIPD, Human Resources, Trireme Group

As an experienced HR professional I have found the advisory and website support provided by ESP to be first class. Having a direct telephone and email access to my own personal specialist employment solicitors as and when I need it really compliments the knowledge and actions that I need to undertake on-site. This ensures we have complete peace of mind and that we are protecting our legal position, especially when we want to take a tough commercial stance with employees.

Rita Culbertson, Director, Linkline Express Service Ltd

The services we received last year was excellent, I felt confident in everything I was told and recommended to do from our personal Legal Advisory Team. Their response time to my queries was first rate too. The Customer Zone on the website is a massively helpful tool which I check on a weekly basis and appreciate the emails sent to me to update us on new items in there.

Richard Murray, Operations Manager, The Ear Foundation

We would highly recommend ESP and their consultative approach. We have used our personal legal advice team on several occasions and their advice and guidance is invaluable, no question is too small!

Carol Wiles, Operations & Marketing Manager, Pentagon Consulting Ltd

I’m very happy to have such a friendly and reliable group of people on the other end of the phone to give help and advice when needed. The customer portal is also very easy to use, very informative and extremely useful!

Jessica Hurp, Head of Finance and HR, Support Revolution

ESP staff are absolutely great and I am always satisfied with their service.

The legal advice team are very approachable and I am always comfortable with their response.

Sara Ebrahim, Head of Human Capital, Tourvest Duty Free (UK) Ltd

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