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Natasha Smith joined CooperBurnett’s litigation department recently as a Senior Associate specialising in employment law.

Natasha Smith joined CooperBurnett’s litigation department recently as a Senior Associate specialising in employment law. She trained with and qualified into the employment team at a large Surrey firm in 2009 and brings a wealth of experience, advising clients on a variety of employment matters.

Most recently, Natasha worked for a niche litigation practice in Kent as well as an HR consultancy business, advising both individuals on their employment rights and businesses across a number of different industries on how to mitigate the risk of legal disputes arising.

Natasha regularly advises clients on queries relating to contractual terms, unfair dismissals, redundancies, discrimination matters and TUPE. She is experienced in drafting and advising on settlement agreements and particularly enjoys negotiating deals.

"As we ease out of lockdown, many of our clients are approaching us with employment-related enquiries, so it's great to have Natasha join the team at this time," says Joseph Oates, Partner at CooperBurnett. "Her experience is already proving invaluable."

 Moving to a new firm during a global pandemic could have been tricky, but Natasha says: “As a result of Covid-19, I have not actually been able to meet many members of the team in person. However, I have still been made to feel very welcome by those who are in the office with me, as well as those who are working remotely.”

 Covid-19 has changed the landscape when it comes to employment during 2020 and Natasha anticipates that it will be her focus for some time yet.

 “I expect the majority of the work that I will be involved with will be advising businesses on their legal obligations towards their staff, whether they are continuing to work remotely or starting to make a physical return to the workplace,” she says. “The situation throws up a lot of issues for employers and there are many uncertainties being felt on both sides, due to the ever-changing picture.”

 She continues: “I am anticipating an increased requirement for me to provide advice on handling flexible working requests and redundancy processes, making contractual changes to employment terms and responding to TUPE transfers, as well as there being an influx of settlement agreements. It certainly isn’t a dull time to be an employment lawyer!”

 Natasha says that one of her favourite aspects of being a lawyer is ‘negotiating on behalf of my clients to obtain the best deal for them, whichever area of my help they need’.

 She continues: “I have found that despite discrimination laws being in place for several years, employers regularly fall foul of the legislation and this has led me to feel very passionate about ensuring those particular rights are protected.”

Having worked in Tunbridge Wells previously and lived in the area for some time now, Natasha was aware of CooperBurnett’s ‘excellent reputation’.

She adds: “I was also drawn to their keen involvement in charitable causes, as this is something that I enjoy being involved in too, having organised a couple of charity balls and undertaken various personal challenges.”

In her spare time, Natasha can be found running around after her two young children, heading to the local gym for a spin or pilates class or enjoying a spot of retail therapy.

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September 18, 2020
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