IEL Elite

Bird & Bird

Esteemed international practice



Bird & Birds International HR Services – led by Ian Hunter in London and Philip Hartman in the Hague – and the firm’s broader employment group comprise a large team of experts spread across offices in Asia-Pacific, Europe and the Middle East, and the US.

Specialists within the group regularly co-ordinate cross-border mandates for clients, leveraging a network of high-quality contacts in jurisdictions where the firm does not have a presence.

The team offers particular expertise in the technology and life sciences industries, and services a wide range of leading names from these sectors.

Jonathan Goldsworthy in London, Karolina Stawicka in Warsaw, and Diane Purdy in Hong Kong have been promoted to partner in 2022, strengthening the team’s offering.


The International HR Services department advises across the full range of employment issues, from advisory services relating to gender pay gap reports or holiday pay, through to one-off, specialist issues, including investigations. It also represents employers in whistleblowing, discrimination, and breach of contract disputes, and offers clients a variety of legal tech to support the provision of advice for large, multi-jurisdictional projects.

The group regularly acts for multinational clients on a variety of issues spanning multiple jurisdictions. For example, a team led by senior associate Emily Clark in London co-ordinated the advice to a global HR software platform on an expansion project covering 64 jurisdictions. Alongside the expansion project, the London team has managed other matters for the platform – including advising on multi-jurisdiction data protection considerations for a global D&I survey, and staff transfers.

The group is also adept at helping US clients navigate issues in Europe and beyond. This was evidenced in the team’s advice to a US-headquartered technology conglomerate with 60,000 employees across 60 companies on issues related to Brexit, and hybrid working and related health and safety concerns across EMEA. It has also represented the conglomerate in disputes in the UK, France, and Malaysia.

In another example, a London-based team also assisted a US tech company that employs 49,000 staff with a variety of issues, including a 32-country review of compensation plans, compliance with collective bargaining agreements across EMEA, and senior employee terminations and related settlements.

The department’s skillset was further demonstrated in its advice to a global telecommunications company on the establishment of an internal resource and diagnostics tool for compliance and investigations. The team advising on the matter was comprised of experts in Hong Kong, Sweden, and the UK.

Other key names

  • Katarina Ahlberg (Sweden)
  • Maisa Nikkola (Finland)
  • Pieter De Koster (Belgium)
  • Tim Spillane (UK)
  • Benjamine Fiedler (France)
  • Miguel Pastur (Spain)
  • Barbara Geck
  • Amedeo Rampolla
  • Søren Narv Pedersen (Denmark)

Experts based in...

Australia, Belgium, China, Czechia, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Singapore, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates, and the United States.

Featured IEL Elite firms