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Richard Porter, who was admitted as a solicitor in 1984, joined TSP the same year. He is supervised by Steve Webb. He advises on all aspects of Employment law, including its impact on business acquisitions and disposals, redundancy programmes, severance contracts and policy drafting, and has a particular interest in discrimination law. He is an experienced advocate and is able to provide representation to clients at Courts and Tribunals. Richard also provides advice and guidance on all matters under the Licensing Act 2003 including applications for new premises licences, variations of premises licences and applications for reviews. He advises on prosecutions resulting from breach of licence and other related legislation such as food safety.
Richard is based at the Colchester office but regularly travels to the Clacton office to see clients and is happy to meet prospective business clients at their business premises.
Richard, who is Colchester born and bred, attended Charterhouse and then the Colchester Royal Grammar School before going on to gain his Law degree at what is now the Anglia Ruskin University and his Master’s degree at the University of Leicester. He trained at Stewards, an Ipswich firm, before joining TSP. In 1987, like his father before him, Richard became a partner in Thompson Smith and Puxon. In 2006, the formal structure of the firm changed and Richard became a director of Richard. S. Porter Ltd, a corporate partner in TSP.
He spent most of his early career working in Court, and was Head of Crime at TSP between 1988 and 2000. His cases ranged from careless driving to murder and also included Trading Standards, Health and Safety and complex fraud cases. He was one of the first solicitors to be awarded rights of audience in the Crown Court, and undertook many jury trials. Colchester is a military town. Richard has therefore also undertaken his fair share of Court Martial work, including one of the last spying cases of the cold war. He was accepted onto the Attorney General’s list of prosecutors and after completing his Master’s degree in 1997, became a Deputy District Judge. Since most of Richard’s time was spent in Court he undertook a lot of licensing work and developed a parallel specialism and interest in Licensing Law.
In 2000 Richard switched his focus to Employment Law and has led the Employment team at TSP ever since. His previous Court experience quickly benefited his employment clients. He has had a number of notable successes in Employment Tribunals including the (then) highest award in a whistleblowing case, acting in several high value discrimination cases and numerous cases across the entire spectrum of the Employment Tribunal jurisdiction, including TUPE. He has enforced restrictive covenants in the High Court, and has had cases in the Employment Appeal Tribunal and the Court of Appeal. As HR Director, Richard also undertakes all of the HR work for Thompson Smith and Puxon.
Richard, who is a member of the Employment Lawyers Association, gives regular updates on the changes and challenges in Employment law to local CIPD members and hosts regular topical workshops at TSP for clients and contacts alike. Richard has, for a number of years, been recommended by the Legal 500 and in 2018/19 was singled out as a Leading Individual in their guide to elite lawyers nationwide. Richard’s Employment team was also recommended in the Top Tier in Essex. The Legal 500 said:
“Thompson Smith and Puxon’s employment team impresses with its ‘realistic advice, an understanding of clients’ needs and communication that is delivered to a high standard’. Focus areas regarding employer matters include strategic advice and risk assessment, contracts and policies, disciplinary procedures, TUPE, restrictive covenants, dismissals and redundancies, disputes, tribunals and settlement agreements, while individuals are being represented in their equal pay, maternity/paternity rights, TUPE, unfair or wrongful dismissal and whistle-blowing claims. During 2017, partner Richard Porter, who ‘listens carefully and then provides clear and concise advice’, and solicitor Sam Welham acted for local and international clients from the media, printing, retail, financial, care, sports, construction, farming, education, engineering, hospitality and professional sectors.”
When not at work Richard is a very keen sailor. He is a Member of the West Mersea Yacht Club and has recently passed his Yachtmaster theory exams. He is also a member of the Rotary Club of Colchester Forum.
To find out more about the Employment law services that Richard can offer for employees click here and for businesses here.
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