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Joe Nicholls
Joe Nicholls
Joe is a partner in the Employment team and specialises in employment disputes, as well as negotiating exits for employees.
Joe joined Stephens Scown in January 2022, after relocating from the Bristol region. Joe has practised exclusively in employment law for more than a decade, having qualified as a legal executive and then as a solicitor in 2015.
Joe has a successful track record representing businesses and individuals in all types of Employment Tribunal litigation. He also regularly advises businesses and business owners, HR teams and front line managers with employee issues.
Clients recommend Joe for his attention to detail, commercial understanding and ability to take the right strategic approach for each matter in order to achieve the desired outcome. Joe has a reputation for being immensely personable, explaining the law in a way which is clear and easy to understand.
Joe recognises that the emotional, financial and reputational impact of a dispute means that providing comprehensive advice about the options and likely outcomes at an early stage can empower clients to make informed decisions with confidence.
Joe provides resolute support and commitment to each of his clients to help them to achieve the right result for them.
Examples of Joe’s recent work includes;
  • Representing a large energy consultancy in a series of litigated disputes involving whistleblowing, discrimination and dismissal
  • Successfully representing an educational establishment in claims pursued by former employees
  • Defending claims by a senior employee in relation to a pay dispute in the media sector
  • Successfully representing an engineer who was dismissed after raising concerns about safety during the pandemic in a claim for automatic, unfair dismissal
  • Representing a female GP in an Equal Pay claim against her private healthcare employer
  • Successfully defending a complex, discrimination claim for a large law firm, brought by one of their lawyers
  • Representing a woman in an Employment Tribunal claim for discrimination and unfair dismissal after she returned from maternity leave and was made redundant
  • Negotiating the exit of a senior lawyer after a relationship breakdown following a difference of treatment compared with her male colleagues in the context of pay, furlough and promotion
  • Advising an international manufacturing firm on various grievances and disciplinary processes and undertaking a large redundancy exercise
  • Advising a senior executive in a global bank in relation to her contractual provisions as part of a move to a global competitor
  • Advising a multi-academy trust of primary schools on internal disputes, policies and contracts
  • Advising the CEO of a national charity on an internal dispute connected with regulatory intervention and financial mis-management.
Joe has experience and expertise across many different sectors, but has a particular focus on energy and healthcare.
Joe is a member of the Employment Lawyers’ Association and sits on the South West steering committee.

Outside of work, Joe has two young boys and spends as much time outdoors as possible, walking in the woods or at the beach. He has recently relocated back to his home county of Cornwall. He enjoys sport and exercise, particularly running, playing golf and watching cricket, rugby and football. When family time allows, dinner out or a leisurely coffee by the sea are a treat!

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