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Expertise

Russell is a partner in the Employment, Pensions and Benefits Group with over 13 years’ experience advising a wide range of public sector, third sector, corporate and institutional clients in the UK and Ireland across the spectrum of contentious and non-contentious employment, industrial relations, equality and immigration law.

Russell has a particular expertise in advising clients on the complex workforce challenges that arise from their commercial activities, having been the employment lead on some of the largest reorganisations, outsourcings and commercial transactions across the private and public sector in the UK and Ireland in recent years. This has included major National Health Service reorganisations in the UK and large M&A transactions in Ireland covering, amongst other things, staff transfers (TUPE in particular), due diligence, individual and collective redundancies and the consequent litigation that can arise in such projects.

Russell also has extensive experience in managing sensitive and complex employment disputes and litigation, including High Court injunction proceedings, and is regularly lauded by both clients and peers alike for his personable and commercially practicable approach in dealing with such matters. 

Russell‘s breadth of experience and expertise in UK employment matters means that he frequently works with clients and potential clients operating in and from the UK to advise them on the differences and nuances between UK and Irish employment laws, amongst other things.  This also means that he has unrivalled experience in advising clients on matters such as whistleblowing and has played a vital role in the Group becoming the “go to” Irish employment group for Brexit-related matters.

Russell is an active member of the UK Employment Lawyers Association, the European Employment Lawyers Association, the Employment Lawyers Association of Ireland and the American Bar Association. As well as delivering regular presentations and training to colleagues and clients, Russell has delivered bespoke training to members of the American Chamber of Commerce and the Institute of Directors in Ireland on managing employment law risk and defending employment claims.  He also regularly presents at employment conferences organised by the American Bar Association in the US and the White Company here in Ireland.

Russell co-authored the Ireland Chapter of the 2016 / Fifth Edition and the 2018 / 6th Edition of The Littler Mendelson Guide to International Employment and Labor Law, which covers employment law in over 60 countries.

Experience Highlights

Russell has:

  • Advised a global banking and financial services corporation in relation to, amongst other things, immigration issues, employee relations issues, employment claims and disputes before the Workplace Relations Commission and High Court and staff transfers.
  • Advised a global telecommunications provider in relation to a High Court work-related stress claim and parallel gender discrimination and breach of contract claims before the WRC and District Court respectively.
  • Advised an international business continuity provider in relation to the successful settlement of a complex disability discrimination and victimisation claim.
  • Advised an international private oil and gas exploration and production company in relation to the termination of certain senior staff and the modification of the employment related entitlements of approximately 30 staff across four different jurisdictions arising as a consequence of a change of control in the client pursuant to High Court approved schemes of arrangement.
  • Advised one of the largest vehicle rental service companies in Europe in relation to the employment aspects of the share acquisition of its Irish franchisee including the implementation of new contracts of employment with senior management of the seller.
  • Advised the largest healthcare commissioner in the UK, NHS England, in relation to the implementation of a single model of engagement for thousands of medical appraisers across England.
  • Advised a global hotel group in relation to the closure of its call centre in Dublin and the consequent collective redundancy process and employee relations issues.
  • Advised numerous NHS organisations in relation to the employment and pensions aspects of intra-NHS mergers and acquisitions including the carrying out of due diligence processes and advising on post-transfer restructure issues.
  • Advised one of the largest integrated social enterprise providers of health and social care in the UK in relation to the transfer under TUPE of thousands of staff into the social enterprise from different areas of the public sector and ongoing employment matters.
  • Advised the largest beef processors in Ireland and one of the largest beef processors in Europe in the defence of 40 separate Circuit Court and High Court employer liability actions involving four different meat processing plants in Ireland.
  • Advised numerous ‘start up’ companies in relation to obtaining employment permits for non-EEA / Swiss nationals at every level.
  • Advised numerous public and private organisations in relation to the employment and pensions aspects of procurement processes.
Accolades


"We received unwavering five-star service from Russell Rochford. His responsiveness, adaptability, tailored client-focused service, commerciality and consistent availability makes him stand out from competitors. Russell has built long-standing deep relationships with our senior stakeholders and key members of the HR/Legal teams. He is able to interpret and relate advice and guidance to previous cases we had, knowing the background of the client is critical and adapting to our style/commercial needs is key. His service is 100% personal, we feel like his number one priority on every matter".
The Legal 500 2021

Russell Rochford is recommended.
The Legal 500 2021

"I think Russell Rochford has a great personality. He is spirited and has high energy, but is calm and measured during discussions of emotionally charged personnel issues".
The Legal 500 2021

Russell Rochford "is able to translate his advice for a non-legal audience".
Chambers Europe 2021 

Russell Rochford is a Global Leader.
WWL Labour & Employment 2020

Russell Rochford is recommended.
European Legal 500 2020

Russell Rochford is named a next generation partner.
European Legal 500 2020

Russell Rochford is "an excellent lawyer" who "seeks to understand the business perspective".
European Legal 500 2020

Russell Rochford is very good at cutting through the legal verbiage and telling us what we actually need to know”
Employment: European Legal 500 2020

“We recently engaged Russell Rochford and the Matheson team for an extensive and complex business engagement in Dublin Ireland.  This engagement included Irish employment law consultation and application, tax advisory services, risk mitigation, and the unique and impactful role of the Matheson team engaging as the on-site human resource representative for us. Matheson services were highly professional, timely and thorough. This engagement was months in duration and include multiple deliverables to achieve the goals successfully. The project was a success through the partnership of Matheson. The  services provided by Matheson were above expectations and come with my highest personal recommendation.”
Employment: European Legal 500 2020

“Russell has been our dedicated employment lawyer for the past 3 or so years although the relationship with Matheson’s goes back much further.  Russell is an excellent lawyer and I couldn’t recommend him highly enough.  In terms of advice, Russell seeks to understand the business perspective and understands our complex reporting lines, roles and responsibilities here in our Dublin office. This knowledge has led him to be able to speak to our US leaders regarding employment issues in a knowledgeable and business friendly approach.”
Employment: European Legal 500 2020

"I find him brilliant," notes a client, adding, "he deals with the different sides of our business very well."
Employment: Chambers Europe 2020

Russell Rochford is named up and coming.
Chambers Europe 2020

Russell Rochford is "excellent".
European Legal 500 2019

"Russel Rochford is very business focused, I highly, highly recommend him".
Chambers Europe 2019

"There is always a quick turnaround [with Russell Rochford], you always feel like you are a priority".
Chambers Europe 2019

Russell Rochford is named a next generation lawyer.
European Legal 500 2019

"Russell is very process-driven, provides sound judgment and fits well into our corporate culture."
Chambers Europe 2018

Russell Rochford is "proactive".
European Legal 500 2018

Russell Rochford is named a next generation lawyer.
European Legal 500 2018

Education

University College Dublin (Bachelor of Business and Legal Studies)

Qualified as a solicitor in Ireland

University College Dublin (Diploma in Employment Law)

Law Society of Ireland (Diploma in Commercial Litigation)

Qualified as a solicitor in England and Wales