Nikola Southern



"Her knowledge of employment law is extensive and she explains it in a clear and concise manner so we are equipped to make the best possible choice for our business"

Owner and Director of retail company, beauty industry

"the best employment lawyer we have ever had in our 20 years of business."

Owner and Director of retail company, beauty industry

Niki has a strong litigation practice. She has successfully pursued and defended numerous hard-fought cases in the High Court and Employment Tribunal for unfair dismissal, discrimination and breach of contract.


Niki combines technical rigour with commercial nous and a pragmatic approach to place clients in the best possible position to avoid litigation, initiate claims or, for employers, provide a strong defence to any claims and reach favourable resolutions. 

Niki has often acted in complex cases requiring her to navigate overlapping issues such as equal pay, discrimination, harassment, sickness absence, performance and misconduct.
She has particular experience of representing employers and employees in the higher education, retail, media, professional and financial sectors.  
Niki co-edits the employment precedents in Sweet Maxwell’s Practical Commercial Precedents.

Recent Employer work

  • Advising a major London employer on the management of a complex grievance process in relation to disability discrimination and pay.
  • Providing TUPE advice to a fashion agency on the closure of its business.
  • Acting for a higher education institution on process for managing an employee with serious mental health illness.
  • Defending a claim for equal pay (equal value and like work), sex discrimination and unfair dismissal for a publishing company.
  • Advising on the reviewing of senior pay to resolve historic inequalities.
  • Bespoke drafting of employment contracts, consultancy agreements, privacy notices and handbook for a global employer in the publishing sector.


Recent Senior executive work

  • Representing a senior oil broker in his high-value, hard-fought claims in the High Court and Employment Tribunal for breach of contract, unfair dismissal and age discrimination.
  • Advising a senior sales executive in a long-running dispute regarding unlawful practices by the employer and discriminatory treatment of her on the grounds of race and sex.
  • Negotiating exit packages for lawyers who were put at risk during their maternity leave, were not properly consulted or considered for suitable alternative roles.
  • Advising a senior executive with particularly high value deferred remuneration (requiring close review of plans and consequential amendment to the termination documentation) on his exit from a financial services firm.
  • Negotiation of the exit of an individual from a key position in a higher education institution following long-running bullying. 


What clients say

extremely knowledgeable…able to advise of any potential risks and suggest options/solutions to recommend to my client group, minimising potential risks to the University and solving complex cases…first class in the services she provides. I would certainly recommend her.” 

HR Adviser at leading London university

Nikola has taken the time to understand how our business works and how we can understand and implement best legal practice. Extremely patient, diligent and on hand to answer the smallest to the largest of questions…I wholly recommend her to others in need of supportive legal advice.” 

Co-Founder and Director of a recruitment agency






She is extremely approachable and prepared to take time both to understand the needs of the client as well as to explain complex legal issues and options in a clear and accessible way. Her advice is always timely, comprehensive, well-informed and non-judgemental.” 

HR consultant


Niki's employment law expertise


Whether you are a business or a senior employee, our employment law specialists will give pragmatic and commercial advice.

Anglo French Services

As part of our international services we offer support to Anglo French nationals and families living in the UK and British expats living in France.

Services anglo-français de Kingsley Napley

Parmi nos services internationaux croissants, nous offrons notre soutien aux ressortissants franco-britanniques et à leurs familles vivant au Royaume-Uni ainsi qu’aux britanniques expatriés vivant en France.

Partnerships and LLPs

We act for professional partnerships and LLPs, as well as individual partners and members in a wide range of industry sectors.


We support decision-making processes, ensuring that decisions are robust and where necessary defending them against challenge.


We assist our senior executive clients to understand their legal rights and duties, and to maximise their financial entitlements.

Disciplinary and grievance procedures, absence and performance management

Advising in relation to disciplinary and grievance procedures is one of our core areas of employment law expertise.

Discrimination claims

We have a wealth of experience of discrimination law in relation to complex and high value discrimination, harassment and diversity matters.

Employment disputes and litigation

Litigation and disputes are fundamental to what we do. We have years of experience acting in the most complex and challenging employment disputes.

Restrictive covenants and team moves

We are widely known for giving practical advice to clients dealing with matters in the workplace, Employment Tribunal or High Court.

Senior managers and certification regime

The Senior Managers and Certification regime is now in force. All involved need a thorough understanding of it, which is where we can help.

Sexual Misconduct in the Workplace

We advise organisations and individuals dealing with sexual misconduct in the workplace.

Terminations and settlement agreements

We have vast experience advising on terminations and settlement agreements and have a proven track record of achieving optimal outcomes.

Transactions, redundancies, restructurings and outsourcing

We regularly deal with the employment aspects of transactions including share sales, business transfers and outsourcings.

Workplace investigations and whistleblowing

Acting for employers seeking to defend themselves against whistleblowing allegations or individuals who have blown the whistle.

Employment law insights from Niki

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