Claire Knowles, Employment law Partner at Acuity Law

Words From Our Clients

"Claire Knowles is exceptional, knowledgeable and incredibly practical. She's also very approachable and a pleasure to deal with."

"Claire is a good all-rounder. She's efficient in responding and sees the commercial picture."

"The calm and assertive Claire Knowles is exceptional; knowledgeable and incredibly practical."

"Claire Knowles provides excellent personal service. She is always proactive and responsive giving strong commercial advice at competitive rates."

"Claire Knowles is technically very good. She is very professional and reasonable to deal with as an opponent. It is a pleasure to have her on the other side as you know that she will be tough but sensible."

Claire Knowles is a true business partner to our company. She has provided quality advice in a timely and friendly, but professional manner.

Claire Knowles is an excellent employment lawyer. She has a keen eye for detail and leaves no stone unturned.

The exceptional Claire Knowles has that magical combination of a law library in her head, availability that suggests she has more hours in the day than other people, and a success rate to be envied.

Claire Knowles

Managing Partner
Recent Work

Claire is Managing Partner and a shareholder at Acuity Law, and a member of our Senior Leadership Team.

She joined Acuity to lead the Employment team and has since been the driving force of its growth. She provides commercially focused direction using the wealth of knowledge and experience she has built up over more than 15 years at top-tier national and international law firms.

Claire’s advice is both responsive and strategic. She focuses on achieving the best commercial outcome, which has enabled her to become a true business partner for several of Acuity’s key clients. She exploits her deep understanding of each client’s business to not only handle issues as they arise but pre-empt and mitigate risk by ensuring all internal people strategies are fully effective and optimised.

She works with board members and senior management teams to shape and develop their people initiatives and implement cultural change programmes. She is a member of Acuity’s ESG group, providing support on both social and governance initiatives, as well as board efficiency audits.

Claire has also been instrumental in creating new Acuity products, such as our IR35 tool, redundancy costs calculator and training programmes – all designed to support and augment our clients’ operations.

Her proven track record, combined with her personable and honest style, has allowed her to build an effective and long-term rapport with her clients. She is adept at both strengthening existing relationships and developing our client base, meaning a significant portion of her work is won through client referrals – testament to the high standard of work that she and her team deliver.

Claire’s reputation and expertise were recognised when she was awarded “Best Professional in Business” at the Welsh Women’s Awards 2022, an event showcasing female professionals and entrepreneurs across the region. She has also been acknowledged as a Leading Individual by both Chambers and Partners and The Legal 500. Claire’s standing in the market continues to grow and she is regularly asked to speak at large-scale events.

Assisting organisations across a wide range of disciplines in both the private and public sectors, including SMEs, PLCs, national and international clients, Claire handles both contentious and non-contentious employment issues. Her extensive contentious experience includes restrictive covenants and associated disputes, tribunal litigation and director and shareholder disputes. She also works closely with our Corporate team to provide strategic employment advice on the duties and obligations arising out of company acquisitions and mergers and restructures.

  • All aspects of employment law and people management
  • Contract formulation and disputes
  • The Equality Act 2010
  • Employment tribunal litigation
  • Restructures and reorganisations
  • Restrictive covenants
  • Strategic workforce planning
  • TUPE transfers
  • Employee benefit schemes and share option schemes
  • Cultural change initiatives
  • Board efficiency audits
  • Board-level support to set people strategies
  • Leading the Employment team in providing full support to Portman Healthcare Limited on all matters relating to its people. This has included drafting and advising on template contracts of employment and associate agreements for self-employed clinicians; advising on its strategy for managing IR35 and the engagement of self-employed clinicians; immigration support on bringing international clinicians into the UK; general advice on disciplinaries, grievances, capability management and sickness absence management procedures; day to day advice on a variety of HR queries; TUPE advice following the acquisition of various practices; redundancy and restructures and on a bonus schemes for senior executives
  • Supporting Cardiff International Airport on a range of Employment and HR issues, including a large suite of training sessions
  • Advising renewable energy company Dulas Limited with ad-hoc employment matters, including dismissals, capability procedures, and disciplinaries, as well as preparing and drafting agreements, including but not limited to, apprenticeship, secondment and consultancy agreements
  • Advised a local authority on a complex, multiple claim employment tribunal dispute, involving allegations of unfair dismissal, whistleblowing detriment and sex discrimination against 11 named individuals
  • Advising a global engineering group on various contractual issues, policies and procedures, working time regulations, restrictive covenants, industrial action and employment tribunal claims
  • Advising a manufacturing company on employment status issues as part of its global operations
  • Advising a leading fintech company on settlement agreements and negotiations following a restructure
  • Advising a private European investment firm on strategic people management issues within its group companies, including exit arrangements for a number of directors and shareholders
  • Advising a global shipping and maritime company on sickness absence management, TUPE, employment status and performance management
  • Advising international businesses in the creative industries on sexual harassment allegations, other grievances and an employment tribunal claim for constructive unfair dismissal
  • Advising a sports business on a restructuring process, TUPE and a disciplinary process and investigation
  • Advising a local authority on employment tribunal claims over allegations of constructive unfair dismissal, disability discrimination, whistleblowing, victimisation and harassment
  • Claire is ranked Band 1 by Chambers and Partners
  • The Employment team is ranked Band 2 by Chambers and Partners
  • The Employment team is ranked Tier 2 in The Legal 500
  • Claire is listed as a Leading Individual in The Legal 500
  • The Social Housing team is ranked Tier 2 in The Legal 500
  • The Social Housing team is ranked Band 2 by Chambers and Partners
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