Kelly has spent the last 20 years advising employers on all aspects of contentious and non-contentious employment law. In particular, she helps employers manage difficult employees, defend complex Employment Tribunal claims, undertake redundancy and restructuring exercises, and manage the employment aspects of corporate transactions.
In addition to advisory work, Kelly acts as hearing officer in high-level grievance and disciplinary hearings and undertakes investigations into complex employment disputes. She also provides in-depth training on such things as Equality and Diversity, Performance and Absence Management and TUPE.
Kelly’s work spans across various sectors including healthcare, logistics, leisure, construction, engineering, manufacturing, financial services and energy. Her clients include large corporates/multinationals (FTSE/Fortune 500), local authorities, family-owned businesses and start-ups. She has also undertaken a significant amount of work over the years for a number of high-profile charities.
Kelly has developed a specialism in ecclesiastical law and has over 15 years’ experience working alongside a range of Church of England organisations across the UK on HR and clergy-related matters. She provides advice to Diocesan Secretaries, Heads of HR, Bishops and Archdeacons as well as trustees of Parochial Church Councils. She has also presented at a variety of training days on such things as Safe Recruitment and Managing Clergy.
Kelly is a member of the Employment Lawyers Association and is a Trustee of Suffolk Mind.
Kelly has been a superb resource to the Diocese in a number of demanding HR matters in recent years. Her legal clarity, accessible style and significant experience in the complexities of Church of England tenure have made a real difference to the way we now operate.
Kelly has provided us with consistently excellent advice in navigating the tricky boundaries of employment and ecclesiastical law. She has proved to be a skilled and formidable negotiator on our behalf and has given us great confidence in dealing with some very problematic cases.
I feel a great sense of relief and simply don’t know how we would have managed without your calm and wise guidance. Thank you!
CEO of Company A
Kelly Sayers is an expert in sensitive employment matters including senior management grievances and restructuring.
Chambers UK 2020
- Employment Tribunal/High Court proceedings
- Restructuring and reorganisations
- Data protection
- Grievances and disciplinaries
- TUPE transfers
- Family provisions/pay and benefits
- Atypical working and employment status
- Trade unions
- Working time
- Ecclesiastical law
- Acted for an international financial services business on the employment aspects of the sale of part of their business. This included advising on numerous complex settlement agreements involving share options and bonus arrangements.
- Advised a national engineering business on very serious allegations of whistleblowing on the grounds of health & safety and helping it manage a complicated investigation process and threatened strike involving several hundred employees.
- Advised a large construction company on a restructuring exercise involving issuing new contracts to over 500 employees.
- Provided strategic advice to a transport company on the removal of a director and shareholder following allegations of sexual harassment.
- Represented a deputy chief executive of a high-profile public-sector organisation on her exit package. This involved negotiating not only a fair deal (within very restricted parameters) but also managing the potential reputational damage.
- Advised a large international business on the employment aspects of a European-wide TUPE transfer. This was a complicated transaction worth many millions of pounds, and which involved a significant dispute around the application of TUPE with the outgoing service provider.
- Assisted several businesses in managing employees with significant mental health issues, in particular an employee who was diagnosed with schizophrenia and another who had a Class A drug addiction.
- Undertook a large and very complex investigation for a Church of England related charity involving serious issues of bullying and race discrimination by a Director
- Acted for a high-profile charity in the exit of a senior executive following very serious allegations of race discrimination. This attracted significant press attention
- Acted for a Parochial Church Council in a potential £250,000 fraud
- Advising numerous Church of England Diocese on all aspects of employment law. This includes advice to Bishops and Archdeacons on issues involving members of the clergy. In particular, advising on the Clergy Capability Procedure, ill health processes, managing clergy exits by way of settlement agreements, and advice on freehold and common tenure issues.
- Advised a Church of England Bishop on a reorganisation across the Diocese which involved the exit of the Diocesan Secretary
- Conducted a grievance hearing on behalf of a Church of England Bishop involving a dispute between Directors
- Provided training to a variety of charities on a range of employment issues. In particular, Equality and Diversity
- Acted for a Church of England charity in an Employment Tribunal claim involving allegations of Disability Discrimination and Constructive Dismissal
Please note: The experience list above may include examples of work completed prior to joining Keystone Law.
Recognised by The Legal 500 2022 for Employment: Employers
“Kelly Sayers’ advice was clear and concise and she framed our obligations and opportunities very clearly. She anticipated most of the concerns that the Board might have and gave the project team clear guidance on appropriate ways to address those concerns.” The Legal 500 2022
Ranked in Chambers UK 2020 for Employment – East Anglia
“Kelly Sayers is an expert in sensitive employment matters including senior management grievances and restructuring.” Chambers UK 2020
Kelly qualified as a solicitor in 2002. Prior to joining Keystone Law in 2020, she worked at Prettys.