Joanne Kavanagh

Partner, Head of Department


01737 854 573

[email protected]

Joanne Kavanagh

Joanne joined Morrisons as Head of Employment in February 2011, bringing to the employment team expertise in advising across a wide range of employment law issues. She became a partner in November 2012 and the team is ranked in Chambers & Partners and the Legal 500 for Kent, Surrey and Sussex.

Joanne advises directors of local companies as well as nationally recognised businesses, and also provides advice to private clients.

Her specialisms include drafting contracts, Director’s service agreements and Company handbooks, advising on the employee implications of business sales/purchases and on employment tribunal proceedings.

Joanne advises on day-to-day issues relating to disciplinary and grievance proceedings, discrimination, bullying and boardroom disputes; she regularly negotiates termination/severance packages, and advises on the content of settlement agreements.

Prior to qualifying as a solicitor, Joanne worked as an HR manager in the NHS and other public and private sectors. This background gives a commercial edge to the advice she provides to HR managers, company directors and employees. 

Joanne holds popular seminars and workshops for businesses, and has taken part in radio interviews on specific employment issues.

Joanne is a member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development and a member of the Employment Lawyers Association and is ranked as a ‘leading individual’ by Chambers & Partners.

"Commercially astute and in tune with our requirements” - Chambers and Partners

"Extremely professional and knowledgeable" - Legal 500

Examples of work

Restrictive covenants

The employment team has advised a PLC client on threatened legal action, on a number of occasions, by competitors whose employees left and began working for our client.  The competitors alleged their employees were in breach of restrictive covenants / obligations of confidentiality. We advised our client on the enforceability of these post termination obligations and after our responding to various threatening pre action correspondence, no legal action has been instigated by any of the competitors against its ex-employees or our client.

Employment tribunal claims

We regularly act for respondents and claimants in tribunal proceedings. Joanne acted for a claimant guiding him through internal grievance proceedings and filing tribunal claims for race and disability discrimination, detrimental treatment because of ‘blowing the whistle’ and constructive dismissal.  A number of respondents were involved. Joanne secured a high level settlement to the satisfaction of her client following protracted and acrimonious negotiations.      


This is an area in which the employment team has specialist expertise and on which we are frequently instructed.  Joanne and Emma McLoughlin acted for a PLC client advising on the TUPE aspects of our client winning a large outsourced contract from an outgoing service provider.  Around 60 employees would be transferring to its employment. We advised on and steered our client through its TUPE obligations to inform and consult affected employees and were able to save our client considerable time and salary and legal costs, by obtaining agreement from the outgoing provider to our client undergoing collective redundancy consultation with its incoming employees prior to the transfer.