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Kelly Thomson

Kelly Thomson is an experienced employment lawyer who works with clients on complex international and national employment matters, with particular focus on outsourcing, restructuring and the people aspects of organisational change. Kelly is regularly called on by organisations grappling with their inclusion and diversity strategies and has real depth of knowledge on gender equality.

With particular expertise in TUPE, Kelly has a wealth of experience in advising on the employment aspects of outsourcing, M&A activity and complex restructuring arrangements. Kelly also advises regularly on significant organisational change programmes including large-scale redundancies and changes to employment arrangements. Her many years of hands on project experience enable her to work as an effective extension of her clients' HR, Legal and Executive teams in delivering business critical projects.

Kelly works alongside clients' HR and Legal teams in developing and implementing strategies for the recruitment, retention and motivation of employees. She has a focus on 'employee engagement' and is passionate about issues of diversity and inclusion.

Kelly develops and provides training and seminars for clients' HR, legal and business teams and co-delivers our regular seminars and roundtables on a variety of topics. She is a regular contributor to practitioner and academic publications. Most recently she has written the Xpert HR Line Manager's Guide on TUPE and edits the Tolley's chapter on Whistleblowing.

She has also contributed to Xpert HR podcasts:

  • #MeToo - sexual harassment in the workplace - listen here.
  • TUPE mythbusters (part 1) - listen here.
  • TUPE mythbusters (part 2) - listen here

The Fix - podcast

Kelly has collaborated with Michelle King, global gender equality and organisational culture expert, as co-host of acclaimed equality podcast The Fix with Michelle King. The Fix is a podcast that shares stories of remarkable people who are taking action to advance equality in the workplace and beyond. Through interviews with a diverse range of remarkable people, the Fix podcast showcases innovations and helps leaders and organisations take tangible action towards greater workplace equality. Click here to listen and subscribe.

What can we do to accelerate the change towards greater gender equality?

Biggest hurdle to overcome in achieving gender equality

Directory quotes

"Kelly Thomson – wonderful, dynamic." - Legal 500 UK 2024

"Kelly Thompson’s experience and knowledge of equality, diversity and inclusion work is second to none. Kelly goes beyond simply advising you on the ‘legals’ of the situation, but provides a holistic view of the practical, commercial and human considerations." - The Legal 500 2023

"Kelly Thomson is superb in both her legal and commercial analysis and judgement. She takes the time to understand our business objectives and to understand the motives and objectives of the individuals concerned. This leads to rounded and tailored advice." - The Legal 500 2023

Recommended - The Legal 500 UK 2022

"Kelly Thomson is a very capable, highly professional and responsive individual. Provides timely and clear strategies to employment issues raised." - The Legal 500 UK 2022

"Kelly Thompson is outstanding – her very thorough understanding of the law, combined with empathy and pragmatism, give me complete confidence in her advice and guidance." - The Legal 500 UK 2022

"Kelly Thomson is astute in reading the room and getting the right timbre on things – she acts as a co-pilot with Patrick and put my CEO immediately at ease (no mean feat!). I have worked with so many great employment law firms over the past 24 years but RPC stands out." - The Legal 500 UK 2021

"Kelly Thomson not only has excellent technical skills and commercial focus but also goes out of her way to develop strong relationships with and between clients and collaborate on topics of mutual interest." - The Legal 500 UK 2021

"The practice is led by Patrick Brodie, who has a strong track record of big-ticket litigation and led the team acting for executive search firm Egon Zehnder on the aforementioned case. He works alongside 'passionate' and 'approachable' legal director Kelly Thomson, advising an impressive list of household name clients across sectors including insurance, utilities, services and retail." - The Legal 500 UK 2020

Finalist for Solicitor of the Year - Inspirational Women of the Year Awards, First 100 Years, 2019

“very personable” - The Legal 500 UK 2019 

“always gives very thoughtful and practical advice” and “[with] a passion for getting to know your business and to give advice with full context". - The Legal 500 UK 2019

 "Provides consistently reliable and practical advice". - The Legal 500 UK 2018

"Technically brilliant legal director" Kelly Thomson is also recommended - The Legal 500 UK 2016 

 "Excellent communicator" - The Legal 500 UK 2015


Employment Lawyers Association

Relevant work

Advising a multinational employer on the UK and (co-ordinating with specialists) European HR aspects of a multi-billion dollar global merger and restructuring process

Advising on the employment aspects of the restructuring of a major UK payment system and the re-negotiation of an outsourcing agreement for key services

Advising numerous clients, both customer and supplier side, on the TUPE and broader HR aspects of outsourcing of services including IT, HR and FM in both the private and public sector 

Working with a variety organisations on their gender pay gap reporting obligations, on equal pay reviews and in developing and implementing various measures to close the gender pay gap and achieve greater gender equality in the workplace

Assisting clients in a variety of sectors, including retail, telecommunications and manufacturing, responding to the myriad workforce issues arising from COVID-19

Successfully resisting an application for statutory trade union recognition on behalf of our client: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/cac-outcome-unite-the-union-triumph-integrated-systems-actuation-control-2

Part of the RPC team which succeeded for our client in the Supreme Court case of Egon Zehnder v Tilman: https://www.supremecourt.uk/cases/uksc-2017-0182.html. The case was the first time in over 100 years that the highest court has considered restrictive covenants and has changed the law.