• The 'highly commercial' Martin Bunch is a key contact.

    Legal 500 2018

  • Martin has 'top-rate knowledge'

    Legal 500 2017

  • Martin is 'beyond insightful'

    Legal 500 2016

  • "Considered, calm, knowledgeable and insightful."

    Chambers UK 2016


I am Bates Wells’ Managing Partner and have been a practising employment lawyer since 1996.

In my role as Managing Partner I work closely with the firm’s Management Board and Senior Management Team to develop and deliver the firm’s strategy and business activities.

During my leadership I’ve overseen the firm’s certification as a B Corp and have spearheaded a number of firm-wide initiatives to advance the responsible agenda; steering Bates Wells into the impact economy space, narrowing the firm’s gender salary gap, and taking practical action to promote inclusion and diversity.

Together with my daily management responsibilities, I stay close to clients through my employment law practice, not only because I enjoy legal client work but because it’s vital we keep our clients’ interests and needs at the heart of everything we do as a firm. I also frequently visit clients as part of our firm’s wider client-listening programme.

I am an experienced advocate in the Employment Tribunal and an accredited CEDR mediator. I work in all areas of employment law with a particular focus on TUPE issues arising out of mergers and acquisitions, and the protection of confidential information and other confidential property by the enforcement of contractual covenants.

I provide contentious and non-contentious advice to clients ranging from large commercial clients to charities and individuals.


  • Outsourcing agreements and TUPE.

    Recently I’ve been advising a large global company on outsourcing arrangements in respect of a number of contracts currently provided in the UK, which have been outsourced to various cities in Europe. This has included both the advice on jurisdictional issues and the application of TUPE, and also the requirement of large-scale redundancy processes in the UK. Following the loss of an outsourcing contract, I’ve also advised a large UK charity on a TUPE dispute and on subsequent employment tribunal proceedings when the transferred employees were dismissed by the transferee without due process.

  • Advice on pension scheme closures.

    I have advised a large UK charity on the closure of its internal staff pension scheme, including the rights in respect of auto-enrolment issues and other contractual problems.

  • Advising a UK charity on a dispute with its CEO.

    I have advised a Charity Board following a dispute between its chair and other board members and the CEO, leading to a loss of confidence in the CEO, negotiating the departure of the CEO and dealing with other contractual and potential reputational issues.

  • Advice on breach of restrictive covenants.

    I have been advising a publishing company on an alleged breach of restrictive covenants with respect to theft of confidential information and employee data and issuing Application for Injunction against employee in the High Court including a claim against the new employer of the employee.

  • I’ve successfully representing claimant discriminated against following diagnosis of cancer
  • I’ve advised on merger of two charities, including carrying out a restructuring and redundancy process prior to completion
  • I’ve advised on Collective Consultation redundancy and restrictive process for UK based client with multiple offices

Qualifications and career

  • Bristol University, BSc (Hons) Social History
  • Solicitors Final/CPE
  • Admitted as a solicitor in 1987
  • Joined Bates Wells in 1991
  • Partner in 1997
  • Deputy senior partner since 2011
  • Appointed managing partner in 2013

Pro bono, memberships, and appointments

  • Member of Employment Lawyers Association
  • Accredited CEDR mediator
  • Trustee of national charity
  • Volunteer coach at local sports club
  • Non-executive director for a management company
  • RFU accredited referee
  • Supervising solicitor