Darren Hayward

Managing Partner

'An incredibly talented employment lawyer who is able to effortlessly explain what is important and what we need to do to get to our objective.'

- Chambers 2017

Darren joined Nockolds in 2003 and is the firm’s Managing Partner and Partner in charge of our Employment Law Team.

He is considered to be one of the leading employment lawyers in the UK and acts for a wide range of commercial clients ranging from small start-up businesses to major PLCs as well as employees. Darren has developed a particular niche acting for high net worth clients in the City and is regularly consulted by the Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal and FX Times, as well as appearing on CNBC commenting on the impact of employment law developments in the City.

Darren’s Employment Team is consistently included in the Legal 500 UK as a ‘Recommended Firm’. The 2018 Edition described the Team as being ‘very approachable’ and noted for its ‘fantastic response times and great advice.’ Darren is listed in both the Legal 500 and Chambers UK as a leading employment lawyer; having been described as an ‘incredibly talented employment lawyer who is able to effortlessly explain what’s important and what we need to do to get to our objective’, having ‘notable expertise in acting for high net-worth individuals in contentious matters’ and being ‘very accessible, extremely knowledgeable and helpful’. The 2019 edition of Chambers reads ‘Clients say he is ‘fantastic, knowledgeable and efficient.’

Darren has a wealth of experience in both contentious and non-contentious employment work. Having acted for both employers and employees in all areas of employment litigation, he is able to advise on a variety of employment matters, including unfair dismissal, wrongful dismissal, breach of contract claims, redundancy, discrimination claims, Settlement Agreements, maternity/paternity rights and other ‘family-friendly’ rights, equal pay, and TUPE situations. Darren can also assist in the preparation and drafting of all employer/employee documentation and is able to provide representation in tribunal proceedings.

As the Firm’s Managing Partner, Darren has helped steer the firm to triple in size during his tenure. He was one of five finalists in the prestigious National Management and Leadership Awards in the ‘Outstanding Leader of the Year’ category and was nominated as a finalist in the ‘Entrepreneur of the Year’ category in the Inspiring Hertfordshire Awards. He has led Nockolds to become an award winning firm which has achieved the Gold Investors in People Award, is considered an ‘Extraordinary’ place to work having received the highest ranking in the ‘Best Companies to Work For’ and has been ranked in the ‘Sunday Times Top 100 Best Small Companies to Work For’ in the UK for four consecutive years. Darren is also a regular speaker on Lexcel webinars on strategic planning for law firms.

Darren is a member of the Employment Lawyers Association and is a Trustee of the Essex and Herts Air Ambulance Trust.

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