Our People

Holly Dobson

Director in Employment & HR


32 years


Holly studied Law at Van Mildert College, Durham University before attending Guildford College of Law. She started work as a trainee solicitor and at 3 years’ qualified to join Benson Burdekin (later Benson Clegg). Within a few years she became a partner, then Head of Dispute Resolution. That practice merged with Wake Smith in 2006.

Main Areas of Work:

Holly has a wide variety of dispute resolution experience. Over the last 12 years she has particularly focused on employment advice, employment related litigation, and regulatory advice including professional disciplinary matters.  In the run up to the General Data Protection Regulation coming into force in early 2018, Holly was very involved in business support and training on data protection issues.  This has continued as some businesses are still catching up with their compliance requirements, and data protection support is still required as new privacy rules bed in.

Holly started her career in insurance litigation later specialising in high value Defendant personal injury cases. She is an experienced advocate in a variety of courts and tribunals. She also represents clients at mediations.

Holly is a member of the Employment Lawyers Association.

  • Employment advice; contentious and non-contentious – including both tribunal and professional disciplinary panels.
  • External counsel to companies in the health care sector providing wide ranging advice on HR issues, regulatory compliance and fraud prevention.
  • General litigation experience in a variety of professional negligence, partnership and contract disputes.
  • Advocacy experience in courts and tribunals
  • Experience of Inquest representation and issues arising
  • Foundation training in mediation and experienced in mediation representation
  • Deputy District Judge since 1998
  • Solicitor Member of Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal since 2015
  • Regular presenter on employment law topics
  • Visiting Lecturer on litigation and employment practice at post graduate level 2011 -2015

Great / Notable achievements at Wake Smith:

  • Acting on behalf of many senior executives including CEOs, FDs and professionals in local government and in the professional services sector negotiating high value exit agreements;
  • Employment Support on due diligence, TUPE and GDPR aspects of corporate transactions (eg. Acquisition by Red Industries of the Environmental Resource Group, sale of Hulley’s Frozen Foods,)
  • Successfully enforcing a significant contractual term against a high profile employer resulting in preserving a significant pension return.
  • Acting for a disabled employee against a government department resulting in a successful tribunal award.
  • Representing the successful Appellant in the Court of Appeal in a defence to liability under the vicarious liability principles (Harrison v Jagged Globe (Alpine) Limited).
  • Inquest representation in several high profile inquest cases including a jury inquest.
  • Inquest representation on behalf of a family resulting in a charge of manslaughter against the treating doctor.
  • Representation in internal employer procedures and before professional bodies.

What clients say about you:

“You will always get straight and expert advice from Holly. She’s not in the game of telling you what you want to hear, but what you must hear. She will lay out the options clearly with unswerving, unbiased professionalism so that you can clearly see the road ahead and make the right decisions”. Simon Lowe - Jagged Globe

"I’ve always found Holly to be very responsive and helpful. She responds to my requests for support in a way that increases my understanding of the legislation that we have to act on and implement. Where there is scope for interpretation or options to consider she is forthcoming in highlighting these and I have always found her willing to spend time discussing these with me." Sue Barraclough - Westfield Health

Recent articles by Holly Dobson

Data protection and your dental practice
Common Christmas issues in the workplace
Are you making sure you are protecting your business when staff leave?
Grievance handling for employers
Court of Appeal Decision: Data Protection and Rights to Access Data
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