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John Merry

Senior Partner - Head of Employment Team

John's Teams

Employment, Agriculture


John joined Lanyon Bowdler in 1997 as a trainee solicitor and qualified as a solicitor in 1999 specialising in employment law. He became a partner in the firm in 2003, and was appointed Senior Partner in 2022.

John is head of the Employment Department and a member of the Employment Lawyers Association. He acts for employers of all sizes from small businesses to large national and international concerns, including in relation to business transfers, the preparation of contracts of employment, effecting dismissals and conducting in-house training.

John provided detailed input to the NFU in relation to its national strategy for advising farmers and growers following the abolition of the Agricultural Wages Board in England. He is the firm’s lead adviser to employers in the sector, including in relation to the application of the agricultural minimum wage legislation in Wales, and in relation to our existing panel membership is a trusted first port of call to NFU Group Secretaries in seeking guidance on behalf of their members.

In Derrick Cyffin Jones t/a The Barley Mow Public House v Beardmore EAT/0392/09, John appeared as advocate in the EAT for the appellant farming business and was successful in overturning an employment tribunal decision that a farm worker had transferred under TUPE from one business owned by the appellant to another. The case is cited in the authoritative LexisNexis Butterworths publication Business Transfers and Employee Rights by John McMullen.

John advises both employers and employees in connection with employment tribunal proceedings and appeals and is an experienced advocate. He works from the Telford, Shrewsbury, Oswestry, Ludlow and Conwy offices.

Legal 500 & Chambers UK Recommendation

John is recognised as a Recommended Lawyer in the 2023 edition of The Legal 500, which says 'John Merry leads a team that has a strong reputation at Lanyon Bowdler for its work on TUPE matters and the employment aspects of business transfers.'

John is recognised as a Notable Practitioner in the 2023 edition of Chambers UK, which says 'John Merry is the head of employment at Lanyon Bowdler Solicitors and has particular expertise on TUPE transfers and its application or otherwise to reorganisations and transactions'. He offers further capabilities advising on redundancy processes, contract and policy changes as well as claims for discrimination. 

Published testimonials include the following: 

'John Merry is technically excellent on issues involving an employment law/ tax law cross-over such as IR35. We are currently doing an appeal in the EAT on a worker status case. His preparation of the case was very thorough and commended by the trial judge.’

‘John Merry – I have no hesitation in recommending, praising and indeed exulting him. His support and common sense advice for the past 13 years has been second to none. John is pragmatic, direct and will speak in English – rather than mind blowing legalease!’

‘John Merry is very knowledgeable and considered an expert in his field.’

‘He communicates well with clients in a no-nonsense style and provides a calming influence.’

''He knows our business and understands the challenges we face.’