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Joanne is a Director and highly experienced employment solicitor heading up the Employment and HR team at Cartmell Shepherd. She has specialised in all aspects of employment law for over 23 years with a particular interest in discrimination cases. She has worked closely with and supported the work of clients’ internal HR staff and external HR consultants working with clients including on business sales, purchases and mergers.

In 2017 she produced the management standards for the certification “GDPR Fundamentals” with QG Business Solutions Ltd. She is one of the lead advisers on this area in the North West.

She has particular knowledge of the education sector, both private and maintained. She is clerk to a North East academy. She has been actively involved in over 15 academy conversions from single small primary schools to large secondary school MAT’s. She has advised over a dozen Further Education colleges over the years on all aspects of employment law including conducting appeals, large scale reorganisations and mergers. She has also presented training to governors on safeguarding and Prevent.

She has also advised many clients in and suppliers to the hospitality and leisure sector including hotels, restaurants, bars, museums, holiday parks, lodge and campsites, holiday lets, spas and cruise companies.

Joanne prides herself on becoming a trusted member of her client’s team and understands the practicalities of the issues they face in their business as well as the legal side of things having been a part owner of a business herself. She always offers workable, useful and commercial based advice that clients can relate to and help them plan a way through.


Joanne is an accomplished and well-liked speaker on topics such as discrimination, bullying, investigations, grievances and disciplinary hearings, appeals, underperformance and sickness absence as well as Data Protection and GDPR. Feedback such as “Joanne very knowledgeable – informative – shared experiences”, “Excellent level – clear answers to questions” and “came over really well and spoke in normal every day terms” are regularly received.

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Employers face new legal duty to prevent sexual harassment

January 14th 2019

By Joanne Stronach Head of Employment & HR The government is introducing a new Code of Practice that will place a legal duty on employers to prevent sexual harassment in the workplace. The code will contain several measures including protections for volunteers and interns. The government says it wants to…

Huge fines being threatened by the ICO in two landmark cases

July 16th 2019

Joanne Stronach Head of Employment & HR gives her views on recent headline. The ICO has issued a ‘Notice of Intention’ (NOI) to fine British Airways a huge £183.39 million for GDPR infringements. It is for a breach that took place last September, in which personal data of approximately 500,000…

Summary of the UK Government's policy on 'Furlough' and the Coronavirus Job Retention scheme

March 24th 2020

As Cartmell Shepherd Solicitors are members of the UK200Group we are able to share with you the latest advice on ‘Furlough’ from Helen Spencer FCIPD, Managing Partner Whittingham Riddell. We hope you will find this beneficial and we will continue to keep you informed of any useful advice during this…

Employee dismissed over Facebook comments awarded £5,376

February 25th 2019

Joanne Stronach Head of Employment & HR reports. An Employment Tribunal has decided that a company did not act unfairly when it dismissed an employee for gross misconduct after he made offensive comments about the managing director on Facebook. However, the employee’s behaviour had not been so bad that it…