Leon Deakin

Partner - Employment

What's your role?

I head the Employment team providing practical, solution focussed advice on all aspects of employment law and HR to a wide range of businesses and individuals.

As a team we like to work closely with our clients really getting to know how they operate and what is important to them. Indeed, we frequently find ourselves effectively acting as an extension of their HR teams. We particularly pride ourselves on guiding management through difficult situations efficiently allowing them to focus on running their businesses.

In particular, we can help with both contentious and non-contentious matters ranging from the more day to day tasks such as preparing Employment Contracts, staff policies and services agreements through to handling complex litigation in the Employment Tribunal or managing large scale change. We also offer bespoke training on the law and best practice.

We also work particularly closely with our colleagues in the commercial and corporate teams to provide support on their transactions.

Personally I have a great deal of experience in acting for large retailers, manufacturers, technology companies, utilities and education establishments.

I also enjoy working closely with in-house general counsel on complex and/or sensitive matters and also have expertise in advising fast growth businesses (particularly those working in the GIG economy) in relation to new areas of law.

Your experience

Prior to joining Coffin Mew I qualified at a major regional firm and spent 13 years in total working across their offices in the South leading their Gatwick team but also heading the firm’s Technology Sector.

I have been recognised by Chambers as a leader in my field and have been praised by clients for my ‘strong grasp of employment law’ and for delivering ‘timely, concise advice in plain English’.

I regularly speak at events and seminars and enjoy training GCs, directors and senior management on how to handle difficult issues. 

Recent highlights include:

  • Advised a major national retailer on a multi-jurisdictionand multi-site outsourcing agreement with significant TUPE implications.
  • Advised a large manufacturer on changes to their shift pattern resulting in a change of
    terms of employment necessitating collective consultation.
  • Successfully defended a large manufacturer in relation to a 3 day multi-discrimination claim brought against them.
  • Negotiated a favourable settlement for a PLC media and technology company with an ex employee
    who had brought various claims.


  • Employment law – contentious and non-contentious
  • Advising on senior exits and strategic change
  • Employment tribunal representation
  • TUPE
  • Presenting seminars, workshops and in-house training
  • In-sourcing and out-sourcing
  • The Technology Sector

Which five words best describe you?

  1. Reliable
  2. Efficient
  3. Empathetic
  4. Flexible
  5. Fun

Three things we didn't know about you?

  1. I am a keen sportsman and play football regularly, I also snowboard and have run a number of marathons (slowly!)
  2. I love Russian and Eastern European history and have travelled the region extensively
  3. I keep chickens

Memberships & Associations

Employment Lawyers Association


Leon Deakin is valued for ‘his pragmatism’ and commercial approach.

Legal 500, 2019

Leon has taken the time to get to know our business and the team and always focusses on the best way to achieve the outcomes we are looking for. His advice is very commercial and delivered in an easy to digest format. He and the team are highly responsive and clearly put client satisfaction at the centre of all they do.

Adrienne Heeley, Head of HR, Fatface

Never expecting to ever need the expertise of an employment lawyer, it was quite a daunting prospect when that need become apparent. However, the advice by and personable approach of Leon Deakin, Partner at Coffin Mew LLP, made a stressful time progress with ease, resulting in the best possible outcome. Coffin Mew LLP comes highly recommended.

Mr Turner

Thanks Leon – speedy, pragmatic and informed response every time. And all wrapped up in a pleasant and down-to-earth conversation. What more could anyone want?

Susan Allen, Head of HR, Checkatrade