Picture of Alison Woods

Alison Woods

Co-Head of Employment

CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang LLP
6 Queens Road
AB15 4ZT
United Kingdom
Languages English

Alison is the co-head of the CMS UK employment team, and has over 15 years’ experience working with employer and senior executive clients. Alison works across a range of sectors, and has particular depth in energy matters, where she has an enviable client base.

Alison has a strong interest in assisting clients through business change, which sees her advising on collective level change, the employment aspects of corporate transactions, TUPE/business transfers and restructures. She is frequently called on to support sensitive issues at boardroom level, and supports clients in management reorganisations and employee/industrial relations matters, from strategic input through to implementation. On a day-to-day basis Alison advises clients on their full range of employment needs, from policy drafting, to defending tribunal claims.

Alison has expertise in HR data privacy issues, and regularly works alongside colleagues on data privacy compliance. She is also a board member of the CMS international employment practice, and has wide experience working on and project-managing international instructions.

more less

"She has an ability to wade through complex issues and explain the best solutions quickly in layperson's terms."

Chambers 2018

"friendly, always practical, pragmatic and responsive."

Chambers, 2016

“always ready to assist, and challenge where appropriate”.

Legal 500

Relevant experience

  • Numerous energy companies on restructure and collective redundancies.
  • Various oil service companies on corporate and asset acquisitions (TUPE), including all aspects of employment diligence and (post) transactional support.
  • A unionised business on industrial relations issues and related negotiations.
  • A large financial services provider on its acquisition and integration of additional business streams.
  • An aviation business on tribunal claims including discrimination.
  • An oil and gas operator on its deepening of its staff model and resulting service provision change.
  • An international drilling contractor on European data privacy compliance.
  • An oil major on various transactions in its disposal of offshore assets.
  • An international employer on the variation of contractual bonus arrangements.
  • A subsea company on a bespoke management training programme.
more less


  • 2006 – admitted as a Solicitor in England and Wales
  • 2001 – Admitted as a solicitor in Scotland, and Notary Public
  • 2000 - Diploma in Legal Practice, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen
  • 1999 - LLB (Hons), University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen
more less


Show only
2 November 2017
Data pri­vacy shake up: is HR ready?
GDPR bites­ize - Mon­it­or­ing your work­force
The move to­wards di­git­al HR plat­forms and great­er re­li­ance on tech­no­logy has led to im­proved mon­it­or­ing cap­ab­il­it­ies, and an in­crease in the reas­ons why an em­ploy­er may wish to mon­it­or its work­ers. In this up­date we dis­cuss the leg­al im­plic­a­tions of mon­it­or­ing.
Is an­onymisa­tion the solu­tion to avoid­ing GDPR com­pli­ance?
Sev­er­al cli­ents have asked us wheth­er they can avoid the full spec­trum of GDPR com­pli­ance by an­onymising em­ploy­ee per­son­al data. In the latest GDPR Bites­ize we share our views on this is­sue and sug­gest that while it might seem tempt­ing to go down this route,.
Ra­cism and as­sault: the scope of em­ploy­er li­ab­il­ity
Many read­ers will be fa­mil­i­ar with tales of drunk­en epis­odes at parties, which res­ult in con­sequences ran­ging from an em­bar­rass­ing hangover to ser­i­ous dis­cip­lin­ary pro­ceed­ings. However, these two cases serve as sea­son­al re­mind­ers that em­ploy­ers can also be.
Clos­ing the Gap – what works? 
Ef­fect­ive in­ter­ven­tions to close the gender pay gap were the sub­ject of two re­cent gov­ern­ment pub­lic­a­tions. The first, an evid­enced based guide for em­ploy­ers pro­duced by the Equal­it­ies Of­fice, eval­u­ates a range of em­ploy­er led solu­tions for clos­ing the gap.
Tack­ling private sec­tor non-com­pli­ance with IR35 rules - gov­ern­ment...
The gov­ern­ment is con­sult­ing on ways to ad­dress non-com­pli­ance in the private sec­tor with off payroll work­ing rules (also known as the IR35 rules).   It es­tim­ates that the losses to the Ex­chequer from such non-com­pli­ance will reach £1.
Sleep­ing on the job?
Care home work­ers car­ry­ing out sleep-in shifts do not have to be paid in full for the pur­poses of the Na­tion­al Min­im­um Wage Reg­u­la­tions (NMW), ac­cord­ing to an im­port­ant de­cision handed down by the court of ap­peal on Fri­day, which re­versed pre­vi­ous case law.
Gov­ern­ment Re­sponse to Taylor Re­view in­to Good Work
“Mil­lions to be­ne­fit from en­hanced rights” states the gov­ern­ment’s press re­lease an­noun­cing their re­sponse to Mat­thew Taylor’s Re­view in­to Good Work (click here to read our pre­vi­ous law-now on the Re­view).
GDPR HR audit - map­ping out pro­ject suc­cess
The first step in any GDPR ac­tion plan should in­volve an audit of per­son­al data col­lec­ted and held by an or­gan­isa­tion, to map out how per­son­al data flows through their or­gan­isa­tion and sys­tems. Giv­en the sig­ni­fic­ant volume of per­son­al data held by an HR de­part­ment,.
GDPR: Data sub­ject rights
Data sub­jects have al­ways had the right to make sub­ject ac­cess re­quests, which we dis­cussed in a pre­vi­ous GDPR Bites­ize, click here to read. When the GDPR comes in­to force, data sub­jects will have ad­di­tion­al rights, which will have sig­ni­fic­ant prac­tic­al con­sequences.
Ef­fect­ive en­force­ment and pain­ful pen­al­ties: are you up to speed with...
By now most of us are aware that the Gen­er­al Data Pro­tec­tion Reg­u­la­tion (GDPR) is com­ing in­to force in May 2018, and this will in­volve a range of new du­ties and ob­lig­a­tions on em­ploy­ers. Among the changes is a new duty to self-re­port data breaches - and the.
Time to up­date your sub­ject ac­cess pro­ced­ures
The data sub­ject ac­cess re­quest (“DSAR”) has al­ways been a cent­ral pil­lar to data pro­tec­tion le­gis­la­tion, provid­ing in­di­vidu­als with a means of check­ing wheth­er their data is be­ing pro­cessed law­fully.