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Portrait of Melanie Lane

Melanie Lane

Co-Head of Employment

CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang LLP
Cannon Place
78 Cannon Street
United Kingdom
Languages English

Melanie Lane is a partner in the Employment Team at CMS London.  She has over 25 years' experience of supporting employer clients with the full range of employment law issues, from day-to-day employment documentation and workplace matters to complex employment litigation, investigations, business reorganisations and outsourcings. Her clients include numerous household names across a variety of industries, with a particular focus on the consumer products/retail, leisure, life sciences, media and technology sectors.

Melanie has advised on some of the leading whistleblowing claims in the UK, including the first Employment Appeal Tribunal case to consider alleged protected disclosures based on damage to the environment, and in the Court of Appeal. In recent years she has advised a number of high-profile clients on large-scale business reorganisations, including their information and consultation obligations with both unionised and non-unionised workforces, and on sensitive internal investigations, for example into allegations against C-suite executives and about equal pay. She is an expert on the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations (“TUPE”) and has provided the employment support on many of the firm's award-winning outsourcing transactions.

Melanie prides herself on understanding her clients' businesses and providing practical and commercial advice focused on and tailored to their specific needs.  She is a regular speaker and writer on a variety of employment law topics including whistleblowing.

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"Melanie is great fun to work with and couldn't know her clients better. She is good at tribunal and whistle-blowing claims and puts everyone she works with at ease."

Chambers, 2023

"Melanie is an outstanding adviser. She is efficient, very knowledgeable and provides sound and pragmatic advice. She quickly absorbs and understands key issues in disputes. She has a good tactical mind."

Chambers, 2023

"She's very pragmatic and balances legal stuff with an understanding of business culture." "She is super responsive, incredibly commercial, gets stuff done and never gets lost in the weeds."

Chambers, 2022

"She's really engaging, approachable and gets the strategic big picture quickly."

Chambers, 2021

“Her strengths are her knowledge base, her real clarity in guidance and that she's very accessible."

Chambers, 2021

"She's approachable, personable and reliable; her advice is structured, thorough and practical.”

Chambers, 2021

"Mel [has] been amazing! Brilliantly commercial, responsive and always looking to close. The other side didn't know what hit them...thank you for your work."

Client feedback

Relevant experience

  • A multinational software corporation on day-to-day employee relations matters under a retainer arrangement, as well its often-reported Employment Tribunal cases.
  • An international software, data and media company on all aspects of employment law, in respect of both UK and international matters, including on cross-border remote working issues.
  • An American pharmaceutical giant on the closures of three of its UK sites (both unionised) and the transfer of their product lines to Germany and France.
  • A global charitable foundation on a highly sensitive internal investigation.
  • An iconic London hotel on the crisis situation it, like all other hospitality businesses, faced due to the National lockdown.
  • A world-leading online luxury and fashion retailer on all of its UK employment law issues and co-ordinating its support in EMEA and Asia.
  • A top international accountancy and business advisory firm on a wide range of employee relations and commercial matters, including business mergers.
  • A multinational consumer goods company on the employment aspects of its first truly global outsource of its IT service desk and deskside support arrangements.
  • One of the oil and gas "supermajors" on the TUPE aspects of the implementation of its new IT operating model (shortlisted for the EOA Awards' Innovation in Pan–European Outsourcing).
  • A national broadcaster on the TUPE implications of a wide range of outsourcing projects and IR35.
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Memberships & Roles

  • Employment Lawyers Association
  • European Employment Lawyers Association
  • Association of Partnership Practitioners
  • International Bar Association
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Lectures list

  • September 2019: International Bar Association Conference, Seoul - D&I DAY Pay equity and discrimination in remuneration
  • October 2018: International Bar Association Conference, Rome - Dismissals and reorganisation within companies facing insolvency proceedings
    April 2017 - Legal breakfasts: Women in Film & TV 
  • April 2017 - Westminster Media Forum: Priorities for the UK creative industries workforce post Brexit
  • September 2016 - "Where will my nanny/plumber come from? Middle and low skilled worker shortages in light of the migrant currents in the EU and elsewhere" - International Bar Association Annual Conference, Washington D.C. 
  • July 2016 - "TUPE and outsourcing" - LexisNexis webinar
  • January 2015 - "Addressing insider threat in the workplace" – Association of Partnership Practitioners seminar 
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  • 1999 – Admitted as a Solicitor in England and Wales
  • 1997 – LPC, College of Law, Guildford
  • 1996 – GDL, College of Law, Guildford
  • 1995 – BA (Politics and Modern History), Manchester University, Manchester
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Pro­tec­tion from protest
Protest on the streets, protest on­line, even lit­ig­a­tion used as a vehicle for protest.Protest­ors tar­get­ing a busi­ness may be stand­ing in a crowd, hold­ing a plac­ard or shout­ing slo­gans. But they may also be be­hind a com­puter screen or pur­su­ing a claim against the busi­ness through the courts. They may even be work­ing in­side the busi­ness, pre­par­ing to com­prom­ise its sys­tems or leak con­fid­en­tial in­form­a­tion.Wheth­er they are act­iv­ists, em­ploy­ees or cus­tom­ers, all these protest­ors may present a sub­stan­tial chal­lenge and a real threat to busi­nesses, in areas in­clud­ing its se­cur­ity, repu­ta­tion and bot­tom line. 
Risk Es­sen­tials: Sea­son of Protest
Protests are every­where. There are protests on the streets and out­side busi­ness premises. There are protests on­line. Your work­force is protest­ing. Even lit­ig­a­tion is be­ing used as a means of protest...
No pro-rat­ing of hol­i­day for “part-year work­ers”
The Su­preme Court has handed down an im­port­ant de­cision on the cal­cu­la­tion of hol­i­day for work­ers who work for vary­ing hours dur­ing only cer­tain weeks of the year but have a con­tract through­out that year...
Pre­vent­ing sexu­al har­ass­ment at work in the hos­pit­al­ity sec­tor
A new hos­pit­al­ity fo­cussed check­list to help em­ploy­ers pre­vent sexu­al har­ass­ment at work has been pub­lished by the Equal­ity and Hu­man Rights Com­mis­sion (EHRC) and UK­Hos­pit­al­ity. The check­list and ac­tion...
Al­low­ing or en­cour­aging a re­turn to the of­fice – the po­ten­tial leg­al li­ab­il­it­ies
We con­sider when work­ers in Eng­land might be able to re­turn to the of­fice and re­sume busi­ness travel in light of the re­cently an­nounced “roadmap” out of lock­down, as well as the latest po­s­i­tion on...
Chan­cel­lor con­firms Fur­lough Scheme and Self Em­ployed In­come Sup­port Scheme...
As part of his March 2021 budget and his three point plan to pro­tect jobs, the Chan­cel­lor Rishi Sunak an­nounced on 3 March 2021 an ex­ten­sion to the Coronavir­us Job Re­ten­tion Scheme (CJRS) and the Self...
A guide to the Coronavir­us Job Re­ten­tion Scheme & Self- Em­ployed In­come...
We ex­am­ine the grants avail­able un­der the Coronavir­us Job Re­ten­tion Scheme (CJRS) and the Self-Em­ployed In­come Sup­port Scheme, both of which are cur­rently ex­ten­ded to 30 April 2021
The EU-UK Trade and Co-op­er­a­tion Agree­ment (TCA): what does it mean for...
The trade deal (re­ferred to as the TCA) which the UK reached with re­gard to the EU late in Decem­ber last year has some im­pact on em­ploy­ment law, par­tic­u­larly with re­gard to fu­ture em­ploy­ment rights and...
Ex­ten­ded Fur­lough Scheme: Gov­ern­ment guid­ance pub­lished
This note is cur­rent as at 6pm on 12 Novem­ber 2020 In­tro­duc­tion On Fri­day 6 Novem­ber, we re­por­ted on the ex­ten­sion of the Coronavir­us Job Re­ten­tion Scheme (“Fur­lough Scheme”) fol­low­ing the Chan­cel­lor’s...
Winter of dis­con­tent? Fur­lough Scheme ex­ten­ded un­til 31 March 2021
This note is cur­rent as at 10am on 6 Novem­ber 2020 In­tro­duc­tion On Monday 2 Novem­ber, we re­por­ted on the ex­ten­sion of the Coronavir­us Job Re­ten­tion Scheme (“Fur­lough Scheme”) for one month, fol­low­ing...
Re­verse gear on the lock­down roller coast­er – Job Sup­port Scheme post­poned;...
This note is cur­rent as at 10 am on 2 Novem­ber 2020 In­tro­duc­tion The new Job Sup­port Scheme (“JSS”) was due to com­mence yes­ter­day, 1 Novem­ber (sum­mar­ised in our last brief­ing). On Fri­day night, the...
Em­ploy­ment we­bin­ar: Pre­par­ing for IR35 (again) and oth­er up­com­ing em­ploy­ment...
In the first sec­tion of our we­bin­ar we will high­light some of the key em­ploy­ment law re­forms and oth­er de­vel­op­ments which are on the ho­ri­zon, fo­cus­sing par­tic­u­larly on the Em­ploy­ment Bill. As a res­ult...