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Portrait ofMelanie 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 in Employment Appeal Tribunal in the first 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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"Mel is one of the great ones. She got us out of more trouble than we knew how to get into."

Client Feedback, 2023

"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

"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

"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

Relevant experience

  • A multinational software corporation on day-to-day employee relations matters under a retainer arrangement, as well its often-reported on 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.
  • American Bar Association.
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Lectures list

  • November 2023: International Bar Association Conference, Paris – “Non-competes restricting employee mobility - is there a future?”.
  • September 2019: International Bar Association Conference, Seoul – “Pay equity and discrimination in remuneration”.
  • October 2018: International Bar Association Conference, Rome – “Dismissals and reorganisation within companies facing insolvency proceedings”.
  • April 2017: Westminster Media Forum – “Priorities for the UK creative industries workforce post Brexit”.
  • September 2016: International Bar Association Annual Conference, Washington D.C. - "Where will my nanny/plumber come from? Middle and low skilled worker shortages in light of the migrant currents in the EU and elsewhere".
  • July 2016: LexisNexis webinar - "TUPE and outsourcing".
  • January 2015:  Association of Partnership Practitioners seminar - "Addressing insider threat in the workplace".
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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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Tip-top: new legislation on tipping
The new Employment (Allocation of Tips) Act (the Act) will make it unlawful for employers to withhold tips and service charges from staff.There is no immediate date scheduled for implementation, although...
Protection from protests
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...
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...