Meet our TechLinks lawyers - David Speakman


David Speakman

David advises on all types of employment issues.

He led the team in the Court of Appeal on a recent whistleblowing claim in which clarification was given on whether an employer’s genuine belief that a whistleblowing disclosure was not a protected disclosure was a subjective or an objective question.

He has acted in litigation for numerous banks and fund managers in whistleblowing and discrimination cases, including allegations of sex, race, age, religion and disability discrimination.

David was involved in the investigations into "FX fixing", (and subsequent litigation for three banks) in the financial services industry and has also been involved in major investigations into the insurance industry and into health and safety issues in the manufacturing industry.

He has worked on the employment aspects of transactions from multi-jurisdictional deals requiring advice across 30 countries, to acquisitions of smaller family-owned businesses in the UK. David regularly works closely on mergers and acquisitions with Linklaters offices in other jurisdictions, particularly Germany, France, the Netherlands and Italy.


Recent projects include:

In the tech sector:

  • Leading the employment work stream on the carve-out and reverse takeover of a £3 billion international software business and assisting with integration planning and works council issues over a 12-month period on the same matter
  • Advising one of the world’s leading healthcare, wellness and nutrition businesses on its acquisition of a novel pet food business operating solely on the internet
  • Leading the employment team on the acquisition of a paperless receipts business for a leading retail company
  • Advising on a breach of warranty claim related to the owner’s warranties given on a tech transaction

In financial services:

  • Advising on various sales and acquisitions from the sale of whole banks through to two recent sales of asset management platforms
  • Advising on a dispute between the two most senior partners at a large fund
  • Advising on a claim by an FX trader alleging that he had blown the whistle

Cross border:

  • Advising on two matters involving allegations of sexual misconduct in more than one jurisdiction (involving linked allegations in the UK, Germany and Canada)
  • Advising on the implications of the Posted Worker Directive in each country in Europe
  • Advising on the employee information and consultation obligations in 20+ jurisdictions during a transaction and the obligations to engage with local works councils regarding integration planning post completion

Meet our TechLink Lawyers - Laurie Ollivent


Image of Laurie Braim 

Laurie is a Practice Development Lawyer (“PDL”) in the Employment & Incentives group, a role unique to Linklaters.

As PDL, Laurie works closely with clients to provide updates on market trends, legal and regulatory developments and provides legal training and advisory sessions to clients, including bespoke training sessions tailored to clients’ cultures, policies and practices. With over seven years’ previous experience as an employment lawyer advising clients on their advisory, contentious and transactional people-related matters, including high-profile litigation, senior terminations and appointments, international restructures, outsourcings, workplace culture and general day-to-day employment matters, Laurie offers a balance of legal and market experience in the role of PDL and is a key contact for clients as part of their core Linklaters’ teams.

Laurie has a keen interest in the technology sector. She works closely with a number of tech clients and also works alongside tech businesses at Wework. Laurie co-created TechLinks, an online portal designed for small and start-up tech businesses to provide access to the key employment resources and know-how they need to grow their teams the right way from the start. Laurie also regularly comments and speaks on employment and tech related topics, and works closely with Crowdcube as part of their post-funding service delivery programme to tech companies.


Laurie has advised on a number of major transactions and advisory projects, including:

  • Advising on the carve-out and sale of an international software business as part of £3 billion merger with a UK listed company   
  • Advising on the employment aspects of one of the largest UK infrastructure transactions in the last 10 years, with an enterprise value for the business of approximately £13.8 billion
  • Advising on the high-profile merger of equals between two international stock exchanges   
  • Advising a UK retail bank on the implementation of its ring-fencing regime   

Laurie has also advised on a number of high-profile and complex employment/HR matters, including:

  • Successfully defending a high-profile employment tribunal claim for race discrimination valued at £10 million
  • Advising on the exit of a CEO of a UK tech plc
  • Advising a UK manufacturing company on a large-scale redundancy exercise affecting over 100 employees
  • Advising on proceedings before an employment tribunal concerning unfair dismissal, whistleblowing and race discrimination
Meet our TechLink Lawyers - Nicola Rabson


Image of Nicola Rabson 

As Global Head of the Employment & Incentives practice at Linklaters, Nicola has championed the design and build of the TechLinks site. Nicola has a keen interest in the tech sector and has supported the process for bringing the TechLinks site to market.