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Helena Milner-Smith
Helena Milner-Smith
Special Counsel
London +44 20 7067 2070 hmilner-smith@cov.com Download V-card

Helena Milner-Smith helps companies navigate complex international HR-legal compliance issues.

Ms. Milner-Smith advises clients across a range of industries - including the technology and life science sectors - on all aspects of UK and international employment law compliance.

Ms. Milner-Smith has particular expertise advising on the HR-legal aspects of multi-jurisdictional transactions. She also regularly assists clients seeking to protect their business and increase international compliance by designing and implementing global policies, employment contracts and restrictive covenants.

Clients have praised her responsiveness, command of the issues, practical and business-focused advice, expert management of local counsel and sense of humour in trying circumstances.

Legal 500 UK (2014) recognized Ms. Milner-Smith for her “exceptional service” in the Employment sector.

In addition, Ms. Milner-Smith has gained valuable in-house experience while on secondment at three large multinational corporations - a pharmaceutical company, an oil company and a leading investment bank.

  • Advising Microsoft Corporation on the global employment law aspects of its US$7bn acquisition of Nokia’s devices and services business and subsequent corporate integration, involving over 25,000 former Nokia employees across 60 countries.
  • Providing international employment law advice to AstraZeneca in relation to its acquisition of Bristol-Myers Squibb’s interests in the companies’ global diabetes alliance across 40 jurisdictions.
  • Advising a multinational retail client on the implementation of global employment contracts, policies and business code of conduct.
  • Representing an international pharmaceutical company in defending several claims in the UK employment tribunal, including unfair dismissal and race discrimination.
  • Advising an international media company on its restructure, including managing collective and individual redundancies.

Pro Bono

  • Advising a global charity in relation to expatriate contracts and policies.
  • Representing a global charity in defending allegations of unfair dismissal and whistleblowing.
  • Nominated for the LawWorks Pro Bono Award for Best Contribution by an Individual in 2012 and 2010.

Memberships and Affiliations

  • Employment Lawyers' Association
  • The Lawyer Awards, shortlisted in the Employment Team of the Year category (2015)
  • IFLR European Awards, shortlisted in Deals of the Year: M&A (2015)
  • Legal 500 UK, Employment (2014-2015)