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A solicitor who has helped countless pregnant women and new mums stand up for their employment rights has been recognised by a top award.

Employment lawyer, Danielle Ayres, who works at Gorvins Solicitors in Stockport, has been shortlisted for Legal Professional of the Year at the Manchester Young Talent Awards organised by JCI Manchester, in recognition of her ground-breaking work in pregnancy and maternity discrimination.

This includes launching the influential ‘Keeping Mum’ campaign (gorvins.com/keeping-mum) which offers advice and direction for those who feel they have been stigmatised by their bosses as a result of starting a family.

A mother of two herself, Danielle is also a leading advisor to the group Working Mums and she has established pro-bono employment surgeries at Gorvins, as well as at community centres and mother and baby groups across the North West, giving support and legal advice to new and expectant mothers who are being discriminated against as a result of their pregnancy.

David Walton, Partner and Head of Employment Law at Gorvins says: “Danielle’s scope reaches far beyond her daily work as an employment law solicitor and over the past 12 months has gone above and beyond the standards expected of an associate solicitor.”

Since joining Gorvins six years ago, Danielle has established herself as a go-to voice in employment law. As well as working on maternity discrimination cases,   the 32 year-old solicitor, who hails from Manchester, also advises employees on tribunal matters, redundancy processes, settlement and complex whistleblowing claims.

Danielle also advises the UK wide ‘Pregnant then Screwed’ campaign, which is calling for a change in the law concerning pregnant women. This collaboration was noted on a national level and prompted the Equality & Human Rights Commissioner to issue a stark report on the number of women suffering from discrimination.

Joeli Brierley, Director of campaign site pregnant then screwed comments to say: “I trust Danielle implicitly and I know her priority is always to help and support the victims of pregnancy and maternity discrimination. She puts her care for these women first and foremost and it is that what makes her so successful and so very extraordinary.’’

Thanks to her burgeoning reputation, Danielle`s is now a regular media spokesman on employment issues. Her appearances include the BBC Victoria Derbyshire Television Show, Radio 5 Live and Manchester Business Radio. She has been featured in The Independent and The Daily Telegraph and is a regular contributor to leading publications including HR News and Personnel Today.

Lorraine Lockie, Managing Partner at Gorvins Solicitors adds “ Danielle is  so deserving of this nomination as she is an extraordinary legal talent, who has been instrumental in encouraging women to stand up for their rights both in Manchester and further afield. As a result, the firm has seen an increase in new clients including new employer clients who want to get their policies right when it comes to handling pregnant staff members.`

Her clients have ultimate respect for her and although the circumstances are often fraught with anger and emotion from the claimant, she gives them renewed confidence for matters which otherwise they would not pursue out of fear of losing their job completely.

Commenting on her nomination Danielle said: “I am overwhelmed to have been shortlisted amongst some of Manchester’s top lawyers and I am very proud that the work I do has been recognised amongst my peers. My congratulations go to all finalists and I look forward to discovering the winners later in the year.”