Meet the team

David Wickes, BSc (Hons), FCIPD


  • Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development
  • Politics (BA Hons), Southampton University​

David has over 40 years’ experience in employment law working for blue chip companies such as British Leyland and GKN. After holding various HR positions and working his way up to Director of an Employment Law Consultancy, he founded The AP Partnership in 1986.

Dr Adam Wickes Bsc (Hons), LLM, PhD, MCIPD

Employment Law Consultant / CEO

  • PhD in TUPE from Anglia Ruskin, Cambridge
  • Member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development
  • Masters’ degree in Employment Law, University of East Anglia (UEA)
  • Biochemistry Degree (hons), Warwick University​

Adam has consulted on all areas of employment law for over 13 years and been a Director of The AP Partnership for over a decade.

He is one of the UK’s leading experts in TUPE, a specialist area of employment law focussed on when a business or undertaking (or part of one) is transferred to a new employer. Adam is the sole author of ‘The Concept of TUPE – Group Membership Theory (2021)’, available to buy on Amazon, which is the stand-alone book to conceptualise how TUPE operates on a philosophical and practical level.

“I apply my knowledge of employment law to find creative solutions for clients, delivered in a concise and accessible format.”

Karen Fitzsimmons LLM MCIPD

Employment Law Consultant / Director

  • Masters’ Degree in Employment Law from the University of East Anglia
  • Member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development

Karen has many years’ experience of hands-on HR in both the public and private sectors: namely, local government, distribution, and consultancy with particular expertise in sales and marketing management.

Karen’s career in consultancy spans over 20 years and she still gets great satisfaction from providing options and solutions to small businesses.

“I use a combination of legal knowledge and practical HR experience to give clients the advice and support they need to get the best outcome for their company.”

Sean Cowley, GradIOSH

Health and Safety Consultant / Director

  • Graduate Member of the Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH)
  • BTEC National Diploma in Engineering, North Devon College
  • ISO 45001 lead auditor
  • ISO 9001:2015 lead auditor

Sean’s first experience of health and safety was in the construction industry where he gained 13 years’ project management experience for nationally recognised home builders. Sean was responsible for the day to day running and Health and Safety requirements on multi-million pound housing developments. Sean joined The AP Partnership in May 2012 as a Health and Safety Consultant.

Peter Hale BSc PGDip

Employment Law Consultant

Peter has over 20 years experience of supporting organisations with their Employment Law responsibilities and considerations, including defence of claims at Tribunal and associated general case management matters. Throughout his career Peter has offered advice that is pragmatic and reflective of each client’s individual circumstances.

“I am fully committed to using my experience and knowledge of Employment Law to support clients in achieving the most positive outcomes for their businesses possible.”

Mark Bennett

Employment Law Consultant

  • BA (Hons) Human Resource Management

Mark has worked in the field of HR for over 20 years in both the public and private sectors but predominately worked within the FMCG/manufacturing sector, covering all aspects of HR related issues and supporting managers to resolve a range of HR matters.

“When dealing with HR matters, I like to adopt a common sense approach and with the philosophy of treating people as I would like to be treated myself.”

Holly Smith BSc

Employment Law Consultant

  • Bachelor of Science Degree from Anglia Ruskin University

Holly has 10 years of people management experience in both the public and private sectors: namely NHS and hospitality and is currently working towards CIPD Level 5.

“I pride myself on offering open and honest support to clients, in order to achieve a positive and effective outcome.”

John Burgess

Health and Safety Consultant

  • Member of the Institute of Fire Safety Managers (IFSM)
  • Associate Member of the International Institute of Risk and Safety Management (IIRSM)
  • Technician Member of the Institute of Occupational Health and Safety (IOSH)

As a qualified Carpenter and Joiner John worked in the construction industry progressing to Site Manager including responsibility for health and environmental compliance on special works projects for public and private sector clients. In the early 90s John moved to the UK’s premier mechanical and electrical safety testing organisation spending 12 years as the Facilities and Health and Safety Manager.

For the last 18 years John has worked as a Consultant within the health, safety and environmental consultancy sector applying his extensive knowledge and experience to assist a wide range of clients with regulatory compliance.

Jo Dorman

Health and Safety Consultant

Jo joined The AP Partnership in June 2019 working as part of the Health and Safety team looking after a variety of clients and individuals. Jo is NEBOSH General Certificate Qualified and is working towards completing the NEBOSH Diploma in Health and Safety.

Jo came to the AP Partnership with a wealth of experience in managing a regional leisure facility in Peterborough, which needed a high level of health and safety and people management as part of the job role. She has worked in several key business sectors including medical research, retail and the charity sector as well as running her own business. She combines her experience, knowledge and people skills to supply a practical solution to health and safety in the workplace.

John Sneath

John joined The AP Partnership in July 2023. He predominantly deals with construction industry clients, providing both Health and Safety and training services. He also carries out Fire Risk assessments for both Private and Public sector clients. John holds the NEBOSH General Certificate and Scaffold Inspection qualifications; is a Fit 2 Fit face fit tester; and holds the Level 3 certificate in Education and Training.

John has a wealth of Experience having worked in within the industry for over 10 Years’, providing expert to advice to Build UK members, and contractors alike and he is a Tech IOSH Member.

Holly Cope

Content Marketing Manager

  • Masters’ degree in International Business & Management
  • LLB International & European Law

Holly worked in the legal industry for 7 years in various areas of law including immigration and anti- money laundering. After completing a Masters’ degree in business, she now specialises in legal content marketing. Holly hosts our incredible podcast at The AP Partnership and writes our monthly employment, HR and health and safety articles. Please tune in to our podcast for more insight into the latest employment advice.

Carol Darnell

HR & Development Consultant

  • BA (Hons) in Human Resource Management, University of East London

Carol is adept at providing Interim HR and Learning and Development services at Head of Department Level.

Her expertise was gained initially at PricewaterhouseCoopers, a global professional services firm, where she was a Management Development specialist. She now runs her own consultancy and works with businesses large and small in all sectors.

Carol designs and delivers tailormade HR and development programmes. Her programmes allow organisations to enhance business in addition to team and individual performance.​

Lynne Hobden-Clarke

Employment Law Consultant

Lynne has spent her career developing teams in the public and private sector. She designed and delivered management development programmes for a variety of businesses and the NHS. She specialises in team building and problem solving days for senior staff. She also works with business owners to set strategic goals for companies and carry them out practically.

Lynne is also the HR Director of a financial services group. Lynne has co-written and edited specialist textbooks covering aspects of HR and organisational management change within the NHS. Titles include: Conflict in General Practice and The Practice Managed.

Learn how our team can assist you.

Contact us to schedule your complimentary consultation.