Pulina Whitaker


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Pulina Whitaker

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Pulina Whitaker is a UK qualified lawyer in King & Spalding’s London office.  She is a Partner in the London Employment and Benefits Practice.

Ms. Whitaker’s practice focuses on:

  • transactional employment law in sales and acquisitions, commercial outsourcings and corporate reorganisations, specifically negotiating warranty and indemnity provisions and disclosures in the transactional documentation and advising on reorganisations and information and consultation obligations in the UK and across other European jurisdictions;

  • acting for corporates and multinationals in defence of  claims for unfair dismissal, sex, race, religious, age and disability discrimination and breach of contract (including share and bonus entitlements);

  • employee recruitment, management and exits, including drafting appointment agreements and severance arrangements;

  • advising on redundancy programmes and restructuring exercises and co-ordinating these projects across other European jurisdictions;

  • advising on the offer of US and UK stock and stock option incentive arrangements globally, including co-ordinating filings and advising on entitlements on termination of employment;

  • advising on European data privacy and anti-bribery issues, including in connection with FCPA investigations, the Bribery Act and export control arrangements;

  • advising on whistleblowing hotlines for European-based companies, including European data protection requirements and compliance with SOX requirements;

  • commercial agents agreements and rights to statutory compensation or indemnities;

  • drafting bonus, carried interest and share incentive schemes and advising on disputed payments; and

  • international compliance arrangements.

Ms Whitaker has a broad range of experience including advising on the following representative matters:

  • advising a company on the investigation of a significant whistleblowing complaint;

  • advising a leading UK hospitality PLC on the sale of its international hotels businesses;

  • advising one of the UK’s leading pubs and retail PLCs on the restructuring and subsequent sale of its pubs and restaurants business in the UK;

  • advising one of the world’s largest IT companies on the international employment and stock issues relating to its global merger with another US IT company and subsequent global integration issues;

  • advising on the joint venture of one of Europe’s largest payment processing businesses;

  • advising on the purchase of a global inorganic chemicals company, including harmonising employee benefit plans, consulting with a French works council and negotiating contributions to reduce a defined benefit pension scheme deficit;

  • advising on the acquisition of a manufacturing conglomerate across multiple jurisdictions, including informing or consulting employee representatives, dealing with a substantial defined benefit pension scheme deficit and negotiating new service agreements for the board;

  • advising on the acquisition of a European pharmaceutical business; and

  • defending discrimination claims brought by employees of a call centre.


  • “Taking the Discretion out of Discretionary Bonuses” (IHL Journal, June 2001)

  • “Own Goals” (The Times, August 2004)

  • “Overseas and Over Here?” (Employment & HR Journal, 2004)

  • “It’s All About the Process” (ELA Briefing, December 2005)

  • “TUPE - Harmonising Employment Terms (ELA Briefing, March 2007)

  • “EU Guidelines on Whistleblowing Systems for Multi-Nationals” (Compliance Executive, May 2007)

  • “Multinationals Dance to Two Whistleblowing Tunes” (European Lawyer, October 2007)

  • Quoted in “Information Secure?” (HR Director, November 2007)

  • Quoted in “The Benefits of a Global Payroll” (HR Director, March 2008)

  • “TUPE Travels Abroad” (European Lawyer, April 2008)

  • Quoted in “Spate of June Job Cuts Fuelled by Fears Over Bonuses, say Bankers” (Financial Times, June 2008)

  • Quoted in “Employers Use Cost Cutting Measures to Avoid Redundancies” (Employee Benefits, March 2009)

  • “Employer Obligations in Insolvency” (Employment Law Journal, March 2009)

  • “Benefits Surgery: Enhanced Redundancy Payments” (Employee Benefits,June 2009)

  • Quoted in “Keeping Staff Happy When Making Pay Cuts” (Employee Benefits,June 2009)

  • “Get in Line with EU Rules” (SC Magazine, June 2009)

  • “Alternatives to Redundancy” (Croner, November 2009)

  • “What Non-Financial Rewards are Successful Motivators?” (Strategic HR Review, January 2010)

  • Quoted in “Don’t Look Back” (The Conference Board Review, April 2010)

  • Quoted in “UK Data Protection Changes Turn Tables on Firms” (Operational Risk and Regulation, April 2010)

  • “A Financial Hit: Data Loss” (Director of Finance, May 2010)

  • “New Powers to Fine Companies for Data Protection Breaches” (Croner, May 2010)

  • “TUPE: Do Employees Transfer When Service Providers Change?” (Croner, July 2010)

  • “Disclosure Dangers” (European Lawyer, September 2010)

  • “How to manage TUPE transfer” (Changeboard, October 2010)

  • “The Bribery Act 2010 – Key Highlights for Employers” (Croner, November 2010)

  • “How to Respond to Subject Access Requests” (Powerchex Newsletter, December 2010)

  • Quoted in “Service Company Employees are Protected in Transfer of Business” (Society for Human Resources Management, December 2010)

  • “The UK Bribery Act: Be Prepared” (Metropolitan Corporate Counsel, January 2011)

  • Quoted in “Workplace litigation on the rise” (Employee Benefits, January 2011)

  • Quoted in “What will be the legal impact of the scrapping of the compulsory retirement age?” (The Times, January 2011)

  • “Say on Pay - Anticipating the Path Ahead” (New York Law Journal, January 2011)

  • “What discrimination rights do overseas employees have under the Equality Act 2010” (Croner, May 2011)

  • “Be careful what you say about former employees” (Croner, July 2011)

  • “The UK Bribery Act” (The Lawyer’s Brief, August 2011)

  • “Is Your Data Protected?” (Payroll World, October 2012)

  • “Employee-Owner Contracts – a new kind of relationship?” (Pay and Benefits, November 2012)

  • “Employee Shareholder Contracts: Shares for Rights” (Pay and Benefits, January 2013

  • Cyber Security Directive Proposal (SC Magazine, February 2013)

  • Quoted in “Changing Immigration Policies Brings Talent Acquisition Challenges” (HireRight White Paper, July 2013)

  • “Transparency and Data Protection: A Delicate Balance” (Pharm Exec Digest, July/August 2013)

  • “UK Employment Law Update” (Metropolitan Corporate Counsel, January 2014)

  • “How Does TUPE Affect Collective Agreements?” (Personnel Today, March 2014)

  • “Protecting European Data – The New Regime” (Metropolitan Corporate Counsel, April 2014)


  • E-learn: International Aspects of Managing Employees (April 2006)

  • GE Corporate Conference: International Trade and Outsourcings (October 2007)

  • Employment Law for In-House Lawyers (October 2007)

  • European Employment Law Update (December 2007)

  • E-learn: US and European Outsourcings (April 2008)

  • European Employment Law Update (December 2008)

  • E-learn: International Data Privacy (March 2009)

  • Employment Law Update (June 2009)

  • Government Investigations for Life Sciences (September 2010)

  • Mitigating Risks (September 2010)

  • E-learn: Extraterritorial Discovery (October 2010)

  • European Employment Law Update (December 2010)

  • The FCPA and UK Bribery Act: recent trends and key developments (September 2011)

  • E-learn: European Data Protection Reforms (November 2012)

  • Global Transparency Reporting Congress – HCP Spend Reporting (April 2013)

  • E-learn: New Focus by US and EU on Cybersecurity Frameworks (April 2013)

  • RSA Conference: Trending Now: Privacy and Cyber Security Policy in the US and EU (October 2013)

Ms Whitaker obtained an LLB (Hons) from the University of Bristol in 1996 and completed her legal studies at the College of Law, Chester, in 1997.  She qualified as a lawyer in 1999.  Ms Whitaker is a Consulting Editor for CRONER-i HR, a Human Resources publication.  She is admitted to practice in England and Wales and holds professional memberships of the Law Society of England and Wales and the Employment Lawyers Association.  She speaks French and Italian.


Haven, (Committee Member)
Law Society of England and Wales
Employment Lawyers Association

L.P.C., College of Law, Chester, UK
LL.B., honours, University of Bristol, UK

England and Wales