Pete Talibart is one of the world’s premier international employment lawyers. He specialises in multinational strategic employment law projects. He has redesigned a country’s employment law system and has done work in over 120 countries on some of the largest international HR projects in the world. He is an accomplished human rights advocate and has given expert evidence to Canada and the UK on the architecture of modern slavery laws. He advocated for and influenced the design of the world-leading supply chain transparency provision of the UK Modern Slavery Act. He has spoken widely, including at the United Nations and the Vatican, on modern slavery issues.
What attracted you to a career in law?
I knew that I could not just play rugby forever! I hoped law would open a lot of different doors.
Which case has been your most challenging, and why?
We did a global restructure that we are told ultimately generated value to the client of €11 billion. This took place in 120 countries. We were able to become integrated into the business to assist them in making commercial decisions under incredible time and cost pressure. It was one of the hardest and the best things I have done professionally.
What aspect of your work is the most satisfying?
At this stage: making a difference with my modern slavery work.
How does Seyfarth Shaw distinguish itself in the market?
In my field, Seyfarth is the show. We have about 500 labour and employment lawyers. We act for three-fifths of the US Fortune 500. Nobody has done what we have done in the international employment law space. My partners are fabulous lawyers and great friends.
In what ways do you think anti-people trafficking legislation will evolve going forward?
Modern slavery laws are like bribery laws were 15 years ago. If you did not have one you were considered a corrupt jurisdiction. It is the next evolution of CSR. We already have supply chain transparency laws for products in hardwood, tobacco, minerals and pharma, but none for the health, safety and welfare of the millions of men, women and children who produce them. That is obscene.
Which qualities are necessary for success in your field?
Staying power, keeping your word and a strong sense of gallows humour.
You have achieved a great deal in your career. What goals would you still like to accomplish going forward?
I guess, like everyone, I want to leave the world a better place than I found it. I will keep tilting at windmills until I get a dragon...
Peter Talibart is a respected figure whom peers describe as "a really great lawyer" and "truly a leader in the field" who brings a "real-world approach to global employment" matters.
Pete Talibart is a partner in the international labour and employment practice of Seyfarth Shaw (UK) LLP and leads the firm’s London office. He is qualified in both Canada and the UK.
Pete is employment counsel to major multinationals and financial institutions on strategic cross-border employment issues. His expertise lies in all aspects of UK and cross-border employment law, in particular international corporate restructuring; mergers and acquisitions; corporate governance (employment); financial services compliance; and ethical HR issues. He is an accomplished human rights advocate and has given formal evidence to the British and Canadian parliaments on draft modern-slavery laws. He has led some of the largest and most complex employment law projects in the world, including the core redesign of a national labour law system and a multibillion-euro global restructure in 120 jurisdictions. He is a trustee/legal adviser of the international human rights charity Stop the Traffik.
Pete is a very popular speaker and has lectured all over the world on international employment law issues, including modern slavery. He has appeared on BBC’s television news, been quoted in major British, French and German newspapers, and contributed to a wide variety of international HR and employment law journals. He is co-chair of the International Bar Association employment and industrial relations law committee, and he advised the Church of England in relation to the UK Modern Slavery Act as the bill passed through the House of Lords.
Pete won a World Masters Games medal for rugby while working as a partner.