Our Team

Gareth McKnight

Managing Director

Gareth has been involved in the sales and marketing of employment law and human resources, health & safety and management consultancy since 1991. He worked for the original innovators of this type of service, Croner, from 1991 to 1997 and then between 1997 and 2002 he was a key member of the team assembled by RBS to launch and market its Mentor service, which very quickly became the largest provider of fixed fee employment law and health & safety services in the UK. From its inception in 2002, until early 2011, Gareth was a leading member of the management team which created and launched Law At Work, a Glasgow based provider of similar services.

Since leaving Law At Work, Gareth has taken some time out to review and appraise the employment law, human resources and health & safety market, with a view to developing from scratch a different and more innovative model, which is Navigator. He was attracted to VIALEX and its ground breaking Legal Counsel Service and is relishing the opportunities that present to cross sell the Navigator services.

Gareth is passionate about quality and client service and you can be assured of his best attention at all times.

Gareth is married to Teeny and they live in Barnton, Edinburgh with their four year old son Matthew. He is a keen Ulster, Ireland and Lions rugby fan. Although, circumstances mean that he is more often seen following Edinburgh or Scotland at Murrayfield.

Alan Sutherland

Head of Employment Law

A graduate of both the Universities of Cambridge and Edinburgh, Alan has over 15 years’ experience in employment law, firstly with Mackay Simon, at that time the leading niche firm of solicitors providing employment law advice and services only, and latterly with Maclay Murray & Spens, again specialising solely in employment law.

Alan advises on all areas of employment law, including unfair dismissal, discrimination, redundancy, transfer of undertakings and contractual documentation. He has acted for a range of clients both large and small and has appeared in Employment Tribunals throughout the UK, as well as in the Employment Appeal Tribunal. He has also been involved in the provision of training to clients in various aspects of employment law.

Alan has the experience to anticipate and identify potential problem areas. He is not afraid to suggest innovative solutions to problems, but where litigation proves ultimately necessary he will pursue cases vigorously.

Outside the office, Alan is interested in foreign foods, cultures and climates and has circumnavigated the globe twice (and more importantly managed to find his way home). He is a keen observer of all sports and can occasionally be found churning up a golf course somewhere.

Frances Smith

Legal Manager

A University of Edinburgh graduate, Frances trained with A&WM Urquhart, qualifying in 1999. In 2000 she joined the litigation team at Maclay Murray & Spens becoming part of the specialist Employment Pensions and Benefits team when it formed. Frances moved to an in-house position with HBOS plc in 2003 and joined the Navigator team in June 2014 from the Lloyds Banking Group HR Legal team.

Frances has specialised in employment law for over 15 years and is experienced in advising on all employment law matters supporting HR professionals, business leaders and managers. She is valued for giving clear, practical and commercial advice taking into account the client’s priorities and wider business concerns.

Frances lives in Edinburgh with her husband, two sons and a dog called Jock.

Seanpaul McCahill

Legal and HR Manager

Seanpaul is a graduate of the Universities of Glasgow and Strathclyde, with qualifications in law and human resource management and Chartered membership of the CIPD. Prior to commencing his legal career, Seanpaul worked in senior HR roles in a range of public sector organisations, including the University of Strathclyde and the NHS.

Seanpaul then undertook a specialist employment law traineeship, providing guidance and solutions to companies on a variety of complex HR and employment law issues. His experience of operational HR allows him to give advice with an understanding of how it will be applied in context.

Seanpaul’s areas of interest include discrimination and immigration law and he has direct experience of the migrant sponsorship process. He also enjoys training and has delivered courses on many HR and employment law topics across the UK.

Seanpaul lives in South Queensferry with his partner Stephen, but is a keen traveller and enjoys spending time in North America and South Africa.

Wendy Meiklejohn

Associate Director, HR Projects

Wendy is an experienced HR professional who started her HR career in financial services as an HR and Business Consultant within banking (Standard Life) and fund management (Britannic Asset Management (now Ignis Asset Management). She entered the legal sector by joining the employment division of Maclay, Murray & Spens, to conduct HR consultancy and client servicing projects. She then helped to develop the HR consultancy arm of their legal services company, Law At Work, where she went on to head the HR Services function for 8 years. During this time, Wendy was responsible for sourcing and managing many HR client projects and for providing professional support to the Chief Executive.

Wendy joined Navigator in 2011 where she delivers high quality and flexible employment law and HR support options for a wide range of clients.

Wendy is a Chartered MCIPD. She is also qualified to Levels A and B (psychometric testing) with Saville and Holdsworth. Additionally, Wendy has lectured on Employee Reward to post graduate Human Resource Management students at Napier University.

Clare Lynch

Client Liaison Executive

Clare has worked in the legal sector for nearly ten years, providing administration support at MacRoberts LLP, initially as Office Junior before becoming Support Services Assistant. She completed an SVQ level 3 in Business Administration during that time. In January 2014, Clare took on the role of Business Services Executive, where she gained experience in the marketing and business development departments, finally settling on a role as Business Development Executive.

Clare joined Navigator in September 2015 where she hopes to develop her skills and continue to deliver a first class service to clients.

Clare enjoys studying with the Open University, and is currently working towards a degree in International Development. She also enjoys spending time with her family and travelling to various scenic spots in Scotland.

Graham Exley

Health And Safety Manager

Graham specialises in Health & Safety advice and support for businesses around Scotland. Previous to working with Navigator, Graham successfully ran his own Health & Safety training, audit and consultancy company. He is an experienced Chartered Health & Safety practitioner, Environmental practitioner, qualified Lead & Advanced Auditor (18001) and a fully qualified and accredited HS&E trainer. Graham is registered with the Occupational Safety & Health Consultants Register (OSCR) and has recently been made a Fellow of the International Institute of Risk and Safety Management.

In his spare time, Graham enjoys going to concerts and spending time with his family – he has recently become a grandfather!

Bernadette Fitzpatrick

Health & Safety Manager

Bernadette is a highly qualified and experienced Health & Safety professional with experience in a variety of work environments including the Scottish Rugby Union, Scottish Environmental Protection Agency, Scottish Premier League, NHS, consultancy and the commercial sector.

Bernadette has project managed the implementation of complex safety systems to external accreditation level and played a pivotal role in the complex design of two new hospitals.

She is a RoSPA trained auditor with a Masters in Health, Safety and Environmental Management and has accumulated considerable experience in CDM.

Bernadette is a member of the Rotary Club of Callander and West Perthshire, and a Chartered Member of IOSH.